The ripples of Summer 08 are already starting–while work on the Iron Man sequel starts, the success of The Dark Knight gets WB to rethink the future, including Superman. In TV news The Stargate franchise is also headed for a Trek-like rethink, while David Hasselhoff is ready for his own reboot. All that plus tons more news, pics and videos below.
Superman Reboot Confirmed
Looks like Mark Millar wasn’t too far off after all. After Variety reported early last week that there was some discussion going on behind-the-scenes at Warner Bros. about the direction of "Superman: Man of Steel", Jeff Robinov has now confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that the studio will be rebooting the Superman franchise and that the direction of the film, as well as the studio’s other upcoming superhero movies will take on a darker more brooding tone similar to that of "The Dark Knight":
Warner Bros. also put on hold plans for another movie starring multiple superheroes — known as “Batman vs. Superman” — after the $215 million “Superman Returns,” which had disappointing box-office returns, didn’t please executives. “‘Superman’ didn’t quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to,” says Mr. Robinov. “It didn’t position the character the way he needed to be positioned.” “Had ‘Superman’ worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for Christmas of this year or 2009,” he adds. “But now the plan is just to reintroduce Superman without regard to a Batman and Superman movie at all.”
There is no word if Bryan Singer or any of the other cast and crew of "Superman Returns" will be a part of the new Superman reboot. Robinov added that the plans are for DC Comics to supply material for up to four films he hopes Warner Bros. will have by 2011.:
The studio is set to announce its plans for future DC movies in the next month. For now, though, it is focused on releasing four comic-book films in the next three years, including a third Batman film, a new film reintroducing Superman, and two movies focusing on other DC Comics characters. Movies featuring Green Lantern, Flash, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman are all in active development.
The article further notes that Warner Bros. is quietly adopting Marvel’s model for releasing a single film for each character and then using those movies and their sequels to build up a multi-character film (such as "Justice League").
Writing on The Hobbit and Sequel Underway
TheOneRing.net is reporting that writing on "The Hobbit" and its sequel has gotten underway. "The Lord of the Rings" team Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens will be joined by Guillermo del Toro to write the screenplays for both movies. Shooting may begin as early as the fall of 2009 in New Zealand. Del Toro made the announcement while participating in a telephone Q&A for his latest film ‘Hellboy II’, describing the process as something "beautiful". Variety confirmed the news in an article which reveals that all four collaborators have officially signed on to the project. "The Hobbit" has been scheduled for a December 2011 release and its sequel will follow in December 2012. In other Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit-related news, TheOneRing.net has an update on the Tolkien lawsuit. Read it at this link.
WB Addresses Potter Fans + Script Leaks and New Trailer News
Something Trekkies can relate to —
fans of Harry Potter were quite angered by Warner Bros. decision to delay the latest film, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" from November of this year to July of 2009. Because of that, Warner Bros. President and Chief Operating Officer Alan Horn was forced to address the issue. Here’s the statement:
Many of you have written to me to express your disappointment in our moving "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" to Summer 2009.
Please be assured that we share your love for Harry Potter and would certainly never do anything to hurt any of the films. Over the past 10 years, we have nurtured and protected each film, and the integrity of the books upon which they are based, to the best of our ability.
The decision to move "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was not taken lightly, and was never intended to upset our Harry Potter fans. We know you have built this series into what it is, and we thank you for your ongoing enthusiasm and support.
If I may offer a silver lining: there would have been a two-year gap between "Half-Blood Prince" and the much-anticipated first part of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which opens in November 2010.
So although we have to wait a little longer for "Half-Blood Prince," the wait from that film until "Deathly Hallows" will be less than 18 months. I am sorry to have disappointed you now, but if you hold on a little longer, I believe it will be worth the wait.
President, Chief Operating Officer
Saddened by the delay? Craving some new Potter spoilers? Check this out. Sections of the script have been leaked online via a user on IMDB who works/worked as a PA on the film. Check out some highlights at this link. More Potter news includes a recap of Daniel Radcliffe’s "TimesTalk" Q&A with the New York Times courtesy SnitchSeeker.com and news that Warner Bros. has sent in a new trailer to the BBFC for approval. The trailer runs 1 minute and 30 seconds in length.
Jon Favreau Begins Work on Iron Man 2
Jon Favreau, director of the year’s second highest-grossing film "Iron Man", told the Los Angeles Times that he has already begun work its sequel, "Iron Man 2", which he will return to direct:
I just talked to Jon Favreau a bit ago, and he said that while there hasn’t been an formal announcement on the sequel to “Iron Man,” he’s begun developing it. “We’re working on it now,” he said, “which hasn’t been officially announced. It will be released in 2010.”
Arnold Terminator Cameo Update + More Hints from McG
There’s been some buzz lately about a possible cameo from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator Salvation" and the latest comes from producer Moritz Borman who hinted to Wired that Arnold will not be in the film "as a person", suggesting a voice-only cameo. Although when pressed, he left the door open for a larger presence:
"I’m not going to answer the question about what we’re trying, or what we want, or what we’re toying with," said Borman. "It’s really up to what fits in the film or not. Maybe his voice, or maybe not. It’s really not settled.
In other ‘T4’ news, director McG told MTV that one of the projects that the film would try to emulate was the book "The Road": “I gave all the actors ‘The Road’ to read to get their heads right bout this sort of existential detachment that living in a post apocalyptic world would bring,” McG revealed. “We’re in a very large post apocalyptic environment. The bombs have gone off and there’s very little left. People are wandering through lonely landscapes. We want to capture that by way of David Lean photographic expanses, so you think you’re looking at ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’ So far, so good.” And in a separate interview with MTV, McG says that the title "Terminator Salvation" holds a key to deciphering the plot, teasing: "Even though we may sin, ultimately we deserve a second chance,” adding "Sometimes life is worth living when you make sacrifices so others may benefit.”
Watchmen DVD Could be 3-Hours; Future Release Even Longer
While the theatrical release of "Watchmen" likely won’t be three hours, co-creator of the graphic novel Dave Gibbons, speaking at the British Film Institute, revealed that an even longer version could be released on DVD:
Dave has seen a 2 hour, 45 minute rough assembly of the – in his words – “very sexy, very violent” movie which he expects will receive an 18 certificate from the British censor. There’s no Black Freighter animation, that will be released as a separate ‘Animatrix’ style DVD and probably (eventually) be remarried with the live action film in a future ‘Absolute Watchmen’ DVD release.
Babylon A.D. (more at this link)
Friday the 13th
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (more at this link)
Land of the Lost (Not confirmed as official–Source)
Night at the Museum 2: Escape from the Smithsonian (more at this link)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (more at this link)
Episode 1: File No. 1 Eyes Wide Open
Episode 2: File No. 2 Tug of War
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
It’s Alive (Remake)
- Despite all the rumored issues behind-the-scenes of the production of "The Punisher: War Zone", including that the film would be released with a PG-13 rating, all indications are now that the film will indeed remain R-Rated. [Screenrant]
- New Regency has put "Voltron: Defender of the Universe" into turnaround. According to Variety, Relativity Media is in negotiations to back the property, but under a "more moderate budget, utilizing the type of cost-effective technology employed in films including "300".
- There’s a RUMOR going around that Tom Rothman is going around "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" director Gavin Hood in an attempt to make the movie more kid-friendly. [Hollywood-Elsewhere]
- There will not be a 3rd direct-to-video "X-Files" film, that according to producer Frank Spotnitz who wrote on his blog: "the rumor is false. The Internet report you read is completely made up."
- Quint of AICN talks with the producers of "Child’s Play" where they discuss the upcoming new special edition DVD as well as the still-pending remake. [AICN]
- Sony is looking to remake the 1980’s horror classic "Candyman". [ShockTillYouDrop]
- A new documentary on Jason, entitled "His Name Was Jason" will premiere on Starz next February, in time for the February 13th release of "Friday the 13th". Daniel Farrands, editor of the book "Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th" is in charge of the documentary. [Cinematical]
- Click this link to download the complete script of "The Dark Knight". Among one of the highlights [SPOILERS] is confirmation that Harvey Dent/Two-Face did indeed die at the end of the film. [JoBlo]
- Tom Cruise and Sam Raimi are teaming up to develop an adaptation of the comic book "Sleeper". According to THR, the comic book series (2003-2005) centers on an operative whose fusion with an alien artifact makes him impervious to pain and allows him to pass it on to others through skin contact. Cruise may star. For more details, check out this interview with creator Ed Brubaker.
