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Full Cast Revealed for FX’s The Bastard Executioner

FX The Bastard ExecutionerFX has today announced the cast for its new drama series pilot from Kurt Sutter, “The Bastard Executioner.” Series regulars will include Lee Jones, Stephen Moyer, Katey Sagal, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Kurt Sutter, Sam Spruell, Darren Evans, Danny Sapani, Timothy V. Murphy, Sarah White, and Sarah Sweeney with Matthew Rhys set to guest star. Read on for a full breakdown of who everyone will be playing.

A period drama, “The Bastard Executioner” tells the story of a warrior knight in King Edward I’s charge who is broken by the ravages of war and vows to lay down his sword. But when that violence finds him again he is forced to pick up the bloodiest sword of all.

“The Bastard Executioner” was created by Sutter, who will serve as Executive Producer along with award-winning producers Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo and Paris Barclay. Sutter wrote the script for the pilot, which will be directed by Barclay.

The full cast and characters are listed as follows:

Lee Jones, a newly discovered Australian theater actor, will take the lead as Wilkin Brattle: Tall, dark, imposing. Emotionally deep, spiritually tortured. Former knight in the charge of King Edward I. He now lives a simple agrarian life. Jones is represented by Emery Entertainment.

Stephen Moyer (“True Blood”) will star as Milus Corbett: Street smart and noble savvy. He was one of Ventris’ marshals in the army. Now, serves as his Chamberlain, Chancellor and Justiciar. Friend and drinking mate. Moyer is represented by WME.

Katey Sagal (“Sons of Anarchy”) will star as Annora of the Alders: Prescient, mystical and beautiful. She offers predictions, cures and potions. Sagal is represented by WME.

Flora Spencer-Longhurst will star as Baroness Lowry ‘Love’ Aberffraw Ventris: As cunning as she is kind and beautiful. From a wealthy Welsh family, she married Ventris at 17 to protect her family’s land. Her noble duties always in conflict with her Welsh pride. Spencer-Longhurst is represented by United Agents.

Kurt Sutter (“Sons of Anarchy,” “The Shield”) will star as The Dark Mute: Mate and guardian of Annora. Speaks rarely, no one’s ever seen his face. Sutter is represented by WME.

Sam Spruell (Snow White and the Huntsman, The Hurt Locker) will star as Toran Prichard: Fierce, tenacious. An archer under Madog Llywelyn in the last major Welsh rebellion. He put down the bow and picked up the hoe. Wilkin’s best mate. Spruell is represented by ICM and Silver Lining Entertainment.

Darren Evans (“Galavant”) will star as Ash y Goedwig: Wiry, smart. A trapper. An orphan “of the woods”. Friend of Wilkin. Evans is represented by Troika.

Danny Sapani (Trance, “Penny Dreadful”) will star as Berber the Moor: A large, educated man. Converted Muslim. A farmer. Friend of Wilkin. Sapani is represented by Gordon and French.

Timothy V. Murphy (“Sons of Anarchy,” The Lone Ranger) will star as Father Ruskin: A Brawny. Gentle, with bottled fury. Former soldier. Left the military for the seminary. Priest, rector and teacher of the court. Murphy is represented by SDB Partners.

Sarah White will star as Isabel Kiffin: Tall, slight. Awkward and innocent. Lady Love’s handmaiden and trusted confidant. White is represented by Gendler & Kelly, and APC.

Sarah Sweeny as Jessamy Maddox: Pretty, hardened by abuse. The executioner’s wife. Represented by Lou Coulson Associates.

In a guest-starring role, Matthew Rhys as Gruffudd y Blaidd: Smart, fearless, of noble blood. The Wolf. Leader of the Welsh rebels, Byth Encil. [Note: this role does not change his lead position in the FX drama series “The Americans”.] Rhys is represented by WME and Management 360.

“The Bastard Executioner” is being produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions. Production of the pilot begins on March 19 in Wales.

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The Oscar Warrior: What We Learned from The 87th Oscars

87th OscarsOscar season is officially over for another year with a ceremony last night that went on for longer than pretty much all of the movies being honored. At nearly three hours and ten minutes, it was longer than most of the movies that have ever been nominated for an Oscar.

