HBO has released the most in-depth behind-the-scenes look yet at their upcoming A Game of Thrones series. I’m really, really pleased that they included the point-of-view of author George R.R. Martin, since this is really his vision.
“It’s not a good-guys/bad-guys story,” executive producer/writer D.B. Weiss explains. “It’s a story where everybody is pursuing their own interest and everybody’s following their own code, and it’s about those interests and those epics coming into conflict with each other. And it provides a much richer story than the guys in white beating the guys in black.”
For the record, I’m in awe of how fantastic this looks:
Some of the industry rags are predicting that the new The Dark Tower movies we told you about last week are going to break box office records set by the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Avatar. Interesting counting of chickens, no?
Torchwood writer John Fayattempts to explain why Ianto had to die in Children of Earth, but flying in the face of every other interview on the subject, when asked if he’d bring Ianto back, “I’m not going to answer that, Neil, you’ll just have to watch and see.” Just for the record, it ain’t happening. Russell T. Davies has said as much.
Tron: Legacy released a sneak peek of the new movie via Disney Channel. It’s not a ton of new footage, but there is some new battle scenes, and a bit more of Olivia Wilde’s purpose in the film.
The new movie Super premiered at Toronto International Film Festival, and got snapped up by IFC for distribution. It looks to be a dark comedy version of Kick-Ass, with Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page playing a version of Big Daddy and Hit Girl. I watched four minutes of it and wanted to wash my eyes out with bleach.
Clint Eastwood directed Matt Damon in Hereafter. It may be one of those Oscar-bait movies, but Damon looks to be a medium/psychic, which makes it “fantasy-esque.” I’m not sure how much the supernatural plays into what looks to be a character drama, but it’s definitely in there.
Michael Caine is going to step into the Journey to the Center of the Earth sequel. He’ll be playing the grandfather to Josh Hutcherson. Brendan Frasier dropped out to pretend he has something better to do. O.K.: I’ll admit making his Broadway debut opposite True Blood’s Denis O’Hare is pretty cool.
And finally, HBO released two clips on their upcoming A Game of Thrones. The first is a short montage of the action scenes they’ve shot.
The second video is behind-the-scenes, and includes a set visit with George R.R. Martin, who seems positively giddy with the production.
Meanwhile, the Dawn Treader itself (if you’re picky, the “Matthew” in drag) is trapped in tiny fishing village in England to ride out some weather, but it let the BBC get some great footage of the ship, which is mostly CGI in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
IDW is going to give Angel to Dark Horse comics, and the Buffyverses can finally be synchronized. Fans of both Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics had been dealing with goodie-goodie Angel in his own title, and a decidedly less friendly version in Buffy.
Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz is going to make a supernatural WWII tank movie called Panzer 88. They say it’s going to be based on real troop movements in 1944 on the Russian front, but will add an occult element that’s not really specified. It’s only got a $20 million budget, but it has WETA behind the effects.
Meanwhile a few more photos from Deathly Hallows have leaked out, but they don’t seem to tell you much about the story, except that England hasn’t invented waterproof Nylon tents yet.
Wired talked to David J. Petersonwho is creating the new language for the nomadic Dothrakihorse tribes in A Game of Thrones. He’s create a dozen languages prior to tackling Dothraki, and considers language creation to be an art form. He even found typos in what little of the language George R.R. Martin created in the books. The language currently contains 2,356 words.
The ballots for the World Fantasy Awards have been announced, and I’m ashamed to admit that in the novel category, not on have I only have I read none of the books, I only know one of the authors.
·Blood of Ambrose, James Enge (Pyr)
·The Red Tree, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
·The City & The City, China Miéville (Macmillan UK/ Del Rey)
·Finch, Jeff VanderMeer (Underland)
·In Great Waters, Kit Whitfield (Jonathan Cape UK/Del Rey)
Finally, what would it look like if M. Night Shyamalan spoofed his own upcoming elevator movie with MTV’s Josh Horowitz? You’d have Escalation.
A couple of new stills from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader have been released, and they seem to mostly exist to highlight the fact that Ben Barnes is the only cast member who can grow a beard (save Aslan).
Has George R.R. Martinwritten himself into corner on A Dance with Dragons? Is it possible that he’s built such rich characters in his world that he doesn’t have an actual narrative? These are conclusions being reached by people with absolutely no knowledge of the facts.
Some folks are so impatient for A Game of Thrones (the series) to begin, they have started creating concept art for the characters. I can’t fault the quality of the sketches, but I do think the artist overestimates the ability to sculpt cool facial hair before the advent of stainless steel and electric trimmers.
Before Denis O’Hare was ripping spines out of newscasters, he was creating a 2,800 old backstory for Russell Eddington, the Vampire King of Mississippi on True Blood. I have to admit, his character has deviated so far from the books at this point, I’m not sure where the story is going.
So exactly what is in the free-to-play version of Lord of the Rings Online when the switch happens September 10th? Nearly everything. You don’t get to play as a monster, and you have some limits on what you can earn at a time, but it’s possible to play the entire game for free. Paying opens up some new options, and likely makes advancing easier, but it’s not required. I may have to try this. Who am I kidding? My friends should visit me now, because come September 10th, I’m off the grid.
The Torchwoodstory arc and basic character descriptions for Captain Jack, Gwen, and the new CIA agent Rex Matheson have been posted. The storyline sounds half fairy tale, half Jason Bourne. I’m a little disturbed by: “The only thing that could call Jack Harkness back is his unstated love for Gwen Cooper.” I thought we were past that?
In Vanishing on 7th Street, Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, and John Leguezamo are in a massive power blackout when everyone disappears. Then the world shrinks some more.
Seth Rogenis set to star in Boo U, an animated tale about a ghost has to return to ghost school in order to learn how to better do his job. So I’m guess half Casper, half Beetlejuice?
Stan Lee and Ming-Na are both taping guest roles on SyFy’s Eureka. Little is known about the roles, but it has been made clear that, with Ming-Na’s role, this is not a crossover with Stargate: Universe. Unlike Warehouse 13, it exists in its own timeline and universe.
Sam Worthington has confirmed for Dracula: Year Zero.He’s going to play Prince Vlad, who really existed, though likely not in the form the movie will portray.
When doing an interview promoting Spartacus: Blood and Sand in the UK, Lucy Lawless dropped two pieces of information that shocked me. The first was that her children have no interest in her work: “I may as well work in a bank.” The second was that a man once asked her to sign his axe. She says, “ Was a bit creeped out by that,” but she doesn’t say she didn’t sign it.
The Catherine Hardwicke-directed, Amanda Seyfried-starring Red Riding Hoodmovie has just added Saul frakkin’ Tigh to the cast. Michael Hogan is joining the picture as a character known as The Reeve.
St. Paul University in Ottawa is making waves by offering a course on ethics in The Lord of the Rings. It was inspired by books like The Simpsons and Philosophy (The D’oh! of Homer);The Matrix and Philosophy (Welcome to the Desert of the Real); and The Sopranos and Philosophy (I Kill Therefore I Am), but I’m betting those didn’t cost some kid’s parents $735.
Only days apart, I stumbled across two lesbian-interest blogs publishing stories of interest. First was the Top 10(ish) Actresses(ish) You Didn’t Know You Need To Know. This brings the ladies of Legend of the Seeker at the top of a genre-heavy list. The very next day came The Top Women of Sci-Fi TV, which definitely leans to science fiction with characters like Seven of Nine, but also includes Cara Mason (Tabrett Bethell) of Legend of the Seeker.
The world’s shortest teaser-trailer premiered for Smurfs; it has 3 seconds of Smurfs for 53 seconds of trailer, but at least you get to see the little blue guys in Times Square. USAToday also says that Gargamel isn’t out to eat them anymore, just use them to make his magic more powerful.
HBO has signed Brian Kirk to direct two episodes of Game of Thrones. He’s previously knocked out episodes of Dexter and Brotherhood, but I don’t see a lot of genre work. The bonus is that he’s from Northern Ireland, where they intend to film.
If you had given up on Narnia.com during the long silence between films, it’s time to check it out, because it has been updated in advance of Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Buried deep in an interview about Tilda Swinton’s new film I Am Love, she expresses shock that the trailer for Voyage of the Dawn Treader revealed she was in the film. She also swears that she spent less time filming the scene than the interview took, which was only 23 minutes.
The new international trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has a “Pee gauge.” Hmmmmm.
Some quotes from True Blood’sAnna Paquinhave been interpreted in a few naughty ways. What she said about dating costar Stephen Moyer was: “I think that one great bonus is we don’t need a fluffer.” And that’s been reported in different ways, including the idea that the sex scenes aren’t simulated, which is extremely unlikely.
Harry Potter is over. Well, filming Harry Potter is over. We still have two movies we get to watch, and I think you can still buy Bernie Bott’s All Flavor Beans.
Speaking of Harry Potter, on the Tony Awards Sunday night, Daniel Radcliffe presented with Katie Holmes, and she’s either a giant, or Daniel is really, really tiny (editor’s note: or, perhaps, it’s a little of both; Radcliffe is 5′5″).
Most authors of “mainstream fiction” don’t even acknowledge fantasy fiction exists. But John Grisham is aware, and he’s ticked. He used to get introduced as “the world’s best-selling author” and now he’s number two behind J.K. Rowling. He wants his spot back, and started writing Young Adult fiction for that purpose.
Besides Smallville, I’m having trouble remembering the last successful live-action comic book series on television. But DC Entertainment CEO Geoff Johnstweeted that he was trying to break a clip of Jaime Reyes’ Blue Beetle out to show at Comic Con.
Above you can see a newly-released picture from HBO’s adaptation of Game of Thrones from George R.R. Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice book series. And below, we have the first teaser trailer for the series that arrives in 2011.
Studios have announced a slew of new dates for 2011 and beyond movies. The fantasy highlight is probably Red Riding Hood starring Amanda Seyfried as a young girl who falls for an orphaned woodcutter in a medieval village haunted by a werewolf. The Catherine Hardwicke film is set for April 22, 2010. The supernatural horror film The Apparition is set for September 9th, 2011 with Sebastian Stan.And Disney has a new Winnie the Pooh film July 15th, 2011 – start ‘em on fantasy young!
The whole point of Dragon Age Origins: The Darkspawn Chronicles has been revealed, and it’s both less and more than some were expecting. The point of the expansion package is to let you play the bad guys and hack and slash your way through the regular, good playable characters. While it always feels good to be bad, the short length of the game explains the price.
Emilia Clarke has been cast to replace Tamzin Merchantin HBO’s adaptation of Game of Thrones. The role is for Daenerys, who is an exiled princess. Elements of last November’s pilot will be reshot to accommodate the casting change. As casting for supporting roles is ongoing, the production start for the series has been pushed back to mid-July from June.
Peter Jackson sat down to talk about the new King Kong attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, but like most things he does these days, talk turned to the upcoming film The Hobbit. According to Jackson, they’re currently discussing whether to shoot in 3D, and plan on casting for a November start date for filming.
Speaking of Tolkien, his grandson Simon Tolkien was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, ostensibly about his new mystery novel. But the entire interview seems to be about his grandfather’s later days, how The Lord of the Rings derailed his life’s work, The Silmarillion. As for what he thought of Peter Jackson’s movies, he found the first one good, and the others progressively worse. He thinks the later films showed much that the book left out.
But Simon Tolkien might believe actor Charles Ross has taken the story too far the other way in his One Man Lord of the Rings, now being performed in Kentucky. He’s taken the entire film trilogy and whittled it down to 70 minutes of a comic retelling.
