Here’s a taste of what’s going on this month at Montreal’s Fantasia Fest, where over 160 genre features are screening at the annual confab. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has been added as a July 29 Fantasia sneak peek joining a line-up of festival genre faves and world premieres, including the debut of horror-comedy Suburban Gothic starring Criminal Minds‘ Matthew Gray Gubler and Kat Dennings. Richard Bates, Jr., who sold his first feature Excision out of Sundance, directs and co-wrote the pic about Raymond (Gubler), who moves back in with his parents and finds new purpose by putting his ability to channel the paranormal to use when a vengeful ghost starts terrorizing his town.
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.
After stealing comedic thunder from the goddesses in her 2000 debut as the foul-mouthed Jewish princess Jenny Brier in Sex And The City, Kat Dennings made an impression on the show’s creator, Michael Patrick King. So when King offered Dennings a shot at playing a free-spirited New York waitress in the CBS series 2 Broke Girls, which he co-created with Whitney Cummings, choosing between film or TV was a little easier for the actress. Kind of a Laverne & Shirley for the millennial set, the series finds Dennings is right at home as Max Black, delivering one-liners in the style of Bea Arthur, Megan Mullally or even Fran Drescher. In fact, since her early teens—and without any acting lessons—Dennings has vamped and deadpanned, a natural talent that’s given her the opportunity to work with director Judd Apatow on The 40-Year-Old Virgin and play a supporting comic-relief role in Marvel’s Thor franchise.
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview
Monica Corcoran Harel is contributing to Deadline’s Emmy coverage
Movie stars are not like you and me. But TV actresses? Not so far off. What always makes the red carpet at the Emmys so very appealing is the fact that some of these show ponies are short and maybe even a little stubby — in a good way. Seeing our favorite near mortals is actually enlightening and not just intimidating.
Take the nominated funny ladies. Tina Fey went regal and looked stunning in a deep burgundy strapless Vivienne Westwood column gown with an architectural bodice. Her tastefully teased upswept hairstyle lent a few inches to her frame and rendered her someone you wouldn’t dare disrespect. Amy Poehler — fresh off a break-up from her husband Will Arnett — smartly opted for sexy in a sequined Stella McCartney halter gown that proved she hasn’t been hibernating with vats of Haagen-Dazs. Kristen Wiig, bedecked in a creamy, diaphanous Balenciaga that contrasted with her newly raven hair, paired her dress with sandy suede pumps that made me wonder if she said, “Screw the pedicure” this morning and slept in. Um, who can’t relate to that eleventh-hour decision?
When it came to color trends, red, silver and blue easily won out. Nominee Mayim Bailik in Pamella Roland (looking like your favorite cousin at a wedding), voluptuous Kat Dennings in J. Mendel (looking more like your husband’s favorite cousin) and Gretchen Mol all chose variations on the hue. Lucy Liu, outfitted in a deco-inspired and armor-like metal Versace, claimed that her dress was “heavy.” I suspect her gown also reflected the merciless sun on anyone nearby with the intensity of a hair removal laser. Nominee Connie Britton — wearing a fabulous Andrew Gn gown with a halter trimmed in crystals and a chic belt — shone like a beacon of glamour for fortysomething women. Ditto for Jane Krakowski.
The ladies in blue category swept the farthest and widest though. Among them, the nominated Sofia Vergara, in a deep turquoise sequined Zuhair Murad gown with a back that showed off the dimples above her posterior, came out on top. That woman works a dress like a farmer works an ox! Hayden Panettiere’s sari-like blue tulle and embroidered gold brocade Marchesa gown felt like a bit too much fabric for such a young star, though it still stood out.
EXCLUSIVE: The 2 Broke Girls star is coming back to hang out with the God of Thunder. Kat Dennings will reprise her role as Darcy Lewis for Thor: The Dark World. While details are scant for the Marvel Studios’ sequel, it does seem that Dennings’ role has expanded from that of the comic relief sidekick she played to Natalie Portman in the first Thor. But then a lot has changed for Dennings since Thor came out in May 2011. For one thing, she is now on one of the hottest sitcoms on TV. Since its September 2011 debut, 2 Broke Girls has been one of the highest rated new series this season. On the CBS comedy, Dennings stars as Max Black, one of the leads. Beth Behrs co-stars as Max’s former society girl roommate and fellow Williamsburg Diner waitress Caroline Wesbox Channing. The second season of 2 Broke Girls is scheduled to start on September 24, 2012 on CBS. Thor: The Dark World will be released on November 8, 2013. Dennings is repped by CAA, Management 360 and attorney Harris Hartman.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Michael Patrick King Not Doing ‘Sex And The City’ Prequel
At today’s TCA panel on 2 Broke Girls — a new comedy from Sex and the City veteran Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings, who is also starring in her own sitcom for NBC this season — the creative team shunned comparisons between the Sex and the City and the new CBS comedy just because they’re both about single women. “That show and this show (have) completely different DNA,” King said, protesting that “girl” shows are often spoken about as if they are “all the same show,” and all books about women summarily dismissed as “chick lit.” “(2 Broke Girls is) the evil twin of chick lit,” King said.
