Log Entries: 10/19/2012

THE HEADLINE READS: “WARNER BROS. to release Justice League film opposite Avengers 2.”  And with that, Warner’s have officially thrown their hat into the summer 2015 ring. And if it happens, it’ll be the comic-book box-office battle of the Century.  Financial analysts are surely drooling already.  The script is reportedly complete and the principals include Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and The Flash.  This official announcement came after Warner Bros. received word that the judge had sided with them in a lawsuit filed by an heir of Joe Shuster over the rights to the Superman character … IN OTHER COMIC BOOK MOVIE NEWS, DISNEY HAVE OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED THE RELEASE OF MARVEL’S ANT-MAN on November 6, 2015.  The film will be platformed that summer with Marvel’s Avengers 2, due on May 1st.

The film is mostly underwraps but the test footage which premiered at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, got an enthusiastic response from the audience.  Edgar (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World) Wright is co-writing and directing … MATTHEW (KICK-ASS) VAUGHN is hard at work on the X-Men: First Class sequel: X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Marvel’s creative consultant for 20th Century Fox, Mark Millar, recently commented on Vaughn’s creative direction: “Vaughn is going for a big sci-fi style thing with X-Men: Days of Future Past. It’s X-Men meets The Terminator, You’ve got robots, you’ve got time travel, you’ve got superheroes – it’s got everything in one film.” Reportedly, Millar is referencing the Sentinels here.  The film begins official producion this January for a July 18, 2014 release date … AND BOTH IRON MAN 3 AND THOR: THE DARK WORLD will both be released in IMAX and 3D, with the third Iron Man outing being scored by Brian Tyler … AND SPEAKING OF IRON MAN 3, an official synopsis for the film to be released next May 3rd, has been divulged and reads as follows: Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man? … REGARDING THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, DIRECTOR MARC WEBB AND ACTOR ANDREW GARFIELD have both signed on for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  EMMA STONE is still in talks to reprise her role as Gwen Stacy, while a handful of actresses are in the running for a brief walk on as Mary Jane (MJ) Watson in the film … AND IN EVEN MORE MARVEL NEWS, actor Clark Gregg will reprise his role as Agent Coulson in a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, created by The Avengers writer and director, Joss Whedon.  You may recall that Agent Coulson was killed the The Avengers.  No word yet on the nature of his character’s return.  The show will air on ABC … AND SPEAKING OF EDGAR (ANT-MAN) WRIGHT, the director of Shaun of the Dead has regrouped with his pals Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to tickle your funny bone once again.  The World’s End (no relation to the third Pirates of the Caribbean film) will be released October 25th of next year.  The story: twenty years after attempting an epic “pub crawl,” five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-year-old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their hometown and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub – The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.

GHOSTBUSTERS III is now “officially” scheduled to begin shooting next summer without Bill Murray, but with Ivan (Ghostbusters) Reitman directing.  The film will focus on Ray and Egon turning over the entire ghost busting operation to a new generation.  Said Aykroyd: “My character, Ray, is now blind in one eye and can’t drive the cadillac, he’s got a bad knee and can’t carry the packs… Egon is too large to get into the harness. We need young blood and that’s the promise. We’re gonna hand it to a new generation.” The film is scheduled for a 2014 release date, the original film’s 30th Anniversary … DAVID FINCHER has reportedly chosen Brad Pitt to fill the role of Ned Land in his adaption for Disney of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  The current draft of the screenplay has been written by Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en, Sleepy Hollow.)  Disney currently have Fincher on a three month hold, while they have their customary meetings wherein they decide on whether or not to formally greenlight the project for production … J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI has been signed to write the screenplay for the adaptation of the Valiant comic book, Shadowman.  Set in New Orleans, the story follows a man who must accept his supernatural legacy as forces of darkness close in and are determined to claim the city for themselves … SOURCES HAVE SOUGHT TO CLARIFY THAT SAM RAIMI will be a producer on the Poltergeist remake, not the director.  The script is currently being typed up by Dreamworks’ forthcoming Rise of the Guardians scribe, David Lindsay-Abaire … TOM CRUISE has been attached to yet another sci-fi project, in addition to Oblivion and All We Need is Kill.  This one is titled, Our Name is Adam … WARNER BROS. has put the sci-fi tale True Skin into development.  The story: set in the not too distant future where augmentation is the way of life. For Kaye, still a natural, augmenting will help him keep pace in this now hyper-paced world. However, after acquiring an off-market prototype, Kaye quickly finds himself fighting not only for his own humanity, but something much larger. David (Harry Potter) Haymen is producing … TRANSFORMERS 4 will reportedly feature a female lead.  A search is now underway for an actress to play the “high school senior.”  Michael Bay has also commented that this will likely be the last Transformers film with him at the helm.  But he’s said that before … THE RELEASE OF THE ROBOCOP remake has been pushed back to 2014. Originally scheduled for release on August 9th of next year, the film will now bow February 7th of 2014. Speaking of Robocop, he now has a Robo-bike.  See below:

