Christian Bale in Talks to Play Steve Jobs for Director Danny Boyle; Will Delay DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY

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It appears that the first actor that was mentioned in connection with Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic may be the one that comes away with the role.  David Fincher was initially flirting with the idea of reteaming with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin on the project, but the filmmaker would reportedly only sign on if Christian Bale played the genius innovator.  Fincher’s deal with Sony never materialized and he walked away from the project, with Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire helmer Danny Boyle subsequently signing on to direct.  Another reteaming started to bubble as Leonardo DiCaprio considered signing on to the project, but we recently learned that he opted to depart due to the short amount of time he would have to prepare after wrapping The Revenant.

While names like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were mentioned as possible replacements, things have come full circle as Bale is currently in negotiations to take on the role.  More after the jump.

Tuesday TV Ratings: MARRY ME Starts Strong; THE FLASH and AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Dip

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TV ratings for Tuesday, October 14th are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • NBC aired one of the best new comedies of the season, Marry Me, which premiered to a strong 2.3 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 7.76 million viewers.  Elsewhere on the network, About a Boy premiered to a 1.8 rating and 6.16 million viewers, and Chicago Fire was down 5% to a 2.0 rating and 7.18 million viewers.
  • Over on ABC, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (read Evan Valentine’s recap here) continued its streak of hitting new lows, as last night’s episode fell 6% to a series low 1.6 rating and scored 4.62 million viewers.  Selfie was down 17% to a 1.0 rating and 3.52 million viewers, Manhattan Love Story matched alst week’s 0.9 rating and scored 2.96 million viewers, and Forever fell 15% to a 1.1 rating and 4.68 million viewers.
  • The CW’s The Flash (read Dave’s recap here) dipped 16% from last week’s premiere to a 1.6 rating and 4.12 million viewers, which is still solid for the network.  Supernatural was down 9% to a 1.0 rating and 2.2 million viewers.
  • Fox’s New Girl (which was actually really good last night) dropped 14% to a 1.2 rating and 2.26 million viewers while The Mindy Project matched last week’s 1.0 rating and scored 2.21 million viewers.
  • CBS’ NCIS was down 4% to a 2.5 rating and 17.09 million viewers, NCIS: New Orleans was down 4% to a 2.2 rating and 15.9 million viewers, and Person of Interest fell to a series low 1.5 rating and 9.73 million viewers.

Every Episode of FRIENDS Coming to Netflix Starting January 1, 2015

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You’ll be in good company while nursing your hangover this coming New Year’s Day.  Netflix announced today that starting on January 1, 2015, every episode of the NBC sitcom Friends will be available to stream in the US and Canada.  In addition to Seinfeld, I count Friends as one of the very best sitcoms of all time and certainly one of the most influential pieces of pop culture from the 1990s.  That cast is phenomenal, and even though the tenth and final season was disappointing in spots, the charm always shined through and made the show a joy to watch.  Moreover, Friends is highly, highly rewatchable.  I own every season on DVD, but I’m sure laze will take over as I find “The One with Chandler in a Box” or “The One Where Ross Got High” are available at the touch of a button starting January 1st.

In announcing Friends coming to Netflix, the streaming service released a cutesy video that reunites The Rembrandts (remember them?) and features a cameo from Central Perk’s most loyal employee, Gunther.  Take a look after the jump.

Warner Bros. Reveals DC Movie Release Dates: SUICIDE SQUAD Coming in 2016 Followed by WONDER WOMAN in 2017; GREEN LANTERN Reboot Set for 2020

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Warner Bros. has just revealed essentially its entire slate of upcoming DC Movie release dates, also confirming a ton of other news in the process.  Here’s a brief overview:

Hit the jump for much more on this exciting news.

Oscar Beat: The Best Picture Race at a Glance

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The awards race is off and running.  We’ve already been through the fall film festival circuit where a number of contenders emerged either as heavy hitters or non-players, and as November approaches we’re starting to get to the point where all of the big films have been seen.  As such, I thought now would be a good time to start taking a closer look at some of the big categories, seeing where things stand as far as what films and actors/actresses are most likely to be nominated.  Take a look at the Best Picture race at a glance in this week’s edition of Oscar Beat after the jump.

