Movie Picture

Fanning the Flames!

The latest Internet tempest-in-a-teapot (Spittle-on-a-monitor? Geeks-in-a-snit?) concerns Warner Brother's idea to re-envision Superman rather than making Batman vs. Superman or Superman 5. Apparently, the J.J. Abrams script for the project was the subject of ritual flaming over at AICN. 'Moriarty' read and publicly toasted the script. Followed, of course, by the usual AICN pack of talkbackers sounding, as always, like South Park characters. (To be fair, if what 'Moriarty' said is true, then the concept is severely flawed, amounting to a complete re-write of Super-history.) However, this apparently upset Warner's to no end. Head's spun and memos flew like pea soup. This resulted in J.J. Abrams placing a call to AICN top-man Harry Knowles. From Harry's resulting post, we found out that J.J. had made extensive changes to the much older, rushed script that 'Moriarty' had reviewed. J.J. told Harry that Lex Luthor would not be from Krypton, Krypton might blow up but not in this movie and that J.J. was sure the rewrites would address many of the problems. Basically, J.J. schmoozed the hell out of Harry.

What have we learned from this? Not much. Superman is in the works. Some of the ideas for it suck, others are good. Re-writes continue. Warner Brother's is scared of foul-mouthed kids. And as I've always said, development, like war, is Hell.

Dev-Hell Central:

Here's something to look forward to for all you other football nuts out there. MGM has picked up a script entitled The Quarterback's Tale, which is described as Almost Famous set in the NFL. The story involves a college grad that gets a publicity job on an NFL team. He is assigned to work with a Joe Montana type quarterback on his farewell tour. Of course, he discovers throughout the story that his hero is not quite what he expected. MGM anticipates the film as a vehicle for an A-list star and a young up-and-coming actor. It...could...go...all...the...way!

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Robert DeNiro, Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romjin-Stamos are in final talks to star in Godsend for director Nick Hamm. In the vein of Rosemary's Baby and the Others, Godsend tells the story of a couple that lose their son in an accidental shooting. They enlist a scientist to try and bring their child back. How could you go wrong with this kind of talent? (Ok, ok! It's a rhetorical question!)

Antoine Fuqua's next directing gig, Paramount's The Jacket, will be an SF movie about a falsely imprisoned man who develops the ability to see into the future and attempts to change his fate. George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh's Section Eight and Mandaly Films are handling production. Toss one more onto the upcoming time-related pileup...

The Hollywood Reporter has a report on another Paramount SF project, The Greatest Show in the Universe, being developed in conjunction with Alphaville. The story is an original idea by Tab Murphy and is said to be an action-adventure set in space, although the title sounds like Ringling Brothers in space. Paramount and Alphaville are also developing the adaption of Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars.

SF is hot this week! Nicolas Cage is set to star in an SF thriller entitled Back Up, which is about a cop who is brought back to life in order to investigate his own murder. Sounds like The Crow meets Minority Report. At least they didn't call it Dug Up...

Comic and Video Game Adaption Hell:

Variety reported that Jessica Alba is set to star in Beautiful Killer, which is based on the comic of the same name. She portrays a girl out for revenge after her parents are killed due to espionage involvement. Toss one more girls-kick-butt project on the pile...

Warner Bros. is trying to pick up rights to Doom in a progress-to-production deal that will see filming inside of 15 months or the rights will revert back to id Software. The film is expected to follow the storyline of the upcoming third game in the series, which involves a paramilitary base on Mars. A scientific experiment accidentally opens a portal to Hell and the hero must fight off the satanic forces. As with all first-person shooter games, you don't get much story. Doom, as a film project, has been in Dev-Hell for years, perhaps because there isn't much of a story. I wonder what studio will blow money on this after Warner? And what happened to Duke Nukem? At least that game had a funny character...

Remake Hell:

It's freezing down here! Not really, but that's kind of what you would expect considering that Paramount has selected director Tony Scott to helm the remake of The Warriors. But the problem isn't the director; it's the idea of meshing the styles of Hong Kong martial arts and contemporary action features to mutilate a classic film. Paramount! Come out and play-ay-ay. In the traffic, please.

Sequel Hell:

Rumors and reports have been popping up for years, but Dark Horizons has a report that claims Mad Max 4 is finally a go. The questionable report from Moviehole claims that George Miller and Fox have made a deal, with negotiations continuing between Miller, Fox and Icon to iron out details. Icon is, of course, Mel Gibson's production company. If the rumor is true, then filming should start in Australia around March 2003. If it's not true, then someone should handcuff the perpetrator to car, set a candle under the dripping gas tank and hand him a hacksaw...

Yet another sequel to The Crow is in the works. Edward Furlong is set to play the lead with Lance Mungia helming The Crow: Wicked Prayer. As bad as these films usually are, I somehow still enjoy them. But I always miss Brandon Lee.

Dark Horizons picked up the news concerning the plans for Ginger Snaps 2, the sequel to the low-budget teen werewolf flick that was a surprise Best DVD Release Saturn award winner last year. The story will follow the surviving sister, Brigitte, after the events of the first film (Duh, it's a sequel!) Talks also involve a third film, using the trendy prequel concept, which explores the werewolf's arrival in North America. The direct-to-video projects are fueled by the success of the Ginger Snaps DVD. If you haven't seen the film, it's worth a look. Although the effects and filming were painfully low budget, the story and acting were quite enjoyable.

I'm sure you've heard all the discussion on the upcoming Spider-Man sequel's villains and storyline. Well, you can just ignore everything you have heard. Author Michael Chabon has signed to write The Amazing Spider-Man and he hasn't read any of the prior drafts. He plans to do his own draft without reference to any others. You can start all the web-slinging arguments over now...

The producer behind the atrocious Freddy Got Fingered and the surprisingly enjoyable Drop Zone is rolling the dice again. Lauren Lloyd is planning to produce a sequel the 1969 classic Easy Rider. Easy Rider A.D. will find Peter Fonda's character of Wyatt 'Captain America' Earp imprisoned of false charges of murdering Jack Nicholson's character of George Hanson. He's somehow proven innocent and sets of on a journey to try and find America. Again. The shooting could begin next spring, with a budget of 25-35 million. Which, like the people behind this idea, is way to high...

Here's the scenario: You make a popular somewhat edgy, black-ensemble comedy. It's the number one film in the nation for several weeks, but it only makes around fifty million. Much to the anger of Reverend's Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, it mocks civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Then, the Reverend's urge people to stop seeing the film and demand an apology and cuts to the film. What do you do? Make a sequel, of course! At least, that is MGM's answer to the controversy around Barbershop. By the way Al and Jesse, thanks for the publicity...

No doubt fueled by the recent Grease reunion show, Dark Horizons reported a rumor of a third film staring the original cast. The story would follow the original characters lives post-high school. Hopefully this one 'slips' through the cracks!

TV and TV Adaption Hell:

Despite petitions to the contrary, it looks like Farscape might be beyond resuscitation. The producers are still holding out a little hope, but only if the final seasons ratings are way up. So, for those adamant fans out there, be sure to watch the new Farscape episodes in January. And get as many more watchers as you can. Because you're going to have to set some records to get this show back into production. Big records!

Look out for that Wormhole! Dang, sucked in again! ~Lee

Brian B.