It was a banner day for television production--perhaps the jolt of energy from all those Emmy wins and losses really threw Hollywood into gear. Here's all the news you might've missed while hungover from all that sparkling apple juice you drank last night on the party circuit. Onward!
The Coen Brothers Think Small [Screen] for Fargo: In "holy s**t this sounds AMAZING" news, Coen Brothers Joel and Ethan have inked a deal with FX to bring an hourlong series to television loosely based on their iconic film Fargo. Honestly, I am one to balk frequently about the lack of original ideas in Hollywood, but this is just really, really awesome. For those who may have forgotten, Fargo the movie was a dark comedic drama about a pregnant North Dakota police chief who hunts two buffoon-esque criminals hired by a car salesman to kidnap his wife. It won two Oscars! [Deadline]
Mandy Moore Pilots a...Pilot: Singer/actress/candy enthusiast/Ryan Adams wife, Mandy Moore has nabbed herself a pilot deal at ABC with writer Rich Appel. Moore will play a plucky young 28 year old who runs away from home (no need to go back and double check, I did indeed write 28, not 8. Plus Moore playing an 8 year old would be...well, just really strange) in order to do that whole live-the-life-you've-always-wanted thing. It sounds like one of those quarter-life-crisis moments I heard John Mayer sing about back in the day. But--TWIST!--her family decides to run away with her. I don't know why her family's worried enough about losing her to follow suit, since, you know she'll be forever yours (love always, Mandy). [Variety]
Baz Luhrmann Signs Overall Deal with Sony Pictures TV: Really gave that one away in the lede there, huh? Well, it's true! Mr. Moulin Rouge himself is going to have a go at the small screen. So spoketh the Luhrmann: "Television at the moment has such great freedom, giving writers the ability to explore any idea and to have maximum amount of freedom to do that." Hear hear! [The Hollywood Reporter]
Is This Fifty Shades for the TV/Fashion Set?: Someone was going to make the comparison so might as well do it now. American Horror Story producer Jessica Sharzer has gotten herself a put pilot commitment from ABC for Dress To Kill. The show is being touted as an "erotic thriller" about the fashion world. She will be executive producing with Brian Grazer, who is certainly no slouch. The show will be set in New York (natch) and has a murder mystery at the core of its story line. Intrigue! Sounds positively seamy (I'll be here all night, folks!) [Deadline]
[Photo Credit: Gramercy Pictures]
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Sundance Film Festival officials have announced entries for dramatic, documentary and "American Spectrum" categories of the 2004 festival, which runs Jan. 15 through Jan. 25 in Park City, Utah.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the competitive categories at this year's festival include big-name actors appearing in films by relatively unknown directors, and a record-breaking number of projects from black filmmakers and projects influenced by Sept. 11:
Actor Kevin Bacon and his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, star alongside hip-hop artist Mos Def in The Woodsman, directed by Nicole Kassel. It revolves around a convicted pedophile who returns to his hometown after 12 years in prison and tries to start a new life.
Courteney Cox Arquette stars in November, directed by Greg Harrison, about a Los Angeles photographer who struggles to put the tragic circumstances of her boyfriend's death behind her.
John Curran's Adultery, starring Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, Peter Krause and Naomi Watts, follows two couples who are friends and whose relationships are intertwined.
Writer/director Rodney Evans' Brother to Brother is about an 18-year-old, gay, black artist who discovers the hidden legacies of gay and lesbian subcultures within the Harlem Renaissance. The film is one of a dozen projects that center on the black experience or are by black filmmakers--the most ever on a Sundance roster, according to the Reporter.
"We have 12 features that are either about, produced by or directed by African-American filmmakers," Festival director Geoff Gilmore said. "What's good is that it indicates that there are a lot of African-American filmmakers working in the independent arena because these are works that would not have been made for studios. It's really of interest to me to see a whole range of people now trying to produce independent work."
Gilmore added that some of the entries in this year's festival are the first generation of post-Sept. 11 films. "These are films by filmmakers that were entirely conceived, developed and then produced following those events," Gilmore told the Reporter. "The insularity of America pre-Sept. 11 and the assuredness that existed in the world at that time followed by the anxiety that exists in the world we are in now. These are films about trying to find things out."
The lineup for the festival's remaining categories and the opening night film are expected to be announced later today. Short films appearing at the festival will be announced Dec. 8.
The Best Thief in the World, Jacob Kornbluth
Book of Love, Alan Brown
Brother to Brother, Rodney Evans
Chrystal, Ray McKinnon
Down to the Bone, Debra Granik
Easy, Jane Weinstock
Evergreen, Enid Zentelis
Garden State, Zach Braff
Harry and Max, Christopher Munch
Maria Full of Grace, Joshua Marston
Napoleon Dynamite, Jared Hess
November, Greg Harrison
One Point O, Jeff Renfroe, MarteinnThorsson
Primer, Shane Carruth
Adultery, John Curran
The Woodsman, Nicole Kassell
A Place of Our Own, Stanley Nelson
Born Into Brothels, Ross Kauffman, ZanaBriksi
Chisholm '72 -- Unbought & Unbossed, Shola Lynch
Dig, Ondi Timoner
Farmingville, Catherine Tambini, Carlos Sandoval
The Fight, Barak Goodman
Heir to an Execution, Ivy Meeropol
Home of the Brave, Paola di Florio
I Like Killing Flies, Matt Mahurin
Imelda, Ramona S. Diaz
In the Realms of the Unreal, Jessica Yu
Deadline, Katy Chevigny, Kirsten Johnson
Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army, Robert Stone
Persons of Interest, Alison Maclean, Tobias Perse
Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock
Word Wars, Julian Petrillo
CSA: Confederate States of America, Kevin Willmott
Dandelion, Mark Milgard
Dirty Work, David Sampliner
Everyday People, Jim McKay
Lbs., Matthew Bonifacio
Let the Church Say Amen, David Petersen
Mean Creek, Jacob Aaron Estes
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky
MVP, Harry Davis
Open Water, Chris Kentis
Second Best, Eric Weber
September Tapes, Christian Johnston
Speak, Jessica Sharzer