It must be your unbirthday because Hollywood.com has a very special gift for you. In anticipation of the fall's most magical new series, we’ve gathered up everything you need to know about the new Once Upon a Time spin-off centered in the mystical and thrilling realm of Wonderland. A very merry unbirthday to you, indeed!
We sat down with the creative masterminds behind this exciting new series, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, to gather up all the details about the new ABC series, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. “Wonderland touches Once Upon a Time, but is intended to exist as its own thing,” Horowitz explains. “We touched on the world of Wonderland a few times in [Once] and were really excited about the possibilities of it, but we don’t want to overwhelm this show and shoehorn in Alice.”
Sophie Lowe stars as Alice, a girl who finds herself in a strange and wondrous land after falling through a rabbit hole. However, after losing her one true love — a genie named Cyrus (Peter Gadiot) — Alice returns to Victorian England with a broken heart and new set of problems. No one believes Alice’s tales of invisible cats, hookah-smoking caterpillars, or a murderous Red Queen, and she is then locked away in a spirit-crushing insane asylum.
Just when it looks like Alice’s fate has been sealed, the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) and the White Rabbit (John Lithgow) arrive just in time to save our heroine. After discovering that the love of her life is actually alive, Alice and her friends travel back through the rabbit hole to face the dark and captivating evils of Wonderland.
Originally set to air during the winter hiatus, Wonderland will now run concurrently with Once this fall. The creators want to assure viewers that even though Wonderland will have ties to Once Upon a Time, that does not mean that you will need to follow both series in order to know what is going on in each plot. (That said, you definitely should!)
“There’s been weird things written here and there, but I can tell you the truth: Wonderland takes place post-curse [of Once Upon a Time],” Kitsis says. “So the pilot of Wonderland actually starts when magic comes and the wraith happens, and then it runs concurrent.” Further clarifying the timeline Kistis explains, “So we are in Wonderland, post-Queen of Hearts. And like we saw in the Enchanted Forest, there were pockets that were saved. And then we will flashback during the show to… how did Alice get there.”
As for Sebastian Stan, the Mad Hatter that fans have already come to know and love in Once, Kitsis says that infamous role in Wonderland all depends on the actor’s busy schedule. “If Sebastian has a week, we’ll take it,” Kitsis says, adding, “[But] he could be free when Wonderland wraps. We’d love to have him back.” There is one other Once character that the creators are definitely hoping to bring in to the spinoff: The Queen of Hearts — also known as Cora. “Assuming that the show goes forward, and assuming she says yes, yes [Cora will appear],” Horowitz notes.
Now before you scream, “Off with their heads!” for bringing this evil queen back to life, keep in mind that just Barbara Hershey’s wicked character met her demise in Storybrooke doesn’t mean that she can’t appear in the flashbacks of Wonderland. “I still feel there are more Cora stories to be told, both young and old,” Kitsis says. “I don’t think that’s the last time Rumple saw young Cora, and I definitely think there are some other adventures to be had. Even though she’s dead, she’s very much alive in our hearts.”
Ready for even more spell-binding details? Take a look at the trailer, which debuted at the ABC upfronts on Tuesday, below to enjoy your first sneak peek into the world of Wonderland and meet all the enchanting new characters.
Don’t be late for a very important date: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland will air this fall on Thursdays at 8 PM on ABC!
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Jersey Shore Star Gets A Life: Jenni "JWoww" Farley just landed a recurring role on the long-running soap One Life To Live, which is re-launching on April 29th on Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes thanks to The Online Network. She will play Nikki, a bartender hired at the trendy nightclub Shelter, and can mix an Alabama Slammer as well as she can flirt with customers. As Shelter’s newest barmaid, club owner Blair Cramer (Kassie DePaiva) knows that it’s best to keep an eye on Nikki so things don’t get out of control. [Via Press Release]
Scorsese Heads to TV: Miramax and Martin Scorsese have teamed to develop a television series based on Scorsese’s 2002 movie Gangs Of New York (which was released by Miramax). The series will focus on organized gangs at the turn of the century and shortly thereafter in America, not only in New York but in other cities such as Chicago and New Orleans and the birth of organized crime in America. "This time and era of America’s history and heritage is rich with characters and stories that we could not fully explore in a two-hour film," Scorsese says. "A television series allows us the time and creative freedom to bring this colorful world, and all the implications it had and still does on our society, to life." [Deadline]
Grey's Anatomy Hires One Tree Hill Alum: A new doctor is coming to work in Seattle. One Tree Hill alum Hilarie Burton has signed on for a recurring guest role on Grey's Anatomy as a craniofacial specialist who visits Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital to work on a case. She'll make her debut in early May. [E!]
