TV Talk

High Fidelity Gets a Do-Over With New Catwoman Zoë Kravitz as Star

Plus, Baby Yoda strikes again, uncertain futures for Veronica Mars and Castle Rock, a Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. update, Julia Louis-Dreyfus scores a multi-year Apple TV+ deal, and more of the day's top TV news.

by and | January 17, 2020 | Comments

Friday’s portion of the Television Critics Association press day got political, thanks to projects like a Hillary Clinton documentary coming to Hulu and National Geographic’s powerful film The Cave. Other news out of the day included the iffy future of Hulu projects Veronica Mars and Castle Rock, as well as Zoë Kravitz dishing on her new Hulu show High Fidelity.


TOP STORY

HIGH FIDELITY GENDER-FLIPS 2000 MOVIE WITH STAR ZOË KRAVITZ

Hulu’s High Fidelity hits just in time for Valentine’s Day, serving up a gender-flipped rom-com re-do of the 2000 film starring John Cusack and Lisa Bonet, who happens to be the mother of series star Kravitz.

Kravitz is having an excellent year so far, between celebrating a Golden Globe nomination for season 2 of Big Little Lies, her recently announced role as DC Universe’s new Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ 2021 film The Batman, and this promising Hulu series from executive producers Sarah Kucserka, Veronica West, Scott Rosenberg, and Kravitz herself. The show, which tackles lead character Rob’s love life and a theme of gentrification, relocates from England (in Nick Hornby’s book) and Chicago (in the movie) to the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn.

“We watch a lot of romantic comedies with female leads,” West told the TCA gathering, “and the problem always seems to be you can’t find the right man, or you’re desperate to get married, or you’re self-destructive in some way. And like, when a man gets to be the lead, the problems are internal and it’s just like — it was interesting for us to put that in a woman’s point of view and let her issues with romance really just be about learning how to figure out herself and not finding Mr. Right. You know, there’s lots of Mr. Rights in the show, which is part of what makes it so much fun.”

ZOE KRAVITZ CATWOMAN BATMAN

(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

For Kravitz’s part, the actress pulled some strings as executive producer to make the comedy happen.

“We had Colleen Atwood do the costumes, who is a legend. I had worked with her on Fantastic Beasts, and we were having a really hard time finding someone to do the costumes and that was a really important element to the story and the show to me. And I had called Colleen asking her if she knew someone that would do it because I knew she wouldn’t do it because she’s — she did f—ing Silence of the Lambs. Like, you know, it’s not happening. And I called her and said, ‘Do you know someone?’ and that we need someone and it was starting really soon. And she said, ‘I love High Fidelity. I love you. I’ll do it.’ And we were all in shock … I called [executive producer Scott Rosenberg], and I said, ‘I think I found someone that you’ll be happy with’ — because he wasn’t happy with anybody — and he said, ‘Who?’ And I said, ‘Colleen Atwood. She wants to do it.’ And it got really quiet. And then he went, ‘Why?'”

Kravitz said she and Atwood found costumes for her character at vintage stores.

“I stole a lot of s—. I have a lot of the clothes from High Fidelity,” she confessed. “I’m really into the Hawaiian shirts. We did a lot of really cool Hawaiian shirts, and Colleen designed this really great leather jacket that was kind of an homage to the jacket that Cusack wears in the film. We did a Hawaiian shirt with a leather jacket with a kind of pleated school skirt, and that was really cool.”

Music posed a different kind of challenge for the rom-com TV reboot.

“We spent a lot of money on music,” Kravitz said. “Every song that we really wanted, we got. And every song we couldn’t get that was replaced, the song that it was replaced with ended up being the perfect song. We were really lucky. And we had amazing support from ABC and Hulu in terms of everyone knew how important the music — music is a character on the show. So she needs like a trailer and a makeup office –”

A reporter couldn’t help noticing that Kravitz’s short pixie cut was a much different look than the long braids her character wears in the series.

