Is there trouble on the horizon for HBO‘s star-studded, TV series take on Michael Crichton‘s “Westworld“? The talent is immense, with Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy running the sci-fi show which stars Ed Harris, James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Anthony Hopkins, and Jeffrey Wright, but it seems there needs to be some retooling before this one is ready for air.
Variety reports that HBO has shut down the show, explaining that a break is needed in order to get the creative elements back on track. “As we head into the final phase of production on ‘Westworld,’ we’ve made the decision to take a brief hiatus in order to get ahead of the writing,” the network said in a statement, while clarifying to the trade that they still aim for the show to premiere this year.
It’s another high profile effort from HBO to face problems. Last summer, the miniseries “Lewis And Clark” starring Casey Affleck and Matthias Schoenaerts was also shut down, with director John Curran (“The Painted Veil,” “Stone,” “Tracks“) and DP Rob Hardy (“Ex Machina,” “Tracks,” “Testament Of Youth“) exiting over “creative reasons.” And according to Affleck, the entire effort is being revamped from the ground up.
“The update is they are rewriting it, trying to make the scripts and the production a little bit more manageable,” he told Collider. “It was too unwieldy, they were trying to do so much, cover so many years, and it’s such a gigantic journey that it was almost impossible. It was a gigantic production that got lost control of and the seasons got ahead of them, and then they were finished. So now they’re sort of regrouping and aiming to just kind of start over again knowing what they know. It’ll be hard.”
So, two big hurdles for HBO to overcome in 2016. We’ll see if they can do it.
From all of us at James Marsden Web, we would like to wish Jimmy a very Happy Birthday!
James Marsden, Thomas Middleditch, Rosario Dawson, Alfred Molina and Nathan Fillion have signed on for the voice roles in Bron Studios’ upcoming comedy cartoon “Henchmen.”
Jane Krakowski, Rob Riggle, Craig Robinson and Will Sasso have also been cast to give voice to “Henchmen,” currently in production at the company’s studios in Burnaby and Duncan, British Columbia.
The movie is a Bron Studios production in association with CW Media Finance, with Adam Wood directing from is own script. Producers are Bron Studios’ Aaron L. Gilbert and Luke Carroll; executive producers are Jason Cloth of CW Media Finance and Bron’s Brenda Gilbert.
WME Global is handling sales of the film outside Canada, while eOne Canada will distribute in Canada.
Middleditch (“Silicon Valley”) is voicing Lester, a new recruit to the Union of Evil, where he is assigned to a motley crew of blue-collar workers led by a fallen henchmen (voiced by Marsden). The crew is assigned to the Vault of Villainy where Lester accidentally steals the ultimate weapon.
Welcome to Me doesn’t really seem like a whole movie so much as a springboard for one very killer feature: putting Kristen Wiig in the skin of a blunt, destabilized woman, and then throwing her into our face for as many uncomfortable, hilarious and melancholy bits as it can manage.
Wiig’s breakthrough on Saturday Night Live was playing characters with tenuous grasps on decorum who tromped all over our comfort zones, from her TMI Target cashier to gross-out-sexy Shanna to Dooneese, her physically warped back-up singer. Alice Klieg— a woman with borderline personality disorder who worships at the shrine of Oprah and is prone to opening conversations with “I have a prepared statement” — is this tendency taken to its most confrontational: Welcome to Me is funny mostly because it tears apart any other possible response, leaves you laughing just to hide your own discomfort.
Alice is a recent lottery winner so disturbed at being cut off during her acceptance speech — right on the line “I’ve been using masturbation as a sedative since 1991″ — she looks up a cable access channel and drops $15 million on 100 episodes of her own talk show. Also called Welcome to Me, it’s all Alice, all the time: when she is not making (and eating) meat loaf pie as part of her high-protein diet, she’s scoring a telephone conversation with her concerned, overbearing mother or staging slanderous reenactments from her life — complete with bitter, wounded narration, provided by herself.
Kate Winslet, Kate Hudson, Drew Brees, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed Helms, Michelle Rodriguez, James Marsden and Michael B. Jordan will join famed survivalist Bear Grylls
NBC has announced the cast for its summer adventure series “Running Wild With Bear Grylls,” which premieres Monday, July 13 (10-11 p.m. ET/PT).
In this hour-long alternative series, the famed adventurer, writer and television host will take eight entertainment and sports stars into the most remote and pristine locations in the U.S. and around the world for a 48-hour journey of a lifetime.
Joining the renown survivalist for season two are Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet, Oscar nominee Kate Hudson, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Drew Brees, Emmy nominee and “Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Hangover” star Ed Helms, “Furious 7” star Michelle Rodriguez, and award-winning film and television actors James Marsden (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”) and Michael B. Jordan (“Fantastic Four”).
Each of these eight accomplished actors and athletes will partner with Grylls for two days for a one-on-one adventure they will never forget. This season, the series will take viewers from the jungles of Panama to the far reaches of the Italian Alps and then to the Colorado Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Red Rocks of Utah. The intrepid cast members will face their deepest fears and tackle everything from skydiving to repelling as they journey through some of the world’s most unforgiving wildernesses.
“It has been such a privilege to adventure alongside these iconic men and women – and this season has made for some unforgettable journeys,” Grylls said. “The excitement of being dropped into uncharted territory and tackling the wilderness head-on, in the way we do, can be both daunting and very draining, but it is also very empowering when we finally make it out in one piece. Along the way, we get to see the stars we love in a totally authentic way as they face a few demons and come through it stronger. And that’s the beating heart of ‘Running Wild.’ ”
Each of these stars will push their minds and bodies to the limit to complete their journey.
Grylls and Delbert Shoopman devised the show. Grylls recently starred on the NBC series “Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls” and serves as host and executive producer of “The Island.”
I’m unable to get the trailer to properly embed, but the trailer can be viewed here.