Sci-Fi Movies Wednesday: Ghost Rider, He-Man, Iron Man 2, Predators, Thor, X-Men, Paul + more

This week’s Sci-Fi Movies column includes the first details on Robert Rodriguez’s Predators, updates on Ghost Rider 2 and He-Man, plus updates on movies based on Venom, Silver Surfer and Daredevil, along with the latest movie news, casting bites and images and videos, including the first image from Simon Pegg’s Paul.


First Details on Rodriguez’s Predators
The Robert Rodriguez-scripted "Predators" reboot is scheduled to hit theaters on July 7, 2010 and Latino Review was able to take a peek at a draft of the script dated July 12, 2009 which the site reports is "awesome", adding it’s "a 90-page sci-fi action movie worthy of the original." Here are a few highlights from the site’s sneak peek:

  • "Bloody, violent, hard-R script reminiscent of the original".
  • Story takes place on the Predator home planet
  • We meet our hero Royce, described as a Steve McQueen type, in the pre-credit opening sequence as he’s chasing down an adversary on a rooftop, the chase ends with Royce killing his adversary.  The Predator is looking on the entire time and kidnaps Royce.
  • After the credits we catch up with Royce parachuting onto the planet’s jungle.  We then meet seven other, similarly captured, characters also placed on in the planet’s jungle.

Here are some character details:

  • Cuchillo — A Mexican enforcer from a drug cartel with uzis strapped to his back. [character will be played by Danny Trejo]
  • Nikolai — A frightening bear of a Russian armed with a four-barreled gas-powered rotary machine gun.
  • Isabelle — A French "tough as nails woman armed with a sniper rifle".
  • Stans — A prisoner from San Quentin with a shaved head and a scorpion tattoo on his neck and armed with a prison made knife.
  • Mombasa — An African member of the Sierra Leon death squad.
  • Hanzo — A bad-ass Japanese Yakuza enforcer.
  • Edwin — A small unassuming man…formerly one of the FBI’s most-wanted.

Be sure to head on over to Latino Review to watch their "First Look" video which contains many more details.

Pre-Production Stopped on Halloween 3D + Halloween II Re-release Set for Halloween
The Weinstein Company has stopped pre-production on "Halloween 3D".  The studio received the first draft this past Friday and it was suppose to begin production this November for a summer 2010 release.  Bob Weinstein is said to have shut down pre-production because he felt that they were "rushing too fast", according to a scoop sent in to Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood.  The new plan is for Dimension Films to wait until director Patrick Lussier finishes a film he begins shooting in January.  Meanwhile, "Halloween II" (which is at $32.1 million domestically, well below the $58.3 million grossed by Zombie’s 2007 film) will be re-released on Halloween in selected theaters for midnight showings.

Ghost Rider Sequel Under Way + Daredevil and Silver Surfer Under Development
Columbia Pictures is moving forward with a sequel to "Ghost Rider"Variety reports that David Goyer ("The  Dark Knight") is in early talks to create the story and supervise writers for the sequel. Nicolas Cage is once again expected to star (reprising his role from the 2007 feature).  The article also mentions that Fox is "quietly developing a new version of "Daredevil" and working on a Silver Surfer film."

Sam Rockwell Talks Iron Man 2
Sam Rockwell talked a bit about his role in "Iron Man 2" and what it was like being on the site:

"It was great… it was a good time, a lot of fun" he explained of his work on the blockbuster sequel. "It’s like the all-stars; like the globe-trotters or something. You know, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth [Paltrow], Scarlett [Johansson] and Robert Downey Jr. And Sam Jackson’s there too. It does feel like you’re passing the ball with Michael Jordan and then onto Larry Bird."

In comparing the sequel to the first film, Rockwell said "It’s a bigger scope. There’s a lot more action and fighting. More characters. It’s bigger and there’s a lot more to get your head around, so it’s a tougher job for [Jon] Favreau and Justin Theroux, who wrote it." Here’s what he had to say about his character, Justin Hammer:

"He’s a rival of Tony’s – they are competitors in the weapons industry. I team up with Michey Rourke and we decide we want to take him down and take down the Stark legacy. He’s sort of like a cousin of the Charlie’s Angels character I played. The smarmy cousin. But it’s Mickey – he does the fighting and the kicking ass in the film."

"Iron Man 2" is scheduled to hit both conventional and IMAX theaters on May 7, 2010.

