Today in show business news: Shia LaBeouf has dropped out of a play quite suddenly, NBC is totally screwed, and Michelle Williams has a reality show. No, not that Michelle Williams.
Beloved actor Shia LaBeouf, who has thrilled audiences in fare as varied as Transformers and Transformers 2, was set to make his Broadway debut on March 19 in the play Orphans. But now he's dropped out, citing the dreaded "creative differences." What could those differences be? Does he not like working on stage? Did he and the director clash? Alec Baldwin is also in the cast, so maybe he chased him off? He's been known to do that before. Whatever the reason, it means the show is short one third of its cast less than a month before previews are scheduled to start. So either there's a very lucky understudy being told some good news right now, or there's a mad scramble to replace LaBeouf with some other bold-ish name. No word on what LaBeouf is going to do instead, though we can probably guess that it will be very exciting and everyone will love it. That's just his way. [Playbill]
While on the topic of theater, Jane Lynch will be playing Miss Hannigan in the Broadway Annie revival for eight weeks this summer. She'll be replacing Katie Finneran, who is leaving to film Michael J. Fox's new show. Lynch has done stuff at Steppenwolf and Second City, but this will be her big bawdy Broadway debut. It's a pretty good part for her, though it's a little expected, isn't it? It's just a bit on the nose, to go from Sue Sylvester, hater of singing children, to Miss Hannigan, hater of singing children. Ah well, at least she won't have to deal with Lea Michele. Unless the girl playing Annie mysteriously breaks her kneecaps and Lea is the only one ready to do the show at the last minute. But that would never happen! [Playbill]
Here's something grim: AMC's Walking Dead wrap-up show Talking Dead had better ratings last week than everything on NBC. A post-show wrap-up program on basic cable did better than everything on NBC. Not much to say about this except, damn. [Twitter]
Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams, no not the one who keeps getting nominated for Oscars, has signed a deal to star in her own reality show. The show doesn't seem to have a network yet, but it has producers and all that, so it's on the up and up. The show is called My Sister's Keeper and follows Michelle and her sisters as she promotes her new gospel album. So that sounds thrilling doesn't it? Who wouldn't want to watch a lady and her sisters promote a gospel album? That just sounds so... exciting. What's gonna happen next? With the gospel album... and... the sisters. I don't... [The Hollywood Reporter]
Sorry, nodded off there for a second. Now we're back. CBS's Under the Dome summer series keeps casting away, the latest to join being disgraced Twilight actress Rachelel Lefevre. Remember she was the one who played Victoria in the first two Twilight movies before being replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard, after the studio realized that the movies had been bizarrely cast with a bunch of no-names and that maybe some actors who people recognized would bring in even more audiences. Poor Lefevre has been busy enough since then, but this is arguably her highest-profile project since. She'll be playing an investigative reporter who has just arrived in town when the dome comes down. Then she, like everyone else, is under the doom. In CBS's Under the Dome. [Entertainment Weekly]
Here's a post about what the Best Actress and Actor Oscar nominees have lined up next. It's mostly unsurprising stuff — Hugh Jackman has Wolverine, Jennifer Lawrence has Hunger Games, Quvenzhané Wallis is "being courted" to play Annie in a new movie version — but then there's this line, from Jessica Chastain's section. "She also has signed on for the Downton Abbey-esque drama Miss Julie." Exsqueeze me? Miss Julie the 130-year-old Strindberg play that is considered a classic of modern drama is "Downton Abbey-esque"? I think they might have that backwards. (Also, the comparison is really not accurate at all. Miss Julie is strange and psychological. Downton Abbey is... not.) That's like calling A Doll's House "Desperate Housewives-esque." It's just not at all correct and should not happen. "The Gilmore Girls-esque Three Sisters." Nope. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Here is a trailer for Mira Nair's new film The Reluctant Fundamentalist, about a young Pakistani man who moves to the United States to seek his fortune and falls in love with the country (and, it would seem, Kate Hudson), but then is disillusioned by his treatment in the aftermath of September 11th. It looks like a movie that's trying to be timely but kind of isn't timely somehow? Mira Nair has done some good things in the past (though, it's been a while), and that Riz Ahmed ain't bad to look at, so we'll give this thing the benefit of the doubt, but this trailer isn't terribly promising.