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The Small Screen: Steve Zailian & Richard Price Remaking BBC Hit 'Criminal Justice' For HBO

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 21, 2011 3:02 AM
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Plus David S. Goyer Adapting Comic '100 Bullets' For Showtime, And Sam Raimi's 'Noir' Greenlit By StarzWhen what would otherwise be a sure-fire Oscar contender teaming Todd Haynes and Kate Winslet ends up as a five-hour miniseries, when the season finale of "Game of Thrones" is the talk of the town, and when Darren Aronofsky follows up his most successful film to date with a TV pilot written by a Pulitzer Prize-winner, you know that the idea that TV as a lesser medium is long gone. In the last six months alone, names like Gus Van Sant, Mark Romanek, Jody Hill, Tom Hanks, Neil Gaiman, Aaron Sorkin, Scott Rudin, David Hare, Zooey Deschanel, Robert Towne, Michael Mann, Ron Howard, Javier Bardem, David Fincher and Kevin Spacey have all been working on TV shows to one degree on another.

'The Social Network' Secret Weapon Josh Pence Joins Aaron Sorkin's 'More As This Story Develops'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 17, 2011 2:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Broadway Stars John Gallagher Jr and Thomas Sadoski Also On Board For HBO PilotOn the special features of the DVD for "The Social Network," actor Josh Pence admits that he was devastated when he discovered that he'd been cast in a major role in a new David Fincher film, but that his face and voice would never be heard on screen. Pence provided the body of Tyler Winklevoss, but co-star Armie Hammer's face was digitally inserted on the body, to maintain the illusion of identical twin-dom. But the graciousness of Hammer and Fincher on the publicity circuit ensured that Pence's name got out there, and he hasn't done too badly off it, landing supporting roles in two of next summer's biggest movies: as Chief Moore in Peter Berg's "Battleship," and as the younger version of Liam Neeson's character Ra's Al Ghul in "The Dark Knight Rises."

Robin Wright In Negotiations To Join Kevin Spacey In David Fincher's Netflix Series 'House of Cards'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 10, 2011 12:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
We have to admit, we're enormously intrigued by "House of Cards." A remake of the popular BBC series from the 1990s, itself based on a series of books by political insider Michael Dobbs, it marks the reunion of David Fincher, one of the biggest directors around, and Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey, for the first time since "Se7en," and on a TV series, no less. More importantly, it has the potential to be a real game-changer, being the first original series commissioned by streaming giants Netflix, who will air the show exclusively, having committed $100 million to the show, and scheduling it for an unprecedented 26-episode, two season run straight off the bat.

Jody Hill & Irvine Welsh Teaming For HBO Version Of Hit Sundance Doc 'Knuckle'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 10, 2011 9:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Network Also Planning Miniseries Version Of 'I, Claudius'Every so often, a documentary comes along that seems ripe for feature adaptation, and, as usual, it's snapped up speedily by studio executives. But for the most part ("Dogtown & Z-Boys" becoming "Lords of Dogtown" being the only exception we can really think of), the remakes never quite make it on to screens -- feature version of "The King of Kong," "Racing Dreams" and many others languish in development hell.

HBO Picks Up Cameron Crowe's Elton John Doc 'The Union,' Will Hit TV Screens In January 2012

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 7, 2011 3:47 AM
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  • 0 Comments
While he may have been off the grid for a few years there, Cameron Crowe is storming back in 2011. He's got the dramedy "We Bought A Zoo" with Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Angus MacFadyen, Elle Fanning, Patrick Fugit, John Michael Higgins and J.B. Smoove getting ready for a Christmas release. His documentary "Pearl Jam Twenty" on the titular grunge icons will premiere at the Venice Film Festival, before hitting theaters in September and PBS in October. And if all that isn't enough, he's actually already got another completed documentary in the can.

Sam Waterston Heads Back To TV For Aaron Sorkin's HBO Pilot

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 1, 2011 1:34 AM
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  • 2 Comments
They say there's no such thing as a job for life these days, but the cast of NBC's long-running procedural "Law & Order" must have thought they had the closest thing to one until the show was canceled last year, on the verge of its 20th season. But rather than slipping quietly away into retirement, 70-year-old Sam Waterston, who played District Attorney Jack McCoy on the show for a whopping sixteen years, across 368 episodes, has just booked a new gig, and he couldn't have asked for one with a better pedigree.

TV Vs. Film: Ten Shows Worth Skipping The Multiplex For

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 26, 2011 9:58 AM
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  • 26 Comments
The Playlist's brief flirtation with television continues... Yesterday, we dipped our toe into the murky waters of the debate around whether the quality of television has now surpassed that of contemporary film (conclusion: it's a silly question), and now, as the TV season wraps up this week, we're examining the evidence, the shows that keep The Playlist team going on weekends when movie theaters are bereft of anything that doesn't insult our intelligence.

TV Vs Film: Is This Really A Golden Age Of Television & What Can Film Learn From The Small-Screen?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 25, 2011 10:00 AM
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  • 16 Comments
We don't cover much television here at The Playlist. Generally speaking, the magic of sitting in a dark room with a big-ass screen trumps the home experience every time. But TV news is starting to bleed across, thanks to the reams of big-screen stars, writers and directors who are moving into long-form TV work, and the line in terms of the product is starting to blur as well: "Mildred Pierce," for instance, barely qualifies as television, aside from its length, and its premiere airing on HBO. It was a highly cinematic experience, and arguably the best film of the year so far.

Emily Mortimer Beats Out Marisa Tomei For Lead In Aaron Sorkin's HBO Pilot

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 3, 2011 2:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment
We bloody love Emily Mortimer. The British star has proved herself over the last decade or so to be an incredibly versatile actress, capable of terrific dramatic work, in projects like "Lars and the Real Girl" or "Lovely & Amazing" (the latter really should have brought her more awards attention) and broad comedy (her turn as Jack Donaghy's bird-boned girlfriend in "30 Rock" is one for the ages), and she even classes up more formulaic fare -- see her turn as a cop opposite Michael Caine in "Harry Brown."

Marisa Tomei, Alison Pill & Olivia Munn In Talks For Aaron Sorkin's HBO Drama

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 26, 2011 1:14 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Generally speaking, HBO keeps going from strength to strength. 2011 has already brought the most involving "Cinema Verite," the increasingly gripping "Game of Thrones" (which is more than worth checking out, even if you're allergic to fantasy) and Todd Haynes' wonderful "Mildred Pierce," and their upcoming slate includes work from the likes of Michael Mann, David Milch, Armando Ianucci, Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow and Mike White, with projects in development with Michael Chabon, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Zach Galifianakis and Neil Gaiman, among many, many others.

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