Lee Pace is back on TV and ready to break some rules. The “Pushing Daisies” actor stars in AMC’s upcoming 1980s drama “Halt and Catch Fire” as a computer visionary who risks his career to build a PC computer that could change the world.
AMC showed the first trailer for the series, set to debut at 9 p.m. June 1, during last night’s Season 4 finale of “The Walking Dead.” Pace stars with Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé and Toby Huss.
IndieWire.com — AMC gave audiences their first glimpse at the cable network’s future Saturday morning at SXSW. “Halt and Catch Fire” set a high standard for the new Episodics category with a riveting hour of carefully choreographed television. Taking place in early 1980s Texas, AMC’s new drama tells the tale of three technology-minded dreamers looking to create a personal computer that rivals and maybe even replaces the already well-established model of IBM.
“There were hundreds of companies trying to do this,” co-creator Christopher Rogers said at the post-screening Q&A. “By 1990, IBM was not one of them. They were taken down by these underdog upstarts.”
These upstarts are compellingly portrayed by three central figures. First we meet Joe McMillan (Lee Pace), the man with the plan even if only he knows what that plan entails. While I’ll make sure to leave the vitals secrets for the June 1 premiere, some minors spoilers may come up from here on out. McMillan talks himself into a job at a mid-level computer manufacturer that’s not interested in manufacturing PCs. McMillan has other plans, and quickly seeks out the man he’s there for, Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy). Clark and his wife Donna (Kerry Bishe) built their own PC in the late 70s, and Gordon has never recovered from its failure. Donna sees its creation as a mistake and is happily resigned to her life as a working mother leading an average domestic existence. Joe is the wrench in her world. He sees something in Gordon, but has to trick him into helping against Donna’s wishes.
These characters may sound familiar, especially to devotees of AMC. Donna could easily be Betty Draper or even Skyler White — the ignorant wife occasionally suspicious of her husband and betrayed when his weaknesses are unveiled. Gordon doesn’t seem to be headed down Walter White’s path, but he could be seen as pre-cancer Walter. Much like Walter with Gray Matter Technologies, Gordon works his day job with little to no enthusiasm after missing out on a massive opportunity earlier in his life. And Joe — he’s got Don Draper all over him. Those suits. That swagger. That drive. Not to mention he has sex before the title sequence even plays.
Yet all of these easily made assumptions are subtly if not purposefully flipped before the first episode wraps. Donna isn’t Skyler, and she’s certainly not Betty. She’s not blind to who she married, and she’s not in denial. A scene in the episode’s final act provides her character with depth appropriate for a woman of her reported intelligence. It’s clear she will be as pivotal to the developments as the three people actively working on the new PC. Gordon doesn’t have to hide what he’s doing. He’s not at risk of lying to alienate his family (at least not yet), so he’s distinguished himself from Walter. Joe still shares some glaring similarities with Don — especially a mysterious missing year of his life in which no one knows where he was or what he was doing. Yet Joe isn’t closed off. He engages people and is upfront with his intentions, if not his reasons.
“I read the pilot and thought, ‘Who is this sociopath?’” Pace said in the post-screening Q&A. “Then I looked again and saw someone who looked like Steve Jobs, a little like Donald Trump in the early 1980s,a little like Gordon Gekko, and a little like the guy with 80s greed. He just wants to make a computer for you. It will serve your life and help you connect the dots.”
“You see, he’s doing it again,” interrupted Toby Huss, who plays Joe and Gordon’s boss with a delightful Texas twang and an even more remarkable soul. “He’s defending Joe. His character’s an awful bastard. We all know that. Yes? No?”
What makes the decision of whether or not Joe will become the latest in an already rich history of antiheroes at AMC is the balance the show strikes in regard to the gender gap. The woman who Joe has sex with in early on in the pilot is a major player, not a mere fling. Cameron, a rebellious college student played with appealingly high energy by Mackenzie Davis, is recruited to help build the PC, despite her penchant for anarchy. She bookends the pilot and gets comparatively less screen time than her costars, but leaves her mark nonetheless.
“There’s definitely a boys club mentality in this industry, even today,” Rogers said. “That’s something we wanted to look at. Donna and Cameron are a spectrum for us with women in this field. We think there’s an interesting conflict to examine and seeing how these female engineers can compete if not surpass their male counterparts.”
Lee Pace attended the Halt And Catch Fire Photo Op and Q&A 2014 SXSW. 17 high resolution images of his appearance have been added to our photo gallery. Check them out below! Click on a thumbnail to redirect to our gallery for more images.
I’ve added older candids of Lee Pace arriving at YVR airport in Canada. Check them out below!
I’ve added a few older shoots photographed by Blake Little, Sarah Dunn and Steven Unwin to our photo gallery. Check them out below!
AMC has finally given a premiere date to “Halt and Catch Fire,” its upcoming drama series about the computer industry in the early 1980s. The series — starring Lee Pace from “Pushing Daisies,” Scoot McNairy and Kerry Bishé from “Argo,” Mackenzie Davis from “Smashed” and Toby Huss from “King of the Hill” (Cotton Hill forever!) will debut on Sunday, June 1 at 10 p.m.
Set in the early 1980s, series dramatizes the personal computing boom through the eyes of a visionary, an engineer and a prodigy whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths of the time. Their personal and professional partnership will be challenged by greed and ego while charting the changing culture in Texas’ Silicon Prairie.
For more information on the series, visit the IMDb page!
TheGlobalDispatch.com — Marvel rolled out the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy and now fans are dumping a ton questions on creators and director James Gunn. In an interview with PointlessPod.com, Gunn fielded a lightning round of questions, beginning with whether Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is naked. “Sort of,” says the Super director.
“No Black Novas,” he says before explaining the shared properties of Marvel Studios and Fox. “Marvel only partially owns the Skrulls. And also, for the record, we don’t own the Badoon either. So people are asking why we have a Sakaaran in the film and we don’t own the Badoon.” Gunn is coy not to answer about Captain Marvel or Adam Warlock appearances, but says he’s “saving” some things for the next trailer.
“Glenn Close is in the movie. I’m saving some people for the second trailer, which I like better than the first trailer, frankly. The main people, I think, we’re saving are Ronan, played by Lee Pace; Yondu…” He confirms Pace’s brief appearance in the first trailer. “That is Ronan holding Drax. Yondu played by Rooker, and Nova Prime played by Glenn Close.”
Rocket Raccoon speaking is a big question. “You didn’t even ask me why Rocket didn’t speak. That’s the big thing people want, Rocket to speak in the trailer. I will drop a nugget that they will be hearing Rocket speak in something very, very soon. (Like on Instagram) …”It’s gonna be something. Follow me on Instagram and find out.”
Guardians of the Galaxy opens in 3D on August 1st.