The second season of the Netflix original series House Of Cards will premiere on Friday, February 14. Like with the first season, all 13-episodes of the second season will be available to watch instantly in all of Netflix’s territories. House Of Cards, from MRC and director David Fincher, stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. It just received its first PGA Award nomination yesterday. Here is the first teaser:
Starz Adapting Italian Gang Series ‘Romanzo Criminale’ With Steven S. DeKnight, Steve McPherson, Scripted World & Lionsgate
EXCLUSIVE: Starz is developing an U.S. adaptation of the Italian drama Romanzo Criminale. It will be written by Steven S. DeKnight, creator/showrunner of Starz’s most successful original series, Spartacus, who is serving as executive producer and showrunner as part of his overall deal with the pay cable network. Lionsgate, which previously produced Boss for Starz, is the studio, with Steve McPherson, who has a first-look deal there, executive producing alongside Scripted World’s Alon Aranya and Rob Golenberg (Betrayal). The 2008 Italian drama revolves around a gang that controls Rome’s heroin trade in the 1970s and 1980s. The U.S. adaptation will be set in Philadelphia during the turbulent era of the late sixties and early seventies. The story will chronicle the rise of a gang of working class criminals who attempt to seize the American Dream by any means necessary.
Scripted World’s Aranya and Golenberg had been eyeing Romanzo Criminale for years. They finally landed the rights about 18 months ago and took the format to Lionsgate. When the studio signed a first-look deal with McPherson in April, it attached the executive-turned-producer to the project. The drama was taken to Starz, which brought in DeKnight.
The Italian series, which aired on Sky Cinema, was based on the 2002 novel by Giancarlo De Cataldo, which in turn was inspired by the notorious Magliana gang. The series was a followup to the 2005 feature adaptation of the book directed by famous Italian actor Michele Placido (La Piovra). You can watch below a trailer for the series in Italian and one for the movie with English subtitles that better explains the setup.
Global Showbiz Briefs: BIFA To Honor Julie Walters; New Zealand Film Group Picks 10 Best NZ Pics Of All Time; More
Julie Walters Tapped For BIFA’s Richard Harris Award
Julie Walters is to receive the Richard Harris Award at the British Independent Film Awards this coming weekend. The prize was introduced in 2002 to recognize outstanding contribution to British film by an actor. Walters started out in television and broke into film with her BAFTA- and Golden Globe-winning performance in 1983’s Educating Rita. She was also nominated for an Oscar for the film and later received a further Oscar nomination for Stephen Daldry’s Billy Elliot. More recently, she played Ron Weasley’s mother Molly in all of the Harry Potter movies. Among Walters’ other credits are Prick Up Your Ears, Calendar Girls, Becoming Jane and Mamma Mia! She next will be seen in The Harry Hill Movie and in 2014’s live-action Paddington. The BIFAs will be held on December 8 in London.
New Zealand Film Body Picks 10 Best NZ Films Of All Time
A government-backed film body in New Zealand has released its list of the Top 10 New Zealand films of all time. Rather than select any of the Lord Of The Rings movies, NZ On Screen selected Peter Jackson’s 1994 Heavenly Creatures as the director’s entry. The organization recognized that “much dissension will arise from the exclusion of Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. … Although Jackson’s film company WingNut was involved in all productions, they are generally viewed as Hollywood films made in Wellington. For the purposes of this Top 10, it’s sensible to preclude them.” Instead, it said that Heavenly Creatures, which gave Kate Winslet her first big screen role, was “the best film to mark the extraordinary talent of our most commercially successful director.” NZ On Screen is funded by NZ On Air, an independent government funding agency that invests in local content. Along with Heavenly Creatures, the Top 10 also includes: Goodbye Pork Pie (1981), Smash Palace (1981), Utu (1983), Vigil (1984), The Piano (1993), Once Were Warriors (1994), Whale Rider (2002), In My Father’s Den (2004) and Boy (2010). Of the somewhat dark choices, NZ On Screen said: “We are a weird people and we seem to prefer making films about how weird we are. We depict what we know.”
The Junior Hollywood Radio & Television Society’s annual holiday party, The Snow Ball, is tomorrow night in Hollywood, and the group has put the finishing touches on its video invite. Hopefully nobody’s inviting the folks in this video to the bash — which by the way excellently benefits the Motion …
UPDATE, 4:45 PM: NBC just released a statement in response to Johnny Weir’s comments this morning that he feels “remorse” for insulting protesters during an appearance Monday at Barnard College. “We’re supportive of Johnny’s apology for his choice of words last night in an emotional setting. As we’ve previously stated, NBC will cover all newsworthy issues as they are relevant to the Games, including the LGBT law”, NBC said.
PREVIOUS: Bob Costas will have to up his game to maintain his reputation as the mouth that roars at NBC Sports during the Winter Olympics, since two-time Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir was added to the on-air team. Costas, who’s known for his outspoken commentary, sounded more like a neutered pit bull the other day when he told the Associated Press he won’t comment on Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda” law because he’s hoping to land an interview with what AP called “responsible people” (read: Russian President Vladimir Putin). While the media wonders what happened to the Costas who vowed in 2012 to rip the International Olympic Committee over its refusal to hold a moment of silence honoring Israelis killed at the 1972 Games in Munich, Weir’s out there making headlines even though the Games don’t happen until February. This week, Weir’s “news” took the form of calling those who protested his refusal to boycott the Russian Games “idiots like the ones outside dumping vodka in the street.”
NBC, meanwhile, hasn’t gotten back to us about Weir, who announced on Today in late October that he was retiring from competition and joining the the network’s team for the Sochi Olympics. Protesters made the connection during Weir’s appearance Monday at Barnard College in New York; some of those those who were there protesting Weir’s assertion that the Games “are not the place to make a political statement” held a banner that read, “Weir: Russian Olympic Clown; NBC: Naïve Bloody Collaborators.”
This morning, Weir was back in the news again, this time writing in the Falls Church [Va.] News-Press: “I felt, and still feel, a great deal of remorse for allowing myself to insult other people, fighting in their own way, and for using insulting words instead of my usual cheerleading antics for one and all.”
Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about whether China’s boffo box office can sustain its remarkable growth rates of recent years; a potentially important Sino-British trade accord on film and TV production and what that might mean for U.S. film and TV production; the very warm welcome in South Africa for epic biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom; and whether a U.S. legal settlement for singer Cheryl Cole might pave the way for her return as a judge on the UK version of The X Factor or even on ITV’s newest music competition, Rising Star.
EXCLUSIVE: Last week, we scooped that Woody Allen would not attend the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards on January 12 where he will be the recipient of the 2014 Cecil B. DeMille Award. Now …
History Eyes Drama About Jesus’ “Lost Years” From Eli Roth, Eric Newman & Scott Kosar That May Involve Exorcism
EXCLUSIVE: History scored big with its blockbuster The Bible miniseries. Now the cable network is exploring another project about Jesus that would portray him in a more controversial light. I’ve learned that the network is finalizing deals for the project, from feature writer Scott Kosar (The Machinist) and producers Eli Roth (the Hostel franchise) and Eric Newman (The Thing). Titled The Lost Years, the drama explores the undocumented years of Jesus’ life as a young adult. There is very little information about Jesus’ life from about the age of 13, following a pilgrimage to Jerusalem he took with his parents, to age 30, when he began his ministry and was baptized by John the Baptist. Because the project is in very early stages, it is unclear whether it would be developed as a regular series or a miniseries.
The Lost Years is based on an original idea by Kosar who developed it with Roth and Newman. All three have strong horror pedigree — Kosar co-wrote The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror and The Crazies, and Roth and Newman jointly produced The Last Exorcism franchise in addition to their other horror credits. That is not a coincidence — nor is Roth and Newman’s exorcism connection.
The effort to craft the first major revision of the Communications Act in 18 years could be interesting but probably will end up to be a politically factious mess. House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said today that he plans hearings and studies for “a multi-year effort to examine our nation’s communications laws and update them for the Internet era.” Upton was joined in a Google Hangout announcement by Communications Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., who says that they “plan to look at the Communications Act and all of the changes that have been made piecemeal over the last 89 years and ask the simple question: ‘Is this working for today’s communications marketplace?’” For example, he says that cable operators complained to him that they have to pay franchise fees but Netflix doesn’t. The GOP leaders didn’t include Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who’s also on the Communications subcommittee — and says he helped to write “every major telecommunications statute for the past three decades.” He urged his colleagues to proceed “with great care and attention to detail” and “in a bipartisan manner.”
Netflix‘s march into the major TV awards circles continues. After an impressive showing at the Primetime Emmy nominations, the streaming service, which has been an original programming player only since January, today received two Producers Guild Awards nominations: for best drama series, House Of Cards, and best comedy, Arrested Development. The double nomination puts Netflix in the same category as awards juggernaut HBO as the only two outlets with multiple scripted PGA nominations. (HBO’s contenders are drama Game Of Thrones and comedy Veep.) For House Of Cards, this is a first PGA nom, while Arrested Development continued its streak of four consecutive PGA nominations for each of its seasons — three on Fox and one on Netflix. Ironically, Netflix’s most buzzed about original series, Orange Is The New Black, didn’t make the cut, exposing again the PGA Awards’ outdated eligibility window — which includes series that aired between June 1, 2012-May 31, 2013, a month before Orange premiered.
Related: PGA Awards TV Nominees Unveiled
House Of Cards provided the only change from last year in the best drama series field. But it was a significant one as the newcomer replaced AMC veteran Mad Men, which had been nominated every year it had been eligible so far and won twice. Once the most dominant drama awards contender, Mad Men also was shut out from winning Emmys the past two years. Joining House Of Cards are returning PGA nominees Showtime’s Homeland, which won the award in January; AMC’s Breaking Bad, hot off winning the best drama Emmy; PBS’ Downton Abbey; and Game Of Thrones. U.S. commercial broadcasters were shut out completely for a second straight year, underlining the awards struggle for network drama.
There were no snubs on the comedy series side, with Arrested Development and Veep taking the spots vacated by Curb Your Enthusiasm and Louie, both not eligible this year. They join last year’s nominees, ABC’s Modern Family, which is aiming at a fourth consecutive PGA win; NBC’s departing 30 Rock; and CBS’ mega hit The Big Bang Theory.
EXCLUSIVE: Three months after APA launched a Physical Production department with the hire of Paradigm agents Jay Gilbert and Gil Harari, the agency is expanding the department in a big way by bringing in virtually the entire staff of the Montana Artists Agency, whose sole focus is representing below-the-line talent. Montana toppers Matt Birch and Ralph Berge will serve as SVP and co-heads of APA’s physical production department alongside Gilbert and Harari. Coming with them from Montana are VP Brady Torgeson, agent Julian Savodivker, agent Amanda Pecora-Sutphen, and business affairs executive Larry Sheffield. While this is not an agency acquisition, it is unclear what the future holds for Montana, whose staff has been gutted by the exodus to APA, with only two agents remaining, Karen Berch (TV & features) and Nick Malkin (commercials). “I could not be more pleased to have Matt, Ralph and their team join our new Physical Production division launched earlier this year with Jay and Gil,”said APA president and CEO, Jim Gosnell. “These new hires make our division one of the largest of its kind in the industry, where we now represent some of the successful names in below-the-line feature and television production worldwide.” Montana’s clients include Matthew Jensen, Director of Photography for The Fantastic Four, Paul Harb, editor for The Expendables 3, Denise Pazzini, production designer for Fox pilot Fatrick and Chrisi Karvonides-Dushenko, costume designer for Fox series Hieroglyph.