12 items from 2015
Remember New Coke? If you do, the ’80s called and they want their jokes back. But as a reminder, in April of 1985, just over 30 years ago this week, Coca-Cola, one of the longest surviving American companies who had successfully dominated the market with a time-tested product, had decided that to stave off the rise of Pepsi in the Cola wars, they would rebrand their classic fizzy drink to New Coke. New Coke hit the shelves April 23, and though the sweeter flavor won out in blind taste tests, human psychology practically dictates that it’s not the product that’s inside the can but the label that’s outside the can that most determines a person’s liking. The product rollout was a huge blunder, and Coca-Cola eventually reverted to Coke Classic.
If you thought that sounds like it could make a fascinating documentary, or perhaps an interesting comedy, then you’re in luck. »
- Brian Welk
Viola Davis has already been nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, along with winning multiple SAG Awards as well, and an Emmy Award nomination is most likely in her future for her performance this season on How to Get Away With Murder. Now, Davis will be following her first run as Murder‘s Annalise Keating by playing one of the most famous figures in American history: abolitionist and former slave Harriet Tubman. Davis will be taking on the role of Tubman in an upcoming HBO film that will be based on Kate Clifford Larson’s Tubman biography Bound for the Promised Land, according to Deadline. The movie will focus on how Tubman helped hundreds of slaves travel to freedom in the North. Kirk Ellis, who wrote HBO’s John Adams miniseries, is the screenwriter for the project, and Entourage creator Doug Ellin (Entourage) and his Halyard Park »
- Chris King
The Real Coke
"Zombieland" and "Deadpool" scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are reportedly penning a feature about the disastrous launch of New Coke thirty years ago. The drink attempted to adjust classic Coke's secret formula for a younger generation - it performed so badly it threatened the original soft drink's market leadership.
The scribes have optioned the Thomas Oliver book "The Real Coke, The Real Story" and will pen this 1980s period piece which will also deal with how No. 2 rival Pepsi launched the 'Pepsi Challenge' that led to corporate panic at Coke. [Source: Deadline]
The Dukes Of Oxy
Angel Elgort is being lined up to star in a film version about the Rolling Stone article "Dukes Of Oxy" at New Line. The article deals with a pair of teen high school wrestlers from Florida who built a multimillion-dollar business smuggling OxyContin and other painkillers.
Elgort would play Dodd, the more »
- Garth Franklin
How to Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis will play famous abolitionist and former slave Harriet Tubman in an upcoming HBO movie.
The project will be based on Kate Clifford Larson’s Tubman biography Bound for the Promised Land, our sister site Deadline reports, and will detail how Tubman helped hundreds of slaves travel to freedom in the North.
Tubman later fought for the Union in the American Civil War.
The life of Harriet Tubman has been screaming for the feature film treatment for ages. Outside of — what, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter?" — there's never really been a movie depiction of the famed abolitionist. Well, thanks to HBO and Amblin, that's all about to change. And Viola Davis is going to knock this out of the park. The Oscar-nominated star of "Doubt" and "The Help" will star in the TV film, based on the Kate Clifford Larson biography "Bound for the Promised Land. Writer Kirk Ellis ("John Adams," also at HBO) will pen the script and Doug Ellin ("Entourage") will produce. Two other projects about the Underground Railroad have also been in the works: Wgn's miniseries "Undeground" (produced by Akiva Goldsman) and NBC's "Freedom Run" miniseries (produced by Stevie Wonder). So obviously something is in the water. I take from all of this a fantastic role for Davis, who has popped »
- Kristopher Tapley
Viola Davis will portray Harriet Tubman in a new HBO biopic from John Adams scribe Kirk Ellis and Steven Spielberg's Amblin TV, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Based on Kate Clifford Larson's book Bound for the Promise Land, the film will highlight Tubman's courageous acts leading slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad and later fighting with the Union during the Civil War. Read More Kerry Washington to Star as Anita Hill in HBO Movie 'Confirmation' (Exclusive) Ellis is behind several of the channel's historical projects, including John Adams and the upcoming All the Way, about President Lyndon B. Johnson. Davis
- Kate Stanhope
Viola Davis is attached to star in an HBO telepic about the life of Harriet Tubman, the activist who helped devise a system that allowed hundreds of slaves to escape to freedom via the Underground Railroad.
