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Daniel Craig to Star in TV Adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s Purity

Daniel Craig to Star in TV Adaptation of Jonathan Franzens PurityHollywood is always on the lookout for the next high-profile book-to-screen adaptation that might yield the next The Revenant, Gone Girl, or even the upcoming The Girl on a Train. While it’s true that award-worthy films have predominantly been the ideal endpoint for many of these adaptations, in recent years television has demonstrated an ability to utilize its potential for greater breadth and depth as a way to lure distinguished and not-so distinguished literary adaptations away from the sliver screen. And now that the limited series is the term du jour amongst many in the television industry, it looks as though multiple networks are looking to secure a deal to turn Jonathan Franzen’s Purity into a limited series starring Daniel Craig.The news is surprising for reasons beyond Craig’s involvement, as Franzen’s latest literary effort was only just published this past September, meaning the wheels on the adaptation were likely moving soon after the novel hit store shelves and quickly found its way onto the New York Times best seller’s list. Reportedly, the series is being shopped around at multiple networks, with Showtime, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and FX among the potential suitors for the project. All of the networks were supposedly sought out in the hope that one would agree to the 20-episode, direct-to-series order those behind the adaptation are currently seeking.According to Variety, the production comes from prolific producer Scott Rudin, who has had his hands in everything from The Social Network to Zoolander and its recent sequel. This is familiar territory for Rudin, as he’s produced a number of book adaptations, like Wonder Boys, Bringing Out the Dead, Angela’s Ashes, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and Joel and Ethan Coen’s Best Picture-winning adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men. While Rudin’s efforts have predominantly been in film, he has seen a shift to television as of late, most notably as a producer on Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series, The Newsroom.

In terms of Craig’s involvement, the news may only come as a surprise to those who were unaware the actor’s statements following his most recent outing as 007 in last November’s Spectre. Craig garnered a great deal of attention (negative and otherwise) for his comments regarding the role of James Bond and his future as the suave, globetrotting super spy. This would mark a shift for the actor who has reportedly been interested in doing more dramatic roles in line with what he would be doing in Purity.Purity would mark an interesting shift for both Craig and Rudin, and it would certainly be a significant get for any of the networks reportedly involved in the bidding war, as the winning network would land a potentially prestigious series with recognizable names already attached. Furthermore, the book was a bestseller from an author who has himself developed a reputation for being newsworthy beyond his status as an acclaimed author – an element that likely made the adaptation even more desirable for Rudin, Craig, and the networks.According to Deadline Rudin has tapped writer, director, and actor Todd Field (In the Bedroom) to adapt the series along with Franzen into what is being described as a dark comedy centering on a young woman named Pip who is drowning in student debt and eventually winds up being drawn into a narrative with two other main characters: a hacktivist named Andreas Wolf (Craig) and a dedicated American journalist named Tom Aberant. This would mark the first project from Field since the acclaimed 2006 film Little Children, itself an adaptation of the novel by The Leftovers author and series co-creator Tom Perrotta. That film demonstrated Field’s ability to handle dark, often funny material and still have it maintain a literary quality for those who were fans of the source material.

Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson in ‘Little Children.’

The last time Franzen’s name was attached to a potential series was in 2012, when Noah Baumbauch teamed with HBO to adapt the 2001 National Book Award-winning novel The Corrections. Baumbach’s series was to star Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Diane Wiest, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Greta Gerwig, and Rhys Ifans in a multi-generational story of a dysfunctional family. Although the pilot was produced, HBO ultimately passed on the series because, as Baumbach put it, it was “too complex” and “too expensive.”It sounds as though Purity is garnering a great deal of attention from several networks and streaming services. Given Craig’s involvement, the current state of television, the response to the novel, and the acclaim generally heaped upon Franzen, there is a good chance this ambitious adaptation will actually see the light of day.-Screen Rant will have more details regarding Purity, as they are made available.Source: Variety, Deadline, Studio 360

The Walking Dead Midseason Premiere Ratings Slightly Down, Still Massive

The Walking Dead Midseason Premiere Ratings Slightly Down, Still MassiveAMC’s The Walking Dead came back strong this past weekend after its midseason break. Over 13.7 million people tuned in for the midseason premiere to see the resolution of last November’s cliffhanger that left most of cast in one form of peril or another.Unfortunately for AMC, this was actually a drop from the nearly 14 million who watched that finale and a drop of around 12 percent from the comparable viewership of the previous year’s midseason premiere. Year-over-year viewership in the show’s target demographic of adults 18-49 showed an even larger drop of 15 percent, but there’s no reason for AMC to worry just yet.Part of the reason for The Walking Dead’s viewership drop can likely be attributed to when the midseason premiere aired this year compared to last year. This past Sunday was Valentine’s Day, and it was a holiday weekend to boot, with President’s Day following immediately after on Monday. The season 5 midseason premiere came a full week earlier on February 8, 2015, avoiding both the holiday weekend and romantic plans that might preclude watching survivors be attacked by a zombie horde. There was also some pretty solid competition on other networks, including two Valentine’s Day specials and the NBA All-Star Game.

The show being on the air for as long as it has also likely played a part; it’s reached a level of maturity where it has a strong core audience but isn’t drawing in huge amounts of new viewers. This isn’t even the first time that The Walking Dead has seen a drop in viewership, as the second half of season 5 experienced slightly lower demographic ratings and viewership than the first half. The season 6 midseason premiere garnering 13.7 million viewers and a 6.8 rating among adults 18-49 is still respectable, though, and the episode’s numbers will likely be bolstered once delayed viewing totals are figured in.This may well be the trend moving forward for The Walking Dead. Most long-running shows see their momentum level out or start to decline over time, and The Walking Dead has paved the way for other shows that weren’t around even a year or two ago when TWD was climbing in the ratings. There are other tense adult dramas, and even other zombie outbreak shows (including Fear the Walking Dead) that viewers can check out. Viewership will likely stay strong moving forward, but the show probably won’t pick up its previously unstoppable momentum again anytime soon. And there’s nothing wrong with that.The Walking Dead remains the top-rated show among its target demographic, and it was already renewed for season 7 way back in October. Recent seasons might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean the show will fade away anytime soon. Given how much material there is in the comics for the show’s writers to draw inspiration from, The Walking Dead will likely be around for several more years before AMC even starts to worry about ratings slips.Next: The Walking Dead Honest Trailer #2 Tackles Seasons 4-6The Walking Dead airs on Sundays on AMC.Source: Variety

Legends of Tomorrow Images: Heat Wave The Atom Under Pressure

Legends of Tomorrow Images: Heat Wave  The Atom Under PressureLegends of Tomorrow is the CW’s latest superhero offering, composed of heroes and villains introduced on sister shows Arrow and The Flash. Lead by the rogue Time Master Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) the team is on a mission to prevent super-villain Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) from taking over the world. Their time travelling adventures are fraught with complications as they need to change the past, without damaging the existing timeline and creating a new, more terrible future.Their latest lead took them to Soviet Russia in 1986, which is not the most ideal time for American visitors to pop up unexpectedly. After following Savage’s lead scientist Valentina Vostok (Stephanie Corneliussen) to her lab, Professor Stein (Victor Garber), Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) and Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) were taken hostage and tossed in a Russian gulag. We now have more insight into just how dire their situation is while they wait for backup to arrive.New promotional images have been released (via Spoiler TV) for the show’s fifth episode ‘Fail-Safe,’ which show half of the team locked up. Savage returns this week, and looks every inch the gloating bad guy as he visits his prisoners. Ray looks to be the worst off, sporting some impressive bruises, and it looks as though both he and Rory are being tortured to force Stein into helping Valentina and her team create a new Firestorm. Check out the images below.

Legends of Tomorrow has spent the last few weeks slowly experimenting with new character combinations, breaking up the obvious teams of Leonard Snart/Mick Rory and Professor Stein/Jax Jackson to pair them with new people. The result has both lead to some of the show’s lighter moments and demonstrated some nice chemistry between the actors. ‘Fail-Safe’ looks like it will be capitalizing on this and simultaneously providing a channel for Rory’s development. While his counterpart Snart has quickly distinguished himself on the show in thieving, action and charm, Rory has remained in the background, providing the occasional well-placed one liner along with fire support. Placing him in lockup with Ray is a smart move and promises to be an interesting combination.The images are also intriguing as they highlight the real danger everyone is in at all times. The obvious torture demonstrates that the show is interested into the darker aspects of what is needed to save the world. Even though a member of the team died early on, the stakes still felt relatively low considering the scope of their mission. It will be interesting to see how a show – that has so far excelled in the fun and fighting arena – handles this more serious turn.The Flash airs Tuesdays @8pm on The CW, Arrow airs Wednesday @8pm on The CW, and Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursday @8pm on The CW.Source: Spoiler TV

Agent Carter: A Lighter Team-Up Mission Underlines This Atypical Hero Story

Agent Carter: A Lighter Team-Up Mission Underlines This Atypical Hero Story[This is a review of Agent Carter season 2, episode 5. There will be SPOILERS.]–Last week, Agent Carter was an arguably more serious episode for the series as ‘Smoke her team includes a man with a disability, two women (one of whom doesn’t fit into the ideals of beauty standers), a man who has more of a penchant for technology than fitness, and a man who knows more about baking a souffle than diffusing a bomb. Altogether, they epitomize where Agent Carter excels: taking these characters that don’t seem like typical heroes and proving they’re just as capable (if not more so) as the superheroes of the universe.

Elsewhere in the episode, Whitney is going further down the path of succumbing to the Zero Matter that she absorbed earlier this season, using her husband Calvin Chadwick (Currie Graham) to help her track down the atomic bombs in order to further experiment with her powers. Though we may know of Whitney’s eventual evolution into the Marvel Comics villain Madame Masque, her descent into a power-hungry antagonist is incredibly interesting to watch – especially when it is shown next to Calvin’s reactions to her plans and requests of him.As it was established in ‘Smoke & Mirrors’, Whitney has always been forced to use men to gain what little power she has had – she helped establish Isodyne even though Calvin was the public face of the company, and she was spotted by a male talent agent who helped her become a successful actress. However, with her gaining more power from the Zero Matter, it has permanently altered the dynamic in their relationship, evidenced when Whitney tells Calvin, who is upset that she is demanding more uranium for her experiments, “You need to calm down, you are overreacting.”Because Whitney is gaining her own abilities and power through Zero Matter for the first time, she no longer defers to Calvin (or anyone else), and doesn’t wish to give up the Zero Matter in her when Peggy offers to “fix” her. This focus on Whitney in Agent Carter has been a strength of season 2, with the character development rivaling – if not flat-out outpacing – that of the other main characters. As a result, Whitney is becoming the most fascinating villain of the series as well as one of the most compelling characters on the show as a whole.

The majority of ‘The Atomic Job’ may have taken on a lighter tone overall, but the relationship between Sousa and Violet was a more serious aspect of the episode. Sousa’s botched proposal dinner and his later fight with Violet when she realizes that he left New York to run away from Peggy (and that he’s still in love with her) offer an emotional throughline to the episode that is decently acted by Bolger and Gjokaj. But, the machinations of the episode to cause the rift between Sousa and Violet in order to set up the eventual relationship between Sousa and Peggy come off a bit too contrived to fully enjoy the drama of this storyline.All in all, ‘The Atomic Job’ was another entertaining episode of Agent Carter in a much more compelling season 2. New members on Peggy’s rogue SSR team and an exceptionally well-developed antagonist prove to further strengthen the show’s second outing. Although some aspects of the episode fall a bit too far into using tropes and conventional storytelling, ‘The Atomic Job’ is another example of Agent Carter season 2’s capability in balancing fun spy humor with moments of more serious drama.-Agent Carter continues with ‘Life of the Party’ and ‘Monsters’ on February 16th at 9pm on ABC. Check out a preview below:

Daredevil Season 2 Promo Poster: Matt Murdock’s In a Tough Spot

Daredevil Season 2 Promo  meanwhile, Daredevil season 2 will be pitting 

The Daredevil season 2 scene teased here looks to have been lifted right out of the Punisher/Daredevil comic book story that Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon (who also collaborated on projects like the Preacher comic book series) wrote and illustrated, respectively, in 2001. You can read more about this encounter between Daredevil and Punisher in the Marvel Comics universe HERE, but the short of it is this: this is an incident where Frank Castle forces Matt Murdock to make a moral decision, when it comes to killing others, in order to prove a larger point. The line that Bernthal’s Punisher says to Cox’s Daredevil (one that has been featured heavily in Daredevil season 2 marketing of late), “You know you’re one bad day away from being me,” likewise appears to be a part of either this infamous encounter between the two characters – or a similar meeting between them on the show.In short: if Matt was hoping that his conscience would become more clear – and his moral compass easier to follow – after he defeated Wilson Fisk/Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio) in Daredevil season 1, The Punisher’s actions (and how Matt responds to them) should very much prove otherwise.NEXT: Daredevil Season 2 TrailerDaredevil season 1 and Jessica Jones season 1 are now available on Netflix. Daredevil season 2 will debut on Netflix on March 18th, 2016, followed by Luke Cage season 1 later in 2016. Release dates for Jessica Jones season 2, Iron Fist, and The Defenders on Netflix have not yet been announced. We’ll keep you updated on the Punisher spinoff as development continues.Source: Marvel/Netflix

Agents of S. H.I. E.L. D: Absorbing Man Set to Return in Midseason Premiere

Agents of S. H.I. E.L. D: Absorbing Man Set to Return in Midseason PremiereAt least so far, season 2 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the best-received run of the series. In contrast to the slow-starting debut season and the often-cited lack of focus in the current episodes, season 2 was praised by fans and reviewers for a series of genuinely surprising twists and a strong, clear narrative-arc that answered two huge mysteries (“Why is Coulson alive?” and “What is Skye’s real identity?”) while simultaneously introducing The Inhumans to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – even though their movie isn’t due out until 2019.One of that season’s big mandates was to bring in more supporting characters from the comics, and with season 3 making its midseason return on March 8, now comes word that one season 2’s most popular guest villains will make a comeback for the occasion.The Absorbing Man, a.k.a. Carl “Crusher” Creel, is set to make his return in ‘Bouncing Back,’ which picks up after the life and universe-altering events of ‘Maveth.’ Absorbing Man (Brian Patrick Wade) is a former boxer turned muscle-for-hire who is gifted with the superhuman ability to take on the physical properties of any material his skin touches – making him a favorite of comics fans, writers, and artists for the inventive action sequences his unique powers make possible. Fans of the Daredevil Netflix series will also note that he was the final opponent for Matt Murdock’s boxer father, apparently prior to getting his powers – which come from Loki in the comics but have not been given a definitive origin on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The question now hovering over Creel is whether or not he’ll be back as a friend or foe to S.H.I.E.L.D. when he makes his return, as much has changed regarding “gifted” individuals since the Agents first encountered him. Season 3 has chiefly seen the heroes grappling with a world-wide outbreak of unwitting Inhumans having their powers activated, with Coulson’s new underground relaunch of S.H.I.E.L.D. working to help (and possibly hire) the newly gifted while other forces see them as weapons to be controlled or even a threat to normal humans – and if that sounds suspiciously similar to X-Men to you, it’s supposed to.It’s not known whether Creel is himself an Inhuman (most people don’t know until exposed to transformation-triggering Terrigen Mist), but if he is, it’s possible he’ll have to choose sides between S.H.I.E.L.D.’s under-construction Secret Warriors initiative or their evil counterparts in HYDRA. Season 3 of Agents (and, some believe, the eventual wrap-up of Agent Carter’s current adventures) has revealed the evil organization owes its true origins to a medieval death-cult worshiping a particularly dangerous Inhuman exiled to an alien world. That entity is now back on Earth inhabiting the body of an familiar face.While season 3 has thus far failed to keep up the momentum the series achieved last season, the pieces do seem to be in place for a strong finish: Powerful new enemies, a redefined HYDRA, and The Absorbing Man all add welcome components to the formula. Marvel and ABC, at least, still appear bullish on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a franchise, though the “Inhuman problem” storyline has been heavily teased to tie-in with Captain America: Civil War’s superhuman-registration plot, and a spinoff series (Marvel’s Most Wanted) is currently in the works featuring the Mockingbird/Hunter action-couple. While not the strongest ratings draw in network primetime, the series is expected to be renewed for season 4 – which would bring its episode count to the point typically considered necessary for syndication.Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns Tuesday, March 8 @9pm on ABC.Source: ScreenCrush

The Overburden: Mum’s Comin’ Dwelling-place

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The Shannara Chronicles Housing: MTV Does Vision

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