I'm back from traveling, fundraising events, etc. but it's going to take some time to decompress...
This may have flown under my radar, but Family Guy creator and voice actor Seth Macfarlane has a straight-to-series order from Fox for a yet unnamed hour long sci-fi comedy series, in which he will also star and executive produce. Also in the cast are Adrianne Palicki (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Scott Grimes (ER, Party of Five), Peter Macon (Friendship!) and J Lee (Family Guy).
Now Jon Favreau, who really got the Marvel Cinematic Universe off on the right track by directing the first two Iron Man installments and has been hitting gold with his latest, Disney’s Jungle Book, has signed on the direct and executive produce the first episode.
Set in space 300 years in the future, the show follows the adventures of the Orville, a not-so-top-of-the-line exploratory ship in Earth’s interstellar fleet.
Anyone else having flashbacks to Quark?
The second half of Syfy’s upcoming Channel Zero anthology series has its title and its star.
Any Forsyth (Defiance, A Christmas Horror Story) will headline the cast for Channel Zero: The No-End House, which will be based on a “creepypasta” story by Brian Russell, which tells the story of a young woman named Margot Sleator (Forsyth), who visits the No-End House, a bizarre house of horrors that consists of a series of increasingly disturbing rooms. When she returns home, Margot realizes everything has changed.
The first part of the series, i>Channel Zero: Candle Cove debuts September 27th on Syfy. Channel Zero: The No-End House will premiere in 2017.
The 2016 Hugo Awards were given out yesterday at MidAmeriCon II, the 74th World Science Fiction collection. Like last year, a group calling itself “Rabid Puppies”, led by Theodore Beale, tried to game the system and encouraged voting for a particular slate of nominees, but like last year were largely ignored by the more than 3,000 votes given.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan-Feb 2015)
BEST SHORT STORY
“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
BEST RELATED WORK
BEST GRAPHIC STORY
The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM
The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, SHORT FORM
Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile” written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer (Marvel Television; ABC Studios; Tall Girls Productions;Netflix)
BEST EDITOR, SHORT FORM
BEST EDITOR, LONG FORM
Sheila E. Gilbert
BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST
Uncanny Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
BEST FAN WRITER
BEST FAN ARTIST
The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (Not a Hugo Award, but administered along with the Hugo Awards) went to: Andy Weir
The international trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, shown below, gives us some more scenes and dialog that perhaps reveal a bit more of the story…watch and see…
The first official trailer for Arrival, starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker. Looks like it could be a good intellectual movie with some action…
Opens November 11th, 2016
We were devastated to learn via the BBC that actor Kenny Baker has passed away today after a long illness, just short of his 82nd birthday.
Baker was the man who brought R2-D2 to life, working inside the costume in the first six Star Wars movies and consulting in The Force Awakens. He also appeared in a number of other films, including an old favorite, Time Bandits, as Fidget.
Baker had been cared for by his nephew Drew Myerscough for a number of years, after he had developed respiratory issues, although this did not stop him from making appearances. One of the first actors willing to make appearances at conventions, he was scheduled for his only U.S. appearance later this year at Rhode Island Comic Con. His nephew said, “His fans worldwide kept him going and he loved nothing more than going to conventions and meeting everybody – it really gave him that extra lease of life.”
OK, this is looking GOOD…
In the meantime, it seems that the standalone “Young Han Solo” film may also be getting a young Lando Calrissian…according to a report from The Wrap, the code name of “Chance” has been circling the casting calls, and putting the dice together, people figure this a reference to Han’s and Lando’s past – after all, Han won the Millennium Falcon from Lando via gambling…
Things are getting cray-Z – Z Nation Season 3 is coming soon!
Universal Cable Productions (UCP) and Syfy today announced they have signed Grant Morrison (Batman, The Invisibles) and Brian Taylor (Crank, Gamer) to adapt Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World for Syfy with Amblin Television. Morrison and Taylor will also serve as executive producers, along with Amblin Television Co-Presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (The Americans, All The Way).
Considered one of the most influential genre classics of all time and named fifth among the 100 best English-language novels of the 20thCentury by Modern Library, the 1931 novel looks 632 years into the future and anticipates new developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that combine to profoundly change society.
UCP is also developing Happy! for Syfy, an adaptation of a graphic novel originally written by Morrison and co-created with artist Darick Robertson. Morrison and Taylor are set as executive producers and co-wrote the pilot; Taylor is attached to direct. This grimy crime black comedy features Nick Sax, a corrupt, intoxicated, ex-cop turned hit-man adrift in a twilight world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit goes wrong, Nick finds a bullet in his side, the cops and the mob on his tail and a monstrous killer in a Santa suit on the loose. But his world is about to be changed forever by Happy, a tiny (imaginary) blue winged horse with a relentlessly positive attitude.
This appears to be a second attempt at the adaptation for Amblin and Syfy – way back in May 2015 we reported on the adaptation with some of the same names, except Les Bohem was tied to it as the writer at the time.
So as I left on my trip, Variety dropped a bomb on the Divergent Series – that the final movie, Ascendant, which was split off from the final Allegiant novel, will instead be turned by Lionsgate into a TV movie which will lead into a spinoff TV series. No specific outlet for the movie or series was named. The move was likely spurred by the disappointing box office on Allegiant after two successful films.
This has put everything into question for the conclusion of the franchise, however. We understand that negotiations are underway, but it appears that the cast was caught by surprise by the news, with several under the assumption that they will not be involved further or even knowing anything about it beyond the Variety report.
We don’t know the specifics of the existing cast contracts, but they may not allow for a TV movie and certainly not a series. Thus every cast member they wish to retain would need to be renegotiated. This could get expensive since the actors would be in the driving seat in negotiations unless Lionsgate is willing to recast – and that could lose audience even further. Plus, a TV movie’s budget is likely going to be much more restricted, and if used as a backdoor pilot for the series, would likely have to hand the reigns over to the series cast.
This appears to show the risks involved with studios wanting franchises instead of standalone tentpole movies. After the massive successes of Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Humger Games and all Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the resurgence of Star Wars and Star Trek, studios are looking for the Next Big Thing and making extended plans for unproven adaptations. Divergent and The Maze Runner come immediately to mind, and Warner Bros has struggled with the DC Comics universe.