HBO have announced “Paterno”, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Al Pacino, Riley Keough, Kathy Baker, Greg Grunberg, Annie Parisse and Larry Mitchell.
“Paterno” centers on Penn State’s Joe Paterno in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. After becoming the winningest coach in college football history, Paterno’s legacy is challenged and he is forced to face questions of institutional failure in regard to the victims.
“Paterno is not a sprawling piece that spans years,” observes director and executive producer Barry Levinson. “It unfolds largely over a two-week period, when we watch the events play out. I’m not following an agenda or trying to tell the audience to take a certain side in regards to Coach Paterno. The film lays out the elements of the story and leaves you to make your own judgment. There are times when you may feel one way, and times when you may feel a totally different way, and I think that’s what makes the piece so compelling.
“Joe Paterno was known as an honorable man, an educator, a humanitarian – so trying to make sense out of what happened is, for me, the most fascinating aspect of the story,” he adds. “What did he understand? What did he not understand?”
The film also stars Riley Keough (“The Girlfriend Experience,” “Logan Lucky”) as Sara Ganim, the 23-year-old journalist who first reported on the Sandusky case for The Patriot-News, a daily newspaper serving the Harrisburg, Pa. metropolitan area; Kathy Baker (“The Age of Adaline”) as Sue Paterno, Joe’s wife; Greg Grunberg (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) and Larry Mitchell (“Brawl in Cell Block 99”) as Joe’s sons, Scott and Jay Paterno; and Annie Parisse (“Friends from College,” “Person of Interest”) as Mary Kay Paterno, Joe’s daughter.
The Vampire Chronicles
Bryan Fuller (“Hannibal,” “Dead Like Me”) is working on the pilot for Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles” series for Paramount TV and Anonymous Content.
Flight of the Concords
Musical comedians Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement will return to HBO this May with an hour-long ”Flight of the Conchords” comedy special, it was announced today by Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming. To tape before a live sold-out audience during their United Kingdom tour, the exclusive presentation will feature the duo performing their classics and new original songs from their “Flight of the Conchords Sing Flight of the Conchords Tour.”
New Zealanders McKenzie and Clement debuted on HBO in 2005 in an edition of the comedy series “One-Night Stand,” returning to the network in 2007 for the debut season of the series “Flight of the Conchords,” which followed fictionalized versions of their lives in New York City. The show was praised by critics and beloved by fans, turning the cult favorites into an international sensation. “Flight of the Conchords” earned ten Emmy(R) nominations over its two-season run on HBO, while their album “The Distant Future” won Best Comedy Album at the 2008 Grammy Awards.
The comedy special will be directed by Hamish Hamilton. Executive producers are Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, and Mike Martinovich.
CW superhero shows
The CW have released episode rundowns of the next “Arrow”, “The Flash”, “Supergirl” and “Legends of Tomorrow” episodes, respectively.
Jane Fonda in Five Acts
Girl next door, sex kitten, activist, fitness tycoon: Oscar(R)-winner Jane Fonda has lived a life marked by controversy, tragedy and transformation, and she’s done it all in the public eye. Directed and produced by award-winning documentarian Susan Lacy, “Jane Fonda in Five Acts”, an intimate look at her singular journey, debuts later this year, exclusively on HBO.
The documentary will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.
Jane Fonda has been vilified as Hanoi Jane, lusted after as Barbarella and heralded as a beacon of the women’s movement. This film goes to the heart of who she really is, a blend of deep vulnerability, magnetism, naiveté and bravery, revealing a life transformed over time.
The documentary draws on 21 hours of interviews with Fonda, who speaks candidly and frankly about her life and her missteps. She explores the pain of her mother’s suicide, her father’s emotional unavailability, 30 years of an eating disorder and three marriages to highly visible, yet diametrically opposed, men. JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS also includes interviews with family and friends, as well as rare home movies and verité footage of the 80-year-old Fonda’s busy life today at, as she puts it, “the beginning of my last act.”
“When Jane Fonda turned 60, she began a journey of self-discovery, which was documented in her 2005 autobiography,” comments director Susan Lacy. “As a longtime admirer, I was fascinated by her unsparing honesty in documenting her aspirations, mistakes, pain and attempts to overcome her demons. I began this film to see where that journey has taken her in the meantime. I feel very privileged that Jane has trusted me with telling a story that is provocative, challenging, emotional and inspiring.”
