Glee star Chris Colfer's bestselling book series The Land Of Stories is set to hit the big screen - the actor is in talks with major movie executives about turning the tales into a new film.
The 24 year old tells Access Hollywood Live he always vowed not to consider movie deals connected to his young adult books, but now he's reconsidering.
Colfer says, "I'm starting to have those film conversations. I'm a little more open-minded to it. When I first started the series, I was completely against doing a movie... I always said I would rather it be a good book that a hundred people read, than an awful movie which a thousand people see."
"But the readers want to see the world come alive so much. Who am I to deny them of that?"
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Potential Chicago Fire Spinoff: NBC is reportedly considering the idea of turning Chicago Fire’s Season 1 finale into a pilot episode for a new series centered around the Windy City’s police department counterparts. Executive producer Dick Wolf will reportedly head the potential show alongside Chicago Fire creators/executive producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, and executive producer Matt Olmstead. As of yet, there's no word if any of the Chicago Fire cast members will appear in the police-focused series. [TV Line]
That ‘70s Vampire: True Blood is adding a truly psychedelic vampire to their lineup next season. Brothers and Sisters alum Juke Grimes has been tapped to play the role of James, a vampire who was created in the ‘70s who is smart, spiritual, and emotionally deeper than any other nightwalker we’ve met before. Grimes is set to make his undead debut at halfway through the sixth season of the HBO thriller. [TV Line]
Nikita Gains an Agent: Last Resort's Jessica Camacho has just joined The CW’s Nikita for an upcoming episode. She will guest-star on the April 5th episode playing Rachel, a Division agent aiming to ruffle some feathers. As one of the underground organization’s few remaining technical operations staffers, Rachel will soon reveal her agenda for breaking free of Division once and for all. [TV Line: ]
NBC Gets a Much-Needed Ratings Boost: ...Thanks to The Voice and the mini-Friends reunion on Matthew Perry’s Go On. The Voice snagged 12.4 millin viewers, making this NBC’s best non-sports rating in the 18-49 category since October 2012 and delivered the number one rating of the night on beating out ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. As for the Monica/Chandler show — aka Go On — the NBC comedy jumped up 90 percent this week and grabbed 5.1 million viewers. Bless your little heart NBC, way to go! [Press Release]
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[Photo Credit: NBC]
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Season 16 of Dancing With the Stars kicked it off in style last week with a new type of dance, flashy dresses, and surprising talent. After only one night of performances, pro dancer Louis van Amstel has already picked his favorite — and least favorite — pairs. He also weighed in on the new contemporary style that's shaking up the ballroom.
This season, DWTS has introduced two new styles of dance to the competition: jazz and contemporary. Because contemporary dance, performed barefoot, is typically more emotional than technical , its inclusion is causing some controversy in the competition. "The new style, contemporary, is definitely causing tension, and I think that’s the exact reason for the producers to do it," van Amstel tells Hollywood.com. "I do think from a pure dancing point of view, it is comparing apples to oranges between a ballroom and a latin dance, but at least they’re both within ballroom dancing. And now you’re adding contemporary."
The DWTS expert knows that as weeks progress, the audience will get to see the pairs perform both ballroom and contemporary dances, but after only Week 1, it makes judging difficult. "Right now, how am I going to compare the contemporary to a foxtrot?" van Amstel wonders. "But I don’t think it’s bad — it shakes things up. It’s a little early, but I will say the contemporary dances were the best dances of the night this week."
The dance van Amstel is referring to was 16-year-old Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy. "Because it was so hard to judge contemporary, I think that Val and his partner did great. But then again, it’s a young girl and it looks like she has dance experience," van Amstel says. "But I think from what we’ve seen, Kellie Pickler [and partner Derek Hough] stole the night. I mean, the girl looked stunning. She literally could have walked out onto a competitive ballroom dance floor. She kicked ass."
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As for Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, van Amstel thinks she will only get better from here. "I really hope that she’s going to use this to add to her own training, to become more artistic and expressive within movement rather than just execution of tricks," van Amstel says. "I think her journey is going to be very interesting to see the progress that she’s going to make. Apparently she was really nervous, but I would definitely not count her out. That girl just needs to get over her nerves."
The pair that van Amstel is most worried about is comedian D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke. "Cheryl’s partner was just the worst," van Amstel says. "That was a mess. I love Cheryl, and I know she was probably pulling her hair out. He might be a sweetheart as a person but just looking from a dancing point of view, I’m worried for him."
Before the pairs take the stage again tonight and face their first elimination this week, van Amstel gives some advice for the stars. "Don’t forget that people are watching and voting. And they don’t vote just on what’s right and wrong or good and great. It’s really the personality," van Amstel says. "But people that have great personalities, they have to really start working on their dancing quality, because the judges will eventually call them out and tell the people pretty much what to do. It’s always a balancing act between grow as a dancer each week, but don’t forget that it’s still an entertaining show, and not just a dance competition only. And vice versa."
Tune in to Dancing With the Stars on Mondays at 8 PM ET/PT, and Tuesdays at 9 PM ET/PT on ABC.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC]
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Now that the doctors officially own the hospital on Grey's Anatomy, it’s time to reopen the ER under its new name, Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. And while the doctors on the board are concerned with the new struggles that come with owning a hospital, all Dr. April Kepner's (Sarah Drew) mind is elsewhere.
"She’s just so relieved that the ER is back and up and running," Drew tells Hollywood.com. "[Tonight], we have the reveal of the new ER with all the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital logos and we have a bunch of bright, shiny, new toys. So she’s super psyched about all the new stuff that this new regime has enabled to happen."
Drew says April is lucky — she doesn’t have to worry about the business side of the hospital, unlike its new owners, who face some struggles opening Grey Sloan Memorial. "They are all very passionate people and particularly excited about their projects that they’re working on," Drew says. "They’re not as interested in the bureaucratic nonsense, like trying to push for funding and making the administrative decisions that need to be made. We’ll see them struggling with wanting to be who they feel they’re striving to be but also fill this role of hospital owners, which just makes everything more complex."
It’s especially hard for Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams), who was appointed as head of the board by his own mother, much to the chagrin of the other, more experienced doctors. "It continues to be a difficult line for him to walk because he’s the youngest of the bunch and the newest of the bunch to the hospital," Drew says. "He spars a lot with Callie in particular over the next few episodes. But we’ll see him beginning to come into his own, take the reigns, and try to do the best he can possibly do given the circumstances."
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So how does his new leadership role affect April’s complicated relationship with Jackson? "They’ll always have some kind of magnetic draw to one another, but I don’t think April has ever been truly able to articulate how she feels about Jackson," Drew says. "She’s never actually told him how she feels about him. In her head, she thinks that he’s not the right fit for her. He doesn’t see the world the same way she does. But in her heart, she feels the opposite. She doesn’t know how to make her head and her heart communicate with each other. It’s hard."
And now that born-again virgin April is getting serious with her new EMT boyfriend Matthew (Justin Bruening) — who she says is "just perfect in every way" — expect her past with Jackson to complicate her present. "April is in total distress after lying to Matthew [about being a virgin], plus she’s realizing that she really does miss sex. Quite a lot, actually," Drew teases. "She wants to have sex with Matthew but feels guilty for even wanting it, and doesn’t want to lose him. She’s in a whole new tizzy about that."
Her confusion leads her to seek advice from an interesting source. "She goes to Meredith for advice which is a sort of ridiculous person to go to about that," Drew says. "Meredith is on the polar opposite spectrum about feeling guilty about sex, so that’s a pretty hilarious interchange."
It’s also bad timing for Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), since tonight’s episode, "Idle Hands," focuses on her anxieties about her pregnancy. "She’s dark and twisty as she’s been for nine seasons, so she’s imagining that everything that could potentially go wrong will go wrong," Drew says. "Like, 'What happens if my kid comes out with 10 legs and four hearts? What if my kid is an alien?' She’s dealing with a lot of fear."
But tonight, Meredith and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) will have something to celebrate: "They do reveal the gender of the baby," Drew says. "But I can’t tell you what it is!"
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 PM ET/PT on ABC.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Eric McCandles/ABC]
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Robert Zemeckis is a blockbuster director at heart. Action has never been an issue for the man behind Back to the Future. When he puts aside the high concept adventures for emotional human stories — think Forrest Gump or Cast Away — he still goes big. His latest Flight continues the trend revolving the story of one man's fight with alcoholism around a terrifying plane crash. Zemeckis expertly crafts his roaring centerpiece and while he finds an agile performer in Denzel Washington the hour-and-a-half of Flight after the shocking moment can't sustain the power. The "big" works. The intimate drowns.
Washington stars as Whip Whitaker a reckless airline pilot who balances his days flying jumbo jets with picking up women snorting lines of cocaine and drinking himself to sleep. Although drunk for the flight that will change his life forever that's not the reason the plane goes down — in fact it may be the reason he thinks up his savvy landing solution in the first place. Writer John Gatins follows Whitaker into the aftermath madness: an investigation of what really happened during the flight Whitaker's battle to cap his addictions and budding relationships that if nurtured could save his life.
Zemeckis tops his own plane crash in Cast Away with the heart-pounding tailspin sequence (if you've ever been scared of flying before Flight will push into phobia territory). In the few scenes after the literal destruction Washington is able to convey an equal amount of power in the moments of mental destruction. Whitaker is obviously crushed by the events the bottle silently calling for him in every down moment. Flight strives for that level of introspection throughout eventually pairing Washington with equally distraught junkie Nicole (Kelly Reilly). Their relationship is barely fleshed out with the script time and time again resorting to obvious over-the-top depictions of substance abuse (a la Nic Cage's Leaving Las Vegas) and the bickering that follows. Washington's Whitaker hits is lowest point early sitting there until the climax of the film.
Sharing screentime with the intimate tale is the surprisingly comical attempt by the pilot's airline union buddy (Bruce Greenwood) and the company lawyer (Don Cheadle) to get Whitaker into shape. Prepping him for inquisitions looking into evidence from the wreckage and calling upon Whitaker's dealer Harling (John Goodman) to jump start their "hero" when the time is right the two men do everything they can to keep any blame being placed upon Whitaker by the National Transportation Safety Board investigators. The thread doesn't feel relevant to Whitaker's plight and in turn feels like unnecessary baggage that pads the runtime.
Everything in Fight shoots for the skies — and on purpose. The music is constantly swelling the photography glossy and unnatural and rarely do we breach Washington's wild exterior for a sense of what Whitaker's really grappling with. For Zemeckis Flight is still a spectacle film with Washington's ability to emote as the magical special effect. Instead of using it sparingly he once again goes big. Too big.
Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.
A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.
Last year director Garry Marshall hit upon a devilishly canny approach to the romantic comedy. A more polished refinement of Hal Needham’s experimental Cannonball Run method it called for assembling a gaggle of famous faces from across the demographic spectrum and pairing them with a shallow day-in-the-life narrative packed with gobs of gooey sentiment. A cynical strategy to be sure but one that paid handsome dividends: Valentine’s Day earned over $56 million in its opening weekend surpassing even the rosiest of forecasts. Buoyed by the success Marshall and his screenwriter Katherine Fugate hastily retreated to the bowels of Hades to apply their lucrative formula to another holiday historically steeped in romantic significance and New Year’s Eve was born.
Set in Manhattan on the last day of the year New Year’s Eve crams together a dozen or so canned scenarios into one bloated barely coherent mass of cliches. As before Marshall’s recruited an impressive ensemble of minions to do his unholy bidding including Oscar winners Hilary Swank Halle Berry and Robert De Niro the latter luxuriating in a role that didn’t require him to get out of bed. High School Musical’s Zac Efron is paired up with ‘80s icon Michelle Pfeiffer – giving teenage girls and their fathers something to bond over – while Glee’s Lea Michele meets cute with a pajama-clad Ashton Kutcher. There’s Katherine Heigl in a familiar jilted-fiance role Sarah Jessica Parker as a fretful single mom and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as the most laid-back cop in New York. Sofia Vergara and Hector Elizondo mine for cheap laughs with thick accents – his fake and hers real – and Jessica Biel and Josh Duhamel deftly mix beauty with blandness. Fans of awful music will delight in the sounds of Jon Bon Jovi straining against type to play a relevant pop musician.
The task of interweaving the various storylines is too great for Marshall and New Year’s Eve bears the distinct scent and stain of an editing-room bloodbath with plot holes so gaping that not even the brightest of celebrity smiles can obscure them. But that’s not the point – it never was. You should know better than to expect logic from a film that portrays 24-year-old Efron and 46-year-old Parker as brother-and-sister without bothering to explain how such an apparent scientific miracle might have come to pass. Marshall wagers that by the time the ball drops and the film’s last melodramatic sequence has ended prior transgressions will be absolved and moviegoers will be content to bask in New Year's Eve's artificial glow. The gambit worked for Valentine's Day; this time he may not be so fortunate.
Karl Urban (Pathfinder) and Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia) have signed on to to play sibling car thieves in the heist thriller Overdrive, THR reports. Antonio Negret will direct from an original script by the screenwriting duo of Derek Haas and Michael Brandt (Wanted, 2 Fast 2 Furious). Taken director Pierre Morel is on board to produce. Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) is in talks to join the cast. Filming is slated to begin October 29 in Marseilles.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Karl Urban can next be seen in Dredd, based on the comic book Judge Dredd, which previously spawned the gloriously awful 1995 Sylvester Stallone film. Hopefully Urban's version will fare better. Click below for more images of the New Zealand-bred actor: