10 Things You Need To Know In Order To Be a Productive Member of Today's Pop Culture Society

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10 Things You Need To Know In Order To Be a Productive Member of Today's Pop Culture Society

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | March 15, 2013 | Comments ()


Colin Trevorrow, who you may know as the talented director behind Jake Johnson's Safety Not Guaranteed, and who was rumored to be in the running to take over the Star Wars franchise, has instead landed as the director of Jurassic Park 4. That's huge. It also suggests that he may soon join the list of first-time directors who never managed to top their directorial debut. Why can't talented indie directors just be happy making unique interesting movies?

Let's just hope he brings along Jake Johnson and Aubrey Plaza.


Meanwhile, Les Miserables' director Tom Hooper is eyeing the long-gestating Freddie Mercury biopic, which has had Sacha Baron Cohen signed onto the lead role for years, and honestly, there's no one better for the part.

As many of you may know, Amazon.com is trying to get into the original series game along with Netflix, and they've snagged two huge talents in John Goodman and Jeffrey Tambor to headline they're first two pilots. EW has the first look at each.

"Alpha House" stars Goodman as a "politician who finds out his seat is threatened by a celebrated Duke basketball coach. "[My character] doesn't like to campaign -- or do much of anything, except watch sports or ESPN, and drink. So he's kind of in shock," says Goodman, about the political rivalry.


Meanwhile, "Onion News Empire" is a live-action comedy that "gives viewers a glimpse into the fictional offices of the Onion News Empire, with Ed Musgrove playing a harried news director and Jeffrey Tambor taking on the role of an egotistical, self-declared TV legend."


As I reported over on Uproxx this morning, there is idle chatter that Alex Trebek may retire soon, and guess who might replace him? Go ahead. Guess. Sorry, you're going to have to click over to find out. I don't want you spilling your rage all over my beautiful website. Go break their sh*t. They have paid professionals in place to deal with Internet rage.

Elsewhere, three-time Oscar winner Ang Lee is going to direct a pilot for FX, although we barely know anything about it other than it's from from "Homeland's" Howard Gordon and "Six Feet Under's" Craig Wright, and it centers on an American family that gets caught up in a political conflict in the Middle East. it's virtually guaranteed a greenlight.

If you've been following along with the Veronica Mars Kickstarter debate, everyone seems to have an opinion about whether this is good for the industry or not. There's a huge conflict between this sort of fan-fueled financing and plain old corporate opportunism. I'm firmly in the pro-Kickstarter side, as long as it doesn't get out of hand and fans end up financing Green Lantern 2. But there's been one argument against Kickstarter, from one of my favorite web writers, S.T. VanAirsdale, that actually makes sense. You should read the entire post, but here's the money quote:

[Rob] Thomas is responsible for delivering not only a movie to his devout Veronica Mars following, but also the tokens customarily promised to Kickstarter backers for their various levels of largesse. At 9 this morning, that meant no fewer than 34,763 limited-edition t-shirts. It meant 17,919 DVDs of the finished film (plus Blu-ray copies for the 7,222 backers who have pledged $100 or more) and 8,092 Veronica Mars movie posters -- 2,885 of which must be signed by the film's cast, as assured by Thomas. At least 967 backers at the $175 and $275 levels will receive the complete Veronica Mars TV series on DVD. The vast majority of these rewards must be designed, manufactured, packaged and shipped new to the organizers, who then must repackage and reship them (within the US only!), after various stages of customization, to their respective backers.

That's a whole lot of shipping and handling, and a lot of cramped hands. The Kickstarter campaign, by the by, has now crossed the $3 million mark.

In related news, there will not be a Kickstarter campaign for a Firefly movie, but there may be one for a Terriers movie.

A day after Kristen Schaal replaced Mandy Moore on the ABC pilot for Pulling, Moore has joined Ben McKenzie in the pilot for "The Advocates," which "centers on lawyer Shannon Carter (Moore) and ex-con Henry Bird (McKenzie), who team up as "victim advocates," going to the very edge of the law to right wrongs and fight for the underdog. Once a take-no-prisoners Assistant District Attorney, Shannon now works as a victims advocate after learning the truth about her tragic past and connection to an unjustly incarcerated man."

Yup. That sounds like a CBS pilot, alright.

In related news, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck is filming a cameo today in what will probably be the series finale for Ben McKenzie's "Southland," which is sad news for one of the best dramas on television, and the best cop show since The Wire.

I must, however, leave you with some good news, and that is: According to "inside sources," NBC's "Parks and Recreation" is a "shoo-in" for renewal, while "Go On" and "Community" are 50/50 for re-ups.

Speaking of "Parks and Rec," did you know that Jenny Slate -- former "SNL" cast member, and Jean Ralphio's sister on last night's episode -- is half responsible for "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On," a stop-motion short-film that you and your kids will absolutely adore.

"The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" Review: No Magic in Me | Eight More Franchise Crossovers Ripe for Hollywood's Picking

Are you following Pajiba on Facebook or Twitter? Every time you do, Bill Murray crashes a wedding.

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Jezzer

    The only way to become excited about Jurassic Park 4 would be to call it "Jurassic Park 2" and erase the last two movies from history/public consciousness.

  • dizzylucy

    Southland ending makes me sad, but I am glad it got a second life on TNT and we got to see some really great work, especially by Regina King.

    Yay for Parks! That is literally the best news I've heard all day.

    I really think the VM kickstarter campaign is its own unique thing - they had every pieces of the puzzle lined up to go if they got the money, including the studio being ready to distribute and market - I can't see many other projects being able to pull that off, along with a fan base willing to fork over the cash, knowing it's the only way for it to happen. I think we'll see other film kickstarter attempts, but probably not as successful as this one was.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Regarding the VanAirsdale story, which was interesting, some of his points were addressed by Rob Thomas in this Sepinwall interview:


    Having contributed to this campaign, I did it first and foremost because after 5+ years of Thomas trying to get this done I'm fairly certain it wasn't getting made any other way. I don't look cynically as this being a short cut or money grab for studios as the money generated is not significant enough to generally interest or feed the studio machine.

