Telltale Games are doing something special in the world of video games. While other studios are competing for best graphics or best ways to squeeze every last nickel out of you via micro-transactions, Telltale is trying to re-imagine narrative storytelling in video games. Their solution has been to evolve the point-and-click adventure game with an emphasis on morally ambiguous choices. It worked beautifully in their adaptation of The Walking Dead, and now they’ll be taking their talents to another fatality-friendly world with Game of Thrones. Telltale has partnered with HBO “an interactive episodic game series” based on Game of Thrones that will be released across “home consoles, PC/Mac, and mobile devices” in 2014. I’ll be interested to see how the game’s release schedule relates to the TV series, which will return in the spring. In any case, winter is now coming to video games, and it will probably be much better than the last time Game of Thrones graced home consoles.
Hit the jump for the press release. Telltale Games is currently releasing The Wolf Among Us based on the comic series Fables, and on December 17th will begin releasing The Walking Dead: Season Two.
My expectations for True Detective are becoming unfair. I have to keep telling myself that there are plenty of serial killer shows on TV right now, and just because this one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey and is directed by Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre), that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be good. But then I see these ominous teaser trailers and I can’t help but be intrigued because this looks like it will be like nothing else on television. The framing device is two detectives (played by Harrelson and McConaughey) investigating a serial killer and then talking about it seventeen years later. These new teasers provide a better look at the main characters, and once again convey the show’s unsettling vibe.
Hit the jump to check out the teasers. True Detective premieres January 12th on HBO at 9/8c.
Not many television series are afforded the opportunity to wrap up their stories on their own terms. Treme marks the second time David Simon has been given that rare pass, showing how much HBO believes in our ability to appreciate his work after all is said and done. Both The Wire and now Treme were ratings underachievers, but while the former has achieved rabid cult status (and the distinction of being the answer to, “if enough white people stand around talking, they will eventually bring up …”), Treme has never been so beloved. It’s a tough watch — you need to do your homework. But in the end, just like with The Wire, Simon has rewarded viewers who have stuck around. Hit the jump for more.
One of the great “what ifs” in cinema history is Stanley Kubrick’s long-developed biopic Napoleon. The filmmaker planned a historical epic chronicling the life of the French Emperor, but the ambitious project proved too difficult to get off the ground when studios refused to front the massive budget needed to tell the story; Kubrick would even tell the studios that Napoleon would be “the best film ever made.” The project remained uncompleted when Kubrick unexpectedly passed away, but Kubrick’s friend Steven Spielberg announced earlier this year that he would be turning the filmmaker’s Napoleon script into an HBO miniseries. Now it appears that Spielberg and HBO are courting a very interesting director to tackle the adaptation: Baz Luhrmann. Hit the jump for more.
HBO has released a new trailer for its upcoming anthology series True Detective. Directed by Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre), the eight-episode event stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two detectives whose lives collide and entwine during a seventeen-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. The investigation of a bizarre murder in 1995 is framed and interlaced with testimony from the detectives in 2012, when the case has been reopened. While the previous teasers have been excellent mood pieces, this new trailer delves a bit more into the intriguing plot while continuing to promise a pair of swell performances from the lead actors.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. True Detective premiered Sunday, January 12th at 9/8c.
HBO has released the first trailer for the upcoming third season of Lena Dunham’s polarizing comedy series Girls. While the second season ended on a rather down note, this trailer amps up the fun level and promises plenty of drama, comedy, and Adam Driver (on a related note, Adam Driver should be in everything). Series regular Christopher Abbott made a public departure from the show during the beginning of production on season three, and in this trailer we see Allison Williams’ Marnie reeling from his absence. We also get a peek at a possible new career path for Dunham’s Hannah and more adorable shenanigans courtesy of Zosia Mamet’s Shoshanna. Though Girls is certainly a bit of a mixed bag at times, the good seems to outweigh the bad and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what season three has in store.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Season three of Girls premieres with two back-to-back episodes on HBO January 12, 2014.
A trailer for the upcoming “gay dramedy” HBO series Looking has been released online. The show stars Jonathan Groff (Glee) and revolves around three friends in San Francisco “who explore the fun and sometimes overwhelming options available to a new generation of gay men.” While it may be easy to write the show off as a male version of Girls by watching this trailer, it’s the involvement of Weekend director Andrew Haigh that promises Looking will be something more substantial than an easy rip-off. Haigh—whose Weekend is a compelling portrait of gay life—is an executive producer on Looking, and the show appears to have a strong mix of comedy and drama led by the always charming Groff.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. The series also stars Frankie J. Alvarez and Murray Bartlett with special guest appearances by Russell Tovey and Scott Bakula. Looking premieres on HBO Sunday, January 19th.
