I’m a little unclear on who Robson Green is, but he’s joining the third season of Being Human as a werewolf, so I’m guessing he’ll be spending his time trying to not have Russell Tovey’s ears block his camera time. The piece also says he’s a singer of ballads that your grandmother buys.
In the pictures that surfaced of the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we saw a young Terry Lupine, son of Remus and Tonks. The actor has now been identified at Luke Newberry, who’s appeared in British television programs Doctors and My Dad’s the Prime Minister.
Some new images have been posted online from the new trailer that releases on Monday for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. One is the attack on Hogwarts. Another is this confrontation between Harry and Lord Voldemort. Some of Ron and Hermione at the link.
Guillermo del Toro may have time to film something special effects-light before his next movie, which is rumored to be Frankenstein, which is set to start filming in May.The monster is already created, but his fascination is with “the nuts, which are something to behold.” I’m going to assume he means the bolts on the monster’s neck.
Viacom has taken a huge risk with The Last Airbender. The film cost $150 million to make, and they’ve spent $130 million on marketing in hopes of creating a new franchise. And director M. Night Shyamalan doesn’t have the most perfect track record. But they’re hoping Happy Meals and stuffed Appas will generate a franchise. They made Aang older, and “The movie is less slapsticky and more epic and darker,” which to me means they risk alienating fans of the animated TV series who loved the humor. In this new commercial, even Appa looks dark.
Iron Man 2dominated the weekend box office to the tune of $133.6 million. Of that, $6.50 was mine for a matinee Friday, which I enjoyed immensely. Meanwhile, Nightmare on Elm Street suffered an ear-popping 72% decline to place a distance second at $9.1 million. Seven weeks into its run, How To Train Your Dragon was still 3rd with $6.7 million.
I continue to giggle inappropriately at the YouTube spoof Outcasts of Hogwarts. Who knew that inserting yourselves into a fantasy franchise along with extreme editing could yield a comedy goldmine. This episode has the boys forming a band with Harry.
Americans will get their shot at Russell Tovey and the bunch when the second series of Being Humanhits BBC America in July. The ghost, vampire, and werewolf (who live together on the show) don’t spend much time living in domesticated bliss after ridding their town of aggressive vampires in season one. They may have drawn too much attention to themselves.
I enjoyed Alice In Wonderland. It wasn’t the greatest film I’ve seen lately, though, so it bothers me that it has knockedThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers out of the all-time top ten box office films, with a $928.9 million gross.
Let’s face it: if you could use The Force, would you run around the universe getting involved in a complicated galactic war, or would you terrorize the town and make inappropriate gestures with your light sabers? I thought so. Jedi A-holes is the short for you.
Kevin Durand is lining up new roles now that his stint as the baddie on Lost is wrapping up. He’s in negotiations to play the head of the aliens who are hunting for survivors in I Am Number Four, starring Alex Pettyfer, then he hopes to step into a Don King role in the Hugh Jackman robot boxing movie Real Steel.
The novel Paul Is Undead, which imagines the Beatles as zombies, has been optioned for film. In the book, the Fab Undead are pursued around the world by the world’s greatest zombie hunter, Mick Jagger. The Beatles as zombies, I can buy — but isn’t the real-life Mick already a member of the undead?
Tron: Legacy has released a huge amount of concept art you’re supposed to hunt down across the web. Thankfully the folks at io9.com have corralled a lot of it in one place, because who has that kind of time? On the front page, I used a render of the Light Car show from above that gives the impression it’s not so much a car as an ATV, despite how it look in this poster:
I don’t have a lot of background on Captain America’s origin story – Cap was always too goodie-goodie for my tastes – but reports are that Hugo Weaving being confirmed as Red Skull is just the beginning. British actor Toby Jones is in discussions to play evil scientist Arnim Zola, who will actually create Hugo’s Red Skull.
This French trailer for Avatar: The Last Airbender has more new footage than any of the American trailers have introduced, and includes a really cool introduction of the Four Elements. Thankfully, the trailer itself is in English, with French subtitles. As a side note, I finally saw the trailer with the flying Appa over the weekend on the big screen, and he looks awesome!
