Miniseries, limited series, whatever you want to call the currently popular genre — Frances McDormand thinks the form is great for women. “A 90-minute time frame is not long enough to tell a good female story,” she said at HBO’s TCA panel today for her 4-part series Olive Kitteridge, which will premiere in November. “That’s why longform storytelling has become so great” for female actors, writers and filmmakers.
Related: DeadlineNow: Emmy Noms – HBO Scores, Other Hits And Misses (Video)
McDormand — joined on the panel by director Lisa Cholodenko, co-star Richard Jenkins and writer/EP Jane Anderson, who wrote the script based on Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel — was explaining how she came to bring the project to HBO. She said a friend gave her the novel about six years ago and “I loved it, [but] I don’t read novels looking for things to be made into movies.” The friend said, “But you want to play that part.” McDormand argued that the story was too long and complex for a feature-length movie. “Yeah, but you want to play that part,” the friend insisted. Eventually, the actress optioned the book and took it to HBO.
Related: EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network
Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In a rare small-screen stint, Bill Murray has joined the cast of HBO’s Olive Kitteridge, the miniseries based on Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Adapted by Jane Anderson and directed by The Kids Are All Right’s Lisa Cholodenko, the mini tells the tale of a seemingly placid New England town fraught with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, as chronicled through the eyes of Olive who is tough on the outside but has a strong moral center. She’s played by Frances McDormand, and Murray is playing Jack Kennison, a local widower whom Kitteridge befriends.
Richard Jenkins plays Olive’s husband, and John Gallagher Jr, Rosemarie DeWitt, Zoe Kazan, Jesse Plemons, and Cory Michael Smith also star. The miniseries is a co-production between Playtone and As Is, with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman exec producing with McDormand and Anderson. Steven Shareshian is co-exec producer and David Coatsworth. McDormand optioned the material when it was in galley form, and it really has turned into something exceptional.
Murray just wrapped the Ted Melfi-directed St. Vincent De Van Nuys, as well as the George Clooney-directed Monuments Men, and the Wes Anderson-directed The Grand Budapest Hotel. He’s part of the cast of Cameron Crowe’s film as well. He’s lawyered by David Nochimson.
Frank Grillo (Captain America) is set to star in DirecTV’s original series Navy St., from Byron Balasco and Endemol Studios. Written on spec by Balasco, Navy St. is a gritty family drama set against the backdrop of Navy Street, a mixed martial arts (MMA) gym based in Venice, CA. Grillo, repped by CAA and Management 360, will play the gym’s owner, Alvey Henderson, a former fighter who never made it big due to a drug addiction but is now sober. Grillo has the perfect background for the role – in addition to his long acting career, he is a lifelong wrestler-turned-boxer-turned-MMA-er who trained with Greg Jackson, one of the top MMA trainers in the world, for his role as the trainer in the 2011 MMA feature Warrior. Grillo and Warrior star Joel Edgerton bunked together at Jackson’s MMA gym in Albuquerque for four months while he was training.
Rosemarie DeWitt is set to co-star opposite Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in HBO’s miniseries Olive Kitteridge, directed by Lisa Cholodenko and produced by Playtone. Also cast in the project, based on the novel by Elizabeth Strout, are Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad) and Zoe Kazan. Written by Jane Anderson, Olive Kitteridge tells the story of a seemingly placid New England … Read More »
The busy Meloncholia and Martha Marcy May Marlene actor has boarded a pair of projects. Brady Corbet has joined the ensemble cast of While We’re Young, about how an uptight documentary filmmaker and his wife loosen up a bit after they befriend a free-spirited younger couple. Directed by Noah Baumbach and produced by Scott Rudin, it stars Ben Stiller, Amanda Seyfried, Naomi Watts, Charles Grodin and Adam Driver. Corbet also has been cast in the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge, starring Frances McDormand, about a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy. Corbet will play Henry Thibodeau, devoted husband of Denise (Zoe Kazan). He recently wrapped production on the indie dramas Paradise Lost, Sils Maria — starring Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche — and Eden. Corbet’s other credits include Simon Killer and TV’s 24. He is repped by manager Brian Young at Killer Moxie and WME.
EXCLUSIVE: The Newsroom‘s John Gallagher Jr. is set to co-star opposite Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in HBO’s miniseries Olive Kitteridge, directed by Lisa Cholodenko and produced by Playtone. Also cast in the project, based on the novel by Elizabeth Strout, are Breaking Bad regular Jesse Plemons and Zoe Kazan. Written by Jane Anderson, Olive Kitteridge tells the story of a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, told through the lens of Olive (McDormand), whose wicked wit and harsh demeanor mask a warm but troubled heart and a staunch moral center. Gallagher plays Christopher Kitteridge, the son of Olive and Henry (Jenkins). Kazan plays Denise, who works with Henry at his pharmacy. Plemons plays Jerry McCarthy, Henry’s delivery boy at the pharmacy. Olive Kitteridge is executive produced by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, McDormand and Anderson. Plemons is with TalentWorks and Hirsch Wallerstein.
Stella Maeve (Starlet, The Runaways) has snagged the female lead in indie haunter Dark Summer, directed by Paul Solet (Grace). The pic follows a 17-year-old placed under house arrest who discovers his new confines are spooked. Preferred Film & TV’s Ross Dinerstein is producing with Julianna Cadarelli co-producing. Kevin Iwashina and Jamie Carmichael are exec producing the pic which starts filming this week. Maeve’s recent projects include the indie feature All Together Now, CBS’s short-lived 2013 series Golden Boy, and the CW pilot Company Town. She’s repped by Principato-Young Entertainment, Abrams Artists, and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
Cory Michael Smith has landed two new gigs in his first foray into screen acting from Broadway. He’s joined the cast of HBO’s Olive Kitteridge miniseries helmed by Lisa Cholodenko which Frances McDormand is exec producing alongside Playtone’s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman. McDormand plays the title character, a wickedly witty but outwardly harsh woman observing affairs, crime, and tragedy in her small New England town. Smith will play Kevin Coulson, an ex-student of Olive’s who returns home. Richard Jenkins also stars in the project, which begins filming in September and is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Elizabeth Strout. Playtone is producing in association with As Is. David Coatsworth is producer.
Smith has also been tapped for indie feature Camp X-Ray, from writer-director … Read More »