MALIK YOBA AND LAURA MENNELL JOIN THE CAST OF SYFY'S ALPHAS Yoba Portrays the Fiery Bill Harken and Mennell Portrays the Seductive Nina Theroux in 90-Minute Pilot Directed by Lost's Jack Bender and Starring Acclaimed Actor David Strathairn New York, New York - July 29, 2010 - Syfy has announced additional casting for its previously announced pilot Alphas, inking actors Malik Yoba and Laura Mennell to co-star in the wry action-adventure project from writers Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand, The Avengers, The Incredible Hulk) and Michael Karnow, it was announced today by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Syfy and Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions, which is the studio for the project. Alphas is executive produced by Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein for BermanBraun Television and will be directed by Jack Bender (director and executive producer of Lost). It is slated to commence production next month in Toronto. Alphas follows a team of ordinary citizens whose brain anomalies imbue them with extraordinary mental and physical abilities. Taking the law into their own hands, the unlikely team, led by Dr. Lee Rosen (David Strathairn) investigates cases that suggest other Alpha activity to uncover what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able or willing to solve. These gifted individuals must balance their quirky personalities and disparate backgrounds with their not always visible powers as they work to solve crimes, stop the ticking time bomb and catch the enemy. Yoba plays Alphas team member Bill Harken, a former FBI agent from working class roots. Harken's Alpha skill allows him to intentionally activate a "fight-or-flight mechanism" producing a power surge of adrenaline giving him increased strength, speed and immunity from pain. Mennell plays the complicated Alpha team member Nina Theroux. Seductive, intelligent and confident, Nina's Alpha ability allows her to influence people into doing whatever she wishes but her power can sometimes spin out of control. Her skill also comes with a personal drawback in that she can never be sure if anyone's feelings for her are real. Nina was the first team member enlisted by Dr. Rosen to whom she remains extremely loyal. "Malik and Laura are perfect additions to an already impressive ensemble cast. They both have great intensity and charisma," said Stern. "We look forward to seeing them breathe life into the complex characters of Harken and Nina." Malik Yoba is well known for his co-starring role as NYPD detective J.C. Williams on the popular police drama New York Undercover from 1994 to 1998, and has also appeared in the feature films Why Did I Get Married? (2007), Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010), Cool Runnings (1993) and Criminal (2004). He has made numerous television appearances including on the series Arrested Development as Ice, a bounty hunter whose real love is party planning, and the recurring character Brock Harris on the sitcom Girlfriends. Yoba also appeared in the crime drama Thief and the NBC crime drama Raines, and portrayed astronaut Ted Shaw on the futuristic drama Defying Gravity. Malik Yoba is represented by Kieran Maguire of The Arlook Group and Steve Muller at Innovative Artists. Laura Mennell is a Canadian actress best known for her portrayal of Janey Slater in the feature film Watchmen, Lily Mercy in television movie Montana Sky (2007) and the Emmy nominated television movie Flight 93 (2006), which chronicled the events aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. Laura Mennell is represented by Vicki Petronio-King for Play Management Inc. Leading the cast will be critically lauded actor David Strathairn, who earned rave reviews and received Best Actor Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and Academy Award nominations for his portrayal of Edward R. Murrow in the film Good Night, and Good Luck. Strathairn plays the unconventional, eccentric Alphas team leader Dr. Lee Rosen. Though he comes across as somewhat of an absent-minded professor at times, he is also a cunning and manipulative power-player willing to bend the rules in pursuit of his objectives and in support of his Team. About BermanBraun BermanBraun is an independent media company whose three divisions -- television, feature film and digital media -- create and exploit entertainment content and advertising solutions throughout the world. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company, founded by principals Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun in January 2007, has separate strategic global alliances with NBC and Microsoft to create and distribute creative content across all platforms. In February 2009, BermanBraun launched WONDERWALL -- the primary celebrity destination on the MSN Network, ranking ahead of TMZ.com and People.com in traffic, with number one user engagement in the celebrity news space. In April 2010, partners BermanBraun, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. (HFM U.S.) and MSN launched GLO, a lifestyle destination site. BermanBraun is currently producing THE CAPE for NBC's 2010/2011 television season. They are also producing DECODED for the History Channel for Fall 2010. BermanBraun also produces SWORDS for The Discovery Channel and IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM? on MTV. About Universal Cable Productions Universal Cable Productions creates quality content across multiple media platforms for USA, Syfy and other networks. A leader in innovative and critically acclaimed programming, UCP is the studio behind USA's Royal Pains, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Psych, In Plain Sight, Covert Affairs and Facing Kate, along with Syfy's Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Caprica. The studio also produced both long-running series Monk and Battlestar Galactica. UCP is a division of NBC Universal. About Syfy Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in 95 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)Why does this release fail to mention “Alphas” scripter Zak Penn also wrote the movie versions of “Elektra” and “Fantastic Four”? I wonder!
