Barry Jenkins’ Amazon series based on the Colson Whitehead book “The Underground Railroad” is beginning to take shape.
Variety has learned that the cast will be led by Thuso Mbedu as Cora, with Chase W. Dillon as Homer, and Aaron Pierre as Caesar. The project was first set up more than two years ago on the heels of Jenkins’ Oscar wins for the film “Moonlight,” with Amazon officially ordering it to series last June.
Mbedu is an established star in her native South Africa. She is known for roles in shows such as “Is’thunzi,” “Liberty,” and “Shuga.” In both 2018 and 2019 she received an International Emmy Award nomination for her role in “Is’thunzi.” Also in 2018, Mbedu was featured on the cover of Forbes Africa’s annual “Under 30” issue highlighting young African stars and leaders. She is repped by ICM and Creative Partners Group.
Dillon currently has a recurring role in the upcoming BET series “First Wives Club” from Tracy Oliver. He also has been cast in the role of Young Igwe in “Little America” at Apple. He is repped by CESD, GEM Entertainment Group, and Jago & Associates.
The political comedy will see the former ‘Office’ actor play a Democrat political consultant.
Mackenzie Davis has joined Jon Stewart’s next directorial effort, Irresistible.
The Blade Runner 2049 actress joins a cast that already includes Steve Carell, Chris Cooper and Rose Byrne.
The political comedy, set at Focus Features, is the story of a Democratic political consultant (Carell) who helps a retired ex-Marine colonel (Cooper) run for mayor in a small Wisconsin town.
Brad Pitt’s Plan B will produce with Stewart.
Davis broke out on the AMC series Halt and Catch Fire, and went on to book roles in such big-budget studio films as The Martian and Blade Runner 2049. She also has been tapped to star in Tim Miller’s upcoming Terminator reboot, joining franchise stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Topher Grace is joining Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, Chris Cooper, and Mackenzie Davis in the Jon Stewart’s comedy movie “Irresistible.”
Carell is portraying a Democratic political consultant who helps a retired ex-Marine colonel, played by Cooper, run for mayor in a small Wisconsin town. Byrne will play Carell’s Republican counterpart and Davis will play the daughter of Cooper’s character. Grace’s role is being kept under wraps.
Stewart, who is directing and wrote the screenplay, will also produce alongside Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. Focus Features and Universal Pictures International will distribute the film worldwide.
“Inside the Actors Studio” announced the lineup for new installments of the show, and revealed how it will carry on without the show’s iconic interviewer, James Lipton.
Ovation revealed that the show’s new season will premiere on the cable channel on Sunday, Oct. 13. Confirmed episodes include Jane Lynch interviewing David Oyelowo and Alec Baldwin interviewing Henry Winkler.
“The incomparable James Lipton can never be replaced, so Ovation and The Actors Studio have curated an impressive roster of multiple hosts to engage with the guests and the students of The Actors Studio MFA program at Pace University,” Ovation said in the announcement. “Currently, confirmed episodes for the new season include Jane Lynch (‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’) interviewing David Oyelowo (‘Selma’) and The Actors Studio co-president Alec Baldwin interviewing Hollywood legend Henry Winkler, hot off his Emmy-winning turn as Gene Cousineau on HBO’s ‘Barry.’”
The series will be filmed in New York City at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University and at the Loreto Theater at the Sheen Center.
Legacy episodes will air on Ovation leading up to the Oct. 13 premiere, including episodes featuring Paul Newman, Robin Williams, Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek, George Clooney, Halle Berry, Jim Carrey, Bradley Cooper and Brad Pitt.
Brad Pitt just had so much to say.
During a Los Angeles County hearing earlier this week, the 55-year-old actor, who was there advocating for increased funding to support improvements for the L.A. County Museum of Art, had to be cut off by Board of Supervisors Chairman Janice Hahn.
In a hilarious video of the exchange, shared by the Today show, Hahn can be heard laughing while telling the actor, “It gives me great pain to say wrap it up, Mr. Pitt.”
“We actors suffer from verbosity,” a smiling Pitt quipped after sharing that he knew he had exceeded his time limit.
Addressing the hilarious incident on social media, Hahn shared that “cutting Brad Pitt off when his time expired for public comment was the hardest thing I had to do all day — but rules are rules!”
Hahn also shared a photograph of the pair grinning together inside a courtroom. (Pitt is a longtime art and architecture aficionado who has studied with sculptor Thomas Houseago and architect Frank Gehry.)
Also present for the hearing? Actress Diane Keaton.
However, as Today host Carson Daly went on to note, Keaton, 73, managed to wrap up her speech with “time to spare.”
Jane Root’s Nutopia (One Strange Rock) and Plan B Entertainment are teaming to bring the Atlas Obscura phenomenon to television in a new premium docuseries. The project marks the first co-production for Nutopia and Plan B, and one of Plan B’s first forays into unscripted TV.
Titled Atlas Obscura, the docuseries, which is currently in development, will draw inspiration from Atlas Obscura’s overall mission of drawing out the incredible stories of the people, food, and culture behind the world’s most unusual places.
Atlas Obscura is a media and experiences company dedicated to exploring the world’s hidden wonders through thoughtful editorial stories, unique events and unusual trips around the world. Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders, the #1 New York Times bestselling and critically praised book, has been translated into 17 languages.