HBO Executives Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo Talk GAME OF THRONES, James Gandolfini’s CRIMINAL JUSTICE, THE NEWSROOM Season 3, and More

by     Posted 267 days ago

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While at the HBO portion of the TCA Press Tour, President of Programming Michael Lombardo and co-President Richard Plepler took some time to talk about new and returning programming.  During the interview, they spoke about how long Game of Thrones and True Blood could run for, what they have currently in development with both David Chase (The Sopranos) and David Milch (Deadwood), the status of the Criminal Justice pilot and why they think it’s best to recast the role James Gandolfini played, the possibility of a second season for Family Tree and a third season for The Newsroom, the half-hour series about high school life that they’re developing with Danny McBride and Jody Hill, and that they are no longer moving ahead with a Transporter series at Cinemax.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

NOT FADE AWAY Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 349 days ago

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David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos, may be respected for giving the world one of the greatest television shows of all time, but when he jumped into feature films with Not Fade Away, he seems to have been allowed to do whatever he wanted, but the finished product was abandoned by its studio (Paramount), who must not have thought it was Oscar material.  That’s too bad as Not Fade Away is a film that feels alive with the possibilities of cinema, but also is aware of the past.  The story of a band that never made it, Chase’s semi-autobiographical tale paints a great portrait of teenagers going through the 1960’s and are swept up in the cultural changes reflected in the music of the era.  My review of the Blu-ray of Not Fade Away follows after the jump. 

NOT FADE AWAY Review

by     Posted 1 year, 119 days ago

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We experience our lives as constant stream.  We remember our lives as turning points.  These turning points weren’t necessarily the most dramatic moments, but they were emblematic.  More than other moments, this one was special.  David Chase, a storyteller who has consistently eschewed traditional narrative structure, looks into the past to see snapshots of lives in his debut feature film, Not Fade Away.  These snapshots aren’t merely of good times and bad times, but acts of creation and destruction set against a backdrop of a world on the brink of survival.  Anchored by strong performances, Not Fade Away manages to break past the clichés of its settings to find compelling characters.  However, Chase’s desire to escape a traditional narrative structure keeps us at an emotional distance.

David Chase and Steven Van Zandt Talk NOT FADE AWAY, Deleted Scenes, Musical Inspirations and Future Projects

by     Posted 1 year, 120 days ago

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The famed creator and director of The Sopranos, David Chase, has made his debut as a feature film director (and writer) with the ode to rock ‘n’ roll, Not Fade Away.  Douglas (John Magaro) catches a lucky break when Gene Gaunt (Jack Huston) invites him to join their cover band in 1960’s New Jersey. Though his father (James Gandolfini) doesn’t understand his son’s devotion to music, Douglas immerses himself in the band and in high school dream-girl turned muse Grace Deitz (Bella Heathcote). The film is an homage to rock’n’roll, to music, and to the universal experience of realizing you may not be the next Rolling Stones after all.  For more on the film, here’s 20 images and the trailer.

At the NYC press day for Not Fade Away, I spoke to Chase and Executive Producer Steve Van Zandt (an original member of Springsteen’s E-Street Band) about how this story came to be, their musical inspirations, deleted scenes and upcoming projects, including Chase’s in-progress work for HBO.  Hit the jump to watch.  Not Fade Away opens in limited release this weekend.

20 New Images from NOT FADE AWAY by Writer/Director David Chase

by     Posted 1 year, 130 days ago

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We have 20 new images to share with you today from writer/director David Chase’s Not Fade Away. The movie centers on a group of friends in New Jersey during the 1960s who want to form a rock band. Since Not Fade Away comes from the creator of The Sopranos, you can expect the film to be anything but a traditional arc from obscurity to stardom.

Starring John Magaro, Jack Huston, Will Brill, Bella Heathcote and James GandolfiniNot Fade Away opens in limited release starting December 21st. Hit the jump to see the new images.

First Trailer for David Chase’s NOT FADE AWAY

by     Posted 1 year, 196 days ago

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The first trailer for Not Fade Away has been released.  The film is the feature directorial debut of The Sopranos creator David Chase and tells the story of three best friends growing up in the New Jersey suburbs who decide to start a rock band.  The wonderful tone that Chase hit so well with The Sopranos (dramatic with an air of dark comedy) looks to be on full display here, and the director’s passion for music comes through in spades.  It’ll be interesting to see how he translates his novelized approach to storytelling to a feature film, but this trailer hints at a strong, character-focused first effort with a promising yet familiar turn from James Gandolfini as a patriarch of a different sort.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars John Maragro, Jack Huston, Will Brill, Bella Heathcote, Brad Garrett and Christopher McDonaldNot Fade Away opens on December 21st. 

New Posters for FLIGHT, BROKEN CITY, and NOT FADE AWAY

by     Posted 1 year, 198 days ago

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We’ve got a few poster debuts to share this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Flight – Two new posters have been released for director Robert Zemeckis’ excellent-looking character drama.  Denzel Washington stars as a commercial airline pilot who is heralded as a hero after safely landing a disabled jet, but then comes under fire for possibly operating the plane while intoxicated.  The film opens on November 2nd.
  • Broken City – The first poster for director Allen Hughes’ political crime drama puts stars Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe front and center.  Wahlberg plays a private detective hired to identify the lover of a powerful politician’s wife who soon uncovers more than he expected to find.  The film opens on January 18th, 2013.
  • Not Fade Away – The first poster for Sopranos creator David Chase’s feature directorial debut.  The pic tells the story of three best friends growing up in the New Jersey suburbs who decide to start a rock band.  The film opens on December 21st.

