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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sun, 23/11/2014 - 10:46

By Jenny Priestley

Former Doctor Who star Matt Smith is to star in the new zombie action thriller Patient Zero. He'll co-star alongside Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer in the film, which takes place in a post-outbreak zombie apocalypse and follows one man who has the unique ability to speak with the undead and who hopes to use his gift to discover a cure for the plague and his infected wife.

Good news for fans of Game of Thrones (or those who haven't seen it yet), all four series of the show will be broadcast on Sky Atlantic over 12 days from December 20. Because nothing says christmas like beheadings, regicide and incest!

Possible new Bond villain Christoph Waltz is to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The double Oscar winner will be honoured on December 1. Quentin Tarantino, who directed Waltz to both his Oscar wins, will be among the guest speakers.

Boyhood star Ethan Hawke will be discussing his career at BAFTA on December 18. He will be the latest subject of BAFTA's A Life in Pictures series. Tickets are on sale to the public.

★ Paul Dano is to star in the new HBO series from 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen. Codes of Conduct follows a young black man as he enters New York high society. Dano will play an entrepreneur who becomes friends with the lead character. Filming on the pilot begins this week.

★ David Walliams will attend a special screening of his new BBC adaptation at the BFI Southbank on December 14. The one-off special is based on Walliams' book The Boy in the Dress. It tells the story of 12-year-old Dennis who is ordinary boy, who lives in an ordinary town – but he feels different. A chance view of a fashion magazine introduces him to a whole new world of colour and creativity, but can a boy wear a dress, and what will the Headmaster, his Dad, and his friends think if they find out? The cast includes Jennifer Saunders, Tim McInnerny, Meera Syal, James Buckley, Walliams and Kate Moss.

Not long now until the world premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which is taking place in London on December 1. Not to worry if you're not based in the UK though as more international premieres have been confirmed: Paris follows London on December 4, then it's on to Toronto for December 6 with a simultaneous event going on in Mexico, it's Brazil's turn on December 7. The cast and crew arrive in North America for the New York premiere on December 8 followed by LA on December 9. And at some point they've got to fit in Wellington – wouldn't surprise me if they make it the very final event.

★ Martin Freeman is in talks to co-star alongside Tina Fey in the comedy Taliban Shuffle. The film stars Fey as real life journalist Kim Barker who is posted to Kabul, and follows her attempts to do her job while also dealing with bouts of violence and what's described "the promiscuous war-correspondent culture". Freeman will play Fey's unexpected love interest, a dedicated Scottish photojournalist. Margot Robbie is expected to play one of Fey's rivals.

★ Bryce Dallas Howard may join Robert Redford in the remake of Pete's Dragon. It's thought she'll play the female lead on the film which is based on the 1977 version that follows Pete and his best friend Elliot, who happens to be dragon.

★ Wild director Jean-Marc Vallee looks set to direct a new film about Janis Joplin. Amy Adams is expected to star in the film which will probably shoot next summer. Could this finally be the film that wins Adams that ever-elusive Oscar?

★ Jon Hamm is returning to Pawnee. His character Ed appeared in the last episode of Parks and Recreation's sixth series, when he was fired by Leslie. He'll be among a host of stars appearing in the final series including Rob Lowe, Rashida Jones and Megan Mullally. Meanwhile, Hugh Laurie is currently filming a special appearance on Veep. We don't know anything about his role yet but pictures of him with Julia Louis Dreyfus and the rest of the cast have started popping up on Twitter.

★ Stephen Colbert will host this year's Kennedy Center Honors. The annual event fetes those who have been deemed to have given a lifetime of contributions to American culture. This year's ceremony will honour Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, Sting, Al Green and Patricia McBride. Speaking about his hosting gig, Colbert said: “I am stunned to be receiving a Kennedy Center Honor at such a young age. I thought it would be years before… I’m sorry. I’m being told I am HOSTING the Kennedy Center Honors. Oh… Well, I’m glad. That makes a lot more sense."

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sun, 16/11/2014 - 09:12

By Jenny Priestley

Academy Award nominee James Franco will be in London this week to promote his new book. He'll be at Waterstones in Piccadilly on November 22 to sign copies of Actors Anonymous. The book is apparently inspired by Alcoholics Anonymous' 12 Steps and 12 Traditions and features multiple stories. Meanwhile The Princess Bride actor Cary Elwes will be at the same venue on November 24 to sign his new book, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of Princess Bride.

★ Eddie Izzard is writing his autobiography. He's signed a deal with an American publisher but it's almost certain the book will be released in the UK too. The untitled book is expected to cover his childhood and early life as well as his rise to fame in the UK and US. The book is expected to be released in time for Christmas next year.

★ Mark Strong will appear in the West End next year. His play A View From The Bridge will transfer to Wyndhams Theatre from February 16. The cast will also include Emun Elliott, Phoebe Fox and Nicola Walker.

★ Charlie Brooker will attend a special preview of the Black Mirror Christmas Special at the Curzon Soho on December 15. The special features Mad Men star Jon Hamm alongside Ralf Spall and Oona Chaplin and apparently features three interwoven stories of Christmas techno-paranoia.

★ Kelsey Grammer, Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly are to star in the Broadway production of Finding Neverland. The new musical is based in the film starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. Glee star Morrison will play JM Barrie with Kelly as Sylvia Llewelyn Davis and Grammer as Barrie's theatre producer (played by Dustin Hoffman in the film). The musical opens on Broadway on April 15.

★ George Clooney and Julia Roberts look set to reunite on the big screen. Julia is in talks to co-star alongside George in Money Monster, a new drama being directed by Jodie Foster. George will play a TV host who is taken hostage live on air. He has to uncover he truth about a big stocks deal while the situation unfolds. Julia is expected to play his producer. Rising British star Jack O'Connell (who seems to be in everything at the moment) is in talks to play the hostage taker. Filming is due to begin in the spring.

★ Billy Boyd's been discussing his song for the final Hobbit film. The actor, best known for playing Pippin in Lord of the Rings, has recorded The Last Goodbye for the closing credits of The Battle of the Five Armies. “We focused on not just the final instalment, but moreso on this 10-year epic adventure,” Boyd says. “A song to sum up the six movies. We recorded in Wellington, New Zealand, at one point traveling to Auckland to Neil Finn’s studio – where we recorded some of the guitar." I'm not ashamed to say the song brought a tear to my eye. I'm going to be such a mess when I listen to it in the cinema.

★ Daniel Bruhl has joined the cast of Captain America: Civil War. It's thought he's going to play the film's villain. The Cap's third solo outing is shaping up to have an all-star cast – Marvel mainstays Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Samuel L Jackson and Scarlett Johansson will all feature, as will newcomer Chadwick Boseman who'll debut as Blank Panther. The film's due for release in May 2016.

★ Shailene Woodley is in talks to star alongside Joseph Gordon Levitt in Oliver Stone's new film about Edward Snowden. If she signs on, Woodley will play Snowden's girlfriend. Filming is due to begin in January.

★ Bradley Whitford has joined the cast of new TV drama Happyish. The Showtime series was originally due to star Philip Seymour Hoffman but has been recast with Steve Coogan in the lead role. Whitford has joined the cast as Coogan's boss who is described as an "advertising industry legend whose success is due in equal parts to his creative genius and moral cravenness". So a lot different from Josh in The West Wing then.

★ JK Simmons and Anna Kendrick are in talks to star alongside Ben Affleck in assassin thriller The Accountant. The film tells the story of a mild-mannered accountant who moonlights as an assassin, and is being directed by Gavin O'Connor. Filming is due to begin in January.

★ Juliette Binoche will be appearing at next year's Edinburgh International Festival. She'll be taking to the stage to appear in Antigone, which will be a modern version of Sophocles's tragedy. The production will be staged at the King's Theatre in Edinburgh from 9 to 22 August. Tickets are on sale from November 29.

★ Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Michael Gambon, Julie Walters and Keyvan Novak will walk the red carpet at the world premiere of Paddington on November 23. They'll also be joined on the red carpet by the little bear's creator, Michael Bond. The premiere takes place at the Odeon Leicester Square. Meanwhile, Jim Broadbent, Rafe Spall, Jodie Whittaker, Warwick Davis and Dasher the Reindeer will attend the London premiere of Get Santa on November 30.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sun, 09/11/2014 - 15:04

By Jenny Priestley

★ Matt Damon has confirmed his return to the role of Jason Bourne. In an interview with E! Online, Damon revealed that the film will start production next year. "It'll be in 2016 when the movie will actually come out" he said. "Paul Greengrass is going to do another one and that's all I ever said. I just needed him to say yes."

