The Hollywood Insider: 'Terra Nova' starts shooting
Steven Spielberg's sci-fi series will debut in May 2011, and ''Twilight'' director casts an Edward Cullen also-ran in ''Red Riding Hood''
Fox’s high-profile Terra Nova starts shooting
After months of intense planning, Fox finally began production last week on Terra Nova, a new sci-fi series about a family in the year 2149 that travels back in time to a prehistoric era. Originally eyeing a midseason premiere, the network opted to model Terra Nova‘s rollout on that of Glee, by previewing its two-hour pilot in May and postponing a full run until September. That took some pressure off the big-ticket production, which involves multiple non-writing exec producers (including Steven Spielberg and ex-Fox chief Peter Chernin), lots of computer-generated imagery, and an exotic Australian locale. The writers’ room has already seen its share of changes: Original scribes Craig Silverstein (Bones) and newcomer Kelly Marcel exited before casting began, after which Brannon Braga (FlashForward) and David Fury (24) took over as showrunners. Fury left because of creative differences two months ago, and last week the studio decided to reduce the writing staff, since the show’s official debut was pushed to the fall. That prompted some Hollywood skeptics to declare Terra Nova a hot mess, though Fox remains committed to the project. ”Our studio’s greatest successes — shows like 24, Buffy, and Glee — have come from the biggest and boldest ideas executed by the best creators and producers,” says Dana Walden, chairman of 20th Century Fox TV, which is producing the show. Fortunately, several appealing actors weren’t turned off by the 15-hour flight: Jason O’Mara (Life on Mars) signed on to play patriarch Jim Shannon, while Stephen Lang (Avatar) will play the merciless leader of the prehistoric settlement. Rounding out the cast are Mido Hamada (24), Shelly Conn (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and an over-seven-foot-tall robotic slasher dinosaur that’s under construction on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Twilight snub lands actor in Red Riding Hood‘s embrace
Shiloh Fernandez was so close to playing Edward Cullen, he could’ve smelled blood. Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke reveals to EW that the 25-year-old actor had a near lock on the role before Robert Pattinson showed up. ”If Rob and Kristen [Stewart] hadn’t had that chemistry, he was the next choice,” she says. But Hardwicke was so impressed with Fernandez that she cast him in her upcoming thriller Red Riding Hood, alongside Amanda Seyfried. ”He’s just naturally sexy — the way he kisses Amanda, you’re just like, ‘Oh, damn,”’ says Hardwicke. ”On a few shots it was almost a little uncomfortable because it was pretty steamy.”
— Karen Valby