Starz Orders Drama ‘The Rook’ From Stephenie Meyer, Liberty Global and Lionsgate
The series marks Liberty Global’s move into original drama in partnership with Lionsgate. The supernatural spy thriller will be executive produced by “Twilight” saga creator Stephenie Meyer and Stephen Garrett (“The Night Manager”).
Playwrights and screenwriters Sam Holcroft (“Rules for Living”) and Al Muriel (“Precious & Rich”) have adapted the 2012 novel by Daniel O’Malley for TV. Garrett will serve as showrunner under his Character 7 banner. The project was previously set up at Hulu.
Liberty Global, the international cable arm of John Malone’s empire, has been looking to expand its original production activity. Liberty Global owns a small stake in Lionsgate and its CEO, Mike Fries, sits on the studio’s board of directors. Malone was also the major shareholder in Starz, which Lionsgate acquired last year.
- Stewart Clarke
‘Brooklyn’ Director John Crowley Has ‘Dreams Of Leaving’ With TV Series
After directing one of the best films of 2015 with the sweet, and lovely “Brooklyn,” director John Crowley has been pretty quiet. Granted, bringing an adaptation of Donna Tartt‘s literary sensation “The Goldfinch“ to life is probably a whole job itself, and it looks like the filmmaker is going to turn to TV as that movie keeps developing.
Screen Daily reports that Crowley is set to direct “Dreams Of Leaving.” Based on the novel by Rupert Thomson, with Nick Payne (“The Sense Of An Ending,” “The Crown“) writing the script, the series will follow a young man from the city, who returns to his childhood town of more “traditional” values, where secrets will be revealed:
New Egypt is a village somewhere in the South of England.
Continue reading ‘Brooklyn’ Director John Crowley Has ‘Dreams Of Leaving’ With TV Series at The Playlist. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
‘Black Mirror’ Season 4 is Almost Done Filming, Creators Still Open to Making Sequels
It’s a great time to be a “Black Mirror” fan. The anthology series’ third season debuted on Netflix last October and earned serious buzz, with episodes like “Nosedive” and “San Junipero” breaking out and becoming some of the series’ most talked about installments. The latter even earned two Emmy nominations, one for Outstanding TV Movie and another for Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic special.
Fans have been wondering when the series will return for a fourth season, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem likely that it will be this year. Joining Variety on its Remote Controlled podcast, co-creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones confirmed they are currently in the middle of filming the sixth and final episode of Season 4. Because of the lengthy post-production process required for each episode, »
- Zack Sharf
Is Joe Manganiello Still Playing Deathstroke in ‘The Batman’?
Step back in time with me, if you will, to a simpler time: September 2016. At that time, Zack Snyder was still the director on Justice League, and Ben Affleck was still directing The Batman. Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike) was announced to play the villainous Deathstroke, who would be squaring off against Batman in his solo feature and possibly making an appearance in Justice League. Fast forward to July 2017 and Snyder has left Justice League for personal reasons with Joss Whedon overseeing extensive reshoots, and Affleck has handed directing duties on The Batman over to Matt Reeves (War for … »
- Matt Goldberg
Patti Deutsch, Nasally Comedienne on 'Laugh-In' and 'Match Game,' Dies at 73
Patti Deutsch, the witty comedian and voiceover artist with the nasally delivery who was a regular on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and on game shows like Match Game and Tattletales, has died. She was 73.
Deutsch died Wednesday after a long battle with cancer, her family announced.
Deutsch came to fame as a member of the 1960s-'70s improvisational comedy group Ace Trucking Company, which also featured Fred Willard, Bill "You Can Call Me Ray" Saluga, Michael Mislove and George Memmoli.
- Mike Barnes
Bryce Dallas Howard to Make Directorial Debut on ‘Sorta Like a Rock Star’ (Exclusive)
Howard has directed a handful of short films as well as an M-80 music video starring Lily Collins but this would mark her full-length debut.
The film is currently in early development and without a distributor but sources say if the film moves forward she would direct. »
- Justin Kroll
Box Office: ‘Atomic Blonde’ Explodes With $1.5 Million, Topping ‘Emoji Movie,’ on Thursday
Focus Features and Sierra/Affinity’s spy thriller has been projected for an opening weekend in the low $20 million range from 3,304 sites. “Atomic Blonde,” which has a $30 million price tag, is set in 1989 Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall. »
- Dave McNary
Priyanka Chopra Developing Comedy Series About Bollywood Star at ABC (Exclusive)
ABC is developing a comedy series about a former Bollywood star executive produced by Priyanka Chopra, Variety has learned exclusively.
The currently untitled single-camera series would follow a former Bollywood star who settles down in the suburbs of America with her bi-cultural family and tries to bring her colorful lifestyle to an otherwise dull town. The series is based on the real life of Madhuri Dixit, who will also executive produce. »
- Joe Otterson
Marty Sklar Dies: Longtime Imagineer, Theme Park Designer & Walt Disney’s “Right-Hand Man” Was 83
Marty Sklar, the man who supervised the design and construction of Tokyo Disneyland, the Disney-MGM Studios, Disneyland Paris and other theme park attractions, has died at his home, Disney said tonight. He was 83 and had made an appearance at Disney’s D23 two weeks ago.
Having started as an intern for Walt Disney, Sklar finished his 54-year career at Disney as the International Ambassador for Walt Disney Imagineering. That role meant traveling to art and design colleges… »
Stephen Colbert and Al Gore Share Climate Change Pick-Up Lines So Terrible, You Will Have to Save the Planet to Move Past Them
You’ll redouble your efforts to help the environment, because man, we cannot go out on pick-up lines this bad. »
- Halle Kiefer
Michael Moore Disses Trump, Hillary Clinton in New Broadway Show
Michael Moore has Trump on the brain, and the Oscar-winning documentarian and liberal scourge unleashed his animus on the new president on Friday in the first public performance of his one-man Broadway debut, “The Terms of My Surrender.” “I refuse to live in a country where Donald Trump is the president — and I’m not leaving,” Moore said near the end of his two-hour plus show, which was part autobiography, part counseling session to like-minded urban liberals and part political rally and call to action. At one point, Moore teased a run for president in 2020, with a typically satirical edge. »
- Thom Geier
Priyanka Chopra is Developing an ABC Comedy Based on the Life of Bollywood Star Madhuri Dixit
The show will focus on a former Bollywood superstar who resettles in America. »
- Halle Kiefer
Charter Communications Disinterested in Sprint’s Merger Bid (Report)
Charter Communications is not interested in a merger with Sprint Corp., a person familiar with the matter tells Bloomberg. Earlier this evening, The Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son proposed a merger of his telecommunication company with Charter to form a publicly traded media and communications giant that would be controlled by Son’s SoftBank. SoftBank Group didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Also Read: Verizon Explores Charter Merger That Would Unite Giants (Report) In January, Verizon was exploring a merger with Charter. At the time, The Journal reported that Verizon chief Lowell McAdam »
- Rosemary Rossi
The Great British Baking Show Recap: Divorced, Beheaded, Pied
Why does baking have to be so emotional? »
- Molly Fitzpatrick
6 Things We Learned About Outlander’s New Season at TCA
Bad news: Claire and Jamie won’t be reuniting anytime soon. »
- Whitney Friedlander
Cuba Gooding, Andrew Dice Clay Backing Pete Antico for SAG-aftra President
Stuntman Pete Antico has gained endorsements for his candidacy for SAG-aftra president from Cuba Gooding Jr., Andrew Dice Clay, Mickey Rourke, Danny Aiello and Michael Madsen, Variety has learned exclusively.
Antico is one of five candidates seeking the post along with current president Gabrielle Carteris, national board member Esai Morales and independents Robert B. Martin, Jr. and Marilyn Monrovia. Ballot went out this week to about 144,000 members and must be returned by Aug. 24.
Nicky Whelan, Zoe Bell, Bruce Payne, Peter Dobson, Jeff Fahey have also endorsed Antico, who has campaigned against ratifiying the tentative agreement on a new master contract. for falling short for stunt performers, background actors, dancers, singers, and voiceover artists. Antico has also been stressing safety issues in the wake of the July 12 death of stuntman John Bernecker on the set of “The Walking Dead,” and asserted that SAG-aftra has not paid enough attention to stunt issues.
- Dave McNary
TCA Roundup: Elizabeth Smart Talks Autobiographical Films, Starz CEO Promotes Skinny Bundles
The Television Critics Association press tour arrived in Beverly Hills on July 25 and will continue through Aug. 9. Each day, Variety will publish a roundup of the most essential news items to come out of the day’s panels.
On a panel for A+E Networks, Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted from her Salt Lake City home in 2002, talked about bringing her story to television with two different programming events. “I Am Elizabeth Smart,” a Lifetime movie, and “Elizabeth Smart: Autobiography,” a two-part documentary special, each come 15 years after Smart became a national story. Both programs will run on Lifetime and A+E. “I have a unique opportunity to share my story because there are so many survivors out there who struggle every day … they feel like no »
- Rebecca Rubin
Puddles Pity Party flashback: Before ‘America’s Got Talent,’ clown sang with ‘American Idol’ alum Haley Reinhart [Watch]
Before he became a household name thanks to “America’s Got Talent” 2017, the sad clown known as Puddles Pity Party kept busy on YouTube by singing alongside “American Idol” alum Haley Reinhart. As part of the popular Postmodern Jukebox channel, Puddles and Reinhart were just two of many singers to take on “today’s hits, yesterday.” […] »
- Marcus James Dixon
Judd Apatow Praises Jim Carrey's Comedic Genius: "He's the Best"
Apatow first witnessed the Canadian-born comic's genius when watching Carrey do endlessly brilliant improvisational sets in Hollywood comedy clubs during the late 1980s and 1990s.
"He would go on stage every night and improvise his entire set. His goal was not to repeat one line from any other night. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life," Apatow said of Carrey's early performances at The Improv. Apatow later saw Carrey create, out of »
- Etan Vlessing
‘Outlander’ Stars Talk Time Travel, Fake Vomit and Keeping Up With Diana Gabaldon’s Books
Stars of the fantasy drama “Outlander” got to stretch their legs outside of Scotland during the production of Season 3, which bows Sept. 10 on Starz.
The journey to Jamaica to film sea-faring scenes on stationary ship sets was a nice detour for cast and producers. The “Outlander” team was on hand Friday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour to talk up the broad scope of the third season, which encompasses the 20-year separation of central characters Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) from the 1940s through the 1960s.
“Anyone who has read Diana’s books knows it’s just a sequence of twists and turns. You’re constantly being kept on your toes. Who would have thought we’d end up on ships and in Jamaica this season,” Balfe »
- Cynthia Littleton
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