The Playlist

Ben Stiller Heads To HBO To Produce, Direct & Star In Jonathan Safran Foer-Penned Comedy Pilot 'All Talk'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 24, 2012 9:32 AM
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We're reaching something of a watershed moment when it comes to the divide between TV and film. While the likes of "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" have seen the small screen gain more and more prestige over the last decade, and names like Martin Scorsese and Michael Mann have lent their names to projects, the big directors tend to helm the pilot, take an executive producer credit and move on, while the shows tend to be lead either by rising, relatively unknown stars (see Michael Pitt, Jon Hamm, Aaron Paul) or veteran character actors eager for a more substantial role (see James Gandolfini, Steve Buscemi, Peter Dinklage). Dustin Hoffman is probably the biggest name to head to TV to date, as the star of Mann's HBO show "Luck" which starts on Sunday, but while he's enormously respected, he's hardly an A-lister anymore -- he's not led a bona-fide hit himself since 1995's "Outbreak."

Producer Scott Rudin Picks Up Doc 'Indie Game: The Movie' For HBO Comedy Series

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 23, 2012 3:45 PM
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After making "The Social Network," the story of a bunch of nerds creating Facebook, into an unlikely box office and awards season hit, producer Scott Rudin seems to hope he can take that same formula to the small screen.

Maggie Gyllenhaal & Rhys Ifans Circling Noah Baumbach's 40-Hour-Long HBO Series 'The Corrections'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 20, 2012 9:22 AM
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Nothing demonstrates the status of HBO these days better than "The Corrections." Jonathan Franzen's novel was hugely acclaimed on publication in 2001, later landing atop many of the "best of the decade" literary lists, and was soon snapped up for a film version by Scott Rudin, one of the most important producers in Hollywood, and the man behind some of the most acclaimed novel-to-film translations of the last decade, from "Wonder Boys" to "No Country For Old Men."

Todd Haynes Talks The Contemporary Parallels Of 'Mildred Pierce' & His Possible Next Project With Julianne Moore

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • January 12, 2012 10:03 AM
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Not content to rank among the first tier of independent filmmakers working on the big screen, Todd Haynes took a gamble last year and collaborated with the folks at HBO for what would become one of the must-see events on television: “Mildred Pierce,” an epic adaptation of James M. Cain’s acclaimed novel. But the filmmaker responsible for some of the most daring and unusual cinematic works of recent years said that the reason he decided to undertake the project on the small screen was simple – namely, he couldn’t have made it otherwise. “I don’t know that we could have made 'Mildred Pierce' as a feature film,” Haynes told us in a recent interview. “The appetite right now among financiers for female-driven historical dramas is scant, and narrowing, and we could have made the good fight, but it certainly would have been a condensed version of that novel, which I thought was already quite significantly accomplished in the first round, in that ’45 film.”

Martin Scorsese Reconfirms 'Silence' Is Next; Considering 3D For His HBO Series With Mick Jagger & Terence Winter

  • By Ryan Sartor
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  • January 3, 2012 11:57 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Re-confirming what we reported back in February 2011, Martin Scorsese caught up with Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo on BBC 5 in December and once again posited that his Jesuit priest drama “Silence” will be his next film. “I’m hoping to do [Shusaku] Endo’s book next, ‘Silence,’” Scorsese began before correcting himself. “I’m not hoping, we’re literally pulling all of the elements together at this point.”

Jane Fonda To Grace Your TV Screen With Role In Aaron Sorkin's HBO Drama 'Newsroom'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 15, 2011 10:21 AM
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To those of a younger generation, it's possible that Jane Fonda is better known as a campaigner and as ex-wife of mogul Ted Turner than as an actress. For twenty years between 1990 and 2010, the Oscar-winning star of "Klute" and "Coming Home" made only two films, the weak Jennifer Lopez comedy "Monster-In-Law," and the even weaker Lindsay Lohan vehicle "Georgia Rule." 

Leonardo DiCaprio-Produced Adaptation Of Acclaimed Novel 'Beat The Reaper' Heading To HBO

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 14, 2011 7:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Not that we don't love the thing, but we're a little dispirited by the extent to which top-flight filmmakers are ready to jump ship to HBO. Increasingly the home to A-list directors like Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann and Darren Aronofsky, it's becoming one of the few places that smart, prestigious adult projects are treated as if the people who paid for them aren't ashamed of them (witness the push given to, say, "Boardwalk Empire" versus Fox Searchlight's burying of "Margaret"). But furthermore, it seems to be becoming the answer to what happens when a big-screen project hits the rocks.

Watch: Lena Dunham Brings Mumblecore Into Your Living Room With First Teaser For HBO Series 'Girls'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 12, 2011 1:35 PM
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  • 18 Comments
Lena Dunham, who won many hearts and minds with her 2010 debut feature "Tiny Furniture" (headed for the Criterion Collection soon), will soon be exposing her self-affacing brand of awkward humor to a much bigger audience when her television series, "Girls," executive produced by some dude named Judd Apatow, hits HBO next year. Last night, during the "Boardwalk Empire" finale/"Luck" sneak peek pair of brilliance, HBO debuted a short teaser for the series. And we've got to say, we're cautiously optimistic.

Spike Lee To Direct Eddie Murphy In HBO Biopic On Notorious Washington Mayor Marion Barry

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 9, 2011 9:07 AM
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Well, here's a pretty big surprise. Eddie Murphy, who was poised for a comeback with "Tower Heist," seemed to have those hoped dash by the film underperforming at the box office, coupled with his association in the Ratnergate Oscar ceremony fallout, that led to the comic actor stepping down as the host. And just when we pegged Murphy as simply returning to his recent run of dreck -- he's got "Hong Kong Phooey" on the horizon for chrissakes -- we were hit out of left field with this.

Akiva Goldsman Sets Up Western Drama About Doc Holliday AT HBO With Ron Howard Attached To Direct Pilot

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 22, 2011 1:17 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Say what you will about Akiva Goldsman, but the guy responsible for stuff like "Batman Forever," "Batman & Robin," "Jonah Hex" and the "Paranormal Activity" sequels does manage to deliver something a cut above his usual dreck whenever he pairs up with Ron Howard. While we'll politely ignore the Dan Brown adaptations, the duo collaborated in fine form with "A Beautiful Mind" and "Cinderella Man," and were prepared to work together again on the expansive "The Dark Tower" before Universal walked away. And while Brain Grazer recently revealed that HBO will be taking on the television portion of the Stephen King adaptation, it looks like the other two-thirds of the trio have been busy talking to the network about something else.

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