HUGO won multiple Academy Awards at this years ceremony: Best Art Direction, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and best Visual Effects. While Rango won Best Animated Feature … THEORETICAL PHYSICIST STEPHEN HAWKING will make a cameo on the TV series The Big Bang Theory, later this season … GUILLERMO DEL TORO has hired Ramin Djawadi to compose the score for his forthcoming film, Pacific Rim. The composer previously scored the first Iron Man film, the remake of Clash of the Titans, Blade: Trinity, and Game of Thrones … FOX Television have cancelled Terra Nova. The show is now rumored to have been picked up by Netflix, which is currently vying to position itself as a major cable channel, instead of a home video rental service … JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND is getting a sequel. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is currently negotiating with New Line Cinema to star in the proposed Journey 3 … MAX LANDIS, screenwriter of Fox’s hit film, Chronicle, has been hired to draft a sequel … MEANWHILE, Chronicle director Josh Trank is now in negotiations with Disney and Marvel to direct a stand alone film, based upon a popular villain in the Spider-Man universe, Venom … KEANU REEVES AND ALEX WINTER have both recently commented on the existence of a completed script by the writers of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, for a third Bill & Ted film. Both actors are enthusiastic about the script — reportedly focusing on Bill & Ted trying to write the song that saves the world — and are hoping to get a “green light” for the project very soon. Alex Winter, alias Bill S. Preston, Esq, recently commented on who Bill and Ted are today, and how changes in the current music world have influenced them: “That was a big part of the movies, so what’s happened to rock and roll in the last twenty years.. so the movie’s gonna get in and play with some of that stuff. Where’s rock, where are we, what’s happened to the whole idea of saving the world, or what hasn’t happened?” … ACTOR/WRITER DANNY STRONG (Jonathan Levinson on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is now working on the script for the third in Dan Brown’s books following the character of Robert Langdon. Strong’s previous work as a writer includes the recent cable movies Recount and Game Change. The Lost Symbol is slated to be directed by music video director, Mark Romanek, who replaces Ron Howard. Tom Hanks return to the role of Langdon, remains uncertain … ANOTHER MUPPETS FILM has been rushed into development, due to the surprising success of The Muppets. Though, actor/writer Jason Segel has opted out this time … DIRECTOR JARED (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE) HESS will helm The Pet, for Disney. A film about an ordinary guy who becomes the plaything of a group of Aliens. If this sounds familiar, it’s because as reported here previously, the Monty Python group are working on very similar idea … ACTRESS ELLE (SUPER 8) FANNING has been cast as Sleeping Beauty in Maleficent. Fanning joins actress Angelina Jolie, already cast in the title role. The Disney film, developed by Tim Burton, begins shooting this summer … AND SPEAKING OF TIM BURTON: the initial trailer for Burton’s remake of his first film, Frankenweenie, is now available. Burton fans will most likely be very pleased:
DIRECTOR GORE (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN) VERBINSKY, recently commented on the werewolf rumors surrounding his now in production reboot of the Lone Ranger. Said Verbinsky: “I don’t know where this idea of werewolves came from. It’s never been in any draft I’ve worked on. But there’s a kind of Native American overlay of omens and other things happening that we don’t fully understand.” The film is said to be told from the point of view of Johnny Depp’s incarnation of the Tonto character. Disney recently released the first image of Depp as the Native American Spirit Warrior, along with Armie Hammer as the title character in the Jerry Bruckheimer production. Lots of controversy is reportedly already swirling among native Americans in respect to Depp playing an American Indian:
ONE OF ONLY 4 SURVIVING POSTERS for the science-fiction classic, Metropolis, will go on sale soon for $850,000.00 at the Movie Poster Exchange web-site … ACTOR TOBEY MCGUIRE will produce a film adaptation of The 5th Wave, a forthcoming sci-fi novel from author Rick Yancy. In the story, a young girl searches for her brother following an alien invasion. Seems a lot of post alien invasion stories are in the works right now … LUCASFILM & PARAMOUNT have announced the Indiana Jones films for release on blu-ray this fall. The forthcoming set is reported to be filled with new supplemental material, in addition to material already available on previous DVD’s, and the 4th film’s initial blu-ray release package. The set is already available for pre-order on Amazon.com for $74.99. No word yet on separate releases for the individual films … AND NOW FOR THE SAD NEWS: ROBERT TEMPLE AYRES, one of the principal illustrators on Disney’s 1979 film, The Black Hole, died on Friday the 9th. Ayres was principally known for creating that burning map that opened every episode of the television show Bonanza. He lived to see much of his artwork placed on exhibit in California. He was 98 years old … JEAN GIRAUD has also died. Known artistically under various pseudonyms, the most famous being MOEBIUS. Giraud’s work in “Metal Hurlant,” the French version of Heavy Metal magazine — which he co-founded — greatly influenced numerous filmmakers, including Ridley Scott. In fact, Giraud often found himself doing design work for film projects such as ALIEN. And his artwork further influenced many aspects of Ridley Scott’s next film, Blade Runner, as well. Giraud’s work in “Metal Hurlant” was also the basis for certain sequences in the 1981 Heavy Metal film. And among his many storyboard and design assignments in film, were Tron (1982,) an abandoned version of the George Lucas produced, Willow (1986, seen above,) Masters of the Universe (1987,) The Abyss (1989,) Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumblerland (1989,) Space Jam (1996,) and very prominently, The Fifth Element (1997.) Known for a vast amount of work in the graphic-comic medium, beginning in the 1960’s, Giruad eventually collaborated with comic legend Stan Lee in 1988 on a two part “Silver Surfer” story for Marvel Comics. Work for which he won one of the comic’s industry’s greatest honors: The Eisner Award. Jean Giraud was 73 … AND LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, STAR WARS ILLUSTRATOR RALPH MCQUARRIE recently passed away at his home in California. Known mainly as the illustrator who greatly influenced 20th Century Fox to finance George Lucas’ initial Star Wars film (the image used to sell the film can be seen below,) McQuarrie also went on to do work for both Empire and Jedi, the original Battlestar Galactica, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, and many, many more. His work is now studied in art schools around the world. He was 82 years old.