VENICE FILM FESTIVAL TO OPEN WITH MADRES PARALELAS: The 78th Venice Film Festival is opening on September 1st with Pedro Almodovar’s Madres Paralelas, starring Penelope Cruz. The film also stars Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Julieta Serrano and Rossy De Palma and follows the story of women who are single, got pregnant by accident and happen to be put in the same hospital room to give birth. 

HOUSE OF DRAGONS PAUSED: Shooting of HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon has been paused after a member of the production tested positive for COVID-19. Shooting is set to resume Wednesday. Several other shows have been put on pause for COVID as well, including Bridgerton and Matilda, the musical. 

ALFRE WOODARD JOINS THE PORTER: Emmy winning actress Alfre Woodard is joining BET/CBC’s The Porter, a drama series about 1920s railway workers who unite to form the world’s first Black union. Woodard will also exec produce. She joins previously cast Aml Ameen, Ronnie Rowe Jr., Mouna Traoré, Oluniké Adeliyi and Loren Lott.

INSIDE CNN PLUS: CNN is sharing details of its new subscription service set to launch in 2022 with 8-12 hours of original live content daily. In a release, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker explained that  CNN Plus is a venture “that complements the core CNN linear networks and digital platforms to serve CNN superfans, news junkies and fans of quality non-fiction programming.” Current CNN talent will contribute, and past successes such as Parts Unknown and Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, would also be included. Chief digital officer Andrew Morse told Variety: “I think that this is the single biggest launch that CNN has had since Ted Turner launched the network in June of 1980. The stakes are that high for us.”