EXCLUSIVE: Production is just getting underway on 400 Days, a sci-fi thriller that stars Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Arrow‘s Caity Lotz , Mad Men‘s Ben Feldman, Ed‘s Tom Cavanagh, Grant Bowler and Dane Cook. New Artists Alliance and XLrator Media are backing the film, which is written and directed by Ghost From The Machine‘s Matt Osterman. The psychological pic centers on four astronauts sent on a simulated mission to a distant planet to test the psychological effects of deep space travel. Locked away for 400 days, the crew’s mental state begins to deteriorate when they lose all communication with the outside world. Forced to exit the ship, they discover that this mission may not have been a simulation after all.
Here’s the official trailer for Disney’s Planes, the studio’s sort-of Cars spinoff that last month replaced Jon Cryer with Dane Cook as the voice of the main character, Dusty — a single-engine crop-duster with sky-high ambitions with just one problem: he’s afraid of heights. Disney slotted the former direct-to-video title to open August 9th in 3D:
Disney in December set an August 9 wide release date for the semi-Cars spinoff, which originally had Jon Cryer doing the lead voice of Dusty the cropduster. The animated pic executive produced by John Lasseter had been slated to be a direct-to-video release when it was first previewed at last year’s D23 Expo. Now Cook is aboard. Here’s Disney’s release:
BURBANK, Calif. (February 28, 2013) – Dane Cook has been tapped to voice the lead character Dusty, a plane with high hopes in “Disney’s Planes.” Inspired by the world of “Cars” and directed by Disneytoon Studios veteran and aviation enthusiast Klay Hall (“King of the Hill,” “The Simpsons”), “Disney’s Planes” is an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure about Dusty’s dream of competing as a high-flying air racer—and his decidedly unfortunate fear of heights. The film takes off in theaters in 3D on Aug. 9, 2013.
EXCLUSIVE: While NBC opted not to go forward with midseason comedy Next Caller, the network is staying in business with the series’ star Dane Cook. NBC Entertainment and sibling studio Universal Television, which co-produced Next Caller with Lionsgate TV, have inked a new deal with the actor-comedian to develop a new starring vehicle for him. Cook’s casting in Next Caller stemmed from a development deal he signed with NBC last fall. Although NBC brass didn’t like the creative direction of the show, which led to its demise four episodes into production, they liked Cook — who starred as a foul-mouthed satellite radio DJ forced to share the mic with a chipper NPR feminist (Collette Wolfe) — and wanted to keep him in the fold. “Dane Cook is one of the most talented comedians working today,” said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. “He has a broad fan base and always fresh point of view. We are eager to get started working on his next project.” Cook is repped by UTA.
In a post on his blog, Stephen Falk, creator/executive producer of NBC midseason comedy Next Caller, discusses the network’s decision last month to pull the plug on the series. Next Caller, produced by Lionsgate TV and Universal TV, starred Dane Cook as a foul-mouthed satellite radio DJ forced to share the mic with a chipper NPR feminist (Collette Wolfe). Jeffrey Tambor, Joy Osmanski and Wolé Parks co-starred in the series, whose four completed episodes won’t air. In a post titled Advice To Young TV Writers (but really: What Happened To My NBC Show), Falk describes the effect the cancellation has had on him, addresses the potential reasons for Next Caller‘s demise, shares some lessons from the experience and voices support for female comedy writers. Here is his post in his entirety.
Hey, you aspiring TV writers. It’s a hard job to crack into, but if you’re good enough and driven enough, it will happen for you. Don’t give up!
For if you work hard enough, someday you too may work on your own show for a year — from pitch to outline to script to pilot to the triumph of being picked up to series: the Golden Ticket. Then you might move across the country to actually make the show, hire a hundred actors and writers and crew members, and then in the middle of editing the 4th episode, get your show abruptly cancelled via late-night Friday phone call from Los Angeles. Then the fun part: you get to walk in shock back to your office — abandoning the confused editor waiting to lock the episode — and personally call all the actors and writers and crew and inform them the proverbial plug has been pulled and they no longer have a job, sorry.
EXCLUSIVE: NBC has pulled the plug on midseason comedy series Next Caller. The network in May had given the Dane Cook-starring project a six-episode order. After filming four of them, I hear network brass had decided that creatively the series was not going in the direction they had hoped for. Production on the series, produced by Lionsgate TV and Universal TV, has stopped, and the produced episodes won’t air. Created and executive produced by Stephen Falk, Next Caller stars Cook as a foul-mouthed satellite radio DJ forced to share the mic with a chipper NPR feminist (Collette Wolfe). Jeffrey Tambor, Joy Osmanski and Wolé Parks co-star. NBC recently gave two of its freshman comedy series, Go On and The New Normal, full-season pickups, while fellow freshmen Guys With Kids and especially Animal Practice, have been struggling. The network has two other comedy series on tap for midseason, 1600 Penn and Save Me.
