Top o'the week means it's time for the latest news from the world of crime dramas, including the 89th Oscars:
The Academy Award nominees included a few crime/thriller/mystery-related dramas such as Elle, Hell or High Water, Nocturnal Animals, and Arrival, although none won in their categories. The big winners were the coming-of-age film Moonlight (Best Picture) and La La Land, which won several awards. For all the nominees and winners, click on over to the official Oscars website.
Charlize Theron will star in and produce Universal's adaptation of the CIA thriller novel Need to Know, by Karen Cleveland. The story centers on a young wife and mother who works as a CIA analyst, who searches through databases in hopes of unmasking a Russian sleeper cell in the U.S. but makes a shocking discovery that threatens her job, her family and her life.
The domestic thriller novel Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris is being adapted into a film with a script by Melissa London Hilfers. The project follows a woman whose dream husband suddenly becomes her worst nightmare immediately following their wedding day.
Captain Fantastic writer-director Matt Ross has been tapped to direct Tomorrow and Tomorrow, a futuristic crime thriller based on Tom Sweterlitsch’s 2014 novel. The story follows John Dominic Blaxton, who lives in Pittsburgh — which actually is the Archive, a virtual reconstruction of the city’s buildings, parks and landmarks as well as the people who once lived there. He investigates mysterious deaths from before Pittsburgh’s destruction and becomes obsessed with a woman who apparently was murdered.
Daniel Kaluuya has signed on to star in Widows, the Steve McQueen-directed film from New Regency, joining Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Erivo in the cast. The plot centers on the aftermath of four armed robbers killed during a failed heist, and their surviving widows join forces and resolve to pull off the raid themselves. McQueen and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn penned the script which is based on the 1983 British miniseries.
Sienna Miller and Giancarlo Giannini have joined The Catcher Was A Spy, the Ben Lewin-directed drama that stars Paul Rudd, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti and Jeff Daniels and is based on Nicholas Dawidoff’s bestselling book that tells the true story of Moe Berg, a major league ballplayer who was an important spy against the Nazis in WWII. Miller will play Estella Huni, the main character's love interest, while Giannini plays Italian physicist Professor Eduardo Amaldi.
Corbin Bernsen is set to star in suspense thriller The Russian Bride, co-starring with Russian actress Oksana Orlan and 11-year-old model Kristina Pimenova. The indie project follows a reclusive billionaire (Bernsen) who brings a young woman and her daughter to the U.S. from Moscow with the promise of giving them both a better life. They soon discover his motives are extreme, and mother and daughter find themselves fighting for their lives.
Netflix has acquired streaming rights to The Irishman, Martin Scorsese's next project starring Robert De Niro. The Irishman is based on the 2004 novel I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt and will star De Niro as the title character, Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, a contract killer who murdered Teamster Jimmy Hoffa in the 1970s.
Rachel Bloom and Adam Pally are set to star in Most Likely to Murder, a mystery-comedy acquired by Lionsgate. Dan Gregor will direct from a script he co-wrote with Doug Mand that's described as "Rear Window for stoners."
Universal released a promotional poster for Atomic Blonde, the spy thriller starring Charlize Theron as MI6’s most lethal assassin who is sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city and partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy).
The release date for the Liam Neeson starrer The Commuter has been pushed back to January 12, 2018. Also starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga and Jonathan Banks, the action-thriller sees Neeson playing an insurance salesman in the midst of his daily commute who is forced by a mysterious stranger (Farmiga) to uncover the identity of a passenger before the train’s last stop.
CBS has yanked its midseason series Doubt from its lineup after only two episodes. The series, which marked Katherine Heigl's second recent attempt to return to primetime and the first major network role for Laverne Cox, was greeted by so-so reviews and a low 0.8 rating among adults ages 18-49. The network will instead schedule the second season of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders into Doubt's slot going forward.
Marg Helgenberger has been cast in the Fox pilot Behind Enemy Lines. The former CSI actress will star as Bobbie Decker, a Navy Admiral and the most powerful woman in the military. The pilot, loosely based on the 2001 Owen Wilson movie of the same name, is a military soap thriller wherein a group of U.S. soldiers find themselves trapped behind enemy lines.
Matthew Broderick is heading to New Orleans to star in Katrina, the second season of Ryan Murphy's American Crime Story anthology. Broderick will star as Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael D. Brown, who was in charge of the federal disaster response to Hurricane Katrina, and joins four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening in the anthology series.
Daniel Ings has booked a key series regular role in Instinct, CBS’ drama pilot based on the upcoming book by James Patterson and Marc Webb. Instinct centers on Dylan, a former CIA operative (Alan Cumming) who has since built a normal life as a gifted professor and writer but is pulled back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer on the loose. Ings will play Tracy, Dylan’s "all-American" husband of one year. The network also announced that Lost alum Naveen Andrews has snagged a lead role in the pilot, playing Dylan’s old friend from the CIA who rivals Dylan in brilliance and wit.
Former Cold Case star Kathryn Morris has been cast opposite Sarah Shahi in NBC’s drama pilot Reverie, from the Extant team of creator Mickey Fisher and Amblin TV. Penned by Fisher and directed by feature director Jaume Collett-Serra, Reverie is a thriller about Mara (Shahi), a former detective specializing in human behavior who is brought in when the launch of an advanced virtual reality program has dangerous and unintended consequences. Morris will play Monica Shaw, a Department of Defense official who has a vested interest in Alexis Barret’s (Jessica Lu) virtual reality project called Reverie. NBC also tapped Dennis Haysbert (The Unit, 24) as the male lead, playing a former police chief who used to be Mara's boss and enlists Mara's help stopping Reverie.
