SUMNER REDSTONE DIES AT 97: Sumner Redstone, a mogul who turned his drive-in theater business into a media empire that touches every area of entertainment, has died at age 97. Redstone was the controlling shareholder of the recently merged ViacomCBS. His daughter, and the ViacomCBS chair Shari Redstone said: “My father led an extraordinary life that not only shaped entertainment as we know it today but created an incredible family legacy. Through it all, we shared a great love for one another and he was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I am so proud to be his daughter and I will miss him always.” Bob Bakish, president and CEO of ViacomCBS, called Redstone “a brilliant visionary, operator and dealmaker who single-handedly transformed a family-owned drive-in theater company into a global media portfolio. He was a force of nature and fierce competitor.”
DIANA MUSICAL TO BOW ON NETFLIX BEFORE BROADWAY: Diana, a musical based on the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, will hit Netflix next year ahead of its debut on Broadway. The show was expected to premiere on March 31, but COVID nixed those plans, and is now set to open May 25, 2021. The Netflix version of the musical will feature the original Broadway cast, including Jeanna de Waal as Diana, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles and Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth. “Much of the work that Equity staff is currently doing involves collaborating with producers on health and safety protocols,” said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors’ Equity Association. “Today, we can announce that we have approved a safety plan for Diana. Now comes the hard part — taking a safety plan from the page and putting it into practice. The work to provide the safest workplace possible in this environment will require everyone to work together, from the employer to every employee.”
MAYA RUDOLPH TO REPORT FOR DUTY: Saturday Night Live star Maya Rudolph is super-psyched to play Kamala Harris now that the senator has been selected as Joe Biden‘s running mate. “That's spicy,” she told EW of Biden’s pick. Rudolph is Emmy nominated for her portrayal of Harris on SNL. John Mulaney has taken on the role of Biden and Alec Baldwin has historically taken on the role of Donald Trump.
MULAN FOR $30? Disney is desperate to drum up revenue for tentpoles like the $200M Mulan, which has repeatedly been removed from release over COVID. Right now, the live-action remake will debut on Disney+ beginning September 4th, and Disney will make it available for $29.99 for streamer’s 60 million customers.