Splice’s Vincenzo Nataliis stepping in to directWilliam Gibson’s classic Neuromancer, which may or may not still be starring Hayden Christensen. I have serious misgivings about the adaptation of one of my favorite books after what Keanu Reeves was allowed to do to Johnny Mnemonic fifteen years ago. Hayden is pretty, but he’s the same kind of blank, emotionless actor.
What can you learn from friendly ghosts haunting a house in San Francisco — former humans who died in the AIDS epidemic? That’s the question Ben Francisco seems to be asking in San Francisco Ghost Hunt. This is a quasi-sequel to his story Tio Gilberto and His Twenty-Seven Ghosts, and is part of an entire sub-genre of activist ghost stories I was entirely unaware of, but the author makes a decent case for the story in this above interview.
And because I just saw this for the first time, and was stunned to silence, here’s a two-year old video of Spider-Man dancing West Coast Wing to Michael Bublé’s version of the Spider-Man theme song. That girl does NOT look like Mary Jane.
Fox has made real their plans for Rise of the Apes, the Planet of the Apes prequel.They’ve set a June 24th, 2011 release date, and WETA Digital, the people behind the motion-capture animation on Avatar are doing the work.Interestingly, it’s set in present-day San Francisco.
In a true WTF? programming move, The CW has decided to put reruns of CBS’s canceled Moonlight on after reruns of Vampire Diaries for the summer viewing season. It’s probably to build off the buzz surrounding Moonlight’s Alex O’Laughlin what with The Backup Plan and upcoming Hawaii Five-O remake. But is anyone going to watch a canceled show?
I really don’t know how this came to be, but the Muppets (personal favorites) invade the writers room for Lost and get to ask one question about the series. What would you have asked?
Katie Sackhoff was offered the role of Debbie Pelt on the upcoming season of True Blood, but ultimately gambled that she could have more than a single season of work if her cop pilot Boston’s Finest was picked up. I think a little Starbuck guts would have worked for Debbie.
Dragon Age: Darkspawn Chronicles is coming, but what the heck is it? It doesn’t cost enough to be a full expansion pack, but the pretentious description doesn’t sound like new avatars. What is it?
I didn’t see the first Nanny McPhee, so I don’t know precisely how good or bad it was. Emma Thompson is a fantastic actress, and she’s teamed up with Maggie Gyllenhaal in this sequel, so I have hope. Magic abounds, but I might see it just for the synchronized swimming pigs.
I can’t figure out Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – frankly it looks so overproduced as to be boring. Even the parkour scenes I’ve seen look sanitized. One thing that’s undeniable though is that Princess Tamina is beautiful, that she just exudes sex. That look comes at a cost though, as this featurette shows.
Terry Pratchett is a man who knows a thing or two about narrative. His Discworld books are notoriously engrossing and easy to read. So when he says that Doctor Whoisn’t science fiction but pure professionally-written entertainment, I tend to listen. He’s right – the Doctor is too godlike, too knowing, too powerful. He can jump start a starship by diving it into the atmosphere – when did he pop the clutch? The solution is almost always deus ex machina. That’s not stopping him from tuning in though. Take a look at “The Vampires of Venice” preview:
Sam Rockwellhas joined the cast ofCowboys and Aliens, making the comic book adaption the biggest collection of genre nerds ever assembled outside of a Joss Whedon production. Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde and Harrison Ford were already on board.
I found out two things in Charlie Stross’ diary entry about fanfic: some writers like it, some hate it. As for Charlie, he’s indifferent as long as you’re not selling it or asking him to read it. The second thing I learned is that the film rights to The Laundry novels are currently optioned, and I can hope the occult spy novels make it to the big screen.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is coming. All the media in the world says the producers are dying for this thing to succeed, and they’ll spend what they have to in order to make it happen. Here’s the final poster:
And here’s a featurette on the location-shooting they did for the film. I’d presumed a lot of green-screen was done, but they built much of the sets instead. I’m impressed.
I don’t know much about John Carter of Mars, honestly. When I first heard about it, I thought they were doing the green guy from Justice League. Don’t hate me. But as more concept art and set photos emerge, I’m starting to get a sense of what I’d missed.
Make-A-Wish Foundation normally takes a kid to Disney World. In Seattle, that just wasn’t going to work. Spider-Man was going to need help from another superhero, and only 13-year-old Erik Martin aka Electron Boy could help. It took 20 cops, a closed interstate, and Qwest Field to capture the bad guy, but good prevailed over evil. Very touching.
