As someone whose only firsthand experience with the Star Trek franchise comes by virtue of J.J. Abrams‘ two Trek films, I know I’m in over my head when the topic presents itself. When you mention Trek, you’re referencing (either directly or indirectly) a rich legacy filled with peaks and valleys, genre-defining characters and moments, and an international fanbase that rivals any of pop-culture’s most enduring titles. And yet here I am, with two films under my belt (both of which I enjoyed), talking about it. Obviously, I have nothing at stake with regards to Star Trek Into Darkness. Whether you like it or dislike it is of no consequence to me. My only aim today is to extend a humble word of caution to the Trek fans who have years of equity built-up in their beloved franchise: be careful not to dismiss or begrudge it solely because it’s trying to appeal to the largest possible audience. Abrams’ Trek films aren’t above reproach, but they also aren’t void of redeeming qualities. Try to at least acknowledge some of those qualities when tearing into them or risk coming off as someone whose real issue is that a bunch of people now enjoy this thing that you once considered yourself unique for liking.
All preachiness aside, this week’s Top 5 includes several interviews from Star Trek Into Darkness, rumors surrounding Christopher Nolan being approached to direct James Bond 24, the first trailers for Marvel’s new ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a new trailer for Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pacific Rim, and new photos and a video from the set of director Jose Padilha‘s RoboCop remake. If I haven’t lost you yet, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
Fresh off the announcement of its primetime 2013-14 schedule this morning, ABC has released first-look trailers for all of its new series. We already shared the full trailer for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but here are the other new shows that we’ll be looking at today:
- Once Upon a Time in Wonderland – The spinoff series of the network’s fantasy show stars Sophie Lowe as the titular Alice and features John Lithgow as the voice of the White Rabbit.
- Trophy Wife – A mixed family comedy starring Malin Akerman as a reformed party girl who must contend with her new husband’s (Bradley Whitford) numerous ex-wives.
- Betrayal – A drama series starring Hannah Ware and Stuart Townsend as new lovers who find themselves on opposite sides of a murder investigation.
- Killer Women – A midseason drama series starring Tricia Helfer as the only female Texas Ranger patrolling the Texas frontier.
- Mind Games – Steve Zahn and Christian Slater star in this midseason drama procedural about two brothers who use the hard science of psychological manipulation to solve clients’ problems.
- Mixology – From the screenwriters behind The Hangover, this ensemble comedy stars Blake Lee and Andrew Santino and centers on ten single people who cross paths in a bar.
- Resurrection – The people in a small Missouri town are forever changed when their deceased love ones suddenly start to return. Omar Epps stars in this midseason drama series.
- Lucky 7 - A drama series about seven friends who unexpectedly win the lottery. Isiah Whitlock Jr. stars.
- And the new comedies Super Fun Night (starring Rebel Wilson), The Goldbergs (starring Jeff Garlin), and Back in the Game (starring James Caan).
Hit the jump to watch the trailers and to check out some images from the new series.
And the upfronts madness continues. ABC has announced its schedule for the 2013-14 TV season, and there are a few shakeups to be found. Here are some of the highlights:
- The highly-anticipated Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will kick off Tuesday night’s programming at 8pm ET, followed by a block of entirely new series including The Goldbergs, Trophy Wife, and Lucky 7.
- The Once Upon a Time spinoff Once Upon a Time in Wonderland will run concurrently with the original series, as it will air Thursday nights at 8pm ET.
- Rebel Wilson’s new series Super Fun Night will air in the coveted post-Modern Family slot on Wednesday nights.
- The reality competition show Dancing With the Stars has been cut back to one night a week, with the results show scrapped entirely.
- The Neighbors has been moved from Wednesdays to Fridays, where it will air after Last Man Standing at 8:30pm ET.
- Returning comedy series Suburgatory is being held for midseason, so don’t expect to see it until after the new year.
- As previously reported, the Pixar special Toy Story of Terror will air later this year.
Hit the jump to take a look at the full lineup, and check back on Collider soon for some images and trailers for all of the new series.
It’s almost like this weekend is a national holiday with regards to all the hoopla surrounding the release of Marvel’s first Phase Two film, Iron Man 3. We’ve already shared details and images for Thor: The Dark World and Ant-Man as well as new info and concept art for Guardians of the Galaxy, and now it’s time for some updates on Marvel’s foray into television: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The pilot for the S.H.I.E.L.D.-centric potential series has already been shot (Joss Whedon co-wrote and directed), and now the series awaits an all-but-guaranteed greenlight from ABC.