That’s a problem in itself, but when you have an awards ceremony where many of the winners are already known in advance, where some of the bits just don’t work and where only one of the movies has grossed over $100 million, you start wondering why people might tune in and what keeps them watching especially on a Sunday night with lots of other choices.

Oscar night is still a time-honored tradition for most movie fans, even those who don’t go out to the movies much, but we went to sleep thinking that there were lots of things that could be learned from last night’s Oscars that can be applied to future shows. We’re not just talking about the ceremony itself and any problems it had, but also what we can learn from the winners so the next time we fill out an office Oscar ballot, we’ll be more informed. 

Majority Rules

There’s something to be said about all the websites offering “expert” Oscar predictions that one should pay heed to when making their own predictions, but at a certain point, going with the majority is better than trying to go against it. For those filling out an office pool who haven’t seen all the movies, like the shorts, you usually can’t go wrong by using this method.

That said, the amount of Oscar predictors who can easily figure out the direction of the awards makes you wonder how many Oscar voters read these sites and vote for the frontrunner favorites, because that’s what’s expected to win. It’s a chicken and the egg thing that we’ll probably never know the answer to, but it seems like more than a coincidence that so many expert predictions end up choosing the same winner every year.

Trust the Guilds

One thing that definitely should be learned this year is that when the Directors, Producers, Writers and Screen Actors Guilds all pick Birdman as their top movie, there’s a good chance that it’s going to follow through and win on Oscar night. Only one movie has won those precursors and not won Best Picture, so the people still backing Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (and I’ll be honest that I thought Linklater might win Best Director) probably should have given that up as soon as the guilds started announcing. The Golden Globes and Critics Choice and BAFTA awards are all great precursors, but they’re groups made up of journalists and film critics rather than people in the industry like the guilds and the Academy.

Nothing Ever Makes Sense

Even after the Oscars have been handed out, there’s still a lot of questions about some of the nominations like why Bennett Miller was nominated as director for Foxcatcher, a movie that wasn’t nominated for Best Picture and didn’t receive a single award despite its four nominations. It’s one thing if you’re talking about the screenplay categories where there are ten nominees, but one wonders how movies like Selma gets a Best Picture nomination without getting nominated in any other major category like screenplay or director or acting, while others get nominated in other categories like acting and screenplay, but don’t make the cut for Best Picture. What can we learn from that? Not much except that nothing will ever make sense when it comes to the Academy.

If Nothing Else, the Academy Is Democratic

In the end, the movies with the most nominations, Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel, ended up taking home the most Oscars, essentially splitting many of the categories winning four apiece. (It was a good night for Fox Searchlight who distributed both movies.) The popular Whiplash won three awards, not only for J.K. Simmons’ acting but also for film editing and sound mixing, two factors that added to people’s enjoyment of that film. Boyhood got one Oscar, American Sniper got one, Selma got one, The Imitation Game got one and The Theory of Everything got one, so basically all the Best Picture nominees won at least one Oscar. You can’t get much more democratic than that.

Musical Numbers Work But…

selmagloryperf

As far as the ceremony itself, there’s little question that last night’s musical numbers were the highlight of the show. It’s pretty incredible that there were a few years where they didn’t think it was a good to perform the Original Song nominees live. The performance by Tim McGraw of what’s thought to be Glen Campbell’s last song was incredibly moving and the crazy “Everything is Awesome” definitely woke people up from what was quickly becoming a snooze fest. I also thought Lady Gaga was amazing with the way she channeled Julie Andrews for the tribute to The Sound of Music (which celebrates its 50th Anniversary next week). BUT when you’re almost three hours into a broadcast and you still have awards to give away, it seemed like it was just adding more time to the broadcast. That Sound of Music tribute should have come much earlier in the broadcast, since the first couple of hours of the show were painfully dull and needed something to pick things up. Things only really got going during the performance of “Glory” from Selma, leading to some great moments including the reunion of John Travolta and Idina Menzel from last year, which itself led to a powerful speech by Original Song winners Common and John Legend. That aforementioned Sound of Music tribute was introduced by Scarlett Johansson, but Lady Gaga’s performance seemed to be done solely to bring out Julie Andrews to present Best Score. There were so many standing ovations in the last hour of the show compared to the first half where the stars seemed to be trying their best not to nod off while applauding politely.

