The new NBC drama series Chicago Fire, from Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (the Law & Order franchise) and creators/writing partners Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, follows the lives of everyday heroes committed to one of America’s noblest professions. The job is both exhilarating and highly stressful for the firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51, who save lives by running headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way. The series stars Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Eamonn Walker, David Eigenberg, Charlie Barnett, Monica Raymund and Lauren German.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, Michael Brandt and Derek Haas talked about how they got involved with Dick Wolf and came to be working in television, how spending time with real firefighters influenced what they wanted the show to be, what they like about getting to tell an open-ended story in the long-term, what a luxury it is to see what they’ve written make it to the screen so quickly, how it was to see the ensemble cast come together and bring their characters to life, and how they will be able to balance their work on the show with feature films. They also talked about how they’re currently working on the second draft of the Wanted sequel, how Overdrive (starring Karl Urban) came about, what led them to adapt Billionaire’s Vinegar for the screen, and why their partnership works so well. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
For anyone who was clamoring for Wanted 2, it’s been a disappointing past four years. After listening to Mark Millar talk out of his ass about how far the sequel is coming along, Angelina Jolie dropped out, but then there was a glimmer of progress when original writers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt signed on last fall. Since then, word has been quiet, but director Timur Bekmambetov provided an update on the project this past weekend at the press junket for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Hit the jump for more.
Currently ranked fourth among major television networks, NBC is hoping to find ratings gold in a new batch of pilots they recently ordered. Among them are the comedy Downwardly Mobile, which will mark the return of Roseanne Barr to a television series and additional comedies from writer Scott Silveri (Friends) and writer Scot Armstrong (The Hangover 2). Barr’s project with Eric Gilliland (Roseanne), which she will also write and executive produce, stars the comedienne as an owner of a mobile home park who becomes a surrogate mother to her hard-luck tenants. So far, the network has also ordered the drama County by writer/producer Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights) and the Dick Wolf (Law & Order) action drama, Chicago Fire. Hit the jump for more on each project.
I thought I could rest easy knowing an unncessary sequel to 2008′s Wanted was pretty much dead. Turns out I’m in for some sleepless nights. The Wrap has confirmed a tweet from screenwriter Derek Haas than he and his writing partner Michael Brandt will return to pen the script for Wanted 2. Wanted co-writer Chris Morgan (Fast Five) wasn’t mentioned so presumably he’s currently out on this one although it’s possible he could be brought in down the road. Additionally, it’s unknown whether Timur Bekmambetov will return to direct.
The new movie is “going to take off after the events of what just happened,” says Haas. “Pick up Wesley a few years later and go back in for another round.” Putting aside the fact that taking off after the events of what just happened is the standard definition of a sequel, it’s noteworthy that Haas says they intend to bring back Wesley (James McAvoy) but makes no mention of Fox (Angelina Jolie). You may recall that getting Jolie back was a major sticking point in getting the sequel off the ground but she dropped out to do Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity (which she also dropped out of). No word if they plan to recast the role or simply bring in a new love-interest. My guess would be the latter since it’s a difficult plot move to bring back the character in the first place.
Image Entertainment has released the first images from The Double. The flick centers on a former CIA operative (Richard Gere) who’s called out of retirement and must team up with a rookie FBI agent (Topher Grace) when a US senator turns up dead and bearing the distinctive trademark of a Russian assassin known as “Cassius”. I’m always up for a good spy thriller and I tend to think Grace is fantastic in everything. The film also stars Martin Sheen, Stephen Moyer, Odette Yustman, and Stana Katic.
Hit the jump to check out the images along with the official synopsis. The Double opens September 23rd.
Two months after his Dune adaptation collapsed, Taken director Pierre Morel has set up his next movie as a producer, the action thriller Overdrive. Variety reports Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) and Matthew Goode (Leap Year) as “a pair of handsome and adventurous brothers, known for being high-profile car thieves, who travel to the South of France looking for new challenges and come across a tough local crime boss.” Antonio Negret, the Colombian filmmaker who just finished shooting Transit, will direct Overdrive. Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (Wanted) will write the script. The $30 million production should get in front of cameras later this summer for a planned summer 2012 release.
Read quotes from the producers after the jump.
Mickey Rourke and has joined the action thriller The Courier starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan. As we previously reported, Morgan will play “a courier who has taken on improbable missions and never missed a drop. He’s hired to deliver a briefcase to a notorious underworld figure that can’t be found. The courier finds himself pursued by corrupt cops, double-crossing feds and rival crime bosses.” TheWrap reports that Rourke will star opposite Morgan, but doesn’t give any specifics as to the actual role. Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now) will direct from a script by Derek Haas and Michael Brandt (3:10 to Yuma). Shooting begins later this month in New Orleans.
Rourke is also attached to star in Tony Scott’s Potsdamer Platz and will play real-life hitman Richard Kuklinski in The Ice Man. He’ll next be seen in Tarsem’s Immortals and in Mitch Glazer’s widely-panned Passion Play with Megan Fox and Bill Murray.
Topher Grace has signed on to co-star with Richard Gere in Michael Brandt’s upcoming thriller, The Double. According to Screen Daily, “The Double centers on a retired CIA operative who partners with a young FBI agent to investigate the murder of a US senator that bears the hallmarks of a Soviet assassin long believed to be dead.” Dammit! What’s the point of winning the Cold War when there are still Soviet assassins running about?
The Double will be Brandt’s directorial debut. He previously wrote the screenplay for Wanted and 3:10 to Yuma. He co-wrote The Double with writing partner Derek Haas. Filming is set to begin this June in Detroit.
Executive vice-president of production Patrick Aiello will produce along with Haas, Industry Entertainment’s Andrew Deane, and Hyde Park Chairman Ashok Amritraj. Hit the jump for some quotes from Brandt and Amritraj.