Posted on Friday, August 10th, 2012 by Angie Han
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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The fact that The Walking Dead is coming back next week is, without a doubt, exciting. It’s not as exciting, though, when you realize that means this Sunday is the fourth season finale of Breaking Bad.
Just when you thought AMC’s award-winning show couldn’t get any better, show runner Vince Gilligan delivers a season that has pretty much seen our two main characters, Walt and Jesse, almost on totally different shows, each going through their own personal hell as things slowly spiral out of control. Star Bryan Cranston was on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast Thursday and dropped some insane teases about Sunday’s finale plus, Hitfix got their hands on the first minute of the episode. We’ve got all of that after the break.
But if millionaire meth magicians with their lives on the line isn’t your thing, you should still click below the jump. That’s where you can see a hilarious trailer for the return of everyone’s favorite MTV cartoon Beavis and Butthead from the mind of Mike Judge. Read More »
Once you think about it, the idea of Mike Judge’s comedy Office Space reimagined as a musical really isn’t that off base. The film is filled with awesome musical interludes that could easily transformed into big production numbers. There’s Michael Bolton rapping in his car, the “Damn, It Feels Good To Be a Gangster” montage, the celebratory dance party back at Peter’s and of course “Take This Job and Shove It.” Then there a slew of characters whose delivery or catch phrases are begging, and probably have been, remixed all to hell. Lumburgh’s “Yeaaah,” Drew’s “Oh Face,” or the “Just a moment” receptionist all come to mind. But then there’s Milton. Sweet, lovable, oh so violent Milton. How would he fit into an Office Space Musical? Well, throw on some flair and don’t get a case of the Monday’s because we’re gonna have to ask you to find out after the break. Read More »
In July it was revealed that Mike Judge‘s Beavis and Butt-head would be returning to MTV after a thirteen year absence. And we’ve heard rumblings of a big screen return for years now, most recently as a possible live-action adaptation (ick). I am happy to report that Beavis and Butt-head will be returning to the big screen, in 3D. Details after the jump.
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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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Mike Judge might have the least cluttered directorial style in popular American filmmaking. He’s so low-key and soft-spoken that it is easy to mistake his style for none at all. He does the heavy lifting on the script page and in casting. By the time the cameras are rolling, if things have gone as well as they did for Office Space, he’s just got to make sure everyone is in place, and things tend to work. It’s not flashy fireworks that make Office Space and now Extract memorable and quite funny, but a sense of uncomfortable familiarity.
For Extract, Judge reverses the comic hierarchy that defined Office Space. Instead of following the antics of disgruntled employees, he sympathizes with a quietly fraying boss. But as in the earlier comedy, this film warmly characterizes both sides of the labor argument, even when it casts those involved as morons and self-absorbed fools. Read More »
It seems that everyone has been swept over with a wave of Beavis and Butthead nostalgia after they were featured in a recent Extract promo, and I’m sure that trend will only continue after word gets out about what Mike Judge has been thinking of doing with them if given the chance. Our colleague Katey Rich over at Cinema Blend scored quite the scoop when she got Judge to reveal that he’s considered what it would be like for Beavis and Butthead to be in tech support, as well as what they’d be like as 60 year olds.
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OK, that was weird. A serious wave of rare nostalgia just hit when I watched the first new Beavis and Butthead animation in, well, not really all that long. Looking around I see that Mike Judge‘s animated duo have popped up on MTV now and again for the Music Video Awards and stuff like a Jackass marathon. But if you’re like me and tend to avoid most of what airs on MTV in the last decade this might be like a little trip down memory lane. Check out Beavis and Butthead shilling for Extract after the jump. Read More »