Stephen Lang (Avatar) has been tapped for a recurring role on WGN America‘s drama series Salem. Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, it explores what really fueled the town’s infamous witch trials and centers on Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery), the beautiful, ruthless but vulnerable wife of the ancient, ailing but very wealthy George Sibley (Michael Mulheren), one of Salem’s town Selectmen. Innovative Artists-repped Lang will play Increase Mather, an old-line, hard-core Puritan who led the way across the ocean to the Promised Land in the late 1600s. Intellectually, spiritually and politically, he’s the most influential man in the country — and the most feared.
EXCLUSIVE: Even though Stephen Lang‘s Col. Miles Quaritch character seemed to have run his course in 20th Century Fox’s Avatar, director James Cameron has revealed that Lang is not only returning for the sequel, he’s going to be part of the next three films. It sounds like he’s the closest thing to a mix between Star Wars‘ Darth Vader and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator character. “Steven was so memorable in the first film, we’re privileged to have him back,” Cameron said. “I’m not going to say exactly how we’re bringing him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga. I really look forward to working with such a gifted actor, who’s also become a good friend.”
Cameron has been working out brainy plot details throughout his career — how many times has the time travel concept from the original Terminator film been swiped over the years — so I’ll bet he’s come up with something thrilling. As for Lang, he’s been turning in memorable performances since going back to the Michael Mann TV series Crime Story and in character roles in films like White Irish Drinkers. Good on Lang, who’s repped by Innovative.
EXCLUSIVE: Stephen Lang will play the dual role of a French Colonel in 1860 China and the mysterious chauffeur of an American architect in modern-day Beijing in The Dragon Angel, a family adventure movie. Pitof, who directed Halle Berry’s Catwoman and honed his craft as a visual effects ace on such pics as Alien: Resurrection and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s The City Of Lost Children and Delicatessen, is helming this one. Igor Darbo from Popcorn & Friends is producing from a script by Dana Ziyasheva. The film is scheduled to begin shooting at year’s end in China, and Lang’s commitment is set to be announced at the Beijing International Film Festival going on now. He is repped by Innovative Artists.
EXCLUSIVE: Avatar‘s Stephen Lang has been tapped for a lead in ABC‘s drama pilot Reckless. Written by Chris Black and directed by Martin Campbell, the thriller centers on David (Patrick Fugit), a resourceful problem solver who, when his wife Sarah (Eloise Mumford) disappears during a violent military coup in East Myanmar, resorts to entering a world of political intrigue, dangerous alliances and high emotional stakes in order to get her out. Lang plays Sarah’s father Tom, who runs a top military manufacturing facility and uses his strong political connections to demand action when his beloved daughter disappears. Notoriously impossible to please, Tom has never fully embraced his son-in-law David as a member of the family. This marks Lang’s first series regular role since Fox’s Terra Nova. Innovative-repped Lang was among the most vocal supporters of the futuristic series, penning a passionate open letter following its cancellation by Fox.
Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
EXCLUSIVE: Vinnie Jones and Stephen Lang have joined the ensemble cast of The 34th Battalion, the $20 million saga of an Australian Army unit that fought heroic battles against the Germans during World War I. Jones will play the British-born Lieutenant-Colonel who led the battalion, with Lang as a U.S. officer. The cast includes Luke Hemsworth, Emilie de Ravin, Charles Mesure, Les Hill, Claire van der Boom, Tony Bonner, Andrew Lees and Vince Colosimo. The screenplay by Ian Sparke, who’s also the executive producer, and his son Luke Sparke, focuses on four men from rural New South Wales who joined the Army in 1916 after the disastrous Gallipoli campaign. Luke Sparke will make his directing debut and shooting is due to start midyear in Wauchope, NSW. Camelot Distribution Group is selling international rights.
