EXCLUSIVE: Mad Men star Jon Hamm has signed on to provide the lead voice (alongside Sandra Bullock) in Minions, the Universal Pictures/Illumination Entertainment spinoff of the Despicable Me franchise. Bullock is set to voice Scarlet Overkill, a stylish bad-ass super-villain who is (what else?) bent on world domination. Hamm will voice her husband, the inventor Herb Overkill. The 3D CG animated comedy has been set for release December 19, 2014.
At the same time, veteran animated feature film executive Tito Ortiz has returned to Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment in the position of VP Development. Ortiz was one of the original employees at Illumination when it opened its doors in 2007, serving as Director of Development until 2011, when he left the company to pursue opportunities in the music industry. Even during his hiatus, Ortiz stayed close to the company by assisting in development across multiple properties. In his new role, Ortiz will be involved in the development of new feature film projects, and has already started in that mission with the recently announced animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, which will be directed by Pete Candeland. READ MORE »
The 2013 ESPYS will be hosted by actor Jon Hamm, widely celebrated for his role as Don Draper on AMC’s award-winning series Mad Men. The announcement was made during Hamm’s appearance this morning on LIVE with Kelly and Michael.
Premiering its two-hour sixth season opener at the DGA theatre in Hollywood on Wednesday night, AMC and Lionsgate’s four-time Best Drama Series Emmy winner Mad Menthrew its hat in the ring to retake that Emmy which it lost for the first time last year to Showtime’s newcomer Homeland. The new season, which debuts on April 7th, opens with Don Draper and wife Megan on Christmas vacation on the beaches of Waikiki and promises more of the same kind of intrigue and incremental character development for which it is known. But creator Matt Weiner, who obviously wants to keep viewers guessing, warned the packed industry crowd not to give anything away before the show actually airs. In fact, in the elaborate press kit sent to critics, Weiner is even more specific about keeping the first episode’s secrets intact with a non-reveal list that includes the year the season begins, status of Don and Megan’s relationship, whether the agency has expanded to an additional floor, new characters, and new relationships or partnerships. That doesn’t leave much to tell except to say each of the characters is thrust into interesting new areas and the actors are all at the top of their games (Jon Hamm even has to pull off a mysterious 8-minute stretch where he doesn’t utter a word). It just continues to be a bafflement as to why not a single actor on the show has ever won an Emmy in the five years it has been on. Will that change as Season 6 takes off and plays right through the Emmy nomination voting period?
There are just two episodes left to film before the order of 13 wraps and the cast scatters to other gigs. Hamm told me that right after he finishes he is headed to India to start a new baseball film, Million Dollar Arm, to be directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars And The Real Girl) in which he plays an agent who recruits Asian cricket players to switch to the major leagues. He particularly liked getting to take Don Draper to Hawaii this time around, and the character clearly promises to be travelling to other new internal places as well based on the first two hours. Christina Hendricks, Robert Morse, Jessica Pare, January Jones, Elisabeth Moss and John Slattery (who has some big scenes in the show) were among the Mad Men cast who turned up for the crowded party at Sunset Towers following the screening along with Weiner, producer Scott Hornbacher (who directed the premiere) and AMC president Charlie Collier, who told me he was proud of the way Mad Men is able to keep fresh and inventive. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a hot signing before the biz goes away for the holidays. CAA has just signed Jon Hamm, the Mad Men star who recently left ICM Partners early last month following the exit of his longtime agent Carol Bodie.Hamm had taken meetings with a few of the agencies — WME was the other major player — but he’s headed for CAA. Hamm should have a bright future in features. Like Alec Baldwin, he can play comedy as well as drama, and has done several inspired turns on Saturday Night Live and in the film Bridesmaids. He played serious in the Ben Affleck-directed The Town, and those blue-chinned guys like Hamm also work well in macho franchises. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The entertainment industry continues to come together for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Jon Hamm will serve as Master of Ceremonies at We Hate Hurricanes, a night of comedy to benefit Sandy victims, on Monday, December 10th at Club… Read More »
Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe have teamed for the Sky Arts Playhouse Presents miniseries, a four-part comedy-drama based on a collection of semi-autobiographical short stories by Russian writer and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov. Radcliffe plays a young doctor working in a small village in 1917, and Hamm plays … Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage. (Note: This story was originally posted on Thursday.)
Several streaks will be tested at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards this Sunday. Will Mad Men win a record fifth Emmy in a row for Outstanding Drama Series? Will Bryan Cranston make it four consecutive lead acting wins for Breaking Bad and Jim Parsons three in a row for The Big Bang Theory? Can Modern Family pull a top comedy series three-peat? And can The Daily Show With Jon Stewart make it a decade as the Emmy winner for best variety series? At the Creative Emmy Awards last weekend, HBO’s fantasy drama Game Of Thrones‘ bagged the most Emmys, six. Will GOT be able to hold onto its lead Sunday? And will Mad Men finally win an acting trophy? While waiting for all those questions to be answered Sunday, here are some final predictions for how things might go down in some of the top categories.
DRAMA SERIES The Nominees: Mad Men (AMC), Breaking Bad (AMC), Homeland (Showtime), Downton Abbey (PBS), Game of Thrones (HBO), Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Who’s Going to Win: Let’s go out on a limb and say Breaking Bad is going to get it done. It would be highly unusual for a drama to win its first Outstanding Drama Series Emmy in its fourth season, but Breaking Bad is a highly unusual show whose buzz has sailed off the charts of late. “What a lot of people might forget,” one producer told me, “is that this award is for Season 4, not Season 5, when Breaking Bad arguably peaked. Just personally, all my friends voted for it. Take from that what you will.” I’ll take it as an omen for a semi-upset.
Then Again: One can make the argument that Breaking Bad is simply too dark for the TV Academy mainstream. And if that turns out to be the case, a Mad Men triumph would surprise few. That would give it a record five statuettes in the category, an accomplishment that eluded four-timers Hill Street Blues, The West Wing and L.A. Law. But as one writer told me, “I don’t feel the love for Mad Men this time. The perception is that it’s time to honor someone else.” That could also mean Homeland, which has both the advantage and disadvantage of being a rookie. Read More »
Seth MacFarlane might be making a sequel to Ted. “I’d be open to making Ted 2,” the director today told fans at the American Dad panel at Comic-Con. MacFarlane didn’t elaborate on the possibility of he and Ted co-star Mark Wahlberg’s reunion. However, the fact that the film, which was released on June 29, has become one of the the biggest R-Rated comedies at the box office, a sequel makes sense.
Earlier on the panel, it was announced that Mad Men’s Jon Hamm will join Danny Glover, Sarah Michelle Geller, Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint, Danny Glover and former SNL cast member Will Forte as guest stars on the new season of American Dad. The guest stars announcement came on the American Dad panel that immediately followed the Family Guy panel in Comic-Con’s Ballroom 20 today.
MacFarlane, who is also Family Guy’s executive producer, creator and star also told the fans that his Flintstones reboot isn’t dead but it’s really not a priority right now. “It’s been put on the backburner, so we don’t know when it is going to happened. There’s no exact schedule,” Read More »
Mad Men scored big in last night’s ratings race, gaining its biggest season-finale number and finishing its fifth season as the most-watched ever. But it also scored big at the TV Academy on Sunday night, when 150 members and their guests had to be turned away for an event that featured the screening of the final episode and a Q&A with creator Matt Weiner and cast members. At least those 150 who didn’t get in didn’t go away empty-handed: Organizers gave them a jar of “Mad Men Olives” (the kind that go so well with those three-martini lunches) that was the parting gift for members of the audience. One woman, apparently confusing the Academy with Whole Foods Market, said she didn’t like olives and was wondering if she could exchange them for pickles.
Weiner, who flew in for the day from the North Carolina location of his feature directorial debut You Are Hereand flew back right after the reception, had not wanted to screen the Season 5 finale in advance of its airing Sunday night but agreed it could be shown at this AMC-produced special event for Emmy voters (but not officially sanctioned by the Academy) two hours before airing on the East Coast. It was followed by the Q&A that also featured cast members Christina Hendricks, January Jones, John Slattery, Vincent Kartheiser, Jessica Pare, and Kiernan Shipka. Series star Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss and Jared Harris were advertised but all were said to be stuck overseas filming and didn’t make it. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Mad Men star Jon Hamm has become attached to play a sports agent in Million Dollar Arm, the drama based on the true story of how sports agent J.B. Bernstein discovered professional pitchers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel through … Read More »
When we began our interview, I asked Matt Weiner, “So all those Emmys aren’t good enough? You’re going for the Oscar now?” He laughed and said, “I don’t expect to enter at that level but I’m getting to make something really important to me. So I’m really excited.” … Read More »
The wait is almost over — AMC’s period drama Mad Men will return for Season 5 on March 25. Series star Jonn Hamm let the news slip on Friday’s episode of comedian Doug Benson’s Doug Loves Movies podcast. AMC, which … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Working Title Films will need a new director for Bridget Jones 3, and I hear they want a Brit. Paul Feig has withdrawn after developing the most recent draft of the script with the intention to direct. I’m told that both sides agreed it didn’t work out and that maybe this is just a quintessential British comedy that needs a British sensibility. They will set a director soon as they are still slated to start production in January, with Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant all eager to return.
Feig has enough to keep him busy at Universal, where he just directed the sleeper hit Bridesmaids. He’s got two projects there including an untitled comedy that he’s writing to direct for producer Judd Apatow, with the hope that Jon Hamm will play a guy obsessed with a woman who’ll be played by Melissa McCarthy. That certainly puts much of the Bridesmaids team together, and it will have to do until the studio figures out a way to get moving on a Bridesmaids sequel after the first one grossed $286 million worldwide on a $32 million budget. Read More »