8th and 9th UPDATES, 9:40 PM and 10:34 PM: Lucy is having a ball (okay, I know that’s lame), but Universal Pictures certainly is. How high can she rise? Right now, all bets are on that the Scarlett Johansson sci-fi actioner should kick in over $42M for the three-day weekend for director Luc Besson — maybe even as high as $44M. The picture has enjoyed a very good Friday with about $15.4M (and that includes the almost $2.8M it grossed Thursday night). However, just got the CinemaScores in at 10:30 PM (hence the update) and it only garnered a C+ CinemaScore which is not going to bode well for word of mouth. In the No. 2 spot is, as expected, is Paramount/MGM’s Hercules whose estimates didn’t strengthen much throughout the day and is still expected for an $11M Friday for a weekend around $28M to $30M. Chalk it up to the star power of Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson. This pic got a B+ CinemaScore, the same as the other newcomer And So It Goes (see below for details on that pic).
Fox’s The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will take the No. 3 spot in its third week of release for a $17.3M three-day and the horror flick The Purge: Anarchy is in the No. 4 spot with $10.4M for Universal. After the distrib. added 50 theaters, it is nonetheless falling about 65% in its second weekend and going the way … Read More »
The Comic-Con crowd got its first look at Season 3 of the CW’s Arrow today. Get a gander at the series newcomers Brandon Routh, returning to the superhero scene as Ray Palmer, and Karl Yune as Maseo — as well as Colton Haynes in costume as Arsenal. Oh, and there’s a shot or two of Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy:
Severed heads, torture, epic battles, weaponry galore, menacing voice-over, badass stares — it’s all here in the first-look trailer for Season 3 of History‘s Vikings that premiered at Comic-Con today. The series was renewed in March and will return in 2015. Have a look:
Related: History’s ‘Vikings’ Adds Cast
It wasn’t an A-list star or surprise announcement that scored the biggest reaction during Fox‘s mammoth Comic-Con panel — it was rapper Biz Markie, who joined producer Guillermo del Toro‘s Book Of Life gang onstage belting his 1989 anthem “Just A Friend” in a moment of random pop culture mishmash. The song is covered in the 3D animated feature from director Jorge Gutierrez, a dazzlingly designed romantic adventure inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday and produced by Reel FX that Fox will open on October 17.
The original story follows Manolo (Diego Luna), who must fight for his lady love when spirits La Muerte (Kate del Castillo) and Xibalba (Ron Perlman) meddle in the world of the living. A trailer introduced to the Hall H crowd gave fans their first taste of Book, filled with Latin-inspired designs, a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” sung by lovesick matador Manolo, and the voice work of Ice Cube dropping his wink-wink line, “Today was a good day.”
Related: Guillermo Del Toro Comes Aboard Animated ‘Day Of The Dead’
The Day of the Dead holiday, celebrated around the world, served as a springboard for award-winning animator Gutierrez to fold in many elements of his Mexican heritage. “The Day of the Dead is very near and dear to my heart,” he said. “Got married on the Day of the Dead because I wanted my best friend who passed away to be my best man, and I knew he would be there. The core belief of the holiday is that as long as we tell stories of those came before us, sing their songs, and cook their dishes, they’re with us.” Read More »
To deafening cheers and laughs, FX showed off the Season 6 opener of Archer, in which the ISIS team returns to a digitized version of their spy office with Lana’s baby in tow. Meanwhile, Archer — in Army fatigues — bonds with a Japanese despot amid bombs and blasts on a stranded island. Addressing the change from Archer‘s Vice drug-running theme in Season 5, creator Adam Reed said the reason was because “we ran out of cocaine!” “We treated Season 5 as a vacation,” he said. “We’re happy to be home, and we’re excited to get back to what we normally do after a fun summer of cocaine.” Season 6 will continue to explore Archer’s resistance to becoming a better person.
Also, ISIS will be working with the CIA more, so Christian Slater will return as a guest voice-over as Slater. In addition Fargo star Allison Tolman will be guest-voicing as Edie, Pam’s sister. Aisha Tyler (Lana Kane) pointed out the whole Vice theme nabbed Archer its first Emmy nomination, for Outstanding Voiceover Performance (H. Jon Benjamin as Archer). Read More »
Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski and digital company Graphic India have joined with Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes‘ Chernin Entertainment to turn Straczynski’s upcoming graphic novel Titans into a feature. Straczynski, whose credits include Thor, World War Z and Sense8, will write the script and produce through his Studio JMS banner. The logline: When ships from an unknown world crash-land around Earth, the Titans on board — massive entities with no memory of where they came from or where they were going — bond telepathically with the ordinary humans who encounter them. The story follows the Titans and their humans over a decade as the world tries to use them for their own purposes. Some want military superiority, others peace; some want to build cities, others to destroy them. The result is great hope and terrible wars. Chernin Entertainment will produce with Graphic India, the joint venture that Chernin formed with Liquid Comics and CA Media LP, Chernin’s Asian investment arm. Sharad Devarajan and Gotham Chopra of Graphic India and Liquid Comics also will serve producing roles.
Said Straczynski: “In an increasingly international marketplace, Titans represents the kind of multinational storytelling that will play an ever more important role in both film and publishing. Sharad Devarajan and Gotham Chopra have been extremely supportive of this story, and Peter Chernin is exactly the right person to shepherd this into a successful film franchise.”
“I want to last. I want to be an actor,” Daniel Radcliffe said Friday at his very first Comic-Con, where the erstwhile Harry Potter was promoting his dark horror pic Horns. French horror maven Alexandre Aja directs the tale of Ig Perrish, who awakens one morning to find a pair of demonic horns growing out of his skull in the wake of his girlfriend’s murder. Radcliffe, Aja, and author Joe Hill showed off the premiere of the U.S. trailer and an extended scene that had been edited for the young eyes and ears in the audience. Two f-bombs in the span of a single reel? Accio adulthood, Potterites.
Related: TCA: Daniel Radcliffe Says He’s Too Young To Play Graying Harry Potter
Pic is adapted by Keith Bunin from Hill’s 2010 novel, a genre-bender he described as a “tragicomic-horror-dy.” In the footage, Radcliffe’s Ig has developed the power to compel others to express their worst impulses and persuades a scrum of journalists to brawl in exchange for an exclusive interview. “Getting journalists to fight … I took pleasure in that scene,” Radcliffe laughed. He admitted the heavy media scrutiny on the young Potter cast eventually took its toll. “Towards the end of time on Potter, I did start to get worried,” he said. “I wasn’t before but journalists started asking, ‘Do you think your best years are behind you?’ — at 20.”
Related: Hot Trailer: Daniel Radcliffe In ‘What If’
Radcliffe said he was determined “to have a career after Potter” and sought out mature stage and film works “that sent a message to people that I wanted to challenge myself as an actor.” He came to the filmmakers in pursuit of the Ig role. “That was before Woman In Black, so I didn’t really know about your work,” said Aja to Radcliffe. “I was really impressed that you were so skilled as an actor.” Read More »
Revealed today at A&E’s Comic-Con panel for Bates Motel is that season 3 will dive more into the story of Norma’s brother, Caleb, as Kenny Johnson is made a regular on the show. Also, executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin revealed that posh damsel in distress Bradley (Nicola Peltz) — aka the girl who Norman will do anything for — will be returning. “There’s a huge revelation for Norman as he realizes he can do these terrible things,” said Cuse. For the most part the EPs were tight-lipped about major storylines for season 3. Of note, we’ll learn more about Sheriff Romero’s backstory. Rather than treat the crowd to season 3 spoilers, panel organizers found it amusing to have members of the audience arm wrestle Johnson since he’s a champion in the raw sport. The Bates Motel panel featured a couple of silly clips: an Arrested Development-like opening credits sequence for the series as well as a number of offbeat, unhinged auditions of the actors, which are to be featured on the season 2 DVD. Sitting on the Comic-Con panel were Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Olivia Cooke, Nestor Carbonell and Johnson.
Related: A&E’s ‘Bates Motel’ Renewed For Third Season
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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“People have been trying to make a feature film of (my novel) Outlander for the last 20 years. I said to (executive producer) Ron Moore that I have seen scripts that made me turn white and burst into flames,” said author Diana Gabaldon about her 1991 book which tells the romantic story of a 1945 combat nurse Claire Randall, who is time warped back to 1743 and marries a dashing Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser.
Related: TCA: Starz Offers Free Viewing Of ‘Outlander’ Premiere, Sets Split First Season Plan
At Starz‘s Comic-Con panel, Moore, Gabaldon and the cast recounted how the bestselling international novel finally saw its way to a visual medium. They also introduced a new trailer:
When Battlestar Galactica was winding down, EP Moore was discussing with wife Terry and his producing partner Maril Davis what their next project would be, and the two brought Outlander to his attention over dinner.
Related: Starz Sets Premiere Date For ‘Outlander’, Releases Key Art
“They got all excited, but I kept drinking and eating. I was taken with it ultimately. It was a page turner and I wanted to see what happened next. I liked the character of Claire and its attention to history. I saw this novel as a TV series.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros hosts its Comic-Con panel tomorrow morning where Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is expected to be front and center, but here’s a morsel to nibble on today. I’m hearing that after he absolutely crushed the script on that film, Oscar-winning Argo scribe Chris Terrio is being courted by the studio to come aboard and script its Justice League movie. That superhero mash-up will be DC Comics‘ answer to Marvel’s Avengers juggernaut. Not that well known prior to Argo, Terrio has fast become an A-list scribe, and a favorite of writer-directors. He’s got Bunker Hill with Ben Affleck, and The Foreigner, among several big pics. Terrio’s repped by WME.
