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3 Sep 2015 | Leave a Comment

Cate Blanchett to star in Aaron Sorkin's Lucille Ball Biopic

Cate Blanchett to star in Aaron Sorkin’s Lucille Ball Biopic

This is a great bit of casting. Cate Blanchett is to take on the role of Lucille Ball in a biopic from The Social Network, West Wing and Newsroom scribe Aaron Sorkin. The film is being produced by Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr, Lucy’s children, and will follow her career and marriage to her I Love Lucy co-star Desi Arnaz.

For those of you of a certain age who are going ‘Lucille who?’, it’s time for a small geek history lesson… gather around…

Lucy & Desi Arnaz

Lucy & Desi Arnaz

Lucille Ball was a comedic actress probably best know for her 1950’s tv show ‘I Love Lucy’. However, she was way more than just some famous tv actress… She was a trailblazing legend, and geeks everywhere should be aware, she is a far more important figure than they may realise…

Firstly, with her husband Desi Arnaz, she formed Desilu Productions (which is now part of the Paramount Studio’s in LA). This led to her becoming the first woman to run a Hollywood Studio. The press used to lay into her a lot about her spending all her time at the studio and not being at home looking after her kids like a ‘good wife’ should… The fact the kids were perfectly happy and with her at the studio a lot of the time seemed to have escaped them… Lucy’s solution? Have an area built right outside her offices to look exactly like her garden at home. That way they could have photo shoots in here ‘garden’ of her happily play with her family without ever leaving the lot!

Lucy's 'Garden'

Lucy’s ‘Garden’

She also looked after her staff. When a female assistant of hers came to her saying she unfortunately would have to give up work as she was pregnant, Lucy responded by becoming the first studio to set up on-site daycare for her staff. A facility which is still there on the Paramount Studio Lot today.

Desi's dressing room

Desi’s dressing room

Lucy and Desi eventually divorced, mainly due to his womanising. You see that photo to the right? That’s Desi’s dressing room. You notice there appears to be some cement marks around the door frame? The cement is not from repair work… That’s from when Lucy, sick of seeing a stream of young starlets parade in and out of there, asked for the divorce then cemented his door shut forcing Desi to climb through the windows to get his stuff back. She was, I think you’ll agree, completely awesome. 😉

Whilst Lucy was in head of the studio, they commisioned a number of shows who’s names you’ll probably still recognise today – Mission Impossible, The Untouchables, I Spy and Hogan’s Heroes to name but a fewAnd that geek fact? You know what was one of show’s that was commissioned whilst she was in charge? Star Trek.

Also Lucy’s story has been made into a couple of tv movies in the past, this will be the first time it’s been developed properly for cinema. With Aaron Sorkin behind it, I’m really looking forward to seeing where it goes.

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2 Sep 2015 | Leave a Comment

Another show we were talking about on Geektown Radio this week was Sneaky Pete, which has it’s pilot episode up on Amazon right now. I’m very happy to say that they’ve decided to give it a full season order.

Sneaky Pete, is the story of Marius, a con-man who needs to lie low after being released from prison, due to the last people he ripped off not being too happy that he stole their money. Marius decides to steal the identity of his rather annoying cellmate, who would tell him these stories about his life as a kid staying with his grandparents. As the real Pete hasn’t seen them for 20 years, it’s not too hard to convince them he’s their long lost grandson, and he’s fairly quickly ingratiated into the family… and the family bail-bond business… Taking on the role of a ‘skip tracer’, he uses his con-man skills to help catch other criminals, and discover the family life he never had.

There’s a lot of talk about this being Bryan Cranston‘s return to tv after the epic Breaking Bad, but he’s actually more behind the scenes on this show, as he co-created it with House mastermind David Shore. Cranston does appear as the rather disgruntled (to put it mildly!) mob boss chasing Marius, but it’s the Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar, Dads, Friends, Saving Private Ryan) who leads the cast as the titular ‘sneaky’ Pete.

If you haven’t caught it yet and have an Amazon Prime subscription, just click the link below!

Sneaky Pete Pilot on Amazon Prime

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2 Sep 2015 | Leave a Comment

Being Human's Michael Socha and Top Boy's Michaela Coel

Being Human’s Michael Socha and Top Boy’s Michaela Coel

If you listened to the Geektown Radio podcast this week (you really should, it’s quite good you know!), you’ll have heard us talking about a new show due on E4 in their Winter season called ‘Aliens‘. No, it’s not a tv version of the James Cameron movie, it is a new comedy-drama from writer Fintan Ryan (In The Flesh) and Clerkenwell Films (who made Misfits), for which they’ve just announced some of the cast.

The show centres around the idea that aliens have been here amongst us for the past 40yrs. However, although they look like us, walk and talk like us, they are forced to live in a walled off ghetto area know as Troy. Lewis (Michael Socha) is a mild mannered security guard on the wall around Troy, who discovers he is in fact half-alien. A fact which turns his life upside down as he gets dragged into the seedy underbelly of the alien ghetto…

Michael Socha (This is England, Being Human, and Will Scarlett in Once Upon A Time) is playing Lewis, the mild mannered security guard.

