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The Martian, which remained in the top three at the box office over the weekend in its sixth week at theaters, is a bonafide hit for legendary director Ridley Scott and will almost certainly earn multiple nominations from the Academy.
Scott is no stranger to nominations, having earned three best directing nods in his career, but the award itself still eludes the English director. 2000’s Gladiator may have earned a best actor Oscar for Russell Crowe and best picture, but Scott lost best director to Steven Soderbergh for Traffic. The very next year saw the same outcome for Scott as his directing nomination for Black Hawk Down lost out to Crowe-starring A Beautiful Mind‘s director, Ron Howard.
This year is shaping up to be different for Scott, however, as The Martian continues to rack up at the box office and resound with critics. A »
- Patrick Shanley
The Emmy Awards celebrations leading up to Sunday, Sept. 20 started early. Variety was on hand inside the best parties around Hollywood as the stars mingled, noshed and toasted to TV’s finest. Here’s our party report for the night of Saturday, Sept. 19.
Mptf Evening Before, Century Park:
“Better Call Saul’s” Bob Odenkirk has a unique approach to celebrating on Emmy eve. He’s secretly hoping he doesn’t win in the category of lead dramatic actor. Odenkirk shared his neurotic rationale with friends and partygoers at the ninth annual Evening Before bash benefitting the Motion Picture Television Fund. The gathering, as always, brought out a who’s who of the television business to support a cause close to the industry’s heart. All told, the evening raised more than $2 million for the Mptf, a new record.
Odenkirk and the “Saul” contingent were out in force at the party, »
- Variety Staff
The network that brought us American Ninja Warrior is back on the hunt for more super-humans.
NBC on Wednesday announced that it’s teaming up with Spartan Race — an intense, obstacle-based competition currently held in more than 20 countries — and the producers behind Anj for a new series, tentatively titled Spartan Race, which will test “mental and physical limits, as well as determination, endurance and teamwork.” (Anybody else feel lazy just reading that?)
Spartan Race, which is now seeking applicants at www.spartancasting.com, is described as follows:
Friends, families and co-workers must »
Fox has ordered a script for a father-son workplace comedy set in Las Vegas in the 1970s, Variety has learned.
The project hails from writer Elizabeth Beckwith and “The Blacklist’s” John Davis and John Fox, who will all serve as exec producers, along with Willie Mercer and Chris Henze. Sony Pictures TV, Davis Entertainment and Thruline Entertainment will produce the half-hour laffer.
The single-camera comedy would mark the first major producing gig for writer-actress Beckwith (pictured below). The Las Vegas native’s acting credits include “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Coyote Ugly” and the 2010 short “Gleeclipse,” in which she starred, plus wrote, directed and produced.
This is not the first Sin City-set TV project for Davis and Fox, who are exec producers on NBC’s fall action-drama “The Player,” which also takes place in Vegas. Also up this fall, the “Blacklist” duo will serve as exec producers on Ken Jeong »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Hannibal, old friend, you kinda lost me this week.
Look, I know Raul Esparza’s Dr. Frederick Chilton is vain, haughty, inept, smarmy, malicious and all sorts of other unpleasant adjectives. And I’ll admit I didn’t feel the slightest hint of sympathy when the dude had some of his organs painfully removed by Abel Gideon in Season 1 — or when Chilton took a bullet to the face (fired by the deeply addled Miriam Lass) in Season 2.
But there’s a difference between letting out a hearty chuckle at the end of »
RelatedTVLine’s Fall TV First Impression: NBC’s The Player
Per our sister site Deadline, Betts’ role is described as recurring, which is interesting since Ginny — and this is no spoiler — is murdered early on, sending ex-husband Alex on a vengeful warpath that promptly introduces him to the enigmatic Mr. Johnson, played by Wesley Snipes.
Afterward, Alex is recruited to »
Jay Leno returns to broadcast TV with a comedic guest star gig, “Revenge” alum Nick Wechsler has landed a role on NBC’s upcoming action-thriller “The Player,” plus, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Syfy series “Incorporated” has filled its cast in today’s casting roundup.
Jay Leno will guest star on ABC’s “Last Man Standing,” Variety has confirmed. The latenight icon is heading to primetime for one episode of the Tim Allen and Nancy Travis sitcom, the fifth season of which premieres Sept. 25. He will play a car aficionado — but he’s not playing himself. In the episode, first reported by EW, Vanessa (Travis) buys a car from Leno’s character as a gift for her husband Mike (Allen), but after the deal is done, he keeps showing up to talk about cars.
