Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

NEWS: Science Fiction

The Leviathan

Variety reports that not only has Ruairi Robinson‘s proposed sci-fi film The Leviathan attracted Neill Blomkamp and Simon Kinberg as Producers, but now Fox has bought the The Leviathan movie pitch and the script for the film, written by Jim Uhls (Fight Club).

Here’s the blurb and proof of concept teaser: By the early 22nd century mankind had colonized many worlds. Faster than light travel was made possible by harvesting exotic matter from the eggs of the largest species mankind has ever seen. Those that take part in the hunt are mostly involuntary labor.

The Leviathan — Teaser from Ruairi Robinson on Vimeo.


Escape From New York – Remake

Escape From New York_One Sheet Poster USAfter a few years arguments and bidding wars, Snake Plissken is back! Fox has emerged victorious and closed a deal to remake the 1981 John Carpenter cult classic Escape From New York. Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman’s The Picture Company will produce.

The original was released by Avco Embassy, and the rights were own by Studiocanal. Carpenter will be an executive producer and will exert creative influence over the project. Fox’s Mike Ireland brought it in and will steer. The hope is to reinvent the property with an eye toward launching a new franchise.

In the original, Kurt Russell played Plissken, an eyepatch-sporting tough guy who is conscripted to rescue the president of the United States after Air Force One — en route to a summit that could head off WWIII — goes missing after it crashes in New York, which has been relegated to a maximum security prison. Plissken, a former special forces operative convicted of trying to rob the Federal Reserve, is given 22 hours to liberate the president and a tape he carries which holds the key to peace. If he fails, he’s wired to explode.

The cynical original, hatched by Carpenter after the Watergate scandal, was set in a futuristic Gotham circa 1997. There have been remake overtures before, but not with Carpenter involved. There were a spate of rumours earlier this fall that the film was about to be cast with the likes of Sons Of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam, however it would appear that those rumours amounted to wishful thinking by fans, because there was no rights deal made until now, and there is still no script. They are starting from scratch. That said, the notion of Hunnam playing the Snake, or Chris Hemsworth who was another one rumored, would fit the bill. All of that is fantasy league stuff and the reality comes down the road when they hire a scribe and a filmmaker and the studio gets a script it likes. Who is worth considering for Plissken?


At The Mountains of Madness

Ath-the-Mountains-of-Madness_Guillermo-del-ToroAs dogged as ever, Guillermo del Toro is still desperate to being us an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness? Well, he’s willing to compromise with Universal Pictures, against his better judgement, stating that he’ll make the creature feature a PG-13 horror film.

The 3-D film originally had Tom Cruise in talks to star, but also had a ballooning budget of over $120M, which was a lot considering del Toro wanted it to be R-rated. The studio killed the movie, which resulted in us being gifted with Pacific Rim, among other great stuff like the forthcoming “The Strain.”

Del Toro now has a blooming relationship with Legendary Pictures, producers behind the project, and in an interview with the WSJ reveals that At the Mountains of Madness may be back in his cards.

I said to them, that’s the movie that I would really love to do one day, and it’s still expensive, it’s still … I think that now, with the way I’ve seen PG-13 become more and more flexible, I think I could do it PG-13 now, so I’m going to explore it with [Legendary], to be as horrifying as I can, but to not be quite as graphic. There’s basically one or two scenes in the book that people don’t remember that are pretty graphic. Namely, for example, the human autopsy that the aliens do, which is a very shocking moment. But I think I can find ways of doing it.

We’ll see. It’s certainly a possibility in the future. Legendary was very close to doing it at one point, so I know they love the screenplay. So, we’ll see. Hopefully it’ll happen. It’s certainly one of the movies I would love to do.

Guillermo-del-Toro_At-the-Mountains-of-MadnessMadness is the deliberately told and increasingly chilling recollection of an Antarctic expedition’s uncanny discoveries-and their encounter with untold menace in the ruins of a lost civilization-is a milestone of macabre literature.

In this day of studio control it’s always hard to trust the filmmakers to do what’s right for the movie, but if del Toro thinks he can pull it off with a PG-13, well, I’m he’s one of the few I’m happy to believe in.

