Movie Picture

Flickering Flames

Welcome to the fall movie season, noted for it's sparse releases, rare developments and dismal boxoffice returns. Then again, Sir Anthony and little Miss Reese's Piece's are doing pretty well. And Big Fat Weddings and Barbershops still seem to be drawing crowds. But, outside of those few rays of sunshine, we've got our usual gloomy fall. So we'll just hang in there and hope for a blizzard or two for the blockbuster holiday season. And, of course, a few roasted turkeys...

Dev-Hell Central:
Pop culture, dot com style, is coming to the movies in the form of Napster, the Movie. MTV has made a deal for the rights to the life story of Shawn Fanning, the creator of the popular and controversial file-sharing program. Rumor has it that Fanning may play himself, although it is possible MTV might just download an illegal copy...

AICN reported that M. Night Shyamalan's next film would be based on how people become obsessed with death and venture into suicide. Currently entitled TBC, the story involves a man in Philadelphia who finds an Ouija board and makes contact with the spirit of a woman. He becomes fascinated with dying and his spirit contact must convince him otherwise to avoid the unleashing of a terrible wrath. Oddly, it was also reported that the title might be changed to Tempus Fugit, which literally translates as 'time flies,' so maybe this is all misdirection. You know how 'shy' M. Night is about plot details! (Ouch. I think I need more coffee...)

Sci-Fi Channel talked with Forest Whitaker, who revealed his plans to direct a supernatural thriller entitled Selling Time. The story revolves around a high-level mover and shaker whose daughter is kidnapped and killed when the President delays him from picking her up at school. As the man's life collapses, he's introduced to a woman who offers him a Faustian trade: seven years of his life for seven years of his daughter's life. While the idea should go over well in Dev-Hell, I hope they find an original approach to this well-trampled territory.

Val Kilmer is planning to portray porn king John Holmes in the movie Wonderland, according to Variety. No doubt you've already heard too much about this movie, so I'll spare you the details. However, you'll be happy to know that Bob Zany has debunked the rumor that Verne Troyer had been cast to play Holmes' 'goldmember,' so to speak...

My favorite screenwriting duo, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, have joined forces with Digital Domain to develop Plant Life from scribes Tina Anderson and Steve Barr. The Hollywood Reporter described the project as a live-action/CGI mix that centers on an office plant-lady who is able to speak with plants. She uses her power to become the ultimate corporate spy. Many people talk to their plants, but it's a real problem when they start answering you...

Variety reported that Brett Ratner is saying he'd love to do a film involving Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones. I just thought I'd throw this tidbit in for those of who are scared of what Ratner is going to do to Superman. Maybe he'll combine the projects? He-he! Just kidding...

Comic and Video Game Adaption Hell:
Universal and Marvel Studios have finalized their deals for Sub-Mariner and Prime, according to Coming Soon. While the first film will follow the epic tale of the amphibious Prince Namor as penned by David Self, Prime will be developed as Marvel's first superhero action-comedy. Don Calame and Chris Conroy will script the tongue-in-cheek story of a teenage boy who gains the ability to become an adult superhero via a government experiment. Hey, why not? Superhero comedies are making major bucks! Like, um, well, I'll think of something...

Remake Hell:
It looks like Bruce Willis and Sly Stallone might join Arnold Schwarzenegger in the remake of Westworld. Stallone's part will be an ill-fated cameo near the start. While Arnold seems the appropriate choice to reprise Yul Brynner's homicidal gunslinger, I just can't see Willis as the hunted character. Not unless they intend it to be a comedy with Willis doing a parody of his Die Hard character. In what might be further comedic evidence, the new adventure park could be Aquaworld, Lunarworld or Jurassicworld. Yep, I sure hope it's going to be a comedy...

Sequel Hell:
Just as a public service announcement, be aware that Dumb and Dumber 2: When Harry Met Lloyd will begin filming in November. Apparently Christopher Walken has done something very bad, as he's been attached to the film. I won't even go into the story; it's just not worth it! In the event of an actual release, you'll receive instructions on where to take shelter...

TV and TV Adaption Hell:
Chartoff Productions has optioned the rights to the short story collection The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, written by the late Max Shulman, with the intention of a big screen adaption. You might remember the 50's and 60's TV series of the same name, which starred a pre-Gilligan Bob Denver as a 50's beatnik. The show also starred 60's heartthrob Tuesday Weld and introduced many to Warren Beatty, whether they liked it or not...

The Hollywood Reporter reports that MGM has optioned late-night advertised video series Girls Gone Wild for a 'major' R-rated feature film. While I've got nothing against soft porn or topless college girls, I have to believe that this is one of the signs of the apocalypse for some religion or another...

Due to outrageous inflation, the film adaption of the classic TV show The Six Million Dollar Man, has been re-dubbed Six Billion Dollar Man. No word on the price tag for the previously announced TV remake of The Bionic Woman.

Ding-ing-ing-ing...I'm...Ding-ing-ing-ing...Out...Ding-ing-ing-ing...Of Here! ~Lee

RIP: Filmmaker Bruce Paltrow passed away this week at the age of 58 in Rome from complications resulting from pneumonia. Besides having a famous daughter in Gwyneth, Paltrow was well known for creating the highly successful drama St. Elsewhere. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and coworkers.

Brian B.