DID YOU READ

“Raging Bull II” headed into production

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Yes, we’re scratching our heads over this one too.

Variety is reporting that production has started on “Raging Bull II,” an upcoming sequel/prequel hybrid that has nothing to do with Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro or the original film.

Instead, relative unknown Martin Guigui is directing the movie off a script he cowrote with Rustam Branaman. William Forsythe will star as an older Jake LaMotta, while newcomer Mojean Aria will play him as a younger man. De Niro famously portrayed LaMotta in the first “Raging Bull.” The project also stars Joe Mantegna, Tom Sizemore, Penelope Ann Miller, Natasha Henstridge, Alicia Witt, Ray Wise, Harry Hamlin, Bill Bellamy and James Russo as Rocky Graziano.

Somehow this film — which we’d mark as about as unnecessary a sequel/prequel as there ever was — has stayed off our radar since its inception. Martin Scorsese doesn’t even know what “Raging Bull 2” could be about either, so we don’t feel so bad being a bit confused. Here’s the publisher’s description of the story (via /Film):

“‘Raging Bull II’ is a continuation of the Jake La Motta story. When Robert De Niro won an Academy Award playing Jake in a film made from the book, La Motta’s life brightened as he shared the limelight with De Niro. Since then he has gone through fortunes, been wealthy and flat broke, and married again in addition to his first five marriages, which ended in divorces before, the film was produced. La Motta now lives with Theresa Miller, his sixth wife. In her he believes he has finally found a marital state that will endure for the balance of his life. All of the conflicts, the fights and the terrors, which have been part and parcel of La Motta’s life, are in these pages. The book takes a sharp look at the real Raging Bull, both as the controversial ring gladiator and as the older, wiser philosophically entertaining performer he has become. In the ex-fighter’s own words, ‘this time [he] has fought not to be a champion gladiator but to become a champion human being.'”

Are you dreading this sequel, or do you think it could be decent? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney To Host Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards Air February 25 LIVE on IFC.

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The 2017 Spirit Awards have finally found their frontmen: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. And it’s no wonder. Just marvel in their splendid chemistry back when they appeared on Comedy Bang! Bang!:

The pair are prolific within the performing arts community: television (Kroll in The League and The Kroll Show, Mulaney as a writer of IFC’s own Documentary Now!), theater (including Broadway’s current Oh Hello Show), and stand-up comedy. In fact, it’s entirely possible that emceeing an awards show is one of the few remaining line items on their professional bucket lists.

It’s important to caveat this announcement, however. Unlike the bigger and more ubiquitously known awards shows, the Spirit Awards are not, well…boring. (We’re talking to you, Oscar.)

They’re funny. They’re honest. They have quality to match the red-carpet fanfare. And that’s alarmingly special. Last year’s show included some legitimately historic moments, like when transgender actress Mya Taylor won best supporting female, or Kate McKinnon’s hilarious and timely parody of Carol. See more highlights here to get the flavor of the Spirit Awards and read all about Film Independent to dig deeper.

The 2017 Spirit Awards air live February 25 at 5P ET exclusively on IFC.

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