NBC picks up Believe

9 May
Photo credit: Eric Liebowitz/NBC

Photo credit: Eric Liebowitz/NBC

Variety reports: Believe is among the first round of shows NBC officially ordered this morning, “in preparation for its fall presentation to advertisers Monday.” If you recall, we first heard about the Abrams-Cuarón pilot commitment in September:

It is about a girl in possession of a great gift/powers — which will come into their own in seven years — and the man who is sprung from prison to protect her from those trying to hunt her down.

Today, NBC released the first image (above) from the production, featuring protagonists Bo (Johnny Sequoyah, left) and her protector Tate (Jake McLaughlin, right), and the following synopsis:

Levitation, telekinesis, the ability to control nature, even predict the future… Since she was two years old, Bo has had gifts she could neither fully understand, nor control. Raised by a small group known as the “True Believers,” the orphaned girl has been safeguarded from harmful outsiders who would use her forces for personal gain. But now that she is 10, her powers have become stronger, and the threat has grown more dangerous.

With her life and future now in jeopardy, the “Believers” turn to the only person they see fit to be her full-time protector. That is, once they break him out of jail. Tate, a wrongfully imprisoned death row inmate who’s lost his will, is initially reluctant – until he witnesses one of her extraordinary abilities. Bo sees people for who they truly are… and who they may become.

Tate and Bo begin their journey, one in which trust must be earned. Traveling from city to city, every place they stop and everyone they meet will be changed forever. But they’ll have to keep going to stay one step ahead of the sinister forces after Bo’s power…because it will take a miracle to keep them safe forever. The powers of a young girl may hold the fate of our world in Believe, from executive producer J.J. Abrams (Revolution, Star Trek: Into Darkness) and executive producer/writer/director Alfonso Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men).

The pilot – co-written by Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Friedman – was shot on location in New York City over the month of March under Cuarón’s direction. No word yet on whether Cuarón will be staying on after the pilot, or even whether the pilot will be aired as the series premiere.


Official Gravity poster unveiled

8 May

This afternoon, WB released the first official poster for Gravity.

Official Gravity poster unveiled

Official Gravity poster unveiled

In cinemas October 4.

Gravity trailer premiers Thursday

7 May

It exists!! Tonight, ET gave us our first glimpse of footage from Gravity, and promised that the first trailer will be coming on Thursday. Watch the preview below.

Gravity will be in cinemas October 4.

Gravity teaser screens at CinemaCon

17 Apr

Last night, Warner Bros. screened – for the first time – a sixty second teaser for Gravity to an audience of cinema owners/industry insiders at at CinemaCon, the Official Convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners. Alex Billington (First Showing) and Peter Sciretta (/FILM) were the first to report with joint videoblog, responding positively to the teaser (that might be an understatement).


Besides using adjectives like, “amazing,” “breathtaking,” and “stunning,” Billington pointed out that, “It was probably almost all entirely created on computer,” and also compared the film’s (visual) feel to 2001. Skiretta agreed, “It’s definitely hard sci fi in the way that it’s not action, like Michael Bay shot stuff. It’s like whoa it’s really happening. You’re kind of floating in space.” Read more.

Meredith Woerner (io9) was also at the panel, and described the sixty seconds on screen: Continue reading

Carlos Cuarón master class in Mumbai, tells students to break all the rules

26 Mar
Whistling Woods

Carlos Cuarón at the Whistling Woods Institute, Mumbai

After the closing of the Guadalajara Film Festival, Carlos Cuarón made a visit to Mumbai to serve as a creative advisor in the second annual Mumbai Mantra Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab (March 10-15) and deliver a master class at the Whistling Woods Institute for Film, Television, Animation & Media Arts (March 15).

Eight screenwriting fellows were selected to work intensely on their proposed scripts in an environment that encourages innovation and creative risk-taking, with the support of a distinguished group of established screenwriters and directors serving as creative advisors.  Besides Cuarón, creative advisors include Bill Wheeler, Joshua Marston, Asif Kapadia, Habib Faisal, Sabrina Dhawan, Anjum Rajabali, Marti Noxon, Carlos Cuaron, and Malia Scotch-Marmo.  Read more about the selected projects and participants.

Over at Whistling Woods, Carlos Cuarón presented a master class and told students to, “break all rules, and write with no conventions or boundaries – be free, be ignorant.”  He also encouraged them to read everything that came their way, and to preserve that which adds value and discard what doesn’t.  You can see more photos from the visit here.  Thanks to Rahul Puri for bringing this to our attention.

While in India (first time), the writer-director also conducted one of his first English-language interviews on his second feature-length film (as director), Besos de azúcar.  He told Pratik Ghosh:

My films have universal themes rooted in specific contexts. They are social portraits of my country. For my latest film I didn’t rope in stars. The central characters are two anonymous 13-year-olds. I am the writer, director and producer of Sugar Kisses.

Besos will screen in Mexican cinemas this October.  No word yet on international distribution, although  Cuarón acknowledged that his films have been more popular with English-speaking audiences than in Mexico.  Read more.

Besos de azúcar premieres at Guadalajara

26 Mar
Carlos Cuarón con el equipo de Besos de azúcar (indierocks.mx)

Carlos Cuarón con el equipo de Besos de azúcar (indierocks.mx)

Earlier this month, Carlos Cuarón’s Besos de azúcar premiered at el Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara (announcement).  Of course, all the coverage was in Spanish, but from what I’ve gleaned from Twitter and Google Translate, audiences were pleased, while critics had mixed feelings.  If you can read Spanish, you may be interested to check out some of the links below:

About the production:

  • Cuarón presenta “Besos de azúcar” en Guadalajara: “I always wanted to do a remake of Melody,” Cuarón tells César Huerta (El Universal).
  • Presenta Carlos Cuarón “Besos de azúcar” en el 28FICG: “I hope [teens] see the movie, get excited and see themselves in the story and the way it enters crude realism and humour that lightens dark situations,” says Luis Usabiaga. (Notimex) Continue reading

NBC orders ‘Believe’ pilot, begins casting

27 Feb

NBC ordered the Abrams-Cuarón pilot at the end of January (source), and over the past couple weeks, we’ve begun to learn what the cast will look like:the

  • Jake McLaughlin (Savages) will star as Tate, “the man who is sprung from prison” to protect Bo, a girl in possession of a great gift. (source)
  • Delroy Lindo (The Chicago Code) will play Winter, “a kind man with an honorable agenda posing as a priest who might not be what he seems.” (source)
  • Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil) will play Moore, “a cool hit-woman who has issues with her own mother.” (source)
  • Jamie Chung (Once Upon a Time) will play Channing, “a strong, practical and smart woman who works for Winter and assists Tate when he escapes from prison.” (source)
  • And last but not least, newcomer Johnny Sequoyah is cast as Bo, the young girl with great powers to manifest in seven years. (source)

The pilot, co-written by Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Friedman shoots next month in New York (source), under Cuarón’s direction.  Sounds like it will be action packed!!


  • Kyle MacLachlan (Desperate Housewives) has been cast as Skouras, “a mysterious billionaire with an even more mysterious agenda.” (source)
  • In addition (learned from IMDb):