Hit the jump to check out the posters.

David Chase’s Directorial Debut NOT FADE AWAY Will Make Its World Premiere as the Centerpiece Gala Selection of the 50th New York Film Festival

by     Posted 1 year, 247 days ago

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Director David Chase will see his film Not Fade Away make its world premiere as the Centerpiece Gala selection of the 50th New York Film Festival; not bad for a debut director!  The Sopranos creator/writer brings this coming-of-age tale, set in 1964 where a group of friends decide to form a rock band, led by new-to-the-scene, John Magaro. With a soundtrack produced by Steven Van ZandtNot Fade Away also stars Jack Huston, Will Brill, Bella Heathcote, James Gandolfini, Brad Garrett and Christopher McDonald. Look for the film to see limited release starting December 21st.  Hit the jump for the full press release and some new images from the film.

Summit Sets Synopsis and August 10, 2012 Release for STEP UP 4; TWYLYGHT ZONES Opens October 19, 2012

by     Posted 2 years, 220 days ago

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Time to play catchup with a couple of release dates that surfaced over the weekend.  First up, Summit will release Step Up 4 on August 10, 2012, possibly under the title Step Up 4Ever 3D—if we’re lucky.  The release date comes with a new synopsis.  In between the dancing: “Emily, the daughter of a wealthy businessman, arrives in Miami with aspirations of becoming a professional dancer, but soon falls in love with Sean, a young man who leads a dance crew in elaborate, cutting-edge flash mobs.”  Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman, and Stephen Boss star.

Next, Box Office Mojo lists October 19, 2012 for the release of the feature directorial debut of The Sopranos creator David Chase.  The story revolves around a group of friends who form a band in the 1960s—the film was using the band name, Twylight Zones, as the working title.  It was never meant to last though, since that reads more sci-fi than period rock drama.  For the time being, the movie is untitled.  Given the pre-Halloween date, I do hold out some hope “Twylight Zones” will play an important role in the marketing.  John Magaro, Jack Huston, Will Brill, and James Gandolfini star; Steven Van Zandt served as music supervisor.

Hit the jump for the full Step Up 4 synopsis.

Lisa Lampanelli Joins SOPRANOS Creator David Chase’s Film TWYLIGHT ZONES

by     Posted 3 years, 78 days ago

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The latest to join the cast of The Sopranos creator David Chase’s new period rock music film Twylight Zones is comedienne Lisa Lampanelli. She joins previously announced John Magaro (My Soul to Take), Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire), newcomer Will Brill and Sopranos vet James Gandolfini. Another Sopranos castmember, and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band-member, Steven Van Zandt will be executive producing the film as well as supervising the music.  Set in 1960’s New Jersey, the film tells the story of an awkward teen (played by Magaro) who begins to grow into his own as the lead singer of a rock band. Gandolfini will play the teen’s disapproving Italian father (surprise!).

While appearing on Howard Stern’s radio show (via SlashFilm), Lampanelli said that she will be playing David Chase’s mother in the film, as she believes it’s based on his teenage years. Could this be his Almost Famous? Chase wrote the screenplay and will direct the film for Paramount Vantage. Production just got underway in New York.

SOPRANOS Creator David Chase’s Music Drama Gets Cast; Steven Van Zandt Will Produce and Supervise Music

by     Posted 3 years, 186 days ago

Since he turned out the lights on The Sopranos back in 2007, creator David Chase has taken a break from crafting utterly transcendent television (I imagine its very tiring). However, he’s on the comeback trail with not one, but two very intriguing projects. The first is an in-development HBO mini-series called A Ribbon of Dreams about the early days of Hollywood. The second is the Emmy-winning writer’s big screen directorial debut, for which we have an update.

It’s been announced that the film, a “music-driven coming of age story set in 1960’s suburbia,” will star John Magaro (My Soul to Take), Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire, Twilight: Eclipse) and newcomer Will Brill. Moreover, Sopranos actor Steven Van Zandt (aka Sil Dante), who also happens to be the lead guitarist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, has signed on to produce and supervise the film’s music, while serving as an exec producer—a pretty kickass consigliere, no?

Set to be released by Paramount Vantage, production on the pic gets rolling in New York this January. Hit the jump for the full press release.

SOPRANOS Creator David Chase Forms a Band in the 1960s

by     Posted 4 years, 43 days ago

david_chase_image.jpgEver since the screen cut to black on The Sopranos finale two-and-a-half years ago, it seems like creator David Chase has been hiding in that darkness.  Early last year, he poked his head out to let us know about two projects he’s working on.  For HBO, Chase plans to chronicle the history of the Hollywood with miniseries A Ribbon of Dreams.  A couple months earlier, Chase mentioned another project to EW, saying only “it is about rock ‘n’ roll.”  Otherwise, mum was the word.

Now via THR, we have a bit more information on that latter project.  It is a coming-of-age saga that follows the formative stages of a rock band in the 1960s.  Still not a lot to go on, but it’s good to know the man that brought us Tony Soprano will eventually return to storytelling.  Even better that he’s working in the realm of music, as The Sopranos had a frequently amazing soundtrack.  I’ll leave you with the final scene and its memorable use of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, after the spoiler-filled jump.

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