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Versailles: Series 3 - Preview

Versailles Season 3

Preview by Jack Foley

WE return to the lavish court of Louis XIV for the third and final series of the captivating, sexually charged hit BBC Two drama Versailles. Series Three of this critically acclaimed series is set to arrive on DVD alongside Versailles: Complete Series 1 – 3 Box Set courtesy of Acorn Media International.

The third instalment of Versailles finds Louis XIV (George Blagden, Vikings) in a celebratory mood. Having brought an end to the Affair of the Poisons and won the war against Holland, it seems that nothing will thwart his plans to expand his empire and assert his power over the whole of Europe. But there is trouble brewing…

At Versailles Louis is facing new challenges as his new mistress Maintenon (Catherine Walker, Acceptable Risk), leads him into an assertion of absolutism which causes considerable conflict in the Court. Louis starts to lose all tolerance for any kind of resistance, be it from his people, Protestants or the Pope himself.

And a major threat hangs over Louis… a mysterious prisoner whose face is hidden behind an iron mask.

The spellbinding, opulent, period drama features a stellar returning cast including Alexander Vlahos (Merlin), Tygh Runyan (Snakes on a Plane), Evan Williams (Awkward), Stuart Bowman (The Musketeers), Elisa Lasowski (Game of Thrones) and Anna Brewster (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), alongside new faces including Matthew McNulty (The Syndicate) and Marie Askehave (Borgen) and arrives as a 10 part-series on DVD, alongside Versailles: Complete Series 1 – 3 Box Set on August 13, 2018.

The thrilling final series of Versailles sees the end of Louis XIV’s reign on television and the beginning of the legend.

Homeland to be brought to 'proper conclusion' with eighth and final season

Homeland: Season 7

Story by Jack Foley

HOMELAND is coming to an end – it’s official.

The critically-acclaimed drama will end after its forthcoming eighth season.

Showtime Networks CEO David Nevins confirmed the decision on Monday after meeting with members of the Television Critics’ Association. And he was clearly sad to have to make the announcement.

Determined to underline the fact that the show had not been cancelled, he said that it would be brought to its “proper conclusion”.

“[Exec producer] Alex Gansa will be bringing this show, which has won eight Emmys and five Golden Globes, to its proper conclusion,” he explained. “I do not want to hear the word cancellation!”

Nevins continued: “I cannot say enough about how much Homeland has meant for the acceleration of our brand, not to mention to me personally. It was, in fact, the first show that I green-lit when I came to Showtime.”

Elaborating further, Nevins went on to say that the decision was made mutually by Gansa and leading lady Claire Danes.

“Alex and Claire both started talking about it towards the end of last season,” he said. “I asked, ‘Are you sure? Let’s think about it.’ But when they were resolved, it seemed like it was the right time. The two of them finally made the decision.”

The 12-episode final season is rumoured to be set in Israel and is expected to debut sometime in 2019.

Related feature: Has Carrie become Homeland’s weak link?

Gal Godot set to play Hedy Lamarr in new Showtime TV series

Wonder Woman

Story by Jack Foley

WONDER Woman star Gal Godot looks set to play Hedy Lamarr in a new Showtime limited series from Sarah Treem, co-creator of The Affair.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series would chronicle the life of Lamarr, the Austrian-born actress who starred in Ecstasy, Samson and Delilah and other films.

However, aside from Tinseltown in its heyday, Lamarr was also an inventor who, along with her friend, composer George Antheil, patented a frequency-hopping system during World War II that is widely recognised as being a blueprint for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology.

Lamarr and Antheil were subsequently inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014 for their contributions.

Gadot is now firmly on Hollywood’s A-list following the critical and box office success of Wonder Woman last year. She is currently filming a sequel with director Patty Jenkins.

Her other recent credits include Keeping Up With The Joneses and Criminal, while she’s also attached to Red Notice, opposite Dwayne Johnson.

The as-yet unnamed Lamarr series would be Gadot’s first major role on American TV. She has previously only guest starred on Entourage and appeared in the short-lived CW series The Beautiful Life in 2009.

The Affair, which Treem co-created with Hagai Levi, wraps its fourth season later this month (August 2018) and has been renewed for a fifth and final season.

As yet, Showtime have refused to comment.

Maniac - Netflix release key art and trailer for Emma Stone and Jonah Hill pairing


SET in a world somewhat like our world, in a time quite similar to our time, Maniac tells the stories of Annie Landsberg (Emma Stone) and Owen Milgrim (Jonah Hill), two strangers drawn to the late stages of a mysterious pharmaceutical trial, each for their own reasons.

Annie’s disaffected and aimless, fixated on broken relationships with her mother and her sister; Owen, the fifth son of wealthy New York industrialists, has struggled his whole life with a disputed diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Neither of their lives have turned out quite right, and the promise of a new, radical kind of pharmaceutical treatment – a sequence of pills its inventor, Dr. James K. Mantleray (Justin Theroux), claims can repair anything about the mind, be it mental illness or heartbreak – draws them and 10 other strangers to the facilities of Neberdine Pharmaceutical and Biotech for a three-day drug trial that will, they’re assured, with no complications or side-effects whatsoever, solve all of their problems, permanently.

Maniac also stars Trudie Styler, Jemima Kirke and Gabriel Byrne.

Things do not go as planned…

Maniac, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, debuts globally on September 21, 2018, only on Netflix.

Watch the trailer

The After Party - artwork and trailer released

The After Party

WHEN an aspiring rapper goes viral for all the wrong reasons, he thinks his career is over.

But when his best friend gets them into a wild NYC after party, he gets one more chance to make the impossible happen.

The After Party is directed and written by Ian Edelman and produced by Q, Jamie Patricof, Katie McNeill, Douglas Banker, Trevor Engelson, Jake Stein and Heather Parry. The cast includes Kyle Harvey, Harrison Holzer, Shelley Hennig, Teyana Taylor, Jordan Rock, Amin Joseph, Andy Buckley and Blair Underwood.

The After Party also features cameos from Wiz Khalifa, French Montana, DJ Khaled, Ski Mask the Slump God, Desiigner, Pusha T, Jadakiss, Tee Grizzley, Young M.A., and more.

The After Party premieres August 24, only on Netflix.

Watch the trailer

Chris Rock to star in Fargo: Season 4

Chris Rock in Good Hair

Story by Jack Foley

CHRIS Rock has landed a starring role in Fargo: Season 4.

The comedian, former Oscar host and actor will therefore be playing his first full-time TV role since Everybody Hates Chris, which was completed nearly a decade ago.

He commented: “I’m a fan of Fargo and I can’t wait to work with Noah Hawley.”

Season four of the critically-acclaimed Fargo will reportedly tell a story of immigration and assimilation, as well as the things people do for money.

Echoing past seasons, it’s essentially a story of decent people who find themselves part of a situation that places them in over their heads.

Production on season four will begin in 2019, although as yet there is no air date confirmed.

However, Fox has put out the following synopsis: “Season four of Fargo is set in 1950, at the end of two American migrations — that of Southern Europeans from countries like Italy, who came to the US at the turn of the last century and settled in northern cities like New York and Chicago — and African-Americans who left the South in great numbers to escape Jim Crow and moved to those same cities — you saw a collision of outsiders, all fighting for a piece of the American dream.

In Kansas City, Missouri, two criminal syndicates have struck an uneasy peace. One Italian, one African-American. Together they control an alternate economy — that of exploitation, graft and drugs. This too is the history of America. To cement their peace, the heads of both families have traded their eldest sons.”

Rock will play the head of one family, a man who in order to prosper has surrendered his oldest boy to his enemy and who must in turn raise his son’s enemy as his own.

He finds this uneasy peace difficult but profitable… until the head of the Kansas City mafia goes into the hospital for routine surgery and dies. And then everything changes.

Thus far, the first three seasons of Fargo have rated among the best TV shows of the moment, with the excellent season 2 an absolute standout.

Anthony Mackie confirmed as lead for Altered Carbon: Season 2

Anthony Mackie

Story by Jack Foley

ANTHONY Mackie is heading to Netflix, for the recently renewed second season of critically-acclaimed sci-fi drama Altered Carbon.

The Captain America star will take over the leading role of Takeshi Kovacs, stepping in for season one star Joel Kinnaman.

Additionally, Alison Schapker (Scandal, The Flash, Fringe, Alias) has joined the drama from Skydance Television as co-showrunner alongside Laeta Kalogridis.

As yet, there is no word on an episode count or a return date for the drama, which boasts an extensive special effects budget.

The first season of Altered Carbon saw Kinnaman playing Kovacs, a time and body-displaced soldier-turned detective who lives in a future world where human mortality has been conquered.

Hundreds of years after his most recent death, Kovacs wakes up in a new body (or ‘sleeve’) and is recruited to solve a murder.

The season one finale saw Kovacs surrendering his sleeve to the authorities and assuming a new identity, which is now expected to take the form of Mackie.

Kinnaman himself has continued to work with Netflix despite exiting Altered Carbon (as per his season long contract), and will reunite with his Killing co-star Mireille Enos in a reboot of Hanna.

Josh O'Connor and Marion Bailey join The Crown: Season 3

Josh O'Connor

Story by Jack Foley

BAFTA nominated Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country) and Marion Bailey (Allied) have joined the cast of Netflix original series The Crown: Season 3.

O’Connor will play Prince Charles. He commented: “I am thrilled to be joining The Firm for the next instalment of The Crown.

“Seasons 3 and 4 will follow some of the most turbulent events in the Prince of Wales’s life and our national story and I’m excited to be bringing to life the man in the midst of it all. I’m very aware it’s a formidably talented family to be joining, but reliably informed I have the ears for the part and will fit right in.”

Bailey will play the Queen Mother.

He said: “[It’s] wonderful to be joining The Crown. It’s a brilliant show and we have a tough act to follow but what a gift to be playing the fascinating and greatly loved Queen Mother. I’m thrilled to be on board and working with such a top notch team.”

The Crown: Season 3 will launch in 2019.

The Affair renewed for fifth and final season

The Affair

Story by Jack Foley

SHOWTIME drama The Affair has been renewed for a fifth and final season.

The show, which airs on Sky Atlantic, has four episodes left to air in its current season. It stars Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson.

Announcing the decision to renew for what will be its final run of episodes, Gary Levine, president of programming at Showtime Networks, commented: “We love the intimacy, the nuance and the emotional honesty of The Affair‘s subjective examination of both infidelity and fidelity.

“[Co-creator and Showrunner] Sarah Treem has always envisioned this as a five-season series, and we will be fascinated to see where she takes her talented cast and all of us next year in its climactic season.”

Season four has relocated Noah Solloway (West), ex-wife Helen (Tierney), their kids and Helen’s boyfriend, Vic (Omar Metwally), from New York to Los Angeles, while Alison (Wilson) and Cole (Jackson) are forging new paths on Long Island.

However, even though the characters have drifted further apart, their lives remain intertwined.

The fifth and final season of the show is set to air sometime in 2019.

Felicity Huffman, Jharrel Jerome and Jovan Adepo join Netflix's Central Park Five

Felicity Huffman

Preview by Jack Foley

FELICITY Huffman, Jharrel Jerome and Jovan Adepo have joined the cast of Ava DuVernay’s Central Park crime drama, Central Park Five.

Based on a true story that gripped the country, Central Park Five will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of colour who were convicted of a rape they did not commit.

The four episode limited series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem – Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise.

The series will span from the spring of 1989, when each were first questioned about the incident, to 2014 when they were exonerated and a settlement was reached with the city of New York.

Academy Award® Nominee and Emmy Award® Winner Felicity Huffman (American Crime) will play Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor who headed the Manhattan district attorney’s sex crimes office during the case.

Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight) will play Korey Wise, one of the wrongfully convicted five who was charged as an adult in the case and served twelve years in prison before being exonerated.

And Jovan Adepo (Fences) will play the exonerated Antron McCray, another member of the wrongfully convicted five, who was released after serving six years in a New York State prison.

It was previously announced that Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, and John Leguizamo will be joining the cast. Ava DuVernay will write and direct the narrative series, which will be four episodes.

Central Park Five will premiere on Netflix in 2019.