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Jamie Frevele

When she isn't nerding out that the holidays are coming, Jamie is a reader at Monday Night Fan Fiction at Fontana's in Chinatown, NYC (next date: TBA, 7:00 PM). All work is original, written by the readers, so if you have a brilliant fanfic idea stuck in your head, send it via Twitter: @jamielikesthis

Seth MacFarlane working on a Blazing Saddles-style western

Following the success of Ted, in which he provided the voice of an animated teddy bear (and wrote and directed), Seth MacFarlane is now working on his live-action movie acting debut, and it's going to be a western. A Million Ways to Die in the West, which will be written by MacFarlane and his Ted co-writers, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, is being described as "in the vein of Blazing Saddles," which is a pretty tall order. It's normal to be very skeptical when you hear such a comparison, but I actually feel pretty (cautiously) optimistic about this. While it doesn't sound like it will be taking on race issues quite as directly as Blazing Saddles, it will be about how hard life was in the Old West compared to how it is today. Probably lots of jokes about nonchalantly shooting people, outhouses, and horses as both transportation and travel companions. Personally, I tend to like how MacFarlane takes the most mundane things and turns them into entire bits, so I will be very interested in seeing this thing, which is scheduled to start shooting next summer. But I'm not crowning him an heir-apparent to Mel Brooks or anything.

However, worth mentioning: Carl Reiner, a Mel Brooks guy, happens to like MacFarlane's style, as he wrote in the paper version of Entertainment Weekly's Entertainers of the Year issue.

Photo credit: EW

Seth MacFarlane to Direct and Star in His First Western [Splitsider]

Chronicle's Dane DeHaan will play Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Harry Osborn will be besties/worsties with Peter Parker in a Spider-Man movie once again, but this time, James Franco simply could not build himself a time-turner to make himself available. Instead, for Marc Webb's sequel, Dane DeHaan will take over the role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, set to begin shooting early next year. DeHann is best known for his superpowered role in Chronicle, but has also made appearances on HBO's In Treatment and, most recently, Lawless and Lincoln. The sequel, for which Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone will return, might also possibly feature Mary Jane Watson, and Shailene Woodley's name has been mentioned as a contender for the role.

And in case you didn't hear, the script will be written by the guys who brought back Star Trek, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. My fangirl heart is positively a-flutter!

Photo credit: IMDb

'Amazing Spider-Man 2' gets new Harry Osborn -- 'Chronicle' star Dane DeHaan [Inside Movies]

This week's The Walking Dead recap is full of incredibly awkward reunions! [SPOILERS]

In the aptly-titled mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, "Made to Suffer" introduced us to a new group of survivors and reunited a bunch of familiar ones. But if you're thinking about giant, relieved hugs after a triumphant run across a grassy field, you are going to be sorely disappointed. In summary: a moment of manliness by Carl, a moment of insanity by Rick, a moment of power by Carol, and one million awkward moments between all the people who used to hang out together -- Andrea, Merle, Daryl, Michonne -- and no longer do.

As usual, plot spoilers are discussed after the jump, so you have been warned!

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Spike TV renews Tattoo Nightmares because it also renewed Ink Master

Spike TV has renewed its two tattoo-related shows, the competition show Ink Master, and Tattoo Nightmares, which chronicles a shop that specializes in coverups of bad tattoos. Considering how the "stellar" work by the artists on the former show basically provides subject matter for the latter, they should really just produce a spinoff called Tattoo Nightmares: Ink Master Edition. It's the inky circle of life! (via The Wrap)

Tolkien superfan Stephen Colbert will do an entire Hobbit-themed week of shows

To celebrate the release of The Hobbit, Stephen Colbert will have a full week of Hobbit shows on The Colbert Report starting this coming Monday, December 3 on Comedy Central. A die-hard fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, his guest lineup will consist of Sir Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, and Andy Serkis. Other Hobbit-related segments or plans have not been revealed yet, but I'm going to guess that Colbert (who speaks some Elvish and filmed a cameo for one of the latter two movies in New Zealand) will walk away with some sweet swag. Like swords or a free elf!

