It’s official: David Dobkin, who directed The Judge, Wedding Crashers, The Change-Up, and Shanghai Knights, has joined AMC’s upcoming martial arts drama Badlands (working title) as series director and an executive producer. Badlands is set to be a genre-bending martial arts series very loosely based on the classic Chinese tale “Journey to the West,” in which a great warrior and a young boy embark on a journey across a dangerous land to find enlightenment.
The project was created by writers/show runners Al Gough and Miles Millar, of Shanghai Noon and Smallville fame. They’ll serve as exec producers along with Oscar-Nominated producers Stacy Sher and Michael Shamberg (Pulp Fiction, Contagion) and master martial arts filmmakers Daniel Wu (Tai Chi Zero) and Stephen Fung.
“I am thrilled to be directing Badlands,” Dobkin said. “Aside from the amazing group of people I get to work with – everyone at AMC, plus Stacy and Michael, and Al and Miles for the second time – it’s a brilliant, visionary project that finally gives the fan-boy in me something to dig my teeth into.”
Emily Beecham (28 Weeks Later, The Village), Sarah Bolger (The Tudors, In America) and Oliver Stark (The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box, My Hero) have also joined the cast as series regulars.
AMC has ordered six, one-hour episodes. Eager fans can look forward to the premiere in late 2015 or early 2016.
The first half of Comic Book Men Season 4 ends this Sunday at Midnight/11c. So who ya gonna call to go out with a bang? A Ghostbuster, of course! Ernie Hudson will be teaming up with the guys at The Stash this weekend. Can’t wait to see what’s in store? Here are seven ways to get ready for the Midseason Finale:
1. Catch up on any episodes you missed or re-watch your favorite moments with full episodes on amc.com.
2. Read interviews with the cast to get the inside scoop on the highlights of this season, the cast’s favorite items from the Stash and more.
3. Find out if you’re more like the son of Krypton or the Dark Knight by playing the Superhero Personality Quiz.
Continue reading “Seven Ways to Get Ready for the Midseason Finale of Comic Book Men This Sunday” »
Stars collided at West Hollywood eatery Dominick’s as AMC’s talent gathered for a holiday reception with HFPA members and other local press. Check out this gallery of the evening that features cast members from The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Halt and Catch Fire, Hell on Wheels and Better Call Saul — and a stellar photobomb by Jon Hamm.
Q: You’re a long-time friend of Kevin and have appeared in several of his films. What still manages to surprise you about him after all these years?
A: I would say his output. I’ll be honest – when he made Clerks, and you see that kind of laze throughout the movie, that’s the way we were: slackers. We hung around doing nothing. In the last couple of years, his creative output is nothing less than astonishing. As he’s gotten older, he’s even more ambitious and prolific.
A: I’ve known Walt since fifth grade and we’ve been really good friends. When people find out I used to work at Quick Stop with Kevin, they write it off as a crappy job, but aside from Comic Book Men, it was the best job I ever had because you got to hang out with your friend all day. At the time, you didn’t realize it, but all those conversations we had were practice. Us sitting around and having conversations was our [version of] college. I think the podcast helps in terms of reacting faster than you might otherwise. My job is to basically make fun of people, so I have to be on point and think about where I’m going to interject. Knowing Walt for so long definitely helps in terms of playing off of each other.
Q: Although you’re not an official employee at the Stash, what is your favorite thing about spending time there?
AMC has announced that Hell on Wheels will be returning for a fifth and final season of 14 episodes. Seven new episodes will air next summer, with the final seven episodes of the series following in the summer of 2016. The Western period drama opened up a new night of original programming for AMC on Saturday, and in its current season, is delivering an average of 3.4 million viewers on the most challenging night of the week for television.
Continue reading “AMC Renews Hell on Wheels for a Fifth and Final Season” »
Ming Chen, star of AMC’s Comic Book Men, talks about what to expect in Season 4 and which of his Stash coworkers he’d team up with during a zombie apocalypse.
Q: We’re now into Season 4. Has Comic Book Men changed your daily life?
A: I’m definitely getting stopped at the mall. I think out of all four of us, Bryan probably gets the most attention and is the most recognizable because of the beard, but people stop me here and there. One of my favorite instances was at my favorite restaurant a few months ago. I noticed one of the waiters in the back looking at his phone, back up at me and then he came up to me. I love the fact that it was at my favorite restaurant and maybe the service felt even better that day.
