Before the movie “Psycho” was in theaters and after its release, director Alfred Hitchcock went to extreme lengths to preserve the secrecy of its twist ending, from telling stars Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh not to do interviews to forbidding latecomers from going into screenings of the movie and asking for signs to be put in theater lobbies requesting that moviegoers not spoil the plot for their friends.
But sorry, Hitch, the secret’s out – Norman Bates and his best friend (his mother) are now indelible parts of pop culture. Are there any secrets left to dig up about the antihero?
Director Tucker Gates says yes. He's helming the new TV series “Bates Motel,” which will air on A&E starting March 18. The show will star “Up in the Air” actress Vera Farmiga as Mrs. Bates (her first name is Norma Louise), while “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” actor Freddie Highmore will play the young version of Hitchcock’s memorably spooky character.
Ten episodes have been ordered for the first season. Other cast members signed on for the show include Nicola Peltz as Bradley Kenner, Olivia Cooke as Emma and Max Thieriot as Dylan Massett. (Your guess is as good as ours who they are.) “Lost” actor Nestor Carbonell will appear as Sheriff Royce Romero and Mike Vogel of “The Help” will play Zach Shelby.
The show “promises to give viewers an intimate portrayal of how Norman Bates’ psyche unravels through his teenage years,” according to A&E. “Fans will have access to the dark, twisted backstory and learn first hand just how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma, truly is and how she helped forge the most famous serial killer of them all.”
Farmiga told USA Today that when she started acting as Norma, the actress “want[ed] to defend what she does,” she said. “She's a beautiful portrait of valiant maternity... at the same time she's an absolute train wreck.”
“Psycho” came out in 1960 and was remade in a critically savaged adaptation by director Gus Van Sant in 1998 in which actor Vince Vaughn starred as Norman and Anne Heche played Marion Crane. Will “Motel” be a better-received take on the Norman Bates legend?
Since "The Avengers" (2012) premiered in April last year (and even before), rumors have surfaced about the possibility of a new "Hulk" movie. Joss Whedon, the director of the movie, and Mark Ruffalo, the actor who portrayed the Hulk in his most recent incarnation, have both denied the rumors.
Much of the speculation has been caused by the fact that Ruffalo has signed a contract with Marvel for six pictures. Whether or not he'll get his own standalone film is up for debate. Most observers seem to think he'll be a supporting cast member in movies like "Thor 2" and "Captain America 2."
When asked about the possibility of doing a good Hulk movie in an interview during the Glasgow Film festival, Whedon said, "it would be very, very hard. Hulk is ... tricky. He’s the Claudio of superheroes. Because the problem is, it’s a very popular character, but it’s not a superhero. Half of it’s a superhero, half of it’s a werewolf. And you can’t structure it like a superhero movie, you can’t light it like a superhero movie. How do you develop that?
"It would be extremely difficult. The one thing you would have in your favour would be Mark Ruffalo. But right now I don’t know if they have plans to do that or not, because he works so well as part of a greater whole, but by himself, it’s tough. I don’t envy the guys who went before."
The Hulk franchise has seen modern reboots twice before, in 2003 and 2008 films, and was a popular TV show in the 1970s. The 2003 film, starring Eric Bana, received mixed critical reviews, and decent box office success. The 2008 film starring Edward Norton, did better critically and commercially. Multiple cast members from the 2008 film stated that they would be willing to reprise their roles in the event of a sequel.
For now, both Ruffalo and Whedon have confirmed that the Hulk character won't be returning to the silver screen until "The Avengers 2," and that a standalone Hulk movie is not currently in the works. Ruffalo tweeted, "A lot of folks have been asking about the Next Hulk. The next time you see my Hulk it will be in the Avengers2. No plans for stand alone." In another tweet he said tantalizingly, "One never knows what the future will bring."
And now with their new movie, “Oz the Great and Powerful,” Disney is putting the focus back on the mysterious con man whom Dorothy and her unusual friends visit to see if he can make their dreams come true.
When Dorothy’s dog Toto reveals that the frightening wizard is only a “man behind the curtain” (originally played by Frank Morgan), he tells them that he’s an old Kansas man himself and that he was performing with his balloon one day when a gale swept him into the land of Oz. (To Dorothy’s query if he was frightened, Morgan deadpans, “You are talking to a man who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe! I was petrified.”) According to the Wizard, when he arrived, he was hailed as a magician and anointed with his current title. But was that really what happened? How does he actually know Glinda? What exactly went down in the land of Oz before Dorothy arrived?
“Great and Powerful,” helmed by original “Spiderman” director Sam Raimi, aims to answer a few of these questions. The movie stars James Franco as the titular Wizard, who crashes in the land of Oz and meets three witches, Glinda (Michelle Williams), Theodora (Mila Kunis) and Evanora (Rachel Weisz). We know the part that Glinda plays in later events, but judging from the trailers, either Theodora or Evanora becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. Is the other the Wicked Witch of the East whose death is inadvertently caused by Dorothy?
Which witch becomes the cackling green lady embodied in the original “Wizard” by Margaret Hamilton? The movie’s cast and crew aren’t telling.
(Spoilers for the movie follow…)
However, some of the trailers seem to set up Evanora for the big bad, showing Weisz summoning flying monkeys to do her bidding. But now others are saying that was a false trail and Theodora eventually becomes the water-phobic villain, with some leaked images indeed showing Weisz standing next to a shorter woman in green makeup – presumably Theodora.
It’s always dangerous to take on beloved stories, but the Broadway musical “Wicked,” which opened in 2003 and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, has shown that expanding on this story can be done if the new take is creative enough. The musical is still running on Broadway today.
Raimi said he was originally hesitant to do the film but that the new story won him over.
“The original is my favorite film of all time,” the director told Entertainment Weekly. “I didn't want it sullied. I didn't want to be involved in a production that might trade off the goodwill of that film, so I didn't even want to read the script at first. Luckily I did. And then I realized that it wasn't at all what I thought.”
Will “Great and Powerful” be a worthy successor to the classic original? Well, now we’ll know – the movie opens today.
Stern, currently a radio personality and judge on the NBC show “America’s Got Talent,” could take the spot currently occupied by the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member if NBC relieves "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno and replaces him with Fallon, according to the New York Post.
“Sources close to the radio man tell The Post that Stern, in turn, is being ‘groomed’ by NBC as the new Fallon,” the Post article read.
It’s not a sure thing that Fallon would replace Leno, either – the Hollywood Reporter stated that a source told them the network was planning to remove the longtime “Tonight Show” host in favor of Fallon, but so far, NBC is denying the story.
Nevertheless, the source told the Hollywood Reporter that NBC may believe it can handily beat ABC night host Jimmy Kimmel if Fallon’s show was going head-to-head with the program instead of the close battle that always ensues between Kimmel and Leno for ratings.
“Kimmel has done extremely well," the source said. "Jay wins overall, but on any given night, it's neck-and-neck in 18-49. I understand where they might have fear and also feel that they own the solution.”
Leno has hosted “The Tonight Show” since 1992 except for a brief break in 2009 when the comedian left to be the face of “The Jay Leno Show.” Leno and the new “Tonight Show” host Conan O’Brien became the center of controversy when it was reported that NBC wanted to move “The Jay Leno Show” to the timeslot formerly occupied by “The Tonight Show” and move “Tonight” to a midnight air time. O’Brien wrote a letter stating that he would leave the network if the move was enacted, and after he left, Leno became the host of “Tonight” again.
Stern is currently the host of his own program on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and is famous for his controversial broadcasts. His original program, “The Howard Stern Show,” was fined multiple times by the FCC for indecency.
When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in the fall, the new leadership, quarterbacked by Lucasilm’s new President Kathleen Kennedy, made their intentions very clear. Star Wars is not only going to get new movies, but it’s going to continue the story crafted by George Lucas, meaning familiar universe, familiar timeline and familiar characters.
Mark Hamill confirmed that he’s in talks to reprise his role as Luke Skywalker and Harrison Ford has already reportedly signed to return as Han Solo. And if there’s a Han Solo, there’s a Princess Leia, and that holds true when the Star Wars saga returns in 2015 with Episode VII.
In a recent interview with Palm Beach Illustrated, Carrie Fisher straight-up confirmed a multitude of rumors and reports that she will be reprising her career-defining role as Leia Organa in first of many upcoming Star Wars movies. When asked if she could confirm her return, Fisher simply replied with “yes.”
And to follow up, Fisher gave her thoughts jokingly on what Episode 7′s Leia may be like:
“Elderly. She’s in an intergalactic old folks’ home [laughs].
I just think she would be just like she was before, only slower and less inclined to be up for the big battle.”
An aged Leia and Solo would likely be embracing leadership positions in the New Republic, born of the ashes of the Empire after the Battle of Endor and the destruction of the second Death Star in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. If the films follow the multitude of the Star Wars expanded universe stories, Leia may have several children who themselves could be main characters in the series going forward: The twins Jaina & Jacen, and their youngest, Anakin, named after [Vader voice] you know who.
As for Leia specifically, she may play a similar supporting role to the Mon Mothma character of the original trilogy – with more screen time undoubtedly – but in either case, it’s pleasing to see Lucasfilm and Disney honoring the franchise roots and maintaining the continuity in the most authentic way possible.
With the main three characters all but officially confirmed by the studio to return, what about other characters like Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) and Wedge Antilles (Dennis Lawson)? And are Fisher and co. back for the entire trilogy (Episodes 7-9) or just Episode 7?
Rob Keyes blogs at Screen Rant.
The new Iron Man 3 trailer reveals much more of the storyline behind Tony Stark’s latest adventure - much of which we’ve already dug up in our posts on the Iron Man 3 armor guide and Iron Legion poster breakdown.
Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is in a bit of a funk following his near-death experience in space at the climax of The Avengers – and despite new technologies that let him control his armor remotely by command, he’s still not ready for the assault by The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), a nefarious terrorist leader whose Machevellian schemes trace back to Tony’s initial near-death ordeal, as seen in Iron Man.
As viewed above, there is a going to be some major action in this threequel film – and seemingly a much better (and epic) story arc than we got in the lukewarm Iron Man 2. For fans who were not that impressed by the Iron Man 3 teaser trailer: the sight of Tony and Rhodey (Don Cheadle) summoning that Iron Man army – including the unofficial Hulk Buster design(!) – is probably going to be a better motivator to get you in the theater seats, no?
It started off on the wrong foot. Or cowboy boots, I should say.
When the CW show “Hart of Dixie,” starring “The O.C.” actress Rachel Bilson, first aired in November of 2011, it wasn’t a favorite with viewers. According to the website TV Series Finale, the show was almost canceled because of its low ratings. But now, in the middle of its second season, the show is gaining a larger fan base, with its Feb. 26 episode luring in 1.38 million viewers and experiencing a 20% increase in the important 18-49 demographic, according to TV Series Finale.
Produced by Josh Schwartz (“The O.C.,” “Gossip Girl,” and “Carrie Diaries”), among others, the show follows Dr. Zoe Hart (Bilson) who had high hopes of being a heart surgeon in the Big Apple but instead finds herself in Bluebell, Ala. after getting dumped by her boyfriend of eight years and not getting hired for the fellowship of her dreams.
Sure, it sounds a bit like “Sweet Home Alabama” (a movie that you may have once liked, but TBS has played it so many times that you probably can’t stand it now). But unlike that particular chick flick, the show’s “cutesy” factor isn't cloying. It may be a bit cliché, but there’s something about Zoe’s quirky encounters with the small-town residents that make it work.
First there’s her friendship with the town mayor and former NFL linebacker Lavon Hayes (Cress Williams). The two become best friends and Lavon helps Zoe navigate her way through the town. Their relationship is great because there’s never any real drama between them – the two are just a genuine example of a solid friendship.
Then there’s the witty banter between Zoe and her neighbor Wade Kinsella (Wilson Bethel). Wade, who is a bartender, is her complete opposite. Throughout season one, the two are almost always arguing over everything and anything. Eventually, the arguing leads to a mutual attraction and relationship.
If an “opposites attract” scenario doesn’t draw you in, maybe a love triangle will. Although Bluebell resident George is now dating someone new, he left the uptight Lemon Breeland (Jaime King) at the altar during season one because of Zoe. Zoe initially was attracted to George but didn’t think he was ready for a relationship and so began falling for Wade instead. The tension between the three only increases, but we still have yet to see George and Zoe together.
