Log Entries: 06/27/2013

SW LogoIN STAR WARS EPISODE VII NEWS, as the production of the new film moves into Pinewood Studios, casting directors for the film on both sides of the Atlantic have sent out a cryptic description of the few new leads J.J. Abrams is looking for.  Here’s the breakdown:  “A young man aged between 20 and 25, witty and smart, fit but not classically handsome; a man in his late twenties, also fit, but this one is handsome and confident; Late teenage girl, independent, good sense of humour [sic,] also physically fit; a second young female, also late teens, tough, smart and physically fit; a man in his late forties, obviously physically fit, this one is a military type; and finally, a guy aged around seventy, strong opinions and tough.” Mark & CarrieTHERE IS A RUMOR FLOATING OUT THERE Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher have both been assigned fitness trainers and nutritionists by the producers of the new film, in order to ensure they can be in good shape when filming reportedly starts in January.  Jedi Knights anyone ? … AND GEORGE LUCAS recently commented that he is excited to see what J.J. Abrams does with his baby.  Said Lucas: “J.J.‘s a great director and we’re friends.  I think he understands the whole thing and how it works.  “And if he doesn’t, Kathy will keep it straight.” But cautioning the media, Lucas added, “No matter how you do it, it’s a complicated cultural icon. Therefore you’re always going to be in trouble no matter what you do, so, the best thing you can do is just plow forward and try to do the best story you can.”  In a separate interview Lucas stated that he hasn’t had a chance to speak to Abrams about the new film as of yet, but he nonetheless voiced approval of the current progress of the project: “I have not spoken to J.J. He’s been busy with Star Trek, and I’m sure that he’ll let me know when he’s got some questions. So, you know, that’s all going well. Kathy tells me it’s working out great.” … AND SPEAKING OF GEORGE, the 69 year old retiree just got married to 44 year old Mellody Hobson.  George and Mellody  Lucas and Hobson got engaged over the Christmas holidays after several years in a long-distance relationship; Hobson in Illinois, and Lucas in California.  Hobson is a contributor for CBS News, and Chairman and President of Ariel Investments in Chicago, and is also Chairman of the Board of Dreamworks Animation.  Congratulations ! … DIRECTOR J.J. ABRAMS recently attended a “Produced by” conference on the 20th Century Fox Lot in Los Angeles and had this to say about the upcoming film: “I think that the thing is so big and so massive to so many people that the key to moving forward is honoring but not revering what went before.” Abrams also commented on the production schedule of the film by stating, “Most likely we are going to be moving to London at the end of the year for the Star Wars movie.” … OKAY, NOW I HAVE SEEN IT ALL — Behold !  Time Traveling CGI Turkeys !   btw, the movie is called Free Birds:

THE LEGO MOVIE NOW HAS both a poster and trailer.  Both are below:

LEGO teaser posterA FRESH DRAFT OF A SCRIPT FOR THE LOGAN’S RUN REMAKE will be written by the creator of the Bio Shock video game, Ken Levine …  UNIVERSAL have revealed that Jurassic Park IV isn’t quite dead yet.  They even debuted some temp marketing for vendors at the Licensing Expo 2013 in Las Vegas on June the 18th.  JP4The poster, which seems neither to have a subtitle or a # pinned to the new Jurassic Park film, seemed to confirm to onlookers that the Studio is planning to release the film in the summer of 2015.  It has also been revealed that the film will be shot in 3D … ACTOR RYAN REYNOLDS has dropped out of the reboot of Highlander, following in the footsteps of the project’s director,  Carlos (28 Weeks Later) Fresnadillo … THE SEQUEL TO RIDLEY SCOTT’S ALIEN PREQUEL, PROMETHEUS, now has a screenwriter.  The currently untitled film will be penned by Jack Paglen.  Paglen is the writer of Transcendence, the directorial debut of Oscar winning cinematographer Wally (The Dark Knight) Phister … AS FOR THE TOMB RAIDER REBOOT, Marti Noxon, a writer a producer on the WB’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has been hired to write the script for MGM, who currently hold the rights.  Noxon was also responsible for the screenplays for the films, I Am Number Four, and the remake of Fright NightTERMINATOR 5 appears to be headed to theaters sooner than expected.  Arnold himself recently stated that, “Terminator 5′ starts filming early 2014.”  And actor and former professional wrestler, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is negotiating to join the production, which will reportedly focus on Skynett’s attempt at killing Sarah Conner’s parents somewhere between the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.  Johnson is currently shooting Hercules for director Brett (Tower Heist) Ratner, based upon the comic book, “Hercules: The Thracian Wars.”  Laeta Kalogridis, who scripted the film Shutter Island and worked on Avatar for James Cameron, is co-writing the script for Terminator 5, which is said to be almost complete.  Distribution rights to the franchise were recently sold to Paramount Pictures … THE FIRST TRAILER FOR THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (due in theaters December 15th) has been revealed:

AFTER YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT HELL, CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE may soon finally find its way to the silver screen.  Choose - Inside UFOVeteran producer Jon (Predator, Chronicle) Davis is currently attached to the project, through 20th Century Fox, and hopes to develop the material into a multimedia franchise, as well as a series of major motion pictures in the action-adventure genre. Choose - The Cave of TimeThe 1980’s children’s books were immensely popular back in the day, utilizing a unique type of interactive storytelling that allowed readers to choose the path the principal character(s) would take, at intervals of just a few pages.  Choose - Journey Under the SeaThus the readers choices determined the fate of the characters, and the stories spanned many genres and story cliche’s readily available in public domain, such as flying saucers and the abominable snowman. Choose - Space & Beyond Many producers over the years have attempted to get the project off the ground, either as a single film that left open the possibility of a sequel, or an abashedly honest attempt at a franchise.  Steven Spielberg held the film and television rights at one time, as did actress Nicole Kidman … MAN OF STEEL 2 is being “literally” fast-tracked into production for next summer.  Director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer, have reportedly already launched into pre-production without a completed screenplay.  martinansin_regular_largeDirector Snyder commented, “I haven’t yet gotten to speak to the studio about all these awesome details (because I’ve been overseas on the junket). So my hope is, when I get home I can sit down with everyone and it’ll be like ‘Okay, so what are we going to do?.. we need to do something…”’  Regarding the sequel, Snyder further commented, “We almost destroyed the world last time, now what!?”AND SPEAKING OF MAN OF STEEL, ACTOR JAMES FRANCO was recently asked to review Man of Steel, and dropped two very interesting comic book movie related pieces of information within the context of his review.  One relates to Henry Cavill showing a very early ambition to play Superman.  Franco commented that during the filming of Tristan & Isolde in 2006, “What Henry took seriously back then was Superman. He wanted to be Superman more than anything in the world.” Franco adds that Cavill was actually up for the role of Superman in Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, but lost the role at the last minute to fellow actor Brandon Routh.  Franco further commented, “The night of the premiere (of Man of Steel) I saw Henry from afar on the red carpet and knew ‘this’ was the moment his whole life had been building toward. His dream had come true, and I was happy for him. It was the role he would have killed to do, with the right director (Zack Snyder) and the right producer (Chris Nolan)—people who would keep the story and the characters focused, grounded by Chris’s regular team of David S. Goyer and Emma Thomas.”  The other nugget dropped and left for general perusal by the public during Franco’s review, was the reason that Sam Raimi left the Spider-Man franchise.  *Please note this quote has been taken out-of-context from the review itself: “Kids like comic-book-style heroes, teens like flashy action and sex, and therefore these films make money. Adults—the third audience—respect money. So these films are made. Again and again. And if Brandon Routh doesn’t work as Superman, or if Sam Raimi can’t agree on the villain for a fourth Spider-Man, they will just make new versions without them.”  For the record, James Franco gave Man of Steel a favorable review …THE 39TH ANNUAL SATURN AWARDS were handed out on June 26th.  Saturn AwardThe Saturn Awards honor the best in horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.  Check out the listing of winners below:

