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Hilary Swank To Star In & EP Alaska-Set Drama Pilot For ABC

Hilary Swank is to star in and exec produce a drama pilot for ABC that comes from Spotlight and Stillwater director Tom McCarthy.

The Away and Boy’s Don’t Cry star will play a star journalist who moves to Alaska for a fresh start after a career-killing misstep, and finds redemption personally and professionally joining a daily metro newspaper in Anchorage.

The Untitled Alaska Project, which is one of the most high-profile network drama development projects of the season, will be written, directed and exec produced by Tom McCarthy through his Slow Pony production company. McCarthy is coming off the back of Matt Damon-fronted feature Stillwater.

Former Fox 21 Television Studios boss Bert Salke, will exec produce through this Co-lab21 banner. McCarthy previously worked with Salke at Fox21, where he signed an overall deal in 2019.

The pilot marks McCarthy’s first broadcast network project. He wrote the pilot of Showtime’s Roger Ailes miniseries The Loudest Voice, and executive produced and directed select episodes of Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

Similarly, it marks Swank’s live-action return to broadcast television for the first time in more than 20 years. The two-time Oscar winner, who starred in FX’s Trust, previously starred in Season 8 of Beverly Hills, 90210.

Slow Pony’s Melissa Wells will exec produce alongside Anchorage Daily News President and CEO Ryan Binkley and reporter Kyle Hopkins.

The off-cycle pilot order comes after ABC made decisions earlier this summer about the status of its last set of pilots, passing on Triage, Dark Horse, Kevin Costner-exec produced National Parks Investigation and Epic and picking up Promised Land to series.

Swank is repped by WME, Management 360 and Jackoway Tyerman, McCarthy is repped by Gersh and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz and Anchorage Daily News and Kyle Hopkins are repped by CAA.


Categories Articles & Interviews Movies

Fatale: Hilary Swank-Led Psychological Thriller Moves Up Release Date

According to, director Deon Taylor’s (Black and Blue) psychological thriller Fatale led by Oscar winner Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby, Boys Don’t Cry, Away) and Golden Globe nominee Michael Ealy (Sleeper Cell, Stumptown, Jacob’s Ladder) will now release on December 18 in theaters nationwide, moving up from its 2021 release date. Fatale will open against Sony’s limited release of The Father, starring Anthony Hopkins, and IFC Films’ limited release of the horror thriller Hunter Hunter.

In a statement, Taylor said: “In these unprecedented times, so much has been taken from us in the world of entertainment and it has had an effect on everyone around the world. The film industry has worked hard to develop safety protocols and guidelines in order to return to theaters nationwide the right way. With this progress, I’m happy to announce that on December 18th we will be releasing our film Fatale, in theaters everywhere.

I’m extremely excited to be one of the first to work in conjunction with CinemaSafe and AMC Theaters, to create a safe environment and to also provide private screenings for audiences across the country.

Although theaters have struggled to remain open, I’m happy to endorse a safe theatrical experience for those that simply want to experience movies in the place we love, the theatre.

As our campaign drives toward December 18th, with the help of CinemaSafe we will be releasing an abundance of information on how you can experience Fatale safely in a movie theater. Providing movie goers a sense of safety is our number one priority.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned in life is that we will not let a moment define us, but yet we will define the moment. For more information on CinemaSafe’s program to promote safety protocols and guidelines to support a safe return to movie theaters, check out their website”

Fatale centers on a married man (Ealy) who finds himself living a nightmare as he is relentlessly compromised, out-witted and morally manipulated by a mysterious woman (Swank) with whom he had a wild one nightstand. How far will he go to save his marriage from his mistake?

The movie also stars Mike Colter (Luke Cage, Evil), Tyrin Turner (Meet the Blacks), Sam Daly (Hunters), Kali Hawk (Fifty Shades of Black), David Hoflin (Bosch), Damaris Lewis (BlacKkKlansman), and Geoffrey Owens (The Cosby Show).

Written and produced by David Loughery (The Intruder, Lakeview Terrace, Obsessed), the film is produced by Taylor’s Hidden Empire Film Group partner Roxanne Taylor and is executive produced by partner Robert F. Smith. Two-time Oscar nominee Dante Spinotti (L.A. Confidential, Heat) served as director of photography, marking his third collaboration with Taylor on Fatale.


Categories Articles & Interviews Away

‘Away’ Canceled By Netflix After One Season

Netflix has opted not to pick up a second season of Away, its space drama series starring Hilary Swank. The decision comes a little over a month after Season 1 was released on September 4.

When making renewal/cancellation decisions, Netflix brass analyze viewership versus cost. Away spent several weeks in the top 10 Nielsen streaming viewership rankings, peaking at No 2 for its first full week of release.

Created by Andrew Hinderaker, Away stars Swank as American astronaut Emma Green. As Green prepares to lead an international crew on the first mission to Mars, she must reconcile her decision to leave behind her husband (Josh Charles) and teenage daughter (Talitha Bateman) when they need her the most. As the crew’s journey into space intensifies, their personal dynamics and the effects of being away from their loved ones back on Earth become increasingly complex.

The series is executive produced by Hinderaker, showrunner Jessica Goldberg, Jason Katims, Matt Reeves, Hinderaker, Edward Zwick, Swank, Adam Kassan and Jeni Mulein. Universal Television is the studio.


Categories Articles & Interviews Movies

Lionsgate Moves Hilary Swank Thriller ‘Fatale’ to 2021

Lionsgate has pushed back the theatrical releases of two of its fall movies to 2021, the Hilary Swank thriller “Fatale” directed by Deon Taylor, and Neil Burger’s sci-fi “Voyagers” starring Colin Farrell, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.

“Fatale” was meant to open Oct. 30 but is now expected to open in the first quarter of 2021. “Voyagers” was slated for Nov. 25 but has been pushed back to a date to be announced in 2021.

“Fatale” co-stars Mike Colter and Michael Ealy and is a steamy thriller about a married man who is tricked into a murder scheme by a female detective.


Categories Articles & Interviews

Hilary Swank and Cast on Away’s Hope, Isolation, LGBTQ+ Storyline

There was no telling quite how relevant the themes of Away would be when the mission-to-Mars series began production. The Netflix series that stars Hilary Swank as Emma Green, the commander of a years-long global mission to the Red Planet, offers plenty of nail-biting spacewalks, but it’s also grounded in themes of isolation and hope that are particularly resonant since life effectively changed last March.

The series revolves around an international effort to land a crew on the moon that is then rocketed to Mars in a tightrope of timing and launches. Swank’s team is made up of Vivian Wu’s Lu, a chemist from China who’s keeping an important secret; Mark Ivanir as a Russian cosmonaut; Ray Panthaki as a navigator representing Iran; and Ato Essandoh as a British botanist on his first space mission.

Meanwhile, Emma’s husband, Matt (Josh Charles), is not only keeping the home fires burning, but he’s also one of the heads at mission control. Talitha Bateman plays their daughter, Alexis, a teen who grapples with accepting the perils of her mother’s dangerous mission with the more relatable story of going through high school without her mom there.

As with any great space story, as the crew of Atlas 1 sets off on the mission (spurred in part by environmental factors and the waning sustainability of life on earth) they face daunting rescues as things fail to function while alternately coping with the boredom and paranoia that accompanies isolation. On top of that, there’s an LGBTQ+ storyline that is revealed a few episodes into the series.

The Advocate chats with several of Away’s cast members, including two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank, who discusses the extraordinary time at which the show is being released and how having hope is a thread throughout the series that is relatable to so many now.

Spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t seen Away’s third episode.

“In the end, it is really hope that we hold on to to get us through to the other side. Hope is the connective tissue of the whole story, kind of like the superglue, if you will, is hope in everything,” Swank says. “Globally, we’re all having to hope right now and having to really work together to get through this time.”

Away also takes on issues around race and gender. Swank addresses those aspects of the series as well.

“It breaks through stereotypes of race and gender. It reminds us of how dangerous stereotypes are and that at the core of everything as we work on this mission to Mars, that we have to work together and support each other’s strengths and that the commonality after we break down stereotypes is the connective tissue of being a human,” she says.

“Emma Green is this female commander of this mission, and that’s not the drama of the show, whereas five years ago that would have been,” she says about how the series tackles gender. “Instead, it’s just this woman who is best qualified and has to earn everyone’s trust like anyone else in that position would.”

In the series, her character delivers a monologue about love and embracing sexual and gender identities that is deeply moving. An ally to LGBTQ+ people, Swank addresses queer rights as well in her talk with The Advocate.

“As we all know, and the message that we continue to put out there, is that love is love. We have to continue to talk about it, and we have to continue to be inclusive of whatever shape and form that takes. Love feels like love no matter what package it’s in. I think we’re making leaps and bounds in that area. I still think we have a long way to go,” she says.

“Being silenced is a type of violence. I think the more we continue to talk about it, the more we break down, again … going back to a stereotypical way of looking at anything, how dangerous that is,” Swank adds. “I’m so excited that this show touches on it as well and that we can continue that conversation within it.”