A couple of highly promising casting decisions have been made regarding two exciting upcoming pilots. First up, Liv Tyler has signed on to co-star in Damon Lindelof’s HBO potential series The Leftovers. Based on the book of the same name by Tom Perotta, the story takes place after the Rapture, centering on the people in a small town that didn’t make the cut. Justin Theroux is already set as the show’s lead, but Deadline reports that Tyler will be co-starring as Meg, a young woman on the verge of getting married who becomes a target for recruitment by members of an enigmatic cult. Peter Berg is directing the pilot and Christopher Eccleston, Ann Dowd, Amanda Warren, and Carrie Coon are also set to star.
Hit the jump for news concerning a Hellboy alum joining Guillermo del Toro’s potential new series The Strain.
The ever-popular Game of Thrones closed out its third season this past Sunday (read Allison’s recap here), and the finale episode garnered a record audience of 5.4 million viewers for the episode’s first airing. That’s up 28% from the season two finale’s 4.2 million, but falls just a tad short of the show’s most-watched episode ever, which was this season’s sixth episode “The Climb,” clocking in at 5.5 million viewers. The third season has averaged 13.6 million viewers when factoring in repeating airings, DVR, and HBO Go, which makes Game of Thrones the most-watched HBO series since The Sopranos and is up considerably from season two’s average of 11.6 million viewers.
All in all, Game of Thrones hit four new series highs during the course of its third season. That’s a pretty remarkable feat for a fantasy cable TV series based on a book series that began nearly two decades ago. Season four, which will cover roughly the second half of author George R.R. Martin’s third book A Storm of Swords, will likely begin production this July, as has been the case with the previous seasons.
Hot on the heels of last week’s news that Justin Theroux (Wanderlust) has been tapped to lead Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof’s new HBO pilot The Leftovers, four more actors have joined the cast. Deadline reports that Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Ann Dowd (Compliance), Amanda Warren (Seven Psychopaths), and Carrie Coon have joined the ensemble. The potential series is based on the book of the same name by Tom Perrotta and takes place after the Rapture, centering on the people in a small town that didn’t make the cut.
Eccleston, who will be seen later this year as the villain in Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, has been tapped to play Matt Jamison, a former reverend and current editor of his self-published tabloid. Dowd will play Patti Levin, the leader of an organization that is somewhere between a cult and a movement, Coon will play Nora Durst, a woman who loses her husband and child in the Rapture, and Warren will play Lucy Warburton, the town’s Mayor. Peter Berg is directing the pilot.
There’s not much of a shake-up with HBO’s fall drama schedule, which keeps Boardwalk Empire‘s fourth season premiere (see the teaser trailer here) in its usual September spot. With The Newsroom airing earlier this summer than last year, a comedy slot has opened up at the end of September that will pair the return of Eastbound & Down (for a “final” season, though we’ve heard that before) along with the new Stephen Merchant comedy Hello Ladies, which will serve as the lead-in. No news yet regarding Treme, whose shortened fourth season should return some time in the fall to conclude the series. Hit the jump for more spoiler-free specifics about the fall schedule, including the new Larry David movie.
Now playing in theaters is director Louis Leterrier’s (The Incredible Hulk) magician-centered thriller Now You See Me. For those unfamiliar with the story, it follows an FBI squad on the heels of a team of bank-robbing magicians who share their profits with the audience. The pic boasts an impressive ensemble cast that includes Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, Melanie Laurent, and Morgan Freeman. For more on the film, watch six clips and check out all of our previous coverage.
During my interview Woody Harrelson, he talked about how much fun he had making Now You See Me, what he learned about magic (including performing a magic trick on camera!), what it was like working for Leterrier and his always moving camera, and more. In addition, he also talked about Out of the Furnace, and his upcoming HBO detective show with Matthew McConaughey. Hit the jump to watch.