Photo credit: The Colbert Report on Twitter

(via Spinoff Online)

Bill Murray describes the last time he saw Gilda Radner

Gilda Radner was in the news this week -- because she wasn't considered "news" enough for some of the affiliates of Gilda's Club. That story had a less sad ending than originally thought, with only a small number of Clubs dropping Gilda's name and not the organization as a whole. But in an attempt to keep Gilda's relevance alive, here is a very heartwarming story told by Bill Murray, her friend and former Saturday Night Live castmate, about the last time the two saw each other at a party thrown by Laraine Newman. It's not a new story, but it's a nice one worth sharing (and remembering):

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Teasers for A&E's Bates Motel are creepy and short, so you should definitely watch them

(Video link) Well, color me optimistic. I really wasn't sure about A&E making a "prequel show" to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, but now I'm wondering if it's better to keep an open mind. Because these two teaser trailers are delightfully spooky, with tiny, amuse-bouche amounts of suspense packed into about 15 seconds each. Enough to pique my interest, at least, but I'll let you decide for yourself. The second teaser is after the jump.

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The first-ever convention celebrating Community is taking place in February!

Attention Community fans who live in or are willing to visit the Los Angeles area: CommuniCon, the first convention devoted entirely to the excellent (but neglected) show is taking place February 9-10, 2013 at Los Angeles City College, where they happen to shoot a lot of exteriors for the show! (Not to be confused with CommuniCon, Inc.) Some of the details have yet to be decided on, but Dan Harmon and the cast are expected to be in attendance. Also worth mentioning: Community is returning to NBC on Thursday, February 7 at 8:00 PM, its old time slot (replacing 30 Rock)! News I missed while I waited for my power to come back on after Hurricane Sandy, but better a whole entire month late than never! (via CommuniCon Tumblr)

Imagine a world in which Nicolas Cage is in every movie ever made

(Video link) It feels like Nicolas Cage is in every single movie, but he actually isn't! He's just in quite a few of them, and I commend him for keeping busy. But what if he really did make his way into some of our most beloved movies? Through the magic of editing, Pleated Jeans has inserted Mr. Cage into a selection of classic movies so we can, for a short time, imagine how much better everything would be with him in it. Because My Girl? Such a downer. But not with Nicolas Cage. (via Flavorwire)

Joss Whedon's extracurricular Much Ado About Nothing gets a release date

That Shakespeare movie that Joss Whedon shot in 12 days (during some spare time while shooting The Avengers) has gotten an official theatrical release date: June 7, 2013. Filmed in glorious black and white, Much Ado About Nothing features several Whedon favorites, like Fran Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods) as Claudio, Alexis Denisof (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Benedick, Amy Acker (also Buffy) as Beatrice, and Clark Gregg (The Avengers) as Leonato. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions stepped up to give this movie a chance in theaters so people could actually see it, because poor Joss Whedon is going seriously unrecognized for his cinematic efforts these days. (photo via Ginsberg Libby)

Alec Baldwin sends the saddest tweet ever about 30 Rock

Guys, it's really going to be ending soon. Alec Baldwin sent this profoundly monumental message (at least for 30 Rock fans) this afternoon, reminding everyone that there is, indeed, a limited amount of episodes of NBC's 30 Rock left. But before we mourn, tonight is the episode in which Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) gets married to Criss Chross (James Marsden). Visit Flavorwire if you will be throwing a cocktail party, because they have some fancy mixed drinks just for the occasion! (via Alec Baldwin on Twitter, Flavorwire)

Lost nearly had a completely different leader, who probably wouldn't have grown a beard

Remember the Bad Jack Beard from Lost? The one on Matthew Fox's face that kept insisting that everyone had to go back to the island? If the show's creators had gone with their original plan, that beard would have never existed. In an excerpt of The Revolution Was Televised (featured on Grantland), Alan Sepinwall's new book about the making of ABC's cult hit, it's revealed that despite his early, leaderly standing among the castaways, Jack (Fox) was almost offed and replaced by Kate (Evangeline Lilly).

