TAGGED AS: streaming, SXSW, television, TV
FX’s eagerly-anticipated Atlanta season 3 will close the SXSW’s Film Festival in Austin in March. The big Frank Sinatra story behind Godfather series The Offer, how all the new Star Trek series are keeping their stories straight, Samuel L. Jackson on AppleTV+’s adaptation of Walter Mosley’s novel The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, trailers drop for Julia Roberts and Sean Penn series Gaslit and video game adaptation Halo, and more of the biggest news in TV and streaming from the past week.
This year’s (probable) return to in-person festival-ing at SXSW in Austin will include the world premieres of five films: Nicolas Cage playing Nicolas Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent; native Texan Richard Linklater unveiling his latest film, Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood; Michelle Yeoh in sci-fi action adventure Everything Everywhere All at Once; comedic mystery Bodies, Bodies, Bodies; and the blockbuster cast of Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, and Brad Pitt in The Lost City, a romantic adventure comedy about the author of romance adventure novels who is kidnapped, and the novels’ hunky cover model who thinks it’s his job to save her.
For TV fans it’s all about what’s happening in Atlanta — or rather, on Atlanta, as Donald Glover’s acclaimed FX comedy makes its much-anticipated return as the season 3 premiere, long delayed by COVID, will make its debut as the SXSW closing night headliner. The premiere, directed by Hiro Murai, opens a season that is set in Europe, as Earn (Glover), Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), Darius (LaKeith Stanfield), and Van (Zazie Beetz) are enjoying the success of a European tour, but struggle to adjust to their new surroundings at the same time.
Other episodic highlights of the fest include:
• video game adaptation Halo, starring Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief;
• Brené Brown: Atlas of the Heart directed by Paul Dugdale;
• comic book adaptation DMZ starring Rosario Dawson and directed by Ava DuVernay;
• The Last Movie Stars, chronicling Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s careers and partnership, from director Ethan Hawke;
• The Girl From Plainville, starring Elle Fanning as Michelle Carter at the center of the true-life “texting-suicide” case;
• Swimming With Sharks, an adaptation of the 1994 feature film, but with Kiernan Shipka and Diane Kruger as the Hollywood players;
• The Man Who Fell To Earth based on the Walter Tevis novel and the 1976 film starring David Bowie and directed by Alex Kurtzman — Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as a new alien;
• Shining Girls directed by Michelle MacLaren;
• WeCrashed directed by John Requa and Glenn Ficcara;
• They Call Me Magic directed by Rick Famuyiwa.
Atlanta season 3 premieres on FX on March 24.
“When they … asked me to do this, the only story I knew about making The Godfather was that Mario Puzo got into a fight with Frank Sinatra at Chasen’s,” The Offer executive producer and writer Michael Tolkin said during Paramount+’s virtual Television Critics Association panel for The Offer. “So I had five minutes in the show written, and I just needed nine hours and 55 minutes more to fill it in.”
The Puzo (Patrick Gallo)/Sinatra (Frank John Hughes) skirmish appears in the first episode of The Offer is a highlight of the premiere, and isn’t the last time Sinatra makes his feelings know about the book and movie, which he charged portrayed Italians in an offensive way.
(Photo by Nicole Wilder/Paramount+)
Sinatra, though a colorful part of the movie’s history, is not the main focus of The Offer. The story is told from the point of view of The Godfather Oscar-winning producer Al Ruddy, played by Whiplash star Miles Teller (who replaced Armie Hammer, who dropped out of the project shortly after being cast and spent much of 2021 in rehab after being accused of sexual abuse by several women). Ruddy was an accountant who was bored by his job and saw Hollywood as the cure. After success as co-creator of Hogan’s Heroes, Ruddy was determined to break in to the big-screen side of things, and impressed then Paramount honcho Robert Evans enough to get a shot. Evans assigned him to produce The Godfather, a movie no one else wanted, and the rest is history — and the fodder for the 10-episode The Offer.
Ruddy, 91, is still working in Hollywood; he was a producer on Clint Eastwood’s 2021 Western Cry Macho. And his own colorful Hollywood history earned respect and affection from Teller, who felt compelled to portray Ruddy’s career accurately.
“There’s a great responsibility when you’re, kind of, taking on somebody’s life and telling it,” Teller said. “And especially a life as full as Al’s was. Man, I was telling this to my wife the other day …if somebody made a movie about my life, you couldn’t even fill 30 minutes of the entertainment that we have in this story. I enjoy my life, but it’s certainly not as entertaining as Al’s. More than anything, I just had a blast playing him, just being able to re-tell his story. I would text him, ‘Al, this is so much fun. Like all these situations you found yourself in was just so much fun, man. Playin you is keeping me on my toes.’ That’s how I felt.”
The Offer premieres on Paramount+ on April 28.
More Paramount+ at TCA:
• The Star Trek: Strange New Worlds panel revealed the difficulty in keeping Star Trek canon in line: “We absolutely keep track of it,” Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman said. “We have writers on all the staff that keep track of it. We have a frequent showrunners’ meeting where the showrunners of all the shows get together in advance of the scripts they’re about to write as they’re starting to break seasons. And they all share ideas and information about what they’re doing so that we can stay ahead of any problems that may come up so we’re not stepping on each other’s toes.” Those series include Discovery, which returns from hiatus on Feb. 10 to continue season 4 and was recently renewed for season 5; Picard, which returns for season 2 on Mar. 3 and is renewed for a third season; Strange New Worlds, which premieres on May 5, but has already been renewed for season 2; and animated series Prodigy, which just aired its season 1 finale on Feb. 3 and is renewed for season 2, and adult animated comedy Lower Decks, which returns for season 3 this summer and is renewed for season 4.
• SEAL Team, The Game, and Mayor of Kingstown were renewed.
• The streaming network is developing a series adaptation of the 1980 John Travolta–Debra Winger movie Urban Cowboy.
• Justin Simien (Dear White People) will write and direct a series remake of the 1983 Jennifer Beals movie classic Flashdance for Paramount+.
• Bob Odenkirk and David Cross are reuniting for Guru Nation, a half-hour mockumentary-style comedy about rival cult gurus trying to manipulate the minds of their followers. The Show team will create and star in the series.
• Rabbit Hole is the official title of Paramount+’s upcoming Kiefer Sutherland spy drama, in which he will play private espionage op James Weir, who is in the “midst of a battle over the preservation of democracy in a world at odds with misinformation, behavioral manipulation, the surveillance state, and the interests that control these extraordinary powers,” 24 alum Sutherland is also an EP on the project.
Read Also: Everything We Know About the Halo TV Series
Apple TV+ at TCA:
• Samuel L. Jackson shared during the panel for AppleTV+’s adaptation of Walter Mosley’s novel The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey why he’d been committed to doing the project for a long time, and has a very personal connection to the story about a 93-year-old man with dementia who who is able for a short time to remember his past. “I’m from a family where I felt like I was surrounded by Alzheimer’s,” Jackson said. “My grandfather, my uncle, my aunt, my mom … there are people on my father’s side who have Alzheimer’s. And I watched them change, deteriorate, and become different people over the years. And being able to tell their story or listening to them and understanding that things in their past are more their present than what’s going on in their everyday life, and understanding how to convey that to people, and giving an audience an opportunity to know that they aren’t the only people who watch their loved ones deteriorate that way.”
• Apple TV+ will premiere Lincoln’s Dilemma on Feb. 18. The four-part documentary series explores the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln’s journey to end slavery. Jeffrey Wright narrates, while Bill Camp provides the voice of Lincoln and Leslie Odom Jr. provides the voice of Frederick Douglass.
• Apple TV+’s answer to the Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance has an official title: They Call Me Magic. The four-part series goes wider in scope to delve not only into the Hall of Fame on the court life of icon Earvin “Magic” Johnson, but also his personal life, including his shocking HIV announcement 30 years ago, and his successful post-basketball entrepreneurial efforts. Johnson and his family, friends, and colleagues are interviewed for the series, which premieres on Apr. 22.
• Apple TV+ also featured panels on comedy whodunit series The Afterparty, which is currently streaming and boasts a Certified Fresh 88% Tomatometer score, and on upcoming series Severance, from director and executive producer Ben Stiller, about corporate employees undergoing a surgical procedure to divide their memories of work and their personal lives (premieres Feb. 18); Shining Girls, which stars Elisabeth Moss a newspaper archivist and assault survivor who teams up with a veteran reporter played by Wagner Moura to break through the mystery of a serial killer (premieres April 29); and WeCrashed, starring Academy Award winners Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway, based on the Wondery podcast “WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork.”
• The streamer also revealed the Apr. 1 premiere date of espionage series Slow Horses, starring Gary Oldman.
In the first teaser for the Watergate limited series Gaslit, Julia Roberts and Sean Penn are nearly unrecognizable as Richard Nixon’s BFF and Attorney General John Mitchell and his whistleblower wife Martha Mitchell. Also stars xxx. Premieres April 24 (Starz)
More trailers and teasers released this week:
• The Thing About Pam, a true-life crime limited series, features an unrecognizable Renee Zellweger as housewife–turned–convicted killer Pam Hupp. The six-episode series also stars Katy Mixon, Josh Duhamel, and Judy Greer and premieres March 8. (NBC)
• Joe vs. Carole is the scripted drama take on the Tiger King saga, with Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon as cat-lovin’ Carole Baskin and John Cameron Mitchell as her nemesis, Joe Exotic. Also stars Dean Winters, Kyle MacLachlan, Brian Van Holt, Sam Keeley, Nat Wolff, and William Fichtner. . Premieres March 3. (Peacock)
• Texas Chainsaw Massacre finds Leatherface, after hiding for almost 50 years, returning to terrorize a group of idealistic young friends who accidentally disrupt his carefully shielded world in a remote Texas town. Stars Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Mark Burnham, Moe Dunford, Nell Hudson, Jessica Allain, Olwen Fouéré, Jacob Latimore, and Alice Krige. Premieres Feb. 18. (Netflix)
• Disenchantment Part 4 continues the misadventures of hard-hitting, hard-drinking Queen Bean, her feisty elf companion Elfo, and her personal demon Luci, in Matt Groening’s animated fantasy series. Voice cast includes Abbi Jacobson, Eric Andre, Nat Faxon, John DiMaggio, Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, David Herman, Matt Berry, Rich Fulcher, Noel Fielding, Richard Ayoade, and Lucy Montgomery. Premieres Feb. 9. (Netflix)
• I Want You Back is a romantic comedy starring Charlie Day and Jenny Slate who, after getting dumped by their significant others, who then start dating each other, make a pact to break up the new couple so they can get them back. Also stars Scott Eastwood. Premieres Feb. 11. (Amazon Video)
For all the latest TV and streaming trailers, subscribe to the Rotten Tomatoes TV YouTube channel
(Photo by Dominik Bindl/Getty Images)
As AMC’s original Walking Dead series winds down to its series finale, the network’s upcoming anthology series has announced its first round of casting. Anthony Edwards, Terry Crews, Parker Posey. Poppy Liu, and Jillian Bell will star in Tales of The Walking Dead, the one-hour anthology series that will focus on new stories with new and existing characters in The Walking Dead universe. The series will premiere this summer.
Starz has announced the cast for its much, much anticipated third season of the comedy Party Down. Jennifer Garner (Alias), Tyrel Jackson Williams (Brockmire), and Zoë Chao (The Afterparty) will be new series regulars, while James Marsden (30 Rock) will be a recurring guest star. Garner will play Evie, a successful producer and Henry’s (Adam Scott) new love interest; Williams will be wannabe influencer Sackson; Chao will play Lucy, a food artist who wants to be a celeb chef; and Marsden is Jack Botty, a charming actor who’s the star of a superhero franchise. The cater waiters series returns with six new episodes and cast members Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino, Martin Starr, Ryan Hansen, and Megan Mullally. John Enborn also returns as showrunner, with Rob Thomas, Adam Scott, Paul Rudd, and Dan Etheridge also back as executive producers
John Mulaney will host Saturday Night Live on Feb. 26, making him an official member of the Five Timers Club. LCD Soundsystem will be the musical guest.
Tracee Ellis Ross and Leslie Jordan will announce the Oscar nominations live on Good Morning America and ABC News Live and streamed at Oscar.com on Feb. 8 at 8:18 a.m. ET.
Related: Rotten Tomatoes Predicts the 2022 Oscar Nominations
Country music queen Dolly Parton will host the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards, which will air live on Prime Video on March 7.
That ’90s Show, Netflix’s sequel to That ’70s Show that revolves around Eric and Donna Forman’s daughter Leia as she visits her grandparents in Wisconsin in the summer of 1995, has set its cast: original series stars Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp – Forman parents Red and Kitty – will be joined by Callie Haverda (Shut Eye) as Leia, Ashley Aufderheid (It) as local teen queen Gwen, Mace Coronel (Wireless) as wannabe filmmaker Jay, Maxwell Acee Donovan (Gabby Duran & The Unsittables) as Jay’s BFF Nate, Reyn Doi (Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar) as the gang’s wise-beyond-his-years gay friend, and Sam Morelos as the driven, but rebellious Nikki, who is also Nate’s girlfriend. Smith and Rupp also serve as executive producers of the 10-episode season.
Six Criminal Minds cast members have agreed to return for Paramount+’s revival of the CBS drama: Joe Mantegna, Kirsten Vangsness, Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Cook, Aisha Tyler, and Paget Brewster. (Deadline)
The O.C. alum Adam Brody has joined the cast of FX’s adaptation of Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s best-selling novel Fleishman Is in Trouble, playing an old friend of Jesse Eisenberg’s titular Toby Fleishman, a doctor who’s left to build a new life, as a single dad, when his ex-wife (Claire Danes) disappears without any clue as to where she is and if and when she’ll return. Lizzy Caplan also stars, and Maxim Jasper Swinton and Meara Mahoney Gross have also been added as the Fleishman children.
Paramount+ has announced the start of production and the cast of Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, a 10-episode musical series prequel to the Grease movie, that will unfold the story of how the Pink Ladies became the coolest girls at Rydell High. The series, which is production in Vancouver and scheduled to premiere later this year, will star Marisa Davila as Jane, Cheyenne Isabel Wells as Olivia, Ari Notartomaso as Cynthia, Tricia Fukuhara as Nancy, Shanel Bailey as Hazel, Madison Thompson as Susan, Johnathan Nieves as Richie, Jason Schmidt as Buddy, Maxwell Whittington-Cooper as Wally, and Jackie Hoffman as Asst. Principal McGee.
Jamie Dornan has joined Gal Gadot in the cast of the Netflix spy thriller Heart of Stone. No plot details are available, but THR.com reports that the movie may be the first of a franchise. (THR)
(Photo by Apple TV+)
Apple TV+ has announced the cast for season 2 of its drama Foundation, based on the stories of Isaac Asimov. Joining Lee Pace, Jared Harris, Laura Birn, Cassian Bilton, and Terrence Mann will be Ben Daniels as Bel Roise, the last great general of the Superliminal Fleet; Holt McCallany as Warden Jaegger Fount, the current Warden of Terminus and guardian of its citizens; Isabella Laughland as Brother Constant, a cheerfully confident claric whose job is to evangelize the Church of the Galactic Spirit across the Outer Reach; Kulvinder Ghir as Poly Verisof, High Claric of the Church of the Galactic Spirit; Ella-Rae Smith as Queen Sareth of Cloud Dominion, who’s on a secret quest for revenge; Sandra Yi Sencindiver as Enjoiner Rue, the beautiful, politically savvy consigliere to Queen Sareth; Dimitri Leonidas as Hober Mallow, a master trader who is summoned against his will to serve a higher, selfless cause; Mikael Persbrandt as The Warlord of Kalgan, a monster of a man, who is fueled by hate in his quest to take over the galaxy; Rachel House as Tellem Bond, mysterious leader of the Mentallics; and Nimrat Kaur as Yanna Seldon.
Jennifer Beals, already busy with The L Word: Generation Q and The Book of Boba Fett, has joined the cast of Law & Order: Organized Crime in a recurring role as the wife of drug kingpin and head of the Marcy Corporation, Preston Webb (Mykelti Williamson). (Deadline)
The Originals and The Vampire Diaries alum Joseph Morgan will join Franka Potente (Claws) and Lisa Ambalavanar (The A List) in the season 4 cast of HBO Max’s DC Comics series Titans. Morgan will play Sebastian Blood (Brother Blood), a quiet guy with a hidden darker side. Potente will play predator May Bennett (Mother Mayhem), while Ambalavanar will recur as Jinx, a loner who’s happiest when she’s creating chaos.
Hulu offered a first look at the Amy Schumer original comedy series Life & Beth, starring Schumer as Beth, a NYC wine distributor who has a life that would impress her high school friends. But when something forces her to return to her past life, she sees anew how her teen years led her to become who she is and who she wants to become. The rest of the cast: Michael Cera, Susannah Flood, Violet Young, Kevin Kane, Yamaneika Saunders, Laura Benanti, Larry Owens, Michael Rapaport, Rosebud Walker, and LaVar Walker. The 10-episode series premieres on March 18.
Lucifer star Tom Ellis has joined the cast of Sterling K. Brown’s Hulu limited drama series Washington Black, based on Esi Edugyan’s adventure novel of the same name about an 11-year-old boy on a Barbados sugar plantation who has to run away after a shocking death. Brown plays the larger-than-life Medwin Harris, mentor to Washington Black, Ellis will play a steam punk inventor named Christopher “Titch” Wilde.
(Photo by The CW)
The CW, it seems, just can’t get enough of Supernatural stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. The network has announced pilot orders for The Winchesters, a Supernatural prequel series revolving around John and Mary, the parents of Supernatural characters Dean and Sam Winchester, and produced by Ackles and his wife Daneel, with Ackles providing voiceovers. Not to be outdone by his TV bro, Padalecki, the star of the network’s Walker, is an executive producer on Walker: Independence, a prequel series about Abby Walker, a 19th century woman who settles in Independence, Texas, after the murder of her husband, and becomes “an agent of change.” And The CW also greenlit a pilot for Gotham Knights, a live-action drama in which the adopted son of Bruce Wayne teams up with the offspring of Batman’s enemies to form the Gotham Knights, who become the unlikely saviors of the city.
Red Notice director Rawson Marshall Thurber will write and direct a live-action series based on the role playing Dungeons & Dragons at Entertainment One, with the possibility of leading to a D & D television universe. (THR)
Thirtysomething and Once and Again creators Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz are teaming with J.J. Abrams and Stephen King to adapt King’s 2021 novel Billy Summers, about a hitman taking one last job to boost his bank account, as a limited series they’re shopping to cable and streaming networks. (Deadline)
As part of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s first-look deal with Disney, he will collaborate with Spike Lee on a multi-part ESPN documentary – in which he is the subject – that Lee will direct and produce, along with former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill.
(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Ted Lasso Emmy winner Brett Goldstein has signed an overall deal with Warner Bros. TV to create, develop, and produce new projects, after already signing acting and writing deals with the studio. He’s also a writer on the Emmy-winning series, and created the AMC anthology series Soulmates. He also hosts the podcast “Films to Be Buried With,” and is collaborating with Ted Lasso co-creator Bill Lawrence in the Apple TV+ comedy Shrinking, starring Jason Segel.
Fox and Hulu have made a deal in which Hulu will stream all out-of-season Fox unscripted and animated series including The Masked Singer, Lego Masters, I Can See Your Voice, Name That Tune, The Masked Dancer, Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back, MasterChef,MasterChef Junior, and HouseBroken.
Apple TV+ has ordered a series adaptation of the bestselling Ann Napolitano novel Dear Edward, about a 12-year-old boy, Edward, who survives a plane crash in which everyone else on board, including his family, is killed. Written, produced, and showrun by Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights and Parenthood) in his first series order from his overall deal with Apple TV+, the series will star FNL alum Connie Britton, Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black), and Colin O’Brien (Wonka).
NYPD Blue and Deadwood creator David Milch is writing a memoir about his very colorful life, titled Life’s Work, and will address such topics as his infamous gambling addiction and Alzheimer’s diagnosis, The book will be released by Random House on Sept. 13. (THR)
Lifetime has already produced adaptations of V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind, and now the network is expanding its coverage of the author’s work with an adaptation of Andrews’ Cutler book series, another twisted story (duh) about Dawn Longchamp and how her world collapses after the sudden death of her mom. Flowers in the Attic: The Origin, Lifetime’s story about the origins of the Foxworth family, will premiere on the network this summer.
Paramount+ is gonna keep those Trek series coming. Starfleet Academy is in development, a drama about the college of cadets mentored for leadership roles in the United Federation of Planets space force. Absentia co-creator Gaia Violo is producing the project. (Deadline)
David E. Kelley will executive produce and serve as showrunner for Apple TV+’s limited series adaptation of Scott Turow’s bestselling novel Presumed Innocent, which was previously adapted as the 1990 legal thriller movie of the same name starring Harrison Ford.
Women’s Sports Network will be a 24-hour-a-day channel devoted to covering female athletes on and off the field, reports The Los Angeles Times. WSN is scheduled to launch this summer on ad-supported streaming TV.
Netflix has ordered the dark comedy Asian soap opera The Brothers Sun, from American Horror Story co-creator Brad Falchuk and newcomer Byron Wu. Falchuk will be showrunner and EP for the series, while Wu will write and also executive produce the series.