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Some television shows feel like they're going to be smash hits before anyone's seen a frame of footage; usually because of the writers working on it, the network's reputation with its genre, or the popularity of the actors involved.
Other programmes even feel like they're simply too big to fail; such as HBO's Game of Thrones and AMC's The Walking Dead, which also benefit from having rich source material to mine and a ready-made, evangelical audience.
But what about the TV shows that felt like bad ideas before they'd aired - or even during their debut season - yet managed to overcome widespread uncertainties and grow into well-regarded programmes it's hard to imagine we were ever unsure about?
Let's take a look at some recent examples of popular TV shows that didn't initially feel like they'd work, but proved the doubters wrong...
Expectation: A modernisation of a literary character »
Today, FilmmakerIQ posted the following snippet of Alex North's original score for Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. The score was ultimately rejected and, in the case of the film's opening title sequence, the score was replaced by Richard Strauss's "Also sprach Zarathustra" composed in 1896. There are a couple ways to look and listen to this piece, but I think the best is to consider just how much we're all likely to prefer Kubrick's decision on which music to go with, especially once you you consider the following interview snippet from an interview in which Michel Ciment noted, "You have abandoned original film music in your last three films." Kubrick's response: Exclude a pop music score from what I am about to say. However good our best film composers may be, they are not a Beethoven, a Mozart or a Brahms. Why use music which is less »
- Brad Brevet
Has it really been 20 years? We hadn't noticed. Prepare to feel old, because this week romantic comedy classic Four Weddings and a Funeral celebrates a landmark anniversary.
The Richard Curtis-penned film delivered exactly what its title promised and so much more. It was funny, charming and packed with brilliant performances from a stellar Brit cast. Without it Hugh Grant would never have hit the Hollywood A-list and Wet Wet Wet wouldn't have spent what felt like an eternity at the top of the UK singles chart.
But what are the cast up to two decades on? We take a look at the key players then and now below...
Hugh Grant was a respected supporting actor in the Brit film industry prior to Four Weddings thanks to roles in Remains of the Day and Sirens. Things changed overnight after his role as the ever-so-British and lovelorn Charles.
eOne will distribute in the UK, Canada and Australia/New Zealand.
Based on a true story, charismatic screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was the highest paid screenwriter in the world in the 1930s. However, as Cold War paranoia took hold of the Us, he was dragged in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (Huac), and, when he refused to co-operate, was ultimately sent to prison.
Remaining rebellious after his release, Trumbo became Hollywood’s most prolific blacklisted writer, secretly writing such classics as Roman Holiday and winning two Academy Awards under an alias. Helping »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
London — Entertainment One has picked up international rights to “Trumbo,” the story of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston will play Trumbo while Helen Mirren (“The Queen”) will co-star as his nemesis Hedda Hopper.
Michael London’s Groundswell Prods. produces in association with Shivani Rawat and Nimitt Mankad, through Shiv Hans Pictures.
eOne Films Intl. will handle sales of the film in all territories outside of the U.K., Canada and Australia/New Zealand, where the company has prebought the rights ahead of Cannes and plans to distribute directly.
The screenplay was penned by television writer John McNamara, who makes his feature debut. Jay Roach, best known for the “Austin Powers” and “Meet the Parents” franchises, will direct. Michael London, Janice Williams, Nimitt Mankad, Shivani Rawat, Monica Levinson, Kevin Brown and John McNamara will serve as producers, alongside Kelly Mullen, who exec produces.
Pic is based on »
- Leo Barraclough
The 1957 picture, which came relatively early on into Kubrick’s career – nestled in between The Killing and Spartacus, is one of his more emotional endeavours, and as timeless now as it ever has been.
Starring Kirk Douglas in the lead role of Col. Dax, this poignant and harrowing war-time drama tells the tale of three soldiers who refuse to undertake a seemingly impossible attack in the midst of the brutal first World War. Their superior officers then decide to make an example of them all, sentencing them to death.
The film begins as a real war drama, out on the battlefield and in the trenches, shot beautifully in monochrome, looking so impressive up on the big screen today, almost over »
- Stefan Pape
There are few auteurs as instantly recognizable and divisive as Stanley Kubrick, few filmmakers as idiosyncratic or groundbreaking. His work spans the entirety of life itself–sometimes in the same film–and has inspired almost as much derision as hosannas. There is no easy consensus on Kubrick’s films–though you may not be terribly surprised by our writers’ choice for his best, it’s hard to imagine that your ranking of his work will line up wholly with ours–nor on the messages imparted within. Is The Shining secretly about the moon landing? Is 2001? What is he really saying about violence in society in A Clockwork Orange? And so on. Closing out (some weeks late, granted) our monthly theme on his works, here is Sound on Sight’s ranking of the films of Stanley Kubrick. Enjoy. Share. Debate. We know you’ll want to debate.
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey »
- Josh Spiegel
We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon. Briefly: Helen Mirren is in talks to join Bryan Cranston in the promising biopic Trumbo, which tells the story of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Jaden Smith and Liev Schreiber are in line to lead the slavery drama The Good Lord Bird. Sharon Stone has joined the ensemble cast of the action comedy American Ultra. Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned projects. The folks over at Variety report that Helen Mirren is in talks to star in the real-life drama Trumbo. Bryan Cranston is onboard to play blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, whose credits include Roman Holiday and Spartacus. Trumbo refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee and was therefore blacklisted, but he continued to write under pseudonyms and even won two Oscars under different names. Jay Roach (Recount) is set to direct. Deadline reports that »
- Adam Chitwood
Last September, word emerged that Bryan Cranston was looking to add a biopic of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo to his cinematic CV with Trumbo. The film’s producers are now looking to score Helen Mirren’s services as Trumbo’s wife, Cleo.Hitchcock provided yet more evidence of the magic Mirren can weave when she’s given a compelling female character to play and while a lot less is known about Cleo Trumble, it’s a fascinating, real-life story that has Jay Roach attached to direct John McNamara’s script.It’ll be based experiences of Trumbo, who was locked up in 1950 for refusing to answer questions before the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy. The panel was obsessed with rooting out suspected communists in Hollywood and for his stance, Trumbo was blacklisted and refused work. He managed to score assignments under various pseudonyms, but it »
If you think Trumbo is some kind of sequel to the Disney animated classic Dumbo, then clearly you missed our story last fall about "Breaking Bad" Bryan Cranston starring in the film based on the true story of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted and sent to prison during the Red Scare when the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (Huac) was questioning Hollywood talents about Communist ties. As much as we'd love to see Cranston play a cartoon elephant, you'll have to settle for his work as a tiger in Madagascar 3. Now Variety reports he has a co-star with Helen Mirren taking the part of his wife Cleo. After Trumbo was release from prison, he fought the fear-mongering system of Huac, and even still managed to write films like Gun Crazy and Spartacus for the big screen, albeit under pseudonyms. The writer even won two Oscars, one which was given to »
- Ethan Anderton
The writer was considered to be the best of his era, not to mention the highest-paid, who earned his first Oscar nomination in 1941 for writing Kitty Foyle. His burgeoning career seemingly came to a halt in 1947, when he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (Huac), during the committee's investigation into Communist influences in Hollywood. He was one of the "Hollywood 10" screenwriters who were completely blacklisted by the studio system, although he continued to write under pen names. He won two Oscars in the 1950s for writing Roman Holiday and The Brave One, before helping to put an end to the Hollywood 10 black list once and for all. He went on to write other classics such as Spartacus, Papillon and Exodus before dying of lung »
Article by Sam Moffitt
It’s tough to say goodbye to Sid Caesar. I’ve been pondering what I can possibly say about a comedy legend who has been around as long as I can remember and contributed so much to comedy, mostly on television but also many times in motion pictures.
Firstly Sid Caesar was in on the ground floor of television, his earliest programs done live in 1949 before the video switch board had even been invented. In those earliest shows the director was on the stage telling the floor managers which cameras and mikes to hook or unhook to the coax and audio cables! Consider that just for a moment!
Caesar’s wonderful book Caesar’s Hours: My Life in Comedy, with Love and Laughter, co written with Eddie Friedfeld tells all about Sid Caesar’s years in show business and the legendary live variety shows; Your Show of Shows »
- Movie Geeks
“Good-bye, my sweetheart. Hello, Vietnam.” — Johnny Wright
Full Metal Jacket was Stanley Kubrick’s eleventh film (twelfth, if you count Spartacus) and his last to depict war and the military. Kubrick dealt with the military in Fear and Desire, Paths of Glory, and Dr. Strangelove in very different ways. In Full Metal Jacket, he would focus on the institutional and ideological aspects of American marines and their experience in Vietnam.
Full Metal Jacket is based off of the The Short-Timers by Gustav Hasford, who also had a screenplay credit along with Kubrick and Michael Herr. Hasford reportedly did not contribute much to the script except for a few lines of dialogue. Herr was chosen as collaborator because Kubrick admired his book Dispatches, which was a New Journalism take on the Vietnam War based off Herr’s »
- Cody Lang
Lady Gaga pulled out all the stops for her latest video for "G.U.Y.," including shooting at a location that has been off limits for more than 50 years!
