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NEWS: Television

Let The Right One In – TV Series

let_the_right_one_in___2008_movie_banner_by_crustydog-d53tuclSo this is a concern… Let the Right One In is in development process for an adapted television series. After a bidding war that involved Showtime and A&E, the latter network has won the rights to develop a Let the Right One In TV series. The A&E series will join the network’s stable of other shows that also jump off from films: Bates Motel, based on Psycho, and The Returned, which is a remake of a French series that was, in turn, a remake of a French film. There aren’t many details on the Let the Right One In series, but we’ve got them below.

The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Teen Wolf showrunner Jeff Davis and actor-writer Brandon Boyce (Teen Wolf actor; Apt Pupil and Wicker Park screenwriter) are adapting the pilot and series from the Swedish novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist that Lindqvist adapted for the 2008 film by director Tomas Alfredson.

Spoilers for Let the Right One In follow. The 2008 film left out some characters, plot points and character history, only alluding to some of the history of the seemingly young vampire Eli as she befriends an isolated boy named Oskar. In fact, one point the original film only engages in ambiguous fashion is that Eli wasn’t born female, but rather is a boy who was castrated by the nobleman who also turned the child into a vampire. With more room to go into character backstories, the TV series may well retain the novel’s original approach.

The US remake of the film, Let Me In, further changed some things in the story as it moved the setting to New Mexico. We don’t know how this TV version might go — the THR piece references Vermont, which suggests that the show will go with the snowy setting of the original novel and film, while keeping it in the US.

The US remake, which was one of the better remakes around, would be more suited to an adaptation than the original. There’s no casting info or potential air date for the Let the Right One In TV series at this point.


The Walking Dead – Spinoff Series

Walking-Dead-Spinoff-Full-700x467News collated from The Hollywood Reporter offers the first real details about The Walking Dead spinoff series:

Cliff Curtis (Gang related) stars as Sean Cabrera, a teacher who shares a son with his ex-wife. Sons of Anarchy‘s Kim Dickens is set to co-star as Nancy, a guidance counselor who works at the school with Sean and is seeing him romantically. Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) co-stars as Nancy’s son Nick, who has battled a drug problem. And Alycia Debnam Carey (Into the Woods) is set as Nancy’s ambitious daughter Ashley, who is the polar opposite of Nick and has dreams of leaving L.A. for Berkeley when the apocalypse strikes.

The Walking Dead companion — first announced in September 2013 — could give AMC a zombie drama in every quarter, given the six-episode freshman season’s summer bow. The flagship, which resumes production in the summer, airs the first half of its season in October and the second half in February. The offshoot series comes as The Walking Deadevolved to megahit status. The zombie drama, overseen by showrunner Scott M. Gimple, ranks as TV’s No. 1 drama series among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic.

“We take incredibly seriously the notion of building a satisfying companion series to the No. 1 show on television. From the beginning of The Walking Dead on AMC, we’ve been asked questions about what was going on in other parts of the zombie apocalypse, and what it looked like as the world really did ‘turn.’ Through this new series, we’re going to find out,” AMC president Charlie Collier said in making the announcement Monday. “Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson and their writing team, along with an incomparable set of producers, cast and crew have created something remarkable and clearly distinct. We respectfully follow the request of Monty Python as we bring out (the latest of) our Dead.”

“We feel empowered by this two-season commitment, a serious show of faith from our network partner AMC,” Kirkman said. “I personally take it as a sign that they believe, like we do, that we’ve accomplished our goal of developing something original that can pay tribute to the original show and expand the world I created while at the same time having something new to say with this story. I’m very grateful that we now have the opportunity to tell this amazing story and show the fans that we really haven’t scratched the surface yet when it comes to The Walking Dead.”

AMC Global — the cabler’s international network, has acquired the international televisions rights to the series, which it will air within 24 hours of the U.S. premiere — something Fox International Channels does with the flagship series.


Damien – Casting News

The-Omen_la-profecia_1976_8In news that is only mildly interesting to me because I recently rewatched the original The Omen film, it was announced that Merlin star Bradley James has landed the title role in Damien, Lifetime’s straight-to-series drama follow-up to 20th Century Fox’s classic horror film The Omen. In his TV directing debut, Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) will helm and executive produce the first episode.

