Watchmen was on top last weekend, but now the producer is begging fans to go again. In other news we have The Governator talking about Terminator 4, a new set of release dates for Marvel movies, and more. In TV Land NBC has announced some new summer genre shows and is trying to control some Heroes rumors. Plus George Lucas is casting his new Star Wars TV show. We have all that and more, including all the latest TV and movie previews.
Watchmen Producer implores fans to go again
"Watchmen" screenwriter David Hayter has written a letter to the fans, expressing his desire for them to go check out the movie again this weekend because, "if it drops off the radar after the first weekend, they [studios] will never allow a film like this to be made again." Hayter wants to make it clear that he’s not making this plea for money, but for "people who love smart, dark entertainment, on a grand, operatic scale."
I’m talking to the Snake fans, the Rorschach fans, the people of the Dark Knight.
And hey, if you hated the film, if you think we committed atrocities, or literary mistakes of a massive, cephalopodic nature. If the movie made you a little sick to your stomach, or made you feel bad about your life. If you hated it for whatever reason, that’s cool too. I’m not suggesting you risk gastro-intestinal distress just for the sake of risky filmmaking.
Head on over to Hardcore Nerdity to read the entire letter. Through Thursday, "Watchmen" has grossed $67.9M domestic, $94.6M worldwide. Unfortunately, Friday’s estimate — third place $5.4M, behind "Race to Witch Mountain" at #1 with $6.75M and "The Last House on the Left" at #2 with $5.6M — indicates a weaker than hoped for second weekend. Analysts expect the film to close out its second weekend with about $16-17M, resulting in a drop of more than 70% (which would put the film at around $84-85M through two weekends). Comparatively, director Zack Snyder’s last film, "300", had grossed $106.4M (domestic) through the comparable period and had a second week drop of 54%.
Spidey 4 set for 2011 + Marvel moves dates for Thor, Capt. America and Avengers
Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios have announced that "Spider-Man 4" will be released on May 6, 2011. With the announced date, however, Marvel Studios has decided to re-work their ambitious release schedule, settling on delays for three of their films. First up is "Thor" from director Kenneth Branagh. The film was originally scheduled to hit theaters on July 16, 2010, but will now hit theaters nearly a year later on June 17, 2011. "The First Avenger: Captain America" is being pushed back by about two months to July 22, 2011 from May 6, 2011. And lastly, "The Avengers" is being pushed back from July 15, 2011 to May 4, 2012. There have been no changes for Marvel’s other high-profile release, "Iron Man 2", which is still scheduled to hit theaters on May 7, 2010.
Arnold Talks Terminator Salvation Cameo
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was at his annual Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio last weekend and was asked by TheArnoldFans.com about his rumored cameo in McG’s "Terminator Salavation". Arnold kinda sorta confirms that he’s part of film, but still remains very apprehensive about doing the cameo:
..To kind of have them go out and promote the movie and say you know Arnold is in the movie and everyone thinks that I’m the Terminator and in fact you only see one second of me in there and so I don’t think thats the right thing to do. And you know that’s the danger of that, and that’s why I feel reluctant to be part of the movie in the first place. So it doesn’t get promoted that way.
Arnold also revealed that he’s only seen a working print of film (without the sfx, score, sound, etc.). Head on over to TheArnoldFans.com to read the complete transcript. Check out a new poster from the film, plus a trailer for the soon-to-be released special edition Blu-ray set for "Terminator 2: Judgement Day".
New John Connor poster [TerminatorChronicles]
Trailer for special Blu-ray edition "Terminator 2: Skynet Edition"
Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johannson Cast In Iron Man 2
After Mickey Rourke’s agent David Unger managed to negotiate Marvel’s original low-ball offer up to a "significant" level, the studio has signed Rourke to play Whiplash in "Iron Man 2". Variety reports that Rourke’s character will "elements from that comicbook villain and Crimson Dynamo, another Russian baddie.” Variety adds that Rourke has actually already met with both director Jon Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux and has been involved in the development of his character. Also in the casting department, Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood Daily reports that Scarlett Johannson has officially replaced Emily Blunt to play the Black Widow. Blunt had to turn down the role due to her role on "Gulliver’s Travels" for 20th Century Fox.
Some Details on Green Lantern
"Green Lantern" producer Donald De Line talked with ComingSoon.net about the comic-book adaptation:
"Our story is the Hal Jordan origin story, but creating the character of Hal Jordan that is a real character that will resonate with the fanbase is what we need to do. You have to make him credible and somebody to care about and tell a good story, and I think if we do that, we’ll be okay."
