JP UPDATE – PRODUCTION TRADES OUT OF HAWAII are reporting that Jurassic Park 4 will shoot on the island of Kauai. Fueling suspicion that the story will return established characters to Jurassic Park … SCREENWRITER JOHN SPAIHTS (writer of the abandonded first draft of Prometheus) will pen Disney’s remake of 1979’s The Black Hole. The “reboot” is said to be larger in scale and darker in tone. Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion, Tron: Legacy) will direct … SPEAKING OF RIDLEY SCOTT, the director recently commented on the script for Blade Runner 2: “Yesterday I read the first script for Blade Runner 2, we have been working on it for six or seven weeks now with the original author (Hampton Fancher.) It includes some of the original characters. Everything is still in it’s early stages, but this draft is really good. ” … ON THE MAN OF STEEL horizon, just in case you’re the unfortunate soul who hasn’t seen it yet … the final trailer for Man of Steel:
PRODUCER JOEL SILVER will remake Weird Science for Universal Pictures. The original film, directed by John Hughes, will be reinvisioned by screenwriter Michael (Project X, 21 Jump Street) Bacall … ACTOR HARRISON FORD was a good sport recently for late night television, when he lampooned his professional experience as a major player in the Star Wars universe:
BY THE WAY, ATTENTION STAR WARS FANS!
MEANWHILE, DAN AYKROYD had the following comments on the inevitable Ghostbusters III: “I feel re-encouraged, reinvigorated by the pages that I have seen. I know that we’re expecting half of the screenplay to be completed very soon. It should be into production by the fall and be shooting by the new year. I won’t say anything, it’s very exciting. The Higgs boson and the particle theories, gluons and mesons, that really gives us a scientific base in terms of our fictional storytelling, to open up to another dimension and have something horrible come through.” He added, “It’s going to be very, very exciting. I’ve been more encouraged than I ever have been. It sounds real now. We’ve got a sharp new writer on it, Ivan (Reitman) is on it, Harold (Ramis) is on it, I’m on it. And if I can put the catch-net on Billy (Murray) and bring him in, it will be wonderful, if he decides to do it. There will always be a hole for him.” … HERE’S A COOL NEW POSTER FOR PACIFIC RIM:
IN TV NEWS, THE SYFY CHANNEL (formerly Sci-Fi,) will develop and adapt a slew of new science fiction themed shows for cable viewing. Including among these will be a four hour adaptation of Larry Niven’s “Ringworld.” In the book, a hastily-assembled team of explorers travels beyond charted space to investigate a massive object of alien origin nicknamed, Ringworld. It turns out to be an artificial habitat the size of one million Earths. Crash landing on this enormous structure, they discover the remnants of ancient civilizations, technology beyond their wildest dreams, mysteries that shed light on the very origins of man and, most importantly, a possible salvation for a doomed Earth. And joinging Ringworld, will be an adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s legendary “Childhood’s End.” Produced by Michael DeLuca (The Social Network,) the story follows a peaceful alien invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords, whose arrival ends all war and turns the planet into a near-utopia. Everything proceeds normally, with humanity mostly cooperating, and the expected splinter groups going literally underground in protest — and then we find out what the extra-terrestrials actually look like … Both miniseries films will join the previously announced adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s, “The Man in the High Castle,” produced by Ridley Scott’s company … AND IN TERRIBLE SCI-FI TV NEWS, Futurama has officially died. The popular cult show will soon come to an end with finality. Resurrected numerous times between networks, Futurama will air it’s last episode on September the 4th of this year. The first half of this final, seventh season began airing last summer, and the second half will screen the final 13 episodes this summer starting on June 19th. No more changing networks, no more made for home video films. Farewell cable staple … IRON MAN 3 was recently previewed in a theater in Nagoya, Japan using a new immersive process called 4DX. The process involved the film being shown with a variety of added effects, very similar to the type of stuff William Castle used to do, but much more streamlined. Tilting seats to simulate a change in audiences view, air blown to enhance the effect of on-screen wind, and various amounts of fox and odors. There are also strobe lights and other equipment in the ceiling which reportedly drop on the audience. Japan is planning to screen 12 titles a year in this format, which is already in use in theaters in China, South Korea, Thailand, Russia, Mexico, Israel, and several countries in South America. The first film actually shown in this format was Avatar in 2009, in Seoul, Korea, where the company behind the technology is based. The process/technology is said to be on its way to the U.S. late this year, and is eventually planned to be installed in 200 U.S. theaters over the next five years … AND SADLY, ACTOR RICHARD LEPARMENTIER, best remembered for his role in the original Star Wars, playing the guy who got choked over a table by Darth Vader, i.e. “I find your lack of faith disturbing,” died recently at his home in Austin, Texas. In addition to Star Wars, he also appeared in the original Rollerball, The People That Time Forgot, Space 1999, Superman II, Octopussy, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. LeParmentier was 66 years old … AND FINALLY, PULITZER PRIZE WINNING FILM CRITIC AND WRITER ROGER EBERT, has died. Ebert, known by millions throughout the 1980’s and 90’s as one-half of the “Siskel & Ebert” team, succumed to cancer earlier this month in Chicago, IL.
Ebert was an ardent supporter and fan of many films beloved by Sci-Fi fans, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, the original Star Wars Trilogy, E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, Star Trek’s II, IV & VI, Dark City, Minority Report, and many, many more. He worked with Gene Siskel for more than 30 years before Siskel’s untimely death in 1999 at the age of 53. And throughout their relationship, the two of them seemed to play up their dislike of each other, endlessly. However, after Gene died, Ebert wanted to set the record straight. And in part, he wrote the following: “I don’t want to rehearse the old stories about how we had a love/hate relationship, and how we dealt with television, and how we were both so scared the first time we went on Johnny Carson that, backstage, we couldn’t think of the name of a single movie, although that story is absolutely true. Those stories have been told. I want to write about our friendship.” Two days before his death at the age of 70, Ebert wrote the following on his blog: “So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.” Roger Ebert was a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times for more than 40 years, and wrote literally thousands of reviews which shaped many peoples thoughts, opinions, and appetites toward cinema. Here are some examples of how Siskel & Ebert loved some movies, and loathed others:
Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel went on the record during the taping of their show At the Movies, to discuss what each of them believed was the correct formula for film criticism, thus providing a perfect template to others wishing to become film critics:
Then there was the legendary and infamous appearance both Siskel & Ebert made on Nightline in 1983 to defend the new Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi, along with the Star Wars trilogy in general, from another film critic named John Simon:
Roger Ebert, one half of what was perhaps the most well-known and beloved movie critic team in history, is gone. And his opinions, sometimes right on the mark, sometimes not, often funny, and periodically infuriating, will nevertheless be missed by movie lovers around the world, and even the movies themselves.