5 items from 2016
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy SeriesAziz Ansari, “Master of None” Twitter: @azizansari Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina Representation: William Morris EndeavorHe’s been rocking standup stages for years, but no one knew what to expect of Ansari’s solo dive into television. We knew he could act funny thanks to his work on “Parks and Recreation,” and we knew he could write funny considering his comedy specials, his book “Modern Romance,” and his numerous New York Times op-eds. But if you boil it all down, does it work for a series? Apparently it does, and we have 10 episodes of the whip-smart “Master of None” to prove it. Ansari is nominated three times—for lead actor in a comedy, writing, and directing—making him a first-time nominee three times over! Thomas Middleditch, “Silicon Valley” Twitter: @middleditch Hometown: Nelson, british columbia Representation: William Morris EndeavorWhile he already had a voiceover career going, »
The crew from “Camp Takota” — YouTube stars Mamrie Hart, Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart — are back in feature-length comedy “Dirty 30” from Lionsgate, slated to hit theaters, HD digital outlets and DVD in September.
The announcement was timed for 2016 VidCon in Anaheim, Calif., where the film’s three stars are slated to appear on a panel and preview the trailer. Mamrie Hart, Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart toplined 2014 digital hit, “Camp Takota,” which touched off a wave of digital-influencer-led films and a growing number of TV shows. “Dirty 30” is produced by Michael Fine, who also was behind “Takota.”
Lionsgate will release “Dirty 30” in a limited number of theaters on Sept. 23, 2016, when it will also be available on digital services including Apple’s iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, FandangoNow, CinemaNow and Vudu. It will also be available on DVD exclusively at Target starting Sept. 27. Lionsgate didn’t say how many theaters it will run in. »
- Todd Spangler
Ben Schwartz is prolific. Best known for his work as an actor, in projects such as House Of Lies, BoJack Horseman, Parks And Recreation, and Turbo, he is also a writer (Robot Chicken, The Oscars), a producer (Funny Or Die Presents…, Bronx World Travellers), and director (CollegeHumor Originals). He is also the proud owner of a Primetime Emmy Award for writing music and lyrics for the 81st Annual Academy Awards. But now, he has really hit the big time, because he’s about to star in Blue Iguana with Sam Rockwell.
Soon to be written, directed and produced by Hadi Hajaig (Cleanskin), Blue Iguana is characterized as a dark comedy thriller that’s also a love story. Plot details remain scarce, but the synopsis, as outlined on IMDb, gives some indication of what to expect.
“He’s a low level criminal with no future and just out of prison. She’s a low level lawyer never noticed by others – a lost soul without a life. Their anger and hostility makes them serious criminals. Love happens in the strangest of places.”
Blue Iguana happens in London shortly, and has Sam Rockwell locked in for the lead role – the “low level criminal with no future.” The nature of the role now associated with Ben Schwartz is not currently known, but it is probably a safe bet that he will be playing something akin to “Best Friend No 1.”
If his friendship is with Sam Rockwell, this promises some excellent comedy, as the respective style of the two actors certainly would seem to complement each other – Rockwell with his laid back, mildly irritated delivery, and Ben Schwartz with his trademark self-assured swagger.
The big question is, who will play the “low level lawyer never noticed by others?” This is the key role at this point, as the actress concerned will need to go toe-to-toe with the comedic skill of both Rockwell and Schwartz. My first choice would be Kathryn Hahn – simply because she would be able to play anger and hostility opposite Sam Rockwell with hilarious conviction. Alternatively, I think it’s about time Charlyne Yi got a shot at a lead role. Her measured delivery and deadpan comedy style would serve this role, and this cast, well. Whichever actress lands the part, we should hear the announcement soon, as cameras are set to roll on Blue Iguana in July. »
- Sarah Myles
Two months ago today, Disney CEO Robert A. Iger revealed that production has started on Star Wars: Episode VIII, which has been set for release on December 15, 2017. Just a few days later, the full cast was announced, including new cast members Benicio Del Toro, Academy Award nominee Laura Dern, and talented newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. Over the weekend, John Boyega was on hand to introduce the Star Wars: The Force Awakens behind-the-scenes documentary Secrets of the Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey at a special U.K. screening, where he teased that the "lead" of Star Wars: Episode VIII is none other than Kelly Marie Tran.
Unfortunately, we don't know who exactly she's playing, but it seems her character is much more important than we originally believed. LucasFilm and Disney haven't divulged any plot details thus far, so it's difficult to try and figure out who Kelly Marie Tran is playing, »
Jermaine Fowler is set to star and co-executive produce the Superior Donuts TV series pilot at CBS. Written and executive produced by The Odd Couple's Bob Daily and the cancelled Community's Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, the comedy is based on the Tracy Letts play of the same name. James Burrows will direct the multi-cam project.
Fowler has been cast as Franco, a donut shop employee. You may recognize this actor, producer, and writer from Friends of the People and CollegeHumor Originals.
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5 items from 2016
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