Since Boardwalk Empire is arguably the best new series on TV this season, it’s not surprising that HBO is keen on getting another compelling period drama series off the ground. Deadline reports the cable network is working with Boardwalk Empire executive producer Stephen Levinson, Entourage executive producer Mark Wahlberg, author Malcolm Gladwell and screenwriter Charles Randolph (The Interpreter) on a series set during the Cold War. Few details are known about the untitled series, but the basic plot is said to follow a missionary who becomes involved in the CIA. Sounds mildly interesting, and since it’s not TV (it’s HBO), there’s likely something great in the works here.
Details on The CW’s attempt to ride on the coattails of Glee after the jump.
Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah are teaming up for Joyful Noise, which revolves a small-town gospel choir. As the film begins, the local choir director dies, and his widow (Parton) hopes to take over the job. Though Latifah is placed in charge, the two women join forces to keep the choir from folding. This is Parton’s first starring role in over a decade, after 1992′s Straight Talk.
According to THR, Todd Graff (Bandslam) is set to write and direct the feature for Alcon Entertainment. Graff is also the man behind the upcoming remake of Damn Yankees, with Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal as the leads.
Todd Graff, the writer and director of Bandslam, says his remake of the musical Damn Yankees won’t feature the Yankees but will feature steroids. Graff points out that the original 1955 story featured the now non-existent Washington Senators so he’s replacing them with the Chicago Cubs who haven’t won a pennant in 102 years. And we all know there’s only two ways people could see the Cubs winning the World Series: making a deal with Satan or steroids. Speaking to MTV, Graff says:
“If a character like Joe Hardy – who’s the character in ‘Damn Yankees’ – sprung out of nowhere and was hitting 70 home runs in a season, who would not think immediately ‘steroids’?” said writer/director Todd Graff, who has cast Jake Gyllenhaal in the Tab Hunter role of a baseball fan who sells his soul to become the greatest player. “So [steroids] is not even a side character for us; it’s our main character. No one is going to think, ‘Oh, it’s because he made a deal with the devil (played by Jim Carrey)!’ They’d think, ‘He’s juicing!’”
Graff is planning to keep only a few of the original songs and pen about five or six new ones, including one about steroids. Hit the jump for details on how Graff is also removing the choreography.
Deadline has updates on two films, both of which are getting unknown/first-time directors to helm flicks with big stars. First up, Todd Graff is getting in the director’s chair for a remake of the musical Damn Yankees, which is set to star Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal. The 1955 musical focuses on a fan who makes a deal with the devil in order to become a slugger who will lead the struggling Yanks to the World Series. The front office of all ball clubs should adopt this strategy. Carrey would play the Devil while Gyllenhaal would be the wannabe baseball superstar. As for Graff, he’s directed three musical, but the highest grossing one was 2009′s Bandslam, which only made $5.2 million at the box office. Graff may be untested for such a big flick, but I dig the musical and Carrey as the Devil should be pretty fun.
Hit the jump to learn how screenwriter Etan Cohen is making the jump to directing with Daddy’s Home starring Will Ferrell and Ed Helms.