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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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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sun, 14/09/2014 - 12:42

By Jenny Priestley

The new James Bond film will begin shooting on December 6, and the cast will get together at Pinewood Studios in late November for a read through of the script. Bond 24 will be Daniel Craig's fourth film as 007; he'll be joined by Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner and Ben Whishaw as Q. Further casting is still TBA. Location work is expected to take place in Austria, Rome and possibly Morocco. The film's due out on October 23, 2015.

★ The Simpsons are to meet The Simpsons. This year's Treehouse of Horror episode for Halloween will see Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie meet the original characters created by Matt Groening for the Tracey Ullman show. If you've ever seen the show you'll know the original characters look and sound completely different to the Simpsons we know today. The two families will meet each other and, it being Halloween, things won't end well.

★ Eddie Izzard is playing a one-off gig at the Leicester Square Theatre on September 19, in aid of the Save the Sutton Estate campaign.

★ John Cleese will be touring the UK to promote the release of his autobiography this autumn. So Anyway is out on October 9 and Cleese will be at Waterstones Piccadilly on publication day for a signing and reading. He'll then head out around the country to Cheltenham, Bath, Cambridge, Aylesbury, Malvern, London (Selfridges; Cadogan Hall), Edinburgh, Canterbury, Coventry, Guildford, Tunbridge Wells and Bristol.

★ Ray Winstone is the latest celeb to be the subject of BAFTA's A Life In Pictures. The event will take place on October 5 – and there are still tickets available for just £15! Winstone’s forthcoming roles include The Gunman, alongside Idris Elba and Sean Penn, and The Legend of Barney Thomson, co-starring with Robert Carlyle and Emma Thompson.

★ Michael C Hall is heading back to Broadway to star in Hedwig And The Angry Inch. Hall will take over the lead role from Andrew Rannells, who took over from Neil Patrick Harris. It will be Hall's first role in a musical since he appeared in Chicago in 2002. His first night is on October 16 and he'll be in the show until January.

Meanwhile, Mad Men (and The West Wing) star Elisabeth Moss is returning to the Great White Way to star in comedy The Heidi Chronicles. She'll be joined in the play by Jason Biggs (yeh, I'm surprised by that one too!). The story follows the title character from her 1960s high school days to her career as an art historian. It's expected to open in March.

★ Morgan Freeman obviously loves having an eclectic CV. This week he's not only signed on to appear in Ted 2 but he's also the first actor confirmed for the remake of Ben Hur. The film's been in the works for a while and Freeman will play Ildarin – the man who teaches Ben Hur to become a chariot racer. The title role hasn't been cast yet but there are reports that the producers are keen to sign up Tom Hiddleston. Filming's due to begin next year.

★ Chevy Chase and his National Lampoon co-star Beverly D'Angelo have had their new TV comedy series picked up by ABC. The show, which is currently untitled, follows a married couple whose golden years are interrupted when they're forced to raise their grandchildren. 

★ Paul Greengrass looks set to work with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill on a new film about the Atlanta Olympics bomb. The film is about Richard Jewell, a security guard who discovered a suspicious backpack during the 1996 games in Atlanta. He helped clear people away from the area but then became a target of the investigation before finally being cleared three months later. Hill will play Jewell with Leo on board as a lawyer who helps him through the situation.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sun, 07/09/2014 - 18:57

By Jenny Priestley

★ Matt Damon, left, is getting busy, with two new films on the horizon. He starts filming Manchester-by-the-Sea with director Kenneth Lonergan this week. The drama follows a Boston plumber with a secret who returns home following the death of his brother. Damon is also due to work with Ridley Scott on The Martian, a film about an astronaut on Mars and his battle to survive. Jessica Chastain and Kristen Wiig are in early talks to join the cast.

Director Werner Herzog has filmed a cameo for the new season of Parks And Recreation. Herzog revealed the news during a Q&A in New York. He told the audience he plays "an elderly guy who sells his decrepit house to the young couple who are the leading characters in this". "I address the audience and I say, ‘You know, I lived in this home for 47 years. And I decided to move out now and sell this because I’m moving to Orlando, Florida, to be close to Disney World.’ I’ve never seen the show, but I hope they kept some of it.”

★ Denzel Washington has decided he wants to be James Bond. The Oscar-winner took part in a Reddit AMA when he was asked if he'd still like to play the super spy and his response was an emphatic yes: “The next James Bond? They better hurry up! Yes I would! Everybody should tweet Denzel is James Bond! Send it to the studio!” he replied. “We start the Denzel is Bond campaign today! James Washington. Denzel Bond!”. On a slightly more serious note, Denzel did reveal he's still hoping to work with Will Smith on a remake of Uptown Saturday Night.

★ Bruce Springsteen is to make his acting debut on the next series of Lilyhammer, which is available on Netflix. The show stars E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Azande as a former mobster relocated to Norway. Bruce will play a mortuary owner in the show. I'm amazed he's never acted before.

★ Rob Brydon and Michelle Gomez are to guest star in a new HBO series starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins. The Brink is about three men trying to stop World War III: the US Secretary of State (Robbins); a lowly Foreign Service officer (Black) and a Navy pilot (Pablo Schreiber). Brydon and Gomez will appear as 'a tight knit, eccentric couple'.

★ Vince Vaughn is to star in The Politician, a comedy about a Washington DC politico who gets caught up in a scandal with some hookers and goes on the run from the FBI, US Marshals and a gang of drug dealers. Michael Dowse directs and the film's producers include Seth Rogen.

Who wants to win afternoon tea with Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott? Get in line!! The actors are donating their time (and tea) to the National Theatre and to win all you have to do is donate £20 before September 16. And if you win, you have to take me as your plus one!

★ Naomi Watts and Jake Gyllenhaal begin filming a new romantic drama in New York next week. They're co-starring in Demolition, the new film from director Jean-Marc Vallee. The story follows a young investment banker struggling with the death of his wife. Suddenly a woman he meets in a chance encounter changes his life forever.

★ Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chiewtel Ejiofor are to star in a remake of the Argentinian thriller The Secrets In Their Eyes. The original was about a retired lawyer trying to get closure on an un solved case; the remake moves the story to the US with Ejiofor as a former MI5 agent. If you haven't seen the original you should seek it out – it has what I think has one of the greatest shots in cinema, which involves the camera flying into a football stadium.

Is Supergirl flying back into our screens? Producer Greg Berlanti, who works on Arrow and The Flash, is developing a new TV series based on the Supergirl story. It's only in development at the moment, so no word yet on casting.

★ Jesse Eisenberg and Shia LaBeouf are in talks to star in a comedy about two stoners turned arms dealers. Arms And The Dudes follows the true story of two stoners from Miami Beach who ended up becoming arms dealers for the US government. Todd Phillips is expected to direct.

Meanwhile, LaBeouf will star alongside Kate Mara and Gary Oldman in psychological thriller Man Down. The story follows an Afghanistan war veteran who attempts to come to terms with his past while searching for his family in a post-apocalyptic America. Filming begins at the end of October.

★ Zac Efton and Robert De Niro are in talks to co-star in the comedy Dirty Grandpa. The film's about a young man who is tricked into driving his grandfather, a perverted former Army general who thinks his grandson is about to marry the wrong woman, to Florida. Dan Mazer directs.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sun, 31/08/2014 - 11:26

By Jenny Priestley

The brilliant Get Smart! creator Mel Brooks (who has also made the odd film or two over the years) is the latest celeb to have his hand and footprints immortalised in cement. The Academy Award-winner will be honoured at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on September 9. Amazingly, the likes of Jennifer Aniston, the cast of the Twilight films and the Harry Potter kids have all been honoured before Brooks. Happily, this is now being corrected!

★ Steve Zahn and Andrea Anders are joining the cast of Modern Family. They will appear in season six as a horrible family who move in next door to the Dunphys. They're expected to appear in early episodes of the new season.

★ Steven Moffat has revealed a few details about series four of Sherlock. Moffat says of the new series: “We have a plan to top [series three]. And I do think our plan is devastating. We’ve practically reduced our cast to tears telling them the plan … we’re probably more excited that we’ve ever been about Sherlock.” 

Meanwhile, Moffat's co-producer Mark Gatiss is returning to Game of Thrones as banker Tycho Nestoris. He'll be back working on season five in Croatia this week.

The unlikeliest casting news of the week has got to be Chris Hemsworth in talks to join the cast of the rebooted National Lampoon's Vacation. The new film, just titled Vacation, will star Ed Helms as Rusty Griswald, the grown son of Clark (Chevy Chase). Hemsworth will play the husband of Rusty's sister, and Christina Applegate will star as Rusty's wife. Filming begins next month.

The always-brilliant David Hyde Pierce is returning to TV after a 10-year break – the former Frasier co-star is joining the cast of The Good Wife for season six. Pierce will appear as a legal pundit who becomes so disgusted by the corruption and murder rate in Chicago that he decides to run for office. Not quite sure how that'll fit into the storyline of the legal drama.