In the vein of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (or even the pilot of Oz), they planned to pull the rug out from under the audience by killing Jack midway through the first episode, forcing Kate to take charge. After this sudden demise, viewers would realize no one was safe. [Damon] Lindelof says Steve McPherson, then the head of the ABC studio, made a convincing counter-argument that it would teach viewers not to trust the show, and the writers ultimately agreed with him.

In the end, it was decided that the character of Kate wasn't dynamic enough to lead the show; in fact, she had not originally been written as the fugitive she turned out to be. Instead, she was one half of a couple who had been separated in the plane crash. (Those roles ultimately switched over to Rose and Bernard.) Switching from Kate to Jack may have been the best course if her character hadn't been completely decided on. But it's kind of a bummer, especially when you consider that the show's creator, J.J. Abrams, had such great luck with his other two female-led shows, Felicity and Alias.

Photo credit: Tumblr

Who'd have been Lost's leader if they'd killed Jack in the pilot [Blastr]

Christopher Lee reads "The Nightmare Before Christmas," the poem that inspired the movie

(Video link) In case you're still wistful for some spooky Halloween-type stuff, but are secretly excited for the winter holidays, here is the great Christopher Lee, narrating the poem "The Nightmare Before Christmas" by Tim Burton. Burton wrote his poem in 1982 while working as an animator for Disney (the same year he made his short, Vincent), then later turned into one of the best stop-motion movies ever. 'Tis the season, whichever season you prefer! (via Neatorama)

UPDATE: Gilda's Club is not phasing Gilda Radner out completely

Well, I'm glad I was wrong! The decision by a handful of local affiliates of Gilda's Club to change their name to Cancer Support Community is not an organization-wide change. The original article reporting the name change stated that "[t]he national organization is phasing in the new name, Cancer Support Community ... and the Gilda name will slowly go away." However, a new article on Michigan's M Live says that the name change will not be mandatory on a national level. Local affiliates are free to either keep the Gilda's Club name or go through with the change if they so choose.

The announcement by Gilda's Club Madison this week caused an uproar, even leading to petitions to convince Gilda's Club to reconsider taking Gilda Radner's name off of the organization that was formed in her memory. But now it appears that an eventual, full phase-out is not the case. Do some of us think that Gilda's story is worth telling to those who aren't familiar with her legacy of strength and creativity? Yes, indeed. And her book, It's Always Something, is a pretty good start.

Photo credit: Gilda's Club Grand Rapids

(h/t @ABHuret on Twitter)

Exclusive: A closer look at Catwoman from The Dark Knight Rises blu-ray

(Video link) Need any more convincing that Anne Hathaway made a groovy Catwoman? Here is an inside look (courtesy of Warner Bros.) at how the makers of The Dark Knight Rises approached one of Batman's slickest characters, and why they didn't return to the patent leather bondage route. When I think about how Hathaway went from this to her doomed role in Les Misérables, I also wonder if she and Christian Bale shared any starvation war stories.

Tune in to the Walking Dead Season 3 marathon this weekend

In case you've missed any of this season's episodes of The Walking Dead, AMC will be running a marathon leading up to its mid-season finale this Sunday, December 2. I highly recommend watching as much of it as you can because this season has been pretty spectacular in a variety of devastating and entertaining ways! (You can also read all of my recaps, if you feel so moved.) The marathon starts at 2:00 PM (Eastern), and by the time the mid-season finale airs at 9:00, you'll be so full of zombie goodness that you can't hear! (via AMC)

Never mind: Kasdan and Kinberg might be writing different Star Wars things, not Episodes VIII and IX

A week ago, we found out that Disney-Lucasfilm had chosen screenwriters Simon Kinberg and Lawrence Kasdan -- who wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi -- to write the final two installments of the new Star Wars trilogy. While it had seemed all but confirmed at the time, StarWars.com (which had confirmed Michael Arndt as the writer of Episode VII) never had an official announcement. Maybe because Kasdan and Kinberg weren't hired to write those sequels after all. Instead, they will be taking on different projects with Star Wars characters that would better be described as spinoffs than sequels. So, per last week's post: Never mind!

