18 items from 2015
Syfy has unveiled the first trailer for "The Magicians," its upcoming TV series adaptation of Lev Grossman's novel trilogy of the same name. The story follows an introverted young man who attends a secretive college of magic in New York, but unlike "Harry Potter" it deals with the usual coming-of-age college age tropes including friendships, sex, love, depression and so forth.
Syfy has already picked up the show to series following the production of a pilot directed by "Another Earth" helmer Mike Cahill. The characters appear to have been aged a few years upward as well for the twelve-episode first season which premieres sometime next year. Jason Ralph, Stella Maeve, Arjun Gupta, Hale Appleman, Summer Bishil and Sosie Bacon star.
- Garth Franklin
Author Lev Grossman’s trilogy of The Magicians books is one of the most compelling, satisfying, and engrossing reads I’ve had in quite some time. Crudely described as “Harry Potter for adults”, the novels revolve around a precocious, introverted young man named Quentin. On the cusp of entering college, he finds himself admitted to a secretive and exclusive college of magic in New York. His time at the school is not unlike that at most normal colleges—new friendships, burgeoning romantic relationships, debauchery—but he still finds himself yearning for adventure and happiness when he stumbles upon a secret that promises something much bigger, darker, and more dangerous. The trilogy touches on subjects like depression, maturity, and relationships with a depth and complexity that one may not expect to find in a book about a secret world of magic, and so I was thrilled to learn that a TV »
- Adam Chitwood
Following the success of some show called Game of Thrones, one of the more talked about fantasy book series that has been bandied about as a possible contender is Lev Grossman's The Magicians series. Grossman's novels center on Quentin Coldwater, a young man who heads into upstate New York to attend a super secret school for magic, where he becomes part of a league of powerful magicians; think Suny Hogwarts. Rumors about an adaptation became all the more louder when the concluding volume of Grossman's series, The Magician's Land, was published last summer to rave reviews and a firm landing at the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list. Well, the wait would seemingly be over, as Syfy announced today that they have put in a series order for an adaptation of Grossman's works. The decision was based largely off of the evidence of a produced pilot, »
- Chris Cabin
How times have changed for The Magicians. A planned TV adaptation of Lev Grossman’s urban fantasy novel, the project was originally housed at Fox but fell through after the failure of Terra Nova, prompting a disheartening blog post from Grossman. Now, though, Syfy has taken the series under its wing, green-lighting a 12-episode first season to begin production this July.
Jason Ralph (A Most Violent Year) stars in the ambitious series as Quentin Coldwater, a brainy grad student who uncovers the existence of Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a secret college in the heart of New York City that instructs its students in the field of magic. Along with a group of twentysomething friends, Quentin begins his education, only to discover that the magical world he read about as a child is not only real but poses a grave threat to everything he cares about.
- Isaac Feldberg
The advent of nimble digital cameras and cutting edge visual effects has meant that filmmakers have been able to mount increasingly ambitious sci-fi stories on relatively small budgets.
This week sees the release of Monsters: Dark Continent, a follow-up to Gareth Edwards' brilliant 2010 debut Monsters. Not only did Monsters shoot Edwards to the big time, putting him in the director's chair for Godzilla and next year's Star Wars: Rogue One, but it also only cost less than $500,000 to make.
Below, we look at 11 incredible science fiction movies that prove you can make a great movie for just a fraction of what Avengers: Age of Ultron cost ($280 million, apparently!).
