Original Grey’s Anatomy cast member Isaiah Washington will be making a return to the veteran ABC medical drama seven years after his controversial exit. Washington will appear in a May episode that will mark the departure of fellow original Grey‘s co-star Sandra Oh. He will reprise his role as Dr. Preston Burke, whose romantic relationship with Oh’s Christina Yang was a major storyline on Grey’s first three seasons. In Washington’s final episode, Burke called off his nuptials with Yang on the day of their wedding. “It’s important to me that Cristina’s journey unfolds exactly as it should. Burke is vital to that journey — he gives her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang,” Grey’s creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes said. Washington departed Grey’s Anatomy in June 2007 when his option was not picked up following a rocky third season when the actor faced accusations of using homophobic slur in reference to gay co-star T.R. Knight in October 2006 and flamed the controversy with ill-advised comments about the incident at the Golden Globes. Washington’s return echoes the cameo George Clooney made in the final ER episode of his longtime on-screen love interest, Julianna Margulies. Of course, Clooney departed under far less controversial circumstances, bringing extra attention to Washington’s comeback.
EXCLUSIVE: In her first screen starring turn since the ferocious portrayal as an abusive mother in 2009′s Precious won her the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, Mo’Nique has joined Isaiah Washington in the Patrik Ian Polk-directed Blackbird, an adaptation of the novel by Larry Duplechan. Deadline revealed last fall that Washington took the lead in this indie off his turn as the DC sniper in Blue Caprice got him a Gotham Award nom. The pic just shot in Hattiesburg, MS.
Mo’Nique is also exec producer with her husband, Sidney Hicks, through Hicks Media. Newcomer Julian Walker plays the star singer in the church choir who feels like a misfit in his high school and struggles with his sexual awakening and the realization he is gay, something that doesn’t land well in a religiously conservative small Mississippi town. This coincides with his younger sister going missing and his parents splitting up. Mo’Nique plays another character who’s not going to win mother of the year awards: the youth’s heartbroken mom, who blames her son’s lifestyle revelation for his sister going missing. Washington plays his supportive father trying his best to help his son’s transition to manhood.
EXCLUSIVE: Isaiah Washington wants to follow his Blue Caprice turn as Beltway Sniper John Allen Muhammad by starring in Game Time Decision, an indie film by writer/director Matthew A. Cherry (The Last Fall) that tackles the provocative topic of concussion-related injuries in professional football players. Washington will be an executive producer on the film. They plan to start production next spring.
Washington will play a retired professional football player suffering from a degenerative brain disease who attempts to reconnect with his estranged son to warn him about returning to play a game too soon after sustaining a concussion. Cherry is a former NFL wide receiver, and he and Washington want to highlight Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a condition which unfortunately is growing more prominent with the failing health and suicides of former gridiron greats.
Just last week I revealed that Ridley Scott and Giannina Facio are interviewing A-list writers to build a film around the issue that Scott hopes to direct after he completes the Biblical Moses epic Exodus.
“I was shocked to learn my former Bengals teammate Chris Henry, who died at the young age of 26 from a truck accident, suffered from CTE,” Cherry said. “My goal is to truthfully present what life is like for a person that suffers from this disease and …
Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car’, ‘Blue Caprice’, ‘Informant’, ‘Herb & Dorothy 50X50′, ‘GMO OMG’, ‘Sample This’
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Billy Bob Thornton marks his return to the director’s chair for general audiences with Jayne Mansfield’s Car, starring Tippi Hedren, Kevin Bacon and Robert Duvall. Isaiah Washington, meanwhile, was lured out of semi-retirement for Alexandre Moors’ Blue Caprice, which recalls a rash of shootings that terrorized the U.S. capital. Politics, genetically modified food, music and art are at the center of three documentaries that are among this weekend’s new Specialty offerings. Music Box will open Informant which looks at FBI informant Brandon Darby. Herb & Dorothy 50X50 is a follow-up to a 2008 doc that profiled a seemingly ordinary middle class couple who amassed an important collection of minimalist and conceptual art while Sample This looks at how a forgotten record helped cement hip hop on the streets of the Bronx.
Jayne Mansfield’s Car
Director-writer: Billy Bob Thornton
Cast: Tippi Hedren, Kevin Bacon, Ray Stevenson, Robert Patrick, Hohn Hurt, Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton
Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment
The first narrative feature Billy Bob Thornton has directed since Daddy And Them (2001), the provocatively titled Jayne Mansfield’s Car had its debut in competition at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival. Distributor came on board the film set in 1969 Alabama soon after its premiere there. “We loved it – it has a phenomenal cast, a unique storyline and it’s Billy Bob Thornton’s return to directing,” said Anchor Bay president Bill Clark. “We knew that audiences could identify with one or more of the diverse characters in the film – everyone has an uncle, father, grandfather that embodies the aspects of each generation.” The film centers on the death of a clan’s estranged wife and mother which brings together two very different families.
