At TJ Martell's Family Day of Play

Joel Courtney at the T.J. Martell Foundation's 6th Annual Family Day LA event at CBS Studios on 16 Nov. 2014.


"The Messengers" Lands on Canadian Streamer Shomi

"The upstart SVOD does licensing deal with CBS Studios International"

From The Hollywood Reporter

Canadian streamer Shomi has acquired the exclusive streaming rights to The CW's sci-fi drama The Messengers and the whimsical Jane the Virgin series in a deal that bypasses broadcast.

"Once our exclusive period is up, the studio is free to license these titles for linear broadcast exhibitions on a second window, but no Canadian broadcaster will have these titles before us, or during our exclusive window," Marni Shulman, head of content and programming at Shomi, told The Hollywood Reporter about the CBS distribution deal. 

The Canadian streamer, a joint venture between Rogers Media and Shaw Media, launched last week as Canadian broadcasters compete against streaming goliath Netflix Canada. Shomi earlier did a deal with Sony Pictures Television to acquire the exclusive streaming rights to The Blacklist, which landed on Netflix stateside as a first window.

Shomi is also streaming repeats of U.S. TV hit shows like 2 Broke Girls, Two and a Half Men, DaVinci's Demons and Black Sails. It also has content deals signed with Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Starz Digital Media and BBC Worldwide North America.


The Messengers Season 1 Press Release (With Updated Character Information)

Via The Messengers TV. Starring:

  • Shantel VanSanten as Vera Buckley
  • Jon Fletcher as Joshua Silburn, Jr.
  • Sofia Black-D’Elia as Erin Calder
  • JD Pardo as Raul Garcia
  • Joel Courtney as Peter Moore
  • Anna Diop as Rose Arvale
  • Craig Frank as Alan Harris
  • Diogo Morgado as The Man

In the white-hot sun of the New Mexico desert, scientist Vera Buckley watches in fascination as a mysterious object plummets to Earth and explodes in a blinding flash, sending out a shock wave that briefly stops Vera’s heart and panics her techie coworker, Alan Harris.

Vera is not the only one affected by the blast; she is instantly and mysteriously connected to four other strangers, who also collapse only to miraculously come back to life: Erin Calder, a young mother desperate to protect her 7-year-old daughter from an abusive ex-husband; Peter Moore, a troubled high school student who finally lashes out to end the constant bullying he can no longer endure; Raul Garcia, a federal agent looking to escape his undercover assignment in a violent Mexican drug cartel; and Joshua Silburn Jr., a charismatic second-generation televangelist following in his father’s footsteps – all awaken after the pulse with extraordinary gifts they can barely believe, from inexplicable strength to the ability to heal others.

Most mysterious of all is the figure known only as The Man, who offers Vera the one thing she wants most in life – to be reunited with her kidnapped son – if she will help him with one morally complicated task.  That task puts Vera on a collision course with nurse Rose Arvale who, after a seemingly random act of violence left her in a coma for seven years, suddenly begins to stir.  As Joshua, Jr. prophesied, the wheels of Revelation have begun to turn, and these five newly christened Angels of the Apocalypse may be the only hope for preventing the impending Rapture.


Movie Review: "Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn"

Takeaway: Joel Courtney (Joe Lamb in the 2011 Steven Spielberg/JJ Abrams film Super 8, for which he received critical acclaim and a Saturn Award) is absolutely adorable in the role of Tom... The actors are perfectly typecast and bring alive Mark Twain’s characters.

From The Week:

It’s only natural for expectations to be set high from a film based on a children’s classic, especially a muchloved and widely read one like Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. You tend to go into the cinema with preconceived notions. That despite the many attempts that have already been made to capture the scenes in the same vividness that the writer portrayed with the power of just his written word.

It seems impossible to capture the mood, the colours, the sounds and the smells on film in the same way that Twain could do with his simple words. The first such cinematic attempt was as early as in 1920s, followed by more recent ones in 1973 and then again in 1995, all of which have left readers of the adventures wanting more. The latter two cinematic ventures were based on the same episode The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in which he and Huck, Tom's friend from the streets, witness a murder in the graveyard. The two flee to Jackson Island and make a pact never to tell anyone about the incident.

However, when the goodnatured village bumpkin Muff Potter, who has been blamed for the murder, is sentenced to death by hanging, Tom breaks his promise and returns to exonerate him. Injun Joe, the actual murderer, tries to kill Tom during the hearing in court and makes a hasty exit. But soon later, Tom and Huck find references to a treasure and have to face Injun again.

Here too, the elements that are so unique and the very essence of Tom Sawyer’s adventures are depicted the wide expanse of the Mississippi river, the green and tangled Jackson Island, Aunt Polly’s legendary board fence, etc. But these remain just fleeting references without going into the details which made Mark Twain’s narrative so readable. There is no description of the colours or the smells of the people and places along the Mississippi or the Southern antebellum society which endeared readers of this American classic.

There is little rather no humour in the depiction of the ways of the people and their attitudes, particularly racism, that was so entrenched in American societies of the Deep South which Twain showcased. Director Jo Kastner has, however, succeeded in casting the right mix of actors. Fivetime Young Artist Award nominee Jake T Austin in the role of Huck is convincing in his awkwardness as a child from the streets.

Joel Courtney (Joe Lamb in the 2011 Steven Spielberg/JJ Abrams film Super 8, for which he received critical acclaim and a Saturn Award) is absolutely adorable in the role of Tom, as is Katherine McNamara (Myra Santelli in Girl vs Monster), despite her petrified expression through the length of the entire film. The actors are perfectly typecast and bring alive Mark Twain’s characters.


'Battlestar Galactica' star Jamie Bamber joins The CW's 'The Messengers'

Via Entertainment Weekly

The Messengers, one of the CW’s midseason shows, tells the story of five strangers affected when a mysterious object hits Earth. After collapsing, all five individuals come back to life just hours later with inexplicable powers, including strength and the power to heal. But once things begin to become more clear, those affected realize that they might be Earth’s only hope for stopping the Rapture … or perhaps, they’re causing it.

The Messengers currently stars Shantel VanSanten, Jon Fletcher, Sofia Black-D’Elia, JD Pardo, Joel Courtney, Anna Diop, and Diogo Morgado. And now, EW has learned exclusively that two others have joined the mix.

First up, Battlestar Galactica‘s Jamie Bamber has landed a recurring role on the series as Vincent Plowman, who’s described as “the unapologetically aggressive co-chairman of Plowman Family Farms, one of the world’s most successful agricultural companies. Along with his older brother Mark, he is the face of a business on the cutting edge of new farming technology that has the potential of eliminating draught and famine worldwide. But in the end, Vincent’s favored son status may uproot his ambitious plans in more ways than one.”

Also joining the show is Riley Smith, most recently seen on True Blood, who will play Vincent’s brother, Mark Plowman. Mark is described as “a quiet, salt of the earth type of man you’d expect to find walking the fields, not sitting in the boardroom of a powerful farming business. But as a family man, his heart is usually in the right place—especially when it comes to pioneering new ways to feed the world. But the shadow cast by his charismatic and outgoing younger brother has planted some deep resentment along the way that may destroy a lot more than the next harvest.”

The Messengers will premiere on The CW in 2015.