Development Slate: Cate Blanchett To HBO and More

It amazes me just how much news I can gather about HBO development options. Every week there is always some bit of news about deals & talks happening, pilots being commissioned and casting being done. It can get quite interesting and confusing keeping straight which projects get the fast track to series or just a pilot order and, of course, which ones get passed over. But, this diligent writer for HBOWatch keeps at it: here is the latest news.

  • Cate Blanchett is Attached  to CANCER VIXEN

Cate Blanchett, the actress behind such characters as Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films as well as Queen Elizabeth I and an Cate_BlanchettIndiana Jones villain in others, may bring a favorite project of hers to HBO. It is entitled CANCER VIXEN: A TURE STORY. She will executive produce along with personnel from Maven Pictures. If all goes well it is likely she will also star in the work under the HBO Films banner.

The piece is a memoir by Marisa Acocella Marchetto. The description of the book, out on the Cancer_Vixenmarket since 2009, says –  “What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds . . . a lump in her breast? That’s the question that sets this powerful, funny, and poignant graphic memoir in motion. In vivid color and with a taboo-breaking sense of humor, Marisa Acocella Marchetto tells the story of her eleven-month, ultimately triumphant bout with breast cancer—from diagnosis to cure, and every challenging step in between.”

Those interested in the source material can purchase it at places like [amazon_link id=”037571474X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Amazon[/amazon_link]. Those interested in seeing Blanchett come to HBO might just see this project happen as her interest would surely be something the network would want to have.


  • Two Noted Actors Join THE NORMAL HEART

Jim_parsonsWe have had a post or two about Ryan Murphy’s project for HBO already. The producer/director behind American Horror Story & Glee has now added more recognizable actors to the cast of THE NORMAL HTaylor_-KitschEART. Joining Julia Roberts, Alex Baldwin and Mark Ruffalo andJim Parsons (officially confirmed though speculated to be on-board earlier) and Taylor Kitsch.

Jim Parson, of CBS’s The Big Bang Theory returns to the role he played in the 2011 Broadway revival of THE NORMAL HEART. That character is gay activist Tommy Boatwright. Taylor Kitsch, who has fared better on TV with Friday Night Lights then in films like John Carter has been cast as Bruce Niles, a closeted investment banker who becomes an AIDS activist. Together he and Parson’s character take up the cause as HIV-AIDS infects New York City in the 1980’s.

This celluloid adaptation of the staged THE NORMAL HEART, similar to ANGELS IN AMERICA which has already appeared on HBO, should she the screen in 2014 under Mr. Murphy’s executive guidance.


  • GETTING ON Gets Attention Joanna_Scanlan

The last comment that was made about this project was a post back on 08.19.12. If you read it you will be reminded that this work is based on a hospital set BBC comedy also called GETTING ON. Just when I was beginning to think the development deal for Anima Sola Productions fell through I found this bit of news. One of the stars of the British original, Joanna Scanlan, (pictured) had this to say about the pilot shot for the USA version. She says –

[box]”We have had some input. In fact we’ve actually seen an edit of it recently, which I thought was fantastic. It’s really, really well done and I like it very much and we really hope HBO pick it up [for a series]. It’s very truthful to the original spirit of the show, yet they’ve been able to make it their own. Alex Borstein from Family Guy has my role, she’s very funny in it. We told them not to cast it how we three look and look instead for inner Dens, inner Kims and inner Pippas. They needed to find three actresses with chemistry rather than three people who looked like us.”[/box]

So, there is a pilot shot for HBO’s take on the sitcom; it is just a matter of time before we find out whether the network likes what it sees and decide to order it to series or not.

  • TOGETHERNESS Starts  Casting

Amanda_PeetSteve_ZassisThe Duplass Brothers are moving along in casting their show TOGETHERNESS which we reported here as a concept in progress.  Joining Melanie Lynskey are two more talents, Amanda Peet and Steve Zissis.

Peet plays Tina Morris, listed as an energetic and beautiful woman who is fun, outgoing, mischievous and smart in both dress and brainpower. Tina relocates from Houston to Los Angeles and moves in with her sister Michelle Pierson (Melanie Lynskey) and her husband Brett. Also moving in with the Piersons is Steve Zissis’ character. He plays Alex Pappas, described as a 30-something actor who has been trying to make it in LA for almost 20 years and he’s just been left homeless with only one friend in the world. That friend is Brett Pierson who is not yet cast. HBOWatch will have more as this show takes shape.

That’s it for now. Does HBOWatch have the news covered or what? We will keep you updated on the status of each of these projects as information comes in.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *