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Annabella Sciorra joins Luke Cage: Season 2

Annabella Sciorra

Story by Jack Foley

ANNABELLA Sciorra has joined the cast of Luke Cage for its second season.

The former Sopranos and Hand That Rocks The Cradle star will play a new villain, Rosalie Carbone, in the show’s sophomore run on Netflix.

Carbone is described as a mobster with ties to a very different Marvel vigilante: Frank Castle, aka The Punisher.

In the comics, Castle and Carbone have a brief fling, which ends once she realizes his true identity.

Netflix further describe the character as a dangerous downtown criminal underworld power player with an eye, and an agenda, toward Harlem, which means she could now go head to head against Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard), who is also returning to the Marvel-Netflix universe.

Sciorra, who is also set to appear in season two of Netflix’s G.L.O.W., was most recently seen at the Academy Awards, appearing onstage alongside Salma Hayek and Ashley Judd in support of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements.

Mike Colter plays Luke Cage in the Netflix superhero series.

Oscar winning short film The Silent Child to be shown on BBC1

The Silent Child

Story by Jack Foley

OSCAR-winning British short film The Silent Child is to be shown on BBC1 on Good Friday, giving UK viewers the first chance to see it.

Written and directed by ex-Hollyoaks stars Rachel Shenton and Chris Overton, the 20-minute film tells the tale of a young deaf girl who struggles to communicate. Maisie Sly, a six-year-old girl from Swindon, plays the title role.

The film subsequently went onto win the Academy Award for Best Short Film and drew widespread attention when Shenton, 30, used sign language during her acceptance speech.

The filmmaker, from Stoke-On-Trent, was inspired to write the film because of her own family’s experience as, when she was 12, her father went deaf after receiving treatment for chemotherapy.

She subsequently learned sign language and became a qualified British Sign Language Interpreter and ambassador for the National Deaf Children’s Society.

She and her fiance, Overton, cast Maisie after conducting a nationwide search and auditioning 100 children. And in another ‘aah’ moment at this year’s Oscars, Maisie also travelled to Los Angeles with them to attend the ceremony and accept the award.

Shenton and Overton have since revealed that they now hope to turn the short into a feature length film.

The Silent Child will be shown on BBC1 on Good Friday, March 30, 2018, at 19:40 BST.

Requiem (Lydia Wilson) - Preview


Preview by Jack Foley

FROM THE team behind The Missing comes Requiem, a thrilling new psychological thriller with a difference. This taut psychological, supernatural thriller is set to air on the BBC and follows on DVD, courtesy of Acorn Media International.

Matilda, hauntingly played by Lydia Wilson (Ripper Street) – is a young cellist whose life is suddenly turned upside down by her mother’s inexplicable and devastating suicide.

Still suffering from shock, a strange, disturbing discovery in her mother’s house leads her to a Welsh village – a place haunted by its own past, where 23 years earlier a young girl disappeared without trace. The secrets Matilda uncovers threaten to unravel her identity.

Written by Kris Mrksa (Underbelly), this compelling, spellbinding series features a stellar cast including Joel Fry (Plebs), James Frecheville (Transparent), Claire Rushbrook (Home Fires), Tara Fitzgerald (In The Club), Richard Harrington (Poldark), Joanna Scanlan (No Offence) and Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey).

Requiem arrives as a six-part series with a behind-the-scenes special feature on DVD on March 19, 2018.

The X-Files: Season 11 - Episode 7, Rm9sbG93ZXJz - Review

X-Files: Season 7, Rm9sbG93ZXJz

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE X-Files might just have delivered its best episode of Season 7 with the AI-based Rm9sbG93ZXJz.

Refreshingly devoid of the conspiracy element that has dragged down so many episodes of late, this stand-alone adventure was both knowingly humorous and frighteningly real, not least because it dealt with a potential reality that we, as a society, seem all too willing to march towards: and that’s becoming all too reliable on technology to the point of becoming subservient to it.

As the episode opened, Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) were in a diner, ordering a Chinese meal. They were both using their phones and placing their order via a computer screen. There were no waiters, and no fellow diners.

When one of their dishes arrived in unexpected form, Mulder went into the kitchen to complain, only to find yet more robots preparing the dishes. Moments later, they were paying for their food but refusing to leave a tip, prompting the robots to strike back.

What followed was a gradually worsening state of affairs for Mulder and Scully as they made their way, separately, home. The cyber attacks grew ever more dangerous. Machines they depended on – from house alarms to phone call back systems – turned against them, isolating them so that they were eventually in harm’s way.

Admittedly, the final moments were laughably OTT, while the resolution – or way out for the protagonists – was easy to predict. But this in no way detracted from the overall enjoyment of the episode, or the thought-provoking nature of what it had to say about modern life.

The opening 20 minutes or so (and especially the diner-based scenes) were like an X-Files version of Wall-E for the way in which neither Mulder or Scully were allowed to use words. There was a delightful dance going on between them, as humans seemingly incapable of interacting with each other, and the machines they were so reliant on for placing an order or obtaining their news fix.

We’ve all been guilty of burying our heads into a mobile phone when there are people around us who we could just as easily talk to. And who hasn’t smirked, at times, when receiving a Facebook update of a couple of friends out to dinner with each other, who have taken the time to post a ‘real-time’ update, as well as a ‘like’ of each other’s post? The irony is abundantly clear – you’re out together; save the social media updates for later!

Worse, with so much information about ourselves being available at the touch of a button, how many steps away are we from being disabled if technology breaks down, or even takes over? We’ve also enjoyed films that present a Terminator-style ‘what if?’ scenario, and marvelled at the likes of Black Mirror in predicting an AI-led future. But – as the episode suggested in the pre-credits tease – what if AI can really learn from humans? Are we feeding it bad habits to emulate?

And going back to Wall-E, that film also went onto depict a future in which humans had become so reliant on machines that they were too out of shape to believe anything but the mis-information they were being fed… not to mention the easy lifestyle they were being [life]-supported in leading: everything at the touch of a button to make things that much easier.

Hell, we are only two steps away [if that] from being able to order the driverless car that came to pick up Scully. The nightmare scenario being depicted in Rm9sbG93ZXJz might not be that too big a stretch.

Yet while certainly thought-provoking in the ‘what kind of future are we inviting?’ kind of sense, Rm9sbG93ZXJz also deserves credit for not being heavy-handed. There was a lightness of touch to proceedings, too, fuelled by the chemistry and camaraderie that exists between Mulder and Scully and the short-hand between the actors playing them, thereby allowing the episode to play out with virtually no dialogue for long periods of the time.

Rm9sbG93ZXJz was a glorious reminder of just how good The X-Files can be, especially in stand-alone episode form. It’s why we continue to support the show even when it doesn’t always hit the heights we once consistently expected from it.

The X-Files: Season 11 airs on Channel 5 on Monday nights from 11pm.

Tom Sturridge, Toni Collette and John Malkovixch join Netflix's untitled Jake Gyllenhaal thriller

The Boat That Rocked

Story by Jack Foley

TOM Sturridge, Toni Collette and John Malkovich are among the high-profile names to have joined the cast of Netflix’s untitled Jake Gyllenhaal horror-thriller.

The film, which reunites the actor with his Nightcrawler director Dan Gilroy, also stars Rene Russo in one of the main roles.

Additional names to have been added to the ensemble include British actress Zawe Ashton, Stranger Things breakout Natalia Dyer, Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs and Billy Magnussen.

The plot follows big-money artists and mega-collectors who pay a high price when art collides with commerce.

Production is currently underway in Los Angeles, with the movie due to premiere sometime in 2018.

For Ashton, in particular, the role is a huge coup, having beat out several actresses for the part.

Her most recent credits include the Showtime series Guerrilla and Nocturnal Animals, which also starred Gyllenhaal. She can be next in Neil Jordan’s The Widow.

Sturridge (pictured above) is best known for his Tony-nominated role in Orphans. He was most recently seen next in WW1 drama Journey’s End.

Dyer is best known as Nancy on Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things and is expected to return to the role for Season 3.

Diggs, who was most recently seen in Lionsgate’s Wonder, is most famous for his role as Thomas Jefferson in the Broadway and West End sensation Hamilton.

For Gilroy, Gyllenhaal and Russo, the horror-thriller marks a reunion after teaming up on Gilroy’s directorial debut Nightcrawler, which earned Gilroy an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay.

HBO's Francesca Orsi teases 'going big' on Game of Thrones spin-offs

Game of Thrones

Story by Jack Foley

FRANCESCA Orsi, senior vice-president of drama at HBO, has been talking a little bit more about what to expect from the Game of Thrones spin-offs – and it’s going to be big!

Speaking at a panel titled “The Best of HBO” at the INTV conference in Israel on Tuesday, Orsi said that the network has budgeted the spin-offs somewhere close to the level of the original series – but above the budgetthe show had in its first few seasons.

“$50 million (per season) would never fly for what we are trying to do. We are going big,” she said.

She said that to try and cut costs [or corners] in bringing the spin-offs the same level of critical and fan adulation as Game of Thrones itself would be unwise. Rather, it “feels like corporate malfeasance to not continue it”.

Hence, Orsi also confirmed that the network is planning “three, four, five spinoffs” of the original series.

Needless to say, no details have been unveiled concerning which characters and what time frames the spin-offs will handle.

What is known is that, last year, HBO teamed with Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass/Kingsman), Brian Helgeland (Legend) and Carly Wray (The Leftovers) to develop separate spin-off series based on the fantasy world created by writer George R.R. Martin.

And speaking of Game of Thrones itself, Orsi predicted that the keenly-anticipated final season will not disappoint.

She referred to a table read of the last few episodes with the show’s cast which she described as “a really powerful moment in our lives and our careers”.

She added: “None of the cast had received the scripts prior, and one by one they started to fall down to their deaths. By the end, the last few words on the final script, the tears just started falling down. Then there was applause that lasted 15 minutes.”

Netflix unveil trailer and key art for Daryl Hannah's Paradox

Netflix's Paradox

A fantasy, a loud poem and a free-spirited tale of music and love, Paradox is a one-of-a-kind personal expression written and directed by Daryl Hannah.

Sometime in the future – or is it the past? – a band of outlaws hide high up in the Mountains.

The “Man in the Black Hat” (Neil Young), the “Particle Kid” (Micah Nelson) and “Jail Time” (Lukas Nelson) pass the hours searching for treasure while they wait for the full moon to lend its magic, bring the music and make the spirits fly.

Vibrating with original music by Young + Promise of the Real, Paradox furthers the legacy of an iconic performer who has always broken the rules.

Paradox will air exclusively on Netflix from March 23, 2018.

Watch the trailer

Netflix's Lost In Space - The Robinsons' Journey featurette

Lost in Space

PREPARE to blast off on an edge-of-your-seat adventure with the Robinson family by checking out the full trailer for Netflix’s upcoming drama series Lost In Space, released today, exactly 50 years after the classic sci-fi series signed off the air.

Lost in Space is a Netflix Original dramatic and modern re-imagining of the classic 1960’s science fiction series.

Set 30 years in the future, colonization in space is now a reality, and the Robinson family is among those tested and selected to make a new life for themselves in a better world.

But when the new colonists find themselves abruptly torn off course en route to their new home they must forge new alliances and work together to survive in a dangerous alien environment, light years from their original destination.

A Netflix Original, Lost in Space stars Toby Stephens (Black Sails, Die Another Day) as John Robinson, and Molly Parker (House of Cards, Deadwood) as Maureen Robinson, the family’s parental leaders who are struggling with their estranged relationship in the midst of trying to keep their family safe.

