One Hell of a Time!
Every few years an idea hits Hollywood and every studio attacks it like a pack of rabid, near-sighted squirrels. We've seen it with volcanoes, asteroids, invading aliens, viral attacks, giant apes, etc. Apparently it's happened again with the theme of time-travel. Some of the more prominent projects include: Timeline, A Sound Of Thunder, Red World and The Butterfly Effect. Now joining this motley crew is Hindsight. Variety reports that the pitch from Alexander Torres to Alcon Entertainment concerns time-travel and cryogenics. (Of course, cryogenics is a form of one-way time-travel.) Anyway, those squirrels better keep an eye on their nuts; somebody out there might have a pellet gun...
Variety reports that Paramount has optioned Elmore Leonard's novella Tenkiller as a vehicle for Bruce Willis. The story involves a rodeo star turned successful Hollywood stuntman. When he returns home he finds that the family ranch has been taken over by unsavory elements. The deal stems from a long-time desire by the actor and author to work together. Leonard is best known for Get Shorty and Out of Sight. Willis is known for stating he would no longer make action movies. So what's this going to be? A legal drama?
Robert Redford is set to star in Fox Searchlight Pictures The Clearing. He will star as a wealthy exec that is kidnapped by an employee and held captive. Hellen Mirren is in negotiations to play the wife that must attempt to deliver the ransom and save her husband. (There's that Hollywood sexism again! Redford is 65 to Mirren's youthful 57!) The Hollywood Reporter reports that producer Pieter Jan Brugge will make this his debut directing effort.
Grypon Films has acquired the rights to Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's 1999 novel, Thunderhead. (Preston and Child also wrote Relic.) Thunderhead follows an expedition to a lost 'city of gold' in the American Southwest. A strong female lead is required to play an archaeologist attempting to unravel a great mystery. Did someone say Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider, with a Bond-like title?
Fox-based Regency Enterprises has optioned Doug TenNapel's upcoming graphic novel, Creature Tech. The story involves the interplay between science, religion and family and is set in rural American where an evil wizard uses the Shroud Of Turin to conjure a giant space eel in order to destroy the world. An atheist, with an alien strapped to his chest, opposes the wizard. How's that for bizarre? My guess is that the short list of directors has two names: Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton.
Secondhand Lions has been floating pretty low on the horizon for some time. Now Variety is reporting that Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and Haley Joel Osment are set to star. Caine and Duvall will portray wealthy eccentric great-uncles that must care for Osment over a summer. The uncles regale the boy with unbelievable stories of their past, which will be brought to life via special effects. Iron Giant writer Tim McCanlies will direct the feature from his own script. Filming starts in September somewhere in Texas. If anyone's interested in crew positions on the shoot, then you should check out the Texas Film Commisson website for contact info. And don't forget to send a scoop or two our way!
Hit and miss director Renny Harlin is taking on Land of Legend, for Crusader Entertainment, according to Variety. Set in 9th century Scandinavia, the story involves the epic tale of a Danish prince sold into slavery. Of course, he returns years later to take revenge. At least we're not getting another remake of that 'other' Danish Prince story, Hamlet.
Comic and Video Game Adaption Hell:
To Crow or not to Crow, that was the question. (Sorry, I couldn't stop myself!) According to Variety, the answer was 'not' in the case of Lazarus. Originally conceived as a fourth Crow feature, the film will now deal with two friends who become mortal enemies because of an ancient Asian curse. The curse is triggered when the friends commit a crime together. Then one of them dies and returns as an squawking invulnerable fury with a parakeet! Ok, Ok, I just made that up...
I don't know if this us a remake, a spoof, a tribute or something even stranger. According to AICN Snoop Dogg is set to star in Bonfire Entertainments recently optioned title, um, Snoopafly? So, if a blaxploitation film is remade in Hollywood, and no one goes to see it, does the empty cash register still make a sound?
Access Hollywood reports that Jason Bateman, Lisa Wilcox and Brian Thompson are all in talks to join Freddy vs. Jason. (Climbing body-count maybe?) Also,
Lance Guest, perhaps best known for The Last Starfighter and Jaws: The Revenge, mentioned to an LA radio station that he planned on writing and starring in another Jaws sequel. However, he has been waiting on Jaws 5 because he 'wanted it to be good.' (Ain't it nice to see artistic integrity in Hollywood! Snicker, snicker.) One must wonder what Peter Benchley and Stephen Spielberg think of this...
Warner Brothers can't seem to make up their mind when it comes to superheroes. Now that Batman vs. Superman is on hold due to Wolfgang Petersen's desire to develop Troy first, Warner's has suddenly gotten excited about yet another Superman script. J.J. Abrams, creator of Alias and Felicity, has turned in a huge, 200-page script that has the studio skipping over previous attached director McG and frantically looking for someone to take the project into production ASAP. Up, Up and Away! Or something like that...
TV and TV Adaption Hell:
Rejoice, all you Tremors fans out there! Michael Gross has signed on to star in Sci-Fi Channel's weekly TV adaption of the movies. The series will recount the struggle against the famed graboids, in addition to having non-worm monster stories as well.
I hate to say I told you so, ok, I don't hate it, but I really hate this idea. TV movie Enron: Anatomy of Greed will soon be filming in Winnipeg, according to Dark Horizons. Look for M*A*S*H's Mike Farrell to portray Kenneth Lay. Brian Dennehy, Shannon Elizabeth, Christian Kane and Cameron Bancroft have also been cast. There was no mention of when, to use the term loosely, 'the movie' will be darkening your TV...
Variety mentions that Brett Ratner's Rat Entertainment will produce a live-action/CGI version of the 'classic' Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Hong Kong Phooey. So I have to ask, is there anything left at the bottom of that barrel?
Stargate SG-1 supervising producer Joseph Mallozzi chimed into Gateworld.net to debunk the rumors that the SG-1 movie might be dead. He states that ratings for season six on Sci-Fi Channel have been so high that they are considering a seventh season. Furthermore, executive producer Brad Wright, with Robert C. Cooper, is currently rewriting the movie's script using notes returned from MGM. Great news for us Gate-heads! Or is that Star-Butts? I never can remember...
Steven Bocho, creator of NYPD Blue, has signed up with Fox and Paramount to create yet another cop drama, according to Variety. However, in a valiant, but doomed, effort to achieve something slightly original, this show will revolve around a present-day cop who is suddenly transported to 2069 (there's that time-travel thing again!) Bocho, Nick Wootton and Matt Olmstead are writing the script for the imaginatively titled 2069. (Ooohhhh, what a suggestive title!)
Leonard Nimoy, Vulcan turned professional host, will again provide hosting duties for Art of Darkness, a documentary about the classic Rod Serling Horror series, Night Gallery. The show will air on September 2nd on the Mystery Channel during their 24-hour Night Gallery marathon. Look for the episode Eyes, which is billed as Stephen Spielberg's directorial debut.
Live Long and Prosper! And watch out for things that go bump in the night... ~Lee