- There’s an article up over at THR detailing the difficulties behind the release of what will be the late Heath Ledger’s final film, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus". In related news, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law, who are replacing Ledger in the film, will be will be making Matilda, the daughter of Michelle Williams and Ledger, the beneficiary of the salaries of the three actors. [Hello Magazine]
- Alex Proyas ("Knowing, "Dark City") will write and direct a movie based on "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag". The story centers on a man who becomes increasingly disturbed when he realizes he cannot account for his activities during the day, or even what he does for a living. A title change is likely. The budget will be in the $40-50M range. [THR]
- The writing duo of Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander are in negotiations with Columbia Pictures to write the live-action big-screen adaptation of the children’s horror series "Goosebumps". [THR]
- MGM Domestic Television Distribution has acquired the option to develop the online-based graphic novel series "The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore" into a possible TV series. [SCI FI Wire]
- Director John Moore tells MTV that he had such a great time working with Mark Wahlberg on "Max Payne" that he would like to work with the actor on his zombie-themed film "Virulents".
- Rachel Taylor ("Transformers") will not be in the sequel. The actress says that while the role was a "great experience", it’s "not quite what I want to do" and it would defeat the purpose of becoming a better actor "if I was just going to become a ‘Transformers’ girl.” [MTV]
- MGM has hired Juliet Snowden and Stiles White ("Knowing") to script their upcoming planned remake of the 1982 supernatural classic "Poltergeist". [Variety]
- The Steven Niles comic "Wake the Dead" is hitting the big-screen courtesy director Jay Russell and some help from WETA, who is doing the designs. Niles, who is helping out as a producer, says that Russell hopes to have the movie ready for next year’s Comic-Con International. [MTV]
- Don’t put much stock in those rumors reporting that 20th Century Fox is looking to shut down production on their big-screen adaptation of "Dragonball". According to the Film Junk report, execs at Fox are reportedly displeased with the recent footage they’ve seen, but Movieweb reports through a very close source that the rumor is completely untrue with their source saying what they’ve seen looks "pretty darn awesome. There is certainly talk about a sequel. I have no doubt that it will happen. I’m sure that it will be a trilogy."
- Nicolas Cage has been cast as a former cop named Big Daddy in Matthew Vaughn’s independently financed adaptation of the comic book series "Kick Ass". Aaron Johnson and Lyndsy Fonseca were also cast in the film. [THR].
Stargate Atlantis Canceled, But Movies Planned + Stargate Universe Greenlit; Premieres in Summer 2009
A big weekend in world of Stargate. Though SCI FI and MGM have announced that the current fifth season will be its last, the show will live on via direct-to-video releases, a venture that has proven successful thus far with "Stargate: The Ark of Truth" and "Stargate Continuum". The "Stargate Atlantis" movie (codenamed Project Twilight) will be shown on the SCI FI channel in 2009 followed by a release on DVD (and presumably Blu-ray Hi-Def) shortly thereafter: “We’re excited to tell Atlantis stories on a bigger canvas,” Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, co-creators of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis and currently executive producers on Atlantis, said in a statement. Just a day after the confirmation of the cancellation and movie reveal, the network announced that they had given a greenlight to the third spin-off in the franchise, "Stargate Universe". The show will debut with a two-hour movie in 2009, followed by weekly installments in the summer:
“We’ve had great success with ‘Enterprise’ repeats on Monday night, and there’s clearly an appetite for space opera as ‘Battlestar’ goes away,” Sci Fi president Dave Howe said. “There’s an opportunity to keep the space opera as part of our programming strategy.”
Said co-creators Wright and Cooper: “In ‘Universe,’ we plan to keep those elements that have made the franchise a success, such as adventure and humor, while breaking new ground in the relationships between mostly young and desperate explorers, thrust together and far from home. Above all, we believe the Stargate itself remains an enduring icon with infinite potential as a jumping-off point for telling stories.”
Here’s the complete description of the show (and yes, this surely does sound a good deal like "Star Trek: Voyager"):
After unlocking the mystery of the Stargate’s ninth chevron, a team of explorers travels to an unmanned starship called the Destiny, launched by The Ancients at the height of their civilization as a grand experiment set in motion, but never completed.
What starts as a simple reconnaissance turns into a never ending mission, as the Stargate Universe crew discovers the ship is unable to return to Earth, and they must now fend for themselves aboard the Destiny.
The crew will travel to the far reaches of the universe, connecting with each of the previously launched Stargates, thus fulfilling the Destiny’s original mission. Challenges will arise though as the ship comes into range of Stargates placed centuries ahead of the Destiny and the crew is unable to control the ship’s navigational schedule. If someone is left behind, there is no way to go back for them, adding to the drama of encountering new races, enemies and adventures.
The Hoff Returning to Knight Rider
David Hasselhoff, star of the original "Knight Rider" TV series, is making final arrangements for an appearance on the new NBC series. Executive producer Gary Scott Thompson told SCI FI Wire during a set visit that the actor could even show up as a surprising car:
"He may make an appearance later this season," Thompson said in an interview on the show’s set in Santa Clarita, Calif. "He is talking to NBC next week, and we are working out everyone’s schedule … I don’t want to put him in just for the sake of having him drop by; I want there to be a good reason for him being there and have it be part of the story. I talked to David about a way of doing that, and so far he likes it. It’s a cool idea."
Thompson (Las Vegas) added that he has a dream scenario: Teaming Hasselhoff’s Michael Knight with Justin Bruening’s Mike Tracer, with both K.I.T.T.s: The original Pontiac Trans Am, originally voiced by William Daniels, and the Ford Mustang GT500KR, voiced by Val Kilmer. "I don’t know if it will happen," Thompson said. "It’s all about timing."
Hasselhoff had a cameo in the two-hour pilot movie that aired in February of this year and has recently suggested that he didn’t think the new show would work without him, or at least his input. Thompson say’s those quotes are outdated:
"Those were old quotes," Thompson said. "He doesn’t feel that way anymore. … I just talked with David the other day over breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel and explained to him in great detail what we had planned for the show, and he said he liked it and gave his approval."
Virtuality Characters Unveiled
SCI FI Wire has put up a new report from the Vancouver, Canada set of "Virtuality", the Sci-Fi pilot "Battlestar Galactica’s" Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor. The two-hour backdoor pilot will air on the network sometime in 2009 as a movie. While few details on the plot of the show were revealed, SCI FI Wire did manage to get the scoop on the show’s central characters:
- Frank Pike (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). The mission commander. Ex-military. Coster-Waldau reported that Pike has re-created a Civil War battle in his virt module and reruns it often, trying to solve a particular historical puzzle.
- Roger Fallon (James D’Arcy). Psychiatrist. A gifted therapist and producer of an onboard reality show in which the crew members are obligated to take part, the price of their interstellar voyage. Though those two jobs might sound incompatible, Taylor said that he combines his tasks with aplomb.
- Rika Godard (Sienna Guillory). Botanist, in charge of the hydroponics. Fallon’s wife, though Guillory said that her character is having an affair with someone on the ship.
- Manny Rodriguez (Jose Pablo Cantillo). Mathematician and superstring theorist.
- Valentin Orlovsky (Gene Farber). Geologist and Rodriguez’s partner.
- Kenji Yamamoto (Nelson Lee). Exobiologist. Married to Alice Thibadeau. Writer/producer Taylor described them as a young couple, very much in love and having something of a second honeymoon on the ship.
- Alice Thibadeau (Joy Bryant). Exobiologist, but with a different specialty from her husband.
- Jimmy Johnson (Ritchie Coster). Inventor of the matter/antimatter weapons technology used to propel the ship. In a wheelchair because of an accident in his past. Coster described his character as "an agent of chaos." He’s vital to the mission’s success, which is apparently the only reason anyone puts up with him.
- Julius "Jules" Braun (Erik Jensen). Longtime NASA scientist, designer of the ship and navigator.
- Adin Meyer (Omar Metwally). Ship’s doctor. Born in the West Bank of Israeli and Palestinian parentage.
- Billie Kashmiri (Kerry Bishe). Computer expert. Interfaces with the ship’s artificial intelligence, which is named Gene. Or perhaps Jean. Taylor declined to say whether the personality is male or female.
- Sue Parsons (Clea DuVall). Ship’s pilot. An ex-fighter pilot and very much into physical activity. Her virt modules are mainly about extreme sports.
- The Green-Eyed Man (Jimmi Simpson). Secrecy surrounded this character, though SCI FI Wire notes that he was trying on costumes and was briefed on a fight sequence by a pair of stunt performers.
Final Half of Battlestar Galactica Will Include Webisodes
The later half of the fourth and final season of "Battlestar Galactica" will be accompanied by another set of "The Resistance"-style webisodes:
"Yes, we are doing webisodes but when they are premiering I am not positive", executive producer David Eick told Newsarama. "Like the webisodes we have done before, they will continue on the story threads that don’t make the cut. I don’t want to give too much away but they are going to follow the same paradigm as we’ve done before."
- Laurence Fishburne ("The Matrix" trilogy) has signed on to CBS’s "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation". Fishburne will replace William Peterson–who leaves the show as a regular after the 10th episode–as the lead actor. [Yahoo!]
- Sigourney Weaver will be making a guest appearance on the ABC drama "Eli Stone". She’ll play a therapist who treats Eli. [EW]
- Sticking with "Eli Stone", the UK Sci Fi Channel has picked up the UK rights to the TV series. [Digital Spy]
- The latest additions to TheWB.com include three fan-favorite Sci-Fi Shows: "Angel", "Babylon 5" and "Firefly". They join already announced sci-fi shows "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Roswell" and "Smallville". [THR]
- "Smallville" fans take note of these two new interviews with stars Allison Mack and Justin Hartley courtesy Collider.com.
NEW TV IMAGES
Chuck (more at this link)
Dollhouse (more at this link)
Eleventh Hour (more at this link)
Ghost Whisperer (more at this link)
Knight Rider (more at this link)
Stargate Atlantis (more at this link)
NEW TV VIDEOS
Fringe (click here for video of a photo shoot)
- Registration for the 2009 San Diego Comic Con International has already begun. Next year’s event will take place from Thursday July 23rd through Sunday, July 27th (with a preview night on Wednesday, July 22nd). [Comic-Con]
- A U.S. District Court judge in California has denied a motion by Warner Bros. to dismiss a lawsuit by 20th Century Fox, concluding that “Fox could hold some of the rights to the material, even if it did not hold all rights.”. Now, while "Watchmen" fans are furious with Fox, the studio actually contacted WB before the film went into production. For much more on the situation, check out DHD, Variety and EW. Also, if you’re interested in this sort of thing, here’s a link to all the "Watchmen" contracts and court documents.
- The Batmobile used in "Batman Returns" is being auctioned off at the 38th annual Kruse International Auction (August 28th-September 2nd). It’s the 3rd of 5 Batmobiles used during the filming of the film. The vehicle is expected to sell in the $500,000+ range. [Kruse]
- Check out three clips from the upcoming three-disc Collector’s Edition of "The Nightmare Before Christmas", which hits store shelves next week and several new never-before-seen photos at this link. SCI FI Wire also has a look into the special features of the DVD/Blu-ray at this link.
- 2K Games has announced that the PS3 version of "Bioshock" will be released in North America on October 21st and internationally on October 24th. The game will feature some new features not in the PC and Xbox 360 versions, including a new "Survivor" difficulty mode. [1Up]
- David Michelinie, who has been tasked along with Bob Layton to write "Iron Man: The End", gave Comic Book Resources a glimpse into what’s to be expected on the comic book.
- Click on the following titles for details on their upcoming DVD or Blu-ray (or both) releases: "Knight Rider: The Complete Series", "Halloween", "Firefly: The Complete Series", "Reaper: Season One", "Hellboy II: Curse of the Golden Army", "The Incredible Hulk", "300" and "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian".
|Top 10 SF&F Broadcast Shows||HH Rating/Share|
Ghost Whisperer (R)
|3) Eli Stone (R)||1.6/3|
|4) Smallville (R)||1.2/2|
|5) Supernatural (R)||1.1/2|
|6) Reaper (R)||0.7/1|
8/3/2008 – Source: Nielsen Media Research
|Top 10 SF&F Syndicated Shows||Rating|
|1) Stargate SG-1||0.9|
|2) Star Trek||0.8|
|3) The Dead Zone||0.6|
|4) Stargate Atlantis||0.6|
8/3/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire
|Top 10 SCI FI CHANNEL Shows||Rating|
|2) Ghost Hunters International||1.6|
6) Stargate Atlantis
7) Dragon Sword
|8) Scare Tactics||1.0|
|9) Doctor Who||1.0|
|10) Star Trek: The Next Generation||0.9|
8/3/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire