REVIEW- GODLESS – Scott Frank’s Netflix Western shows that a woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do.

Following a mining accident, the women of LaBelle have been left manless, which might have been an alternative title. They’re getting along okay, though the Sheriff is going blind and a local rancher Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery) is something of an outcast. Things take a perilous twist however with the arrival of  Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), a son-like protégé to bloody-minded gently spoken outlaw Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels). Moore has betrayed Griffin and now the outlaw and his band of thirty murderous psychopaths are scouring the Western frontier, promising to massacre any town that harbors Moore.

Okay. We’ve been waiting all this time for a Deadwood third season or TV movie or whatever. And here it is. Godless isn’t as muddy or profane as Deadwood. But it dusts off the western in a way bullshit like the Magnificent Seven remake notably failed to. The miniseries looks like cinema, widescreen and bad ass. The action is directed with a verve and invention which is continually rewarding. The acting is exceptional. Michelle Dockery breaks out of her Downton Abbey corset and Jeff Daniels breaks bad, in a way analogous (and name-checked) to Henry Fonda’s casting in Once Upon a Time in the West. He’s something between a Cormac McCarthy bad man – Blood Meridian – and a gentle paterfamilias. The script has the vim of a Larry McMurty novel – Lonesome Dove. And yet there’s also time for the sublime landscapes and beauty.

Much has been said of the feminism or otherwise of the piece. Is it a feminist western, or just a western that passes (or surpasses) the Bechdel test? To tell you the truth either one of those is a win-win. Especially when the show is such bloody fun.

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HOLLYWOOD – Ridley Scott has confirmed that he will film a motion picture based on the popular app/game Candy Crush Saga by

Gladiator and Prometheus director Ridley Scott today confirmed he will be filming a new adaptation of the popular game Candy Crush, recently purchased by Activision. Scott spoke to the Studio Exec exclusively: 

I’ve always wanted to film something that is just about connections, patterns and confectionery, with no characters, no dialogue, just sweeties and shapes and stuff. And this looks like my chance.

Billed as a cross between The Parallax View and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Scott’s film is already in the late stages of pre-production. Scott told us:

The real problem was getting a story. Angry Birds you have a story, so that script wrote itself (well actually Cormac McCarthy wrote it) and I’m hoping to film it sometime late next year. Kevin Smith wrote a brilliant treatment for Monopoly but it was too obviously Marxist, so we had trouble selling that to the big studios. Candy Crush is colorful and exciting but where’s the story? Then I saw Battleship and it was like I had been hit by lightning. Eureka! We don’t need a story. We can just go ahead. We don’t need characters or any human emotion. Obviously I’d been experimenting with that kind of film with The Counselor and Prometheus but this will give me the scope to go all out.

Michael Fassbender is to play the yellow sweets whose paradisiacal home is threatened by the multicolored gobstoppers led by Kevin Spacey.

Candy Crush is due out late in 2016.


EXCLUSIVE – Read an EXCLUSIVE extract from Cormac McCarthy’s failed Ghostbusters 3 script.

American novelist and Counselor screenwriter Cormac McCarthy new version of Ghostbusters 3 was ultimately rejected but the Studio Exec have got our hands on the first draft which (interestingly enough) was written in crayon.


A phone rings in the desolate waste of the night. A man. A man answers the phone.




You know what there is?


No. I don’t know.


It’s a ghost. There’s a ghost. And I thought, I thought, who am I gonna call? Then it came to me. I’m gonna call Ghostbusters. 


What did you do next?


This is it. This is me. Now. Calling Ghostbusters. This is Ghostbusters, right?


Only in a deeply painful way. But yes. I suppose it is.

The famous Ghostbusters mobile drives with the siren wailing and the light flashing.



Venkman, Ray and Spengler sit. They are covered in slime and look exhausted and distressed by the moral efficacy, or otherwise, of their deliberations.


The Ghost.




You got slimed Peter. Aren’t you cold?


The truth has no temperature.


I don’t understand. Are you cold or not?


In a word, ‘women’.


No, I still don’t get it.


Just get me a towel.

He pauses for the laughter he will never hear. Ray passes him a towel. He fails to use it.



Ghostbusters 3 will be released in 2017. 


HOLLYWOOD – The Angry Birds movie is going to be based on a classic Hollywood thriller, Cormac McCarthy revealed today.

Speaking EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec, Cormac McCarthy was more forthcoming about the details of the new Angry Birds movie and the fonts of inspiration.

 I had already written an Angry Birds script as a struggling novelist in the 1970s but no one knew what Angry Birds was. It took someone to actually invent the game for cell phones before people began to warm to the idea.  It is no secret that I have always been a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan and when Brian dePalma got in in touch I thought this would be a perfect fit. I mean only dePalma can give you that Alfred Hitchcock feeling that you need when you want to make a Hitchcocky film, but Hitchcock is you know, dead. The only question was which film to do.

What did you decide on?

Well, what you have to do is find a film that has a lot of Angry Birds in. We wracked our brains as you can imagine. Was there an Angry Bird in Rope? Dial M for Murder? I can’t remember. There were lots of dead birds in Psycho so that was a promising idea for a draft or two. I mean, Norman Bates is stuffing birds and those birds are not happy.

But surely…

I know what you’re thinking. North by North West!

No, I wasn’t.

We’re all thinking about that very closely, but then all of a sudden Martin Scorsese write me an email suggesting this obscure little known Hitchcock made called The Bards. I couldn’t even find it on IMDb but then it turned out that Scorsese had mistyped the title and it was The Birds. So now we had our idea and the script came so easy. Well, to be honest, I photocopied it.

The Angry Birds will be released in 2016.

Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor.


HOLLYWOOD – Following their collaboration on The Counsellor, Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy are looking to follow up the Angry Birds Movie based on the popular game.

According to a source close to the No Country for Old Men author, “Cormac has been fiddling with an Angry Birds movie ever since the game came out.”

Produced by Finnish computer company Rovio, the game consists of destroying pigs using the titular Angry Birds which are launched at increasingly complicated structures via catapult. Scott spoke to French cultural magazine Chapeau about the development of a filmable script:

At first when Cormac brought up the idea, I was frankly sceptical, but when I got to read the draft I realised that it was in fact a perfect match. Whether it’s The Road or Blood Meridian, Cormac has always been interested in the striving for freedom and survival and the violence that accompanies such striving.

In answering criticism that the material was too light for a novelist of McCarthy’s dark talents, Scott had this to say:

I totally understand that apprehension, but what you have to understand with the film we’re going to do is that when Cormac McCarthy writes Angry Birds, they’re really f*cking angry, these birds. Really.

Angry Birds will be released in early 2016.


HOLLYWOOD – The cult Cormac MacCarthy novel Blood Meridian is going to get a cinema outing after Tommy Lee Jones finally secured a director after years in development.

The rights to Cormac MacCarthy’s novel “Blood Meridian” were secured by Tommy Lee Jones many years ago, but due to the difficulty of the material no studio has been willing to back a version. A number of directors have expressed their wish to tackle it, including Ridley Scott and James Franco even made a twenty minute screen test of the material.

Tommy Lee Jones finally secured his dream director and told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY how it came about:

I’d always wanted Blood Meridian to have a certain look and there was only one director who I thought could truly bring that vision to the screen: Sam Peckinpah.

But Sam Peckinpah’s dead.

Noted. And that was what you might call a deal-breaker. But then I got talking to these cyro-genic engineers at a hotel bar and they told me how they could revive a long dead body and 3D print the dead man’s brain. All they needed was the head. So I dug up the body of Sam Peckinpah.

Jesus Christ.

An apt blasphemy considering the resurrection. But it was more like “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia”. We got the head to the lab and printed off the brain uploaded it into the computer and asked if Sam would consider directing the movie. I can’t say he was particularly happy about being alive again, but we gave him some e-whiskey and he warmed to the idea.

This is the craziest story I’ve ever heard.

I know. But can you imagine? We’re going to get Blood Meridian directed by Sam Peckinpah. Now all we need is someone like William Holden, or Warren Oates to play the Judge. I’m too old for it now, but I know Zac Efron is in the frame. I don’t know the actor but they tell me he is gritty.

I think you’re going to need that shovel again.

Blood Meridian will be released in 2018.