Produced by Fox TV Studios, the six-episode Damien follows the adult life of Damien Thorn (James), the mysterious child from the 1976 film who has grown up, seemingly unaware of the satanic forces around him. Haunted by his past, Damien must now come to terms with his true destiny — that he is the Antichrist, the most feared man throughout the ages.

Damien, slated to premiere in 2015, is written and executive produced by Glen Mazzara via his 44 Strong Productions. Ross Fineman, who developed the project alongside Mazzara, executive produces through his Fineman Entertainment. Pancho Mansfield also serves as executive producer.

 


South of Hell

South-of-HellThe Eli Roth and Jason Blum horror series, South of Hell has added a few more fan favorites to the guest director roster: Ti West (House Of The Devil, The Sacrament), Rachel Talalay (Doctor Who, Tank Girl), Jennifer Lynch (The Walking Dead, Teen Wolf) and Jeremiah Chechik (Helix, Reigh) have been tapped to direct individual episodes of WE tv’s original scripted thriller South Of Hell. 

Set in South Carolina, South Of Hell focuses on Maria Abascal (Mena Suvari), a stunning demon-hunter-for-hire whose power stems from within. Like those she hunts, Maria is divided within herself, struggling with her own demon, Abigail, who resides inside of her, feeding on the evil Maria exorcises from others. Zachary Booth and Bill Irwin also star. The show has an eight-episode straight-to-series order for a 2015 premiere. South Of Hell is produced by Sonar Entertainment and Blumhouse Television


Ash Vs. Evil Dead

the-evil-dead-original-1981-posterThe Evil Dead movie franchise has officially crossed over to television with a 10-episode straight-to-series order from Starz for a 2015 premiere. Titled Ash Vs. Evil Dead, the followup to the classic film franchise reteams the original filmmakers, director Sam Raimi, longtime producing partner Rob Tapert and star Bruce Campbell
who will serve as executive producers. Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.

Raimi will direct the first episode of Ash Vs. Evil Dead, which he co-wrote with his brother Ivan Raimi (Darkman) and Tom Spezialy (Chuck). “Evil Dead has always been a blast,” Raimi said. “Bruce, Rob, and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to tell the next chapter in Ash’s lame, but heroic saga. With his chainsaw arm and his ‘boomstick,’ Ash is back to kick some monster butt. And brother, this time there’s a truckload of it.”

Ash Vs. Evil Dead also reunites Sam Raimi and Tapert with Starz where they executive produced the pay cable network’s first scripted hit, drama Spartacus. Ivan Raimi will co-executive produce the series, and Aaron Lam (Spartacus) will serve as producer.

Fans have been buzzing about an Evil Dead series since Sam Raimi announced at Comic-Con — where he and Campbell are hugely popular — that he was working on it. “I’m really excited to bring this series to the Evil Dead fans worldwide – it’s going to be everything they have been clamoring for: serious deadite ass-kicking and plenty of outrageous humor,” said Campbell.

The original Evil Dead film followed Ash and his friends who travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release demons intent on possessing the living. It was a hit, spawning a franchise that included two sequels directed by Raimi, produced by Talpert and starring Campbell, as well as video games and comic books. There was also a recent feature reboot produced by Raimi and Talpert and directed by Fede Alvarez.


Barker Returns To Hellraiser

hellraiserClive Barker has finished the second draft of the film that will reboot and expand upon the story seen in the original Hellraiser. (And which was created in Barker’s novella The Hellhound Heart.) A few details are below, thanks to the author.

EW spoke to Barker on the occasion of the release of the Nightbreed director’s cut blu-ray, which finally presents Barker’s 1990 film in a cut that resembles his original intentions. Talking about that movie is also a good excuse to bring up Hellraiser, the “very loose remake” of which continues to develop:

I think the phrase is ‘reboot,’ although I’ve never really understood what that meant. I wanted to make sure we sounded some fresh notes. The movie actually begins on Devil’s Island. I wanted to fold into the Hellraiser narrative something about the guy—the Frenchman Lemarchand—who made the mysterious box, which raises Pinhead. I figured, ‘Well, what would have happened to him?’ He might well have been taken to Devil’s Island [a penal colony] and I thought that would be a pretty cool place to start the movie. We’re waiting for Bob to come back to us and see when we’re going to actually make the movie.

