August Osage County header

Fall brings no shortage of star-studded prestige pics, but even in that crowd August: Osage County stands out. The John Wells-directed film stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts and Benedict Cumberbatch and Ewan McGregor and Chris Cooper and Abigail Breslin (plus half a dozen others) which means we’re all but guaranteed to see it making waves during awards season.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts, August: Osage County chronicles a family gathering in the Midwest. So the setup is fairly simple, but as anyone who’s ever suffered through an extended family trip can attest, it’s ripe for hilarity and emotion. A new trailer has been released by The Weinstein Co., and you can check it out after the jump.

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Amelie

Broadway is about to get a dose of French whimsy. Jean-Pierre Jeunet‘s 2001 romantic comedy Amélie is coming to the stage, as revealed by composer Dan Messé (of the Brooklyn-based folk group Hem). Playwright Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss) and co-lyricist Nathan Tysen (The Burnt Part Boys) are also working on the project.

While the film featured a memorable score by Yann Tiersen, Messé says the play will feature new music with a different sound. “I don’t think I’m even going to use accordion in my score,” he explained. Hit the jump for more details on the show.

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Romeo and Juliet header

These days, teen romances are as likely as not to involve vampires, werewolves, zombies, aliens, and/or hellish dystopian landscapes. At their heart, though, so many of them are about forbidden love of one kind or another. In other words, they’re essentially Romeo & Juliet with supernatural bells and whistles.

Now along comes the original Romeo & Juliet to (hopefully) show us all how it’s done. Carlo Carlei‘s apparently faithful adaptation stars Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth as the iconic star-crossed lovers. Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Ed Westwick, Stellan Skarsgard, and Kodi Smit-McPhee also star. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Breaking Bad Pilot Bryan Cranston

“If you’re a writer tonight, you might want to hide your knives,” said Jason Reitman at Tuesday night’s special summer live read. “This script is so good you’ll never want to write again. You f***er, Vince.”

The script Reitman was referring to, the script that could get the writer/director to come back and do a live read in July when he’s not scheduled to come back until October, was the pilot of AMC’s Breaking Bad. The “Vince” is creator Vince Gilligan. And as fantastic the first episode of Breaking Bad is to watch, to hear it read reveals another level of brilliance. If you were to travel back in time, sit down with Gilligan in 2007 and ask him to describe what happens in the show over a few beers, that’s what his writing sounds like. It’s perfectly, brilliantly descriptive with a language that’s filled with vulgarity and humor. It has a conversational, culturally current tone that pops off the page.

The latest live read at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, presented by Film Independent, revealed not only this fantastic writing, but some fun interpretations by great actors, appearances by the original actors, deleted scenes and more. Read about it below. Read More »

Disney Considering ‘Muppets’ Stage Show

The Muppets - Rainbow Connection

The Mouse House has had great success turning their big-screen hits into Broadway smashes in the past, with shows like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Tarzan, Mary Poppins, and The Little Mermaid. Now Kermit and Miss Piggy could be headed to the Great White Way as well.

Disney Theatrical Productions is quietly exploring the possibility of a stage production centered around the Muppets, and has gone as far as staging a 15-minute presentation at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City. The trial was intended to test whether the puppets and puppeteers would be up for the unique challenges of a stage show — and apparently, the company was pleased with the results. More details after the jump.

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Rocky Broadway

Adapting movies into Broadway musicals is a long-standing business model. In recent years Disney has found incredible success with various translations; Mel Brooks pulled it off; even John Waters took a shot. Plus, many music-based movie and childrens’ films has made it to Broadway: Sister Act, Shrek, Bring it On, Legally Blonde, the list goes on and on.

The latest film getting its chance on the Great White Way is probably the most unlikely of the bunch: Sylvester Stallone‘s Oscar-winning underdog story, Rocky. The show debuted in Germany last year and is coming to Broadway in February 2014. A video showing footage from the show and featuring interviews with producer Stallone, director Alex Timbers (The Pee-Wee Herman Show) and others is now online. Check it out below. Read More »

Aaron Sorkin‘s new career as a librettist has been cancelled, or at least postponed. The in-demand writer has backed out of Houdini, the Broadway musical production that has Hugh Jackman attached to star as the world-famous magician. (Cue the escape artist jokes.) Jackman, composer Steven Schwartz (Wicked), director Jack O’Brien (Hairspray), and producers Scott Sanders and David Rockwell remain on board. Keep reading after the jump.

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Tina Fey Developing a ‘Mean Girls’ Musical

Could the Plastics be headed to Broadway? If Tina Fey has her way, quite possibly. During an interview at the SAG Awards this weekend, the Mean Girls screenwriter revealed that she and her husband (30 Rock composer Jeff Richmond) are working on a musical version of the high school comedy classic. And while casting has yet to begin, Fey joked that she could just have a role for noted movie fan Mariah Carey. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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