THEWRAP.COM – It’s hard to imagine Joseph Gordon-Levitt ever having a career lull. But when he did, years ago, he decided to create his own project instead of waiting for someone to offer him one.
The result was “HITRECORD on TV,” a new variety show that premieres Saturday on Pivot but has been seen half a million times online. The series is assembled from clips Levitt helped assemble in his downtime from writing, directing, and starring in last year’s “Don Jon”; producing an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” comics; doing backflips on live TV; and being the only credible Robin ever caught on film.
“This is something that I’ve been working towards for many years,” he told TheWrap. “In fact, since before I had shit else going on.”
We talked to the 32-year-old about evolving from a “3rd Rock From the Sun” child star, the Trotskyan world of Reddit, and the 1929 book that helps fuel his creativity.
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IGN.COM – At the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour today, Joseph Gordon-Levitt appeared to discuss his new TV series, HITRECORD ON TV. Debuting next Saturday on the recently launched cable channel Pivot, the series is an extension of the hitRECord online collaborative production company Gordon-Levitt formed with his brother, Dan. Like on the website (and accompanying YouTube channel), the TV show includes short films, songs, animation and more that has been contributed to by thousands of different people from across the world. The first episode, for example, has a short film based on an essay submitted by one contributor, with voice over recorded by another and music by another, among many, many others whose work was incorporated.
The series is presented in a variety show format, with Gordon-Levitt in front of an audience. Asked about that format and the blend of genres he’s using, Gordon-Levitt said, “I have a really eclectic taste in what I like to watch. I don’t only like romantic comedies or only action movies, I like all kinds of movies. I don’t only want to listen to De La Soul or only want to listen to Johnny Cash, I like to listen to all kinds of music. HITRECORD is really a way I can work on a variety of things, and that diversity makes me happy.” He added, “We have thousands of peoples from across the world working on our collaboration and we’re going to get diverse [results].”
Levitt stressed that HITRECORD isn’t what is considered crowdsourcing or even asking people for submissions and only choosing one. “It’s a production company and I direct it. Instead of hiring a group of people that happens on a traditional set, we open up those doors on the internet and anyone can contribute to them.”
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SCREENCRUSH.COM – Word broke last month that actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who made his directorial debut with ‘Don Jon,’ will next tackle a big screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s gothic comic book classic ‘Sandman.’ Since then, we haven’t heard much, but now Gordon-Levitt has opened up a bit about his plans for the film in a new interview. So what can we expect from this highly-anticipated project? Something “spectacular,” he promises.
Gordon-Levitt recently spoke to IGN, and when asked about the upcoming project he got pretty excited. The actor and director, who is also said to be in contention to star in the film (although which part he would possibly play is still up for speculation), is clearly a huge fan of the property, and the right man for the job:
Well, I love just the basic concept of it – just the concept of personifying Dream, along with all of his brothers and sisters, the seven Endless personifying Death, personifying Destruction and Delirium and Destiny and Desire and Despair. I mean, that’s just a fascinating and, I think, a really cinematic concept. You look at the art of Sandman, and it just looks spectacular. I love big, spectacular movies, but oftentimes big, spectacular movies sort of get stuck in a rut. They go down certain paths that end in big explosions or whatever. Sandman has so much opportunity to do something that’s on a grand, grand scale, but really unlike your average big, grand-scale, spectacular movie. I guess that’s the tip of the iceberg.
When asked about a tweet that included the word “prelude,” which seemed to hint that his ‘Sandman’ film might be just be the beginning of a series of films, Gordon-Levitt clarified:
I honestly just wrote that as sort of a pun, because this tweet was a prelude to who knows what’s to come. Obviously “Prelude” is the title of the first issue, but… Yeah, nothing is cemented yet. But there’s so much potential in that material. It’s exciting.
And there you have it. No big news here, but he’s excited and we’re excited to have someone who obviously has a clear vision for the film at the helm.
SPIN.COM – Within the first 75 seconds of the premiere episode of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s new show, HITRECORD ON TV (which premieres with two back-to-back episodes January 18 on Pivot), we’ve learned that he’s the creator, producer, and director. We’ve also seen that he’s hosting and shooting footage; later, we’ll hear him sing and play the piano. The song? One he helped write, of course.
Despite appearances, this project isn’t really about Gordon-Levitt, his work, or his seemingly bottomless well of talent. Instead, the half-hour variety show — made up of short films, animation, musical performances, interviews, and multimedia jokes — is about what can happen when creative people (and complete strangers) across the globe put their (digital) heads together.
“We like to call ourselves an open collaborative production company, where hundreds of thousands of artists around the world form a community around the art we make together,” says series co-creator Jared Geller. The 300,000-member crew he’s talking about coalesces at hitRECord.org, a website Gordon-Levitt started in 2005 as a place to compile the projects he started between acting gigs. He wrote journal entries, posted songs that inspired him, and slowly built a following, which really took off when he added a message board to the site.
“I think one of the first collaborations was a word-association game,” Geller recalls. (He’s also the site’s executive producer.) “All of the sudden, there were thousands of contributions to this thing. Joe and I thought, ‘What a cool way to make art — to be inclusive, to open it up to people all over the world, to any concentration. What if we made a production company based on this idea?’”
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IGN.COM – I had the chance to sit down with Joseph Gordon-Levitt today, for an interview about his new series, HITRECORD ON TV. I’ll have plenty more with Gordon-Levitt discussing that series next week — though you can more of what he had to say about the show today here — but during our conversation, we also touched upon The Sandman and Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
Gordon-Levitt is playing the role of Johnny in Robert Rodriguez’s follow up to 2005′s Sin City, alongside a large cast that includes Josh Brolin and Bruce Willis. As for The Sandman, it was recently revealed that Gordon-Levitt is producing a film adaptation of the acclaimed comic from Neil Gaiman, and could possibly also star in it and direct the film as well.
We spoke about the current status of Sandman, and what drew him to the project, and what he learned working on Sin City that helped influence HITRECORD.
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It’s looking likelier and likelier that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s days of stalking around Gotham City in a cape and cowl have ended before they ever really started. By the end of “The Dark Knight Rises,” Gordon-Levitt’s optimistic beat cop John Blake — real name Robin, as it turns out — discovered Bruce Wayne’s abandoned Batcave, leaving him the heir apparent to Batman’s legacy in Gotham.
Gordon-Levitt hasn’t been shy about his beliefs that the ending of “Rises” wasn’t meant to be a “to be continued,” but a decisive conclusion to the “Dark Knight” trilogy and its themes. Given that Christopher Nolan has also said that he won’t be involved in future Batman films, it’s a safe bet that further appearances of JGL in Gotham aren’t in the cards, either.
But how about that “Justice League” movie that Warner Bros. is currently assembling? It’s unclear at the moment how WB plans to connect their superhero team-up (rumored to hit theaters in 2015, the same year as Marvel and Joss Whedon’s “Avengers” sequel) to the “Dark Knight” trilogy, if at all. But for the sake of argument, let’s say Gordon-Levitt was approached to be a part of “Justice League” — would he even be interested in signing on?
“It always depends,” he told MTV News at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he was busy promoting “Looper,” his upcoming sci-fi thriller from “Brick” director Rian Johnson. “I always pick projects that I want to be involved in for the same reasons. Is the script really good? Is the filmmaker a really inspired artist that I feel connected to? That’s what I always pay attention to.”
Based on that logic, perhaps Gordon-Levitt wouldn’t be interested in just any director taking on “Justice League.” But if the keys were handed to someone like, say, “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” filmmaker David Fincher?
“Really?” Gordon-Levitt responded to our hypothetical with a laugh. “David Fincher?”
Hey, you never know — even Nolan seemed like an unlikely fit to direct the Caped Crusader before “Batman Begins” hit theaters. Now, though, not only is Nolan’s vision of the comic book movie genre well-documented, it might also be positioned for some awards recognition at next year’s Oscars.
“Sure,” Gordon-Levitt said when asked if he’s hopeful about “Rises’” chances at the Oscars, agreeing that that kind of attention is nothing but a good thing. “Yeah, exactly.”
Gary Oldman has enjoyed playing Commissioner Jim Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies for the last nine years. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who worked with Nolan on Inception, is new to the franchise but says it’s an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. The two actors star alongside Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises, one of the most anticipated films of the year.
Bonnie Laufer from Tribute spoke with Gary and Joseph in Los Angeles about working together on this film, how Chris Nolan keeps stepping up his game, and the joys of keeping the plot an absolute secret while they were shooting the movie.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Hesher, a strange longhaired rocker who has decided to take up residency in an unfamiliar family’s garage. Spencer Susser directs this wicked new dramatic comedy, which also stars Natalie Portman, Rainn Wilson, and Piper Laurie. Ryan J. Downey recently caught up with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as well as Spencer Susser and Rainn Wilson, for a provocative look behind-the-scenes at Hesher.