Q: Do any of the other guys get jealous when you’re recognized?
A: Walt actually hates attention, but he’s so good on camera. Even if I wasn’t on the show, I would love to just watch him. With Bryan, it depends on what day it is. Sometimes he loves it, but he tends to be a grump. I think Mike loves it as well.
Q: Tell us more about babysitting at The Stash during Season 4, Episode 4, “Super Baby.” Are you naturally good with kids?
With its jam-packed fight scenes and violence, the wildly popular Rambo series helped set the standard for modern action films. If you’re a fan of the haunted Vietnam veteran, you probably know that First Blood is based on a novel of the same name and that John Rambo was supposed to die at the end of the movie. Plus, you’re probably aware that Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron co-wrote First Blood: Part II. But there are probably a few details on the making of the $727 million action franchise that you may have missed. Here are six lesser-known facts about the Rambo flicks…
1. Sylvester Stallone tried to buy and destroy First Blood
Stallone despised the 195-minute first cut of the film so much that he attempted to purchase the film back to prevent its distribution. When this proved impossible, Stallone suggested the movie time be halved, cutting much of his role out in order to let the rest of the characters tell the narrative. This shorter approach to action movies set a precedent for future films of the genre.
Walt Flanagan, star of AMC’s Comic Book Men, talks about which moment from the show made him laugh the hardest and the rarest item he’s seen come into the store.
Q: You challenge the guys to perform stand up comedy at The Stash in Episode 403. Who do you think has the most potential as a stand up comedian?
A: Positively, without a doubt, Bryan. The other efforts were admirable and it’s not easy to go up there and try to make people laugh – so I’m not disparaging Mike or Ming’s efforts, but I think Bryan may have a leg up on the guys in the stand up department.
Q: Speaking of comedy, what moment from the series so far made you laugh out loud the hardest?
A: I’d have to go back to Season 2. It was when we had just gotten back from the auction [Season 2, Episode 2, "My Big Fat Geek Wedding"] and we were letting Robert Bruce tally up the booty that we had gotten. We had a bet going on for which team could bring back the better booty and Robert chose our stuff as more prize-worthy. Mike and Ming started arguing amongst each other and that’s still my favorite moment. They turned on each other so quickly!
Q: On camera, you always seem focused on the bottom line… Has Comic Book Men attracted more customers to The Stash?
Perhaps the most unlikely of slasher film killers, Chucky from Child’s Play proves that you don’t need to be big to be scary. You probably know that the fiendish doll killer is voiced by oscar nominated actor Brad Dourif. But you might have missed a few more obscure details about the cult favorite series. Here are six lesser-known facts about the Child’s Play franchise…
1. Chucky’s name comes from three real life killers
While the voodoo-practicing, serial-killing villain of the Child’s Play franchise is an original creation, Chucky’s real name – Charles Lee Ray – is a combination of three infamous real-life villains: Charles Manson, who was responsible for conspiring seven murders; Lee Harvey Oswald, the sniper who shot John F. Kennedy; and James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated Martin Luther King.
Q: Ming chose you for who he’d want on his team during a zombie apocalypse. What kind of skills would you bring to the table?
A: I’ve got an arsenal in my house. It’s kind of funny. My children are into martial arts, so they’re dealing with nunchucks and swords. We’ve bought them actual swords. In my wife’s car, she’s got a complete set of emergency flares, road signs and everything she needs. I also put in a machete, just in case.
Q: Hey, you never know when you’ll need a machete, right?
A: Exactly! The one thing that’s most important is I have a plan. I’m the kind of guy who likes to think about stuff before it happens. I’d rather have a plan and not need it than need a plan and not have it. We were caught in Hurricane Sandy and we weren’t prepared for everything. Now I’ve got an emergency preparation plan that can pretty much be used for almost any situation. It’s not necessarily a zombie apocalypse plan, but it can be used for that. It’s fun to think about it.
Q: If you had to pick any superhero to back you during an apocalypse, who would it be and why?
Continue reading “Comic Book Men Q&A – Michael Zapcic” »