Fox

Larry the Cable Guy

Larry the Cable Guy is still a thing, folks. It’s true. Larry, real name Daniel Whitney, has managed to sustain a weird level of pop culture relevance since debuting his redneck persona in the early nineties. The Blue Collar Comedy Tour staple alongside comedians Ron White, Bill Engvall, and ringleader Jef Foxworthy, Whitney has hosted Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy on the History Channel (“Larry’s Favorite Stuff” is a particularly touching episode), voiced the beloved tow truck Mater in Pixar’s Cars franchise, and swung a Golden Raspberry Award in 2013’s A Madea Christmas. Dude Ain’t going away, and both Fox and WWE Studios have every intention of keeping Larry Cable Guyin’ in 2014 with the weirdly random announcement of a sequel to 1996’s Jingle All the Way.

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Potential Fantastic Four

Variety is reporting that the shortlist for Fox’s new Fantastic Four reboot is skewing young. The breakdown of testing actors includes Michael B. Jordan still being floated as The Human Torch; Miles Teller, Kit Harington and Jack O’Connell (Skins) for Reed Richards; and Saoirse Ronan, Kate Mara and possibly Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) for Sue Storm. Granted, Mara is 30, and Jessica Alba was 24 when she was cast in the role less than a decade ago, but the rest of the list tops out at 26 years for several of the gents while Ronan (the most veteran of the crew) won’t be able to drink legally in the States for a year and a half. In the previous incarnation, Ioan Gruffudd brought some grounding maturity, but the new vision may be looking to bring in adult supervision solely with Ben Grimm — unless they cast another 20-something for The Thing, too. Honestly, all of this is kind of cool. At the very least it brings a different angle to a franchise whose renewed existence is aggressively shrug-worthy. It’s also a way to make a natural through line for Chronicle director Josh Trank as he takes on legacy superheroes for a change.  There are a ton of middle-aged heroes out there, so maybe it’s time for a different flavor in the buffet of spandex and capes. Of course, regardless of who they cast, it’ll still be a superhero movie produced by Fox and written by the guy who wrote This […]

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news simpsons family guy

In a move that will either delight or horrify Fox animation fans (depending on where their allegiances lie), The Simpsons and Family Guy will finally join forces in a crossover episode. The news comes by way of TV Line, who reported today that a Family Guy episode set to air in fall 2014 will see the Griffin family venturing into Springfield and becoming fast friends with the Simpson clan. Technically, this isn’t the first time the two series have come together onscreen. Back in 2006, South Park‘s ‘Cartoon Wars’ featured a Bart Simpson hellbent on Family Guy‘s destruction, and a 2007 episode of Family Guy saw Quagmire sexually assault Marge Simpson before killing the rest of her family. The bit was removed from broadcast by Fox- it’s not hard to figure out why. The planned crossover may finally put to rest the feud between these two shows, which has existed for years and been spurred on by shots from both sides (like the one mentioned above). It’s big news, but in all honesty it would have been much bigger news a decade ago. At this point, there’s no doubt that both shows are past their prime. The Simpsons and Family Guy are doddering old men in the world of animated sitcoms (the upcoming seasons will be the 25th for The Simpsons and 12th for Family Guy), so while the crossover is still very cool, it’s hard not to see it as a last grasp towards relevance.

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zac-efron

It’s clear what you’re thinking. “How could anyone as perfectly quaffed and frequently shirtless as Zac Efron be anything other than a totally trustworthy person?” It’s a valid question, but one that’s going to be put to the test as Fox asks him to tap into his traitorous side to star in a new project they’re putting together called Narc. To be penned by studio-employed scribe Grant Meyers, Narc is being described as a college-set Donnie Brasco, which essentially means that it’s taking the plot of Donnie Brasco and changing it so that the studio can exclusively cast attractive young people—which isn’t really a bad idea at all.

