STUDY SHOWS FEMALE DIRECTORS RISE, BUT WOC ARE UNDER-REPPED: The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released a new brief that reveals that 10.6% of the directors of 2019's top films were women, the highest percentage ever. Still, that number could obviously be a lot higher. "This is the first time we have seen a shift in hiring practices for female film directors in 13 years," said Smith. "One notable reason for this jump in 2019 was that Universal Pictures had 5 films with women directors at the helm in the top 100 movies. Yet there is still much more progress needed to reach parity for women behind the camera." Plus, the percentage of women of color is low, with only four helming a top 100 movie last year. The percentage of underrepresented directors last year overall was 16.8%, a dip from 2018's 21.4%.
NEW DISNEY+ SLATE REVEALED: Disney+ launched successfully in 2019, and is building momentum for the next year, with the release of a fresh slate. The most noteworthy is Marvel's original WandaVision, starring Kat Dennings, Randall Park and Kathryn Hahn,set for a 2021 drop, but now set to premiere this year along with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, starring Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen. Disney+'s teaser also included a look at the highly-anticipated return of Hilary Duff in the Lizzie McGuire revival. Fans can also tune in for the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Muppets unscripted series Muppets Now, original movies Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, Stargirl, The Phineas & Ferb Movie: Candace Against the Universe and Secret Society of Second Born Royals as well as the docuseries Rogue Trip and Becoming.
NETFLIX REVEALS PREMIERE OF SELF-MADE: Netflix has unveiled the official title and premiere date for the C.J. Walker project starring Octavia Spencer. The four-part limited series Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker will drop March 20th. The series follows Spencer as Sarah Breedlove, aka C.J. Walker, the black hair-care pioneer and mogul who overcame racism and rivalries to become America's first self-made black female millionaire. Self Made also stars Blair Underwood as her husband C.J. Walker and Tiffany Haddish as her daughter Lelia, among many others.
CAPTAIN AMERICA ACTRESS CHARGED WITH MURDER: An actress with a small role in Captain America: The First Avenger is accused of fatally stabbing her mother inside a Kansas City home. Mollie Fitzgerald, 38, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.