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.
  • 'American Pie' Gang Comes Back in New 'American Reunion' Pics
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 12, 2011
    Look at 'em. Look at how far they have come. Jim married Michelle. Heather went blonde. Kevin grew a goatee. But some things will never change. We'll still have uncomfortable father-son moments in the Levenstein household. We'll always have a scowling Finch. Stifler's mom may never stop her prowl for "young love". And, of course, Jim will never find himself free of being caught in horribly compromising positions... American Reunion will bring back all of the characters from our cherished American Pie franchise. Pictured below are returners Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein (better have an explanation for missing the wedding!), Tara Reid, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Mena Suvari, Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge. Among the conflicts faced in American Reunion will be difficulties in Jim's and Michelle's marriage, Stifler's mom's pursuit of a new young gentleman, and temptations between old flames Oz and Heather.  Source: USA Today
  • 'Die Hard 5' Is Now 'A Good Day to Die Hard' & Other Info Revealed
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 12, 2011
    We Died Hard. Then, we did it a 2nd time. The third time, we added a Vengance. By the fourth, we were Livin' Free. But was it ever a truly good day to Die Hard? Probably not. But this day—this fifth episode of the Die Hard franchise—most certainly is. It might not be the best day to Die Hard. Possibly not even a great one. But is it A Good Day to Die Hard? Why yes. It sure as shootin' is. At least that's what Fox Filmed Entertainment's co-chairman Tim Rothman said on The Jim Rome Show this morning. The title of the next adventure for Bruce Willis' badass-everycop-turned-high-flying-renegade-super-being was not the only thing Rothman revealed. He also let listeners know that A Good Day to Die Hard will begin shooting in January 2012 for a release just over a year later, on Valentine's Day 2013. He expanded on something we already heard about: this will be John McClane's most globe-trotting adventure yet. McClane will find himself in Moscow, attempting to free his ne'er-do-well son from Russian jail, when he is thrust into the position of preventing an apocalyptic threat instituted by a group of terrorists. You've come a long way from midtown, McClane. Pretty soon, you'll have done it all: New York, America, planet Earth, the galaxy...around the time of Die Hard 9: The Day the Music Died Hard, Bruce Willis will weep...for there will be no more worlds to conquer. Source: Slashfilm
  • Leonardo DiCaprio to Play Code-Cracking Genius Alan Turing in Biopic?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 12, 2011
    Alan Turing has many claims to fame: he developed a decoding machine, he inspired the name for Steve Jobs' supercompany, and, best of all, Leonardo DiCaprio wants to play him in a movie. Specifically, a movie called The Imitation Game, written by Graham Moore, which Warner Bros. snatched up in hopes of attracting the star to headline. Turing is one of those people about whom we really need a movie to be made. Why? Primarily, because it's very difficult to understand exactly what he did (at least for those of us with the scientific intellectualism of mere film and television writers). And when things are misunderstood, they are often either chastised or forgotten. Alan Turing was and is, unjustly, both. Granted, Turing's persecution in his lifetime was not for his scientific prowess. In fact, he proved indubitably valuable to his country, the United Kingdom, during World War II thanks to his efforts in the world of computer sciences, code-cracking and mathematics. It was his homosexuality (illegal in the UK in the 1950s) that incurred the wrath of the very government he had aided. In 1954, after undergoing involuntary chemical castration at the hands of the UK's government, Turing committed suicide via a cyanide-ridden apple that he created himself. Ron Howard is interested in directing this period film about a code-cracking genius who battles psychological demons around the time of World War II starring one of the stars of Body of Lies. Bit of a stretch for Howard, but we have faith he can pull it off. Source: Deadline
  • 'Boardwalk Empire' Picked Up for a Third Season
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 12, 2011
    Good news: we will all live to see 1922. HBO renewed Boardwalk Empire for a third season. No surprise there. The exciting, sophisticated period drama about political corruption in Prohibition Era Atlantic City is revered by fans and critics alike. Its outlandishly talented (and infinitely expanding) ensemble cast shoots out winning performances week by week, coming directly from its more renowned stars—including film actor Steve Buscemi, who plays the central character, the dishonest but (relatively) decent county treasurer Nucky Thompson—and from its lesser known cast members alike. The first season explored Nucky Thompson's seemingly boundless reign of control over Atlantic County through his many connections to crime syndicates, including those in Chicago and New York City. The second season, however, has seen Nucky fall from power as loyalties to him have become sparse. The impressively early season order (there have only been three episodes of Season 2 broadcast thus far) is becoming a trend for Boardwalk, and probably a much appreciated one. Last year, the series was picked up for a second season after just two episodes of Season 1. Boardwalk Empire airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. Source: Vulture
