I am a big fan of the Wicked story. First a book, then a Broadway musical, the Wicked story covers the other side of The Wizard of Oz, told from the point of view of the Wicked Witch of the West (here named Elphaba). For those that have neither read the book nor seen the musical, I will clue you in on very crucial fact: Other than the very basic outlines of characters and plot, the two are vastly different. I’ve been rooting for the big screen version in production over at Universal seemingly forever now, but it looks like there is a new player in this particular game.
Mike Ausiello, at his brand spanking new website TVLine, reports that ABC is working on a Salma Hayek helmed mini-series adaptation of the book. Set to be eight hours, the plot would logically cover Elphie’s years in school, time as a political dissident, and whatever the last third of the book is about — seriously, I’ve read it twice, and I’m still not entirely sure what was going on. There is certainly enough story there for eight hours, but the question is obvious: Is there room enough in the pop culture landscape for both stories?
Well, on its own, the answer is probably not. But when you factor other Oz related projects currently in production, including one with Robert Downey Jr. attached that focuses on the Wizard’s story, the answer is no … definitely no … positively no … decidedly no (and there goes my musical reference of the post). There might be enough room for two of these stories, but I think more might be a stretch. And as much as I would easily pick the two Wicked properties, I doubt both would be viable projects.
So which (ha!) has the advantage? The TV production is being written by Erik Jendresen, who penned several of my favorite Band of Brothers installments, so that is definitely a plus. Plus, I have been begging for more “Event Television” for as long as I can remember, and a four-part mini-series would most certainly fit the bill; but, for those who’ve not seen the musical, it is — excuse the pun — magical. It is one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen on stage, and I’d love to have a version I can pop into ye ‘ole DVD player anytime I’d like. And, there exists the most no-brainer piece of casting ever for Elphaba (I’m looking at you, Lea Michele), and a bit of dream casting I’d love to see for Glinda (Kristen Bell has singing chops, too, boys and girls).
Kristen Bell pouts and is mad most of the time, apparently she’s supposed to be an alcoholic. The best parts are early dance numbers with Juliana Hough and Kristen Bell – they’re energetic, sexy in a less-is-more way, and perform music more appropriate given the film’s title.
Numbers like “Long John Blues” show that humorous, playful side of burlesque — and so does Kristen Bell, who’s absolutely fearless in her performance, particularly in that scene.
So fearless. She really came full speed ahead at me, met with me and said, “I want to do this.” Kristen Bell is rare as an actress, because she’s the type of actor who jumps out of a plane without a parachute — from a totally fearless place, which is really refreshing and inspiring. She has complete faith and support in the filmmaking process and the director.
Kristen Bell shares her home with rescue dogs Shakey, Lola and Sadie, and has been an animal-lover and activist all of her life. The Veronica Mars actress recently launched a fund-raising campaign through Crowdrise.com (a social network for fund-raising created by actor Edward Norton) to help pets with special needs through the Humane Society.
Kristen has experience caring for pets with special needs. Sadie, rescued from the wreckage caused by Hurricane Katrina, required surgery to reroute her right ear canal through her neck. On her Crowdrise page, Kristen tells the story of how Sadie inspired her to turn her attention to special needs pets:
“I ended up on this Special Needs crusade about 5 years ago because of a beautiful ole girl named Sadie. Sadie melts my heart with every look, lick, and lovable breath she breathes. It’s a simple fact of life.
“The story goes like this: I was doing volunteer work in 2005 at the Helen Woodward Center (a California animal center) during a Halloween benefit, and they had just brought in 200 rescued dogs from Hurricane Katrina. The first dog I spotted (I mean really spotted) was Sadie. Oh, she was just this bundle of goodness…sweet…shy…affectionate…but clearly in need of extra special care.”
Say it ain’t so!
Miley Cyrus Is The New Veronica Mars
When I say the words “Miley Cyrus” what comes to mind?
Right. Exactly. She doesn’t quite leave the impression of a sharp and savvy private eye, does she? But then again, I suppose, neither did Kristen Bell, once upon a time.
Ms. Cyrus has been tapped to star in So Undercover as “a tough, street-smart private investigator hired by the FBI to go undercover in the one place they’re unable to infiltrate – and a world she knows nothing about… a college sorority.”
If you’ve seen much of Bell’s TV show Veronica Mars you’ll see where the comparison comes in, particularly if you’ve seen what little there was of season 4, a short mini-episode made as proof of concept, and featuring Mars working for the FBI undercover at a high school. I hope you have seen it – it’s fantastic, just like seasons 1, 2 and 3.
So Undercover has been scripted by Allan Loeb and Steven Pearl and will be directed by When In Vegas perpetrator Tom Vaughan. Here’s a rather improbable statement from Mr. Pearl:
When Allan and I wrote this script, we didn’t dare try to believe we’d be lucky enough to land a talent like Miley. There really is no one who can play this role like she can. Coupled with Tom Vaughan’s smart, comedic vision, we’re convinced we have all the pieces for a great movie.
I miss you now more than ever, Veronica.
Drew Barrymore, one of Charlie‘s Angels second generation angels, sits behind the camera, producing television’s third version of the 70’s series. The new show will start production in January 2011, will film in Miami and the pilot episode will premiere on ABC.
Many people have speculated that Gossip Girl star, Blake Lively, and former Transformers damsel, Megan Fox, are in high consideration to star in the series. This raises the question, if Blake and Megan are cast, what actress should be brought in for the third angel?
Blake Lively’s schedule for Gossip Girl might interfere with her being considered for a part in Charlie’s Angels. Lively might be considering more movie roles than television since the success of The Town. Fox may be up for the part since her movie career has been on the low since quiting Transformers and Jennifer’s Body and Jonah Hex failed.
Some say Miley Cyrus could easily fill the role since her long running tween series on Disney, Hannah Montana, is coming to an end later this year. TV Squad created their own Charlie’s Angels dream cast and had Gabrielle Union as Kate, Kristen Bell as Abby, America Ferrera as Marisa, Kelsey Grammer as Charlie, and, James Wolk as Bosley. Who would you like to see cast in the new Charlie’s Angels series?