Looks like the greater Marvel Universe is officially coming to the upcoming Marvel’s Agent Carter – at least behind the camera. It was announced today during the Marvel TV panel at Comic-Con that Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo will be helming the second and third episodes of the ABC series set to debut in 2015. Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnson will helm the fourth episode, with Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito set to direct the first one.
Related: TCA: ABC Sets Fall Premiere Dates
The announcements were made after a short teaser video was shown to a packed Ballroom 20. Mostly a voice-over via President Harry Truman, the post-WWII-set series promised fans that they would discover a “different side of the Marvel Universe.” Agent Carter picks up in 1946 and the first version of S.H.I.E.L.D. coming together as the Cold War heats up. Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb said the show hasn’t started stated filming and the writers room opens next week.
The cast of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. was also on the panel with Clark “Agent Phil Coulson” Gregg coming out to a thunderous standing ovation. The panel confirmed Lucy Lawless will join the show in the second season as a longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Isabel Hartley. British actor Nick Blood will also join as a mercenary, and Reed Diamond, who appeared on Joss Wheldon’s 2009 Fox series Dollhouse, will also be added. The panel was treated to a specially made video of Patton Oswalt in his S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Billy Koenig role jokingly lecturing the crowd on security.
Related: ABC Picks Up ‘Marvel’s Agent Carter’, Renews ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’
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Fox has pulled the plug on its planned live special that was going to feature professional stuntman Eddie Braun and daredevil Big Ed Beckley trying to jump across Idaho’s Snake River Canyon to mark the 40th anniversary of Evel Knievel’s failed attempt to leap over the 2,300-foot-deep canyon. Jump Of The Century was supposed to feature the two rivals re-creating the 1974 stunt — one on a rocket and one on a rocket-powered motorcycle. The special, announced at Fox’s upfront presentation in May, was on a tight schedule as the anniversary of Knievel’s stunt is September 8. I hear preparations were moving slow, with some of the contraptions taking a long time to design and build, and the budget was poised to go significantly above the original estimate due to growing production expenses.
The target date for the special was October 27, when the days are shorter and weather often is unpredictable, making lighting and other logistics for a primetime special difficult and expensive to pull off. Some of that was built into the premise — setting such dangerous stunts safely live on TV is hard and expensive. Word is Discovery lost millions and millions of dollars on its Mount Everest jump special, which was cancelled after a deadly avalanche at the summit.
Related: Discovery Cancels Everest Jump In Wake Of Avalanche Deaths
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Peter Shinkoda has been tapped for a major recurring role in Netflix’s Marvel drama series Daredevil set to premiere in 2015. The series was written by executive producer Drew Goddard, with Steven S. DeKnight as executive producer/showrunner. Daredevil is the first of four 13-episode superhero series set in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. Shinkoda, repped by D2 Management and Characters Talent Agency, will play Hachiro. Shinkoda was a regular on TNT’s Falling Skies and recently guest-starred on Hawaii Five-O. His big screen credits include I Robot, Godzilla and Paycheck.
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Walt Disney Animation Studios has assembled its voice cast for the studio’s fall feature Big Hero 6, about a young robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada and his robot companion Baymax, who pull together a team of crime fighters to save the city of San Fransokyo. Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, Damon Wayans Jr., T.J. Miller, Alan Tudyk, Jamie Chung, Genesis Rodriguez and Daniel Henney will voice the cast, with Oregon born, Tokyo raised actor Ryan Potter (Nickelodeon’s Supah Ninjas) starring as as Hiro Hamada and Scott Adsit voicing Baymax.