Unfortunately, it looks like this could take a back seat to Pacific Rim 2, which he briefly talks about.

I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different.

Read the full interview at the Wall Street Journal link HERE


Christopher Nolan – Interstellar on IMAX 70mm

interstellar-posterChristopher Nolan, the director of The Dark Knight, Memento and Inception is well-known for being beholden to film, and in particular to IMAX film. IMAX continues to produce film cameras for directors like Nolan to use, but IMAX projection is quickly moving away from film. These days, an increasingly large percentage of IMAX theaters have digital projectors, and the company is working towards laser projection.

So where does that leave Nolan’s latest film, Interstellar? As in the past, Nolan shot much of Interstellar on IMAX film cameras. He would obviously prefer it be projected that on film, too. In a new interview, the president of IMAX said they’d oblige. Interstellar will be projected on IMAX film at “somewhere around 50″ theaters.

Greg Foster, the President of IMAX, revealed this piece of information in an interview with Collider. You can listen and watch the whole thing HERE.


Repent, Harlequin! Said The Ticktock Man

Repent-Harlequin_Harlan-Ellison_Jim-SterankoFor the first time, iconic sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison has allowed a film to be developed based on Repent, Harlequin! Said The Ticktock Man, the seminal story he published in Galaxy magazine in 1965. Ellison has granted an option directly to J. Michael Straczynski, whose recent credits include helping to fix World War ZThor, the TV series Babylon 5 and Sense8, the upcoming Netflix series he is doing with Lana and Andy Wachowski. He also wrote the incredible Rising Stars series for Image Comics… much better than the similarly themed Heroes television series.

Repent-Harlequin_Steranko_Harlan-EllisonThe story is about Everett C. Marm, an ordinary man who disguises himself as the anarchical Harlequin and engages in whimsical rebellion against the Ticktock Man. The trouble is that if he is found out, the government could stop his heart at long distance if they learn who he is. Straczynski sees the cautionary tale as especially relevant in a post-Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street environment, or even Edward Snowden, in a story of a man who goes against the system and must pay the price for his actions. Now that the script is done, Straczynski will look for production partners and a director, and the first parties he will approach will be Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. Ellison’s story won the 1966 Hugo Award and the 1965 Nebula Award, among others.


Day of the Triffids – Walk, Talk, Stalk, Kill Again!

day_of_the_triffidsMike Newell has been set to helm The Day Of The Triffids, the adaptation of the classic Sci-fi book by John Wyndham that was scripted by Neil Cross for Ghost House Pictures. Those sparked about this development know the logline: After a comet shower blinds most of the world’s population, those with sight must battle alien plants, known as triffids, bent on destroying mankind.

The film’s being produced by Ghost House Pictures, Mark Gordon, Don Murphy, and Michael Preger, and Murphy’s Angry Films partner Susan Montford will be executive producer.

The book was previously turned into a 1962 film and most recently a 2009 miniseries that starred Dougray Scott and Joely Richardson.

Newell seems an inspiring choice for the material. The helmer of Four Weddings And A Funeral, Donnie Brasco and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire last helmedGreat Expectations.


The Island of Dr. Moreau – Again…

Island of Dr Moreau_H G Wells_BannerThe Island of Dr. Moreau is heading for another update at Warner Brothers. The studio and Appian Way partners Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran have set Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy to script a ‘contemporary re-imagining’ of H.G. Wells’ classic novel. The intention is to make it a sci-fi film with a topical ecological message. Appian Way will produce with Mad Hatter Entertainment’s Michael Connolly.

The 1896 Wells book has been adapted for the screen several times with iconic participants: the 1932 film Island Of Lost Souls with Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi, the 1977 pic with Burt Lancaster and Michael York, and the 1996 New Line disaster that starred Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer. That last version didn’t fare well at all…

The writers and Connolly are are coming off of a successful run at Netflix, as their show Hemlock Grove got two Emmy noms. Series is based on McGreevy’s novel. CAA and Mad Hatter rep the scribes.