Today in show business news: The Annie remake has set a release date, Boardwalk Empire adds two exciting actors, and some pilot casting news that has us excited.
Sony Pictures has announced that its buzzed about remake of the musical Annie, the one starring littlest Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, will be released on Christmas Day 2014. Yup, they've gone and grabbed that date almost two years in advance because they know they've got a hit on their hands. With Quvenzhané in the lead and Easy A's Will Gluck at the helm, what could possibly go wrong? What's that? Will Gluck also directed Friends With Benefits? And Quvenzhané has only been in two movies before this one? So you're saying it still could be considered risky? Well, huh, whatever you say. But Sony seems pretty bullish on Ms. Wallis, and we've heard her sing and she sounds pretty good, so let's all be optimistic about this, shall we? I mean, this thing almost starred Willow Smith, guys. Just think about that. No matter what happens, this Annie will be better than a Willow Smith Annie. We should always remember that. [The Hollywood Reporter]
HBO's Boardwalk Empire is adding some medium-sized names to its cast for the fourth season. Brian Geraghty from The Hurt Locker and Flight has climbed aboard to play "Loren Knox, a prohibition agent with ulterior motives newly assigned to Atlantic City." He'll be a recurring character. But Ron Livingston — you know Ron Livingston, from Office Space and the Post-It on Carrie's computer — will be a regular, playing "Roy Phillips, a wealthy out-of-town businessman who catches the eye of Gillian Darmody." Gillian! Excellent! The fate of Gillian, played excellently by the newly ascendant Gretchen Mol, was unclear at the end of last season, but I guess she'll be sticking around, which is lovely news. And, hey, good for Ron Livingston. This is his, what, third HBO series? After Band of Brothers and the thing with the Post-It? (Plus the movie Game Change.) Maybe they should give him his own HBO show. Didja ever think about that, TV network? [Deadline; Deadline]
Aw. Mary Elizabeth Ellis, aka "The Waitress" on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (and "Amy on Perfect Couples," whatever that means), has booked a big role on a potentially big pilot. She's been cast opposite Will Arnett on the CBS pilot from My Name Is Earl's Greg Garcia. She'll play Arnett's sister on the show, which also features Margo Martindale and J.B. Smoove. This is shaping up to be something! Sure, sure, the CBS thing could spell trouble — CBS's comedies, while popular, don't always succeed in the whole "being good" department — but that's a great cast and a good creator, so... Here's hoping. [The Hollywood Reporter]
AMC has named the new show runner of its merry-go-round of show runners, The Walking Dead. Glen Mazzara will be replaced by show writer Scott M. Gimple. Which... what is it with this show and guys in leadership positions with funny G names? You got a guy named Grimes of all things running around on the show, telling people what to do. And now you've got Gimple. "We need someone strong and commanding to lead this thing, someone unflinching and hard and fearless. We need a god." "Get Gimple." It's just a little funny. Anyway, I'm sure he'll be great. The thing practically runs itself by now, right? Sure Glen Mazzara made the show way better than it has been since it started and that'll probably be a hard bar to reach, but that doesn't mean that Gimple can't do it. I mean it's Gimple for god's sake. You gotta go with Gimple. [Entertainment Weekly]
Katy Bates has been cast on the women-centric third season — series? cycle? installment? — of American Horror Story. There's no word of course on who she'll be playing, but she's joining a fine acting company. Just the idea of Kathy Bates and Jessica Lange squaring off sends shivers down the spine. Though maybe the cruel, twisted terror of this season will be that they never have a single scene together. The horror! [Deadline]
OK, Archer has been renewed for a fifth season, so you Archer jerks out there get to tell me to watch this show over and over again for another year. Hope you enjoy yourselves. Meanwhile I'm gonna keep telling you to watch Teen Wolf. And that, I believe, is what's known as a standoff. [Entertainment Weekly]
Pushing Daisies hunk Lee Pace has joined the cast of AMC's pilot Halt and Catch Fire, a sort of Mad Men-esque show set in the early days of the personal computer. He'll be playing a hotshot computer salesman with a big plan. This show could be really interesting — we don't spend that much time dwelling on those early days of home computing, unless you count hokey nostalgia about AOL and Instant Messenger — or it could be jOBS. Obviously very few people have seen jOBS yet, but c'mon. How could jOBS be good? It's jOBS! [The Hollywood Reporter]