In Barker’s original novella, Lemarchand was one of a few people who had devised a method of communicating with the extra-dimensional Cenobites. (That group includes Pinhead, who became the film series’ poster child.) Lemarchand has been portrayed on film before, inHellraiser IV: Bloodline, the last film in the series to get a theatrical release. (There are five more direct to video sequels. The last one, Hellraiser: Revelations, was made in a matter of weeks so that the Weinsteins would retain rights to the franchise.)

We’ve got some really cool things coming down the pike. They’re movies which I’m able to watch over as a producer rather than as a director, [but] each time another thing gets added to the rest of the things that we’re doing, I get more tantalized by the idea of actually doing it as a director myself. So, I don’t think I’ll wait too long until I sign on for something myself.


David Lynch returns to Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks fans’ quarter-century wait is over. One of the top cult series of all time is coming back with a new limited series on Showtime from its original creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost. The nine-episode series will go into production in 2015 for a premiere in 2016 to mark the 25th anniversary of when the series finished its run on ABC. In a fact that will delight Twin Peaks devotees, Lynch and Frost will write and produce all nine episodes, with Lynch set to direct every episode.

The new Twin Peaks will be set in the present day, more than two decades after the events in the first two seasons. It will continue the lore and story of the original series, with Lynch and Frost committed to providing long-awaited answers and, hopefully, a satisfying conclusion to the series. It is unclear which actors from the original series will be featured in the followup. Kyle MacLachlan will be back, reprising his role as FBI Agent Dale Cooper who was at the center of the show. The ABC series also featured some of Lynch’s favorite character actors, and it is likely that at least some of them will return. Leading to the 2016 debut of the Twin Peaks limited series, Showtime will re-air the first two seasons of the series, owned by parent CBS Corp.

“What more can I say – Twin Peaks with David Lynch and Mark Frost on Showtime in 2016!” said Showtime Networks president David Nevins. “To quote Agent Cooper, ‘I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.’” Added Lynch and Frost, “The mysterious and special world of Twin Peaks is pulling us back. We’re very excited. May the forest be with you.”

Lynch and Frost fueled speculation about a possible Twin Peaks revival with identical cryptic tweets posted at 11:30 AM Friday: “Dear Twitter Friends: That gum you like is going to come back in style! #damngoodcoffee“.

“Damn good coffee” was a phrase frequently used by MacLachlan‘s Agent Cooper on the show, expressed typically while eating cherry pie in the town’s cafe. The tweet’s 11:30 AM time stamp matched the time Cooper first entered the town of Twin Peaks to investigate the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer. Lynch and Frost picked the same 11:30 AM time today to tweet another clue, “Tween Peaks on Showtime.” The two tweeted an announcement video making it official:

Groundbreaking, genre-bending, stylish, moody and a little weird, Twin Peaksbecame a phenomenon when it premiered in April 1990, with the two-hour opener drawing mind-boggling 34.6 million viewers. The series followed the inhabitants of a quaint northwestern town who were stunned after Palmer is shockingly murdered. The town’s sheriff welcomed the help of FBI Agent Cooper, who came to town to investigate the case. As Cooper conducted his search for Laura’s killer, the town’s secrets were gradually exposed. Here are the series’ opening credits, set to the haunting theme by Angelo Badalamenti.

After a very strong first season, viewership for Twin Peaks tapered off in Season 2 when the Laura Palmer murder was resolved midway through the season. Despite the series’ cancellation after 30 episodes, it was never forgotten, with its cult following only growing as years went by. Lynch’s 1992 movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, which he directed from a script he co-wrote with Robert Engels, served as a prequel to the series. It left most questions from the show unanswered, so fans continued to wish for another season. But for Lynch, Twin Peaks seemed a closed chapter. Asked in a 2001 Empire interview whether he would ever go back to the show, he said, “No. Uh-uh. It`s as dead as a doornail.” Thankfully for the fans, he changed his mind.