BWR FOLDS — Prominent public relations firm Baker, Winokur, Ryder (started up in 1987) has reportedly shuttered with several of its senior publicists splitting off to launch their own entertainment and lifestyle-oriented PR firm (Imprint PR). According to The Hollywood Reporter, BWR’s parent company Burson Cohn & Wolfe, folded BWR into its own entertainment division, with some BWR personnel transitioning to BCW and others being let go.
“Due to a variety of considerations, and the tremendous impact COVID-19 has had on the entertainment industry, we are combining our BWR brand into BCW Entertainment, effective immediately,” a rep from BCW told THR in an emailed statement. “While several of our BWR colleagues remain with BCW in Los Angeles and New York to oversee key client business, sadly we have had to say goodbye to other members of the BWR team. We are incredibly grateful to them for all of their contributions to BWR and the BCW Group, and we will be providing support to them during their transition.”
However in recent years, BWR’s star began to fade with several high profile defections in recent years, including co-heads of talent Nicole Perna and Melissa Raubvogel, who left to start their own PR agency last summer, and taking several BWRstaffers with them.
As well, powerhouse publicist and agency co-founder Nanci Ryder revealed in 2014 that she’s battling ALS and elected to step down from her role at the agency in order to focus on her health.
Still, BWR’s client roster included the likes of Adam Sandler, Regina Hall, Luke Hemsworth, Matt LeBlanc, Zoe Saldana, Anna Kendrick, Padma Lakshmi, and Kyle Richards among others.
This is the first high-profile PR outfit to formally transition. Make no mistake, there will be more.
They were a stellar firm; I well remember when they started up, they began repping all the important VHS-companies. They held up well through the years. Nanci Ryder … a star for sure and I wish her all the best.
Think of the Broadway PR-firms (Keith Sherman; Boneau/Bryan & Brown) that rely on a monthly-retainer and an ongoing show to promote. Without a show on the boards, some things are just impossible to do.
Music-PR firm dis COMPANY’s owner David Salidor, who handles Monkee-Micky Dolenz; Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam; and celebrity-scribe Mark Bego, among others, said, “Yes, there are no performances at the moment, but the volume of music that’s coming out right is approaching what it was in February. When you think about it, right now is a perfect time to introduce new music and new artists. Streaming has never before played such an integral part in the business. Regrettably, I believe the landscape of all PR-firms will change before the end of the year.”
SNYDER’S DARKSEID — Darkseid Is … going to be in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Though it was previously revealed the classic DC Comics baddie would be appearing in the fabled Snyder Cut of the film due out sometime next year, we now know who’s playing the character.
Ray Porter, a veteran actor who had previously shot sequences for the film, will be filling the role in the final cut. The actor confirmed the news in a post on his Twitter feed over the weekend.
“That said, and because I’ve been given permission … Hi, I’m Ray,” the actor tweeted. “I played Darkseid in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. There. It’s out now.
Though the Fourth World villain has always been a part of Snyder’s take on project, the character was removed entirely from the initial theatrical release. Instead, Darkseid’s lieutenant Steppenwolf served as the movie’s big bad with only scant traces of Darkseid to be found. In fact, it’s Darkseid that initially killed Lois Lane (Amy Adams) in Snyder’s original DCEU plans, setting up the Knightmare sequence we saw during Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
“The truth is that the Knightmare Sequence in this movie, it was my idea that all of that would eventually be explained – is that a surprise? And that we would end up in the distant future where Darkseid has taken over Earth, and where Superman has succumbed to the Anti-Life [Equation],” Snyder said about the tease last year. “And there were a few members of the Justice League that survived to that world, and that they were fighting, Batman and a broken half of Cyborg – there’s only half of him because of whatever happened – they were working on an equation to jump back to tell Bruce… those were the things that we were dealing with. And the studio, they were still sort of into the big look, but the deep depth about how and why everyone was mad at each other…”
In the sequence, Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) travels back in time to warn Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) to do whatever in his power to save Lane. With Lane dead, Superman (Henry Cavill) breaks bad and serves as an agent for Darkseid.
“Because Lois – and it’s in the Justice League teaser; it wasn’t in the movie apparently… it’s this line where Bruce says, ‘I was right here, and Barry Allen came to me and he said ‘Lois Lane is the key,'” the filmmaker added. “And then [Wonder Woman] goes, ‘She is to Superman; every heart has one.’ And he goes, ‘I think it’s something more, something darker.’ And what it means is that the thing that was darker was all about if Lois died, Superman would succumb to the Anti-Life, right? And Superman knew that somehow it was Bruce’s responsibility to protect Lois, he would’ve been mad at him in this movie, and that’s why he says, ‘She was my world, and you took her from me.”
Sounds a tad confusing, right … even for a fan-boy like me. I actually had to read that quote three times.
Am I still interested? Sure. Bring it on.
HBO Max launches later this month and Zack Snyder’s Justice League is due out on the streamer sometime next year.
SHORT TAKES — Our photo of Rebecca Holden with Micky Dolenz (taken by Joel Diamond) somehow got bumped. Here it is; a good one for sure! …
Also, here’s the cover for Robert Miller’s new Project Grand Slam album, East Side Sessions … Great piece in Saturday’s New York Times on life in New York City without access to bars. Tremendous and true: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/21/nyregion/nyc-bars-coronavirus.html?smid=fb-share&fbclid=IwAR12zo2UDZgoeP5ZmdOdHZ6qj1n1J8FZWZMKjzt3aCgDEHeQ_JzBjF6RIL4 …. ABC announced the renewal of the graphic-novel, come to TV, Stumptown, starring the irresistible Cobie Smulders. For my money, the snazziest new show of last season. Inventive, colorful, great casting … it was a hit from the first viewing … Madonna’s weekend nipple-peek-a-boo via Instagram had one fanboy write: You’ve lost your marbles. Looking rather malnourished and unwell, I wonder what the problem is … Bradley Cooper has been approached to essay Barry Gibb in the forthcoming film on the Bee Gees. For my money: he’d be excellent … Throwback music-pick-of-the week: Sweet’s “Oxygen” (1978) … and, Happy B Day to Mark Berry!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Rebecca Holden; Roger Friedman; Bruce Grakal; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Scott Shannon; Steve Leeds; Bobby Rydell; Randy Alexander; Bill Boggs; Jeff Smith; Chuck Pulin; Ebet Roberts; Victor Kastel; and, BELLA!