Sigourney Weaver confirmed tonight that James Cameron is shooting “Avatar” 2, 3, and 4 all at the same time, all with her, and starting this fall. But first…
Are you ready for the Clintons as a political soap opera? Sigourney Weaver is playing it pretty close to Hillary and Ciaran Hinds is a damn good Bill Clinton in USA Network’s “Political Animals.” The studio threw a fine all star premiere in New York last night at the Morgan Library, showing off Greg Berlanti’s new dramedy. Frankly, like most of the USA Networks shows, this could play on NBC in prime time. A real movie star, Sigourney Weaver, plays Elaine Barrish, ex First Lady of a philandering Democratic president who becomes Secretary of State.
Sound familiar? Ellen Burstyn gets the fun role of being Sigourney’s loose lipped, hilarious and always a little tipsy mother. The couple also has two kids–James Wolk plays the “good” son, who’s marrying a bulimic Asian American. Sebastian Stan is the coke snorting gay son. It’s a soap opera, but it’s deliciously done, extremely well written and produced. This is a six episode limited run beginning July 15th, but “Political Animals” will more than likely find a permanent place on the USA schedule very quickly. Sigourney is phenomenal.
When “Political Animals” finishes shooting, see if you can follow Weaver’s schedule: she goes right into a new Christopher Durang play for a short run at Lincoln Center. Then she films “Avatar” 2, 3, and 4 with James Cameron. That’s right: they’re making three sequels to the blue 3D phenom all at the same time. Weaver says she has no idea how long it will take, or how it’s going to work. “I just show up,” she said. If “Political Animals” is renewed, USA will have to wait until all that’s over. And it’s not like Weaver is the only busy person in her household: husband director Jim Simpson is debuting a new play by A. R. Gurney at the Flea Theater this fall.
Also great, by the way, in “Political Animals”: Carla Gugino as a crusading Washington reporter, Dan Futterman as her editor/boyfriend. Also a shout out to Clifton Davis, who played a network correspondent at the start of Episode 1. You do know that Clifton Davis wrote the great Jackson 5 song, “Never Can Say Goodbye.”