Every good behind-the-scenes Hollywood story needs three things: a charismatic star, a visionary director, and a journalist to write tirelessly about them both. The Coen Brothers have officially found all three for their next film, Hail, Caesar! in Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton (via THR). The three join George Clooney and Josh Brolin in the film, which has been described as a comedic look at the career of Eddie Mannix, who worked as a fixer in the studio system in the 1950s.
It’s not every day that we come across casting news more exciting than high-profile engagements and major roles in Marvel blockbusters, but the Coen Brothers have managed to do just that with their latest additions. Forget Thanos; he won’t be nearly as interesting or menacing as Swinton’s gossip columnist. To prove how everything else pales in comparison to this casting news, we’ve ranked the cast members of Hail, Caesar! in order of how excited we are to see them on the big screen.
Josh Brolin Who He’s Playing: Brolin’s role hasn’t been revealed yet. How Excited We Are: Meh. Brolin’s become a Coen Brothers fixture as of late, and we’ve enjoyed him in all of those films, but he’s not really known for his comedic ability, which makes us a bit wary about this part.
George Clooney Who He’s Playing: Eddie Mannix, the studio system fixer who helped keep scandals out of the press and made problems disappear, sometimes through less than legal means. How Excited We Are: We’re interested. It’s been a while since Clooney did any comedy, but Eddie Mannix seems like a perfect role for his natural charm. Besides, everyone knows that Clooney’s collaborations with the Coens are his best films.
Ralph Fiennes Who He’s Playing: Laurence Lorenz, a studio director. How Excited We Are: Quite. Think M. Gustave with a bottle of L’Air de Panache. The Grand Budapest Hotel reminded us just how delightfully funny Fiennes can be, and Lorenz seems like it will provide plenty of opportunity for him to channel that kind of whimsy once again.
Channing Tatum Who He’s Playing: A “Gene Kelly-type” star. How Excited We Are: Pumped. Tatum’s three major skills are comedy, dancing and being charming, and a major Hollywood player is the perfect opportunity for him to showcase all three. Plus, being cast in a Coen Brothers’ movie opens him up to a completely different caliber of film, which means we could soon be in the midst of a Tatumissance.
Tilda Swinton Who She’s Playing: A powerful Hollywood gossip columnist. How Excited We Are: We’ve already bought out tickets. We’d watch Swinton in anything, but a terrifying yet glamorous gossip columnist with the power to make or break careers is the kind of role that Swinton will turn into a tour de force.
After watching the new trailer for Michael Bay's production of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Hollywood.com staff had a couple of issues. One was the tone that seemed to envelop the film, the other was the aesthetic of the turtles in question:
Julia Emmanuele, on the toneThere are quite a few jokes in this trailer, including a well-done dig at the original idea to turn the turtles into aliens. But there is much more emphasis on the action and grit of these mysterious vigilante heroes. While action was always a significant part of what made the Turtles so cool, their insane, goofy nature made them the Turtles. A certain amount of humor and suspension of disbelief is required to tell a story about pizza-eating mutant turtles who live in a sewer and use their ninja training to keep the city safe, and that humor is nowhere to be found in this trailer. It’s irreverent, sure, and Michelangelo even gets in a few wisecracks, but it’s far too action-focused to truly inhabit the spirit of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
And we haven't even gotten started on a scene that appears to hint at a dramatic death for Splinter, one which inspires the Turtles to band together and avenge their dead father. It’s a staple of the action genre, but it’s the antithesis of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They’re already a team; they’re already devoted to one another and Splinter. Like all teenagers, they fight with one another, but there’s never the sense that the Turtles are anything other than a unit. Very little of that familial, brotherly dynamic is present in the trailer, other than a quick shot of them huddling up near the beginning. Instead, they seem to be setting out on their own, which goes against anything they would do, or anything Splinter would tell them to do. Besides, considering how many times Splinter has had to rescue them from certain doom, it seems unlikely that they would ever have to avenge his death in the first place.