And unlike Sex, where no one really knew — or wanted to know — how the women paid for their picturesque Manhattan apartments and Jimmy Choo shoes, King said money would be a hard reality beyond just the title. “Carrie Bradshaw and her closet were a fantasy,” he said, likening Carrie’s wardrobe to the closet in The Chronicles of Narnia. “Those girls had relationship check lists. These girls barely have checks.” King added that the story line of one of the waitresses, portrayed by Beth Behrs, as a rich girl whose family has lost all their money was not directly inspired by Bernie Madoff but inspired by today’s economic reality. “We liked the scary idea of talking about money,” he said.
Cold Case alum Danny Pino has become the first actor cast in Stephen Gaghan’s pilot for NBC S.I.L.A., a complex drama in the style of Traffic and Syriana set in the world of crime, law enforcement and politics in sprawling modern-day Los Angeles. The project, from 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment, centers on detective Terry Mullins, who works in L.A. Mayor’s Special Investigations Unit. He is partnered with Douglas Romero (Pino), a 3rd generation Angelino and a great surfer. Pino, repped by ICM and manager Geordie Frey, was approached for several pilots this season.
Little known Beth Behrs beat out several established young actresses to land the lead opposite Kat Dennings in CBS’ multicamera comedy pilot Two Broke Girls, co-written and executive produced by former Sex and the City showrunner Michael Patrick King and comedian Whitney Cummings. The project, from Warner Bros., centers on two girls from very different backgrounds – Max (Dennings), poor from birth, and Caroline (Behrs), born wealthy but down on her luck – who wind up as waitresses in the same Brooklyn diner, and strike up an unlikely friendship that could lead to a successful business venture… if they can come up with $250,000 in start-up expenses. Behrs is with Stone Manners Salners and Binder & Assoc.
Kat Dennings has signed on as one of the two leads in CBS’ multicamera comedy pilot Two Broke Girls, co-written and executive produced by former Sex and the City showrunner Michael Patrick King and comedian Whitney Cummings. Dennings is the first actor cast in the project, which centers on two girls from very different backgrounds – Max (Dennings), poor from birth, and Caroline, born wealthy but down on her luck – who wind up as waitresses in the same Brooklyn diner, and strike up an unlikely friendship that could lead to a successful business venture… if they can come up with $250,000 in start-up expenses. After starting off in TV with a breakout lead role opposite Bob Saget on the WB sitcom Raising Dad and an arc on NBC’s ER, Dennings, repped by CAA and Management 360, segued into features, including The House Bunny and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. She will next be seen in Thor.
Fox International Productions is producing a thriller with the working title of Bunker to be filmed in Bogota, Colombia … Gina Gershon, Thomas Hayden Church and Juno Temple have been added to director William Friedkin’s Killer Joe for Voltage Pictures. The project is adapted by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tracy Letts from his own play. The cast joins previously-announced Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch. Production stars this week in New Orleans … Anchor Bay Films has acquired distribution rights to Joker Films’ Daydream Nation, starring Kat Dennings … John Carpenter will serve as the executive producer of The Hell Within. The Barry Films project is about a woman who goes on a quest into the heart of a Brazilian jungle to save a girl, only to discover that the girl was bait … The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnet Releasing, genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, has acquired US rights to Thai title BKO: Bangkok Knockout.
Joe Anderson, who was just cast in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, has signed to star with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Meg Ryan, and Kat Dennings in Lives of the Saints. The drama will be directed by Chris Rossi and is produced and financed by Claude Dal Farra. The film is about a group of Los Angeles residents, all wrestling with troubled pasts, who cross paths on a road they hope will lead to redemption. Anderson, who plays a drifter trying to maintain a quick wit despite his diminishing circumstances, recently starred in The Crazies and Across The Universe.