This special edition of TV Bits looks to the future, with several bits of info about new projects in development. After the jump:

  • Kelsey Grammer produces a Freakonomics-inspired drama for NBC
  • Warren Ellis‘ crime novel Gun Machine is being adapted for TV by Fox
  • Fox is developing a television adaptation of Danny Boyle‘s The Beach
  • The CW is prepping its own contemporary take on Sleepy Hollow
  • FX picks up The Americans, a Cold War drama starring Keri Russell
  • Luther creator Neil Cross and the BBC consider an Alice-centric spinoff
  • Terry Crews‘ Camacho could feature in a web-based Idiocracy spinoff

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Cool Stuff: Crazy 4 Cult 5 Preview #2

This Friday, Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles will hold the fifth Crazy 4 Cult art show, an annual exhibition which I’ve called the super bowl of pop culture art.  The great guys at G1988 have given me a bunch of art from the show to premiere on the site. We posted part one here.

After the jump you will find part two of our preview, which includes /Film favorite Tom Whalen‘s tribute to The Shining, Bruce White‘s Ghostbusters-inspired black velvet painting, Eric Braddock‘s awesome One-Eyed Willie Goonies illustration, and more. So what are you waiting for?

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For part one of /Film’s exclusive interview with writer/director Mike Judge for his new film Extract, click here.

In the second part of my interview with Mike Judge, he shares a couple of candid, behind-the-scenes tales about dealing directly with the global corporations that he skewers in his live-action films. No other work captures both this modern satire and the writer/filmmaker’s view of where our world is headed better than 2006′s Idiocracy. The $30 million sci-fi satire was infamously dumped into a handful of theaters to die by 20th Century Fox; a surprising outcome since Judge’s King of the Hill—the Emmy-winning and second longest running animated program in television history—airs on the Fox Network. In fact, King of the Hill‘s grand finale airs this Sunday, and continues its run in syndication and as a contextually welcome addition to [adult swim].

We also discussed how actor Ben Affleck came aboard his latest film—a midlife crisis dramedy entitled Extract—as a shaggy, drug peddlng bartender named Dean. With a cast that includes Jason Bateman in the lead, SNL‘s Kristen Wiig, David Koechner, Mila Kunis, and Juno‘s great J.K. Simmons, it will come as a surprise to anyone sans Satan and Shannon Tweed that KISS‘s Gene Simmons steals the picture as a sociopathic ambulance-chasing attorney. Judge included. And, of course, no interview is complete without peering in on the irreversibly clueless futures of his most famous cretin-creations and voices, Beavis and Butt-Head. Judge shares a few premises for a possible and much anticipated sequel to 1996′s Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. One idea would see the two dumbasses thrown enormous -head first into our post 9/11 world gone mad.
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Renowned American writer/animator/director Mike Judge and hype often seem like complete strangers. As noted in the press, Judge’s friendly, calm demeanor is devoid of Hollywood pretension; his preference for living and working in Austin, Texas posits him by choice away from the center of the pop-cult radar. But when one surveys his vast body of work that, since the early ’90s, has had the functionality of an assembly line yet is packed the witty punch and subversive observation of the greatest comedy, it can easily bowl over.

Speaking with him, the inherent voices of his animated characters—notably the polar opposites that are Beavis and Butt-Head and Hank Hill—hint at the mental arsenal that has perfectly illustrated the damaged, stubbornly resilient fault lines of a national landscape. Personal aside: Judge’s impact on many young people can be demonstrated by the following; on summer vacations, I’d swim in MTV marathons of Beavis and Butt-Head, then go to the beach with a tie-in towel sprinkled with “Uh-huh-huh”s and “Heh heh heh”s. Upon returning to middle school, I’d face a bully who, by eighth grade, had deliberately morphed into an uncanny, doomed facsimile of Butt-Head. It was a ubiquitous combination of “This rules!” and “This sucks!” set to the sights and sounds of the very music Judge championed and skewered on the show beyond compare.

Judge’s contributions to live-action comedy are equally successful, and sometimes financially so. Released to little fanfare in 1999, Office Space eventually became both the perennial example of the DVD cult phenom and synonymous with modern cubicle hell. His high concept follow-up, Idiocracy, experienced a famously aborted theatrical release; in less than three years, Idiocracy is now celebrated and oft-quoted by many peoples as nothing less than faux-low brow prophecy and a sci-fi omelet of chuckling eugenic fatalism.

With his latest, Extract, Judge has written and directed a rare and original comedic defense of the modern-day boss that exudes newer shades of adult drama. As nicely played by Jason Bateman, Judge’s boss is overloaded with sexual frustration, a petty lawsuit, lazy employees, and an accidentally massive intake of weed. The smart, unobtrusive film, one of the funnier of 2009, enters a marketplace overrun by superheroes and spectacle to deliver laughs that are charmingly huge yet reserved, absurd yet realistic. Some might feel that its subject matter is too common-man, too anti-escape. But Judge creates works that are built to last and unconcerned with being hip. In addition, he continues to propel the dumbass dick joke towards Art Americana. Mike Judge discussed where his nascent interest in nuts humor originates, his layman’s knowledge of bongs, and many other things with /Film.

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Cool Stuff: Futuristic Movie Timeline

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Dan Meth has created a movie timeline for futuristic movies, proving that the future presented in sci-fi classics are rooted in alternatie parrellel universes. Check out the full timeline after the jump.

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