And into the fire!

It was a rough week here in Development Hell; the devils, imps and demons were all rather worked up over last weekend.  You see, they work really hard to make sure that when a movie sucks, it’s so bad that it goes to hell in a hand basket at the box office.  It’s their diligent work that turns an average yawn-fest into a full-scale train wreck, like Heaven’s Gate (they’re quite proud of that one.)  But sometimes the audiences just don’t appreciate their demonic efforts and go off and see the damned movie anyway.  And that’s how Scooby Doo made $54 million in one weekend.  The end result, of course, is that our little horrific crowd is going to need to repeat their effort for the inevitable sequels!  It really gets under their scales!  Just how much more cursed does it have to be?

Anyway, this weekend calmed the horde down a bit, since both Minority Report and Lilo & Stitch reportedly beat the pixels out of the dog.  Bow-wow, of course, still gets to whimper all the way to the bank, having crossed the magic $100 million mark.  The worst news, however, is that Freddie Prinze Jr. has had a hit.  So we’re going to get another decade of plague and pestilence...

Those crazy Aussies are at it again!  In the midst of the country's latest census, they’ve discovered that more than 250,000 individuals claimed their religion to be Jedi!  Talk about a nation of Star Wars geeks!  Apparently, this makes Jedi’s more numerous than Lutherans, Baptists and Mormons.  Sadly, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has no sense of humor, and refuses to treat Jedi as a religion, thus these people are filed as ‘inadequately described’ religions.  Hey, we’re all for religious freedom down here in Dev-Hell!  We’ll take anybody!

Our underworld is proving to be popular as an inspiration for movies!  Columbia plans to develop a supernatural comedy entitled Raising Hell based on a pitch by Eric Kripke.  The Hollywood Reporter.com claims Rosemary’s Baby inspired the movie, which centers on a couple that refuse to believe their infant son is the Antichrist.  Sounds like somebody down here had a lot to do with this idea!

Dark Horizons picked up some info about one of Terry Gilliam’s new projects: Tideland.  The story is sort of an Alice-In-Wonderland type tale, about an eleven-year-old girl whose parents are junkies.  She ends up with her father who has been "sitting their dead for some time," whatever that means.  Left to her own devises, she creates a world around her similar to the Alice story.  One thing you have to say about Gilliam – his movies are always interesting!

Warner Brothers has just purchased the rights to John Pogue’s debut novel, Altered Carbon.  The story is set in the 26th century with mankind spread throughout the galaxy.  A person’s personality and consciousness can be stored and downloaded to a new body, providing near immortality.  Done Deal classifies the genre as Sci-fi crime, if that tells you anything.

In more SF novel adaption news, Warner’s has also picked up the rights to Greg Bear’s novel The Forge Of GodBlack Hawk Down scribe Ken Nolan will adapt the script.  The story involves hostile aliens attempting to invade earth.  Coming Soon tells us the key that hooked the studio was Nolan’s detailed take on a complicated invasion with an ensemble of characters trying to prevent the attack.  Oh, yeah.  They’re looking to adapt the second novel, and a soon to be written third, for a three movie series.  Movies!  You can’t make just one!  Anyway, this is quite interesting news.  We might get the movie that Independence Day (see Sequel Hell below) could have been...

David S. Goyer looks to be helming Mucho Mojo, to shoot in east Texas.  Oscar-winning scribe Ted Tally has written a screenplay adapted from the novel by Joe R. Lansdale.  The story involves two friends who find a skeleton when they are left to clean up the home of their recently deceased uncle – which leads to questions about the uncle’s involvement in a series of murders.  You know, it’s just not good enough to kill one person these days...

In the They're-Not-Very-Good-But-You-Get-A-Lot news, Van Damme is now filming The Monk, according to Dark Horizons.  No info on the story, but I’m sure it’s the same one they use in most of his movies.  Ok, Ok!  One of two.  See, there’s the one where he fights a bunch of bad guys and then there’s the one where he fights himself...  Lather, Rinse and Repeat.

Since The Scorpion King made a huge pile of money, we’re just going to keep seeing The Rock.  At least for a while, some problems only time can fix.  Anyway, various sources pegged him as wanting to play the Hawaiian warrior-king, Kamehameha the Great.  Who, if you didn’t know, united the island chain into the Kingdom of Hawaii.  Then he wept, because there were no more worlds to paddle too, or something like that.  Anyway, Sony has picked up the rights and the project is headed straight for Dev-Hell.  Heat up those pit’s boys; company’s coming!

It looks like David Fincher may produce another series of short films for BMW; look for them at the BMW Site sometime this fall!

Comic Adaption Hell:

Thanks to Dark Horizons, we’ve been warned of a frightening treatment for a new adaption of Supergirl.  Head over to FilmJerk, if you think you’re up to it!  Rumor has it that at least one demon passed out cold when he read it.

Those wacky guys over at AICN have picked up a rather unusual rumor.  Well, it more of a whiff of a scent of a possibility of something that might happen, with a few odd bits connecting things together.  Click on the above link to read about a possible Calvin and Hobbes animated movie.

Done Deal reported a script sale for Werewolf by Night, to be adapted from the Marvel Comic Book.  The story involves a young man who discovers the family curse when he turns eighteen:  lycanthropy.  Great.  Another teen werewolf movie.  Hollywood is soooo original.

Remake Hell:

Here’s a really scary one!  The Hollywood Reporter.com claims that Joel Schumacher is likely to direct the remake of A Star Is Born – with Will Smith as a possible lead.  This has got to be joke!  Please?  Just tap your shoes together and repeat after me, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home...

I’m not really sure what Hell this belongs in, but The Hollywood Reporter says that Todd Alcott will write a live-action feature version of the popular animated series Samurai Jack.  The story concerns an ancient Japanese warrior who is transported to the future by an evil wizard.  Just you’re basic fish-out-of-water story!

Oh Boy!  Coming Soon talked with director Timothy Hines of Pendragon Pictures about the upcoming War of the Worlds remake.  You might remember that Pendragon was working on this project, but delayed it due to the events of September 11.  And that Cruise/Wagner and Paramount have announced a remake of their own.  Apparently, these are two different projects that could both end up in theaters sometime in 2004.  Looks like we have the makings of a real flame war!  And you should see what those are like in Dev-Hell!  Preliminary odds favor Cruise/Wagner and Paramount by about a billion to one...

Jackie Chan has joined the damned list of people to remake a classic Jules Verne story.  His version of Around The World In Eighty Days will focus on Chan’s character of Passepartout – who becomes a thief on the run when he steals a valuable jade Buddha.  Knowing Chan, no doubt hijinks ensue.  I like Chan, I really do.  But is this really necessary?  Maybe Chris Tucker can play Phileas Fogg.  Maybe David Niven can rise from the grave and smite them...

Sequel Hell:

IMDB has a rumor that actress Calista Flockhart might team up with boyfriend Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones IV.  Their source says, “Harrison Ford had only one demand when he was approached about doing a fourth Indiana Jones movie - that Calista be written into the new movie. Luckily, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas loved the idea. They think Calista will be a perfect romantic interest for Indiana.”  Since Kate Capshaw is also expected to star, it looks like Indy will have to be beating them off with his cane.  The really odd thing is that I never knew that Flockhart and Ford were an item – what are they, like 40-years apart?

Spielberg dropped the news that he's decided to make Jurassic Park IV.  As with III, Spielberg is hoping Joe Johnston will direct what he says is "a wonderful story that I think is the best story since the very first movie."  Of course, he refused to go into details at this time.  Recent rumors have claimed that movie will not be set on any of the previously seen islands, so perhaps the Dino's are finally invading the mainland.  If so, then it sure took them long enough!  We'll get you more news when we can torture it out of someone!

Dark Horizons has bit of titillating news for us!  Rumor has it that Halle Berry and Madonna share a lesbian kiss in Die Another Day.  I’m sure that will go over real well when they premier the movie in front of the Queen!  This, of course, joins the rumored lesbian kiss between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Linda Cardellini that was cut from Scooby Doo.  These rumors are just popping up all over the place!  Somebody needs to clean up the cutting room floor and release these things on DVD!

It looks like Disney was already so happy with Lilo & Stitch that they are already planning a sequel and a TV series.  That’s pretty confident for a movie that hadn't been released yet.  Now of course, with the movie opening second at an estimated $35 million for the weekend, it looks psychic.  Somebody should check Disney's phone records for calls to Ms. Cleo...

Dean Devlin told Cinescape that he has plans for two sequels to the original Stargate movie.  He claims that all the actors want to do it, but he needs the fans to convince MGM.  What they don’t say is why MGM would scrap plans for a movie based on the highly successful Stargate SG-1 series – or why they would even want to deal with Devlin again.  Sounds like Devlin’s just fooling himself.

Devlin also mentioned that there were now plans for a sequel to Independence Day.  Devlin and Emmerich have found a new concept and are trying to make a film with a different ‘voice,’ ala Cameron’s handling of Aliens.  If so, we might get another good popcorn-muncher in a couple of years.  Then again, we might get another Godzilla.

The actor-age-challenged Jack Ryan series will make the next film from Tom Clancy's next Ryan novel, Red Rabbit.  The book is reportedly set in the 1980's with a younger Jack Ryan trying to stop a Soviet plot to assassinate Pope John Paul II and destroy the Catholic Church.  An odd coincidence, considering that the Catholic Church is currently doing it's best to self-destruct without any outside help.  Ben Affleck is not yet confirmed to reprise his lead role.

Affleck may have another franchise on his hands with DareDevil, according to USA Today.  Apparently the studio is already looking at franchise potential.  Talk about putting the pressure on!  Not only can they flop this movie, but they can also take down an entire franchise!  Can Affleck really carry this load?  The devil's and imp's say we'll find out real soon...

It looks like Brendan Fraser is going to take another stab at the live-action/animation mix in Looney Tunes: Back in Action.  He should be making appearances in Dev-Hell starting in July, with hopes for the project to escape in time for a November 2003 release.

TV and TV Adaption Hell:

Scraping the bottom of yet another barrel, Spyglass Entertainment has obtained film rights to the 1960's cartoon series Underdog.  The plan, according to Variety, is to develop the property into a live-action/CGI mix for Disney.  With the success of Scooby-Doo, I suppose we can expect a lot more of this cursed behavior.

There’s no need to fear!  I’m outta here! ~Lee

Brian B.