New Hollywood Podcast: ‘Aquaman’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Talks Going From City Planner To Movie Star

He has since landed some sweet roles that are prepping him to be the leading man he is meant to be. Long before he was starring in movies about circus oddities and underwater superheroes, he was utilizing his architecture degree from UC Berkeley and working as a city planner in San Francisco. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II didn't always have his eyes set on being an actor. He left the city planning life behind and attended the Yale School of Drama and went on to appear in Baz Luhrmann's The Get Down.
Even before the James Wan-directed Aquaman, he starred in several A-list features including Baywatch with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron as well as The Greatest Showman with Hugh Jackman. To even further stretch his range, he will star opposite Dakota Fanning in the Zeresenay Berhane Mehar drama Sweetness in the Belly based on the bestselling novel by Camilla Gibb. In the second episode of New Hollywood Podcast's Aquaman series, we talked to Abdul-Mateen about his journey from city planner in San Francisco to an actor in Hollywood. He was generally a co-star doing his thing, but now he is making his way to the main spotlight in strong ensemble pieces from high-profile directors — not only with Aquaman but with HBO's forthcoming adaptation of Watchmen from Damon Lindelof as well as Jordan Peele's thriller Us, which he stars with fellow Yale School of Drama alums Lupita Nyong'o and friend of the podcast Winston Duke.
Abdul-Mateen sat down with us to talk about his start in Hollywood, his influences, and how he was the Aquaman cast member who spent the most time drenched in water. Listen to the episode below to see what he revealed about these projects cloaked in secrecy.” /> We also tried our hardest to get him to tell us anything about Watchmen and Us.

David Spade To Headline Comedy Series From Diablo Cody & Jason Reitman In Works At HBO

EXCLUSIVE: HBO has put in development a half-hour comedy series starring and produced by David Spade. The project hails from frequent collaborators Diablo Cody and her Vita Vera Films and Jason Reitman and his Right of Way Films.
He is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and WME. Spade was recently seen in Netflix comedy feature Father of the Year and drama Warning Shot. Spade received an Emmy nomination for his starring role on NBC's Just Shoot Me. Earlier this summer he released A Polaroid Guy in a Snapchat World, a memoir about his experiences with aging, on Audible.
Reitman most recently wrote, directed and produced the feature The Front Runner starring Hugh Jackman, which opens November 21.” />
The project reunites Cody and Reitman who worked together on features Juno, Young Adult and Tully, all directed by Reitman and written by Cody.
The United States Of Tara creator has two broadcast projects in development at Fox, an Alice reboot with a put pilot commitment, and Hanging On, a multi-camera family comedy with comedian Sabrina Jalees. Cody recently co-created and executive produced the Amazon comedy series One Mississippi.
Now he’s clean, sober and working as a waiter in the Valley. When he meets troubled 20-something actress Bailey, both of their lives change in unexpected and electrifying ways. Written by Cody, the as-yet untitled comedy centers on Calvin Wash, played by Spade, who in the 90s was a semi-famous grunge musician hooked on heroin.
He also executive produces and stars in Verified with David Spade, a Comedy Central pilot for a weekly comedy series skewering pop culture and news through the lens of social media. Saturday Night Live and Rules of Engagement alum Spade recently co-starred on ABC comedy series The Mayor and Judd Apatow's Netflix comedy Love.
TV where Cody is based. Spade is a producer. Cody executive produces with Reitman, who is set to direct. Vita Vera Films and Right of Way Films produce in association with Warner Bros.

Deadline’s The Contenders All-Day Awards Event Set To Roll Saturday In Hollywood With All-Star Lineup

Among the stars and filmmakers on hand Saturday: Bradley Cooper, Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, Natalie Portman, Rami Malek, Ryan Coogler, Damien Chazelle, Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Amy Adams, Barry Jenkins, Hugh Jackman, Rosamund Pike, John Krasinski, Willem Dafoe and Alfonso Cuarón along with many others.
The sold-out invitation-only event is set to take place Saturday at the DGA Theatre in West Hollywood beginning with a breakfast sponsored by Amazon Studios and continuing all day, featuring a lunch sponsored by Annapurna Pictures and a post-event reception sponsored by Netflix. Deadline's eighth annual The Contenders Los Angeles is ready for its close-up.
Sponsors and partners include Poltrana Frau/Cappellini, Dell, Michter’s Whiskey, Final Draft, Allied Global Marketing, Screen Engine/ASI, Eyepetizer Eyewear, Cherry Picks, Bloomingdales, Giorgio Armani and Calii Love. And for anyone who has attended a Contenders event before, you know there are always great raffle prizes to be given away all day long.” />
It’s essentially one-stop shopping for voters as they’ll hear firsthand the backstory of how these films got made from the people who made them. This much-anticipated event follows three weeks after Deadline’s second annual The Contenders London, and a month before Deadline’s first The Contenders New York on December 1. Academy and select guild members will see 17 studios present more than 30 films showcasing clips and onstage discussions with actors, directors, producers, writers and others who are were so integral to making these movies awards-worthy contenders.
Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr, Dominic Patten, Dawn Chmielewski,  Geoff Boucher, Anthony D’Alessandro, Joe Utichi and I will be moderating panels throughout the day.