Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
If viewers of the ABC fairy tale drama Once Upon a Time note certain unmistakable references to a certain iconic ABC show called Lost while watching the pilot, it won’t be much of an accident, critics attending TCA were assured this afternoon during a Once Upon a Time panel. The co-creators and showrunners of the new series, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, were Lost staff writers who grew to become executive producers by that show’s final two seasons. And they made no secret of packing the Time kickoff with homages to their former show. “We can’t help ourselves,” Horowitz admitted. Horowitz and Kitsis, who also wrote the feature Tron: Legacy, also employed their Lost boss Damon Lindelof as an adviser on the pilot. “Damon has been a godfather to us,” Kitsis said. “He’s one of our closest friends. And when we first kind of sold the show to ABC, and they said, ‘Great, do an outline,’ we were like, ‘What do we do?’ We immediately went to Damon’s couch and started crying. So, I mean, his name is not on this show, but he’s in the DNA of it. But he also really wants it to be our show, so sometimes he helps and sometimes he gives us tough love.”
In addition to Lost, the Once Upon a Time team also faced the inevitable comparisons to Bill Willingham’s Fables comic-book series. Kitsis maintained … Read More »
Before it got released on DVD today, Tron: Legacy managed to play in theaters long enough to establish Joseph Kosinski as the highest-grossing first-time director of a live-action film in Hollywood history. The film’s $399 million global gross recently eclipsed the $397.5 million gross that JJ Abrams turned in on 2006′s Mission: Impossible 3.
Now, such a distinction is relative. Tron: Legacy cost between $165 million and $170 million to make and a comparable amount to market. Sam Mendes made his debut on the $15 million American Beauty, which grossed $356 million worldwide in 1999. Jan De Bont’s debut on the $30 million Speed turned in a $350 million worldwide gross in 1994. Ticket prices were lower when American Beauty and Speed were released, and Tron: Legacy had the extra benefit of higher 3D pricing. American Beauty and Speed were extravagantly profitable. Disney will make some money on Tron: Legacy, but they won’t need to back up the Brink’s truck.
But Tron: Legacy’s performance certainly gives the studio reason to think it has poured the foundation for a franchise. Disney has begun work on a sequel, which Kosinski is constructing with original writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Maybe because of Tron: Legacy’s pricey launch and heightened expectations, I had the impression that the film had been a bit underwhelming, despite a $44 million opening weekend. But looks are deceiving. For one … Read More »