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Once Upon a Time Spinoff Castings: Sophie Lowe and Michael Socha has just been cast as one of the three leads in ABC‘s possible Once Upon A Time spinoff presentation, Once: Wonderland. OUAT creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz focused the presentation in pre-curse Wonderland and the story is told through the point of view of Alice (Lowe), who is surrounded by two major characters, The Knave of Hearts (Socha), a sardonic adventurer, a man of action, a loner and a heart-breaker; and Amahl, described as exotic, soulful and optimistic. Additionally, Peter Gadiot has been cast as Alice's mysterious love interest, Cyrus. Production is slated to begin April 7 in Vancouver, immediately following the season wrap of OUAT. [Deadline, THR]
Dads Casts New Wife: Vanessa Lachey has just joined Fox’s six-episode multi-camera comedy series Dads. She is now a regular after a recent recasting. From the creators of Ted, Dads centers on two successful guys in their 30s, Eli (Seth Green) and Warner (Tommy Dewey), who have their lives turned upside down when their nightmare dads (Peter Riegert, Martin Mull) unexpectedly move in with them. Lachey will play Camilla, Warner’s (Dewey) wife and, the mother of their two children (replacing Erin Pineda in the role). [Deadline]
From a Partner to a Friend: David Krumholtz (Partners) has joined NBC’s Brenda Forever pilot. He will play a close friend of Ellie Kemper's Brenda, a 31-year-old who does her own thing. He’ll appear as a guest star in the pilot, but if the project goes to series, there’s a good chance he’ll be back. The potential series would consist of stories from Brenda Miller’s past and present, creating a unique portrait of how a chubby, awkward but incredibly confident 13-year-old grew up to be the woman she is today. [TVLine]
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In This Means War – a stylish action/rom-com hybrid from director McG – Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) and Chris Pine (Star Trek) star as CIA operatives whose close friendship is strained by the fires of romantic rivalry. Best pals FDR (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) are equally accomplished at the spy game but their fortunes diverge dramatically in the dating realm: FDR (so nicknamed for his obvious resemblance to our 32nd president) is a smooth-talking player with an endless string of conquests while Tuck is a straight-laced introvert whose love life has stalled since his divorce. Enter Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) a pretty plucky consumer-products evaluator who piques both their interests in separate unrelated encounters. Tuck meets her via an online-dating site FDR at a video-rental store. (That Lauren is tech-savvy enough to date online but still rents movies in video stores is either a testament to her fascinating mix of contradictions or more likely an example of lazy screenwriting.)
When Tuck and FDR realize they’re pursuing the same girl it sparks their respective competitive natures and they decide to make a friendly game of it. But what begins as a good-natured rivalry swiftly devolves into romantic bloodsport with both men using the vast array of espionage tools at their disposal – from digital surveillance to poison darts – to gain an edge in the battle for Lauren’s affections. If her constitutional rights happen to be violated repeatedly in the process then so be it.
Lauren for her part remains oblivious to the clandestine machinations of her dueling suitors and happily basks in the sudden attention from two gorgeous men. Herein we find the Reese Witherspoon Dilemma: While certainly desirable Lauren is far from the irresistible Helen of Troy type that would inspire the likes of Tuck and FDR to risk their friendship their careers and potential incarceration for. At several points in This Means War I found myself wondering if there were no other peppy blondes in Los Angeles (where the film is primarily set) for these men to pursue. Then again this is a film that wishes us to believe that Tom Hardy would have trouble finding a date so perhaps plausibility is not its strong point.
When Lauren needs advice she looks to her boozy foul-mouthed best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler). Essentially an extension of Handler’s talk-show persona – an acquired taste if there ever was one – Trish’s dialogue consists almost exclusively of filthy one-liners delivered in rapid-fire succession. Handler does have some choice lines – indeed they’re practically the centerpiece of This Means War’s ad campaign – but the film derives the bulk of its humor from the outrageous lengths Tuck and FDR go to sabotage each others’ efforts a raucous game of spy-versus-spy that carries the film long after Handler’s shtick has grown stale.
Business occasionally intrudes upon matters in the guise of Heinrich (Til Schweiger) a Teutonic arms dealer bent on revenge for the death of his brother. The subplot is largely an afterthought existing primarily as a means to provide third-act fireworks – and to allow McGenius an outlet for his ADD-inspired aesthetic proclivities. The film’s action scenes are edited in such a manic quick-cut fashion that they become almost laughably incoherent. In fairness to McG he does stage a rather marvelous sequence in the middle of the film in which Tuck and FDR surreptitiously skulk about Lauren's apartment unaware of each other's presence carefully avoiding detection by Lauren who grooves absentmindedly to Montel Jordan's "This Is How We Do It." The whole scene unfolds in one continuous take – or is at least craftily constructed to appear as such – captured by one very agile steadicam operator.
