Emmy Rossum Demands Equal Pay (and then some), Franco Boards Covenant, and a Trailer Roundup

Movie News After Dark

The day’s top headlines in bite-size portions.

If you watch Showtime’s Shameless, then you know that though it stars William H. Macy ‐ who does an amazing job playing perpetual gadabout and chronic substance abuser Frank Gallagher ‐ the real heart of the show is found in Emmy Rossum’s character Fiona, Frank’s eldest daughter and surrogate mother to her siblings. Macy’s the name, but as the series has gone on Rossum’s Fiona has become the driving force, it’s her arc we’ve been following closer than Frank’s flatline development, and it’s her influence on the supporting characters that propels their subplots more than their fictional father’s (past the general situation of his existence). As a counterpoint to the UK series it’s based on in which Fiona’s only around for a couple seasons, Rossum was hired to be Shameless’ female lead and lead she has for seven strong seasons.

But now as her contract is up for season eight, Rossum is making a bold move. According to The Hollywood Reporter Rossum is seeking not just equal pay to that Macy earns, she asking for more money than Macy per episode after years of being paid considerably less than her co-star. Problem is, the network is balking a little bit, which is holding up production on season eight, and could even be jeopardizing the future of the series.

Granted, Macy is the bigger name and he has the Oscar nom (for Fargo) that he rode into a sweet paycheck back in the beginning, and yes, he’s garnered more nominations for the series than Rossum has, but I watch Shameless, have since the day it started airing, and though, as mentioned, Macy is amazing as Frank, no one’s really watching for his storyline anymore. He was a drunk, a drug addict, and a lousy father in episode one and 83 episodes later he’s still a drunk, a drug addict, and a lousy father. Fiona, on the other hand, has transformed from a troubled, flighty, struggling teen into a scrappy, resilient, empowered young woman who doesn’t just run her family with a loving but firm grip, she’s also a burgeoning businesswoman just starting to understand how capable she really is.

Macy’s great, but he won’t propel the series into the future like Rossum will. The UK version ran for 11 seasons, and there’s no reason the US can’t equal or top that, because the narrative momentum is there. So, my personal opinion and with all due respect to Mr. Macy and Showtime, pay Rossum what she’s asking. She’s worth it, the series is worth it, and there’s so much more of the Gallagher story to tell, it would be a crying shame to let Shameless go like this. Click the THR link for all the business details, but bottom line, Rossum is in a unique position to influence pay equality in television, and she’s taking it. Fiona would be proud.

This one’s gonna be brief because the meat of the story is pretty much all spoilers. Though it has not been officially confirmed by the studio, filmmakers, or the man in question, it’s been reported and is considered very, very true that James Franco is in Alien: Covenant. The scoop belongs to AvPGalaxy so hit the link for all the details, but like I said, they should be considered quite spoiler-y, so if you want to go into this blind, stay right where you are. For what it’s worth, I had to read it because, you know, my job, and I wish I hadn’t.

In a related twist, this news also came with the tidbit that Franco is up for the lead role in the next Predator film from Shane Black and Fred Dekker, called The Predator. If he lands it, AvP3 writes itself.

Trailers have been dominating news feeds for the last 24 hours, so let’s end things today with a recap. Last night we got not one but two trailers (US and International) for Spider-Man: Homecoming. Check out what FSR boss Neil Miller had to say about them right here. Then, as though that wasn’t enough, we woke up to the first official trailer for Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes, which I gushed about right here. And then, just in case you had a little adrenaline left, we got a teaser for the new Fast and Furious trailer, which drops this weekend. The big news here is, there’s a new title: The Fate of the Furious. Ominous much, Vin? Here’s your tease, Facebook will have the full thing on Sunday.

Enjoy the weekend, happy watching, and we’ll see you back here Monday Night. Spoiler alert: the big news is going to be Golden Globe nominations.