Fans of the hit series Breaking Bad on AMC can now tune in for the new spin-off drama Better Call Saul from writing partners and Breaking Bad creators Vince Gilligan (The X-Files, Hancock) and Peter Gould (Double Dragon, Too Big To Fail). The series stars Emmy-winner Bob Odenkirk (Saturday Night Live, Nebraska) back in his role of Saul Goodman in the time before the character was Saul Goodman. Instead we see him as Jimmy McGill, a young lawyer trying to make ends meet but lacking in the confidence and self-assurance of Saul Goodman. Also back from Breaking Bad is Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut, the former cop-turned-muscle-man under the employee of Gus, plus new-comers Rhea Seehorn (Whitney, Franklin & Bash), Patrick Fabian (General Hospital, The Last Exorcism), Michael McKean (Clue, Planes Trains & Automobiles), and Michael Mando (The Far Cry Experience, Orphan Black). The series is already three episodes in, so you should check out On-Demand if you need to catch up, then tune into AMC on Monday nights at 9pm/central.
Director Scott Cooper just recently released his violence-driven drama Out of the Furnace with Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, and Zoe Saldana, and Woody Harrelson, and is now turning his directing efforts at another crime-drama based on the life of Boston crime lord Whitney Bulger. The project is titled Black Mass and is based on the book Black Mass: The Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill. The story they tell of Bulger is one of violence and betrayal, as the former kingpin decides to give information to the FBI in order to take down a competing Mafia family, only to be double crossed and prosecuted for his crimes, along with John Connolly, a member of the FBI believed to be the reason it took the agency so long to finally take down Bulger. Johnny Depp was originally involved with the project with director Barry Levinson, but since then he has backed out and the script has been given to Cooper for rewriting. Depp may still be interested in doing the film, but that is still unclear at this point, so we’ll have to wait for Cooper to get the final screenplay completed before we really know who will be filling in the roles. Stay tuned for more information on this one.
Shortly after Disney acquired the rights to the Star Wars franchise, the search was out for a screenwriter that could bring the long-awaited sequel to the big screen. Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) was originally set to write the script, but now director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) is working with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi writer Lawrence Kasdan to set the sequel in motion. Kasdan has worked with several Lucasfilm projects, including the screenplay for director Steven Spielberg’s original Indiana Jones flick Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). He also wrote the Whitney Houston classic The Bodyguard (1992) which co-starred Kevin Costner. Considering Disney and Lucasfilm have done a pretty good job keeping details on the movie on the DL, this is a big piece of long-awaited news. Having a veteran who worked on the original projects will definitely be an asset to Abrams and the new crew, we’ll see how the story pans out.