All of these things might seem like nitpicking, but without them, the essence of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles won’t be translated into this film. These are weird, goofy guys who care about each other and their leader, and who just happen to be junk-food loving, wisecracking mutant turtles. That needs to come through in the film, or else it’s just another summer blockbuster.
Jordan Smith, on the CGIThere's something seriously up with the CGI in this latest trailer. Now that we've gotten an extended look at the Turtles in motion, the heroes in a half shell just don't look all that convincing. Not that rubber suits of old were that much better. We all knew as kids that there were actual human actors inside the blubbery green reptiles from the trio of '90s movies, but at least those versions of the Turtles felt like they were a part of the world around them.
What it boils down to is that there’s something really intangible about the new Turtles. The CGI looks off when the turtles are interacting with real things in the environment, and as our heroes mash their way through dozens of Foot ninjas, there’s a certain lack of humanity (turtality?) there. That crisp, shiny brand of CGI that works oh so well for something like Transformers, where the combatants are shiny metal robots, looks really off when applied to living, breathing, supposedly organic ninja turtles.
Buena Vista Pictures
The Lion King had a significant influence on my childhood. It was the first movie I ever saw in theaters and one of the few films that I could watch repeatedly, day in and day out, without my parents going completely insane. To me, it is a nearly perfect Disney film, the kind of childhood obsession that not only holds up as you grow older, but actually becomes better in many ways. And yet, it’s only now, 20 years after its release that I feel comfortable admitting the one major flaw I’ve always found in The Lion King: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”
Allow me to state up front that I enjoy the song itself immensely. It’s catchy enough to appeal to a child, with lyrics that are simple enough to follow along, yet emotional and sophisticated enough for adults to appreciate. Still, every time I’ve watched The Lion King, I’ve skipped past it the second that Timon and Pumbaa finished the intro. Within the context of the film “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” has always felt unnecessarily long, something that I needed to sit through in order to get back to the action.
I understand the importance of the sequence; this is the moment that Simba and Nala are finally reunited after years apart, and it establishes how much they love and miss each other. It’s what finally spurs him to return back to his pride and protect them from Scar, and it is, of course, the moment that they finally fall in love. But so much of that context is established in the conversations and moments surrounding the song that watching them roll around in the grass to an Elton John song feels superfluous.
Not to mention that stopping the plot completely for a romantic montage has always struck me as unnecessary, even when I was a kid. We’re in the middle of Simba’s journey towards reconciling his role as king with his father’s death, we’re in the middle of hanging out with Timon and Pumbaa and we’re in the middle of Scar’s reign of terror over Pride Rock. There’s more than enough going on, and frankly, they’re all a lot more interesting than watching Simba and Nala make eyes at each other. We already know how much they care about each other – we watched them as childhood friends, we saw how much they loved and relied on one another, and they’ve just spent a few minutes talking about how much they’ve missed each other – and so there doesn’t need to be a whole number dedicated to them staring longingly across a pond.
Nala revealing to Simba how much he’s been missed and how terrible Scar has made life for the pride is enough to get him to consider going home. All he needs is the knowledge that the people he loves are in trouble, and he’s willing to go home and help them. There was no need to shoehorn in a romantic moment with Nala in order to change his mind. It was already made up. Even if the sequence wasn’t cut out completely, it still could have been trimmed down a great deal in order to keep things from dragging. Timon and Pumbaa’s introduction is, like everything they do, wonderful, and the small moments of reflection that Simba and Nala have are nice, quiet character moments. But as a whole, it just keeps going on far too long, drawing out their romance when we could be watching Rafiki hit Simba in the head with a walking stick. At least that actually helped get Simba moving.
I know that my opinion is an unpopular one. In the years since The Lion King has been released, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” has become a modern classic, the rare Disney song to shake off the childish connotations of its source, but it’s never been enough to get me to stop fast-forwarding once those opening notes start in the background. Of course, if Disney ever decides to re-release the film with a version sung entirely by Timon and Pumbaa, I might finally change my tune.