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Dodgeball Movie

If there’s anything better at creating mixed feelings than the recent return to the comedy well, it doesn’t exist in the movie universe. Is it great to see Anchorman 2 coming our way? Definitely. Would it have been better without the middling years in between for Will Ferrell? Absolutely. Is it sort of cool to see Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson pair up Wedding Crashers-style at Google? Yeah, sort of. But a feature commercial for Google? Ersh. Even the sequel for Zoolander seemed promising despite the hope/urge that we’d also get to see something new and just as exciting as earlier hits from these world-class comedians. And now a Dodgeball sequel? It’s a great universe to return to, and this time around I won’t be surrounded by frat guys endlessly quoting it, but it’s just, you know, really? Is this where we’re at? Is this what the biggest players in comedy are having to do? We get Hangover on repeat, Tyler Perry and rehashes of stuff from a decade ago? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Stiller’s production company Red Hour has hired Clay Tarver (the writer/director of Joy Ride and director of a few Upright Citizens Brigade episodes) to write a script where Stiller’s and Vaughn’s character team up to conquer a bigger enemy. Theoretically on the dodgeball court. Fox is on board, and although they’ve just hired a writer, it’s unclear whether director Rawson Thurber will return. Or whether the fanbase — now inundated by decades-later comedy sequels — will be able to build anything more than mild enthusiasm […]

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Daredevil Yellow

20th Century Fox’s re-adaptation of Daredevil had been kicked around a bit too long. After the 2003 film came out, the studio never seemed sure how to move forward with the Man Without Fear. There were talks of a direct sequel, but those were squashed when starting from scratch came into the equation. But how do you start fresh? Hiring director David Slade (Hard Candy) was a good start. There were rumors of taking the character into a darker direction — which hopefully meant fewer playground romance fights and a soundtrack featuring far less Nickleback — and Slade’s sensibilities would have suited that more faithful, grounded take on the character. Then again, dark and edgy aren’t adjectives we generally associate with 20th Century Fox. Unsurprisingly, the Slade reboot never happened. Speaking with Slade about his work on NBC’s new series, Hannibal, he told us what we missed out on.

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Car Ramrod

It’s been 12 years since Super Troopers launched Broken Lizard, and it’s been 7 years since they proclaimed publicly that a sequel was on the way. Anyone who held their breath is either dead or setting some kind of laudable record by now. For all those who have turned blue, Guy Speed is reporting that, in their interview with Kevin Heffernan, the actor announced that the sequel is likely going to shoot by the end of the year. With all due fairness to the excitement of seeing the gang back on patrol, we’ve heard that the project is close to filming for a long time, and it’s usually come from Heffernan, and this isn’t the first year where he’s claimed they’d make it “by the end of the year.” But usually the story involves a vague legal issue that they’ve been hammering out with Fox. This time, all Heffernan mentions is negotiations on “the time and the place.” As usual, cautious optimism is the key here. But Heffernan also said he was going to start growing his mustache, and maybe that dedication to the cause is reason enough for all of us to get pumped. Now the question is whether the sequel still sees them invading Canada.

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Channel Guide - Large

Fox may have put too much stock in the appeal of awkward quirk when the network added The Mindy Project and Ben and Kate to a Tuesday night line-up that revolves around Zooey Deschanel’s perky comedic stylings on New Girl. At the moment, both of these cute new sitcoms have uncertain futures. The more troubled of the pair is Ben and Kate–the comedy’s middling ratings are understandable but unfortunate because it has so much potential and could benefit from a second season. The show finds Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson playing adult siblings living under the same roof. Ben (Faxon) is the irresponsible, goofball older brother while Kate (Johnson) is the mature one — she’s a single mother and has a steady but unfulfilling job as a bar manager. Predictably, Ben encourages Kate to loosen up and Kate encourages Ben to grow up. It’s the standard, sort of clichéd odd couple set up but is often very funny. There’s more here than the cliché, but it’s also missing a key ingredient.

