Hell-A Dreaming

Mt. Purgatory looms over Development Hell, providing me with an excellent view of the activities within the birthplace of all movies. You might recognize the design of the complex, as it's based on Dante's Inferno, much like Los Angeles. In fact, the residents are quite similar to what you might find in good old Hell-A. Besides the staff of demonic creatures, Dev-Hell has a wide assortment of producers, directors, screenwriters, stars, actors, PA's and, of course, the wannabe's. Each of these doomed souls dreams of the same thing; evading their demons, escaping Dev-Hell and emerging into the glowing greenlight of actual production. Fortunately for us, damn few of them make it...

Dev-Hell Central:

Philip K. Dick adaptions have been hot items ever since Bladerunner hit cult status. And with the success of Minority Report you can bet this trend will continue. One of Dick's best novels, A Scanner Darkly, has been getting kicked around Hollywood for many years and may have picked up some momentum recently. The current rumors indicate that Richard Linklater has been tapped direction and Bob Sabiston is onboard as director of animation. If true, this would pretty much close the door on the oft-rumored Terry Gilliam direction of a live-action adaption. Which is just a damn shame. Gilliam and Dick would have been one hell of a combination!

Fangoria reports that suddenly ex-Jason Voorhees, Kane Hodder, will be playing a Hell-A rampaging werewolf in the currently filming feature Darkwolf. You might remember that Kane was rejected for Freddy vs. Jason because the producers were looking for a vulnerable, kinder Jason. There's nothing like a 90's guy serial killer...

Reuters has a rumor about Halle Berry negotiating to star in the adaptation of Thomas Perry's Shadow Woman. The novel concerns a Seneca Indian who can erase people's past. Did someone say Eraser meets Pocahotas?

John McTiernan talked with Cinescape concerning his upcoming projects. He's looking at adapting Eugene Izzi novel Booster, which centers on a thief who 'comes out of retirement for one last, big heist.' And you know that's always a mistake... Anyway, McTiernan recently wrapped Basic, starring Pulp Fiction buddies John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. Look for Travolta to investigate the disappearance of Jackson's famous Army Ranger character sometime next year.

Mike Judge, of Beavis and Butt-Head and King of the Hill, has signed up with Fox to direct Meat in the Freezer with Clay Tarver penning the script. They home to do for deer hunting what Caddyshack did for golf. (It's The Great Outdoors meets Caddyshack! Can't you just hear the whacked, gored and rutting jokes now?) Judge will take on this project after he wraps 3001 for Fox. 3001 tells the story of a regular guy who wakes up 1,000 years in the future and finds the world so dumbed down that he's the smartest man on the planet. What an original idea! Oh, wait. That was the idea behind Cyril M. Kornbluth's famous 1951 story, The Marching Moron's. That's one good thing about those Hollywood people; they really believe in recycling...

The Terminator 3 producer/director team of Hal Lieberman and Jonathan Mostow have optioned Orson Scott Card's novel Lost Boys. Sci-Fi Channel also reports that Brain Carr will adapt the book, which concerns a family relocating to a town where many children have disappeared. They soon discover the supernatural character of their house and it's involvement in the disappearances. Card, of course, is a long time resident of Dev-Hell with the long-suffering adaption of his award-winning novel, Ender's Game. Some people are just gluttons for punishment...

The Hollywood Reporter has discovered that Blue Star Pictures has hired Todd Farmer to write Scarecrow. The story is described as a psychological horror that centers on a farmer and his family that come across a scarecrow that does a lot more than just stand in the cornfields. Let's see. If I remember correctly, didn't the scarecrow need a brain?

Cinematographer and Director Andrzej Bartkowiak is in negotiations to take on Wanna-Be for Outlaw Productions. The story is based on late author Mike McAlary's article entitled Hoodfellas: The New Generation of Mall-rat Mobsters. The article covered the true-life tale of a teenage group named the Tanglewood Boys. They considered themselves untouchable because their parents were mobsters, even though they observed none of their elder's protocols and traditions as they went about their lawless and violent ways. (Mallrats meets Goodfellas?) Sounds like normal teenage behavior to me!

