Movie Picture

Hell is paved with Good Samaritans. -- William M. Holden

He’s here, he’s there, he’s everywhere!  Is Ron Howard directing The Alamo or not?  Variety reports that Opie may still direct the Disney epic, although Disney has Lee Hancock waiting in the wings.  It was possible that Howard’s departure was a PR ploy to get Mickey’s House to cave on budget, rating (Howard wants the latitude to deliver an ‘R’ film) and production schedule.  Besides the obvious problem of losing the Oscar-winning director, Disney would most likely lose Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe if Howard doesn’t direct.  And they’ve already spent $12 million on sets, scripts and other pre-production costs.  Who knew little Opie could play hardball? And maybe it didn't work, considering Brian's earlier post concerning possible cancelation...

James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment has picked up a comedy pitch from Aaron Mendelsohn entitled Twice in a Lifetime.  The pitch is about a man who accidentally regressed to the age he was when he first met his wife.  The he progresses back to his normal age over the course of 10 days while he and his wife relive their relationship.  The project might accidentally get developed too...

Ready for more Vin Diesel news?  We won’t keep you waiting.  Variety reported that Diesel is set to star as Hannibal.  Nope, not the one you’re thinking of, but the ancient European conqueror.  Revolution Studios has acquired the rights to Ross Leckie’s novel of the same title, to be used as the basis for the film.  It looks like this might be Diesels project for next year, before the xXx sequel.  As with all such concept films, Fox has a rival Hannibal project that was last seen courting Denzel Washington.  So ’04 or ’05 might be the year of the Barbarian Conquer Movies, especially if we get a ‘Rock’ vehicle such as The Scorpion King II or a King Kamehameha biopic.

Speaking of Kamehameha, AP reports that the Columbia movie has picked up it’s own rival from North Shore Pictures.  North Shore is looking to cast a true Hawaiian in the title role.  Apparently, ‘The Rock’ is not a popular choice to Hawaiians, due to the fact that his ancestry is Samoan – former fierce enemies of the Hawaiian people.  Gosh, I wonder why that might bother them?

And speaking of ‘The Rock,’ The Hollywood Reporter.com found out that Columbia has purchased an untitled pitch for the former-wrestler.  The story is a buddy actioner that is described as a comedic take on Harrison Ford’s Witness.  Yep, those Amish are real funny people...

Want to know a secret?  Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment has picked up the rights to a secret science fiction script, known as Noah.  Devlin described the story as something totally original, with the main character of Noah apparently becoming a sci-fi superhero.  As usual, the project is considered a potential franchise.  Then again, so was Godzilla until Devlin go hold of it...

Sequel Hell:

Dark Horizons found out that auditions are going on for the third film in the Stakeout series at Mickey’s House.  Good god, how desperate is Disney getting?  The real question, of course, is how desperate are Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Esteves?

Paul Anderson is busy writing the sequel to Resident Evil 2:  Nemesis.  The plan is set the movie in the same time period as the Nemesis game and contrive the story such that characters from the movie end up meeting with characters from the video game.  Anderson has also been confirmed as the writer and director for the long-awaited Alien vs. Predator merger – which continues to smolder in Development Hell.

Arnold Schwarzenegger indicated to a Chicago radio station that both he and Jamie Lee Curtis are ‘set to go’ on True Lies 2.  No mention was made of Eliza Dushku reprising her role as his daughter, but the rumored premise for the film has her character of Dana joining the family business.  Tom Arnold has indicated he’ll be back for the sequel.  Bill Paxton long ago indicated that this movie wouldn’t happen due to the events of September 11.  And Cameron has been rumored to start on a WWII picture in the near future.  That’s the trouble with rumors; they’re all over the place!  We’ll toss a few into the fire pits and see what happens.

TV and TV Adaption Hell:

Genre-favorite actor Michael Biehn is currently shooting Adventure Inc. in Toronto.  Dark Horizons mentioned that the film is a Doc Savage style explorer show.

The Hollywood Reporter.com announced that Cate Blanchett and Robert Altman will team up for and HBO TV movie about the famous female spy, Mata Hari.  Skinemax is looking much closer for Cate...

Overly productive TV writer/producer Stephen Cannell mentioned to UGO that they were currently on the second draft of The A-Team movie.  Mr. T might be involved, but not to reprise his original character of B. A. Baracus.  Perhaps they had to melt down his original costume...

Sci-Fi Channel gotten very busy since ‘joining the Universal family.’  They’re currently in the process of developing a new Quantum Leap series, but not with Scott Bakula, who was left in perpetual leap.  It will start out as a two-hour movie that will serve as a series pilot.  They’re also moving ahead on a four-hour mini-series remake of Battlestar: Galactica as well as a Tremors series.  It’s the attack of the B-series!  I might have to start watching TV again...

Not to be outdone by Sci-Fi Channel, USA Networks has committed to a limited series updating Rod Serling’s classic Night Gallery series.  The pilot will be a two-hour movie with four stories, ala The Twilight Zone movie.  Other stories will work in new material as well as updating classic episodes.  No word on a host, but maybe they can share Forest Whitaker with new Twilight Zone production?

De-de-dede-de-de-dede!  I’m off to travel through another dimension!  See ya there!  ~Lee

Brian B.