Thursday Jul 24, 2014

Joseph Fiennes will play Nostradamus

According to Deadline, the English actor is set to be playing the part of famous seer Nostradamus in the eponymous TV series co-produced by Carnival Films, the production company behind "Downton Abbey.""Nostradamus" will also be produced by Anonymous Content ("True Detective") but it is not...
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TV

Joseph Fiennes will play Nostradamus
Thursday Jul 24, 2014
Joseph Fiennes will play Nostradamus

According to Deadline, the English actor is set to be playing the part of famous seer Nostradamus in the eponymous TV series co-produced by Carnival Films, the production company behind "Downton Abbey.""Nostradamus" will also be produced by Anonymous Content ("True Detective") but it is not known yet which TV channel will broadcast the series. Joseph Fiennes, of "Shakespeare In Love" and the upcoming "Hercules," is a TV regular, having appeared in "FlashForward" and "Camelot," both canceled after the first season, and in the second season of "American Horror Story." The show will follow the 16th-century French apothecary famous for his predictions as he seeks vengeance for the murder of his family. Affected by disturbing and dangerous visions, this self-destructive dreamer will look for the culprits and get caught up in schemes involving the Royal Court. No other news has been given as of yet. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'

Produced by J.J. Abrams, the TV adaptation of Michael Crichton's 1973 film has now been picked up to pilot by HBO. The Oscar-winning actor who brought Hannibal Lecter to the silver screen will share the billing with the young "Whatever Works" star in this sci-fi drama.For his first collaboration with HBO, the director of "Star Wars VII" is executive producing a new take on "Westworld." Set in the future, the original film depicts a theme park where a cast of androids allows visitors to take a virtual trip to the time and place of their choosing. For two friends and businessmen who visit the park and travel to the Far West, a fun day out turns into a nightmare when a technical malfunction allows the machines to take control. Written and directed by Michael Crichton, the 1973 film starred Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin and Dick Van Patten. In the new TV adaptaion, Anthony Hopkins will play Dr. Robert Ford, the brilliant and quiet head programmer and chairman of the board at "Westworld." Rachel Evan Wood will co-star in the role of Dolores Abernathy, a farm girl who begins to realize that her perfect existence is based entirely on a lie. The drama series will be written and directed by Jonathan Nolan, the creator of the J.J. Abrams-produced CBS series "Person of Interest" and the screenwriter behind the last two movies in his brother Christopher Nolan's "Batman" trilogy. TV audiences are familiar with the work of Michael Crichton, who created the long-running series "E.R." The writer and director also penned the novel that inspired Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Fashion films of the week: Dior, Lanvin, Bottega Veneta
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Fashion films of the week: Dior, Lanvin, Bottega Veneta

A new campaign from Dior, family fashion at Lanvin and a personalization teaser from Bottega Veneta: here's our latest selection of the hottest new fashion films from three of the biggest luxury labels out there.Christian Dior Willy Vanderperre was on hand as usual to capture his Belgian compatriot Raf Simons's latest campaign at Dior. This video, set to a minimalist techno soundtrack, shows the brand's models, including Aussie star Julia Nobis, wearing Raf's slick, sporty take on luxury. http://youtu.be/rhpR2lJkYao Lanvin Edie Campbell brought her whole family (including architect mother Sophie Hicks and her model sister Olympia Campbell) along with her to star in the latest Lanvin ad campaign. Photographer Tim Walker shot the Campbell clan romping about in this fun three-minute film. http://youtu.be/LXccuFv_0Og Bottega Veneta Based on the Italian brand's famous 'Knot' clutch bag, this short video seems to hint at an exciting new customization project. Titled "When your own initials are enough," the Knot is seen covered in python butterflies and in a glimmering reflective texture. http://youtu.be/O5v2BZxhS58 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Will Ferrell to star in and produce film adaptation of 'Manimal'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Will Ferrell to star in and produce film adaptation of 'Manimal'

The TV series, which was canceled after one season in 1983, will be adapted for the silver screen.Just like Bruce Wayne, Dr. Jonathan Chase is a rich lady's man with a secret: he can change into any animal he wants (he prefers black panthers and hawks). Two years ago, Sony bought the rights to the series, which hadn't been as successful as expected at the time. Now, however, it could benefit from the surge of popularity animals are currently experiencing on TV and in films. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who have worked together on "Anchorman 2," "The Other Guys" and "Step Brothers," will produce the film adaptation. They will be working with the original series' co-creator, Glen A. Larson ("Knight Rider", "Magnum"), while Jay Martel and Ian Roberts will be in charge of the script. The scriptwriters are currently working on "Get Hard" starring Ferrell. The film will feature both real-life footage and animation. No release date has been announced yet. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