Comic and Video Game Adaption Hell:

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Stan Winston Productions has signed up the motion picture rights to Area 51, the popular SF action shooter video game. Think Resident Evil meets, er, nothing...

Remake Hell:

Disney has signed up Ron Friedman and Steve Bencich to write an adaption of David Weisner's children's book The Three Pigs. It's the classic story, with the twist of having the pigs blown out of the fairy tale and attempting to regain access to their story. Wow! After The Country Bears this sounds downright original! (FYI, IMDB says that if you liked The Country Bears, then you might also like This is Spinal Tap. Who says those IMDB guy's don't have a sense of humor!)

Michael Caine isn't dead, but don't tell Hollywood. Following the remakes of Get Carter and The Italian Job, we now have Brad Pitt set to reprise Caine's role in a remake of Alfie. Pitt has been brushing up on his cockney accent, with the help of Snatch co-star, Vinne Jones. I guess he's trying to un-learn the confounding accent he had in Snatch.

IGN FilmForce reports that Guillerno del Toro is planning to direct a remake of The Creature From The Black Lagoon. However, don't look for it anytime soon. del Toro is currently tied up working on Hellboy, and several other projects. We can only hope there will be enough time for the demonic creatures here to work their magic and get this thing killed...

There is a wild rumor running around that Chris 'The Mouth' Tucker will take over Peter Seller's role of Inspector Clouseau in the upcoming Pink Panther remake. The rumor came from an interview with Herbert Lom, who portrayed Clouseau's nemesis, Chief Inspector Dreyfus, in the original films. Lom also mentioned that Blake Edwards was planning a Broadway musical of the films. Personally, I'm rooting for Cato this time around!

Sequel Hell:

In an apparent effort to prove that no idea is so bad that you can't come up with something worse, Fox has decided to ignore the disaster of Home Alone 3 and put together another sequel! Home Alone 4 will star Mike Weinberg in the lead role for the TV Movie sequel.

Dimension Films appears to be working on the same wavelength as Fox. Variety reports that indie filmmaker J.T. Petty has signed on to develop a low-budget sequel to Mimic. Mimic Sentinel, which ignores the previous direct-to-video sequel, concerns an old man confined to a bubble due to his asthma. He learns that the Judas Breed roaches are back and preying on the inhabitants of his apartment complex. The project is scheduled for a four-week shoot in Romania this October. That's right, four weeks. Check the discount bins next year...

The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Cats & Dogs director Larry Guterman has been tapped to direct New Line's 'second installment' of the underrated Jim Carrey comedy, The Mask. Son of the Mask will center on an aspiring cartoonist who finds himself raising a baby endowed with the powers of the mask of Loki. I think they should scrap that plan and do Cats & Dogs meets The Mask. Remember what that dog did with the mask in the original?

TV and TV Adaption Hell:

USA is developing a new version of the The Bionic Woman, which has more 'value' in today's chicks-beating-the-hell-out-of-everything TV culture, than the shows inspiration, The Six-Million Dollar Man. The only possible upside here is that the Austin Powers and Memento production team, Team Todd, is developing the show. A few more of these shows and they'll be able to justify a 24-hour PMS channel...

Warner Brothers is planning to remake the 60's TV series Family Affair with fan-favorite Tim Curry in the starring role of the butler, Mr. French. For a preview, check out Curry's previous spin as a butler in the hilarious board game adaption Clue. I'm not kidding! If they could adapt video games as well as this movie adapted a board game, I'd be spending a lot more money at the box office...

In the never-ending stampede to mine the past for ideas, Sci-Fi Channel, working with USA, is pulling ahead of the many competitors. So it should come as no surprise that they are resurrecting the venerable Leonard Nimoy hosted In Search Of. Mitch Pileggi, of The X-Files, will take over hosting duty when the program premieres on Oct. 11th. USA Cable Entertainment originally produced the eight new episodes. There is a glimmer of hope, as they did not mention further episodes.

In Search of...a good movie! ~Lee

Brian B.