ABC is looking to add another comic-book series to its roster to go with Agent Carter and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But this one doesn't revolve around superheroics — it's based on the people who have to clean up after superheroes. Damage Control is a comic book about the construction company that repairs New York City after heroes like Spider-Man, Hulk, and Captain America level the city during their epic battles. (Thankfully set in the Marvel universe, because nobody is trying to clean up the mess Superman made in Man of Steel.) The group first appeared in 1988, pitched to Marvel Comics by creator Dwayne McDuffie as "a sitcom within the Marvel Universe," and mostly includes non-superhero civilians, except for former Avenger Hercules, who has joined the crew as part of court-ordered community service and to make a few extra dollars. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the television adaptation is being developed by former Daily Show writer Ben Karlin, comedy producer David Miner (30 Rock, Parks and Recreation), and Marvel's head of television Jeph Loeb. While superheroes do pop up from time to time in the comic series, this will be an ABC sitcom, so you can probably just expect Agent Coulson and a bunch of other random S.H.I.E.L.D. cast members to show up.
To capitalize on the Stay Puft–sized success of the original 1984 Ghostbusters, an animated spin-off, The Real Ghostbusters, was created two years later; it ran on TV for seven seasons in the late '80s and early '90s. Now, presumably to capitalize on the projected [insert name of giant character from upcoming movie] success of Paul Feig's reboot, that idea has been resurrected: Variety reports that Sony is developing an animated Ghostbusters film.
Like an apparition, the project is presently hazy and indistinct — it's unclear whether the animated film would follow Feig's "four funny women," or be brand-new 'busters. Either way, Variety notes, "it's likely the film will follow the famous group as they fight supernatural forces" — sad news for anyone who hoped the movie would be a My Dinner With Andre–style dinner conversation.
Just like Furious 8, the Channing Tatum Gambit movie is currently languishing without a director after Rupert Wyatt abruptly left the project two weeks ago. At the time, the official euphemism was that a "scheduling conflict" caused Wyatt to drop out, but now THR has the requisite anonymous quotes about the real reason he quit. Apparently, much like Don Draper, Wyatt only likes the beginnings of things: He's dropped out of projects at almost every major studio rather than see his vision be compromised. As one executive put it, "He wants to make the best version of something, and he's so desperately afraid of making something not good that it's easier to walk away than be pushed by committee."
Serial is set to become a TV series: The Lego Movie duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller are adapting Sarah Koenig's hit investigative podcast for Fox 21 Television Studios (so Fox's TV production company, not the network), with Koenig, Ira Glass, and their "This American Life" team serving as executive producers on the show. The scripted series won't follow the Adnan Syed case involving the murder of Hae Min Lee, but will instead take a more behind-the-scenes approach that details how Koenig went from virtual anonymity to creating one of 2014's biggest cultural phenomenons. Essentially, it'll be a TV show about a podcast. Recently, it was confirmed that the second season of "Serial" will investigate the disappearance of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban for five years after walking off his base in Afghanistan.
Finally, a new network reality show that sounds interesting: CBS has green-lit production on Hunted, an unscripted hour in which average Janes and Joes go off the grid, disappearing from friends and family, all as “the world's most highly skilled investigators and trackers pursue them in a nationwide manhunt,” according to a network release. The show will be adapted from a British series of the same name from Shine TV, which debuted just a few weeks ago to some rave reviews and strong ratings. According to an Eye press release, after the civilians on the show go into hiding, the professional trackers will use both modern and old-school methods as “they look for clues to potential hiding places and collaborators that can ultimately lead to capture.” New CBS Entertainment boss Glenn Geller says Hunted “combines the suspense of a crime drama with the thrill of a competition reality series and some very topical social issues.” Among those “issues”: whether it’s possible to find any true privacy in the digital age.
