A Cold Day...

Labor Day has passed and, as usual, the Hollywood rumor mill seems to be out on vacation. Oh, there's still activity down here in Development Hell, but it's a bit quiet - for now. As you might expect, much of the satanic denizens got caught up in the drama of American Idol, even if was just Star Search with a bad attitude. (You knew it was going to be Kelly, didn't you? The cute girls always win these things.) Of course, a bunch of the Buffy-natic imps have gone into a major depression over the Gellar/Prinze wedding. (Here's a great opportunity for someone to start a new 12-step program for Gellar-holics.) Nevertheless, we've come up with a few tasty morsels for you to chew on:

Dev-Hell Central:

I'm sure everyone knows about Brad Pitt pulling out of The Fountain with an eye for Achilles in Troy. Feelers are out for Russell Crowe or George Clooney to take over Pitt's role. Of course, the real question is if either of them can grow a beard as hideous as Brad's...

AICN has a report from World Con that discusses author Orson Scott Card's comments on Ender's Game. The script is still under construction and will combine elements of the both Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow in order to handle the Ender's internal monologues. No casting has been done as of yet, but Card hints that the project may go into development within two years. (I think we first heard that about ten years ago...) The scooper also came up with an update on Warner's potential franchise production of Greg Bear's The Forge Of God (As we reported, oh, about three months ago...) The only new info was that Ron Howard was potentially attached to direct. Opie sure is easily attached! And detached...

Speaking of Opie detachments, The Alamo production has been delayed until January 2003. The smart money is on this being the first of many, many delays...

When it comes to eccentric directors, Tim Burton is almost in a class by himself. So I don't suppose we should be too surprised to find out that Burton is considering another big-budget adaptation of Batman. On, and off, Broadway. As a musical. Jim Steinman, who wrote the hit song "Holding Out For A Hero" for Footloose (I don't remember it either,) will provide the music. Burton will provide the atmosphere. Batman, Robin, Catwoman and The Joker will provide the laughs...

Comic and Video Game Adaption Hell:

IGN FilmForce has disputed rumors that Australian actor Adam Garcia is in the running for the title role in the new Punisher adaption. Producer Gale Anne Hurd was quoted as saying that casting will start in the next few weeks and filming will start next year. Jonathan Hensleigh (Hurd's husband) will write and direct. Although this appears to be Hensleigh's debut directing effort (according to IMDB,) we can take heart in the fact that Hensleigh was the writer of Die Hard: With A Vengence, Jumanji, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (with Frank Darabont,) and, well, The Saint and Armageddon. Three out of five ain't bad, right? Regardless, as a producer, Hurd pulls a lot of weight. Her resume includes The Hulk, Clockstoppers, Virus, Armageddon, Dante's Peak, The Relic, The Abyss and Aliens. As well as everybody's favorite B-movie, Tremors, and both of the Terminator films. So I'm officially a little bit excited! (You know the best news? Dolph Lundgren has quit acting! So we don't even have to worry about a cameo!)

Sequel Hell:

Reese Witherspoon will receive $15 million for the sequel Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. The comedy is on the very, very fast track, with MGM targeting a July 2003 opening. Variety tells us the story has Witherspoon's character of Elle Woods running for political office. Ur, didn't Witherspoon already go down this road in Election?

Coming Attractions has picked up rumors that Universal is looking into a sequel to John Carpenters The Thing. The interest was apparently spawned by the interest in the recently released video game. (Which is being advertised to death over on Sci-Fi Channel.) The rumormonger goes on to say that Carpenter was contacted, but wants big bucks to write and direct the sequel. Considering his recent box-office record, Universal might be looking for another helmer, rather than 'hammering' things out with Carpenter. (Ouch. Sorry about that one...)

It looks like those old Highlander 5: The Source rumors might be true. Various Highlander lists and forums recently received a note from franchise owners Davis/Panzer productions that announced the project should begin filming early in 2003. Of course, they expect it to be 'a truly exceptional Highlander film.' Sigh. We wish there could be only one...

George Miller told Cinescape that Mad Max 4 is still floating around in development hell. Miller has an 'exciting' idea that is 'struck like a dog in the back of (his) brain.' (Whatever that means.) Miller is also hoping Mel Gibson might return. Miller might need to check his medications...

TV and TV Adaption Hell:

In a rather surprising move, TNT has canceled one of its better-rated shows, Witchblade. A spokesman claimed that then didn't want to 'dilute' the story by developing beyond the recently completed second season. However, rumor has it that the axing has to due with star Yancy Butler's recent alcohol rehab (which closed down production for a few weeks.) Be on the lookout for drooling fans to start some kind of silly petition soon. (Well, that didn't take very long! CLICK HERE for the petition.)

Martin Short is taking his fat suit from the smalls screen to the silver screen in Lalawood. The story has Short's character of Jiminy Glick improvising around the Toronto Film Festival and loosely following a murder mystery plot. Maybe he can get Gwyneth Paltrow and Eddy Murphy to cameo in their fat suits...

Finally, be sure to check out the new teaser for Die Another Day! CLICK HERE

Anyone know where I can get one of those DB7s? Cheap? ~Lee

RIP: J. Lee Thompson, the British director of over 50 films including the original Cape Fear, the Oscar-nominated adaptation of The Guns of Navarone, and two of the original Planet of the Apes films has passed away. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and coworkers.

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.