Log Entries: 04/23/2012

FRANCIS (I AM LEGEND) LAWRENCE will direct The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire for Lionsgate.  The film kicks off shooting in late August … ALEX PROYAS (Dark City, I, Robot, The Kowing) will helm an adaption of Robert Heinlein’s 1942 Novella, “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag.”  Written under the pseudonym John Riverside, this is apparently the book which initially inspired Proyas to make Dark City, in the first place.  Story concerns a man with nightly memory loss who hires a small detective agency to follow him.  What they discover him doing changes everything they thought they knew about their world.  Book was also adapted as a radio play during radio’s golden age … SHORT CIRCUIT is next on the remake roster.  The 1986 S/F Comedy will be directed by Tim (Hop) Hill.  According to Hill, the robot will be more up-to-date and dangerous than the original “cute” robot.  Said Hill: “You’ve got to find the balance between something fierce and something endearing. The original was cute. But no one was threatened by it.” … Among other changes and reinventions, the Ally Sheedy character will now be played by a child actor, yet to be cast … MARVEL STUDIOS PRESIDENT KEVIN FEIGE has stated in a recent interview that Marvel is developing a movie based on the comic, Guardians of the GalaxyBILL MURRAY has made the surprise comment that Ghostbusters III is still a “possibility” for him.  Though he would not say anything more.  This statement runs contrary to Dan Aykroyd’s recent comments that Murray, “… does not want to be involved.” … DIRECTOR TOMMY WIRKOLA (Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters,) will helm an adaption of the Red 5 comics miniseries, Afterburn.  The pic stars Gerard Butler, and tells of a future mercenary who recovers ancient artifacts from a dangerous wasteland … FOX SEARCHLIGHT have revealed a photo of Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in their upcoming film, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho:  

AND PRODUCER ROBERT ORCI has updated the Ender’s Game blog with the first cryptic photo of the title character: EMILY BLUNT will join Tom Cruise in Doug (Jumper) Liman’s All You Need is Kill for Warner Bros.  The story is yet another variation of the 1990 Academy Award nominated short film, 12:01 PM, (also the basis for the Harold Ramis/Bill Murray comedy Groundhog Day,) wherein a reluctant soldier is killed over an over again, each time finding himself back in time and alive with the opportunity to do everything over in pursuit of altering his outcome. … JAMES CAMERON has decided to postpone Battle Angel (based on the Japanese manga “Battle Angel Alita,”) and focus on Avatar 2.  Contrary to previous interviews stating that Battle Angel would be first, and next would come the 2-film single production of both Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, Cameron this time has only specifically stated that Avatar 2 will solely be his next film.  Cameron also spoke will Arnold Schwarzenegger recently about the focus of a proposed Terminator 5.  Said Cameron: “I was trying to be as encouraging as possible. Frankly, at that time, I thought it needed to be more about him, I told him he should not do it until it’s focused on his character or he shouldn’t do it. I think there are some great stories that can be told about that character that haven’t even been thought of yet.” … THE STOP MOTION ANIMATION STUDIO BEHIND CORALINE and the soon to be released Paranorman, will next produce Goblins, based on a book by Philip Reeve.  Laika Studios animation director Marc (The Fantastic Mr. Fox) Gustafson will helm the project about a young goblin who lives in an ancient castle alongside other goblins … RUPERT WYATT (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) will direct Agent 13, based upon a 1988 independent comic book, created by the writers of Enemy of the State and Life Free or Die Hard.  Charlize Theron will reportedly play the female lead …  THE WOLVERINE will officially kick off filming this summer in Sydney, Australia, with of course Hugh Jackman in the lead.  Director James (3:10 to Yuma, Knight and Day) Mangold will direct.  The film is scheduled for release, July of next year … A TV WRITER NAMED BRYAN FULLER (Pushing Daisies, Heroes) recently commented about a new Star Trek TV Series which he recently discussed with director Bryan (The Munsters reboot) Singer.  Said Fuller:  “Bryan and I are big fans of Trek and have discussed a take on what we would do, and we would love to do it.  I don’t think anything is going to happen in any official capacity until after the next movie comes out. And I’m sure it would be wisely under J.J. Abrams’ purview of what happens. He’s the guardian of Trek right now.”  … SPEAKING OF BRYAN SINGER, some production artwork for Mockingbird Lane (the aforementioned reboot of The Munsters) recently showed up in Entertainment Weekly, evidencing the visual style of the new show:

JOURNEY 2 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND director Brad Peyton will next helm, LOBO.  Based upon the 1984 DC comics character.  The character is described as a very nasty intergalactic anti-hero bounty hunter.  The script focuses on Lobo tracking alien fugitives to a rural town on Earth, and teaming with a young woman to track them all down.  No casting has been announced, though actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) has mentioned that playing the character would be one of his dream roles … GUY (LOCKOUT) PIERCE has taken a role in Shane Black’s Iron Man 3.  Pierce will play Dr. Aldrich Killian, a scientist who invents a nanotech virus.  The film has reportedly already begun shooting in the Carolinas and will next film in China …  SOME PHOTOS OF THE SETS OF RIDLEY SCOTT’S PROMETHEUS are now on line.  Here are some good examples of the articulation evident in the design of the title spaceship.  As always, click for larger:

AND THE FIRST OFFICIAL IMAGE from the sci-fi thriller, The Colony has been released, along with a more official synopsis of the story.: Beneath the icy surface, survivors of Colony Seven struggle as food supplies dwindle and temperatures continue to drop. Plagued by illness and internal conflict, the colonists suspect the worst when they mysteriously lose contact with Colony Five – the only other known settlement. Sam, a strong-willed mechanic with a tragic past, joins a team headed up by Briggs on a dangerous expedition to find out what happened. After a hellish trek, they discover a threat much worse than imagined, and now Colony Seven must win a savage battle to preserve the last of humanity.  The film stars Laurence Fishburn and Bill Paxton … AND SADLY, ACTOR JONATHAN FRID (Dark Shadows‘ Barnabus Collins) has died.  Frid’s last role was in a cameo in the upcoming Tim Burton version of the Dark Shadows.  He died of natural causes in a hospital on Ontario, Canada.  He was 87 years old.


