This week in Sci-Fi we got McKellen talking Gandalf, Lucas downplaying Indy 4, Yelchin talking up Terminator (and Trek), Hirsch on Speed Racer, Keanu playing up the environmental Earth Stood Still, Wolfman getting real, Weinsteins doubling up on Fanboys and tons of new movie trailers and images. For TV we got news on Jericho, BSG, Smallville and much more
George Lucas: new ‘Indiana Jones’ is ‘just a movie’
Listening to George Lucas talk about "Indiana Jones 4", you’d think he’s dreading its release. In an interview with USA Today, Lucas, who co-wrote and produced the film, is downplaying expectations:
When you do a movie like this, a sequel that’s very, very anticipated, people anticipate ultimately that it’s going to be the Second Coming. And it’s not. It’s just a movie. Just like the other movies. You probably have fond memories of the other movies. But if you went back and looked at them, they might not hold up the same way your memory holds up.
Irony Alert: Lucas with Ford wearing "Han Shoots First" T-Shirt on set of Indy 4
Yelchin talks Trek and Terminator
Anton Yelchin talked to Rotten Tomatoes about his upcoming roles in both of the big May 2009 movies, "Star Trek" and "Terminator 4". Regarding meeting the original Chekov the actor said "I got to talk to [Walter Koenig] and figure out what he thinks about us making it and he was really pleased and oddly gracious as well." And regarding his upcoming role as John Connor in the next Terminator film, Yelchin states the first two films are "a central part" of his childhood…which was what…two weeks ago? In other Terminator news, CinemaBlend’s scooper says Yelchin’s role will be a "central character" in the film akin to Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen in the Star Wars prequels. CB also reports their may be a link between the film’s and the FOX Terminator TV series.
More on "The Dark Knight" Viral Campaign
Another week, another extensive look into Warner Bros’ "The Dark Knight" viral campaign. This week brings us a new edition of the Gotham Times, plus several new websites: Maiden Avenue Report (a riff on The Drudge Report), Gotham Cable News, DanaWorthington.com (Dent’s competition for the D.A. job), Citizens for Batman, GVA Foundation and Saint Swithuns Church. Not to be left behind, The Joker is texting random people asking them if they’re ready to go to work, telling them to expect a message by April 1st. April 1st is of course April Fool’s day. Come on, you didn’t actually expect him to be serious did ya? "The Dark Knight" hits theaters on July 18th.
Is the original Gandalf coming back?
Responding to fan submitted questions on the actor’s official website, Sir Ian McKellen made it clear that he has every hope and intention on returning to Middle Earth. McKellen responded to a fan saying "Yes I will, if Peter Jackson and I have anything to do with it, he being the producer and me being, on the whole, a very lucky actor." However McKellen says that even though Jackson told him he couldn’t imagine doing the films without the original Gandalf he hasn’t been asked yet by director Guillermo del Toro, however he noted "I am keeping my diary free for 2009!" Del Toro’s agent told the AP on Friday the director is considering McKellen for the role and he hopes it "resolves soon."
McKellen to DelToro: you best consider your choice wisely
Keanu Reeves: No To "Constantine 2" + Talks Environmental ‘Earth Stood Still’
Sorry "Constantine" fans–there are some out there right?–but Keanu Reeves tells IESB he’s not interested in taking up the character of John Constantine again. The actor also talked up the environmental angle on "Day The Earth Stood Still" (due out December 12, 2008) with MTV:
“The first one was borne out of the cold war and nuclear détente. Klaatu came and was saying cease and desist with your violence. If you can’t do it yourselves we’re going to do it. That was the film of that day,” Reeves explained. “The version I was just working on, instead of being man against man, it’s more about man against nature. My Klaatu says that if the Earth dies, you die. If you die, the earth survives. I’m a friend to the earth" Adding: “We’re trying to reach beyond the idea of [just] environmentalism.”
Del Toro’s Wolfman is all real
Details are continuing to slowly trickle out about "The Wolfman", Joe Johnston’s remake of the classic 1941 horror film. Executive producer Scott Stuber spoke to Empire and had some interesting things to say about the film. The biggest news is Stuber’s revelation that the film will have no CGI: "We really want to stick to the physical stuff. So much of what we’re trying to accomplish is that when Benicio is the wolf, you really know it’s Benicio Del Toro and you have the eyes and the emotion of what he is."
Wolfman: We don’t need no stinkin’ computers
"Speed Racer" Star: It’s Like ‘Nothing You’ve Ever Seen Before
Emile Hirsch, star of the Wachowski brothers’ upcoming adaptation of the classic animated series, told MTV News that "Speed Racer" will be "like nothing you’ve ever seen before": “This film has all these visuals and elements to it,” says the actor. “That’s what the Wachowski brothers, when they were making that first ‘Matrix,’ [were doing]. No one had seen anything like it.”
"Star Wars" Saga On Spike This Week + "Clone Wars" Trailer In May
For the first time on basic cable all six films in the "Star Wars" franchise will be airing on one network. On Friday, April 4th at 8:00 p.m., Spike TV (click here for the networks complete coverage, including an ‘Ultimate Trailer’) will air "Episode 1: The Phantom Menace". ‘Episode 2′ will follow on Saturday, followed by ‘Episode 3′ on Sunday night. The network will conclude the event with ‘Episodes’ 4, 5 and 6 airing the following weekend. In other "Star Wars" news, ComingSoon.net has learned that a movie trailer for "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" will debut on May 9th attached to "Speed Racer".
New York billboard promotes Star Wars assets
Weinstein to Release Two Versions of "Fanboys"
Responding to pressure and outrage from "Star Wars" fans, The Weinstein Co. has decided to release two versions of the oft-delayed "Star Wars" related comedy "Fanboys". The company released the following statement:
In recent weeks, Star Wars fans nationwide have built a multi-tiered grassroots effort to voice their strong support for one of the earlier versions of the film, including a campaign which generated over 300,000 e-mails in support for the film. Based on the tremendous feedback and interest from the fans, today’s announcement will ensure both versions will be equally available within the marketplace."
The controversy surrounds the original cut of the film. The early cut focused on a group of "Star Wars" fans who go on a road trip in 1998 to break into George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch to steal an early print of ‘Episode 1′ for their friend, who has been diagnosed with cancer. Weinstein reportedly hired "Little Nicky" director Steven Brill to eliminate the cancer storyline and increase the comedy level. The move has angered "Star Wars" fans, who’ve responded by threatening to boycott Weinstein films starting with the March 28th release of "Superhero Movie" at sites such as Stop Darth Weinstein. One has even produced an R-rated video making fun of Weinstein which you can watch below.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Speed Racer (more here)
Iron Man ( link)
X-Files 2 (teaser movie poster)
Hancock (more here)
Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow
Tripping the Rift (DVD Movie, in stores now)
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Visual Effects Video)
Allan Quartermain and the Temple of Skulls
- Stephen Tobolowsky ("Heroes") is in talks to play Batman’s Butler Alfred in George Miller’s "Justice League: Mortal". [Contact Music]
- "X-Men Origins: Wolverine’s" Hugh Jackman is teaming with "Eli Stone" co-creator Marc Guggenheim to create "Nowhere Man" for Virgin Comics. [Variety]
- Julie Benz has been added to the cast of "Saw V". The latest film in the horror franchise hits theaters on October 24th. [Cinematical]
- Columbia Pictures has debuted a new viral site– Hancock Was Here–for the upcoming Will Smith superhero comedy.
- "Speed Racer: Chronicles of the Racer", a graphic novel based on the upcoming May 9th film, will be released in April. [IDW Publishing]
- "Spider-Man’s" Tobey Maguire is taking on another comic book adaptation. According to THR, Maguire is teaming with Neal Mortiz to produce "Afterburn". No word yet if Maguire will star.
- Ryan Phillippe as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader? It almost happened recalls the actor: “I read with Natalie Portman,” the actor revealed. “I think it was sort of an age thing in their mind. It wasn’t quite right, but yeah, they were interested.” [MTV Movies Blog]
- Is production on "Transformers 2" underway? FilmSchoolRejects was sent in some camera shots of a vehicle in Culver City carrying one of the stars and a stunt double of the movie.
- The ‘Star Wars’ themed "Robot Chicken" special hits store shelves in a bonus packed special edition DVD on July 22. Three weeks earlier on July 1, Fox Home Entertainment is releasing a Blu-ray Hi-Def special edition of the 1966 classic "Batman: The Movie".
- Want to see "Justice League: Mortal"? Co-star Common (John Stewart/Green Lantern) told MTV News that the film’s future is up to its fans. There’s also a report over at Cinema Blend that Hayden Christensen may be Superman in "Justice League: Mortal".
- Tyrese Gibson and Dennis Quaid have been added to the cast of Screen Gems’ apocalyptic thriller "Legion". Filming is scheduled to begin shortly in New Mexico with Scott Stewart, who is making his feature-directing debut. [Variety]
Access Hollywood has an article up on the upcoming live-action adaptation of "G.I. Joe". The article discusses the upcoming film with cast members Channing Tatum (Duke), Dennis Quaid (Commander Hawk), Sienna Miller (The Baroness). Still no confirmation we’ll hear the catch phrase "Now I know, and knowing is half the battle", but a Paramount spokesman teased: "You’ll have to wait and see!"
Jericho Seeks a New Home
On the eve of the show’s final episode, executive producer Carol Barbee was already speaking on the talks to find the CBS series "Jericho" a new home, perhaps a cable network: "[CBS] Paramount [Television, which produces the show,] has been pursing it, and our agents have been into that, so, you know, I am pushing those people and coming up with ideas to have those people pursue, she said in an interview with SCI FI Wire" Barbee says the cast and crew are very thankful for the support from the show’s core fan base and without going into specifics, Barbee made it clear that if last Tuesday was the series’ last TV airing, it could still live on: "There’s definitely an Internet series to be had, and we always talked about a graphic novel, and … a movie," Barbee said. "I mean, there are lots of things that I could easily see as a way to continue the story." Perhaps deluged with viewer mail, SCI FI Wire posted a note on their site asking fans to direct their snail mail to the following address: SCI Fi Channel, 21st Floor, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
Smallville’s Luther Begins ‘Descent’
Smallville executive producer Brian Peterson and co-executive producer Kelly Souders told SCI FI Wire that when the CW show returns with new episodes later this month and into April, Lex Luthor will make the bad guy transition once and for all. That will be especially true in the April 17th episode "Descent": "There is a major turn that happens in his life that drives him into pure darkness. … It’s Lex’s real descent into the villain he becomes. I think that is what fans have been waiting for. It’s what I’ve been waiting for," Peterson added with a laugh. See promo for "Descent" below.
‘Battlestar’s’ Olmos OK If All Die, Sackhoff Talks About the Final Cylon
Edward James Olmos, who plays Adm. William Adama on Battlestar Galactica, told SCI FI Wire that he wouldn’t be shocked if all the characters on the show died at the end of the upcoming fourth and final season. Olmos made the remarks, which he prefaced by saying he had no idea what will happen (i.e. no spoilers), at last weeks upfront presentation in New York. Olmos simply insists that it would be a fitting end for a series which he called a "commentary on our times" and the "most worthwhile piece of television" he has ever done. Expanding on the what if, Olmos said: "I think that people would be shocked, and they’d be hurt, and they would be totally, totally frustrated." At the same event, Katee Sackhoff (Kara Thrace)was asked if she knew the identity of the final cylon. After teasing, Sackhoff offered: ”We’ve been told who it is. I personally don’t believe it,” Katee said. ”I think that is something that is going to be kept until the very end.” Sackhoff also noted that they’ve filmed up to episode of the final season. Season four of BSG kicks off April 4th with the episode "He That Believeth In Me"..
‘Make a Cylon’ Contest Launches
Hey "Battlestar Galactica" fans, think you can create a Cylon? SCI FI Wire, DVICE and MAKE magazine are partnering to challenge fans to build a robot in the "Make a Cylon" contest. Running through early June, the contest calls on entrants to use any material they deem necessary to build a physical machine which can be of the human or robot variety. This 2-year-old YouTube vid shows someone who got a head start.
- At last week’s Paley Festival, Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz spoke about the upcoming sequel to "The X-Files". THR has put up an extensive feature from the panel which discusses "The X-Files 2", the final seasons of the TV show, the 9/11 connection with "The Lone Gunmen" and more.
- In addition to rehashing the last new episode until April, the newest "Lost" Podcast confirms the identity of the "Oceanic Six" and discusses the remaining episodes of season 4.
- "Battlestar Galactica’s" Helo (Tahmoh Penikett) has landed a role on Joss Whedon’s new pilot "Dollhouse" [THR]
- Kelly Preston is joining NBC’s "Medium" for a four-episode stint. [NBC]
- Erica Cerra (Deputy Jo Lupo on "Eureka") told SCI FI Wire that she’s co-starring in the upcoming Sci-Fi film "Dark Swarm". The film, which also stars Christopher Judge ("Stargate SG-1") and Ed Wasser ("Babylon 5"), is eying a 2009 release.
- Colin Ferguson, who plays Sheriff Jack Carter on "Eureka" told SCI FI Wire to expect some departures and new arrivals when the show returns for its third season this summer.
- Summit is developing "Countdown", a Sci-Fi action movie based on a classic Richard Matheson episode of "Twilight Zone" titled "Death Ship" The film will be directed by Michael Brandt. [THR]
|Top 10 SF&F Broadcast Shows||HH Rating/Share|
|1) New Amsterdam-TUES||8.2/12|
|3) New Amsterdam-THURS||6.2/10|
|5) ‘Terminator’ 9PM||5.0/7|
|6) ‘Terminator’ 8PM||4.7/7 (7.75M)|
|7) Eli Stone||4.7/8 (7.14M)|
|8) Ghost Whisperer (R)||4.3/7|
|10) Lost ("Enhanced" Repeat)||3.7/6|
3/3/2008 to 3/9/2008 – Source: Nielsen Media Research
|Top 10 SF&F Syndicated Shows||Rating|
|1) Stargate SG-1||1.0|
|2) Star Trek||1.0|
|3) Dead Zone||0.8|
|4) Stargate Atlantis||0.7|
3/3/2008 to 3/9/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire
|Top 10 SCI FI CHANNEL Shows||Rating|
|1) Ghost Hunters||1.9|
|3) Stargate Atlantis||1.5|
|4) Destination Truth||1.4|
|5) Hercules, Part Two||1.2|
|9) Snake King||1.0|
3/3/2008 to 3/9/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire