westworld stops production

HBO has temporarily halted production on its long-gestating television adaptation of Westworld, claiming that executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy need more time to fine tune the final four scripts for the show’s first season. If you read between the lines, that’s obviously B.S. It’s clear to anyone who really thinks about it that the network is currently dealing with a robot uprising and that they’ve had to lock down the sets until they know how to deal with the cowboy androids currently racking up a body count of helpless production assistants and interns.

But go ahead and believe what you want. HBO is still confident that their ambitious science fiction series will air in 2016.

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The Girlfriend Experience

Starz presented a panel on The Girlfriend Experience today for the Television Critics Association. Steven Soderbergh, who directed the film on which the series is based, is producing the limited series written and directed by Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz. Riley Keough stars as Christine Reade, a law student making extra money providing transactional relationships, giving customers a girlfriend experience including sex and emotional intimacy.  Read More »

Sylvester Stallone in Rambo

Last week, we got word of a Rambo TV series in the works over at Fox. At the time, /Film writer Jacob Hall snarked that “you should always write Rambo news with dry erase markers” because plans to continue the franchise have been in constant flux over the past several years. Well, break out the erasers: things have indeed changed again.

Despite earlier reports indicating that Sylvester Stallone would executive produce and possibly even reprise his role as John Rambo for the show, Stallone’s reps have now gone on the record to clarify that he is not involved with the project “in any way at all.” And that, in turn, means the Rambo TV series likely won’t be moving forward at Fox after all.  Read More »

‘Fargo’ Season 3 Will Return To Present Day

fargo season 3 cast

The first season of FX’s Fargo was one of the most pleasant surprises in recent TV history. Showrunner Noah Hawley took an idea that seemed like pure folly, an anthology series set in the same universe as the Coen brothers’ classic 1996 film, and crafted a series that acted as a perfect companion for the original movie while being very much its own thing. To those who are still turning their nose up at this show because it sounds like a terrible idea, know that you’re missing one of the best pieces of entertainment available to you right now.

Season 2, which is currently airing to all kinds of acclaim, took the action back to the ’70s, tracking an incident that was only alluded to in season one. And while Fargo could easily keep on jumping across the timeline, telling whatever stories it wants for as long as it wants, it looks like the officially confirmed third season may very well return to some familiar faces… presumably so it can do all kinds of dark and horrible things to them.

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Snowpiercer

Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer has criss-crossed the globe and come all the way back around to Hollywood. A Snowpiercer TV series is now in the works, with Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles creator Josh Friedman set to write. Bong and Oldboy director Chan-wook Park, who produced Snowpiercer, will executive produce the show. Read More »

The Girlfriend Experience trailer

The Girlfriend Experience is a divisive Steven Soderbergh film, as his more experimental films tend to be. Written by David Levien and Brian Koppelman (Solitary ManRounders), The Girlfriend Experience has a fractured but sturdy narrative, showing its prostitute going from gig to gig, all building towards its gut punch ending. The episodic nature of the job is kind of tailor-made for a television show, which is probably why Starz, executive producer Soderbergh, and the creators have made 13 episodes based on the movie.

Watch the trailer for The Girlfriend Experience after the jump.

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The Golden Compass

A great many people are fans of Philip Pullman‘s His Dark Materials trilogy, and a whole lot of said fans probably remember how disappointed they were when The Golden Compass, based on the first of those books, came out in 2007. It was really a blessing that the film didn’t do well enough to spawn any sequels, as originally planned. Especially because if it had, we wouldn’t be getting our hopes up for a new small-screen adaptation of Pullman’s story.

BBC One has announced that it’s making a new drama series based on Pullman’s books, which center on Lyra Belacqua, a young girl living in a parallel universe where people’s souls exist outside their bodies in the form of animal companions (known as daemons). And the story only gets weirder and wilder from there. More about the His Dark Materials BBC project after the jump.

Deadline reports New Line Cinema is producing the His Dark Materials BBC drama with Bad Wolf. Pullman, who is executive producing, gushed about the project.

It’s been a constant source of pleasure to me to see this story adapted to different forms and presented in different media. It’s been a radio play, a stage play, a film, an audiobook, a graphic novel — and now comes this version for television. In recent years we’ve seen how long stories on television, whether adaptations (Game of Thrones) or original (The Sopranos, The Wire), can reach depths of characterization and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel.

 

Pullman’s His Dark Materials books are typically categorized as YA fantasy, but are much more complex than that label would suggest. Not only does it have a big, sprawling plot, it dives deep into philosophical and theological issues. The series as a whole has been acclaimed by adult critics and readers as well as kids. In fact, the last book, titled The Amber Spyglass, was the first children’s book ever longlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

Perhaps not surprisingly, then, one of the biggest problems with the Golden Compass movie was that it watered down the source material, downplaying its more complicated and controversial elements in order to appease the box office. Not that it helped — it still drew ire from religious groups and did middling business. All in all, it seemed like a waste of good source material, a good writer and director (Chris Weitz), and a good cast (including Dakota Blue RichardsDaniel Craig, and Nicole Kidman).

It’s unclear how many episodes the His Dark Materials BBC drama will have. But the fact that Pullman mentions long, layered stories like Game of ThronesThe Sopranos, and The Wire suggests that one of the advantages of a show, as opposed to a movie, is that Lyra’s story will have more room to breathe on the small screen. Details on who’ll fill out the new cast, or when it’ll shoot and when it’ll air, have not been revealed.

Ash vs Evil Dead clip

Sam Raimi finally gave us more Evil Dead, and not just another movie but a whole TV series. He even directed the pilot of Ash Vs. Evil Dead, starring Bruce Campbell, but of course Sam Raimi is a movie director. He can’t run a show full time, so he found an experienced show runner.

Craig DiGregorio has worked on Chuck, Reaper, Workaholics and more. He was on a panel with Raimi and Campbell for the Television Critics Association this summer, where Campbell characteristically took over and Raimi modestly downplayed his greatest contributions. We got to speak with DiGregorio at length about Ash Vs. Evil Dead, which picks up Ash today living in a trailer and working at Value Stop when he reads from the Necronomicon he’s kept all these years. Lucy Lawless also stars as Ruby, the daughter of Professor Nowby, whose incantation Ash played in the cabin. Hit the jump for the Ash Vs Evil Dead Interview with showrunner Craig DiGregorio.

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rocky horror remake cast

Initially a major bomb when released in 1975, The Rocky Horror Picture Show slowly evolved into an underground cult favorite, playing to midnight crowds of hugely dedicated weirdos who attended showings week after week. Even today, most major cities with a decent repertory cinema scene offer regular screenings.

So what does it mean that this transgressive, musical tale of B-movie horror, wacky science fiction, and cross-dressing alien antagonists is getting remade as a Fox TV special? That’s a purely theoretical question, but there is something to be said about something so niche officially crossing over into the mainstream. In any case, the new version will retain at least some of the original’s edge – Laverne Cox has been cast as Dr. Frank N. Furter, which is pretty much perfect.

Learn more about the new addition to the Rocky Horror remake cast after the jump.

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