July 30, 2010, 12:28 a.m. CST
but syfy will blow it.
July 30, 2010, 12:30 a.m. CST
More like Iotas, if you ask me.
July 30, 2010, 12:32 a.m. CST
July 30, 2010, 12:32 a.m. CST
Lambda lambda lambda?
July 30, 2010, 12:35 a.m. CST
Just what I've been waiting for! Another Mutant X! This should be wonderful! Yuuuuuck.
July 30, 2010, 12:48 a.m. CST
I wholeheartedly agree.
July 30, 2010, 12:55 a.m. CST
I wonder about this . . .
July 30, 2010, 1:17 a.m. CST
July 30, 2010, 1:19 a.m. CST
Casting Strathairn means SyFy gives a shit! Love this guy. Brings true talent like Robert Carlyle in Stargate Universe. Don't follow Warehouse 13 so I'm looking forward to Alphas.
July 30, 2010, 1:36 a.m. CST
by Media Messiah
I hated 300, as it was racist, and was just a very weak movie--a film, that was successful, only thanks to the hype--and Sucker Punch looks like it is as much of a mess, if not more, than 300. As for Watchmen, it was a wonderful production, however, I could have used less of the slo-mo fights, as they are just tired, and over used in movies.<BR><BR>Further, I wish the film had more nudity, more graphic sex, and cursing...as, it felt a bit too safe at times, because the studio was worried about the film rating. That aside, the film was very well done.
July 30, 2010, 1:40 a.m. CST
July 30, 2010, 2:04 a.m. CST
by Voice O. Reason
Film it in Vancouver and you can hire all the local talent you want.
July 30, 2010, 3:22 a.m. CST
Most people I know who hated it hated it for things that were present in the GN like how Dr Manhattan was naked.
July 30, 2010, 3:25 a.m. CST
Specifically, some rather key deviations from the original graphic novel. Such as the way every seemed super-strong and super-resistant to injury. <br /><br />However, my brother hadn't read the original GN and he said that sort of stuff didn't bother him, because clearly Adrian had been experimenting with genetics, their tech was different, and he assumed there was unwritten backstory which said Adrian gave his team mates some genetic improvements over regular humans.<br /><br />In other words, I hated the movie because I had preconceived notions about what it should be, from the graphic novel. But when I put that aside, and watched it as its own creation, it is pretty damn good.
July 30, 2010, 4:20 a.m. CST
by Righteous Brother
and love the graphic novel. I kind of approach them as two different beasts, like I would with the novel of Moby Dick, and the movie version or any adaptation come to think of it, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep etc etc...... I can understand how some people don't like it, but.......ah man I'm gonna have to watch it again.
July 30, 2010, 4:37 a.m. CST
are conservatives types. some more so then others.
July 30, 2010, 5:22 a.m. CST
It would've been better if they'd got rid of that stupid sex scene, re-cast Silk Spectre, toned down the slow-down-sped-up fight sequences and gone all out faithfull to the source material by using the original ending. Having said that, as a fan of the GN, the film is far better than it deserves to be. Of course for non-fans, its almost impenetrable.
