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 TheOneRing.net. 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 MovieMistakes.com.
- 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 DollhouseForums.com, 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|
|6) Medium (R)||1.7/4|
|7) Supernatural||1.6/3 (2.54M)|
|8) Reaper||1.6/2 (2.51M)|
5/11/2008 – Source: Nielsen Media Research
|Top 10 SF&F Syndicated Shows||Rating|
5/11/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire
|Top 10 SCI FI CHANNEL Shows||Rating|
Never Cry Werewolf
|2) Aztec Rex||1.2|
Children of the Grave
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
5/11/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire