That new Dungeons & Dragons movie fans have long held out for since the panned 2000 version is finally happening. After a ten-month legal battle over ownership rights to the popular fantasy role-playing game, Warner Bros. announced Monday that it can officially move forward with its planned adaptation. News of the film first broke in 2013, but with the lawsuit no longer a hindrance, the studio has the green light to bring Orphan writer David Leslie Johnson's already-written script, set in the Forgotten Realms, to the big screen. Too bad Community probably already did D&D best.
Unfortunately, it won't be called Punk-Rock Mad Men, but it'll probably still be like that. HBO announced Thursday that you can call Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, and Terence Winter's drama about the '70s rock scene Vinyl, and you can expect it to roll out in 2016. The project currently has Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Jagger's son James, Ray Romano, Andrew "Dice" Clay, and "Connecticut residents" attached to work off a pilot script from Boardwalk Empire's Terence Winter (also showrunner). It will reportedly follow "the drug- and sex-fueled music business as punk and disco were breaking out, all through the eyes of a record executive trying to resurrect his label and find the next new sound." Deal.
Because he is immortal, Tom Cruise is already hard at work producing a sixth Mission: Impossible. He confirmed this with Jon Stewart during a Daily Show visit, noting the film may or may not involve rappelling down a volcano in Iceland. "We're starting to work on it now," he told Stewart. "We'll probably start shooting next summer." Well, here's to another decade of impossible missions. And here's the full interview clip, in which the two also talk about how to get fit and what happened with ol' vulnerable Cruise.
On the heels of Southpaw's theatrical release, Jake Gyllenhaal could be gearing up for another heroic, physically challenging role. Variety reports that the actor is in early talks to star in Stronger, a based-on-a-true-story recount of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing aftermath, told through the eyes of survivor Jeff Bauman. Gyllenhaal is reportedly the favorite to play Bauman, who famously lost both his legs and spurred the FBI's manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. David Gordon Green is already set to direct the movie, with a script John Pollono adapted from Bauman and Bret Witter's book of the same name.
The story focuses on what happened to Bauman and his city when he woke up on April 16, 2013, after a series of life-saving surgeries. "I saw the bomber," Bauman wrote after the attack. "He took my legs, but he didn’t break me. He only made me stronger." Gyllenhaal, who has an impressive history of digging into his serious, dramatic roles (recently gaining back all his Nightcrawler weight, as well as building 15 pounds of muscle, to star in Southpaw), could be a stellar fit for the part, which would give him the opportunity to conjure up an inspiring turn à la Marlon Brando in The Men and Jon Voight in Coming Home. (Good awards-season fodder.) The timeline and other personnel details for Stronger are currently under wraps.
Send a letter to father — remake fever has struck the CW! As Deadline reports, the network is currently developing a TV version of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. (Upon hearing the news, poor Beth immediately contracted remake fever and promptly died.) According to the report, this won't be your great-great-grandmother's Little Women: Instead, it'll be a "hyper-stylized and gritty" retelling of the classic tale, which will see the four Marsh sisters "[banding] together in order to survive the dystopic streets of Philadelphia and unravel a conspiracy that stretches far beyond anything they have ever imagined." Will Laurie be a zombie? Will Professor Bhaer be an actual bear? Literally anything is possible.
In a symbolic victory for men everywhere, it looks like that rumored all-male Ghostbusters reboot is closer to inception than we previously realized. Screenwriter Drew Pearce told MTV that he's just finished a draft of the script for the Russo Brothers, and now it's just a matter of finding four funny dudes to break the gender barrier and prove that, no matter what anyone might say, men can be Ghostbusters, too. Pearce also said that he wanted both his film and Paul Feig's upcoming all-female Ghostbusters to "occur in the same Ghostbusters universe," but it's still unclear if social justice has progressed enough for America to embrace a franchise where both men and women can bust ghosts at the same time.
“A million dollars an episode is kinda ridiculous,” Marta Kauffman, one of the creators of Friends, said at the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday. “Let’s be honest, that’s a lot of money.” The Wrap reports that Kauffman, who runs Grace and Frankie at Netflix, was responding to a question about the cast's demands, where they famously got $1 million for each episode of the final two seasons (about $1.32 million today). "I think it's inflated. And there’s something unrealistic about it. Not everybody is going to get a million dollars an episode. So I think actually what we’re all doing [now] is actually more reasonable and makes more sense."
