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The Playlist

Legendary Scorsese/Tarantino DoP Robert Richardson Bringing Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' To HBO

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 15, 2011 1:17 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Will Also Be Lensing Brad Pitt & Marc Forster's 'World War Z'Few authors have the devoted following that Neil Gaiman has. Since his early days in the comics world, the British sci-fi fantasy author and goth heartthrob, has consistently expanded his audience, to the extent that his books are now mainstays in the top reaches of the bestseller charts, and his 1.5 million Twitter followers hang on his every word. Furthermore, while he may not have the prose skills of a contemporary like, say, Michael Chabon, he's a hell of a storyteller, playing with myth and folklore and refashioning it into something new, and entirely compelling.

Katherine Heigl To Form 'The Knitting Circle' With HBO

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 11, 2011 3:43 AM
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  • 4 Comments
With "Killers" tanking and her next effort "One For The Money" relegated to the critical wasteland of a January 27, 2012 release date, has America fallen out of love with Katherine Heigl? That remains to be seen, but clearly the actress is on a bit of a slide these days and she's hoping the creatively encouraging home of HBO can right the ship, but too bad she's taking the most boring project ever over to the cable titan.

Danny McBride Talks The Freedom Of TV For 'Eastbound & Down' & The Haven Of HBO

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 8, 2011 6:46 AM
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  • 13 Comments
We know you're aware already, but it bears repeating -- television is producing some of the more ambitious projects these days than their Hollywood movie studio counterparts. HBO in particular has been on the receiving end of much of the praise of late and one has to look no further than Todd Haynes' five-part "Mildred Pierce" (which ends this Sunday, tune in!) -- a sweeping, character driven period drama about a fractious mother/daughter relationship set against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the Jazz Age. Now try walking onto a studio lot and pitching that. But it's not just dramas that have fared well, but comedies too. "Bored to Death," the underrated "How To Make It In America" and the animated "The Ricky Gervais Show" are just a few of the laff-filled highlights at HBO, but their crowning jewel is "Eastbound & Down." The irreverent show stars Danny McBride, an arrogant baseball player on the skids who heads back to his hometown. Even in its brief run -- two seasons of six episodes each -- the show has found a strong following undoubtedly aided by the networks' nurturing attitude.

'Superbad' & 'Paul' Director Greg Mottola To Helm Aaron Sorkin's New HBO Pilot

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 29, 2011 1:25 AM
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  • 4 Comments
We love movies, and (good) television, and stories in general. That's why we do what we do. And sometimes, we get up to see the slate of developing stories, and it depresses the fuck out of us. It can be hard to keep up your enthusiasm when movie versions of "Candyland" and reboots of "Ms. Marple" are the big stories of the day. But fortunately, every few days brings a piece of news that makes us glow a little, that reminds us that there are smart people doing good work, and it's these times that stop us from developing full-blown drinking habits. Well, fuller-blown drinking habits. And today is one of these times.

David Gordon Green Brings 'Black Jack' To Comedy Central; Zach Galifianakis Producing For HBO

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 24, 2011 6:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments
These days, to be considered a major player, you gotta have your fingers in a lot of different pies, and television -- especially on premium cable like HBO or AMC -- are providing opportunities for talent to develop a broad array of work. One has to look no further than Mark Wahlberg or Tom Hanks who are heavily involved with the network with a variety of programs. So really, it's no surprise that David Gordon Green and Zach Galifianakis are making bigger strides down those avenues.

Ed Harris To Play John McCain To Julianne Moore's Sarah Palin In HBO's 'Game Change'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 24, 2011 2:14 AM
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  • 5 Comments
For politics buffs, or really anyone, the 2008 election campaign provided an enormous amount of drama. The twists and turns, from Barack Obama's surprise victory at the Iowa caucuses and the tanking of Rudolph Guiliani's campaign to the death of Obama's grandmother on the eve of his election, gripped the world across the year like it was the best ever season of "The West Wing," so it's no surprise that it would receive big-screen treatment sooner rather than later.

Netflix Enters Original Content World By Backing David Fincher/Kevin Spacey Series 'House of Cards'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 16, 2011 12:58 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The term 'game-changer' gets bandied around a lot, but rarely accurately. "The Matrix Revolutions," for instance, was billed as such. So was "Tron: Legacy," and neither seem to have changed any games, as such. "Avatar" has the most claim to the title, seeing as how it immediately encouraged every other film in town to go 3D, but it was also pretty much a once-in-a-generation phenomenon: "Mars Needs Moms" proved only this weekend that 3D and motion capture in no way ensures any kind of box office success.

HBO Lines Up Projects With Philip Seymour Hoffman & Chloe Sevigny; Gets 'Cocaine Cowboys' Moving

  • By Catherine Scott
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  • March 16, 2011 3:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments
HBO has been lining up terrific projects left and right with quite a few being announced just this past week. Today, Deadline reports that HBO is developing a drama project titled "Upstate." The project comes from eOne Television and Cooper's Town Productions, headed by actor Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emily Ziff. Written by Brett C. Leonard (HBO's "Hung") and playwright Bob Glaudini (who collaborated with Hoffman on "Jack Goes Boating"), the script focuses on Roy Perkins, a recently laid-off man who relocates his family to an undisclosed rural location in America in order to become a correctional officer in a private, for-profit prison. The town and Perkins' family begins to prosper from this new prison, and tensions inside (and outside) the prison begin to erupt. There's no word yet as to whether Hoffman will star in the lead role, or whether this project is being conceived as a pilot for a series or as a one-shot miniserie, but it sounds like some interesting material to be sure.

Authors Michael Chabon & Ayelet Waldman Developing 'Hobgoblin,' HBO Series About Magicians In WW2

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 9, 2011 2:38 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Michael Chabon is, incontestably, one of our favorite working writers. A terrific short-story writer and essayist, he particularly shines in his longer-form work, where he often tinkers with genre tropes, applying them to recent Jewish history to frequently astounding effect, as in "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," "The Yiddish Policeman's Union" and "Gentlemen of the Road."

How Alexander Payne And Jim Taylor Contributed To 'Cedar Rapids' And Nine Other Things We Learned

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 16, 2011 2:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Director Miguel Arteta Really Loves Michael Cera, Compares Him To Peter Sellers & MoreFilmmaker Miguel Arteta’s comedy “Cedar Rapids” is on the big screen in limited release this week and will expand into approximately 90-some screens this weekend. It’s the story of a low level insurance agent sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a major convention where he’s expected to compete for the top prize in the industry: the beloved Two Diamond Award. Ed Helms, who also produced the film, plays Tim Lippe the naive, boob of a salesman who gets in way over his head when he meets a group of colleagues that may or may not be in line to become his best friends.

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