  • 'Downton Abbey' Will Likely Get a Third Season
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 12, 2011
    As many of us know, things are done a bit differently over in the United Kingdom when it comes to television. On the one hand, you've got comedy series like Ricky Gervais' The Office and Extras, which are limited to two seasons (by the creators, not networks listening to ailing ratings). On the other end of the spectrum, however, there's Doctor Who, which has been on television since before the dawn of the space-time continuum it so cheerfully manipulates. The Emmy-winning Downton Abbey falls somewhere closer to the former type of series. The show is in its second season in the UK, and creator Julian Fellowes is hoping for a third season. America only received the first season of Downton Abbey so far—its six Emmy wins and five nominations suggest that we'll eagerly welcome as many seasons as possible. Downton Abbey follows the aristocratic Crawley family in the years proceeding and pervading World War I. The second season, already airing in the UK and coming to the United States in 2012, will explore several WWI battles and the expansion of women's societal roles on the homefront during the time period. Fellowes told Vulture that he envisions (and always has) the third season exploring the 1920s. Fellowes' explanation of his design for the series seems to indicate that Downton Abbey would not continue past a third season: "The original concept in my optimistic head was for the first series to start towards the end of the Edwardian era, the second to be set during World War One and the third in the 1920s." Downton Abbey will return to American television with its second season on Jan. 8, 2012. Source: Vulture
  • 'The Lone Ranger' Rides Again: Johnny Depp's Film is Back in Development
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 12, 2011
    Remember all the news about Johnny Depp's dream project, a The Lone Ranger film adaptation, being tossed out by Disney over budget constraints? Scratch that. That's null and void: the Lone Ranger is back in the saddle. But Disney has taken some of his silver away. The world really should have known better than deny Depp his dreams. Granted, the film's budget is reduced, but it's not like we'll be seeing anything in the stylings of the Hess family. There are still sure to be high-powered shoot-outs, visually stunning horse chases, and great train robberies. Plus, the biggest sell of them all: the Depp. It probably helps Disney execs rest easy that the team behind this film was responsible for the colossal hitters that were the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films. Alongside Depp for the Lone Ranger movie are Pirates director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. And certainly it doesn't hurt to have the fast-rising young actor Armie Hammer onboard as the titular hero, with Depp's Tonto at his side. Hammer, who got his start with a recurring role on Gossip Girl, really came into his own with a stellar performance as Cameron Winklevoss in The Social Network -- if you ask me, he kind of phoned in Tyler Winklevoss. So one might wonder, with all of these factors on deck, why Disney might have been apprehensive about the film in the first place. Was it the meager performance of the Western adventure Cowboys & Aliens? Perhaps Disney predicts the end of the adaptation trend? Whatever the reason, it was nothing a few budget cuts couldn't fix. And now, we'll get the Lone Ranger film that we always wanted. Or at least the one Depp always wanted. But really, what's the difference? Source: Deadline
  • 'Modern Family''s Julie Bowen Gets Picked Up by Fabio: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 12, 2011
    Last night, Jay Leno had Modern Family's Julie Bowen on The Tonight Show to shame her with some embarrassing, lesser-known work from her past, and to surprise her with a particularly noteworthy male model from this part of her life. Let's just say, he's not content with shaking hands. Will Arnett visited Conan to basically spend seven-and-a-half minutes insulting Conan O'Brien. He got him on his ego, his hair color, his talents as a talk show host, and it all culminates with the interesting commercial Arnett and Arrested Development costar Jason Bateman made for Conan. Samuel L. Jackson stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to join the world of Twitter. After a few technical speedbumps, Jackson and Jimmy collaborated on Jackson's first tweet, which is as Samuel L. Jackson-ish as it could possibly get. Finally, Matthew Broderick joined David Letterman on Late Night to discuss his back surgery (man, it's been a long time since Ferris Bueller) and the questionable credentials of his doctor, and to test out an airport security wand on his newly metal spine. 
