There are an awful lot of ifs, maybes and "in talks" still attached to this story, so don't get too excited (or bewildered) just yet, but it's certainly the least expected pre-production news of the day: veteran Chinese director Zhang Yimou is in the frame to direct his first Hollywood studio feature, "Quasimodo" -- obviously enough, a take on the oft-filmed Victor Hugo chestnut "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
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While many of the questions about the workplace/cop comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" landed with the producers of the show during the FOX press tour panel for the show, more than a few were lobbed at the cast, which was peppered with familiar faces. Andre Braugher ("Homicide: Life on the Street") and Andy Samberg ("Saturday Night Live") were joined by retired NFL pro Terry Crews ("Bridesmaids"), Melissa Fumero ("Gossip Girl"), stand-up and writer Chesea Peretti ("Louie"), Joe Lo Truglio ("Reno 911") and Stephanie Beatriz ("Modern Family").
You can hear the machinery clicking to life. We've moved into August, meaning the Telluride Film Festival is just four short weeks away. Trailers are landing, festival announcements are filling email inboxes and soon enough the awards season will be in full swing.
As we inch closer, however, there are still a number of films that, at least on paper, would appear to have a lot of awards season potential. Many of them are playing the early fall fests, Toronto in particular, given the market for product at that annual showcase. It's possible this studio or that decides some added firepower is needed and they go shopping for more Oscar players, but just as many will be scooped up for 2014 release.
With all that in mind, Guy and I have put our heads together to come up with a list of 15 that, at least to our eye, could figure into the race in some way big or small if acquired in a timely fashion. We've noted festival players, though in the case of Telluride -- as ever -- all we can do is guess. So we've hung a "maybe" out on a few in that regard.
Confirmed: New "Doctor Who" will be revealed live on Sunday
BBC will air a "Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor" special at 7 pm UK time (2 pm ET and 11 am PT). Yes, it'll be broadcast on BBC America.
"Almost Human," a new FOX series presented at press tour, promises lots of action and, more importantly, an uneasy working relationship between grumpy cop Det. John Kennex (Karl Urban, "Star Trek") and android Dorian (Michael Ealy, "Sleeper Cell"). For some in the audience, it all brought back memories of the 1989 TV series "Alien Nation," but creator/executive producer J.H. Wyman shrugged off any similarities to any specific scifi influence, mentioning inspiration was drawn from "so many sources." "We wanted to do something that was a bit different…" he said, adding that the decision to create put a fresh spin on the typical android pining to be human storyline was very intentional. "It was better to have a robot that was more human than he could handle [instead]."
When we're at an event like Comic-Con, there isn't always time to post a complete news story on every single thing you see or encounter. That's one reason it's good to also follow my Twitter feed during an event like that. For example, at one point, I was on my way to the main convention center and passed the spot where 20th Century Fox had a Sentinel head on display, and I snapped a quick picture of it and sent it out.
Almost immediately, I started getting asked questions about scale, which is fair. I didn't have anything else in the shot to give you an idea of how big the head was. I got a real sense of excitement from many of you about the idea of finally seeing Sentinels in the "X-Men" films. I agree. I know that when I first fell in love with the X-Men titles in print, part of what fascinated me was the image of these giant mutant-killing robots that were deployed by the government.
One of the guys who appeared on the "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" panel was Hutch Parker, one of the producers on the film. During Tom Rothman's time at the studio, Parker was one of the executives who worked closely with him, which makes me wonder how a conversation between the two of them would go today. Rothman, keep in mind, was the studio head who said "No 'X-Men' movie is ever going to feature stupid giant robots as long as I'm running Fox," and now we've reached a moment where not only are there giant robots, but Bryan Singer, who Rothman felt betrayed the studio and the franchise, is the one who is responsible for finally introducing them.
Comedy Central promotes James Franco's roast with a punch to the face
"It ain't gonna be pretty."
Americans spend more time on digital devices than watching TV, study finds
Digital devices include surfing the web on your computer or spending time with your smartphone.
Preview Oprah's 1st Letterman appearance in 8 years
The two TV titans discussed meditation.
Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones react to leaving "Parks and Rec"
"Such a bittersweet time for me," tweeted Jones. "It has literally been a world class pleasure," added Lowe.
CNN's "Our Nixon" uses footage from 500 reels of Super-8 home movie footage
Tonight's documentary on Richard Nixon offers a unique look at Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal.
I'm not sure how we did this with Melinda about to jet off to Poland to hang with Yoko Ono and Thurston Moore (we can all be jealous now) and me buzzing between Comic-Con and press tour, but we did! No promises of cohesion or focus! But we did it! Here's the rundown, if you'd like to follow along with our rambling. C'mon! It'll be fun, promise!
FOX president Kevin Reilly began his press tour executive session with an Oprah Winfrey-length filibuster. Given the season his network had — with the collapse of "American Idol" ratings ending the network's long streak as the highest-rated network on TV — the move wasn't a surprise. Lengthy monologues are one way for TV executives to distract us from the recent bad news at their network (or, at least, to suck away all our will to live or ask tough questions). But Reilly's speech had less to do with trying to change the narrative about Fox than trying to change the narrative about the broadcast network business in general.
James Cameron taps 'Terminator,' 'Jurassic Park IV' and 'Aliens vs. Predator' writers for three 'Avatar' sequels
Four years ago James Cameron's "Avatar" made a huge impact on the film industry landscape. Raking in over $2 billion worldwide, it became the highest grossing film of all time and altered the business pattern of distribution by (unfortunately) ushering in the era of inflated ticket prices for 3D movies.