This is all part of Disney-Lucasfilm's big plans to create a whole Star Wars franchise of movies, similar to Marvel (also owned by Disney) and The Avengers, with new films every year (possibly) featuring different tales from different parts of the Star Wars universe. In the meantime, the other Episodes will still happen, most likely tying together the separate stories (à la Iron Man, Captain America, etc. and The Avengers) that it appears that Kasdan and Kinberg might be working on. That's all just a guess, but as a fan fiction connoisseur, I find this to be a super fun subject of speculation. Like how it might be entirely possible that Boba Fett gets his own movie.

Photo credit: Juan Fernandez

Lawrence Kasdan & Simon Kinberg Writing Star Wars Spin-Offs Instead? [Superhero Hype]

Gilda's Club affiliates changing their name because Gilda Radner died way too long ago

Four affiliates of the cancer support community Gilda's Club, formed and named in honor of the legendary Saturday Night Live comedian Gilda Radner (who died of ovarian cancer in 1989), have decided to drop Gilda's name for an incredibly depressing reason: the younger patients don't know who she is. "...[O]ur college students were born after Gilda Radner passed, as we are seeing younger and younger adults who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis,” said executive director of Gilda's Club Madison, Lannia Syren Stenz. "We want to make sure that what we are is clear to them and that there’s not a lot of confusion that would cause people not to come in our doors." According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the national organization will slowly phase in the new name, Cancer Support Community, and phase Gilda out. I feel like there's a "there's always something" joke in this, but I'm too sad to think of one. (via Gawker)

Neil Patrick Harris "dreams in puppets" in a new web series on the Nerdist Channel!

(Video link) The Nerdist Channel on YouTube has something new and wonderful for you to watch: The first episode of "Neil's Puppet Dreams," starring puppet-dreamer Neil Patrick Harris! And when I say "first," I mean "first in a series," so there will be more! It premiered today, and Nerdist had a little sit-down with their newest star, who might want to look into Unisom if these are the kinds of dreams he's going to have every week. (via Nerdist)

It's a wonderful(ly boring) life in Bedford Falls! The argument for Pottersville

In a 2001 piece on Salon (unearthed by the one and only Frances Martel, formerly of Mediaite), Gary Kamiya puts his weight behind Pottersville, the so-called filthy, dirty slum of George Bailey's alternate universe in It's A Wonderful Life that was supposed to turn him away from suicide and back to the glorious mundanity of Bedford Falls. As it turns out, Pottersville is probably way more fun -- and exactly what George had been looking for! Maybe not the Girls Girls Girls, but the spontaneity? The excitement? The parties? Yes! Go on with your bad self, George Bailey! Violet will be waiting for you! (Thanks, Frances!)

The original Boy Meets World stars will play parents in the Disney Channel sequel

It wouldn't be a Boy Meets World sequel series without the titular "boy," so it was reassuring news to hear that said boy, Ben Savage, would be reprising his role as Cory Matthews in the Disney Channel's upcoming Girl Meets World pilot, about his character's fourteen-year-old daughter. He won't be alone, either -- he'll be joined by Danielle Fishel, who played his TV wife Topanga Lawrence. Really, it would have been downright stupid to do a show about Cory and Topanga's kids without the original actors (though Disney definitely still would have made it without them).

My first thought upon hearing this news was "Yay!" My second thought was "Aren't they, like, 23? A little young to have a teenage kid." After a quick Wikipedia check, I was clearly mistaken. When they got married on Boy Meets World in 2000, Cory and Topanga were in college and could have been around eighteen or nineteen, putting them in their early thirties now, as well as their real-life counterparts. They'd be very young parents, for sure -- but it's 100 percent feasible. And it's not the young parenthood that's throwing me: it's realizing that Savage and Fishel did not inexplicably cease to age after the show ended and are, indeed, full-on grownup persons. Which means that since I'm the same age as they are, I must be a full-on grownup person, too. And there's your (my) sobering, smacky-in-the-face entertainment news of the day.

Girl Meets World is, as of right now, just a pilot for a potential series, which will be told from the point of view of Cory and Topanga's daughter, Riley. So, in case it is picked up for series, maybe there won't be a whole lot of Mom and Dad on screen, as much as we'd all love to relive the 1990s and the joyful snacktime that was ABC's T.G.I.F. lineup.

Exclusive: Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel Officially Join Girl Meets World Pilot [TVline]

Lenny Kravitz will play Marvin Gaye in Julien Temple's biopic

Lenny Kravitz is getting ready for what could be the biggest role of his life as an actor: late R&B singer Marvin Gaye. Rumors popped up last week that he might be taking on the role for director Julien Temple, but now it's been confirmed. Kravitz has been showing up in cool supporting roles more and more lately, from critically-acclaimed indies like Precious to blockbusters like The Hunger Games. This, however, will be a lot more demanding, and that's a good reason to be excited, because everyone is always super happy to see Lenny Kravitz suddenly show up in a movie!

Assuming this will be a good biopic, this could be Kravitz's first real starmaker. Jamie Foxx in Ray and Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line all saw their careers take a turn for the Oscar-y after they handed themselves over to play other famous people. Kravitz might even have an advantage since he's already an established musician, unlike the aforementioned actors, who were merely musically inclined. Temple's movie will be primarily about Gaye's struggle with sobriety while he stayed in Europe in the 1980s, so this will also be a nice dose (no pun intended) of heavy subject matter for Kravitz to tackle.

Photo credit: Down With the Capitol

Lenny Kravitz Is Set to Star in Marvin Gaye Biopic [Vulture]

This week's The Walking Dead recap is full of ugly situations and withheld information! [SPOILERS]

We're getting closer and closer to a very merry Dixon reunion, but first, there is some business to attend to -- checking in on Glen and Maggie, seeing if Rick let Michonne into the prison, and eventually introducing the survivors to Woodbury and the Governor. Have you been waiting for the Gov to show us his nasty side after weeks of seeing him act merely weird and a little dickish? You're in luck, if you like watching awful people do awful things! But meanwhile, what's going to happen when Merle and Daryl see each other again, now that Daryl has made himself very comfortable with the survivors who abandoned his brother, and Merle... hasn't changed all that much?

As usual, a discussion that includes spoilers will commence after the jump.

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Chevy Chase is off Community, effective immediately

While reports say that the decision was mutual, Chevy Chase has made a deal with NBC to leave Community and never come back. Chase had filmed the majority of the fourth season's episodes, but there is no word yet on how the absence of his character, Pierce Hawthorne, will be addressed. Everyone who enjoyed his voicemails and borderline racist behavior will miss him dearly. (via Deadline)

Shameless self-promotion: Jamie reads original work at Monday Night Fan Fiction in NYC

In case you happen to be in the New York City area this coming Monday evening (November 26), I will be reading an original piece of work (in every sense of the phrase) for Monday Night Fan Fiction at Fontana's in New York's Chinatown. What is this, exactly? Well, it's simple: a friendly group of people with sick, sick minds and an affinity for terrible fan fiction have written and will read original and terrible (or wonderful) fan fiction in front of other people in public. It's a special kind of blast (that starts around 7:00 PM) because we're actually experiencing a renaissance, and we'd love for you to be a part of it! There's something for everyone, especially if you like filthy crossovers with Star Trek characters! Hope to see you there!

