According to The Hollywood Reporter, both Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto have signed on for Star Trek 4, despite the fact that Star Trek 3 has just started filming. THR says the move was a condition of Pine and Quinto's huge raises for the third film, which the duo won by arguing that they are way more famous now than when they signed on for the series back in 2007. (There is also a complicated bit about California labor laws and seven-year contracts.) If nothing else, this news proves that neither Kirk nor Spock will die in Star Trek 3 — or if they do, they'll just be brought back from the dead, a franchise-preserving move both the original film series and ST3 director Justin Lin are intimately familiar with. As Spock once said, the needs of the many executives outweigh the needs of the actor.
EuropaCorp, the largest film studio in Europe, revealed its upcoming schedule today, and it includes the news that sequels to both Lucy, Luc Besson's super-brained Scarlett Johansson film from last year, and Colombiana*, the 2011 Zoe Saldana vehicle, are in development. A Lucy sequel seems like a no-brainer — it was one of summer 2014's biggest sleeper hits — but the Columbiana news comes as a slight surprise, as the film was little-loved upon its release and is almost forgotten now. But, hey, in this new post-Furiosa world, anything is possible! Male stars have been making crappy action franchises for years — when the world has room for Colombiana 7: Bogotá Drift, we'll know equality has truly been achieved.
New York Times critic Alessandra Stanley, the woman who wrote the most-hated Shonda Rhimes profile of 2014, is leaving the television beat, according to a staff memo obtained by Gawker. Among media insiders, Stanley was infamous for her error-riddled stories on Ann Curry, Walter Cronkite, and Geraldo; in the words of managing editor Dean Baquet, she'll "return to reporting ... creating a new beat: an interdisciplinary look at the way the richest of the rich — the top 1 percent of the 1 percent — are influencing, indeed rewiring, the nation’s institutions." Mazel!
This could be fun: Busy-guy-slash-cat-person Kevin Spacey and his production company, Trigger Street, are developing a TV series that sounds like a more serious 1600 Penn meets a more political-oriented (and likely more contemporary) Downton Abbey. The show, which has Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly attached as a rookie co-executive producer, is called The Resident and will focus on the relationships between White House residence staffers (contrary to the title, there will be multiple!) and a series of First Families. The Hollywood Reporter writes that the project has its sights set on a cable destination; Trigger Street is producing the project, along with 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios. This isn't the only political project on Spacey's docket, which also includes the Netflix gem House of Cards and Elvis & Nixon, a film about the two titular icons that, according to the Wrap, is set to debut in theaters later this year via Amazon Studios and Bleecker Street. (Also, although it's not outright political, do not forget about the kitty cat thing.) Politics!
Critics were mixed, but viewers seem inclined to give season two of True Detective a chance. HBO’s anthology series returned Sunday with an initial audience of 3.2 million same-day viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults under 50, according to Nielsen. While not as big as last spring’s season-one finale (3.5 million same-day), True D soared about 40 percent above its January 2014 series premiere (2.3 million viewers) and was easily the biggest show on cable Sunday. (It was a lightweight, however, compared to ABC’s Celebrity Family Feud, which attracted a whopping 8.7 million viewers at 8 p.m. the same night.) Perhaps even more encouraging for HBO: The very strong early numbers for the debut of Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s new comedy Ballers. The NFL-themed half-hour scored 2.2 million same-day viewers for its initial play and held on to 80 percent of the under-50 ratings for True D, and also appears to be the most-watched debut for an HBO comedy since the 2009 launch of Hung. Viewers also sampled new 10:30 p.m. comedy The Brink, which opened with 1.6 million same-day viewers. It’s worth noting that all of these numbers are just a snapshot of the actual audience for these shows: Once viewership from HBO Go, HBO Now, DVR replays, and same-week reruns are tallied, it’s likely all three shows will end up with an audience two to three times the size reported here.