Dark Star (1974)
Production budget: $60,000
How many could you make for the price of Avengers: 4666
Taking genre setups and elements and injected his own brand of sci-fi into them is what director Dan Bush is best at. Always giving fans very character-based stories, filled with humanity and smart characters in films like The Signal, Dan has a knack for allowing us as viewers into the head-space of his characters, making them feel like people we’ve known before and adding a level of authenticity to each project of his. Bush’s latest film, the sci-fi cloning mystery The Reconstruction Of William Zero, is a film that asks its viewers if they would choose to escape their lives and start over, if a tragic accident happened, the film is a home run for the director and one of the most original and heartfelt sci-fi films in quite some time, and features standout performances by Conal Byrne and Amy Siemetz as a husband and wife split up by the unthinkable. »
- Jerry Smith
There seems to be some kind of movement out there where low-key indie dramas of personal tragedy cloak themselves in the veneer of heady science fiction concepts: films like Mike Cahill's Another Earth, James Byrkit Ward's Coherence, Lars Von Trier's Melancholia, and what is perhaps the sub-genres most recent peak, Shane Carruth's Upstream Color. Spaceships, laser guns and time portals are replaced with hand-wringing, self-doubt and self-destruction. There is metaphor aplenty. William Blake and his wife Jules are a seemingly normal, over-worked, slightly distracted parents. As the opening moments of The Reconstruction of William Zero unfold, he is distractedly scrambling to get to work, she is busy in the kitchen preparing a breakfast that nobody seems to want, and their son Kevin is itching to...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
If you're a regular reader of the site, you'll know that we've long sung the praises of Fall On Your Sword. The always busy music collective have notched "Another Earth," "Nobody Walks," "28 Hotel Rooms," and "Lola Versus" on their belts, and, more recently, the drama "X/Y." And today we have an exclusive cut from their work on the latter picture. Written and directed by Ryan Piers Williams, the film stars America Ferrera, Melonie Diaz, Amber Tamblyn, Common, Dree Hemingway, and more to tell the story of four friends living in New York and their interactions as they search for a sense of balance. This "End Titles" cut, featured in the trailer for the movie as well as during the end credits, provides a nice pulsating finish to the drama. "X/Y" is now playing in limited release. Listen below. »
- Edward Davis
With the massive success of House of Cards, Netflix has proven it knows how to make quality dramas. Now the streaming service has picked up a new title from the genre to add to its programming lineup. Netflix has ordered eight episodes of the series The Oa from creators Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij.
Netflix isn’t sharing any details about The Oa’s plot, however The Hollywood Reporter, who originally reported the news, knows Marling will star in the series which she’ll co-write with Batmanglij. The latter will also direct all eight hour-long episodes. Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner of Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment (who worked on 12 Years a Slave and the second season of Hulu’s Deadbeat) will executive produce The Oa along with Michael Sugar of Anonymous Content (True Detective).
While this is Marling and Batmanglij’s first TV series, the duo previously teamed »
- Bree Brouwer
Netflix has ordered drama series “The Oa” from Plan B Entertainment and Anonymous Content to premiere in 2016. The eight-episode series stars indie actress Brit Marling (“Arbitrage,” “Another Earth”), who also serves as writer and executive producer along with Zal Batmanglij (“Sound of My Voice,” “The East”). Also Read: Leonardo DiCaprio Partners With Netflix for Documentary Projects Marling and Batmanglij previously collaborated on “Another Earth” and “Sound of My Voice,” both of which screened at Sundance in 2011. This is the first television project for the pair. Details about the story of “The Oa” have yet to be revealed. Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner. »
- L.A. Ross
The project, the premise of which is being closely guarded, hails from Marling and her frequent collaborator Zal Batmanglij. The Oa builds on their relationship after 2011’s Sound of My Voice and 2013’s The East, both of which the pair co-wrote, Batmanglij directed and Marling starred in. They’ll keep to those same capacities for this series.
Plan B’s Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner are executive-producing the Netflix production alongside Michael Sugar (True Detective), Marling and Batmanglij. Said Cindy Holland, vice-president of original content at Netflix:
“We are thrilled to be the home of the first television series Brit and Zal create together. Whether in front of or behind the camera, or both, their creative voice is always uniquely captivating. »
- Isaac Feldberg
Director: James Ward Byrkit
Run Time: 89 Minutes
Synopsis: Strange things begin to happen when a group of friends gather for a dinner party on an evening when a comet is passing overhead.
Imagine, for a moment, being stuck inside an infinite loop of your own reality. But then throw in an ordinary evening, a dinner party with your closest friends and some Schrödinger’s cat theories and voilà; you’ve got all the ingredients inside the stimulating Coherence.
This low-fi indie drama lends itself to some interesting opinions on existence, life and multiple realities but it’s presented within a tight narrative that keeps it simple for the casual viewer. In a similar vein to Mike Cahill’s Another Earth (2011), this is all about one unique event and the potential consequences of the unknown. »
- Dan Bullock
Chicago – One of the specialities of HollywoodChicago.com is the film and personality interview. The majority of these chats came through me, Patrick McDonald, and I couldn’t narrow it down to a top 10 or even a top 20. For 2014, there were 25 top interviews, and it is a diverse range of voices.
It is a privilege to get the opportunity to participate in the promotional tours, awards ceremonies, film festivals, book appearances, phoners and other lucky happenstances that feature the notable among us. To whittle down the list, I mostly thought about what was said in these interviews, whether inspirational or provocative – plus the status of the participants, whether they are up-and-coming or established.
