Role Call: Magical Time of Year
It’s that wondrous time of year when we look forward to the holidays, feasts, and presents. In addition to the presents you can win during our annual (and awesome!) Advent Calendar Giveaway this year, we’d like to think that bringing you all the Role Call news every week is a gift, as well.
This week, we bring you movies on Blu-ray, red carpet interviews (with animal guests, too!), George Clooney at Downton, a US series featuring a Slytherin baddie that has been added to a UK fall lineup, a Harry Potter ginger gracing the cover of a major film magazine, and a poster of a certain blonde Fairy Godmother. If we could wrap it up in a bow and hand it to you, we would! Take a look at this week’s Casting News!
Starring Dame Maggie Smith opposite Kevin Kline, the film My Old Lady centers around a man trying to take possession of an apartment from his estranged father only to find that Smith’s character, Mathilde, has to die first. The dramedy will be available to purchase on January 27 on Bluray/Digital HD combo and a trailer of the film can be seen below.
After months of speculation and barely-there hints from Downton Abbey cast, we have our first look at George Clooney in the Christmas special set to air on December 19. While we admit, the clip is short and doesn’t actually feature the reported smooch between Clooney and Maggie, it does whet our appetites just a bit. Take a look at the tiny clip below, which George took on for charity:
After a successful run at Chichester’s Festival Theatre, Imelda Staunton will reprise her role as Mama Rose in Gypsy, but this time it will be at the West End. According to Baz Bamigboye, previews for the West End production at the Savoy will begin in March with an anticipated end date at the end of 2015.
Fans may still be geeking out over the trailer for next December’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but those who find Domhnall Gleeson swoonworthy won’t have to wait quite that long to see him in his next film. Ex Machina is featured on the cover and inside pages of Total Film this month in anticipation of the January 23 UK release and April 25 US release dates. Domhnall plays programmer Caleb Smith in the film, a contest winner who has been selected to evaluate the newest artificial intelligence experiment for a reclusive CEO. Take a look at the photos from the magazine and read a synopsis of the film below:
Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company’s brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test – charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan’s latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava (Alicia Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated, seductive––and more deceptive––than the two men could have imagined.
Domhnall’s recent film Frank will also be available for purchase this month, with a Blu-ray release date of December 9.
Over the last few months, we’ve seen quite a lot of Guy Henry (Pius Thicknesse) – and we have another encounter with him this week! The actor recently told the Bournemouth Echo what it was like to film his first Harry Potter scene:
The first scene I did was with Bill Nighy (Scrimgeour), who’s a lovely man, and there was a great big knobbly dark wooden chair and me and Bill and Peter Mullen (Yaxley) and hundreds of extras in a great big green world. You go into this huge hangar of a studio set and there’s a rather sickly green coloured horrible room that you enter and they put on all the magic afterwards. Very exciting!
An hour-long conversation with John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick) and fellow Python Eric Idle was recorded in Los Angeles as part of Cleese’s book tour promoting his memoir So…Anyway. You can view the video below, where the two pals talk about how the Python’s came to be and how they decided to put on a reunion tour. Take a look and be aware of some adult language!
Stephen Fry‘s project with Kiefer Sutherland has set a premiere date! Marked, a Sky Arts production, is set to air on December 18 and a synopsis of the 30 minute Playhouse Presents drama can be read below:
Marked tells the story of James (Sutherland), a seemingly regular guy who has been ground down by the pressures of work, family, money and life. Drowning in debt, James hits crisis point and in his desperation agrees to carry out a hit. But before he passes the point of no return, he discovers that things aren’t quite as they seem. Instead of the mark, he is confronted with the last person (Fry) he expects to see.
Stephen recently appeared at the premiere for the final installment of The Hobbit film series, The Battle of the Five Armies. He was impressed by the fans who had camped out at the premiere locale and gave a heartfelt interview about director Peter Jackson as well as his experience filming in the series at the premiere at London’s Leicester Square, which you can view here.
Fry also has another project in the works – the actor has been cast in a remake of Danger Mouse as spy boss and dirty croquet player, Colonel K. The animated series is being revamped after a 20 year absence.
An adaptation of War and Peace will be recorded for the radio waves and will star John Hurt! BBC Radio 4 announced the actor’s inclusion in the 10-hour series that will air on New Year’s Day. The broadcast will also be available on iPlayer after the series has completed airing.
Hurt can also be seen in an unconventional performance – a shop window in East London with a live orchestra! You can see Hurt on December 3 at Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford as he narrates The Snowman as part of The Christmas Window Live on the Sky Arts 1 channel. The reading will take place at 7:30pm GMT (that’s the UK timezone, for those non-Brits out there!). He told the Telegraph that he chose to take part in the live performance because of his admiration of the orchestra. He also wondered about his experience in the window, saying:
I would imagine I’m going to be looked at by all these people…but maybe they won’t look at me at all.
Timothy Spall has been cast in a new drama for BBC1 called Cider with Rosie. The actor will narrate the memoir of author Laurie Lee where he reveals his memories of childhood in an idyllic Cotswold village around the time of the First World War. Spall is thrilled to be taking part, according to RadioTimes:
Cider With Rosie was one of the first books I ever read and I’m delighted and charmed to be involved in the production playing the author himself.
UK fans of Tom Felton, you won’t have to wait much longer to get a look at him in the TNT series Murder in the First! FOX UK has announced plans to include the series in its 2015 schedule for Friday nights after acquiring the rights to the series in the UK. Check your schedules and set your DVR’s beginning January 16, when the series will begin airing the first of the 10-episode season. For those unfamiliar with the drama, take a look at the synopsis below:
Murder in the First is set in San Francisco and follows homicide detectives Terry English (Taye Diggs) and Hildy Mulligan (Kathleen Robertson) as they investigate the murder of an apparent drug addict. The mystery deepens, however, when the victim is found to have a connection to Silicon Valley wunderkind Erich Blunt (Tom Felton), the celebrated CEO of a cutting-edge tech firm.
We previously reported in May that Warwick Davis, who just so happens to be one of MuggleNet Live! 2015: Expo Patronum special guests, had taken on a role in a Christmas Panto. Not only will Davis play a role in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, he’s actually directing it! Here’s what he had to say about his dual role and the importance of theater:
I have not only to create the show and rehearse the other actors, I have to learn the Prof scenes, too. It’s a huge challenge. I am not authoritarian – I listen to the cast’s ideas. Theatre is the best. You get feedback instantly. The panto could be a child’s first experience of live theatre. I want their visits to continue.
You can purchase tickets to the panto here, which will run from December 5 through January 4.
Warwick was also on hand this week to promote Get Santa at the Vue West End Cinema on Sunday with his costars in the film, including Jim Broadbent and a perhaps unruly reindeer! Take a look at the Red Carpet photos below:
For those who were captivated by the trailer (FINALLY!) for Sir Kenneth Branagh‘s live action version of Cinderella, we have a great gift for you! New posters for the film were released this week, including a lovely Fairy Godmother poster featuring Helena Bonham Carter, which you can see below:
Emma Thompson‘s Effie Gray, which also happens to feature Robbie Coltrane and Julie Walters, will finally get a release date next year! Adopt Films, a company based out of New York, has acquired the rights to the film and announced its plan to premiere the film early next spring.
That’s it for this week’s Role Call. What did you think about all the projects starting or coming out in the coming months? Have you set your heart on seeing any particular project? Let us know what you think by commenting below and don’t forget to enter our annual Advent Calendar Giveaway DAILY for a chance to win some cool wizard wares! You don’t want to miss out on our 25 days of giveaways!!!