Buena Vista Pictures via Everett Collection
When The Lion King arrived in theaters 20 years ago, it helped cement Disney’s reputation as the premiere studio for animated films, entertained movie-goers both young and old with its catchy songs and brightly-colored characters, and taught a generation of children many valuable life lessons. We learned not to take life too seriously, that grubs taste like chicken, to avoid anywhere the light doesn’t reach, and that hyenas are not the brightest of creatures. But most importantly, The Lion King taught us all a great deal about death, and the emotional baggage that comes with it.
For most kids who grew up in the ‘90s, Mufasa’s death was the first traumatizing cinematic event we experienced. (And if you were fortunate, it was also the first time that you encountered death in any form.) No matter how many times we watched the mighty king fall to his demise in a stampede of wildebeests, it never got easier. There are even some of us who still get teary-eyed watching Simba crying over the lifeless body of his father, barely able to understand why he wasn’t going to wake up.
In most of the cartoons and movies that we had seen until that point, the person hanging off the side of the cliff would be rescued in the nick of time. Mufasa’s death is one of the first times that we were forced to deal with the idea that the hero doesn’t always triumph. Mufasa is established as a good king, a noble character who cares for his family and his people, someone we look up to and admire. Watching him die showed us that terrible things can often happen to noble people, and that being good isn’t always enough to guarantee us a happy ending. His death is unfair – both because of his role as the hero and the fact that he’s leaving his son alone – as death usually is, and watching Simba plead with his father to wake up is the first time that most of us had to wrestle with that notion.
But The Lion King didn’t just introduce us to the notion of death; it also helped us reconcile the difficult, complicated emotions that come with the grieving process. Like Simba, we learned that death can bring up a host of complicated emotions, and that losing a loved one doesn’t just make you sad. You’ll feel angry, frustrated, guilty, burdened, but that it’s ultimately okay to feel those things. In fact, it’s important to feel those things. We watched Simba wrestle with his guilt over Mufasa’a death, and learn that it wasn’t his fault. We learned that losing a loved one can have a life-long impact, and can be difficult to reconcile, even years later.
These are all emotions and issues that adults face, and often struggle with, and here they were, presented in a children’s film for kids to digest and learn from. The Lion King doesn’t sugar coat these issues or talk down to its audience, either. It simply presents us with a situation that all of us are going to have to endure at some point in our lives, and shows us the reality of what that experience is like. “It’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be complicated and messy, but you will make it through this,” is what The Lion King says about death, “You’re stronger than you realize, and you can handle this.” That’s an important message for both kids and adults, and The Lion King presents it in a simple, matter-of-fact way. Death is an important part of the circle of life, and in real life, we’re going to be expected to carry on, to keep living and learning and changing in the same way that Simba does after his father dies. The Lion King understands that, and taught us kids that we will have to learn from it and grow in order to be the people that we want to be. Life and death aren’t easy, but with a little strength, determination and some good friends to help us through, we can make it through anything that gets thrown our way.
It’s like Rafiki said: “The past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it.“ That’s the lesson the film wants to impart, and it’s one that has stayed with us for our whole lives. The Lion King may have been the first time that many of us were forced to confront the idea of death, but it was also the first time we were given the knowledge to face up to that idea, and overcome the hardships it brings with it. And ultimately, that’s worth more than all of the catchy songs and wise-cracking sidekicks in Disney’s arsenal.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Han Solo is many things: a pilot, a smuggler, a loyal friend to Chewbacca, and a hero, to name just a few. But more than anything else, Han Solo is obnoxious. His wisecracks and comebacks have become the stuff of cinematic legend, but if Harrison Ford weren't around to give the character so much style, we'd probably roll our eyes every time he opened his mouth; thanks to Ford, we love Han Solo because he's aggravating and sarcastic, not in spite of it. Finding the right balance of charismatic and insufferable is a Herculean task, and that doesn't even take into consideration all of the shooting, flying and stunts that playing Han Solo requires.
