Sci-Fi Saturday: Hobbit, Transformers 2, Watchmen, GI Joe, Clone Wars, Lost, Sarah Connor, Dr. Who + more

This week in week sci-fi news we have rumors on who is the new Bilbo and who isn’t the new Spider-man. Plus Details on the Fraggle Rock musical and Watchmen as well as images and videos Hellboy, Star Wars Clone Wars and more. In TV news there is a Garbage cast member to join Sarah Connor, Neil Gaiman being courted to help Doctor Who, alternative endings for the Lost finale and more.


James McAvoy is Bilbo? + Jackson and Del Toro answer questions
From Trek to Middle Earth? At one point last year James McAvoy (Last King of Scotland) was leading the rumors as the new Scotty for Star Trek, now The Daily Express has reported a rumor that the actor could be up to play Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit":

"A number of names have been doing the rounds, including Daniel Radcliffe and Jack Black, but James (McAvoy) is the one the film’s bosses really want. They’re expected to have talks soon so hopefully it could be confirmed in the not too distant future."

While official casting announcements, with the exception of returning cast from "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, is still a ways off, producer Peter Jackson and director Guillermo del Toro had no qualms about answering fan submitted questions to  Check out the lengthy chat transcript here.  Meanwhile Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R. Tolkien, is attempting to stop the movie being made, calling for "one last crusade", according to London’s Sunday Times.

Maguire still  Spider-Man
Earlier in the week, a rumor broke that Patrick Fugit, followed by Michael Angarano, were in line to replace Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man in any upcoming films.  However, Sony has squashed the rumor and issued a response stating that Tobey Maguire is still the studio’s only choice.  Sony’s head of media relations told IESB that "No one is being considered for the role but Tobey. Period.".

Maguire considers how many million to ask for to reprise the role

3 Hour "Watchmen" + WB Releasing "Tales of the Black Freighter" DVD
Post-production on the big-screen adaptation of "Watchmen" has started and director Zach Snyder has revealed to the New York Times that the current cut of the movie is three hours long and he expects to "have a fight" on that with the studio. The article also talks about"Tales of the Black Freighter", the story-within-the-story.  In addition to directing "Watchmen", Snyder has also directed "Tales of the Black Freighter" and the studio will release the movie as a stand-alone DVD just five days after the release of the main picture on March 11, 2009.  The DVD movie will then be followed about four months later by the DVD release of "Watchmen" itself and then an "ultimate" edition which will edit the main feature and the ‘Black Freighter’ DVD together, the newspaper reported.  Read the entire NY Times article here. "Watchmen" hits theaters on March 6, 2009.

Transformers cast returning  w/ Dwight Schrute
Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro will all be reprising their roles in Michael Bay’s "Transformers 2", joining Shia LeBeouf who had already been confirmed.  Autobot Jazz, voiced by Darius McCrary, will also be returning for the sequel.  And lastly, Rainn Wilson (The Office’s Dwight Schrute) has secured a cameo role as a college professor.

Wilson – unlikely to tolerate any monkeybusiness in his classroom

Fraggle Rock Musical Details
Details for the recently announced "Fraggle Rock" musical have been revealed.  Cory Edwards, who is writing the screenplay, says he’s completed almost 50-pages of his first draft:

“[The outline] is the product of many meetings with the Henson and Weinstein folks, and has every little story beat we could think of,” writes Edwards on his blog. “The outline as been picked at, beat up, and shot at for any major problems. So now I have the freedom to lock myself in my laboratory and create, knowing that I am working from a road map that everyone has signed off on.”

Edwards says that the story will be based off an idea that Henson "always wanted to do":

“I have come up with an original take based on that. There will be elements of a classic fantasy ‘quest’ movie with some traditional high-energy Muppet hijinx thrown in. My goal is to make this more than just a “cute” movie that occupies a kid’s attention span for 90 minutes. And the movie will not simply be a feature-length version of a Fraggle TV episode. It will deliver much more. I want to create something that will stay true to the spirit of the original show, but also go way beyond it. This is going to be a big fantasy adventure film that stands up to anything else at the multiplex today. Everyone involved in this project wants the same thing.”


Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (more here)

The Incredible Hulk (more here)

The Dark Knight

G.I. Joe (set photos)

Transformers 2 (set photos–more here)


The Incredible Hulk

COMEDY: Lost Finale – Indiana Jones & the Mystery of the Lost Island



  • 71 mistakes in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" have already been discovered.  Check them out for yourself at
  • Two featurettes and alternate endings highlight the special features of the DVD and Blu-ray Hi-Def presentations of "Lost Boys: The Tribe" (July 29th). [STYD]
  • The second trailer for "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" will come attached to "Wanted". [Rob Cohen]
  • Be sure to pick up The Dark Knight Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on July 15th, just three days before the film’s nationwide release on IMAX and Conventional theaters. [SHH]
  • Disney CEO Robert Iger says that "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" is performing below expectations because the May 16th release date was "too competitive". [THR]
  • "The Dark Knight" came away with the award for Trailer of the Year at The Golden Trailer Awards. [PRWeb]
  • Filming has begun on James McTeigue’s (“V for Vendetta”) “Ninja Assassin”.  J. Michael Straczynski (“Babylon 5”) co-wrote the screenplay alongside Matthew Sand. [SCI FI Wire]
  • Platinum Dunes, the production co. headed by Michael Bay, has jumped in to produce “Ouija”, the movie based on the Hasbro board game of the same name. [THR]
  • iF Magazine talked with Ken Johnson about his plans for a "V" movie, his thoughts on why the "Second Generation" mini-series never materialized and more.  The first part of the three-part interview can be read here.
  • In a new blog posting, director Frank Miller addressed the concerns directed at the first teaser trailer for "The Spirit", mainly centered on its resemblance to "Sin City".
  • Elizabeth Berkley and Briana Evigan have joined the cast of  “S.Darko”, the sequel to “Donnie Darko”. [THR]


  • A 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice has been set for release on both DVD and Blu-ray Hi-Def on September 16th. [DVDActive]
  • "Transformers" will be released on Blu-ray Hi-Def on September 2nd. [Rope of Silicon]
  • The direct-to-video sequel to "The Cell" will be released on October 14th. [STYD]


  • An 800-word prequel outline written by “Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling to the seven-book series will be sold at an auction on June 10th by bookseller Waterstones. The money raised will go towards charities English PEN and Dyslexia Action. [SCI FI Wire]
  • Get your Skywalker Wine! made from grapes at the Skywalker Ranch.  Sold by Francis Ford Copolla, use BACTA15 for 15% off.


Steven Moffat Courting Writer Neil Gaiman to pen Doctor Who episode
New “Doctor Who” show runner Steven Moffat has put out a request to legendary writer Neil Gaiman to write an upcoming episode for the 2010 season of “Doctor Who”, according to Comic Book Resources. Gaiman is known for his work on the 80’s and 90’s comic book “The Sandman” as well as the novel “Stardust” which was recently adapted to film.  He more recently wrote the film “Beowulf”. Gaiman also wrote an episode of “Babylon 5” in the 90’s (“Day of the Dead”).

Fans Mobilize to save “Dollhouse” before it even airs
Post-cancellation save our show campaigns?  Meh. That’s sooo yesterday.  A group of a die-hard Whedonites are rallying to save Joss Whedon’s new sci-fi drama “Dollhouse” eight months before it even premieres on Fox.  Led by, the campaign is urging followers to organize viewing parties and buy as much “Dollhouse” centric merchandise as they can gobble up.  DollhouseForums’ leader Nathan presented the group’s rationale as follows:

"After seeing some of my favorite television shows get canceled in the past — as well as the ‘save this show’ campaigns that followed — I had the idea that a fan campaign BEFORE the show begins may be the best thing to do."

Not every Whedon/Dollhouse fan is behind the measure though, with some expressing worry that the efforts are overkill.  Read more about the situation at Wired Blog.

Garbage singer joins Terminator
Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band “Garbage” has joined the cast of Fox’s “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”.  The musician will play Catherine Weaver, chief executive of a cutting-edge high-tech company. [THR]

Manson, might have to tone down wardrobe to pull of CEO look

SCI FI Summer Premiere Dates
The SCI FI Channel has announced the premiere dates for this summer’s new and returning series, including “Ghost Hunters International” (Season two), “Stargate Atlantis” (Season five), “Eureka” (season three) and a new version of “Scare Tactics” (Season three with new host Tracy Morgan). From SCI FI Wire:

  • Ghost Hunters International – Wednesday, July 9th at 9pm.
  • Scare Tactics – Wednesday, July 9th at 10pm (two back-to-back episodes).
  • Stargate Atlantis – Friday, July 11th at 10pm
  • Eureka – Tuesday, July 29th at 9pm.

Lost: Alternate Season Endings
You’ve seen the season four "Lost" finale right?  Well, then check out these two alternate endings to the season (below), plus test your knowledge of "Lost" with this very difficult online (and timed) quiz.




Top 10 SF&F Broadcast Shows   HH Rating/Share
3) Ghost Whisperer 5.6/11
4) Moonlight 4.9/9
5) Smallville 2.5/4
6) Medium (R)   1.7/4
7) Supernatural   1.6/3 (2.54M)
8) Reaper 1.6/2 (2.51M)

5/05/2008 to
– Source: Nielsen Media Research

Top 10 SF&F Syndicated Shows   Rating
Star Trek
Dead Zone  
Stargate SG-1  
Stargate Atlantis  

5/05/2008 to
– Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire

Top 10 SCI FI CHANNEL Shows   Rating  
Never Cry Werewolf  
2) Aztec Rex   1.2  
Battlestar Galactica
Ghost Hunters  

6) Hybrid   
Doctor Who  
Children of the Grave  
Resident Evil: Apocalypse   

5/05/2008 to
– Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire


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Ooops darn caps lock — sorry

Anyone want to listen to an interview of Harlen Ellison–it’s here:

Love that LOST… what fun!

I love these articles on Saturdays. I loom forward to reading them every Saturday. They always have all the news I could ever want concerning the going ons in the TV and Movie entertainment world. Too bad there isn’t a saturday artilce every day, I’d be drooling all over this site, LOL!

Ian Holm is not doing Bilbo? Nooooo!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe they can’t make him look young enough.

How would one find out why he isn’t up for the role?



Two words: FRAGGLE ROCK!!!

6 – I think they think Holm is too old. And he may be from a logistical standpoint, given the physical nature of Bilbo’s role in the story. I would much prefer to see him in the role, though — he was a far better Bilbo than Elijah Wood a Frodo (and, frankly, Holm was also a far better Frodo too — see the 1980s BBC radio production of LOTR).

I don’t really mind them recasting Bilbo, though. What I *do* mind is them recasting him as a 20-something (or even 30-something). Bilbo was well into his 50s when his adventure took place. Can studios really, really not stand to have a hero who looks like he’s actually lived a life? (Indiana Jones notwithstanding, of course).

McAvoy is an excellent actor. But he’s utterly wrong for Bilbo.

The Andromeda Strain Miniseries on A&E
the Teleplay was written by Pulitzer Prize Winner Robert Schenkkan

Robert Schenkkan played the role of Lt. Cmdr. Dexter Remmick in TNG: “Coming of Age” and “Conspiracy”. The character was also seen in the clip show “Shades of Gray”.

Thank God they aren’t replacing Tobey McGuire in Spiderman…and um, Shirley Manson looks kind of fetching in that photo…;-)

A pre-cancellation pre-premiere save our show campaign for Dollhouse? Yeah, that’s a little bit going overboard, I’d say. Sheesh.

5. Mike Uchman
Thanks, Mike. Glad you’re all enjoying these weekly features.

6. Katie G.
If you follow the link we posted for that chat, Del Toro talked a bit about Ian Holm:

“The fact that Ian Holm is SO memorable means that PJ, Fran and PB did their job right. We will utilize him in some fashion for sure but the difficulty of the role will be better assessed after we do the script (s).”

In Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf said on-screen to Bilbo: “You haven’t aged a day …” so all they need is for Ian Holm to look close to how he looked with Fellowship was filmed; that doesn’t seem impossible :(

Ah well; I’ll follow this film wherever it goes, but still …

@ 11

“A pre-cancellation pre-premiere save our show campaign for Dollhouse? Yeah, that’s a little bit going overboard, I’d say. Sheesh.”

agreed , look when it comes down to it , if the people behind a show really want it chanceld then nothing can save it , look at ENT , the even raised money for it , and it was part of star trek , but nothing could help it in the end .

71 mistakes in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” have already been discovered. Check them out for yourself at ”

Yet they miss one of the most obvious continuity errors I immediately noticed:

Spalko fires the hood mounted machine gun at Marion, taking out most of the vehicles windshield. In several subsequent shots the windshield is perfectly intact. When the chase ends, it’s destroyed again.

It reminded me of a similar continuity error in the film “Twister” when a farm machine punches a huge hole in the truck’s windshield (complete with glass break sound effect) and subsequent shots the hole is gone.


I know no one cares but I want Ian Holm back as Bilbo. Why did they cast him in LOTR if they aren’t going to use him again?

When they cast Ian Holm, the LOTR movie project was a huge gamble. No one (in Hollywood at least) knew it would be such a huge success. At the time they were only thinking about trying to pull the LOTR movies off, no one was even thinking about future projects.

BTW, in that one scene in LOTR, where Bilbo finds the ring, they actually used tape to pull back the skin on Ian Holm’s face to make him look a little younger. I think they’d have to do a lot more than that for an entire movie, especially several years later. It would have to involve CGI methods like they used in X-Men United with Stewart and McKellan. That would be way too expensive I think, not to mention that both Jackson and Del Toro have expressed preference of using conventional methods of filming over computers (ie: make-up, animatronics, minitures, etc.).

Having said all that, I also think that McAvoy is wrong for the part. They need someone older that can easily play the same mannerisms Ian Holm played.

Christopher Tolkien is well-known for being a bit cantankerous. There have been lots of newspaper articles about divisions in the Tolkien Estate and among the heirs. Hopefully, in a few years, the legalities will be sorted out and there’ll be films based on other Middle earth books.

Ian Holm, at 77, would be pretty much uninsurable as Bilbo in such a physical role. I’m sure the filmmakers will come up with a good solution.

The people organising the Dollhouse campaign are freaks of nature. They’re their own worst enemy really. They’ll make Dollhouse into a cult before it gets shown and put people off seeing it. Firefly was fun, but the freaks want ape about Serenity.

They then used their web savvy to swing all the public film votes to get it film of the year in various venues, even though no one in the general public bothered to go to the cinema to watch it. Frankly, as a movie, it was unremarkable. I like Whedon’s work, but there’s a bunch of idiots who are doing a good job of driving sane people away!

Good news about Stephen Moffatt courting writers like Neil Gaiman. Britain has produced a large number of excellent sci fi and fantasy writers such as Iain M Banks, Robert Rankin, John Wagner, Alan Grant and Clive Barker. One of my big disappointments with nu-Who is that it failed to use enough of that talent pool!

As much as I would love to see Ian Holm (he was perfect in LOTR) play Bilbo, I agree he’s just too old for the role at this point. I wish loads of luck on whomever is cast, however.

Spider Man 3 SUCKED and they should just let it go already.
Oh well, Hol-ley-wood…

The Star Trek trailer hit the spot! I just hope JJ Abrams puts as much emphasis on story substance as he has on the building of the ship!

I hear Lennord Nimoy has actually found a way of transporting himself through space…….no one has found him though! Maybe they can do teh same thing with the Spiderman Franchise!

At first, like everyone else, I interpreted Disney’s claim that Caspian was hurt by its release day as just more spin. But I was dragged along to Caspian a couple days ago, and, as it turns out (and it was a surprise to me, to be sure) it was an -excellent- movie, head and shoulders above Narnia: TLTWATW. Certainly the best movie I’ve seen this year, and I’ve seen most of them. Highly recommended to ya’ll.

Glad to hear they won’t be shaking Tobey. Does that mean there are more Spider-Man movies definitely in the works? Cause I’ll I’ve heard are rumors.

As for Dr. Who… Neil Gaiman would be great, but, after “Blink”, I’ve taken to wondering why Moffat doesn’t just write every single episode himself. He rules.

@23 – re James Moffat – seconded.

I’ve stopped watching this season as the writing has becoming stunningly bad in the main (that and Catherine Tate seems to be unable to play it straight enough for my tastes, this ain’t Sylverster McCoy land…)

But I’m going to watch this week’s episode on iPlayer when I get a quiet hour.

I was wondering what the difference is between this new “Clone Wars” movie and the older “Clone Wars” animated series.
Is this new one an addition to the old one or a completely different story?
Does the new one replace the old one?
Can anyone help me out with this? Thanks.

^ The new Clone Wars will be cgi and a half hour show on cartoon network.

If they do it the way one rumor has it … with Ian Holm doing voice-over narration reading from “There and Back Again,” then with a younger actor doing the on-screen work, that does at least provide a nice connection and keeps Ian Holm in the project.

But still :(

#25 — The Clone Wars movie will not replace any of the Tartakovsky material from 2003, the stories will cover new ground. Check out the IMDB forums for more info. To many, however, it is clear that the look of the new CW is based on Tartakovsky’s style of drawing, but sort of “revamped” (or “cheapened” depending on your point of view).

Me, I think I’m going to wait for it on DVD. It seems George Lucas owns a piece of my soul, and I can’t keep from watching it, but I also can’t justify paying full ticket price for this installment….

How about the rumored ‘GhostBusters 3’. Maybe it would be a good idea to do the film in 3D/Live similar to Beowolf!

This would allow much richer characters to be developed and flexibility with camera direction etc.

….I do it myself if i wasn’t so busy!!!

Have we all gone on holidays?