This week in Sci-Fi news we have Saturn nominations, Jolene Blalock talking Starship Troopers 3, Cameron updating Avatar (and Saldana), Star Wars fans taking Lucas to ‘docucourt,’ news on the Akira movie, new photos from Watchmen, Iron Man and more plus some new trailers. Plus there are lots of Lost hints and spoilers and what everyone has been demanding…yes TekWar news!
Starship Troopers 3 might not suck?
The 2004 direct to video sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 actioner "Starship Troopers" was entirely forgettable. However, the third installment is looking up. For one thing it will have Casper Van Dien reprising his role as Rico plus the inclusion of Star Trek Enterprise’s Jolene Blalock (playing Captain Lola Beck). At a Wondercon panel this weekend writer/director Edward Neumeier (Robocop) stressed "Starship Troopers: Marauder" will be much truer to the original Heinlein vision [io9]. Blalock was also on hand and explained how she got the role:
The reason I’ve done a lot of science fiction is because my first big job was Star Trek, [so] a lot of the offers i get are science fiction. The universe shines down on me, in a psychobabble way. That’s what’s inside me, and so that’s what the universe offers me..
Van Dien & Blalock at WonderCon (WireImage: Ortega)
Saturn Awards Peppered With Trek
Trek is off the air and a film is still over a year away, but Trek folks past and present are all over the Saturn Awards nominations handed out this week. "Transformers" (written by Orci and Kurtzman) and "Cloverfield" (produced by Burk and Abrams) each received two nods including Best Sci-Fi Film. Abrams (and Lindelof’s) show "Lost" pulled in seven nominations including best Sci Fi Series, going up against "Pushing Daisies" (created by Voyager’s Bryan Fuller) and Heroes (starring Zach Quinto). Ron Moore’s "Battlestar Galactica" rounded up 3 nods including Best Syndicated/Cable Series and "Nemesis" scribe John Logan was nominated for Best Writing for "Sweeney Todd."
CLICK for the full list.
James Cameron update on "Avatar"
Director James Cameron sent an update on his mega sci-fi 3-D film "Avatar" (which co-stars Zoe Saldana) to [AICN]:
Things are going well on Avatar, or at least as well as can be expected on such a ridiculously complex project. We’ve wrapped principal, and most of the live action portion of the movie is already cut. It’s starting to look and sound like a movie. I’m ecstatic with the performances and the look. The cast chemistry worked out perfectly.
And what of Zoe?:
We still have a little performance capture work to do with Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana in March, when we get her back from Star Trek (she’s Uhura — but of course you already knew that.)
Fans take on George Lucas
A documentary which features interviews with various "Star Wars" fans who have issues with the series is in the works. The documentary is titled "The People vs. George Lucas" and is slated to hit sometime in 2009. The film will feature celebrity interviews and film makers are even seeking fans to submit their own footage. Find out more at PeopleVsGeorge.com.
Why didn’t we think of doing this with Rick?
"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" Cast Fills Out
Over the past week, no less than five actors have been cast in this prequel spin-off from the "X-Men" franchise. Dominic Monaghan, of "Lost" fame, has been added to the cast and will play Barnell in the film, Ryan Reynolds has been cast as Deadpool, Black Eyed Peas frontman, Will.i.am will play John Wraith, Taylor Kitsch (who signed a three-picture deal) will play Gambit and Daniel Henney will play Agent Zero in the film. "Star Trek’s" competition hits theaters May 1, 2009.
The sci-fi film "Jumper" teleported to the top box office spot last weekend and folks are already talking sequel. Director Doug Liman told Collider "I actually have a ton of ideas for the sequel." His star Samuel L. Jackson seems ready, telling SCI FI Wire "That [possibility of a franchise] is always an enticement."
Get these m-fing teleporters to a m-fing sequel
DiCaprio, Warner Bros. in for live-action ‘Akira’
Anime classic "Akira" is getting a live-action big screen treatment in what’ll likely become a two part series with the first installment looking likely for a summer 2009 release [THR]. AICN reports that that Joseph Gordon Levitt has been cast as Tetsuo and Leonardo DiCaprio (who is also a producer) will play the lead, Kaneda.
And check out "Lost" this week for a new trailer for "Iron Man."
Lost Boys 2: The Tribe
Journey to the Center of the Universe
QUICK MOVIE BITES
- Roland Emmerich’s ("10,000 B.C.", "Independence Day") apocalyptic film "2012", based on the Mayan doomsday prediction that the world will end in the year 2012, has been picked up for release by Sony Pictures, Variety reports.
- Jonathan Pryce ("Pirates of the Caribbean") has been cast in Stephen Sommer’s live-action "G.I. Joe" adaptation as the President of the United States, "a small, but integral part", notes Latino Review.
- At the Toy Fair, Mattel unveiled the toy for Batman’s other ride; a decked out Lamborghini he drives when he’s Bruce Wayne. MTV Movies Blog
- Timothy Harris ("Space Jam") has been tapped to write the screenplay for the upcoming CG-animated feature film "AstroBoy". Directed by David Bowers ("Flushed Away"), the film is slated for a worldwide release in 2009. ComingSoon
- New Line has added Shantel VanSanten, Bobby Campo and Hayley Webb to the cast of "Final Destination 4". They join Nick Zano, Krista Allen and Andy Fiscella. The 3-D film, budgeted at $43 million, begins principal photography this month in New Orleans. Variety
- Hugo Weaving will play a detective in Joe Johnston’s upcoming remake The Wolfman. Variety
- "Street Fighter" has its cast. Kristin Kreuk (Chun-Li), Michael Clarke Duncan (Balrog), Chris Klein (Nash) and Rick Yune (Gen) have been tapped to star in the upcoming videogame adaptation from 20th Century Fox.
‘Lost’: Mind-Blowing Scoop From Its Producers
"Lost" producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse recently sat down for an interview with Entertainment Weekly about season four of "Lost". Here are some highlights (SPOILERS).
- Is Ben the sixth member of the "Oceanic Six"?: ”Nothing precludes him from being a member of the Oceanic 6 — other than he wasn’t on the plane,” says Lindelof. We’ll know for sure by the end of the seventh episode.
- There is "no connective tissue" between Naomi’s Bracelet and the one seen in the Sayid episode "The Economist"
- Lindelof on the chronological order of the episodes, and flashbacks/flashforwards: "When we’re presenting you with a narrative, it’s always happening in chronological order."
- Cuse on the theory that the show exists in alternate timelines: "We want the audience to believe that is THE future. We don’t want people thinking, ”Well, since there are five iterations of this, I’m not going to invest in what’s happening to the characters.” "For example, the fifth episode of the season [airing this week] deals with time travel and operates in different time periods. It was a tough story to break. But we adhere to our rule: no paradox."
- And what about that coffin scene from the third season finale?: We could be winky about the coffin all the way through season 5. But that was one of the first things we talked about when we got back to work on the new episodes: We definitely have to show who was in the coffin. That’s the primary superstructure of the season."
Preview of next week’s "The Constant" co-written by Lindelof
NBC to stream classic series
CBS isn’t the only corp. putting their classics online. NBC Universal announced this week that they too are getting in on the act. The sci-fi/genre show’s even include Shatner’s syndicated and CTV series "Tek War":
- "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (NBC.com, ChillerTV.com)
- "Battlestar Galactica (1978)" (NBC.com, SCIFI.com)
- "Buck Rogers" (NBC.com, SCIFI.com)
- "Tek War" (SCIFI.com)
- "Swamp Thing" (ChillerTV.com)
- "Tremors" (ChillerTV.com)
You know you want to watch it
NBC’s "Knight Rider" TV Movie Registers High Ratings
While the critics reaction was mostly "meh", ratings for the back-door pilot were strong. The two-hour movie averaged 12.7 million viewers and strong ratings for the key 18-49 demo. Despite another recent revival from NBC tanking ("Bionic Woman"), these numbers are likely enough for a fall pickup. According to the Hollywood Reporter, in the even the series gets picked up, Star Trek’s new chief engineer Greg Ellis would likely return in his role as the main villain.
Sewell clocks in for ‘Hour’
CBS has picked British actor Rufus Sewell ("The Illusionist," "Dark City") to step into the shoes of none other than Patrick Stewart. Sewell will be playing the lead (Jacob Hood) in the CBS series "Eleventh Hour," a US adaptation of the Brit series starring Stewart [THR]
Can Sewell fill Stewart’s shoes?
QUICK TV BITES
- Anchor Bay Entertainment has set a March 25th release date for the direct-to-DVD never before seen movie version of the short-lived SCI FI TV show "Tripping The Rift" (2004-05, 2007). Starpulse
- "Moonlight" show runner and executive producer Chip Johannessen has abruptly exited the CBS series, marking the second such departure of a show runner for the freshman vampire drama. A replacement will be named if the show gets a 2nd season. [THR]
|Top 10 SF&F Broadcast Shows||HH Rating/Share|
|2) Lost (Recap Special)||8.0/12|
|3) Eli Stone||7.1/12|
|4) Lost ("Enhanced" Repeat)||5.4/9|
|5) Ghost Whisperer (R)||4.7/8|
|6) ‘Terminator’ (R)||3.8/6 (5.99M)|
|7) Moonlight (R)||3.8/6 (5.72M)|
|10) Reaper (R)||1.0/2|
1/28/2008 to 2/3/2008 – Source: Nielsen Media Research
|Top 10 SF&F Syndicated Shows||Rating|
|1) Stargate SG-1||1.1|
|2) Star Trek||0.9|
|3) Dead Zone||0.7|
|4) Stargate Atlantis||0.7|
1/28/2008 to 2/3/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire
|Top 10 SCI FI CHANNEL Shows||Rating|
|1) Ghost Hunters International||1.4|
|4) Stargate Atlantis||1.1|
|5) Disaster Zone: Volcano NY||1.0|
|6) Ghost Hunters||0.9|
|7) UFO Hunters||0.8|
|8) Meltdown: Day of Destruction||0.8|
|10) Star Trek: Enterprise||0.8|
1/28/2008 to 2/3/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire