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Miley Cyrus Declares She Doesn’t ‘Belong To Anyone’ In Self-Directed Music Video

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Just hours after her alleged breakup from Cody Simpson was reported, Miley Cyrus dropped a single person’s anthem. Watch her music video for ‘Midnight Sky,’ which also marks her directorial debut!

One year after hinting that new music was on its way, Miley Cyrus made good on the promise by releasing “Midnight Sky.” The first track from her forthcoming She Is Miley Cyrus album arrived on Aug. 14, and it seems to be the Disney Channel alum’s farewell to all her past loves (which include Liam Hemsworth, Kaitlynn Carter and now, apparently, Cody Simpson). “I was born to run, I don’t belong to anyone, oh no / Don’t need to be loved by you / Fire in my lungs, can’t fight the Devil on my tongue, oh no / Don’t need to be loved by you,” Miley sings, and this assertion of independence is reflected in the song’s music video, in which Miley unapologetically strips down while shifting between looks that look straight from the era of ’80s glam rock.

Miley Cyrus

The video is extra personal for Miley, since she directed it herself — the pop star’s first time ever directing a music video for one of her own songs. It’s easy to see why she decided to take creative reign over the visuals, since the song itself is more personal than usual. The fallout of her divorce from Liam played a role in the track. “I felt like my story and my narrative had kind of been told for me over the past year. Obviously, I went through an extremely public breakup and, even more than that, a divorce, and with someone that I had been with for ten years. That narrative and that experience of ten years was told for me by one day from the eyes of a helicopter,” Miley admitted as to what led to the creation of “Midnight Sky” while speaking with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s New Music Daily.

“I felt kind of villainized,” she continued. “I also felt like I kind of shut down, because it was kind of, respectfully, below me to engage with the press and the media at that time. It felt like I would rather be able to articulate this experience in a poetic way that also I can put back into my art. I never really have engaged. I’ve only played with the public and the perception in that way. So for this record, actually, the way that I even wrote ‘Midnight Sky’ was I was prepping to create a video for another song. I wrote and directed and conceptualized the video for ‘Midnight Sky,’ but it started because I was doing that with another song. Then Andrew Watt, my creative partner, came over and played me this track, and I scratched everything and said, “I’ve got to write this. This is the foundation of which I feel like I can lay my story on top of that.”

Miley Cyrus
Courtesy of Vevo

Just hours before Miley’s new song was released, something just as major hit the news circuit: a report claiming that she had broken up Cody! They had “officially called it quits” within “the last few weeks” after 10 months of dating, sources told TMZ. Neither Miley nor Cody has spoken on the matter, and the report was a shocker, considering that Cody had just declared his “love” for Miley on Aug. 1.

But, back to the music! “Meet Miley Cyrus….. again,” Miley tweeted on Aug. 4, sharing a clip from her 2008 music video, “Start All Over.” Miley also included the hashtags “#SheIsComing” and “#ButForRealThisTime,” referencing her campaign from last year. In 2019, Miley announced she was going to release three EPs – She Is Coming, She Is Here, and She Is Everything – that would make up the full-length record, She Is Miley Cyrus. Only the first one, She Is Coming, was released. The track was described as “an unkempt little EP that tries to cram her wild oeuvre, from molly to Mark Ronson, into just six songs” by Rolling Stone. It’s possible that this three-EP project was meant to sum up Miley’s past, present, and future. But, for whatever reason(s), the second and third installments never came out.

2019 was the year that Miley’s marriage to Liam Hemsworth fell apart, and the on-again/off-again lovers appeared to say good-bye for good. She seemingly addressed the breakup on “Slide Away,” the song she released in August of that year. While teasing “Midnight Sky,” Miley hinted that this song might also be about that relationship. While taking a selfie video of her listening to the synth-pop track, fans picked apart the lyrics, per Billboard. “It’s been a long night and the mirror is tellin’ me to go home/ But it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this good on my own/ Nine years went by with my hands tied up in your ropes/ Forever and ever, no more.”

Miley Cyrus performs in 2019. (Splashnews)

Musically, Miley has spent 2020 paying homage to some of music’s giants. She covered The Beatles‘ “Help” in an empty Rose Bowl Stadium as part of Global Citizen’s “Global Goal: Unite for Out Future.” She and her now possible ex, Cody, teamed up to deliver an acoustic version of Pink Floyd‘s “Wish You Were Here” on an April episode of Saturday Night Live. She also broke out “The Climb” for the Class of 2020, performing her song for the first time in two years for the #Gradutation2020 virtual event.

Regarding her romantic life, Miley has weathered quarantine with help from Cody. She and the “On My Mind” singer have thrived while in quarantine together. They have “passed with flying colors,” a source told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY in May, adding that they have been “able to really focus all their energy on positive, healthy stuff.” While avoiding drugs and alcohol, the two have stayed fit by training in their home gym and, in Miley’s case, making use of all this free time to work on music.

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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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