Have a question about something fantasy-related? Ask the Oracle! (Be sure to include your first name and the city, state, and/or country you’re writing from.)
Q: So you recently mentioned that HBO had commissioned a pilot for a TV version of A Song of Fire and Ice. Any more progress? What are the odds it’ll actually make it on air? –Ross, Vancouver, BC, Canada
A: The initial report stated that HBO had commissioned ten shows to pilot, with a plan to pick up about six of those ten. But the premium network has since announced a few other pilots they’ve ordered, some of which have already been picked up for full seasons. Winter is Coming, a blog about the would-be Fire and Ice TV series, has a good run-down of the various shows, their odds of being picked up, and whether or not they’ll be competition for A Song of Fire and Ice.
What’s the good news? A poster at NeoGAF forums claimed to have spoken to the President of HBO Programming in early March, and this is what was reported:
I expressed my delight at them ordering a pilot, and we chatted for a bit.
He confirmed the Ireland filming location for later this year, and he said that the script Benioff wrote is absolutely amazing. He also said that it’s important for them to really focus on the characters and make sure their performance comes out because he said he doesn’t look at A Game of Thrones [the title of the first season] as a special effects event but rather as a really intense character story. He mentioned that after the script was passed around, everyone at the office went and picked up the books and they’re all hooked, so that bodes well. He said it’s a super expensive pilot, and it’s risky in the sense that if it doesn’t get made in the right way, it won’t be as good as potential allows it to be.
If this is true, the Oracle obviously thinks it’s pretty great news. That said, there’s many a slip between the cup and a TV pilot actually making it on air.
Q: So this guy who died like week, Dave Arneson, co-created Dungeons & Dragons? Why haven’t I heard of him before? I thought it was Gary Gygax who created D&D. — Milt, Shoebox, CA
A: The Oracle can reveal that in the early 1970s, Arneson and Gygax both independently created similar “role-playing” games: Arneson’s was called Blackmoor and Gygax’s was called Chainmail. Since they had impressed each other, they met in 1971, and began developing a game together, originally to be called The Fantasy Game, that combined elements from both their previous work. They couldn’t find a publisher until 1974, when they released what was now known as Dungeons & Dragons. Gygax founded TSR, Inc., a company to support the game, but Arneson left in 1976 to create his own games.
When an anti-D&D backlash arose in the media in the late 1970s, it was Gygax who personally defended it, which, along with his control of TSR until the mid-1980s, may be why most people associate Gygax, and not Arensen, with the game today.
Gygax and Arenson had a falling out in the late 1970s over royalties from the game, and Arenson sued Gygax five different times. In an out-of-court settlement in 1981, they agreed that they would both be credited as “co-creators” of the game from then forward, but the two reportedly had a tense relationship forever after.
Q: A new Clash of the Titans movie? I don’t want to be mean, but of all the Ray Harryhausen stop-motion animated movies, that’s probably the lamest. Why are they remaking that one? — Bill, Milwaukee, WI
A: Never underestimate the value of a hit, and Titans was the eleventh most successful movie of 1981. But the real impetus for the remake was another movie hit, 2006’s 300, also set in the time of ancient Greece. The surprising break-out success of the latter film so inspired Hollywood that two companies put Greek God-themed films into production: Clash at Warner Brothers and War of Gods, about the Greek soldier Theseus fighting titans, at Relativity Media. There was a race to see which movie would hit theaters first, though Clash, which is filming now, seems to have won that duel. Still, the plan is for both to be out in 2010.
The Oracle can also reveal what everyone surely wants to know: “Of course there will be the kraken!” says Clash director Louis Leterrior. “There will be much more. In the original film, there was no clash and no titans!”
Interested in buying the original Clash of the Titans (or any other media)? Support TheTorchOnline.com by buying it through this link.
- Ask the Oracle: What Other Greek Myth Movies Are Coming? When Will the WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER Open? More!
- Ask the Oracle: CLASH OF THE TITANS a Trilogy? No More Spock (or Acting) for Leonard Nimoy?
- Ask the Oracle! (Fantasy Questions Answered)
- Ask the Oracle: Why’d MEDIUM Switch Networks? Is LIGHTNING THIEF a HARRY POTTER Rip-Off? More!
- Ask the Oracle: Did Atlantis Exist? What’s the Fantasy Equivalent to “Ginger or Mary Ann”? More!