Today in show business news: Christian Slater signs on to yet another pilot, John Malkovich will soon be playing a notorious pirate, and a look at the first six minutes of Bates Motel.
You gotta love the tenacity of Christian Slater. A big movie star in the '90s, he watched his profile fade as he had some scrapes with the law in the late '90s and early '00s. But in recent years he's been trying for a comeback of sorts, mostly through television, and though things haven't been going all that great, he remains undaunted. First there was My Own Worst Enemy, which was canceled. Then the forgotten, also canceled. After that came Breaking In, which lasted a little while longer but, yes, was canceled. Now he's trying again with Influence, a drama from Lone Star's Kyle Killen about "a unique agency designed to attack their clients' problems using the real science of human motivation and manipulation." Aha, so it's like The Mentalist or whatever; some guy uses bullsh-t to solve problems. Well, actually it's two guys. Slater will play the brother of Steve Zahn, who I guess is looking for some network money after scraping by for a few years on Treme checks. Who knows if this particular concept will take off, some of these things do and many more of them don't, but it's admirable at least that Christian Slater refuses to quit. Someday you'll get there, buddy! And then it'll be no time before you find yourself signing a big movie deal for Kuffs 2. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Meanwhile John Malkovich maintains his commitment to weirdness. He's just signed on to play Blackbeard, as in the pirate, on NBC's Crossbones. Hm. I thought "Crossbones" was when the cast of Fox's The Bones showed up on The Finder. Ah well. This show has Blackbeard ruling New Providence, an island in the Bahamas that was the region's first democracy. It's democratic, but Blackbeard is in charge of the place, described as "a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. Part shantytown, part marauder’s paradise, this is a place like no other on Earth." Well except for Deadwood a century and a half later. This is basically Deadwood only with pirates. They should have called it Deadwood: Pirates Edition and Malkovich could play Cap'n Al Swearrrrrengen. People would watch that. No need to fuss with this Blackbeard/Crossbones silliness. [Deadline]
Minka Kelly has landed a pilot role as well. She'll be in an untitled Fox pilot from J.J. Abrams that's about "the near future when all LAPD officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids." Kelly will play one of the less human-like androids who's booted from the force for not being very human-like. Right? I mean, I'm just assuming. [Deadline]
Josh Lucas and Lynn "John Carter Didn't Quite Kill Me" Collins have been cast in an A&E pilot called Occult. It is about an FBI agent looking for his wife who gets partnered up with an FBI agent who is a specialist in the occult. So in this one Mulder is looking for his wife instead of his sister and Scully is the expert in the weird stuff, not him. Oh and it's called "the occult" instead of "paranormal." But otherwise pretty much the same, right? And hey, a former X-Files writer is writing the damn thing. So this could actually be good. There's nothing wrong with reviving a formula if it actually works. So have at it, guys. May you have as much luck as Fringe, at least. [Deadline]
Jonathan Taylor Thomas, he of '90s tween heartthrob demigod status, will be guesting on his former dad/boss Tim Allen's show Last Man Standing, and now there are a few pictures teasing the appearance. He looks all grown up! Well not necessarily "grown" or "up," y'know, but he looks older! He's wearing a suit and glasses and everything. I mean, he's 31 years old now. Jonathan Taylor Thomas is 31 years old. JTT is 31. Jonathan... I'm sorry, I have to go lie down. [Entertainment Weekly]
Speaking of old things, here's 48-year-old Keanu Reeves in the trailer for Generation Um, an indie movie about feeling old, it seems. Yeah, 48. Forty-eight. What has happened to time.
And here are the first six minutes of that new Bates Motel show. That's the A&E one that imagines a teenage Norman Bates, only it's set nowadays. It's kind of a confusing premise. I guess the idea is that they're using his name and "Bates Motel" and the idea that he has a mother (Vera Farmiga) but then everything else is different. It seems like an iffy set-up but this opening is well-filmed at least. Oh and the little kid from Finding Neverland is now 21. Sheesh.