Log Entries: 05/31/2013

Pirates of the Caribbean LogoPIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5 now has not one, but TWO directors.  Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki) have been hired to helm the Jerry Bruckheimer production, slated to begin shooting in January.  The script was rewritten by Jeff (Tower Heist) Nathanson  … ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER recently gave updates on Terminator 5, Triplets (sequel to the 1988 film Twins,) and The Legend of Conan: “We’re writing it (Terminator) now. There are three projects being written that involve me. One is Terminator 5, the other is a Conan movie that Universal is doing and there’s the sequel to Twins, which is called Triplets. We’ll all look quite different in that. The third triplet is Eddie Murphy, so figure that one out.” … Jurassic Park wallpaperAND SOME SAD NEWS: UNIVERSAL PICTURES have pushed back Jurassic Park 4, indefinitely. The film, set to be directed by Colin (Safety Not Guaranteed) Treverrow, was scheduled for a June, 2014 release date, and was preparing to begin production.  The official statement from the studio seems to indicate that the film is merely being postponed, however inside sources are claiming that this version of a proposed fourth Jurassic Park installment, is no longer being considered, and that the studio is starting from scratch.  Again.  In any case, here’s the statement:  “In coordination with filmmakers, Universal has decided to release Jurassic Park 4 at a later date giving the studio and filmmakers adequate time to bring audiences the best possible version of the fourth installment in Universal’s beloved franchise. We could not be more excited about the vision that Colin Trevorrow has created for this film, and we look forward to watching as he and the producers create another great chapter in this franchise’s storied history.”IN MARVEL MOVIE NEWS, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently commented on which projects the company is moving forward with into feature film production.  Ant Man LogoNumber one, is Ant-Man, directed by Edgar (Shaun of the Dead) Wright, scheduled for release in November of 2015.  Said character uses a special suit to allow him to shrink in size and command insects and other creatures.  Number two on the list, is Dr. Strange, a former surgeon who becomes a sorcerer, and protects New York City from the supernatural. Dr. StrangeCommenting on Strange, Feige said, “There’s a whole supernatural/magic alternate dimension going on in the Marvel comics that we haven’t ever touched on. So I think that’s exciting.”  Number three, is a stand alone Hulk film …FIRST UP, THOUGH, IS JAMES (SLITHER) GUNN’S GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.  Key roles in the film will be played by Chris (Wanted) Pratt, Zoe (Avatar) Saldana, John C. (Wreck It Ralph) Reilly, pro wrestler Dave Bautista, Michael (The Walking Dead) Rooker, Ophelia Lovibond, and Lee (The Hobbit) Pace.  Actress Saldana had this to say about the film: “It feels unique, but it doesn’t feel like it hasn’t been done before. I love the levity in the script and I like the casting of it. I’ve been a fan of Chris Pratt and I think that his gifted, natural comedic timing might come in handy to play someone like Star-Lord.”  GuardiansRegarding her costume, Saldana had this to say: “I’m in the process right now of the evolution of conceiving Gamora’s look. It’s exciting! We’re trying to work out comfort also, because you know that I definitely want to be involved in the stunt-doing of my character.”  Shooting begins in late June, in London for a August 1, 2014 release date.   Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 #142X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST IS BEING SHOT IN 3D.  As confirmed by director Bryan Singer on Twitter, “Shooting native 3D and Simul-cam.  Looks like friggin’ mission control.”  The film, based on a storyline appearing in Uncanny X-Men #141 and 142, back in 1981, features a cast including Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Daniel Cudmore, Adan Canto, and Fan Bingbing.  The film is scheduled to be released in theaters on July 18th, 2014.  AND IN MARVEL TV NEWS, an intriguing new trailer popped up recently for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

IN 007 MOVIE NEWS, while Christopher Nolan was reportedly approached to helm the next Bond film, Skyfall director Sam Mendes will himself return to helm both the follow-up, Bond 24, as well as Bond 25.  Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G .Wilson have announced that they will wait for Mendes, who has prior commitments … THE ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY & MOBIUS COLLABORATION, The Incal may make its way to theaters.  Seems Nicolas (Drive) Winding is working with Jodorowsky on a treatment of the early 80’s graphic novel serial.  The IncalThe story, set in in a dystopian future and focusing on factions fighting for control of the Incal crystal, is reportedly where much of Jodorowsky’s ideas for his aborted version of Dune wound up after that project collapsed in the 1970’s …AND IN GAME TO MOVIE NEWS, WARCRAFT, based upon the highly successful video game World of Warcraft, is reportedly still on track to begin shooting early next year, with Duncan (Moon) Jones at the helm … ON THE TRANSFORMERS 4 FRONT, rumors are circling that the Dinobots and Grimlock, and possibly Galvatron may appear in the new film, along with several other classic characters.  Director Michael Bay has been mum on the plot of the new film, but has commented that the story involves the,Chase from Hell.”  Transformers 4 is scheduled for release next year, on June 27th.  IN THE MEANTIME, HERE ARE THE NEW DESIGNS FOR BOTH BUMBLEBEE & OPTIMUS PRIME, AND A NEW TRANSFORMER: HOUND:

Bumblebee T4OptimusPrimeT4

HoundAN INTERNATIONAL TRAILER for the film About Time, evidences a dead cross between the type of humor and pathos evident in writer/director Richard Curtis’ previous effort Love Actually, paired with a unique science fiction premise:

IN DC COMICS MOVIE NEWS, Christopher Nolan has reportedly exited development on the Justice League film.  This has revised Warner Bros. schedule for the film to a February 2014 start.  Although this would appear to be a blow, Henry (Man of Steel) Cavill has nonetheless signed to reprise his role of Superman in Justice League, and Warner Bros. is reportedly planning to announce a major comic book movie initiative (ala Marvel’s 3rd Phase,) which will launch several DC Comics characters into theaters, over the next five years … Green LanternAND SURPRISINGLY, GREEN LANTERN 2 really “is” being slated for production, with Joseph (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion) Kosinski helming. Comic book guru Geoff Johns, screenwriter David S. (Batman Begins) Goyer and director Zack (Watchmen, Man of Steel) Snyder are reportedly a part of the creative team developing the Green Lantern sequel project … AND SPEAKING OF GREEN LANTERN, that initial outing’s co-writer, Michael Green will re-draft Hampton Fancher’s follow up to Blade Runner.  Green, who also worked on both Smallville and Heroes, as well as Steven Spielberg’s aborted Robopocalypse, and a proposed reboot of The Flash, has been brought in to make changes requested by both the director and producers. In addition to the forthcoming Blade Runner sequel, the producers are hoping to develop a prequel, along with an “interactive television production.” Ridley Scott is still on board to direct, and both he and actor Harrison Ford have expressed an interest in bringing back Ford’s character Rick Dekard in a limited, brief cameo … DIRECTOR RIAN (LOOPER) JOHNSON is being courted to reboot Batman, now that Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have left the franchise … Gremlins 3 comin at yaGREMLINS REMAKE ANYONE ?  Well like it or not, here they come.  Warner Bros. have hired producers Seth (Dark Shadows) Graham-Smith and David Katzenberg as producers on the project.  The duo are currently shepherding Beetlejuice 2 into production for director Tim Burton.  Reportedly the project will go into production as soon as original Gremlins producer Steven Spielberg signs off on it … THERE’S A NEW TRAILER FOR EUROPA REPORT that makes the “found footage” feature look much more compelling.  The film is described as a unique blend of documentary, alternative history and science fiction thriller, following a contemporary mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, to investigate the possible existence of alien life within our solar system. Developed in close collaboration with NASA, JPL, SpaceX and other leaders in the scientific community, the film imagines the next step in manned space exploration and is based on recent scientific discoveries and theories.  Have a look:

IN MOVIE SCORING NEWS — CARTER BURWELL WILL NOT SCORE THOR: THE DARK WORLD for Marvel.  Although the studio actually listed his name as composer (even on the teaser poster,) Burwell has been released from the project in what Marvel describes as creative differences.  Burwell would have followed up on music compositions made by Patrick Doyle in the initial film in the series.  Burwell is currently scoring the WikiLeaks inspired film, The Fifth Estate for director Bill (Gods and Monsters) Condon … HOWEVER, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES “will” be scored by Michael (Star Trek) Giacchino.  Dawn Of The Planet Of The ApesMatt (Cloverfield) Reeves is directing the sequel to the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes, HANS (MAN OF STEEL) ZIMMER WILL SCORE INTERSTELLAR for director Christopher Nolan.  The film, formerly slated to be directed by Steven Spielberg, is scheduled for release on November 7, 2014 … AND ENDER’S GAME will be scored by Steve (Transformers) Jablonsky.  That film opens November 1st. … AND LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST … DRUMROLL, PLEASE … COMPOSER JOHN WILLIAMS has agreed to score Star Wars Episode VIIJWSaid Williams, “We’ve certainly talked about that, and I’m happy and willing to do it. J.J. Abrams, who will be the director, seems excited about the idea. I have to say that J.J. is a much younger man than I, but I will try to keep up with him as much as I can.  We now have the benefit of all this computer simulation and technical work that wasn’t even possible 20 or 25 years ago. I don’t know how hands-on George Lucas will be — I suspect he will be to some degree — but I can only imagine how excited he must be, to have a director like J.J. have all these tools at his fingertips to produce something even more adventurous technologically. I can’t wait to see what he will do with it.” … IN ADDITIONAL STAR WARS NEWS, veteran costume designer Michael (Blade Runner, Star Trek Into Darkness) Kaplan has signed on for Star Wars Episode VII, under the direction of J.J. Abrams.  Said Kaplan, “I am very excited to be working on Star Wars.  I’m so looking forward to collaborating, once again, with JJ.” AND IN STILL OTHER EPISODE VII NEWS, Lucasfilm has announced that the film will anchor production in the UK.  Earlier in the year, representatives from Lucasfilm met with officials in London to establish an agreement to produce the new film(s) in the UK, utilizing the various, and quite famous studio facilities there.  Producer and President of Lucasfilm, Kathleen (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial) Kennedy offered the following comment: “We’ve devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of ‘Star Wars’ as inspiration for our process on the new movie, and I’m thrilled that returning to the UK for production and utilizing the incredible talent there can be a part of that.  Speaking from my own longstanding connection to the UK with films like ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, ‘Empire of the Sun’ and recently ‘War Horse’, it’s very exciting to be heading back.”  The Irish Film Board later announced that they were also talking to Lucasfilm about the production shooting various exteriors for the film in their Country, as well.  The film is still on-target for a summer of 2015 scheduled release … C3poALSO ANTHONY DANIELS, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS C3PO recently stated for the record that he will return if and when asked … NOW FOR A BIT OF STAR WARS FRIVOLITY.  Director J.J. Abrams stopped by Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show — and following up on Harrison Ford’s appearance from last month, participated in some healthy ribbing.  Watch for two key surprise cameo’s in the audience:

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, IN A BIT OF STAR WARS NOSTALGIA NEWS, the sandy, cotton drill Levi’s jeans Mark Hamill wore in the initial Star Wars film recently went up for auction.  The pants, measuring 29-inches in the waist and 37 inches in length with two six-inch slits up each side, were customized by the famous London costumier Bermans & Nathans.  Per Mark Hamill himself, ‘By the way, those pants I wore (in Star Wars) were just bleached Levi’s with the tag still in them.” And true to Hamill’s comment, the levis still bear the original tag sewn to the inseam reading: ”Bermans & Nathans / 40 Camden St., / London N.W. 1.”  And ”Mark Hamill / 10490 Luke / Star Wars” is printed in type beneath it.  Nate D. Sanders Auctions estimated their value at somewhere between $70,000 and $100,000, but the jeans only sold for $36,100.

Luke Skywalker Pants - P 2013

A NEW BANNER FOR GORE VERBINSKI’S LONE RANGER promises epic scale.  Let’s hope the story is intact.Lone BannerTHE WORLD’S END, that drinking buddy comedy with a Sci-Fi twist from the makers of Shaun of the Dead, has a new trailer:

IN AVATAR SEQUEL NEWS, actress Zoe Saldana recently explained why it’s taking so long get the sequels into production: “I know that he’s (James Cameron) sort of been removing himself from things that might distract him so that he can focus on doing the final tweaks on the scripts. He did share that he’s in a very interesting and fragile place, because the story is dictating itself.” AvatarSaldana continued,You walk a fine line when you’re the creator of the story you’re going to tell, of the manipulation that you may have unconsciously of the story and the characters versus allowing the story to unfold it, because you did create such a monumental and solid platform that they’re just living and breathing organisms and they’re the ones that need to make their own decisions. I’m geek talking right now, but that’s how intense it affects me and how I feel about amazing storytellers like James Cameron, like J.J. Abrams. They create things that are real out of unimaginable scenarios, and that is beautiful to me.” … MARTIN CAIDIN’S NON-FICTION BOOK, “GHOSTS OF THE AIR” will see one of the strange incidents described within, translated into a a sci-fi romance called, DepartureGhosts of the Air The book compiles various accounts from pilots who have all experienced strange occurrences or anomalies during a flight. The Hunger Games screenwriter Billy Ray will adapt and direct the story following a Miami-based FAA investigator who is obsessed with learning how a 727 suddenly vanished into thin air and then reappeared in the exact same spot ten minutes later. As mysterious occurrences continue in the skies over Miami, the investigation becomes personal when the employee’s wife is on one of the planes affected. Author Caidin is also the author of “Cyborg,” the novel that was the basis for the 1970’s Six Million Dollar Man television series … MICHAEL BAY WILL PRODUCE ALMANAC, a “found footage” time travel movie directed by Dean Israelite, and written by Andrew Stark and Jason Pagan.  The modest $12 Million dollar production will shoot over the course of this summer in Atlanta, Georgia.  DREW (CABIN IN THE WOODS) GODDARD will next helm The Martian, based upon Andy Weir’s 2012 e-book.  The book, no longer available as an e-book and pending publication by Random House in 2014, concerns the adventures of an astronaut stranded on the planet Mars.  Simon (X-Men: Days of Future Past) Kinberg and Aditya Sood will produce and 20th Century Fox will release the film … 300 Rise of an EmpireWARNER BROS. HAVE MADE SOME BIG RELEASE CHANGES300: Rise of an Empire, and the Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller All You Need is Kill have both changed release dates.  300: Rise of an Empire has been moved to March 7, 2014, closely paralleling the March release date of the original 300 film in 2007. All You Need is KillWhile All You Need is Kill has been moved to a Summer slot, now opening June 6, 2014.  A studio source stated, “We have tremendous confidence in ‘All You Need is Kill’ and view it as a perfect tent pole for the Summer frame, with its combination of great cast, compelling story and tremendous action.”  And regarding 300, “Moving ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ to March 7 continues in the tradition of the first ‘300,’ and kicks off the Spring movie-going season in epic style. The film is on track to become all that audiences have come to expect from the franchise.” … IN OTHER WARNER BROS. NEWS, the studio is planning to bring a definitive version of the Gary Gygax and Dave Ameson created role playing game, Dungeons & Dragons, to the big screen.  Dungeons and DragonsThis reboot would start from scratch, ignoring all previous game to television and film adaptations. David Leslie Johnson (Wrath of the Titans) is writing the screenplay, which is said to have started its existence as an adaptation of Gygax and Jeff Perren’s Chainmail, a 1971 game that preceded D&D. With the rights to the more famous game now at Warner, the script is being rewritten to encompass the broader and more well-known fantasy universe. … SHANE (IRON MAN 3, LETHAL WEAPON) BLACK has officially signed to co-write and direct Doc Savage, based upon the 1930’s-40’s pulp character created by Street and Smith publisher Henry W. Ralston & editor John L. Nanovic, with additional material contributed by head writer on the series, Lester Dent.  Doc Savage 1935Shane Black co-wrote the script with Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry.  Neal H. (Fast and the Furious) Moritz, Ori (R.I.P.D.) Marmur, and Michael (Batman) Uslan are producing.  Doc Savage was once one of the most popular and well-known characters of all time, all over the world.  From Pulps to radio, television, and even a film produced by George Pal.  The character also heavily inspired that of Buckaroo Banzai in the 1984 film, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.  In the stories, the character of Savage is known for being a scientist, physician, adventurer, inventor, explorer and researcher. And trained since his birth to be as superhuman as possible in every way.  Using his strength, photographic memory, vast knowledge and intelligence, etc., he punishes evil wherever in the world he finds it.  Columbia Pictures will oversee and release the production … AND WOULD’JA LIKE TO SEE ANOTHER MEN IN BLACK MOVIE ?  Well guess what, you’re gonna.   Screenwriter Oren Uziel, already working on a reboot of Mortal Kombat, is now working out a scenario for Men in Black 4 that will bring the characters of “K” and “J” back to theaters worldwide.  Will Smith commented on the possibility of returning for a fourth film, “Hopefullly we’re not going to keep the same pattern. It was five years between the first and second and ten years between the second and third. That would be twenty years. I’ll be 63 years old. It’s just not a good look.”AND NOW FOR THE HARD PART.  SPECIAL EFFECTS PIONEER RAY HARRYHAUSEN, has died.  Edinburgh International Film Festival: Day 8Born in 1920, Raymond Frederick Harryhausen was with childhood friend Ray Bradbury (yes, that Ray Bradbury) in 1933 when both went to see the film King Kong.  The film, always a perennial favorite of Bradbury’s, changed Harryhausen’s life and ambitions, instantaneously. Ray & Ray 2