July 30, 2010, 5:50 a.m. CST
The geek worm would turn and WATCHMEN would all of a sudden be beloved.
July 30, 2010, 5:50 a.m. CST
Better than some other people give it credit. But I much prefer the motion comic. It's so much better.
July 30, 2010, 6:04 a.m. CST
I think the majority of Snyder's Watchmen is an excellent translation of the source material. I think the only flaw is the ending, the lack of the squid was disappointing, and the substitution and framing of Dr Manhattan as the scapegoat was OK but wasn't as clever and audacious as the psychic squid plan.<br><br> I also disliked the shift in tone that painted Ozymandias as a villain. I felt the comics stayed cleverly neutral at the end, leaving everything open to the reader's interpretation. Personally I always agreed with Ozy, from a purely practical perspective, the death of the few to benefit the many seems like the right choice.<br><br> Basically everything in the film is pretty excellent right up to the point they reach Karnak, (which also disappointed by not having the tropical bio-dome in the middle of the Arctic). After that point, I think the film could have benefited from sticking to the source material.<br><br> Still, I do really enjoy watching it, it's just a pity they didn't quite have the balls to keep the original ending.
July 30, 2010, 6:16 a.m. CST
by Holy Hell
was just plain silly. It's self importance kept it's head in the toilet until it drowned. Not nearly as intelligent as it thinks it is.
July 30, 2010, 7:12 a.m. CST
Moreso when you compare to craps that are out today.
July 30, 2010, 7:13 a.m. CST
You're probably right, but I could say the same thing about the comic itself. People insist that it's high literature, while it's just a (revolutionary) super hero comic book. Anyway, I LOVED the movie. My girlfriend hates the genre and loved it too. The change in the ending was a clever solution. The only weak link was Mathew Goode as Ozymandias. I have the urge to fast forward his scenes when I watch the movie. He's just a skiny Bond villain from the first scene, instead of the perfect all american hero who reveals his intentions in the end. Now, the Director's Cut was totally uneven. Rorschach scene with the cops made no sense. Nite Owl I's dead was AWESOME, but the scene preseding it (the gang on the street) had the worst acting I've seen in the last years). All in all, if I recomend the movie to a friend, I go for the theatrical version.
July 30, 2010, 8:37 a.m. CST
Over twenty years of back and forth studio and casting shenanigans and Zack Snyder finally films the "unfilmable." And despite hardcore fanboys deriding its mere existence, the film actually turns out to be an entertaining, mostly-faithful adaptation deserving far more love than it gets.
July 30, 2010, 8:41 a.m. CST
by Doctor Manhattan
Herc, are you nuts? The comics were brilliant. The movie made me want to cry. With the exception of some key scenes, like the origin of Dr. Manhattan, all the Rorschach stuff, and anything with the Comedian, the movie was drek. The sex scene with Hallelujah playing in the background? Adrian being a complete fop, and the altered ending all made me cringe. I would have preferred it having never been made.
July 30, 2010, 8:43 a.m. CST
Halfway thought they were blowing smoke when they said they were pursuing him. My interest is piqued. Curious to know what the overall tone of the series will take.
July 30, 2010, 8:53 a.m. CST
Search on "Matt Forbeck Brave New World" and you'll understand.
July 30, 2010, 8:54 a.m. CST
I forget what it was called, but it was basically a lame X-Men ripoff. Even the powers are the same.
July 30, 2010, 9:06 a.m. CST
...they're going with powers that aren't as "FX intensive", which is probably a good idea. Also by keeping the capabilities toned down, they could make it a little more "edgy" and they might be able to create some tension (vs. time travel, every-power-in-the-book, etc.)
