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by Alison Willmore
February 2, 2014 4:27 PM
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Showtime Releases Statement About Philip Seymour Hoffman's Passing

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Thom Payne in 'Happyish' David M. Russell/Showtime

Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead in his apartment of an apparent drug overdose today, had been poised to take on his first leading role in a television series in "Happyish," an original Showtime comedy. He was set to play Thom Payne, a 42-year-old ad exec working for people half his age at a company where "digital" and "social" get thrown around more often than he'd like. The series, which was created by author and "This American Life" contributor Shalom Auslander, received a series order last month.

Only the pilot, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, has been shot -- with the series reportedly built around Hoffman, its future is very uncertain. A clip from the episode was previewed at the Television Critics Association press tour in January to much positive response.

Showtime's released the following statement about Hoffman's passing:

Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of our generation's finest and most brilliant actors. He was also a gifted comedic talent. It was a great privilege and pleasure to work with him and we are all absolutely devastated by this sudden loss. Our thoughts go out to his family at this very difficult time.

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10 Comments

  • MAYTAL | February 3, 2014 3:52 PMReply

    Teri, no one who's come to read this page will read, much less consider, your non sequitur screeds. You must have meant to leave them in some other comments section. I honestly MUST believe this. And, Hanna, have you clicked around the internet at all today? Plenty of articles focusing on the very same issues that you are.

    Today, I choose to celebrate and remember the art of the man who had been my favorite working actor. I had not heard of the upcoming show until reading this. I'm also a huge fan of Mr. Auslander. The lifetime of performances...just overwhelming.

  • Hanna | February 3, 2014 2:01 PMReply

    For God's sake - when is SOMEONE going to address that this man CHOSE to shoot heroin while he was a father of three small children? He did not behave in any way responsibly ... what was it: "Despair"? "Too much" of what? "Pressure"? "Success"? "A dream life"? Why - he could have talked to any therapist or helper he wanted. Instead he went "junkie" and just wasn't careful enough. Yes, a great actor. But glorifying him and NOT talking about the f....ing habit he had taken up means to NOT condemn drug-abuse. Excuse you me - I do NOT applaud him. In his artificial movie roles he may have been great, but - sorry, as a human being, he was a junkie. I had to endure the tragedy of living with a heroin addict for many years. Thousands of heroin junkies die every day - does anyone praise them, no matter how great they may have been in life? Hoffman's legacy will remain. But so will the questions of his children and his longtime girlfriend, why their existence weren't enough for him to stay away from drugs. May they have peace.

  • Dave | February 5, 2014 12:35 AM

    Whether you choose to believe it or not... Years ago, he did exactly that.

    'It's not called 'addiction' for no reason, you cretin. It's not like he woke up one morning and, having never done it before and of completely sound mind, decided it would be a great idea to do heroin.
    Go suck a dick, you ignorant, judgemental halfwit.'

  • Dave | February 5, 2014 12:35 AM

    Whether you choose to believe it or not... Years ago, he did exactly that.

    'It's not called 'addiction' for no reason, you cretin. It's not like he woke up one morning and, having never done it before and of completely sound mind, decided it would be a great idea to do heroin.
    Go suck a dick, you ignorant, judgemental halfwit.'

  • Dave | February 5, 2014 12:35 AM

    Whether you choose to believe it or not... Years ago, he did exactly that.

    'It's not called 'addiction' for no reason, you cretin. It's not like he woke up one morning and, having never done it before and of completely sound mind, decided it would be a great idea to do heroin.
    Go suck a dick, you ignorant, judgemental halfwit.'

  • - | February 3, 2014 5:32 PM

    It's not called 'addiction' for no reason, you cretin. It's not like he woke up one morning and, having never done it before and of completely sound mind, decided it would be a great idea to do heroin.
    Go suck a dick, you ignorant, judgemental halfwit.

  • ana | February 3, 2014 1:15 PMReply

    hey Teri....these comments seem extremely inappropriate for this article...but it bears pointing out that every major film festival in existence brings on screeners to watch the submissions and if they get rated highly enough, they make it to associate programmers and eventually senior programmers. that's how film festivals work. i'd think twice about spouting baseless vitriol without actually knowing what you are talking about, just makes you look foolish. especially posting on THIS article of all things. very distasteful.

  • Teri | February 2, 2014 9:58 PMReply

    I am a filmmaker who got ripped off this year at Sundance and 12 other times before. I made a great film, again, and got rejected. Then I read the TRUTH about Sundance and THIS Indie Wire bullshit outfit and their obvious attempts to cover all this up for over 3 years now. Had they reported this and I knew, I would have known better than to waste my money again on a corrupt rigged system as Sundance.
    Dana Harris - Editor-in-Chief & General Manager, James Israel - Publisher and Vice President of Advertising, Peter Knegt - Senior Writer 
and Eric Kohn each one of these person listed is incompetent and is a crook , liar, and covering up the truth about a major scam that has been going on now for over 20 years.
    One of the Nations most prestigious businesses and organizations has been stealing millions of dollars for over 20 years. 

This is not news. This has been public knowledge for over 2 years, including the lawsuit that was filed last year by a filmmaker against Sundance, yet the press does not write about it, A LAWSUIT? Nor to mention anything regarding the peculiar circumstances, and mounds of evidence, even the video interviews in the programmers own words ADMITTING that they do not in fact watch the over 10,000 film that arrive in the mail every year.

That is over 500,000.00 in entry fees, that is "theft" and that is only a fragment of the deception.

Why have you never heard about any of this?

For over 3 years, each person knew about this, but REFUSES to report this to all of us filmmakers, who get ripped off by Sundance every year.
What is wrong with the press today? Why has this been over 3 years since this has happened, and yet no one informs the public about this injustice?

Sundance Film Festival its programmers, Board Members and Institute comes under fire for fraud, theft, and deceptive business practice, yet no one from the press knows about it, or wants to confront and tackle the issues and report the "truth".

Last year a filmmaker went to court against the Sundance Film Festival for fraud and theft, yet not a single film magazine, or on-line film news source mentioned it, ( Indiewire, Film Threat, Independent Filmmaker, Filmmaker Magazine, and many more. This was all cleverly covered up very carefully and effectively by Sundance who spends significant amounts of money for advertising and promoting the film festival in all their publications, so no wonder why they dare not mention this, they accept money just like Sundance does from the 10's of thousands of gullible filmmakers all being duped by the "system".

However this is not an excuse for others, unless that is you are also a part of the "system"

  • andy | February 4, 2014 11:45 AM

    umm duh? 10,000 entries - lets assume 1 hour length - that is 10,000 viewing hours, which if you go with a person viewing for 12 hours a day is 833 days just to watch all the entries. so lets say they need to get them all viewed and categorized and decisions made on who participates in 3 months or 90 days. That is a 10 person team and that is 12 HOURS of viewing each day- let alone all the compare notes and watch some entries again, etc...

    so umm yeah, your entry is not being viewed for all the nuance and love you poured into it. Simple math would let anyone know 10,000 entries is just insane

  • Teri | February 2, 2014 9:57 PMReply

    Sundance cannot afford to let over 10,000 filmmakers who ever year, submit their films totaling over 500,000.00, know that they in fact do not watch the film submissions that are simply mailed in ( mandatory) pay fees ( 55.00 to 75.00) , and the judge and court ruling in the case stated also that Sundance does not have to prove that they watch the films submitted each year. Isn't that cozy?

For over 25 years, 10,000 film submissions each year. ( 10's of millions) And yet the 10,000 films that are mailed in are not even the ones chosen by Sundance, the ones that are screened every single year are "accepted without the mandatory rules and regulations".

When you do your research you will find that all the films at Sundance are pre-chosen, and the "Awarded Winning Films" chosen and honored; are in fact created by Sundance themselves at their film lab, the Sundance Film Lab series, and seldom ever is there a film submitted by " mail" of an unknown filmmaker that is accepted. ( Except ....shorts....thats the "bait" (scam) for filmmakers) 

In this video in fact, the 6 head programmers state ( after correcting themselves) Faith Salie asks; "Swear to God you watch them all"? To which they reply "Absolutely" and 2 seconds later they all say; "Well not exactly by us ". 

As a journalist, is it not your obligation to
1. Journalism's first obligation is to the truth 2. Its first loyalty is to citizens 3. Its essence is a discipline of verification 4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover 5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power 6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
Consider how Sundance Awards its 'own' films such as "Another Earth", "Beast of The Southern Wild" , their own films created at Sundance Lab Film Series and even awards itself 'money'.

Consider how filmmakers like Kevin Smiths "Red State" was not even in production in September yet was pronounced as an official entry, when it is mandatory that all filmmakers are told to send their films in by the 1st week of 
September, that requires you to send a "late fee", while 99% of these films are pre-chosen the year in advance.

Consider how head programer John Cooper is traveling to other countries and festivals during the period of when the 10,000 film submissions are sent in each year. Consider his own twitter account, copied for proof that he isn't even in town

Consider that this has continued for over 20 years.

Consider how all the film magazines, on-line film news blogs and web-sites will not mention this or any mention of the lawsuit because they all accept money for advertisements from Sundance.

Consider that there are over 7000 film festivals in the United States, many which play the same films as the others.

Consider that filmmakers must join "without a box" an On-Line Submission service that you pay for, that is mandatory where you submit your film and information on-line to most ALL film festivals INCLUDING Sundance.

Consider that the films that are actually chosen by Sundance, do NOT have to use the paid for subscription "without a box" like everyone else does.

Consider when you submit your films to festivals, you agree to give away all your rights to your film, all mentioned in very fine garbled print.


Consider that the judge ruled that Sundance does not have to prove it watches 30 seconds of any of these films and so Sundance carries on.

Consider that 10,000 filmmakers each year, continue to spend their hard earned money, none of them ever getting a fair chance, because the PRESS AND JOURNALISTS won't make this knowledge known to the public for over 3 years now.

Don't you think it is your obligation to "inform" the public, and the 10's of thousands of filmmakers who are getting ripped off?

I am also contacting your head division and making sure that your superiors know that you have been given this information, should you also be like the rest of those journalists, who refuse to inform the public, I will be personally posting your names as lazy incompetent journalists like the rest.
    I am one of the thousands of filmmakers ripped off by people like you!
    All filmmakers, if you want to know the truth, go check out sundance film festival 2013 DOT COM