Stop awhile, talk awhile, give your smile to this exciting news. Deadline is reporting that the first authorized film about Roy Orbison's life is currently in the works. The Big O: Roy Orbison — a cheeky nod to Orbison's nickname — is being fully supported by the late singer-songwriter's estate. The film will be written by Ray Gideon and Bruce Evans, and they will be joined by many members of the Orbison family, including his three surviving children, in various roles. The film also has the rights to "virtually all" of Orbison's iconic songs and recordings. "My dad’s story is a fantastic journey," Alex Orbison said in a statement. "He was so inspiring as a person because, after everything he had been through, good and bad, he still had a positive outlook on life, and was kind and wonderful. The movie will mirror a Roy Orbison song: having triumph and tragedy, sometimes losing the girl and sometimes getting the girl, and ending on a high note. Our father’s life story has an undeniably cinematic quality to it." Maybe Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Jeff Lynne will show up for a scene or two; that would certainly be all right.
FXX thinks You're the Worst is just the best, handing the dark comedy a fourth-season renewal only a few weeks into its third season. In a statement, creator Stephen Falk said he was "overjoyed" by the news, but also, since he is currently editing season three, "so, so tired, you guys." Celebrate this happy news as Kether Donohue's Lindsey did, by going up to your husband and giving him a hearty ... well, no, maybe you shouldn't do that.
Naaaaaaaaants ingonyama, bagithi Baba! Disney on Wednesday announced it's reteaming with director Jon Favreau on a "reimagining" of The Lion King, which will include songs from the original film. Though the news is unexpected, it shouldn't come as a complete surprise: The studio is in the middle of an effort to remake its animated classics — including Cinderella, Pete's Dragon, and the upcoming Beauty and the Beast — and The Lion King remains one of the most-loved films of Disney's 1990s golden age. Favreau's remake of The Jungle Book used CGI motion-capped animals alongside real human boy Neeli Seth, and it seems likely that The Lion King, which has no human characters, will use similar methods for its animal leads. Millennials, that troubling feeling in your stomach is you now knowing what it feels like to be Gen-Xers. Andy Serkis, start practicing your hyena laugh now.
Amazon Orders I Love Dick, Jean-Claude Van Johnson, and The Tick to Series, Making Your 2017 Very BusyBy E. Alex Jung
Amazon's pilot process has produced three new series to premiere in 2017: I Love Dick, The Tick, and Jean-Claude Van Johnson. These three were easy to spot: I Love Dick, of course, is Transparent creator Jill Soloway's new show, starring Kathryn Hahn and Kevin Bacon and set in Marfa, Texas; Jean-Claude Van Johnson is the meta-vehicle for martial-arts action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme; and The Tick is the reboot of the superhero satire with Peter Serafinowicz as the man with the blue antennae. You can watch the pilots on Amazon now with the comfort of knowing that they'll be fully formed series by this time next year. They grow up so fast!
The Good Wife might be over, but CBS isn’t letting Alan Cumming go so easily. Deadline reports that Cumming will return to the network in a series it’s developing called Dr. Death, based on a soon-to-be-published book by James Patterson. The series will focus on a former CIA operative who got out of the intelligence game and settled into civilian life as a “gifted” professor, only to be roped back into crime fighting when the NYPD calls upon him to help stop a serial killer. In praising Cumming’s talents, Patterson gave away a little more about his character, saying, “There aren’t many stars who can convincingly play drama and comedy with effortless wit, not to mention a musical savant and crime-solving genius.” So get ready for intellectual puzzle-solving montages in which Cumming shuffles many papers while pantomiming a concert violinist and making sweeping conductor motions with his arms — or something like that. Patterson and Cumming will produce Dr. Death with showrunner Michael Rauch and frequent J.J. Abrams collaborator Alex Kurtzman.
After all of the drama around The Great British Bake Off, at least Top Gear is giving us some small measure of continuity, as the BBC announced Monday that Matt LeBlanc has signed a two-year deal to return as host of the BBC Two car show. After one season serving as replacements for the departed trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, LeBlanc's co-host Chris Evans quit the show in July, and LeBlanc himself admitted he was "not sure" if he would continue on. LeBlanc will be joined by Chris Harris and Rory Reid in the new season of Top Gear, and, fittingly, the show's success will rest on whether the three hosts can convincingly act like friends.
You've seen Paul Dano, acclaimed character actor, but are you ready for Paul Dano, auteur? Variety reports that Dano will soon make his directorial debut, with an adaptation of Richard Ford's Wildlife, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan. Ford's 1990 novel tells the story of a teen's coming-of-age amid the breakdown of his parent's marriage; unless Dano's going to hire a top-notch makeup person, it seems likely Gyllenhaal and Mulligan will play the parents. This will be the duo's first film together, though Gyllenhaal did once join the actress's husband, Marcus Mumford, on a train tour with Mumford & Sons, an occasion memorialized in the liner notes for Taylor Swift's "Sad Beautiful Tragic."
Mary Berry and the BBC might have something else cooking. After The Great British Bake Off announced it would move from its original home on the BBC to Channel 4 in a dramatic shake-up, losing its two hosts and judge Berry in the process, sources told The Telegraph that the BBC is considering developing another cooking show reuniting Berry with comedy duo Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, who also declined to leave with the show. Berry's co-judge, Paul Hollywood, was the only person of the original GBBO quartet to make the move to Channel 4, at the call of a three-year contract reportedly worth 1 million pounds. Though the BBC has not officially commented on The Telegraph's report, BBC director of content Charlotte Moore hinted at the possibility of a BBC GBBO rival when addressing the news that Berry would stay loyal to the BBC, saying, "I can't wait to cook up more unmissable shows with her in the future." Now this is what we call a bake-off.
We've reached out to the BBC for comment and will update this post if we hear back.
In his day job (basketball player), LeBron James is known for possessing the athleticism of Julius Irving mixed with the court vision of Magic Johnson; in his side gig (TV producer), he seems to be mixing the geographic loyalty of Dick Wolf with the social conscience of Norman Lear. Deadline reports that LeBron's production company has partnered with Scrubs' Bill Lawrence on a single-camera family sitcom called There Goes the Neighborhood, written by Community's Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan and comedian Ron Funches. It will follow the story of a white family who move into a predominantly black part of Cleveland. "Finally, my big break!" said Kevin Love.
As part of his talk about Rogue One with investors on Wednesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that a third Star Wars standalone film is in development, Deadline reports. Few details about the film are known, but Iger revealed that the studio has hired a writer to work on the script for the film, which is expected to be released in 2020, continuing the anthology series' every-two-years schedule. Rumors that the third standalone film will be about Boba Fett have swirled consistently for years, but there's been no official word either way. Here's hoping for a 127 Hours–style docudrama about how he got out of that darned Sarlacc pit.
Readers, we have some bad news. In the dramatic move away from the BBC to Channel 4, The Great British Bake Off has lost another one of its pantry staples: the inimitable Mary Berry. The prolific author, baking legend, and exacting judge of The Great British Bake Off has called it quits. Berry's reasons for leaving echo those of hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, who were protesting the move from the BBC to Channel 4. "What a privilege and honor it has been to be part of seven years of magic in a tent — The Great British Bake Off. The Bake Off family — Paul, Mel and Sue have given me so much joy and laughter," Berry said in a statement issued through the BBC. "My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one. I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change, I hope they understand my decision. I wish the program, crew and future bakers every possible success and I am so very sad not to be a part of it. Farewell to soggy bottoms.”
After a multi-film fascination with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, Joy), David O. Russell is returning to his first and truest muse: Mark Wahlberg. In a Facebook Live post that streamed on Wednesday, Wahlberg shared that he and his The Fighter director (they also made Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees together, for those keeping score) are reteaming for a new biopic about Father Stuart Long. If you're unfamiliar with "Father Stu," as Wahlberg calls him because he is that familiar, Long was a football player turned priest from Helena, Montana, who died in 2014. Says Wahlberg: "He was a very tough guy who was a fighter, a football player, anything but a spiritual guy. Then he found his calling, and decided, after falling in love with a woman, that he wanted to become a priest. He suffered from this horrible muscular degenerative disease but was still ordained as a priest and passed away, but not before he was able to inspire thousands upon thousands of people." Wahlberg and Russell are currently working on the script for the project. Does this mean that Wahlberg will have to spend an extended period of time trying to sound like he's from Montana? Only time will tell. The career Bostonian talks about the project starting at around the 14:00 mark in the video below.
Having carved prestige-TV notches into his belt from FX and HBO, Walton Goggins will now be taking his talents to yet another premium cable outlet. Showtime announced today that it is developing a dark comedy called Keeping It Real in which the enduring character actor will star as “a narcissistic but well-intentioned movie star who travels to global hot spots and inserts himself into international incidents, only to create more chaos,” according to Deadline. The series will be written by Charles Randolph, who won an Oscar earlier this year for his Big Short script, and it will be directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, winners of an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay thanks to their work on The Descendants. If you want a little more magic TV dust sprinkled on, Real will bring Goggins back together with Justified producers Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman, and that project worked out pretty well for everyone involved. May Walton Goggins live long and continue to prosper on premium cable networks.
A ticket for the upcoming action comedy Monster Trucks covers the entire seat, but the film still has Viacom executives on edge. The Hollywood Reporter writes that the company's film division has taken a $115 million write-down on its earnings estimates "related to a future film that will not likely perform to expectations," with THR's sources indicating that Monster Trucks is it. The movie, which stars Lucas Till as a teen who befriends a monster that likes trucks, has seen multiple release-date changes and, apparently, a change of genre as well: THR says the CGI-heavy film "was budgeted as a broad-audience release, but turned out more of a kids movie." Monster Trucks will be released in January, giving new meaning to the phrase "monster-truck graveyard."
CBS Belatedly Picks Up Jermaine Fowler’s Superior Donuts, Its Only New Comedy This Season Not About a White ManBy Jackson McHenry
After announcing a fall schedule filled with a wide selection of new shows about white guys (see: Kevin Can Wait, Man With a Plan, The Great Indoors), CBS has picked up Jermaine Fowler's Superior Donuts, which happens to be its first comedy order of the 2016–2017 season that isn't about a white man. The series stars Fowler and Judd Hirsch (replacing Brian d'Arcy James after a recasting), who work at a doughnut shop in gentrifying Chicago. It's based on the play by Tracy Letts, and also stars David Koechner, Maz Jobrani, Anna Baryshnikov, Darien Sills-Evans, Rell Battle, and Katey Sagal. Superior Donuts will have a 13-episode first season; no release date has yet been set.
When the plan to adapt Stephen King's Dark Tower series to the screen was announced back in 2010, it included an ambitious film-TV partnership: The adaptation would consist of a trilogy of films with two seasons of TV in between them. Now, after the project has been abandoned, revived, and scaled back numerous times, the film version of The Dark Tower is somehow only months away from release, which means producers are finally ready to talk about the TV part of the equation. Sources inside production company MRC tell Entertainment Weekly they're committed to making an entire season of the show, even though no network or streaming service has picked it up yet. The series will reportedly be a prequel, based on King's Wizard and Glass, following the younger version of Idris Elba's character as he trains to become a gunslinger. Elba will appear in a framing device, while Matthew McConaughey's shape-shifting Man in Black may show up played by another actor — unless the Oscar winner decides he wants to do the show, too. That's what we love about the fantasy genre: Idris Elba gets younger, while evil Matthew McConaughey stays the same age.
Comedy Central Blithely Ignores Our PC Overlords, Orders Moshe Kasher’s Problematic Talk Show to SeriesBy Jackson McHenry
How do you do, fellow kids? Your pal Comedy Central knows that it can be hard to make sense of this crazy political world, and they are here to help. The network has ordered comedian Moshe Kasher's (of the underrated Another Period) weekly talk show Problematic With Moshe Kasher to series. The show, which joins Not Safe With Nikki Glaser and Tosh.0 among the network's weekly talk offerings, will have Kasher take on "polarizing topics." "I see myself as the Phil Donahue of the Internet Age except not as funny or dialed into millennial culture," Kasher said in a statement. "This show will create a safe space for offensive comedy and more importantly engender conversations that will completely end all acrimony, racism, sexism, trolling and whatever else you find offensive online once and for all. I promise." When reached for comment, online trolls merely growled and said unprintable things about the presidential election.
Back it June, it was reported that actress Leah Remini had begun work on a television series about the Church of Scientology, which Remini severed ties with in 2013 after spending almost her entire life involved with the organization. She has since become a vocal critic of their practices, including details about her disillusionment with the church in her 2015 memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. Now The Hollywood Reporter is relaying that A&E is the network shepherding her new series to air. It doesn’t have a title yet, but it will reportedly focus on both Remini’s experience with and departure from the church, as well as the effects of Scientology on the families of its members. A&E has not officially confirmed the series, but it was reportedly filming throughout the summer and is expected sometime early next year.
The comedy movie Captain Dad just lost its dad. With filming scheduled to begin 10 days from now, Ferrell has abruptly left the picture he was meant to anchor, leaving director Sebastián Silva and stars Catherine Keener and Michael Cera without a patriarch to guide them through a family vacation that goes awry. Most problematically, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is the fact that the movie relied heavily on Ferrell’s star power. Without him attached, “sources” worry the movie could fall apart completely, and some members of the cast and crew are reportedly already in Colombia waiting for shooting to start. With filming practically already underway and a team on location, it would be a terrible waste for the film to just dissolve. That’s a lot of people out of a job! So we’ve gone through the trouble of brainstorming nine actors who would make great replacements for Ferrell, each one fully capable of believably leading a family out of catastrophe in South American jungles and making us laugh all the while.
After just one season, Showtime’s Cameron Crowe–produced series Roadies has been canceled. Although network CEO David Nevins voiced support for the show at the Television Critics Association press event in August, Roadies was poorly reviewed and generated only modest audience engagement. "Like a song that slips under your skin, or a lyric that keeps speaking to you, we hope the spell of 'Roadies' lingers. It was life-changing experience for all of us," Crowe wrote on his blog. The show, which was Crowe's first foray into TV as a producer, will now join Vinyl in premium cable's rock-and-roll graveyard.
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