5 items from 2017
For Charles Esten, creativity has been a constant battle among the muses of music, acting and comedy. He’s exercised his acting muscle in movies like “The Postman” and “Swing Vote” as well as TV series like HBO’s “Big Love” and Disney Channel’s “Jessie.” Comedy improv show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” with co-star Wayne Brady, let him use all three talents at once, and since 2012, he’s played lead guitarist Deacon Claybourne on “Nashville.” Last year, Esten racked up lots of attention with his music project “Every Single Friday,” for which he released a new song each week for more than a year. And in June he served as host of the Cmt Music Awards. But his initial break in the biz came on the small screen, in Fox’s 1995 sitcom “The Crew,” which led to his first mention in Variety in the Aug. 30, 1995, issue.
What do you remember about “The Crew”?
That was »
- Dixie Limbachia
Last November, Legendary Entertainment acquired movie and TV rights to Frank Herbert's Dune. Then, in December, it was revealed that Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve was being eyed to helm a new Dune movie, and now the screenwriter for the project has been revealed.
Variety reports that Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Postman, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) is set to pen the adaptation of the seminal 1965 sci-fi novel, which was the first in a series of books. Although Villeneuve was previously "in talks" to helm the Dune movie, Variety and THR mention that Villeneuve is taking on the new take on Herbert's ambitious story.
Villeneuve is also set to produce the new Dune movie with Mary Parent and Cale Boyter. Executive producers will include Thomas Tull, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, and Kim Herbert, with sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson on board as a creative consultant. »
- Derek Anderson
According to Variety, Forrest Gump writer Eric Roth has signed on to Denis Villeneuve’s Dune remake, lending the project the distinct air of Oscar prestige. Roth is also the writer behind The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and Munich, and this Dune adaptation will be his first sci-fi project since The Postman in 1997 (if that even counts). Basically, Roth signing on to Dune is like jumping right into hard mode on a brand new video game. He might do just fine, but there’s very little indication that he even knows how to play.
This Dune movie will naturally be based on Frank Herbert’s original novel, which is one of the most famously dense and complex sci-fi sagas ever. There have been multiple attempts to adapt it in the past, including Syfy’s TV miniseries in 2000 and David Lynch’s film in 1984.
- Sam Barsanti
The crowd-pleasing “Hidden Figures” might be based on a true story in an unknown chapter of American history, but not every detail was drawn from real life. The film follows a trio of Nasa mathematicians and engineers during the early sixties “Space Race” era, including Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughn and Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson, but it also required the invention of at least one crucial character.
To create the fictional role of Space Task rroup director Al Harrison, screenwriter Allison Schroeder used three different Nasa past chiefs – including two of Johnson’s own bosses – to round out the character. She gave special attention to the inclusion of personality traits from John Stack, a lauded Nasa aeronautical engineer who Schroeder billed as “kind of this perfect chauvinist feminist,” a forward thinker who was compelled by finding the best person for the job, no matter their race or gender. »
- Kate Erbland
Simon Brew Jan 3, 2017
Kevin Costner is planning a new western. In fact, he might just be planning three or four new westerns...
In recent years, Kevin Costner has been ramping his film career back up again, with a mix of projects, the next being the terrific Hidden Figures. Hidden Figures tells the story of the women of Nasa in the 1960s, and in particular their contribution to the space race. Costner takes on a supporting role in that project, which lands in UK cinemas in February.
See related The Losers: revisiting an overlooked comic book movie
Chatting to Variety to promote Hidden Figures, Costner has admitted too that he’s set to return to feature directing, for just the fourth time. Following Dances With Wolves, The Postman and Open Range, Costner admitted that “I have one”, when quizzed about another directorial project.
It’s a new western too. “I’ve been working on it. »
5 items from 2017
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