Damon will also star in Downsizing, the new film from Alexander Payne. The film is described as a social satire about a man who realises he'd have a better life he became a psychiatrist.

Is Jared Leto the new Joker? He's being courted to play the role in Warner Bros' Suicide Squad. Tom Hardy, Will Smith and Margot Robbie are thought to be in talks for other roles in the film but I seems the Oscar-winning Leto is director David Ayer's choice to play the iconic role. Suicide Squad involves the government granting a group of supervillains a chance of redemption by sending them on a mission that will probably kill them.

★ The Big Bang Theory is being turned into Lego! The new set is expected to include figures of the new characters including Sheldon and Leonard as well as their living room – which, of course, is where most of the sitcom is set. The idea was submitted to Lego by some fans who then put it to an online vote and the idea received more than 10,000 votes. No word yet on when we'll get to see it.

Now this is a piece of casting news I never thought I'd write: Ian McKellen and Sylvester Stallone are going to appear in the same film. Well, sort of. They're both providing voices for new animated comedy Animal Crackers. The film follows a family who inherit a rundown circus. Danny DeVito will also be a part of the cast.

★ Matthew McConaughey is heading to the Civil War. Free State of Jones is about the true story of Newton Knight who defected from the Confederate Army with a group of other soldiers and they attempted to establish their own state. Gary Ross is expected to direct and it's slated to start filming early next year.

Meanwhile, McConaughey is getting his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He'll receive the award on November 17.

This is exciting: NBC is looking to stage a live reading of A Few Good Men. It's thought creator Aaron Sorkin will rewrite the script for TV. As we all know it's already been a film and stage play so why not TV as well? And Sorkin has a history with NBC (the greatest TV series ever...).

★ Rupert Friend looks set to make his directorial debut and Emily Blunt is in talks to star. The pair previously worked together on The Young Victoria. The film's called Barton & Charlie & Checco & Bill and it follows a con artist who meets a woman who he takes under his wing. But then she turns the tables on him. Filming's due to begin in the spring.

★ James Dreyfus is to star as Elwood P Dowd in a new theatre production of Harvey. The play will tour the UK next year starting in Birmingham on February 6. The play is being produced by Don Gregory, who brought the production to Broadway in 2012 with Jim Parsons as Dowd. 

★ Susan Sarandon and Allison Janney are in talks to star in the comedy Whatever Makes You Happy. The film will be directed by Cindy Chupack, who's previously worked on Sex And The City and Modern Family. The plot follows three friends who travel to New York to visit their sons and discover that everything may not be as rosy as they all thought. Filming is expected to begin in June.

Before she starts work on the film, Janney will be co-hosting the People's Choice Awards alongside her Mom co-star Anna Faris. The show takes place on January 7. Shailene Woodley leads the list of film nominees with four nods; Kaley Cuoco also has four in the TV categories and Brit singer Sam Smith also has four in the music categories.

★ Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan have joined the cast of Now You See Me 2,  with Raddcliffe playing the son of Michael Caine's character. Sir Michael actually revealed the news a while ago but now it's official with filming due to take place next month. Speaking about the idea of Radcliffe playing his son, Caine said: "My son is Harry Potter. I thought it’d be funny, me and Daniel Radcliffe as father and son."

★ Mark Rylance and Juliet Stevenson are staging a live read of Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory, the event is in aid of LIFT and takes place at the King's College Chapel on December 11.   A Christmas Memory is the recollection of a short and innocent period in the life of the seven-year-old narrator and his older distant cousin and best friend in 1930's America. As Christmas approaches they embark on a ritual involving friendship, cake, country life and the joy of giving.

Filming on the new Coen Brothers film Hail Casear! begins on Monday. It stars Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill and is set in Hollywood in the 1950s. It should be in cinemas in February 2016.

The nominations for this year’s Moët BIFA film awards have been announced this week. Drama ‘71 leads the nominations with nine nods including Best British Independent Film, Best Director and Best Actor for star Jack O’Connell. The brilliant Pride also received seven nominations. It’s definitely one of my favourite films of the year. Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley are both nominated for The Imitation Game which is also up for Best Independent Film. Other acting nominees include Alicia Vikander, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton, Andrew Scott, Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllanhaal. The winners will be revealed on December 7.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sun, 02/11/2014 - 13:14

By Jenny Priestley

★ Andy Serkis is taking a break from his Hollywood career to appear in a new video game. He'll be playing villain Guy Gisborne in new stealth adventure Volume. The game includes top-down stealth with player-generated levels. Players cannot kill in the game so will have to use their Ricochet device to control enemies and edit the environment. Volume is due for release on PS4, Vita and PC early next year.