There's usually some drama as well because Bilson’s character almost always clashes with the Southern belles of Bluebell, led by Lemon, as well as Lemon's father Dr. Brick Breeland (Tim Matheson), who shares the practice with Zoe. But the enmity has a refreshing twist – alhough they all dislike each other, they still semi-get along, because it’s a small town and they often run into each other.
So take a chance on “Hart of Dixie.” It’s worth it.
Jupiter Ascending cross-pollinates the Snow White fairy tale with Japanese pop culture influences to create a piece of sci-fi folklore and futuristic mythology, as imagined by filmmakers Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas). The project begins shooting this year, with Mila Kunis starring as the diamond-in-the-rough protagonist: an ordinary human woman whose perfect genetic structure threatens the reign of higher-evolved beings.
Channing Tatum costars as the bounty hunter hired to find and kill Kunis, only to turn around and become her protecter. The remainder of the cast is steadily filling out, including Eddie Redmayne (Les Misérables) in an unspecified role.
Deadline is reporting that Sean Bean has come aboard the Wachowskis’ new sci-fi project, referencing his character – named Stinger – as “a Han Solo-type” who is supposed to be noticeably older than Tatum (according to the script). The actor’s a welcome addition to the proceedings, but his tendency to die gruesomely onscreen in whatever role he plays – be it Boromir in Lord of the Rings, Ned Stark in Game of Thrones, or his lesser-known characters in sci-fi films like Equilibrium and The Island – make his involvement something of a warning flag, as far as the longevity of any character he plays goes.
Tatum says Jupiter Ascending is a reinvention of the sci-fi/action genre, while the fundamental plot and character details suggest the Wachowskis are preparing a dense backstory for the film’s fantastical universe in advance; that may allow for a multi-installment sci-fi saga on par with the non-prequel Star Wars trilogy (e.g. better pre-planning than on both Matrix live-action sequels and Animatrix spinoff). Hence, the Han Solo comparison seems fitting; not to mention, a roughneck with a heart-of-gold type is a good match for Bean’s masculine presence. Who knows, he might even be alive by the time the end credits start rolling… maybe.
Wachowski pictures like Bound, The Matrix, Cloud Atlas (read our review) and, yes, even Speed Racer demonstrate the siblings’ affection for geek pop culture and genre. Even with their Racer and Atlas adaptations, they continue to strive towards revitalizing familiar pop genre aesthetics by mixing and splicing them together – in an effort to create a daring and innovative product. True, the final results do not always turn out well – and have earned the duo a reputation for being divisive – but even their worst output possesses some quality making it memorable.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
“Hour” followed Edwards as Hank Galliston, a man who publishes a magazine based around the paranormal, who must save his wife after she’s kidnapped and becomes involved in a historical conspiracy. The show premiered Feb. 14 and had aired three episodes so far.
When “Zero” premiered, it was watched by 6.3 million viewers, which was the lowest-rated ABC premiere for a scripted show during the regular TV season ever. The show kept falling, luring in 5.3 million viewers for its second episode and 5 for its third. In its 8 p.m. air time, the show was up against boffo programs like “American Idol” and “The Big Bang Theory,” though, as pointed out by the Huffington Post, it attracted only 5 million viewers on a night when CBS, which is the home of high-rating Thursday comedy “The Big Bang Theory,” wasn’t even airing new episodes.
An ABC spokesperson told the Huffington Post that it hasn’t yet been determined when the remaining episodes of “Zero Hour” will air, though the summer is a possibility.
“Zero Hour has lots of twists and turns that could be worth following,” the Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodwin wrote. “It also has the DNA to be laughably bad… This is your opt-in or opt-out moment. For me, I’m in. Broadcast television is a graveyard right now.”
Others found the pilot incomprehensible. The Star-Ledger writer Vicki Hyman called the exposition “clunky” and the dialogue “laughable.”
“The creator has said he'll tell a single story in 13 episodes (we've heard that one before), with a separate mystery unfolding for the second season, if there is one,” she wrote. “Based on the pilot, I doubt they'll make it to lunch.”
The slot formerly occupied by “Zero” will be filled by repeats of the business-pitch reality show “Shark Tank,” according to ABC.
Based on the Dutch drama “Penoza,” RED WIDOW revolves around Marta Walraven, a stay-at-home mother whose idyllic life shatters following the brutal murder of her husband Evan. Cue a cadre of characters including but not limited to Russian gangsters, FBI Agents, scheming family members and an international crimeboss. Many of whom theTVaddict.com had the pleasure of catching up with during a recent star-studded affair in Hollywood. First up, ER alum Goran Visjnic, who shed some light on what attracted him to the role, what he loves about playing his new dark character Christian Schiller and what surprises are in store for those who come along for the ride.
How excited are you for this new show, RED WIDOW?
Goran Visnjic: A lot actually because this is first time being back on TV as a regular for a couple of years, and it’s different than I’ve done before. We’ve already done eight episodes, so we know what is happening with the show, what’s the storyline, how is it finishing and we’ve seen a couple episodes also so we know we have a good show on our hands. So it’s kind of really exciting to see how ever body else will react.
I read an article that you had initially been hesitant about joining the show because you weren’t sure if the character was going to be meaty enough. Do you feel like Melissa [Rosenberg] really took charge of this character and gave you something that is worthwhile?
It’s difficult upon reading a pilot, you’ve probably seen the Episode 1, there is only one scene in the end. You can’t even imagine, ok what’s going to happen afterwards. We had a long conversation – I wasn’t sure about it. But after I saw the pilot, because they did the pilot without me, that I was like, ‘Ok this is a good show. Let me have that meeting again.’ So we went out and had dinner again, and I said ‘OK, look, how are you going to run the show later, what is going to be happening?’ and then we parted. And then we kind of established a lot, what is going to be happening with the character, about his family, about why he does things the way he does it and all that stuff.
I have to say when we came to Vancouver and I saw episodes 2 and 3, everything Melissa and I discussed was in the script. I was really happy. It was awesome. You have a writer who actually listens to what you think about a character and co-creates the story with you about the character, like the backstory – what was happening in his life before. So it was really exciting.
It seems like some of the basic cable shows are pushing network shows to get a little bit edgier. Do you feel like that’s happening in this show, where you have more freedom than you might have had 10 years ago?
Melissa said something that I kind of stopped and started thinking about. We all think that cable has better shows, or this and that, because they can show blood, sex, violence. But it’s not, it’s actually the format of the story, how much time do they have to tell the story. If you are on network TV and have 22 episodes to tell the story, you have to water it down. You can’t keep the linear, one-way storyline for 22 episodes. You can’t. It’s impossible. But if you have 13, 14, 15 episodes, you can make it as a long, long movie. It’s pretty much a miniseries every season. So this is what ABC is trying to do now. We have these 8 episodes – after episode 1, you’re going to see in the premiere night. We have episode 1 and 2 and they just continue. There is no procedural. There is no story finishing a little bit in each episode. It just goes like a freight train – it just goes, goes, goes. Until episode 8, then it’s boom – big season finale and a new cliffhanger for the new season. So that’s what the beauty is of a cable show, they have this luxury of telling the story that way and also the writers have time to actually sit in the office and think about how they are going to do a smaller amount of episodes and have more time to write. In network TV they have a bigger amount of episodes and less time to write. I think that’s the beauty of cable, the beauty of the format we are trying to do here. Not blood violence, sex. You can do a sexy scene without actually seeing much. It can be really charged.
We know that we’re going to find out who killed Marta’s husband this season, what do you think would be the direction you would want to see the show go in next season?
Look I don’t want to jump the gun here. ABC is going to make a decision in May, like every time when they do announce whether the show is going to go or not. I don’t want to give any predictions or not. But, the way the show is going to go next season, we’re already talking about that. So we’ve been talking that you’re going to see more – talking about my character – more inside my family life, you’re going to see more about the backstory with my father, you’re going to see more of his – some people in his family are going to start showing up. You’re going to see that the show is going to spread more internationally. You’re going to see that this guy actually has his fingers in some activities that are actually even legal. Not just illegal stuff. So he’s like a businessman who does edgy things, legal things and very illegal things. On Radha’s character, it’s probably going to be trying to get out of this, but getting in deeper. I don’t know. That’s a question for Melissa probably.
The TV Addict staff blogs at The TV Addict.