In honor of the man who brought Han to life in all of his mischievous, obnoxious glory - and who is currently nursing a broken leg after an on-set injury - we've rounded up the absolute best of Han Solo's most obnoxious wisecracks and comebacks. Get well soon, Mr. Ford.
About Ben Kenobi: “Where did you dig up that old fossil?” We’d deduct points for redundancy – a fossil is, by nature, old – but we’d have to give them right back to him for style.
To Chewbacca: “Laugh it up, fuzzball.” If anyone else had delivered an insult this lame, we’d make fun of him. But somehow, Han Solo pulls it off.
To C-3PO, while evacuating the Rebel Hoth base: “Hurry up, goldenrod! Or you're gonna be a permanent resident!” Apparently there is a less creative insult than “fuzzball.” Well done.
To Leia: "Look, Your Worshipfulness, let's get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me."Now you're getting the hang of this whole insult thing! You can practically feel the sarcasm dripping off this one.
After commandeering an attack station and shooting the intercom: “Boring conversation anyway.” Well, that’s certainly one way to get out of an awkward conversation.
About the Ewoks: “Well, short help is better than no help at all.” Good thing the Ewoks aren’t too bothered about blatant backhanded compliments.
To the barkeep, after shooting Greedo: “Sorry about the mess.” What’s cooler than taking out the guy who’s been threatening to kill you for years when he’s not paying attention? Following it up with a quick one-liner while tipping the bartender.
As the garbage compactor closes in: “One thing's for sure, we're all gonna be a lot thinner.” Han Solo has never let the opportunity for jokes pass him by, even in what might be his last moments. At least he’ll die laughing, right?
Upon hearing that Luke is a Jedi: “A Jedi Knight? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, everyone gets delusions of grandeur!” Because, truly, where would everyone else be if Han Solo weren’t around to keep them in their place?
After Leia tells him that she loves him: “I know.” Just what every girl dreams of hearing from the man she’s in love with. How sweet.
On himself: “Not a bad bit of rescuing, huh? You know, sometimes I amaze even myself.” It’s always important to have confidence in your abilities.
Generally, indie dramedies tend to follow the same formula. There’s usually a protagonist with a mess of a life that is an endless source of conflict with their significant other/crush/family/general loved ones, and who learns to pull themselves well enough to fix those fractured relationships. Or there’s a dysfunctional family that is brought together by tragedy, or it’s a touching coming-of-age story in which the hero grows in confidence and independence and finds a family of misfits to call their own, or even a band using music to heal themselves and each other. But rarely do you ever see a guy who refuses to take off his giant paper mache head.
Luckily, Frank is set to fill that void in the market with its titular character (Michael Fassbender), an eccentric, unstable, brilliant musician who prefers to see life through slightly creepy eyeholes. The film follows Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), an aspiring musician who is recruited to the Soronprfbs, a weird, creative band that includes the abrasive theremin player Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and is fronted by… well, Frank. Somewhere in Brooklyn, an indie band is being forced to re-think its schtick. During their isolated recording trip to Ireland, Jon starts posting about the band online, and they start to gain a following, but the promise of success might just turn out to be Frank’s undoing.
If the trailer is any indication, there’s a lot more to Frank – and Frank – lurking underneath that fake head and weird, hipster aesthetics. In an industry that is becoming more and more hesitant to break away from proven properties and blockbuster reboots, it’s exciting to see a film that takes its good-looking, well-respected and well-known star and covers up his head for the entire runtime. But Frank, who is based on the alter ego of comedian Chris Sively, also named Frank, is a strange, confusing figure, and Fassbender is exactly the kind of actor who can bring him to life, even if he can’t manage to animate his face.
And even though Frank promises to deliver all of the unique quirkiness you can possibly handle in a two-hour sitting (they do play at SXSW, after all), it also promises to be a funny, compelling and even moving film about art and the weirdos that create it. If you can get past the creepiness of Frank’s giant, unblinking eyes, that is.