July 30, 2010, 9:06 a.m. CST
Not interested. Oh, and yeah, the film version of "Watchmen" is good. Not as good as the comic, but maybe there's no way to top the comic.
July 30, 2010, 9:13 a.m. CST
( read that in the Ziodberg voice ) <BR><BR> Folks, the Squid ending would have been ridiculous. Taking "super hero" issues so seriously as the material does ( sex scene, etc ) the film is already balancing on the edge of knife in believability. Snyder managed to pull of a very skillful ending that makes a lot more sense than the squid. <BR><BR>
July 30, 2010, 9:15 a.m. CST
My problem is with the very end. "Nothing ever ends." should have come from Doc Bluedong, shaming Ozzy. Rorschach's death should've been unwitnessed.<p>Oh and Janey in those garters? I'd unleash my comedian too.
July 30, 2010, 9:17 a.m. CST
I have said this before, but if you want a super hero drama then give this British show a go. Bunch of young offenders get caught in a storm which imbues them with super powers. The scope is kept small, so no world threatening stuff, but very funny. Imagine if someone decent had written Heroes, with a smaller scope and put it on HBO. That is all
July 30, 2010, 9:57 a.m. CST
I totally understand why some people hated it. While it's not "squidly" faithful to the original and some of the content interpretation was really misguided - specially everything related to Ozymandias - it is a FINE piece of art, complex and full of detail, in a day and age in which such films are MIRACLE events. It is a complex, character-driven and long R-rated comic book film filled with references, with excelent mise en scene details and correctly set in the 1980s - the fact this was produced nowadays is really a fucking miracle. Watchmen is not a movie for the regular film-goer to appreciate. It's made for the fans to appreciate this story with a different setting and interpretation.
July 30, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST
and have it written and done RIGHT. this will be nothing but a mutantX/HEROES rip. and if it isn't, and is awesome, i'll print these words out and eat them. with time stamp.
July 30, 2010, 10:30 a.m. CST
I'll let you guess what her super power is.
July 30, 2010, 10:53 a.m. CST
July 30, 2010, 11:04 a.m. CST
by Nice Marmot
Its a pretty solid adaptation w/ a very flawed ending. You people w/ the "It sucks" and the "It's brilliant" . . . blah blah blah.
July 30, 2010, 11:05 a.m. CST
by Nice Marmot
Smokin' hot. When she's cursing up a storm at Dr.Manhattan in slow-mo, I wanted her badly . .
July 30, 2010, 11:29 a.m. CST
He was in cool runnings and arrsted development people!
July 30, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST
Oh yeah, it's because nobody cares about the underlying TV project.
July 30, 2010, 11:58 a.m. CST
You really seem to like Misfits :) <p>But you've got me intrigued, I'll admit, since you mentioned it in the Doctor Who TB. It's definitely on the list now :)
July 30, 2010, 12:14 p.m. CST
by Mockingbird Girl
... but the recent British series MISFITS trod similar ground and was brilliant, so I'm willing to give this a chance.
July 30, 2010, 12:29 p.m. CST
Anyway, I'm interested in this.I think this may succeed, where Heroes fail, because they will be actually fighting other superhumans.I bet the first season will be a villain of the week, but as it progresses, we'll probably see villains banding together, or some sort of overarching conspiracy.This seems like it will try to be an actual superhero team show.
July 30, 2010, 1:17 p.m. CST
There was nothing in that movie that made me disagree with Alan Moore. A live action comic is NOT a movie adaptation of a comic. WATCHMEN movie should have been for superhero movies what the comic was for superhero comics. THAT is why it isn't brilliant. It is good, solid and faithful, but brilliant, it is not.
July 30, 2010, 2:13 p.m. CST
Am I the only guy with this problem? She was the heroine you wanted on superteam just to get a closeup of the cleavage and catch changing clothes-do I sound like the comedian? Anyway after film saw photos of her natural look and no reaction. Think its the character that I have a fantasy about and not her. Yeah, I'm a pig.
July 30, 2010, 4:01 p.m. CST
Which doesn't make it a "brilliant" movie. It was serviceable. But like SIN CITY, it was too slavishly beholden to the original dialogue.<br><br> In a comic where there were no more than 10-12 static images per page, you need that extensive exposition to get into the characters' heads and convey emotion, history, and motivations. In a movie, a good director and actors can put an entire paragraph of emotion into a single frame of film. This is where Snyder stuck to the book too religiously. <br><br>Instead of adapting one storytelling method to another method, he used the comic as a literal template without adding subtlety or nuance, and in fact hamfisting his way through at least half the movie (albeit with good intentions.) I think what it boils down to is that Snyder may be able to make a movie scene damn near mirror what's on the comics page, he may not be able to translate it in a way that successfully transforms it from one brilliant form of art to another. <br><br>Does that make sense? I can't think of a good analogy...maybe it's the equivalent of reading a novelization of a movie based on a novel? Or of filming a stage production and releasing it as a movie? Or a band having a concert where they just play their songs in album order exactly the same as they were originally recorded without stopping to talk or improvising?
July 30, 2010, 5:07 p.m. CST
THAT was the only thing that REALLY bugged me about watchmen. when i read that part, it was SOO much more of a "holy shit" moment, and i don't think the film did it justice. they tried, don't get me wrong
July 30, 2010, 6:17 p.m. CST
Even teabaggers have more sophistication than his asshat treatment of the comic.
July 30, 2010, 7:39 p.m. CST
I used to work with a girl that looks just like the actress that played Janey Slater. I think it creeped her out that I called her Janey Slater all the time, but I call ALL women Janey Slater, so whaddya gonna do?
July 30, 2010, 7:40 p.m. CST
That last part wasn't true.
July 30, 2010, 7:56 p.m. CST
WATCHMEN is as close as I'll ever get to seeing the Blue Beetle (MY Blue Beetle, anyways) on the big screen. So count me down as a fan.
July 30, 2010, 8:11 p.m. CST
Only in today's world would someone complain about Snyder's Watchmen, the film was fucking mint, and yes, brilliant imo. Listen, I'm a big fan of the graphic novel myself, and everything that was changed or altered was done so in the best possible way. Do you people realize just how bad Watchmen COULD have been? The film retained the feel & overall point of the comic, and that's all we could have ever asked anyway. The opening credits with "The Times They Are A Changin'"...fucking brilliant. It still gives me goosebumps.
July 30, 2010, 8:16 p.m. CST
warehouse 13, eureka, haven etc<p> a piece of dramedy fluf
July 30, 2010, 8:26 p.m. CST
The press release states one of the exec. producers is Lloyd Braun. That's all I ever heard growing up is "Why can't you be more like Lloyd Braun?"
July 30, 2010, 8:40 p.m. CST
He can get ya a great deal on Chinese ginseng gum.
July 30, 2010, 10:51 p.m. CST
by Hardboiled Wonderland
I'm actually cringing that Strathairn is in this X-Men/Heroes/Fringe/X-Files rubbish. We've seen this a zillion times already. Yawn.
July 30, 2010, 11:15 p.m. CST
I'm liking the WATCHMEN love from this board.
July 31, 2010, 2:06 a.m. CST
What knocks the movie down for me isn't lack of squid, but it was moer a recreation of comic than an adaptation. For me best part of the movie was that "The Times They Are A Changin" montage and guess what, it wasn't a literal recreation of the comic.
July 31, 2010, 3:51 a.m. CST
by Amadeo Zeller
graphic novel adaptation to date. I think in a few years, it'll be required viewing for future aspiring film students.
July 31, 2010, 3:52 a.m. CST
Some of you dweebs are NEVER satisfied. What, no giant squid?Didnt like the slo-mo? Got excited seeing Manhattan's Blue Balls?<p>Seriously, I give Snyder props for cramming as much as he could within 2 1/2 hours without straying too far from the source material and if you ask me, it's the best of all Moore's adaptation surpassing V for Vendetta, From Hell and especially League of Extrodinary Gentlemen.<p> So fucking there.
July 31, 2010, 9:55 a.m. CST
by Rollo Tomassi
when I saw the name David Srtathhairn I was intrigued, but Penn is right up there with Shyamalan on this list of names that suck out my enthusiasm. I'd rather see Joel Schumacher take over EVERY superhero property than Zak Penn involved in even one. His "X-Men 3" and "Incredible Hulk" nearly destroyed my love of superheros.
July 31, 2010, 10:42 a.m. CST
Canada do love their mutant, super-powered tv shows!
July 31, 2010, 1:25 p.m. CST
That was brilliant. My wife and I watched it every Sunday. Till U.S.A decided to cancel it. Then fucking heroes showed up. And I thought "yay!" 4400 light. And I was right.
July 31, 2010, 1:41 p.m. CST
I watched it too and yeah, not even close to "brilliant"!
July 31, 2010, 6:48 p.m. CST
Haven't seen a single comic book/superhero film come close. And please, don't mention the overrated snoozefest The Dark Knight...
July 31, 2010, 8:47 p.m. CST
by Stunt Vocalist 709
I have only seen bits of the graphic novel and never saw the movie. (just never got around to it)<p>Here's my question: Should I watch the "Ultimate Cut" extended version or just watch the original theatrical release version?<p>Thanks to anyone who helpfully answers.
Aug. 1, 2010, 12:10 a.m. CST
by Amadeo Zeller
The Ultimate Cut is the way to go. You won't regretted. Enjoy!
Aug. 1, 2010, 1:31 a.m. CST
Those are words I never thought would be used together.
Aug. 1, 2010, 5:11 a.m. CST
That sloppy, trashy, flavor-of-the-week mutant series that was watchable only because of the excessively pretty cast? Save that the team leader doesn't seem to be responsible for the powers of the team, it reads real close. <P> As far as Watchmen goes, it was a very well executed adaptation of the comic book, but ultimately it played as a flawed period piece. We know how the Cold War turned out; the good guys won, and there was no need for some faux crisis to "unify the world." And on that point, the original book and the movie share a third-grader's understanding of both the Soviet Union and geopolitics. Despite the thoroughly irrational and trumped-up fears of the time, adamant strength and determination in the face of evil was what won the day, not pollyanna notions of cooperation or appeasement (read: capitulation).
Aug. 1, 2010, 6:41 p.m. CST
I don't completely disagree, but when you throw in a living American god like Dr. Manhattan, President-for-Life Richard Nixon, and the USA steamrolling Vietnam into the 51st State, you have a completely different Cold War. Besides that, we have the benefit of hindsight. The end of the Cold War was not apparently visible in the early 80's (when the book was conceived.) <br><br>Furthermore, it wasn't necessarily "strength in the face of evil" that defeated Soviet Communism. It was the weary realization that the system of Communism at its core is simply too flawed to work anywhere outside of an isolated collective farm. You cannot run countries the way you run a commune. Free will and basic human ego are too much of an obstacle, and rightly so. <br><br>The only way to "successfully" run a Communist country is to make sure your citizens know exactly what will happen if they buck the status quo...they get run over by tanks in the middle of the town square.
Aug. 2, 2010, 8:03 a.m. CST
Sort of. It's a matter of the narrator. The entire movie is a story being told by a Spartan to his army to get them riled for another battle with the Persians. So naturally, they're depicted as evil and inhuman. It will be very interesting to see if the "racism" carries over into the new Xerxes project.
Sept. 28, 2010, 6:27 p.m. CST
I know I'm not the only one who got off on Jenny Slater's looks in that movie - I'd rather see her in a love scene than that other superhero chick from watchmen. when is alphas going to be on tv? I want to see it for Laura Mennell alone... she's uberhot...