Tag: amc

EXCLUSIVE: AMC is about to give straight-to-series orders to “Goliath” & “Lodge 49”

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After narrowing the field of contenders to three projects last may, AMC is moving forward with 2 of them: Goliath & Lodge 49. They are getting the straight-to-series treatment, like they did recently with Humans, The Night Manager and Into the Badlands

Goliath, originally set up at HBO where it was ultimately passed on and redeveloped for AMC, is based on the book The Autobiography Of An Execution by David R. Dow, a death penalty lawyer. It is written by David Kajganich, who just wrote the movie A Bigger Splash, with Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) attached to direct the pilot. It is produced by Plan B and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

Lodge 49 is a drama about a young knucklehead from Long Beach who joins a dusty old fraternal lodge. It’s written by Jim Gavin and produced by Paul Giamatti.

The Son, produced by Michael Connellyis the only project that is not expected to move forward, maybe because it looks too much like shows already existing. It was about the story of America’s birth as a superpower through the bloody rise and fall of one Texas oil empire. Instead, AMC may be ordering a drama called Biker. No more informations are available at the moment about this project.

Preacher (AMC) pilot preview: AMC can praise the Lord, they found the next “True Blood”!

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Pilot written & produced by Sam Catlin (Breaking Bad). Adapted from the comics by Steve Dillon & Garth Ennis. Directed & co-produced by Seth Rogen (This is the end, The Interview). Also produced by Evan Goldberg, Vivian Cannon (The Big C)… For AMC, Sony Pictures Television, DC Comics, Original Film & Point Grey Pictures. 62 pages.

Description: Jesse Custer, a conflicted Preacher in a small Texas town, merges with a creature that has escaped from heaven and develops the ability to make anyone do anything he says. Along with his ex-girlfriend, Tulip, a violent batshit crazy woman, and an Irish vampire named Cassidy, the three embark on a journey around the United States to literally find God…

With Dominic Cooper (Agent Carter, Captain America, Need for Speed, Fleming), Joseph Gilgun (Misfits, This is England), Ruth Negga (Misfits, Criminal Justice, Agents of SHIELD), Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds), Lucy Griffiths (True Blood), Ian Colletti (Rake), W. Earl Brown (American Crime, True Detective, Deadwood), Jamie Anne Allman (The Killing US), Brian Huskey (Selfie, Veep)…

STARTS ON MAY 22TH, 2016

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There is definitely something missing on TV since True Blood went off the air last year: an adult supernatural drama that is both sexy and fun. And over the top crazy.  Also twisted as hell. While on the quest of their next big hit after Breaking Bad and Mad Men ended, with only The Walking Dead (and soon its spin-off) still standing, AMC might have stumbled across it. Preacher is full of potential, not as depraved as the HBO show was -at least for now- but whacky and offbeat nonetheless. I bet it’s gonna get a huge fanbase pretty soon if ordered to series and it seems like the comics it’s based on (from DC) makes it already a project of great interest for many people all around the world. The franchise is highly popular since it debuted on 1996. I’m not sure why AMC didn’t pull a direct-to-series order, like they did with kung-fu drama Into the Badlands, starting next november, a riskier project in my opinion. Maybe because they wanted to make sure it was true to the comics. Or maybe because, like HBO which developed its own adaptation a few years ago or the movie projects that came even before that, they’re a little bit afraid of its controversial content about religion. AMC, be brave and just go for it! You may be rewarded with huge ratings and lots of passionate social media discussions. Isn’t it the whole point nowadays?