Frank opens in theaters on May 9.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
We might have to wait a little longer for the next installment in the Jason Bourne franchise, but if the rumors are true, it might just be worth the wait. Tentative reports over at Latino Review say that the reason that the fifth Bourne movie was moved from its original August 2015 release date to one in July 2016 is because director Justin Lin is planning to bring back Jason Bourne himself: Matt Damon. Though the actor and national treasure has long said that he wouldn’t reprise the role without director Paul Greengrass on board, it seems that the revised script by Andrew Baldwin might have been enough to get him to change his mind.
The site also states that Damon might be considering a return to the Bourne franchise as a way of bouncing back from recent poor box office performance, but considering that both Elysium and The Monuments Men did reasonably well, we think Damon’s still got what it takes to open a blockbuster. So, if Damon is looking to return, it seems more likely that his motivation is love of the character, rather than kick starting his career, which means that the real question isn’t whether Damon will make another Bourne movie. The real question is whether or not he should.
There’s no denying that another Damon-fronted Bourne film would be exciting. Though The Bourne Legacy did its best to tell a new, interesting story, Damon is really the heart of the franchise. Without him as the lead, the films fall apart. Plus, Damon’s involvement with the new film would ensure that every single detail would be on point, since there’s no way that he would ever sign on for another Bourne adventure unless both the script and vision met the high bar set by the first three. It’s always rare to get a smart, well-crafted action film – let alone a trilogy! – but since Damon delivered them with the Bourne trilogy, it’s basically a guarantee that we’d have another exciting, high-quality blockbuster ready to hit theaters.
But even though moviegoers might want one, Damon doesn’t need to make another Bourne movie. Elysium and The Monuments Men might not have done as well as predicted, but they were still very successful films, and his name still has a great impact on box office results. His career isn’t in a slump, and he’s got a few high-profile projects lined up, including The Martian, a Whitey Bulger biopic that he is producing with Ben Affleck, a role in Interstellar, and several big television projects. He has more than enough interesting, original works lined up to keep him busy, and allow him to explore other creative endeavors like writing and producing.
Part of the reason that Damon has been able to have such a successful career is because he chooses diverse projects. Sure, he made three Bournes and three Ocean’s movies, but he followed each of them up with films that allowed him to play a completely different role. It wouldn’t make sense for him to now backtrack and go back to playing Jason Bourne now that he’s spent so much time and had so much success exploring different types of characters. Besides, Damon would be 45 by the time filming begins. If the fifth Bourne is a success, the studio will probably want him back for a sixth. That’s a long time to be tied to a franchise, and even though it’s not as intimidating as Affleck’s proposed tenure as Batman, it’s still going to interfere with a lot of the projects he has lined up.
In the end, the Bourne franchise needs Damon much more than he need to step back into Jason Bourne’s shoes. He’s still one of the biggest stars in the world, still carrying major films to success and he’s still the most well-liked man in Hollywood. As much as we’d love to see more of Jason Bourne, Damon will be just fine if he stays away. At this point, that’s probably his best move. After all, if things ever do go downhill for him, he can just reboot it as an older-man action franchise, like Liam Neeson and Bruce Willis. They seem to be doing pretty well for themselves.
Between their grown-up adaptations of Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind and their upcoming biopic slate, which includes films about Whitney Houston and Aaliyah, Lifetime is re-establishing itself as the go-to channel for tactless entertainment. Sure, it’s not high art, but it is fun to watch with a few drinks and a carton of ice cream, and what else do you really need after a long week? Still, one of their upcoming films has the potential to take that absurdity and turn it into must-see TV: The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story.
Based on multiple independently-conducted interviews – and not, thankfully, Dustin Diamond’s 2009 memoir – the film will chronicle all of Bayside’s dirtiest secrets, and promises to change the way you look at the classic teen comedy, if you’re one of the few who made it through Diamond’s press tour without being traumatized. Thus far, all that’s been revealed is the cast, who you can check out on BuzzFeed, but the network is keeping the lid on what kind of shocking secrets will make it into the film. Going by the rumors, speculation and secondhand gossip that have circulated over the years, though, we’d say the film has plenty of shocking revelations up its sleeve; the Saved by the Bell story has it all.
