Doux News: June 8, 2014

Happy Pride Month, everyone!
This Week: Lindelof and Found – Three People – This Week in Casts – Unmarvelous Agent Clark Gregg – Life in the Superverse – An Eighth for Ending – This Week in Cats

Lindelof and Found

The New York Times has an extensive profile of Damon Lindelof, whose new show The Leftovers premieres on HBO on June 29th. This is the best article about Lindelof I’ve ever read, as it emphasizes the complexity of his struggle with faith and with family. Lindelof incorporated those themes into Lost, especially in the portrayal of Jack’s relationship with his withholding father, and will continue to explore in The Leftovers. It is Lindelof, after all, who chose to reimagine the sacrifice of Isaac through the lens of a police interrogation in Unscrolled: 54 Writers and Artists Wrestle with the Torah. (It’s hilarious, and you can read it all here. I thought I’d linked to it in a previous Doux News, but apparently not.)

Although Lindelof loves the finale of Lost, he’s haunted by the often-cruel fans who do not: “I don’t have the self-confidence or whatever it is to say, ‘Well, screw those guys.’ I love the show, and I wouldn’t change a thing…But that’s not what I’m saying to myself. I’m thinking, ‘Where did I go wrong? What can I learn from Lost? How can this not happen again?’”

That’s a question that might plague Lindelof forever, since he describes himself as “very comfortable with mystery.” Most of the writers on The Leftovers, he says, “are comfortable with mystery.” The Leftovers will be a mysterious show—it details what the world is like two years after 2% of the population has been apparently Raptured—but it will not, he says, be a “cliffhangery” show.

Three People

Early June is a slow time for TV news, and perhaps no tidbit makes that more clear than the OMG Totally Exciting Wow Headline Shocker that made the rounds this week: the second season of True Detective will focus on—wait for it—not two people, but three! Take a minute to compose yourself before we move on. I’ll wait.

Ready? Sure? Okay: creator Nic Pizzolatto’s novel, Galveston, focused on one guy in limited locations. True Detective’s first season focused on two guys in a wide swath of south Louisiana. I have assumed this upcoming season would focus on three people in a slightly more-populated locale somewhere in California, but not LA. Pizzolatto’s emphasis on character and his apparent willingness to challenge himself make it clear that his artistic trajectory is about adding breadth without sacrificing depth. Although there’s no clear sense of when the second season will air—casting hasn’t even begun—I look forward to immersing myself in Pizzolatto’s latest “psychosphere.”

This Week in Casts

Marilyn Manson will play a white supremacist on Sons of Anarchy.

Lupita Nyong'o (Twelve Years a Slave) and Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones's Brienne) have joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.

Kevin Alejandro (Arrow, True Blood) will join Mark Pellegrino on the upcoming American reboot of the French series The Returned.

Corey Stoll (House of Cards) will join the fourth season of Homeland. That almost makes me want to start watching Homeland again.

Jeremy Sisto will join the cast of the American remake of The Returned.

Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones) will hunt down Pablo Escobar on Netflix’s upcoming Narcos.

Unmarvelous Agent Clark Gregg

The man we know and love as Phil Coulson has an independently-produced movie coming out both in theaters and on demand: Trust Me, with William H. Macy, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, and Amanda Peet, is, according to Gregg, about an unsuccessful Hollywood agent “trying to find what he lost through caring about a child.” Learn more about Agent Clark Gregg here.

Life in the Superverse

It’s been a big week in Marvelia, the realm of all things Marvel. (The realm of all things DC is just called Washington.) Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire) has been cast as Daredevil in the upcoming Netflix series. This casting news comes on the heels of the revelation that Drew Goddard (a Buffy alum) is stepping down as showrunner; he will be replaced by Stephen S. DeKnight (another Buffy alum). And the Doctor Strange movie has a director.

Also, Edgar Wright has been replaced by Peyton Reed as the director of Ant-Man, which a recent Grantland headline describes as a “Movie Literally Nobody Wants.” According that article, Wright's Ant-Man project has been in the works since 2004. (Ten years ago. Just think of where you were—and how young you were!—ten years ago.) Grantland links the ant(man)ipathy to a sort of Marvel overload: “if Marvel Studios and its competitors don’t stop making superhero projects that super-serve their nerdcore base while befuddling and alienating casual viewers, the whole comic-book movie economy could collapse.”

I am, at best, a casual consumer of comic-book movies. I’m always shocked to realize that I’ve seen most of them, I have very little affection for superhero narratives, and I’ve never read a Marvel comic book. So I can’t quite see the “comic-book movie economy” (which sounds like a postmodern echo of Eisenhower’s warning about the “military-industrial complex”) collapsing just because Marvel is mining its smaller (pun!) heroes. But it is interesting to consider when, if ever, Marvel’s star will begin to dim.

But all that is irrelevant. What really matters this week in superhero news is that Stephen Arnell, who plays Oliver Queen on Arrow, posted a minute-long workout clip to his Facebook page here. You'll burn 2000 calories just by watching it, so make sure to have a chocolate mousse next to your computer in case of emergency.

An Eighth for Ending

George R.R. Martin’s editor hinted that he may need eight books to complete the Song of Ice and Fire series that we all are just calling The Game of Thrones Books these days. When Martin originally approached her with an idea for a trilogy, Anne Groell pushed for seven books, one for each of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Martin, and his verbosity, eventually came around to her perspective. But now, as Groell is realizing there are eight kingdoms (I don’t know what she’s referring to, and am not overwhelmed with caring), she is starting to wonder if “eight books for Seven Kingdoms would be okay.” Martin put a mild kibosh on that idea, telling Entertainment Weekly that his “plan is to finish in seven…[but] get back to me when I’m half-way through Book Seven and then maybe I’ll tell you something more meaningful.”

This Week in Cats

Josie Kafka reviews The Vampire Diaries, True Detective, Game of Thrones, and various other things that take her fancy. She is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)


ChrisB said...

Smile! I have stopped watching Homeland as well, but debated picking it up again when I saw that Corey Stoll will be a cast member. Great minds, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't want to be cruel to the guy (Lindelof), but I certainly never ever will watch something from him.

The Lost finale was not the problem. It was pretty and emotional and all. The problem was how they played with us for years and then threw everything out the window and put that and ordered "Cry!. Oh, those mysteries?. Fuck you!".

Orci telling trekkies to fuck off after Star Trek 2: Into Dumbness didn't help either.

The furthest Lindelof & Orci are from Trek & Wars, the happier I'll be.

Anonymous said...

never ever will watch something from him AGAIN.


mazephoenix said...

I gave up on Homeland as well..Corey Stoll might be enough to give it a shot again. Maybe. The Boardwalk Empire guy will be good Daredevil. He's cute and a good actor. Sorry, shallow side won.

mazephoenix said...

Re Marvel mining its smaller heroes...Iron man was b-list before the movie..All it takes is one good movie and b and c-listers have a shot at the big time. And I have a soft spot for them. Plus Doctor Strange movie-yes!

Billie Doux said...

Maybe it was clever of me to never *start* watching Homeland. :)

Am I the only person on the site who watches the ludicrously named but oddly compelling American Ninja Warrior? It is about athletes trying to finish a seriously difficult obstacle course. The obstacles Stephen Amell was zipping through on that Facebook clip were very ANW. There was even a warped wall. I wonder if he's planning to compete? (Actually, he's probably too heavily muscular. The best ANW competitors are rock climbers and parkour experts.)

As much as I loved Lost, I was seriously disappointed with how Lindelof chose to end it. I'm not sorry I spent six years writing about the show -- it was fun and I still feel that Lost's complexities were worth analysis and discussion. But I'm not sure I trust Lindelof's choices and I'm not sure I'm interested in The Leftovers. Plus I'm planning to drop HBO hopefully forever after the final season of True Blood airs.

JimGfromWI said...

I only watched the 1st season of Homeland - should I just stop there? I didn't have any major issues with Lost, but like everyone else, thought the ending was weak. I have no interest in watching a show of his about what's for dinner tomorrow. And yes, Billie, ANW is a family thing here - my wife and son are more into it than I am, but I'll occasionally watch along with them, but it always makes me feel bad. Because I probably couldn't even climb the ladder to the starting point.

mazephoenix said...

The first season of Homeland was special. The rest not so much. So, yeah good stopping point.

Billie Doux said...

JimGfromWI, I know what you mean. But it was so cool that a woman finally made it through the qualifying course last week! I really like how the athletes root for all the other athletes. It doesn't feel like a game or a competition, especially since no American has actually won yet. It feels more like everyone is sharing a challenge that they love.

Josie Kafka said...

JimG, a lot of people disliked Season Two of Homeland. I enjoyed it, although not as much as Season One. But Season Three lost me early on, and the spoilers I read about later episodes made it sound like I'd gotten out while the getting was good.