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The Take: ‘Black Widow’, Britney Spears, Cannes, Backstreet Boys

Britney Spears’ legal battle is taking another turn, and Reese Witherspoon could join the billionaire club. This is all happening in the shadow of the Cannes Film Festival kickoff, and Marvel’s “Black Widow” is finally getting its bow in theaters this weekend.

In this week’s episode of Variety new video series, “The Take,” presented by VIZIO, Senior Correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister and Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis discuss their views on some of the week’s biggest headlines.

As Spears awaits her next court hearing on July 14, the pop star’s controversial conservatorship battle has faced multiple upheavals and some stunning new developments. Spears’ manager of 25 years, Larry Rudolph, has resigned and his court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham III, has filed papers asking the court to remove him from the case. The #FreeBritney movement is growing stronger by the day, and the facts surrounding the case are sparking scrutiny and public debate about the system’s treatment of women and their rights. This leads to the big question: what’s next for Spears as she seeks to end her 13-year conservatorship?

Meanwhile, in France, the 73rd Cannes Film Festival kicked off with Leos Carax’s “Annette,” starring Oscar nominee Adam Driver and Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard. After a 5-minute standing ovation from the attendees and the lighting of a cigarette by Driver, many pundits began to weigh in on the significance that one of Europe’s ‘big three’ major festivals could have on this upcoming season of rewards since it is held in July compared to its normal May schedule. Besides the controversial reception of Carax’s lyrical musical, other films have received warm critical acclaim, including Focus Features’ ‘Stillwater’ starring Matt Damon and Amazon Studios’ documentary ‘Val’, which follows the life and the career of actor Val Kilmer.

Hello Sunshine, the media company founded by Oscar-winning actor and producer Witherspoon, is eyeing a sale of up to $1 billion. The savvy, female-fronted banner is known for pitching books and turning them into TV hits, such as HBO’s “Big Little Lies” and Apple TV Plus’ “The Morning Show,” in addition to box office hits and hits. critically acclaimed films like “Gone Girl” and “Savage”. While the $1 billion prize is a considerable sum for a relatively young company, Wagmeister says, “Anytime you can put the number ‘billion’ next to a woman, I’m all for it. . And Reese really did the job. It places women in decision-making positions.

Scarlett Johansson’s “Black Widow” has finally hit theaters and on Disney Plus. Directed by Cate Shortland, this next adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has received high praise from audiences, but as the events of the film take place between “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War”, this spin-off from the first female Avenger, too little too late? “She dies at the end of ‘Avengers: Endgame’. It takes all the stakes out of this movie,” Davis says, sharing his perspective. “Why are we doing this? If they didn’t do it then, I don’t know if we should do it now.

The 90s are back if Vegas has anything to say about it. Select members of Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men and N’SYNC are joining forces in August for a four-night-only show in Sin City. On this week’s episode of “The Take,” our two hosts — who grew to the pinnacle of band stardom — thrive on news of the iconic band’s upcoming collaboration.

Hosted by Variety Senior Correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister and Awards Editor Clayton Davis, “The Take,” presented by VIZIO, is a weekly series that will run through the week’s top stories from the world of entertainment, pop culture and media while providing a expert analysis and exclusive insight into what’s buzzing in Hollywood. Filmed in Varietyfrom state-of-the-art Los Angeles studios, new episodes air weekly on Fridays on Variety.com, YouTube and social media. The abridged series will also be available on VIZIO SmartCast TVs in July and August.

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