It seemed like this day would never come, even though Desperate Housewives fans have had almost a year to prepare. After May 13's two-hour, two-part finale, the streetlights on Wisteria Lane will go dim and the housewives will roll up their welcome mats.
Stars Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, and Eva Longoria will finish out the series without the original “fifth Housewife” Nicollette Sheridan, whose character was killed off in Season 5 and whose beef with creator Marc Cherry and ABC continued to be the subject of a very public lawsuit until recently. The main four women have seen their careers blossom thanks to the show and new fifth housewife Vanessa Williams saw a notch added to already well established career when she joined the cast in 2010. But the big question is: What now? None of these ladies are in as high demand as when Housewives was a pop culture phenomenon, watched by over 20 million people a week. So are they suddenly jobless? Not quite. The lead actresses have shrewdly been lining up post-Housewives gigs for some time now. Well, at least some of them have…
Teri Hatcher (Susan Delfino, nee Mayer)
Aside from being name-dropped (as “the meanest woman in the world”) in the aforementioned Sheridan vs.Cherry/ABC lawsuit, Hatcher hasn’t really been in the headlines at all — even her love life, or lack thereof, hasn’t surfaced much. And then, just a couple weeks ago, wouldn’t you know it, she finally booked her first post-Housewives job: A four-episode arc on ABC Family’s fashion-y dramedy series Jane by Design, on which she’ll also make her directorial debut. The premiere is June 5, and the Hatcher episode airs June 19 — meaning fans will only be Hatcherless for about a month after Housewives ends. Although, such fans might be in for in for a lengthy period without the actress after that, as she hasn’t announced any further plans. Felicity Huffman (Lynette Scavo)
The only Oscar-nominated (for her amazing performance in 2005’s Transamerica) full-time resident of Wisteria Lane has just one concrete post-Housewives project currently lined up, but it’s quite a special one: her husband (and recent co-Hollywood Walk of Fame honoree) William H. Macy's feature directorial debut, Rudderless. Although the movie isn’t their first together — they both starred in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia — Rudderless does mark the couple’s debut as co-leads, which is a testament to just how far Huffman's star power has risen. Of course, she's always possessed great talent, no matter how much fame accompanied it. Aside from Rudderless, Huffman is said to be developing a TNT series and was once attached to David Mamet’s next big-screen adaptation, but both projects appear dormant at the moment. Marcia Cross (Bree Van De Kamp)
After her second TV megahit (the early ‘90s Fox soap Melrose Place being the first), Cross seems the most content to take some substantial time off and plot her next move — if there is one. And who could blame her? Cross has literally been on a TV show or in a movie every year since 1984! While we doubt she’ll completely put an end to that streak and take off all of 2013, it’ll likely be a while before we see Cross again. Eva Longoria (Gabrielle Solis)
The least-known Housewife pre-2004 is unquestionably the most famous of the bunch today (she was also the highest-paid TV actress last year) — and the one we’d have to vote Most Likely to Succeed After Desperate Housewives. While we’ll still be seeing plenty of Longoria on the covers of magazines, we’ll also see a lot of her in character on the big screen: In 2012 alone, she’ll appear in the drama Long Time Gone, the action comedy The Baytown Disco, and the thriller The Truth, alongside Forest Whitaker and Andy Garcia. Separately (i.e., without firm release dates), there’s the canine comedy Who Gets the Dog, the Brendan Fraser-starring historical drama Four Kings, and the animated Hulu series Child Support, on which she’ll voice the “female Peter Griffin”-like lead. So, forget Most Likely to Succeed; if showbiz is measured by the amount of projects you have at any given moment — which, by the way, it is! — then she’s already the most successful post-Housewives Housewife. Vanessa Williams (Renee Perry)
Williams joined the series fresh off a major gig on Ugly Betty, adding her established star power to Wisteria Lane when she became a regular last season. We could wager that Housewives needed her even more than she needed it. Regardless, Williams's career has benefited from her sufficiently catty, vixen-y performance, and no doubt served as a showcase to help score a pair of major upcoming projects: Another potential TV hit in the adaptation 666 Park Ave. on ABC and a prime spot in Tyler Perry's next box office sure thing, 2013's The Marriage Counselor. [Image: ABC] More: 'Desperate Housewives' Shocking Death: Other surprises in Store for Finale? 'Desperate Housewives' Cast Signs On for Season 8 Eva Longoria Lines Up Three Projects
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.
Actor Denzel Washington has finally received the greenlight to direct his first feature film for Fox Searchlight studios, keeping up with the trend of actors wanting to take a stab behind the camera.
The story, one that Washington has wanted to bring the screen since 1998, is about an aspiring screenwriter who suffers an abusive childhood, joins the U.S. Navy and works for a time as a security guard on the Sony lot. Washington may play a psychiatrist who helps the young man while he is in the U.S. Navy. No other talent is attached as yet.
Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal of Black and Blu Entertainment will produce, along with Randa Haines and Washington. Black met the screenwriter, Antwone Fisher, at a screenwriting class in South Central Los Angeles and guided him through the development process.
"It's just a really great story…and the one with which [Washington] wants to make as his directorial debut," Alan Nierob, Washington's publicist, said Friday.
And Washington is not alone.
Here's a short list of other actors who are currently directing new projects:
Tom Green: MTV's original JackAss has taken his schtick to the big screen with his upcoming debut release, Freddy Got Fingered, which he also wrote. The story revolves around Green, who at first reluctantly moves back home, but soon realizes the sweet deal he's got going. The film opens April 20.
Billy Bob Thornton: Thornton, who directed last year's All the Pretty Horses with Matt Damon, is next up with the dark comedy Daddy and Them. The film was made a few years ago, but Miramax delayed its release. The story focuses on a poor Arkansas family dealing with their uncle's arrest for murder. Thornton also costars with Laura Dern, Diane Ladd and the late Jim Varney and. The film will be released later this year.
Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming: Leigh (eXistenZ) and Cumming (Josie and the Pussycats) teamed together to co-write and direct their debut film, The Anniversary Party, during which love and relationships are explored. It has an all-star cast, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Beals and Kevin Kline. A release date has not been set.
Danny DeVito: DeVito, who last directed the 1996 comedy Matilda, takes on a comedy called Death to Smoochy. The host of a children's show (Robin Williams), is fired for nefarious reasons, ends up seeking revenge on his replacement-a blue rhino named Smoochy (Edward Norton). Also stars Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich). Slated for a 2002 release.
Joe Pantoliano: The prolific character actor (The Matrix; The Sopranos) is turning his attention to directing. His debut film, Just Like Mona is about a teen-age boy, coming of age in the 1960s, who must deal with his foulmouthed, drunken mother. The film stars Diane Lane, Andy Garcia and Marcia Gay Harden. A release date has not been set.