I’m Dying Up Here
Emmy-winning actor and comedian Brad Garrett (”Everybody Loves Raymond”) will guest star in the Showtime drama series in a season-long arc. Garrett will play comedy legend Roy Martin, who arrives on the scene at Goldie’s and drops bombs and wisdom on the club’s comics. Goldie (Melissa Leo) lures him into a business partnership as she schemes to expand her empire. Created and executive produced by Dave Flebotte and executive produced by Golden Globe(R) winner Jim Carrey and Michael Aguilar, the fictional I’M DYING UP HERE explores L.A.’s famed ’70s stand-up comedy scene. The second season will premiere on Sunday, May 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
The Looming Tower
A new trailer has been released for Hulu’s “The Looming Tower”. Based on the Pulitzer-Prize winning book, the mini-series traces the rising threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in the late 1990s and how the rivalry between the FBI and CIA during that time may have inadvertently set the path for the tragedy of 9/11. The series follows members of the I-49 Squad in New York and Alec Station in Washington, D.C., the counter-terrorism divisions of the FBI and CIA, respectively, as they travel the world fighting for ownership of information while seemingly working toward the same goal – trying to prevent an imminent attack on U.S. soil. “The Looming Tower” stars Jeff Daniels (John O’Neill), Tahar Rahim (Ali Soufan), Wrenn Schmidt (Diane Marsh), Bill Camp (Robert Chesney), Louis Cancelmi (Vince Stuart), Virginia Kull (Kathy Shaughnessy), Ella Rae Peck (Heather), Sullivan Jones (Floyd Bennet) with Michael Stuhlbarg (Richard Clarke) and Peter Sarsgaard (Martin Schmidt).
”The Looming Tower” will premiere Wednesday, February 28 only on Hulu.
HBO has announced a Spring premiere for “Fahrenheit 451,”starring Michael B. Jordan, Michael Shannon, Sofia Boutella, and Lilly Singh.Michael B. Jordan (“Black Panther,” “Creed,” “Fruitvale Station”) and Michael Shannon (“The Shape of Water,” HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”; Oscar(R) nominee for “Nocturnal Anmals” and Revolutionary Road”) star in HBO Films’ FAHRENHEIT 451. Directed by Ramin Bahrani (“99 Homes”) and written by Bahrani & Amir Naderi (“Vegas: Based on a True Story”), the film is based on Ray Bradbury’s classic novel of the same name, depicting a future where the media is an opiate, history is rewritten and “firemen” burn books. The film debuts this spring, exclusively on HBO.
Jordan portrays Montag, a young fireman who forsakes his world and struggles to regain his humanity as he battles his mentor, fire captain Beatty, played by Shannon. Sofia Boutella (“The Mummy,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service”) stars as Clarisse, an informant caught between the competing interests of Montag and Beatty.
The cast also includes Lilly Singh (“Bad Moms,” YouTube’s “Superwoman”) as Raven, a tabloid reporter who works with the fire department to spread the ministry’s propaganda by broadcasting its book-burning raids to fans.
“I have always loved Ray Bradbury’s prophetic novel ‘Fahrenheit 451’,” says Bahrani. “Two years ago, as I looked at the world around me, it seemed like the ideal time to do a modern interpretation. I am grateful to HBO for helping me bring my vision of the film to audiences with this incredible cast.”
The film was shot on location in Toronto. The behind-the-scenes team includes director of photography Kramer Morgenthau, ASC, production designer Mark Digby, costume designer Meghan Kasperlik, editor Alex Hall and composers Matteo Zingales & Antony Partos.
HBO has announced a March 25 premiere for”Barry”, a new comedy starring Bill Hader.
Alec Berg (HBO’s “Silicon Valley”) and Hader (“Saturday Night Live”) serve as co-creators, executive producers, directors and writers.
Other cast regulars include Stephen Root (HBO’s “All the Way”), Sarah Goldberg (“Hindsight”), Glenn Fleshler (HBO’s “True Detective”), Anthony Carrigan (“Gotham”) and Henry Winkler (“Arrested Development”).
“Barry” is a dark comedy starring Bill Hader in the title role of a depressed, low-rent hitman from the Midwest who falls in love with acting while on a job in LA. Barry’s handler, Fuches (Stephen Root), hires him out to the violent Chechen mob in Los Angeles, led by Goran Pazar (Glenn Fleshler) and his right-hand man, Noho Hank (Anthony Carrigan).
Barry’s target: an aspiring actor who is having an affair with Pazar’s wife. Barry follows his “mark” into an acting class taught by beloved teacher/guru Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler), and is instantly drawn to the group of students, particularly Sally (Sarah Goldberg). Although he wants to start a new life in this community of eager hopefuls, Barry’s criminal past won’t let him walk away. Can he find a way to balance the two worlds?
As well as starring in the series, Hader directs episodes of the show, marking his directorial debut.