The big thing in genre news this week was the amazing lack of Dark Knight nominations at the Oscars, but we also have updates on Watchmen and Iron Man 2 and a ton of new previews, including Fanboys. In TV news we have an updates on the Doctor Who Easter Special and Caprica, plus previews and images, including Lost, Fringe and more.
Benjamin Button Leads Oscar Field with 13 Nominations
Well, the nominations for the 81st Academy Awards have been announced and, with the exception of the well-deserved nomination of Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight" was snubbed. But there is still a little celebration in order for SF fans. The SF-ish "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" led the Oscar nominations with 13, including best picture, best actor (Brad Pitt), best actress (Taraji P. Henson) and best director (David Fincher). In addition to being nominated for the best animated feature film, "Wall-E" also got a nomination for original screenplay, as well as for original score and original song. While both "Iron Man" and "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" received nominations in the technical categories. "The 81st Annual Academy Awards" take place Sunday, February 22nd and will air on ABC.
Jonathan Nolan Responds to TDK Snub
"The Dark Knight" was snubbed in the best picture, best director and best writing categories. The Academy instead opted to nominate these five films: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"; "Frost/Nixon"; "Milk"; "The Reader" and "Slumdog Millionaire". It’s hard for me to put my head around the how the Academy could overlook the TDK nominations coming from the WGA, PGA and DGA. Or why they decided to ignore the fact that "The Dark Knight" is the second-highest grossing film of all time. Or that its RT rating of 94% Fresh rating is lower than all but one of the films they chose ("Slumdog Millionaire" is at 95%) and outrageously higher than two of the films nominated ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" at 72% and "The Reader" at 60%). Despite that, it’s good to see that Heath Ledger was deservingly nominated for best supporting actor as The Joker. Screenwriter Jonathan Nolan — brother of director Christopher Nolan — has responded to the fan outrage over the film’s snubs at darkcampaign.com:
“hey — not sure who to address this to as it looks like a collective effort, but I just wanted to pass along my thanks.
It’s truly humbling that you guys would take the time and effort to try to get the film recognized. I, like you, was disappointed that Chris didn’t get some recognition this morning, but for Heath and so many of the people who worked so hard on this thing to get nominated is thrilling.
Any nominations for a comic book movie is a thing of beauty no matter how you slice it, and that takes the sting out a bit. Besides, I’ve been to the big show before, and, like any of these things, it’s a little disappointing. Did you know it’s not even an open bar once the show starts? At least this time I would have remembered to bring a little cash so I could buy myself a drink after losing.
The best part of this experience is seeing other people getting passionate about the film the way that we did. It has been a truly incredible experience. So thank you again.
Watchmen Soundtrack Details and other Updates
Warner Sunset/Reprise Records will release both the official soundtrack and the original score to "Watchmen" on March 3rd, just three days before the release of the film. Here are the details via the press release (click for track list and more):
Music From The Motion Picture Watchmen , the film’s official soundtrack, includes My Chemical Romance’s powerful reinterpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row,” recorded exclusively for the film. The soundtrack also features a collection of classic songs by such artists as Nat King Cole, Simon & Garfunkel, and Janis Joplin, which, once heard in the context of the film, will never be thought of the same way again.
Watchmen Original Motion Picture Score features music by recording artist, composer, and music producer Tyler Bates, who was asked to score the film by Watchmen director Zack Snyder…Music From The Motion Picture Watchmen and Watchmen Original Motion Picture Score will be released in multiple fan-friendly configurations: The physical CD, and a digital album will be available on March 3rd, and a vinyl edition of the soundtrack will be released on March 17th.
In other "Watchmen" news
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Comedian) tells MTV that the rape scene that will be in the movie is one of the reason’s it’s rated R, calling it "really, really violent".
And finally, a new viral video for the film — a faux 1970 newscast celebrating the 10th anniversary of Dr. Manhattan’s creation — follows below.
Plus, new TV Spot here
Iron Man 2 Casting Update; Is Marvel Now Lowballing Mickey Rourke?
Something odd is going on over at Marvel Studios. First there was a report of them lowballing Favreau in their offer for him to direct "Iron Man 2". Then came word from the studio that they were dropping Terence Howard (Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes) in favor of Don Cheadle in a move that was largely reported to be about money. Just last week then, Samuel L. Jackson, who had a cameo role as Nick Fury in the end credits of "Iron Man", told the LA Times that he may not be in the sequel because "there seems to be an economic crisis in the Marvel Comics world". But now, there’s another casting issue. Variety is reporting that the studio’s opening offer to Golden Globe-winning actor Mickey Rourke to star as the main villain in "Iron Man 2" is just $250,000. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a ton of money, but it just seems way too low given the high profile role he’d likely play in the sequel. Meanwhile, Sam Rockwell, who will be playing another villain in the film, tells MTV that he isn’t all that familiar with the role he’ll be playing and has actually yet to see the script. And rounding out this week’s Iron Man updates, the Visual Effects Society has awarded "Iron Man" with five nominations for their annual VES Awards.
Alien Western (more here)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Japanese trailer)
Monsters vs. Aliens (another here)
Mutant Chronicles (Red-band trailer)
Push [HD Version]
- According to reports, most of the re-shoots for "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" revolve around the character of Deadpool, played by actor Ryan Reynolds. [IESB]
- Meanwhile, Liev Schreiber (Sabretooth in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine") tells Details Magazine that seeing fan reaction to his poor physical physique prompted him to get rid of the muscle suit and, with the help of Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), get himself in shape for the role. [via io9]
- Screenwriter John August has been hired for two projects: by Disney for Tim Burton’s "Frankenweenie" and by Columbia for Sam Mendes’ comic book adaptation of "Preacher". [THR]
- Sony has delayed Roland Emmerich’s sci-fi action film "2012" from July 10, 2009 to November 13, 2009. [THR]
- 4 of the 6 Worst Picture nominees for this year’s RAZZIE Awards are sci-fi films: "Disaster Movie"; "The Happening"; "In the Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale" and "Meet the Spartans". [Razzies]
- In a new interview, producer Michael Uslan reveals that in the long-in-development project, "The Shadow", there "may actually be many people" being portrayed as the character. [MTV]
- "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" opened with about $8 million on Saturday and looks headed for about a $20 million weekend. The first film grossed $21.7 million and the second $26.8 million. Meanwhile, the fantasy film "Inkheart" took just $2.1 million Friday and looks headed for less than $7 million for the weekend. [DHD]
- Dakota Fanning is in talks to play Jane in "New Moon" (November 20, 2009), the sequel to "Twilight". [E! Online]
- J.K. Simmons, who played J. Jonah Jameson in the first three "Spider-Man" films, will be returning for the fourth film in the franchise. [MTV]
Michelle Ryan in Doctor Who’s Easter Special
Michelle Ryan, who starred in the short-lived NBC series "Bionic Woman", will star in the "Doctor Who" Easter special "Planet Of The Dead". According to BBC, Ryan is playing Lady Christina de Souza, "a woman with a mysterious past who’s going to have a huge impact on the Doctor." Check out some images below.
Ron Moore On BSG Movie and Spinoff Caprica
"Battlestar Galactica" creator Ronald Moore chatted with SCI FI Wire about two upcoming spinoff projects. On the upcoming TV movie "Battlestar Galactica: The Plan", written by Jane Espenson and directed by series regular Edward James Olmos, Moore says that filming has been completed, but he hasn’t seen a cut of it yet:
The Plan is in the can, although I haven’t seen the cut yet. The filming has been completed, and we have a lot of post-production work to do. I don’t know what the street date is on it. I haven’t heard that. But it’s done, and I’m looking forward to seeing it.
Here are a few excerpts from Moore, this time on the spinoff series "Caprica", which will premiere sometime in 2010:
Caprica is getting underway. We’re putting the writers’ room together as we speak. It’s very exciting. It’s a very different challenge. It’s a very different show. I think there’s a sense of "Well, Battlestar has set a very high bar." That makes everybody have to bring their A game, and I think that’s the spirit in which we’re approaching Caprica.
Caprica will be about how the people on the colonies developed the Cylons. And that has its own story to tell about how that came about. But in terms of the larger mysteries and mythologies and hows and the whys and how everything lays out on Galactica, we set out to answer as many of the questions that we could by the end of the show, and that’s what we did. We didn’t hold anything in reserve and say, "Oh, well, we’ll deal with this over in Caprica."
And rounding out this week’s BSG news:
Moore discusses what it was like to direct his first episode of the series (last nights "A Disquiet Follows My Soul") over at SCI FI Wire and talks about the shows final episodes (spoilers) in this interview.
NBC’s Kings Takes Place in New York-like Alternate-Universe City
Francis Lawrence and David Green, executive producers of NBC’s upcoming drama "Kings", reveal that the show takes place in an alternate-universe city such as New York, where a monarchy exists:
…it’s kind of an alternate take, so it’s a very familiar world, but, you know, a little bit different. It’s a country that looks and feels like we know it, except it’s run by a monarchy. And it was kind of fun changing around the details a little bit and making it our own," Lawrence said.
Green says they’ll leave it up to viewers to decide whether or not magical things are real or not.
"For us, I think, it was always this idea of magical realism, that these things happen, and they could be magic or they could be real," Green (Heroes) said. "It’s sort of up for you to interpret that. The butterflies in the story and the things that happen could be something sort of guiding things along, or it could just be nature."
Fringe (more here)
Heroes (more here)
Kyle XY (more here)
Smallville (more here)
Heroes (another here)
- Two of the seven pilots Fox have just announced are SF-themed. One is an "untitled reincarnation-themed project" and the other is "Human Target", a superhero drama based on the DC comic book. [THR]
- Have you checked out the "Lost" viral site Ajira Airlines? io9 has an article about the site and has gathered a few bits and images. Check it out here.
- Check out two articles on the upcoming ABC series "Cupid" with star Bobby Carnivale and creator Rob Thomas. "Cupid" premieres Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT.
- Hillary Duff will appear in an upcoming episode of CBS’s Jennifer Love Hewitt drama "Ghost Whisperer". [EW]
- Nathan Fillion, who played Captain Hammer in Joss Whedon’s online musical "Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog", has confirmed that there’s talk about doing a sequel. [SCI FI Wire]
- Television Without Pity has a list of who they believe are the 10 most worthless characters on "Lost".
- Harry Lennix, who plays Boyd Langdon on Fox’s "Dollhouse", talks about his character in a new interview with SCI FI Wire.
- Scott Foley, one of the stars of NBC’s upcoming four-hour miniseries "The Last Templar", relates the movie "to those Jewel of the Nile and sort of the Michael Douglas-Kathleen Turner [movies]. … It’s a good time, and it’s an enjoyable sort of escapist television." [SCI FI Wire]
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Video game–another here)
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
The Curious Case of Forest Gump
- Marvel Comics writer Ed Brubaker says to expect a big shock in the upcoming 50th issue of the "Captain America" series he writes. [SCI FI Wire]
- Brubaker also talked about the big-screen adaptation of his comic "Sleeper", revealing that he prefers not to write adaptations of his own work. [SCI FI Wire]
- Just a reminder that "Hulk Vs." hits DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday, January 27th. In the mean time, check out some new concept art below.