    As the consumer, I get a movie I can watch at home repeatedly and essentially as a first release (aren't studios already experimenting with the immediate release to on demand for a $20 premium) plus the T-shirt etc. That to me is a better deal than $15 at the cineplex to see it once. AND I essentially helped get the movie greenlighted.

    As for the costs of all these "freebies", they sold 25 cent merch for a dollar. Its a tidy profit with upfront sales. Its a no interest loan. Its seed money without giving up any shares. Its a good business model for a niche group of movie makers with a small, but rabid fan base who have been clamoring for this movie for years.

    In other words, if Harmon becomes the prodigal son in a few years we will give him the cash to make "... And A Movie." But the creator of Animal Practice shouldn't hold his breath.

  • "Why can’t talented indie directors just be happy making unique interesting movies?"

    Because they want to make movies seen by more than a handful of people and be handed big sacks of cash.

  • Clancys_Daddy

    Replace him with whomever you want, I don't watch the show now and won't in the future.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Okay, I am in love with Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. That is awesome.

  • e jerry powell

    I'm assuming we'll be getting multiple cameos from Quvenzhané Wallis on Onion News Empire. It's only fair...

  • Slash

    Aw man, Southland ... now I has a sad. Oh well.

  • googergieger

    Also Whose Line is coming back.

  • e jerry powell

    And again I ask, with Clive or with Drew?

  • googergieger

    I tried to answer last time but someone/something deleted me apparently. Anyways, Aisha Tyler is hosting.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Someone broke Uproxx.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Why can’t talented indie directors just be happy making unique interesting movies?

    What is money, Alex?

  • thenchonto

    Blah on the Freddie Mercury bio-pic. Anybody seen Freddie Mercury: The Untold Story? It's available in full these days on the Youtubes, according to the Googles. I first caught it at a midnight showing at Ebertfest a few years back. It's a beautiful little doc, and I was kinda surprised it resurfaced seemingly nowhere after I first saw it. Probably time for a rewatch.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I actually did see that, in a youth hostel in Strasbourg, 3 or 4 days after 9/11. I liked Queen before that, but that really pushed me into fandom, and finding more of their music. He really did have a divine voice.

  • e jerry powell

    An angel in black leather.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    A re-up for Community? For fuck's sake, let it die, please. Even if last week's episode was pretty good, the rest of the season has been shite.

  • Lollygagger9

    If Lauer is the next host, I WILL get on the show. And every answer I give will be some form of "What is misogyny, Matt?" followed by an icy stare.

  • DeltaJuliet

    SouthLAnd is such an amazing,well-writen and well-acted drama, I can't believe it has never done well on cable. I recommend it to EVERYONE so I've done my part, but it has never been promoted very well. It seems like a lot of people don't know about it. I'm so disappointed (although not surprised) that it is ending.

  • Muscleman

    I agree, I ONLY watched the show because Ben has hot buns I would like to butter.
    I also love the gay cop and Regina King is sorely underrated.
    So, TBS has just renewed that scientology dudes show but, they can't renew this.



    Yeah, that whole Veronica Mars thing smacks of impending disaster to me. I've never watched the show so I don't give much of a damn, but it just seems like a terrible idea.

    But I'm just a big cynic when it comes to Hollywood and everyone who works in it.

  • Cazadora

    I wonder if there will be a time when a show on the bubble could continue on based on a mix of investors that would include the Studio, broadcast or cable net and Kickstarter? Rights and legal issues would need to be worked out, but I think it would be so doable. And I'm not talking about getting a t-shirt for my investment, but an actual share of the profits once a show is sold into sydication. Oh, it wouldn't be much, probably 0.001%, but I think it could work.

  • Pentadactyl

    They're all so generic, I really can't bring myself to care either way about any of the Today show people, past or present. The only time I did care was when I thought Katie Couric would make a terrible anchor and I've eaten my words on that. She was pretty decent.

  • apsutter

    If they pick Lauer to replace Trebek they are idiots. His star has fallen WAY down. It's pretty bad when your on the network who has fallen to #4 behind freakin Univision and your show if consistently being beaten for the first time in 20 years. Now that Comcast owns NBC lock, stock, and barrel I wonder if they'll just clean house entirely. Savannah sucks too but Willie Geist is alright.

    Just watched Safety Not Guaranteed last weekend and I really liked it. It was sweet and charming and I love when Aubrey plays sweet.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Just make Ken Jennings the damn host already.

  • Cazadora

    Maybe he could co-host with the computer overloard...Watson.

  • Bert_McGurt

    With the requisite undercurrent of intense hatred, of course.

  • ,

    Trebek works like two days every two weeks with six weeks off in the summer. And if he works any more than that, he plays himself. Who wouldn't want that gig? I mean, I'd trade that for my job and the >$50,000 I make and not even ask for a raise, and Trebek probably makes 200 times what I do.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Sorry, I meant the intense hatred between Jennings and Watson.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Silver Fox or gtfo!

  • apsutter

    2 good prospects!!! Silver fox would be amazing on it!

  • Jezzer

    I can almost guarantee there will be one poster with original signatures and 2,884 copies made. This is almost as certain as the fan RAGE that will occur if Veronica doesn't end up with in a doomed, dysfunctional relationship with Logan, because fans love TV characters and want good things to happen to them, like irreconcilable differences that end in divorce and/or homicide.

  • PerpetualIntern

    Marcel the Shell With Shoes On gives me the fuzzies.

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