Big Hero 6 is the first Disney pic to feature Marvel universe characters and is adapted by Don Hall and Jordan Roberts from the Marvel comic mini-series of the same name, whose team and characters were created by Man of Action’s Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle. They’ve tweaked a few details: The original Big Hero 6 story took place in Japan and featured a post-nuclear villain created from the souls of atomic bombing victims; Disney’s version is being promoted heavily on the cute factor of robot sidekick Baymax. Read More »
Marvel continues to staff up for its Netflix series Daredevil. It unveiled today via Twitter that Elden Henson will play Foggy Nelson, the best friend and legal partner of Matt Murdock, the alter ego of superhero Daredevil. Henson, repped by Talentworks and manager Jelani Johnson, is in both Hunger Games: Mockingjay pics and is known for his place in the Mighty Ducks franchise. In Daredevil – set to premiere in 2015 as the first of four 13-episode superhero series Marvel is producing for the streaming service – Nelson is tight with the Hell’s Kitchen community, making him a friend to many in all walks of life. Read More »
Rosario Dawson (Cesar Chavez, Kids) is set to guest star in Marvel’s Daredevil, Netflix’s 13-episode series slated to premiere in 2015. Dawson joins previously cast Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio in the series written and executive produced by Drew Goddard, with Steven S. DeKnight also serving as exec producer/showrunner.. It follows the journey of Matt Murdock (Cox), who was blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses, now fighting against injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as the super hero Daredevil in modern day Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. Dawson will play a dedicated young woman whose quest to heal the wounds of Hell’s Kitchen brings Matt Murdock unexpectedly crashing into her life, while her own journey forever alters the course of his battle against the injustices of this broken city. Marvel’s Daredevil is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix. Dawson can be seen in upcoming feature Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.
NBC is taking new ABC singing competition Rising Star very seriously, using heavy artillery against the debut of the new reality series this weekend. NBC has slotted an original of its strongest summer series, veteran America’s Got Talent, which airs Tuesdays, directly opposite the two-hour premiere of Rising Star from 9-11 PM on Sunday. But the Peacock didn’t stop here: NBC just announced a special daredevil stunt throughout Sunday night, which is being billed as “Show-Stopping Sunday.”
Related: Jeff Bader’s First Big Test: Fixing NBC’s Thursday Night
Both stunts, hosted by AGT judge Howie Mandel, will aim at breaking Guinness world records — for fastest jump over three moving cars and the highest shallow dive into fire. They will be chronicled in the form of interstitials that will air during American Ninja Warrior, which airs from 7-9 PM and AGT from 9-11 PM. Such stunting is vintage Jeff Bader. One of his first moves after jumping from ABC to NBC to head scheduling in 2012 was to add a third, Wednesday installment of The Voice‘s premiere week to go head-to-head against the hyped Season 2 premiere of Fox’s The X Factor that introduced new judge Britney Spears. The stunt didn’t go very well with X Factor boss Simon Cowell, who called it “a cynical, cold-hearted, unprofessional way of doing business.” But it worked in taking sizzle away from the X Factor debut. Read More »
Marvel is adding some serious acting chops to its 13-episode Netflix series Daredevil. Law & Order: Criminal Intent alum Vincent D’Onofrio will co-star opposite Charlie Cox in the series, set to premiere in 2015, Marvel announced today. (It is unclear why the company chose a mugshot-style photo of D’Onofrio, right, to accompany its announcement). D’Onofrio will play Wilson Fisk (known as supervillain The Kingpin in the Marvel Comics universe), a powerful businessman whose interests in the future of Hell’s Kitchen will bring him into conflict with the blind attorney Matt Murdock (Cox) and his alter ego Daredevil. In the 2003 movie starring Ben Affleck, the role of Fisk/Kingpin was played by Michael Clarke Duncan. The Daredevil series was written by executive producer Drew Goddard, with Steven S. DeKnight recently hired as executive producer/showrunner. Daredevil is the first of four 13-episode superhero series set in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, which Marvel is producing for Netflix. It will be followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, with the characters from each show then coming together for an Avengers-type superhero teaming in a chapter-closing miniseries.
Boardwalk Empire alum Charlie Cox is poised to play the title character in Marvel’s 13-episode series Daredevil, set to premiere on Netflix in 2015, sources confirm. The project was written by executive producer Drew Goddard, with Steven S. DeKnight just hired as executive producer/showrunner. Daredevil is the first of four 13-episode superhero series set in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, which Marvel is producing for Netflix. It will be followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, with the characters from each show then coming together for an Avengers-type superhero teaming in a chapter-closing miniseries. The character of blind superhero Matt Murdock/Daredevil most recently was played on the big screen by Ben Affleck. Blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses, Matt Murdock fights against injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as the super hero Daredevil in modern day Hell’s Kitchen. The casting reaffirms Cox’s drama series leading-man potential, something CBS brass strongly believed in, casting the British actor as the lead of two consecutive pilots, The Ordained last season and John Cusack’s Wall Street project this season. Unfortunately, neither went to series. It is possible that Marvel can’t announce Cox because he hasn’t been formally released from the most recent CBS pilot. UPDATE 6 PM: Marvel officially announced Cox’s casting.
Catch up on the past week in TV news:
Syfy Acquires Starz Drama ‘Spartacus’
By Nellie Andreeva
EXCLUSIVE: Syfy has acquired U.S. basic cable rights to all 39 episodes of Starz’s Spartacus. That includes the three seasons of the swords-and-sandals drama as well as the six-part prequel Gods Of The Arena. Spartacus will make its Syfy debut June 26 and will air at 10 PM, following original series Defiance and Dominion.
Bill Hader To Create & Star In HBO Series
By Nellie Andreeva
EXCLUSIVE: Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader has signed an exclusive development deal with HBO to create and star in a new comedy series for the premium cable network. Hader is best known for his eight-season stint on SNL where he was one of the most popular cast members of the past decade, creating such memorable characters as NY club scene expert Stefon and Italian talk show host Vinni Vedechi and earning two Emmy nominations.
EMMYS: AMC Launches ‘Breaking Bad’ FYC Billboard Campaign
By Dominic Patten
EXCLUSIVE: If you’re driving around LA today don’t be surprised to see Breaking Bad’s Walter White staring down at you. With a print campaign to follow next month, AMC is putting up Emmy consideration billboards in several locations around the city to remind voters that the now-completed show is still eligible to repeat its Best Drama series win last year. Read More »
Spartacus creator/executive producer Steven S. DeKnight has been tapped as executive producer/showrunner of Marvel’s 13-episode series Daredevil, set to premiere on Netflix in 2015. Drew Goddard was originally tapped as writer/executive producer and director. He pulled out from directing duties in late March when Sony gave him a big feature assignment, to write and direct The Amazing Spider-Man spin-off film, The Sinister Six. Goddard did write the first two episodes of Daredevil and will remain as executive producer. Marvel had been looking for an experienced showrunner to shepherd the series, zeroing in on DeKnight, and the company just officially announced his hire. Search for a director to helm the opening episode continues.
DeKnight has been under an overall deal at Starz, spearheading an U.S. adaptation of the Italian drama Romanzo Criminale among other projects. He has been let out of his deal by Starz to do the Netflix series. Daredevil is the first of four 13-episode superhero series Marvel is producing for Netflix, to be followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, with the characters from each show then coming together for an Avengers-type superhero teaming in a chapter-closing miniseries.
This was a subtle contrast to last year when the company also highlighted scripted fare and trotted out a parade of celebrities including Mariel Hemingway, Morgan Freeman, William Hurt, LaToya Jackson, and NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon. Filmmaker Ron Howard was perhaps the biggest new name showing up this year: He told Discovery advertisers that New Form — the online content production venture he and Brian Grazer are launching with the pay TV company — expects to “generate great scripted programming for today’s digital viewers.” They’re already weighing “several series” as they delve into “shortform content and all its possibilities.” Howard also intends to encourage other creative types to “bring their talent to New Form.” Oprah Winfrey returned, of course, to promote OWN. With its recent ratings success, “no one is happier than we are right now about what is happening to OWN.” She says the network is heading toward its “next evolution” with its first original scripted movie with Toni Braxton playing legendary studio singer Darlene Love, the focus of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom. She also brought out Tyler Perry for a second year; he talked up his soap opera The Haves And The Have Nots.
Related: Discovery Channel Unveils New Slate
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New York was “our first choice” to film four NYC-based Marvel “Defenders” series and a miniseries planned for Netflix beginning in 2015, Disney CEO Bob Iger said today during a press event in NY announcing the deal. But the Empire State’s taxpayers had to help seal the deal for what officials say is the biggest film or TV production commitment ever for New York: The state provided the entertainment giant with undisclosed breaks and incentives estimated at $4M for the project that’s projected to create 3,000 jobs including 400 full time ones in the Big Apple. They’ll work on 52 one-hour live action episodes and a miniseries built around Marvel characters Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage in what Disney calls “the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York.” Taxpayers had to sweeten the terms for Disney because there was “a lot of competition from different cities” to land the production, Iger says. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the commitment is “exciting,” and a win for his efforts to broaden the economic base which heavily depends on financial institutions. The economic downturn in 2008 “was a wake-up call for the state of New York…you have to diversify,” he said at announcement with Iger. The Disney chief says that no decision has been made with Netflix about whether the series’ episodes will be released all at once or individually.
Here’s the release from Disney and New York state: Read More »
Fox recently cleared some prime summer 2015 real estate for its reboot of Marvel’s Fantastic Four, now it appears to have its actors. After a long search — Chronicle‘s Josh Trank was announced as the director at the 2012 Comic-Con — Fruitvale Station breakout Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller (Divergent), Kate Mara (Transcendence) and Jamie Bell (Nymphomaniac) are working on deals to star as the ’60s-spawned superhero quartet. The deals aren’t in cement yet, but Jordan and Bell look pretty solid. The roles as they stand would be Jordan as Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch), Teller as Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Mara as Sue Storm (the Invisible Woman) and Bell as Ben Grimm (the Thing). The latest script is from X-Men: Days of Future Past scribe Simon Kinberg.
Discovery Channel, looking to top Nik Wallenda‘s made-for-TV tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon, has signed Joby Ogwyn to attempt the first wing suit flight off the summit of Mount Everest, live on Discovery Channel in May. The jump — a descent of more than 10,000 vertical feet at speeds of over 150 mph – will be telecast live in 224 countries and territories.
Discovery’s had good luck with live daredevil specials. In July, an average of 13 million people watched Wallenda slowly walk a wire across the Colorado River Gorge while conducting a running dialogue with God and Jesus. “Oh, I praise you, Jesus. Lord, help this cable to calm down — command it,” the 34-year-old aerialist suggested a few yards into his quarter-mile Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda. Wallenda was not wearing a harness but had a microphone and two cameras — including one that looked down on the dry Little Colorado River bed and one that was focused dead ahead. Discovery telecast the ratings grab with a 10-second delay in the U.S. and a couple hundred other countries. The two-hour event delivered 8.5 million total viewers — jumping to 13 million during the actual walk. It became the third-highest-rated telecast of all-time in Discovery Channel history and was the most-watched TV program that night, beating everything on the broadcast nets and cable.
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Despite a historic tie for best picture at the PGA Awards a week ago, the most talked about moment from the ceremony was when Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television winner Chuck Lorre recounted a brief bathroom encounter with Ben Affleck at the Golden Globes when the two peed next to each other. “Yes, I peeked. And yes, Comic-Con — he can play Batman,” Lorre said to roaring laughter, a line that later sparked a witty response from best picture presenter Affleck (watch the video below). Now Lorre used a vanity card that aired at the end of his CBS comedies Mike & Molly and Mom last night to set the record straight on the described encounter (yes, it was a joke). He revealed the original versions of the anecdote that would’ve featured director Martin Scorsese and mogul Harvey Weinstein as well as the reasons he rejected them before settling on Affleck. Here is the card:
Not that it really matters, but the joke I made at the Producers Guild Awards regarding Ben Affleck’s genitals being of sufficient size to fill the caped crusader’s codpiece was just that, a joke. I’ve never met Mr. Affleck in or out of a men’s room. Nor am I in the habit of peeking at another guy’s junk while standing at a urinal. (I mostly stare at the tiles and worry that the invisible auto-flush light beam is secretly cooking my internal organs.) I just wanted to open my speech with a cheap laugh about the Golden Globes. To be completely honest, the original version of the joke had me peeing next to and peeking at Martin Scorsese — who was, at best, a grower not a show-er. I cut it, wisely I thought, because it felt unfair to “belittle” a giant of cinema, even if I had issues with “Hugo.” I then considered telling the same joke with Harvey Weinstein as the celebrity at the neighboring stall, but cut that as well because I worried that he might be able to have me hurt.
