Casting News: Three New Villains Cast in Disney’s “Descendants”

Disney recently cast Broadway superstar Kristin Chenoweth as Maleficent in their upcoming TV movie Descendants, and has just added three more actors to the roster.

Jafar will be played by comedian Maz Jobrani, whose son Jay is played by X-Men alum Booboo Stewart; Kathy Najimy has been cast as The Evil Queen with Sofia Carson playing daughter Evie; and, lastly, Cruella De Vil will be portrayed by Wendy Raquel Robinson. Cruella has a son named Carlos, who will be played by Cameron Boyce.

The film, directed by High School Musical‘s Kenny Ortega, is expected to air on Disney Channel in 2015. Here’s the original press release that gives a detailed explanation of what we can expect from the film:

“In a present day idyllic kingdom, the benevolent teenaged son of the King and Queen (Beast and Belle from Disney’s iconic Beauty and the Beast) is poised to take the throne. His first proclamation: offer a chance at redemption to the trouble-making offspring of Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, the Evil Queen and Jafar who have been imprisoned on a forbidden island with all the other villains, sidekicks, evil step-mothers and step-sisters. These villainous descendants (Carlos, Mal, Evvie and Jay, respectively) are allowed into the kingdom to attend prep school alongside the offspring of iconic Disney heroes including Fairy Godmother, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and Mulan. However, the evil teens face a dilemma. Should they follow in their nefarious parents’ footsteps and help all the villains regain power or embrace their innate goodness and save the kingdom?

Kenny Ortega, the Emmy Award-winning director and choreographer of Disney’s record-setting High School Musical TV movies and feature film, returns to Disney Channel to direct Descendants.

The script was written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott (creators and Emmy Award and WGA Award nominees for their writing on The Starter Wife, also writers of Runaway Bride and on Desperate Housewives). The production design will be by Mark Hofeling (Teen Beach Movie, High School Musical). The wardrobe design will be by Kara Saun (Project Runway, America’s Best Dance Crew).

Casting is underway for Disney’s Descendants, a contemporary live-action adventure-comedy that taps into Disney’s heritage characters—notably its most evil villains–to introduce their progeny, a modern day generation of teenagers who ultimately question the evil that’s always been in their hearts. Disney’s Descendants is scheduled to begin production next spring for a 2015 premiere on Disney Channel. The casting directors are Natalie Hart and Jason La Padura, C.S.A. (High School Musical TV movies and film, Camp Rock).

Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “We mined Disney’s treasure trove of stories and developed a new, comedic approach to the fabled characters everyone knows and loves. The result is a modern and unexpected re-interpretation of classic heritage characters utilizing contemporary, relatable settings and themes.”

Disneys-Descendants-LOGO

Are you excited to see what these actors will bring to the iconic roles?

First Look – Photos of Karen Gillan and John Cho in New ABC Sitcom “Selfie”

The first stills from the modern adaptation of My Fair Lady, titled Selfie, have been released.

The series is very social-media based, and stars Gillan as Eliza Dooley who is “more concerned with getting “likes” than being liked,” according to upandcomers.net. “After suffering a very public and humiliating breakup, she becomes the subject of a viral video and suddenly has more social media ‘followers’ than she ever imagined — but for all the wrong reasons. She enlists the help of a marketing expert at her company to help repair her tarnished image.” Cho plays Henry, who decides to take on the challenge of re-marketing Eliza.

The cast also includes Allyn Rachel, Tim Peper, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and David Harewood. Will you watch Selfie when it premieres on ABC?

“The Normal Heart” Makes the Cover of “Entertainment Weekly”

This week’s cover of Entertainment Weekly‘s magazine features the main cast of HBO’s The Normal Heart.

The Normal Heart is a film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s Tony Award-winning play based on real life events and people. The film takes place in the 1980’s during the HIV/AIDS Crisis and stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, and Jim Parsons.

EW The Normal Heart cover

The cast and crew reflect on the challenges in this excerpt of EW‘s interview:

“Despite involvement from names like Barbra Streisand, who owned the rights for 10 years, The Normal Heart appeared to be destined for only theatre until Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy acquired the rights in 2009 with his own money. “I really believed in it,” explains Murphy, who first read the play in college and directed the film version. “Larry set a very high price. I gulped and said, ‘Okay,’ and bought it. I think he wanted to see, ‘Is this kid serious?’ And I was.” Kramer, who’s HIV-positive and currently recovering from unrelated medical complications, was unable to speak to EW but emailed that Heart made it to the screen “because of Ryan Murphy caring passionately about getting it made, abetted by [exec producer] Dante Di Loreto.”” 

EW also included this GIF, which gives a timeline and some facts about the HIV/AIDS Crisis.

The-Normal-Heart-GIF

 

Watch the tailer below:

Will you catch The Normal Heart when it premieres on HBO on May 25?

New Behind-the-Scenes Interviews with “The Normal Heart” Stars

HBO has released a series of new behind-the-scenes interviews with The Normal Heart stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Jonathan Groff, Taylor Kitsch, and Jim Parsons.

The Normal Heart is a film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play by Larry Kramer. It is set in the 1980’s during the HIV/AIDS Crisis in the gay community.

The Normal Heart - poster

In the videos, the actors discuss how they connected with their characters and the their characters’ motivations.

What do you think of the interviews? Will you watch the movie when it premiers on HBO on May 25?

Source: BroadwayWorld

HBO Releases New “The Normal Heart” Stills

HBO has released a photo set of breathtaking new stills in preparation for the May 25 release of the film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play The Normal Heart.

The Normal Heart is set in the 1980s during the HIV/AIDS Crisis and focuses on the gay community. The film and play are based on real people and real events. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jonathan Groff, and Jim Parsons.

Here are the new photos!

normalh1

normalh2 normalh7

normalh6 normalh3 normalh4normalh5

Source: broadwayworld.com

Official Trailer for HBO’s “The Normal Heart”

HBO released the full trailer for their film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning stage play The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer on April 18th. The film is set during the 1980’s HIV/AIDS Crisis within the gay community. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Jonathan Groff, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, and Julia Roberts. Watch it here:

What do you think of the trailer?

Sources: IMDb, YouTube

Behind-the-Scenes Interviews with “The Normal Heart” Stars Jim Parsons & Taylor Kitsch

Broadwayworld.com reports that HBO has released new behind-the-scenes interviews with Jim Parsons and Taylor Kitsch, in which they discuss their characters in The Normal Heart.

The Normal Heart is a film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s Tony Award-winning stage play. The official synopsis of the film from HBO reads as such:

“Directed by Emmy winner Ryan Murphy (“Eat Pray Love,” “Glee”) and written by Academy Award nominee Larry Kramer (“Women in Love”), adapting his groundbreaking Tony Award-winning play of the same name, the drama tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS Crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. The film also stars Alfred Molina (“An Education”), Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (“Law & Order”), Jonathan Groff (HBO’s “Looking”), Denis O’Hare (HBO’s “True Blood”), Stephen Spinella (“Milk”), Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”), Finn Wittrock (“Unbroken”) and BD Wong (HBO’s “Oz”). An HBO Films presentation of a Plan B and Blumhouse production in association with Ryan Murphy Productions, THE NORMAL HEART is executive produced by Ryan Murphy, Dante Di Loreto (“Glee”), Jason Blum (the “Paranormal Activity” series), Brad Pitt (“Moneyball”), Dede Gardner (“12 Years a Slave”). Mark Ruffalo co-executive produces; Scott Ferguson (HBO’s “Temple Grandin”) produces.”

The Normal Heart will air May 25 at 9 PM on HBO.

The Normal Heart - poster