Beau WillimonLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 9/14/18 at 11:17PM EDT
Hulu's The First excels by telling its space story primarily through images instead of dialogue
"The First is a rare TV drama that tries to make its points through image and sound whenever possible, rather than have characters just walk onscreen and spit out reams of exposition that tell you what you’re supposed to take away from a scene or episode," says Matt Zoller Seitz of the space drama from House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, starring Sean Penn. "Although all of the main players are articulate, and not at all shy about talking to each other when something’s gnawing at them, the show explores their problems by watching them do things, whether it’s training for zero-gravity underwater or while suspended from wires, or having a messy argument about some bit of family business they’ve been tiptoeing around for years. Very often, you learn more about characters from watching their faces as they talk than from listening to their words, which, in the manner of real talk, are loaded with unexamined assumptions and often create more problems than they solve."
- The First's abrupt shift in focus away from Sean Penn is jarring, as if it changed the channel on itself
- The First provides an essential perspective by mining the often grim practical, bureaucratic, political, financial, and emotional realities of space travel
- The First is frustrating because it's all countdown, but no launch: "This isn’t a show about Sean Penn on Mars. Or Sean Penn traveling through space to Mars. It’s Sean Penn getting ready just to board the spaceship."
- Beau Willimon's The First and House of Cards are linked by a certain pretentiousness, with a focus on egoists
- No one can rescue the show from Willimon's Capra-esque arch sentimentality
- You have to meet The First on its own terms -- it's not a big-budget adventure about actually journeying to Mars
- The First feels endless with its attempt to be profound, but it doesn't feel emotionally or narratively essential
- Willimon says of his unusual take on space exploration: "It was important to see the stakes, to see tragedy right from the start, to remind the audience that people are putting their lives on the line"
Posted Tuesday 7/24/18 at 2:04PM EDT
Hulu teases the first footage of The First starring Sean Penn
Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone star in the mission-to-mars drama from House of Cards creator Beau Willimon.
Posted Monday 7/16/18 at 3:05PM EDT
Here's your first look at Hulu's Mars TV series The First, starring Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone
House of Cards creator Beau Willimon's drama about the first human mission to Mars premieres on Sept. 14, with Penn playing a former astronaut and McElhone playing a visionary aerospace magnate.
Posted Friday 2/09/18 at 8:57PM EST
Reg E. Cathey dies: The Wire star won an Emmy for House of Cards
Cathey, 59, played Frank Underwood’s favorite D.C. rib cook Freddy Hayes, a role that earned him three consecutive Emmy nominations for outstanding guest actor, including a win in 2015. Cathey also famously played political operative Norman Wilson on The Wire. “Not only a fine, masterful actor -- but simply one of the most delightful human beings with whom I ever shared some long days on set,” tweeted The Wire creator David Simon. “On wit alone, he could double any man over and leave him thinking. Reg, your memory is a great blessing.” House of Cards creator Beau Willimon added: "Reg Cathey was one of a kind. Brimming with life force, generosity, humor, gravitas and a fountain of talent. Loved by everyone lucky enough know him and work with him. He will be greatly missed."
Posted Monday 11/06/17 at 10:48PM EST
House of Cards creator Beau Willimon accused of knowing about on-set sex harassment claims against Kevin Spacey
"Bullsh*t. Utter bullsh*t. 100%," a “higher-level source” tells Buzzfeed in reaction to Willimon stating last week that “I neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behavior on set or off.” Buzzfeed’s Kate Aurthur also spoke to two other unnamed people who contradict Willimon’s statement. "I saw that Beau said he had no idea, which I know is completely false," said the “higher-level” crew member, adding: "They had production meetings about Spacey's flirtatious behavior toward crew and cast, and it never made it any further than that. It was like a joke." Buzzfeed reports that Spacey’s sexually inappropriate behavior was widespread and constant. "He touches and feels anyone he wants to," said a source. Another person alleges that a production assistant was fired for refusing Spacey’s advances. Aurthur tried to get Willimon to respond to the these new allegations: “After prolonged negotiations with his representative, Willimon declined to comment on the record for this story.” ALSO: Thousands sign a petition to have Kevin James replace Kevin Spacey on House of Cards.
Posted Friday 11/03/17 at 2:43AM EDT
House of Cards creator Beau Willimon: I wasn’t told about a Season 1 on-set "incident" involving Kevin Spacey
The former House of Cards showrunner says he never knew about a 2012 "incident" that producer Media Rights Capital disclosed Thursday, in which a “complaint about a specific remark and gesture” from Spacey was “resolved promptly to the satisfaction of all involved” and that the actor “willingly participated in a training process.” Netflix said Thursday it was “just made aware” of the "incident." “I am heartsick that anyone on the crew had to endure this sort of behavior,” Willimon told Deadline Thursday night, adding: “I feel awful for the people who were wronged while working for House of Cards.”
Posted Monday 10/30/17 at 3:16PM EDT
House of Cards to end after Season 6
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Word of the pioneer Netflix drama’s end follows the allegation that Kevin Spacey attempted to molest actor Anthony Rapp, who was then a 14-year-old boy. The Hollywood Reporter’s Michael O’Connell says the “official word on its conclusion” has been “in the works since the summer.” House of Cards was greenlighted in 2011, long before streaming services were seen as a place for original programming. “The show has seen critical affection wax and wane over the years, but it has remained the de facto flagship at an increasingly diversified Netflix,” says O’Connell.
- Netflix has been silent on the Kevin Spacey allegation -- and on Harvey Weinstein
- House of Cards creator Beau Willimon calls Kevin Spacey allegations “deeply troubling”
- Family Guy joked about Kevin Spacey’s alleged interest in minors in a 2005 episode
- GLAAD slams Spacey: “Coming out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault”
- UPDATE: Netflix and House of Cards producer Media Rights Capital said in a statement they “are deeply troubled by last night’s news concerning Kevin Spacey. In response to last night’s revelations, executives from both of our companies arrived in Baltimore this afternoon to meet with our cast and crew to ensure that they continue to feel safe and supported. As previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time.”
Posted Thursday 10/19/17 at 12:55AM EDT
Hulu’s The First adds LisaGay Hamilton
The Practice alum is reuniting with Beau Willimon after appearing on Season 4 of House of Cards. She’s expected to play an astronaut on the first human mission to colonize Mars, joining Sean Penn on the Hulu series.
Posted Wednesday 9/27/17 at 3:06PM EDT
Natascha McElhone is exiting Designated Survivor to join Sean Penn on Hulu’s The First
She’s departing her role as the president’s wife to join House of Cards creator Beau Willimon’s Mars mission drama.
Posted Wednesday 9/20/17 at 2:21PM EDT
Hulu lands Sean Penn’s first TV series: a space drama from House of Cards creator
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The two-time best actor Oscar winner is the latest movie star to sign on to his first TV series regular role, starring in Beau Willimon’s The First. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the eight-episode series is “set in the near future and explores the first human mission to Mars and interplanetary colonization. The eight-episode drama focuses not only on the astronauts but also on their families and loved ones, as well as the ground team on Earth. Details about Penn's character are being kept under wraps.”