Yes, I’m aware that I missed by deadline by four days. That’s what happens when real life interferes with… well, life. Anyway, this week the Watch has great news on who’s headlining Vegas Con ’09, J.J. Abrams talking more Fringe, Walter Koenig going nuts, Takei readying his wedding, Dragon*Con photos, and new projects for many Trek alumni.
Shatner and Nimoy headlining Vegas Con ’09
Set phasers to “w00t!” William Shatner (he who was Kirk and might still be Kirk if he didn’t agree to Generations) and Leonard Nimoy (the original Spock) will both be headlining The Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas next year. From the press release:
They’ve been part of our lives for well over forty years: two true superstars that have given us decades of memories that we truly cherish. We’re thrilled to give you the early word that LEONARD NIMOY will be joining WILLIAM SHATNER in headlining The Official STAR TREK Convention 2009 being held on August 6 to 9, 2009 at The Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.
With the release of the STAR TREK feature film (starring Mr. Nimoy returning as Mr. Spock) on May 8th, 2009, The Official STAR TREK Convention 2009 should be the biggest, best and most exciting Star Trek convention in years!
CHUD: Koenig is insane?
CHUD.com writer Brian Thompson probably thinks Walter Koenig (the original Chekov) should take some advice from Wil Wheaton: “Don’t be a dick.” In his latest blog, Thompson says that Koenig got a little upset at Dragon*Con when the convention folk were having difficulty locating a DVD projector to screen the Star Trek: Phase II film “Blood and Fire”. Thompson explains:
…the Trek Trak had to stall while they scoured the convention for a DVD projector. Their solution? Tear George Takei and Walter Koenig away from a dinner date and force them to sit in front of the smelly throng for a few minutes. … Koenig was more visibly annoyed … who can blame him? But his little outburst was kind of off-putting. While someone was answering a question about how wonderful and inspirational Star Trek can be, Koenig started shouting, “This cannot be tolerated! This cannot be tolerated!” It was like a scene from ”Rain Man”, and no one knew what to do. The room went silent while we tried to figure out what exactly could not be tolerated. Turns out one of the trak goons trying to untangle some audio cables in his peripheral vision set him off.
UPDATE: Cawley responds
In the comments section below, Star Trek Phase II producer/star James Cawley clears things up
Mr. Thompson is being very disrespectful to Walter Koenig, and he needs to get his facts straight!
I was there seated right next to him and George. Walter became upset because as we were trying to listen and answer the fans, a Dragon Con staff member was talking quite loudly to another staffer and they were immediately to our left and made it quite difficult to hear the questions being asked! I am Sorry but that is just plain rude, and should not have happened Walter was in his right to speak up, and demand they stop.
Also,, Walter and George were not dragged away from dinner to be at the panel, to cover for a missing projector, They were both scheduled to be there, Just check your dragon con info and you will see that to be true .
Yes, the Dragon con folks had some projector issues, but that was totally unrelated to anything else that this Mr. Thompson claims.
Koenig signs at Dragon Con (photo: Caren Cey)
George Takei on Heroes, Trek, weddings and more
In a new video interview from Dragon*Con, George Takei (the original Sulu) talks about everything from country music, to running, to Heroes, to how he chooses to embrace his Sulu-ness.
In an other interview with Southern Voice, the actor talks about his childhood internment, sexuality, and his upcoming marriage to Brad Altman in an interview, including describing his upcoming nuptials thusly:
It’s going to be a somewhat of a show bizzy, musical comedy oriented. As a matter of fact, our wedding march is going to be ‘One Singular Sensation’ from ‘Chorus Line’, so it might be a little bit toutou, but it’s who we are; we love musicals.
More stars at Dragon Con
Speaking of Dragon*Con, here are some more photos from flckr.
Michael Dorn (photo: CommandLine)
Avery Brooks (photo: Harabi)
Tim Russ (photo: Tim Dorr)
Cirron Lofton (photo: Tim Dorr)
Dominic Keating (photo: Pensive)
Ethan Phillips (photo: Patcave)
JJ talks ‘Fringe’ + named top inventive mind
J.J. Abrams, the director and producer of the new Star Trek movie, continues to promote his new TV show Fringe in a new interview. Talking with reporters via phone, Abrams explained the show’s stance on real science:
On Fringe, we very consciously did what is in many ways a preposterous, out there, far-fetched scientific story point in order to say to the audience, “This is what you’re going to be getting on the show.” Now it may be more extreme in some cases, less so in others. Some shows, I think … will deal with science very much as it exists. But I think for the most part the fun about it for me with movies and TV shows, especially in the genre of either horror or sci-fi, is that pushing of the envelope and going further than you might otherwise. I think the show will definitely be pushing the edge of the envelope, but I don’t think it’s going to be about that. I don’t think we’re going to be trying to top ourselves every week because then we’ll just be in a race against ourselves and then there’s no way to win that one … I would rather be delving into who these people are and what makes them tick than doing something just for shock value.
On his own expectations of the show, Abrams says:
I can say that it’s one of those shows that if I had nothing to do with it and saw it coming out, I’d want to kill myself. I’d be so miserable because it is so the show that I’d want to watch … That doesn’t mean that it’s good or bad. It just means it is so the kind of show that I am excited to see. Write the show that you desperately want to see and that is the closest you can get to certainty that it will appeal to a lot of people.
Stewart honoring Fleming, Ian Fleming + Gervais talks working with the captain
Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) must be a James Bond fan. According to Playbill, Stewart is among the many celebrities who will participate in The Story of James Bond: A Tribute to Ian Fleming at the London Palladium on October 5th to honor the late creator of the world’s most famous secret agent. There will be performances of the many Bond theme songs as well as a sneak peak at the next Bond adventure, Quantum of Solace. In the meantime, over at The Times, actor Ricky Gervais described what it was like to work with Stewart during the first season of Extras:
The funniest corpsing moments we had on set were with Patrick Stewart, of Star Trek and X-Men. He had to say these awful things, and every time we looked at each other we burst into laughter. It was just so childish and adolescent. I think it took us 40 takes to get that one down.
For the record, here is the scene Gervaise is talking about. Try not to laugh, I dare you.
You can read more of Abrams’ interview at BlogCritics Magazine and Wired. In other Abrams news, he and Family Guy creator/Enterprise cameo-maker/Trekkie Seth MacFalane were named by the National Post as two of TV’s most inventive minds. Congrats, JJ!
Nicholas Meyer to write George Washington biopic
Star Trek movie writer, director, and producer Nicholas Meyer has been tapped to write a screenplay on the life of George Washington. The company producing the film just happens to be called – wait for it – Vulcan Productions, which is owned by well-known Trekkie (and Microsoft co-founder) Paul Allen. The goal of the film will be to “present a historically accurate and compelling view of America’s early years and its first president”, according to the press release from Business Wire. Meyer himself is highly knowledgable of American history and Washington’s life, making him the perfect choice to write the film. Commenting on the project, Meyer says:
The myths created by Washington’s remarkable achievements are so ingrained in our thinking that people forget he was a man – an extraordinarily complicated man whose personal life was defined by powerful contradictions and passions. I’ve studied the man for decades and look forward to telling the story of the real Washington.
Brent Spiner = Andy Kaufman?
Has Brent Spiner (Data) gone Andy Kaufman? That’s what io9 is asking since they can’t figure out whether or not Spiner is being serious with his latest venture, the CD play Dreamland. Spiner’s roles in awful films like Superhero Movie and Material Girls certainly doesn’t help. Adding to the confusion is a pretty twisted 43-minute interview Spiner did at The Bat Segundo Show, which you can listen to at EdRants.com. Enjoy that.
Burton joins film festival jury + premiering new film
LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) will chair the German Independence Award jury at the 15th International Filmfest Oldenburg Sept. 10-14, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He will also be presenting his film Reach for Me, which stars Seymour Cassel (Lt. Cmdr. Hester Dealt in TNG’s “The Child”).
Echevarria making a ‘Return’
TNG/DS9 writer/producer René Echevarria is developing a science fiction project for ABC with Greg Berlanti (creator and exec producer of Eli Stone). Variety says this new show is called The Return (as was 20 or so films) and that it revolves around the impact on the world when aliens land. It may just be me, but that sounds like the same plot used in hundreds of other movies and TV shows… so I’m going to assume there is a bit more to it than that. In any case, Echevarria and Berlanti will both be executive producing the show.
Combs done with ‘Dunwich’ but not walking up to ‘Doorstep’
It turns out that veteran Trek actor and horror movie regular Jeffrey Combs (Brunt, Weyoun, Shran, etc.) can also be scared away from projects. In a new interview with Fangoria, the actor says he has completed work on a new adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story The Dunwich Horror entitled The Darkest Evil, which was filmed in Louisiana. However, one Lovecraftian movie he won’t be a part of is The Thing on the Doorstep, despite the fact it is being directed by Stuart Gordon whom Combs worked with on several other Lovecraft adaptations, most notably Re-Animator. Combs explained his reasons for not stepping up to Doorstep thusly:
It has a lot of sex. It’s kind of wall-to-wall, because the whole idea is that people get infected by having sex, and so everybody is doing it. And I just said, ‘Stuart, no, thank you,’ because I know how it breaks down and how it is on set, and I didn’t really want to be in that world. … I’m married, and I don’t wanna do that. … It was just too much, it was like, ‘And then they’re writhing, and then they’re humping some more, and then they build to a climax, and then they climax, and sweat…” I wish him all the best with that one, but not every project’s right for me.
In more Combs news, his movie Parasomnia will debut at Screamfest on October 17th, according to Shock Till You Drop. Oh, and one last thing: Combs turns 54 on September 9th (that’s tomorrow, folks), so we at TrekMovie.com wish him a very happy birthday!
Forbes gets ‘True Blood’
Ever wanted to see Michelle Forbes (Ro Laren) in a show about vampires? If so, then you’re in luck my, strange-minded friend! According to Variety, Forbes has landed a regular role – not a recurring role or a guest spot, but a regular role – on HBO’s new vamp series True Blood. Of course, this raises the question as to what will become of her role on HBO’s In Treatment, which begins shooting its second season very soon.
Todd bails on album narrative
He is known for his roles in many horror films, most notably the title role in Candyman. So it’s pretty hard to imagine anything scaring away Tony Todd, but that is apparently just what heavy metal band Cradle of Filth did. Band frontman Dani Filth tells MTV.com how they enlisted Todd to narrate the story of 15th century serial killer Gille de Rais as part of their new concept album, Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder. According to Filth, Todd came into the studio, read a few lines from actual court transcripts, and then bolted without even looking back. Filth speculates as to what may have scared Todd off:
…he wasn’t actually filled in on what it was all about. He’d obviously heard the band’s name and knew that we were a black-metal band and all the horror stories that sort of surround that thing. But when he read some of Gilles’ words, he probably thought, ‘Oh my God — what is this band advocating?’ He wasn’t told that this is an in-depth, well-researched record and that we’re not glorifying anything. It’s just a dark fairy tale. He started reading stuff about beheading children and probably thought that we were advocating that.
- John Schuck (Trek IV & VI’s Klingon ambassador, etc.) will star in Maynard Dixon’s Arizona and Armin Shimernan (Quark) stars in Copland and Me, both as part of the Chamber Music PLUS Southwest’s Rhythms of Life series in Tucson, Arizona. (AZStarnet.com, ChamberMusicPlus.org)
- Remember, Rene Auberjonois (Odo) will be a guest at this year’s Reunion 6 at the Quality Hotel Walsall in West Midlands, England, Sept. 12-14. (Reunion 6)
- The Broadway revival of Equus starring Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) and that Harry Potter kid began its previews on September 5th. The show officially opens September 25th. (Playbill)
- American Violet, a film starring Alfre Woodard (Lily Sloane), was screened at the Tellerude Film Festival this weekend. (Variety)
- Actress Cathy DeBuono (M’Pella, etc., on DS9) will be attending the Outflix Film Festival in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 6th for a screening new show 3Way. (Out in Nashville)
- Eric Bana (Nero in 2009’s Trek) attended a ceremony honoring his father-in-law, retiring Chief Justice Murray Gleeson. Bana kept a low profile, minding the children and posing for photos. (The Canberra Times)
- F. Murray Abraham (Ru’Afo) will read passages from Don Quijote de la Manch for a musical narrative hosted by The Friends of Chamber Music. (KansasCity.com)
- Abraham’s Insurrection co-star Gregg Henry (Gallatin) is directing Mermaids, Monsters, and the World Painted Purple, which performs at the Kennedy Center Oct. 10-26. (TheaterMania)
- An adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World by Alien Voices co-founders John de Lancie (Q) and Nat Segaloff will run May 13-17 as part of the LA Theatre Works’ 2008-2009 season. (Playbill)
- John Fleck (Silik, etc.) will perform in a comic play called Side Effects May Include… at the Face of the World Festival in Los Angeles from September 19-21. (Downtown LA Scene)
- Delgo, an independently-produced CGI-animated film featuring the voices of Sally Kellerman (Dr. Elizabeth Dehner) and Malcolm McDowell (Dr. Tolian Soran), is set for theatrical release on December 12th. (Hollywood Reporter)
- Rick Worthy (ENT’s Jannar, various other Trek characters) will be reprising his role as Simon the Cylon for the Battlestar Galactica movie currently in the works. (Chicago Tribune)
- Veteran Trek guest star Richard Riehle will star in a dark comedy film called Little Big Top. (The Northwest Indiana and Illinois Times)
- Stephen Collins (Will Decker) ends his run as King Arthur in Broadway’s Spamalot on September 16th. (Broadway.com)
- Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan) ended her run on Broadway’s Xanadu tonight, September 7th. (Broadway World)
- Tom Hardy (Shinzon) attended the premiere of his film RocknRolla at London’s Odeon West End on September 1st. Well, it’s not his film, but he’s in it. (Variety)
- Author Peter S. Beagle, scripter of TNG’s “Sarek,” spoke and read stories at the Gadsden Public Library in Gadsden, Alabama on September 2nd. (The Gadsden Times)
- Ashley Judd, who played Robin Lefler in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, will be acting alongside one-time Star Trek: Voyager guest star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (the Pendari champ in “Tsunkatse”) in the family comedy Tooth Fairy. (Variety)
In Memoriam: Mel Harris
One of the unsung heroes of Star Trek: The Next Generation has died. Variety reports that TV exec Mel Harris succumed to cancer on Saturday, aged 65. Harris spearheaded the launch of TNG, reviving the Trek franchise while also helping to modernize the firstrun syndication business.