"I feel very honored. I feel like Hearst Castle chose us. It's not every day that they let anyone shoot there, they haven't shot since Stanley Kubrick shot there," she said referring to the Oscar-winning movie with Kirk Douglas.
Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AccessHollywood.com Editorial Staff)
Throughout the 1960s-early 1970s, a combination of financial desperation, creative daring, and an adventurous movie-going public had produced a creative detonation in mainstream American movies not seen before or since. Each year of the period seemed to bring at least one mightily ambitious visual experiment by a new contributor to the commercial movie scene, the “look” of that effort being as much a part of its identity as its characters and story. One could pick no better representative of the trend than Stanley Kubrick, for no director of the time so extended the boundaries of mainstream commercial filmmaking, or what it meant to be a mainstream commercial filmmaker.
For the most part, Kubrick’s professional ascent was built on the taking of standard genres – the war story, science fiction tale, sword-and-sandal epic – and twisting them into shapes so singular that each Kubrick outing became an acknowledged one-of-a-kind classic. Paths of Glory »
- Bill Mesce
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 10, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95
The 1955 drama follows the blossoming love between a well-off suburban widow (Jane Wyman, Magnificent Obsession) and her handsome and earthy younger gardener (Rock Hudson, Seconds). After their romance prompts the scorn of her selfish children and snooty country club friends, she must decide whether to pursue her own happiness or carry on a lonely, hemmed-in existence for the sake of the approval of others.
With the help of ace cinematographer Russell Metty (Spartacus), Sirk imbued nearly every shot with a vivid and distinct emotional tenor. A pinnacle of expressionistic Hollywood melodrama, this profoundly felt film about class and conformity in small-town America.
Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD combo edition »
Feature Ryan Lambie 11 Mar 2014 - 05:39
In the late 80s, Carolco was one of the biggest studios in Hollywood, but by 1995, it was gone. Ryan charts its dramatic rise and fall...
Paul Verhoeven is not a happy man. It's 1994, and the Dutch director of (among other things) RoboCop and Total Recall is in a pivotal meeting with executives at Carolco Pictures. They're in the boardroom to discuss Crusade: a lavish, $100m historical drama described as Spartacus meets Conan.
With a script by Walon Green (The Wild Bunch, WarGames), and a cast headed up by Arnold Schwarzenegger, it sounds like the kind of star-filled, opulent film Carolco Pictures is famous for making. The supporting cast includes Jennifer Connelly and Robert Duvall. The script is vibrant and brash. There are massive sets being built in rural Spain. But privately, Carolco's bosses are anxious; they have another hugely expensive project in the works »
“It’s impossible to tell you what I’m going to do except to say that I expect to make the best movie ever made.” – Stanley Kubrick, Oct. 20, 1971.
There are few unrealized projects in the history of cinema more tantalizingly fascinating than Stanley Kubrick’s planned feature about Napoleon. Even in 1967, at the time of its initial pre-production (the first time around), it seemed like a potentially great idea. But now, looking back with Kubrick’s entire body of work as a reference point, it truly does stand as a project this legendary filmmaker should have been destined to make. Thanks to a mammoth and comprehensive collection of materials fashioned into Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made, edited by Alison Castle and published by Taschen, we can for the first time see how Kubrick prepared for the film and what he had in mind for its ultimate big-screen presentation. »
- Jeremy Carr
Criterion Collection has added a list of films -- a mix of classics, indies and contemporaries -- that are scheduled for a May release. With the John Wayne and Montgomery western "Red River" as a special highlight, Criterion also revealed the following films that makeup their lineup (Descriptions provided by Criterion Collection). "Ace in the Hole" (1951) Director: Billy Wilder Billy Wilder’s "Ace in the Hole" is one of the most scathing indictments of American culture ever produced by a Hollywood filmmaker. Kirk Douglas ("Spartacus") gives the fiercest performance of his career as Chuck Tatum, an amoral newspaper reporter who washes up in dead-end Albuquerque, happens upon the scoop of a lifetime, and will do anything to keep getting the lurid headlines. Wilder’s follow-up to "Sunset Boulevard" is an even darker vision, a no-holds-barred exposé of the American media’s appetite for sensation that has gotten only more relevant with time. »
- Eric Eidelstein
var brightcovevideoid = '3072699358001'; While accepting the SAG Award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a miniseries or television movie, Behind the Candelabra star Michael Douglas gave an emotional thank you to his father, 97-year-old Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas. In his acceptance speech for the Liberace biopic, Douglas thanked the industry for helping him follow his own path. "I've got a 97-year-old member of SAG back at home, who I know is particularly proud of me for getting this award," he said. "But I want to thank all of you all here tonight for helping me get out »
- Nate Jones
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