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Mark Millar

It’s amazing Mark Millar has been appointed the coveted position of handling Fox’s Marvel adaptations and has yet brag about it or give us exaggerated news stories to scoff at. Millar actually seems to be taking this gig rather seriously. Based on his still slightly cryptic plans, we can see why. Considering Millar just signed on for the job, there isn’t a whole lot of news in what he had to say about the future for Fox’s Marvel properties. If there’s anything newsworthy in what Millar had to say about the future it’s regarding the obvious spinoffs from the X-Men franchise, “Fox are thinking, ‘We’re sitting on some really awesome things here. There is another side of the Marvel Universe. Let’s try and get some cohesiveness going.’ So they brought me in to oversee that really, so to meet with the writers and directors to suggest new ways we could take this stuff and maybe new properties that could spin out of it, because the X-Men alone feels like a universe of itself; there’re so many characters, there’re so many great potential spin-off characters.” The X-Men world is currently the only universe Fox has set up, but could Daredevil work in an X-Men world? The rumor was Fox wanted an unsurprisingly “gritty” take on the man without fear, and after the tone Matthew Vaughn established with X-Men: First Class, would the two styles mesh together well?

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Channel Guide - Large

Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard and his crew have come up with—hands down—the most captivatingly strange sitcom on network TV. Now in its third season and having recently been picked up for a fourth, the Emmy-nominated animated series is the gem of Fox’s Sunday night cartoon block. What’s more, its continued existence may be a sign that the network has finally turned a corner when it comes to canceling shows with cult followings. Bob’s Burgers revolves around the Belchers—swarthy Bob (H. Jon Benjamin), his supportive wife Linda (John Roberts), and their three equally but distinctly quirky children, Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman), and Louise (Kristen Schaal). They own a burger joint that does okay business (and have an apartment above the restaurant, making them one of the few TV families with an economically realistic living situation). While there are some basic similarities between Bob’s Burgers and the rest of the Animation Domination shows (they’re all cheeky or irreverent and primarily about eccentric nuclear families), the tone and style here are almost jarring next to the raucous abrasiveness of the Seth MacFarlane toons and the silly wit of The Simpsons.

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Mark Millar

Fox hasn’t always been the most successful studio, as far as adapting Marvel comic books is concerned. Though their 2000 film version of X-Men is largely responsible for launching the current comic book movie boom, their more recent mutant movies haven’t been all that hot, and their takes on the Marvel-created Daredevil and Fantastic Four franchises haven’t been able to produce anything remotely up to snuff. Their treatment of their superhero movies has gone so far off the rails that they’re even set to lose the rights to the Daredevil property, as their attempts to get a new film together haven’t kept pace with the end of their contract. That doesn’t mean that Fox’s days of making Marvel movies are over, though. They’ve still got two more X-Men movies in the works in James Mangold’s The Wolverine and Matthew Vaughn’s  X-Men: Days of Future Past, and they’ve made a new commitment to taking another crack at the Fantastic Four franchise by bringing Chronicle director Josh Trank on for a reboot. That’s some powerhouse talent paired with some potentially lucrative material. And today Fox announced their next step toward getting their Marvel properties back under control: they’ve hired veteran comic book creator Mark Millar to come on as a creative consultant for all of the House of Ideas characters that are still under their control.

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Culture Warrior

The upcoming election might make the air feel a bit more politicized than it usually does, but there’s one arena that is investigated and interrogated for its supposedly partisan leanings far more often than every four years: the mainstream entertainment industry. Hollywood and prime-time television are continually called into question for supposedly left-leaning tendencies. Hell, there are even entire websites that profit off the flimsy thesis that Hollywood is an evil institution devoted to the full-scale indoctrination of feeble young minds into sullying the name of Ayn Rand and buying Priuses (Priusi?). However, the latest accusation made toward Hollywood as a liberal indoctrination machine came from an unlikely source: Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine. While it’s interesting to hear these points articulated from a self-defined liberal rather than a conservative culture warrior (yes, I’m well aware of the irony of my column name when I write stories like this) who stands to benefit more from the critique, Chait makes several of the same stumbles that conservatives encounter when voicing this familiar argument, like failing to provide a stable definition of what institutions the term “Hollywood” describes or an adequate explanation for the process by which an institution made up of mostly liberal people actually translates into liberal products.

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Today is a sad day for fans of manly movies about manly things, as it turns out two very different but very promising-sounding gritty crime movies have been put on the shelf. First up is Fox’s reboot of Marvel’s Daredevil character. Remember how Fox only has until October 10 to get a new Daredevil movie shooting before they lose the rights back to Marvel? The story is that they have a script that they like, which adapts Frank Miller’s fairly dark “Born Again” storyline from the comics, and they want Joe Carnahan to direct it, but they’re not really sure if they can get things developed before time runs out. Rumor had it that Marvel was willing to do some dealing to give Fox the time extension they would need to make the movie possible, but a new development is making it look like Fox refused to play ball and are likely to let the rights to the character lapse. The bad news comes from Joe Carnahan himself, who recently took to his Twitter account (as spied by ComingSoon) to tell his fans, “Think my idea for a certain retro, red-suited, Serpico-styled superhero went up in smoke today kids.” He then followed with, “We shall see. Time is NOT on anyone’s side.” The deal on the table was that Marvel wanted the rights back for a couple of its Fantastic Four characters in order to give Fox the extension that they need. Looks like the studio decided that maintaining their […]

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Ever since Marvel Comics created its own movie studio and started making its own movies, much ado has been made about the other studios holding rights to some of their characters. How long does Sony have the rights to Spider-Man? Will Marvel ever get to make an X-Men movie, seeing as they’re already tied up elsewhere? While those properties seem to be staying in their current homes, at least for the foreseeable future, there’s one character out there who actually is close to making a jump back home to the House of Ideas: Daredevil. Recently, Fox was trying to get together a reboot of the character’s adventures on film under the watch of director David Slade, but a few weeks ago he dropped out of the project. That’s bad news for Fox, because if they don’t manage to find a new director and get a Daredevil movie in front of cameras before October 10, then film rights for the character will revert back to Marvel, and all of their efforts to reboot the property with a more gritty, Frank Miller-inspired take on the material will be in vain. In the same report that announced Slade’s departure from the new Daredevil film also came the news that Fox had lined up a director for another of its Marvel-born properties, The Fantastic Four. Chronicle helmer Josh Trank is now in control of rebooting that franchise. But a report that came out of Variety today could have consequences for both his upcoming Fantastic […]

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London Traffic Jam

While Danny Boyle is busy celebrating the history of Great Britain with giant inflatable arm-flailing Voldemorts, Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian are preparing to explore what might happen if the worst case travel scenario crippled the country’s infrastructure. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project was born from a 2003 dramatized documentary called The Day Britain Stopped which aired on the BBC. The villain of the feature is us – the hordes of commuting individuals that make up the mass clogging overtaxed transportation routes. There’s a worker strike, a train accident and the country’s roads are transformed into a parking lot during one of the busiest and coldest times of year. Scott and Zaillian will be using the film as inspiration for their take, which is set up at Fox. The last time these two got together it was for American Gangster, but it’s still unclear whether Denzel Washington will play the A3212 into London. However, it’s still a fascinating twist on the disaster genre that could use a bit more exploration. At the very least, it’s something we can all relate to.

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It’s a good news, bad news day over at Fox when it comes to their ripe-for-reboots (at least in their minds) Marvel properties. Over at Deadline Hammer Falls, (via Cinema Blend), the outlet reports that Josh Trank is now officially set to helm their Fantastic Four reboot, just as David Slade exits their latest take on Daredevil. While Chronicle director (and comic book adaptation director It Guy) Trank is apparently still signed on for two other comic adaptations- “Shadow of the Colossus” and “Red Star” – and he’s been rumored as a top pick to helm a “Venom” film, the outlet reports that the studio expects that he will direct Fantastic Four next. The film will feature an all-new cast, and Fox is planning on scheduling its production after their new The Wolverine and the X-Men: First Class sequel, which means we’re due for massive casting speculation as of sometime last Tuesday.

