Monday, March 15, 2010

Q and A: Week of March 15

Q: I really loved “Avatar” and have been hearing talk of sequel(s). Please tell me this is true! — David G., via e-mail

A: Director James Cameron has hinted that the rumors are true. I spoke recently with CCH Pounder (pictured left; photo credit Geneva Morgan) — who plays Mo’at, the mother of Neytiri and the spiritual leader of Omaticaya clan of Pandora — and she also verified that the idea of further adventures on Pandora is definitely a great possibility. CCH explains: “I know that he (James Cameron) did semi-announce that he is going to make a sequel — that he is going to take a break, but he did have a story idea. I think perhaps it was always that this would be some sort of a trilogy story.

“I don’t think it would take as long, because we already have the world of Pandora created, and it all exists in the digital world. All you have to do is put the story and characters in it. I think, Suzy, his wife, would greatly appreciate a break, and his children would love to see him hang about a bit. He’s kind of a workaholic guy. It might be four years, and it might be next year (that he starts working on it).”

Q: I was really starting to get into the new Fox show “Past Life,” but I suddenly can’t find it on the schedule anymore. Has it been canceled, or is it merely on hiatus? — Charity E., via e-mail

A: After airing only three episodes, Fox has decided to pull the plugged on the struggling and poorly received supernatural crime thriller. It has been replaced by original episodes of “Kitchen Nightmares.”

Q: I am a huge fan of “American Idol,” and was wondering what one of my favorite past winners, Taylor Hicks, is doing now? — Margie F., Hartford, Conn.

A: The Season Five winner of “American Idol” is currently touring the country in “Grease,” playing the role of Teen Angel. He also recently released his first concert DVD called “Whomp at the Warfield,” which is sure to delight members of his “Soul Patrol.” When I caught up with Taylor recently, he told me how much he is enjoying trying his hand at acting: “(Being in “Grease”) has been great. It’s allowed me to get into acting and understand role-playing, and it’s just a great starting point for me in the acting field.”

Q: Is it true that someone is making a film about Facebook? How is it possible to turn that into a film? — Frank J., via e-mail

A: Production has begun on “The Social Network,” which stars Rashida Jones, Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg, and is directed by David Fincher (Fight Club,” “Se7en,” “Panic Room” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”). Shelby Young (Days of Our Lives” and “Wild Child”) recently finished shooting her supporting role in the film. While she couldn’t tell me much about the movie or her role in it (they have all signed confidentiality agreements so the story doesn’t leak out), what she could tell me is that the movie is about the founders of the social-networking site Facebook. Like many of the film’s stars, Shelby admits, “I am such a huge fan of ‘Fight Club,’ so the chance to work with David Fincher, I just couldn’t pass that up.” Look for “The Social Network” in theaters come October.

Q: At the end of last season it was stated that “Friday Night Lights” was coming back this year. Has that changed? I haven’t been able to find anything about it. — Phillis M., via e-mail

A: Season Four of “FNL” is slated to premiere Friday, April 30, on NBC. Per an agreement with DirecTV, the fourth season already aired on The 101 Network from October 2009 through this past February, with NBC re-airing the season coming next month. If you want to be surprised by what happens this season, beware of online spoilers from those who already saw the episodes on The 101!

Q: For this final season of “Lost,” I am as confused as ever — and LOVING it! I also love one of the newer characters, Jacob. What can you tell me about the actor who plays him? I know I’ve seen him in other things. — Melanie C., Dayton, Ohio

A: Mark Pellegrino (pictured left; photo credit Eric Williams), 44, who has played Jacob on “Lost” since the end of the previous season, has been in a ton of movies, such as “The Big Lebowski,” “Mulholland Drive,” “Capote” and “National Treasure.” On the small screen, he is most known for playing the Devil on “Supernatural” and Paul Bennett on “Dexter.” I asked Mark when we chatted recently if it was intimidating for him to join such an established, phenomenon of a show so late in the series.

“Luckily I didn’t know it was such a huge phenomenon until I landed on the island and was told,” Pellegrino said. “When you audition, the character sides are not the character you are auditioning for, and the scenes are just made-up stuff to throw off all the people on the Internet who are so anxious to get the material. I had no idea what it meant until I got there and they told me I’m Jacob. And then it dawned on me what a big deal it was.”

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