A big batch of pictures from the set of Lost Boys 3 has surfaced. You know what you don’t see in most vampire movies? A bunch of people in bikinis at the beach and on boats in the marina.
Shrek Forever After mashes up every fairy tale and fantasy story ever written into one incomprehensible mess. The film opened to a $71.3 million weekend, which most see as a failure. Robin Hood pulled in another $18.7 million to take 3rd place behind Iron Man 2, and other new opener MacGruber staggered in with a disappointing $4.7 million.
And speaking of the True Blood season 2 finale, if you wondered what happened to the bull mask Maryann wore when she got her maenad action on, the third minisode shows how Sam worked out his frustration on the bovine mask.
I’m super-excited about the HBO series based on George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. Despite the fact that George R.R. Martin is not my bitch, I anxiously await both the series and the next book. But the news that HBO actually hired a language expert to invent a language for the horse warrior Dothraki people made my day. New languages are world-building at its finest. Hopefully it doesn’t end up sounding “athastokhdeveshizaroon.”
I’m pleased that the actors did their own stunts in Prince of Persia. I’m not pleased that the movie looks like it could act as a sleep aid – is that just me?
On a list of 5 Shows That Will Get Me To Watch TV Again, the author has two that fit as genre series: The Walking Dead is the adaptation of the zombie comic, the Untitled Alien Invasion Series is by Steve Spielberg, who only missteps occasionally. Me, I’m holding out for M*A*S*H: Iraq. That’s worth paying for cable to see.
….A second reason, however, was that I am indebted to the British welfare state — the very one that Mr. Cameron would like to replace with charity handouts. When my life hit rock bottom, that safety net, threadbare though it had become under John Major’s Government, was there to break the fall. I cannot help feeling, therefore, that it would have been contemptible to scarper for the West Indies at the first sniff of a seven-figure royalty cheque. This, if you like, is my notion of patriotism.
My fellow Palantir-er, Tim O’Leary let you have the news that Joss Whedon was going to direct The Avengers. Now comes the news that he might also be rewriting the screenplays for both The Avengers and Captain America. It makes sense – Joss is a great writer, understands genre work, and the Marvel films need to start having a common feel if they’re to come together in The Avengers.
If you haven’t read Neal Stephenson’s insanely good Anathem, I highly recommend it. I also recommend you go and check out the Long Now Foundation’s 10,000 Year Clockwhich featured in the book and is now real. No point in thinking small like the Mayans did, now is there?
I hate myself for caring about The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, but I’m really excited to see the movie, despite my aversion to Nic Cage. The WonderCon panel did not put me off the film.
My contempt for reboots of franchises is fairly well known in cyberspace. But even I’m struck by the concept of rebooting a book. Has anyone ever had the guts to do it? I suppose you could argue Wicked was a reboot of The Wizard of Oz. But it was a huge media property – I’ve never heard of Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper. But Jon Scalzi is going to reboot the books. And he has the permission of the estate. And it may be science fiction, but that looks more like a demon than an alien on the cover. Who knows if this is a good idea?
Here’s an odd one. This is the trailer for a short called Hector, Inc. which seems to have some paranormal stuff, magic, and a demonic penguin, all in an office setting. Suitably strange?
There’s an interesting question brewing at io9.com about which franchise has the most rabid fans. They lump science fiction and fantasy in together, which I think is a little sloppy. So what about fantasy – which fans are craziest? Doctor Who, which has been making time travel possible through a living space ship for so many years? What about Twilight? Their fans are unreasonably supportive, but fairly recent. True Blood? Harry Potter? Can we lump in D&D? What fantasy franchise has the mostly insanely loyal fanbase? What sets it apart – longevity, role playing, merchandising? Tell us in the comments.
Speaking of Doctor Who, here are some clips from “The Victory of the Daleks” which should be airing this weekend in the U.K. It seems an odd take on an old enemy.