★ Robert Sean Leonard is to star in a new production of To Kill A Mockingbird at the Barbican next summer. The play, which premiered at the Regent's Park Open Theatre last year, will arrive in London following a tour of the UK. To Kill a Mockingbird will run at the Barbican from June 24 to July 25, 2015.

★ Steve Carell and Sienna Miller are bringing Foxcatcher to this year's BFI London Film Festival. The film, which is getting lots of Oscar buzz, will premiere on October 16 with Carell and Miller joining director Bennett Miller on the red carpet. The full line-up for this year's festival is announced on Wednesday.

★ Reese Witherspoon's new film Wild will be released in the UK on January 16. The film, which is rumoured to be screening as part of the LFF, is based on the true story of Cheryl Strayed, who decided to hike for 1,100-miles on her own as a means to get over the end of her marriage, her heroin addiction and the loss of her mother.

★ David Fincher is the latest subject of BAFTA's A Life in Pictures series. The Gone Girl director will discuss his career on September 19. His film, based on Gillian Flynn's novel, is out on October 3.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Mon, 25/08/2014 - 14:17

By Jenny Priestley

Game of Thrones author George RR Martin is working on a one-off story got a new book. It's for a collection of 21 original stories from authors including Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl), Neil Gaiman and Martin. The book is titled Rogues and Martin's story will follow one of the biggest rogues from the Thrones series. The book is being released on September 15.

Sherlock star Andrew Scott will be at the Apple store on Regent Street on August 28 to promote his new film, Pride. He'll be joined at the event by co-star Faye Marsay. The film's premiere follows on September 2nd at the Odeon Camden.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullan have joined the voice cast of Jungle Book: Origins. Cumberbatch is voicing the film's villain, Shere Khan, whilst Andy Serkis will play Baloo the bear, and Bale will voice panther Bagheera. Blanchett will play Kaa, a sinister python who is also a friend to Mowgli, while Hollander will play Tabaqui, the jackal who is an underling of Shere Khan. Mullan will be Akela, the leader of the wolf pack that raises Mowgli. Harris is the female wolf Nisha, while Marsan is her mate, Vihaan. Serkis is also directing the film.

Ashley Jensen has been cast in the lead role in a new drama for Sky that sounds a bit more like a comedy. She'll star in Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, a 120 minute drama that will be shown at Christmas on Sky1, with Jensen playing PR turned detective Raisin. “It’s not often a part like this comes along for a woman" says Jensen. "Agatha Raisin is a strong forthright, independent, driven, successful woman, who is both funny and flawed, a real woman of our time.”

Steve Martin looks set for his first film in a few years. He's in talks to star in Magic Camp for Disney, a film he's already helped to write. The story follows a banker who returns to Magic Camp, which he attended as a shy child. This time he's working there and makes it his mission to improve the lives of all the kids while aiming for the top spot at the Golden Wand competition. Martin used to be a magician in real life (something I didn't know).

Bates Motel actor Freddie Highmore is co-writing the script for a new to com TV show. He'll be working with Kerry Ehrin, who is the showrunner on Bates Motel. The show, which is being set up at NBC, is set in the world of venture capitalism and follows the relationship between an overly emotional but talented female executive and her ambitious and eccentric young British assistant. No word yet on whether Highmore will appear in the show.

Rob Brydon is to host the BAFTA Britannia Awards in Los Angeles on October 30. The annual event helps kick off award season and is a celebration of achievements honouring individuals and companies that have dedicated their careers to advancing the entertainment arts. Last year's winners included Kathryn Bigelow, George Clooney, Sacha Baron Cohen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba and Sir Ben Kingsley.

Winona Ryder is to star in a new miniseries from David Simon, creator of The Wire. She'll appear alongside Alfred Molina, Jon Bernthal, Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener in Show Me a Hero. The drama is set in an American city overseen by young, idealistic mayor Nick Wasickso. He's given a federal court order to build low-income housing in a rich part of town which leads to civil disorder and may mean the end of his political career.

A new biography of Robin Williams will be published in the UK in October. Robin Williams 1951-2014: When the Laughter Stops is written by Emily Herbert, who has also written about Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga and Matt Smith. The book will look at the late actor's career including both his comedic and dramatic roles.

Sigourney Weaver is joining Liam Neeson and Felicity Jones in the film adaptation of children's fantasy book, A Monster Calls. The story follows a young boy who attempts to deal with bullying and his mother's terminal illness by escaping into a fantastical world thanks to a tree monster. Weaver will play the boy's grandmother, Jones his mother and Neeson the monster. The film's due for release in 2016.