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY Star Rob McElhenney to Write and Direct FIGMENT for Legendary

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Rob McElhenney was only 27 when he created and sold the comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to FX alongside co-creator/co-star Glenn Howerton, and it appears that he’s being equally ambitious in tackling his first feature film project.  McElhenney recently pitched a family action film called Figment with to Legendary Pictures with a four-minute test reel.  The original idea is a passion project of sorts for McElhenney, and following the pitch, Legendary has now acquired the Amblin-tinged project with McElhenney attached to write and make his feature directorial debut.  More details after the jump.

INDEPDENDENCE DAY 2 Release Date Moved Up a Week; HITMAN: AGENT 47 Moved to Summer 2015; PADDINGTON Pushed to January

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We’ve got a few release date stories to attend to this evening.  Briefly:

  • The Independence Day 2 release date has been moved up a week, from July 1, 2016 to June 24, 2016.
  • Fox’s Hitman: Agent 47 is being moved from February 2015 to August 28, 2015.
  • The untitled Christmas comedy starring Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been moved up from December to November 25, 2015.
  • The Weinstein Company’s family film Paddington is being pushed from this Christmas to January 16, 2015.

More on these films and their new dates after the jump.

Javier Bardem in Talks to Play the Villain in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5

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Javier Bardem may soon be going from Bond Villain to Ghost Pirate.  While development on Pirates of the Caribbean 5 has been extremely slow, things are finally starting to pick up in anticipation of filming beginning in February 2015.  Directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki) were hired over a year ago, but then word went quiet as Disney worked to bring the budget down.  With Johnny Depp’s schedule cleared after he finishes Alice in Wonderland 2, production is finally set to get underway in Australia early next year.  And as filming looks to begin, Rønning and Sandberg are starting to put together their cast.  The first piece in the puzzle is the villain, and Bardem is the one with the offer to take the role.  More after the jump.

WGN America Renews MANHATTAN for Season 2

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WGN America has picked up the drama series Manhattan for a second season.  Created by Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex) and directed by Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing), the story takes place in 1940s Los Alamos, New Mexico and revolves around the men working secretly on the Manhattan Project as well as the toll it takes on their lives and family.  I haven’t seen the show myself but I’ve heard good things, and the Manhattan Project is certainly creatively rich material.  The first season finale of the show airs this coming Sunday, October 19th, on WGN America.  Read the full press release regarding the season two renewal after the jump.

New Full-Length FOXCATCHER Trailer: Steve Carell Leads Dark, Odd True Story Drama from Director Bennett Miller

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Sony Pictures Classics has released a new Foxcatcher trailer for Capote and Moneyball director Bennett Miller’s upcoming drama.  The film tells the true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), and their troubled relationship with eccentric millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell).  This trailer is really the first full-length one we’ve seen from the film, and it gives a nice overview of the story while also teasing out the terrific performances.  I caught the film at TIFF and it’s astoundingly good, with Tatum, Carell, and Ruffalo all turning in career-best work as the lead trio.  It’s a quiet film and one that demands attention and patience, but I think Miller has done a fantastic job of crafting what’s essentially a dark, strange, and sometimes funny character study.

Hit the jump to watch the new Foxcatcher trailer and click here to read Matt’s review from TIFF.  The film also stars Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall, and Vanessa RedgraveFoxcatcher opens in theaters on November 14th.

TOY STORY THAT TIME FORGOT Poster Teases Pixar’s Upcoming Holiday Special

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While many thought that Toy Story 3 might mark the last time we’d see the loveable Pixar characters that started it all, the studio has done a swell job of keeping Woody, Buzz, and Co. alive by way of some seriously funny short films and TV specials.  The first TV special, Toy Story of Terror!, premiered last Halloween, and now Pixar has a new Toy Story special, Toy Story That Time Forgot, poised to debut on ABC during the upcoming holiday season.  The first Toy Story That Time Forgot poster has debuted online, giving us a sneak peek at what’s in store for our tiny heroes.  The story of the special revolves around the Toy Story gang stumbling upon uncharted territory after a Christmas play date, where they come across a set of dinosaur action figures that turn out to be dangerously delusional.