Log Entries: 04/09/2012

THE STARSHIP ENTERPRISE, lifesize and in Las Vegas !  Sounds like a joke, doesn’t it?  Well in 1992, it almost actually happened.  Paramount CEO Stanely Jaffee had the final say on the endeavor and voted it down, stating that he didn’t want to be the guy who approved it if it turned out to be a big flop.  Mainly because unlike a movie, wherein they take some bad press for a few weeks until the next hit movie comes along, if THIS had flopped, it would just be, “sitting out there in Vegas, forever…” The gargantuan structure would have been designed by famous theme park designer Gary Goddard.  Reportedly, tourists would have been able to tour the ship itself, and enjoy other entertainment venues while aboard.  Here are some illustrations by the late Ralph (Star Wars) McQuarrie (click for larger) which give an idea of what they were proposing to build:

GEORGE LUCAS recently commented to the paparazzi on the possibility of another Star Wars trilogy, which would conceivably follow Return of the Jedi.  His statement: “Never.” … SPEAKING OF GEORGE LUCAS, there was almost an animated spin-off of the 1988 film, Willow.  Several “models,” i.e. drawings designed as templates for the animated characters, popped up on-line recently.  They include Willow himself, the Brownies, Madmartigan, a teenage version of the infant, Elora Danan, and Sorsha.  Have a look, and click for larger versions.

JOHN SPAIHTS (Prometheus) is working on a “dark” reboot of The Mummy franchise for Universal Pictures … X-MEN: FIRST CLASS 2 is scheduled to begin shooting, January of 2013 … WARNER BROS. is preparing to produce Here There Be Monsters in January as well.  Film will focus on pre Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones, who is hired by a shipping magnate to investigate giant squid interfering with his business affairs.  Bradley Cooper is being discussed as the lead and director Jaume Collete-Serra (Unknown, Orphan) will direct … BILL (ALIENS) PAXTON has joined Laurence Fishburne in The Colony.  Pic focuses on survivors of another ice age forced to fend off feral cannibals … JAMES CAMERON almost made an X-Men movie.  A very intriguing revelation offered by comics writer Chris Claremont.  Claremont has stated that director Katheryn (The Hurt Locker) Bigelow wrote a treatment which was then overwrought by the many development executives attached to the various companies Marvel was in business with, and that pretty much killed the project.  Cameron turned to developing Spider-Man, with Leonardo DiCaprio signed to play Peter Parker (a project which itself wound up in development hell over budgetary concerns.)  X-Men languished for another few years until 20th Century Fox acquired exclusive rights, and producer Lauren Shuler Donner and director Bryan Singer made a pitch to the studio that got the film into development …  DIRECTOR JUSTIN (FAST & FURIOUS) LIN will helm Lone Wolf and Cub, based on the 1970’s Japanese manga comics. David (Blade Runner, Unforgiven) Peoples and his wife Janet will write the script … DIRECTOR JUAN CARLOS FRESNADILLO (28 Days Later, Intruders) recently commented on his forthcoming reboot of Highlander.  Said Fresnadillo, “I’m so keen to make it, because I think it would be a very interesting new approach into that world …”  When asked about recasting the central character, he added, “Some kind of new flavor, how about that? Especially because of the big theme of the story, which is the immortality as a curse, because I found it so interesting.” … THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS by J.K. Rowling, were finally made available in e-book and audio formats the last week of March.  They can be purchased on a web-site called, “Pottermore” …  DANNY ELFMAN FANS can listen to sample tracks from the score for Tim Burton’s remake of Dark Shadows, here: http://www.watertower-music.com/releases_spotlight.php?search=WTM39283A FLASH MOVIE is apparently still on the table at Warner Bros. and DC Comics, according to screenwriter Dan Mazeau.  “I think Warner Bros. is finalizing their strategy of how they want to roll out their DC superheroes, and obviously they’ve got Batman in an incredibly great place, and Green Lantern, I think, performed okay, I think they probably would have liked it to have done better, but yeah, there is still a whole lot of excitement for the DC universe, and I know The Flash is very high on the list.” … ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER AND DANNY DEVITO will return for a sequel to their 1988 comedy-with-an-SF-twist, Twins.  And Eddie Murphy will be joining them.  As their long lost brother.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It’s called, Triplets.  Ivan Reitman will reportedly also return as director …  D.J. (EAGLE EYE) CARUSO will helm Invertigo for Sony.  In the film, a space probe contaminated by “dark energy” returns to Earth, crash-landing in New York City.  It gradually reverses Earth’s gravity, causing a disaster movie to happen.  Film is scheduled for release in March of 2014 … SAD NEWS FOR STAR TREK FANS.  Two veterans of the Star Trek universe passed away recently. 

Actor Phillip Richard Allen, who played “Captain J.T. Esteban” in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, died on March 1st at the age of 73.  In addition to his one-time stint in the world of Trek, Allen also held a vast body of work in theater, television and film — And Forbidden Planet actor Warren Stevens has also died.  He was notable for portraying “Doc” Ostrow in the influential 1952 science fiction film (on the left in the above photo,) but like many actors of his generation, he had a long, colorful career in film and television.  His many roles included appearances on The Outer Limits, Star Trek (at left,) and both the original Twilight Zone and the 1980’s version of The Twilight Zone.  Stevens was 92 years old.