The interview highlights are broken down by “Background and Behind-the-Scenes” and the “Memorable Quote” associated with each subject, and are often accompanied with exclusive photography by Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com. Four notables who just missed the »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Babylon, Season 1: Episode 1 – “Episode One”
Written by Jesse Armstrong
Directed by Jon S. Baird
Airs Thursday nights at 10 on SundanceTV
Coming off a fantastic summer miniseries in The Honourable Woman, SundanceTV has imported a British crime series co-created by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire). Unlike most series in the saturated the genre, however, Babylon is not a dark, gritty procedural or whodunnit but a refreshing satirical dramedy from a network that could use a bit of lightening up. After a collection of mostly excellent dramas, the relief in watching Babylon comes just as much from its interesting take on a police story as it does from the shift in tone in SundanceTV’s lineup.
Fans of The Thick of It (and In the Loop) will be pleased to learn that veteran writer Jesse Armstrong brings the same biting comedy from his work with Armando Iannucci to Babylon. The series follows Liz Garvey (Brit Marling, »
- Sean Colletti
In yet another example of how television is becoming a hot destination for big-name film talents, Oscar winning filmmaker Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) has co-created and is executive-producing SundanceTV’s latest scripted series, the six-part comedy-drama Babylon, premiering tonight and starring Brit Marling (Another Earth, The East) and James Nesbitt (The Hobbit, The Missing). “Television has changed so much since I last worked there on .Inspector Morse,” said Boyle in a release for the show. “The confidence and ambition of writers writing for the medium is palpable and is electrifying audiences around the world.” Boyle found some of those electrifying writers in Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong … Continue reading →
The post SundanceTV’s “Babylon” a dark satire set in a modern police force appeared first on Channel Guide Magazine. »
- Jeff Pfeiffer
The cop drama Babylon is as purely pleasurable as a show can be while still being serious. Though this six-part SundanceTV series is credited to a bomb crew of talents — including writers and producers Robert Jones, Jesse Armstrong, and Sam Bain, and feature filmmaker Danny Boyle — it has a singular vision, albeit one that doesn’t necessarily come into focus in the pilot, which is mainly concerned with introducing the characters and their jobs. American indie-film up-and-comer Brit Marling (the writer and star of Another Earth and Sound of My Voice) plays the show’s lone Yank, Liz Garvey, who’s imported to the United Kingdom to serve as the London Police Department’s director of communications. She’s the audience surrogate, at least for the U.S. market, learning the lay of the land, putting out media fires, and bantering with flinty-eyed Police Commissioner Richard Miller (James Nesbitt), a scowling, »
- Matt Zoller Seitz
If you haven’t already heard, SundanceTV, which has given us great series, such as Rectify and Top of the Lake, is premiering a new show entitled Babylon tomorrow night at 10 p.m. The series, which comes from Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle and was one of our most anticipated new shows of 2015, is a satire of the UK police department and stars Brit Marling (Another Earth) as PR expert Liz Garvey, who is brought in to help improve the image of the London police force, led by James Nesbitt’s Commissioner Richard Miller. We’ve already been lucky enough to share with you a great interview with Nesbitt about his role in the series, but now we also have an exclusive clip from the Babylon series premiere. In the clip, Commissioner Miller faces great scrutiny from the committee, as Liz watches, hoping the commissioner will perform better under the pressure. »
- Chris King
Confirming that social media is fast becoming a news source, of sorts, in terms of the entertainment industry, Senior Vice President of Production at Columbia Pictures, DeVon Franklin, was asked via Twitter for an update on the progress of the long gestating Masters Of The Universe feature film project, on January 2nd 2015. In response, he tweeted a picture of the title page of the script, dated December 24th, with credit for the completed draft going to Jeff Wadlow (writer and director of Kick-Ass 2).
@danmillerNY @RoastGooble pic.twitter.com/a9whbCChXl
— DeVon Franklin (@DeVonFranklin) January 2, 2015
It was announced in April 2014 that Wadlow had been tapped to produce a re-write of the script – which had previously been worked on by Alex Litvak, Mik Finch, Richard Wenk and Terry Rossio. Though Wadlow’s directorial prowess has him highly sought after (with Marvel reportedly being among his suitors), a director for Masters Of The Universe »
- Sarah Myles
18 items from 2015
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