Log Entries: 04/26/2013

Jurassic Park 2JP 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.  weird_scienceThe 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!

Maythe4thBeWithYou

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:

PacificRim

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.”  RingworldIn 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.  Childhood'sEndEverything 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.  futuramaResurrected 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.  4DXThere 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 … RichardLeParmentiera2AND 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.Gene&Roger

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.

Rog

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Log Entries: 01/23/2013

JP4JURASSIC PARK 4 is officially a go for Universal Pictures, and will be released on June 13th, 2014.  In related news, Spielberg recently shut down production on Robopocalypse, citing his choice to completely start fresh with the material and make it more personal in order to keep the budget down.  Rumors were immediately circling that he “could” be preparing to direct JP4 himself, but sources have confirmed that this is not the plan.  The search is still ongiong for an A-list name to helm Jurassic Park 4IN FURTHER RELATED NEWS, director Christopher (Dark Knight Rises) Nolan has taken over Steven Spielberg’s once coveted project, Interstellar.  Which makes perfect sense given that Jonathan Nolan (Christopher’s brother) wrote the script.  The film, to be co-produced by Paramount and Warner Bros., concerns a hard science-fiction look at astronauts travelling through a worm hole (ala Contact.)  Theoretical Physicist Kip Thorne cooked up the plot and is overseeing the film’s scientific accuracy … IN STAR WARS SEQUEL NEWS, legendary poster artist Drew Struzan has been offered work on the upcoming films … Rumors circled yet again that director Zak Snyder had been offered the director’s chair for the much-anticipated film.  Snyder’s representatives debunked this gossip for a second time, only to see the story changed to include a Star Wars spinoff, and they promptly debunked that as well … IN MARVEL NEWS, actor Toby Jones will reprise his role as Arnim Zola in Captain America: Winter Soldier.   But actress Hayley Atwell will not unfortunately be returning to reprise her role as Peggy Carter.  The film opens in theaters on April 4th, 2014 … AS FOR THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2it was recently confirmed that actor Dane (Chronicle) DeHaan will not only play young Harry Osborne (son of Norman) in the film, but will additionally take on the role of the Green Goblin.  Apparently sidestepping the character’s origin in the comics … HUGH JACKMAN recently commented on the general nature of the cast for the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past: “Every other actor who’s ever put on a superhero uniform will be in it…”  GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY will shoot at Shepperton Studios in England this summer.  The studio is reportedly looking to hire Jim Carey and Adam Sandler for prospective roles in the film … MARK MILLAR, a popular comic book, TV, and film writer, and now creative consultant for 20th Century Fox, has commented on the new Fantastic Four reboot: “From what I’ve seen and from talking to him (director Josh Trank) – he and I have had dinner a couple of times and we talk quite regularly as well – he’s contemporising it. I think he’s just making it work for the screen – he’s a great storyteller.”  He added, “Chronicle, if you think about it, was similar to Fantastic Four in that it was a bunch of people who were transformed into something more than human – that turned out almost his calling card to come and do something like Fantastic Four.  What I wasn’t expecting actually was just how funny and likeable he could make this as well as getting the more awesome moments on-screen – I use awesome in the traditional British sense and not the California sense awesome, you know? The Ridley Scott moments, and the Fantastic Four really are jaw-dropping in the same way you feel when you saw Alien for the first time. There’s some moments in this – not to be specific – that are actually gonna be phenomenal on-screen and stuff you haven’t seen in a superhero movie before.”  The film is due in theaters on March 6th, 2015. … IN DC UNIVERSE NEWS, Russell Crowe has commented on his role as Jor El in Man of Steel: “It’s very complicated, it’s really complex. I don’t think anybody has really tried to get into the psychology of what it must be like to be Superman and what people would really respond like in a modern society if somebody like that just popped up. I think Zack Snyder was given a great deal of responsibility because when it comes to comic book heroes and superhero films the top of the food chain is Superman.” man-of-steel-statue

“I think the biggest indicator for me of how it’s looking is that the financier of the film has sent me gushing emails, he just loves it.  He added, “I’m really looking forward to seeing it, it’s a massive undertaking. It takes you on the ground to Krypton, it takes you to a planet where the sun is four times larger than ours and you get to experience that stuff and if you’ve seen the trailers you realize that this Superman is not just floating through the air held up by a wire, this Superman is super sonic. I’m really looking forward to the way that people will respond to it.”  Man of Steel arrives in theaters on June 14th, and has been rated PG-13 for “intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language.”.  GUILLERMO DEL TORO has confirmed he is developing an ensemble film, populated by various DC Comics characters, including: Swamp Thing, The Demon, John (Hellblazer) Constantine, Deadman, The Spectre, and the father/daughter pair of Zatara and Zatanna.

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SwampThingTheSpectreTheDemonDeadmanJohnConstantine.a.k.a.HellblazerZatara&Zatana
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Said del Toro: “I’m working on it.  I’m writing the outline and we’re already in talks with a writer. A very, very good writer. People are probably going to be happy with who we have chosen. He accepted. I’ve been courting this writer, who I think is the perfect guy for this job. We’re doing it. Hopefully it will happen.” … WARNER BROS. is said to be getting closer to making another Gremlins film.  Whether it be a sequel, ala Gremlins 3, or a reboot titled simply, Gremlins, is at this time unknown.  The stumbling block appears to be making the deal with Executive Producer Steven Spielberg … WARNER BROS. will also produce an adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey set in space … MGM is making a sequel to Hot Tub Time Machine (don’t shoot the messenger) … JEFF (RUSH HOUR 2, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN) NATHANSON will write Pirates of the Caribbean 5 for Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney … TheGraveyardBookRON HOWARD is mulling over a live action film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2008 children’s book, The Graveyard Book.  The story follows a boy raised by ghosts in a cemetery after his family is murdered. Reaching puberty, his family’s killer, “The Man Jack,” comes after himBILL “THE PRESIDENT” PULLMAN has confirmed that the production of Independence Day 2 and 3 will move forward without actor Will Smith … FRANK (SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) DARABONT is writing the Godzilla reboot.  Darabont had this to say on his take on the iconic character: “What I found very interesting about Godzilla is that he started off definitely as a metaphor for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  And some of the atom bomb testing we were doing in the South Pacific in the subsequent years. The giant terrifying force of nature that comes and stomps the s–t out of your city, that was Godzilla… What we’re trying to do with the new movie is not have it camp, not have it be campy. We’re kind of taking a cool new look at it. But with a lot of tradition in the first film. We want this to be a terrifying force of nature. And what was really cool, for me, is there was a very compelling human drama that I got to weave into it. It’s not that cliched, thinly disguised romance or bromance, or whatever. It’s different, it’s a different set of circumstances than you’re used to seeing.” … DAMON LINDELOF will not be writing the sequel to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus.  Said Lindelof: “The thing about Prometheus was it was a rewrite.  Jon Spaihts wrote a script and I rewrote it.  And still it was a year of my life that I spent on Prometheus, kind of all in.  The idea of building a sequel to it—from the ground up this time—with Ridley is tremendously exciting.  But at the same time, I was like, ‘Well that’s probably going to be two years of my life.’  I can’t do what J.J. [Abrams] does.  I don’t have the capability.  I’m usually very single-minded creatively.  I can only be working on one thing at a time.  So I said to him, ‘I really don’t think I could start working on this movie until I do this other stuff.  And I don’t know when the other stuff is going to be done.’  And he was like, ‘Well, okay, it’s not like I asked you anyways.’  He and I are on excellent terms and it was a dream come true to work with him.  But much to the delight of all the fanboys, I don’t see myself being involved in Prometheus-er.” … ARNOLD SCHWARZENNEGER has confirmed that The Legend of Conan will shoot in New Zealand later this year … SCHWARZENEGGER has also confirmed that he will be involved in Terminator 5THE MICHAEL BAY PRODUCED Ninja Turtles (a new film adaptation of “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”) is back on schedule.  The film, to be directed by Jonathan Liebesman, has become a big controversy in the fan-boy world due mainly to two specific changes made to the property.  1. the turtles are now of alien origin.  2. the title of the film has been changed to Ninja Turtles, due to the fact that the turtles are no longer teenagers, nor mutants.  Ninja Turtles opens in theaters on May 16th, 2014 … DIRECTOR JOSEPH KOSINSKI has chosen another new wave band/punk band to score one of his films (the last was Daft Punk, who scored Tron Legacy.)  The band M83 is scoring the Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller, Oblivion.  Here’s a sample of the band scoring the film:

IN HOME VIDEO, two cult favorites will soon bow on blu-ray for the first time.  Both Shout Factory releases.  A company that has been getting a lot of kudos for their home video packages of late.   First up, the 1983 Science Fiction Time Travel/Western — Timerider. TimeriderProduced, co-written, and scored by Michael Nesmith of “The Monkees” fame, this film has long been a popular sci-fi cult flick.  Special features on this blu-ray are only trailers, but the print has reportedly been cleaned up, and the sound re-processed for digital surround.  Timerider arrives on March 19th.  And the 1985 sci-fi thriller, LifeforceLifeforce

Based upon the novel Space Vampires by Colin Wilson, adapted by Dan (Alien) O’Bannon and Don (Arachnophobia) Jakoby, and directed by Tobe (Poltergeist) Hooper, Lifeforce has been denounced far and wide as one of the worst sci-fi films ever made.  Popularly known for eliciting some of the biggest, unintentional laughs in movie history, this attempted homage to the bygone days of Hammer science fiction films, nonetheless still has its fans.  The Blu-ray/DVD package will include the theatrical cut (DVD only) as well as International version of the film, audio commentary by the film’s director (Tobe Hooper,) a retrospective documentary, an original featurette, trailers — and reversible cover art featuring both new art, and the film’s original marketing campaign.  Lifeforce will land on shelves on April, 30th.

Log Entries: 07/11/2012

FIRST UP, DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHER NOLAN HAS REVEALED that The Dark Knight Rises, is in fact an adaptation of the classic literary work, “A Tale of Two Cities” … NEXT, THE HOBBIT has wrapped principal photography … PRODUCERS OF THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN have revealed that two more films are now in pre-production, making the initial film part of an overall trilogy … MARVEL, meanwhile, has put a film into development based upon it’s comic characters, Guardians of the Galaxy.  And they’ve also began developing other lesser known Marvel characters, The Human Fly and Ant Man, for feature film production … ACTOR KARL (DR. MCCOY IN ABRAM’S STAR TREK) URBAN has confirmed that the plot of the next Star Trek film is very closely associated with the 2’nd Pilot of the original TV Series, “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” … DAN AYKROYD recently did an interview revealing that a new writer (Etan [Men in Black III] Cohen) has been hired to re-envision Ghostbusters IIIA TEASER POSTER has arrived for Pacific Rim, the giant robots vs. giant monster aliens movie, produced and directed by the man who brought you Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth:

AND SAM RAIMI’S OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL also now has a poster:

MAD MAX DIRECTOR, GEORGE MILLER has finally gotten Mad Max: Fury Road beyond the pre-production stage and shooting on location, after literally decades.  Tom (Star Trek: Nemesis, Inception) Hardy replaces Mel Gibson in the iconic role of Max.  Charlize Theron has reportedly shaved her head for her role in the film.  Here’s an unofficial set photo of the production shooting now.   THE STARSHIP TROOPERS remake will, according to Producers, be less violent, allowing for a PG-13 rating.  They do, however, promise that more of Robert Heinlein’s novel will be included in the newly re-drafted storyline … RYAN (VAN WILDER, BLADE III, GREEN LANTERN) REYNOLDS has been cast as … wait for it … the new Highlander.  Taking over the role played by Christopher Lambert, in this new reboot … THE ROBOCOP reboot is imitating the marketing campaign for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, ala fake corporate advertisements from the future.  This initial AD comes to us from OmniCorp, and in addition to other hardware, gives us a good look at the new version of ED-209, and a very brief glimpse of the new Robo himself:

ACTRESS SIGOURNEY WEAVER has confirmed that AVATAR 2, 3 “AND” 4, will shoot concurrently.  And that she is in all three … AS REPORTED PREVIOUSLY, DIRECTOR MICHAEL BAY is making a 4th Transformers film.  And he says this time there will be more action in space, the robots will be redesigned, and the budget will be about $30Million less … IN OTHER MICHAEL BAY NEWS, Paramount has shut down his produced reboot of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The one where they’re not mutants and they’re not teenagers.  Ninja Turtles has thankfully been scrapped … JOHN CARPENTER’S THEY LIVE has been remastered for a special edition blu-ray and will be released sometime this fall … THE REMAINING INDIANA JONES FILMS will finally arrive on Blu-Ray on September 18th, including all previously available supplemental material, and according to Lucasfilm, additional material as well:

SPEAKING OF SPIELBERG RELATED TOPICS, the writers of Rise of the Planet of the Apes are currently working on a completely new draft of Jurassic Park IV, which people in the know at Universal are said to be very excited about.  No word from Speilberg’s camp … HERE’S YOUR FIRST LOOK AT ANGELINA JOLIE IN RICK BAKER’S MAKE-UP FOR MALEFICENTCompare the new Tim Burton-Produced version of the classic character, with that from the original Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

(CLICK IMAGES FOR LARGER)

IT APPEARS DIRECTOR BARRY (MEN IN BLACK) SONNENFELD has gotten financing for his oft discussed Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens project.  And he’s recruited famed comic book writer Grant Morrison to pen the script.  There’s a preview running around the net now, hosted by the men themselves, evidencing what to expect of the collaboration.  And Sonnenfeld is also reportedly been signed to direct the DC Comics/Warner Bros. adaption of The Metal Men …: CONTRARY TO HIS ASSERTION TO THAT HE WOULD NOT BE SCORING MAN OF STEEL, composer Hans Zimmer has publicly confirmed that he is now scoring Zak Snyder’s film, alternately known under the title of: Superman: Man of Steel1950’s SCI-FI HERO Tom Corbett: Space Cadet is now in development as a feature film … BATMAN & SUPERMAN will finally appear on screen together.  In Warner Bros. LEGO: The Piece of Resistance.  The film is targeted for a 2014 release … MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, Disney’s prequel to Monsters, Inc, now has a teaser trailer.  It’s kinda cute, if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out:

AND SADLY, ERNEST BORGNINE died at the age of 95 on Sunday.  “Ernie” as he was called by friends and co-workers provided a voice to one of the CGI toys in the Joe Dante film for Dreamworks, Small Soldiers, and played “Harry Booth” in Disney’s The Black Hole and “Caesar” in the S/F film, Gattaca.  But he will best be remembered by Sci-Fi fans as “Cabbie” in John Carpenter’s Escape From New York.  And he will be missed.  Rest well, Ernie.

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