When asked about the comedy aspect of the film, De Line responded: "It’s going to be a series of big stakes and big action, but it absolutely has a sense of humor." Expanding on that a bit De Line added "I think people accept real life, even with really serious situations, with humor as part of that situation, as we experience in life, you have to have that." Read much more with De Line at ComingSoon.net.
Third Riddick In Development
During an interview with GameSpot about the upcoming video game "The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena" (follow-up to the 2004 game ‘Escape From Butcher Bay’), Vin Diesel revealed that plans are underway for a third installment in the film franchise and that Pitch Black/The Chronicles of Riddick screenwriter David Twohy "is finishing up the next script":
Maybe we’re too tight-lipped about the next Chronicles of Riddick film, and I think circa the release of [Dark Athena] that’s probably when you’ll start hearing more about the next Riddick film. It is underway and I almost think it’s a coincidence that we haven’t heard anything, that there hasn’t been a lot of public stuff on the Riddick movie.
In a separate interview with SCI FI Wire, Diesel opened up slightly about the project:
We’re going to find Riddick alone for the first part of the movie, barely alive, surrounded by carnivorous monsters who are trying to eat him…So you’ll see a futuristic Rambo-esque Riddick trying to survive.
Juan Antonia Bayona May Be Directing ‘Eclipse’
Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona may have landed directing duties for "The Twilight Saga’s Eclipse". I say may have because there are some conflicting reports out there. Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood Daily was the first to break the news (later confirmed by Variety), but cautioned that Summit Entertainment was keeping the decision private for the moment. After her report a writer at the LA Times wrote that he spoke with Summit Entertainment’s president of production who flat out denied Finke’s report:
“The ‘Eclipse’ directing job hasn’t been offered to Juan Antonio or anyone else,”Feig, said. “We’ve met with three or four talented filmmakers and we’ll be meeting with three or four more other candidates before we make any decision. No one has been offered the job.”
However, Finke has written another post standing by her original article and now writes that she has been told by Feig himself that the LA Times writer misquoted him on the matter. Sounds to me like Bayona has been tapped by Summit, but they are just waiting to announce the news themselves. In related news, Dakota Fanning is now officially confirmed to be in "The Twilight Saga’s New Moon" (November 20, 2009.). The actress will play an Italian vampire named Jane. "The Twilight Saga’s Eclipse" hits theaters on June 30, 2010.
Avatar Director Cameron Addresses Rumors Provides Update
A little less than a week ago, MarketSaw posted a rumor alleging that 8 trailers have been cut by Fox for James Cameron’s "Avatar" and that all eight had been rejected by the director. Well, Cameron has chimed in on the matter, telling AICN that the rumor is completely false (and also shot down the possibility of there being a clip of the film shown at ShoWest):
"…As usual the rumor mill is grinding out mostly spurious stuff. I have no plans at present to go to Showest, and in any event we have decided not to unveil material there."
"As to the trailer story, I have no idea where that came from but I haven’t rejected any trailers (yet) since I haven’t seen any yet. They’re still working on them for presentation, which presumably will be soon. I’m sure I’ll reject a couple once I have the chance. Right now I’m just focused on having a movie to sell."
Be sure to head on over to AICN to read some thoughts from Cameron about the current status of the film.
9 [one more image at io9]
Alice in Wonderland
Magazine scans featuring new images and concept art [more at Tim Burton Collective News]
The Goon [another image at AICN]
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
First look at Daniel Radcliffe on the set [more images at Oculumedia]
Iron Man 2
First set photo [Jon Favreau]
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Set images of Jake Gyllenhaal [The Huffington Post]
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Three new promotional images [go to Marvel.com to see in high-res]
Promotional image of Deadpool [Superhero Hype!]
