Ben Stiller in Early Talks to Join Alan Ball’s I AM CHIPPENDALES; Still Interested in Directing THE CURRENT WAR

by     Posted 242 days ago

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Ben Stiller may soon be adding “Chippendales choreographer” to his resume.  Deadline reports that Stiller is in early talks to take a lead role in writer/director Alan Ball’s upcoming drama I Am Chippendales.  Though at first glance the pic may seem like a cheap Magic Mike cash-in, Chippendales tells the odd true story of gas-station-attendant-turned-Chippendales-co-founder Steve Banerjee.  An immigrant to the U.S., Banerjee became inundated with excess and riches, growing paranoid and eventually hiring a hit man to murder a Chippendales choreographer and two ex dancers.  Should he sign on, Stiller would play the choreographer.

Hit the jump for more, including an update on Stiller’s next directorial effort.

Cinemax Renews Underrated Drama BANSHEE For A Third Season

by     Posted 302 days ago

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After a stellar start to its second season, Cinemax has renewed its Alan Ball-created drama Banshee for a third, which will air next year.  Though Banshee has only received one Emmy (for Special Visual Effects), buzz for the show has been positive among critics, and fan numbers appear to be growing.

Banshee is a beautifully filmed, though violent series about an ex-con jewel thief who returns to Banshee, PA, to seek out his former partner (and lover).  Both have assumed new identities, and while Banshee plays off of these themes throughout the series, it also expands its world by including a number of characters from criminal networks, as well as the local Amish and Native American populations. Hit the jump for more on the show.

TRUE BLOOD Creator Alan Ball to Direct Back-to-Back Features I AM CHIPPENDALES and I DREAM OF GENE

by     Posted 1 year, 83 days ago

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While HBO’s soapy vampire drama True Blood is poised to end its series run after next season, the show’s creator is lining up a couple of feature film projects to direct.  Alan Ball, who stepped down from his True Blood showrunner post last year, has lined up I Am Chippendales as his next directorial feature, after which he will helm his take on the genie and the lamp story I Dream of Gene.  Deadline reports that Ball will also pen the script for Chippendales, which tells the stranger than fiction origin story of the titular club.  Steve Banerjee co-founded Chippendales after immigrating to the U.S. and first working at a gas pump.  As he became inundated with excess and riches, he grew paranoid and later hired a hit man to murder a Chippendales choreographer and two ex dancers.

Hit the jump for more on Ball’s new projects.

TRUE BLOOD Showrunner Mark Hudis Replaced by Writer Brian Buckner Before Sixth Season Wraps

by     Posted 1 year, 265 days ago

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A strange development from the set of HBO’s vampire drama True Blood: After creator Alan Ball departed at the end of last year’s chaotic season, Mark Hudis — originally one of the show’s co-executive producers — took his place … only to now himself be replaced by the show’s writer and producer Brian Buckner.  Buckner has been with the series since it began and seems a natural choice to take over from Hudis, who (according to the network) is leaving to focus on his overall deal with the network.

It’s not necessarily unusual for a showrunner to leave a long-established series behind, but neither is it necessarily a great sign.  With Alan Ball, many fans felt his direction with the show (which is based, with varying degrees of faithfulness, on a book series by Charlaine Harris) left something to be desired, and his departure was seen as, potentially, a good thing for the series (Ball left primarily to focus more on his excellent Cinemax series Banshee.  But Hudis departing before his first season as showrunner has even wrapped filming?  Curious.  Hit the jump for more on that, and what Hudis has said about the rest of the series. 

Series Preview: Why You Should Give BANSHEE a Shot

by     Posted 1 year, 321 days ago

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There are rare occasions when a new television show establishes itself so well and gives such a sense of purpose that you feel you’ve been with it all along.  Showtime’s Homeland was a fine example, with one of the best drama pilots I’ve ever come across.  But Banshee, the new drama from Cinemax, is a close contender.  It also has the surprising distinction, so far, of possibly being a contemporary heir-apparent to Deadwood.

The series comes from Alan Ball, who lest we forget, gave us American Beauty and Six Feet Under before he lost his way with True BloodBanshee is a callback, thankfully, to his earlier work, focusing on that familiar territory of the underbelly of a sleepy, small town.  The series’ title comes from the name of the town where the show is set, deep in rural Pennsylvania, in Amish country (or close to it).  But despite the rural setting, there is plenty going on.  Hit the jump for the specifics and more reasons to give this one a shot.