And that brings us to the biggest problem with the show and biggest lesson learned…

The Tonys Are Not the Oscars

The 87th Annual Oscars - Red Carpet ArrivalsAnd now we have to get to the night’s host, Neil Patrick Harris, who I normally like, and I thought he would be a great host… if not for the fact that he bombed pretty badly last night with jokes that didn’t work and bits that just weren’t up to the standards of his predecessors. It’s not easy to follow in the large footsteps with the likes of Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Steve Martin and Billy Crystal, all of whom knew how to deliver a joke, but Harris seemed to be accepting all the lines presented to him by the writers without question, and he didn’t seem able to improvise in a way that’s necessary to make a ceremony like this flow. He spent much of the night with a gag about how he likes predicting the Oscars, putting his predictions in a locked glass case, a fairly typical magician’s trick that he kept bringing up throughout the show. It didn’t really pay off after all the time wasted setting it up, while Oscar winners were being played off by the orchestra to try to save time.

As a New Yorker, I hate to crap on Broadway but most of those shows are put on to entice tourists coming to New York to spend ridiculous amounts of money on tickets. Musical fans probably can do worse than Neil Patrick Harris, but the jaded Academy members and industry people who attend the Oscars need to be impressed and Harris didn’t come close to doing that. Whenever the cameras cut to some of the actors in the audience, they struggled to make it look like they were having fun and enjoying Harris’ jokes, but even Oscar winning actors can’t convince us they are having fun when they clearly are not.

Harris ended up making two jokes about David Oyelowo not being nominated for a well-deserved Oscar and a third about it being the “whitest” Oscars. That goes beyond being mean or snarky and just seems unprofessional, because it’s rubbing salt in the wounds of those attending (and presenting) who didn’t receive their equally-deserved nominations. It wasn’t really funny.

On top of that, Harris did a similar Birdman spoof as the one on the Independent Spirits the night before (including putting Miles Teller behind the drumkit), and that was saved for the middle of the show while it was already losing viewers. I’m sorry, but if you’re doing schtick that’s being done at the less-viewed awards show the night before, then you’re clearly not doing anything to think outside the box.

The Show Needs New Blood

zadanmeronA bad show can’t be blamed just on the host anymore, because it’s just as much about the actual producers, in this case Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who produced their third Oscar show this year. You could tell, because it seemed like they didn’t have many new ideas. Sometimes that’s a good thing because there’s something to be said about convention and tradition, but there just didn’t seem to be any spontaneity or the feeling that anything could happen. Some of the pairings of the presenters made little sense and many of them had little chemistry to pull off the canned jokes. Remember when Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis presented Best Score? The fact that 90% of the show wasn’t even as entertaining as the Independent Spirit Awards the night before shows that it’s time to get someone new to produce the show.

There’s Always Room for Surprises

But not many in the case of last night’s ceremony where many of the top awards winners were between one or two contenders that were predicted and foreshadowed well in advance. Maybe the biggest surprise was Disney’s Big Hero 6 beating DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 in the Animated Feature Category, since the latter was fairly pervasive thanks to Jeffrey Katzenberg pushing his movie with television commercials and print ads well after it was already available on DVD. Even things like the Interstellar VFX win over the much more deserving Dawn of the Planet of the Apes wasn’t that big a surprise since the FX in Nolan’s outer space epic were equally impressive.

It’s All About Politics

For everyone who thinks that there were a lot of snubs or that the person who won the Oscar in any particular category wasn’t deserving, you have to remember that it’s as much about politics in the Academy and its voting as a sign of quality. Just because someone hasn’t won an Oscar after multiple nominations doesn’t give them an advantage unless they’re Julianne Moore. Poor Roger Deakins has been nominated and lost so many times for his cinematography that we don’t even talk about it anymore when he’s nominated. Clearly there has to be more at work when the Academy is voting than just not liking Deakins’ work because his films are always beautifully shot. He’s a true master. But maybe they just like other cinematographers like Emmanuel Lubeszki better.

Where Was Joan Rivers?

Others have mentioned this, but leaving Joan Rivers out of the In Memoriam tribute was a shame, because she had appeared in many movies including the excellent doc from a few years back. It seemed like an obvious oversight that everyone immediately picked up on, and hopefully we’ll find out what happened soon, because it was fairly inexcusable.

Get Off the Soapbox Already

87th Annual Academy Awards - Press RoomThere’s something to be said about having the spotlight on you for a few minutes when you win an Oscar and using it to speak out about something on your mind, but it does seem somewhat ungrateful when that becomes the focus of your acceptance speech. It was nice to hear J.K. Simmons telling people to call their parents and thanking his own family. Likewise, hearing Graham Moore’s moving story of attempting suicide as a teen because he felt like an outcast (much like Alan Turing) and Common’s moving speech after winning for “Glory,” these were powerful moments that tied directly into the creation of their winning works.

On the other hand, Patricia Arquette used her win for Boyhood to rally for wage equality for women, which is a hot topic right now but what does it have to do with Boyhood? Did she not get paid the same amount as Ethan Hawke even though she had more to do in the movie over the twelve years of shooting? Sure, she got all the women in the audience on their feet for speaking out, but what does the amount women get paid have to do with anything? She’s an actress who probably gets paid more money to appear on a single episode of her television show than most women make all year, so she seemed like an odd spokesperson for this important issue that affects many women who don’t get movie star paychecks.

That’s it for this year’s Oscars and we won’t have much more to say about them at least until movies start premiering at Cannes in May, but more likely, we’ll be holding off on the next Oscars until September once the real festival season begins.

(Photo Credit: Apega/WENN.com)

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AMC Sets TURN: Washington’s Spies for Two-Hour Season Premiere

TURN: Washington's Spies

AMC announced today that the network’s historical spy drama “TURN: Washington’s Spies” will shift to Monday nights for its second season and will officially premiere on Monday, April 13 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT with a special two-hour episode. The series will then move to Monday at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT for the remainder of the season. The move continues the network’s original programming expansion into Monday nights that began earlier this month with the premiere of “Better Call Saul.”

An AMC Studios production, “TURN: Washington’s Spies” stars Jamie Bell (Flags of Our Fathers, Snowpiercer) as Abraham Woodhull, a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island during the Revolutionary War, who bands together with a disparate group of childhood friends to form the Culper Ring – America’s first spy ring. The new season moves deeper into the battles waged by soldiers and civilians alike in the pursuit of freedom, and the sacrifices they’re willing to make to secure it. As Abe becomes more committed to the Culper Ring activities, George Washington (Ian Kahn) battles both personal demons and betrayal from within his ranks that threaten not only his leadership but the fate of the revolution. As the colonies struggle to become a nation, the outcome of the revolution will hinge on alliances both on and off the battlefield.

“The first season of ‘TURN: Washington’s Spies’ built a loyal and passionate audience and we’re excited to return with an action-packed season that raises the stakes for everyone,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s EVP of original programming, production and digital content. “From Abe’s commitment to the cause regardless of the risks, to the unique and compelling characters of George Washington and Benedict Arnold and their fascinating dynamic, this is a thriller that brings to life the drama, tension and intrigue from this period in history.”

The series is executive produced by Craig Silverstein (“Nikita”), who also serves as showrunner, and Barry Josephson (“Bones,” Enchanted) from Josephson Entertainment, and is based on the book Washington’s Spies by Alexander Rose, who served as a consultant for the first season and joins the writing staff for season two. In addition to Bell and Kahn, the series also stars Seth Numrich as Ben Tallmadge, Daniel Henshall as Caleb Brewster, Heather Lind as Anna Strong, Kevin R. McNally as Judge Richard Woodhull, Meegan Warner as Mary Woodhull, Burn Gorman as Major Hewlett, Angus Macfadyen as Robert Rogers, JJ Feild as Major John André and Samuel Roukin as Captain John Simcoe. Joining the cast for season two are Ksenia Solo as Peggy Shippen and Owain Yeoman as Benedict Arnold.