In ’35 he began by making short movies in his family garage.  Such experimentation would eventually grow into an incredibly resilient influence on many, including the likes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Terry Gilliam, James Cameron, and apprentice and protege’, Phil Tippet — who animated the Taun Tauns and At At’s in The Empire Strikes Back, using the stop motion techniques he had learned from Harryhausen.  Mighty Joe YoungIt Came From Beneath the SeaHarryhausen went on to advance the work of his mentor and original influence, Willis O’Brien, winning multiple awards, including a special Oscar and a BAFTA.  20 Million Miles To Earth, 1957His work included:  Mighty Joe Young (1949), IT Came from Beneath the Sea (1955),      20 Million Miles to Earth (1957),
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Mysterious Island (1961), Jason and the Argonauts (1963) One Million Years B.C. (1966), The Valley of Gwangi (1969), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977), and Clash of the Titans (1981).
7th Voyage of SinbadBut among all of his unique sequences in varied films, Harryhausen will be best remembered in the effects industry for the amazing animation of seven skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts. On this sequence, the stop motion master had this to say: “Each of the model skeletons was about eight to 10 inches high, and six of the seven were made for the sequence. The remaining one was a veteran from The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, slightly repainted to match the new members of the family. Jason and the ArgonautsWhen all the skeletons have manifested themselves to Jason and his men, they are commanded by Acetes to ‘Kill, kill, kill them all,’ and we hear an unearthly scream. What follows is a sequence of which I am very proud. I had three men fighting seven skeletons, and each skeleton had five appendages to move in each separate frame of film. This meant at least 35 animation movements, each synchronized to the actors’ movements. Some days I was producing less than one second of screen time; in the end the whole sequence took a record four and a half months.”  Golden Voyage of SinbadUpon hearing of his death, director Steven Spielberg said simply, “Ray, your inspiration goes with us forever.”  Ray Harryhausen died in London on May the 7th at the age of 92.  “The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation,” a charitable Trust set up by Ray on the 10th April 1986, is devoted to the protection of Ray’s name and body of work as well as archiving, preserving and restoring Ray’s extensive Collection.  The Ray
MARIO MACHADO HAS DIED, AS WELLMachado 2A television news anchor in the 1960’s and 70’s who parlayed his recognition into roles in several television shows and movies, including: Wonder Woman, Oh, God!, Blue Thunder, and of course, RoboCop & RoboCop 2, has died. Machado, of Chinese and Portuguese descent, was L.A.’s first Asian-American news caster.  And over his career in news at KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV, Machado worked as a newsman, producer, TV show host, and sports commentator.  RobocopNewsSeventy-eight year old Machado reportedly died of complications from pneumonia, on May 6th, but his contributions to scripted film and television, utilizing his experience in news gathering, will be appreciated for a very long time to come. … Steve ForrestAND SADLY, VETERAN ACTOR STEVE FORREST HAS ALSO PASSED AWAY … Born in 1925 in Huntsville, Texas, Twilight Zone The ParallelForrest began as a contract player for MGM in the 1950’s, eventually making appearances in such television shows and films as The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, The Longest Day, Fantasy Island, Captain America, The Six Million Dollar ManSpies Like Us, and many more.  And all over the course of a career that lasted and incredible 6 decades.  But real fame came to the actor in the 1970’s as a star of the TV show, S.W.A.T.  In fact, his character is where the line “Let’s roll” originated.  He did a brief cameo in the 2003 film starring Samual L. Jackson and Colin Ferrel.  Night Gallery The Waiting RoomForrest was one of 13 brothers and sisters, and as a young man enlisted in the Army.  He reached the rank of Sergeant during the Second World War, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  Afterward, he moved to Los Angeles and enrolled in U.C.L.A., graduating with honors and a bachelor’s degree in theater arts, in 1950.  He was reportedly soon discovered working as a stagehand in San Diego by Gregory Peck.  After a screen test with MGM, he was immediately placed under contract.  Later, in 1965, he came under contract with the BBC and moved to London to star in the UK’s first color TV series, The BaronSpies Like UsIn his personal life, he was an avid golfer who often played for various charities alongside Bing Crosby.  Steve Forrest passed away on the 22nd of this month, at the age of 87.