It's not an HBO prestige drama unless there's a lot of nudity. The sci-fi dystopia Westworld, which has been billed as "a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin," is taking the latter part very seriously. Deadline reports that the show is having some of its extras sign consent forms where they agree to "graphic sexual situations," including "genital-to-genital touching" as well as some very specific bodily positions, including "contort[ing] to form a table-like shape while being fully nude" and "pos[ing] on all fours while others who are fully nude ride on your back." Here's the relevant part of the contract:
Variety reports that Russell Crowe is set to star in the historical drama In Sand and Blood. The movie, backed by IM Global, takes place in 19th century Africa and echoes historian Dean King's Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival. King's work seemingly retells the true story of Captain James Riley, who penned a memoir in the early 1800s after he and his crew — who'd been shipwrecked off the coast of the western Sahara — were captured and enslaved, and then ultimately resold to (read: saved by) Europeans. Ronan Bennett reportedly is writing the script and Luc Roeg is producing; other personnel and logistical details are unavailable at the moment.
Nicki Minaj will produce a comedy series for ABC Family based on her childhood in Queens, the network announced today. The currently untitled project is expected to explore Minaj's experience growing up as an immigrant from Trinidad in the '90s, and will tell the tale of "the personal and musical evolution that lead to her eventual rise to stardom." According to the network, Minaj will "also appear in" the single-camera series, though the extent of her role is unknown. Will she have an actual part, or will she just narrate it, à la Everybody Hates Chris? Either way, we hope TV Nicki's high school is safer than Drake's.
Fear the Walking Dead's web series now has a name: Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462. The 16-part web series is set to premiere online October 4 and during the commercial breaks of The Walking Dead's season six premiere October 11, and continue to air during its run. It will tell the story of a passenger who goes all undead on the rest of the passengers. In the end, one lucky survivor will join the cast of Fear the Walking Dead for the second season. Meanwhile, we're praying really hard for that Samuel L. Jackson cameo.
In a VinBook post this weekend, Vin Diesel took the opportunity to clear the air regarding some recent reports about the state of the Fast and Furious franchise, the next installment of which is currently being directed by up-and-coming filmmaker No One. "My producing partner Neal [Moritz] would love for me to just sign off on a director," Diesel told fans, "but this is too special a franchise, so these matters have to be very carefully handled." Diesel did not address rumors that he would end up choosing himself for the job, but did promise that he would announce the new director in his next post. He also hinted that the Furious series would come to an end after its tenth installment, saying that he "promised the studio I would deliver one last Trilogy to end the saga."
However, Diesel also promised last year that Furious 7 would be the beginning of a new trilogy, which leads to three interpretations: That's still the plan, and the trilogy he's talking about will end the series with Furious 9; the plan has changed, and the series will now end after ten movies; or, most likely, Vin Diesel just can't stop himself from promising new Fast and Furious trilogies.
The timing couldn't have been better. Netflix announced today that it is getting a 12-episode order of the third season of Black Mirror, the British techno-horror series that aired on Channel 4 in its first two seasons. This announcement comes shortly after the internet was reminded of the show when a new David Cameron biography alleged that the British prime minister stuck a "private part of his anatomy" — whew, that phrasing — into a dead pig's mouth. "It's all very exciting — a whole new bunch of Black Mirror episodes on the most fitting platform imaginable," said creator Charlie Brooker, who will continue to helm the show alongside Annabel Jones. "I just hope none of these new story ideas come true." Black Mirror: Where art and reality come to create an unwholesome union.
Pitbull is immersing himself deeper in the TV game, according to Variety, which reports Fox is interested in a Miami-set show the rapper is executive-producing. The network has reportedly given a script commitment to the aptly named 305, which will tell the story of a teen named Willy who transfers to a private school in the city and moves in with his celebrity-chef uncle. Florida's version of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will be an hour-long drama and will come from scribe Sascha Penn and helmer Jonathan Levine. Other details are scarce, but we already can't wait: This is a clear sign Mr. 305's ascent to the presidency is beginning.
Just like past winners Audrey Hepburn, John Gielgud, and Ingrid Bergman before him, Jon Hamm is making the traditional post-Emmys stop by SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon tells Vulture that Hamm's signed on to voice a character named Don Grouper in the animated series in an episode airing sometime next year; Grouper, if you couldn't guess, is "a charismatic head ad executive" with a "sharp mind and devastating charm." (Nick also provided a rough character sketch, which you can see above.) In Hamm's episode, SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs go to Grouper for business advice — no word on whether they say thank you, or if that's what the Krabby Patty is for.
Steven Soderbergh is going to take it to the next level. There isn't a lot known about the director's (and DP's, and editor's, and cameraman's ...) upcoming HBO movie, other than that it's called Mosaic and will star Sharon Stone. In a statement released through the network, Soderbergh said, “I believe the good people at HBO are genuinely enthusiastic about Mosaic for two reasons: First, it represents a fresh way of experiencing a story and sharing that experience with others; second, it will require a new Emmy category, and we will be the only eligible nominee.” EW reports that the narrative will require viewers to download an app that will allow them to choose their own adventure, meaning that there's a multiplicity of different possible endings. This will no doubt trigger compulsive reactions within people who need to know about every possible timeline.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Jake Gyllenhaal Are Making a Movie Together Where They Probably Won’t Kiss, So Here’s a Picture of Their Faces Close Together So You Can Imagine It YourselfBy Nate Jones
According to THR, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jake Gyllenhaal have both signed on to star in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's The Current War, a development that gives us the perfect opportunity to Photoshop pictures of their faces very close together and imagine them locked in a tender embrace. The Current War tells the story of the battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse over electrical currents, and speaking of electricity, can you just imagine the sparks that would fly if Benedict Cumberbatch and Jake Gyllenhaal's characters put aside their differences for just one scene and had some frenzied Victorian hate-sex? (Talk about an alternating current!) That probably won't happen in this movie, so just look at a picture of these guys and cross your eyes a little bit, and it will all be all right.
As rumored, the Duggars are returning to TLC with a series of specials following two of the family's daughters, Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard. The specials will go into production shortly, and start airing before the end of the year. TLC's Nancy Daniels tells the Associated Press the show will focus on Jessa's pregnancy and Jill's move to Central America. The specials will reportedly not include Jill and Jessa's brother Josh Duggar, whose decade-old molestation confession led to TLC's cancellation of the Duggar family's long-running reality show 19 Kids and Counting this summer. In June, Jill and Jessa were revealed as two of Josh's victims; afterward, the pair defended their brother in the press, telling Megyn Kelly that Josh "made some bad choices, but really, the extent of it was mild." Last month, the pair appeared in Breaking the Silence, TLC's special on child sex abuse.
According to Deadline, Maggie Gyllenhaal has signed on as the female lead in David Simon's upcoming '70s porn drama The Deuce. The project is set among the seedy porn theaters and peep shows of ungentrified Times Square; Gyllenhaal will play a hooker named Candy looking to get ahead in the adult-film industry. Yes, it's yet another in HBO's long line of prostitute roles, but since this is David Simon, the character will at least have plenty of things to say about the inherently fallible nature of manmade institutions. Gyllenhaal will be joined in the series by James Franco, who, naturally, is playing twins.
Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, and Olivia Colman May Join Biopic of Queen Anne, Britain’s Least-Biopic’d Female MonarchBy Nate Jones
Elizabeth has Elizabeth, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and The Virgin Queen; Victoria has Young Victoria and Mrs. Brown; heck, Elizabeth 2 is still alive and even she has The Queen. And yet what does Queen Anne, who ruled Britain from 1702 to 1714, get? Absolutely squat — until now. According to Deadline, The Lobster's Yorgos Lanthimos is making a Queen Anne biopic called The Favourite, and Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, and Oilvia Colman are all in talks to star. The film is reportedly centered on the "political machinations behind the scenes" of Anne's rule. Colman would play Anne; Winslet would play her friend Sarah Churchhill, wife of the popular Duke of Marlborough; and Stone would play Abigail Masham, Churchill's young protégé, who ended up usurping her in the Queen's affections. (And, it was rumored, enjoyed an affair with her.) So, basically, it's All About Eve in bodices. Can't wait!
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