Hulu is about to make it a lot easier — and somewhat cheaper — to subscribe to Showtime. Just days after Showtime said it was following HBO and making its service available as a stand-alone product via Apple TV or Roku, the CBS Corp.–owned pay-cable channel today announced a partnership with streaming giant Hulu that will let paid Hulu subscribers add on a full Showtime subscription. The cost: $8.99 per month, which is $2 less than what it’ll cost to subscribe to Showtime sans Hulu (and 40 percent less than a $14.99 HBO Now subscription). Of course, to get that discounted Showtime price, you’ll also need to be a paid Hulu subscriber ($7.99/month), so the total outlay for consumers will actually be $16.98 per month. But if you’re already down with Hulu’s paid service and you’re into Masters of Sex, Shameless, or the upcoming Twin Peaks return, the Showtime add-on is a pretty decent deal. And it will all be seamless, with the Showtime programming integrated into the Hulu app (no switching to a different account to get the premium content). The only thing this deal doesn’t do is change the annoying fact that paid Hulu subscribers still have to watch some advertising during shows. Glass half-full: Showtime streamed through Hulu will be commercial-free.
Hannibal's third season, currently airing, will be its last, Vulture can confirm. It was surprising that Bryan Fuller's drama, one of the most avant-garde shows on television, even made it to three seasons on NBC considering its low ratings, which have nosedived this summer. Last week’s hour was seen by just 1.7 million same-day viewers and had a 0.5 rating among adults under 50, basically tying the previous week’s series low. And even when DVR data is included, Hannibal has been struggling. After seven days of replays, this month’s season premiere rose a modest 38 percent from the show’s same-day audience, with its so-called L+7 viewership of 3.6 million viewers half the tune-in of new summer shows such as Wayward Pines and the premiere of ABC’s The Whispers. In other words, despite two years of trying and amazing reviews, audiences just weren’t coming around to dine with Hannibal.
Taylor Swift's Tumblr post was effective. Less than 24 hours after the artist publicly voiced her concerns with Apple Music's free trial period, the company decided to switch up its contentious royalties policy. Now artists will be paid, especially for streaming and especially during their customers' free trial period.
Saturday night, Lifetime will premiere its highly anticipated, highly random new original movie, A Deadly Adoption, starring Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig. And while its premise screams spoof, two A+E Networks VPs swear Ferrell and Wiig played it straight: "We weren’t clear if it was going to be authentic, if it really was going to be this murder story ... It’s not a comedy. And it’s well-done," Tanya Lopez told Entertainment Weekly. "It’s not the Scary Movie parody of a Lifetime movie," Arturo Interian added, "[Ferrell] wanted to legitimately do a Lifetime sexual thriller." But apparently A Deadly Adoption isn't the only semi-secret project Lifetime has had up its sleeve. Interian also revealed that, once upon a time, Lifetime considered bringing Fifty Shades of Grey to their network:
Painfully funny comic Maria Bamford is finally getting her own show. Netflix ordered 13 half-hour episodes of the single-camera comedy Lady Dynamite, based on different periods of her life. According to the streaming giant, the show is expected to tell "the story of a woman who loses — and then finds — her shit" in a refracted, surrealistic way, which sounds in line with her weird web series, The Maria Bamford Show. Bamford will be producing alongside Mitch Hurwitz and Pam Brady. Just when we started to get a little worried that Netflix was running out of good ideas, they reel us back in with this gem. This is basically as good as juicing bonsai trees and sitting in your truth.
Professional multitaskers Phil Lord and Chris Miller are tinkering on another intriguing project for you: It's a part-animated, part-live-action comedy called Son of Zahn. The Hollywood Reporter writes that the in-development series will tell the story of an animated barbarian dad who comes home to his very live-action son and ex-wife for the first time in about a decade. (Admittedly hooked already.) Since papa protagonist is supposed to be coming from an animated, war-torn world, THR notes that Zahn will probably have a helluva time adjusting to normal, boring, live-action life in suburban somewhere. Most other story and personnel details — aside from the fact Johnny Pemberton (21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street) will play the live-action son and Eric Appel will direct — are under wraps. An eight-to-ten-minute pilot presentation is in the works for Fox, however, and will begin production later this summer.
Tom Hanks is in talks to be the captain now, Deadline reports. Just this time it'll be in the sky, for Clint Eastwood's Warner Bros. movie about Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the American hero and former aviator best known for the "Miracle on the Hudson." The screenplay, by Todd Komarnicki, is based on Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow's book Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, which will reportedly dive into the pilot's heroic landing, as well as the behind-the-scenes trouble that jeopardized his reputation. Eastwood will direct, but no word yet on whether babies featured in the biopic will be real or fake.