RIDLEY SCOTT recently offered a Blade Runner sequel update, and fueled gossip that Harrison Ford is already in negotiations to reprise his character from the original film.  Scott offered the following comments:  “It’s not a rumour – it’s happening. With Harrison Ford? I don’t know yet. Is he too old? Well, he was a Nexus-6 so we don’t know how long he can live [laughs]. And that’s all I’m going to say at this stage.”  Scott later added, “I’m going through Blade Runner now, you start off with a blank sheet and you start to evolve. Sometimes you walk into this wilderness of mirrors that don’t make any sense at all. Then, suddenly, two and two do make four and you think, ‘Oh, that’s good,’ and you put that up there. It’s a series of paving stones.” … MORE STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION will be arriving soon on Blu-ray.  Season 2 arrives in stores on December 4th, and as previously reported, the remastering work has been doubled with two teams fastidiously get the work done and out to the public.  Seasons 3, 4, and 5 will all be released next year, and by the end of 2014, all 7 remastered seasons will be available on blu-ray.  Paramount is also talking about beginning remastering work on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, very soon, with Star Trek: Voyager to follow thereafter … A NEW HEAVY METAL TV SERIES, THE METAL HURLANT CHRONICLES begins airing in France on the 27th of this month.  The 24 episode series promises to run for two seasons, and is described as follows: In the lineage of fantastic series such as Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits, Metal Hurlant Chronicles is the adaptation of the world renowned magazine of the same name. Discover the live versions of these exceptional comics by the writers of X MEN , BATMAN , SPIDERMAN , IRON MAN , GI JOE , STAR WARS , SUPERMAN, BLADE etc,… Fitted for the international market, each episode is 26 minutes long an is composed of one story involving Action, Heroic Fantasy, Science Fiction in english, directed by Guillaume LUBRANO.   A 27 second teaser has been provided by the Producers for your convenience:

UNIVERSAL PICTURES REMAKE OF THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON is finally moving forward after languishing in development hell for decades.  Originally, John Carpenter and John Landis were respectively in the running to direct, and involved for protracted periods in the development process.  But the studio rejected their creature design concepts and/or their scripts. Gary (The Hunger Games Ross) was even in the running to direct at one time, before his verison of the project also fell apart.  Reportedly, the studio finally has a concept it likes, and Dave (The Invasion) Kajganich is working on a new draft of the screenplay … RICHARD (EXPENDABLES 2) WENK will re-write the reboot of Masters of the Universe for Jon M. Chu (GI Joe: Retaliation) to direct.  Based on the “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” toyline, the property was initially produced into a feature film in 1987.  And although not fairing well at the box-office, the film has since attained a cult status … MOBIUS, a sci-fi verison of Moby Dick is headed your way.  Writer/Director Lynne Ramsay (We Need To Talk About Kevin) has written and will direct this sci-fi twist placing the Peqoud in the form of a starship, with an Ahab-inspired Captain vowing revenge against a space-creature … MATT (CLOVERFIELD) REEVES has taken over directing chores of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the follow-up to Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  The script is currently being rewritten by Mark (The Wolverine, A Good Day to Die Hard) Bomback  BRYAN SINGER’S JACK THE GIANT KILLER has been retitled Jack the Giant Slayer.  Film’s release date has also been moved up to March 1st … PRODUCER KATHLEEN KENNEDY recently have an update on Jurassic Park IV. Said Kennedy: “Writing, writing, writing. It’s really hard to keep these things going when there’s an expectation and a desire by the public and the audience to keep certain franchises going. As filmmakers, we often sit there going, ‘Okay. We have to answer the question, ‘Why do another one?” If you can’t answer that question, you shouldn’t be doing it. It’s tough. We’re trying to come up with a story that makes sense and isn’t going to disappoint people and is, hopefully, going to get people excited and reinvigorate the franchise. We’ve got to start with a script and the story.” JPIV is currently being written by the team who wrote Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  A pretty good script itself, so perhaps JPIV will turn out just as good.  On the other hand, remember that version of Jurassic Park IV being rumored around 2006 ?  Artwork has recently come to the internet by way of maximum leakage, echoing that the John Sayles script for Jurassic Park IV, was in fact about genetically re-engineered dinosaurs with human intelligence and the dexterity to weild an assault rifleHere are some truly bizarre and head-scratching examples of what Universal and Steven Spielberg were considering doing in ’06.  Vaklempt, discuss – amongst – yourselves:

AND IN MARGINALLY RELATED NEWS, the director of Disney’s upcoming Maleficent, will next helm Safari.  Oscar willing production designer Robert (Avatar) Stromberg is helming the large scale science fiction adventure epic, said to be in the vein of Jurassic Park … A NEW LOONEY TUNES live action/CGI feature film, like Space Jam and Looney Tunes: Back in Action, is in the works.  The new Warner Bros. production will be written by comedian and former Saturday Night Live alumn, Jenny Slate … AND ANOTHER CGI/LIVE ACTION CARTOON COMING TO THE SILVER SCREEN IS HEATHCLIFF.   Waterman Entertainment, the company which purchased the screen rights to the Heathcliff character, has also purchased the rights to remake The Brave Little Toaster … SKYFALL DIRECTOR SAM MENDES has revealed that Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises was a big inspiration on the latest Bond film.  Said Mendes: “In terms of what he [Nolan] achieved, specifically The Dark Knight, the second movie, what it achieved, which is something exceptional.  It was a game changer for everybody… Nolan proved that you can make a huge movie that is thrilling and entertaining and has a lot to say about the world we live in, even if, in the case with The Dark Knight, it’s not even set in our world.  It felt like a movie that was about our world post-9/11 and played on our fears and discussed our fears and why they existed and I thought that was incredibly brave and interesting.  That did help give me the confidence to take this movie [Skyfall] in directions that, without The Dark Knight, might not have been possible.  Because also, people go, ‘Wow, that’s pretty dark,’ but then you can point to Dark Knight and go ‘Look at that – that’s a darker movie, and it took in a gazillion dollars!’  That’s very helpful.  There’s also that thing — it’s clearly possible to make a dark movie that people want to see.”  AND SPEAKING OF SKYFALL, a new trailer bowed on Friday, October 19th.  The exciting 2 minute trailer easily puts to rest any doubts that 007 could overcome his lackluster Quantum of Solace.  Take a look:

AND NOW THE BAD NEWS, there were a couple of deaths I missed last time around.  Starting with Phillis Thaxter. Known by an entire generation for playing Superman’s adoptive mother, Ma Kent, Thaxter passed away in Florida on August 14th from Alzheimer’s disease. 

The 90 year-old thespian left behind an impressive resume in TV and film, including appearances in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Thriller, The Twilight Zone, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Invaders, and of course, Superman: The Movie … AND ACTOR AND COMEDIAN WILLIAM WINDOM has also died.  In addition to a lifetime working in television on many of the most notable shows in TV history, such as The Twilight Zone, The Wild Wild West, The Invaders, Star Trek, Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, The Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk, Fantasy Island, The Greatest American Hero, Automan, Airwolf, Knight Rider — the list goes on — Windom also had the curious privilege of having Margaret Hamilton for a kindergarten teacher, as a child.  Hamilton was later cast as the “Wicked Witch of the West” in the film, The Wizard of Oz.  Windom later survived service in WWII to take on many diverse roles.  From playing the President of the United States in Escape From the Planet of the Apes, to a killer on Murder She Wrote.  But Windom will best be remembered as Commodore Matthew Decker, in the classic Star Trek episode, “The Doomsday Machine.”  If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Matt Decker is the father of Captain Will Decker, the ill-fated fifth wheel in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  The 88 year old Windom passed away in California from congestive heart failure on August 16th. 

AND ALTHOUGH HERBERT LOM will certainly be best remembered playing Inspector Dreyfuss in the Pink Panther films, he actually had a long and distinguished career in film.  Including notable roles in genre films such as David Cronenberg’s highly successful adaptation of the Stephen King novel, The Dead Zone

And the Charles H. Schneer and Ray Harryhausen produced, Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island

Born Herbert Karel Angelo Kuchačevič ze Schluderpacheru in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Herbert fled to London in 1939 when the Nazis invaded.  He was an actor all his life, and eventually changed his name to “Lom,” because he said it was the shortest one he could find the in the phone book.  Herbert Lom died in his sleep on September 27th.  He was 95 years old.  Rest in Peace, Inspector.  You earned it.