Entertainment Tonight set visit

Watch more set visits here

Sony Moving Forward With Venom Movie
Paul Wernick, who co-wrote a script for "Venom" with fellow "Zombieland" writer Rhett Reese, told SCI FI Wire that the project is still moving forward and they recently turned in their first script to Sony:

"We’ve written two drafts of Venom, and the studio has it, and they’re pushing forward in whatever ways they push forward." 

When asked about the relationship between "Venom" and "Spider-Man 4", Wernick remained tight-lipped, but did infer that there could be some sort of connection between the two: "Basically, the studio and Marvel and the Arads are taking our drafts and going beyond and figuring out what’s the next step."

He-Man Movie Back On Track With New Studio
Sony is finalizing a deal to produce a big screen adaptation of Mattel’s popular action figure line "He-Man".  Joel Silver had originally been developing the project at Warner Bros. after bringing it to the studio in 2007, but Mattel ended up taking the rights back after Mattel, the studio and Silver couldn’t agree on the creative direction of the project.  "Knowing" producers Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch will develop the project at their Escape Artists production company. Rights to the scripts penned by Justin Marks and Evan Daugherty still belong to WB, so Sony will likely need to look for a new writer.



Production stills [more at SpoilerTV]


First look at Simon Pegg and Nick Frost [Collider]

Planet 51

Poster [Teaser-Trailer]

The Princess and the Frog

Poster [SlashFilm]

Red Dawn

Set images [more at Red Dawn 2010 via io9]

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Set/Promo images [more at LA Times]

Character posters [one more at SCI FI Wire]

Where the Wild Things Are

Stills and behind-the-scenes set images [more at io9]


  • Director Scott Stewart revealed that Alan Dale ("Lost") has joined the cast of "Priest".  he’ll play Monsignor Chamberlain… [Scott Stewart]
  • …Stewart also revealed that Christopher Plummer will play Monsignor Orelas, leader of the Orwellian Church State. [Scott Stewart]
  • Jason Bateman says he hasn’t been contacted yet to appear in "Hancock 2". [Collider]
  • Jaime Alexander and Colm Feore have joined the cast of "Thor".  Alexander will play Sif, a skilled Asgardian warrior who can hold her own against any man.  She’s also one of Thor’s loves.  Feore’s role is unknown, although he is expected to play a villain… [THR]
  • ..Also joining the cast are Thomas Haden Church, James Purefoy and Mark Strong.  Church will play Tal Hajus, an ambitious and vicious Thark warrior who is biding his time to be a ruler; Purefoy plays Kantos Kan, the captain of the Xavarian, the kingdom of Helium’s grand warship; and Strong will play Matai Shang, the ruler of the Thems with godlike status. [THR’s Heat Vision Blog]
  • Wentworth Miller has joined the cast of "Resident Evil: Afterlife (in 3D)" and Ali Larter will also be returning for the film. [Black Film via io9]
  • Echoing earlier statements by Kate Beckinsale, Michael Sheen said that he hasn’t been signed for "Underworld 4 (in 3D)": "I’ve heard rumor of it, but nobody has actually spoken to me about it, so I don’t know," he said. [SCI FI Wire]


A Christmas Carol

Trailer #2

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Teaser trailer

The Book of Eli

Trailer #2

John Carter of Mars

Co-star Lynn Collins on her role

Toy Story 3

TV spot

Double Feature trailer/clip [via SlashFilm]


Restricted clip

TV spot: "Momma Told Me"

Watch another TV spot here


  • Peter Jackson’s "The Hobbit" could be in trouble again.  MGM is in financial trouble and are said to need "$20M in short-term cash flow to cover overhead, and an additional $150 million to get through the end of year and continue funding its projects, and to start Peter Jackson’s Hobbit." [Deadline Hollywood]
  • Never the less, Ian McKellen again confirmed that he’ll reprise his role as Gandalf the Grey in "The Hobbit": "…I played the best wizard, and I’m happy to revisit him, which I shall do in The Hobbit with Guillermo del Toro." [Rotten Tomatoes]
  • Ron Howard on his proposed adaptation of "The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft": "It very cleverly uses H.P. Lovecraft in a fictional way, but there’s some loose biographical elements. But it certainly has the flavor and the tone of Lovecraft," Howard said, adding: "The character is a very young Lovecraft." [LA Times’ Hero Complex Blog]
  • Summit Entertainment is reportedly considering splitting "Breaking Dawn", Stephanie Meyer’s fourth and final book in the "Twilight" franchise, into two movies. [E! Online]
  • Sam Raimi has signed up to produce "Refuge", a supernatural horror film based on British director Corin Hardy’s pitch about a remote town terrorized by a Yeti. [THR]
  • David Cronenberg is in talks to develop a reboot of his 1986 classic "The Fly".  Cronenberg would write and potentially direct the new film for Fox. [THR’s Risky Biz Blog]
  • On October 1st from 10:50-11:00 p.m. ET/PT, Sony Pictures will preview two minutes of Roland Emmerich’s "2012" (November 13th) across ABC, NBC, CBS, 89 cable outlets, local stations and Spanish-language networks throughout the US.  The estimated $4 million "roadblock", as it’s being called, is expected to reach about 110 million viewers with hopes to reach about 90% of all households watching TV at that time. The spot will end in a cliffhanger, with the conclusion to be shown on and Comcast on Demand. [THR]
  • DreamWorks is in negotiations to buy "Xombie", a pitch about a zombie who is also a policeman, from Will Beall.  Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are in talks to produce. [THR]
  • The Nigerian Information Minister has banned Neill Blomkamp’s "District 9", ordering the Nigerian film and video censors’ board to ask all cinemas to stop showing the film and to confiscate it: "I have also formally written to Sony Pictures Entertainment, the company that produced this film, demanding an unconditional apology for this unwarranted attack on Nigeria’s image," she added. [BBC]
  • Summit Entertainment is rebooting "Highlander" and has tapped Justin Lin to direct from a script written by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway ("Iron Man"). [SCI FI Wire]
  • Dennis Quaid says that he’s ready for a sequel to "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra": "I’m definitely on board if they do another one," Quaid said. "I don’t know if they have a script yet, but I’m definitely interested." [SCI FI Wire]
  • In the past Michael Caine has offered some casting bites for "The Dark Knight", including name checking Johnny Depp and Philip Seymour Hoffman as potential stars in the film.  However, Caine is now stepping away from those claims and says: "There is nobody, there’s no script, there’s nothing…It can’t possibly be made before 2011 because ‘Inception’ is such a big picture," adding: "Johnny Depp is great in anything, but there is no Johnny Depp in this Batman," he smiled. "They tell me in no uncertain terms."  [MTV]
  • Edward Norton likes the idea of Hulk being a villain in "The Avengers": "In the comics, there was always a tension between the rest of the superhero community and he was always this problem… They treated him as this problem," said Norton." [MTV]
  • Warner Bros. is reportedly already developing a sequel to "Sherlock Holmes" with Brad Pitt as the villain: "The studio is poised to bring on Kieran and Michele Mulroney, the scribes who are penning its "Justice League: Mortal" tentpole, to pen a draft of the new tale. Brad Pitt has had discussions with producers to star as Holmes’ nemesis Moriarty in the new pic, say people familiar with the project, though there is no deal in place for him to take the part." [THR’s Risky Biz Blog]
  • The second trailer for James Cameron’s 3D sci-fi epic "Avatar" is expected to make its debut soon and according to a report will feature several lines of dialogue, as well as glimpses of future Earth and some of the "incredible performance that Sam Worthington gives as Jake." [MarketSaw]
  • Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld says he’s seen most of the storyboards for the "Green Lantern" film and says that over one-third of the film will be set on OA, the home world of the Green Lanterns.  He also revealed that the film will have multiple Green Lanterns, including Kilowag and Hal Jordan’s (Ryan Reynolds) mentor-turned-archenemy, Sinestro… [Nuke The Fridge]
  • …Liefeld also tweeted that despite Reynolds’ turn in "Green Lantern", "X-Men Origins: Deadpool" is still on track and "Ryan Reynolds is on board!!!". [Cinema Blend]
  • Lauren Shuler Donner denied rumors that the young X-Men movie ‘First Class’ was ready to shoot.  She also said that contrary to prior reports, no actors have signed contracts for the new franchise.  Donner also revealed that she has thought about plans for other mutant films, including X4 (that would reunite the cast) and a big screen outing for "The New Mutants", but she hasn’t pitched either to the studio… [SlashFilm]
  • …In related X-Men news, Gavin Hood ("X-Men Origins: Wolverine") said that he’s interested in directing the Magneto film, "X-Men Origins: Magneto". [MTV]
  • A description of the new trailer for "Toy Story 3" (which will be attached to the "Toy Story"/"Toy Story 2" double feature) has leaked.  You can read it in full at Jim Hill. [via Trailer Addict]
  • The rights to the "Terminator" franchise are once again up for sale.  Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek — who acquired the rights in 2007 for $25 million and produced "Terminator Salvation" — hope to sell the rights to help steer some of the companies they own through Chapter 11 reorganization. [LA Times]
  • Keanu Reeves provided some updates on the live-action adaptation of the anime series "Cowboy Bebop", revealing that a draft of the script exists, but in its current form it would be near impossible to film (huge budget) so a rewrite is currently underway. [MTV]


Astonishing X-Men: Motion Comic

Clip (via io9)

Avatar: The Video Game



Tim Burton’s Superman Lives

Nicolas Cage costume test?

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Cage looks like crap in that stupid outfit! Thank God it was never made!

Looking forward to Toy Story in 3D !!!

Of all these, Green Lantern is the film I’m most anticipating.

Can’t wait for Robert Rodriguez’s “Predators”!!! …should be KICK ASS!!!

…and YES!!, Hulk should be the villain in “The Avengers”!!!

…Hulk-buster armor for Iron Man anyone? =)

Can’t wait for Robert Rodriguez’s “Predators”!!! …should be KICK ASS!!!

…and YES!!, Hulk should be the villain in “The Avengers”!!!

…Hulk-buster armor for Iron Man anyone? =)

The Disney Christmas Carol is fantastic! I saw the special Train cars that are going around the country since Memorial Day weekend and the props used for the film. The short preview we saw in 3D is out of this world and playing it #D IMAX will be the way to go.

“a Steve McQueen type”
You wish. Even in “The Blob” McQueen lit up the screen. I’ll reserve judgement on Predators, but nothing on this sheet offers much.

Higher hopes for the kid stuff (since I have some excuses to drag into the theatre.) Wondering if “Where the Wild Things Are” will be good beyond the seemingly gorgeous production values. “Planet 51” likewise has a cute premise, but I’ve gotta wonder what else it will do for 80 minutes or so.

Anyway… GREAT to see so much in the pipeline.

Predators sounds like it has exploitation epic failure written all over it. Sterotypical protagonists (yet another japanese with a sword named ‘Hanzo’ and the obligatory ‘tough as nails female’, the Russian,, the African, the ‘geek’…). Sounds like the cast from Mortal Combat, DOA (including the parachuting in)
and every other stuck on an island last man standing movie.
Predators ‘kidnapping’ their targets???? WHY???? If they are that easy to kidnap why not just kill them there? Not enough sport? OK, then lets give the prey a BETTER chance by
a. Taking them to an alien environment
b. Using the new SUPER predators
c. Adding Pred Dogs and Falcons to the predators already superior physical and technological abilities.
Boy, THAT should add some ‘sport’ to hunting these really dangerous humans. Guess the predators got tired of going to earth and hunting humans in their natural environment wherein the preds keep getting their scaly butts handed to them.
This whole concept sounds like derivative garbage and is nothing more then a lame excuse for lots of violence and blood contained in the framework of a lame script, 2 dimensional stereotypical characterization and a pre-existing fanbase. If AVP didnt kill this franchise this probably will.
Halloween 3? really? Do we care? 2 was unwatchable garbage! My guess is Weinstien is just saving his money to bail his good friend Polanski out of jail. Dont make it Wienstien…its one less movie from you and your Polanski petition signing knitting club that I have to boycott.
“Paul”…looking forward to it…
“Christmas Carol”…not even going to bother…so tired of this movie being remade ad nauseum and I dont need Ebeneezer Snicket…errr…Scrooge.
Nigeria? Hey Nigeria…if youre so concerned about your image then stop stuffing my inbox with messages telling me how Im the recipient of millions in unclaimed funds from some dead guy named ‘Mombassa’ who was killed by a Super Predator in an alien hunting reserve before filling out his will….

#3 “Of all these, Green Lantern is the film I’m most anticipating.”

I agree hole-heartedly. Been waiting a very looong time for
this to come. Hope it won’t disappoint.

On another note: why did someone go to all the trouble
of filming the different (mind-altered) versions of Superman
and then pin Cage’s face on it? I know there had been
an idea of a reboot with him as the Man of Steel, but jeesh,
that’s just plain wrong….

They better get moving long with Cowboy Bebop Keanu’s not getting any older

Seeing Nicholas Cage in that pseudo-Superman garb made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

@11 – Bill… I think I threw up MORE than a little bit… thank GOD this was never green lighted!

Now I gotta go clean my laptop. *HORK*

That Superman costume test is just too fake looking. I can not believe people actually believe that is real.

I’m hoping the He-Man movie gets made. I loved the first movie, but then again when that came out I was 15. Looking forward to Iran Man 2 & Thor.

I wonder if the multi-interactial cast of ultra violent misfits has any relevance to the story or if it’s just an excuse to get a bunch of violent misfits together because someone thought that would be cool.

You know what I think will be cool — the new Predator movie. Despite the obvious problems with thin characterization the plot sounds different enough to be pretty darned cool.

I think it’s going to fit into Rodriguez’s bag of tricks perfectly and should be pretty exciting.

As for Terminator. It’s so weird to see such a top of the line franchise being hunked and junked all over the place. Wouldn’t it be cool to see Cameron by his franchise back this time around and make a really good movie in five years or so.

Actually, the Burton/Cage “Superman Lives” was in preproduction for quite awhile with several scripts written (including a draft or two by Kevin Smith) and plenty of concept work done before WB pulled the plug. Cage and Burton had “pay or play” clauses signed before coming onboard, and so Warner had to pay the two as if they had actually filmed their monstrosity. There’s a second video compilation at that same website that shows some of the Brainiac concepts from Burton and others.

Supposedly, the ragged flesh colored edge on that Superman test costume was where the fake latex chest ended, which is where it would have needed to be blended via makeup to Cage’s neckline…

I’m crossing my fingers and knocking on any wood I can find that Where The Wild Things Are will be as good as the trailers seem to make it out to be. At least Maurice Sendak was involved in its production and seems to have offered his blessing.

Whoever ends up buying Terminator needs to let Josh Friedman do a TSCC movie to finish up the story.

Stop calling it “rebooting”, dammit! They’re REMAKING Highlander. Call a remake a remake, for the FSM’s sake!

I understand using “reboot” when it’s an established series of films they’re starting over (e.g. Batman, Star Trek) but the Highlander films don’t *have* any continuity. II and III completely ignore each other, and IV and V follow on from the TV series adaption. Not to mention that most people haven’t seen the sequels anyway. You might as well call the new film a remake and have done with it.

Good gods, that Superman/Nic Cage video is one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen. Imagine if that had been made — shudder.

Predators sounds like a similar premise to ‘Arena’

“Predators” sounds so derivative, it’s ridiculous. Perhaps that’s part of the appeal Rodriguez is going to try to squeeze out of this film. It’s such a bad cliche, it’s cool. Yawn. Give me back Arnold. All those other guys are pansies.

I’s also all for ignoring “Christmas Carol.” I find this style of melding of CG and reality quite distracting. Pulled me out of the story in ‘Beowulf’ several times.

Let’s hope this new round of Marvel flicks (GR, DD, SS) blow their predecessors out of the water.

Could comment on many things…..mainly though….I’ve been real enthused about everything I’ve heard about Thor, except I think it’s a mistake to throw ou the Elizabethan/Shakespearean English. That made Thor fun.

And I thought Routh’s costume made him look like a dork!
Thank God THAT version fell through!
Burton would have blown it the same way he did with the Apes remake.

Im looking forward to the Green Lantern movie. I hope it doesn’t suck.


Andy Patterson:

In all seriousness, Thor should probably sound more like this:

OMG! Big news about Highlander reboot!

Although it’s a little bit depressing to think someone may reboot Highlander and miss entirely the beauty and passion of it (like we saw happen with Matrix sequels where the writers and producer’s didn’t seem to quite get what made the first one great), reading AICN’s tear-down of the script had me quite pleased — that guy Big Ross, got a lot of what he was complaining about wrong (for example, one of McLeod’s greatest qualities was that after 500 years of life, he DID NOT ever love anyone but Heather). So it might actually be decent. yay.

Besides, if it’s no good, my childhood will still be fine because nothing new has or could tarnish that original. It is immortal, it will always be THE Highlander. I love it. Be good to it.

I will be in that line with my ticket, regardless.

there’s a funny story on the new he-man movie over at the naming & branding blog ‘on the button.’ have a look:

hmm…. I hope that doesn’t mean there won’t be a Terminator 5 cause Salvation was ineffably grand.

I can’t wait for Toy Story 3. I’m going to try and see the first two this weekend in theaters.


Probably not. Alas, Jim Henson’s no longer with us.

Very happy to hear about a possible Cowboy Bebop movie. I hope it gets made!

At this rate the “The Hobbitt” wont be released until 2020