  • Casting Roundup: 'Game of Thrones' Casts Ygritte, New Show For Elizabeth Banks, & More
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 11, 2011
    Game of Thrones' endless Season Two cast list expands again today. The HBO series was seeking an actress for Ygritte, a strong-willed Wilding girl who encounters Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) on his travels beyond the Wall. And they've found their girl: Rose Leslie (Downton Abbey). Although Leslie's acting resume is limited primarily to Downton Abbey and two episodes of a UK series, Case Histories, she is a highly promising talent. Plus, it doesn't hurt that she is "kissed by fire" (that's just Wilding slang for having red hair). Game of Thrones' ten-episode second season will return to HBO in the spring. -AOLTV Fox's New Girl will be welcoming Rachael Harris in a guest role. Harris (known best perhaps as Ed Helms' toxic girlfriend in The Hangover) will play Jess's (Zooey Deschanel) quirky vice-principal boss and friend, Tanya, who will bend the rules for Jess so long as she can be included in our lovable hero's zany misadventures with her three new roommates. Something tells me she'll be more trouble than she's worth. According to Entertainment Weekly, Tanya has the potential to be a recurring character. - EW Courteney Cox and David Arquette (doesn't it make you happy that they still do things together?) are producing a comedy for ABC, home to Cox's Cougar Town, called Ten Years. The single-camera comedy will focus on two characters, recently split after a ten-year relationship, but still bound by a group of mutual friends and family members. -THR Another behind-the-scenes pair will manifest in Elizabeth Banks and her husband, producer Max Handelman. The two are developing a comedy series for Fox titled Dave's Dead. The series will take single-camera format, and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, has been called, "Shaun of the Dead meets My Name is Earl." Whatever that amounts to, there will probably be a good deal of ragged clothing. -THR
  • Sandra Bullock to Play Clint Eastwood's Daughter in 'Trouble with the Curve'?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 11, 2011
    Legend has it that Sandra Bullock is actually the embodiment of the Mayan bat-spirit Roazgurda, who will take her natural form to fend off evil in an apocalyptic battle one year from now. Prior to that, however, she might be signing on to the new movie Trouble with the Curve, starring Clint Eastwood. Directed by first-timer Robert Lorenz, this film (which is actually not about a man's difficulties configuring his new Blackberry) will star Eastwood as an aging baseball scout whose gradual loss of his vision is making it difficult to do his job. Thus, he commissions his daughter (possibly Bullock) to help him look at one final, very promising, player. We can expect this film to be less about checking out a new ball player and more about the (probably strained) relationship between an aging father and his daughter. Eastwood is gruffled beyond redemption. And if we've learned to trust anything, it is that Bullock can, and does, often, play disgruntled quite well. So this teaming might not only be dramatic, it could be phenomenal! Clint Eastwood might very well have raised the type of woman Sandra Bullock is accustomed to playing. And she'd, in turn, when the time came, come back into his life, sour and spiky, ready to teach him everything he forgot that he taught her. If Trouble with the Curve ropes Bullock, it won't have any trouble telling a good story. Source: Indiewire
  • Michael Douglas and Matt Damon to Star in a Liberace Biopic for HBO
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 11, 2011
    There are two signs that you are (or were) an iconic figure. The first: you are known by a single name—Cher, Madonna, Barbra...you get the idea. The second: they make a movie about your love-life. These are just solid facts, people. So, if there was any doubt about Liberace's iconicism, all of it can be put to rest now. Director Steven Soderbergh and producer Jerry Weintraub are putting together a biopic about the famous singer as an HBO movie. Impressive figures are not limited to those behind the camera; Michael Douglas will play Liberace himself, while Matt Damon will play his lover Scott Thorson. Liberace's relationship with Thorson was famous for two reasons. First of all, it was an open secret that Liberace was homosexual (despite his many denials). Obviously, during Liberace's time in the spotlight in the 1950s and '60s, prejudices against homosexuality were rampant in American society. Suspicions about Liberace being gay resulted in a good deal of ridicule against him. Additionally, after his and Liberace's relationship ended, Thorson opened a palimony lawsuit against Liberace in the 1980s, not long before the pianist's passing. The film will cover the love and lawsuit between the two men, likely highlighting Liberace's fame as well as the secrecy of their love as a strain on what could have been an otherwise healthy relationship. Production will begin in the summer of 2012. Source: EW