“It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time,” said Roma Downey, who produced the movie with her husband, Mark Burnett.
Neil deGrasse Tyson in Fox’s “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”
*The man behind “The Cleveland Show” is hauling science into primetime this spring, with an assist from perhaps the world’s most famous astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. And it’s set for a premiere that will take place across a multitude of networks around the globe — a television rarity.
On March 9, Fox premieres “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” a follow-up to Carl Sagan’s 13-part series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” in 1980, which explored the nooks and crannies of our universe.
Seth MacFarlane, the creator of “Family Guy” and “The Cleveland Show,” is teaming with Sagan’s widow Ann Druyan to executive produce the new 13-part series that continues to probe the stars…this time narrated by Tyson.
*After a long hiatus, Wayne Brady is returning to CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother” for its final season.
The actor, who last appeared as Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) brother, James, in a 2011 episode, will return “in a recurring capacity,” says a rep for studio 20th Century Fox.
The “Let’s Make a Deal” host leaked the news on Monday night when he tweeted about his first fitting of the new season. As producers have already let slip, “How I Met Your Mother’s” final run will take place over one long wedding weekend according to The Hollywood Reporter. James will likely be a key figure in the festivities, since it’s his brother who’s tying the knot.
How I Met Your Mother: (L-R) Ben Vereen, Wayne Brady, Neil Patrick Harris
Brady has appeared in a total of five episodes of “How I Met Your Mother,” playing the other son to Frances Conroy’s Loretta Stinson. Below, an extended scene from Sept. 2010: A duet between Wayne Brady and Ben Vereen gets interrupted by a very enthusiastic Neil Patrick Harris.
Queen Tara, voiced by Beyonce, in a scene from “Epic”
*Fans have given her the nickname Queen B, but Beyonce is currently in theaters as the real thing in 20th Century Fox’s animated film “Epic.”
Directed by Chris Wedges and based on the children’s novel The Leaf Man, “Epic” tells the story of teenage girl (Amanda Seyfried) who finds herself magically transported into a secret universe deep in the forest, where an ongoing battle is being forged between good and evil. She must band together with a rag-tag team of whimsical characters in order to save their world.
Beyonce lent her voice for the character of Queen Tara, the Mother Nature-like ruler of the forest.
“Queen Tara is very important in ‘Epic.’ She’s preserved the beauty of her natural world and the safety of her people,” Bey told us.
The singer, currently in the midst of her “Mrs. Carter Show” world tour, talks about her experience voicing an animated character in the audio below.
“Epic,” also starring Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis and Steven Tyler, in theaters now. Listen to Beyonce’s song “Rise Up” from the “Epic” soundtrack. Scroll down to watch the film’s trailer.
Actor Dennis Haysbert arrives at the 2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower on February 24, 2013 in West Hollywood
*With a new week comes a new round of film and TV castings. The latest involves Dennis Haysbert, Omar Sy and Tongayi Chirisa.
Dennis Haysbert, who starred in the CBS military drama “The Unit,” is reuniting with the network and “The Unit” producer 20th Century Fox TV with a co-starring role in the CBS/20th TV drama pilot “Backstrom.” Based on the Swedish book series, the project centers on Everett Backstrom, an overweight, offensive, irascible detective as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior. Haysbert plays John Almond, one of the detectives working with Backstrom.
Actor Omar Sy speaks onstage during Deadline Hollywood’s The Contenders at the Landmark Theater on November 10, 2012 in Los Angeles
Director Bryan Singer tweeted that “the brilliant” Omar Sy of the French film “The Intouchables” has joined the cast of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men: Days Of Future Past.” Other castings for the follow-up to “X-Men: First Class” include Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore and Hugh Jackman. Deadline also recently reported that Singer was keen on adding Peter Dinklage for a key role. Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Halle Berry will return as Magneto, Professor Xavier and Storm.
Tongayi Chirisa (NBC’s “Crusoe”) has been cast as Father Nicholas Ngungumbane in CBS’ Jim Gaffigan comedy pilot. Written by Gaffigan and Peter Tolan, the project centers on Jim (Gaffigan) a guy who lives with his wife Jeannie (Mira Sorvino) and five kids in a 2-bedroom New York apartment. Father Ngungumbane is Catholic priest from Zimbabwe, recently relocated to New York and thrilled to be living in the United States, who tries to convince Jim to come to church more often.