Filming has begun on the BBC's adaptation of Wilkie Collin's classic The Woman in White, long thought to be one of the first-ever psychological thriller novels. Former EastEnders star Ben Hardy takes on the lead role of a Victorian era school teacher who stumbles on a strange mystery as he encounters what appears to be a female spirit dressed completely in white, an obsession that leads him into a dangerous world of forbidden romance and possible insanity.
Former Haven star Emily Rose has booked a series regular role opposite Reba McEntire in ABC’s untitled Marc Cherry drama pilot. The project stars McEntire as Ruby Adair, the sheriff of colorful small town Oxblood, KY, who finds her red state outlook challenged when a young FBI agent of Middle Eastern descent is sent to help her solve a horrific crime. Rose will play Vonda Jean, County Coroner for the small town and former pageant runner-up.
Lenny Platt (Quantico) will take on a starring role in CBS pilot Perfect Citizen, a legal drama written and executive produced by former Good Wife executive producer Craig Turk. The plot centers on the former general counsel for the NSA who, after his involvement as a whistleblower in an international scandal, embarks on a new career at a storied law firm in Boston. Platt will play Felix, the self-proclaimed "Alpha Associate" at the firm.
USA Network has set three stars for its upcoming drama pilot Unsolved, which will examine the murders of rap legends Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. Josh Duhamel, Bokeem Woodbine, and Jimmi Simpson have all joined the series as the real-life detectives investigating the murder.
Hope Davis (Allegiance), Vondie Curtis-Hall (Chicago Hope) and Regé-Jean Page (Roots) have joined the series-regular cast of ABC’s untitled pilot.The legal drama is set in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Federal Court, aka "The Mother Court," and follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the most high-profile and high-stakes cases in the country.
Jason Ensler has been tapped to direct the drama pilot Redliners, about a pair of former spies living in suburbia who are reactivated when a failed hit on one of them leaves the assassin dead. The project is based on Small Kingdoms by Charlaine Harris.
J.R. Bourne has snagged a roleon the upcoming drama Somewhere Between as Tom Price, "Laura's (Paula Patton) powerful yet sensitive husband who is also the state's district attorney."
Rob Huebel has been cast in the drama pilot Unit Zero, about a brilliant, but unassuming CIA engineer and single mom, Jackie Fink (Toni Collette), as she leads a team of CIA underlings who are thrust into the field as first time spies. He'll play Phineas Bog, an off-beat CIA computer genius.
Austin Stowell (Whiplash) is the first to board the drama pilot Controversy, playing the Junior Counsel of a prestigious Illinois university who must deal with an out-of-control scandal when a young co-ed accuses several star football players of sexual assault.
J.D. Pardo has landed the lead role on the Sons of Anarchy spin-off, Mayans MC, playing the gifted son of a proud Latino family, whose American dream was snuffed out by cartel violence and whose need for vengeance drives him toward a life he never intended and can never escape.
The death of Bill Paxton (who died this weekend from a stroke following heart surgery), came just four episodes into the run of what will be his final series, CBS’ Training Day. Production on the midseason drama, a reboot of Antoine Fuqua’s acclaimed movie, wrapped in December, so all 13 episodes from the show’s first-season order have already been filmed. The TV series begins 15 years after the events in the feature, and centers on an idealistic young police officer (Justin Cornwell) who is appointed to an elite squad of the LAPD where he is partnered with a seasoned, morally ambiguous detective (Paxton). There's been no word on the fate of the remaining episodes, but Training Day executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer said, "I am truly devastated at the passing of my friend Bill Paxton. He was a tremendously talented actor and a wonderful man."
Lethal Weapon was renewed for a second season by Fox, having done well enough to secure a spot as one of the top new TV shows of the year.
FX announced that April 19 will be the premiere date for Season 3 of its Emmy-winning limited series Fargo. The new installment is set in 2010 and features Ewan McGregor (in dual roles), Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and David Thewlis.
TCM (Turner Classic Movies) will launch the noir-themed programming block Noir Alley every Sunday at 10 a.m. Hosted by Film Noir Foundation Founder and President Eddie Muller, the lineup stars off with The Maltese Falcon on March 5. (HT Mystery Fanfare)
The second episode of Writer Types features interviews with authors Joe R. Lansdale, Reed Farrel Coleman, and Jess Lourey, as well as short fiction from Erik Arneson.
Bestseller M.R. Carey joined host Alex Dolan on Thrill Seekers to talk about his book The Girl With All The Gifts (the film version of which comes out in theaters this month) and Fellside, among other titles. He's also a legend in the comic industry, as the creator of the Lucifer and Hellblazer series
Red River Radio's No Limits podcast with host Barbara M. Hodges welcomed Gwen Mayo, Sarah E. Glenn and Eleanor Kuhns. Mayo is the author of the Nessa Donnelly mysteries and co-wrote another series with Glenn; and Eleanor Kuhns is the 2011 winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel.
Steve Cavanagh and Luca Veste, hosts of Two Crime Writers and a Microphone, discussed Jack the Ripper, Patricia Cornwell, and the forgotten victims; Liz Barnsley of LizLovesBooks, had reviews and recommendations; and the special guest was Keshini Naidoo, Associate Publisher at Bookoutre.
This week's guests on Suspense Radio were authors Andrew Grant (the David Trevellyan series) and and Tracy Weber (the Downward Dog Mysteries).
Noir on the Radio host Greg Barth welcomed Crime Fiction author Dharma Kelleher, whose debut thriller Iron Goddess was published by Alibi in June 2016. Her work has also appeared in Shotgun Honey.
Authors on the Air reported live from Sleuthfest and had interviews with author Jane Cleland and G.P. Putnam's Sons associate publisher and Editor in Chief Neil Nyren.