★ Expect to see Serkis on the red carpet at the world premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in London on December 1. I'm delighted to see London get the world premiere – especially as there was no UK premiere for Desolation of Smaug. Organisers haven't announced who'll attend, but I would expect most of the cast – and, of course, Peter Jackson – to be there. Unfortunately it seems my hope for BotFA cameo appearances from Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan probably won't happen after Elijah Wood confirmed he won't be in the final film.

★ As I speculated back in July, Neil Patrick Harris is going to appear in American Horror Story. NPH will appear as a salesman in the last two episodes of the current season, while his husband, David Burtka, will be involved in a storyline with Jessica Lange’s character, Elsa Mars. Harris is a busy man at the moment. As well as hosting the Oscars, he's promoting his new book and looks set to front an American version of Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Take-Away.

★ The Big Bang Theory star Kunal Nayyar will provide one of the voices for a new family comedy – he'll be street dog Santoosh in A Bollywoof Tale. The story follows Basil, a pet spaniel who moves with his family from London to Delhi, only to be lost in Kolkata after his crate is misplaced. Basil teams up with Santoosh and a Holy cow named Uma to help find his family. Filming begins early next year.

★ Ricky Gervais is heading back to the screen. He's going to star in and direct Special Correspondents, a comedy about a radio journalist and his producer who try to increase their flagging ratings by pretending to be kidnapped in Ecaudor. Really they're hiding out in a restaurant opposite their New York radio station. As a former radio producer I can tell you this would NEVER happen!! Eric Bana will play the journalist, with Gervais as his producer.

★ The Divergent Series: Insurgent is to be released in 3D. The film, which stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James, is the second in the Divergent series and is due in cinemas next March.

★ Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning and Susan Sarandon are to co-star in a new drama called Three Generations. The film follows teenager Ray (Fanning) who is transitioning from female to male and her single mother, Maggie (Watts), who is coming to terms with having to raise her only daughter as a son. At the same time, Maggie’s mother, Dolly (Sarandon), is struggling with Ray's decision and Maggie's inability to move out of the family home. Filming begins this month.

★ Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel are to work on a new drama about an Indian street kid adopted by an Australian couple. Lion will be directed by Garth Davis and is being produced by The Weinstein Company.

★ The final Colbert Report will be broadcast on December 18. Colbert is leaving the Emmy-winning show to take over The Late Show from David Letterman next year.

★ Oscar hopefuls Michael Keaton and Julianne Moore will be among the stars turning out for the Hollywood Film Awards on November 14. Reese Witherspoon, Gerard Butler, Robert Duvall, Jack O’Connell, Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum and Shailene Woodley will also take part in the ceremony, which will be hosted by Queen Latifah. It's the start of a very long road to February 22 ...

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sat, 25/10/2014 - 16:14

By Jenny Priestley

★ The Big Bang Theory actress Kaley Cuoco is to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She'll be honoured on October 29 with the 2,532nd star on the Hollywood attraction. Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are all expected to attend, alongside the show's creator, Chuck Lorre.

★ Meanwhile, Parsons is voicing Buddy the Elf in a new animated version of the Will Ferrell film. The hour-long Elf: Buddy's Musical Special is being made by NBC and will broadcast in the US in the run-up to Christmas. The voice cast will also include Mark Hamill and Jay Leno. I really hope a UK broadcaster picks this up!

★ Frodo Baggins will be in London this week to promote his new film. Elijah Wood will be at the Regent Street Apple Store on Wednesday to plug Set Fire to The Stars.

★ Lena Dunham will also be in London on Wednesday to promote her new book, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's Learned. Dunham will be at Waterstones in Piccadilly from 1.30pm.

★ Want to win tickets to the DVD launch of Doctor Who: The Complete Eighth Series? Of course you do! The event is being hosted by Frank Skinner and will feature some "very special guests", so you can probably expect Peter Capaldi and Jenna Colman to turn up. Maybe. It takes place on November 17 and you can enter the competition to win tickets until October 29.

