This week we have lots of drama from the spring/early summer movies with the Watchmen suit settled, Terminator cameo news and Wolverine reshoots, plus the usual collection of previews, including the cool looking Moon. In TV news the new Stargate premiere has moved, Fox has news on Fringe, Dollhouse and more, and there is talk of movies for Pushing Daisies and Jericho!
Fox and WB Settle Watchmen Suit – Film A Go For March 6th
Fans need not worry further, Fox and WB have settled their dispute over the rights to "Watchmen" and the film will hit theaters, as planned, on March 6, 2009. Here’s the joint statement:
Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox have resolved their dispute regarding the rights to the upcoming motion picture Watchmen in a confidential settlement. Warner Bros acknowledges that Fox acted in good faith in bringing its claims, which were asserted prior to the start of principal photography. Fox acknowledges that Warner Bros. acted in good faith in defending against those claims Warner Bros. and Fox, like all Watchmen fans, look forward with great anticipation to this film’s March 6 release in theatres.
Details of the settlement were originally unknown, but the secrecy didn’t last long. Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood Daily reports that in addition to some up front cash to Fox that includes "recoupment of its development costs and attorney fees", WB will have to give Fox 8.5% of the film’s gross and Fox will have a piece of the franchise from this moment forward in the event WB decides to do a sequel or spin-off (doubtful as it that may be). Variety’s sources report that the upfront payment will be between $5 and $10 million (which covers the $1.4 million the the studio invested in development fees and other legal fees). Variety differs a bit on the gross participation, putting the number at between 5% and 8.5% of the final gross, depending on worldwide box office. With that drama out of the way, check out this brand new TV spot for the film. Plus, WB has launched a new website which you can check out here.
another video here
Wolverine Heading for Re-Shoots; Jackman Responds to Fan Concerns
Fox has announced that they have begun conducting extensive re-shoots for "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". While it’s hard to say if this is a good or bad development — it was actually planned for from as far back as October 2008 — star Hugh Jackman sent the following e-mail to Ain’t It Cool News to quell fan concerns:
Hey everyone –
It’s Hugh Jackman, sending this note from freezing Vancouver. I have read a lot of your online comments regarding the footage that we are currently shooting and I share your passion for the Wolverine character and the movie – I owe it all to you guys!
I wanted to reach out and let you know that due to scheduling conflicts with certain cast members and location/weather considerations, we had to wait until now to shoot a couple of scenes. Please rest assured that WOLVERINE will be badass and hopefully meet all of your expectations. I am stoked by the positive response to the teaser, which clearly reflects the tone and scope of the film. If you like that, we’ve got much more in store!
In the meantime, here’s an exclusive shot of some characters you may recognize…
and here’s the shot:
Linda Hamilton and Arnold Cameos Terminator Cameos? + more images
During a recent presentation for "Terminator Salvation", director McG was asked by producer Dan Lin what surprises the film may have in store, and he replied: "I can’t talk about it. I can’t talk about the governor of California." Hmm. I wonder what that means… In other cameo news, ComingSoon.net is reporting that there’s a possibility that Sarah Connor may appear in the film:
"After the presentation was over, we talked with McG at the cocktail reception that followed and asked him whether he planned on doing any sort of recap of the first two movies as an introduction for those who didn’t get a chance to see them. He said they were still trying to figure out what to do, but one option they came up with was to have Sarah Connor do a voiceover to open the movie."
McG confirmed that bit of news to SCI FI Wire. Latino Review also has an extensive write up on the event, including impressions of the video footage screened. Here are some tidbits from the presentation:
- This is the first Terminator film where there is no time travel involved in the story. Marcus is apparently from the past (our present day) and has been altered somehow.
- Even though this film tells the story of John Connor it is very much the story of young Kyle Reese ("Star Trek’s" Anton Yelchin) and how he becomes a man…The first film was about the preservation of Sarah Connor, the second and third about the protection of John. This one is about the protection of Kyle Reese (check out a new interview with Yelchin over at SCI FI Wire).
- This film honors the Terminator 3 storyline, but not the current television series. Judgment Day occured in 2003.
- He reassured us that all the rumored endings we’ve heard about online (including the one where Connor gets killed and good Terminator assumes his identity by wearing his skin) are all fake.
- Warner Bros. gave them their blessing to go for a hard R for this movie because the studio heads like to take risks like they did with "The Matrix."