“TURN: Washington’s Spies” is distributed internationally by Entertainment One Television (eOne) through an exclusive multi-year output agreement.

Viewers can catch up on season one of “TURN” via AMC On Demand and AMC.com through Tuesday, March 24, and on Netflix beginning Wednesday, March 25. The three-disc season one DVDs will be available on Tuesday, March 17 on Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD, and will include bonus features about the making of the series as well as deleted scenes and featurettes with the cast and producers.

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CBS’ Supergirl Adds Calista Flockhart

Calista Flockhart

Casting continues this week for CBS’ upcoming “Supergirl” series as The Hollywood Reporter today brings word that “Ally McBeal” star Calista Flockhart has signed on to play Cat Grant in the DC Comics series. She joins Melissa Benoist in the title role, Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen and Laura Benanti as Alura Zor-El, Supergirl’s Kryptonian birth mother.

Created by Marv Wolfman and Jerry Ordway, Grant debuted in “Adventures of Superman” #424 back in 1987 as a gossip columnist for the Daily Planet. According to the outlet, this iteration of Grant will feature the character as the head of her own successful company, CatCo. There, Beonist’s Kara works as Grants’ personal assistant.

Hailing from Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions (who also produce the hit DC Comics series “Arrow” and “The Flash” for The CW), “Supergirl” is based on the characters from DC Comics and centers on Kara Zor-El, who comes to Earth after escaping the destruction of Krypton. After many years hiding her abilities, she joins the ranks of her cousin Superman to become the hero she was meant to be.

The pilot episode was written by Ali Adler (“No Ordinary Family”) and Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash”). They will also executive produce along with Sarah Schechter and Warner Bros. TV. The show has a series commitment at CBS.

(Photo Credit: RHS / WENN.com)

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Adam Sandler is Saving Soles on The Cobbler Poster

 The Cobbler Poster

On the heels of last week’s new trailer, Image Entertainment has just revealed the official poster for their upcoming comedy drama, The Cobbler, starring Adam Sandler (Hotel Transylvania, Grown Ups). Check it out below!

Directed by Tom McCarthy (The Visitor, The Station Agent), The Cobbler folows Max Simkin (Sandler) repairs shoes in the same New York shop that has been in his family for generations. Disenchanted with the grind of daily life, Max stumbles upon a magical heirloom that allows him to step into the lives of his customers and see the world in a new way. Sometimes walking in another man’s shoes is the only way one can discover who they really are.

The Cobbler, which was also written by McCarthy alongside Paul Sado, also stars Ellen Barkin (“Happyish”, “The New Normal”), Dustin Hoffman (“Luck,” Chef), Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire,” Grown Ups 2), Method Man (“Chozen,” Red Tails), Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station, Be Kind, Rewind), Yul Vazquez (Kill the Messenger, “The Lottery”), Dan Stevens (The Guest, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb) and Greta Lee (St. Vincent, Hello I Must Be Going). It was produced by Mary Jane Skalski with Kate Churchill and Dominic Rustam serving as co-producers and Michael Bederman, Nicolas Chartier and Zev Foreman serving as executive producers.

Look for The Cobbler to hit theaters in a limited release on March 13.

Click on the image below for a larger version:

The Cobbler Poster

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A New Poster Teases Mad Men’s Final Episodes

Mad Men's Final Episodes

Following last week’s teaser, AMC has just revealed (via Vulture) the final poster art for their Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning drama “Mad Men.” Check it out below and catch the first of the show’s final seven episodes beginning on Sunday, April 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Created by Emmy Award winner Matthew Weiner and produced by Lionsgate, “Mad Men’s” series conclusion will, for the last time, follow the complex lives of Don, Peggy, Roger, Joan, Betty and Pete, and their families, colleagues, rivals and love interests, as their stories come to an end. 

“What an incredible journey this has been. I take great pride in what the entire ‘Mad Men’ team was able to create episode after episode, season after season,” said Weiner in a statement earlier this year.  “We sincerely thank the fans for joining us on this ride and hope it has meant as much to them as it has to us.”

“‘Mad Men’ is the show that put AMC on the map. Period. It is impossible to overstate the impact it has had on AMC, and I would argue, this era of television,” said Charlie Collier, AMC President. “We are honored to forever be the birthplace and home of this iconic series and we can’t wait to share its artful conclusion with the fans. From the first shot, Matthew, his cast and crew handcrafted something truly distinctive for the screen, the very definition of premium television on basic cable. We will miss the remarkable people, the consistently exquisite program, and of course, the free scotch and cigarettes in our vending machines.”

Golden Globe Award winner for Best Actor – Television Series Drama, Jon Hamm leads an ensemble cast, including January Jones, Vincent Kartheiser, Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Aaron Staton, Rich Sommer, Christopher Stanley, Jessica Paré, Jay R. Ferguson, Kevin Rahm, Kiernan Shipka and Mason Vale Cotton.

Click on the image below for a larger version:

Mad Men's Final Episodes

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Chris Miller on The Last Man on Earth, 23 Jump Street/MIB & LEGO Sequel

the last man on earth

From creator, writer and star Will Forte and executive producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (the pair behind last year’s big screen hits The LEGO Movie and 22 Jump Street) comes “The Last Man on Earth,” a new post-apocalyptic series set to premiere on FOX with back-to-back episodes on Sunday, March 1st at 9:00pm ET/PT. The single-camera comedy chronicles the life and adventures of an average guy – and humanity’s last hope – who discovers what life is like when no one is telling you what you can and cannot do. ComingSoon.net got a chance to talk to Miller about the new series.

ComingSoon.net: Your kind of satire really speaks to me. Was there a point growing up that you and Phil learned what satire was and that it was something to which you really gravitated?

Chris Miller: That’s a good question. I took a class in college on satire and realized that all my favorite things growing up were satirical in nature. I realized it was my calling. There was a short while that I thought I would be a political cartoonist, and then I realized they’re pretty lame so I moved out of that business pretty quick.

CS: When you’re doing the work, do you think about satire, or is it just what’s funny?

Miller: Usually when we’re writing stuff, Phil and I are trying to make each other laugh. We have a very specific take that is both incredibly juvenile and appreciating things that are smart at the same time. It ends up working well for kids and grown-ups, but we literally never think about trying to hit some audience or some group of people. We just try to tell a story that’s engaging and make each other laugh.

CS: You happen to have picked another genre that I love, the survivors of the apocalypse. I love when the survivors go looking for supplies.

Miller: Oh yeah, that’s a great theme. We kept pitching. We had a much longer draft of the pilot about him figuring out how to syphon gas out of a car, figuring out how to operate a generator. One of the interesting things about it is he’s a guy who’s not a rugged mountain man. He’s a schlubby normal guy who doesn’t know how to do anything, so it’s about learning how to make and do things again.

CS: But he does stuff for fun too, right?

Miller: Yes, a lot of the stuff that he does in the show is entirely just for fun. He gets a flamethrower and burns a bunch of wigs in a wig store just because he can. It’s sort of one of those things where if you have no time concerns and no limitations on where you can go, what you can do, what would you do? It’s only the weird things he comes up with in his head.

CS: Will Phil Miller ever build a Mad Max car?

Miller: I don’t think he’s quite handy enough to build a Mad Max car. He’s trying to replace a door that he broke for several episodes and can’t quite figure it out.

CS: That’s a season-long arc.

Miller: Yeah, trying to rebuild a door. Actually, it is.

CS: So Phil Miller is obviously named after you guys. Are the other characters named after anyone real, like Carol?

Miller: Carol Bilbagian? Good Armenian last name. No, it’s really just a very specific thing and that’s the way that Will’s mind works. It’s very specific. He doesn’t even know where it comes from. Don’t ask him, because it’s like asking a centipede how it walks. Then it can’t walk anymore.

the last man on earth

CS: When watching Cast Away, I always sort of felt like Wilson the volleyball was a cheat, because they wouldn’t do a movie where Tom Hanks really doesn’t talk. Did you share that concern?