★ James Corden will launch his Late, Late Show in the US on March 9. He's taking over the show from fellow Brit Craig Ferguson, who leaves on December 19.

★ Damian Lewis is returning to TV. He's going to star alongside Paul Giamatti in the drama Billions for Showtime. The series revolves around the clash between a US attorney (Giamatti) and a hedge fund boss (Lewis). The pilot will be directed by Neil Burger.

★ Steve Coogan has also landed a plum role on American TV. He's been chosen to replace Philip Seymour Hoffman in Showtime's dark comedy Happyish. The pilot will be filmed in December in New York. 

★ Luke Evans, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and Olivia Wilde are to star in Ben Wheatley's new film. Free Fire is set in Boston in 1978 the story follows an arms deal that goes wrong and turns into a shootout. Filming's expected to begin in the spring.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sat, 18/10/2014 - 13:03

By Jenny Priestley

★ The stars of Quantum Leap are to reunite next month. Dean Stockwell is to have a guest-starring role on NCIS: New Orleans, which stars Scott Bakula. Stockwell will appear as a former cop who is confronted by investigators about a murder that happened 40 years ago. In Quantum Leap Stockwell played trusty sidekick Al to Bakula's time traveller Sam.

★ Game of Thrones actor James Cosmo has joined the cast of a new film being executive produced by Martin Scorsese. He joins Stephen Fry, Paul Kaye and Joss Stone in Tomorrow, which explores the difficulties experienced by soldiers when they return home from war. Filming has already begun on the film, which is directed by Martha Pinson.

★ Nicholas Hoult, Katie Holmes, Ariana Grande, Matthew Morrison and John Leguizamo are among the actors lending their voices to animated family comedy Underdogs. The film's already been released in the UK with Rupert Grint, Anthony Head and Peter Serafinowicz voicing the characters, but producers at The Weinstein Company are giving it a Hollywood makeover before the film's US release.

★ Robert Redford is in talks to appear in the remake of Pete's Dragon. This version of the film is expected to be set in a forest that is under threat from loggers. If Redford signs on he'll play a local whose stories of dragons go ignored by his neighbours. The film is being directed by David Lowery and is expected to film in New Zealand this autumn.

Get ready for awards season – on Thursday, the nominees for this year's Gotham Independent Film Awards are announce. The annual event prides itself on being the first awards of the season with the winners being announced on December 1. The event also includes tributes to actors/writers and directors and organisers have already announced that Tilda Swinton and director Bennett Miller are among this year's honourees.

★ Neil Patrick Harris has been talking about next year's Oscar ceremony after it was revealed this week that he's been given the hosting gig. "I have a lot of questions still about that job," he says. "I've gotten to be the sort-of co-producer of the Emmys while I was hosting. And, the Tonys, since I've hosted a number of times, I'm aware of more things than just the hosting spots. I don't want it to be super derivative of other shows that I've done. I don't want it to seem like I'm doing the same award hosting gig that I did on the Tonys, just on a different stage." Discussing the musical elements of the show NPH said his dream collaborators would be Adele, Lady Gaga and Pink.

Oscar nominee Frank Langella is joining the cast of drama series The Americans. Langella will appear in season three as a former KGB handler who comes out of retirement to take over the responsibility of Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell). The new season will debut in the US in January and is broadcast in the UK on ITV.

★ Interstellar director Christopher Nolan and star Anne Hathaway will be on hand to fete Matthew McConaughey at the American Cinematheque Award on Tuesday. Nolan will present McConaughey with the award while Hathaway joins Kate Hudson, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Garner in paying tribute to the Oscar-winning actor.

★ Gal Gadot and Pedro Pascal are the latest names to be touted as cast members of the Ben-Hur remake. Game of Thrones actor Pascal is in talks to play Pontius Pilate in the film with the character playing more of a significant role in this version of the story than in the 1959 film. Meanwhile, Gadot is expected to play Esther, a slave with whom Ben-Hur is in love. Filming is due to begin early next year.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sun, 12/10/2014 - 14:42

By Jenny Priestley

★ Peter Capaldi, Andrew Scott, Amanda Abbington, Derren Brown, Miranda Richardson and Sue Perkins (left) will be taking part in An Afternoon with Mark Gatiss next month. The event is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the London and Lesbian Gay Switchboard. Audience members will be able to submit questions before the event – so expect lots of Sherlock/Doctor Who chat. Tickets are on sale from October 13.

