Evan Jones and Writer Nicholas Meyer Talk HOUDINI, Taking Poetic License with History, STAR TREK, Meyer’s Thoughts on Abrams’ TREK Films, and More

by     Posted 73 days ago


Now available on Blu-ray and DVD is Houdini, the History Channel mini-series about the epic life of legendary illusionist Harry Houdini, starring Adrien Brody as the man behind the magic, Kristen Connolly as his faithful wife Bess, and Evan Jones as the architect who helped build Houdini’s tricks, Jim Collins.

I recently joined a small group of reporters at The Magic Castle in Hollywood where we got to experience the Houdini Séance and sit down for a lengthy chat with Evan Jones and writer Nicholas Meyer, who adapted his father’s Houdini biography – Houdini: A Mind in Chains — A Psychoanalytic Portrait – for the mini-series.  They talked about taking creative liberties with history in order to tell the best story, the personal challenge Meyer faced in adapting his father’s book, filming in Hungary, and more.  And since Nicholas Meyer was in the room the conversation naturally steered toward Star Trek.  Meyer revealed his thoughts on J.J. Abrams‘ interpretation of the Star Trek universe and shared some behind-the-scenes stories from the making of his Star Trek films and.  Hit the jump to read.

VIKINGS Renewed for Season Three

by     Posted 271 days ago


Vikings will live to see another day.  History announced today that it has renewed the drama series for a 10-episode third season, just as the second season is almost halfway finished.  For those unfamiliar, the series stars Travis Fimmel as a young warrior and family man, and now an Earl, with a desire to sail west and explore new kingdoms.  Production on season three will commence this summer in anticipation of a 2015 premiere date.  History EVP and General Manager Dirk Hoogstra had this to say about the renewal:

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such an enormously talented cast and crew led by Michael Hirst whose intricately woven storylines vividly brings the unknown, epic world of these Norsemen to life. Season three promises to immerse viewers even deeper into the exploits of these fearless warriors who are willing to risk it all for conquest and power.”

Read the full press release after the jump.  Season two of Vikings currently airs on Thursdays at 10pm on History and will conclude with its season finale on May 1st.

History Planning New ROOTS Miniseries

by     Posted 1 year, 46 days ago


History has already tackled pseudo-historical series Hatfields & McCoys,  The Bible and Vikings to great success, so the cable channel is now turning its creative talent toward developing a new Roots miniseries.  Originally based on Alex Haley’s book, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, the eight-episode miniseries traced the author’s family line from his enslaved ancestor Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton) to his descendants’ emancipation.  The miniseries earned numerous awards and its finale holds the third-highest rating for a U.S. television program to this day.  Though it inspired two sequels – Roots: The Next Generations and Roots: The Gift – History is of the opinion that it’s time to bring Roots to a new generation of TV viewers.  Hit the jump for more.

Adrien Brody to Star in History Channel’s Upcoming HOUDINI Miniseries

by     Posted 1 year, 255 days ago

adrien brody harry houdini

Fresh off the huge success of their massively viewed adaptations The Bible and Hatfields & McCoys, History is currently working on a miniseries project tentatively called Houdini, with Adrien Brody (The Pianist) signed on to play the famous magician and performer.  Gerald Abrams (Modern Marvels), father of the beloved J.J. Abrams, is on board to produce the series.  Although not much has been announced about the show, EW says it will depict Houdini’s rags-to-riches story as a magic man and stunt performer at the turn of the 20th century.  Houdini’s release date is still TBA.  Hit the jump for more.

VIKINGS Scripted Series Coming to History Channel

by     Posted 2 years, 175 days ago


HISTORY has announced their cast for the scripted series, Vikings. Hoping to bank on the success of HBO’s Game of Thrones, writer Michael Hirst (The Tudors) created the series based on real life figures of Scandanavian history.  The story follows the family saga and rise to power of Ragnar Lothbrok, a great hero who pushed the limits of exploration and rose to become King of the Viking tribes.  Gabriel Byrne and George Blagden are joined by Travis Fimmel, Jessalyn Gilsig, Gustaf Skarsgard, Clive Standen and Katheryn Winnick. Hit the jump for the full press release.

First Trailer for History Channel’s HATFIELDS & MCCOYS Miniseries Starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton

by     Posted 2 years, 314 days ago


Memorial Day is still quite awhile off, but that’s not stopping the History Channel from teasing you with a sneak peek trailer at their forthcoming drama series Hatfields & McCoys, the chronicle of one of the most infamous family rivalries in American history. Kevin Costner plays “Devil” Anse Hatfield and Bill Paxton plays Randall McCoy in the three-part miniseries from that hits cable this summer. This trailer looks damn good, and seems like a fine return to the Western genre for Costner who has delivered such classics as Dances with Wolves. Check out the trailer after the jump along with a short synopsis of the conflict between the Hatfields and McCoys.

History Announces THE HATFIIELDS AND THE MCCOYS Miniseries Starring Kevin Costner and 10-Hour Docudrama Based on the Bible

by     Posted 3 years, 211 days ago


History (formerly known as The History Channel) announced two high profile projects today.  The first, The Hatfield and the McCoys, centers on the infamous 19th-century family feud.  Kevin Costner will star as “Devil” Anse Hatfield and co-produce with Leslie Greif.  The press release claims the 2012 premiere will coincide with the 150th anniversary of the feud, but I’m not sure how they determine the anniversary for a multidecade feud that was initiated 146 years ago.  Brad Pitt, Robert Duvall, and Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper were linked to a separate Hatfield/McCoy movie over a year ago, with the caveat that it will happen “if and when Pitt decides to clear a place in his schedule.”  I imagine the Costner project will dissuade Pitt from searching too hard for that hole.

Additionally, History is developing a docudrama series with producer Mark Burnett (Survivor).  The network promises all the greatest hits: Noah’s Ark, the Exodus from Egypt, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, and of course, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.  The press release highlights the “state-of-the-art computer-generated imagery (CGI),” which is absolutely noteworthy in 2011.  The 10-hour series will air in five parts in 2013.

Read the official announcement for both projects after the jump.

Barry Pepper Exclusive Interview; The CASINO JACK Star Opens Up About DC, THE KENNEDYS and Terrence Malick’s New Film

by     Posted 4 years ago

America’s political system has been a favorite subject of filmmakers for decades.  The reasons are clear.  There’s enough grandstanding, scandal, backstabbing and intrigue in a week on Capitol Hill to fill a season of any network soap opera.  Take the latest entry into the genre.  Casino Jack, in the early stages of a nationwide rollout, follows the real-life story of so-called super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff who served time in prison for defrauding four Native American tribes out of tens of millions of dollars and trading money and gifts for political favors from some of DC’s biggest power brokers.  While the scandal landed public officials in prison, the film has landed Kevin Spacey a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) and very positive reviews for Barry Pepper as Abramoff’s protégé Michael Scanlon.

Pepper recently sat down with Collider for a wide-ranging conversation.  Hit the jump for the interview’s full audio and transcript, including his view of Washington, whether he’d run for office, his wild experience on a new Terrence Malick film and his very thorough research to play Robert F. Kennedy.

Click Here