NBC is taking another bet on Bear Grylls.
The network has ordered Running Wild with Bear Grylls, which is set to premiere on Monday, July 28. The unscripted effort will feature the British survivalist, who formerly starred in NBC’s Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls, as he takes celebrities including Channing Tatum, Zac Efron and Ben Stiller into the most remote locations for 48-hour adventures.
ach of the six hour-long episodes ordered will focus on a single celebrity — the others include NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, actor Tom Arnold and Today anchor Tamron Hall — as he or she endures the harsh wilderness with Grylls. Among the activities featured: skydiving into the Catskill Mountains, repelling down the cliffs of Utah and battling torrential wind and rain in Scotland.
“Running Wild allows viewers to see inside the hearts and minds of these guests in a very open, honest and vulnerable way, pushing them out of their comfort zones and seeing what they are like in real life when stripped of all the benefits of celebrity,” said Grylls, who added: “Ultimately, this show is about taking these stars on the adventure of a lifetime and being alongside them when they discover something new and empowering about themselves and their world. For me, that is always a privilege.”
NBC’s president of alternative and late night programming Paul Telegdy is similarly enthusiastic about the series’ potential: “Bear’s incredible spirit is absolutely contagious, not only with his celebrity partners but with the viewing audience as well. We can’t wait to see how these epic adventures will profoundly change those who take the challenge.”
Grylls, who has a significant international following, was introduced to U.S. audiences back in 2006 via Discovery’s Man vs. Wild. He has also authored multiple survival guides and has several endorsement deals and partnerships with companies including Gerber Knives. Discovery ended its relationship with Grylls in early 2012 after it was allegedly unable to get Grylls to begin work on two unannounced projects for Discovery, sources told The Hollywood Reporter at that time. He then returned to the network late last year with Bear Grylls: Escape from Hell.
Like NBC’s short-lived Get Out Alive, this series, which was created by Grylls, is produced by Electus (ABC’s Bet On Your Baby, NBC’s Food Fighters, TBS’ King of the Nerds) and Bear Grylls Ventures. Grylls will serve as an executive producer along with Electus’ Ben Silverman, Chris Grant, Corie Henson, Laura Caraccioli, Doug McCallie and Viki Cacciatore.
Hot off the stunning success of “Neighbors,” Zac Efron is in negotiations to star in Max Joseph’s Untitled DJ Project, which will be produced by Working Title, multiple individuals familiar with the film have told TheWrap.
Written by Joseph and Meaghan Oppenheimer, the coming-of-age story follows a young DJ as he works on what he hopes will be his first hit track.
A representative for Working Title had no comment.
Joseph is an up-and-coming filmmaker who co-hosts MTV’s “Catfish” with Nev Schulman. The Untitled DJ Project will serve as his feature directorial debut following his award-winning “Follow the Frog” commercial and the acclaimed short documentary “12 Years of DFA Records.”
The director is currently auditioning hot young actors and actresses for the other lead roles, as shooting is slated to start this July in Los Angeles.
Universal’s hit comedy “Neighbors” has grossed more than $211 million worldwide and earned Efron some of the best reviews of his career. After making a name for himself with the “High School Musical” films, Efron has focused on working with talented indie filmmakers such as Lee Daniels (“The Paperboy”) and Ramin Bahrani (“At Any Price”). He’s also developing several projects as a producer, having recently served as an executive producer on “That Awkward Moment,” in which he starred alongside Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan.
Working Title’s Untitled DJ Project won’t be Joseph’s first foray into the world of electronic music, as he previously directed the Aaron Weber-produced short documentary “12 Years of DFA Records: Too Old to be New, Too New to be Classic.” Released in 2013, “12 Years” recently screened at SXSW and received critical acclaim within both the film and music industries.
Efron is represented by CAA, manager Jason Barrett and attorney Patti Felker.
The release of Michael Jackson’s posthumous new album Xscape has brought back a special memory for superfan Zac Efron – he once spoke to the King of Pop at the height of his High School Musical fame.
Efron, who grew up worshipping the Thriller singer, never got the chance to meet him, but they did share an emotional phone chat one time when the actor was dining with Jackson’s director pal Kenny Ortega.
He recalls, “One time I was at dinner in France with the cast of High School Musical 3… and Kenny got a phone call from the other end of the table, and he answers it and he looks at me… and he goes, ‘I got somebody who wants to talk to you… Come here Zac,’ and I grabbed the phone.
“I go, ‘Hello’, and he goes, ‘Who’s this?’ and I said, ‘It’s Zac’, and he goes, ‘This is Michael, hi’.
“I just started crying, I don’t know what to say, my mouth won’t work… I’m just going, ‘I have so much I wanna say (to you). You’re the reason…’ and I start crying. It was a short conversation. He goes, ‘Thank you, thank you…’ and I hang up and handed the phone back to Kenny. Kenny’s like, ‘Wow, you messed that up’.”
However, the young star got the chance to redeem himself moments later when a confused Jackson rang back: “He goes, ‘Wait, is this Zac?’ and I go, ‘Yeah!’ and he goes, ‘Zac, hi, I didn’t know who I was talking to’. I go, ‘You know who I am?’ and he goes, ‘Yes, I love you’. And I’m like, ‘Oh my God, don’t say that to me…! You’re the reason I’m in music, you’re the reason I do what I do, you’ve been the inspiration to me since I was a little boy… I love you’, and I started crying again.
“I had to leave the room, everybody was laughing… and then he started crying… We were both crying for, like, a minute to each other, like, uncontrollably, and then he said, ‘See Zac, dreams really do come true’… I will never forget that.”
Efron, who reveals he drove around Hollywood from audition to audition listening to Jackson’s music when he first started getting acting offers, was one of the first people to pick up a copy of the King of Pop’s new album when it was released on Tuesday (13May14).
Zac reportedly being looked at for an unspecified role in an upcoming Marvel project. Nothing has been confirmed yet.
INDIEWIRE.COM – Anyway, according to Latino Review, the actor has met with Marvel and even has a script in his hand for a role for an unspecified part in an unspecified project, so let the guesswork begin! Maybe it’s for one of Marvel’s Netflix projects like “Daredevil”? That would seem to be the most likely scenario if there is actually a script, because things like “Guardians Of The Galaxy” spinoffs or “Captain America 3” aren’t in those positions yet. Maybe it’s a role in “Ant-Man” that will be shooting very soon? Basically, it could be anything, given that the intel right now is pretty vague.
While it’s been six years since the last High School Musical flick, the cast of the popular Disney franchise is still supporting each other.
Case in point? Ashley Tisdale couldn’t help but take to Twitter to send Zac Efron some love following the success of his film Neighbors, which had a killer opening weekend at the box office.
“#NeighborsMovie is a must see! So good! I was laughing my ass off. Very proud of Zac :)” she wrote on the social media site early Sunday (Zac retweeted the tweet).
Zac Efron has no regrets about skipping university.
The 26-year-old actor, who shot to fame as a teenager in the ‘High School Musical’ franchise, doesn’t have any qualms about not pursuing a degree because his leap into acting paid off.
He said: “This was my chance. Even on the hardest days of it, with the paparazzi and all of the attention, it’s worth it to be able to be part of the movies.
“When ‘High School Musical’ finished, I saw the potential to continue to act and learn this craft. I’m lucky to be here. That said, I think there’s a lot of things you have to learn on your own and if you’re working, you don’t get to do them. I was suddenly an adult at 17, making adult decisions.”
The ‘Bad Neighbours’ star sought treatment twice last year foralleged alcohol and cocaine addiction and he admits his stints in rehab have made him value life more and scale back on work.
He told Britain’s Glamour magazine: “It’s important to find a balance and all I could do before was work, work, work. I’m more centred now that I’ve been in ages.”
It’s Zac Efron’s cinematic world — we just live in it.
As the scheming alpha male of a fraternity house, Efron is currently in the No. 1 movie in theaters, the comedy Neighbors, and he’s a part of another band of brothers in That Awkward Moment, which debuts on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday.
Time will tell if he’ll get an Oscar nomination but at least he garnered an MTV Movie Awards win for Best Shirtless Performance as Jason, one of a trio of guys — including Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan — who all have vowed to lead the bachelor life and enjoy the same kind of single-dude, romantically unattached friendship they had in college. (Of course, love interests come and get in the way of all that.)
In an exclusive clip from the bonus features, Efron explains that he could connect with the trio’s sense of humor, the weight of their friendship and their shared good times. “It made sense to me. It was in my world.”
What makes it special for him, though, is how much it’s based on the life of writer/director Tom Gormican.
“Tom brings a certain perspective to it: ‘I’ve been there, this is what happened,’ ” Efron says. “And he’s always open for us to impose our beliefs on it. It’s kind of empowering.”
Gormican admits that he wasn’t sure Efron was the right person for the part until he spent a night hanging with the young star and his presence won him over.
“If you’re going to have a character’s who’s doing pretty awful things at times, you need someone who has an abundant amount of charm,” the filmmaker says. “When you see him or meet him, he would be very difficult to not like, and there’s only a few actors who can pull this off.”
Other extras on the That Awkward Moment Blu-ray/DVD include character profiles, a behind-the-scenes look at Gormican’s process, and a gag reel.
I have added images from the May 3 press conference of “Neighbors” to the gallery. Thanks to Renee for some of the images!
Appearances > Appearances in 2014 > “Neighbors” Press Conference (May 3)
Thanks to Claudia, I have added scans from the latest Entertainment Weekly to our gallery.
Magazines > Magazines in 2014 > Entertainment Weekly (May 16)