Whatever his flaws as a director McG is at least smart enough to know how much a witty script and appealing leads can compensate for a film’s structural and logical deficiencies. He proved as much with Charlie’s Angels a film that enjoys a permanent spot on many a critic’s Guilty Pleasures list and does so again with This Means War. The film coasts on the chemistry of its three co-stars and only runs into trouble when the time comes to resolve its romantic competition which by the end has driven its male protagonists to engage in all manner of underhanded and duplicitous activities. This Means War being a commercial film – and likely an expensive one at that – Witherspoon's heroine is mandated to make a choice and McG all but sidesteps the whole thorny matter of Tuck and FDR’s unwavering dishonesty not to mention their craven disregard for her privacy. (They regularly eavesdrop on her activities.) For all their obvious charms the truth is that neither deserves Lauren – or anything other than a lengthy jail sentence for that matter.
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The Queen and its star, Helen Mirren, were the big winners at Sunday’s Orange British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs), winning the Best Film and Best Actress awards.
Elsewhere, Forest Whitaker won the Best Actor prize for Last King of Scotland, Little Miss Sunshine star Alan Arkin won Best Supporting Actor and Jennifer Hudson won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Dreamgirls.
The ceremony took place at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden.
The full list of winners is as follows:
The Academy Fellowship: Anne V. Coates
Film: The Queen
The Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema: Nick Daubeny
The Alexander Korda Award for the Outstanding British Film of the Year: Last King of Scotland
The Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer in Their First Feature Film: Andrea Arnold, Red Road
The David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction: United 93, Paul Greengrass
Original Screenplay: Little Miss Sunshine, Michael Arndt
Adapted Screenplay: Last King of Scotland, Peter Morgan/Jeremy Brock
Film Not in the English Language: Pan's Labyrinth
Animated Feature Film: Happy Feet
Actor in a Leading Role: Forest Whitaker, Last King of Scotland
Actress in a Leading Role: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Actor in a Supporting Role: Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
Actress in a Supporting Role: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
The Anthony Asquith Award for Achievement in Film Music: Babel, Gustavo Santaolalla
Cinematography: Children of Men, Emmanuel Lubezki
Editing: United 93, Clare Douglas/Christopher Rouse/Richard Pearson
Production Design: Children of Men, Jim Clay/Geoffrey Kirkland/Jennifer Williams
Costume Design: Pan's Labyrinth, Lala Huete
Sound: Casino Royale, Chris Munro/Eddy Joseph/Mike Prestwood Smith/Martin Cantwell/Mark Taylor
Achievement in Special Visual Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, John Knoll/Hal Hickel/Charles Gibson/Allen L. Hall
Makeup & Hair: Pan's Labyrinth, Jose Quetglas/Blanca Sanchez
Short Animation Film: Guy 101, Ian Gouldstone
Short Film: Do Not Erase, Asitha Ameresekere
The Orange Rising Star Award: Eva Green
COPYRIGHT 2007 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
Let's hear it for the old guy who in this movie comes off sexier than his buff young accomplice (Dermot Mulroney). OK the old guy happens to be the gracefully aging icon Paul Newman -- as a feisty heistmeister who dodges a long prison sentence and then teams up with his equally conniving rest-home nurse (Linda Fiorentino) on a bank job gone wrong. "Where the Money Is" is breezy suspenseful and as much a love story as anything else -- if you call mentoring a new life in crime a kind of love. The mission-improbable caper is no more or less entertaining than a "Rockford Files" rerun but the film's swerving joyride takes its real thrills from the great escape that Fiorentino's Bonnie Parker makes from a dead-end life in the married lane.
Newman still hasn't lost it and as Henry Manning he doesn't miss any nuances in the edgy balance between streetwise wariness and amiable rapport with his sultry new colleague. The steam-powered Fiorentino has forged her career by making danger look casual and this is her most alluring work since "The Last Seduction" added another zero to her salary. Her chemistry with Newman a flirty twist on the idea of honor among thieves is really what makes this movie worth seeing. Mulroney is serviceable as the dim but lovable hubby a supporting role that's more foil than fully etched character.
We can all thank director Marek Kanievska for deciding not to have the May-December duo end up in the sack and leaving them simply professional cohorts. The director's admirable sense of comic timing works all the better by not letting the laughs get in the way of his leads' exploration of their characters -- although there's no denying the limits of this frothy genre. Perhaps Kanievska's greatest feat here is allowing Newman to retain his dignity in close-up.