Female Protagonists in Hollywood – Thoughts on a recent study

Deadline Hollywood published an article focusing on the lack of female protagonists in Hollywood films. Dr. Martha Lauzen is the Executive Director of San Diego State’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film and she recently conducted a study, inspiring Deadline’s article.

While studies or reports like this are important, it is no secret that Hollywood has struggled with providing strong female protagonists on the big and small screens alike. This leads us to ask the question: Was this study really needed to prove the lack of female voices in Hollywood?

Jennifer Lawrence in Mockingjay - Part 1 (photo via IMDb)
Jennifer Lawrence in Mockingjay – Part 1 (photo via IMDb)

According to Dr. Lauzen’s study, females made up only 12% of protagonists represented in the 100 highest-grossing films of last year. Additionally, only 29% of the major characters and 30% of all speaking roles were portrayed by females. Dr. Lauzen also found that films with a female director or screenwriter had over three times the amount of female protagonists when compared to films written and directed by men.

This study highlights the inherent issue of representation within Hollywood, but does not seem to reveal any new information surrounding the issue. If anything, Dr. Lauzen only further reveals the unfortunate misogynistic nature of the business and the amount of underrepresentation present. Whether it is gender or race, Hollywood still has a long way to go in terms of diverse representation in film and television.

As previously stated, it is no secret that Hollywood struggles with representation so Dr. Lauzen’s study was not really an eye-opening revelation. However, the study was useful in proving it is still an issue and things have not improved in modern society.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you think this study was necessary?

Source: Deadline Hollywood

Television Exclusive – Casting Updates for Season Five of “Glee”

As most Glee fans are aware, several new characters were introduced into the show last season. A lot of fans have mixed feelings about these new characters, but it is clear Ryan Murphy and his team at Fox know what they want to do with these new characters.

Actors Melissa Benoist (Marley), Jacob Artist (Jake), Becca Tobin (Kitty), Blake Jenner (Ryder), and Alex Newell (Wade or “Unique”) have all been promoted to series regulars and their roles will become more important when season five begins in September.

However, with these promotions, actors Heather Morris (Brittany), Mark Salling (Puck), Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Harry Shum Jr (Mike) have been downgraded to guest stars for next season.

What do you think of these cast changes? Who is your favorite Glee character? Are you interested in seeing how these changes will effect season five?

Melissa Benoist, Jacob Artist, Becca Tobin, Blake Jenner, and Alex Newell
Melissa Benoist, Jacob Artist, Becca Tobin, Blake Jenner, and Alex Newell

Source: Deadline

Movie Exclusive – Casting Breakdown for Disney’s “Star Wars” Released

Star Wars fans may be intrigued to hear that casting is officially underway for the first Star Wars film under Disney. Casting directors April Webster and Alyssa Weisberg will be doing casting in the United States and Nina Gold will be in charge of  UK casting.

Not only does this list give us an idea of the characters that will be included in this film, it gives us hints as to the potential storyline behind the film. Michael Arndt is working on the script and JJ Abrams will be directing this next Star Wars film. Abrams recently revealed that production is aimed to start early in 2014.

Here is an exclusive casting breakdown for Star Wars: Episode VII: 

Star Wars - casting breakdown

According to Deadline and Bleeding Cool, these roles have all been confirmed as lead and principal roles. What do you think this breakdown reveals for the story? Do you think JJ Abrams is the right director for the next Star Wars film? As production is still in early stages and actors have not been officially cast in the film, be sure to check back for more casting news and Star Wars coverage!

Star Wars - logo

Sources: Deadline and Bleeding Cool

Casting News MegaPost – Michael Bay’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Casts Major Roles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics have been a very successful and have lead to several television shows and movies. Producer Michael Bay has been busy trying to get a Ninja Turtles re-boot started and some major casting developments have come to light as of late.

To begin with, all four turtles have been cast. Actors Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, and Pete Ploszek will be joining the film as Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Leonardo respectively. Plus, Megan Fox will is also currently set to join the franchise as April O’Neil and Will Arnett has been cast in an unnamed role.

The most recent casting announcement, made this afternoon, revealed that actor Danny Woodburn will be playing Master Splinter. I would like to congratulate Mr. Woodburn for earning this role as I worked with him on Disney’s Santa Buddies and Santa Paws. Hopefully I will get to see him again soon and do an interview for you guys to read!

This Ninja Turtles reboot is going to be directed by Jonathan Liebesman and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film will also be shot using motion capture and include both CG and live action sequences. The film is currently set to release on June 6, 2014.

What do you think of these casting choices? Are you a fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Do you think using motion capture will be a better approach for a film like this? Sound off in the comments!

(top, from left to right) Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, and Jeremy Howard. (bottom, from left to right) Pete Ploszek and Danny Woodburn.
(top, from left to right) Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, and Jeremy Howard. (bottom, from left to right) Pete Ploszek and Danny Woodburn.

Source: Deadline (Article #1), Deadline (Article #2)

Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan to Star in Film Adaptation of ‘The Last Five Years”

Fans of the Broadway musical, The Last Five Years, may be excited to know that a film adaptation is in the works. Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan have both signed on to play the leads, Cathy Hyatt and Jamie Wellerstein. The Last Five Years was written by Jason Robert Brown, has been performed off-Broadway, and has won several awards since it opened in 2001.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the musical, Kendrick’s character, Cathy, is a struggling actress and Jordan’s character, Jamie is a novelist who is beginning to gain some success with his writing. The story for this musical is quite unique as Jamie’s story is told in chronological order, starting when they first meet, but Cathy’s story is told in reverse, starting at the end of their marriage.

Richard LaGravenese will be directing, writing, and co-producing this film adaptation with Lauren Versel, Kurt Deutsch, and Janet Brenner for Lucky Monkey Pictures.

Are you familiar with this musical? Do you think Kendrick and Jordan will work well together? What do you think of these casting choices?  If you are not familiar with the musical, does this sound like something you would be interested in seeing?

Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan - #1

Source: Deadline Hollywood

“Smash” – Jesse L. Martin joins the Season Two cast

According to an article on Deadline, actor Jesse L. Martin has landed a reoccurring role on NBC’s hit musical television drama Smash. He will be playing a character named Scott Welker whom is an Artistic Director of a theater company and he has history with a couple of the other characters on the show. Other guest stars that will be joining Smash this season include Jennifer Hudson, Sean Hayes, and Jeremy Jordan.

Martin’s previous film and television credits include Law and Order, Rent (2005), and he was most recently in Joyful Noise. Plus, he is heavily involved in Broadway shows and he great credentials as he was also an original cast member the musical Rent.

Do you think Jesse L. Martin will make a good edition to the cast of Smash? Are you looking forward to season two?

Source: http://www.deadline.com/2012/09/jesse-l-martin-joins-smash-as-recurring/

“The Hobbit” – Part Three Gets a Title and Release Date

For those of you who are fans of Peter Jackson and The Lord of the Rings series, you are aware that Jackson split The Hobbit films into a trilogy. Another exciting announcement was made by Warner Bros and MGM Pictures recently as they released the official release date and title for the final Hobbit film.

The official title of the final film is The Hobbit: There and Back Again and it will be hitting theaters on July 18, 2014. There was also a new title announced for the second instalment, it is now going to be called The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and it will be released on December 13, 2013.

According to Deadline Hollywood, additional filming will be needed to complete the trilogy and they will be filming  at Stone Street Studios in Wellington, and on location in New Zealand.

What do you think of this news? Do you think these films will work better as a trilogy? Are you looking forward to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which hits theaters on December 14, 2012? Let me know in the comments below!

Source: http://www.deadline.com/2012/08/the-hobbit-3-scheduled-for-july-18-2014/