Original Star Wars trilogy scribe Lawrence Kasdan reportedly attached to new trilogy, plus Simon Kinberg

That didn't take long: within one month, we got all of our screenwriters lined up for the new Disney-Lucasfilm Star Wars trilogy, and one of them is a pretty reliable man for the job. As we reported earlier, Michael Arndt will be taking Episode VII, and now it's being reported that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg will take on Episodes VIII and IX, though it's unspecified who will take which script. If you recall, Kasdan wrote both Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and if I may make a wild prediction, I'm going to call the final episode for him. Let the veteran round out the new trilogy. Kinberg is also hardly a slouch, having written Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Sherlock Holmes, plus he's currently writing the sequel to X-Men: First Class, on which he was a producer. (In other words, experience in sci-fi/fantasy franchises.) Both Kasdan and Kinberg will also join Kathleen Kennedy as producers on both films.

All three of the new movies will be based on story notes from George Lucas, but will be written and directed by others. Probably the best thing for Star Wars that George Lucas could ever do at this point.

The Hollywood Reporter (and several other sites) seem to have this news all but confirmed. Disney-Lucasfilm have not offered a comment yet, except to say that they will make an official announcement on StarWars.com, where they confirmed Arndt's role. For the moment, that is still the most recent news item.

Photo credit: Collider

Sources: Lawrence Kasdan, Simon Kinberg Lock Deals to Write and Produce 'Star Wars' Installments [The Hollywood Reporter]

The new Evil Dead is all in, according to their first official poster

Fede Alvarez's Evil Dead is not messing around, as I learned during New York Comic Con this fall and as you may have learned when you saw the teaser trailer. But one look at the new poster (released via Yahoo! Movies) proves that these guys really mean business. They might also be putting their asses on the line with a pretty bold claim. After the jump, see the whole poster and judge for yourself: ballsy or brash?

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One of the missing characters from The Walking Dead comics is coming to the show [SPOILERS]

Exciting news for Walking Dead fans who have been crossing their fingers for characters from the comics to show up, because that is exactly what is going to happen. I'll keep the name of said character until after the jump, but what I will say is that there have been two characters on the show from the beginning who had, up until this announcement, seemed like the logical "replacements." But deep down, we all knew there was a missing piece. Follow us inside to find out who is finally joining the survivors!

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OH REALLY: Michael Bay and Co. are looking to The Avengers for inspiration on Ninja Turtles

It's no secret how I feel about the upcoming Michael Bay-produced Ninja Turtles movie. And despite the involvement of one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creators, Kevin Eastman (a creative consultant), I'm just really, really skeptical about this movie. But Eastman says that the filmmakers are bent on making this something that we fans will accept -- and he's looking to the hugely successful, widely appealing cinematic style of The Avengers for inspiration. Is that so? Well, I suppose that if you consider that the Avengers movie didn't include a couple of the original Avengers from the Marvel comics, that's on par with completely changing the origin story of the title characters and turning them into different creatures altogether. Like turning Thor into Spider-Man. Something like that? No big deal.

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Kevin Clash announces his departure from Sesame Street following sex scandal

Following last week's underage sex scandal, Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has decided to step down from his 28-year position at Sesame Street. A statement was released by Sesame Workshop on Clash's behalf:

"...Kevin Clash has helped us achieve [our] mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street."

A sad day indeed. Clash was recently the subject of allegations of an underage sexual relationships with two men. One of them, who claimed he'd been 16 at the time, later recanted and settled, saying he was 18, but regretted taking the claim back. TMZ is also saying that a second man claims a phone relationship began when he was 15 and Clash was 32. Bummer. (via The Wrap)

Previously: Child sexual abuse allegations against voice of Elmo withdrawn