On Wednesday, Netflix reportedly picked up a new multi-camera comedy from Two and a Half Men's showrunners that'll reunite That '70s Show co-stars Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson. That show is said to be the launching pad for Netflix's new streaming model: 20 episodes, released ten at a time, twice in one year. The Ranch is just one of many new shows and films — including projects from Brad Pitt and Baz Luhrmann — that Netflix has in the pipeline for the next couple of years. As the streaming wars heat up, where does Netflix's future stand? Vulture's Joe Adalian and Dee Lockett have lots of feelings.
Generally frightening (and brutally honest) human Rob Zombie will transition out of the horror genre to make a biopic about the end of Groucho Marx's life, Deadline reports. For real. The movie will be based on Steve Stoliar’s memoir Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House, which details the life of a young Marx Brothers fan who worked as the comedy luminary's personal secretary and archivist. "I have been a huge Groucho Marx fan ever since I was a child and have read countless book on the comic legend, but after reading the book Raised Eyebrows, a totally new perspective on Groucho’s life emerged," Zombie, who will collaborate with scribe Oren Moverman, said. "I immediately saw this project as Groucho’s Sunset Boulevard and knew I had to bring it to the big screen." Fair enough. Let's get Marx-weird, man.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, David Simon and frequent collaborator George Pelecanos are hard at work developing The Deuce, a show about the porn theaters and peep shows of Times Square in the 1970s. Though the pair have been pounding away at ideas for a while, HBO dealt the project a minor blow by moving forward with Simon's Oscar Isaac miniseries Show Me a Hero instead. Now that Hero production has reached completion, the network may rekindle plans for a Deuces pilot. If the series has enough staying power, it'll climax with a penetrating depiction of the Times Square scene's early '80s battles with AIDS, cocaine, and — given that this is a David Simon project — rising real-estate costs. Sexy.
Nearly a year after Joan Rivers passed away, Melissa Rivers will try to pick up where her mother left off: E! has announced Joan's daughter Melissa as the newest co-host of Fashion Police. The show was previously said to have been on the brink of cancellation after both Kelly Osbourne and Kathy Griffin quit the show following Giuliana Rancic's controversial comments about Zendaya Coleman's hair during a broadcast. E! quickly put the show on hiatus, and has now plotted its return for August 31. Rivers will co-host alongside Rancic and Brad Goreski. Let's just hope Joan imparted her wisdom to Melissa about the art of throwing shade at badly dressed celebrities.
Aaron Paul might've been joking about a Jesse Pinkman Breaking Bad spinoff, but he wasn't entirely kidding about getting his own show. Hulu has announced that Paul will star in the streaming platform's upcoming ten-episode series The Way, from Friday Night Lights executive producer Jason Katims. Once again, he'll play a guy with a "wayward past" — only now that past has driven him to "a controversial religious movement" instead of a meth-cooking chemistry teacher. Paul's character will reportedly experience a "crisis of faith" that puts a strain on his relationship with his wife, played by Michelle Monaghan, who has a lot of experience with this sort of thing.
Netflix badly wants a That ’70s Show revival. So far, it's had Laura Prepon in Orange Is the New Black, and now it's added two more names from that gang to its roster. Deadline reports that Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson, a.k.a. Kelso and Hyde, are set to star in a Netflix comedy called The Ranch, from Two and a Half Men showrunners Don Reo and Jim Patterson. They'll play brothers on a Colorado ranch who run the family business after Kutcher takes a break from semi-pro football. It'll join the upcoming Fuller House as Netflix's only other mutli-camera comedy, and in a big first, The Ranch will introduce Netflix's new streaming model: 20 episodes, to be released in two batches of ten, premiered twice a year. Currently, Netflix streams all of its other original series once a year, with 13 episodes each. (And just when we thought ten episodes was the new 13.) If anyone can make a That '70s Show movie happen, it's Netflix.
The Tracking Board reports that Disney is making a third Princess Diaries to reboot the franchise. This probably-happy movie's plot is sadly a secret. It's also unclear if Anne Hathaway will reprise her role as princess-slash-queen of Genovia. (Hathaway has hinted that a return is unlikely, but it would be great if she did; it would be great if Shonda Rhimes came back to write this installment, too. How much of that greatness is realistic? Not much.) Judging by the execution of the first two flicks, the third will likely deviate from the source material, a.k.a. Meg Cabot's original, still-running YA series of the same name. And since it's been more than a decade since the last flick, that could mean there's a new princess in town (or principality*).
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