Even though Preacher is very dark and graphic -the first scene ends with splashing blood and guts all over the place- what may be different with this adaptation from the previous ones is the emphasis on comedy. It’s a lot of fun all along and that’s why it stands out as something we’re not that used to, at least in this genre and format. With Seth Rogen producing and directing the pilot, AMC made it pretty clear: they want it entertaining and fucked up. So it is. I don’t want to go too far in comparisons but let me tell you there’s a Tarantino-esque vibe to it. It requires a great sense of humor, that’s for sure. And it doesn’t need to be taken too seriously. Secondary characters who populate the small town where Jesse Custer lives are all very strange, devious, the same way as the people of Bon Temps were. They offer great laughs and some kind of astonishment. Vampire Cassidy is well… outrageous! I totally picture Joseph Gilgun in the role. Tulip could be compared to Michonne from The Walking Dead, but crazier.

That being said, Preacher may surprise you along the way: between the lines, it’s a really deep story about faith and America. Our hero may not be the flashiest character of the pilot but he delivers some great moments on an emotional level, which I found surprising and promising. We need to care about him. We almost do in the end. And the writer makes sure -a little too hard maybe with too many details for an introduction to this mad mad world- that we understand there is a complex mythology behind it all, multiple lawyers. A lot happens. Violent things. Weird things. Ridiculous things. Like a crossbow-fighting… on a plane! I wish we’d spend a little more time with Jesse, and a little less time with the craziness. Hints of craziness and supernatural elements would have been enough. It’s one of those pilots that want to show its full potential right away… Budget-wise, AMC will have to show us the money. And we know it’s not their strongest suit…

Preacher is the biggest chance for AMC to deliver another phenomenon to TV after The Walking Dead. It has “HIT” written all over it with its crop of weird characters, its atypical tone, its graphic violence, its mythology, its controversial topic… but of course, it’s not for everyone. AMC needs it as much as fans of the property need closure for this never-ending project. So, say a little prayer and everything should be fine!

 

Fear The Walking Dead (AMC) pilot preview: Can the spin-off be better than the original?

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Written & produced by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) & David Erickson (Sons of Anarchy, Low Winter Sun). Co-produced by Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, Bill Johnson & David Alpert. Directed by Adam Davidson (Hell On Wheels, Community, Big Love, Parenthood). For AMC,  AMC Studios, Circle of Confusion & Valhalla Entertainment. 55 pages.

Description: When her drug-addict teenage son Nick is found in shock in the middle of the street as if he has just seen a ghost, Madison Bennett tries to understand what happened to him, with the help of her daughter Alicia and her fiancé Travis Posada. They discover it might be linked to the mysterious illness that is spreading at a fast rate in the city of Los Angeles for a few days and inevitably all around the globe soon…

With Kim Dickens (Deadwood, Sons of Anarchy, House of Cards, Friday Night Lights), Cliff Curtis (Die Hard 4, Training Day, Three Kings), Frank Dillane (Sense8), Alycia Debnam-Carey (The 100, Unfriended), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Orange is the new Black, Grimm), Lorenzo James Henrie

STARTS THIS AUGUST ON AMC

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When AMC announced they were working on an unnecessary spin-off of The Walking Dead, nobody was really surprised and everybody expected something a little more exotic and original than setting it in Los Angeles. I mean, they had endless possibilities. Africa, or Asia, or even Europe would have been more exciting. Another part of the globe! But way more expensive and definitely riskier. It was too much to ask I guess. Robert Kirkman and his co-producers took the easy road, we can’t really blame them. So what’s the catch? Fear The Walking Dead is basically showing the first days of the epidemic through the eyes of the members of a modern, recomposed and a little cliché family who lives in the city of angels. The interesting part? Discovering what happened with the authorities, the government… But that’s not much what the pilot is about. The series? Hard to say for now. We’re just given a little bit of information, hoping we’ll get more at some point. But we know how powerless everybody is and how it ends, so…