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Broadcast executives for years have been preaching about switching to a year-round development cycle or adopting the cable model of producing fewer pilots with higher pilot-to-series ratio. They have been ordering occasional off-cycle pilots and have jumped on scripts with pilot orders in November and December but are yet to break the traditional pilot season paradigm. This coming year, they may be forced to. In 2013, we had what was probably the first true continuous pilot season, with existing and new cable and digital players constantly handing out pilot and straight-to-series orders. Add to that the new push into limited/event series arena, and there were at least a dozen projects casting at any time of the year. That has kept casting directors and TV talent agents busy and has further depleted the acting talent pool. Every year, there are a handful of pilots that are left unproduced because of difficulty casting. There is quiet panic in the air these days that this coming pilot season we will see a lot more of that. It is the logical next step after the proliferation of scripted programming across different platforms caused a shortage of writers, especially on the drama side, pushing the number of drama buys this development season way down.
A cancelled series used to mean a cast available for the following broadcast pilot season. When ABC in January 2010 announced that Ugly Betty was going to end that spring, it created a feeding frenzy for the stars of the show that pilot season. Now actors from cancelled shows are snatched long before the following broadcast pilot season rolls along. For instance, the CW said in May that drama Nikita was calling it a day with a final six-episode installment. Its male leads, Shane West and Aaron Stanford are already spoken for with big roles in cable projects — West is the male lead on WGN America’s first scripted series, drama Salem, Stanford is the lead of Syfy’s pilot 12 Monkeys, based on Terry Gilliam’s movie, with his Nikita co-star Noah Bean also cast in the pilot. Read More »
Michael Lynton said last month that they intended to create “a bigger universe around Spider-Man” and today Sony Pictures had a new webslinging big bang. Sony Pictures Entertainment, in association with Marvel Entertainment, announced it will make movies on Spidey villains Venom and The Sinister Six. Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard to collaborate on overseeing the developing story over several films that will be produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. This was announced via the tucked away ElectroArrives.com, Spider-Man 2 related website. Spider-Man reboot 1 & 2 director Marc Webb will join the five scribes and two producers in what Sony is terming “a franchise brain trust to expand the universe for the brand and to develop a continuous tone and thread throughout the films.”
Sony Plans More Spider-Man Sequels & Spinoffs But Still No Marvel Reunion
Hot Trailer: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
For a studio that’s trimming back film output it is a pretty big expansion but then again the 4-movie Spidey franchise has made $3.2 billion worldwide so far for Sony/Columbia since it started in 2002 – and that’s without the expected blockbuster of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that starts its international rollout on April 16, 2014 and debuts Stateside on May 2, 2014. Besides Spider-Man 3, which is expected to come out on June 10, 2016, there is a Kurtzman-directed Venom and a … Read More »
For Playboy‘s 60th anniversary issue, the magazine needed an iconic subject for the Playboy Interview, and I hit the lottery. I got to talk with actor-writer-director-producer Ben Affleck about his life and the remarkable second act that he wrote for himself as writer-director of Gone Baby Gone and The Town, which culminated in the Best Picture Oscar for Argo. Naturally, the first topic on the menu was his surprise decision to become the latest in a long line of actors to play the Caped Crusader in Batman Vs. Superman. At the time we met, Affleck was watching as the Internet exploded negatively to his Bat-candidacy. Having weathered career hardship before and come back stronger for it, Affleck was unconcerned by the Bat-zealots who actually started online petitions against him.
Related: Why Ben Affleck As Batman Is Good Move For Warner Bros
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