Davis is developing the project with Amblin TV and writer Kirk Ellis, who has penned historical projects for HBO including its “John Adams” miniseries, and “Entourage” exec producer Doug Ellin. The untitled movie is based on the book “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero” by Kate Clifford Larson.
The movie is in the early development stage and has not been given the go-ahead for production. But it’s eyed for filming during Davis’ hiatus next year from her hit ABC drama “How to Get Away With Murder. »
- Cynthia Littleton
Wilbur and Orville Wright are heroes to aviation fans; Tom Hanks is a hero to everyone else. It makes all kinds of sense, then, for the latter to be helping shepherd the former to the small screen in an HBO miniseries entitled The Wright Brothers. According to Deadline, that’s what happening, with Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s (pictured) Playtone marque picking up the rights to a new David McCullough book about the fathers of flight.Pulitzer Prize-winner McCullough wrote the book on which the Paul Giamatti-starring historical drama John Adams was based. This time the narrative follows two ambitious dreamers who earn money repairing bikes in an Ohio shops to fund their hobby. That hobby? Building flying machines. But are they just early 20th century Icaruses or can they prove the naysayers wrong and take to the skies above North Carolina’s Outer Banks in the sort of »
HBO’s making history again.
The six-hour miniseries, based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage, will follow the 19th-century explorers as they go on a President Jefferson-ordered excursion through uncharted territory, searching for an all-water route to the Pacific Ocean.
Get ready to watch, rate and review Amazon’s just-released pilots – a slate of 13 original comedy, drama, docuseries and kids offerings now available on Amazon Instant Video.
The pilots come from a talented creative roster that includes both newcomers discovered through Amazon Studios as well as highly-acclaimed veterans such as Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), Carlton Cuse (Lost), Randall Wallace (Braveheart), Shawn Ryan (The Shield), Brad Silberling (Jane the Virgin, Lemony Snickets…), Mark Waters (Mean Girls), Academy and Emmy Award winning director Alex Gibney (The Armstrong Lie), Angela Santomero (Blue’s Clues), and Carol Greenwald (Arthur).
Over the course of the next four weeks, viewer feedback will ultimately help to decide which of them get picked up to full series. So your opinions matter! You could help choose the next Golden Globe-winning series, after all.
Check out the synopsis of each of them below, and start watching them here today. »
Forget the fancy ivy leagues -- in a New York Times Op-Ed, Oscar winner Tom Hanks says he owes all of his success to his two years spent at Chabot College, a community college in Hayward, Calif.
The beloved 58-year-old actor is recalling his undergrad experience in support of President Barack Obama's new proposal to make two years of free community college accessible to millions of Americans.
Hanks reveals that after graduating in 1974, he had "lousy Sat scores" and couldn't afford tuition for college, which led him to attend Chabot, "because it accepted everyone and was free." The experience turned out to be life-changing thanks to the school's offering of a variety of different courses, and the chance to meet people from all walks of life.
Video: Tom Hanks Befriends a NYC Cab Driver In Sweetest Story Ever
"Classmates included veterans back from Vietnam, women of every marital and maternal status returning to school, middle-aged men wanting »
Get ready for our first pilot season of 2015, launching January 15th, when seven new primetime and six new kids pilots will debut on Amazon Instant Video. As with previous pilot seasons, viewers in the Us, UK and Germany will be invited to watch, rate and review them all over the course of four weeks, ultimately helping to decide which of them get picked up to full series.
The new pilots come from both highly-acclaimed and newly-discovered creators, and a legion of talented actors, directors and producers signed on to bring the pilots to life. Here’s a brief summary of each:
The Man in the High Castle – Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, and executive produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States. »
12 items from 2015
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