HBO has released a couple of featurettes that center around the most recent episode of Game of Thrones (read Allison’s recap here). While the network regularly posts such featurettes after the most recent episodes of some of their shows, these two are of particular interest given the surprising turn of events that occurred in “The Rains of Castamere.” We see series creators/showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff discuss the episode and how the corresponding chapter in the book was one of the main reasons they wanted to turn Game of Thrones into a TV series in the first place, and we also see them talk about the emotional impact of actually filming the episode.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, but beware of major spoilers for “The Rains of Castamere,” obviously. The season finale of Game of Thrones airs on HBO this coming Sunday, June 9th.
Casting is underway for Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof’s first TV series since the ABC drama ended its run in 2010, and the show’s lead has now been set. Variety reports that Justin Theroux has been tapped to topline The Leftovers, which is based on Tom Perrotta’s novel of the same name that takes place after the Rapture, centering on the people that didn’t make the cut. Theroux will play the show’s lead, chief of police Kevin Garvey who is described as “a father of two who is trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy in a world that is starting to completely reject that notion.”
Friday Night Lights helmer Peter Berg is directing the pilot for HBO, and Lindelof will serve as executive producer/showrunner alongside fellow EP’s Perotta, Ron Yerxa, Albert Berger, Sarah Aubrey and Berg should HBO decided to order the pilot to series. Theroux is best known in front of the camera for appearing in Wanderlust, Your Highness, and Parks and Recreation, but he’s also a screenwriter, having penned the scripts for Iron Man 2 and Tropic Thunder. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Perotta’s novel.
HBO has unveiled some new trailers for the upcoming seasons of two of its original series. First up, the debut teaser trailer for Boardwalk Empire season four gives us our first look at the new character played by Jeffrey Wright, Valentin Narcisse. The character is described as “Doctor of Divinity, philanthropist, student of culture and the man who runs Harlem,” and it’s clear in this brief teaser that he may pose quite the threat to Steve Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson. Wright’s character is a series regular for the new season, so expect to see plenty of Narcisse when Boardwalk Empire returns this fall.
Additionally, a couple of trailers for the upcoming second season of Aaron Sorkin’s drama series The Newsroom have landed online. The most recent one is more of a “mood tease,” as we see dialogue-less behind-the-scenes glimpses of the show’s ensemble cast readying themselves to reprise their characters. The second, longer trailer was actually unveiled a few weeks ago and features the cast and Sorkin talking about the season-long arc that will unfold this year. The Newsroom season two premieres on HBO Sunday, July 14th. Hit the jump to watch trailers for both series.
From director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Richard LaGravenese, Behind the Candelabra (debuting on HBO on May 26th) follows the life of virtuoso pianist and flamboyant entertainer Liberace (in a fantastically impressive performance by Academy Award winner Michael Douglas), while telling the tale of his tumultuous and secretive five-year love affair with the much younger Scott Thorson (in an equally great performance by Matt Damon). The film also stars Dan Aykroyd, Scott Bakula, Rob Lowe, Tom Papa, Paul Reiser and Debbie Reynolds.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Scott Bakula talked about how he became involved with the project, what he learned about Liberace through his research, how much fun it was to get lost in this character and era, what he loves about working with a filmmaker like Steven Soderbergh, and why the film wasn’t able to get theatrical distribution despite the level of talent involved. He also talked about the musical he’s shooting in India, called Basmati Blues, and his desire to return to the stage. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
While the networks have been announcing their new series over the past few days at the upfronts, HBO is making a couple of announcements of its own. The pay cable channel has order two pilots to series: a comedy from Mike Judge and a dramedy series centering on a group of gay men in San Francisco starring Jonathan Groff (Glee). Judge’s dark comedy is a single-camera project that takes place “in the high-tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success.” The series stars T.J. Miller (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) and Thomas Middleditch (The Campaign).
Per THR, Judge wrote and directed the pilot and will executive produce the series with John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky, and Scott Rudin. Judge previously created and ran King of the Hill on Fox and Beavis and Butthead on MTV, and I look forward to seeing his sharp wit soar outside the confines of network TV. Hit the jump for news regarding another new HBO series from Weekend director Andrew Haigh.
