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Quick Takes

April 08, 2011

King project gets Bardem

Javier Bardem is about to become a TV star. The Oscar-winning actor is in final negotiations to star in Ron Howard's adaptation of Stephen King's seven-book series "The Dark Tower." The Spanish actor is confirming the final points of a deal that would see him play gunslinger Roland Deschain in the project's movie trilogy and television series. Howard is onboard to direct both the first film and the first episode of the television series for Universal Pictures. Scribe Akiva Goldsman ("A Beautiful Mind") wrote the movie script and will produce the television show.

—Nicole Sperling

Huntington is on attendance list

After publishing its annual survey of the most-attended museums and museum exhibitions in its April issue, the Art Newspaper periodical has just published a correction to say that the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens was — for no particular reason noted — left off its top-100 list. With 2010 attendance of 564,595, the Huntington would have come in at No. 88, ranking above the Seattle Art Museum and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

(Yes, the Huntington number includes all visitors, including those who skipped the galleries altogether in favor of the Japanese gardens. But the question of how much time people actually spend looking at art, as opposed to, say, garden perennials or café menus, is hard to ascertain for any institution.)

—Jori Finkel

Showtime will probe plots

Showtime Networks President of Entertainment David Nevins has greenlighted his first two series for production since taking the top spot last July. The cable network has ordered 12 episodes of "Homeland," starring Claire Danes as a CIA officer who becomes convinced that intelligence that led to the rescue of a U.S. soldier was a setup and may be connected to an Al Qaeda plot planned on American soil.

Also entering production is a half-hour comedy starring Don Cheadle called "House of Lies." Based on the tell-all book "House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Tell You the Time" by Martin Kihn, the 12-episode pickup will center on a cutthroat consultant (Cheadle) who will use any tactics necessary to get his way with and for his clients.

Meanwhile, the Sundance Channel has acquired the cult 1990s favorite "My So-Called Life" for broadcast beginning April 25. The series, which launched in 1994, starred Danes and Jared Leto and was considered groundbreaking for its focus on social issues such as homophobia, teenage drinking and bullying. The short-lived series aired for just one season for 19 episodes.

—Times staff

Gallery show has Deitch link

Jeffrey Deitch's first big initiative as director of L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art is "Art in the Streets," which opens April 17 at the Geffen Contemporary, billed as "the first major U.S. museum exhibition on the history of graffiti and street art."

Turns out that a former colleague from his previous life as an art dealer is curating a gallery show in Culver City that's timed to coincide with her old boss' doings in downtown L.A. Kathy Grayson, who was gallery director for Deitch Projects, the New York City art business that Deitch liquidated so he could accept the MOCA job, has organized "Facemaker," a show about contemporary artists' conceptions of the human face, which opens April 14 at Royal/T, a 10,000-square-foot venue that features an art space, store and Japanese-themed cafe.

The show's announcement says the focus is on art that "challenges our assumptions and makes us consider the face in new ways." It aims to have its own street-art dimension, and the announcement promises a substantial overlap with figures whose work is included in "Art in the Streets."

Among the artists in the show at Royal/T are Shepard Fairey, Takashi Murakami, Barry McGee and Kenny Scharf. The title piece by L.A.-based Ben Jones is a large-screen video installation of shifting faces.

Along with Meghan Coleman, a former Deitch Projects colleague, curator Grayson is proprietor of the Hole, a Manhattan gallery launched last June, just as their ex-boss began at MOCA. They started it as a home for some of the artists who had been represented by Deitch Projects, naming it to suggest that his 3,000-mile jump had left a hole behind.

—Mike Boehm

Will Vergara be Stooges' gal pal?

"Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara is in early discussions to play one of the female leads in 20th Century Fox's "The Three Stooges." Peter and Bobby Farrelly are directing the pic, which is set to star Sean Hayes ("Will & Grace") as Larry Fine and Will Sasso ("MADtv") as Curly Howard. The search for Moe Howard continues.

—Variety

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