It’s pilot season, folks, and with that all the networks are putting together shows that they hope will make this year’s fall schedule. Briefly, here’s some of the latest casting news:
- Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother) will stick around CBS, as the actress has joined the cast of the comedy pilot More Time with the Family, which boasts Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as executive producers.
- With the Murder She Wrote reboot now defunct, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer will lead the potential Fox drama series Red Band Society.
- Jason Isaacs will star in the six-episode event series Dig on USA from Heroes creator Tim Kring.
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned projects.
Here’s the latest casting news from the world of television:
- New CW series The Flash will add Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order) to star alongside Grant Gustin.
- Patrick J. Adams (Suits) and Jason Isaacs (Awake) will join NBC’s Rosemary’s Baby mini-series.
- Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) will topline Tribeca, a comedy pilot from Steve Carell set up at TBS.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
From filmmakers Logan and Noah Miller, the indie thriller Sweetwater, set in the late 1800s, tells the tale of what happens when a fanatical religious leader (Jason Isaacs), a renegade sheriff (Ed Harris) and a former prostitute (January Jones) collide in a blood triangle, on the rugged plains of the New Mexico Territory.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Jason Isaacs talked about what attracted him to this quite brutal and violent story, how brave and bold he thinks the Miller brothers are, as filmmakers, how much fun it was to play such an evil and crazy character, and the biggest challenges in pulling off the role. He also talked about how he feels about the way his former NBC series Awake turned out, that he hopes to return to television soon, and how he’s next going to be shooting roles in the David Ayer film Fury, set in World War II and starring Brad Pitt, and London Fields, from the book by Martin Amis. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Today is the one-two punch of trailers for the worst films I saw at Sundance this year. Earlier, we got the trailer for The Lifeguard, and now we have Sweetwater (which will be called “Sweet Vengeance” in some territories). The western stars January Jones as a frontier woman who hunts down a religious fanatic Prophet Josiah (Jason Isaacs) when he murders her husband over a land dispute. Ed Harris co-stars as a crafty lawman who’s hunting down Josiah for different reasons. The trailer desperately tries to give off a Django Unchained vibe by highlighting the violence, but there are plenty of violent westerns. Sweetwater is one of the really shitty ones.
Hit the jump to check out some new images along with the trailer to see what I mean. Sweetwater currently has no domestic release date, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it were dumped directly to video.
We’ve got a couple of TV casting stories of note to share this afternoon. Fresh off yesterday’s news that Rupert Grint will lead the CBS comedy pilot Super Clyde comes word that another Harry Potter alum is heading to The Eye. THR reports that Jason Isaacs has been tapped to star in the CBS drama pilot Surgeon General. The actor will play the titular surgeon general of the U.S., a widower with two teen girls who is much more interested in the nation’s health than the political aspects of his job. Samuel Baum (Lie to Me) will write and executive produce.
Isaacs is no stranger to network television as he starred in last year’s critically acclaimed NBC series Awake. Sadly, the show failed to become a ratings hit and was subsequently cancelled by the network. Isaacs is a wildly charismatic actor and Surgeon General sounds like a swell outlet for his talent, so hopefully the pilot is a success and CBS orders the show to series. Hit the jump for casting news concerning CBS’ adaptation of the Stephen King novel Under the Dome.
Director David M. Rosenthal’s new crime thriller adaptation A Single Shot is set to premiere at the Berlinale Festival in Germany later this month. The film, written by author Matthew Jones in an adaptation of his 2011 novel, stars Sam Rockwell (Moon) as a deer hunter whose one mistake spirals out of control and lands him in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a pack of backwoods criminals. Hit the jump to read the full synopsis.
In addition to the various small-scale dramas, comedies, and dramedies at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, directors Logan and Noah Miller unveiled their period western thriller Sweetwater for the audiences in Park City. The film stars January Jones as a woman in the 19th century west who runs up against a flamboyant and dangerous preacher (Jason Isaacs) and a rambunctious sheriff (Ed Harris) when her world is thrown into chaos.
While in Park City for Sundance, I had the chance to sit down with Logan and Noah Miller and Isaacs to discuss the film. They talked about how they became involved with the project, the massive amount of input Isaacs had into crafting his character, what kind of material influenced Isaacs’ work, his chemistry with Ed Harris onscreen, how the script developed throughout production, and more. Hit the jump to read the full interview, and click here to read my interview with Jones regarding the film and her work on X-Men and Mad Men.
I am a huge fan of the Western genre. So between me and the filmmakers behind the Western Sweetwater, that makes one of us. Writer-directors Logan Miller and Noah Miller are far more interested in half-constructed ideas based solely on what seems cool. The film rolls along without any urgency even though the audience can tell the story from start to finish, and probably tell it better. The filmmakers somehow managed to rope in great actors like Ed Harris and Jason Isaacs to play campy stock characters, but never had any idea how to fully take advantage of their talent. Cinematographer Brad Shield even gives the movie the look of respectability. Despite some pretty shots and entertaining performances, Sweetwater always feels lackadaisical and half-hearted.
