1. Movie Piracy App Alive and Well (for Now): Popcorn Time's Argentina-based developers shut down in March following legal threats, but the site that makes movie piracy as easy as watching Netflix refuses to die. This week, a new website cropped up — Popcorn-time.tv — which says the
open-source app is developed by “a bunch of geeks from All Around The
World." In an email from email@example.com, one of the anonymous members
running the new site said it was launched Wednesday "after we lost
contact with the developer managing our previous website. We cannot tell
you where it is hosted." Go to Variety for more.
2. Ron Howard/Brian Grazer to Launch Digital Studio: Howard and Grazer are teaming up with Discovery Communications to launch New Form, which will create programming outside the traditional molds of TV and movies where Discovery and Imagine Entertainment, the shingle run by Grazer and Howard, have long excelled. Discovery plans to unveil New Form at its upfront presentation Thursday. Go to Variety for more.
3. Xbox Developing 'Halo' Digital Series: From The Hollywood Reporter: "Xbox Entertainment Studios, 343 Industries and Scott Free Productions are developing a Halo digital feature that will be released later this year. Ridley Scott and Scott Free TV president David Zucker will executive produce the project and Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Heroes) will direct." Note that the digital series is separate from the "Halo" project that Xbox Entertainment Studios is developing with Steven Spielberg (which we reported on here).
4. Fandor Gets 16 Werner Herzog Film in Exclusive Deal: Good news for Werner Herzog fans! Fandor has secured exclusive subscription VOD distribution rights to a collection of 16 of Herzog's films from Shout! Factory. Beginning with "Aguirre, the Wrath of God," the films are set to bow on the curated service beginning April 10th with a new film launching each week through July 2014. Other films include "Cobra Verde," "Fitzcarraldo," "Nosferatu, the Vampyre," and "Woyzeck." Go here for the full story and list of films.
5. Crackle Lands Licensing Deal for 140 NBCUniversal Films: Speaking of which, Crackle now has an exclusive, multi-year licensing deal to stream feature films from NBCUniversal’s film library on the free, ad-supported streaming service.
Beginning today, Crackle users will instantly have access to several new films, with more than 140 new library titles
rolling out over the next three years. Films added include "Miami Vice," "Jarhead," "Ray," and Peter Jackson's "King Kong."