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Exclusive : Conjuring up Bewitched remake details!

In contention for the 2020-2021 ABC line-up



Though its no longer moving forward this TV season (its in contention for the 2020-2021 line-up), thought y’all would be keen on learning about ABC Studios’ “Bewitched”, a ‘blended’ reworking of the ’60s sitcom (that our folks were glued to the boob tube watching on Thursday nights) but with more of a ‘supernatural’ tone than its precursor.

Not at all unlike the original Sol Saks series, the new “Bewitched” wants fresh faces to play Samantha, Darrin and Endora – so every agent and manager on WhatsApp had been hit up with the call.

Here’s the 411 on the characters and plot :

Samantha, played by Elizabeth Montgomery in the original, is described as an African American Female, 35-42.  “A divorced single mother and witch. Magic has given her everything. Now she wants what matters, and she’ll get it herself. She’s determined to make a new life amongst mortals with her 13-year-old daughter, Mya, without relying on their magic. The kind of woman who’d be adored by a rockstar but dumps him for an improviser. She’s showing her daughter female empowerment while locking horns with her mother about how that looks. She won’t hesitate to risk it all for love. She asks for forgiveness instead of permission. She’s determined, but easy going. Fun, but not frivolous. Stylish, but not stuffy. Means business, but doesn’t take herself too seriously. If you want her to do something, tell her she “can’t” and then stand back.”

Darrin, played by both Dick York and Dick Sargent over the original series’ run, is “Caucasian Male, 35-42; A divorced single dad and mortal. He’s down to Earth despite the silver spoon in his mouth. He’s over his parents’ coddling. Darrin’s woke to his privilege, finding himself late in life, but excited for the journey. He’s never had to work hard, but now it’s all he wants to do. He’s flawed, not hopeless. Goofy, not lame. A good guy – the office favorite who even remembers the janitor’s birthday. He’d love to be cooler and buffer, but he still likes himself. He wears his heart on his sleeve, finds joy in the little things, is prone to fight injustice and not above being petty. He’s teaching his 13-year-old daughter, Poppy, a strong work ethic while learning it himself. The guy who ruins a surprise party out of excitement, not malice.”

And Endora, Agnes Moorehead in the original, is “African American Female, 48-55; a witch. Sam’s powerful, diva mother with a designer wardrobe and old school politics. But she’s empowered, just in a different way — secure and wise enough to be unbothered by the trivial worries of mortal women. Who cares if you cook when you can conjure up a Michelin star quality dinner out of nowhere? But to Sam, her traditionalism often contradicts her feminism. She travels a lot, dates many, lives lavishly and speaks authentically. She loves to be feared and, sometimes she fears to be loved. Crusty, but benign when it comes to family. An unstoppable enemy when you come for her family.”

Casting was also underway for the part of Roman, the chauvinistic douche who Samantha dumps early on in the pilot, Maurice, Sam’s friend and owner of a magic store, his wife, Liliana (described as ‘Sofia Vergara with an AARP card’), and Darrin’s emo daughter, Poppy.

The new “Bewitched” hails from “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris and that show’s writer/producer Yamara Taylor. Set up with ABC Studios, Sony Pictures TV, and Davis Entertainment, it tells of a single black mother, also a witch, who marries white slacker Darrin. It’s apparently a very, very decent pilot script and should really surprise when it eventually hits the air next year.

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Exclusive : The Ewoks will return!

A small-screen series featuring the Empire-hating creatures could be on the way



Is it the Endor or just the beginning?

Unless the wi-fi has been playing up in the Cantina, you’ll be aware that Disney’s streaming channel Disney + are about to ‘force’ a couple of new “Star Wars” related series on us – most notably, the recently wrapped “The Mandalorian” (which is apparently terrific), from EP Jon Favreau.

