Log Entries: 02/27/2012

PRODUCER AKIVA GOLDSMAN has made a deal with Warner Bros. for a sequel to I Am Legend.  The script will be penned by Arash Amel and Will Smith is said to be interested … IN OTHER WILL SMITH NEWS, director Peter Berg has commented again on the possible sequel to Hancock: “We’ve come up with like 40 different storylines. We all change our minds all the time so we’re like hyperactive little kids. Like, ‘Oh man, it would be cool if the Internet started a competition on how to kill Hancock?’ That was one idea we had.”AND IN STILL OTHER “WILL SMITH NEWS,” there’s a photo on-line of Smith’s son Jaden Smith in costume on the set of M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth.  And as you can see here, in costume he somewhat resembles ‘Hancock’ himself.   The story is set a thousand years ahead of us and revolves around a kid and his father who crash on a desolate Earth.  The father is wounded, and the kid is forced to do what he can to save them both.  After Earth is currently scheduled for release on June 7th of next year … ANDREW (Finding NEMO) STANTON AND MICHAEL CHABON are already hard at work on a script for another John Carter movie.  This, in spite of what is called ‘soft tracking’ among the public surrounding the initial entry in what is proposed as a multi-picture franchise.  John Carter: the Gods of Mars will not be greenlit unless John Carter is a hit.  The film opens March, 9th … WILLIAM (CONTACT) FICHTER has replaced Dwight Yoakam as the heavy in Disney’s The Lone Ranger.  The film was recently described by director Gore (Pirates of the Caribbean) Verbinski as, “‘Don Quixote’ told from Sancho Panza’s point of view.”  … TRANSFORMERS 4 is a definite, Michael Bay is returning to direct, and NONE of the original cast members are said to be returning …  DWAYNE (THE ROCK) JOHNSON will play the title character in Brett (X-Men III) Ratner’s Hercules.  This version of the oft filmed Greek character is based on the comic book “Hercules: The Thracian Wars” by Steve Moore … AND IN OTHER CASTING NEWS, actor Joel (AMC’s The Killing) Kinnaman has been singed to play the role of Alex Murphy in director Jose Padilha’s reboot of Robocop. Filming is scheduled for this summer … SKYFALL will be the first James Bond film to open in the IMAX format … KICK ASS creator Mark Millar has stated that the sequel Kick Ass 2 shoots this summer … PAUL AND CHRIS WEITZ, the brothers separately behind The Vampire’s Assistant and Twilight: New Moon, are planning to soon adapt Michael Moorcock’s character, Elric of Melniboné to the big screen.  Elric, an albino, sword-wielding, bloodletting warrior has appeared in fiction in Moorcock’s own multiverse history of stories, and has also made numerous cross over appearances in various comic books.  The brothers purchased the film rights to Moorcock’s ‘The Elric Chronicles’ a few years ago, and wrote a “very edgy” script that got a luke warm reaction from Hollywood.  Now, it seems, their project is gaining steam … THE FIRST ON-SET PHOTOS from Abram’s second Star Trek movie have begun popping up on-line.  Here’s one of Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch : 

… WRITER/PRODUCER SIMON KINBERG recently made comment regarding the the X-Men: First Class sequel.  And involvement of Michael Fassbender’s Eric Lyncher/Magneto character was of particular topic: “Magneto becomes the villain, ultimately, of the franchise.  But he’s a much more complicated character as a young man. He’s someone you sympathize with, you care about, you root for — even though you might not necessarily agree with his methods, you understand his philosophy”  Kinberg also added, “I think the truth is ultimately that because Michael is such an interesting actor, he’ll never be full-on anything. He’ll have a villainous side, and he’ll have a sympathetic human side you’ll be able to relate to, but you’ll also be afraid of him. He becomes Magneto, he says ‘Call me Magneto’ at the end of the first movie.” … COMIC-CON EPISODE IV:  A FAN’S HOPE! will be available Video On Demand, starting April 6th.  It will also be released to a very limited number of theaters next month.  Here’s the trailer:   … THIS VERY INTERESTING VIDEO popped up on-line over the weekend.  It’s from an old three-quarter inch video tape, and features Steven Spielberg responding to the 1976 announcement of Academy Award nominations for the year 1975.  The only part of this I have ever seen was screened during an old Barbara Walters interview, back in the 70’s.  She didn’t show the entire tape.  Whether young or old, you will probably find this of curious interest: IN HOME VIDEO NEWS, The Adventures of Tin Tin will arrive on DVD and Blu-ray on March 13.  And Criterion will release a special limited edition of the trippy sci-fi cult classic Being John Malkovich on May 15th … ACTOR LAURENCE FISHBURNE (The Matrix) has joined the cast of The Colony.  The story focuses on, “… a group of underground survivors after the next ice age, fending off an invasion of feral cannibals.” … BRIAN (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) TAYLOR will write and direct a film adaptation of the video game Twisted Metal … WRITER BRETT (Sons of Anarchy) CONRAD has sold the sci-fi drama The Dover Agenda to the SyFy Channel.  Story is about a man approached by a future version of himself — a time traveling doppelganger, if you will, who tries to recruit himself to work for a secret parapsychology branch of the military.  Problem is, he’s a worse person in the future than he is today … GAEL GARCIA BERNAL (The Motorcycle Diaries) will star in 20th Century Fox’s, Zorro Reborn — a sci-fi re-imagining of the bygone pulp hero.  The character will be replanted to a futuristic Mad Max-like wasteland, and fueled by vengeance instead of the pursuit of justice.  So in other words ‘Zorro’ in name only.  Good luck with that … RIDLEY SCOTT further commented on the quasi-prequel to ALIEN, Prometheus.  He divulges that the title is actually the name of a the ship which takes humanity deep into space.  He also had this to say about actor Guy Peirce’s role in the film, and the apparently minor connection to the original ALIEN: “The Prometheus is owned by an entrepreneur called Peter Weyland, and is played by Guy Pearce. That’s the connection between the two films, and nothing more. PROMETHEUS is a new film, a new world, and is full of new ideas. And of course new monsters as well.”   In additional Prometheus news, the ‘International’ trailer for the film is more or less the same as the initial U.S. trailer — only without those pesky title cards :

Log Entries: 02/13/2012

WARNER BROS. have optioned the rights to author Terry Brooks’ book series, “Magic Kingdom of Landover,” with plans for a franchise … HAMMER, the studio behind the recent hit The Woman in Black, have now set their eyes on rebooting their own Quatermass series of Science Fiction films.  Hammer president Simon Oaks had this to say: “We are developing Quatermass at the moment. Completely contemporary, but rooted in his character. If you look at the BBC’s Sherlock it’s got enough DNA there, so you could bring him forward and say that this is what Bernard Quatermass would be like today. So he’d still be gruff, an outside, contrary, fighting authority but what would he be doing today? He wouldn’t be doing the Rocket Group because the world has moved on since the 1950s. We’re going to be announcing something about that soon.” … ANIMATION DIRECTOR Mike (Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked) Mitchell will next helm Jitters for Paramount.  The Gremlins-esque film is said to focus on a typical family reeling from the recession, that moves into a new residence, only to be utterly terrorized by superbugs of some kind … IN OTHER PARAMOUNT NEWS, the studio has announced that Transformers 4 will be released in 2014.  Said producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, “…we’re going to push really hard (to be) as fresh and new as we can be.“… MYTHOLOGY ENTERTAINMENT have optioned the rights and are looking at developing Richard Morgan’s science-fiction novel, “Altered Carbon,” into a feature.  “Altered Carbon” is a future story wherein humanity has spread out across the galaxy via a method of uploading a person’s consciousness into a transport system, and downloading it into a host body billions and billions of miles away.  