We know that Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson returns as the star of the show (under some strange circumstances) and the series takes place after the events of The Avengers, but further details about how Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would fit into the larger Marvel universe have thus far been unclear. EW’s recent cover story on Phase Two provides a closer look at the show, however, with Marvel’s Kevin Feige addressing the possibility of using the series to introduce new characters and Robert Downey Jr. talking about a possible appearance on the show. Hit the jump to read on.
From Melissa Rosenberg (screenwriter of the Twilight Saga films), the ABC drama series Red Widow illustrates just what lengths a single mother will go to, to protect her children when she feels as though their lives are threatened. When Marta Walraven’s (Radha Mitchell) husband Evan (Anson Mount) was brutally murdered in their driveway, it changed her idyllic life, in an instant. As a result, she now finds herself navigating the criminal underworld, in order to repay his debt to the formidable international crime boss, Nicholae Schiller (Goran Visnjic), and keep herself and her family alive. The show also stars Rade Serbedzija, Luke Goss, Lee Tergesen, Wil Traval, Jaime Ray Newman, Clifton Collins Jr., Suleka Mathew, Sterling Beaumon, Erin Moriarty and Jakob Salvati.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, executive producer/writer Melissa Rosenberg talked about what immediately stood out for her when she watched the original Dutch series that the show is based on, what made Radha Mitchell the perfect actress to center this story around, the challenges of making a flawed and slightly morally ambiguous character likeable to audiences, and how many of the questions will be answered by the end of this season. She also talked about what made her want to sign on as executive producer for Big Thunder, based on the Disney roller coaster ride and set in a frontier mining town run by a powerful but mysterious tycoon, how much she’d still love to see AKA Jessica Jones make it to series, and that she’s still developing the feature film Earthseed, adapted from a young adult novel, at Paramount. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
The Best Documentary Feature category at this year’s Oscars was stacked with some incredible films, and now one of the nominees is getting an adaptation of its own. ABC Studios has bought the rights to director David France’s powerful documentary How to Survive a Plague with an eye towards adapting it into a miniseries for the network. The film documents the early years of the AIDS epidemic, following a group of motivated and passionate young men with HIV whose lobbying and protest efforts through the groups ACT UP and TAG directly lead to the production of better and more affordable AIDS treatment drugs. It’s an inspiring story and most of the documentary is told through intimate archive footage from the movements, making for a highly emotional viewing experience.
Hit the jump for more on how the pic will be turned into a miniseries.
Though we’re still halfway through the current 2012/2013 TV season, many fans are already looking ahead to this coming fall when they hope Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series will be gracing the small screen. ABC ordered a pilot for the spinoff show that revolves around the ongoings at the titular agency, and the impeccably talented Joss Whedon came onboard to co-write and direct said pilot. We know that the show takes place after the events of The Avengers and will see the return of Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson (hopefully not as Ghost Coulson), but beyond brief descriptions of the new cast of characters, the overall premise for the show has been kept tightly under wraps.
Whedon recently spoke a bit about the potential show (ABC would be crazy not to pick the pilot up to series, but they haven’t made a decision just yet), talking about the show’s connection to the Marvel universe and describing it as “very hopeful” in relation to network TV’s other programs. Whedon also elaborated on a possible appearance by Cobie Smulders‘ Agent Maria Hill and spoke a bit about how Marvel’s cinematic characters fit into the TV show’s universe. Hit the jump to read on.
While fans are clamoring for every bit of Avengers 2 news they can get their hands on, writer/director Joss Whedon is currently busy focusing on a different Marvel property: the pilot for ABC’s new S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series. Whedon is presently directing the pilot for the Marvel offshoot, which he co-wrote and will executive produce. The show’s cast includes Ming-Na, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, Brett Dalton, and of course Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson (Coulson Lives!), but it sounds like another familiar face in addition to Gregg might be making an appearance on the show.
Cobie Smulders, who played Agent Maria Hill in The Avengers, recently revealed that—despite her commitment to CBS’ How I Met Your Mother—there are “definite talks” about her popping up on S.H.I.E.L.D. Hit the jump for more.
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but now that Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm is complete, they are privy to a number of properties that have been developed by the George Lucas‘ former studio. One such project is the ambitious live-action TV series iteration of Star Wars that has been in development for a number of years. Produced by Rick McCallum, there are said to be 50 scripts written and completed for the show, but it has yet to go to the production stage because the effects-heavy series necessitates a larger-than-normal budget. Well, the wait for the Star Wars live-action TV show could possibly be over sooner rather than later, as Disney subsidiary ABC will now be taking a look at the project to see if it’s something they might want to bring to fruition. Hit the jump for more.
