5 items from 2016
Jenny Morrill Dec 20, 2016
In the 80s, Christmas was about seeing which fantastic fare the TV had decided to bless us with. Of course, the more prepared among us knew this well in advance, having eagerly pored over the Radio Times/TV Times to check that Jimmy Cricket's Family Laugh 'n' Waz would be shown. There it was – right after Reflections On The Eucharist With The Reverend Paul Leyland. »
Writer Peter Morgan is well-versed in the world of Queen Elizabeth, given his award-winning film “The Queen” and his play “The Audience.” But he found he still has more story to tell about the monarch with his new TV series, “The Crown,” which bows Nov. 4 on Netflix.
Here, he tells Variety about his inspiration for the lavish new drama, how he cast the lead roles, and what’s in store for future seasons.
Why did you want to tell this story?
I didn’t really. I’m sick of writing the world of Elizabeth. But when we did the play “The Audience” the scene between Churchill and the young queen struck me as having lots of potential — this young 25-year-old girl and this 73-year-old, this daughter and this grandfather. And yet he was so in awe of her. I thought, I’d like to try writing this as a movie, Churchill »
- Debra Birnbaum
“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” Shakespeare wrote. Centuries later, little has changed: The Bard would have found plenty of inspiration in the eternal dramas of the British monarchy.
But it was Morgan’s 2013 play “The Audience” — about the weekly meetings between the Queen (Mirren) and her prime ministers — that inspired his latest deep dive into the political and personal machinations of British royalty: Netflix’s opulent, ambitious 10-part series “The Crown” (bowing Nov. 4). The drama, which costs $100 million to produce per season, chronicles Queen Elizabeth II as a young wife and mother, struggling with the burdens of a throne that is thrust upon her after her father suddenly dies.
“I’m sick of writing the world of Elizabeth,” admits »
- Debra Birnbaum
In not surprising news, Sam Mendes is moving on from the 007 franchise after Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). Daniel Craig is probably moving on, too, but rumors about who will replace him are, as ever, premature. The names floating about this time are Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston (wishful fan thinking, maybe, since the internet has been suggesting these two names forever) and 30 year old Jamie Bell which is an interesting idea and probably not a bad one. If chosen he'd be the youngest Bond since Sean Connery (who was 30 when he was cast for Dr. No (1962) though most subsequent Bonds have been around 40 when they started. Plus Bell is super charismatic but underused in cinema.
Though Bond films are largely regarded as producer driven and leading actor focused pictures, rather than directorial feats, the man in the chair is important. In the past the franchise has generally relied on mid level directors rather than auteurs, »
- NATHANIEL R
"If there is one thing worse than being offered bad scripts it's being offered none at all," Michael Caine once noted - an admission that might explain some of the roles he's taken on over his long and often wonderful career.
Michael Caine may have attained national treasure status now, but from the late 70s to the middle of the 90s, classic roles like Dr Frank Bryant in Educating Rita and Scrooge The Muppet Christmas Carol were interspersed with some - shall we say - less acclaimed movies. Yet even when the production values were awful, the script stank and the films flopped, Michael Caine's performances often remained fascinating. This isn't to say he was necessarily putting his heart and soul into them - »
5 items from 2016
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