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A long time ago in another TV galaxy — we’re talking eight, even 10 years ago — the “guest star” appearance was a pretty well-defined event; the famous Hollywood actor or Broadway actress would turn up on an episode of a hit show, interact briefly with the well-oiled cast, toss off a few bon-mots, and depart, never to be seen again.
That’s all changed. Today, series creators, writers and showrunners carefully craft stories and arcs for “guest” spots, as evidenced by such varied turns as Jane Fonda’s in HBO’s “The Newsroom,” Nathan Lane’s in “Modern Family,” Joe Morton’s in “Scandal,” Diana Rigg’s in HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Beau Bridges in Showtime’s “Master of Sex,” Bob Newhart’s in CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” and Paul Giamatti’s in PBS’ “Downton Abbey,” all Emmy nominees.
For Lane, who just earned his third nomination on ABC »
- Iain Blair
After two consecutive triumphs at the Emmys (2011, 2012), Maggie Smith was bested by Anna Gunn ("Breaking Bad") last year as Best Drama Supporting Actress. This time around, Smith submitted the two-hour "Downton Abbey" season finale and could win a third trophy for playing fan-favorite Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham. -Break- Exclusive: Emmy episode entries for 'Downton Abbey,' 'Modern Family,' Melissa McCarthy Synopsis: In the season finale "The London Season," the characters all travel to London to attend Rose's royal coronation ceremony. Cora's American mother (Shirley MacLaine) and brother (Paul Giamatti) travel across the ocean to join in the celebration, and Violet and Martha immediately start up their catty feud again. Some of the servants are curious as to Lady Edith's (Laura Carmichael) tiredness, but Violet knows the truth, that she briefly moved away to give birth to her...' »
Only the fake-blood expenditure has been upped in “Ironclad: Battle for Blood,” an anemic sequel to 2011′s medieval slay-’em-up “Ironclad” that visibly scrimps in all other departments, from casting to effects to any semblance of humor. Essentially repeating its predecessor’s castle-siege narrative — minus the vague historical basis this time — writer-director Jonathan English’s dank-looking film delivers enough amputations, decapitations and other instances of rusty-bladed gore to distract undiscerning genre fans stuck between seasons of “Game of Thrones,” but serves no other obvious purpose. Granted a far smaller U.K. release than the first film back in March, the film now enters theaters Stateside after an initial VOD bow; if there’s any further life (or flamboyant death) in this franchise, it’ll be in ancillary only.
Unlike “Ironclad,” which notionally told the story of the 1215 siege of Rochester Castle, the sword-and-sackcloth drama in “Battle for Blood” (set six »
- Guy Lodge
Though Sony has been ambitious with its plans for the expansion of the Spider-Man universe through the current Amazing Spider-Man franchise, the second film in the series wasn’t quite the massive smash the studio might have been hoping for. And admit recent changes to behind-the-scenes teams on the other movies comes word that the third film to focus on the webslinger, originally scheduled for 2016, has been pushed back to 2018.But if you’re wondering what might fill the Spidey void, the villains have your back. The Sinister Six, which Cabin In The Woods’ Drew Goddard is writing and directing, will step in, taking aim with all its dastardly weapons at November 11, 2016. The film will feature the likes of the Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin, alongside a variety of others plucked from Peter Parker’s rogues’ gallery.As for the third Spidey film, Marc Webb has »
We’ve seen superheroes band together as a powerhouse group in Marvel’s The Avengers and now Sony is forming their own Marvel-based team of comic book characters, but with a villainous slant. Sinister Six, a movie featuring a host of antagonists from The Amazing Spider-Man universe, has been slated for a 2016 release, and Sony has also pushed back the premiere of The Amazing Spider-Man 3 by two years.
THR reports that Sinister Six is now officially set for a November 11th, 2016 release. With The Amazing Spider-Man spinoff securing a calendar spot, Sony swapped the release date of The Amazing Spider-Man 3 from June 10th, 2016 to a date in 2018, likely in June. The delay of the third Amazing Spider-Man film will in turn postpone the original May 4th, 2018 debut date for The Amazing Spider-Man 4, but the new official release date for that entry has yet to be announced.
- Derek Anderson
Originally set to hit theaters on June 10, 2016, Sony has now decided to delay The Amazing Spider-Man 3 two years to 2018, the year The Amazing Spider-Man 4 was previously expected to hit theaters. However, they aren't giving up on the idea of building a world around the web-slinger despite the lackluster returns from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which had been expected to gross nearly $1 billion worldwide this summer, but has so far only amassed $706 million. Instead of a new Spider-Man film in 2016, the studio is moving forward with The Sinister Six with writer/director Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods), releasing on November 11, 2016. The film features an all-star lineup of Spider-Man villains, all of which were teased in the Spider-Man 2's end credits including Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Rhino, Vulture, Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio. No word on which one of those villains may show up, but it seems »
- Brad Brevet
Looks like slightly underwhleming box office returns for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 weren’t enough to kill Sony’s plans to build an expansive superhero universe. The studio has dated The Sinister Six, a movie that features an all-star lineup of Spider-Man villains, for release on November 11th, 2016. As part of the new release date, The Amazing Spider-Man 3 has been bumped from its June 10th, 2016 slot by two years to May 4th, 2018.
Drew Goddard apparently delivered a take on the Sinister Six project that greatly excited execs at Sony. The Cabin in the Woods helmer is set to write and direct the spinoff, which currently has “a rough script.” Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group’s Doug Belgrad said:
“With Sinister Six in the hands of writer-director Drew Goddard, we feel extremely confident placing the film on a prime date in 2016.”
It’s still unknown which villains will feature into »
- Isaac Feldberg
Downton Abbey had a disappointing fourth season. While its 12 Emmy nominations—including one for Outstanding Drama Series and one for Michelle Dockery for Outstanding Lead Actress—suggest otherwise, many complained of lackluster storylines that fell flat compared to previous seasons.
Looking ahead to the show’s fifth season, however, Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates), Allen Leech (Tom Branson), Gareth Neame (executive producer, Downton Abbey), and Rebecca Eaton (executive producer, Masterpiece) spoke at the Television Critics Association, addressing season-four criticism and what fans can look forward to in season five.
Neame spoke to the »
- C. Molly Smith
The impressive lineup announced for the upcoming 2014 Toronto International Film Festival includes a number of extremely promising films, and we’ve got some new images from four such features for your perusing pleasure. Briefly: A Little Chaos – (Directed by Alan Rickman) Starring Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Alan Rickman. Love & Mercy – (Directed by Bill Pohlad) Starring Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, John Cusack, and Paul Giamatti. Miss Julie – (Directed by Liv Ullmann) Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton. Mr. Turner – (Directed by Mike Leigh) Starring Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Martin Savage, Joshua McGuire, Ruth Sheen, David Horovitch, and Karl Johnson. Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses, and click here to check out all of the Tiff images released thus far. The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 – 14th. A Little Chaos A landscape gardener with a »
- Adam Chitwood
The fifth season of "Downton Abbey" won't premiere on PBS until January 4, 2015. That's a long way away and, by that time, many of you will have already watched the full season through illegal means (or legal if you happen to live in England). On Tuesday (July 22) evening, the Television Critics Association is going to get at least a taste of Season 5. Since the show is still in production, creator Julian Fellowes is absent, sending Gareth Neame in his stead. Similarly, much of the cast is shooting Across the Pond, but we've got Laura "Lady Edith" Carmichael, Michelle "Non-Stop" Dockery, Joanne "Anna" Froggatt and Allen "Branson" Leech. Click through and follow along with my live-blog. Don't expect too many spoilers. 7:15 p.m. We're' being strung along by an assortment of other "Masterpiece" productions, none of which is "Downton Abbey." 7:22 p.m. "I feel a-shaking of the ground I stand on, »
- Daniel Fienberg
Tiff will close out the 2014 festival with "A Little Chaos." The period film is led by Kate Winslet, with Stanley Tucci, Matthias Schoenaerts and Alan Rickman (who also directs) in support in this film that has a fairly unconventional plot. Here's the synopsis: A landscape gardener with a taste for the unconventional is invited to design one of the fountains at the Palace of Versailles. As she battles with the weather, the perilous rivalries at the court of Louis Xiv and her own private demons, she finds herself drawn closer to the formality and enigma of the architect who hired her. Moving a completely different direction, Paul Dano is channeling Brian Wilson in Bill Pohlad's "Love & Mercy." Elizabeth Banks, John Cusack and Paul Giamatti make up the intriguing supporting cast. Here's the synopsis: Focusing on Brian Wilson, the mercurial singer, songwriter and leader of The Beach Boys, Love & Mercy paints an unconventional. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff), which runs from September 4 to 14 this year, has announced its initial lineup of films. This is the first of a handful of announcements for the festival, and as always, the first announcement focuses on its Galas and Special Presentations -- the films with the flashiest names.
The initial slate of fifty-nine films includes thirty-seven world premieres, boasting those from Noah Baumbach,Lone Scherfig, and Chris Rock – yes, that Chris Rock. Premieres have been a contentious subject this year on the film festival circuit, as Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Tiff, threw down the gauntlet, announcing that the festival would not play a film in the first four days of its schedule if it was also programmed concurrently for the Telluride festival.
- Sasha James
The 39th Toronto International Film Festival has announced its initial slate of galas and special presentations, which includes 37 world premieres and several films with Oscar ambitions. The Judge, which stars Robert Downey Jr. as a big-city lawyer who reluctantly returns home and ends up defending his revered father (Robert Duvall) against criminal charges, will have its world premiere in Toronto. His Avengers pal, Chris Evans, will unveil his own directorial debut in Toronto, titled Before We Go.
- Jeff Labrecque
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced over 40 titles — a mix of awards contenders, star-powered indies, and international art-house fare — screening in its Gala and Special Presentations program this September, including Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer,” a pair of Reese Witherspoon projects and closing night film “A Little Chaos,” Alan Rickman’s period pic starring Kate Winslet as a landscape gardener assigned to construct the garden at Versailles.
World-preeming Galas announced this morning at the Tiff Bell Lightbox also include “Pawn Sacrifice,” Ed Zwick’s biopic on the legendary Cold War-era chess match between Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber), and “Black and White,” Mike Binder’s tale of a grieving widower (Kevin Costner) in a custody battle, as well as WB fall releases “The Judge” (Robert Downey Jr.) and Shawn Levy’s dysfunctional family comedy-drama “This Is Where I Leave You.”
International titles world-preeming on the »
- Jennie Punter
The Toronto International Film Festival announced its initial wave of 2014 premieres and galas this morning and it features some familiar awards titles, some big stars and some unexpected studio titles. Among the major studio films, David Dobkin's "The Judge" with Robert Downey Jr. and Antoine Fuqua's "The Equalizer" each received gala slots and should premiere over the festival's opening weekend. Other announced galas so far include Bennett Miller's acclaimed "Foxcatcher," which debuted at Cannes, and Mike Binder's "Black and White" starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie. Toronto has also scheduled special gala screenings for David Cronenberg's "Map to the Stars" with Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson, François Ozon's "The New Girlfriend," Ed Zwick's "Pawn Sacrifice" with Tobey Maguire, Lone Scherfig's "The Riot Club," Jean-Marc Vallée's "Wild," Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano's "Samba" and Shawn Levy's "This is Where I Leave You »
- Gregory Ellwood
The prospect of seeing an original TV series from the mind of Charlie Kaufman was almost too good to be true. Alas, after producing a pilot for a comedy called How and Why, FX has decided to pass on the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation. scribe’s potential series, per Deadline. The show was to star John Hawkes as a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life. The promising cast also included Michael Cera, Sally Hawkins, and Catherine Keener, but apparently it wasn’t up to snuff for the network. Hit the jump for more. FX has shown a willingness to go left-of-center with Louis C.K.’ Louie—which is at turns hilarious and heartbreaking and also exceedingly strange—but its new comedy series outputs haven’t exactly been of the same ilk. The network recently launched a pair of more traditional comedies, »
- Adam Chitwood
In our new prediction slugfest, Gold Derby Editors agree that Joe Morton ("Scandal"), Reg E. Cathey ("House of Cards") and Beau Bridges ("Masters of Sex") have real shots to snag the Emmy for Best Drama Guest Actor, but we duke it out over whether or not Robert Morse ("Mad Men") can deliver the knock-out punch. Joining me in our latest video (watch below) are Charles Bright, Riley Chow and Ralph Galvan as we analyze the episodes submitted to Emmy judges as examples of their best work from the past TV season. Morton entered "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," Cathey chose "Chapter 22," Bridges opted for "Manhigh" and Morse picked "Waterloo." Other nominees: Paul Giamatti for "Downton Abbey" ("Episode 4.8") and Dylan Baker for "The Good Wife" ("Tying the Knot"). -Break- Emmy Episode Analysis: Read our Pros and Cons for Dylan Baker | Beau Bridges | ...' »
Emmy-winner Paul Giamatti (2008 Movie/Mini Actor, "John Adams") returns as a nominee three years after his last bid (Movie/Mini Supporting Actor for "Too Big to Fail"). This time, he contends for Drama Guest Actor for "Downton Abbey" (PBS), portraying Harold Levinson, brother of Cora Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern). -Break- Emmy experts Robert Bianco (USA Today), Lynette Rice (People) split on winners Synopsis: In "The London Season," Harold and his Mother Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine) attend Rose's (Lily James) coming out party after she is presented at Buckingham Palace. Harold makes his dislike of the occasion known but soon begins to warm up to it. Rose's friend Madeleine Allsopp (Poppy Drayton) is told by her father to pursue Harold because he is very rich. Harold confesses to her that he primarily prefers the company of girls he doesn't have to commit to, only commit to buy jewelry for. M...' »
We’d seen an international trailer earlier this year but now we’ve got the UK trailer for the unique-looking The Congress, and I really must emphasise it’s completely original flavour.
Directed by Ari Folman, the visionary director of Waltz With Bashir, the film follows ageing actress (Robin Wright, playing a version of herself) who chooses to take her final job: one that’ll preserve her digital likeness for a future Hollywood. The deal is set up by longtime agent (Harvey Keitel) and the head of Miramount Studios (Danny Huston). Her virtual alias will be controlled by the studio, and will star in any film they want with no restrictions. In return, she receives healthy compensation so she can care for her ailing son.
Twenty years later, under the creative vision of the studio’s head animator (Jon Hamm), Wright’s digital double rises to immortal stardom. With her contract expiring, »
- Dan Bullock
When The Amazing Spider-Man 2 kicked off the summer movie season back in May, it was derided by fans and critics alike, despite making over $200 million at the domestic box office and just over $700 million worldwide. Last week, we reported that screenwriter Roberto Orci has pulled out of The Amazing Spider-Man 3, and that Sony isn't quite sure how to move this franchise forward at this time.
Badass Digest received an early draft of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 script by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, which reveal a number of changes made from this draft to the final product, including a rather surprising alternate ending. Of course, if you haven't seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2 yet, there will be spoilers below, so read on at your own risk.
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