- Danny Elfman just signed on for the score…met with original Terminator composer Brad Fiedel who know runs a surf shop. He didn’t want to repeat Fiedel’s work with Cameron so brought aboard Elfman who will give it a Wagnerian quality as well as use most of Fiedel’s themes and ambient sounds.
Some new concept art was also shown (more here).
Head on over to Latino Review for even more impressions from the event. And finally, in a separate interview with SCI FI Wire, McG also revealed that while the film wasn’t shot with IMAX camera’s, it will be shown in IMAX theaters:
"I wanted to shoot the film with this dead stock [old film that has been distressed to give the movie a desaturated look]. Therefore it wasn’t conducive to shooting it in IMAX format. But we’re going to bump it up to IMAX. We are going to bump it up, and it holds up very nicely, and it looks and sounds that much more impactful. But one price we had to pay for making those choices was that we didn’t shoot in IMAX."
Jackson May Not Be Nick Fury?
Samuel L. Jackson, who had a cameo in the end credits of "Iron Man", told the LA Times Hero Complex blog that negotiations to put him in the role of Nick Fury in future Marvel Studios films have broken down because "there seems to be an economic crisis in the Marvel Comics world":
“I saw [‘Iron Man’ and ‘Iron Man 2’ director] Jon Favreau at the Scream Awards and we had a conversation. He said, ‘I hope things are working out for you because we’re writing stuff for you.’ Then all of a sudden last week I talked to my agents and manager and things aren’t really working that well.”
When contacted for comment, Marvel Comics replied: "Marvel does not comment on active negotiations," with the LA Times saying there was an emphasis on the word "active", implying that they still very much want Jackson for the role.
McG Wants Will Smith To Play Captain Nemo
McG, who was recently announced as the director of Disney’s "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo", tells Latino Review that he would love to cast Will Smith in the lead role:
"Man I’m trying to get Will Smith to do it, been trying to get a hold of him. I’ve been wanting to work with him for a long time already. That guy’s great"
A Christmas Carol
Kick-Ass (another here)
Moon (more here)
- Principal photography for Alexandre Aja’s ("Mirrors") "Piranha 3D" is scheduled to get under way this year. Aja also revealed that there is more than one concept for the piranha "because, visually, they’ll be different. Like Gremlins not all of the piranha will be the same." [ShockTillYouDrop]
- "I Am Legend" director Francis Lawrence says the most important thing at the moment for the proposed prequel is to not rush things, and make sure they "make it good and make it right and do what we want to do." [SCI FI Wire]
- Columbia Pictures won an auction late Thursday for the screen rights to Isaac Asimov’s science fiction trilogy, "Foundation". The film will be developed for director Rolan Emmerich, who will also produce with his Centropolis partner Michael Wimer. A complex saga about humans who are scattered on planets throughout the galaxy, living under the rule of the Galactic Empire, "Foundation" was published in Astounding Magazine beginning in 1942 as a series of eight short stories. [Variety]
- Director Andrew Stanton reveals that production on the big-screen adaptation of "John Carter of Mars" is progressing and that they’ve begun to look at actors for the project. [SCI FI Wire]
- The Harry Potter fan site The Snitchseeker spoke with Cornelia Funke, writer of the novel "Inkheart" — the adaptation hits theaters this January 23rd — and reports that "screenplays have already been written for the two sequels in the Inkworld series – "Inkspell" and "Inkdeath" – and the director and cast members confirm to us that they are all signed on to do them", assuming the film does well at the box office.
- "Angels & Demons" will be shorter and have more action than "The Da Vinci Code", says producer Brian Grazer. [SCI FI Wire]
- The Chevy Volt was not included in the original script, but rather forced upon the writers at the last minute by GM. [TFW2005]
- Check out a brand new interview with DreamWorks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg about the studio’s upcoming animated film "Monsters vs. Aliens" at io9 and a recap of the footage screened over at SCI FI Wire.
- Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. ("Zien") is in the running for director of the Ronald D. Moore-scripted prequel to "The Thing" and the brother of R.J Macready (Kurt Russell in John Carpenter’s original) may be the main character in the film. [Bloody Disgusting]
- Jaime King, who played Goldie and her twin sister Wendy in "Sin City" and worked with director Frank Miller in "The Spirit", revealed that the script for "Sin City 2" is complete: "He’s done," King said. The film is set before the first film’s stories, so she’ll play both sisters in the film: "Both of my characters come back at the same time, so that’s pretty cool." King doesn’t have an idea when production will begin, however as that decision is up to the studio. [SCI FI Wire]
- Last week, screenwriter John August declared on his blog that "Shazam" was dead. However, producer Michael Uslan says that the project shouldn’t be written off just yet: "I will only say one thing — and all I will do is quote Samuel Clemens to you… This is direct from Captain Marvel himself: ‘The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.’" [MTV]
- Brad Pitt’s special effects-enhanced portrayal of the character Benjamin Button in David Fincher’s "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" may hurt his Oscar chances, reports Variety.
- Focus Features announced a September 9, 2009 released date for the Tim Burton-produced animated fantasy film "9". [ComingSoon.net]
- Kristin Kreuk, who plays the title character in the upcoming "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li", spoke about how demanding the role was and mentioned that the film will contain homage’s to the video game in a new interview with SCI FI Wire.
- The official site for "Friday the 13th" has launched. Click to browse through downloads, videos and photos.
- Roberto Orci reveals that a first draft of "Cowboys and Aliens" has been submitted, and he and writing partners Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof are in the middle of doing a second draft. [SCI FI Wire]
- The late Heath Ledger won the supporting-actor Golden Globe award last Sunday night in Beverly Hills, California for his portrayal of The Joker in "The Dark Knight". It was the only award the film was nominated for at the awards show. The award was accepted by director Christopher Nolan. Watch his acceptance speech below.
- Keanu Reeves has been confirmed as being attached to star in 20th Century Fox’s big-screen adaptation of the late-90’s Japanese anime "Cowboy Bebop". Reeves will play Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter and former member of a crime syndicate. [THR]
- Emily Blunt has emerged as the frontrunner to play the role of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in the sequel to "Iron Man". [Variety]
- Emma Stone is in final negotiations to star alongside Woody Harrelson and Jesse Elsenberg in the horror/comedy "Zombieland". [Variety]
Fox Head Talks Fringe, Dollhouse, Virtuality and Boldly Going Nowhere
During the TCA executive session Q&A, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly talked about several of the networks current and upcoming sci-fi programming. On "Fringe", Reilly hinted that the show would be back for a second season:
"I already know ‘Fringe’ is a keeper," he says. "The show’s been a bear creatively because it’s been very ambitious. They’ve really found the storytelling model now … what you’re going to see in the second half in the year, if you follow the serialized story you will not be disappointed, yet the stories really do reset themselves each week. I would not expect it to take off after ‘Idol,’ but I do think it will tick up another level," he says.
Reilly also spoke about "Dollhouse", specifically about the decision to put the show on Friday nights:
"Joss Whedon does a certain kind of show. He’s right in the zone again on that. It’s the kind of show that we know has a core passionate audience. In some other scheduling scenarios there could be enormous pressure on it … we have a very compatible lead in with ‘Sarah Connor’… we’re going to let the show play out for 13 episodes and hopefully it will catch on … if we can do some business there, that would be a great thing for the future."
Other bits from the talk:
- Ron Moore’s "Virtuality" pilot is being recut, possibly from two hours to one: "It could air as-is and a certain segment of the audience would flip for it. But it’s a little dense."
- The "Boldly Going Nowhere" pilot from the "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia" crew is being reshot. It will be a pilot for fall. "When we screened it, five minutes later we said, ‘let’s do it again," Reilly says.
Stargate Universe Bumped from Summer to Fall + More Cast Added
The SCI FI Channel has moved their new original series, "Stargate Universe", from summer 2009 to fall 2009. While the move to fall means the show will encounter greater competition — most cable shows premiere in the summer whereas the majority of network programming premieres in the fall — , GateWorld notes that the move may have been made because the extra lead-time will allow the network and studio a chance to do an even bigger promotional push. In other SGU news, SCI FI has announced four new additions to the cast:
- Justin Louis (Hidden Hills, The Fighting Fitzgeralds) will portray Colonel Everett Young, an experienced Stargate team leader. Married, with years of tough decisions under his belt, life has taught him never to take anything for granted. He stays on top of his team so they stay alive.
- David Blue (Ugly Betty, Moonlight) stars as Eli Wallace, a total slacker, who just happens to be an utter genius with anything he puts his mind to – mathematics, computers, video games. A lack of confidence has left him with an acerbic sense of humor.
- Brian J. Smith (The War Boys, Hate Crime) is Lt. Matthew Scott, a junior member of the Stargate team. Green and rough around the edges, he is thrust into the role of leader well before he’s ready for the responsibility and must learn to command, earn respect through action, and manage the diverse personalities aboard the ship.
- Jamil Walker Smith (Waynehead, Sister, Sister) will portray Sr. Sgt. Ronald Greer, a Marine with a temper you don’t want to mess with. His past is mysterious but it’s clear something dark formed the hard shell around him.
Filming on the new series begins this February.
Theatrical Version of Jericho in the Works
Jon Turteltaub, executive producer of the twice-canceled CBS series "Jericho" (which is currently running encore’s on Sunday nights on The CW), tells iFMagazine that a theatrical movie based on the TV series is in development and expects the TV cast to return in the event of a greenlight:
“We’re developing a feature for JERICHO,” says Turteltaub. “It would not require you to have seen the TV show, but it get into life after an event like this on a national scale. It would be the bigger, full on American version of what’s going on beyond the town in Jericho.”
Pushing Daisies the Movie?
Not to be outdone, another short-lived sci-fi TV series, "Pushing Daisies", may make the move to the big-screen as well. Kristen Chenoweth (Olive Snook) tells TV Guide that creator Bryan Fuller has an idea for a movie that "would wrap up a lot of the unanswered questions that people will have once they finally air our final episodes". Chenoweth also added that if the movie would get the go-ahead, she believes her fellow cast members would all take part:
“I’m sure that Bryan Fuller wouldn’t do it without the six main characters,” she said. “Paul Reubens was a big part of it — we have certain guest stars that are standouts that we’d want back. But he has such a great idea for it. … We all want to.”
Speaking of those unaired episodes, ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson told reporters at the TCA press tour that they would like to make the episodes "available", later clarifying the remark that the network plans to make the episodes available online, instead of broadcasting them.
Scott Bakula and Chevy Chase Cast in NBC’s Chuck
Chevy Chase has signed on to play "a mega-billionaire in the new-media business" on the NBC series "Chuck". He’ll be on three episodes. Also, series creator Josh Schwartz has confirmed to EW that Scott Bakula has inked a deal to play the estranged father of Chuck (Zachary Levi) on the show. Bakula will play the character in at least three episodes:
"Chuck made a promise to his sister, Ellie [Sarah Lancaster], that he was going to find their dad in time for her wedding," Schwartz explains. "And it’s something that Chuck becomes consumed with pursuing during the second half of the season.
"But when he finds him, he’s not necessarily a guy who wants to be found," Schwartz continues. "He’s living in a trailer, he’s disheveled, he’s paranoid and he’s claiming constantly that Ted Roark [Chevy Chase] — who he used to work with — stole all his ideas from him. And Ted Roark has now become this super-successful software billionaire, and Chuck’s dad has become an eccentric, living in the shadows."
Bakula’s arc will begin airing in April. "Chuck" returns with new episodes the day after the Super Bowl on February 2nd, with the 3D episode "Chuck Versus the Third Dimension".
NBC Hopes Fuller’s Return Will Bring New Life Into Heroes
NBC president of prime-time entertainment Angela Bromstad told reporters during NBC’s portion of the TCA press tour that she expects writer/producer Bryan Fuller’s return to "Heroes" to bring the show back to its creative peak:
"Bryan was originally on the staff and has a great relationship with [creator] Tim [Kring]," Bromstad said. "It’s really just to get a fresh perspective and to put those two creators back together in a room and see where they go with it."
Bromstad also said that while the show hasn’t officially been picked up for a fourth season and ratings have hit series lows, the network has "tremendous faith" in it and she expects it to be back. And finally, Bromstad confirmed that the proposed "Heroes: Origins" spin-off series is off the table for now:
"It was more just about—it was budgetary at that point," she said. "It was also about really focusing on the main show."
In "Heroes" casting news, the two stars rumored to want out of their contracts from the show are [Spoilers: highlight to view]: Hayden Panettiere and Ali Larter. "Heroes" returns with new episodes on February 2nd.
More Fringe and Lost previews here at TM on Tuesday
This week the two shows from the Star Trek movie team (Fringe and Lost) kick off with new episodes. Fringe is coming back from Winter hiatus and Lost is coming back with the first episodes of the season. TrekMovie will have a full preview for both shows on Tuesday.
Dollhouse (more here)
Eleventh Hour (more here)
Kyle XY (more here)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Supernatural (more here)
Dollhouse (another here)
Life on Mars
Stream (watch a clip here)
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
- The shortened third season — five one-hour episodes — of the BBC series "Torchwood" will premiere on BBC America mid-summer. [Wired]
- Swoosie Kurtz, who played Chuck’s Aunt Lily on ABC’s "Pushing Daisies", will be making an appearance on "Heroes" during the "Fugitives" volume. Kurtz will play a role created especially for her by Bryan Fuller (whom she worked with on the ABC series). [EW]
- A certain character from "Battlestar Galactica" speaks with SCI FI Wire in this new interview. I’m being cryptic because of spoilers.
- The new NBC drama "Kings" will premiere on Sunday, March 15th at 8pm. NBC also said that they haven’t made a decision on future seasons of "Knight Rider", saying only that the show "may or may not come back". [THR]
- "Sanctuary" is the first North American television series to be shot entirely on the RED One camera. Interested in how the camera works? Head on over to DVICE.
- Jim Caviezel, star of AMC’s miniseries remake of "The Prisoner", spoke with reporters at the TCA press tour about the upcoming (November) series and his co-star, Ian McKellen. [SCI FI Wire]
- Anna Paquin, star of the HBO vampire series "True Blood", won best performance by an actress in a television series at last Sunday’s "Golden Globe Awards". The series was also up for Best Television Series – Drama, but lost out to AMC’s "Mad Men".
- The series premiere of the Sam Raimi-produced reality series "13 — Fear is Real" had a poor debut on Wednesday, January 14th on The CW (2.40M viewers and a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49) and fell even further in its second outing: off 40 and 45 percent, respectively (1.44M viewers and a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49).
- Meanwhile, the series finale of "Stargate Atlantis" on SCI FI drew a respectable 2.02M viewers, the show’s best performance since the season four finale. Judged against the season four finale, however, there was actually a decline of 5% among viewers and 8% among both A18-49 & A25-54. The season finale of "Sanctuary", which aired on the same night, averaged 2 million viewers. More analysis at my blog.
- Speaking of "Stargate Atlantis", fans have until January 31st to vote for their favorite episodes of the series. The winners will be announced on February 9th and selected to create a "Fan’s Choice" Blu-ray disc. Vote below. [Stargate Hub]
Blade Runner Anime (more here) [via /Film]
Where the Wild Things Are (limited edition skateboards featuring the monsters) [/Film]
- The blog Forbidden Planet is offering fans the opportunity to email questions to Alan Moore for an upcoming interview to support the release of "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1910". [Forbidden Planet]
- John Barrowman, who stars as Captain Jack Harkness on the BBC series "Torchwood", is co-writing a story that will appear in issue #14 of the Torchwood magazine. [Newsarama]
- What ship would win in a battle: the Starship Enterprise or the Battlestar Galactica? Head on over to DVICE to find out.
- Finalists for this year’s Philip K. Dick Award, which recognizes the best in science fiction novels in the United States, have been announced. They are: "Emissaries From the Dead" by Adam-Troy Castro; "Endgame" by Kristine Smith; "Fast Forward 2" edited by Lou Anders, "Judge" by Karen Traviss; "Terminal Mind" by David Walton and "Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait" by K. A. Bedford. The first place winner and runner-ups will be announced April 10th at Norwescon 32 in Seattle. [SCI FI Wire]
- Stephanie Meyer, author of the vampire series "Twilight", moved 15 million books last year, according to figures released by Nielsen BookScan USA. "Breaking Dawn" was the No. 1 book of the year with 3.31M copies sold followed by her debut book "Twilight" with 3.175M copies sold. In all, 4 of her novels were in the top 10 and nine were in the top 50. [SCI FI Wire]
In addition to Ricardo Montalban, the world of SciFi saw a couple of other passing this week:
- Patrick McGoohan, star of the 1960’s TV series "Secret Agent", but better known among sci-fi fans for his portrayal of Number 6 in the British series "The Prisoner", died last week in Los Angeles after a short illness. He was 80. [LA Times]
- Bob May, best remembered for playing The Robot on the TV Series "Lost In Space", passed away early Sunday morning of congestive heart failure. [TMZ]
Source: Nielsen Media