Sex If you believe even a fraction of what Diamond wrote in his memoir, everyone was hooking up with one another behind the scenes at Bayside. And we do mean everybody: all three girls are rumored to have slept with Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffany-Amber Theissen slept with a few of the show’s memorable guest stars, and Diamond was apparently picking up girls left and right at Disneyland. What else would you expect to happen with a bunch of teenagers stuck together for hours on end?
Drugs Despite the gang’s memorable refusal of drug use on the show, Diamond maintains that everyone was actually getting high off-camera. Apparently, Theissen's dressing room was the place to hang out if you were interested in lighting up. The actor formerly known as Screech also alleged that Gosselaar was using steroids during his time on the show, which the latter had since denied. Whether it’s true or not, you can bet it’ll show up in the movie.
Scandal Between the rumors of NBC paying hush money to a girl who accused Lopez of sexually assaulting her, Diamond’s revelation that he had a relationship with Linda Mancuso, the network’s Head of Children’s Programming, and the speculation that executives and producers were abusing their power over the stars of the show, there are more potential twists and turns in this story than all of V.C. Andrews’ novels put together.
Falls From Grace After spending five years as straight-laced Jessie Spano, Elizabeth Berkley decided to branch out with a role in the NC-17 cult classic Showgirls, a move that sent her career into a tailspin for years afterwards, even if it did give the world a new way to pronounce “Versace.” Thanks to his father’s mishandling of his Saved by the Bell earnings, Diamond went broke as an adult. Although, if he hadn’t needed the money, he might never have written his wonderfully terrible memoir, and there would so much less juicy Saved by the Bell gossip in the world…
In-Fighting With this many teenagers in one place, there must have been plenty of drama. Though there haven’t been too many fights or feuds at Bayside, Diamond does maintain that he was picked on and left out of things by the rest of the cast. Maybe they were just trying to help him get into character?
Sweet '80s Fashions Saved by the Bell was on during the finest period in American fashion: the late '80s and early '90s. Since everything is more ridiculous in hindsight, expect plenty of acid-washed denim, teased hair, garish print and color combinations, crop tops and bows – and that was just Kelly’s wardrobe. We don’t even know how they’re going to tackle every ridiculous thing that Slater wore.
The Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story premieres on September 1 at 9pm on Lifetime. We're so excited, we're so scared!
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
He’s been an eccentric gangster, a perpetually annoyed doctor, and a Spanish teacher-turned-student-desperate-for-friends-turned-power-hungry-cop-turned-enraged-dictator-turned… whatever Chang is these days, but Ken Jeong is about to tackle a brand new role: leading man. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the comic actor is attached to front International Incident, a film about five United Nations delegates who embark on a road trip in order to rediscover a lost love. Jeong is the first cast member to sign onto the project, which was penned by Daily Show writer David Javerbaum and will be produced through former Daily Show correspondent Steve Carell.
Though he’s had major parts in both Community and The Hangover trilogy, Jeong is still primarily known for being a supporting player. His characters tend to be over-the-top, unpredictable, and unstable, all of which are great in small doses, but exhausting in large quantities. The closest he has ever come to playing a straight man was his debut role in Knocked Up, in which he portrayed a rude, dismissive, and incredibly frustrated doctor who frequently insulted his patients. However, every comedy needs a straight man, and the lead usually fulfills that role.
We’ve never seen Jeong play a straightforward role; even when his characters start out normal, their quirks and eccentricities become more and more pronounced until they become caricatures of their former selves. With five lead characters, there are going to be plenty of outlandish personalities present in International Incident, which means Jeong would need to dial back the insanity in order to give the film a central focal point, or else the result is a bunch of weirdoes screaming at each other for two hours. It’s a role that requires restraint, which is a quality that Jeong has never really shown before.
