‘X Factor’ Musical ‘I Can’t Sing’ Delays Previews By Two Days
Previews of Simon Cowell‘s The X Factor musical, I Can’t Sing, have been postponed by two days at the London Palladium. Stage Entertainment and Syco Entertainment are producing the show and say they’ve decided to start previews on March 1 as opposed to February 27 due to “technical issues caused by the ambitious staging of the new musical comedy.” Rebecca Quigley, producer for Stage Entertainment, said, “As audiences will soon see, the production is hugely ambitious, and the volume of installation and scale of the set means that technical work has taken slightly longer than could have been anticipated to make the show audience-ready.” Nigel Harman (EastEnders, Downton Abbey) is playing a character based on Cowell in the musical that’s directed by Olivier Award-winner and Tony nominee Sean Foley. British comedian Harry Hill wrote the show.
Quentin Tarantino To Present Scarlett Johansson’s Honorary Cesar
Quentin Tarantino has been enlisted by France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma to present Scarlett Johansson with this year’s honorary César Award. The director will hand the award to Johansson this Friday at the 39th César Awards ceremony in Paris. Tarantino himself received the prize in 2011.
Animated Family Comedy ‘Warren United’ Kicks Off April 22 On ITV4
Men Behaving Badly writer Simon Nye, Steve Coogan’s London-based production company Baby Cow and Canadian animation house Smiley Guy are teaming on animated family comedy Warren United. The sitcom is timed to launch in the run-up to this summer’s World Cup and kicks off in the UK on April 22 as the UEFA Champions League semi-finals are being played. The ITV4 series follows the fortunes of Warren Kingsley, an overweight kitchen salesman and soccer lover, as he stumbles through life trying to juggle his two passions – football and family. Warren is voiced by BAFTA Award winner Darren Boyd (Spy, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa). Warren United is created by exec producer Bill Freedman. Baby Cow’s Henry Normal is co-executive producer. Nye is writing with David Quantick and Dominic Holland. Producers are Jeremy Diamond and Denny Silverthorne.
‘Shrek’-Themed Attraction Coming To London In Summer 2015
Merlin Entertainments and DreamWorks Animation are teaming to create a new Shrek-themed visitor attraction, Shrek’s Far Far Away Adventure, with the first to be set up in London’s South Bank district. The live interactive adventure will feature characters from the Shrek movies including the eponymous ogre, along with Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots and others. The plan is for an initial rollout of six attractions over nine years. London will open in the summer of 2015. This is the first time that DWA will help to produce an attraction of this scale by licensing the use of its characters and stories. The 20,000-square-foot experience will be based on a new story written by the DreamWorks Animation team. It will feature a Shrek interactive walk-through adventure, a character courtyard where visitors will be able to meet Shrek and his swamp friends, along with characters from the Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon films. There also will be a rotating exhibit area supporting DreamWorks Animation film and DVD releases and a branded retail outlet.
Amazon, WBITD Team To Bring 5 U.S. Series To The UK
Amazon Prime Instant Video and Warner Bros International Television Distribution have entered a deal to bring five U.S. primetime TV series to the UK. Amazon announced last week that it was combining streaming platform LoveFilm with its Prime service to create Britain’s largest subscription streaming service, with launch planned for February 26. The multi-year agreement sees Amazon Prime Instant Video acquire the UK SVOD streaming rights to multiple seasons of Warner Bros Television shows Arrow, The Following, Hostages, Revolution and The 100. The shows will be available following their linear UK broadcast runs. The first seasons of Arrow, The Following and Revolution will go live on Amazon Prime Instant Video this year, with Hostages and The 100 arriving in 2015.
‘The Returned’ Sold To Finland, Norway, Iceland
Zodiak Rights has concluded a raft of deals in Scandinavia for hot Canal Plus series The Returned (Les Revenants). Winner of the 2013 International Emmy for drama series, the supernatural thriller is produced by Haut et Court TV. Public channels YLE in Finland, NRK in Norway and Iceland’s national broadcaster RUV all have acquired the series. These deals follow one previously inked in Sweden, where SVT was among the first broadcasters to bite, even before The Returned‘s success in France. The series has a high-profile remake in the works at A&E with Carlton Cuse. Sundance Channel, which had acquired the first eight-episode season, recently picked up the upcoming second season. The drama — about a small town turned upside down when several local people who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, having not aged and unaware of their own fatality — has sold in more than 70 territories including the U.S., the UK, Latin America, Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and Israel.
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