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.
Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is calling out for the News Team to assemble, and you have a chance to join them. Burgundy sent out a new video today listing the Top 10 reasons you should join him, Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Champion Kind (David Koechner), Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), and the biker Ron hit with his burrito (Jack Black) for a live-reading of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Producer Judd Apatow and director Adam McKay will host the event, and it only costs a donation of $10 to enter. In addition to being on stage with the cast, the winner will also receive flight and 4-star hotel accommodations for them and their guest. Proceeds will go to 826LA, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills. So you can enter to win a great prize and give money to charity? Now that’s classy.
Hit the jump to check out the video and find out how you can donate. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues opens December 20th.
In spooky news befitting Friday the 13th, Sony and Scholastic Media’s adaptation of R.L. Stine’s best-selling Goosebumps series has landed its first star in Jack Black (Bernie). This move reteams Black with his Gulliver’s Travels director Rob Letterman, whose attachment we reported a few months back. Although that last pairing didn’t work out all that well, Goosebumps comes with a built-in readership, in addition to a possible nostalgic effect of original readers who now likely have little ones of their own. The new report makes no mention of screenwriters Carl Ellsworth or Darren Lemke who were previously involved, but it does shed some light on the plot. Hit the jump to read on.
Produced by Jack Black (who also guest stars in the two-part finale), Ghost Ghirls is a 12-episode web comedy series that follows the antics of two best friends, Heidi (Amanda Lund) and Angelica (Maria Blasucci), who work as paranormal investigators. Each episode sees the hilarious duo on bumbling adventures, as they attempt to solve otherworldly cases.
During this recent interview to promote the September 9th premiere on Yahoo! (www.screen.yahoo.com), Jack Black talked about the evolution of this web series, why he hopes to do more original content like this in the future, how he was influenced by paranormal stories like The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby and Ghost Busters, how they hope to release a soundtrack, and cool guest stars. He also talked about the animated Tenacious D series that he’s developing, which he describes as post-apocalyptic, but with music. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Jack(son) attack in tonight’s casting report:
- Samuel L. Jackson is set to play the villain in The Secret Service. Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class) will direct the Mark Millar comic adaptation. Colin Firth and Taron Egerton also star.
- After casting his Bad Teacher stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel as the leads in Sex Tape, director Jake Kasdan went back to his Orange County rolodex to sign Jack Black for a key cameo.
Hit the jump for more on both projects.
Moving something that’s successful online to TV isn’t a translation that always works. Remember $#*! My Dad Says? Memes flare brightly and die a pretty swift death online, and by the time TV execs (or morning talk show hosts) get in on the joke, the revival is like parading a corpse.
But Drunk History is a little different, in part because its creator, Derek Waters, is just very lucky. In 2007, he filmed a friend imbibing a bottle of scotch and recounting the 1804 duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. The rest is, well, Drunk History. The original segment aired in 2010 on Funny or Die, the Will Ferrell and Adam McKay-created website. Having had the backing of both the public and some of the most successful current comedy minds, the real question is why it took so long for Comedy Central to run with the idea. Hit the jump for more on the new series.
Ever since Jack Black punted Will Ferrell’s dog off a bridge in Anchorman, tensions have remained high between the two comedic veterans. Not really. But they haven’t had an opportunity to work together since then. That’s all about to change with New Line’s Tag Brothers, a comedy pitch based on a real life occurrence. A Wall Street Journal article chronicled the shenanigans of a Spokane, Washington group of friends whose long-running game of tag soon became the subject of national attention. Now in their 40s, they devote every February to a game of tag that stretches across the country. Hit the jump for more.
The nominations for the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards have been announced, and Oscar hopefuls Silver Linings Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom lead the pack. Both films picked up nominations for Best Feature, Director, and Screenplay with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper landing acting noms for SLP and Bruce Willis garnering a swell Best Supporting Actor nomination for his work in Moonrise Kingdom. Beasts of the Southern Wild, Bernie, and Keep the Lights On round out the Best Feature nominees, while The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Safety Not Guaranteed were singled out for the Best First Feature award. Also, Matthew McConaughey pulled double nominations for his stellar work in this year’s Magic Mike and Killer Joe, landing a Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor nod, respectively. Notably shut out of the race entirely was Leos Carax‘s critically-lauded Holy Motors.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominations. The winners of the 2013 Spirit Awards will be announced on Saturday, February 23, 2013.
Let’s take a look at some recent casting news, shall we?
- It looks like Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) will be joining Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike) in The Dallas Buyer’s Club, a drama about the AIDS epidemic directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y.).
- Ron Perlman (Hellboy) will join Savage Mutts, a criminal action thriller written and directed by Nika Agiashvili (Tbilisi, My City).
- Word has it that Jack Black and director Richard Linklater, who previously collaborated on School of Rock and the 2012 indie Bernie, will reunite for a bowling movie that may have been inspired by colorful PBA champion, Pete Weber.
- Finally, the ensemble cast of August: Osage County has added Julianne Nicholson (Kinsey) as well. The film currently stars Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Ewan McGregor and Dermot Mulroney.
Hit the jump for more on each casting note.
Director Richard Linklater returned to screens earlier this year with the dark comedy Bernie, and in celebration of the film’s release on Blu-ray/DVD today, we’ve been provided with a few goodies to giveaway to some lucky fans. Jack Black stars in this true story about an assistant funeral director of a small Texas town who woos and then murders a cantankerous, affluent widow. We have three posters for the film, each signed by Linklater, Black, and Shirley MacLaine, that will go to three lucky readers.
Hit the jump to find out how you can win.
Rumors flew earlier in the week that Charlie Kaufman‘s (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) ambitious project Frank or Francis might, sadly, never come together at all – though Kaufman’s reps are not ready to say any more than it has merely been postponed. The project is a “musical satire” about Hollywood and the internet, and has Steve Carell, Jack Black, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Kline and Elizabeth Banks all set to star, though questions about it ever coming to fruition have been numerous of late.
Kaufman has been busy with quite a few other projects (including writing his first novel, writing and directing an HBO series staring Catherine Keener, and adapting the YA novel Chaos Walking: The Knife Of Never Letting Go, so it’s not difficult to fathom that Frank or Francis may have unfortunately dropped from the top of his priority list. For more on the troubled project and what some of the film’s stars have said about its prospects, hit the jump.
Though the two just starred together in Richard Linklater’s Bernie, Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine are already planning a reunion of sorts. It was announced today (via ScreenDaily) that Black and MacLaine will star in the comedy Wild Oats alongside Jacki Weaver and Alan Arkin. The caper follows two fugitives who are forced to outwit a trio of conmen and the law, with Howard Deutch (Pretty in Pink) onboard to direct from a script by Gary Kanew and Claudia Myers.
The cast is impressive, but Deutch’s recent filmography (My Best Friend’s Girl, The Whole Ten Yards) isn’t exactly up to par with his earlier material. Production on Wild Oats is set to get underway in mid-July, but Black is also attached to star in Charlie Kaufman’s incredibly promising Frank or Francis. That film has a solid cast, but producers are still firming up financing before production can begin.
Opening this weekend, in limited release, is director Richard Linklater’s (Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, Before Sunrise) new film Bernie. The dark comedy is based on a true story and stars Jack Black as an assistant funeral director of a small Texas town who wooed and then murdered a cantankerous, affluent widow. Black is surrounded by a terrific supporting cast that includes Shirley MacLaine as said widow and Matthew McConaughey as the one person in town who suspects Bernie of wrongdoing. While I’ve been less than impressed with Black’s recent film choices, I thought his work in Bernie was incredible and it’ll remind you that when he has the right material, he’s a great actor. For more on the film, here’s seven clips.
Last week I got to sit down with Black and MaClaine. They talked about their favorite movies, were they shocked to learn the story was based on actual events, what changed while filming, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
We’ve been provided with seven clips from director Richard Linklater’s (Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, Before Sunrise) new film Bernie to share with our readers. The dark comedy is based on a true story and stars Jack Black as an assistant funeral director of a small Texas town who wooed and then murdered a cantankerous, affluent widow. Black is surrounded by a terrific supporting cast that includes Shirley MacLaine as said widow and Matthew McConaughey as the one person in town who suspects Bernie of wrongdoing. While I’ve been less than impressed with Black’s recent film choices, I thought his work in Bernie was incredible and it’ll remind you that when he has the right material, he’s a great actor.
Hit the jump to check out the clips. The film opens on April 27th.
It’s always a fun treat when a now-famous actor pops up in a small role in an older movie you haven’t re-watched in a while. We previously posted a “Before They Were Famous” supercut, but now someone has edited together a montage of actors in their very first feature film roles. While you’re most likely aware of the majority of these appearances, I’m willing to bet you’ll find at least a few surprises in this video. I had no idea Jon Hamm was in Clint Eastwood’s “old guys can be astronauts too” movie Space Cowboys, but I now feel compelled to move the pic to the top of my Netflix queue.
Watch Jack Nicholson, Woody Allen, Emma Thompson, Zach Braff and many more make their feature debut after the jump.