CW Greenlights 'Arrow' & Beast Remake

The CW Network has picked up ARROW, a new spin on DC Comics’ Green Arrow character. The show will ignore the previous TV incarnation of the character that appeared for several years on the networks’s SMALLVILLE.
From their press release:
ARROW

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific.  When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. 
While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was.  Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance. 
As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. 
By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness.  However, Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city.
Meanwhile, Oliver’s own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.
The series stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Colin Donnell as Tommy, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, with Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen and Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance.
Based on characters appearing in comic books and graphic novels
published by DC Comics, ARROW is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in
association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television,
with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Green Lantern,” “Brothers &
Sisters”), Marc Guggenheim (“FlashForward,” “Eli Stone”), Andrew
Kreisberg (“Warehouse 13,” “The Vampire Diaries”) and David Nutter
(“Smallville,” “Supernatural,” “Game of Thrones”).  Melissa Kellner
Berman (“Eli Stone,” “Dirty Sexy Money”) is co-executive producer. The
pilot was directed by David Nutter from a teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg
& Marc Guggenheim, story by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim.
Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman in the original
Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman in the original

The network is also commisioning a new series based on the 80’s fan favorite BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, though with quite a number of changes, it would appear.
Here’s the skinny:
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Detective Catherine Chandler is a smart, no-nonsense homicide
detective.  When she was a teenager, Catherine witnessed the murder of
her mother at the hands of two gunmen.  Catherine would have been killed too, but someone – or something – saved her.  No one has ever believed her, but she knows it wasn’t an animal that attacked the assassins…it was human. 
Years have passed, and Catherine is a strong, confident, capable police officer, working alongside her equally talented partner, Tess.  While investigating a murder, Catherine discovers a clue that leads her to a handsome doctor named Vincent Keller, who was reportedly killed by enemy fire while serving in Afghanistan in 2002.  Catherine learns that Vincent is actually still alive and that it was he who saved her many years before.  
For mysterious reasons that have forced him to live outside of traditional society, Vincent has been in hiding for the past 10 years to guard his secret – when he is enraged, he becomes a terrifying beast, unable to control his super-strength and heightened senses.  
Catherine agrees to protect his identity in return for any insight he may have into hermother’s murder.  Thus begins a complex relationship between Catherine and Vincent, who are powerfully drawn to each other yet understand that their connection is extremely dangerous for both of them.
The series stars Kristin Kreuk (“Smallville,” “Chuck”) as Catherine, Jay Ryan (“Terra Nova”) as Vincent, Max Brown (“The Tudors,” “MI-5”) as Evan, Nina Lisandrello (“Nurse Jackie”) as Tess, Nicole Gale Anderson (“Make It or Break It”) as Heather, Austin Basis (“Life Unexpected”) as J.T., and Brian White (“The Shield,” “The Cabinin the Woods”) as Joe.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is from CBS Television Studios with
executive producers Jennifer Levin (“Without A Trace,” “Felicity”),
Sherri Cooper (“Brothers and Sisters”), Bill Haber (“Rizzoli & Isles,”
“Thurgood”), Paul J. Witt (“A Better Life”) & Tony Thomas (“A Better
Life”), Ron Koslow (“Moonlight”) and Gary Fleder (“Life Unexpected”).

'Smallville' Returns – In Comic Book

smallville_comicThe Warner Brothers Television series SMALLVILLE garnered quite a few fans (and vocal critics) in it’s years on the abandoned WB Network and it’s successor, the CW.  
In view of the upcoming MAN OF STEEL film relaunch, it’s somewhat surprising to see DC Comic launch a comic book continuation of the TV series.
Here’s DC’s press release:

“Fans of the smash-hit TV series Smallville haven’t had much to cheer about since the show ended its critically acclaimed 10-year run on The CW last May. That’s all going to change with the upcoming new comic book series from DC Entertainment: SMALLVILLE SEASON 11.
Written by former Smallville show scribe Bryan Q. Miller, the new digital first series will be published digitally on April 13, 2012, with new digital chapters released weekly thereafter. Additionally, the online chapters will be offered in a print periodical, along with an episode guide to the hit television series, with the first print issue released on May 16.
The new comic book series picks-up where the show left off (with Clark officially now as Superman!) and features other fan-favorite characters including Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, Chloe Sullivan-Queen, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, and General Lane.
The book features an all-star creative team – in addition to Miller, SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 creators include print cover artist Gary Frank (SUPERMAN SECRET ORIGIN), digital cover artist Cat Staggs and interiors by Pere Perez (BATGIRL).
“Six months after Clark Kent donned the cape and took to the skies to save Earth from Apokolips… enter Season 11!” enthuses Miller. “New allies abound! New enemies afoot! And old friends return where they’re least expected! Pere and colorist Chris Beckett have done a fantastic job of capturing the look of the show and the players, and Gary and Cat are knocking it out of the park on covers. I couldn’t be more excited to help give seasoned viewers and new readers an all-access pass to Clark’s first year in the cape.’ “

Smallv_homecoming_LoisClark
Lois (Erica Durance) & Clark (Tom Welling)

The cover preview above  seems to include a well-rendered likeness of SMALLVILLE star Tom Welling as the Man of Steel, wearing the “New 52” version of the costume. The series finale had featured a mostly CGI version of Welling in what seemed like a mix of the traditional ‘uniform’ and the SUPERMAN RETURNS costume.

Sam Witwer is Darth Maul

Sam_WitwerAccording to Nuke The Fridge,  when Darth Maul returns in the animated STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS on Cartoon Network, he’ll be voiced by a familar genre actor.
Sam Witwer (SMALLVILLE’s Doomsday), and currently the vampiric star of SyFy’s take on the UK supernatural drama BEING HUMAN. will take on the role of the popular character of  Darth Sidious’ apprentice—who seemed to be pretty much indisputably dead, cut in half and the two parts fallen down a power shaft in THE PHANTOM MENACE.
Witwer has also appeared in the Steven King movie THE MIST, and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. In the STAR WARS universe he’s provided voices for THE CLONE WARS and the video games THE FORCE UNLEASHED (Starkiller) and STAR WARS: THE ULTIMATE SITH EDITION.

'Warehouse 13' Returns —Sneak Peek

WAREHOUSE 13 returns to SyFy tonight, with a number of changes in store.

With agent Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) resigning her postion after her nearly world-destroying error of judgement last season, “new guy” Steve Jinks joins the team.
Played by Aaron Ashmore (SMALLVILLE), Jenks is a former ATF agent, with the ability to tell if people are lying.
Eddie McClintock returns as agent Pete Latimer, as do Saul Rubinek as head honcho Dr. ‘Artie’ Nielsen and Allison Scagliotti as young tech-wiz Claudia Donovan.
Season three of  WAREHOUSE 13 premieres tonight at 9:00 PM ET/PT on SyFy.

Smallville: Finale Reviewed

SMALLV_FIN_CFQ
SMALLVILLE: ‘FINALE’
For the past ten years, beginning on the defunct WB, and continuing on it’s successor The CW Network, Warner Brothers Television’s SMALLVILLE brought a new angle on Clark Kent’s formative years.
Created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, the show introduced us to Clark Kent (Tom Welling) as a socially awkward high school student who didn’t know his alien heritage, and showed us his struggles to fit in, keep his secret even from his friends, and to learn how to use his developing powers for good.
There were plenty of missteps along the way, both by the characters and the writers. There were some episodes so aggravatingly mishandled and seeemingly wrong-headed that you wanted to scream at the television. However, this was mitigated by others that were so beautifully written, filmed, and performed that they stayed with you for hours afterwards. There was often a paplable sense of lurking tragedy, the feeling that becoming Superman might cost Clark Kent everything he held dear: friendship, family, love.

A shared Desinty, on opposite sides
A shared Destiny, on opposite sides

There were characters that symbolized this underlying tension.  Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum),  in this series originally Clark’s friend, and a conflicted soul he wished to save from a dark destiny, yet could not.  Another was Jonathan Kent (John Schneider), who would meet an early death, caused in large paty by his unyeilding determination to protect his adopted son.
They both returned in this two-part finale, and though one might take issue with the details of how this was handled, it was emotionally correct.
For a series finale that was presumably planned from the beginning of the season, far too much was crammed into the two hours (approximately 90 minutes of screen time). Some of it was very poorly thought out, in terms of the season’s arcs.
For example, a trio of super-powered villains are destroyed by someone (not Clark Kent) using ordinary weapons, due to the fact that the “magical” weapon he had sought and obtained was destroyed in a previous episode. So why did the mundane substitutes work in such a dramatic fashion? No explanation is given, they just do, and I guess you’re simply not supposed to  think about it, despite it being a jarring head-shaker.
The season’s ‘big bad’, Darkseid is also dispatched far too easily, in a scene in which the god-like entity’s avatar and the nascent man of steel each exchange a single blow. That’s it? After a year’s build-up, Clarks gets a knocker across the barn, and a stopped-time pep talk from Kryptonian father Jor-El (voice of Terrance Stamp), helps him accept that he will always be a man of two worlds. This development at long last removes Clark’s self-imposed fear of flying, a last vestige of his longing to be an  normal human being. This act of allowing himself to truly fly seems to be enough to suddenly cause his foe to simply fall into dust by soaring into him, coming appart like a sawdust mankin.
SMALLVILLE_Finale20
Annette O'Toole, Tom Welling, Eric Durance.

A lot of time is spent on Lois (Erica Durance) and Clark’s wedding vows, and we have to hear them twice, first in full as they both in succession go through pre-marital whim-whams, and again in part at the wedding. It would have been much more affecting to hear them only once.
On the other hand, although his screentime is relatively brief, Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor gets some really memorable scenes with both his half-sister Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman) and Clark Kent. This really helped in giving a needed sense of closure to the decade-long ride.
And what about the payoff? Ten seasons of the “No Flights, No Tights” dictum, finally gets put aside—more or less.
We do get to see Clark Kent fly, but Tom Welling never actually puts on those blue tights. He’s shown from chest-up, wearing a blue top with a SUPERMAN RETURNS-style three-dimensional S-shield, and a cloth cape. All the full-figure shots are of a “good enough for TV’-level CGI model Superman figure in long shot, or obscured by lens flares.
SMALLVILLE_S_CHEST_E
SMALLVILLE Finale Framegrab

Maybe not what die-hard comic book fans would have preferred, but, aided by musical quotes from John Williams’ SUPERMAN score, viewers are treated to pretty darn satisfying coda to a long-lasting look at this larger-than-life hero’s journey.
And in my opinion, it was worth the trip.
 
SMALLVILLE: Finale
Starring Tom Welling,Erica Durance, Allison Mack, Justin Hartley, Cassidy Freeman, Micael Rosenbaum, John Glover, Annette O’Toole and John Schneider.
Part One  directed by Kevin Fair, written by Al Septien & Turi Meyer.
Part Two directed by Greg Beeman,written by show producers Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders.
A Warner Brothers Television Production, aired on The CW Network May 13th, 2011.

'Smallville: Finale'—Clip

SMALLVILLE Finale

Via The CW: “The story of Clark Kent (Tom Welling) culminates in this epic two-hour series finale as Clark takes the last step to becoming the Man of Steel.
With surprise guest appearances, nods to the first few seasons of the series and Michael Rosenbaum’s return as Lex Luthor, this final episode wraps up a decade-long story following one man’s journey to becoming the world’s greatest superhero.
Erica Durance, Allison Mack, Justin Hartley, Cassidy Freeman, John Glover, Annette O’Toole and John Schneider also star.
Kevin Fair directed “Finale Part 1,” which was written by Al Septien & Turi Meyer.
Greg Beeman directed “Finale Part 2,” written by Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders.”

Lex Luthor Returns for SMALLVILLE's Finale
Lex Luthor Returns for SMALLVILLE's Finale

It’s been ten seasons of ups and downs for the saga of Clark Kent’s early years, moving from high school crushes and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER-style freak of the week episodes to a more comic-book related syle and more than a hint of soap-operatic drama and angst. 
Here’s hoping the series’ end will be as satisfying as the best of  the show’s episodes.
SMALLVILLE’s 2-Hour Finale airs this Friday beginning at 8:00 PM/7:00 Central on The CW.

'Smallville: Dominion'—Clip

In SMALLVILLE’s Dominion:

Tess (Cassidy Freeman) learns that General Slade was found unconscious on a street corner, proof that someone has gained access to the Phantom Zone’s escape portal and sent him back. Clark (Tom Welling) decides to return to the exiled land to make sure other phantoms are not fleeing and is furious when Oliver (Justin Hartley) tricks Clark into taking him along.
With Clark’s powers gone, the two are immediately captured by the Zoners who take them to their new leader, Zod (Callum Blue), who is thirsting for revenge on Clark for banishing him to this Kryptonian jail.
Meanwhile, Lois (Erica Durance) learns Clark trusted Tess with a secret, but didn’t tell Lois.
Justin Hartley directed with story by John Chisholm.

SMALLVILLE airs Friday at 8:00 PM, followed by a new episode of SUPERNATURAL on The CW Network.

'Smallville: Kent' — Clip

SMALLVILLE returns Friday April 15th with ‘Kent’.
Clark is shocked to find a mirror box in the barn. Clark Luthor surprises him and sends Clark Kent back to the alternate reality where Clark runs into a very angry Jonathan Kent (guest John Schnieder).
 Meanwhile, back in our reality, Clark Luthor visits Tess and tells if she doesn’t side with him he’ll kill her. Lois asks Emil to help her bring Clark back.
Jeannot Szwarc directed with story by Genevieve Sparling and teleplay by Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson.
SMALLVILE airs Fridays at 8:00 PM /7 :00 Central on The CW Network.

'Smallville' Flying Towards Sunset

SmallV_masq_Clark2TV Guide is featuring comments by the cast and producers of The CW’s SMALLVILE, as it heads towards its last episodes and series finale after ten years.
Tom Welling in a break from shooting a scene in the Phantom Zone for the episode airing April 29th had the following to say.

“This show, to me, has always been about Clark Kent — it hasn’t been about Superman.  And it was very important at the end that we make sure that we wrap up the Clark Kent story.”

This is not to say long time viewers won’t get a peak at Welling in the iconic role. Executive producer Kelly Souders had advice for fans watching the series finale.

“I will just say to keep watching through the whole two hours. There is a very, very special moment that we love, and everyone who is looking for that moment won’t be disappointed.”

Series co-creator Al Gough (with Miles Millar), while no longer actively connected to the show,  has his own suspicions.
“The last scene of the last episode was always going to be Clark putting on the suit and flying off into his destiny. And my guess is that, when we all see the finale, it will be some version of that. The wonderful thing about the show is that the people who work on it are just as passionate about it today as they were 10 years ago.  Kelly and Brian (Peterson) found a gear for the show and made it work. I know it wasn’t easy. I’m certainly grateful to them that they were able to do that.”
A_MACK_WAllison Mack, who plays Chloe Sullivan, the only other cast member to appear in all ten seasons, came back for the finale after completing her contracted five episodes this year.

“It was important for me to pay homage to the character, the people I’ve worked with and the fans. I had a realization, while I was doing the middle five episodes, that this has been such a huge part of my life, and I am so blessed and so lucky to have had this opportunity. I wanted to make sure that I was respectful of that.
… I think that the writers have respected my character for such a long time, and she goes out with the same affection she came in with.”

See the entire article at the link above.