Viral video featuring Woody Harrelson’s character Charlie Frost [several more at ThisIsTheEnd.com]
Drag Me to Hell
First movie trailer [HD Version]
New UK TV Spot
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Monsters vs. Aliens
New clip [plus watch a behind-the-scenes featurette at SCI FI Wire]
Race to Witch Mountain
UPisode #2: First Aid [HD Version]
- Warner Bros. has hired Dave Kajganich to write an adaptation of the Stephen King novel "It" for the big screen. The best-selling 1986 novel was adapted for the small screen by ABC as a miniseries in 1990. [THR]
- Sean Austin says that if asked, he would be thrilled to reprise his role as Sam Gamgee in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of "The Hobbit", but doubts he’ll be asked because his character wasn’t in the novel. [SCI FI Wire]
- "Dark City" director Alex Proyas says he’s intrigued by the possibility of making a sequel to the cult-hit, which would "have Rufus, who was the hero in the first one, be the bad guy," explaining that the character "should turn nasty because he’s got unlimited power"… [MTV]
- …Proyas also spoke about his latest film, "Knowing", revealing that he pushed the film "in a much more science fiction direction, away from its more disaster movie origins." [MTV]
- 20th Century Fox is reportedly developing a "Fantastic Four" reboot. Fox apparently wants to reboot the series in a tone described as "less bubble gum", i.e. more in the style of "Iron Man". [IESB]
- Sticking with IESB, the site is also hearing reports that Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures have begun moving forward again with their live-action "Wonder Woman" project.
- Spurred by strong DVD sales and a solid box office run, New Line is moving forward with a sequel to "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D". Both Brendan Fraser and Josh Hucherson are expected to reprise their roles for the sequel, which will be based on a repurposed script from Richard Outten. [THR]
- Paradox Entertainment has acquired the film rights to "Chariots of the Gods", Erich von Daniken’s 1968 bestselling book that explored evidence that civilizations were visited by extraterrestrials. [Variety]
- "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" director Michael Bay may be considering casting Frank Welker (the voice of Megatron and Soundwave in the cartoons) as Soundwave in the film. Responding to an interview Welker gave, Bay said "I think I’m going to pursue Frank on Soundwave"… [Shoot for the Edit]
- …John Turturro, who returns as Agent Simmons in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" may also be the voice of Jetfire in the sequel. [Transformers Live Action Blog]
- Someone has seen "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", allegedly, and you can read they’re review here. [via io9]
- "Terminator Salvation" producers Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek and their Halycyon Co. banner are being sued by fellow producer Mortiz Borman. Borman is alleging fraud and break of contract for not being paid producing fees. The suit, filed last Friday in Los Angeles, lists eight causes of action and seeks more than $160 million in damages. [Variety]
- Sienna Miller, who plays the Baroness in Stephen Sommers’ "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" talks about her role in the film in a new interview with SCI FI Wire. The actress also gave an interview with MTV.
- If a second "Ghost Rider" gets greenlit, Nicolas Cage says that he’d like for it "to have that action horror element and go deeper into that". Cage also revealed that Marvel is currently looking for a writer for the potential sequel. [MTV]
- Steven Spielberg has wrapped 32 days of performance-capture lensing for "Tintin". He’ll be handing the project off to Peter Jackson, who will focus on the film’s special effects for the next 18 months. [Variety]
- Five actors have joined the cast of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s secretive genre project "The Cabin in the Woods". The actors/actresses are Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz and Jesse Williams. Shooting is underway for the film, whic1h hits theaters on February 5, 2010. [THR]
- Aasif Mandvi, Shaun Toub and Cliff Curtis have all joined the cast of M. Night Shyamalan’s "The Last Airbender". [SCI FI Wire]
Addressing some of those Heroes Death Rumors + Title for Next Year’s Volume
With all the rumors being spread around over the past several weeks about deaths of certain heroes on the NBC series, "Heroes" creator Tim Kring and producer Bryan Fuller have decided to set the record straight. First off, show creator Tim Kring wants to reassure fans that the Hayden Panatierre and Milo Ventimiglia romantic will not factor into what happens on screen:
The final decision about which characters live and die on Heroes rests with me… I’ve made no announcement yet as to who will return and who won’t.
Panatierre is also denying the rumors, telling OK Magazine that she and Milo "are very close…We have enjoyed and continue to enjoy working together." And finally, addressing the rumors about Ali Larter leaving the show, returning producer Bryan Fuller told Entertainment Weekly that the actress is "not going anywhere…I’ve never seen somebody so committed to the show as Ali, and the show is absolutely committed to Ali." And lastly, rounding out this week’s "Heroes" news, writer/producers Aon Coliete and Joe Pokaski told Comic Book Resources that the name of the next volume in the series is "currently" called "Redemption": All we can tell you is that act five of our "Fugitives" finale will give you a look at what it will entail.
