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Star Trek: Discovery renewed for second season at Netflix

Star Trek: Discovery

Story by Jack Foley

Netflix today announced the second season renewal of original series Star Trek: Discovery.

The first six episodes of Star Trek: Discovery are currently available to stream on Netflix.

All new episodes are available weekly on Mondays, exclusively for Netflix subscribers globally (excluding US & Canada).

As previously announced, Star Trek: Discovery will air in two chapters. The final episode of chapter one will debut on Monday, November 13, 2017, and the second chapter, featuring the remaining six episodes, will return in January 2018.

Star Trek: Discovery follows the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new life forms, and one Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself.

The series will feature a new ship and new characters, while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers.

Star Trek: Discovery’s cast includes Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Jason Isaacs, Anthony Rapp, Michelle Yeoh, Shazad Latif, Mary Wiseman, Mary Chieffo, James Frain and more.

Ray Donovan renewed for season six and moving to NYC

Ray Donovan

Story by Jack Foley

RAY Donovan has been renewed for a sixth season and will be moving from LA to NYC.

Showtime officially commissioned the next series on Monday, just as the current season of the Liev Schreiber-fronted drama, which has been averaging nearly 5 million viewers across platforms in the US, comes to an end this coming Sunday, October 29.

In a statement, Showtime Networks president of programming Gary Levine said: “Ray Donovan broke new ground this season with its deeply emotional and innovative approach to Abby’s [Paula Malcomson] passing, without sacrificing any of the intensity that has been its trademark.

“We so appreciate that David Hollander is never satisfied with the status quo, and his creative plan for moving the show to New York reflects his relentless ambition for this series.”

Hollander has been the show-runner of Ray Donovan since the series’ third season, when he stepped in for departing creator Ann Biderman.

Commenting on the moviem Hollander added: “For our show, creatively, New York is exciting. Fashion, media, finance, theatre, culture… It’s going to present new challenges for Ray Donovan, which mean new opportunities for us as dramatists.”

He continued: “Ray came to Los Angeles to build a life for himself and his family. They’re not there anymore. Ray’s career has changed and he is looking for a place to rebuild his life. Ray thinks he went to New York to help his daughter. He’s going to find out he’s there to help himself.”

Ray Donovan, which airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK, remains one of Showtime’s most-watched series, behind only Homeland and Shameless.

During its run, the show secured a 2014 Globe win for supporting actor Jon Voight and a 2016 Emmy victory for guest player Hank Azaria.

Magnum PI reboot in development

Story by Jack Foley

A REBOOT of classic 80s TV show Magnum PI is in the works at CBS.

The original cop drama launched the career of Tom Selleck and launched in 1980, before running for eight seasons on CBS.

The reboot is being described as an update of the original, and would follow Thomas Magnum (Selleck’s former role), a decorated ex-Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, decides to put his military skills to good use by become a private investigator.

With help from fellow vets Theodore ‘TC’ Calvin and Orville ‘Rick’ Wright, as well as that of disavowed former MI:6 agent Juliet Higgins, Magnum takes on the cases no one else will.

Like the original, the series will blend action, adventure and comedy. But it will deviate from the original in the way that it explores a brotherhood forged by the trauma of combat, and what it means to return home an ex-soldier.

Peter Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim, who were also responsible for the successful reboot of Hawaii Five-0, will pen the screenplays.

Magnum P.I is the latest reboot to be picked up and developed by a major US television network. Also in the works this season are reboots of Blue Crush (NBC), Nancy Drew (NBC), Roswell (The CW), The Nice Guys (Fox), True Lies (Fox), The Jetsons (ABC), The Munsters (NBC), Starsky & Hutch (Amazon) and Party of Five (which is currently being shopped). There are also plans afoot to revive Miami Vice.

Next story: Mark Ruffalo to star in HBO series I Know This Much Is True

Gunpowder (Kit Harington) - First episode review

Gunpowder

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

GUNPOWDER, the BBC’s lavish new depiction of the events surrounding Fireworks’ Night, got off to a curious start in more ways than one on Saturday night.

It intrigued by virtue of its history – a fascinating chapter of Britain’s bloody past that was born out of religious persecution. But it also intrigued for what it lacked as much as what it included.

The pacing of this opening 60 minutes seemed off, with some of the accompanying content unnecessary. The opening 15 minutes, for example, revolved around a tense search for Catholics who were hiding at a stately home in Warwickshire in 1603.

The search was conducted by Sir William Wade (Shaun Dooley), who conducted proceedings in a style evocative of the opening sequence of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourous Basterds (a sequence that also involved the search for persecuted people). And while effective in the way that it made you hold your breath, it took a lot of time.

It was immediately followed by a lengthy execution sequence, in which one of the principals responsible for harbouring Catholics, Mary Sparrow (Vivienne Soan), was crushed to death by having a board place over her naked body and weights slowly placed upon her. It was extremely graphic, only to be followed by the even more harrowing sight of a young man being hung, drawn and quartered for similarly Catholic sympathies.

Series producer and leading man Kit Harington, watching as all this unfolded, maintains the scenes were necessary because he wanted to show just how badly Catholics were being persecuted at that time, so as to understand the actions of his own character – Robert Catesby – given the violence involved.

Regrettably, however, the characters involved in these executions did not exist. Mary Sparrow is thought to have been based, instead, on an English Catholic woman named Margaret Clitherow, who perished in the same way 20 years earlier at the hands of Queen Elizabeth I.

Hence, while the sequence in question did revolt and disgust, as was intended, the first 30 minutes of this drama set itself on the back foot by opening itself up to historical scrutiny from the outset. It also opened up the debate surrounding the need for portraying excessive violence on the screen. Catesby, in real life, had plenty of provocation for his actions, given his beliefs, and this could surely have been conveyed in another form.

The remaining 30 minutes of the opening episode was therefore forced to shoe-horn in the beginnings of Catesby’s revolt, while also addressing the sustained pressure on King James I (Derek Riddell) to continue his persecution of the Catholics by men like the Machiavellian Sir Robert Cecil (Mark Gatiss).

This included homosexual sub-plots, with Cecil sending a young and dashing nobleman, Sir Philip Herbert (Hugh Alexander) to the possibly gay King James, as well as the belated arrival of a certain Guy Fawkes (Tom Cullen).

There was a lot to get in and, to be fair, the back-street meetings and accompanying intrigue wasn’t too wordy and injected even a little fun (such as the sight of King James on the loo).

But while consistently intriguing, for all sorts of reasons both good and bad, Gunpowder left you with an overall feeling that it was lacking something. The tension was, perhaps, a little too front-loaded, the tone a little inconsistent, and the violence a little too keen to shock in the way that series like Game of Thrones do in their stride.

Harington, too, still has his work cut out in the pivotal leading role. A direct descendant of Catesby’s (through his mother’s line), the actor clearly views this as a passion project and is keen to remain as historically accurate as possible. But thus far, his character has yet to convey the passion and charisma that some historical accounts of the man have credited him with. He has the looks, for sure, but at the moment broods as manfully as John Snow.

Gunpowder, for all of its extravagance, lacks the fireworks (political and otherwise) that you might have been expecting. Hopefully, its best is yet to come.

Gunpowder is on BBC1 on Saturday nights from 9.10pm.

Mark Ruffalo to star in HBO series I Know This Much Is True

Marvel Avengers Assemble

Story by Jack Foley

MARK Ruffalo is to star in and produce an eight-episode limited drama series called I Know This Much Is True for HBO.

Based on the popular 1998 novel by best-selling author Wally Lamb, the story is described as an epic family saga that explores the American identity.

It will follow the parallel lives of twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey throughout the latter half of the 20th Century.

Ruffalo will portray both brothers, according to Deadline.

Celebrated filmmaker Derek Cianfrance (of Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond The Pines fame) has written the script and will direct.

Ruffalo is no stranger to HBO, having previously starred in and co-executive produced the movie The Normal Heart, which earned him an acting Emmy nomination.

The actor will shortly be seen reprising his Marvel’s Avengers franchise role as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok.

Cianfrance is also developing a new film about the American West and the history of the Comanche wars for Warner Bros, which is scheduled to start filming in 2018.

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond - Official trailer

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond

DIRECTOR Chris Smith’s fascinating deep dive into actor Jim Carrey’s time spent portraying famed and complicated comedian Andy Kaufman.

Using approximately 100 hours of footage shot on the set of Man on the Moon documenting Carrey’s transformation into Kaufman for four months.

Jim Carrey earned critical acclaim and a Golden Globe for the performance, but many of the production’s most Kaufmanesque moments played out behind the scenes, thankfully captured on video by Andy’s former girlfriend, Lynne Margulies and former writing partner, Bob Zmuda.

In Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, Carrey looks back at the resulting footage 18 years later, reflecting on how he and Andy came up in oddly parallel universes, his experience channelling Andy and Tony and more broadly the spiritual journey of his career.

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – With a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton premieres globally on Netflix on November 17, 2017.