As previous NBC live musicals have proved, it's often better to cast a musician who can act than an actor who can sing. And so, EW reports that the network has cast Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige in its upcoming TV version of The Wiz. Latifah will play the titular Wiz, while Blige will play the Wicked Witch of the West. The stars who will ease on down the road remain uncast, which means our hopes that Jussie Smollett will get cast in this project — in any role! — remain undimmed.
The Wrap reports that Channing Tatum might be getting ready to bail on the Gambit spinoff. The trade site didn't note any specific reasons, but one of its sources said "something was up." It would be a shame if Tatum's deal fell apart because then all those magician-slash-card-throwing lessons would've been for naught — unless he's joining a Burt Wonderstone sequel or a Jimmy Fallon–produced Magic Mike sequel. (More so, it would be a shame because this movie is supposed to be a passion project of Tatum's, and the actor would play one helluva Gambit, a fan-favorite character people would love to see on the big screen portrayed by someone who actually gets the character.) The Wrap thinks Tatum could stay on in a producing role if things don't go entirely south, adding that one of the reasons for potential departure could be a desire to work instead on a directorial effort. Nothing has been finalized, however, and the film is still slated for its October 2016 release, with production supposedly starting soon. (For the love of Remy, guys, work something out.)
As it turns out, Chris Pine will take that turn as Wonder Woman's love-interest-slash-favorite-guy-with-two-first-names, according to the Wrap. A few months ago, the actor had begun talks for the Steve Trevor role, which also reportedly could have gone to Scott Eastwood. Plot and character details are still under wraps, but if Pine's role is anything like the source material, he could play some sort of military figure with a penchant for peril. The Wrap adds that Pine's contract is a multi-year deal, meaning he could be involved in sequels and that he probably won't be involved in WB's Green Lantern Corps, after all. Patty Jenkins is still attached to direct, and Pine will co-star opposite Gal Gadot, who will be introduced as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. (Her appearance with Steve Trevor will come June 23, 2017.) Just who will pine after whom first is unknown at the moment. But the world should take solace in the fact that Pine's involvement means the pun opportunities are just beginning and there (hopefully) won't be a Boston accent in this movie. More important, the news is truly good because his involvement also means that Pine, who has been able to share the action spotlight in movies like Star Trek and the upcoming Z for Zachariah, will complement, not overshadow, Wonder Woman in her first new solo film.
Aziz Ansari's new Netflix show has a premiere date and a title: Master of None debuts on Netflix November 6. Ansari will play Dev, a 30-year-old actor in New York who "has trouble deciding what he wants to eat, much less the pathway for the rest of life." Ah, millennial woes! The show comes to you from Ansari and Parks and Recreation writer Alan Yang and will also star H. Jon Benjamin, Tim and Eric’s Eric Wareheim, The Comeback's Lena Waithe, and Popular's Kelvin Yu. Including Ansari and Yang, Parks and Recreation's Mike Schur will also be an executive producer, alongside Louie's Dave Becky and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's David Miner.
Netflix kicks off the Television Critics Association's summer press tour this year with a packed schedule for the fourth quarter. But the biggest — and probably least surprising — piece of news is that Raphael Bob-Waksberg's depressingly funny BoJack Horseman is returning for a third season in 2016, with another 12 episodes. The regular cast will return — Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul, Amy Sedaris, and probably a bunch of other celebrity cameos. To celebrate, let's just tell our partners we're in Cordovia when we're actually just binge-watching television until 2016.
Just before the February 2013 debut of House of Cards, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos revealed his game plan for the streaming service. “The goal,” he told GQ, “is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.” More than a few TV-industry insiders dismissed Sarandos’s statement as bluster, tough talk from a Silicon Valley outsider playing to investors and the tech media. But by at least one major metric — the size of its original programming roster — it turns out Sarandos wasn’t bluffing. Barely three years after it started churning out its own programming, Netflix already has more original series in various stages of production than HBO, the longtime leader of premium cable content and a network that has been in business for over 40 years. What’s more, as the chart below illustrates, Netflix next year is poised to expand its lineup to more than two dozen series, blowing past both HBO and TV’s most prolific basic-cable programmer, FX/FXX. A service until recently known mostly for repurposing other people’s movies and TV shows will thus achieve a major milestone: It will boast the biggest collection of first-run scripted content of any other subscription-based network in America, cable or streaming.