Michaela Coel (Top Boy, Chewing Gum) is Lilyhot, an enigmatic and alluring alien who is deeply embroiled in one of Troy’s criminal gangs. When Lewis crosses her path, her fate and his become inextricably entwined. She’s quoted as saying “I’ve been a big fan of Fintan Ryan since Never Better and was directed by J Van Tulleken in my first ever television role. They, amongst many other things, make this one of the most exciting projects I’ve ever been a part of and I can’t wait to get started.”

Also joining the cast are Michael Smiley (Black Mirror, Luther, Kill List), Ashley Walters (Top Boy, Outcasts, Hustle), Holli Dempsey (Derek, New Worlds) and Trystan Gravelle (Mr Selfridge, Anonymous).

Filming started this week, and Aliens is due to air Early 2016.

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2 Sep 2015 | Leave a Comment

Get ready for the hugely anticipated return of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story season 5… this time called American Horror Story: Hotel… and, as you’d probably expect, it’s set in a hotel.  Not for the fainthearted, the American Horror Story anthology has gained a huge cult following and is one of the most frightening, twisted and delightfully dark programmes on televison today. Returning cast members include Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett and Chloe Sevigny.

Joining the cast this season is pop superstar Lady Gaga.  She will be playing Elizabeth, the wealthy bisexual hotel owner and it’s reported that she wastes no time striking up a love triangle with Donovan (Matt Bomer, Magic Mike), and Tristan Duffy (Finn Wittrock, Unbroken). Other new cast members include the fabulously glamorous Naomi Campbell (Empire) as a fashion editor who goes head to head with Lady Gaga, and Max Greenfield (Schmidt from New Girl).

American Horror Story: Hotel premieres in the UK on Tuesday 20th October at 10pm on FOX.

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1 Sep 2015 | Leave a Comment

Geektown Radio : UK Film, TV News & Air Date Info!

Geektown Radio : UK Film, TV News & Air Date Info!

John Swihart

John Swihart

We’re back this week with a full show AND an interview with Napoleon Dynamite & How I Met Your Mother composer John Swihart!

The Berkelee-trained Swihart fuses ‘70s funk with electronica for the movie, providing a musical backdrop that expertly plays alongside the comedy, yet simultaneously allowing the jokes to breathe when necessary. Produced by Lorne Michaels, comedy Staten Island Summer unites SNL alums Cecily Strong, Bobby Moynihan, Fred Armisen, Will Forte, and Kate McKinnon for a hilarious coming of age comedy about two lifeguards on a mission to throw the biggest party of the summer.

Swihart has provided memorable scores for a number of coming-of-age, youth-driven projects, ranging from classic cult comedy Napoleon Dynamite, to Fox’s Red Band Society, and the Michael Cera film Youth in Revolt. Swihart scored the CBS’s landmark comedy How I Met Your Mother.

In this weeks show:

  • We take a look at the tv show news we’ve watched over the last week, and some gaming chat as Chris is on!
  • A full round up of the tv news from the last 2 weeks including the Galaxy Quest tv show, changes in Netflix & Amazon, and the new show from the creators of House and Supernatural!
  • An interview with John Swihart, the man behind the music for Napoleon Dynamite & How I Met Your Mother
  • As usual, all the latest air date updates, and a look forward to tv in the next 7 days.

Geektown Radio : Episode 30 – John Swihart Interview plus UK TV Updates & Air Date Info!

If you want to take a listen to the latest episode, just click the link below, and if you like it, you can click here to subscribe to Geektown Radio on iTunes or click here for the RSS feed.

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26 Aug 2015 | Leave a Comment

Geektown Radio : UK Film, TV News & Air Date Info!

Geektown Radio : UK Film, TV News & Air Date Info!

Richard Morgan

Richard Morgan

As people have been away and tied up with work this week, it’s the perfect opportunity to air an interview I did recently with the author Richard Morgan.

Richard is a sci-fi and fantasy writer, who’s probably best know for his Philip K. Dick Award winning sci-fi novel Altered Carbon, which went on to spawn the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy. He’s 2nd trilogy ‘A Land Fit for Heroes’ moved him into fantasy, and is currently being turned into an interactive gamebook by Liber Primus Games.

If you don’t know Richard from his excellent novels, he also wrote the Syndicate reboot for EA in 2012, Crysis 2 for Crytek in 2011, and was largely responsible for rebooting Marvel’s Black Widow with his two six issue miniseries he wrote for the character.

You can find out more about the Land Fit for Heroes gamebook here, and more about Richard here.

Geektown Radio : Author Richard Morgan Special!

If you want to take a listen to the latest episode, just click the link below, and if you like it, you can click here to subscribe to Geektown Radio on iTunes or click here for the RSS feed.

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