“Last Man Standing” marks a reunion between the former “Tonight Show” host’s character, as »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Looks like Jack Porter is leaving the Hamptons and heading to…NBC? Revenge alum Nick Weshsler is changing networks and joining the cast of the Peacock’s upcoming fall drama The Player, which centers on an organization of incredibly wealthy individuals who gamble on whether a former military operative can stop unimaginable crimes. The series stars Wesley Snipes, Charity Wakefield, and Philip Winchester. Per Deadline, Wechsler will play Nick, the boyfriend of Wakefield’s Cassandra. According to his character’s description, Wechsler’s Nick is a “good guy with morals caught in the web of century-old conspiracy.” In addition to playing Jack in all four seasons of ABC’s Revenge, which just finished its run back in May, Wechsler’s other TV credits include It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Without a Trace, and Roswell. The Player premieres on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 10 p.m. on NBC. Check out the network »
- Chris King
Another Revenge alum is plotting a course for NBC.
Nick Wechsler — formerly known as Jack Porter, sensitive bartender, single father and dog griever — will appear on NBC’s The Player (Sept. 24, 10/9c), a tense new drama about a wealthy network of individuals who gamble on whether a former military operative can stop unimaginable crimes.
RelatedThe Player Boss Addresses NBC Drama’s ‘Ridiculous’ Premise
Per our sister site Deadline, Wechsler will play Nick, the good, “moral” boyfriend of Charity Wakefield’s character Cassidy.
Don’t you just hate bumping into your dead ex-boyfriends in the bathroom? Talk about awkward.
Relatable or not, that’s exactly the situation in which Emma finds herself in TVLine’s exclusive sneak peek of Tuesday’s Scream (MTV, 10/9c), appropriately titled “Ghosts.” Clearly racked with guilt over Will’s death — in case you forgot, she inadvertently caused a piece of farming equipment to cut him in half — she’s visited by her former lover’s ghost. Both halves of it.
“The crew was very good about safety, »
3 Women, 1977.
Directed by Robert Altman
An awkward adolescent begins work at a spa in the Californian desert. The shy and reserved young woman becomes overly attached to her more confident co-worker and eventual room-mate.
3 Women is a memorably disturbing film with its heart set firmly on the art house. Said to be inspired by a dream, Robert Altman’s (M.A.S.H., Short Cuts, The Player) feature is also strongly reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman’s beautifully nightmarish Persona. Indeed, both films focus on the transient nature of behaviour and psyche, and reveal the unlimited potential for personalities to rebuild and redevelop.
Taking a look at the mysteries of femininity through a male filmmaker’s hazy vision is something else both films have in common. This fear of pre-judged emotional unpredictability and instability has been »
- Robert W Monk
'Father of the Bride': Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams. Top Five Father's Day Movies? From giant Gregory Peck to tyrant John Gielgud What would be the Top Five Father's Day movies ever made? Well, there have been countless films about fathers and/or featuring fathers of various sizes, shapes, and inclinations. In terms of quality, these range from the amusing – e.g., the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen; the Oscar-nominated The Grandfather – to the nauseating – e.g., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride; its atrocious sequel, Father's Little Dividend. Although I'm unable to come up with the absolute Top Five Father's Day Movies – or rather, just plain Father Movies – ever made, below are the first five (actually six, including a remake) "quality" patriarch-centered films that come to mind. Now, the fathers portrayed in these films aren't all heroic, loving, and/or saintly paternal figures. Several are »
- Andre Soares
“The White King,” which is based on the book by Gyorgy Dragoman, follows Djata, a precocious 12-year-old boy coming to grips with his father’s internment by the totalitarian state he calls home. Preyed upon by secret police officers and venal dignitaries, Djata and his mother are forced to navigate a world of propaganda, abuse and vicious gangs, making them risk everything to reunite their family.
Pryce’s recent roles include Cardinal Wolsey in “Wolf Hall” and High Sparrow in “Game of Thrones.” He has won two Tonys — in 1977 for “Comedians” and in 1991 for “Miss Saigon.” His movie credits include “Brazil,” “Evita,” “Tomorrow Never Dies” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Scacchi won an Emmy playing Czarina Alexandra in “Rasputin.” Other screen credits include “White Mischief, »
- Leo Barraclough
Principal photography on The White King has begun in Hungary. The film will shoot for seven weeks entirely on location, including a former air force base and along the banks of the Danube.
Based on György Dragomán’s novel, published in 28 languages, the film will follow a precocious 12-year-old coming to grips with his father’s abduction and internment at the hands of the totalitarian state he calls home.
Deyn will play the boy’s mother who must navigate a world of propaganda, abuse and gangs in order to reunite her family.
The cast includes Jonathan Pryce (Brazil, Game of Thrones), Greta Scacchi (The Player) and Fiona Shaw (The Tree of Life). Also in the cast are Agyness Deyn (Electricity, Hail Caesar!), Ólafur Darri Ólaffson (True Detective) and Clare-Hope Ashitey (Children of Men) alongside newcomer Lorenzo Allchurch, who the young boy.
Adapted for screen »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
You could be vaccinating felines for a year at an animal shelter and still not hear the word "pussy" as much as you do in the first half hour of Entourage. This expansion of the HBO TV series appears to have been conceived by a gaggle of misogynistic, beer-chugging adolescent virgins who brag about getting laid, but the closest they've ever gotten is a Playboy centerfold bespattered with cream of mushroom soup that they rescued from the city dump.
To be fair, I have never viewed any episode of this series that I thought was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek inside gander at Hollywood. Instead, what we have here is a glorified daydream of the male need to copulate with any orifice within five inches of his zipper. Make that four inches.
Directed and written with unflinching ineptitude and fetid taste by the series' executive producer Doug Ellin, the film is basically plotless. »
- Brandon Judell
Chicago – John Cusack has never rested on his laurels, which are many in his film career, nor stood still as an artist or an actor. His latest film is the magnificent “Love & Mercy,” in which he portrays music legend Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys as a middle aged man, trying to break free of the circumstances in his life.
Written by Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner, and directed by Bill Pohlad, “Love & Mercy” – derived from a Brian Wilson song title – is the story of two crucial phases in the songwriter’s life. The younger phase, portrayed by Paul Dano, checks in with Wilson as he puts together The Beach Boys’ album masterpiece, “Pet Sounds.” At this point, the dissolution of Brian Wilson as Rock Star is beginning, and as a result the older phase of his life comes into view.
And it is John Cusack who takes over »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Upfront season is all about the search for primetime’s Next Big Thing. But for a studio, the win doesn’t come until a series is renewed for season two and beyond.
For all the upheaval in TV, the 2014-15 season generally proved fertile for Big Four broadcast nets. The renewal rate of scripted series introduced during the September-May frame is higher than it has been since at least 2009-10 for all but NBC, according to research by Variety Insight.
ABC renewed seven of its 11 new series for a second round in 2015-16, compared to three of 14 from the 2013-14 season. CBS picked up five of its eight freshman shows, compared to two out of eight from the class of 2013-14. Fox renewed three out of eight, an improvement over two of eight from last year. NBC so far has renewed one out of a total of 10 scripted series introduced during the past season, »
- Cynthia Littleton
Movies about movies are catnip for critics, turning the camera back on not only the faces behind it but also on us. Why do we love movies? What drives the perverse pleasure of watching them? Films like Michael Powell's 1960 "Peeping Tom" and David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" attack the latter question most directly. So as Fellini's "8 1/2," the towering giant of the genre, returns to UK cinemas, Jonathan Romney posts a list of The 10 Best Films About Films in The Guardian. To name ten such films is a tall order for any meta-movie completist, but Romney's inventory leaves room for debate. His picks: "Behind the Screen" (Charlie Chaplin, 1916)"The Player" (Robert Altman, 1992)"Peeping Tom" (Michael Powell, 1960)"8 1/2" (Federico Fellini, 1963)"Contempt" (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963)"Singin' in the Rain" (Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, 1952)"Wes Craven's New »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Brad Pitt 'Glory Days' costar Nicholas Kallsen Brad Pitt 'Glory Days' costar Nicholas Kallsen dead at 48 Nicholas Kallsen, who was featured opposite Brad Pitt in the short-lived television series Glory Days, has died at age 48 in Thailand according to online reports. Their source is one of Rupert Murdoch's rags, citing a Facebook posting by one of the actor's friends. The cause of death was purportedly – no specific source was provided – a drug overdose.* Aired on Fox in July 1990, Glory Days told the story of four high-school friends whose paths take different directions after graduation. Besides Nicholas Kallsen and Brad Pitt, the show also featured Spike Alexander and Evan Mirand. Glory Days lasted a mere six episodes – two of which directed by former Happy Days actor Anson Williams – before its cancellation. Roommates Nicholas Kallsen and Brad Pitt vying for same 'Thelma & Louise' role? The Murdoch tabloid also »
- Andre Soares
Robert Altman, the grizzly-bear genius of American cinema celebrated in the new documentary Altman, first found success at the same time as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese, but he was no movie brat. With a career in television and a spell as a fighter pilot behind him, he had a jump of nearly 20 years on those upstarts by the time he achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with his fifth film, the spiky Korean war comedy M*A*S*H, made when he was 44. Over a 50-year period, he bashed out almost 40 films. There were iconoclastic assaults on genre (the anti-western McCabe and Mrs Miller, the wayward detective film The Long Goodbye, the who-cares-whodunnit Gosford Park), sprawling ensemble pieces (Nashville, »
- Ryan Gilbey
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