Almost all superhero movies include a power ballad that no one likes. Gary Mitchell thinks his “In Brightest Day” fits the bill for Green Lantern, and he’s recorded a demo to sell the point, rather painfully.
I know I keep bring up Avatar: The Last Airbender, but it’s going to be one of the biggest releases of the summer. If you need a primer, Tor has a blog Avatar: The Last Airbender Re-Watch that goes episode-by-episode on the animated series discussing why the story deserves a place amongst the classics. They’re up to Book One: Episode 15.
From the makers of the excellent short film The Hunt for Gollum comes Clone, a story of a man hanging by a thread, pursued by a clone with the essence of pure DNA a clone needs to survive. Who do you trust? Do you trust yourself?
Since Bryan Singerhad to drop out of directing X-Men: First Class, it’s been all quiet while Fox searched for someone to bring the story to life. The latest scuttlebutt says that they’ve dropped Kick-AssMatthew Vaughan, and are meeting with Nightmare On Elm Street’sSamuel Bayer. That could bring a different tone to the franchise.
Piranha 3D promised us lots of boobs in 3D, but they didn’t promise us a plot. Funny thing is that the new trailer does explain how there are suddenly swarms of man-eating piranha in a spring break destination that’s never had them before.
In the wake of Fox passing on an Anchorman sequel, director Adam McKayis trying to land raunchy superhero filmThe Boys. The Boys is about a group of operatives charged with keeping the caped ones in line by whatever means necessary, including termination.
Driller is a strange story of horror, gore, and alien abduction. A man is kidnapped by aliens and turned into a Borg-like, subhuman, cybernetic killing machine. It’s fairly low budget, but looks like it used some creativity to make up for that.
And finally, summer movie season is on the way, and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is certainly one of the tent-poles. They released several photos of Jake Gyllenhaal this past week in a street fight, including the front-page photo, and this one, where he could be preparing to fight or … shooting to win your favorite marble. Your call.
Sony may have to make a decision that should make plenty of people happy, including me: make a Ghost Rider sequel without Nic Cage. The actor wants to come back, but has a jam-packed schedule, and if Sony doesn’t get production underway but November 14 of this year, Marvel gets the character rights back, and Disney would love to be in the Ghost Rider business.
Ryan Carnes is set to play the world’s least exciting super hero, The Phantom. The first trailer is out from SyFy’s four-hour miniseries, meant to serve as a possible backdoor pilot for a series. The new Phantom has technology and an attitude, but he doesn’t wear spandex.
Disney is so anxious to make some money off the Marvel purchase that they’re even entertaining the possibility of spinning Black Widow off from Iron Man into her own franchise. I’m not comics savvy, but I hadn’t even heard of Black Widow until this Iron Man sequel.
As long as we’re stuck in the comics universe, the Wall Street Journal has weighed in with a fawning editorial on why Joss Whedon is the only person who can make TheAvengers work. Their argument seems to be that he once did Buffy, and if you ignore anything else he did, he’s brilliant.
Collider took all five Iron Man 2 clips released this week and created one super-clip for our enjoyment. Plus, AC/DC is a great way to get pumped for the week.
Taking an early look at the genre pilots being shot by the major broadcast networks, it’s a mixed bag. It still looks like Terra Nova is a lock on Fox with Brannon Braga on board to destroy the dino series faster than a comet collision. NBC is interested in the Batman-esque The Cape with the former cop turned super hero. ABC isn’t looking at much. The CW has the Nikita concept, which is slightly futuristic spy-thriller, and Nomads, which is college students working for the CIA. It’s a little bare other than that.
Avatar: The Last Airbender has released a new trailer, and there’s still nothing funny, but it does have something very, very important to the story – Appa! Appa in flight, and he looks just like Appa should. I want a flying bison!
Jim Butcher’s latest addition to his Dresden Files series, Changes, shakes what had been a fairly predictable world up by giving the wizard detective a daughter, and having her kidnapped by vampires. I think it’s nice to see evil vampires for a change.
Catching up with Haven star Emily Rose, we find that there’s a decent amount of Stephen King’sThe Colorado Kid to the paranormal detective series, but it also sound like they’re holding on to the “soap-opera” aspect noted by plenty of others. It will be much more character-driven than spooky.
Now that the United States has seen two episodes of Matt Smith as Doctor Who, people are starting to weigh in on the quality. It seems to be undeniable that Matt Smith and Karen Gillen are charming and well-balanced as Doctor and Companion. But some feel that showrunner and lead writer Steven Moffat is afraid to take the story into the deep end. And I admit, it feels a bit safe up to this point.
Ricardo de Montreuil’s short film The Raven takes place in an alternative future in Los Angeles, with protagonist Chris Black possessing a “power that could lead to the downfall of the current regime.” It’s fairly impressive, considering it was shot for just $5,000.
Anyone who has ever hung out in the science fiction/fantasy section of a book store knows: bad covers happen to good books. And bad covers also happen to bad books. Let’s be honest, as a genre, we’ve got some really awful covers. And there’s a whole website devoted to cataloging those awful covers.There went your productivity.
Supernatural has been insanely good this season (last night was epic, but I’ve always had a soft spot for a certain archangel). This compilation of footage from the season lets you realize just how much has happened, and maybe even gives hints to things yet to come.
The nominations for the Locus Awards are out, and I’ve read several of the books in the science fiction category, and I see a dear old friend in the fantasy section in Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett. His fantasy competition includes:
The City & The City, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK)
Drood, Dan Simmons (Little, Brown)
Palimpsest, Catherynne M. Valente (Bantam Spectra)
Finch, Jeff VanderMeer (Underland)
Imagi has mostly been out of business since 2007, which is really sad, because this trailer for Gatchaman that they were working on is amazing. Gatachaman is better known to Americans as the 1970s cartoon G-Force, but this one was darker and more violent.
ABC’s Happy Town looks like a small town drama, or maybe a mystery series, but the network continues to hint at a supernatural element to the program. Heck, in this trailer they don’t so much hint as they come out and say that magic is involved.
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.
We’ve just had an owl from Hogwarts with all sorts of news. The first piece of news is that we could have had all our other news a week earlier if we’d use email instead of owls. Ba-dum-dum! The second is that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Studios open June 18th.
Also from Hogwarts, we have some details on the big attraction, something called the Forbidden Journey. I’m still unclear what it is, but it sounds like you’re inside a 360° projection and get shaken, flamed, tossed, and turned throughout. There’s a whole bunch of made-up words at the link to give more detail.
The swords-and-sandals film Centurions premiered at SXSW, and they seem insanely proud of it. There’s more Q&A about the film and how it was made than you can shake a stick at.
OK, stay with me, because this could get bumpy. Long ago I read Inferno, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, which was a pseudo-sequel to Dante’s Inferno. I don’t recall that it had a cameo by Kurt Vonnegut, but a big deal is being made of that. Now there’s a sequel by Niven and Pounelle called Escape From Hell (which I have not read but intend to). All of this is being classified as “hard fantasy” by some sites. Anybody want to catch me up in the comments?
Kevin Williamson says he knows how The Vampire Diaries ends. He doesn’t know how much filler about Elena they’ll pay him to stuff in there until then, but he does know the ending.
Stan Lee remind us that Blaze, Nick Rachett, and Tigress are currently under development for movie deals, and he sees Disney starting with Ant-Man and Dr Strange as they attempt to recoup their $4.3 billion Marvel acquisition.
Louis Leterrier, most famous in the Marvel world for directing The Incredible Hulk, says he’s shortlisted to direct The Avengers. Please, no. I was looking forward to that.
I had no idea until recently that the most popular character on Futurama was Dr. Zoidberg. I always thought it was Scruffy. But ever since new episodes were announced, the Zoid has been popping up everywhere – with some claiming him as a “spirit animal.” Now you can knit a Dr. Zoidberg mask.
Warner Bros wants us to know they’re still thinking about converting 300 to 3D to try and drain our wallets without producing anything new. They’re also still thinking about a prequel. Call me when you’ve finished thinking, I’ll be in the dark, empty theater.
There are reviews out that say that you should be playing Final Fantasy XIII. I had no idea they still made the game, but you too could be controlling people with a vaguely purple tint in a fantasy world.