As the Robinson kids, Taylor Russell (Falling Skies) is the strong-willed and confident Judy, Mina Sundwall (Maggie’s Plan, Freeheld) is the quick-witted and definitive middle-child Penny, and Max Jenkins (Sense8, Betrayal) is the curious and sensitive Will Robinson, the youngest and most vulnerable of the clan, who forms an unlikely and inexplicable bond with a sentient robotic alien being.

Stranded along with the Robinsons are two outsiders who find themselves thrown together by circumstance and a mutual knack for deception.

The unsettlingly charismatic Dr. Smith played by Parker Posey (Café Society, Mascot, A Mighty Wind), is a master manipulator with an inscrutable end game. And the roguish, but inadvertently charming Don West, played by Ignacio Serricchio (Bones, The Wedding Ringer), is a highly-skilled, blue collar contractor, who had no intention of joining the colony, let alone crash landing on a lost planet.

To find out more, visit the Netflix Lost in Space website

Alternatively, ride along and go behind-the-scenes of the Robinsons’ epic adventure in this new featurette…

Watch The Robinsons’ Journey featurette

Watch the trailer

Jon Favreau to write and executive produce new live-action Star Wars TV series

Iron Man

Story by Jack Foley

IRON Man director (and star) Jon Favreau is to write and executive produce a new live-action Star Wars TV series, Disney has confirmed.

The show, which would be on Disney’s new direct-to-consumer platform, does not yet have a release date.

But Favreau is no stranger to the Star Wars universe, having played roles in both the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series and in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story.

He does, however, sound giddy with excitement, saying in a statement: “If you told me at 11-years-old that I would be getting to tell stories in the Star Wars universe, I wouldn’t have believed you. I can’t wait to embark upon this exciting adventure.”

Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm president, commented: “I couldn’t be more excited about Jon coming on board to produce and write for the new direct-to-consumer platform. Jon brings the perfect mix of producing and writing talent, combined with a fluency in the Star Wars universe.

“This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base.”

The appointment of Favreau to the new Star Wars series is the next step in what Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors last month was Disney working on multiple Star Wars series for its streaming service, which will target families.

The streaming service, which has yet to be named, is currently aiming for a late 2019 debut.

In anticipation of the launch, Disney has already pulled its Marvel movies from rival Netflix.

Favreau, who has also directed Disney’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book, is currently working on his Lion King remake, which is due out on July 19, 2019.

Win Striking Out: Series One on DVD

Striking Out: Series 1

Preview by Jack Foley

GRIPPING new legal drama Striking Out, starring Amy Huberman and Neil Morrissey, arrives on DVD thanks to Acorn Media International, following its run on 5Select.

Striking Out Series One arrives on Monday, March and 12, 2018, and Striking Out Series One and Two Box Set and Striking Out Series Two are released on DVD on April 23, 2018.

Tara Rafferty (Amy Huberman, Cold Feet) is a high-flying solicitor at a prestigious Dublin law firm, but when she discovers her fiancé and fellow solicitor Eric (Rory Keenan, War and Peace), has been cheating on her with a colleague, she decides to make some big life changes.

Dumping her unfaithful partner, she quits her job and sets up on her own practice in a makeshift office, at the back of a café.

With the help of her friends and associates, including her streetwise ex-client turned assistant Ray (Emmet Byrne, Red Rock), private detective Meg Riley (Fiona O’Shaughnessy, Utopia), and friend and mentor Senior Counsel Vincent Pike (Neil Morrissey, Line of Duty), Tara becomes a force to be reckoned with.

Soon she is taking on high profile cases, some of which pit Tara against her former colleagues and major legal establishment players. Can she ever truly escape her past and make it on her own?

Earning Amy Huberman the Best Actress accolade at the Irish Film and Television Awards 2017, Striking Out Series One is released on March 12, 2018 and Series Two and Striking Out Complete One and Two Box Set arrive on DVD on April 23, 2018.

Win Striking Out Season 1 on DVD

To celebrate the release of Striking Out Season 1 on DVD on Monday, March 12, 2018, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 of 3 copies. Simply answer the following question…

Q. What is the name of Amy Huberman’s character in Striking Out?

Simply send the answer to Striking Out S1 competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email