Watch the official trailer

Marvel's The Punisher - New trailer and launch date announced

The Punisher

Netflix has released the second trailer for its highly anticipated original series Marvel’s The Punisher.

After exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife and children, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) uncovers a conspiracy that runs far deeper than New York’s criminal underworld.

Now known throughout the city as The Punisher, he must discover the truth about injustices that affect more than his family alone.

The series is executive produced by showrunner Steve Lightfoot (Hannibal), Jim Chory (Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Marvel’s Luke Cage) and Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Marvel’s Luke Cage) who also serves as Marvel’s Head of Television.

Marvel’s The Punisher is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.

The cast also features Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Girls, The Lake House), Deborah Ann Woll (Marvel’s Daredevil, True Blood), Ben Barnes (Westworld, The Chronicles of Narnia), Amber Rose Revah (Emerald City, Indian Summers), Michael Nathanson (The Knick, Wolf of Wall Street), Jaime Ray Newman (Bates Motel), Jason R Moore (A Lonely Place for Dying), Daniel Webber (11.22.63) and Paul Schulze (Nurse Jackie).

Marvel’s The Punisher premieres globally on November 17, 2017.

Watch the second trailer

Watch the official trailer

Watch the teaser trailer

Ash Vs Evil Dead: Season 2 - Preview

Ash Vs Evil Dead: Series 2

Preview by Jack Foley

EVIL just can’t catch a break as the hilarious, critically acclaimed horror series Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 2 arrives on Blu-ray™ and DVD on October 23 2017.

Locked and loaded with the same twisted humour and gory kill scenes groovy fans of the franchise are used to, Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 2 continues the chainsaw-slicing, shotgun-blasting fun from the first season.

Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 2 stars Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead franchise), Lucy Lawless (TV’s Spartacus: War of the Damned), Ray Santiago (In Time), and Dana DeLorenzo (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas), as well as this season’s introduction of Lee Majors (TV’s The Six Million Dollar Man) as Ash’s father.

This season roars back into action with Ash leaving his beloved Jacksonville and returning to his home town of Elk Grove.

There, he confronts Ruby, only to find that she too is now a victim of evil and in need of Ash’s help. The former enemies have to form an uneasy alliance to give them a chance of success as Elk Grove soon becomes the nucleus of evil.

Ash Vs Evil Dead: Season 2 slices its way to Blu-ray™ and DVD on October 23, 2017.

Netflix's Bright - New featurette features Will Smith and Joel Edgerton partnership

The streets of Los Angeles will never be the same. This December, Will Smith and Joel Edgerton bring the heat (and some hardcore deadly magic) to fans across the world in the Netflix film, Bright.

Directed by David Ayer, known for the box-office hits such as Suicide Squad and Training Day, this action-thriller follows the story of two LAPD police officers played by Smith (Officer Ward) and Edgerton (Officer Jakoby).

In Bright, the unlikely duo are working around the clock to keep the mean streets of Los Angeles safe from a sinister underworld filled with gang violence and dark forces at work.

In this latest sneak peek, Will Smith and Joel Edgerton reveal the unique partnership between their characters Officer Ward and Officer Jakoby.

Director David Ayer showcases how these two mismatched partners anchor the story, explaining that “the most important thing about this film is the relationship between Will and Joel.”

Take a closer look at the action-packed movie that Will Smith describes as “wildly unique” and watch the new trailer when it debuts on October 25!

Watch the featurette

Next trailer Stranger Things 2 – final trailer

Godless (Jack O'Connell/Michelle Dockery) - Teaser trailer

Godless

Preview by Jack Foley

NOTORIOUS criminal Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) and his gang of outlaws are on a mission of revenge against Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), a son-like protégé who betrayed the brotherhood.

While on the run, Roy seeks refuge with hardened widower Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery), an outcast herself, in a worn-down, isolated mining town of La Belle, NM – governed mainly by women.

When word reaches La Belle that Griffin is headed their way, the town bands together to defend against the murderous gang in a lawless western frontier.

The previously announced ensemble cast includes Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie, The Walking Dead), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones, Love Actually), Jeremy Bobb (The Knick), Scoot McNairy (Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice), Sam Waterston (Law & Order) and Kim Coates (Sons of Anarchy).

Get a glimpse into this seven-part epic western from Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated screenwriter and director Scott Frank, Academy Award-winner Steven Soderbergh, and executive producer Casey Silver.

The original limited series Godless comes to Netflix on November 22, 2017, and stars Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery and Jeff Daniels.

Watch the teaser trailer

Next trailer Stranger Things 2 – final trailer