Avatar: The Last Airbender has another trailer. There’s not a ton of fresh footage, and still nothing funny.The action looks great, the close-ups of Ang’s tattoos are amazing, but I remain concerned about the heart of the film.
Raunchy superhero comic The Boys seems destined for the big screen. The writers have blocked out major scenes that they think they can film without getting an X-Rating (seriously, not an R, not NC-17, they’re worried about an X). And funnyman Rod Corddry is lobbying to star in the film if it ever gets made.
The first trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is out. I’m not sure what to make of it, since I’m not familiar with the world. It seems to be about Michael Cera going along and being Michael Cera again. He meets a girl who’s too cool for him, and falls in love. Then he gets his butt kicked, Mortal Kombat-style, until he meets Yoda and learns to use the Force or something. Did I get it close?
Since I ended with a Mortal Kombat joke, what if Mortal Kombat implemented modern-day crisis mediation techniques?
Our long national nightmare with vampires has happened before, and it will happen again. According to NPR, vampires always appear during time of chaos and strife, because they stand above all the ups and downs of humanity. So since the economy sucks, so do the vamps.
Johnny Depp and Tim Burton sat down with MTV to talk about Alice In Wonderland, but ended up on a tangent about the worst idea Johnny had ever had for a movie – H.R. Punstuf with Johnny in the role of Freddy the Magic Flute. There’s also this story about flatulent horses during the filming of Sleepy Hollow.
The 2009 Nebula Awardnominations have been announced, and while I’m evidently too illiterate to have read any of the books, I have seen three of the movies. “Put him in the cone of shame.” Up was nominated.
io9.com points us to the SCP Foundation, which is a Wiki project to catalog the weird. In essence, it’s a database with bite-size descriptions of monsters, immortals, objects of power, and the like. It’s organized like a shadowy Warehouse-13style organization that catalogs and organizes a shadow world that takes place in the shorts that are submitted.
Comic Book Resources has an interview with Jeanine Schaefer on Marvel’s Girl Comics. I’m not a huge expert on the characters, but it seems like they set out to grab attention for the series with a polarizing name. There are worse things in the world.
I know we once featured the Locus Recommended Reading List, but this version looks longer – maybe what we had before was a teaser list? In any case, I recognize a few of the books here, and more than a few of the authors, so go buy a some and prepare for the next paralyzing blizzard.
We tend to think of green-screen special effects as the sole province of fantasy and science fiction movies and television. This Stargate Studios production reel shows a different story, with work on everything from Mars landings to adding a subway train to Ugly Betty. We can no longer trust anything we see, apparently. On the plus side, you can now show this to your friends that mock your favorite fantasy show:
There’s a great blog that has a guy recapping episodes of Lost from the point-of-view of someone who hasn’t watched any of the seasons of Lost. It’s hilarious if you think the series is “punking” us all, since there really is no master plan. If you think it’s the most brilliant television ever aired, please send the hate mail to him, not me.
Evil Wil Wheatonis returning toThe Big Bang Theory as Sheldon’s arch nemesis. Last time he out-geeked Sheldon, this time Sheldon wants revenge. If this doesn’t excite you, please turn in your all of you Magic: The Gathering Cards and proceed to TMZ.com
There’s an argument being made for why NBC shouldn’t cancel Heroes, and parts of it make sense, like reaching the magical 100 episodes required for syndication. But the best argument I’ve come up with isn’t in the article: NBC obviously hates viewers, so why shouldn’t they keep punishing us with more episodes of what this show has turned into?
We mentioned last week that Supernatural is coming back for season six, and we said that Eric Kripke, who has guided it from the beginning, would be returning. We were sort-of right. He’s still doing the mapping of the show, and producing, but he’s handing showrunner duties over to Sera Gamble. Can’t lie, it makes me a little nervous.
J.K. Rowling is named in yet another lawsuit charging she stole the ideas for the Harry Potter books. In this case, it’s fairly narrow, concerning mostly elements of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but that’s not stopping the lawyer from talking about going for a billion dollars from the thing.
Geekcrafts has an awesomeAvatar: The Last Airbender cake version of Appa, along with step-by-step construction tips for making your own. This is edible, and frankly looks more like Appa should than that hard plastic action figure last week. Also, there’s a new trailer with a few seconds of new footage that aired during the Winter Olympics. Still not seeing the humor – needs more Sokka.