The central character is a prison convict hired by a billionaire to find out who murdered the last body he inhabited, once he had arrived at a central destination … IN BLADE RUNNER SEQUEL/PREQUEL NEWS, there was a recent flurry of activity surrounding the possible casting of Harrison Ford, presumably to reprise his role in the original film.  When asked if the rumors about bringing back the Rick Dekard character in the new film were true, Ridley Scott commented by saying, “No. Don’t know yet. Don’t know yet.”  A cryptic response.  When pressed further on whether or not Scott would completely “dismiss” the notion of bringing Ford back to play Dekard again, Scott said this: “Absolutely not. But I’m not sure that that’s going to be a story point, so I don’t know. But if it were, nothing would please me more. Honestly.”  About the nature of the film itself, he commented: “We’re still in discussions about whether it should be a prequel or sequel. It’s an interesting conversation. I’m meeting with writers and I’ve also gone back to Hampton (Blade Runner) Fancher and he still speaks the speak. He’s right there. I spoke with him this week. But we don’t even have a script yet.” … THE EUROPA REPORT follows astronauts to Jupiter’s moon in search of extraterrestrial life.  Shades of Arthur C.Clarke’s 2010.  The film is due in theaters later this year … MICHAEL KEATON has reportedly met with the screenwriter chosen by Warner Bros. and Tim Burton, to pen Beetlejuice 2UNIVERSAL have revived Dracula Year Zero — that on again/off again pic about the historical Vlad the Impaler … AND RUSSELL CROWE is being courted by Warner Bros. to star in Harker.  Produced by Leonardo Di Caprio, the film re-imagines Bram Stoker’s character Jonathan Harker as a Scottland Yard detective investigating strange murders … PACIFIC RIM, that hush-hush Guillermo del Toro project, finally has a one line plot description.  It’s giant robots piloted by humans who are sent to fight off invading aliens.  Picture gets released next year, and tell-tale signs are evidencing that the film will be accompanied by a massive ancillary (toys, etc, the whole shebang) marketing push … IN OTHER GUILLERMO NEWS, the director will next help another incarnation of Beauty and the Beast starring none other than young Emma (Harry Potter movies) Watson … MORGAN FREEMAN has joined Tom Cruise in Joseph (Tron: Legacy) Kasinki’s sci-fi film, Oblivion.  Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister on Game of Thrones) has also joined the cast.  In Oblivion, Cruise plays a man who stays on an abandoned and desolate Earth after an alien apocalypse, to repair vehicles that hunt down and attack an infestation of aliens, scavenging the surface … SPACE 1999, the 1970’s cult classic Sci-Fi TV show produced by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, will be returning to TV as Space: 2099.  Project is now in development by ITV Studios America and HDFILMS (HDFILMS are the people behind ABC’s reboot of V) …MOCKING BIRD LANE, Bryan Singer’s pilot for NBC’s reboot of The Munsters, begins production in June … DOUG TRUMBULL, the special effects guru behind 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and Blade Runner, has something new in the works.  “I can only say that it’s a 200-years-in-the-future science fiction space epic that’s going to address very big, lofty issues, like man’s place in the universe, and how our contact with extraterrestrial civilizations that are so mind-bogglingly in advance of our own that it will go into some of the same territory that 2001 went into, and it’s going to do it in a very plausibly scientific way, not a fanciful way. There are no alien monsters, and the earth is not being attacked by anybody. It’s going to be a much more intelligent, what we call hard-science fiction, and I think there’s absolutely nothing out there like this.”  Trumbull also says the movie will be shot at 120 frames per second, and integrate a lot of modern technology to make it as realistic as possible.  Trumbull’s directing credits include Silent Running and Brainstorm IN GEORGE LUCAS FLIP-FLOP NEWS, the producer/director wants everyone to know that “Greedo always shot first.”  This regardless of the T-shirt that he was photographed wearing on the set of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which read “Han Shot First” …