Ed Sheeran is gunning for that Outstanding Guest Actor Emmy: According to THR, the ginger crooner has taken a recurring role in Kurt Sutter's upcoming Bastard Executioner, a medieval drama set amid the violent rebellions of 14th-century Wales. Sheeran will play "an ambitious and deadly protégé of a high-ranking church elder," which makes it sound like he will almost certainly come to an unspeakably grisly end. If you're wondering how Ed Sheeran ended up in a prestige cable drama, it helps to know that he was a very public fan of Sutter's Sons of Anarchy and even contributed a song to that show's soundtrack. Sheeran also showed up on Sesame Street earlier this year, an appearance that was slightly more on-brand.
Marvel’s Ant-Man, which stars the ageless wonder we mere mortals call Paul Rudd, came in at No. 1 at the box office for the second week. The film trounced Pixels, which stars the poorly aging frat boy we call Adam Sandler. Ant-Man, of which George R.R. Martin is a fan, pulled in $24.7 million domestically, for a not-so-puny $106 million domestic total. Pixels, a film about Adam Sandler and video games doing dumb stuff, made $24 million, which, while only $700,000 removed from Ant-Man’s gross, is tremendously disappointing for Sandler. The film’s mix of CGI and live action aimed at nostalgic Gen-Xers was being compared to last year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which made $65.6 million.
It’s not often that a premium cable network cancels a series after just one season, but such is the fate of Happyish. Showtime has confirmed the death of its first-year comedy, which opened in April to mostly negative reviews. Created by playwright Shalom Auslander, Happyish was originally intended as a starring vehicle for the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, with Showtime chief David Nevins excitedly revealing the project to TV critics back in 2013. After Hoffman died and Steve Coogan signed on to fill the Hoffman role on the show, Nevins decided to keep the project going. But the combination of harsh critical reaction (the Denver Post’s Joanne Ostrow called the pilot “a sad, pretentious piece of work, desperate to be taken seriously”) and low ratings (just 300,000 viewers watched episode one within the first three days of its premiere, while, on average, a modest 1.6 million caught most episodes on Showtime’s various platforms) gave Nevins little incentive to bring Happyish back. On the bright side, the show still has the distinction of being what our Margaret Lyons called “far and away the most phallocentric show I’ve ever seen.”
Angelina Jolie's next directorial effort will be affiliated with Netflix, Variety reports. The multi-hyphenate movie star is working with the streaming service to adapt 2000's First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers — activist Loung Ung's account of enduring the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot's regime — into a feature film. "I was deeply affected by Loung’s book," Jolie, who's also planning on producing, said in a statement. "It deepened forever my understanding of how children experience war and are affected by the emotional memory of it." Jolie added that it helped her grow closer to her son Maddox's homeland; Maddox, who reportedly worked as a production assistant on his mom's By the Sea, will also lend a hand in this project (though his role is unknown at the moment). The film will be available next year, in both Khmer and English.
Long live Jar Jar Binks. In a new interview with Vice, Ahmed Best, the actor who played Jar Jar in the second Star Wars trilogy, discusses his turbulent journey from nothingness to notoriety. Among the many haphazard gems in the Q&A, there's an anecdote involving George Lucas and the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, that does a good job of sticking out: At Wembley Arena for an MJ concert, Best, along with Natalie Portman and Lucas's kids, went backstage to meet the star. "George introduced me as 'Jar Jar,' and I was like, That's kind of weird," he told Vice. "[At an after-party,] I'm having a drink with George and I said, 'Why did you introduce me as Jar Jar?' He said, 'Well, Michael wanted to do the part but he wanted to do it in prosthetics and makeup like "Thriller.'" George wanted to do it in CGI. My guess is ultimately Michael Jackson would have been bigger than the movie, and I don't think he wanted that."
Huh. (The butterfly effect that could've impacted both Jar Jar and MJ makes my head hurt.) Best goes on to discuss the initial reviews of Star Wars and his first memories of the character becoming a controversial figure. Below are a few more Star Wars gems from the convo:
Ludacris will join Kelly Rowland, Marisa Tomei, Oprah, and others on Empire's second season, the rapper announced today. According to his Instagram, he'll apparently be playing a correctional officer alongside Terrence Howard's newly incarcerated Lucious Lyon. Ludacris, of course, fought Howard in not one but two films released in 2005 (Crash and Hustle and Flow) — will Lee Daniels be paying tribute to that vaunted cinematic moment by putting the two men in a tenth-anniversary jailhouse scuffle?
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