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Comedy Death Ray: Bob Odenkirk on ‘The Larry Sanders Show’

Comedy Death Ray: Bob Odenkirk on ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ (photo)

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Tonight at IFC’s Crossroads House in Austin, Texas at the SXSW festival, we are hosting a Comedy Death Ray Night. This discussion features Scott Aukerman playing host to Dave Foley, Thomas Lennon, Eugene Mirman, Michael Ian Black, Aziz Ansari and more. We are streaming the show at 7 p.m. ET on our magical livestream. But when you are not watching the livestream, you can watch Scott Aukerman do his Comedy Death Ray mojo on Bob Odenkirk as they talk about “The Larry Sanders Show”:

The Larry Sanders Show airs tonight at 11 p.m. ET

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

Judd Apatow Talks ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ on Comedy Death Ray

Judd Apatow Talks ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ on Comedy Death Ray (photo)

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Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night at 11 p.m. we do the entire world a giant favor and show another episode of The Larry Sanders Show. While 99% of us know that Larry Sanders is one of the best comedies ever to grace the nation’s airways, there are a few holdouts that won’t see the truth. In the immortal words of Matthew Broderick in “War Games”, “Learn, dammit! Learn!” So what might convince that pesky 1% of the population? Maybe comic genius Judd Apatow can convince them:

The Larry Sanders Show airs Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 11 p.m. ET; Comedy Death Ray airs Monday – Wednesday from 10-11:30 p.m. ET

What to Watch on IFC: February 28 – March 6

What to Watch on IFC: February 28 – March 6 (photo)

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For being the shortest month, February sure drags on and on and on. Luckily good old in-like-a-lion out-like-a-lamb March starts tomorrow. We will refrain from admitting that we know songs from “Annie”, but we do have high hopes for March. Not only because we have great films coming up like Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” and Wes Anderson’s “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” but because IFC is getting ready to set up shop in Austin, Texas for the duration of SXSW. Want to come play? RSVP now. The fun starts March 11. If you can’t make it to Austin this year, or if you just want to wile away the hours until your flight departs, we have a lot of great television to keep you entertained.

Here’s what to watch this week on IFC:

Monday

Get out your tassles and tiaras, glitter and gloves, pantyhose and fake eyelashes, because “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” is airing tonight at 7:45 p.m. ET.

Tuesday

Plant your bottom on the couch, because we have four hours of the best television on the air tonight. Watch the Onion News Network at 9 p.m. ET as they break open the conspiracy to spread the cutest piglet on earth. Stay tuned for Portlandia, Freaks and Geeks, and The Larry Sanders Show.

Wednesday

Sofia Coppola’s stunningly beautiful “Marie Antoinette” airs on IFC at 11:15 a.m. ET. Get your priorities straight and call in sick to work so you can watch.

Thursday

Tune into The Grid at 7:45 p.m. ET to find out the latest in pop culture, including gadgets, music, movies and viral videos. The Grid gives you everything you need to make yourself wildly popular, ultra awesome, model thing and ready to hang with the cool kids.* (*Results not typical)

Friday

Peter Weir’s high seas adventure Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World makes a splash (see what we did there?) on IFC at 7 p.m. ET. How often do you get to spend Friday night with Russell Crowe in a ponytail?

Saturday

Hey laaaadies, get a double dose of Colin Farrell today when we air Phone Booth at 6:15 p.m. ET and Joel Schumacher’s Tigerland (he’s shirtless!) at 10 p.m. ET. Don’t say we never did nothing for ya.

Sunday

Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei, and Natasha Lyonne star in the dark comedy Slums of Beverly Hills at 9 p.m. ET. However, you’ll want to tune in at 6:30 p.m. ET to watch Bill Murray’s brilliantly odd oceanographer in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

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