Judging by a new lineup of shows, the OWN network is going to be unfortunate. Also today: The Walking Dead performed spectacularly, The Great Gatsby casting mystery continues, and Annette Bening plots her revenge.
Well, it was a total monster mash last night. The Halloween premiere of AMC's new zombie series The Walking Dead brutally devoured 5.3m viewers, the highest cable debut of the year. So does this mean that many of us identify with the survivors, with the people who live in exile from the witless hordes, or are we recognizing something in ourselves in those very witless hordes? I suspect it's actually something in the middle. We're the trees and crows and whatnot, watching the battle play out. [THR]
Before we heard that Rebecca Hall was in the running to play Daisy in Baz Luhrman's upcoming, much-feared Great Gatsby adaptation. But perhaps that is not so! Apparently there are other names on the list, names including "Keira Knightley, Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish, Michelle Williams and Scarlett Johansson." And... um, none of those really work? Maybe Abbie Cornish, because who knows much about her, but Michelle Williams and Blake "Mumblor" Lively would be insufferble in period, Scarlett Johansson is just not right for the part, and Amanda Seyfried looks sixteen. While she works well in period pieces, Keira Knightley can be so affected in this way that's often distracting. Frankly, I have no idea who could do Daisy. Though, I suspect the best choice at the moment would be Jonathan Groff in a bob wig and a flapper dress. [Deadline]
Robert Rodriguez has formed a new production company called Quick Draw Prods., that will finance and develop new independent features. Hm. Let's hope these new movies are more El Mariachi and the first forty minutes of From Dusk Til Dawn than they are Once Upon a Time in Mexico or Planet Terror. Or, I guess, Spy Kids? Does that really count as a Robert Rodriguez movie? I mean, yeah, he directed it, sure, but he also directed The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl 3D, and that's not really even a movie. So by those same standards, we can probably say that Spy Kids isn't a movie. Or something. Sorry. This has a Rodriguezian descent into nonsense. [Variety]
In case you've been worrying that Oprah's new network, OWN (as in "I OWN literally everything"), wasn't going to be good, stop worrying. Of course it's not going to be good! Here's proof. Reality shows have been handed out, willy-nilly, to Ryan and Tatum O'Neal, Winona & Naomi Judd, and the still-relevant Carson Kressley. So wait, Oprah saw the obvious dearth of shitty reality shows starring little-known has-beens and she said "There needs to be more of those, a whole network more of those!!"? Thanks a lot, Opes. Just thanks a lot. [THR]
Aha! Annette Bening has received one of the first awards of the season, meaning she might just be on her was to her long-coveted Oscar, twice in the recent past cruelly stolen from her by the sawdust acting golem that is Hilary Swank. Bening will receive the American Riviera Award at the prestigious Santa Barbara International Film Festival. (They changed it to that after "International White Wine, White People Film Festival" was deemed a little exclusionary. If not accurate.) Bening, baby, I hope this is your year! You deserve it. Swank's Conviction isn't getting much heat, so that's good. Nicole Kidman won't win again, probably. Naomi Watts is a possibility for Fair Game, maybe? As is Jennifer Lawrence for Winter's Bone, but she's kind of the Precious of this year. Probably Bening's only rival will be some sneaky Brit who comes out of nowhere. That's how they're always doing, those Brits. Coming out of nowhere. [Deadline]
Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have released a few images from their upcoming animation thing Tintin, and they are... unpleasant. Why people insist on this bizarre motion-capture stuff is beyond me. It makes sense with something like Avatar, because they were trying to look, y'know, alien. But with human beings, whether they're supposed to look cartoony or not (as they are in Tintin), they always just look horribly dead-eyed and creepy. Which is too bad, because the Tintin books are just so great and have such beautiful, alive art. I've always wanted to frame some of the best covers and put them up on the walls in my apartment, but I never get around to it. Maybe now, in protest, I will. Winter project! [Empire]