Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Preacher Is Dead at HBO

For years, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's "Preacher" (one of the best comic book series that I've ever read) has been in various stages of production, either in television or movie form. The most recent platform was TV, where Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil, Ghost Rider) was set to helm the first few episodes. Recently, the new studio head at HBO came in and said that the material was too controversial and too violent, and wanted Johnson to redraft the material. His take was to be a faithful adaptation of the series, and he didn't want to compromise that and make a crappy show because of it. Admirable, good sir. So the series is now dead at HBO, but Johnson says he hears that someone is trying to pick up the movie rights again. Either way, it looks like we might see "Preacher" on the big or small screen after all.

Note: I don't necessarily think that "Preacher" will work in either medium. It's a comic that will blow your mind and might make religious fundamentalists very uncomfortable, but at the same time give you great respect for its well-crafted likeable characters and edgy humor. (It's also insanely violent and incredibly profane.) Regardless, I'd recommend that you read it if you're looking for something interesting, and I kind of hope that it never gets adapted into any other form.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Superman's Future A Little More Certain

Yeah, I was getting sick of that Freddy Krueger picture, too. In a painfully slow news week, it's finally time to talk about something other than direct-to-DVD sequels of Mean Girls.

Warner Brothers President Jeff Robinov spoke to The Wall Street Journal recently about the future of their planned DC comics films, specifically mentioning Superman.

"Superman [Returns] didn't quite work as a film in the way we wanted it to. It didn't position the character the way he needed to be positioned. Had Superman worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for Christmas of this year or 2009. Now the plan is to reintroduce Superman without regard to a Batman and Superman movie at all."

The reference to Batman and Superman goes back to a long-talked-about Batman Vs. Superman movie that will have to wait at least a few more years if it will ever see the inside of a theater. This quote finally ends years of speculation about the future of the Superman franchise - they are planning on a reboot of the character, similar to what happened with The Incredible Hulk earlier this year. And that's fine by me. No word yet on whether Warner Bros. is keeping Bryan Singer in the director's chair or kicking him out in favor of some new blood. I'll keep you posted.

Aside from the Man of Steel talk, Robinov also mentioned that they "have been developing every DC character that [they] own," and after the unexpectedly record-setting success of The Dark Knight, they are "going to try to go dark to the extent that the characters will allow it. Exploring the evil side to characters [is] the key to unlocking some of Warner Bros. DC properties."

Whatever, dude. If your way of cashing in on the success of TDK is making more comic book movies, then I'm all for that, too. Don't use your jargon with me. Just say you're trying to keep up with Marvel, and everyone will respect you just the same.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Who's The Next Freddy Krueger?

This one is just too good to pass up. I've never seen any of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies (although I have seen Freddy Vs. Jason), but there has been talk for a little while about a remake coming out in the next couple of years. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake did well enough to bring back interest in all of these classic series, and the Friday the 13th remake is already in post production, set for release next year.

But who will wear the knifed glove of Freddy Krueger in the remake? Robert Englund, the actor who played Freddy in all of the films, went on a couple of radio shows the other day and told people that none other than Billy Bob Thorton is in talks for the role. There's no real confirmation other than Englund just blabbering, but how ridiculous would that be if it actually happened? Would this increase or decrease your desire to see the movie if/when it gets made?

Another Leprechaun Sequel?

I've only seen a couple of the Leprechaun movies, but they were throughly enjoyable in the realm of "so bad, it's good" horror.

Word comes today that Darren Lynn Bousman, director of Saw II, Saw III, and the upcoming Repo! The Genetic Opera, is interested in taking a run at the franchise.

"I would do Leprechaun in a second. If Lionsgate is listening, give me Leprechaun. I would love to bring back the fun popcorn movie - extreme violence, extreme absurdity - but make it fun. [I'd send him] back to the old west. You send him in a time machine and transport him to the old west. There are gold rushes. There are gunfights. It's awesome! I have the whole thing already worked out!"

Sounds pretty sweet to me. Leprechaun has already visited space and "da hood" (twice!), so I'm down for watching him do quick-draw magic and kill some cowboys. Who all seen the leprechaun, say yeah!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Roundup 8/06

Loosen your lassos, because this is a big one. Giddy up!

