Author

Michael Arbeiter
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.
  • UPDATE: Harrison Ford Confirmed for 'Ender's Game' Role
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 30, 2011
    UPDATE: It was reported today that Harrison Ford is officially signed on for a part in Gavin Hood's Ender's Game. Ford will be playing Col. Hyrum Graff, the administrator at a special battle school that recruits and trains the titular Ender (Asa Butterfield of Hugo) in warfare against a hostile alien species. Ford is among a few impressive newcomers to the cast; others include Abigail Breslin (as Ender's sister), Hailee Steinfeld (as Ender's "gal Friday" of sorts). -Variety EARLIER: It was reported last night that Gavin Hood's developing film adaptation for Orson Scott Card's science fiction novel Ender's Game has cast Asa Butterfield. Aside from the humor in the fact that the adaptation of a book that won the Hugo Award is casting an actor that might very well win an award for Hugo, this is some pretty terrific news. But there's more optimism attached to this project, and it comes in the form of a classic Hollywood hero: Harrison Ford. Ford is being considered by Ender's Game producers to fill the role of Colonel Hyrum Graff (which is one of the Harrison Fordiest character names I've ever heard). In the novel, Graff is the tyrannical, strategic leader of the military camp in which the main character Ender Wiggin (Butterfield) enrolls in training to become one of a fleet of planetary saviors. Back in the old days, Ford was the ruffian renegade running amok of no-nonsense leaders and military men. But as time passes, it seems as though the latter type of role is more suitable for the actor. Ford can dole out some serious hostility, which will come in handy for Col. Graff. Although he's just a potential candidate for the role right now, the teaming of a celebrated work of science fiction with one of the greatest actors of the fantasy/adventure genre is worth getting excited about. Source: Variety
  • Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson and Taylor Swift in Talks for 'Les Miserables'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 30, 2011
    So far so good in terms of all the Les Miserables news we've gotten: Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert. All classy actors, all pretty much universally lauded choices. The world has been in relative argeement over the positive casting thus far undertaken by Les Mis. But now, what with the reveal of four viable candidates for one supporting role, some serious fists are about to fly. Brace yourselves as we enter a titanic battle: who should play Eponine? We've just today caught wind of four young actresses, each with a pretty steadfast following, being considered for the role of the spoiled daughter of the Thénardiers whose fortune turns, causing her to live life as a street urchin. The names in question: Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift and Evan Rachel Wood. And now, we examine the choices... Lea Michele: Glee's leading lady is no stranger to playing spoiled close-to-rotten. Rachel Berry, while not a malicious character, is just about the most self-absorbed human being in contemporary television. Plus, she's got pipes. I'd say she's got a fair shot at the title, and is indeed worthy of the cause. Scarlett Johansson: I can't recall ever hearing Johansson sing. As for her acting abilities, it's sort of dependent heavily on the material. She has wowed me in the past—I really appreciated her Lost in Translation and Girl with a Pearl Earring performances. Considering that we're dealing with Les Mis here, I don't doubt that the film will be strong enough to showcase the (very) good side of this actress. Taylor Swift: In sort of a reverse of the Johansson phenomenon, I know I've heard her sing...but definitely haven't seen Swift do much acting. Truth be told, her live action performance history is limited to Valentine's Day and one episode of CSI. She may be a talented singer, but Les Mis requires someone who can really tap into the essence of the character as well. Evan Rachel Wood: For some reason, I've got a strong feeling that the role will be Wood's. True, this actress doesn't have the same cult devotion that the other three enjoy, but she has done her share of acceptable work—most notably in The Wrestler. Wood is the dark horse of the bunch, but one I wouldn't put all my money against. So there it is. Four actresses, one role. Who will take it? Tom Hooper, you evil genius... Les Miserables heads to theaters Dec. 7, 2012. Source: Indiewire
  • New 'Men In Black 3' Posters Might Have Secret Powers
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 30, 2011
    Now, I'm just as excited for Men in Black III (and more importantly, Will Smith's first musical creation in far too long) as anybody else...but I'm not exactly willing to singe my retinae over it. Apparently, however, that's what is expected of MIB fans, as staring at the below posters for the third installment in the fun-loving sci-fi adventure series too long might just made your eyes turn to dust. Below, we can see (just take quick glances!) Mosaic-esque posters of stars Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, in character as Agents J and K, mastering their no-nonsense stares to prepare us for a raising of the stakes in  the upcoming MIB movie. My theory is that, actually focusing your eyes on these posters will have the same effect as the tiny memory-erasing mechanism from the past films...maybe they're hoping to make us forget about the relatively lackluster Men in Black II, and keep our minds fixed on the modern classic that was the original. Either way, excitement is brewing for MIB3, which comes out May 25, 2012.        
  • Exclusive: Jeffrey Donovan Asks His Enemy for Help in 'Burn Notice' Preview
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 30, 2011
    In this exclusive clip from this week's episode of USA's spy drama Burn Notice, renegade agent Michael Weston (Jeffrey Donovan) asks the unlikeliest of people for help on a case: Agent Fullerton (Jere Burns), the man responsible for Weston's burn, and the blackmailer of his girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar). But as the clip proves, sometimes enemies can help each other out. Burn Notice airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA.  
  • Nathan Fillion Gets Back at Prius Drivers: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 30, 2011
    Last night, Nathan Fillion visited Conan to display his very expensive, super-complicated Halloween costume, to show off his perfect voice, and to discuss getting revenge on arrogant Prius drivers. Jesse Eisenberg appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to talk about Asuncion—the new Broadway play he wrote and stars in—and its unexpected success, as well as the painful audition process actors have to go through, and how maddening it is trying to perfect the same show every night.  The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn star Julia Jones showed up on Jimmy Kimmel Live to talk about being the only girl in the Twilight wolf pack, and to insult Jimmy by rejecting his gift of roses. Finally, Betty White stopped by The Daily Show to discuss her new means of "romantic exploits," and the personal friendships she has formed with gorillas, whales and other animals over the years. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook
  • Has The Lizard Slimmed Down in New 'The Amazing Spider-Man' Image?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 30, 2011
    Here in the world of the Internet, there is a bit of skepticism attached to Spiderman.ru's newly released concept art image of The Lizard, a central villain in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man, played by Rhys Ifans. Comingsoon points out that The Lizard, as depicted below, resembles a slimmed-down version of the villain first seen in a clip from the film that was screened at 2011's San Diego Comic-Con. This has led a few to surmise that the art below might be an outdated depiction of what has become a bulkier, generally larger Lizard. But that aside, basically, the Lizard will look something like the figure illustrated below. This taken into account, The Amazing Spider-Man looks to be a darker, grittier, more intense rendition of the Marvel Comics superhero story than its 2002 Tobey Maguire counterpart. The Amazing Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard, Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Parker's Uncle Ben and Aunt May, and Denis Leary as Gwen's father, George Stacy. The film, directed by Marc Webb, opens July 3, 2012. Source: Spiderman.ru via Movies.com The Lizard
  • HBO Announces Dates for 'Luck', 'Eastbound & Down' and Ricky Gervais' 'Life's Too Short'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 29, 2011
    HBO has announced premiere dates for two new original series, in addition to a returning favorite. One of the most talked about new shows is Luck, the horse track drama starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. Luck will be airing a special preview of its first season on Dec. 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT (right after the second season finale of Boardwalk Empire), but its season will officially begin with a premiere on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Returning to HBO is the frenzied, quirky comedy Eastbound & Down, starring Danny McBride as tactless baseball star Kenny Powers. Following the third season premiere of Eastbound & Down will be a series new to America: Life's Too Short, created by and starring Ricky Gervais, Warwick Davis and Stephen Merchant. The series will follow Davis' (playing a fictionalized version of himself) tribulations in life as a dwarf and aspiring actor.  We've already gotten a couple of glimpses at the series (including cameos by a hostile Johnny Depp and a very "comedic" Liam Neeson), which already started airing over in the U.K. If what we've seen is any indication, this should be quite a promising series. Sunday, Jan. 29 Luck (9 p.m. ET/PT) Sunday, Feb. 19 Eastbound & Down (10 p.m. ET/PT) Life's Too Short (10:30 p.m. ET/PT) Source: Deadline
  • Casting Roundup: 'Glee' Aims for Ricky Martin, 'Happy Endings' Gives Megan Mullally a Partner
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 29, 2011
    McKinley High must have a stipulation that all of its Spanish teachers must also have a resume of professional singing. Glee is seeking to fill the seat of a new Spanish teacher with a pop artist who was omnipresent in the 1990s: one Ricky Martin. Martin is in talks to appear on a late-January episode of Glee, wherein he'd participate in two songs. Considering both Martin's potential guest role and the return of Trouty Mouth Sam (who'll be vying for Mercedes' love once again, as reported earlier today), Glee is really pulling out all the stops to make our favorite characters' senior year a noteworthy one. Glee's episode "I Kissed a Girl" airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. -TVLine All news about Happy Endings instills me with unabashed joy, but this time around, we're bordering on sheer nirvana. The great and powerful Michael McKean is paying a visit to the ABC series, and in the best kind of guest role: asone of the main characters' fathers. So far, we've met the parents of Max, Brad and Penny (the stellar Megan Mullally, in a guest spot almost as good as her recurring role on Parks and Recreation), and now we'll be treated to an introduction to Dave's father, in the form of McKean. And Mullally is back. Dave's dad and Penny's mom will come to town on the same episode - and not by coincidence. Mullally's last appearance on Happy Endings explored her character's divorce, and the newly single woman has taken up a new romance with none other than Dave's father. A bit to wrap your head around, I know. But trust me: this is an unstoppable idea. The episode will air in early '12. Happy Endings airs Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. -TVLine In new TV developments, we have the Showtime pilot Ray Donovan, which is now set to star Liev Schreiber. The multitalented Scheiber will play a "go-to guy" for the upper echelon of modern day Los Angeles. Schreiber's title character will solve and coverup the sordid problems in which his wealthy socialite clients often find themselves. Ray Donovan is created and will be executive produced by Ann Bidermann (Southland). -THR
  • ABC Confirms 'Pan Am' Is Not Canceled Despite Star's Tweet
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 29, 2011
    There seems to be a bit of a miscommunication going on regarding ABC's period drama Pan Am. Earlier this afternoon, series star Karine Vanasse, who plays French stewardess Colette Valois, alluded via Twitter to the show's imminent cancelation. Fans were likely both surprised and saddened to hear this news, and while the sadness may not have lasted long, the surprises surely didn't end. ABC has confirmed that, despite the context of Vanasse's tweet, Pan Am is definitely not canceled. Let's sort this out. Vanasse tweeted, "Well, we received THE call, #PanAm is only coming back for one more episode after Christmas. But up to the end, we'll give it our all !" Anyone who read this would (perhaps after a short bout with denial) likely have taken it as solid proof of the show's imminent end. After all, it's quite clear that Vanasse (without ever actually using these words) meant to indicate that the show was being canceled. And she would know, right? After all, she is a member of the main cast. But whatever the source for Vanasse's bad news was, it is clearly in conflict with reports from ABC. The network is affirming that Pan Am will continue on through the spring season, and is still an open candidate for a second season. ABC confirms that Pan Am is "shooting and airing 14 episodes" and will "have one more original episode this coming week, Dec. 4 and then will return in January with new episodes, airing all of them." So, as ironclad as the contract of Twitter usually is, it seems as though Pan Am fans can rest easy, knowing that ABC is insistent on keeping the show going at least through the 2011-'12 television season. Pan Am airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Source: AOLTV, Twitter
  • UPDATE: Daniel Radcliffe Confirmed to Play Allen Ginsberg in 'Kill Your Darlings'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 29, 2011
    UPDATE: It is confirmed today that Radcliffe has officially signed on to play Allen Ginsberg, one of the most iconic members of the Beat Generation, in the upcoming film Kill Your Darlings. Starring alongside Radcliffe in the film will be rising stars Elizabeth Olsen, Jack Huston (known for his breakout role as Richard Harrow on Boardwalk Empire) and Dane DeHaan. The news furthers our optimism for Radcliffe's post-Potter career. The actor proved his comic versatility as a recent Saturday Night Live host, and looks to be terrific in the upcoming horror film, The Woman in Black. -THR EARLIER: I have a feeling that in just a few years, Daniel Radcliffe won't be entirely pinned down as the Harry Potter kid anymore. At least, he's making efforts to expand his boundaries—some pretty fantastic efforts, as a matter of fact. Radcliffe's first post-Deathly Hallows Part 2 film roleis the leade in the eerie-looking horror film The Woman in Black, for which fans of the genre should start getting very, very excited (the first, second and third trailers all give some very frightening promise). But Radcliffe is also claiming territory in a more artistic venue: he signed on to portray the immortal beat poet Allen Ginsberg in John Krokidas' drama-thriller Kill Your Darlings. The story of Krokidas' film will revolve around the highly publicized friendships between writers Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Lucien Carr, whose infamous murder of his stalker David Kammerer will be a major element of the film. Chris Evans and Ben Whishaw will play Kerouac and Carr, respectively. Over half a century after the peak of its prominence, the Beat Generation remains one of the most fascinating movements in modern and post-modern art. This is especially evident because just last year, James Franco headlined the Ginsberg biopic Howl, named after his most famous work. Ginsberg's beat poem Howl is one of the most unforgettable products of the movement, along with Kerouac's novel On the Road and William S. Burroughs' novel Naked Lunch. Krokidas' drama is the second attempt at a film adaptation of the poet's life (starring a major Hollywood actor, no less), indicating an everpresent fascination with the man, his work and his era. Ginsberg is the sort of figure who has become, through the notoriety of his work, larger than life. But the horizon-expanding Radcliffe is an actor I would trust with Ginsberg's depiction. Let's just hope the movie doesn't open, "I've seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by the Babbling Curse." Source: Vulture