Related: Zack Snyder Locked For ‘Justice League’
Affleck’s going to star as Batman in the Zack Snyder-directed Justice League and Henry Cavill will reprise Superman, while Gal Gadot will play Wonder Woman and Game Of Thrones alum Jason Momoa is on the docket to play Aquaman. Might be the highest-priority film at Warner Bros for new film division managers Greg Silverman and Sue Kroll.
Related: Comic-Con: Ben Affleck As Batman Shows Up … Sort Of
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is setting Edgar Wright to direct Grasshopper Jungle, the acclaimed Andrew Smith YA novel that is being adapted by Beautiful Girls scribe Scott Rosenberg. Rosenberg is producing with Amazing Spider-Man‘s Matt Tolmach and they will be joined by Nira Park, who is at the center of all Wright’s films. Wright, you’ll remember, recently squashed his participation in Ant-Man, the Marvel Studios film that has Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas still starring, because he and Marvel clashed over visions for the wannabe franchise. Wright is staying in insect mode, but moved onto a project that suits his sci-fi sensibility and teams him with Rosenberg, as distinctive a dialogue writer as Wright is a visual director of popcorn films.
Wright’s importance here at Comic-Con wasn’t lost on me yesterday as I walked among the throng and noticed that right between the two men holding the bright yellow signs reminding us we should repent and are going to hell, a guy held an equally bold sign on a wooden stake that read “Edgar Wright Was Right.” Whether that was for him sticking to his guns on his version of Ant-Man or something else, the filmmaker is beloved here. I’ve seen him speak in years past at Marvel panels as the difficult visual effects that will shrink Ant-Man were being harnessed, and last year he was here vamping The World’s End, the alien-attacks-pub-crawlers film that was the third in the Cornetto Trilogy he made with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.
Grasshopper Jungle, which is best described as Stand By Me meets Attack The Block, seems right in Wright’s wheelhouse. It’s a coming-of-age story that focuses on an Iowa teen trying to come to grips with his own raging hormones and sexual feelings as he and his cohorts cause a deadly genetically engineered plague that unleashes an army of 6-foot-tall praying mantises. Those bugs live the life these guys wish for, acting on an insatiable appetite for fighting, food, and fornicating. Read More »
The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus shot some video from his perch on the dais today during the hit AMC zombie series’ panel in cavernous Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center. He then tweeted it out to his 2.1 million-plus followers, all of whom appear to have shown up and been crammed into the room. It makes being chased by the flesh-eating undead seem refined by comparison. Check it out for yourself:
Comedy Central has given third-season orders to Tuesday night series Drunk History and Nathan For You four episodes into their sophomore runs. The new seasons will air in 2015. The announcement was made the day Kent Alterman, the network’s President of Original Programming, is presenting Nathan For You star Nathan Fielder with Just For Laugh’s Breakout Comedy Star of the Year Award in Montreal.
Related: Comedy Central Gives Series Orders To Pair Of Shows, Renews 3
Created for television by series host Derek Waters and director Jeremy Konner, Drunk History pairs inebriated storytellers up with well known talent as they reenact great moments in history. Guest stars in Season 2 include Jack Black, Courteney Cox, David Cross, Charlie Day, Laura Dern, Emily Deschanel, Nathan Fielder, Johnny Knoxville, Nick Kroll, John Lithgow, Jordan Peele, Stephen Merchant, Patton Oswalt, Busy Philips, Jason Ritter and Winona Ryder. Through four episodes, second season ratings for are up +26% among Adults 18-49 vs. season one and +17% among total viewers. In its Tuesday 10 PM timeslot, Drunk History is the #1 original series in all of television with Men 18-34 and #1 in cable with Men 18-49. Waters, Konner and Gary Sanchez Prods’ Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy and Owen Burke exec produce.
Related: Comedy Central Ups Jim Sharp To EVP
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EXCLUSIVE: Don’t expect Patrick Wilson, Matt Gerald and Kevin Weisman to be at tomorrow’s Marvel Studios Hall H presentation at Comic-Con. That trio has dropped out of the ever-morphing Ant-Man movie that has Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas and The Hobbit‘s Evangeline Lilly starring. The movie has been in some state of flux after director Edgar Wright dropped out over differences in creative vision with Marvel’s Kevin Feige, so not surprisingly there is speculation that the trio’s exit is for the same reason that Wright departed and was replaced by Peyton Reed. Marvel insiders adamantly dispute that.
