Hot from the Pit!

It was another rough week here in Development Hell.  The good news?  MIB II pushed Mr. Deeds out of the top spot, which calmed down You-Know-Who quite a bit.  It seems that he thinks his demonic underlings are letting too many Scooby Doo’s and Mr. Deeds’ slip by, so he’s trying to shake the place up.  Let’s wish him luck!

Rob Schneider has signed on to play the title role in Harv The Barbarian, a parody of the Conan movies.  The film centers on a thug who wanders the world in a bid to find peace.  David Zucker (of Airplane fame) has signed on to direct the spoof, which starts filming in October.  Contemplate that - on the tree of woe!

Dark Horizons has some hot info on a very interesting project: Suspect Zero.  The story concerns an FBI agent (Aaron Eckhart) assigned to track down a former FBI agent (Ben Kingsley) who is suspected of being a serial killer whose victims are all serial killers.  Early script reviews were very good, although later scripts were not so well received.  It remains to be seen just where this things going.  Anyway, if you’re in New Mexico and are looking for work as an extra, here’s where to go:  'The Studio New Mexico', 4121 Cutler NE (near Interstate 40 and Carlisle NE) starting from Monday afternoon (bring ID shots).  If you get in, sneak us a shooting script!

The Hollywood Reporter.com has announced that Fox has signed David Siegel and Scott McGehee to direct the adaption of Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone.  The novel was based on real events concerning outbreaks of the Ebola virus in Africa and the emergence of a strain in a monkey house in Washington D.C.  If you think this sounds familiar, you would be correct.  The Hot Zone was a hot project back in the mid-90’s, but the project never escaped Development Hell.  It’s evil clone, Outbreak, managed to slip by the demons instead.

Artisan has picked up The Lost, a thriller script about a psychiatrist investigating a woman with multiple personalities.  The problem is that each personality might be a murder victim.  Interesting.  But let's leave J-Lo out of this one, Ok?  Thanks.

Here’s some good news for our movie score addicts!  John Williams has already signed up for Indiana Jones 4, Star Wars Episode III and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  This keeps Williams booked up until 2005.  Is it just me, or is Williams the only composer left in Hollywood?  Not that I’m complaining!  I’ve still got my original soundtrack to Jaws - on vinyl no less!

Tommy Lee Jones, fresh off the set of MIB II, is set to star in a cheerleader movie?  It’s true, according to Coming Soon.  TLJ will play an FBI agent assigned to protect a squad of cheerleaders after they witness a gangland killing.  Then they all go on the run from the mob.  Cheer Up is scheduled for a 2003 release.  “It’s funny as Hell,” was Jones’ apparent comment.  Just wait until you get down here!  We’ll show you ‘funny as Hell!’

Comic Adaption Hell:

David Self told Sci-Fi Channel that he is adapting Namor the Sub-Mariner for the big screen.  The movie will be an origin story, although no specific concept is taken out of the comic books.  Self has been on the project since November 2001, but no production start date has been set.

Remake Hell:

Sci-Fi Channel has more news on the upcoming Peter Pan live-action movie.  Producer Lucy Fisher says that this adaption will be faithful to the original J.M. Barrie’s novel and play.  Heavy CGI usage will provide much of Neverland, as well as Tinkerbell.  Although she wouldn’t reveal a name, Fisher said that a 13 year-old boy has been cast as the titular character.  This would be the first time the part was actually played by a boy, not counting Robin Williams.  Also, IMDB has Jason Isaacs pegged as playing Captain Hook and P.J. Hogan set as the director.

Coming Attractions has the rather odd news that Hasbro has sold the film rights to the Transformers, although no details were released.  The shape-shifting toys have appeared in a number of previous animated films, so who knows what the hell this means.

Sequel Hell:

Shooting on Freddy Vs. Jason is scheduled to start in September in Canada.  The rumored tag line is rather interesting:  “Forget Godzilla vs. King Kong – this is the horror clash of them all!”  The story seems simple enough, Freddy and Jason are going head to head with the obligatory gaggle of teenage fodder thrown into the mix.  If this doesn’t get at least an NC-17 rating, I’m going to be very disappointed!

Director Rob Bowman has left the Clive Cussler novel adaption Sahara.  The usual ‘creative differences’ was the reason. It’s been mentioned that Cussler has near complete creative control, which might explain the differences.  Which is too bad, this book series would make an excellent franchise, despite what they did to Raise the Titanic.

Producer Richard Zanuck has told Sci-Fi Channel that the planned sequel for Planet of the Apes has been delayed.  Apparently, the studio wants to spread the sequels out to one every three years, so that they don’t exhaust the franchise.  Then again, maybe they want to wait until we forget the first one...

Men In Black II set a new Fourth of July record with around $90 million for the holiday opening.  So what does that mean?  MIB 3, of course.  Will Smith talked to UGO and said he was definitely up for a third movie if the second one was successful.  Co-star Tommy Lee Jones claims he’s ready to start tomorrow.  Let’s just hope the pug doesn’t hold out for a huge payday...

Dark Horizons  ran across a rumor that James O-Barr is working on a fourth Crow flick and a possible animated series.  There’s nothing like coming back from the dead and kicking ass!  Can somebody give Mark Decascos a call?

Comics2Film reports that there might be another Swamp Thing movie in the works at Joel Silver’s production company.  Ouch!  And Ouch again!  Then again, maybe we’ll get to see someone like Kirsten Dunst dragged through the swamp in a skimpy T-shirt.  Not to be cynical, but two best things about the original belonged to Adrian Barbeau.

TV and TV Adaption Hell:

The reality-TV fad continues to confound and mystify.  Sci-Fi Channel has order up 13 episodes of Scare Tactics, described as a hidden camera reality series that uses people’s fears of UFO’s, ghosts and other phenomena for laughs.  We’re not laughing...

Just trying to stay afloat on the Third Coast!  ~Lee

Brian B.