David Yates is expected to return to the world of Harry Potter and is in talks to direct Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. Yates directed the last four Potter films and had a close relationship with both producers Warner Bros and writer JK Rowling, who is currently busy on the film's script. The story is set 70 years before Potter and follows author Newt Scamander, who is commissioned to write a reference guide to the magical beasts found in the Potterverse. The film's due for release in November 2016.

Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage is to appear in a new play off Broadway early next year. He’ll be joined in the production of A Month in the Country by Taylor Schilling from Orange is the New Black who is making her New York stage debut in the show. The play is being directed by Dinklage’s wife, Erica Schmidt. Schilling will play Natalya, the wife of a wealthy landowner, in the 19th century comedy of manners, with Dinklage as her admirer Rakitin. The play will run at the Classic Stage Company from January 9 to February 15.

Mad Men star Elizabeth Moss and Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery are to co-star in psychological thriller, Queen of Earth. The story follows two women who head to a beach house to escape the pressures of the outside world. Although they grew up as best friends, they soon realise they now have little in common. The film's being directed by Alex Ross Perry.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sun, 17/08/2014 - 13:36

By Jenny Priestley

★ Michael C Hall is being lined up to star in a new miniseries based on an unproduced Stanley Kubrick drama. God Fearing Man follows the true story of Canadian minister Herbert Emerson Wilson, who become one of the best safecrackers and most successful American bank robbers in the early 20th century. Hall will star as Wilson and executive produce the drama. The project is now being offered to TV networks.

Yet more big names have joined the cast of forthcoming TV drama, Westworld. The latest additions include Thandie Newton, Miranda Otto and Ed Harris. Filming on the pilot is due to begin this month.

The cast for Mission: Impossible 5 continues to come together. Director Christopher McQuarrie has tweeted that Ving Rhames will return (he had more of a cameo in M:I 4). Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner are all reprising their roles, with Alec Baldwin rumoured to join the cast as well as up-and-coming actress Rebecca Ferguson.

★ Mad Men star Jon Hamm will be at the Apple store on Regent Street this week. He's promoting his new film, Million Dollar Arm, on August 22. Also this week, Daniel Radcliffe is at the store on Monday to discuss his latest film, What If. And on Wednesday, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario and Thomas Brodie-Sangster will be in the store to promote their new film, The Maze Runner.

Dates for your diary: Godzilla 2 has been dated for a June 8, 2018 release in the US (and presumably the UK). Gareth Edwards will return to direct but not until he's visited a galaxy far, far away... Meanwhile, a sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be released on June 3, 2016. The first one gets released in the UK on October 17.

Is Emma Stone heading to Broadway? Lots of rumours she's in talks to replace Michelle Williams in Cabaret. Stone was originally being lined-up when the production was first being out together but had to drop out due to scheduling issues. Williams is due to leave the show in November with Stone's people confirming she is in talks about taking over as Sally Bowles. I saw the show earlier this year and thought Williams did an OK job, but Stone would definitely make me want to see it again!

It's just over a week to the Primetime Emmy Awards in LA. This year's show takes place on a Monday night (no idea why) and is being hosted by Seth Meyers. Halle Berry, Bryan Cranston, Zooey Deschanel, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Woody Harrelson, Adam Levine, Matthew McConaughey, Julianna Margulies, Jim Parsons, Amy Poehler, Julia Roberts, Gwen Stefani, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Lucy Liu, Debra Messing, Andy Samberg and Octavia Spencer have all been confirmed as presenters. Meanwhile, the first set of winners has been announced at the Creative Arts Emmys with Joe Morton, Allison Janney, Jimmy Fallon, Orange is the New Black and Sherlock all picking up prizes.

One Man Lord of the Rings and One Man Star Wars are heading out on a UK tour. The theatre shows are written and performed by Canadian actor Charles Ross. He takes his audience through both trilogies (leaving out the awful Star Wars prequels). The tour kicks off in High Wycombe on September 26 and wraps up in Radlett on October 17.

It's only a couple of weeks until film festival season kicks off with the Venice Film Fest. The event opens with Birdman on August 27 with stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough and Amy Ryan all expected on the red carpet. Other actors due at screenings of their films are Owen Wilson and Imogen Poots for She's Funny That Way, and Al Pacino for Manglehorn. And in case you missed the news, Brad Pitt will walk the red carpet at the London Film Festival when his new film, Fury, screens on October 19.

★ Sharknado 2: The Second One will be released on DVD on November 3.

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