EXCLUSIVE: While Terra Nova star Jason O’Mara took to Twitter moments after Fox cancelled Terra Nova and has been rallying fan support ever since, his co-lead on the show Stephen Lang had not commented on the issue until now. Here is Lang’s reaction to the cancellation in his own words. Meanwhile Terra Nova producer 20th Century Fox TV, which had been on the verge of hiring a new showrunner for Season 2 when Fox pulled the plug, is in talks with Netflix about possibly picking up the pre-historic drama.
“Terra Nova is analogous to the Hubble Space Telescope. Within weeks of a much publicized and ballyhooed launch in 1990, the Hubble was found to have a serious flaw. Yet even with an improperly ground mirror the Hubble delivered extraordinary images. When the flaw was corrected the Hubble delivered images of transcendent beauty and value for many years. So too Terra Nova. Even in it’s flawed first season each episode was full of marvelous moments and beautiful images. With correction, and given the chance, Terra Nova can and will deliver seasons of transcendent images and story-telling. Failing to renew Terra Nova is shortsighted, as myopic as it would have been to scrap the Hubble. Terra Nova is the Hubble Telescope of television.” – Stephen Lang
‘Terra Nova’ Moves To Pick Up Stars Jason O’Mara & Stephen Lang, Add High-Level Writers While Awaiting Renewal Decision
Fox has not made a decision on a Terra Nova renewal, but the series’ producers are moving to secure key actors and beef up writer ranks to be ready for production on Season 2. The options on the cast of the prehistoric drama are up on December 31, and I’ve learned that pickups for stars Jason O’Mara and Stephen Lang are imminent. With the cast options’ expiration date looming, the network originally was expected to make a decision on the series last week, following a top-level meeting between the heads of 20th Century Fox, which produces Terra Nova, and Fox on December 16. That didn’t happen, but the pickup of sought-after actors O’Mara and Lang gives Fox a little bit of breathing room, and the network is now expected to make its decision in January. That would make for a very tight production schedule on Terra Nova, which has to begin filming in April to make a September premiere date because of the series’ extensive post-production, including visual effects.
EXCLUSIVE: After an extensive search, British actress Shelley Conn has landed the female lead opposite Jason O’Mara and Stephen Lang on Fox’s upcoming adventure series Terra Nova. The project, produced by Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin, follows Jim Shannon (O’Mara), Elizabeth Shannon (Conn) and their 3 kids – an ordinary family from 2149 who are transported back 85 million years to prehistoric Earth where they join Terra Nova, a colony of humans with a second chance to build a civilization. Production on Terra Nova
Avatar baddie Stephen Lang has closed a deal to star on Fox’s upcoming series Terra Nova, just as Deadline predicted. He will play the lead opposite Jason O’Mara on Terra Nova, a colony of humans from 2149 who take a second chance at building a civilization by going back 85 million years. Lang plays the charismatic and ruthless leader of the Terra Nova settlement. Alex Graves is set to direct the pilot produced by DreamWorks TV, Chernin Entertainment, Kapital Entertainment and 20th TV.
The Italian production starts shooting today in Central Park, New York City. The Oscar-winning actress joins Marcia Gay Harden, Toby Regbo (Harry Potter), Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels), Stephen Lang (Avatar) and Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) in this coming-of-age story. Italian financiers including RAI Cinema are fully financing this adaptation of the teenage novel by New York-based author Peter Cameron, which was a bestseller in Italy. The novel tells a Holden Caufield-ish tale of a teenager working in his mother’s pretentious Manhattan art gallery, where he finds himself accused of sexual harassment. Roberto Faenza is the director and the producer is Elda Ferri (Life Is Beautiful). It’s a wholly Italian-financed production, partly financed by RAI Cinema.
One footnote is that the script is by Dahlia Heyman, step-sister of Harry Potter producer David Heyman. By my reckoning, she’s the fifth member of the Heyman dynasty to enter the business. Her father John Heyman is a producer who’s developing a feature about British Olympic skier Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards, with Rupert Grint attached. Norma Heyman is one of Britain’s most respected producers (Mrs Henderson Presents), while her daughter Lil Heyman was production supervisor on Clash of the Titans.