Any time that Jeong’s characters have become the focal point of an episode or film, things tend to go off the rails, both in terms of plot and tone. The more screen time Chang got on Community, the more the episodes fell apart around him, and the more unhinged and ridiculous his character got, to the point where he staged a coup to take over Greendale – and that wasn’t even his most insane plot. The more time The Hangover films spent on Chow, the more they became about outrageous stunts and shocking reveals, which lost the undercurrent of friendship that was more important to the first film. That doesn’t bode well for International Incident, which will need someone to anchor the comedy in some kind of reality.
If Jeong can manage to keep a lid on his trademark craziness, there’s a chance that he could be a likeable, funny and compelling leading man. But since we’ve yet to see him dial his performance back enough to let the jokes and the character shine, instead of the screaming, nudity and deranged facial expressions that have come to characterize his work, we’re a little skeptical about whether he’s ready to carry a whole film on his shoulders.
Just when the late night shakeup was finally starting to settle down, Chelsea Handler throws everyone for a loop. Since she announced plans to leave her E! talk show Chelsea Lately a few months ago, rumors and speculation regarding her next move have mounted. On Thursday, the comedian revealed that instead of moving to a different network or show format, she had instead inked a deal with Netflix (via Hollywood Reporter). The deal includes a stand up special, which will be released on October 16, a documentary comedy miniseries that will chart her attempts to learn more about a variety of topics, and the streaming platform’s first ever late night talk show.
That’s right: Handler and Netflix are planning to take the television format with the shortest possible shelf life – a talk show really only exists on a day-to-day basis – and present it on a platform designed to allow people to watch both old and new content whenever they please. Since neither Handler nor the network have revealed exactly what their plans are for a talk show on a site designed for binge watching, we can only assume that they have just as many questions and concerns about the project as we do. And we have a lot of questions…
-How is Netflix planning to release the talk show? Are we talking a nightly or weekly basis, or just full seasons all at once, like they do with their other original programming? If it is full seasons, how will they manage to keep things topical and up-to-date?
-If the show isn’t tackling topical issues, is it still a real late night show?
-Can they even call it a late night show if most people won’t be watching it late at night, but instead at whatever time of day they please?
-How is Netflix, which mostly traffics in heavily serialized shows, going to get people to watch a show that is often digested in individual segments and viral clips?
-If they do decide to release it on a daily or weekly basis, does that undermine the entire Netflix model?
-If they release things daily, will the episodes go up at night, when a late night show would usually air, or in the morning, when people are likely to be catching up on everythign they missed the night before?
-Would they be released at the same time everywhere, regardless of time zones, or would Netflix roll them out at different times for different zones, the way that late night shows on television would air?
-If Netflix releases episodes on a weekly basis, would they be doing one episode a week, or a week’s worth of episodes at one time? If the latter, how will they be able to keep things fresh and topical?
-No matter how the network rolls it out, how important will current events and pop culture news be to a show that doesn’t air on a timely basis?
-We're all in agreement that booking the guests is going to be the easiest part of this show, right?
-Will Handler still be able to rely on segments and bits from her show going viral in order to help gain the show attention, since the whole thing will be easily viewable on the Internet anyway?
-Is Handler going to be competing with the other late night hosts in terms of topics, ratings and content? Or is she just in a league of her own right now?
-Will she have to completely overhaul the format of her show for a new medium?
-Will she continue to ignore the questions that people give her for the people she’s interviewing?
-Will she finally be allowed to come up with a new way of interacting with and interviewing her guests, since she clearly hates the traditional routine?
-Is the show going to be filmed in front of an audience, or will it only be Handler in the studio? Is it still a late night show without an audience present?
-Is Chuy moving with her?
-Does moving to Netflix show that we don’t need any more late night talk shows, since both network and cable channels are filled to the brim with them?
-If Handler is going to Netflix, who’s taking Craig Ferguson’s spot?