Today in show business news: Jack Black has signed on for an HBO pilot, Chris Pratt really might become a big movie star, and Andrea Martin gets her due.
Though of course everyone is clamoring for Gulliver's Travels 2: More Gulliver, and there is talk of that happening, Jack Black has decided to take a break from the cinema and return to HBO, where he first broke out with Tenacious D many moons ago. He and Tim Robbins have signed on to star in a comedy pilot called The Brink. It sounds like a more hyped-up version of Veep, if Deadline's plot description is to be believed:
The Brink is described as an epic dark comedy focusing on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men: U.S. Secretary of State Walter Hollander (Robbins), a man of big appetites and little patience for the war mongers in the Situation Room; Coppins (Black), a lowly Foreign Service officer reluctantly caught on the ground in the middle of it all; and ace Navy fighter pilot Zeke Callahan. These three compromised souls must pull through the chaos around them to save the planet from World War III.
Sounds kind of fun? Though it's too bad no women are involved in preventing World War III. Stupid women, always starting wars. Anyway, this should be interesting. And it further blurs the line between TV and film. If Jack Black, who has maybe stumbled a bit in recent years but is still a big movie star, is willing to go to television, who else will follow him? A return of The Ben Stiller Show? Might Sandra Bullock do some quirky Netflix series? Anything is possible, really. The hierarchy is eroding, all things are becoming equal. That has to be a good thing, right? [Deadline]
NBC is getting in the Andrea Martin business. And it's about time, she's only been around forever. Martin will star in the family sitcom Working the Engels, which... that is just not a good show title. I understand that it's a pun of "working the angles" but... 1) Working the angles is sort of an outmoded phrase? Not as much as "What's your angle?" — which no one has said since Bing Crosby died — but it's getting there. Isn't it? Second, it's a corny pun. It feels like a pun for pun's sake, you know? Like they came up with the title before they came up with the family's last name. Oh, right, it's about a family that has to band together to save the family law practice after the patriarch dies, but only one person in the family, the daughter, knows how to be a lawyer. So yeah. They came up with the concept, then the title, and then decided that everyone was named Engel. Which is the wrong way to name a television show, I think. But anyway. Good for Andrea Martin! [The Hollywood Reporter]
Chris Pratt's run at blockbuster stardom zooms on. He's in talks to join the cast of Jurassic World, the Jurassic Park fourquel that will either be great or terrible, in my opinion. There is no middle ground when it comes to a fourth Jurassic Park movie. Pratt would take the role that Josh Brolin had been circling a few weeks ago, which is kind of strange. "We need Brolin for this role. Get me Brolin. What's that? Brolin's out? Eh, fine, Chris Pratt then." Seems kind of odd! But what do I know, I don't make movies. I'm sure they know what they're doing. So between this and Guardians of the Galaxy, 2015 could potentially be a really, really big year for Chris Pratt. Or, y'know, a really, really terrible one. Like I said, no middle ground. Not for Guardians of the Galaxy either. Meanwhile, Harry Hamlin has signed on to appear in a movie called The Erotic Fire of the Unattainable, so everyone's doing well. [Deadline]
This isn't really casting news, but it needs to be mentioned. The first production stills of the film Heaven Is Real have been released, and that is cause for celebration. Not because the movie will be good, but because it gives us a chance to remind ourselves, and all of you, that the movie is about a man named Todd Burpo and his son Colton Burpo. They are real-life people. When Colton Burpo was four he died for a second in the hospital and went to heaven and met a white, blue-eyed Jesus and then he came back to life and told everyone about how heaven is real and he was on semi-respectable morning talk shows and everything and then his dad Todd Burpo, a minister, wrote the book Heaven Is Real that the movie, starring Greg Kinnear, is based on. It's the story of Todd Burpo and how his son Colton Burpo died and went to heaven but then came back. Isn't that great? I think that's great. Though the movie should really be called Meet the Burpos. Oh well. Can't win 'em all. [Entertainment Weekly]