As the Oscar season is off and running, The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow’s highly anticipated/secretive drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, finally screened for critics this past weekend to a rather positive response. Reviews praised Bigelow’s procedural approach to the decade-long manhunt and singled out Jessica Chastain’s standout performance as the film’s lead, a CIA analyst whose obsession with the case eventually led to bin Laden’s assassination.
Given the film’s historical significance, ABC’s Nightline recently ran a report in which foreign correspondent (and master Presidential Debate moderator) Martha Raddatz sat down with Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal to discuss the making of the film, how the characters’ real-life counterparts felt about being portrayed, and the intense research they put into making the film as realistic as possible. The video also includes new footage of the pic and plenty of video from the set. Hit the jump to take a look. Zero Dark Thirty opens in NY and LA on December 19th and expands nationwide on January 11th.
ABC will let freshman dramas Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue finish out their 13-episode seasons before giving them the ax. The network recently picked up two additional scripts for each show, but decided to pass on a renewal due to underwhelming ratings. Co-creators Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Karl Gajdusek spoke recently on the challenges of keeping the rogue submarine drama Last Resort afloat, but the network has torpedoed it. (Apologies for the nautical puns; I’m out of my depth.)
Fans of the show will be able to see the first season of Last Resort, starring Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman, air in its entirety in its original time slot of Thursdays at 8pm. Don’t feel too bad for Ryan, who has the Beverly Hills Cop series in development at CBS with Eddie Murphy and Brandon T. Jackson attached. Ryan also has a U.S. Marshal project underway at TNT. Hit the jump for more on the demise of 666 Park Avenue and the upcoming slate of new shows on ABC.
As production on the pilot for Joss Whedon’s Marvel S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series gears up to begin in January, two more actors have been added to the cast. Clark Gregg is already set to reprise his role as Agent Coulson in the pilot, and Ming-Na (ER) was recently set as one of the show’s leads, a pilot and weapons expert named Agent Melinda May. Now THR reports that Elizabeth Henstridge (The Thompsons) and Iain De Caestecker (The Fades) have been added to the cast.
Both actors are relative newcomers to U.S. audiences, but Henstridge will play “science whiz” Agent Gemma Simmons, while De Caestecker is set as tech guru Agent Leo Fitz. The two “spend all their time together—mostly bickering—and are masters at a remarkably young age of their respective fields.” Whedon is writing the pilot alongside his brother Jed Whedon and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen, and he’ll also be directing as well. Should the pilot be picked up to series, the show will likely premiere Fall 2013 on ABC.
As we move closer toward pilot season, two new high profile comedies have headed into development. First up, The Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones will write and potentially star in an untitled family comedy at Fox. THR reports that another Daily Show vet, Steve Carell, will executive produce the series alongside About a Boy and New Moon director Chris Weitz. The story revolves around a single guy with no desire for having a family who is forced to take care of his sister’s two kids when she’s called back to active duty. Should the show get picked up, Jones would likely (and sadly) leave The Daily Show.
Hit the jump for news concerning Zach Braff’s return to the small screen.
The new ABC drama series Last Resort, from co-creators Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Karl Gajdusek and premiering on September 27th, tells a suspenseful, emotional and action-packed story about what happens when a U.S. submarine crew receives an order to fire nuclear weapons at a foreign country, and then ignores that order. With nowhere left to turn, Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and XO Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) take the sub on the run and bring the men and women of the Colorado to an island where they will find refuge, as they try to clear their names and get back home.
During this recent interview to promote the show’s premiere, executive producers Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek talked about the great feedback they’re already getting from people who have seen the pilot, how they approached the show’s development and how it’s evolved into what it is now, why Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman were the perfect actors for their roles, the challenges of shooting submarine scenes, and the value of a serialized drama. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Capitalizing on a recent resurgence of interest in historical and fantasy dramas (and maybe the success of series like HBO’s Game of Thrones), Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ronald D. Moore is developing a television adaptation of the 2001 Heath Ledger film A Knight’s Tale for ABC. The original movie mixed medieval action and romance with a modern soundtrack, which the television series would reportedly retain.
Moore will write the new series, which has a script commitment from ABC, and produce alongside Tall Ship Productions. A Knight’s Tale was Ledger’s first big starring role, and the film’s box office success likely helped get the then 22-year-old actor noticed as a leading man. For more of this new project, hit the jump.