WEEK IN WOMEN news roundup: ‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2 confirmed with Andrea Arnold; Disney boasts new $100 million club of women directors; motion picture academy establishes code of conduct in Harvey Weinstein fallout

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Nicole Kidman appears in "Big Little Lies." HBO photo

Nicole Kidman appears in “Big Little Lies.” HBO photo

HBO has confirmed that it is bringing back its critically and commercially successful limited series Big Little Lies for a second season.

As Glamour reports, there’s more good news: The second installment of the femme-centric series will be helmed by a female director: Andrea Arnold, the British filmmaker who made the acclaimed feature films “American Honey” (2016), “Wuthering Heights” (2011) and “Fish Tank” (2009) and won an Oscar for her 2003 short film “Wasp.”

David E. Kelley, who wrote the screenplays for the first season, will also pen the scripts for Season 2. The plot for the next season was partially conceived by Liane Moriarty, who wrote the “Big Little Lies” novel on which the series is based.

“I’m thrilled to be bringing back this talented team of artists,” said Reese Witherspoon, who shared in a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series and was nominated for another Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

“It gives us the opportunity to delve deeper into the lives of these intriguing and intricate Monterey families and bring more of their stories back to the audience who embraced and championed them. I’m beyond excited to be working with talented and acclaimed director Andrea Arnold who will be at the helm. Andrea’s unique storytelling style will be a welcome addition to the filmmaking team.”

The series centers on a group of women in Monterey, California, whose seemingly perfect lives are disrupted by domestic violence, infidelity and even murder. “Little Big Lives” Season 1 earned 16 Primetime Emmy nominations and took home eight awards.

“This is inspired by the overwhelming response by audiences around the world, conceived once again by Liane Moriarty, realized by David Kelley, and now in the hands of visionary filmmaker Andrea Arnold,” said Nicole Kidman, who also earned a share of the Emmy as one of the show’s executive producers and also emerged as the winner of the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie trophy, in a statement.

“What a journey this has been. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to keep exploring these female characters and make this series with my friends.”

At this point, only Kidman and Witherspoon are confirmed to star, according to Glamour, but HBO noted most of the cast is expected to return and negotiations are currently happening. Hopefully, we’ll see Emmy winner Laura Dern, Emmy nominee Shailene Woodley and Zoë Kravitz back for Season 2.

Director Ava DuVernay, left, guides actor Storm Reid through a scene for the upcoming film "A Wrinkle in Time." Disney photo

Director Ava DuVernay, left, guides actor Storm Reid through a scene for the upcoming film “A Wrinkle in Time.” Disney photo

Ava DuVernay, Niki Caro and Anna Boden join Patty Jenkins in $100 million movie club

More good news for women directors: According to The Hollywood Reporter, never in the history of Hollywood has more than one female filmmaker been at the helm of a feature with a budget of $100 million or more — until now.

Hot off the superheroic critical and commercial success of Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman,” three more women are directing big-budget studio movies. Ava DuVernay is the helmer for the hotly anticipated adaptation of the beloved sci-fi novel next year’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” Niki Caro is directing the live-action 2019 remake of the Chinese fable “Mulan,” and Anna Boden is helming 2019’s “Captain Marvel” with directing partner Ryan Fleck – all at Disney.

“Not only are we all making these movies at the same time, but they’re all at the same studio. I feel proud taking these pictures with them here [on the Disney lot],” DuVernay told The Hollywood Reporter.

Caro, who most recently directed “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” told the trade publication that for a long time, she hid from the spotlight, but now, “it’s important to be seen. I used to resent the title ‘female director’ because I’m a director, and gender doesn’t really come into it. But times aren’t changing fast enough, so for people that look to ‘Captain Marvel’ or ‘Mulan’ — and Anna and me standing right behind those characters — I feel that responsibility joyously.”

Disney release DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” on March 9, and then “Captain Marvel,” starring Oscar winner Brie Larson, a year later in March 2019. Caro’s “Mulan,” which as previously reported, just cast Chinese actress Liu Yifei as the titular lead, is also slated for 2019 release.

“I get inspired by the idea of young people looking up to the characters, and the idea of them dressing up as them for Halloween and having that wish fulfillment,” Boden told The Hollywood Reporter.

As previously reported, Jenkins recently inked a historic deal to direct the 2019 sequel “Wonder Woman 2” for Warner Bros.

Harvey Weinstein. Photo provided

Harvey Weinstein. Photo provided

Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science announces new code of conduct

The fallout of the Harvey Weinstein scandal continues to build, as the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science announced Wednesday that it has adopted its first code of conduct for its 8,427 members, according to the Associated Press.

Film academy chief executive Dawn Hudson introduced the new rules to members in an email. As previously reported, the academy in October made Weinstein just the second person ever expelled from the Oscars’ governing body.

The new code of conduct stipulates that the academy is no place for “people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates standards of decency,” according to the AP.

The academy’s board may now suspend or expel those who violate the code of conduct or who “compromise the integrity” of the academy.

The standards of conduct were drafted by a task force launched by the academy in October, after Weinstein was accused by dozens of women of sexual harassment and abuse. The producer, who won an Academy Award for 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Hudson told members that more details on the process by which offending members will be judged will be announced later.

The number of high-powered men in the fields of entertainment, media and politics who have been accused of sexual misconduct over the past two months has ballooned to the point that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution actually has developed a timeline for keeping track of 2017’s sexual harassment scandals to date; check it out here.


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