Mel Gibson’s career – which has taken him from International Action Star to Controversial Religious Auteur to Frightening Ex – may continue its capricious trajectory right onto the small screen. The jury is still out on whether Gibson has any future left on the silver screen, but the star seems to be hedging his bets by lobbying for a prime role in television. According to Women on the Web, Gibson recently met with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner to discuss the possibility of guest-starring in the show’s fifth season.
Gibson is anxious to be involved in AMC’s Emmy-winning show and apparently Weiner is keen on the idea, too. He sees the intense actor as a perfect foil for Jon Hamm’s Don Draper. This seems like a win-win situation all around. A prolonged stint on a well-written, well-acted show would remind the world that Gibson is still a very gifted actor and it would not seem like he was “slumming” in television if he were on a critical darling like Mad Men. And having an A-list actor (even one as tarnished as Gibson) would only increase Mad Men’s luster and would probably attract hundreds of thousands of new viewers. This curiosity factor could really help boost the show’s audience next year (this season it has had to struggle to stay above 2 million viewers).
Have you ever wondered why a smuggler as badass as Han Solo would drop his shipment “at the first sign of an Imperial Cruiser”? Have you ever wondered what that cargo actually was?
Well both of those questions are answered in the animated short The Solo Adventures by Daniel Smith, who studied at the Digital Animation & Visual Effects (DAVE) School. The short recently won Best Animation in the 2010 Star Wars Fan Movie Championship and was shown in 3D at the Star Wars Celebration V.
The short is noteworthy for being true to the original characters; apart from the punch line regarding the special cargo this is an adventure which we could imagine Chewbacca and Han Solo really having in the Star Wars universe. And the voice work is spot on. John Armstrong, who voices Solo, does not necessarily sound like Harrison Ford, but he sounds exactly like Han. Hit the jump to see what I mean.
A couple of weeks ago, Time asked Star Wars fans to nominate their favorite Star Wars fan films. Well the results have been tallied and the list is now up along with a 5-minute video featuring short interviews with some of the filmmakers. Here is the list:
- 1.) Troops
- 2.) Ryan vs. Dorkman 2
- 3.) I.M.P.S. – The Relentless
- 4.) Pink Five
- 6.) Hardware Wars
- 7.) Duality
- 8.) Sith Apprentice
- 9.) Jedi Hunter
- 10.) Star Wars Retold
(The reason there is no number “5″ is due to Time’s error, not ours.) Although I don’t usually pay attention to fan fiction, I have always loved Troops and I have fond memories of Hardware Wars from when I was a kid. I also find Star Wars Retold to be highly amusing (and informative). Hit the jump to see Time’s video and all the fan films. You can see Time’s video along with the top “10″ after the jump.
The trailer for Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s newest television show is now online. An Idiot Abroad sends “Global Idiot” Karl Pilkington on a quest to visit the Seven Wonders of the World. It looks to be quite amusing and should appeal to fans of The Ricky Gervais Show and of Gervais’ podcasts, both of which feature Pilkington’s odd musings about the world. An Idiot Abroad is scheduled to premiere this month on Sky1.
The trailer and an official description of the series can be found after the jump.
Master animator Hayao Miyazaki gave an interview to the Japanese magazine Cut recently in which he discussed Studio Ghibli’s possible future. He talked about his own involvement in Ghibli’s upcoming films – which he hopes will include a sequel to his 1992 feature Porco Rosso – and the possible dissolution of the Oscar winning studio.
The proposed sequel, entitled Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie would put the pig-faced fighter pilot in the middle of the Spanish Civil War. The chance that this will end up being Miyazaki’s next film are probably pretty slim, though, since the director is notorious for getting excited about projects and then moving onto something else before they come to fruition. He personally courted Ursula K. LeGuin for years for the rights to make an Earthsea film, but when she finally signed them over to him, he passed the job on to son Goro (with less than spectacular results). Even Miyazaki himself admitted in the Cut interview that a Porco sequel might not be worth seriously considering, dismissing it as “an old man’s hobby.” Hit the jump to read the full scoop on what’s coming up at Studio Ghibli and my own thoughts on the chances of us every seeing Porco fly again.
Last December, with little to no fanfare, Iowa Public Television posted a rare 1969 clip of Jim Henson teaching the art of puppet making. The clip (from the show Public See) is obviously only the first in a what was a series of segments featuring the famous puppeteer.
The 15-minute video is a wonderful look at the man who usually hid himself below the stage. It is also bursting with great ideas for parents who are looking for ways to keep their children busy. Henson, along with Don Sahlin (the head Muppet’s designer until his death in 1978), demonstrate how easy it is to make simple puppets out of common household objects such as socks, tennis balls, styrofoam cups, wooden spoons, envelopes and even produce. My 7-year-old has already made it clear that she’s not going to let me rest until we’re created at least one of each. As a bonus for Muppet fans, it even features a cameo from Rowlf the dog!
This clip is a rare treat which less than 10,000 people have viewed so far. All you have to do to enjoy it yourself is to hit the jump.
Just like the belly-dancer who performs in its climactic scene, The Secret of the Grain is a film padded with fat. The dancer unashamedly jiggles her ample midriff and writer/director Abdellatif Kechiche unapologetically fleshes out his bare-bones plot to a plump two-and-a-half hours. Whether or not you can appreciate the movie depends almost entirely on your attitude towards all this fat. My review of the DVD is after the jump.
Four years after its Japanese release, Tales from Earthsea is finally coming to America. Back in 2006 and 2007 most of the world got to see Studio Ghibli’s “Gedo Senki”, an adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea novels. The film could not be released in the US, however, because SyFy owned the screen rights to the Earthsea property. Now that those rights have expired, Disney is giving the film a limited release in the U.S. on August 13th. We are proud to premiere the gorgeous poster for the film.
