We’re Off to See the Wizard (Again)
Viewers of all ages often rank “The Wizard of Oz” among their favorite films of all time, so it’s no surprise that Disney is trying to cash in on that classic’s popularity.
This weekend, James Franco steps into the role of the enigmatic wizard in “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” a prequel to the 1939 film.
Michelle Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”) and Mila Kunis (“Ted”) play the witches in this visually ambitious fantasy directed by Sam Raimi of the original “Spider-Man” trilogy. Will this update tarnish the memory of the original or complement a beloved classic?
Whose Line Is It Again?
Improv comedian Colin Mochrie started a frenzy of anticipation on Twitter last week when he announced that the beloved improv TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” would be returning to the airwaves six years after its ABC Family iteration ended.
Soon afterwards, The CW said that the show would indeed return with original cast members Mochrie, Wayne Brady and Ryan Stiles as well as one special guest comedian per week this summer. Original host Drew Carey appears to have no involvement with this project. “The Talk” host comedian Aisha Tyler will fill his role.
He’s one of the most flamboyant, fascinating figures in popular music history. He’s an androgynous icon. And now he’s a current recording artist once again.
David Bowie has returned from a 10-year hibernation of sorts with an album of entirely new material, “The Next Day.” Bowie last went on tour 10 years ago and hasn’t performed live since 2006, so this new album represents a major comeback for him.
Don’t expect a full return to the public eye: Bowie has essentially sworn off interviews and future tours, leaving his music to speak for itself.
Fresh Out the Oscars
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been developing a remake of the ‘80s musical “Annie” for years, but the search for a young, talented, enthusiastic female lead proved to be a major stumbling block after the Smiths’ daughter, Willow, dropped out to “just be 12.”
Instead, Quvenzhane Wallis, late of an Oscar nomination for her starring role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” will play the lead role at the tender age of 9 years old.
Will Gluck of “Easy A” and “Friends With Benefits” will direct the young star in this update, out December 2014.
Comings and Goings:
Doors opened and closed left and right in the television world this week. The mischievous maid O’Brien will not be returning for the fourth season of the British sensation “Downton Abbey,” but legendary actress Shirley MacLaine will be back as Cora’s mother.
Elsewhere, ABC yanked its outrageous sci-fi series “Zero Hour” from the air after only three low-rated episodes, while FX renewed its cult hit comedy “Archer” for a fifth season.
Perhaps most notably, Ricky Gervais announced that he will be reviving his famous “Office” boss David Brent for a web special.