Universal is in an interesting position now. The studio is free of the contract with Hasbro that had it dedicated to developing board-game properties for some time, and has started to settle into a place where it floats on the performance of big comedies (Ted), the occasional well-chosen pop-culture adaptation (Les Miserables), and affordable franchise installments (Fast & Furious, Bourne) rather than massive tentpoles.

And so Universal is working on sequels to the giant hit Ted and horror performer Mama. In a new interview, studio chairman Adam Fogelson explains that he also may made an Identity Thief sequel (“we created great characters, so we’ll discuss how to re-pair Jason [Bateman] and Melissa going forward”) and an “at long last” film version of Wicked (“I believe that we are collectively moving toward Wicked coming to the screen sooner rather than later”).

But the real focus is on those franchise installments, including another Snow White and the Huntsman movie, and the new Mummy and Van Helsing films. Read More »

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It’s pilot casting season! And as such, Rupert Grint, JK Simmons, Dylan McDermott, Billy Campbell, Jennifer Beals, and tons more have found new homes on the small screen. Also after the jump:

  • Peter Sarsgaard has joined AMC’s The Killing
  • Dexter Season 8 adds a Walking Dead alum
  • Ridley Scott is bringing The Terror to AMC
  • The About a Boy duo will tackle Neal Stephenson
  • FX is moving ahead with Diane Kruger‘s The Bridge
  • Up All Night will shoot just one multi-cam episode
  • ABC shifts Happy Endings to the Friday death slot
  • House of Cards is Netflix’s most-watched program
  • Comcast buys the other 49% of NBCUniversal
  • The first episode of The CW’s Cult hits the web
  • Jason Blum‘s Paranormal-esque reality show gets a trailer

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Once Seth MacFarlane is done hosting the Oscars in a couple weeks, he’ll move on to directing the feature follow-up to his 2012 hit Ted. That film will not be Ted 2, however. It will be A Million Ways To Die In The West, a comedy western in the mold of Blazing Saddles. MacFarlane will star and it now seems Charlize Theron is nearing a deal to play opposite the Family Guy creator. She’d be playing one of two love interests for MacFarlane’s character. There are more plot details below. Read More »

The Academy isn’t known for its unpredictability (well, this year’s snubs for Best Director notwithstanding), but it came as a big surprise when it was announced last year that they’d selected Seth MacFarlane to host the awards ceremony. The Family Guy creator is well loved among the younger set but little known among the older-skewing Oscar audience. In any case his “edgy” humor seems like an odd fit for a typically tame event.

This morning, we got a first taste of how MacFarlane might fare as master of ceremonies when he and Emma Stone announced the nominees together. Now the Academy has put out five short TV spots that show off his comedic chops. Watch them after the jump.

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Ted was a giant hit for Universal and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. In addition to writing and directing Ted, MacFarlane voiced the title character, and in doing so crafted a film that audiences loved. And so he wrote his ticket with financier Media Rights Capital.

While MacFarlane has talked about the the possibility of a Ted sequel, and of big-screen version of his signature show Family Guy, but neither one is going to be his next movie. Instead of bringing that show to the movie theater, MacFarlane will do what plenty of people say shouldn’t be done: he’s going to make a comedy western. Read More »

TV-related odds and ends after the jump, including:

  • How will Community handle Chevy Chase‘s departure?
  • Who wants to attend the first ever CommuniCon?
  • The Colbert Report is doing a Hobbit theme week
  • 50 Cent is developing a new hourlong drama for Starz
  • Brad Pitt is producing an HBO series about a debt collector
  • BBC One plans a Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell miniseries
  • NBC schedules Grimm‘s return and Do No Harm‘s premiere
  • Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane will be on The Simpsons
  • American Horror Story reveals the present-day Bloody Face

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Seth MacFarlane‘s already conquered the small screen, and now he’s got his eye on taking over the big one as well. This summer saw the release of Ted, MacFarlane’s first foray into feature directing, and this winter will see him hosting the Oscars. Next up? The long-promised Family Guy movie, perhaps.

MacFarlane revealed his plans during a visit to UCLA, confidently declaring “it’s just a matter of when.” Oh, good. More after the jump.

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From the moment Disney announced its intentions to create a new Star Wars trilogy, one of the big questions has been which filmmaker might get a crack at the iconic franchise. But the directors themselves are fans, too, and even as we’ve been arguing which of them should get the job, many of them are just going through the same emotions we are — surprise, concern, excitement. Hit the jump read their thoughts.

Read More »

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