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Brad Pitt Insists Angelina Jolie’s ‘Thinly-Veiled Attempt’ To Delay Custody Trial Will ‘Hurt’ Their Kids

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Brad Pitt has answered Angelina Jolie’s request for the judge overseeing their custody case to be removed. Here’s the latest involving their fiery divorce battle.

It only took a week for Brad Pitt to fire back at Angelina Jolie‘s request to have Judge John W. Ouderkirk “disqualified” from their divorce and custody case. The actress, 45, recently filed legal documents alleging that Ouderkirk had a previous relationship with Brad’s attorney, Anne C. Kiley — subsequently delaying the legal process. In new court documents obtained by HollywoodLife, the actor, 56, fires back at his ex’s “Hail Mary filing,” claiming it will negatively effect their kids.

Brad Pitt's custody case documents

“Jolie’s abrupt cry of judicial bias reeks of bad faith and desperation, not to mention careless disregard for the procedural rules intended to root out legitimately conflicted judicial officers,” Brad’s attorneys state in the legal documents. “Unfortunately, the individuals hurt most by Jolie’s transparently tactical gambit are the parties’ own children, who continue to be deprived of a final resolution to these custody issues. Jolie’s motion should therefore be denied,” his attorneys claim. Brad and Angelina share six kids together: Maddox, 19, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, Vivienne, and Knox, both 12.”

Brad’s attorneys go on to call Angelina’s “belated” request a “thinly veiled attempt” at delaying “the adjudication of long-pending custody issues” in the case. The actor’s legal team claims Judge Ouderkirk “has had a well-documented history” with the former couple, noting that Angelina “hand-selected” the judge to preside over her August 2014 wedding to Brad. The legal documents also state that Angelina “never objected” to Ouderkirk’s “continued involvement” in the case until recently. (Angelina filed her documents requesting Ouderkirk’s removal on August 7.)

The court documents further explain, “It is disingenuous for Jolie to now take umbrage to Judge Ouderkirk’s participation in matters involving Respondent’s counsel when (1) — she has been well aware of this fact since January 2017 and (2) her own attorneys have likewise served as counsel in other matters before Judge Ouderkirk — both before and during the pendency of this case,” Brad’s legal team claims. “However, for Jolie to now claim that such participation is disqualifying grounds for Judge Ouderkirk is simply preposterous.”

Brad’s court documents also state that the exes are due back in court in October for the start of their custody trial. HollywoodLife has reached out to representatives for both Brad and Angelina.

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie with their kids in LA
Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie, along with five of their children, at LAX on February 4, 2014, following a trip to Australia. (Photo credit: SplashNews)

Brad’s filing is in response to Angelina’s August 7 request to have Ouderkirk — the private judge overseeing their divorce case — removed from the legal proceedings. HollywoodLife obtained Angelina’s court documents, in which she alleges Judge Ouderkirk had a previous relationship with Brad’s attorney, Anne C. Kiley. The Maleficent actress filed the legal documents in Los Angeles Superior Court.

In Angelina’s court documents, she asks for Judge Ouderkirk to be removed from the case, claiming he “failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel.” Angelina further claims that Brad’s attorney, Kiley “actively advocated for Judge Ouderkirk’s financial interests in moving — over the opposing party’s opposition — to have his appointment (and his ability to continue to receive fees) extended in a high profile case.”

Angelina’s attorney Samantha Bley DeJean provided HollywoodLife with the following statement on August 13: “As is set forth in the filing, all my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favors extended to either side. The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there is transparency and impartiality,” DeJean concluded.

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie in Tokyo with their kids
Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie in Tokyo with their three kids, Pax, Knox and Vivienne on July 27, 2013. (Photo credit: SplashNews)

The Mr. & Mrs. Smith stars, who wed in 2014, were together for a total of 12 years (and married for two) before Angelina filed for divorce in the fall of 2016. Following their split, Brad was investigated for alleged child abuse, which he was later cleared of all allegations. While their court dealings were turbulent at first, as seen in public divorce/custody documents, the pair later filed to have them sealed to ensure privacy.

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Netflix is developing a live action ‘Assassin’s Creed’ show

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Netflix announced this morning that it’s partnering with Ubisoft to adapt the game publisher’s “Assassin’s Creed” franchise into a live action series.

The franchise jumps around in history, telling the story of a secret society of assassins with “genetic memory” and their centuries-long battle the knights templar. It has sold 155 million games worldwide and was also turned into a nearly incomprehensible 2016 film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, which underperformed at the box office.

The companies say that they’re currently looking for a showrunner. Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik of Ubisoft’s film and television division will serve as executive producers. (In addition to working on adaptations of Ubisoft’s intellectual property, the publisher is also involved in the Apple TV+ industry comedy “Mythic Quest.”)

“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life the rich, multilayered storytelling that Assassin’s Creed is beloved for,” said Netflix’s vice president of original series Peter Friedlander in a statement. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”

It sounds like there could be follow-up shows as well, with the announcement saying that Netflix and Ubisoft will “tap into the iconic video game’s trove of dynamic stories with global mass appeal for adaptations of live action, animated, and anime series.”

Netflix recently placed an eight-episode order for “Resident Evil,” another video game franchise that was previously adapted for the big screen. And it also had a big hit with its adaptation of “The Witcher,” which is based on a fantasy book series that was popularized via video games.

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Original Content podcast: ‘Lovecraft Country’ is gloriously bonkers

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As we tried to recap the first season of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” one thing became clear: The show is pretty nuts.

The story begins by sending Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his friend Leti Lewis (Jurnee Smolett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip across mid-’50s America in search of Tic’s missing father. You might assume that the search will occupy the entire season, or take even longer than that; instead, the initial storyline is wrapped up quickly.

And while there’s a story running through the whole season, most of the episodes are relatively self-contained, offering their own versions on various horror and science fiction tropes. There’s a haunted house episode, an Indiana Jones episode, a time travel episode and more.

The show isn’t perfect — the writing can be clunky, the special effects cheesy and cheap-looking. But at its best, it does an impressive job of mixing increasingly outlandish plots, creepy monsters (with plentiful gore) and a healthy dose of politics.

After all, “Lovecraft Country” (adapted form a book by Matt Ruff) is named after notoriously racist horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, but it focuses almost entirely on Black characters, making the case that old genres can be reinvigorated with diverse casts and a rethinking of political assumptions.

In addition to reviewing the show, the latest episode of the Original Content podcast also includes a discussion of Netflix earnings, the new season of “The Bachelorette” and the end of Quibi.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:36 Netflix discussion
3:18 “The Bachelorette”
6:30 Quibi
14:35 “Lovecraft Country” review
31:32 “Lovecraft Country” spoiler discussion

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The short, strange life of Quibi

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“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote, closing out an open letter posted to Medium. “We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.”

With that, the founding executives confirmed the rumors and put Quibi to bed, a little more than six months after launching the service.

Starting a business is an impossibly difficult task under nearly any conditions, but even in a world that’s littered with high-profile failures, the streaming service’s swan song was remarkable for both its dramatically brief lifespan and the amount of money the company managed to raise (and spend) during that time.

A month ahead of its commercial launch, Quibi announced that it had raised another $750 million. That second round of funding brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

“We concluded a very successful second raise which will provide Quibi with a strong cash runway,” CFO Ambereen Toubassy told the press at the time. “This round of $750 million gives us tremendous flexibility and the financial wherewithal to build content and technology that consumers embrace.”

Quibi’s second funding round brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

From a financial perspective, Quibi had reason to be hopeful. Its fundraising ambitions were matched only by the aggressiveness with which it planned to spend that money. At the beginning of the year, Whitman touted the company’s plans to spend up to $100,000 per minute of programming — $6 million per hour. The executive proudly contrasted the jaw-dropping sum to the estimated $500 to $5,000 an hour spent by YouTube creators.

For Whitman and Katzenberg — best known for their respective reigns at HP and Disney — money was key to success in an already crowded marketplace. $1 billion was a drop in the bucket compared to the $17.3 billion Netflix was expected to spend on original content in 2020, but it was a start.

Following in the footsteps of Apple, who had also recently announced plans to spend $1 billion to launch its own fledgling streaming service, the company was enlisting A-List talent, from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott to Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and LeBron James. If your name carried any sort of clout in Hollywood boardrooms, Quibi would happily cut you a check, seemingly regardless of content specifics.

Quibi’s strategy primarily defined itself by itself by its constraints. In hopes of attracting younger millennial and Gen Z, the company’s content would be not just mobile-first, but mobile-only. There would be no smart TV app, no Chromecast or AirPlay compatibility. Pricing, while low compared to the competition, was similarly off-putting. After a 90-day free trial, $4.99 got you an ad-supported subscription. And boy howdy, were there ads. Ads upon ads. Ads all the way down. Paying another $3 a month would make them go away.

Technological constraints and Terms of Service fine print forbade screen shots — a fundamental understanding of how content goes viral in 2020 (though, to be fair, one shared with other competing streaming services). Amusingly, the inability to share content led to videos like this one of director Sam Raimi’s perplexingly earnest “The Golden Arm.”

It features a built-on laugh track from viewers as Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan lies in a hospital bed after refusing to remove a golden prosthetic. It’s an allegory, surely, but not one intentionally played for laughs. Many of the videos that did ultimately make the rounds on social media were regarded as a curiosity — strange artifacts from a nascent streaming service that made little sense on paper.

Most notable of all, however, were the “quick bites” that gave the service its confusingly pronounced name. Each program would be served in 5-10 minute chunks. The list included films acquired by the service, sliced up into “chapters.” Notably, the service didn’t actually purchase the content outright; instead, rights were set to revert to their creators after seven years. Meanwhile, after two years, content partners were able to “reassemble” the chunks back into a movie for distribution.

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