Best Science Fiction Film: Marvel’s The Avengers
Best Fantasy Film: Life of Pi
Best Horror/Thriller Film: The Cabin in the Woods
Best Action/Adventure Film: Skyfall
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey (Killer Joe)
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)
Best Supporting Actor: Clark Gregg (Marvel’s The Avengers)
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Best Performance by a Younger Actor: Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi)
Best Director: Joss Whedon (Marvel’s The Avengers)
Best Writing: Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
Best Production Design: Dan Hennah (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
Best Editing: Alexander Berner (Cloud Atlas)
Best Music: Danny Elfman (Frankenweenie)
Best Costume: Paco Delgado (Les Miserables)
Best Make-Up: Heike Merker, Daniel Parker, Jeremy Woodhead (Cloud Atlas)
Best Special Effects: Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick (Marvel’s The Avengers)
Best Independent Film Release: Killer Joe
Best International Film: Headhunters
Best Animated Film: Frankenweenie

Best Network Television Series: Revolution
Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series: The Walking Dead
Best Presentation on Television: Breaking Bad
Best Youth-Oriented Series on Television: Teen Wolf
Best Actor on Television: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Kevin Bacon (The Following) – tie
Best Actress on Television: Anna Torv (Fringe)
Best Supporting Actor on Television: Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad)
Best Supporting Actress on Television: Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead)
Best Guest Star on Television: Yvonne Strahovski (Dexter)

Best DVD/BD Release: Touchback
Best DVD/BD Special Edition Release: Little Shop of Horrors: The Director’s Cut
Best DVD/BD Collection Release: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection
Best DVD/BD Television Series Release: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 1 & 2

The Lifetime Achievement Award: William Friedkin
The Dan Curtis Legacy Award: Vince Gilligan
The Visionary Award: Richard Matheson
The Life Career Award: Jonathan Frakes

UNIVERSAL PICTURES has optioned the rights to and will produce a film based upon Locke & Key, the comic book published by IDW and created by Joe Hill (son of famed author Stephen King) and Gabriel Rodriguez. Locke & Key A favorite on the New York Times Bestseller List, the comic tells the story of three siblings who, after the gruesome murder of their father, move to their ancestral home in Massachusetts. They soon discover the house has magical keys that give the bearers a vast array of powers and abilities. However, a devious creature is also after the keys, forcing the family to make a stand against evil.  Star Trek and Transformers screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will pen the screenplay.  The property was previously a pilot for a TV series produced by Dreamworks and intended for the Fox network.  Fox passed, and the producers shopped it around, but were turned down everywhere due to the expense of producing the show on a weekly basis. … THE JAPANESE HAVE MADE a live action version of the classic late 70’s cartoon, Battle of the Planets (otherwise known as Gatchaman.)   For those who wouldn’t remember, the storyline of the cartoon is set in the near future and follows five special agents of the International Science Organization in Tokyo as they try to protect the world from the mysterious terrorist group who call themselves Galactor. Utilizing technology that surpasses anything on Earth, Galactor has declared war on the entire world and has already subjugated half of it. Trained to draw out the power from the mysterious crystal-like object called a “stone,” our five heroes will be called “Gatchaman.”  Check out the trailer:

SCREENWRITER BRAD (WILD HOGS) COPELAND will write Knight Rider for The Weinstein Company.  The original “Knight Rider” series aired for four seasons on NBC beginning in 1982. It starred David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a crimefighter aided by the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT), a highly advanced vehicle with its own A.I. personality. … AUTHOR DIANA GABALDON’S S/F BOOK SERIES (of which there are currently 7 with an 8th on the way) will soon begin production as a television miniseries, under the initial book’s title, Outlander.  The Starz channel will partner with Sony Pictures Television to begin producing the show in Scotland this fall, for a 2014 premiere date.  The adaptation is being written by Ronald D. Moore or both Star Trek: The Next Generation and BSG fame.  OutlanderThe “Outlander” series spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history, and adventure in one grandiose tale. It follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. … DIRECTOR ROLAND (INDEPENDENCE DAY) EMMERICH recently commented on the sequel, and or sequels to Independence Day, and confirmed at least one previous rumor to be true.  Said Emmerich, “Will Smith can not come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much.”  He added, “We have like maybe half of the people that you know would know from the first film and the other half people who are new.”  Concerning the nature of the film’s storyline, he had this to say: “We’re not doing a total reboot, we’re doing something that’s totally unusual.”  Screenwriter James (Zodiac, The Amazing Spider-Man) Vanderbilt is now at work polishing a draft originally written by Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin.  Studio 20th Century Fox is hoping for a July 4th weekend release two years from now … AND NOW THE BAD NEWS, prolific author Richard Matheson has died.Richard Matheson 1 Hearing of his passing, friend and fellow author Harlan Ellison wrote, “I am downsmashed.”  Author and screenwriter Richard Burton Matheson was born in New Jersey in 1926, and raised in Brooklyn New York.  What Dreams May ComeAfter graduating high school in ’43, he served as an infantry soldier during the Second World War.  In ’49 he got a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in ’51.  He married in ’52 and had four children, two of which became writers themselves.  Chris Matheson is a notable screenwriter, who among other credits, co-wrote the Bill & Ted films.  Somewhere in TimeAnd Richard “Christian” Matheson became a very notable writer in television his self, working on shows such as The Incredible Hulk, The A-Team, Knight Rider, and Nightmares & Dreamscapes (based upon the Stephen King story collection.)   The elder Matheson reportedly published his first short story in a local newspaper at the age of eight. MofFSF1 Eventually, his stories would appear in multiple publications, including “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction” and “Galaxy Science Fiction.”  In 1951, Matheson met writer Charles Beaumont, and joined a writer’s group called “The Southern California Sorcerers,” which also included noted author Ray Bradbury.  Matheson later became a writer of the “Southern California School of Writers” in the 50’s and 60’s, along with fellow Twilight Zone writers Charles Beaumont, Ray Bradbury, William F. Nolan, and George Clayton Johnson.  Southern California Socerers In addition to prolific work on Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, Matheson remained a prolific fictionist, and his work inspired several notable films, including The Incredible Shrinking Man, Somewhere in Time, What Dreams May Come, A Stir of Echoes, and of course The Last Man on Earth (1964,) The Omega Man (1971,) and I Am Legend (2007) — all three adapted from Matheson’s novel “I Am Legend.”  In fact, the book “I Am Legend” has been acknowledged by filmmaker George A. Romero as the primary influence for his seminal horror film, Night of the Living DeadHypnose Stir of Echoes 1999 real : David Koepp COLLECTION CHRISTOPHELAnd Steven Spielberg has acknowledged that Matheson’s episode of the original Twilight Zone, “Little Girl Lost,” was one of the primary influences for the film he co-wrote and produced, Poltergeist.  After hearing of his death, Spielberg said, “Richard Matheson’s ironic and iconic imagination created seminal science-fiction stories and gave me my first break when he wrote the short story and screenplay for Duel.  NightmareHis Twilight Zones were among my favorites, and he recently worked with us on Real Steel.  For me, he is in the same category as Bradbury and Asimov.”  The TV movie Duel was in fact Spielberg’s big break.  It was a harrowing tale of a motorist being terrorized up and down a California highway, by a faceless truck driver in a rig covered in grime and rust.  Spielberg eventually utilized what he had learned from filming the movie, while shooting JAWS, and the rest is movie history.  DuelMatheson also adapted screenplays based upon a handful of works by author Edgar Allen Poe, for low budget producer/director Roger Corman.  These included the Vincent Price films, The House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Raven.  Matheson’s credits additionally included an episode of the original Star Trek titled “The Enemy Within,” the original Night Stalker TV films, and an episode of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories.  Enemy WithinDuring his long career, Matheson earned a Writers Guild Association nomination for 1985′s Amazing Stories and won the Hugo Award, The Edgar Allen Poe Award, the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Horror Writers Association, and a Lifetime Achievement award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.  The Shrinking ManMatheson had been working on a new screenplay for a remake of The Incredible Shrinking Man when he died at his home in Calabasas, Calif., of natural causes.  He died just days before he was to receive a Visionary award at the 39th Annual Saturn Awards.  Richard Matheson, storyteller, was 87 years old.Richard Matheson