Miller: You know, it was a funny thing, because when re-watching “Cast Away,” while it is an ad for Federal Express and other things, it’s actually a pretty darn good movie. There’s this moment at the end of it where he comes back to civilization and he sees this massive buffet spread and he can’t handle it. It’s sort of like Jeremy Renner at the end of “Hurt Locker” when he goes to the grocery store and there’s 40,000 kinds of detergent and he’s just like, “I have to go back.” We ended up talking about that movie a lot as a touchstone and it sort of worked its way in Will’s head to being an important part. And the balls stick around for the whole show.

CS: Another genre I love are just sequels in general, and I’ve earned the nickname Franchise Fred, because I genuinely feel every movie should have sequels indefinitely forever.

Miller: That is the concept of the Jump Street franchise, is infinity, for sure.

CS: So did you approach 22 Jump Street from the perspective of “sequels are awesome” rather than conventional wisdom which is that they’re not?

Miller: Oh yeah, we generally are positive people and we don’t like mean-spirited humor much. That’s not to say we won’t do any mean-spirited humor, but we tend to shy away from that type of stuff. We knew we thought there’s a lot to say about sequels and they’re really hard to execute well, especially comedies. Luckily, Jump Street is a police procedural so it has a built-in sequelness to it already. That definitely helped. That’s why you can do 4 million Bond movies and no one’s like, “Oh, it’s the same movie.”

CS: If the Men in Black crossover actually happens, that could be the first time franchise merged since Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Miller: I love that movie.

CS: I mean, Alien vs. Predator was sort of the same world already. Is that your way into a crossover, that it’s time for that sort of merging to come back?

Miller: Well, it’s very, very early on in this crazy fever pitch, but it’s definitely a really interesting concept that makes you think. Talking about it, developing it with Jonah and Channing and Rodney and the studio, we can’t just do the, “Hey, it’s the same thing again” schtick because we did that already.

CS: Especially because you did 20 sequels at the end of the last one.

Miller: Exactly. Those are canon, all 22 sequels. If we’re going to do something, it’s got to be different but still have that same very specific Jump Street flavor to it.

CS: One LEGO question. I love the idea that it’ll be four years later when the kid is growing up. Does that mean you have to wait four years to shoot the live action portion when Jadon Sand actually grows up?

Miller: Well, it comes out four years later. We’ll have to figure that out when we get to shooting. The live-action part, it’ll be several years before we shoot that part for sure.

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Sean Penn is a Professional Killer in a New The Gunman Trailer

Gunman Trailer

Open Road Films has just brought online a new trailer for The Gunman, the upcoming action thriller starring two-time Academy Award winner Sean Penn (Mystic River, Milk), Academy Award winner Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men, Skyfall), Ray Winstone (The Departed, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), Jasmine Trinca (The Son’s Room, Honey), Idris Elba (“The Wire,” No Good Deed) and Mark Rylance (The Other Boleyn Girl, “Wolf Hall”). Check it out in the player below!

Directed by Pierre Morel (Taken, The Transporter), The Gunman is an adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s “The Prone Gunman”. Although Manchette passed away in 1995, the book was translated by James Brooks and published through Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Light Books in 2002 with the following official description:

Martin Terrier is a hired killer who wants out of the game ? so he can settle down and marry his childhood sweetheart. That’s why he took up this profession! Martin returns to his hometown to claim her, but the Organization won’t let him go. Once again, the gunman must assume the prone shooting position.

Although Penn’s character has been renamed Jim Terrier, the film is expected to follow the same basic story, told from the point of view of an international operative who is betrayed by the organization he worked for, and who must then go on the run in a relentless game of cat and mouse across Europe.

Produced by Nostromo Pictures, Silver Pictures and StudioCanal, The Gunman hits theaters March 20.

UPDATE: We’ve added three new character banners featuring Penn, Trinca and Elba. Check them out in the gallery viewer below!

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