10 items from 2015
When last week's Emmy nominations came out, one of the day's big shocks was that "Empire" — Fox's blockbuster ratings success and popular favorite — was largely left out of the race. But when Indiewire talked with Danny Strong, the show's co-creator alongside Lee Daniels, his focus was much more on the musical soap opera/family drama's second season, which has been expanded to 18 episodes (from 12 in Season 1). Read More: How to Build an 'Empire': 7 Reasons Lee Daniels' Drama Keeps Doing the Impossible Strong's life has had its own surprising twists and turns: After beginning as an actor with prominent roles on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Gilmore Girls," Strong's writing career took off after HBO greenlit "Recount," the 2008 film about the 2000 Gore/Bush election. Since then, he's written "Game Change," "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and the final two installments of "The Hunger Games," while also »
- Liz Shannon Miller
When last week's Emmy nominations came out, one of the day's big shocks was that "Empire" — Fox's blockbuster ratings success and popular favorite — was largely left out of the race. But when Indiewire talked with Danny Strong, the show's co-creator alongside Lee Daniels, his focus was much more on the musical soap opera/family drama's second season, which has been expanded to 18 episodes (from 12 in Season 1). Read More: How to Build an 'Empire': 7 Reasons Lee Daniels' Drama Keeps Doing the Impossible Strong's life has had its own surprising twists and turns: After beginning as an actor with prominent roles on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Gilmore Girls," Strong's writing career took off after HBO greenlit "Recount," the 2008 film about the 2000 Gore/Bush election. Since then, he's written "Game Change," "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and the final two installments of "The Hunger Games," while also...
- Liz Shannon Miller
Melissa Leo is the latest major star to join the cast of HBO's Lyndon B Johnson biopic All the Way.
President Johnson's Lady Bird will be played by Academy Award winner Leo, according to Deadline.
This will be a reunion of sorts for HBO and Leo, who previously starred in the network's Hurricane Katrina drama series Treme.
All the Way dramatizes Johnson's presidency from his ascendancy to office in the wake of JFK's assassination through to his signing of the Civil Rights Act.
Owing an absurdist debt to “Dr. Strangelove,” “The Brink” tries to excavate comedy, or at least fairly scabrous satire, from the threat of nukes in the hands of a lunatic, and a budding international crisis. In that regard, it’s more daring conceptually than it is in practice, with a jokey, anything-for-a-gag tone and a fondness for rat-a-tat banter and insults that plays like “Veep’s” addled cousin, offering its own look at petty squabbling within the White House and government. In terms of frittering around the edges of being worthwhile but not getting there, “The Brink” is aptly titled.
Pairing the show with “Veep” probably would have been too much of a similar thing, but it certainly feels like a logical companion. Essentially cutting among three separate but related plots, the series stars Jack Black as Alex Talbot, a low-level embassy bureaucrat in Pakistan who suddenly finds himself in »
- Brian Lowry
Austin Powers and Meet the Parents director Jay Roach has developed a nifty second act for his career as sort of a gatekeeper of political content for HBO. After directing Game Change and Recount (the latter of which is so enraging because it really nails how Bush essentially stole the office) he's switching to a lighter side of the spectrum with The Brink. Granted, this lighter tone is set against the stakes of an impending World War 3 fueled by anger and negligence, but you can feel how broad it is right away in this trailer. I love this kind of stuff but I'm actually a little hung up on the tone here. It seems just a shade too broad for me actually, but I'm willing to be there's plenty of nuance up the sleeve of this satire once the actual episodes start unspooling. Jack Black, Tim Robbins and Aasif Mandvi star. »
- Evan Dickson
Edie Falco, “Boardwalk Empire” creator Terence Winter, “Recount” and “Game Change” writer Danny Strong and “Girls” alum Andrew Rannells were among those making the rounds. “Veep’s” Julia Louis-Dreyfus herself huddled for a long time at a table with Katie Couric. CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield was also hovering around, no doubt looking for scoops about Selina Meyer’s next moves.
Michael Lombardo and other HBO execs were on hand to cheer the launch of the latest campaign, but a group snuck off to an upstairs room every so often to catch up with the Ncaa men’s basketball championship game.
The setting was complete with an electric “Potus” sign parked behind the bar and a photo-op installation with plenty of American flags. Four more years, indeed.
- Cynthia Littleton
As always, March is too early to get any kind of firm grasp on what will or won't be an Oscar contender come the end of the year, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun to speculate. Last year, only two of the nine films I predicted out of the gates actually ended up receiving Best Picture nominations at the 2015 Oscars -- Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel -- which goes to show just how much we know in advance. In fact, looking at the films I had on the outside looking in, only Best Picture winner Birdman was listed. But hey, at least I had three of the top contenders in the early year conversation, that's something... rightc When it comes to this year, I feel even less certain than I did last year. I'm not sure that's saying a whole lot since only two of the 43 films on »
- Brad Brevet
They’ve just worked together on screenwriter biopic Trumbo and it appears Jay Roach and Bryan Cranston are ready to keep things historical. The director is now attached to make the HBO adaptation of Tony-winning play All The Way, which finds Cranston as 36th Us president, Lyndon Johnson.Cranston picked up a several awards, including a Tony, for his performance in Robert Schenkkan’s play, which follows the tumultuous first year of the president’s time in office, spent in the shadow of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Dealing with the escalating Vietnam War and struggling to launch a landmark civil rights bill, Johnson also had to win election for his first full presidential term.Roach has become something of a political specialist for the cable channel, having directed TV movies Recount (about the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore) and Game Change, which chronicled what happened »
In recent years, Meet The Parents director Jay Roach has turned his attention more towards political subjects as with HBO TV movies Recount and Game Change and the Will Ferrell/Zach Galifianakis comedy The Campaign. While his latest film, Trumbo is a lot more serious, he’s looking to get back into funnier territory with Mad Dogs.Wes Jones is attached to use Six Days Of The Condor author James Grady’s eponymous book as the launching pad for a conspiracy-tinged script about three dysfunctional people working low-level jobs in Us intelligence. When their bosses become convince that they’re crazy, the trio is packed off to a government psychiatric hospital for espionage types, where they soon begin to fear that the higher-ups want them dead. Clearly they know too much and have to plot an escape plan, but they also need to figure out exactly what it is that »
“Mad Dogs,” published in 2006, centers on five deranged CIA killers who are forced to break out of an asylum after someone murders their psychiatrist and frames them for the deed.
Jones is repped by CAA and Circle of Confusion. Roach is repped by Wme, Mosaic and Behr & Abramson.
News was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.
- Dave McNary
10 items from 2015
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