Comic-Con: TRUE BLOOD Panel Recap Featuring Joe Manganiello Stripping, Alan Ball Dancing and Ryan Kwanten Doing a Walking Handstand

by     Posted 2 years, 135 days ago

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Current showrunner and True Blood series adapter Alan Ball came on stage in Ballroom 20 to introduce a new trailer for the ongoing fifth season.  The panel for the popular HBO show inspired by the Charlaine Harris novels also featured cast members Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Deborah Ann Woll, Sam Trammell, Joe Manganiello and Kristin Bauer van Straten. The lively and hilarious panel not only teased events in the next season, but also touched on the new relationships that will be forged and acted as a memorial to Ball’s work on the series before he departs as showrunner at the end of the season.  Hit the jump for my panel recap and click here for our continuing Comic-Con coverage.

Giles Matthey of TRUE BLOOD Talks Season 5, His Crazy Audition, His Character, Becoming a Fan of the Show and More

by     Posted 2 years, 141 days ago

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On Season 5 of HBO’s True Blood, actor Giles Matthey plays Claude, a mysterious fairy who has caught the eye of vamp Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll).  Distantly related to Sookie (Anna Paquin), he will be mentoring her in the ways of all things fairy, later on in the season.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, Giles Matthey talked about his crazy audition for the hit TV show and how he had no idea what role he was actually auditioning for, how he caught up on the previous four seasons and became an obsessive fan himself once he was cast, that he loves meeting fans of the show that are as excited about it as he is, how he sees Claude as loyal and protective, and how much fun his introduction into the story was.  He also talked about what attracts him to a specific project and what inspired him to try his hand at acting, in the first place.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

TRUE BLOOD Co-Executive Producer Mark Hudis Replacing Alan Ball as Showrunner for Season Six

by     Posted 2 years, 188 days ago

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Alan Ball has been a good sport and stuck with his steamy, bloody vampire series True Blood on HBO for a few years now, but as we learned in February, the Six Feet Under creator is leaving at the end of the fifth season. Now, Deadline has word on a new deal with HBO for True Blood co-executive producer Mark Hudis to take over the reins as the main executive producer and showrunner for the cable series if it gets renewed for a sixth season, a decision that likely won’t be made until at least the premiere of the fifth season on June 10th.

Apparently, Hudis’ new deal is for two-years and also includes a development aspect for him to create new shows on his own. Hudis has been a part of True Blood for season four and now season five and actually has a history with Ball having written some episodes of the comedy series Cybill together back in 1997 and 1998. However, the two have long been friends since working at AdWeek about 20 years ago. It sounds like Ball really trusts Hudis with his show, so hopefully that will settle down some of the fans who have been worried. Of course, they might not even care if this fifth season doesn’t deliver. Ball will still be involved with True Blood, but just not running the show. We’ll have to wait and see how this pans out after the fifth season starts this summer.

Elizabeth Banks Toplines WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH MARGIE?, Alfred Molina and Freida Pinto Star in DESERT DANCER, Sean Bean Joins the 4th REICH

by     Posted 2 years, 193 days ago

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Let’s start the day with some casting, shall we?  Here are the headlines:

  • Elizabeth Banks will topline What’s the Matter with Margie?, a dark comedy from Alan Ball.
  • Alfred Molina and Freida Pinto are set to star in Desert Dancer, based on the life of Iranian dancer, Afshin Ghaffarian.
  • Sean Bean will join The 4th Reich, an action-horror film set in World War II.

Hit the jump for more on both projects.

TRUE BLOOD Season 5 Promo

by     Posted 2 years, 240 days ago

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While everyone is currently hyped up for the return of HBO’s Game of Thrones, a little show called True Blood popped up to remind us that season five of the supernatural series starts this summer. We’ve previously brought you the first promotion and more recent teaser trailers from everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure, but now we have a teaser montage of clips from the upcoming season. With news that showrunner Alan Ball is overseeing this season but stepping down from the day-to-day responsibilities of the show for a possible sixth season, it will be interesting to see how this summer’s run turns out. Also, with new cast addition Christopher Meloni, the old gang of supes could be in for quite a shake up, but Christopher Heyerdahl steals the show with his chilling narration of the new season five promo. Hit the jump to check it out.