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Ridley Scott Alien DVD Commentary

Prometheus is Ridley Scott‘s latest magnum opus, a groundbreaking cinematic achievement beyond our wildest imaginations. At least that’s what we’re all hoping for with the film. At the very least we’ll take a return to the sci-fi terror Scott unleashed on audiences earlier in his career, but Prometheus is a film moviegoers all over will be talking about. We’d love to hear Scott talk about it, probably along with screenwriter Damen Lindelof. We’ll take Jon Spaihts just because he comes with the package deal, but it’ll be a commentary that delves into the depths each man had to go to craft yet another legendary, sci-fi tale. That will be amazing. Anyway, here’s the commentary for Alien. Seriously, though. How can you introduce Alien?

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Channel Guide - Large

Dr. Gregory House was a caustic, egotistical pill-popper who’d insult a dying woman to her face for his own misanthropic reasons but also because doing so would have provided him with some vital insight into her condition. There was brilliance behind that cantankerous behavior and if it weren’t for the Holmesian powers of deduction that allowed him to save lives (and his dreamy eyes), he would have been totally irredeemable. As it stands, he’s one of the most memorable and beloved TV characters in recent history. And now, after eight seasons and more than one hundred last minute diagnoses, Fox stalwart House has ended. Along with all of the standard medical puzzles, this year, the titular doctor, played as wryly as ever by Hugh Laurie, was incarcerated, then released from jail to find that many of the familiar faces at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital had dispersed; he added a couple of new members to his diagnostic team (Charlene Yi and Odette Annable) and learned that friend and fellow M.D. Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard)—one of the only people that he ever truly cared about—was battling cancer. Although the episode that capped off this final season was far from outstanding (or even an episode that will be remembered in a year’s time), it was a suitable conclusion and a welcomed end to a powerful show that had been puttering along during these last several seasons.

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First he caused a worldwide viral epidemic, and now he’s aiding and abetting the threatening dominance of a bunch of super smart apes. This has got to be treason right? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Informant!, The Bourne Ultimatum, not pictured above) will be writing the script for the Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel for Fox. It’s a solid choice, not just for his abilities, but because the sequel is set to see humanity struggling with the now-sentient beasts and with a virus that threatens the end of the species. It’s just like what happened to the native Americans before the European settlers got here. It looks like the apes will let tiny infections do their mass dirty work for them. Storywise, this is a great solution for a difficult problem. After all, even if they’re incredibly smart, there’s no way that a few dozen apes could take over the planet from 7 billion humans. We’d be hunting them for sport in a matter of months. But if we’re obliterated by illness? It’s a different story. And won’t it be ironic when the apes are immune to the strain because of years of lab testing? Oh, cruel fate. Still, we should figure out whose side Burns is on here.

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Channel Guide - Large

When you were a kid, your parents kept certain difficult realities from you for your own good. Maybe they didn’t want you to know that they were having financial or marital problems. Or, it could have been that they didn’t think you were ready to know how sex worked or that you weren’t particularly cute. Whatever it was, they shielded you from it so you could enjoy your childhood. If TV networks, showrunners, and actors felt that same sense of parental responsibility toward their audiences, at least 10% of the anxiety in TV-watching life would be eliminated. If you’re a Community fan, then you undoubtedly know about this weird quasi/maybe-not-so-quasi feud between series creator Dan Harmon and Chevy Chase. If you aren’t a fan and don’t know what the hell I’m referring to (a) consider yourself lucky, (b) it’s about leaked voicemails and on-set behavior that suggest the two aren’t the chummiest of chums, and (c) the actual reasons behind the beef don’t matter as much as the fact that the beef is public knowledge now. And that hurts the show.

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