The Return of Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba downsizes, James Spader downsizes himself, and Keaton and Redford are together at least

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The Call Sheet sifts through the day's glut of Hollywood news to find the stories even non-industry types can care about. Today: Cuba downsizes, James Spader downsizes himself, and Keaton and Redford are together at least.

One of recent Oscar history's longest running jokes, the post-Jerry Maguire movie career of Cuba Gooding, Jr. is one of modern Hollywood legend. We all know the various ups and downs of it, the terrible twists and turns. We've all shuddered at Boat Trip and Chill Factor, shook our heads at Instinct and What Dreams May Come, hoped falsely for redemption in Men of Honor and American Gangster. It's a sad tale, peppered with Snow Dogs and Norbits. But now, perhaps, it has come to an end, something of a compromise perhaps. No one really wins, but no one utterly loses either. Gooding Jr. has signed on to star in a Fox pilot. It's no great shakes, it's just some legal thing about an "unorthodox" lawyer who plays by his own rules and blah blah. But at least it's the lead role on a television show. Cuba probably resisted doing TV for a long time, but, y'know, a man's gotta eat. So. That's how it ended, guys. The long sad tale of Cuba Gooding the Movie Star has come to a relieving end. Well, for now, at least. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After a sorta-publicized debut this season on The Office, James Spader has decided to depart the show. When asked to comment on his decision to cut his stint short, Spader replied, "I mean, have you seen the thing? Everyone's running around like jerks! Characters who should have one or two lines an episode all of a sudden have entire stories devoted to them. Half the cast has devolved into ludicrous caricature and the other half seems utterly exhausted. What a dispiriting show to watch! They really shoulda canceled it last year. Hell, they shoulda canceled it two years ago, three years ago maybe even. Good grief. Good grief almighty." Hm, well, OK, maybe he didn't say that per se, but you know he probably thought it. He probably almost definitely thought it. [Entertainment Weekly]

Old cats Robert Redford and Diane Keaton are doing a movie together! A Christmastime movie! A Christmastime movie about a family. No, it's not The Family Stone 2 in which Keaton's character comes back from the dead with a new man in tow, breaking poor Craig T. Nelson's heart. It's about a whole different crazy Christmastime family. So, that will be nice? Could be fun? Bob Redford and Deedee Keats being cute? Yeah, it'll be fine. [Deadline]

Alan Ball is stepping down as showrunner on his big, gay gorefest True Blood, mostly because it's been a long time and he's ready to do something new. So, OK, that's perfectly understandable. But it does make us worry. What if without Ball's sure hand the show changes, loses what makes it True Blood? Like, what if the show starts reducing the number of characters and storylines to manageable levels so everything is given proper attention rather than each season being a scattershot sea of nonsense? That just wouldn't be True Blood! And what if without Alan Ball someone says "Oh, hey, you know what? Our lead characters, Sookie and Bill, are by far the most annoying characters, we should maybe do something about that"? Can you imagine? This just makes us really nervous, guys. True Blood could change forever. What if True Blood gets good? [The Hollywood Reporter]

FX has announced that Charlie Sheen's new show Anger Management will premiere on June 28. Which gives us basically exactly four months. In preparation, the military has been building underground bunkers in the caves of Missouri that will house a population of 10,000 for some three years. Names have been drawn — among them scientists, artists, scholars, and doctors — and those selected to live in the caves will be notified shortly. No one over the age of 55 will be selected. An international space crew has been dispatched to destroy the show before it arrives, but should they fail, we are looking at an extinction level event. Good luck, and may God have mercy on our souls. [Deadline]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.