And it won’t end there, with the house of mouse and the house of Kennedy already secretly working on other “Star Wars” projects that’ll premiere on the small screen.
One of those upcoming may feature the return of the Ewoks.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the pint-sized moon creatures are one of the most recognizable species in the “Star Wars” universe. And with Disney+ not just in the business of making shows for us, older “Star Wars” fans, but also the excitable younglings, it should be no surprise to hear that a new Ewoks series is being discussed.

The news of the Empire-hating Ewoks’ return to the screen – which comes courtesy a reputable insider, someone who has also provided us with extra info on a scoop we ran last week on “The Quarry” to star Michael Shannon and Shea Whigham, which we’ll run soon – will no doubt be music to the ears of toy retailers, who’ll likely sell furballs in the millions once the show hits. It’s unlikely to be part of the first phase of “Star Wars” shows, which are rumored to kick off around Halloween, but could be part of the second run, rumored to launch in the next 12-18 months.

The Ewoks made their debut in “Return of the Jedi” on the bigscreen before getting their own solo outing in 1984 telemovie “The Ewok Adventure” (aka “Caravan of Courage”). A second telemovie “Battle for Endor” aired in 1985. That same year ABC premiered the popular animated series “Ewoks”, which ran for two seasons.

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Exclusive : Whigham, Shannon reunite for The Quarry

Duo previously co-starred in Paramount mini-series “Waco”



Confirmation today on a solid-sounding project, headlined by two fantastic actors, I was tipped off to a few days back.

“Waco” and “Boardwalk Empire” co-stars Shea Whigham and Michael Shannon will reunite for “The Quarry”, scripted and directed by Scott Teems. This one is shooting later this month in New Orleans with the “To the Stars” team of Laura D. Smith and Kristin Mann producing.

Teems is one to watch out for. His work on “Rectify”, of which he’s written many episodes and directed a couple, are some of the best of the SundanceTV drama.

Film tells the ‘Banshee’-like account of a man, on the run from his own sins, who finds himself in a small border town in Texas, impersonating a reverend. The town are quickly drawn to the man’s unorthodox sermons – but so is the police chief (Shannon), who find’s the reverend’s presence interesting for a different reason.

Michael Shannon and Shea Whigham in “Waco” (2018)

Academy Award Nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno (“Maria Full of Grace”) and Bobby Soto (“Besties”) also star.

Floridian Whigham, who is currently filming limited series “Modern Love” for Amazon Studios, recently wrapped “Joker” for director Todd Phillips and Warner Bros. his upcoming credits include John Pollono’s “Small Engine Repair”, the comedy “Vampires Vs. The Bronx” and “Low Tide” for writer-director Kevin McMullin.

Shannon recently wrapped Rian Johnson’s “Knive’s Out”, and will next appear in Seth Savoy’s action-crime drama “Echo Boomers”.

These two were absolutely magic on screen together in Paramount’s “Waco” mini-series as Mitch Decker and Gary Noesner, respectively, so expect more fireworks here.

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Exclusive : Blood Moon set for May start ; casting update

A girl with unusual powers escapes from a mental asylum



Ana Lily Amirpour fantasy “Blood Moon” is inching forward, with a mid-May shoot now locked in, Moviehole can confirm.

As reported during AFM in October, Kate Hudson, Zac Efron and Craig Robinson have signed the film, which tells of a girl with “unusual powers” who escapes from a mental asylum in New Orleans.

The film, produced by John Lesher (“Birdman”, “Fury”), begins its shoot in New Orleans on May 18.

The search is on for a fourth key player, a young actor to play the role of Hudson’s 10-year-old son. Described as a “cool rad weirdo hero. He’s grown up with a single mom, who’s gone a lot so he’s pretty self sufficient. He’s a creative kid with street smarts. Like his mom, he’s a survivor.”

One of the best new filmmakers on the circuit, Amirpour directed the ‘past perfect’ episode on the first season of “Castle Rock” last year.  Though I haven’t read it myself, the script for “Blood Moon” is apparently a “winner”.

No word on a release date.


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