Today in film and television: David Simon only wants four seasons of Treme, HBO moves up the premiere of Luck, and how Halloween spurred DirecTV and News Corp. to iron out their new carriage deal.
- The third season of HBO's Treme has begun shooting in New Orleans. Local color aside, there are changes in store for David Simon's love-it-or-hate series. Times-Picayune television writer Dave Walker says the show will add "at least two new characters to its storylines for season three." One will be a restaurant investor, played by Sam Robards. The other will be a journalist "based in part on A.C. Thompson," a ProPublica reporter who has written extensively about the uptick in crime and police corruption since Katrina. The Thompson character will be played by Chris Coy. On the writing side, novelist and Wire alum George Pelecanos will have increased executive-producer responsibilities in season three, the 10 episodes of which are expected to air starting in the spring." (Pelecanos was on the writing staff for the show's first two seasons.) In addition, Walker says Simon "confirmed that he, co-creator Eric Overmyer and Pelecanos have plotted stories to take the show’s characters through four seasons." Simons says he conveyed that decision to HBO "via memo." [The Times-Picayune]
- HBO has decided to air the first episode of the Michael Mann-David Milch (for now) racetrack drama Luck directly after the two-hour season finale of Boardwalk Empire on December 11. According to Variety, the rest of the series "officially launches" sometime in January, though no date has been set, which seems vaguely ominous. [Variety]
- News Corp. and DirectTV hammered out a new carriage agreement last night with hours to spare before the satellite company's midnight deadline for yanking a host of Fox Networks off its systems. DirecTV claimed Fox was demanding 40 % increase on its current license fees. Sources with knowledge of the talks say Fox landed a healthy double-digit license fee increases in the new deal" and that the talks got done early because "all executives involved have small children and had to go do trick-or-treating." [Deadline]
- Brett Ratner is finally going to get a movie about Nazi hunters, now that Chronicles of Narnia screenwriter Ann Peacock has been agreed to write him a script for Hunting Eichmann, based on the true story of Mossad agents going into Argentina and capturing the fugitive Nazi in 1960. Back in 2006, Ratner was attached to direct a remake of the 1978 Gregory Peck-Laurence Olivier Nazi-cloning thriller The Boys From Brazil. [Deadline]
- The Adventures of Tintin doesn't open in the U.S. until December, but the movie has already grossed $55.8 million in 19 foreign markets, according to estimates from studio Paramount, The movie played strongest in France, grorossing $21.5 million in its first weekend, the biggest opening in France in 2011, other than the final Harry Potter movie. In Belgium, where the Tintin novels are set, the film earned €170,000 (about $238,000) on opening day last Wednesday. It was the highest single-day gross in the country's history. In the United Kingdom, where one early review used the word "rape" to describe director Steven Spielberg's adaptation venerable comic books, the film topped the box office this past weekend, earning £6.7 million (about $10.65 million). Sources close to the production estimate the film cost "between $150 million and $175 million after tax credits." [Company Town]