Here are the latest images and videos from the series
Promo images from episode 20, "Cold Snap" [more at SpoilerTV]
Promo for "Cold Snap"
And here’s a sneak preview of the episode
Casting on Live-Action Star Wars Show Underway
While doing press for the Nicolas Cage thriller "Knowing", co-star Rose Byrne revealed that George Lucas has begun casting for his live-action "Star Wars" TV series, “A lot of my friends have been auditioning for it,” she said. As for Byrne, who played Dorme in ‘Episode II: Attack of the Clones’, however, she said she won’t be auditioning for the series, noting her current work on the FX series "Damages": “I’m on a show,” she said. “I don’t know if I look that good in space.” According to past reports, the live-action "Star Wars" series will focus on minor characters from the franchise and will be set in the period between ‘Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" and the original "Star Wars".
NBC’s Summer Schedule Genre-heavy
The just-announced NBC summer schedule (click here for the press release) features several sci-fi programming, including two miniseries:
The Meteor (four hour miniseries) – June 7 (9:00-11:00pm) and June 14 (9:00-11:00pm)
Two massive rocks, tumbling debris older than the solar system itself, collide in space. The course has been altered. The target is Earth. In a remote observatory, Dr. Lehman (Emmy winner Christopher Lloyd, “Back to the Future”), discovers a meteor approximately three times the size of Mount Everest barreling its way towards Earth. His devoted young assistant Imogene O’Neill (Marla Sokoloff, “The Practice”) feverishly types in the coordinates only to find the previously identified meteor named Kassandra is headed their way. It’s only the beginning of their troubles as showers of smaller meteorites begin to lay waste to major cities around the globe. Also stars Stacy Keach, Billy Campbell, Michael Rooker and Jason Alexander.
The Storm (four hour miniseries) – July 19 (9:00-11:00pm) and July 26 (9:00-11:00pm)
Billionaire Robert Terrell (Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Treat Williams, “Everwood”) has fulfilled a lifelong obsession and made history with “weather creation” technology though his Atmospheric Research Institute. But during a test run, a blast of energy is sent into the ionosphere with unexpected results. The experiments hurtle the planet towards destruction—hurricanes change course, winds go instantly from hot to cold, torrential rains bring regions to a standstill, and buildings crumble into ruins under explosive lightening storms. It’s only the beginning. Also stars James Van Der Beek, David James Elliott and Teri Polo.
The hit BBC series "Merlin" (which has already been renewed for a second season), will also air this summer. The 13-episode season begins on Sunday, June 21st at 8:00pm. Here’s the synopsis:
“Merlin” is a new 13-part drama series that updates the story of the infamous sorcerer of Arthurian legend for a new audience in the mythical city of Camelot, in a time before history began. In this fantastical realm, Merlin is a young man gifted with extraordinary magical powers who arrives in the kingdom and quickly makes enemies, including the heir to Uther’s crown, the headstrong Prince Arthur. But guided by Uther’s wise physician, Gaius, Merlin is soon using his talents not just to survive but also to unlock Camelot’s mystical secrets.
Some Details on the Torchwood Miniseries
Euros Lyn, the director of the upcoming "Torchwood" miniseries "Children Of Earth", shared a few details with Wired about the five-episode miniseries (which will serve as the show’s third season):
"For the first time, we’ll see Torchwood facing a threat from home while they’re also investigating an alien invasion. When they try to discover why all the children in the world have suddenly stopped at the same time, Torchwood also has to deal with human beings who are trying to hide a past mistake."
Lyn also revealed that he’s directing the final David Tennant story, which he says "fans will be thrilled with David’s farewell and how we set up the 11th Doctor [Matt Smith]."
Morena Baccarin and Joel Gretsch Join ABC’s V Pilot
ABC’s drama pilot "V", the network’s reboot of the 1980s miniseries, has added two cast members. Morena Baccarin ("Stargate SG1", "Firefly") has been cast as Anna, the leader of the Visitors who is remarkably knowledgeable about human culture and media manipulation. Also cast is Joel Gretsch ("The 4400"). Gretsch will play a Catholic priest who sees a renaissance of faith after the Visitors arrive.
Images from the Easter Special, "Planet Of The Dead" [more at Radio Times]
Promo images from episode seven, "Echoes" [more at SpoilerTV]
Promo images from episode 10, "He’s Our You" [more at The ODI]
Promotional images from episode 17, "Hex" [more at OSCK]
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Promotional images from episode 20, "To The Lighthouse" [one more at Sarah Connor Society]
Promo from episode 17, "Chuck Versus The Predator"
The Tennant Tapes #3
Preview clip from the series premiere
Promo for episode 10, the show’s series finale, "Bringing Down the House"
Sneak preview from episode nine, "Namaste"
And here’s another sneak peek at the episode
Promo from episode 16, "Turbulence"
And here’s a clip from the episode
Promo for episode 16, "On the Head of a Pin"
- The fifth season premiere of "Ghost Hunters" made SCI FI the most-watched network for the hour among adults 18-34, adults 18-49, adults 25-54, males 18-49, males 25-54, women 18-49 and women 25-54. The show drew a 1.9 household coverage rating, 2.7 million total viewers, 1.6 million adults 18-49 and 1.7 million adults 25-54. [SCI FI]
- Comic book store owners were not at all pleased with how they, and fans, were represented in last week’s episode of "Heroes". [The Savage Critics via io9]
- Rebecca Romijn is the latest witch cast in ABC’s "Eastwick", the network’s reboot of the 1980s film "The Witches of Eastwick" (which itself was based on the John Updike novel). Romijn will play Roxie, joining already cast witches Lindsay Price, and Jamie Ray Newman. Paul Gross has also been cast in the pilot. [Variety]
- For the first time since their respective Friday night premieres, both "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and "Dollhouse" increased their ratings from the week prior. ‘TSCC’ drew 3.5M viewers and a 1.2 A18-49 rating (+21 and +20 percent, respectively), while "Dollhouse" drew 4.3M viewers and a 1.6 A18-49 rating (+19 and +7 percent, respectively). Both shows were still second-to-last in their time period for the hour, however.
- There’s a rumor that Hanna Murray may be the next "Doctor Who" companion. [I Know Who via io9]
- The ninth episode of "Stargate Universe" will be called "Justice" and it will deal with "shipboard justice and the ever-developing interrelations among the crew". [via Gateworld.net]
- Sticking with the Stargate franchise, the fifth, and final, season of "Stargate Atlantis" will hit DVD in North American on June 30th. [TVShowsOnDVD.com]
- Turns out that the producers of ABC’s "Life on Mars" didn’t need to alter the season/series finale all that much. Fans can expect many of the show’s storylines to be wrapped up in the final hour. [Zap2It]
- The plan is still to have Claire return as a regular character for the sixth season of "Lost"… [TV Guide]
- …Also, producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelf reveal that we’ll be meeting a couple characters this season that we’ve heard about, but haven’t seen yet. [Doc Arzt]
- We’ll learn more of Peter’s past, and the experiments Olivia underwent as a child with the drug Cortexiphan in upcoming episodes of the Fox series "Fringe". [EW]
- The characters Bryce and Dr. Jill Roberts will both be back on NBC’s "Chuck". Also, Chuck’s dad (played by Scott Bakula) may be the mysterious "Orion", or at the very least be connected to him/her. [EW, TV Guide and SCI FI Wire]
In case you missed it, be sure to check out Friday’s weekly BSG column to get your fix on the latest BSG news, images and videos. In the mean time, here’s the promo for next week’s episode — the show’s two-hour series finale — "Daybreak, Parts II and III".
Lex Luthor Bailout
SNL Skit: Game Time with Dave and Greg
Why Terminators Transport Naked
- British writer Tony Lee talks about the upcoming "Doctor Who" monthly magazine, set to launch this July. [Comic Book Resources]
- Devil’s Due Publishing and CBS Consumer Products have cut a deal to publish a comic book based on the canceled CBS series "Jericho". The comic will pick up where the series left off, and the original producing team of Jon Turteltaub, Carol Barbee, Karim Zreik and Jon Steinberg will all be involved, promising to address some of the story’s still lingering questions. [Devil’s Due Publishing]
- A softcover copy of a rare 1997 first edition copy of J.K. Rowling’s "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone" sold for a record $19,120 at a recent auction. Only 300 hardcover and 200 softcover copies of Rowling’s first book were ever printed. The book was also signed by Rowling. [SCI FI Wire]
- "The Dark Knight" and "Lost" led their respective Film and TV categories in nominations at this The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films’ annual Saturn Awards. Both "The Dark Knight" and "Lost" received 11 nominations. [SaturnAwards.org]
- Check out the the cover for "And Another Thing…", which is ‘part six of three’ in the "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" series. [SCI FI Wire]
SCI FI RATINGS (2/16/2009 to 2/22/2009)