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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 | Industry | March 15, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | March 15, 2013 |

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, 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.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.