As I understand it, Fear The Walking Dead is trying to be broader than the original show. Which is weird. Part of the fact it became such a phenomenon is that it was surprising, never seen before on TV, brutal, graphic and carefully crafted. It was a genre show that became highly popular, addictive and hyptnotizing without even trying to. Same as what happened with Game of Thrones on HBO in a way, except they tried harder. FTWD isn’t surprising. It starts exactly the same way, with Nick, the teenage son, waking up after a long sleep in a house where he is not supposed to be, in the middle of puddles of blood and guts. He starts quickly remembering what happened, the horrors he saw (a friend of his eating another friend of them) and it doesn’t take long before walkers appear, prompting him to escape before it’s too late. Then he gets in a car accident. End of act one. It’s efficient but also sufficient to realize that whether it’s in The Walking Dead or the spin-off, whether it happens in Atlanta or Los Angeles, with Rick or with Nick, at the end of the day it tells the same story and it’s a story that is already running out of fuel for quite some time in the original show – which I watched the first four seasons, before quitting because I was bored as hell and I didn’t like any of the characters still alive, except Carol. I didn’t feel anything anymore for anyone. That’s when you break up, right?

Then there’s the family drama. We meet the members of the Bennett and Posada families one by one. And they are… boring? Kind of. They seem so you and me and everyone else. Okay, the son is a drug addict -and not all of us are- but the mom is a mom -caring and loving and too kind for Nick’s own good- the stepfather is a stepfather -tries to fit in, tries to be THE man, the savior, the hero- and the teenage daughter is a teenage daughter -rebellious and not too concerned by what happens, as long as she can sneak out to make out with her older bad boy boyfriend. There’s the ex-wife, bitter; and the other son, bitter and pissed. Madison can’t really be compared to any of the moms in The Walking Dead but Travis acts a lot like Rick, at least at the beginning of the series. It’s not hard to connect with them, to understand their feelings, their reactions. And that’s the problem. It’s too easy. It’s too classical. It doesn’t move you, or annoy you. It leaves you indifferent, for the most part. Those who’ve seen the original show don’t want to see a smoother version of it. And those who have not seen the original certainly won’t check out this one. It’s not like AMC could promote it as “it’s The Walking Dead, but for a family audience”. There are still zombies, and violence, and hard stuff to deal with. It ends with a severed head that is still alive and stares at the family…

I’m not a big fan of The Walking Dead and it seems like Fear The Walking Dead won’t be any better. In fact, it can only be worse, judging by the uninteresting pilot they wrote after long hours of brain storming about what this spin-off could and should be. That’s the best thing they could come up with? Duh. It’s lazy and quite common. I’m worried, but not totally pessimistic. I’m a sucker for family dramas. If they can find ways to deepen the characters, flesh them out, and if they have a great secret plan they don’t want us to know anything about for now, maybe there is a show in there that needs time to grow. Hopefully, they already have two seasons ordered to do so. If they fail, they could still say it was always meant to be a limited series…

 

WATCH THE TEASER

The “Walking Dead” spin-off “Fear The Walking Dead” ordered to series!

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UPDATE: AMC just made it official! Two seasons have been ordered for a launch late summer 2015. First one will consist of 6 episodes. Second one could get more.

It has not been officially announced yet but I can tell you “Fear The Walking Dead”, the inevitable spin-off, is ordered to series a few weeks after the pilot was shot. It can’t come as a surprise since the original show is such a success for AMC. 

Described as a family drama, Fear The Walking Dead (previously known as Cobalt) takes place in Los Angeles and will tell the story of the early days of the epidemic through the eyes of a family, without any tie with the comic books. We don’t know much more except a lot of the action happens in an hospital. All characters are new, played by Kim Dickens as Miranda (Deadwood, Sons Of Anarchy, Treme), Cliff Curtis as Sean Cabrera (Missing, Trauma, Training Day), Alycia Debnam-Carey as Ashley (The 100), Frank Dillane as Nick and many more. The pilot has been written by Dave Erickson (Low Winter Sun, Sons of Anarchy) and directed by Adam Davidson (Hell On Wheels) who never worked on the original. The shooting is expected to start in early April for a likely launch this summer, as a bridge between season 5 and season 6 of The Walking Dead. Production will move from Los Angeles for the pilot to Vancouver, Canada, for the remainder of the first season.

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