★ Lena Dunham is adapting the Young Adult novel Catherine, Called Birdy into a film which she also wants to direct. The story is set in 1920s England and follows a 12-year-old girl trying to stop her father from marrying her off. Dunham says she's now trying to get funding for the film.

A new Batman film is on the way – sort of. It's really a new LEGO Batman movie featuring the arrogant, sarcastic and not very nice version of Batman was saw in The LEGO Movie. The character will again be voiced by Will Arnett and the film is expected to be released in 2017.

★ Martin Freeman is to star in a new film about the rise of a stand-up comedienne. He's joining actress Maxine Peake in the drama, which is called Funny Cow. It charts the rise of a stand up comedienne in the north of England during the 1970s and 80s. John Hannah is also in the cast. Filming if expected to begin next year.

★ Bob Hoskins' daughter is to write a memoir about the late actor. It's All Going Wonderfully Well will include Rosa Hoskins' memories of the the times she shared with her dad, including at home and on the set of films as well as stories from the likes of Judi Dench and Robert Zemeckis. The book will be published in July 2015.

★ Casey Affleck is to star in a new drama about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Affleck will also produce Boston Strong, which follows the huge manhunt to find the two men believed to be responsible for the bombings, as well as examining the city’s reaction following the events. No word yet on when we'll get to see it.

★ Steve Carell, who'll be in London this week to promote Foxcatcher at the LFF, is to star in a new thriller. The untitled film will be directed by Gore Verbinski and is described as a paranoid thriller – and that's about all we know, apart from it'll begin filming in March.

★ Daniel Radcliffe will walk the red carpet at the UK premiere of his new film Horns on October 20. In the film Daniel plays Ig who, after his girlfriend is brutally murdered, wakes up to find he has horns sprouting out of his forehead. The premiere takes place at Odeon West End.

Meanwhile, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain are expected on the red carpet for the UK premiere of their new film Interstellar. The film, which is directed by Christopher Nolan, is one of the most anticipated of the year. The premiere takes place on October 29.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sat, 04/10/2014 - 15:22

By Jenny Priestley

★ Big news for fans of Twin Peaks – it's looking increasingly likely that the show is coming back. Creator David Lynch has been tweeting cryptic quotes from the original series leading fans to speculate the show will return. Now I hear an announcement is imminent from US network Showtime with a probable eight new episodes on the way. I'm not sure yet if it will be a reboot or a remake – although Lynch has previously been quoted saw saying he'd like to continue the story 25 years later.

★ A musical based on Doctor Who is heading to the London stage. I Need a Doctor: The Whosical has previously been performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and will make its debut at the Leicester Square Theatre on October 28. The musical comedy follows two actors as they attempt to stage a Doctor Who musical without breaking BBC copyright.

★ Daniel Radcliffe will be attending the MCM Comic Con at London's Excel later this month. He'll be promoting his new film, Horns. The event runs from October 24 to 26 with Radcliffe attending on the Friday afternoon. Horns is released in cinemas on October 29.

★ Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Anthony Hopkins are to co-star in a new BBC adaptation of The Dresser. The acting Knights will appear together on screen together for the first time in the drama about a theatre dresser (McKellen) and a domineering actor/manager. The drama is expected to be directed by Sir Richard Eyre. No word yet on when we'll get to see it.

Meanwhile, Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie are expected to star in an adaptation of a John Le Carre novel for the Beeb. The drama will be based on The Night Manager, about a former British soldier who gets caught up with a black market weapons seller. The series is expected to be developed in conjunction with one of the US networks.

★ Outnumbered actor Hugh Dennis looks set to make his theatre debut in the West End premiere of French farce La Verite (The Truth). Dennis is in talks to appear in the play which is about a man caught up in a four-way love affair, after discovering his mistress' husband is also sleeping with his wife. It's expected to open in the West End next year, no further casting has been announced yet.

★ Eric Bana is joining Chris Pine and Casey Affleck in Disney's new disaster-at-sea movie. The Finest Hours is about a rescue mission that was launched when a pair of oil tankers split in two off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952. Craig Gillespie will direct.

★ Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace and Elisabeth Moss have joined the cast of a new film about a scandal involving George W Bush and legendary US news anchor Dan Rather. Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett have already been cast in Truth, which follows the scandal that erupted after Rather reported on his news programme, 60 Minutes II, that Bush had been given preferential treatment that put him in the National Guard to avoid the Vietnam War draft. The ensuing scandal during Bush’s reelection campaign ended with the show's producer being fired and Rather’s reputation in tatters. Filming begins this week.

★ Steve Martin is to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. He'll have a while to wait though as he won't pick it up until June.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sun, 28/09/2014 - 19:17

By Jenny Priestley

★ Antonio Banderas is to star in the new film from the director of Chariots of Fire, Hugh Hudson. It's called Altamira and is about an amateur archaeologist and his daughter who discover early cave art. To begin with the family is feted for the find but soon face a backlash from the Catholic Chuch, scientists and other forces. Filming begins on September 29 in Spain.

★ Bill & Ted star Alex Winter says the planned third film is moving forward – slowly. Winter says the storyline is all worked out: “The conceit is really funny," he says. "What if you’re middle-aged, haven’t really grown up and you’re supposed to have saved the world and maybe, just maybe, you kinda haven’t?” The film's been in development since 2010 with Keanu Reeves on board and Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot expected to take the reins. But still no sign of a filming date...

★ Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Dominic West and Guy Pearce are among the cast of a new film from acclaimed theatre director Michael Grandage. It's about the relationship between novelist Thomas Wolfe (Law) and his editor, played by Firth. Pearce will play F Scott Fitzgerald, while West will portray Ernest Hemingway. Filming begins in October at Shepperton Studios.

★ Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon will join Sir Michael Caine at a special evening looking back over his career. The event will also feature performances from Joss Stone, Quincy Jones and the London Symphony Orchestra. It takes place at the Royal Albert Hall on October 1 and more tickets have just been released. It's all to raise money for the NSPCC.

★ Russell Brand will also be at the Royal Albert Hall on November 14 for an event to launch his children's book, a new take on the Pied Piper of Hamelin. In Brand's version Hamelin is "a pompous and ugly town, where the grown-ups are all stuck up their own backsides and their greedy, bum-scratching offspring are usually squirrelling up their own noses" – until it is invaded by a "badass band of anarchic rats". The launch event will include "an interactive and unpredictable dramatised reading of the tale featuring other live performance elements". Tickets are on sale now.

★ Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Garner will help pay tribute to Matthew McConaughey at the American Cinematheque Award gala next month. The event is being hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and takes place at the Beverly Hilton on October 21.

In case you missed it: Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell have been confirmed in the two male leads I'm True Detective 2. Rachel McAdams is believed to be in talks for one of the female leads.

Meanwhile, Jessica Chastain's new film, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, has been added to this year's LFF line-up. The film follows the trials and tribulations of a couple's relationship and has been released in the US in three versions: Her, Him and Them. Chastain's co-star James McAvoy will attend the screening on October 17.

★ Peter Dinklage is to star in new thriller, The Thicket. The story is set in East Texas in the early 20th century and follows a a young man who goes on a quest to rescue his sister after she has been kidnapped by a violent killer. He enlists the help of a crafty bounty hunter named Shorty (Dinklage), a grave-digging alcoholic son of an ex-slave and a street-smart prostitute to help him on his mission. No further casting has been announced yet.

★ Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista is to star alongside Robert De Niro in Bus 657. The cast also includes Kate Bosworth, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Gina Carano. It's about a father unable to pay for his daughter’s medical treatment. He joins forces with a co-worker to rob a casino and when the two hijack a bus the plan starts to give wrong. De Niro will play Frank “The Pope”, owner of the casino. Filming begins on October 13.

★ Jacki Weaver is to star alongside Sir Patrick Stewart in a new TV series from Seth MacFarlane. Blunt Talk will also feature British actor Adrian Scarborough. The show follows cable news anchor, Walter Blunt, who never quite makes the right decision. 

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sun, 21/09/2014 - 12:44

By Jenny Priestley

★ Star Trek 3 should begin filming in the next six months according to Zachary Quinto. The actor, who plays Mr Spock, said: “Things are rumbling, so I have a feeling that we will be in production sometime in the next six months." The new film will be the first without director JJ Abrams, who's busy in a galaxy far, far, away. Robert Orci takes over directing duties. The film is expected in cinemas in 2016.

★ Nick Frost is to appear in this year's Doctor Who Christmas special. The episode will also feature Michael Troughton – son of the second doctor, Patrick Troughton. No word yet on plot details.

Meanwhile, former Doctor Matt Smith has signed on to appear in Pride And Prejudice And Zombies. The film's been in development for ages but it looks like it's finally going ahead with a cast including Douglas Booth, Lily James and Smith, who'll be playing the bumbling Mr Collins.

★ Gillian Anderson will be launching her debut novel next month. The book is called Vision of Fire and is a scifi story following a child psychologist who tries to investigate why people around the world start having violent visions. The book is released on October 9 and Anderson will be doing a signing at Waterstones Piccadilly on October 3.

★ Chris O'Dowd will also be at Waterstones on October 27 to promote the release of his new novel, Moone Boy: the Blunder Years. The book, which O'Dowd has co-written with Nick V Murphy, follows the (mis)adventures of young Martin Moone, as he deals with his awful sisters, school bullies and, not one, but two imaginary friends. The book's out on October 23.

★ Parks And Rec star Aziz Ansari is heading to London. He's performing at the Hammersmith Apollo on November 30. 

★ Stephen Fry is to appear on American Dad. This week he tweeted he'd just recorded a voiceover for the show and that his "life is complete". Meanwhile, this Friday has been announced as #FryDay. It's to promote the release of his new memoir, More Fool Me. The day will also include The comedian/actor answering fan questions in a global Apple iBooks Twitter Q&A which begins at 2pm and is the first of its kind to mark the release of a book in the UK. To get involved follow @iBooks .

Composer Hans Zimmer is to perform two concerts at the Royal Albert Hall on October 10 and 11. Hans Zimmer Revealed will be in two parts: the first featuring some of his classic movie film scores including Gladiator, The Lion King and Pirates of the Caribbean, and the second featuring re-imagined versions of some classic scores such as The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception with special guests from the rock and pop world.

If you missed it this week, it's been announced Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are in talks to return to the Bourne franchise. That left me wondering what's going on with the planned second film in the Jeremy Renner-fronted Bourne films. Well, according to producer Frank Marshall the Renner version is still happening: "That movie is moving forward," Marshall Told the Hollywood Reporter. "It's still in development. We're working to get a script as soon as possible." Apparently because there are no deals with Damon or Greengrass, the strategy is to proceed with both projects simultaneously. Will audiences go for two Bourne franchises?

★ Picturehouse Cinemas has announced that it is launching a new central London location in 2015. The chain is taking over the old Cineworld in the Trocadero and relaunching it as a 1,000 seat, seven-screen cinema. Here's hoping they get rid of the mice...

Big news for the Ben Hur remake. Despite reports producers wanted Tom Hiddleston to star in the title role, it's actually gone to Jack Huston. Meanwhile, Brit actor Toby Kebbel has been cast as the film's villain, Messela. They both join Morgan Freeman, who had already been cast.

★ Hiddleston instead has signed on to appear in Skull Island, a prequel to King Kong. The film's due out in November 2016.

★ Robert Downey Jr, Dame Judi Dench, Mark Ruffalo, Emma Watson and Mike Leigh will be feted at the annual BAFTA LA Britannia Awards. The annual event, which helps kick off awards season, takes place on October 30 and is hosted by Rob Brydon.

★ Meanwhile, George Clooney has been announced as the recipient of the Cecil B DeMille Award at this year's Golden Globes. The award celebrates “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”. Last year’s recipient was Woody Allen. Well, I guess giving it to George guarantees the Globes will get him on the red carpet on January 11.

US TV network TNT is developing a new ministries about the life of Neil Armstrong. The four-hour series is based on the book One Great Leap about Armstrong's life and his trip to the moon. No word yet on when we'll get to see it.

★ James Cromwell is to play Rupert Murdoch on stage. He's already played the Duke of Edinburgh and George Bush Sr, and now Cromwell will take on the media magnate for a play being staged in Sydney. Rupert opens in Sydney in November and is due to transfer to London in 2015 and Broadway in 2016. Asked if he was worried about portraying Murdoch, Cromwell said: "I'm not at the beginning of my career. I don't give a fuck what he does to me. If this is going to be my last shot, I think it's a good one." Good on you, James!

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