FX says overnight ratings becoming meaningless
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
FX says overnight ratings becoming meaningless

NEW YORK (AP) — It's a rite nearly as old as television: the morning after a new show premieres, network executives wait impatiently for the Nielsen company's estimate of how many people watched, and rush to report the first sign of a hit. Leaders at the FX network are trying something new: They're no longer talking publicly about how their programs do on opening night, believing those numbers don't accurately reflect how many people see their shows. Instead, they're waiting a few days to see how many people catch up via time shifting. Inside baseball perhaps, but also a vivid illustration of how TV viewing is changing, particularly for the scripted dramas that dominate at FX. Less than a decade ago, the vast majority of people watched a show when a network scheduled it. FX's "Sons of Anarchy" averaged 2.6 million viewers a week in 2006, with 2 million people watching live and another million within 24 hours, Nielsen said. Last year, each episode averaged 7.5 million viewers over a week's time, although only 3.2 million saw it "live." The rest watched on DVD, on demand, online or in FX repeats during the week. Fully two-thirds of "Homeland" viewers on Showtime last year watched later than its first airing. The Fox series "Sleepy Hollow" had 10.1 million people watch live and another 10.1 million on various time shift options. The early numbers, besides poorly representing a show's true audience, can blatantly mislead, said FX President John Landgraf. For his network's "Tyrant," overnight ratings showed that 13 percent fewer young viewers watched the second episode as watched the premiere. But when Nielsen's numbers for viewing over three full days came in, viewership was actually up 9 percent. It gets under CBS' skin when NBC touts "America's Got Talent" as summer's most popular network show. That may be true in the overnight numbers, but CBS shows "Under the Dome" and "Extant" surpass it when time-shifted viewing is taken into account, said CBS research chief David Poltrack. Reality shows, sports and news are most commonly watched when they air. Besides the overnight numbers, Nielsen measures how many people watch a show within three days of its first airing, and within a week. Landgraf said it's fairer to make judgments on a show after three days. FX bases its advertising sales on how many people watch a show's commercials within three days. Landgraf said he hoped other networks follow his lead. He realizes his stance is risky. Even if FX doesn't report its overnight numbers, other networks know them and can tell the world. "It gives our competition ... the opportunity to do mischief," he said. "Are we all going to slit each other's throats? Are we like rats in a cage, or are we going to recognize the fact that the consumer is changing the way he or she consumes our content?" Landgraf said he waited to take his stand until after the premiere of "The Strain," which is one of the biggest initial hits in the network's history, so people wouldn't question his motives. "The Strain" did very well in the overnight numbers with 2.99 million and increased to 4.73 million within three days. Robert Seidman, co-founder of the TV by the Numbers website, said FX's move is partly a publicity stunt. Overnight numbers still solidly represent how one program is doing against a competitor. For a cable network like FX, the value in promoting how many people watch a program over time comes when negotiating with cable or satellite providers over how much money they will pay to carry a network. Even if Landgraf won't talk about the overnight numbers, Seidman said people shouldn't make the mistake of thinking he isn't paying attention. "Whatever they say, whenever they get into the office the day after a premiere, they're looking at the first shred of numbers that are available," he said. ___ Online: http://www.fxnetworks.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

Joseph Fiennes will play Nostradamus
Thursday Jul 24, 2014
Joseph Fiennes will play Nostradamus

According to Deadline, the English actor is set to be playing the part of famous seer Nostradamus in the eponymous TV series co-produced by Carnival Films, the production company behind "Downton Abbey.""Nostradamus" will also be produced by Anonymous Content ("True Detective") but it is not known yet which TV channel will broadcast the series. Joseph Fiennes, of "Shakespeare In Love" and the upcoming "Hercules," is a TV regular, having appeared in "FlashForward" and "Camelot," both canceled after the first season, and in the second season of "American Horror Story." The show will follow the 16th-century French apothecary famous for his predictions as he seeks vengeance for the murder of his family. Affected by disturbing and dangerous visions, this self-destructive dreamer will look for the culprits and get caught up in schemes involving the Royal Court. No other news has been given as of yet. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'

Produced by J.J. Abrams, the TV adaptation of Michael Crichton's 1973 film has now been picked up to pilot by HBO. The Oscar-winning actor who brought Hannibal Lecter to the silver screen will share the billing with the young "Whatever Works" star in this sci-fi drama.For his first collaboration with HBO, the director of "Star Wars VII" is executive producing a new take on "Westworld." Set in the future, the original film depicts a theme park where a cast of androids allows visitors to take a virtual trip to the time and place of their choosing. For two friends and businessmen who visit the park and travel to the Far West, a fun day out turns into a nightmare when a technical malfunction allows the machines to take control. Written and directed by Michael Crichton, the 1973 film starred Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin and Dick Van Patten. In the new TV adaptaion, Anthony Hopkins will play Dr. Robert Ford, the brilliant and quiet head programmer and chairman of the board at "Westworld." Rachel Evan Wood will co-star in the role of Dolores Abernathy, a farm girl who begins to realize that her perfect existence is based entirely on a lie. The drama series will be written and directed by Jonathan Nolan, the creator of the J.J. Abrams-produced CBS series "Person of Interest" and the screenwriter behind the last two movies in his brother Christopher Nolan's "Batman" trilogy. TV audiences are familiar with the work of Michael Crichton, who created the long-running series "E.R." The writer and director also penned the novel that inspired Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Will Ferrell to star in and produce film adaptation of 'Manimal'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Will Ferrell to star in and produce film adaptation of 'Manimal'

The TV series, which was canceled after one season in 1983, will be adapted for the silver screen.Just like Bruce Wayne, Dr. Jonathan Chase is a rich lady's man with a secret: he can change into any animal he wants (he prefers black panthers and hawks). Two years ago, Sony bought the rights to the series, which hadn't been as successful as expected at the time. Now, however, it could benefit from the surge of popularity animals are currently experiencing on TV and in films. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who have worked together on "Anchorman 2," "The Other Guys" and "Step Brothers," will produce the film adaptation. They will be working with the original series' co-creator, Glen A. Larson ("Knight Rider", "Magnum"), while Jay Martel and Ian Roberts will be in charge of the script. The scriptwriters are currently working on "Get Hard" starring Ferrell. The film will feature both real-life footage and animation. No release date has been announced yet. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Steve Carell agrees to lead 'Brooklyn Family Robinson'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Steve Carell agrees to lead 'Brooklyn Family Robinson'

From "Foxcatcher" to family comedy, Steve Carell underlines his versatility by taking the main role in Disney's "Brooklyn Family Robinson."Carell will not only play the Robinsons' dad, who swaps his clan's urban pad for island living, but will also act as producer for the Disney movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Also named in a production capacity are Charlie Hartsock and Vance DeGeneres, of Carell's production company Carousel, who came up with the idea with the help of the film's scriptwriter, David Reynolds of "Finding Nemo" fame. Carell's current gig, "Foxcatcher," retells the true life story of philanthropist turned wrestling coach John du Pont and his two Olympic-grade protégés, Mark and Dave Schultz; the tense and sinister film was given a rapturous reception at the Cannes Film Festival in May and goes on general release from November. Prior to that, the American comic appears alongside Jennifer Garner ("Juno," "Dallas Buyers Club") and the young Ed Oxenbould ("Julian") in another Disney movie, October's storybook adaptation "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to team for 'By the Sea'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to team for 'By the Sea'

For the first time since meeting on the set of the 2005 movie "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will be seen together on the silver screen in "By the Sea."Jolie is the driving force behind the production: after writing the screenplay, she will direct the film and star alongside her spouse. In a press release announcing it has acquired the rights to the screenplay, Universal describes the story as "an intimate, character-driven drama." No further details were revealed. "By the Sea" will be Jolie's third film as a director after "In the Land of Blood and Honey" (2011) and the biopic "Unbroken," which is due for release on December 25, 2014. Adapted from the non-fiction book by Lauren Hillenbrand, the new film is based on the life of Olympic athlete and World War II veteran Louis Zamperini, who died on July 2 at age 97.  In addition to placing the finishing touches on "Unbroken," Jolie is working on her next role as Cleopatra in a historical biopic that recent rumors suggest could also include appearances by all six of her children. The feature's release date has not been announced. Brad Pitt, meanwhile, will return to US theaters on November 14 in the war drama "Fury." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

Pacino, Dafoe set for Venice Film Festival
Thursday Jul 24, 2014
Pacino, Dafoe set for Venice Film Festival

ROME (AP) — This year's Venice Film Festival will tackle topics from the financial crisis to drone warfare, and feature performances from Willem Dafoe, Al Pacino, Jennifer Aniston and Ethan Hawke. Organizers on Thursday announced a 20-strong competition lineup that includes Iranian-American director Ramin Bahrani's subprime-mortgage drama "99 Homes," with Andrew Garfield and Laura Dern, and New Zealand-born filmmaker Andrew Niccol's "The Good Kill," starring Hawke as a dissatisfied drone operator. There is a strong American presence, both behind the camera and onscreen, among the films in the running for the Golden Lion. They include David Gordon Green's Texan drama "Manglehorn" starring Pacino and Holly Hunter; Abel Ferrara's "Pasolini," featuring Dafoe as taboo-breaking Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini; and Italian director Saverio Costanzo's "Hungry Hearts," a suspenseful drama set in New York starring Adam Driver. The festival, which mixes big-name directors and arty auteurs with the work of exciting newcomers, also includes "The Cut," a drama by Turkish-German director Fatih Akin starring Tahar Rahim; Swedish director Roy Andersson's "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence"; and "The Postman's White Knights" by Russia's Andrei Konchalovsky. Documentary-maker Joshua Oppenheimer competes with "The Look of Silence," a sequel to his powerful investigation of Indonesian political violence, "The Act of Killing." Films from France, Italy, China, Japan, Turkey and Iran round out the competition lineup. Pacino appears again at the festival, as an aging actor in Barry Levinson's "The Humbling," adapted from a Philip Roth novel. It is among the "out of competition" entries which are not contestants for the Golden Lion. The eclectic out-of-competition roster also includes Peter Bogdanovich's Broadway comedy "She's Funny That Way," starring Imogen Poots, Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson; Lisa Cholodenko's Maine-set drama "Olive Kitteridge," with Frances McDormand and Bill Murray; actor-turned-director James Franco's adaptation of William Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury"; and Danish provocateur Lars Von Trier's "Nymphomaniac Volume II." The 71st Venice Film Festival opens Aug. 27 with the world premiere of Alejandro Inarritu's "Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance," starring former "Batman" Michael Keaton as an actor struggling to get beyond a famous superhero role. The festival runs to Sept. 6, when a jury led by composer Alexandre Desplat awards the Golden Lion for best film and seven other prizes. ___ Online: Venice Film Festival: http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Review: La Roux returns with sexy, sassy second LP
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Review: La Roux returns with sexy, sassy second LP

La Roux, "Trouble in Paradise" (Interscope/Cherrytree) Coming off an artistic hiatus after a widely acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning debut, La Roux returns in force with an off-beat, electrifying and synth-pop second album. "Trouble in Paradise" showcases the new La Roux, singer-songwriter Elly Jackson minus producer Ben Langmaid, who left the duo during work on this follow-up to their 2009 self-titled debut. Jackson paired with producer Ian Sherwin to finish off the job and the result is a nine-track collection that, while retaining the band's original sound and charisma, adds a sexy edge. It starts off with a disco mirror ball of a tune, "Uptight Downtown," a gentle dance session in the making. It moves into strum-friendly "Cruel Sexuality" and the light touch "Sexotheque" where the instrumentals convey a childlike wonder in stark contrast to lyrics that tell the story of a couple where the man is a bit of a dog. "Silent Partner" turns from a Michael Jackson tribute to a nightmare scenario of an abusive relationship, while "Kiss and Not Tell" spins another tale of romantic woe. Slow burn track "Let Me Down Gently" sounds so vintage that La Roux should be paying royalties to the 1980s. However, Caribbean-sounding electro party-starter "Tropical Chancer" comes as the front runner of the album — the perfect balance of rhythm appeal and sass — a bit like this entire endeavor. ____ Follow Cristina Jaleru on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Cristinelle7 Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Americans aplenty as UK's Booker Prize goes global
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Americans aplenty as UK's Booker Prize goes global

LONDON (AP) — The Americans have arrived in force for Britain's Booker literary prize. Five U.S.-based writers are on the 13-book long-list for the prestigious fiction award, announced Wednesday. This is the first year writers of all nationalities have been eligible for the Booker, previously open only to authors from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth of former British colonies. The roster includes Americans Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler, Siri Hustvedt and Richard Powers, as well as Irish-born, U.S-based writer Joseph O'Neill. Also on the list are Britain's Howard Jacobson, Neel Mukherjee, Paul Kingsnorth, David Mitchell, David Nicholls and Ali Smith, Ireland's Niall Williams and Australia's Richard Flanagan. Some British writers have expressed fears that the change in eligibility may lead to U.S. dominance of the 45-year-old award, officially named the Man Booker Prize after its sponsor, financial services firm Man Group PLC. This year Britons are still in the majority, and there is only one writer — Flanagan — from a Commonwealth country other than Britain. Only three of the nominated authors are women. "After all the fears about a U.S.-dominated list, the number of British writers comes as a surprise," said Jonathan Ruppin, a spokesman for bookstore chain Foyles. "Although the absence of any authors from Africa or Asia is perhaps the more striking aspect of the spread of nationalities." Philosopher A.C. Grayling, who chairs the judging panel, said that in a "vintage year" for fiction, the judges were looking only for quality. "It didn't matter to us if they were written by men or women, by Americans or Australians or Brits," Grayling said. "Fiction in English, no matter who written by, no matter where published, is now part of kind of a global scene. Fiction is fiction, and good fiction will always stand comparison with good fiction." Bookmaker William Hill made O'Neill the early favorite to win with "The Dog," the story of a disillusioned lawyer, followed by Mitchell for decades-spanning saga "The Bone Clocks," which will be published in the fall. A six-book shortlist for the 50,000-pound ($85,000) prize will be announced Sept. 9, and the winner unveiled at a ceremony in London on Oct. 14. ___ Online: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'The Last of Us 2' a definite possibility
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
'The Last of Us 2' a definite possibility

A sequel to 2013's PlayStation hit "The Last of Us" is certainly in the cards, says a rep for award-winning studio Naughty Dog.The game was originally released for PlayStation 3 in June 2013, just a few months before its successor was released, and a PlayStation 4 edition is now due the week of July 29. With a week to go until the PS4 version emerges, Naughty Dog was never going to rule out the possibility of a sequel at this point, as community strategist Arne Meyer outlined the studio's process. "All of our games are self-contained stories so they don't have to continue if we don't want them to or if there's no reason for them to continue," Meyer told VideoGamer.com. "It really comes down to is there something interesting in this universe we've created that we want to continue to explore? Is it something that we can get the entire team passionate about? Is it something we can get the creative directors excited about and then we could continue it?" "We're just starting to explore ideas of what more could there be in this universe and starting that decision process," though "that doesn't mean the end result is guaranteed," he cautioned. At the same time, the game is making its way to theater as a free (but limited-space) live read at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California. "The Last of Us: One Night Live" is to take place on July 28, with the principal cast reunited to recreate select scenes from the game's script. That's to be livestreamed on YouTube, Twitch.TV and the PlayStation Network. And speaking of creative directors, it would appear that a "Last of Us 2" may be a while off, as lead pairing Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley have been attached to confirmed PlayStation 4 title "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End," continuing the adventures of smart-talking treasure-hunting swashbuckler Nathan Drake in 2015. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Nathan Lane: Straight actors can play gay roles
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Nathan Lane: Straight actors can play gay roles

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Gay actors shouldn't have a monopoly on gay roles, award-winning stage and screen actor Nathan Lane said. Lane, who is gay and has played both straight and gay characters, was asked the question at a TV critics' meeting Tuesday. He was there to discuss PBS' presentation of the Broadway play "The Nance," in which he stars. "We just had 'The Normal Heart' (with) Mark Ruffalo, fantastic job. I think who's right for the part and most talented" should be hired, Lane said. Ruffalo, who is straight, starred as a gay man in the AIDS drama for HBO. "That way only madness lies. ... I wouldn't have played Nathan Detroit or Max Bialystock" if casting followed such rigid rules, Lane said. He won a Tony Award for his Broadway portrayal of larcenous producer Bialystock in "The Producers" and was a nominee as gambler Detroit in "Guys and Dolls." Lane is an Emmy nominee this year for his guest role as wedding planner Pepper Saltzman in ABC's sitcom "Modern Family." Hollywood has been criticized for casting white actors as ethnic characters and, as gay characters have become an increasing part of movies and TV, giving such roles to straight actors. "Will & Grace" came under fire for casting straight actor Eric McCormack as a gay man. "The Nance," which earned Lane another Tony bid this year, is about a gay burlesque performer in 1930s New York. It airs Oct. 10 on PBS' "Live From Lincoln Center" as part of the series 40th anniversary season. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.