A Quick Look at the New TV Projects of Darren Aronofsky, Robert Downey Jr., and Bryan Cranston

Darren AronofskyGetty Images/Neilson Barnard

Long emancipated from its reputation as the place where has-beens go for one last snag at the limelight, television is attracting big screen folks at the top of their games. A new league of blockbuster movie stars, admired thespians, and Oscar-nominated filmmakers alike are flocking to the comforts of premium cable, all with intriguing projects in tow. Here are a few big name figures taking to the TV game with promising prospects.

DARREN ARONOFSKY

Who’s that again? The guy who directed Black SwanRequiem for a Dream, The WrestlerThe Fountain, and Noah
What’s he working on? MaddAddam, an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s speculative sci-fi novel trilogy (Oryx and Crake, Year Of The Flood, and MaddAddam).
For whom? HBO.
What’s the deal? The story depicts a dystopian future in which genetic engineering has swept the human race. Aronofsky might direct, and is executive producing with his fiancée Brandi-Ann Milbradt and regular collaborator Ari Handel.
[Deadline]

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.

Who’s that again? Iron Man.
What’s he working on? An untitled drama about a drug rehab community set in 1980s Venice Beach.
For whom? Showtime.
What’s the deal? Downey obviously has personal ties to the project considering his history with drug abuse; he and his wife Susan are producing, and Orange Is the New Black writer Gary Lennon is handling the script (so we can expect some wit).
[Deadline]

Bryan CranstonWENN/Adriana M. Barraza

BRYAN CRANSTON

Who’s that again? Walter White from Breaking Bad, Hal from Malcolm in the Middle, or Tim Whatley from Seinfeld, and President Lyndon Johnson on ol’ Broadway.
What’s he working on? A narrative adaptation of the Conn and Hal Iggulden book Dangerous Book for Boys.
For whom? No word just yet.
What’s the deal? Although the Igguldens’ book takes form as a “how to” manual of sorts, Cranston’s television series will draw a narrative out of the variety of rituals established as recommended rites of passage for American youngsters.
[Variety]

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Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.

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