  • George Lucas recently told MTV that if Indy 5 comes out, it will not be centered around Shia LaBeouf's Mutt Williams character. The moviegoing public breathes a sigh of relief.
  • The plagued Justice League movie is back. The Herald Sun reports that filming will resume next year. At this point, I just want it to come out and suck already - we all know it's going to happen, so why delay the inevitable?
  • I don't remember if I told you this or not, but there were rumors that Brad Pitt and Leo DiCaprio were slated to star in Tarantino's next rip-off (I mean, movie) Inglorious Bastards. Looks like Pitt is still in consideration, but as of now, Leo has been replaced by a German actor. They're still being really secretive about the casting, but the freshest news is that Quentin is getting his long time friend and fellow director Eli Roth (Hostel) to star in a role. Not surprising, since QT is known for casting his friends in his flicks.
  • Speaking of Tarantino - he's developing another exploitation film (Gasp! There's a surprise!), a remake of a 1965 cult classic called Faster Pussycat! Kill, Kill! Britney Spears is apparently in talks for a lead role in the movie, and she would play a killer lesbian stripper. I'll leave you to your own opinions on that one.
  • Jason Statham told a reporter that he would love to play Daredevil in a big screen reboot of that franchise if one ever comes along. Frank Miller (Sin City, 300), who revitalized the character back in the 70's, said that Statham would make a great Daredevil. If he's got Frank Miller's approval, then that's all he needs. I think it'd be pretty sweet. (And for the record, I didn't hate Ben Affleck's Daredevil as much as other people did.)
  • Mike O'Hearn aka Titan from American Gladiators, either A) really had auditions as the lead for both the remake of Conan and Marvel's upcoming Captain America, or B) blatantly lied to get his name in the headlines. I hope for all our sakes that it was the latter.
  • Shane Black, writer of the original Lethal Weapon and writer/director of the fantastic Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, has written a spec script for Lethal Weapon 5. The story follows Riggs as he is about to retire, and this time he pulls Murtaugh out of retirement to solve one last case. Reportedly, Danny Glover and Mel Gibson are both interested, but no deals have been signed yet.
  • Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats) recently battled the MPAA for a rating on his upcoming Zack and Miri Make a Porno, a movie about two friends who are low on cash and resort to making a porn movie to make some money (then fall in love, yadda yadda yadda). The MPAA originally gave the flick the dreaded NC-17 rating, but after an appeal by Smith, it was dropped back down to an R. Now they can actually market the movie, which seems pretty funny from the premise.
  • My boy Shia LaBeouf supposedly called the producers of Transformers 2 yesterday and told them that his pinky finger might have to be AMPUTATED following his car accident from earlier this week. The writers are considering ways to write his injury into the story. (In a semi-related note, even though he was drinking, that accident wasn't his fault. He definitely shouldn't have been drinking and driving, and that's inexcusable, but he didn't cause the accident.)
  • James Franco told MTV that work is being done to make a crossover movie that melds the characters from Superbad and Pineapple Express into the same storyline. That sounds really awesome to me, and definitely better than the straight-up Superbad sequel that Sony was pushing them to write. This way you kill two birds with one stone and generate massive interest by breaking new ground at the same time. I give it my seal of approval.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Universal Gets 2 Guns

Jared just showed me this comic the other day, and it sounds incredibly promising. Looks like Universal thought so too, since they've picked up the movie rights already.

The concept behind 2 Guns is as follows: Trench and Steadman, two thieves, try to rob a bank thinking they're screwing the mafia out of a bunch of money. Little do they know that they're both undercover cops, and their heist actually relieves the CIA of $50 million.

The film is supposed to be a "buddy cop" movie like Lethal Weapon, but with a modern spin (whatever that means). I really don't care - I think it's going to rock hard. With characters named Trench and Steadman, how can it not?

Prince of Persia Pushed Back

Disney's Prince of Persia, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced film starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the titular action star, has been delayed until May 28th, 2010.

The earlier release date was June 19th, 2009, but I guess the studio didn't want it battling the Transformers sequel in theaters the next week and instead decided it was better to face off against Shrek Goes Fourth (no, I'm not making that up) and Marvel's Thor.

I still can't believe they cast Gyllenhaal as the lead in this movie. He is in no way an action star, nor is he any kind of ethnicity that would make sense for that kind of geographic placement. Gemma Arterton (new Bond girl), Alfred Molina (Doc Ock), and Sir Ben Kingsley co-star.

Sigh. Austin Powers 4.

Thanks to the atrocious bomb that was The Love Guru (which I never saw, mind you, but looked like one of the worst films of the past decade), Mike Myers has decided to write Austin Powers 4 for his next feature film and try to make some more money before he A) retires or B) is murdered by angry movie-watchers.

This movie will be told from Dr. Evil's perspective and concentrate more on the relationship of Dr. Evil and his son Scott (Seth Green). Personally, I think this series can be left alone and keep a decent reputation. None of the three films so far have been exceptionally terrible, so Myers is walking a dangerous line trying to extend the franchise - I really think if this one is awful that it will mar the memory of the others.