“I cut my hair for Batman, so it’s short now,” Kravitz explained, insisting that her hair in the series was definitely not a wig.
Earlier in the week, Kravitz appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ show, where she talked about training for her Batman role and meeting with a famous former Catwoman while sitting with the Big Little Lies talent at the Golden Globes earlier this month.

“I was sitting at the Globes with David Kelley — because he writes our show — and [his wife] Michelle Pfeiffer. And I was bowing to the queen. I’m nervous to be in her presence now,” she told DeGeneres, who asked her about costume fittings. “We’ve had many. It’s going really well. It’s very exciting. And I’ve been training a ton, too, which has been great and hard…I come home just limping every day. It’s actually kind of pathetic.”


THE FATHER OF STAR WARS MEETS THE CHILD

The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau shared a photo of Star Wars creator George Lucas holding series phenomenon The Child, and the internet shed tears of Baby Yoda joy…


HULU AND VERONICA MARS USED TO BE FRIENDS?

veronica mars season 5

(Photo by Warner Bros. Television. Courtesy: Everett Collection)

Hulu’s summer release of a fourth season of Veronica Mars five years after the Kristen Bell drama got a film version and even longer after the series left The CW caused a strong fan reaction — both because of a shocking ending and the decision to drop the episodes several days before its intended release date, thus screwing up rewatch plans for fans were binging old episodes on Hulu. Nevertheless, there was almost immediate talk as to whether there would be another season.

Hulu senior v.p. of scripted originals Craig Erwich had a non-answer to this question when asked during his TCA executive session.

“I think for fans of the show, who have been lifelong fans, the opportunity to check back in with Veronica Mars and see where she is in her life was really exciting [and] it generated a lot of social conversation,” he said. “You know, what’s interesting is that collection, that kind of journey of Veronica Mars in terms of the television episodes and in terms of her life as a character, exists on Hulu now and will exist for a long time. So there’s still a lot of Veronica Mars for people to check out. We’re encouraging people to continue to watch it. People are continuing to discover it and and right now, we think that’s a really satisfying, narrative experience for them.”


CASTLE ROCK ALSO IN QUESTION

Lizzy Caplan stars in season 2 of Castle Rock (Hulu)

Erwich was similarly vague about the future of Castle Rock, Hulu’s original series based on characters and themes in author Stephen King’s work.

“We have not made any further decisions on Castle Rock. Again, that show recently launched. People are still continuing to discover it,” he said, adding that “I thought that Lizzy Caplan [who joined the show in season 2] was revelatory in her portrayal of Annie Wilkes. It was a whole new take on that character, and I thought very brave of her given what Kathy Bates had done [in the movie Misery]. You know, Lizzy was really able to find her own way into that.”


HULU PROMISES PATTON OSWALT’S M.O.D.O.K. PUTS HILARIOUS SPIN ON MARVEL SUPERVILLAIN

Fantastic Four Marvel comic book cover image (Marvel.com)

(Photo by Marvel.com)

Click image to see full comic cover

In more positive news, Erwich said that he’s “really excited” after having seen “quite a few” episodes of animated series Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K., which stands for “Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing.” The character is described by Marvel as “a massive-headed being possessing superhuman intelligence and extraordinary psionic powers.” He’s an egomaniacal supervillain trying to retain control over both his evil organization and his demanding family.

Erwich added that star, executive producer, and co-writer “Patton Oswalt is a lifelong Marvel fan and was obsessed with the character of M.O.D.O.K., so for him to finally get his hands on that character and for he and [co-writer and fellow executive producer] Jordan Blum to do what they’ve always wanted to do with it, has been great to see. They are taking a whole new perspective, and a very funny one, on what it means to be a comic book villain, which is really special.”

At last winter’s press tour, Hulu announced that M.O.D.O.K. would be part of an animated lineup that also includes Marvel’s Hit-Monkey, Marvel’s Tigra & Dazzler Show, and Marvel’s Howard The Duck. The four originals will culminate in a special, Marvel’s The Offenders.

Erwich also said he’s seen the first four hours of upcoming Marvel series Helstrom and, “I’m really excited about it. It is a definitely a different corner of the Marvel universe in terms of its horror.”


HILLARY CLINTON’S ADVICE FOR VIEWERS OF HER DOCUMENTARY

HILLARY CLINTON HULU DOCUMENTARY

(Photo by Erik Voake/Getty Images for Hulu)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also at Hulu’s TCA press day, joining filmmaker Nanette Burstein to promote their four-part documentary, Hillary. The former presidential hopeful was unflinching when asked what she hopes voters will take away from her documentary when it premieres March 6 — which, she noted, was after Super Tuesday and may mean we’ll have a clearer vision of who will be the Democratic nominee for president in November.

“I think the most important message is, we are — and I say ‘we,’ because that’s the side that I’m on … I am on the side of an inclusive, generous, open-hearted country that faces up to the future, tries to bring people together to make difficult choices, of which we have many facing us, and that we’re in a real struggle with a form of politics that is incredibly negative, exclusive, mean-spirited. It’s going to be up to every voter, not only people who vote in Democratic primaries, to recognize this is no ordinary time,” she said. “This is an election that will have such profound impact. So take your vote seriously, and for the Democratic voters, try to vote for the person you think is most likely to win because at the end of the day, that is what will matter. And not just the popular vote, but the Electoral College, as we’ve learned.”


STEVE MARTIN, MARTIN SHORT MAKING NEW HULU COMEDY AND MORE DEVELOPMENT NEWS

STEVE MARTIN MARTIN SHORT HULU TRUE CRIME COMEDY

(Photo by Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

An untitled comedy starring Steve Martin and Martin Short. has gotten a straight-to-series order from Hulu. The series is co-created by Martin and John Hoffman. They both will executive produce along with This is Us creator Dan Fogelman, Jess Rosenthal, and Short.

National Geographic announced partnerships with superhero superstars Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) for a six-part series called #impact, featuring global stories of extraordinary young women, and with Chris Hemsworth (Thor) for Limitless, a series that “will explore the frontiers of the human body.”

Freeform has given a green light to Last Summer, which is described as an unconventional thriller that takes place over three summers in the mid-’90s. Executive producers are Bert V. Royal, Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple. The pilot is executive produced and directed by Max Winkler.

Apple TV+ has ordered the docu-series Dear… from The September Issue’s R.J. Cutler. It will premiere this spring and, according to the logline, it’s inspired by Apple’s “Dear Apple” spots and promises to take “an inventive and cinematic approach to biographies of the most iconic figures in society today by using letters written by those whose lives have been changed through their work.”

Hulu has also renewed Wu-Tang: An American Saga and Dollface. Freeform has renewed Grown-ish and Good Trouble and Disney+ has given a second season to The World According to Jeff Goldblum.


PREMIERE DATES FOR RAMY, SOLAR OPPOSITES, GENIUS: ARETHA, MORE

RAMY SEASON 2 HULU

(Photo by Matthias Clamer/Hulu)

Hulu has announced that its Golden Globe-winning Ramy will premiere its second season on May 29 with Mahershala Ali joining as a guest star. New series The Great and Solar Opposites will premiere May 15 and May 8 respectively.

Genius: Aretha, starring 2020 Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), will launch on National Geographic as a four-night event series beginning Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. It is the third season of the networks anthology series. The network also announced the March 9 premiere date for COSMOS: Possible Worlds, hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

New Freeform show Motherland: Fort Salem starts March 18 while Siren starts Season 3 on April 2.


THE CAVE DIRECTOR’S ABSENCE A HARSH REMINDER OF DOC’S IMPORTANCE

Feras Fayyad the cave

(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

National Geographic hosted a panel for The Cave, a powerful Syrian-Danish documentary film that focuses on Amani Ballour, a female doctor working out of a makeshift hospital in an actual cave during the Syrian Civil War. The film airs on the network on January 25, and director Feras Fayyad was scheduled to attend, but was unable to, according to a statement provided by the film’s producer Sigrid Dyekjær.

“We were hoping that Feras Fayyad could be here with us today,” Dyekjær wrote. “As has been widely reported, in December Feras was denied an extended U.S. visa by the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen and has missed several industry events, including the IDA Awards and Cinema Eye Awards.”

