Posts filed under News

Henry Cavill Nabs New Netflix Series

Netflix announced this morning that Henry Cavill has signed on to play Geralt of Rivia in it's new series based on the popular fantasy book and video games series, "The Witcher".  The series of fantasy books was originally written by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski and was subsequently adapted to a popular and critically lauded  series of video games starting in 2007. 

There have been rumors of a film going back as far as 2012 but this incarnation is set to be a whole series for Netflix. Lauren Schmidt Hissrich  known for Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s The Defenders, Umbrella Academy is set as the writer, EP, and showrunner. Hissrich announced Cavill officially joining the project via twitter “He was my first meeting...I didn’t have writers or scripts yet – just a greenlight and a lot of passion. That was four months ago, and I’ve never forgotten the passion he brought. He IS Geralt. He always has been. I’m so thrilled to welcome HENRY CAVILL to the Witcher family.”

Cavill is undoubtedly most well-known for his most recent stint as Clark Kent/Superman in the new DC Universe films and also his mustache did great work in the newest Mission: Impossible. It should be noted that this isn't his first foray into the world of television. Cavill spent 4 seasons working on the critically acclaimed Showtime drama, "The Tudors".

Is there anyone you would rather see Geralt than Cavill? Put your hands together for good casting.

IMG_1498.JPG

Bazinga! The Big Bang Theory to End

TBBT.jpg

Millions of people will have to get their geek culture laughs elsewhere. The Big Bang theory is set to end after 12 dominant seasons on CBS. In a joint statement between CBS, WBTV, and Chuck Lorre Productions said "We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of The Big Bang Theory during the past twelve seasons. We, along with the cast, writers and crew, are extremely appreciative of the show’s success and aim to deliver a final season, and series finale, that will bring The Big Bang Theory to an epic creative close."

As recently as last week there were rumors that CBS was trying to renew the show for a 13th season but apparently failed to close the deal. Big Bang has been a ratings juggernaut since it's debut in 2007 and has won 10 Emmy's in 52 nominations. According to a report at Deadline the show will air it's last episode in May of 2019. 

Patrick Stewart to return as Jean-Luc Picard

CBS has some good news this week. First they announced their CBS All-Access streaming service is doing well with over 2 Million subscribers. One could guess that a large number of those subscribers are attributed to it's Star Trek revival series, Star Trek: Discovery. These favorable numbers undoubtedly led to the second announcement which is a new Star Trek series starring Sir Patrick Stewart who will be returning to his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. CBS has a history of seeing success with a show and then mirroring it in spin off shows, like the 12 versions of CSI and NCIS they produced over the last 2 decades. It seems like Star Trek is the next franchise to get the CBS treatment.  

Stewart helped make the announcement himself at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention as seen in the video above. “I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course,” Stewart said. “It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.” We haven't seen Stewart as Picard since 2002's underrated (fight me, it's good) Star Trek: Nemesis film. 

I can't wait for Star Trek: Los Angeles and Star Trek: Miami. Make it so!

 

IMG_1470.JPG

Who’s the Josh?

The creator of USA Network’s quirky detective series Monk has something new in the works with Netflix. Two days ago Netflix released the trailer for it’s new comedy detective series entitled The Good Cop. From the looks of the trailer this show is quite different from the rest of their Netflix originals. 

 

Official Trailer for the Netflix Original The Good Cop

Oh, did I mention that Josh Groban is the straight and narrow detective acting opposite his ex-cop/ex-con father played by Tony frikkin’ Danza? At first glance I’ll admit this is a pretty strange pairing. Danza has been laying low for what seems like 2 decades or more now and Groban isn’t an actor, is he? I took a deep dive into his IMDB profile and quickly realized that Groban has been stretching his comedy chops for years. Most of the time he’s played embellished versions of himself in random TV episodes and movies but he’s been pretty funny. If you find yourself lost in Groban black hole on YouTube I think you’ll find he’s pretty damn funny in interviews too. After watching the trailer it seems like Danza has reached the point in his career where his contract states his character must be named Tony and he gets to say at least 3 stereotypical charming old Italian man things per episode. But I think that type of  character may work in this setting. Netflix could really use a good light hearted comedy show and I hope Andy Breckman hit the mark with this one. 

What do you think? Do we have to wait for season 3 before we get a Judith Light and Alyssa Milano special guest episode?

IMG_1463.JPG
Posted on July 31, 2018 and filed under News.

