Today in show business news: A ringer has been brought in to punch-up 50 Shades of Grey, TNT gets into the food business, and Netflix plans its next big hit.
Still reeling from a big casting shakeup, the producers of 50 Shades of Grey have hired playwright and screenwriter Patrick Marber to do a touch-up on the script. Well, "a polish and character work," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Marber is a good choice! Among other things, he wrote the 1997 play turned 2004 movie Closer, which is positively filled to the brim with filthy talk. So he ought to be able to handle all the various f--ks and other profanities in E.L. James's florid sex fantasia. I mean, he got Julia Roberts to say things about, um, a particular fluid, in Closer, so he's pretty fearless. If you need a reminder, here's this particularly NSFW scene. So! Should be the right man for this job. Hehe. "Job." Whoo boy. Gonna be a long road with this movie, giggling-wise. [THR]
TNT has greenlit a somewhat chilling cooking competition series from Mark Burnett. It's called On the Menu (that's the working title, anyway) and it features amateur chefs partnered up with professional chefs, competing to get dishes on the menu at chain restaurants, ballparks, cruise ships, etc. The day after the episode airs, the winning recipe will be available at that venue, so the audience can go feast on it themselves. Meaning, I see someone on TV win a Ruby Tuesday challenge, then the next day I dig myself out of my trash hole and shuffle my way over to the Ruby Tuesday in Owasso and try that ding-dang dish myself. Or I guess book passage on a cruise liner? I don't know, I find something a little alarming about that. I know they've done that for Project Runway, making a winning garment available online the day after the episode airs, but that's different. We're talking food here. Chain restaurant and stadium and cruise boat food. It's not like you'll be eating the exact plate that the TV cooks made. You'll be eating some mass-produced version of it. It just seems odd and vaguely depressing. Though, who knows what the chain restaurants will be! Maybe it'll be California Pizza Kitchen, in which case, sign me up because that business is delicious, but if it's Fuddruckers I'm gonna be kinda bummed. That's all. [Deadline]
Eva Amurri Martino has successfully sold a comedy pitch to NBC that would have her and her mother, Susan Sarandon, playing mother and daughter. (Sarandon would obviously play the mother. At least I hope that was obvious.) The show would have Martino playing "Type A+ Ivy Davis (Martino), who craves the stability she lacked in her childhood, and as a result, has thrown herself into her career at the expense of her personal life. In an attempt to restore balance and potentially find love, she invites her freewheeling, eccentric mom Franckie (Sarandon) to move in with her and work on their relationship." Oh. Hm. OK. So it's yet another adult children living/reuniting with their parent thing. Like Dads and Mom this year. And We're the Millers. And How to Live With Your Parents... from last year. And so many others. But that's OK! There's room for more. Plus it's Susan freaking Sarandon! Imagine if she and Meg Ryan were on TV at the same time? It'd be like the early '90s all over again. Except with them on TV and not in movies. But whatever. Who doesn't miss the early '90s? [The Hollywood Reporter]
On a roll with House of Cards, Arrested Development, and the sleeper hit Orange Is the New Black (and, I guess, Hemlock Grove?) Netflix is expanding its portfolio. The online service has ordered an untitled drama from the guys who created Damages. Which is super promising! That was a great show in its heyday, full of intrigue and brown liquor and weird writing and great acting and more brown liquor, so there's no reason to think another show from this gang won't be good. What we know about plot is this, according to Entertainment Weekly: "The show will focus on a set of adult siblings whose secret-packed lives are impacted when their 'black sheep' brother returns to the fold." Huh, all right. Sounds good. Not sure I would have put "secret-packed" and "impacted" in the same sentence, but that's not the show's problem. This is exciting. Carry on, Netflix. [EW]
Ty Simpkins, the funny little boy from Iron Man 3 — no, not Ben Kingsley, the other one — has landed what is said to be a lead role in Jurassic World, aka Jurassic Park 4. It's unclear who he will play, but it sounds like a big role. So that's interesting. I'd complain about kids being in movies — most kids in movies are terrible and make the movies they are in worse — but the original has kids, so we can't really argue this, can we. What is kind of funny in a haha oh sweet god kind of a way is that young master Simpkins, who's a boy of but 12, is about three weeks younger than the last Jurassic Park movie. As in, Jurassic Park III came out on July 16, 2001 and Ty Simpkins was born on August 6, 2001. So the movie was still in theaters when he was born, but it's definitively older than him. Sigh. Time does march terribly on, doesn't it? [Deadline]