While he has waited to meet with the embassy, Fayyad found out that “his aunt’s house was bombed and his parents’ and childhood home was in the line of fire in Syria.” The director traveled to Turkey to be near his family, but was arrested by immigration police in Copenhagen when he attempted to return, Dyekjær wrote.

“Feras is a filmmaker, but first and foremost he’s a Syrian. The Cave is a very personal film. It is dedicated to his seven sisters. To his daughter. To the unnamed women he witnessed being jailed and tortured in Syrian prisons because they’re women,” Dyekjær wrote. “His voice is important and it deserves to be heard, now more than ever. After all, we are talking about a brilliant filmmaker who is now a two-time Academy Award nominee — and my dear friend.”


DEALS: JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS AND APPLE

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepts Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for 'Veep' onstage during the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images; Justin M. Lubin/HBO)

Multi-Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus has signed a multi-year overall deal with Apple where she will develop new projects exclusively for Apple TV+ — both an executive producer and star.

“I am thrilled about this new partnership with my friends at Apple,” Louis-Dreyfus said in a statement. “Also, many thanks and kudos to my representatives for structuring the deal in such a way that I am paid in AirPods.”

Hulu has also signed a multi-year streaming deal with DreamWorks Animation. Hulu announced the first three premieres to be Hulu Originals in 2020: Madagascar: A Little Wild based on the film franchise, TrollsTopia from the Trolls universe, and The Mighty Ones, featuring a twig, a pebble, a leaf, and a strawberry that live in an unkempt backyard where the humans are gods.


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

hispanic DC Universe BET Drama 90s PaleyFest canceled police drama New York Comic Con james bond live event Disney+ Disney Plus Sci-Fi 93rd Oscars The Purge period drama BAFTA action-comedy Disney doctor who 71st Emmy Awards comics Superheroes rom-coms mutant Thanksgiving zombies live action Election Creative Arts Emmys italian Star Wars harry potter OWN Lionsgate Hallmark monster movies Syfy adenture technology target Schedule Toys 2019 saw 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards VICE Biopics Walt Disney Pictures based on movie adaptation Nat Geo crime indiana jones Trivia Red Carpet Apple The Walt Disney Company Black Mirror TBS Hallmark Christmas movies Comics on TV Awards kaiju Disney streaming service TCA Awards richard e. Grant Amazon Prime YA BBC One australia franchise Oscars Captain marvel Infographic Country Universal USA serial killer cancelled TV series stoner science fiction Logo free movies joker OneApp travel LGBTQ Lucasfilm razzies spider-man supernatural worst 73rd Emmy Awards cars BET Awards HBO Go Disney Channel FXX Columbia Pictures chucky APB talk show asian-american Academy Awards History Shudder Wes Anderson child's play politics slasher Anna Paquin Comedy psychological thriller NYCC venice FOX Sundance TV Year in Review Binge Guide TCA 2017 Classic Film canceled TV shows CNN Chernobyl Paramount Plus know your critic festivals new york Freeform comedies rt archives scary movies Masterpiece Tubi Sundance Character Guide documentary crime thriller SXSW spider-verse cops Trailer renewed TV shows movies Watching Series witnail ESPN sitcom dceu Women's History Month CBS All Access E! diversity rotten movies we love SDCC DirecTV screenings heist movie versus 20th Century Fox El Rey obituary Peacock YouTube Premium Ovation MCU Superheroe Star Trek justice league marvel comics TV movies true crime X-Men king kong Mary Poppins Returns Best and Worst HBO The Witch psycho MTV BBC America Emmys war slashers ghosts festival Fantasy Writers Guild of America Interview HBO Max criterion TCA Winter 2020 Travel Channel rotten scary Tokyo Olympics directors Tomatazos President CBS Kids & Family strong female leads Alien cats Film Festival YouTube Action stand-up comedy 72 Emmy Awards trailers Fox Searchlight stop motion Western deadpool San Diego Comic-Con Tumblr Amazon Prime Video nfl Heroines RT21 Ellie Kemper basketball spanish robots zombie USA Network ID Quiz Britbox pirates of the caribbean gangster Crunchyroll Television Academy Warner Bros. a nightmare on elm street Sony Pictures Television Critics Association game of thrones Extras book adaptation football Image Comics sequel DC Comics superhero TCM Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Paramount Network Turner award winner Marathons Rocky cooking Horror kong olympics DGA Comic Book universal monsters Mindy Kaling historical drama mcc TNT medical drama high school wonder woman jurassic park Ghostbusters comic book movies SundanceTV animated Rock Arrowverse what to watch Spike south america hispanic heritage month Trophy Talk new zealand royal family Esquire Brie Larson cinemax dc 2017 docuseries popular Holiday mission: impossible blockbuster Turner Classic Movies foreign classics Comedy Central Lifetime ABC Family sopranos Universal Pictures posters First Look Calendar fast and furious Countdown Valentine's Day crime drama die hard dexter Pixar critics crossover Dark Horse Comics TV Land Acorn TV comic batman french composers Broadway Marvel Television Paramount LGBT Amazon Studios Mudbound parents Fox News FX on Hulu Grammys emmy awards Holidays Polls and Games comic books sequels scorecard See It Skip It Shondaland biography The Academy Vudu jamie lee curtis GLAAD black comedy kids independent 2021 worst movies Marvel Studios FX debate Cosplay AMC Set visit singing competition best Disney Plus unscripted Family Starz reviews Adult Swim ITV IMDb TV mockumentary revenge Spectrum Originals Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt critic resources feel good Hulu 2020 binge Musical cancelled TV shows PlayStation facebook 2018 anime Nickelodeon TV 2015 dragons romantic comedy king arthur godzilla Summer reboot Rom-Com E3 twilight Super Bowl Sneak Peek cancelled Pop TV suspense miniseries TruTV Fall TV DC streaming service aliens RT History book Musicals streaming halloween tv docudrama 99% nature movie Mystery Avengers halloween international Awards Tour japan Cartoon Network hollywood Film Tarantino 24 frames TV renewals natural history boxoffice Spring TV quibi Winners social media breaking bad blockbusters indie Sundance Now TLC Stephen King 1990s Video Games teaser Martial Arts spy thriller hidden camera comic book movie television Emmy Nominations Box Office ViacomCBS art house Legendary Song of Ice and Fire NBC Showtime Certified Fresh Discovery Channel A24 vs. Netflix Christmas movies sports cartoon The Walking Dead Lifetime Christmas movies WGN documentaries Photos dreamworks spanish language 45 Black History Month concert all-time ratings Endgame mob toy story superman golden globe awards VOD transformers Food Network news spain black Opinion green book cancelled television romance Bravo IFC Films legend Teen Rocketman children's TV Cannes remakes spinoff Crackle satire Hear Us Out GIFs video on demand Exclusive Video The Arrangement YouTube Red tv talk aapi Premiere Dates Pacific Islander toronto Baby Yoda young adult WarnerMedia MSNBC women Reality First Reviews Funimation CMT Epix 4/20 telelvision blaxploitation marvel cinematic universe 007 golden globes comiccon Pop elevated horror casting adventure Podcast disaster Nominations prank Music sag awards TCA vampires scene in color Apple TV+ GoT 21st Century Fox BBC VH1 CW Seed dramedy A&E discovery ABC Signature Reality Competition video space screen actors guild NBA dark TV One Neflix Animation rt labs series thriller Apple TV Plus Comic-Con@Home 2021 name the review finale fresh rt labs critics edition The CW Amazon game show theme song ABC latino Mary poppins films nbcuniversal AMC Plus zero dark thirty new star wars movies IFC Elton John werewolf Instagram Live hist biopic American Society of Cinematographers lord of the rings political drama dogs laika streaming movies archives christmas movies Pet Sematary Pride Month Mary Tyler Moore boxing Winter TV National Geographic Marvel 2016 genre cults Christmas Netflix PBS japanese anthology Pirates TIFF