From executive producer/writer Kyle Killen (Lone Star) and executive producer Howard Gordon (Homeland, 24), and with a pilot directed by David Slade (Twilight: Eclipse, 30 Days of Night), the NBC series Awake follows the life of Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs), who wakes up from a car accident with his wife (Laura Allen) and teenage son (Dylan Minnette), to learn the devastating news that his wife died in the crash. And then, he wakes up a few days later to realize that his wife is very much alive and his son died in the accident. When Michael goes back to work solving crimes, alternating between realities provides some challenges when he realizes that these realities overlap in fascinating and inexplicable ways.
At a press day held on the show’s set during a break from filming, actor Jason Isaacs talked about this complex and intriguing new drama, how the universal themes are what made him want to do the show, that no episode will be the same because the character’s world changes all the time, why they decided to shut down production for a month, and that, as a producer and part of the storytelling process, he knows which of the worlds is real and which one isn’t. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
The series won’t premiere until the beginning of next month on March 1st, but NBC has made the full pilot for Awake, one of my most anticipated shows of the midseason, available to stream online right now, two full weeks before it premieres on television. Awake stars Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy of Harry Potter) as a detective who survives a bad car accident, but finds himself waking up in two different realities. In one, his wife died in the accident, but their son survived. In the other, his wife survived the accident, but their son died. It comes from creator Kyle Killen, who last gave us the sorely underrated and sadly cancelled Lone Star. I’m hoping NBC keeps Awake around long enough to find an audience. Check out the full pilot for yourself after the jump.
My most-anticipated new show of the 2011-2012 television season is Awake. Jason Isaacs stars as a cop who’s in a car accident with his family, and now he’s living in two realities: one where his son (Dylan Minnette) survived and one where his wife (Laura Allen) survived. The question is which one is the dream and which one is reality? It’s a terrific premise that could easily run out of steam in a short amount of time, but it’s more original than almost any other new show on network TV. Hopefully, they find a way to build on the premise rather than use it as a hook and nothing more.
The first seven minutes have gone online, and after watching them, I’m still jazzed for this show. I like the way it’s shot and the pacing, and (less surprising) Isaacs is great. If you’ve seen the extended trailer, there’s not a tone of new stuff, but now you can see it in context. Hit the jump to check out the first seven minutes of Awake. The series premieres on Thursday, March 1st at 10/9c on NBC.
If NBC not figuring out when to bring back Community wasn’t enough to piss some viewers off, the network’s delay in figuring out where to put the most promising new series of the midseason should’ve put them over the top. Since the upfronts last year, many viewers, especially us here at Collider, have been dying to find out when Awake from creators Kyle Killen (Lone Star) and Howard Gordon (24) and starring Jason Isaacs would finally hit the air. Thankfully, NBC had an answer today by announcing that the new series will premiere on Thursday, March 1st at 10/9c following the big block of comedy on Thursday nights. It will be knocking The Firm from its current timeslot to a Saturday airdate at the same time. I couldn’t be happier about this news. For a full press release and the fantastic trailer from the upfronts last year, hit the jump.
As I write today, in the back of mind rests more than a handful of permutations for my Black Friday plan of attack. Do I really need a new 42 inch HDTV? How about various seasons of television on DVD/Blu-ray for rock bottom prices? What about one of those sweet Dyson vacuum cleaners with the roller ball? The answer to all of the above is most likely a resounding “no”, but need isn’t what Black Friday is all about. Not even close. Black Friday is all about getting something/anything on the cheap if for no other reason than because if you don’t, then the person behind you in line will. Oh, America. How I love thee.
In this week’s “Top 5″ installment you’ll find our set visit coverage for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, our review and interviews for a little movie you may have heard about called The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, the first trailer for director Tarsem Singh’s Snow White-tale Mirror Mirror, a new trailer for Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games adaptation, and Steve’s coverage from his visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. Hit the jump for a brief recap and link to each.
With the DVD/Blu-ray release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 last week, Warner Bros. Home Video invited a number of reporters from around the world to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida to help promote its release. While there, I got to speak with the cast as well as some of the filmmakers behind one of my favorite films of the year. Over the past few days I posted my interviews with director David Yates, Rupert Grint, Warwick Davis, and James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley). Today, I’m happy to bring you my interview with Jason Isaacs who played the duplicitous and cowardly Lucius Malfoy.
During the interview, Isaacs talked about being at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and what impressed him, what props he took home from set, and if he remembers any deleted scenes that have yet to be included on the DVD/Blu-rays (he talks about one with Gary Oldman). In addition, Isaacs talks about starring in NBC’s Awake, which will air in 2012.
The second trailer for The Lautner Iden—er—Abduction has hit the web. The film pegs Taylor Lautner as an action hero and centers on a young man who’s out to uncover the truth as to why a baby photo of himself wound up on a missing persons website. While the first trailer focused on telling the story, this one plays much more like a fast-cut TV spot that’s very heavy on the action and light on dialogue. I think Lautner only speaks once. The supporting cast is pretty impressive, but I still have trouble taking Lautner seriously as an action star.
Directed by John Singleton, the film stars Lautner, Lily Collins, Sigourney Weaver, Danny Glover, Alfred Molina, Michael Nyqvist, Maria Bello, and Jason Isaacs. Abduction opens on September 23rd. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.