HBO News Blog

Big Stars in HBO Sports Comedy 7 DAYS OF HELL

Big Stars in HBO Sports Comedy 7 DAYS OF HELL

7 DAYS OF HELL is an original movie getting on the fast track with HBO. Andy Samberg (SNL and Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Kit Harington (GAME OF THRONES) are said to star. It is an original concept based on the true 2010 event when two tennis players at Wimbledon competed for eleven hours over three days. Samberg is behind it alongside writer Murray Miller (GIRLS). It is being developed as a ‘mock’umentary style comedy. According to Deadline, Samberg(right) and Harington(below) will play rival players on the court. Samberg’s Aaron Williams is tennis’ superstar bad boy, while Harington’s Charles Poole is channeling Andy Murray, a tennis...

Frances McDormand Talks About HBO’s OLIVE KITTERIDGE Miniseries

Frances McDormand Talks About HBO’s OLIVE KITTERIDGE Miniseries

Though there has not been a ton of excitement for the OLIVE KITTRIDGE miniseries (or is it a limited series?) its air date is fast approaching. One of its leads, Frances McDormand (seen here offstage in costume) of Fargo fame, has spoken up recently about it. At a recent TCA panel she stated -  “A 90-minute time frame is not long enough to tell a good female story. That’s why long-form storytelling has become so great.” Yeah, and with Hollywood not utilizing older actress to their fullest TV is where they end up. A four-hour entertainment like this is a great way to showcase neglected talents like McDormand’s. We will get to see the...

Bryan Cranston to Star in HBO’s Adaptation of All The Way

Bryan Cranston to Star in HBO’s Adaptation of All The Way

Variety reports that Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad fame) will reprise his lead role in HBO’s adaptation of the stage play All the Way. Written by Robert Schenkkan, All the Way tells the story of Lyndon B. Johnson’s first year as President. It chronicles the time from the assassination of President Kennedy to Johnson’s reelection. Though Jack Willis originated the role of LBJ in Oregon, Cranston took over the role for the play’s Broadway run. He and the play would go on to win numerous awards, including the Tony, The Drama League Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Drama Desk Award. The HBO adaptation...

Meryl Streep Plays Opera Great in MASTER CLASS for HBO

Meryl Streep Plays Opera Great in MASTER CLASS for HBO

Meryl Streep (pictured) & Mike Nichols return to HBO with an adaptation of the Terrence McNally play Master Class which is about the operatic soprano Maria Callas. Oscar winner Mike Nichols (HBO’s ANGELS IN AMERICA and The Graduate) will direct the multiple award winner Meryl Streep (multiple roles in ANGELS IN AMERICA) in the HBO Films presentation. The Tony Award winning play will be adapted from the playwright himself. Michael Lombardo, the president of HBO programming, had this to say upon the announcement:  “We are delighted to welcome back the incomparable Mike Nichols and the gifted Meryl Streep, whose collective brilliance...

In Production: THE CASUAL VACANCY

In Production: THE CASUAL VACANCY

For months we had not heard a hint about the joint BBC/HBO miniseries THE CASUAL VACANCY project and then a fan of the JK Rowling novel writes a post about it and – boom – a bit of news surfaces. It seems that the film adaptation is now in production in a few locales about England. The story of how a local council seat is filled takes place in the fictitious town of Pagford. The location for the shoot is Stroud in Gloucestershire and the specific center of attention is the Archway School (pictured). According to a few sites local children and faculty of the school, about 200, were used as extras on the film’s first days of shooting....

“The Casual Vacancy” Dream Cast

“The Casual Vacancy” Dream Cast

The Casual Vacancy was J.K. Rowling’s first publication post-Potter, and it received mixed reviews. The story is set in an idyllic, English town that becomes entrenched in a squabble when a local councilman dies unexpectedly.  With his seat open, the town splits on one issue, and friends and neighbors turn against each other in an effort to find the seat filled by the “right” person.  Though slow-paced to me, I thought the book was an interesting dissection into the idea of inter-connectivity of people in a small town, and it features a wealth of fascinating characters. Rather like a recipe: take a small town and mix in a...

Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston Says Spielberg LBJ Biography Picture to Become HBO Film

Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston Says Spielberg LBJ Biography Picture to Become HBO Film

Rumors had been swirling about renowned director Stephen Spielberg and his plans to bring a Tony-Award winning play All the Way to life on television.  The show focuses on the life of LBJ (President Lyndon B Johnson) and his struggle to enact the civil rights act of 1964. Previously we’d only known about the director’s intention to make this happen and his preference for Bryan Cranston to reprise his on-stage role as LBJ. Also, word was that the production would be a mini-series of some sort.  But this week Vulture caught up with Walter Whi… err..  Bryan Craston and he clarified a few things about the upcoming...

In Production: Queen Latifah In Bessie Smith Biopic For HBO Films

In Production: Queen Latifah In Bessie Smith Biopic For HBO Films

Another concept has been given the go-ahead is an HBO Films presentation. This one is about the iconic blues performer Bessie Smith who will be personified by Queen Latifah. The work will depict how the singer became titled “Empress of the Blues” during her career in the 1920s and ‘30s. It is based on a biography titled Bessie by Chris Albertson. Bessie Smith made 160 records for Columbia records in the day, accompanied by many include Louie Armstrong; she even entertained by hitting Broadway and then the “talkies.”   By the time the Swing era was born she was huge and returned to recording exclusively. She died in 1937 when she...

HBO Films: The Normal Heart Review

HBO Films: The Normal Heart Review

If I had to sum up this very gripping and poignant movie in four words, these would be the ones on my list: acceptance, action, answers and awareness. I was very young in the early 1980s (in fact, I had just started school) when this movie takes place. I was a little girl, attending Kindergarten and had a carefree existence, with family that loved me and friends to play with. By total contrast, imagine being a man in the early 1980s – a gay man – and knowing that not everyone accepted you and your lifestyle. Imagine the fear and stigma of people treating you like a second class citizen, mocking you and openly professing hatred to you,...

Game of Thrones, Other HBO Series to Take Memorial Day Hiatus

Game of Thrones, Other HBO Series to Take Memorial Day Hiatus

We have some good news and bad news for you HBO fans: the bad news is that Game of Thrones, Veep and Silicon Valley will be taking a week off this upcoming Sunday, May 25th, Memorial Day weekend . This is something HBO did last year and it worked rather well for its award winning film: Behind the Candelabra. The good news is that HBO won’t be leaving you out in the cold, with nothing to watch on Sunday night. The Normal Heart premieres that night at 9PM. The film premiered in New York City and has received many favorable reviews since that time. Starring Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo and the dramatic acting debut of The Big Bang...

THE NORMAL HEART Has a Sequel Forthcoming

THE NORMAL HEART Has a Sequel Forthcoming

For those who may not be clear on the point, Larry Kramer’s life is up on the screen in the HBO Films presentation of THE NORMAL HEART. Mark Ruffalo’s character in the movie is basically Mr. Kramer. The axiom to write about what you know about is also clear here as Larry Kramer was the man behind the advocacy group depicted in the film. He took his life and wrote the play for which this movie is based. But it has been a challenge getting to Tony award winning play to screen. Barbra Streisand held the rights for the longest time, but Kramer and she conflicted so much over the topic that it never got made. When Ryan Murphy became...

HBO Films: THE NORMAL HEART Airs Sunday Night, 05.25.

HBO Films: THE NORMAL HEART Airs Sunday Night, 05.25.

This is just a friendly reminder that HBO Films: THE NORMAL HEART dominates the Sunday night primetime hours this coming Sunday, 05.25. It is a 133 minute movie that begins at 9:00pm ET with an encore presentation following that evening. The following clips are not intended to spoil the movie for you but merely to set the tone for what the movie is about and the passionate emotions that run through it. These first two clips offer snippets of scenes with commentary from creator Larry Kramer and cast members. It is a great introduction to the movie. This last clip offers glimpses of on-location shooting of the film. We will leave it at...

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