Marketing Department Movies: The Ancestors of Uncle Drew

 
uncle drew.jpg

IMG_1304.JPG

Last week Lionsgate released the first trailer for Uncle Drew, a basketball movie about an elderly man schooling younger dudes in Rucker Park. NBA Superstar Kyrie Irving is set to reprise his role as the titular character, Uncle Drew. The character was first seen in a series of videos produced by Pepsi in 2012. Since then several other characters have been introduced including other NBA stars Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, and Nate Robinson, all of which are seen in the trailer too. Comedians Tiffany Haddish and Nick Kroll are cast as well, which gives us a faint glimmer of hope that this won’t be a complete train wreck of a film. Let’s be honest though, you should probably get your conductor’s cap ready. It’s not often that Hollywood decides make a film or TV show based on a character created by your favorite gas station snack’s marketing department. So in order to honor this momentous occasion we look back at a few times this has happened before.


Earnest

IMG_1302.JPG

Earnest P. Worrell (played by national treasure, the late Jim Varney) might be the most successful example and maybe the most confusing. The Earnest character was created by an ad agency based in Nashville, Tennessee in 1980. The character was basically used as a pitch man for several different brands including Coke, Chex mix, and Taco John’s. His first use in a commercial was in an ad promoting an appearance by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders at Beech Bend Park. He was known for saying “KnowwhutIMean, Vern?” Vern being the target consumer on the other side of the TV screen. From 1986 to 1998 Earnest starred in 10 films. 4 of those films had theatrical releases by Disney’s Touchstone Pictures and grossed over $90 million in ticket sales. After Earnest Scared Stupid did not perform well in the box office they dropped the character and the rest of the Earnest films were independently produced. There were rumors of 6 more Earnest movies in various stages of production in the years before Jim Varney’s death but alas, none were filmed. The last we saw of this character in film was 1998’s Earnest in the Army but the character lives on forever through my father’s inability to say “Know what I mean?” without calling me Vern. Every. Time. 


California Raisins

IMG_1300.JPG

The 1980’s and early 90’s were a hotbed for anthropomorphized objects and claymation. What better way to take advantage of both these things than to have some dancing raisins singing Marvin Gaye songs at you and force feeding you faux-healthy cereal. Originally created in 1986 to help promote the California Raisin Advisory Board (CALRAB, who knew they needed promotion?) The California Raisins took the United States by storm. The Raisins released 4 studio albums, promoted Post Raisin Bran Cereal, had primetime specials, a Saturday morning cartoon, video games, and a tons of really really really stupid merchandising. They were everywhere. Eventually, their popularity and production started to wain when the CALRAB realized production costs were higher than their income and could not afford to keep using them. They still won an Emmy for A Claymation Christmas Celebration though and no one can ever take that from their pruney, clay hands. 

 Yes, this is a real record.

Yes, this is a real record.


Cavemen

IMG_1307.JPG

The Cavemen are a more recent and less successful example, they were originally spokes-Neanderthals for Geico Insurance. The Cavemen shared duties with the Geico Gecko and several other characters as the face of the company. In 2007, someone at ABC thought making TV was so easy a caveman could do it and they greenlit a television series based on the Cavemen. The show only lasted a few weeks before it was pulled from the air and the characters stopped being used for commercials as well. In a strange coincidence with Uncle Drew, comedian Nick Kroll was also involved in the Cavemen TV Show. Nick, if you need help finding better representation I’m sure we could help…


Honorable Mention: The Simpsons

IMG_1306.JPG

Although the Simpsons were not created in the marketing department they were used as pitchmen before their long-running FOX TV show hit the air. Originally airing as an animated short on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987 they were quickly scooped up by Nestle to represent the Butterfinger brand which proved to be a long lasting and successful relationship. The Simpsons have gone on to be one of the most successful cartoon and merchandising franchises of all time but since they started as a short before they were used in commercials we couldn’t add them to our list officially, D’oh!

 


I guess the moral to the story is that If it works, it works & if it doesn't, it REALLY doesn't. Of course there's one big difference between Uncle Drew and these other examples and that difference is Kyrie Irving. None of these examples started with a base of sports-celebrity before creating the character. The closest example I can think of is former New York Knick/Charlotte Hornet Larry Johnson's Grandmama character from the 90's. The Grandmama character was used to promote Converse shoes on a series of popular commercials much like Uncle Drew and Pepsi. Grandmama even made a few appearances on television outside the commercials. Most notable was a guest appearance on Family Matters as Steve Urkel's teammate in a basketball tournament. Grandmama never had a movie but I think a good lawyer could make the case that this was the basis for Tyler Perry's entire film career. I for one am always a sucker for a good basketball movie so I hope nothing but the best for Uncle Drew. What do you think? Of course we missed a few examples so be sure to remind us how stupid we are for forgetting them in the comments. 


 Of course there are more examples but we Just couldn’t think of 'em. KnowwhutIMean, Vern? 

Of course there are more examples but we Just couldn’t think of 'em. KnowwhutIMean, Vern? 

Posted on February 21, 2018 and filed under News.