Good morning, folks. How was your weekend? Let's get you started on your Monday with some biz milk you can dip your cookies into.
Hey! Remember that guy, Russell Crowe, who used to make pretty decent movies and collected a lot of Oscar wins and nominations before he made a terrible version of Robin Hood and then everyone forgot about him? Yeah, that guy. Well, after Darren Aronovsky revives his career in Noah, Crowe is talking about directing a biopic about Bill Hicks, which sounds like a great idea on its face. I mean, Hicks was a goddamn national treasure, and he never got his full due as one of the most profound voices in comedy before the end of his too-short life. The problem, unfortunately, is that Russell Crowe actually had his sense of humor surgically removed because it kept interfering with his scowl, so I don't know how that biopic will work. (Telegraph via The Playlist)
We'll see how that works out for him.
During a TCA press conference on Saturday night, critics were allowed a sneak peak at a trailer for next season's "Downton Abbey," a season that will pit Dame Maggie Smith against Shirley MacClaine. Among the tease-y revelations (SPOILERS if you care) include the fact that Lord Bates is still in jail (ugh, that horrible plotline continues), Sybil and Branson will be back at least for dinner, and apparently, according to Vulture (which has several other revelations), Lord Grantham is going to lose all his money. How does that work? Will the maids and butler overthrow the Granthams? Will the downstairs people move upstairs and vice versa? Or will Thomas just torch the whole damn estate and blame it on a newly released Bates? Screw Thomas.
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the guys behind "Fringe," and "Alias," and Star Trek, plus a lot of movies you guys love to hate -- Transformers, Cowboys and Aliens, etc. -- are now developing The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for the TeeVee set. According to the Playlist, it will be a "a reworking of the story of Ichabod Crane that will take place in a contemporary setting, partner him up with female sheriff, and the pair will solve the supernatural mysteries of a town in the midst of a battle between good and evil." Fantastic! What the world really needs is another fairy-tale procedural. Len Wiseman is set to direct.
Let me ask you all an important question: Are there among you people who still haven't seen "The West Wing"? No, no: Don't admit it out loud. I will be forced to judge you. Good news, though: For a limited time only (as in, the next six weeks), "The West Wing" will be available on Amazon Instant Video. In fact, if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can watch the entire series for free. If you have enough time, you can also catch up on "Fringe," which is also streaming for free this summer for Amazon Prime members (and as a guy who just finished season four, the whole series comes highly recommended, except for that dark, dark period three-quarters of the way through season three, which -- like Walter -- I've had surgically removed from my brain).
You folks familiar with Nikke Finke? She's what we in the business like to call "scum of the Earth." She's always making headlines by being horrible, and by "headlines" I mean, movie bloggers on Twitter love to talk sh*t about her (present company included). The last few weeks, she's been embroiled in a weird fight with Brett Easton Ellis. Finke is notoriously reclusive (there's only one known picture of her on the Internet from many years ago), and Ellis outed the location of her apartment announcing that Finke lived in his building. Finke, naturally, went batshit, chewed out an assistant, and threatened ICM, the agency that reps Ellis. She told them that if they didn't drop Ellis, she'd publish the names and addresses of all of their children. It was a relatively entertaining dispute until she crossed that line, and now Ellis has hired lawyers and has warned that Finke's downfall is imminent (follow Ellis on Twitter; he's a hoot. In addition to the Finke kerfuffle, he also loves to dreamcast his own books plus 50 Shades of Gray).
Anyway, Finke really stuck her foot in it over the weekend by gleefully jumping to report box-office numbers for The Dark Knight Rises and discuss how the tragedy will affect the tallies. Anyway, some of the movie bloggers rightfully jumped down her throat (with an assist from Footloose director Craig Brewer), and mediabistro has the full write-up if you're interested in that inside baseball sort of thing.