Simon Pegg May Join L.A. NOIR, Ulrich Thomsen to Co-Star in BANSHEE

by     Posted 2 years, 258 days ago

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After what’s been years of successful action/comedy/horror films for Simon Pegg, the versatile actor is now reportedly looking to the small screen for a more dramatic project in L.A. Noir. Pegg is circling as a guest star in the pilot written and directed by Frank Darabont. He will join lead actor Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), as well as Neil McDonough (Minority Report) and Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes) in the TNT period drama. Set in the 1940s and 1950s, L.A. Noir chronicles the war between the LAPD’s Captain William Parker (McDonough) and the mobster, Mickey Cohen. Bernthal stars as Joe Teague, an ex-Marine turned LAPD cop who gets caught up in the conflict, while Ventimiglia stars as a former Marine who served with Teague in WWII and becomes a lawyer for the mob. THR reported on Pegg circling a guest role, but so far there are few details as to his character.

Hit the jump for a casting update on True Blood-creator Alan Ball’s Banshee.

Alan Ball Leaving TRUE BLOOD After Season Five

by     Posted 2 years, 274 days ago

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With all the supernatural death and destruction we’ve come to love and expect on HBO’s True Blood, the last person you’d expect to be axed is showrunner Alan Ball. Word from HBO and Ball himself now confirms that if the show moves on into a sixth season, Ball will not be the day-to-day man. He does, however, have an overall contract with the network and is currently executive producing Banshee for sister station, Cinemax. It seems like a good deal for both parties: HBO will keep Ball in the loop while Ball will be (somewhat) free to go after other creative pursuits. The upcoming fifth season of True Blood starts this summer. Hit the jump to see what HBO and Ball had to say.

TRUE BLOOD Creator Alan Ball’s Drama BANSHEE Gets Series Order from Cinemax

by     Posted 2 years, 307 days ago

True Blood creator Alan Ball is gearing up to pull double-duty. While Ball is currently in the midst of filming the fifth season of the hit HBO supernatural series True Blood, the cable channel’s sister network Cinemax has commissioned as series order for Banshee on which Ball is the executive producer. The action drama centers on an “ex-convict and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, PA, where he continues his criminal activities even as he’s being hunted by the shadowy gangsters he had betrayed years earlier.” Deadline reports that Cinemax has given a 10-episode order to the series, and Emmy-winning director Greg Yaitanes (House) will helm the pilot.

I found the first few seasons of True Blood to be incredibly engaging, but the show has delved too deep into soap opera territory as of late for my taste. Ball is also developing a medical drama called Witchita at HBO, so it’ll be interesting to see how involved he becomes in Banshee and if/when he departs the showrunner position on True Blood.

HBO Developing College Athlete Comedy PLAYERS with Tom Hanks, Medical Drama WICHITA with Alan Ball

by     Posted 3 years, 37 days ago

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HBO has recently landed some heavy hitters with the incomparable Tom Hanks and the bankable Alan Ball both developing projects for the network. Hanks, teamed with long-time producing partner Gary Goetzman, will reunite with the network for Players, a half-hour comedy following the lives of college athletes.

Ball is switching tactics from the campy, sexy success of True Blood to develop Wichita, an hour-long medical drama about a Kansas abortion doctor caught at the nexus of a political, cultural and ethical conflict. Ball will executive produce the project, based on the life of Dr. George Tiller, along with Devin Friedman, who authored the related GQ article “Savior vs. Savior.” Hit the jump for more on both projects.

HBO’s Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo Talk About the Future of GAME OF THRONES, TRUE BLOOD, and More at the TCA’s

by     Posted 3 years, 122 days ago

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Prior to the HBO presentation at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, the network’s Co-President Richard Plepler and President of Programming Michael Lombardo took some time to discuss where they’re at with the development of some of their upcoming projects, what they’d like to improve on with their programming, their desire to keep Alan Ball around as showrunner on True Blood and, of course, lots of Game of Thrones talk. Here are the most interesting points:

  • If they could do 12 episodes of Game of Thrones, they would, but they feel the quality of the series would suffer for it.
  • They’re optimistic in being able to carry the Game of Thrones story through to the end, and completely believe in and trust the vision for the series.
  • Alan Ball is definitely signed on as showrunner for Season 5 of True Blood, and they hope that he will stay for as long as it’s on the air.
  • The new Michael Mann/David Milch series Luck, centered around a horse-racing track, will premiere in January 2012.
  • Boardwalk Empire returns September 25th with 12 episodes and Bored to Death returns October 10th with 8 episodes.
  • Even though Michael Lombardo is not a fan of the fantasy genre, and he hasn’t actually read George R.R. Martin’s books, he loves what David Benioff and Dan Weiss have done with Game of Thrones.

More info and the interview after the jump:

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