Whit Stillman Pilot

Briefly: Amazon’s next round of pilots includes a show from Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco) and one directed by Marc Forster (World War Z, Quantum of Solace).

Whit Stillman’s show is The Cosmopolitans, which “follows a group of young American expatriates in Paris who are searching for love and friendship in a foreign city.” It stars Adam Brody and Chloe Sevigny , and will shoot in Paris starting this week. Brody previously appeared in Stillman’s most recent film, Damsels in Distress, while Sevigny was in The Last Days of Disco. Dree Hemingway and Shaun Evans also co-star.

 

Marc Forster isn’t as intimately connected to the drama Hand of God, but will direct the pilot. The show, written by Ben Watkins, stars Ron Perlman as “a hard-living judge who uses visions he believes are sent by God as leads in his vigilante mission to track down the rapist who destroyed his family.” Dana Delany will play Perlaman’s wife, and Garrett Dillahunt plays “a born-again sociopath with violent tendencies.”

Both pilots will appear on Amazon’s streaming service later this year, at which point viewers will be able to vote on the continuation of each story. [EW]

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Lovelace

Amanda Seyfried‘s covered more genres in the few of years than some actors do in their entire careers. She’s done an indie drama (The End of Love), a thriller (Gone), a musical (Les Misérables), a romcom (The Big Wedding), a kids’ cartoon (Epic), and now, she’s gonna do porn. Er, that is, a movie about porn.

Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein‘s Lovelace chronicles the story of Linda Boreman, who became an international sensation after changing her name to Linda Lovelace and starring in the crossover porn hit Deep Throat. Seyfried plays the title character, while Peter Sarsgaard co-stars as her husband/Svengali Chuck Traynor. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

Update: While the original embed was removed at the studio’s request, the official version has been released and can be found below.

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Usual Suspects

For Jason Reitman‘s final live read of the 2012-2013 season, he chose a revered, Oscar-winning screenplay: Christopher McQuarrie‘s The Usual Suspects. When that title was announced I was initially skeptical. I thought, “The Usual Suspects is so well known for its surprise ending, and that ending is so incredibly visual, how would it come across in a live read setting?” The answer was revealed in two ways. First this read suggests that Bryan Singer‘s direction in the original film is powerful and underrated. Also, as great as the ending to McQuarrie’s script is, some of his true poetry isn’t even on the screen.

Presented by Film Independent at LACMA, read more about the star-studded cast (which included Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall, The League‘s Mark Duplass and original cast member Kevin Pollak) below. Read More »

Casting, spoilers and some first looks abound  in this edition of TV Bits. After the jump check out the following:

  • Is Jimmy Fallon the lead contender to replace Jay Leno on The Tonight Show?
  • Some potential spoilers for Homeland season 3 have been teased.
  • Star of The OC Adam Brody joins the cast of House of Lies.
  • History is developing a Hatfields and McCoys reality show.
  • When do your favorite Fox shows like Glee, The Mindy Project and New Girl return?
  • NBC orders new episodes of Whitney.
  • The classic tale of Zorro is getting a modern reimagining on USA called Z.
  • The stars of Dexter tease some possibly season 8 scenarios.
  • A first look at the second season stars of Smash.
  • Bernard from Lost, Sam Anderson, joins the next season of Justified.

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Dating can be a tricky proposition under even the best of circumstances, but in The Oranges, Hugh Laurie‘s divorced dad David Walling finds himself in a particularly sticky situation when he falls for the much younger daughter (Leighton Meester) of his best friend (Oliver Platt). Toss in a jealous ex-wife (Catherine Keener) and a son (Adam Brody) who’s also crushing on the same girl, and “clusterfuck” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

There are a number of different directions that premise could go, from wacky sitcom to soapy melodrama to psychological thriller. Fortunately for David Walling, The Oranges doesn’t seem to be the kind of movie that ends with him getting buried in a shallow grave by his former BFF. Instead, it looks like a modest but well-acted character piece that mines the situation for both humor and pathos. Allison Janney and Alia Shawkat round out the excellent cast. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Adam Brody‘s certainly come a long way from his days playing geeky misfit Seth Cohen on The O.C. Earlier this week, news broke that Kristen Bell had signed on to play one of his ex-girlfriends in Jennifer Getzinger‘s Some Girls, adapted by Neil LaBute from his own play. Now, Brody’s gained four more female companions in the form of Emily Watson, Jennifer Morrison, Zoe Kazan, and Mia Maestro. More details after the jump.

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All too often, “romantic comedies” wind up being neither romantic nor comedic. But if the recent casting is any indication, I Give It a Year seems to have the latter part down, at least. Rose Byrne and Anna Faris have joined Rafe Spall and Simon Baker in the film, written and directed by Borat scribe Dan Mazer. Byrne and Spall are set to play newlyweds trying to navigate their rocky first year of marriage, while Faris and Baker have been cast as “strong supporting characters.”

Though Byrne’s racked up lots of experience as a dramatic actress, she’s recently demonstrated a real knack for comedy in Get Him to the Greek and Bridesmaids. Her next big-screen appearance, in Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines, will see her back on the more serious end of the spectrum.

Faris’ last several films (What’s Your Number?, Take Me Home Tonight, Yogi Bear, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakel) haven’t all been winners, but I’m still rooting for her to turn things around. She’ll next star in The Dictator (which Mazer exec produced) and Movie 43. [Variety]

After the jump, Seth Cohen dumps Veronica Mars. The nerve!

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Throughout the ’90s, Whit Stillman could be counted on for his wry depictions of the American upper class, inspiring the likes of Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach. But he took a break from filmmaking after 1998′s The Last Days of Disco, and it’s only now that he’s returning to the silver screen with Damsels in Distress.

Greta Gerwig stars as the leader of a clique of college girls trying to change “the atmosphere of male barbarism” at their preppy East Coast school. Analeigh Tipton (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and Adam Brody also star, but I’m just as excited for the supporting performances from comedic actors like Alia Shawkat, Aubrey Plaza, and Zach Woods. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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