Czech animation director Jiri Barta and Paris-based Eurocine Films are targeting the U.S. market with an adapation and English-dubbed version of Barta’s newest stop-motion-animated feature, Toys in the Attic. Forest Whitaker, Joan Cusack and Cary Elwes will provide the voices for the US theatrical release that will be handled by Hannover House and is scheduled for April 6, 2012 release. Originally produced in the Czech language, the animated film is set in a magical world of toys and knick-knacks stored in the attic of a home in Prague. Following the symbolism of the Cold War era that impacted Barta and the Czech Republic, the world of the attic is divided into the land of happy toys in the West and the land of evil in the East. The despotic Head of State rules over the evil empire of the East with a band of sinister minions, insects and rotted vegetables. When the lovely Buttercup is kidnapped and held prisoner by The Head, it is up to her friends – a teddy bear (Whitaker), a mechanical mouse (Cusack) and marionette puppet (Elwes) – to cross the international boundary and attempt their daring rescue. The Czech language version has won several film festivals, including the New York International Children’s Film Festival, the Sitges Festival and Anima Basauri Festival.
The English-language version is being written, produced and directed by Vivian Schilling, with recording under way at Post Haste Sound in Los Angeles, and BAM Studios in Chicago. The film is scheduled for completion in late January, with a market screening at the Berlin festival. WME repped Whitaker and Cusack; AKA Entertainment repped Elwes.
Cloris Leachman today landed her 22nd career Emmy nomination for her role on Fox’s freshman comedy Raising Hope and may add to her haul of eight Emmy Awards, which is already a record for a female performer. But, despite being featured in the main credits of the show before the title card, listed as a cast member on Fox’s website and included on panels for the series, Leachman, who appeared in 20 of Raising Hope‘s 22 episodes, was nominated not as a supporting actress in a comedy series but as a guest star. The move probably helped the Oscar winner to snag a nomination in the less-crowded guest star field, but it also raises the issue of what really constitutes a guest star on a TV series as the line between a guest and supporting actor has blurred in recent Emmy races.
According to Emmy’s rulebook, “Comedy/Drama series guest performers with ‘guest star’ billing, or who are contracted as such, are eligible in the guest performer categories without regard to the number of episodes he/she appeared in.” The definition was originally limited to a single episode but was later expanded to three episodes and eventually the limit on the number of episodes was lifted altogether. Per 20th Century Fox TV, which produces Raising Hope, Leachman was technically a guest star on the first season of the show despite appearing in virtually every episode, so she was eligible for the guest starring category, something she won’t be next year as she is being promoted to a regular for Season 2.
Leachman’s guest starring nomination is part of a growing trend of the TV Academy moving away from the traditional guest starring stints involving a splashy performance in a single episode and awarding nominations for playing characters built over the course of one or more seasons that often feel like supporting roles. Not a single actor from a primetime series nominated in the guest starring categories this year has done only one episode of the show they got nominated for. Read More »
This kiddie comedy adventure utilizing performance-capture filmmaking from Walt Disney Pictures and Imagemovers Digital was shot in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D. Featuring Seth Green and Joan Cusack as Milo and his Mom, it is directed by Simon Wells from his screenplay with Wendy Wells and produced by Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke, Steve … Read More »
Joan Cusack has joined the cast of Showtime’s new drama series Shameless and appear in all 12 episodes of the new series. She’ll play the role of Sheila, an agoraphobic Chicago housewife with a sexually active teenage daughter who strikes up a special friendship with William H. Macy’s character, Frank Gallagher. She replaces Allison Janney, who played the role in the pilot but had to pull out because of her commitment to ABC’s Mr. Sunshine after the producers of Shameless decided to make the character more prominent than originally planned. Production on the series begins in mid-September for a January 9 premiere. Read More »