I thought John Oliver did a swell job filling in for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show this summer while Stewart was busy shooting his feature directorial debut, and it appears that I wasn’t alone. It was announced today that Oliver will be leaving his post at The Daily Show to host a “topical weekly comedy series” at HBO, with a 2014 launch targeted. The program will air on Sunday nights so it won’t exactly be direct competition for The Daily Show. For his part, Oliver had this to say about the move:
“I’m incredibly excited to be joining HBO, especially as I presume this means I get free HBO now. I want to thank Comedy Central, and everyone at The Daily Show for the best seven and a half years of my life. But most of all, I’d like to thank Jon Stewart. He taught me everything I know. In fact, if I fail in the future, it’s entirely his fault.”
Oliver now joins a long list of former Daily Show correspondents that found success outside the news-focused series, including Steve Carell, Ed Helms, Olivia Munn, Rob Corddry, Rob Riggle, and of course Stephen Colbert.
Jack Black and Tim Robbins are heading to television. THR reports that the duo will lead a half-hour dark comedy pilot for HBO called The Brink, which is being produced by Meet the Parents and Austin Powers director Jay Roach. The series focuses on “a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men,” with Robbins playing the U.S. Secretary of State and Black playing a foreign service officer who is reluctantly caught on the ground. The third role of a Navy fighter pilot has yet to be cast. Roach has a history with HBO as of late on the more dramatic side of things, as he directed the impressive political features Recount and Game Change.
Weeds alum Roberto Benabib is writing the pilot script alongside his brother Kim Benabib while Roach will direct. Black and Robbins, who both appeared in Anchorman and Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, will also serve as producers on the potential series.
Director Steve McQueen is poised to have a very busy next few months with his latest film, the excellent 12 Years a Slave, garnering serious awards season buzz. However, before McQueen moves onto his next film, it appears that he may be delving into the world of pay cable television. Deadline reports that McQueen has set up a new drama project at HBO that is described as Six Degrees of Separation meets Shame, with an eye towards moving forward in the very near future. The “provocative” untitled drama will carry McQueen’s signature style and explore “a young African-American man’s experience entering New York high society, with a past that may not be what it seems.“
McQueen wrote the project with State of Play and World War Z co-writer Matthew Michael Carnahan and intends to direct, with Russell Simmons onboard as producer. It’s unclear if this project is being planned a series, miniseries, or TV movie, but casting is already being explored as it is being fast tracked for a potential shoot before the filmmaker dives into his next feature.
HBO has released a new trailer, clips, and poster for their upcoming “elevate serial narrative”, True Detective. Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey star as two detectives whose lives collide and entwine during a seventeen-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. The investigation of a bizarre murder in 1995 is framed and interlaced with testimony from the detectives in 2012, when the case has been reopened. Judging by this trailer, the show is going to be ridiculously dark with not only the criminal’s deeds, but the deeply messed up detectives trying to solve the case. HBO is known for their edgy programming, but this looks unlike anything they’ve done before.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer, clips, and poster. True Detective premieres Sunday, January 12th at 9/8c.
TV fans that have been clamoring for a la carte options in their programming purchases might be a small step closer to seeing their dreams become reality. Comcast is the first major cable company to offer HBO and HBO Go with a basic subscription that does not include a cable TV package, excluding channels and channel groups such as ESPN, Fox News and TNT. Their “Internet Plus” test group offers HBO and HBO Go alongside broadcast TV, video-on-demand, 20 or 25-Mbps broadband, and Comcast’s VOD service, Streampix. This limited-time offer isn’t available in all areas and is aimed at new residential customers. Hit the jump for more fine print details.
HBO has announced premiere dates for three anticipated series this coming January.
- True Detective – The limited series True Detective will debut on Sunday, January 12th at 9/8c. The eight-episode show stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as a pair of detectives whose lives collide and entwine during a seventeen-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre), directed all eight episodes. Watch the excellent trailer here.
- Girls – Season three of Girls will premiere on Sunday, January 12th with two back-to-back episodes starting at 10/9c. The show stars Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, and Alex Karpovsky.
- Looking – The new half-hour gay dramedy series Looking will debut on Sunday, January 19th. From Weekend director Andrew Haigh, the show stars Jonathan Groff and revolves around three friends in San Francisco who explore the fun and sometimes overwhelming options available to a new generation of gay men.
Hit the jump to check out first-look images and synopses for all three series.
HBO has wasted no time in renewing its prohibition drama Boardwalk Empire just three weeks into its fourth season run. While the show has had its ups and downs, it remains a strong anchor for HBO’s fall lineup, and continues to provide the premium network with award winners. (Most recently, Bobby Cannavale won the Best Supporting Actor Emmy for his turn as last season’s thin-skinned gangster Gyp Rosetti). Hit the jump for more.
Shortly before his untimely death, James Gandolfini was poised to make a return to HBO in the limited series Criminal Justice. The actor’s passion project was put in limbo after he passed, but HBO has now found a way to move forward with the miniseries and honor Gandolfini’s legacy. Creator/producer Steven Zaillian and HBO worked hard to find a replacement that would befit a man of Gandolfini’s talent, and now that Robert De Niro has agreed to take over the role. The crime story takes place in New York City and revolves around an ambulance-chasing attorney who gets in over his head when he takes on the case of a Pakistani accused of murdering a girl on the Upper West Side. Hit the jump for more.