Today in show business news: Your favorite network is finally going On Demand, Johnny Depp boards a mysterious new project, and Oprah Winfrey has things cooking with both HBO and Justin Bieber.
Little-known actor Johnny Depp has signed on to star in longtime Christopher Nolan cinematographer Wally Pfister's directing debut. The movie is called Transcendence and that's... about all we know about it. There are no plot details or costars or anything like that. We know the title, we know Johnny Depp is in it, and we know that Pfister, an Oscar-winner for Inception, is very good at what he does, but that's it. Though, that feels like enough to go on right now, doesn't it? Wouldn't it be crazy if Johnny Depp played, like, an actual person in this one? That'd be wild. But I don't know if the world of cinema is quite ready for that, especially from a first-time director. So, get out the wig trunk, Pfister. Let's play this one a little safe. [Deadline]
America's favorite human, Oprah Winfrey, is developing a show with what should be America's favorite network, HBO. (Instead it's CBS, because it's free, which makes sense, but in that case why not make it NBC? At least they have SVU.) The show will be about "a wealthy academic who has become the first black president of a prestigious liberal arts college. He and his family are thrust into national headlines, forcing them to present an idyllic public façade, all while engaging in agonizing personal battles and struggling with dark obsessions" and will be written by seriously intense playwright Thomas Bradshaw. This sounds very promising! Who should be cast?? Well if he's available, Idris Elba, because Idris Elba and HBO have made beautiful music together before. And maybe, hm... If his wife is also black, maybe Regina King? Or Taraji P. Henson? Nicole Beharie is too young, but she is very good, so hm... Ohhh, Gina Torres! Though she's stuck on that damn Suits show. And, you know what, Maybe Idris Elba is too young too. He probably is. So scratch that and make Andre Braugher the lead (you know Last Resort is on its last legs) and Regina Taylor his wife. Or I don't know. You go. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Speaking of Oprah, it has been confirmed that Justinius Q. Bieberus, better known as "Biebs," will have a sit-down chat with Ms. Winfrey on a special episode of her OWN network show Oprah's Next Chapter, to air the Sunday after Thanksgiving. (The Great Tightening, they call that day, as people being planning to remove their gravy-stained sweatpants and replacing them with belted pants for work the next day.) It's unclear what they will talk about, but it seems likely that Winfrey will inquire as to the pop singer's favorite sexual positions, the number of times he's been drunk, whether or not you gotta give some to get some, and of course whether or not unilateral sanctions are the best course of action to slow the development of nuclear centrifuges in Iran. It ought to be a lively chat, as Bieber demonstrates a move called the Canadian Cleaver, says he drunk allll the damn time, explains that yes of course your partner's gotta get her cookies too, and surprisingly sides with Russian deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov in saying that U.S. embargoes are hindering international negotiations with Tehran. [Deadline]
ABC's second-tier sitcoms Happy Endings and Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 returned to the airwaves last night and were summarily defeated by Fox juggernaut New Girl. That Zooey D. quirkarama earned a solid 5.2 million viewers and a 2.7 rating, while Happy Endings raked in some 5.9 million viewers, which, yes, is more viewers, but it only got a measly 1.9 rating. The B in 23 fared worse, netting 4.3 million pairs of balls (EYEballs) and a 1.7. Those two sets of numbers aren't terrible, but they could certainly be better. Meanwhile Emily Owens, M.D.'s 1.1 million/0.3 was definitely pretty terrible. Gettin' worried about our friend Emily, guys. [Entertainment Weekly]
The great Rodrigo Garcia (Nine Lives, Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her — but mostly Nine Lives) has signed on to direct the great Lily Rabe in a romantic drama called Just Married, written by Lily's father, the great David Rabe. Everyone's great! So this should be great! Right?? Better make it great, guys. You'd really better. [Deadline]
So what's worse about this trailer for the new Nicholas Sparks movie Safe Haven:That it stars Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel (hahaha), that it features a goddamned Fleetwood Mac cover, or that it's for a Nicholas Sparks movie called Safe Haven? Hm! It's all pretty, prettyyyy bad! Let's hope Lasse Hallström had a Volvo dump truck full of krona backed up to his house, otherwise it's sad that he's directing this, his second Nicholas Sparks movie. Anyway, there's not much more to say about this, as it's the same thing as every Nicholas Sparks movie: Moody person has moody problem/secret, amazing lover person coaxes it out of them, there are some mild thrills/drama, then it ends with gross kissing. Enjoy, everyone.