Hit the jump to take a look at the Toy Story That Time Forgot poster, and be sure to check out our extended interview with director Steve Purcell and producer Gayln Susman about the special from this summer’s Comic-Con.  The TV special features the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Kristen Schaal, Kevin McKidd, Wallace Shawn, Timothy Dalton, Don Rickles, and Joan CusackToy Story That Time Forgot debuts on ABC on Tuesday, December 2nd at 8pm ET/PT.

Monday TV Ratings: THE BLACKLIST Rises; GOTHAM and SCORPION Dip

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TV ratings are on for Monday, October 13th, though The CW’s preliminary numbers were affected by football overrun and thus not usable.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • NBC’s The Blacklist was up 8% from last week’s 2.6 rating, hitting a 2.8 rating in the 18-49 demo and scoring 9.83 million viewers.
  • Over on Fox, an Arkham Asylum-infused episode of Gotham (read Dave’s recap here) notched a 2.4 rating and scored 6.24 million viewers, which is down 4% from last week’s 2.5 rating.  Sleepy Hollow was even with a 1.7 rating and 4.84 million viewers.
  • CBS’ The Big Bang Theory was up 2% with a 4.6 rating and 15.63 million viewers, though the numbers may be slightly inflated due to a preemption in San Francisco.  Scorpion was down 4% to a 2.4 rating and 11.47 million viewers, and NCIS: Los Angeles matched last week’s series low 1.6 rating and scored 9.09 million viewers.
  • ABC’s Castle was even with last week’s 2.0 rating and scored 9.30 million viewers.

Producer Charles Roven Says Ben Affleck Was the First Choice to Play Batman in BATMAN V SUPERMAN; Wanted Someone Who Could “Tower Over” Superman

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Producer Charles Roven recently took part in an extended interview at Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television, and his comments with regards to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are quite interesting.  We already shared what he had to say about Wonder Woman’s origin story earlier today, but more of the interview has now surfaced online, offering up even more revealing tidbits about director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow-up.  Roven says that Ben Affleck was the first actor they approached to play Batman in the pic, adding that they were looking for someone who could physically tower over Superman and play a “very, very, very rough” version of Batman.

Additionally, Roven talked a bit about Christopher Nolan’s involvement in Batman v Superman, saying he’s acting in an “advisory capacity” on the film.  Much more after the jump.

THE WALKING DEAD Season 5 Premiere Shatters Ratings Records with 17.3 Million Viewers

by     Posted 4 days ago

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In case it wasn’t already abundantly clear from the fact that it got a Season 6 renewal before its current season even started, The Walking Dead Season 5 premiere ratings prove that the AMC drama series isn’t going anywhere soon.  Last night’s episode (read Dave’s recap here) drew a series high 17.3 million viewers, besting its previous record of 16.1 million viewers for the Season 4 premiere by over 1 million viewers.  Moreover, in the all-important 18-49 demo, the episode notched an 8.8 rating.  By comparison, that’s nearly double the highest rating for any entertainment programming last week, as The Big Bang Theory scored a 4.5 rating in the demo on CBS.

Even if you’re not a fan of The Walking Dead (and I’m really not), you have to admit that these numbers are insane.  In an age where more and more people are consuming television from a variety of different platforms on a delayed schedule, the fact that a basic cable show can pull in these kinds of numbers is staggering.  Watch a sneak peek for next week’s episode after the jump.

Sunday TV Ratings: ONCE UPON A TIME Slips; BROOKLYN NINE-NINE and MULANEY Tick Up

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TV ratings are in for Sunday, October 12th, though as per usual CBS’ preliminary numbers aren’t useful due to NFL overrun.  Here’s a brief look at the highlights:

  • ABC’s Frozen-infused season of Once Upon a Time continues to do fairly well, but this week’s episode slipped 21% to a 2.6 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 7.73 million viewers.  Resurrection fell 30% to a series low 1.4 rating and scored 5.47 million viewers, while Revenge tied its series low with a 1.2 rating and 4.59 million viewers for a drop of 14%.
  • Over on Fox, things are looking up after last week’s dire performanceThe Simpsons was up 65% versus last week with a 3.3 rating and 7.34 million viewers.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine rose 31% to a 2.1 rating and 4.52 million viewers, and new comedy Mulaney (it’s really not that bad!) was up 10% to a 1.2 rating in the demo and 2.19 million viewers.
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