EXCLUSIVE: While Baltasar Kormakur has become a prominent director in Hollywood (he just wrapped the Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg-starrer 2 Guns for Universal), the helmer hasn’t given up making films in his home country of Iceland. And believe me, it’s much harder there. Take a look at what Kormakur went through–and what his lead actor Olafur Darri Olafsson endured–to make The Deep, about a 1984 tragedy in which a fishing boat capsized, and everyone died but one man, who swam for hours in temperatures so cold just about nobody could have survived them. The film, which Focus World releases next year, is Iceland’s Oscar submission, and aspired to be among the nine Foreign language films left in the race, which gets announced at week’s end.
3RD UPDATE: Fox Orders ‘Finder’, ‘Alcatraz’, ‘Daughter’ & ‘New Girl’ To Series, ‘Council’, ‘Locke’, ‘Bellevue’, ‘Outnumbered’ & ‘Iceland’ Dead; ‘Exit’, ‘Album’ & ‘Common’ Still In Play
UPDATE 9 PM: A Locke & Key limited series/miniseries was a stretch, and it seems that it is not happening. The show is now heading to the death pile. And yes, comedy Outnumbered is dead too. Surprisingly, multi-family comedy Little In Common starring Rob Corddry and Kevin Hart, which had stayed largely under the radar, is still very much in the mix.
UPDATE 8 PM: With two high-profile drama pilots, the Ethan Hawke starrer Exit Strategy and Locke & Key, conspicuously missing from the list of series pickups or rejects, speculation started swirling as to their fate. I hear both are still in play. Word is Exit Strategy may be held for retooling. I hear Fox brass felt the pilot had a lot of action and not too much character in it, so they had been looking to shift the focus on the show. As for Locke & Key, there is a rumor that Fox wants to make it into a big-event limited series/miniseries, but it is unclear if that would be financially feasible. Comedy Family Album is still TBD but is not getting an order at this time and may get pushed.
UPDATE 7:30 PM: Fox has picked up a second new comedy series, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, on the same night its star, Jaime Pressly, appears on Fox’s Raising Hope. Meanwhile, three other pilots, medical drama Weekends at Bellevue and comedies Council of Dads and Iceland, are dead.
Saturday Night Live alum Tim Meadows has joined NBC’s untitled Kari Lizer project. The workplace comedy centers on Mary (Sarah Paulson), a relationship-challenged woman who, with the help of her co-workers, guides people through unexpected career transitions and downsizings. Meadows, repped by APA and Brillstein Entertainment, will play Mary’s partner, a psychotherapist and the reality check to Mary’s eternal optimism.
Off the Map co-star Zach Gilford has been cast as the male lead in the Fox single-camera pilot Iceland. The project centers on Mackenzie (Kerry Bishe), a twentysomething woman whose fiance recently passed away. Gilford, from WME and D/F Management, will play a guy friend of Mackenzie described as “bad influence.” For Gilford, the casting is in second position to Off the Map. He is the third cast member from the midseason drama to book a pilot this season along with Martin Henderson and Rachelle Lefevre, both cast in NBC’s Reconstruction.
Paul Blackthorne (Lipstick Jungle) has just been cast in the ABC drama pilot The River directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The horror thriller centers on Lincoln Cole (Joe Anderson) who, after his famous TV explorer father Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood) goes missing way up the Amazon, reluctantly abandons his medical studies and follows in his father’s footsteps. Blackthorne, repped by SDB Partners, Seven Summits & Optimism, will play the producer of Emmet Cole’s long-running documentary series.
Frances O’Connor is set to co-star in Marc Cherry’s ABC pilot Hallelujah. It us set in the town of Hallelujah, Tenn., which is being torn apart by the forces of good and evil and whose fortunes change when a stranger, Rye Turner, comes to town, bringing justice, peace and possibly restoring faith. O’Connor will play Rye’s wife dealing with the aftermath of their son’s brain injury. This marks O’Connor’s return to ABC where she had a role on Cashmere Mafia. The actress, repped by Gersh, Rob Marsala and U.K.’s Artists Rights Group, joins previously cast Jesse L. Martin.
Scrubs alumna Kerry Bishe has landed the lead in the Fox single-camera pilot Iceland. The project, from writer-executive producer Andy Bobrow and Sony TV, centers on Mackenzie (Bische), a 20something woman whose fiance recently passed away. Also cast in the pilot is John Boyd. Bishe, repped by WME and Brookside Artists, will next be seen in Kevin Smith’s Red State.