EXCLUSIVE: As one of the country’s top touring standup comedians, Dane Cook has extensive experience onstage. But he is now going for a different type of onstage experience — in his theater debut, the actor-comedian has joined the Hollywood Bowl’s upcoming production of The Producers. He will play Franz Liebkind in the staging of Mel Brooks’ musical, which will hold three performances at the Hollywood Bowl — on July 27-29. Cook joins previously announced cast members Richard Kind as Max Bialystock, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Leo Bloom, Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia, Gary Beach as Roger De Bris, and Rebecca Romijn as Ulla. Susan Stroman, winner of the Tony for both direction and choreography for the original Broadway stage musical, will direct and choreograph Hollywood Bowl’s fully staged production. Cook, repped by UTA, next toplines the upcoming NBC comedy series Next Caller.
NBC has given one last-minute comedy series order to the Dane Cook starrer Next Caller, which I hear is being picked up for six episodes. The project, from writer Stephen Falk, Lionsgate and Universal TV, is a single-camera gender comedy focusing on a brash alpha male DJ (Cook) and his new, plucky, feminist co-host (Collette Wolfe) set in the offices of a satellite radio station. There had been talk that NBC liked the premise but was considering redeveloping it. That is still a possibility given that fact that the order is for 6 episodes, likely for midseason. As Next Caller got a nod, I hear the last remaining NBC comedy pilots have now gotten a pass. That includes the multi-camera Kari Lizer project starring Minnie Driver and Andrea Anders and Daddy’s Girls starring Scott Bakula, which may be shopped elsewhere. With the Next Caller pickup, NBC’s tally is seven new comedy series for next season — six single-camera and one multi-, the Jimmy Fallon-produced Guys With Kids.
Dane Cook is set to star in the NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot Next Caller Please. The Lionsgate/Universal TV project, written by Stephen Falk, centers on Cam Doherty (Cook), a brash, hard-drinking, no-filter maverick DJ of a satellite radio show whose world is rocked with the arrival of perky, feminist new on-air co-host Stella Stoobler (Collette Wolfe). Cook’s casting stems from the NBC development deal he signed last fall. Cook most recently guest starred on the FX comedy Louie and appeared in the features Answers to Nothing, Detention and Guns and Girls & Gambling. UTA-repped Cook has a very successful stand-up career: He has sold out arena venues such as Madison Square Garden and Staples Center, released several multi-platinum comedy albums and DVDs and starred in a slew of cable standup specials.
Dane Cook is heading to NBC to headline his own network comedy series. Amid interest from multiple networks, the actor-comedian has signed a development deal with NBC for a half-hour project targeted for next fall. Cook will star in the comedy and produce through his SUperFInger Entertainment banner. Cook is the second top stand-up comedian with cable TV roots to develop and star in a comedy for NBC eyed for next season, along with Sarah Silverman. NBC also has a new freshman comedy created by/starring comedian Whitney Cummings. Cook most recently guest starred on the FX comedy Louie last month in a much-talked-about episode where he and series star Louis CK put to rest the so-called joke-stealing controversy. While he has largely stayed away from broadcast TV until now, Cook’s first screen credit was a recurring role on the short-lived ABC comedy series Maybe This Time some 15 years ago. Cook has a very successful stand-up career: He has sold out arena venues such as Madison Square Garden and Staples Center, released several multi-platinum comedy albums and DVDs and starred in a slew of cable specials. On the feature side, UTA-repped Cook will next be seen in Answers to Nothing, Detention and Guns, Girls & Gambling.
Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. rights to the Dane Cook-starring drama Answers to Nothing and will release it nationally on Dec. 2. The film follows interweaving stories set in Los Angeles against the backdrop of a child kidnapping. Matthew Leutwyler (The River Why) directs and co-wrote the script with Gillian Vigman based on his original story. Elizabeth Mitchell, Julie Benz, Barbara Hershey and Zach Gilford co-star. Ambush Entertainment’s Amanda Marshall produced with Sim Sarna; Ambush’s money arm Cold Iron Pictures financed. Howard Cohen negotiated the rights deal on behalf of Roadside and Greg Bernstein on behalf of Ambush.
The agency will book his arena-filling stand-up comedy tours, but Dane Cook signed with UTA to boost his acting career. He was already set to make his Broadway debut this spring in Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig, alongside Julia Stiles and Josh Hamilton, and he was just booked to guest star in an episode of CBS’s Hawaii 5-0, playing Scott Caan’s brother. Cook has been in such films as Dan in Real Life, Good Luck Chuck, Waiting and Mr. Brooks, but hasn’t yet been able to duplicate his stand up success onscreen. Cook left CAA late last year, and continues to be managed by New Wave Entertainment’s Barry Katz. He certainly doesn’t need help on the stand up part of his repertoire, where’s a cash machine. He just completed an arena tour last month, and released his sixth album, I Did My Best–Greatest Hits. He’s always near or atop the rankings of big-earning comics (if Cook is runner-up, it’s because he does fewer dates) and he’s got a social network following of 7 million.