The Damned News

Boy did we have a great weekend here in Dev-Hell! The big guy brought in the brimstone snacks, firewater and whole flock of succubi! The entire demonic crowd cut loose and let their, well, horns down, I guess. (Hair doesn't last too long around the lava pits.) Of course the firewater loosened up both lips and beaks, so I've picked up a huge batch of news and rumors for you. I'll bring you up to date while the local fiends finish cleaning up from what they call the Memory-Hell Day Bash. (I think it has something to do with the firewater...)

Jane Doe keeps kicking my butt on those Alamo rumors, but here's a little tidbit I found. While the film hasn't been greenlite yet, there is a Crew (not Cast) Call out in the Austin area. This is probably for set construction people on the site that Jane was talking about previously. If you're interested, you can find out more at the Texas Film Commissions Production Hotline.

It looks like we're in for more Jean Claude Van Dammage soon. Apparently a trade ad was run during the Cannes film festival for Van Damme's next feature, the oh-so-aptly named: Hell. I'm speechless. The title says it all...

FX Channel, not being satisfied with its rankings, has decided to plunge to new depths. Teaming with Artisan Television, they intend to make a two-hour telepic about American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh. This isn't just a cry for help - these people are begging to be lynched!

Long time Dev-Hell resident Neuromancer may have picked up a director. AICN reports that visionary (i.e. music video) director Chris Cunningham has been attached for some time. Neuromancer is a novel by cyber-punk pioneer William Gibson. You might remember another of his novel adaptions:Johnny Mnemonic. Then again, maybe you would prefer to forget.

Frankie Muniz, from TV's Malcolm In The Middle, is starring with Angie Harmon and Hilary Duff in Agent Cody Banks, described as a teenage spy movie. Of course, they're hoping to have a franchise similar to another MGM property. What franchise? Who could it be? Oh, let's see, could it be - JAMES BOND! Shooting begins this summer, while audiences will be shooting themselves sometime much later...

In yet another brilliant move, MGM is trying to get Chris 'The Mouth' Tucker to take on the Peter Sellers role of Inspector Clouseau in a remake of The Pink Panther. Maybe they can get Jackie Chan to cameo as Cato! Maybe Jackie can jump out and surprise Tucker! Maybe Jackie can kick somebody's butt at MGM if this really happens! Hell, Jackie would make a better Clouseau than Tucker! Thanks to Cinescape for reporting on this potential casting disaster.

Considering all of the above, and what Bobby came up with on that Maria Poppins rumor, I think they need to test the water in Hollywood! I doubt it was a terrorist, but whoever slipped the acid into their water is definitely out to get us! And the people who approve these things think we should listen to their opinions on politics! Well, we've got a boiling pit of lava set up just for them!

Coming Soon brings us a report about Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz staring inTarantula for 'futuristic film noir' director Pedro Almodovar. The story concerns a plastic surgeon in 2010 or 2015 that takes revenge on the man who rapes his daughter by giving him a forced sex-change operation. If you think this sounds like a recent Osama Bin Laden joke, you're not alone...

David Prowse is back in news campaigning for Lucas to cast him as Darth Vader in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode III. Cinescape reports that at age 66, Prowse claims he'll be back in top physical condition by next year - despite hip surgery and arthritis. Right. You might remember that Prowse has had a long running 'feud' with Lucas over the dubbing of his voice and various other slights from the original trilogy. Prowse, of course, is calling for the fan's to boycott the movie if he isn't involved. Sure, that'll happen. Um, Mr. Prowse, do you know what happens to snowballs down here?

Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner have optioned the rights to a New York Times Magazine article entitled The Light At The End Of The Chunnel. The article tells of how Middle Easterners illegally stow away on the train from Paris to London. Many don't survive and the remains of the unsuccessful litter the tracks. The Chunnel, if you didn't know, is the tunnel under the English Channel. Sounds positively gruesome - they'll love it in Dev-Hell!

Desperately searching for a fresh idea, Hollywood has strangely turned back to Westerns. Kevin Costner will star and direct Open Range for Disney. The story is about four men who team up to rid their town of a menacing rancher. Wow! Or maybe just ow! Coming Soon also clued us in to Ridley Scott's plans to add a period Western to his future directing plans. Maybe he can get Clint Eastwood to help, before he becomes a permanent resident here in the depths! Yep, that's going to be one hell of year...

Comic Adaption Hell:

Variety wants us to know that Ghost Rider just won't die. Sony is in talks to pick up the rights from Dimension Films, with the plan of having Shaft writer, Shane Salerno, turn in a screenplay for the project. Just let it go, folks, let it go.

Dark Horizons reports that French newspaper Liberation ran a story claiming that French director Pitof was signed at Cannes French film festival to direct Catwoman. That, or they just like saying 'French' a lot.

Comics2Film claims that Spyglass Entertainment has given the big-screen adaption ofMage a go ahead, with Disney seeking a 'hot young' director, as F. Gary Gray has moved on to remake The Italian Job. 'Hot young?' Maybe they should try the singles bars...

Remake Hell:

Hardly a week goes by without new entrants into this very unoriginal dungeon - and this week is no exception. Variety tells us that Director Jonathan Glazer and writer Andrew Bovell, both of Sexy Beast fame, will remake the 1999 Japanese flick Chaos with both Robert De Niro and Benicio Del Toro attached.

As mentioned above, F. Gary Gray is remaking The Italian Job with Charlize Theron and Mark Wahlberg in talks for staring roles. Maybe they can all take on an Ishtar remake next...

Sequel Hell:

Blacksploitation is back in the form of the yet-to-open Undercover Brother. And producer Brian Grazer is already talking about doing a sequel. This may happen sometime after he produces Pookie Poo, a comedy wherein a guy wakes up to discover he's the last black man in America. Pay attention here folks - you're going to being seeing these damned projects on late night TV for decades!

MTV interviewed George Lucas recently and asked about Indiana Jones IV. (I think they simply have to make this movie - if only to shut everybody up!) While the writer hasn't been finalized (Frank Darabont is rumored,) he is planning on filming, not next year, but the year after. Lucas, of course, needs to finish Episode III before he can move on. Just say the devils made him do it...

Coming Attractions claims that Frank Darabont has officially signed to writeIndy IV. What they call a 'most reliable' source also says the release date has been set for July 4th, 2005. While waiting is, indeed, hell, at least we'll have a rich source of rumors for the next few years!

It looks like Aliens vs. Predator may be moving ahead. However, director Paul Anderson is in the lead to helm the project. That's Paul Anderson, not Paul Thomas Anderson. You might remember his earlier efforts: Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon and the could-have-been-greatSoldier. Or his more recent release, Resident Evil. I guess everyone deserves a second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth chance...

Fox News reports that Michael Keaton is ready and willing to do a Beetlejuice sequel. Keaton also said that he's talked with original director Tim Burton - and he's up for the project. The only thing they need, of course, is a greenlight from Warner Brothers. Sadly, Warner's seems to be caught up in things like Maria Poppins, so don't expect this anytime soon.

TV and TV Adaption Hell:

Ben Stiller confirmed to columnists Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith that, although no script yet exists, Starsky & Hutch is still alive and in the very early stages of development. With any luck the demonic locals can find a way to kill this one off!

L8ter G8tor! ~Lee