Wednesday Link-A-Mania

Oz: The Great And Powerful, Akira, The Secret Circle, Game Of Thrones, The River

Oz Finds Its Good Witch
Michelle Williams (Dawson’s Creek, Brokeback Mountain, Shutter Island) has joined the Sam Raimi-directed Wizard Of Oz prequel, Oz, The Great And Powerful. She will be playing the good witch Glinda, reports Variety. She joins a cast which includes James Franco as the proto-wizard, who ends up in Oz following a ballooning accident.

Keanu Reeves Says No To Akira
The big screen, live action Hollywood version of legendary anime Akira will not now star Keanu Reeves as Kaneda (which will be a relief to all those fans who thought he was far too old anyway… just wait until Nicolas Cage’s name is connected with the part). According to JoBlo, Reeves turned down the part, in the same week that, “Warner Bros shut down Akira’s pre-viz department and most of the staff that was working on the film was let go”. However, Warners is keen to point out that, “Production on Akira has not halted or been shut down, as the film has not yet been greenlit and is still very much in the development stage. The exploratory process is crucial to a project of this magnitude, and we will continue to sculpt our approach to making the best possible film.”

CW Greenlights The Secret Circle
Having successfully transferred one LJ Smith book series to TV with The Vampire Diaries, showrunner Kevin Williamson will try to pull off the trick a second time with The Secret Circle, reports TVLine. The CW, which already airs Diaries, has now given the official greenlight to Circle, which is about witches. The plot follows a young woman (Life Unexpected’s Britt Robertson) who moves to a new town and soon realises that not only is she a witch, but she’s a member of a generations-old coven and holds the key to an impending battle between good and evil. Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Gale Harold (Hellcats, Queer as Folk) also star.

Game Of Thrones Ratings Continue To Rise In The States
It may be tempting fate to say this, but Game Of Thrones in the US looks like it could be replicating True Blood’s steady growth in audience ratings to phenomenal levels for HBO. Having started out with two million viewers (in itself a very healthy figure for a subscription channel in the States and on a par with the numbers True Blood was pulling in when it started), the ratings have steadily grown each week, with the fifth episode on Sunday raking in 2.58 million viewers. And considering that episode was downright awesome, we’d be shocked if there was a fall-off next week (which, according to those members of the SFX team who’ve seen it is even awesomer… if such a word exists). Meanwhile, in the UK, the show is still getting over a million viewers on Sky Atlantic (again, a massive figure for a non-Freeview channel), which is more than double the second most popular show on the channel. If you’re not watching it yet, why not?

The River Trailer
Another one of those telefantasy shows that’ll be on the air in the States later this year, this one with Paranormal Activity’s Oren Peli as showrunner (and you can tell…)