It looks like the BBC is giving “Doctor Who” fans lots of reasons to look forward to season eight. First, after runs by two fan favorites in Matt Smith and David Tennant, Peter Capaldi will be the next actor to roll with the TARDIS in the beloved show. And to get things off on on the right foot, one of the best genre filmmakers of the moment has been hired as well.
Ben Wheatley, the man behind “Kill List” and “Sightseers,” will direct the first two episodes of the “Doctor Who” season eight. And needless to say, he’s pumped. “I am very excited and honored to be asked to direct the first two episodes of the new series of ‘Doctor Who.’ I’ve been a fan since childhood (Tom Baker is my Doctor if you are asking),” he told Screendaily. “I’ve been watching the current run of ‘Doctor’ who with my son and have discovered it all over again. The work that has been done is amazing. I’m really looking forward to working with Peter Capaldi and finding out where Steven Moffat is planning to take the new Doctor.”
Production on the episodes will begin this fall, with the new season to air in the fall of 2014. But what does this mean for Wheatley’s movie projects? Well, his monster movie “Freakshift“—touted as being his next—will continue to develop. Instead, following “Doctor Who,” Wheatley will shift to “High Rise,” the adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel about class warfare in a luxury high rise, announced at the end of the summer. Either way, it doesn’t look like this prolific output is stopping any time soon.
In other TV and filmmaker news: Catherine Hardwicke is headed to MTV to helm the pilot of “Eye Candy.” The “cyber-thriller” is based on a novel by R.L. Stine and will star Victoria Justice as “Lindy, a tech genius who, convinced by her roommate to begin online dating, begins to suspect that one of her mysterious suitors may be a deadly cyber stalker. When her friends at the elusive cyber-police uncover a potential serial killer in Manhattan, all signs point to one of Lindy’s dates. Teaming with a band of hackers, Lindy works to solve the murders while unleashing her own style of justice on the streets of New York City.” So, “Veronica Mars 2.0“? [THR]
That “12 Monkeys” series on Syfy now has a director: Jeffrey Reiner (“Caprica“). He’ll helm the one hour pilot of the show that Terry Gilliam has nothing to do with. “None of my people have been contacted; I know nothing about it and I can’t see that it’s going to be anything but ‘Time Bandits‘ without dwarves,” he told us in August. So, a tough road ahead for Reiner. [Digital Spy]
After the extended saga of “Margaret,” which saw delays, lawsuits, a quick theatrical release, and finally, a director’s cut on DVD, Kenneth Lonergan is going to take a crack at TV. He’ll be writing a four-part adaptation of E.M. Forster‘s “Howard’s End” for BBC Two. The story about three families, class and social divide, set against the backdrop of early 20th century England, already hit the big screen in the celebrated 1992 Merchant/Ivory film. But we suppose this longer iteration can draw even deeper from the source material. [Deadline]