Related: Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari In Negotiations For ‘Ant-Man’ Rewrite
We’re told by insiders that Gerald and Weisman’s characters were omitted in the newly evolved version of the script. Wilson, on the other hand, had a scheduling conflict as production on the movie got delayed, and that is why he won’t be there. Lilly is at Comic-Con to tour a children’s book and Peter Jackson’s final Hobbit installment, The Battle Of The Five Armies. We wouldn’t be surprised to see her at the Marvel panel along with Rudd, Douglas and Reed. Feige always pulls out the stops on Comic-Con, so we expect star-studded updates on Avengers: Age Of Ultron and some vamping on the imminent release Guardians Of The Galaxy. Feige is always good for a few … Read More »
HBO’s blockbuster Game Of Thrones made its annual pilgrimage to Comic-Con‘s massive Hall H today, unveiling among other things a whooping 9 new cast members for the upcoming Season 5 including a geekfest double-shot: Keisha Castle-Hughes, who co-starred in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith, for the Force’s sake.
The Whale Rider Oscar nominee will play Obara Sand, a fearsome warrior and the eldest bastard daughter of the late Prince Oberyn Martell. Her mother was a Dornish peasant girl who caught the eye of the late Prince. Jonathan Pryce also has come aboard the fantasy drama playing the High Sparrow, a pious man whose fellow believers have swarmed King’s Landing, ministering to the lowest and decrying the corruption of the highest. Fellow new castmembers include Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell, Toby Sebastian as Trystane Martell, Nell Tiger Free as Myrcella Baratheon, DeObia Oparei as Areo Hotah, Enzo Cilenti as Yezzan, Jessica Henwick as Nymeria (“Nym”) Sand, and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as Tyene Sand. Pryce’s appearance on the big screen got a huge roar from the thousands in Hall H as he said he was really excited to join the show.
Related: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Showrunners On “Terrifying” Finale, Next Season’s Direction & Why ‘The Sopranos’ Rules
While Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey weren’t there for the Craig Ferguson-hosted panel, GoT was certainly out in force today for its Comic-Con fans. In one of the largest … Read More »
Former River Road exec Deborah Zipser has joined IM Global where she will head Business and Legal Affairs as General Counsel at the indie outfit. She will oversee day-to-day business and legal affairs for the company’s production, sales and distribution activities and manage the company’s current five-person legal team. She reports to IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford and COO Chris Bosco.
At River Road, Zipser was Head of Business Affairs working on movies including Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life, Into the Wild, Brokeback Mountain and Food Inc. Before that she was senior investment executive at Screen Australia.
IM Global, which became part of Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA Group in 2010, has been evolving into what Ford calls “an international facing studio.” It had its biggest slate ever at Cannes this year, recently tied up with China’s Huayi Brothers for international sales and has offices in LA, London, Mumbai, Mexico City, and Beijing.
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of the Season 9 finale of Bones.
The Comic-Con panel for 20th Century Fox TV’s Bones was chock-full of spoilers for Season 10 (watch the trailer below), but a balance of optimism and vagueness pervaded when it came to how long this series will be on the air. As Fox Networks Group Chairman/CEO Peter Rice mentioned at TCA, Fox would love more seasons of Bones, but it boils down to renewing the contracts of leads Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, which are up at the end of the season. “To go 10 seasons like this was inconceivable, and I know these guys feel the same,” said executive producer Stephen Nathan. “They are so inspirational and kept these characters alive. … Hopefully you’ll see us going to 20 seasons.”
Related: ‘Bones’ Renewed For Season 10, Will Return To Mondays In March
Boreanaz responded to Nathan’s optimism by closing his eyes, a sign that 20 is just way too long.
“I like to work in the present on what we’re working on now,” Boreanaz said about his future with the show. “It’s always a moment-for-moment thing for me. Whether it’s Episode 500 or Episode 1,000, it’s just about the moment at hand.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Why did the Shubert Organization, which owns 17 of Broadway‘s 40 designated theaters, sign off on a deal to buy New World Stages, the five-theater underground off-Broadway complex owned by Dutch entertainment mogul Joop van den Ende? Sources tell me the answer has nothing to do with the arts and everything to do with real estate — along with the unique, not to say wacky, world according to Shubert, a $410 million nonprofit that coincidentally owns the most powerful commercial theater company in the U.S.
The company, whose theaters housed Les Miserables, A Chorus Line, Cats, Fiddler On The Roof, Amadeus and countless other legendary shows, has been Broadway’s reigning landlord for nearly a century. In recent years, the Shubert Organization has sold air rights above its landmarked Times Square theaters to the tune of $50 million. This spring, the Witkoff Group, a building consortium, paid $18.3 million for 45,000 square feet of air above the Shubert-owned Booth and Gerald Schoenfeld Theatres on West 45th Street. That deal will allow Witkoff’s project, the Times Square Marriott Edition hotel at 701 Seventh Avenue, to grow to 500 feet high.
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