Isaiah Washington, whose run on Grey’s Anatomy ended when he got caught up in a scandal in which cast mates said had used homophobic slurs, has just finished Blackbird, a film by writer/director Patrik-Ian Polk. Washington plays the sympathetic father of a talented teen singer who is gay and struggling with it in a small Southern Baptist town. Washington produced with Polk and Carol Ann Shine with Keith Brown the exec producer. Washington, repped by Inqlusion Entertainment and Anderson & Smith, is getting strong reviews for the Alexander Moors-directed Blue Caprice, which premiered at Sundance and gets released this week by IFC, and he recently starred in the SXSW film They Die By Dawn. He is also developing a reality-based sports and outdoor adventure show with Wayne Hubbard and Candice Price’s Urban American Adventures brand.
Isaiah Washington stars in the Beltway sniper drama from first-time director Alexandre Moors, which also co-stars Joey Lauren Adams, Tim Blake Nelson, and Leo Fitzpatrick. Pic features breakout work by youngster Tequan Richmond as Lee Boyd Malvo AKA John Lee Malvo, the teenager whose relationship with father figure John Allen Muhammad (Washington) led to the DC-area killing spree that left ten people dead in 2002. Blue Caprice was snatched up by Sundance Selects after premiering at Sundance and is set for a September 13 release. Check out the trailer:
Isaiah Washington Leaves Caliber Media After 4 Months; Brittany Snow Signs With Magnolia Entertainment
EXCLUSIVE: Isaiah Washington has ditched his management reps at Caliber Media only four months after signing with the firm. Sources say it was a dispute over commission percentages and a variety of projects that the company had found for Washington. The former Grey’s Anatomy actor signed with Caliber Media and Inqlusion Entertainment for representation in all areas back in March after leaving APA. Washington was hot earlier this year coming off of his Sundance pic Blue Caprice, the Beltway sniper drama he exec produced. IFC’s Sundance Selects will release the film on September 13. He next stars in John Sayles’ upcoming Go For Sisters, The Trials of Cate McCall with Kate Beckinsale, and The CW’s midseason series The Hundred.
Meanwhile, Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect, Hairspray) is expanding her management team. She’s signed with Magnolia Entertainment where she’ll be repped by Kimberlin Belloni and Shelley Browning. Snow, who’s also got features The Potters and There’s Always Woodstock on her docket, was also cast in the lead on Fox and WB TV’s redeveloped legal comedy The Assistants opposite Stephen Root and Catherine O’Hara. She will continue to be repped by ICM and PJ Shapiro.
Deadline’s Dominic Patten contributed to this report.
Grey’s Anatomy alum Isaiah Washington is returning to series television with a co-starring role in the CW pilot The 100, based on Alloy’s books. Set 97 years after a nuclear war destroyed civilization, it revolves around 100 juvenile delinquents sent back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing the planet. Washington will play Chancellor Jaha, the leader of the remaining human race now living in the orbiting space station. Washington, whose indie Blue Caprice was recently picked up by Sundance Selects, just signed with Caliber Media and Inqlusion Entertainment.
ER alumna Michael Michele has been cast in Delirium, Fox‘s drama pilot from Karyn Usher, 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment. Based on the book trilogy, it is set in a world where love is deemed illegal and can be eradicated with a special procedure. With 95 days to go until her scheduled treatment, Lena Holoway (Emma Roberts) does the unthinkable: she falls in love. Michele, repped by Innovative and Untitled, will play Senator Elyse Hargrove, an ambitious widow with three children and Presidential aspirations who has a growing opposition to the political insurrection.
Hot off Blue Caprice being picked up by Sundance Selects this week, lead actor Isaiah Washington has new management. Two new managers actually. Instead of having an agency, Washington and his Coalhouse Productions have signed with both Caliber Media and Inqlusion Entertainment for representation in all areas. The former Grey’s Anatomy actor was previously with APA. In the Beltway sniper saga Blue Caprice, Washington plays John Allen Muhammad, the older of the two shooters who terrorized the DC and Baltimore area in October 2002. Acting as a father figure, Muhammad instructed Lee Boyd Malvo, played by Tequan Richmond in the film, in the ways of murder. Their rampage left 10 dead and three critically wounded. Washington also served as Executive Producer on the Alexandre Moors-directed film.