I'm all settled in here at my new place (which you can see here). I just got my cable and internet hooked up, found a little sense of direction, and have recently read through my backlog of bookmarks since I left on Wednesday (including the recently released A Winter's Knight at The Solar Sentinel). Here are some stories you may have missed while I was gone.
- The big news today is that Disney is in the process of buying Marvel Entertainment for 4 billion dollars. There has been excessive speculation on what this means for the future of Marvel movies, and many of these speculations have been stupefyingly insulting. The online world is in a huff about this, but there's no need to worry. Your precious comic book movies won't be softened up by the Mouse House. Disney CEO Robert Iger said (I'm paraphrasing) that they were basically going to leave Marvel Studios alone and let them do their thing. The only thing this acquisition means is that Disney is going to make a lot of money from the rights and licenses to the Marvel characters (over 5,000 of them) and their distribution teams will better promote the Marvel films when they are released. Since Disney also owns Pixar, there have been some talks regarding a Marvel/Pixar team up. Either way, I'm sure the (mostly) high quality products we've been getting from Marvel won't change anytime soon.
- Kevin Conroy, the actor who provided the quintessential voice of Batman in the animated series of the 1990's and the new Arkham Asylum video game, joined the rest of the world and said that Christian Bale's Batman voice in The Dark Knight was "over the top and distracted from his scenes." This isn't really news, but this just proves that Conroy is a badass who isn't afraid to be straight up with how he feels about something. That's not your typical Hollywood response - Conroy craps on being nice for the sake of being nice.
- There was a rumor a week or so ago stating that Guillermo del Toro's The Hobbit would be shot in 3D. Utter crap, and I knew it. Del Toro recently debunked this rumor on a message board to the fans, simultaneously debunking rumors that Tom Cruise would play Bilbo Baggins. Look, I'm a bigger Tom Cruise supporter than most, but that casting would have been possibly the worst in the history of film. Yeah, I said it. Good thing GDT's an awesome director and knows what he's doing.
- Sony has started development on Bad Boys 3. A writer has been hired, and neither Will Smith nor Martin Lawrence has officially signed on yet. Jerry Bruckheimer's involvement is still in question at this point as well. I don't think this is necessary (or wanted) by anyone, but whatever. This is years away from being released, if it even gets the greenlight at all.
- Speaking of Bruckheimer, he just bought the rights to a short story by Derek Haas (3:10 to Yuma, Wanted) with the intent to develop it as a film. This is notable because Haas started his own website called PopcornFiction.com where movie writers could post their short stories as a means to express their creativity in a different format. It was a cool idea, and I'm glad to see that his little side project is turning into a lucrative thing for him. Seems like his head is in the right place.
- Nic Cage has joined the 3D fever. He's starring in a movie called Drive Angry, by the director of My Bloody Valentine 3D. Cage will play a pissed-off dad who goes after a gang who killed his daughter and stole her child, leaving bodies and tire marks in his wake. Sounds like Cage, Liam Neeson, and Kevin Bacon need to star in a movie together called Taken: Drive Angry to the Death Sentence. I'd pay to see that one. This one? They're going to need a hell of a good trailer to convince me.
- Rambo 5 has gotten the greenlight. There has been a lot of talk about this one ever since the last Rambo installment came out, but it's just now finally getting official approval. Stallone is in post-production on The Expendables right now, but as soon as he finishes that, he's expected to start on this project. This time, Rambo will be mauling drug lords and human traffickers at the US/Mexico border and trying to rescue an abducted girl. Hmm...maybe Sly can jump in on that movie with the guys listed above.
- Rob Zombie is remaking The Blob. I've never seen the original, but I'm sure Zombie's version will be interesting at the very least.
- And finally, an assistant to Michael Crichton found an unpublished manuscript for a book called "Pirate Latitudes" in Crichton's computer after his death. The book will hit shelves on November 24th of this year, and David Koepp (Jurassic Park, The Lost World) has been hired to adapt the story into a screenplay, with longtime-Crichton-collaborator Steven Spielberg attached to direct. The synopsis sounds kinda cool, and the movie is being hailed as a more realistic Pirates of the Caribbean. That said, I'm sure the book is going to be excellent and the movie has a very high suck potential. David Koepp has written some good stuff, but he's also written some truly terrible movies (The Shadow, War of the Worlds, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Angels & Demons) and Spielberg hasn't done anything great since 2002's Catch Me If You Can. I can only hope that this is the project that will bring him out of his slump.