Tales from Earthsea was directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of the legendary Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Ponyo). The elder Miyazaki is the greatest director of animated films the world has ever seen and it will be very interesting to see how much of his brilliance was passed on to his son. To find showtimes and to see the amazing poster for Tales from Earthsea hit the jump.
Toy Story 3 wraps up Pixar’s flagship trilogy nicely and could have been a natural place to end the series completely. But director Lee Unkrich confirmed in an interview with MSN that we haven’t seen the last of Woody and Buzz. Although he insists that there are no current plans for another feature length Toy Story, Unkrich stated that Pixar is “going to keep [the characters] alive; they’re not going away forever.”
And where will they show up next? They’re going to star in the short film attached to Cars 2, which hits theaters June 24, 2011. I’m excited to see a Toy Story short, but the cynic in me sees this as Pixar trying to use their strongest franchise to boost their weakest.
Apparently shooting three or four movies a year and serving as artistic director for London’s Old Vic Theatre just aren’t enough to keep Kevin Spacey busy. According to New York Magazine, the Oscar-winning actor is also looking to add a television series to his schedule. Spacey recently met with Bob Greenblatt, Showtime’s President of Entertainment, to pitch The Crux, a drama about a high-profile cult. If a deal is reached, Spacey would play the leader of said cult. Writer/director Rod Lurie (Commander in Chief, Straw Dogs remake) has been tapped to write the pilot.
Spacey is just the latest in a growing list of Oscar winners who have decided that premium cable series are great showcases for their talents. Others who have already made the leap include Dustin Hoffman, Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline, who all have projects in the works at HBO, and Jeremy Irons, who will star in Showtime’s upcoming The Borgias.
Simon Baker (The Mentalist) and Paul Bettany (Legion) are in talks to join Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci and Zachary Quinto in the corporate thriller Margin Call. Written and directed by rookie J.C. Chandor, Margin Call depicts 24 hours in the life of an investment bank during the 2008 financial crisis.
If cast, Bettany would portray a top-tier trader, while the Emmy-nominated Baker would play “a ruthless, high-powered securities broker . . . [who] drives his colleagues to win by any means necessary.”
THR reports that Margin Call begins shooting next week, and is being produced by Quinto’s Before the Door production company.
If Ricky Gervais has a home anywhere in America, it has got to be at HBO. The premium cable station has already aired both seasons of Gervais’ comedy series Extras, his stand-up special Out of England and the animated Ricky Gervais Show, which will be coming back for a second season next year. Now Variety is reporting that Gervais will be appearing alongside his pal Larry David in the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Gervais will play himself – which should surprise no one who watches Curb - in the 8th episode of the new season.
It is also expected that Gervais will have another series of his own airing on HBO next year. He is currently gearing up to begin shooting his third comedy series, Life’s Too Short, for the BBC and it seems most likely that it will air on HBO when it finally makes it across the ocean. Life’s Too Short will “document” the life of a show-biz dwarf and will star Warwick Davis, with Gervais, and Gervais’ writing partner Stephen Merchant in minor (no pun intended) roles.
With Martin Scorsese’s adaption of his novel Shutter Island being released on DVD and Blu-ray next week, I had the chance to interview author Dennis Lehane by phone yesterday. Lehane is the best-selling author of 10 novels, including Gone, Baby, Gone and Mystic River. He was also a staff writer on David Simon’s The Wire from seasons 3 to 5 and is currently working on adapting his short story Animal Rescue for Fox 2000.
Since Lehane’s direct involvement in bringing Shutter Island to the big screen was fairly limited, we spent a lot of time talking about other subjects, including:
- How THR erroneously reported last week that he was writing a script with Paul Tamasy (Air Bud)
- Why he doesn’t ever want to adapt his own novels for the screen
- His golden rule for dealing with Hollywood
- Which novel made him decide to become a writer
- Why he prefers TV to movies and what his favorite shows are
- Why we’ll never see the movie he wrote and directed in the 90s
All this and more after the jump!
As we reported early last month, Warner Brothers is developing a supernatural action movie centered around Leonardo da Vinci, who is famous for being pretty much everything except an action hero. Now THR has revealed that the screenwriter for Leonardo da Vinci and the Soldiers of Forever will be Marc Guggenheim, co-creator of ABC’s Eli Stone and showrunner on FlashForward.
Leonardo da Vinci and the Soldiers of Forever will be based on a treatment which was written by producer Adrian Askarieh. It imagines renaissance man da Vinci as a member of a secret society which uncovers supernatural secrets, discovers lost civilizations and goes head to head with demons. More after the jump:
We reported earlier this month that LucasFilm is developing a new Star Wars TV series, which would be an animated comedy. During a Q&A session at C2E2 on Saturday Steve Sansweet, LucasFilm’s Director of Fan Relations, revealed that this new animated series would feature the post-Return of the Jedi adventures of the original characters. It happened when a fan asked, “I would really love to see new adventures after Jedi with our favorite characters Luke, Han and Leia,” to which Sansweet replied, “And you will, in the new animation.” (via IGN)
This is news which will probably make many fans glad and many other fans quite worried. Given what Lucas did to Obi-Wan, R2-D2, C-3PO and Yoda in the the prequels, I wish that he would just leave Luke, Han and Leia alone.
But after the Q&A, in an interview with ForceCast, Sansweet seemed to backtrack and insisted that he was “in the dark” and did not know exactly what would the new series would be about. He said that it could possibly feature “characters from the original trilogy, the prequels [or] new characters,” but that it will most likely be a mix of all of the above. For more on what Sansweet does know about the series, hit the jump.