We only recently just saw a full trailer for the upcoming sixth season of the HBO series True Blood, and now the network has unveiled a large batch of high-resolution images previewing the drama to come. In addition to giving us looks at fan favorites like Sookie (Anna Paquin), Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), Bill (Stephen Moyer), and of course Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten), these images also introduce us to a host of new characters played by the likes of Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner), Arliss Howard (Full Metal Jacket), and Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Friday Night Lights).
Hit the jump to peruse the gallery of images. The series also stars Ryan Kwanten, Joe Manganiello, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Deborah Ann Woll, Carrie Preston, Todd Lowe, Nelsan Ellis, Michael McMillian, Lucy Griffiths, Lauren Bowles, Chris Bauer, Kelly Overton, Rob Kazinsky, and Amelia Rose Blaire. Season six of True Blood premieres on HBO Sunday June 16th at 9pm/8c.
Fresh off the release of an extended 12-minute featurette, a new UK trailer and a batch of new images from director Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming Liberace film Behind the Candelaba have landed online. The plot centers on the tempestuous relationship between the musician (Michael Douglas) and his lover Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) throughout their secretive five-year love affair that began in 1977. This UK trailer goes deeper into the film’s story, as we see the beginnings of the relationship and start to see some of the great interplay between Douglas and Damon. You can go ahead and wrap up Douglas’ Emmy right about now.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to see the new images. The film also stars Rob Lowe, Debbie Reynolds, Scott Bakula, Dan Aykroyd, Cheyenne Jackson, Paul Reiser, and Boyd Holbrook. Behind the Candelabra will premiere on HBO on May 26th at 9pm/8c.
HBO has released a new extended featurette for director Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming Liberace film Behind the Candelabra. The 12-minute video takes us behind-the-scenes of Soderbergh’s possibly final feature film, as we get an intimate look into how the filmmaker crafted his chronicle of the tempestuous relationship between Liberace (Michael Douglas) and his lover Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) throughout their secretive five-year love affair that began in 1977. Much of the featurette’s focus is on the insane costume and production design of the film, but we also get some footage of Sodbergh operating the camera himself and of a nearly unrecognizable Rob Lowe as Liberace’s plastic surgeon.
Hit the jump to watch the featurette. The film also stars Debbie Reynolds, Scott Bakula, Dan Aykroyd, Cheyenne Jackson, Paul Reiser, and Boyd Holbrook. Behind the Candelabra will premiere on HBO on May 26th at 9pm/8c.
HBO has released a full 90-second trailer for the upcoming sixth season of True Blood, revealing a bounty of footage from the new episodes. The soapy series has had quite a bit of trouble balancing its expanding ensemble in the past few seasons, and it appears that the show’s focus remains as large as ever in season six. With this new trailer, we see a bit of how the show will deal with the events of last season’s finale, particularly with regards to Stephen Moyer’s Vampire Bill, as it appears that the season six premiere picks up immediately after the season five finale. There also looks to be plenty of the show’s hallmark “love scenes” to go around.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. Season six of True Blood premieres on HBO Sunday, June 16th at 9pm/8c.
Another Pain & Gain reunion is already in the works. Deadline reports that Dwayne Johnson is set to star in and executive produce a half-hour dramedy pilot for HBO about the lives of athletes, with his Pain & Gain co-star Mark Wahlberg also onboard to executive produce alongside Steve Levinson. The project takes place in Miami and “chronicles the lives of athletes—some retired, some still active.” Johnson will play one of the athletes, but at this time it sounds like Wahlberg is only producing. Levinson—who wrote many episodes of the Wahlberg-produced HBO series Entourage—wrote the pilot, which will be directed by Friday Night Lights helmer Peter Berg. Production is slated to begin this fall.
This marks another move for the very busy Johnson, who is next set to shoot his starring role in Brett Ratner’s Hercules. The actor is also in talks to return for Fast & Furious 7 should his schedule allow. This also marks the second HBO pilot that Berg is helming this season, as he will also direct the pilot for Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof’s potential series The Leftovers.