Below is another collection of recent news stories that have caught my eye, with a few comments from yours truly...
- It's always been difficult for women "of a certain age" to get good work in Hollywood, particularly if their heyday relied on looks that can't help but fade as time marches on. Sharon Stone became one of the 1990s top sex symbols thanks to Basic Instinct, but it's fair to say her post-millennial career hasn't been too rosy. It's a shame, because I think she's a better actress than she gets credit for (having won an Emmy for three episodes of The Practice), but maybe her luck's about to change thanks to TNT. Stone has been cast as the first female U.S Vice President for a new action drama pilot (working title: AGENT X), who only stepped into the role after her Senator husband died. Once sworn in as Veep, Stone's character (Natalia Maccabbe) realises she must protect the Constitution with the help of her Chief Steward and a secret operative (the so-called Agent X). [via EW]
- In exciting news, the Breaking Bad prequel BETTER CALL SAUL has added Jonathan Banks to its cast—who will reprise his role as Saul's fixer Mike Ehrmantraut. This makes him the second regular cast member from Breaking Bad to join the new series, after Bob Odenkirk as Saul himself. No idea how this impacts Banks' current role as Professor Hickey on Community, should that NBC comedy miraculously make it to a sixth season. [via Screenrant]
- The BBC have revealed what Peter Capaldi will wear as The Doctor (photo: above-left), now he's filming series 9 of DOCTOR WHO. It looks almost identical to what Jon Pertwee wore (minus a cape), with an almost conspicuous lack of neck-wear. I guess Matt Smith really stamped his identity with that bow-tie. Maybe Capaldi's incarnation will become synonymous with Doc Marten boots?
- NBC are moving ahead with a live-action adaptation of the Hellblazer comic, previously turned into a 2005 movie starring Keanu Reeves as chain-smoking occult expert John CONSTANTINE. It's been revealed that David S. Goyer (Blade, Batman Begins) and Daniel Cerone (Dexter, The Mentalist) are writing for the series, which will also include the characters Chas (Constantine's taxi driver friend), a woman called Liz, and someone called Manny. No news yet on whether the creators will ensure the character of Constantine retains his British origin, or if they'll stick to the unpopular Americanisation of the 2005 film. [via KSiteTV]
- Starz doesn't have a reputation for original programming that caters for subjects traditionally appealing more to women, but that's about to change with ballet drama FLESH & BONE. The show will follow the career of aspiring ballerina Claire (Sarah Hay) as she joins a prestigious New York ballet company. The series is created by Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad). Hay appeared in Black Swan, so that only cements the expectation for a small-screen take on Darren Aronofsky's movie. [via EW]
- NBC's fantastic HANNIBAL returns 28 Feb on NBC; but in a clever strategy to build an audience Amazon Prime Instant Video customers have a month-long window to catch-up using that streaming service. NBC have clearly noted how Netflix managed to increase Breaking Bad's similarly small but passionate audience into a global phenomenon. I'm not sure a mere four weeks is going to help all that much (unless casual viewers love to gorge), but it's better than nothing. Hopefully, Hannibal will debut on Amazon sooner now this deal is in place. [via Variety]
- BBC America have a new eight-part drama called THE INTRUDERS in pre-production, based on a 2007 novel by Michael Marshall Smith, adapted by writer Glen Morgan (The X Files, Millennium). John Simm (Life on Mars) has already been confirmed as the star, but now we know he'll be joined by Mira Sorvino and James Frain (True Blood). The series is about a secret society who take refuge in people's bodies as a means to stay immortal. Simm will play an ex-cop with a violent past, while Sorvino will actually play two characters inhabiting the same body who go missing. Frain is playing a murderer on a 20-year secret mission, who also claims to be an FBI agent. It sounds like someone decided to combine The Invaders with the underlying mythology of Being John Malkovich, no? [via Deadline]
- Sky have hit upon a novel idea to entice subscribers to its satellite service: put some of its top home-grown shows on YouTube, for free. Sky First Episodes will launch on 1 February and, as the name suggests, offer everyone the chance to watch the premiere of shows like The Tunnel, Moone Boy, Moonfleet and A Young Doctor's Notebook. If you like them, why not sign up and be added to Sky's 10 million subscribers? [via The Guardian]