Film Independent is hosting a staged reading of Quentin Tarantino‘s “much-tussled-over” screenplay “The Hateful Eight” at the Los Angeles Film Festival on April 24. The script was leaked online, and two-time Oscar winner Tarantino is in a major lawsuit with website Gawker over that event. The western film is about a stagecoach diverted by a blizzard that traps a group of bounty hunters, a Confederate soldier, and a female prisoner in a remote saloon. Before he thwarted the idea of actually shooting the movie, rumors had Bruce Dern and Christoph Waltz as possible cast members. Could this reading be a sign that the film will be back on track for production? Thompson on Hollywood.
FX unveils the first seven minutes of their new miniseries “Fargo” starring Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton. Based loosely on the 1996 Oscar-winning film from Joel and Ethan Coen, the show begins ominously with Thornton’s character driving into a small Minnestota town. Showrunner Noah Hawley said, “This show is about what happens when a civilized man meets a very uncivilized man, and it was our hope that we would create a cast that was a movie cast and not a television cast.” Coming Soon.
The Television Academy hosts the cast of NBC’s freshman hit “The Blacklist” Wednesday for a panel event in New York City. Executive producer John Fox said they all love reading theories and comments from fans on social media, but not star James Spader. They laughingly said he is so out of touch that he doesn’t even know when the show is airing. Other topics included discoveries about characters, being inspired by Christopher Nolan‘s “Dark Knight” films, and connections to “Breaking Bad.” Yahoo TV.
“The Big Bang Theory” is teaming up with Lucasfilm for a special “Star Wars” episode to air May 1. Titled “The Proton Transmogrification,” it will guest star Bob Newhart, who won an Emmy last year as Professor Proton on the comedy. Industrial Light and Magic is recreating Dagobah, the fictional planet where Yoda lived in exile. Showrunner Steve Molaro said, “They’re excited about everything we’re doing, and they’re going to help us with the special effects. Bob is going to be swinging a light saber around and they sent us a real one to use. They’re going to help make it look and sound right.” Variety.
With the announcement that David Letterman will retire from his late night gig next year, you can now watch the most memorable moments from his 32-year career. They include clips from when he worked a McDonald’s drive-thru, Madonna’s infamous appearance, Drew Barymore flashing him, Betty White joining him in drinking vodka, honoring Johnny Carson upon his death, Senator John McCain not showing up, and his return from heart surgery. The Wrap. In another retrospective, clips and photos include Bill Murray as his first guest (on both NBC and CBS), the velcro wall, dropping things from the roof, stupid pet tricks, and interviews with Cher and Joaquin Phoenix. Entertainment Weekly.
Legendary TV sports director Sandy Grossman dies at age 78 after battling cancer. The eight-time Emmy winner directed 21 seasons of NFL game coverage with Pat Summerall and John Madden for CBS and Fox. He also helmed 10 Super Bowls, five Stanley Cup finals, and 18 NBA championships. Hollywood Reporter.
Sasha Stone refers to Owen Gleiberman as “the best reason to read” Entertainment Weekly and bemoans that publication laying him off this week. She says, “This one hurts worse than many others because Gleiberman has been writing film reviews for EW as long as I’ve been reporting on film criticism, going on 15 years now.” The magazine bought out Lisa Schwarzbaum, their other long-time film critic, last year. She calls critics “gatekeepers” and concludes that “they bring their life experience, and their experience seeing and writing about film, their knowledge of film history to their work. Gleiberman pushed the edges. He changed my mind more than once about a film. And he wrote beautifully.” Awards Daily.
Four-time Emmy champ Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) is penning his memoir. In addition to his long-running role on the AMC drama series, he has appeared in “Seinfeld,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” and “Argo.” He currently is a Tony Award contender for playing President Lyndon Johnson on Broadway in “All the Way.” Deadline.