Brendan Fraser Heads to Television

Today in showbiz announcements: A once-big movie star downsizes, Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton team up to tell an old tale, and Joaquin Phoenix hates the stupid old Oscars.

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Well, it's come to this. After years spent as a bizarre box office king -- because of family-friendly films like the Mummy franchise and Journey to the Center of the Earth -- while occasionally peppering his resume with well-respected or at least well-rewarded indies like The Quiet American and Crash (and a week-long Broadway bust in Elling), Brendan Fraser is heading to television. He's signed on to star in a TNT pilot called Legends. It's a show from a Homeland writer about "a deep-cover operative who has an uncanny ability to transform himself into a different person for each job." Which... uh... ha, yes, Brendan Fraser, man of a thousand faces! The Chameleon, they call him! That role just has Fraser written all over it. Classic Fraser. Probably a lot of the disguises involve toupees, because... Well, you know. Because of his... Oh you get it. [Deadline]

Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton have signed on to star in a new movie, and it sounds like a real original. Douglas plays an intense career guy, a rare type of role for him, who suddenly finds himself saddled with an unexpected kid! (It's his grandkid.) Whaaa?? What will happen to him? Well luckily there's Diane Keaton as the "determined and loveable neighbor." With her help, Douglas "stubbornly learns to care, and unexpectedly, to fall in love again." Wowee. What a bold, even revolutionary, plot development. The mean old career guy learns to love again because of some dumb kid?? Amazing. Some producer guy said this of the movie, called And So It Goes: "There’s a large demographic and need for these kind of films as evidenced by box office successes such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, It's Complicated and Bucket List." That demographic being old people, I guess. But man is Best Exotic a completely different movie than those other two. (Also, dude, it's THE Bucket List.) Best Exotic is lovely and smart and nuanced and all those great things. It's Complicated is bawdy and cutesy lifestyle porn. The Bucket List is... well, The Bucket List. Oh well, whatever. It's still nice that they're making movies with, and for, an older set. No matter what the movies are, that's probably a good thing. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Joaquin Phoenix said in a recent interview partly about his Oscar chances for The Master that the whole idea of movies awards is "total, utter bullshit." So, OK, one of those. Every so often you get one of those. As if it's some great human failing or stupidity to want to be recognized by and among your peers (and the general public) and receive a nice thing, as if that's some crime against artistry and whatever whatever. (Don't get me wrong, awards shows are lame, but they're also fun and can be exciting. And what's wrong with lame, fun, and exciting?) This is not exactly humility, it's more like aggressive pretension. Still, Phoenix went to the Oscars the other two times he was nominated (and lost), so we'll have to see what happens this year. Maybe this will tip the scales toward Daniel Day-Lewis, his clear competition? Only time will tell. And you know what, Joaquin? We can't wait. [Entertainment Weekly]

In other feud-y (feud-ish? Definitely not feudal) news, director/producer Michael Bay has written a response to actor Hugo Weaving, who recently sort of criticized the Transformers movies, for which he provided a voice. Weaving said: "I didn’t care about it, I didn’t think about it." Bay responded: "What happened to people who had integrity, who did a job, got paid for their hard work, and just smiled afterward? Be happy you even have a job - let alone a job that pays you more than 98% of people in America." He put that (plus more!) on his website but has since deleted the post. And you know what, the integrity-less Michael Bay is right. We should never complain about or even remotely denigrate our jobs. Our jobs are perfect. Yup! Perfect! Completely, completely perfect! (Guys my boss is probably reading this so just play it cool. Act natural. Just be reeeeal cool.) [The Hollywood Reporter]

Last night's Grand Guignol of an American Horror Story season premiere did quite tidily in the ratings, up 21% percent from the show's series premiere with 3.9 million viewers, and a 2.2 rating that made it the second-highest 18-49 show in the hour, bested only by big CBS juggernaut CSI. That's pretty impressive! Though we'll have to wait and see what next week's numbers bring. This is a whole different animal this time around, and some folks may not have liked what they saw last night. We're guessing there will be a little dip next week — I'd suspect that people like haunted house mysteries more than they like religious-tinged period-set medical experimentation horror spectacles — but that the devoted base will stick around. Lord knows I'm gonna. Gotta find out what happens to Evan Peters' butt. I mean to all the characters and stuff. [Entertainment Weekly]

Oh god. So Warner Bros. has won a court case and gets to keep the rights to Superman, meaning they want to proceed as planned with a big Justice League movie. And it's possible this thing — which would feature a mashup of Supes, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern (hahahah, everyone's favorite!!), and The Flash, among others — might come out the same summer as The Avengers 2, meaning 2015. We'll all be gurgling brains inside mechanized formaldehyde suits at that point, but we'll probably still want to go to the movies, so can we handle two huge superhero mashups in one season? And will Warner Bros. be able to survive the embarrassment when no one wants to see its crusty old Justice League? We'll have to wait and see. And you know what, Joaquin? We can wait. [Vulture]

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