Sci-Fi Storm

TidBits: Star Trek: Discovery add cast; Amazon picks up Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams

by on Feb.15, 2017, under Television

A couple of catch-up tidbits tonight…

Star Trek: Discovery, finally in production, added three cast members this week. Terry Serpico (Army Wives, The Purge: Election Year) will play Admiral Anderson, a high-ranking official of Starfleet; Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock, Weeds) will be Dr. Nambue, the Chief Medical Officer of the U.S.S. Shenzhou (another ship to be featured in the show); and Sam Vartholomeos as Ensign Connor, a junior officer from Starfleet Academy on board the U.S.S. Shenzhou.

Amazon has reportedly picked up anthology series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, which has also tweaked it’s title. The show was first announced last May is executive produced by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica), Michael Dinner (Justified, The Wonder Years), and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad). The former two are also writing, while the latter will appear in an episode. Based on the many short stories by science fiction author Dick, it joins another Dick adaptation at Amazon, The Man In The High Castle.


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Syfy adds three to pilot The Machine

by on Feb.11, 2017, under Television

Syfy has announced the addition of three cast members for the upcoming pilot The Machine.

Bridger Zadina (Terri, Kill or Be Killed) will play the role of Santiago, an agoraphobic young hacker who — after uncovering the dangerous truth behind those he believed to be his allies — is cast out into the world he desperately fears. Through his harrowing fight for survival, Santiago begins to emerge as one of humanity’s last great hopes in the coming war against rising Artificial Intelligence.

Malachi Kirby (Roots) will portray Aaron, a lonely and out of place young man who created an A.I. as his best friend – benevolent, brilliant, supportive, and in many ways, his equal. Then recruited by the CIA for his creation, Aaron was placed in their cyber warfare division.

Olly Rix (Of Kings and Prophets) will play James, the principal test subject of a secret Ministry of Defense Artificial Intelligence program. A soldier, his badly injured mind and body have been rebuilt using cutting-edge prosthetics and implanted artificial intelligence, elevating him far beyond the limits of normal human capabilities.

Announced last week was Annet Mahendru (The Americans), in the role of Yana, a brilliant but troubled programmer who has created the world’s first super intelligent Artificial Intelligence. With an IQ 500 times greater than Einstein, this S.A.I. is capable of conquering the world’s most complex problems, such as disease, poverty, and environmental devastation.

The Machine, based on the 2013 UK cult film, explores humanity through artificial intelligence when a sentient AI is created, but the military wants to use it for war. Caradog James, who directed the film, is an executive producer with Red & Black Films and John Giwa-Amu, the film’s producer.


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XYZ Films acquires Indiegogo-funded Code 8 led by Robbie and Stephen Amell

by on Feb.11, 2017, under Movies

XYZ films has acquired international sales rights for Code 8, the Indiegogo-funded feature film based on a short film that will star cousins Robbie Amell (The Tomorrow People) and Stephen Amell (Arrow).

Jeff Chan, who directed the short (shown below) will also direct the feature as well as produce. The Amells, screenwriter Chris Paré, Thick Water Entertainment and Lee Kim for Resolute Films are executive producing.

The short film takes place in a world where 4% of the population are born with some type of supernatural ability. Instead of being billionaire superheroes, most ‘specials’ live in poverty and resort to crime, forcing the police to become more militarized.

The story follows a young man with special powers (Robbie Amell) struggling to find work as a day laborer. After a dispute over payment, he finds himself in a confrontation with a police officer (Sung Kang, The Fast and the Furious franchise) and the autonomous robots backing him up.


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Arrival lands in 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD

by on Feb.09, 2017, under Movies, Video/DVD

Best Picture nominee Arrival arrives in Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD next Tuesday, February 14th! The film was hailed by critics as “mesmerizing” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone), “amazing” (Brian Truitt, USA Today) and “the best film of the year” (Christopher Orr, The Atlantic).

Arrival was released in Digital HD online on January 31st.

Arrival, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, received eight Academy Award® nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing. In addition, Arrival has been named one of the best films of the year by the American Film Institute, National Board of Review, New York Times, USA Today and many more.

Five-time Academy Award® nominee* Amy Adams “delivers one of her best performances” (Brian Truitt, USA Today) as expert translator Louise Banks. When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team races against time to decipher their intent. As tensions mount between fearful governments, Banks discovers the aliens’ true purpose and, to avert global war, takes a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity. Oscar® nominee Jeremy Renner and Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker co-star in this epic film with “a mind-blowing ending” (Brian Truitt, USA Today) that “you will want to see again and again”(Brian Formo, Collider). The Arrival 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Combo Packs include over an hour of engrossing special features, with in-depth explorations of the film’s subject matter, sound, score, editing and more.

Arrival Blu-ray Combo Pack
The Arrival Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles. The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following:

Blu-ray

  • Feature film in high definition
  • Bonus Content:
    • Xenolinguistics: Understanding Arrival
    • Acoustic Signatures: The Sound Design
    • Eternal Recurrence: The Score
    • Nonlinear Thinking: The Editorial Process
    • Principles of Time, Memory & Language

Arrival 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack
Fans can enjoy the ultimate viewing experience with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes the Blu-ray detailed above, as well as an Ultra HD Disc with the film presented in 4K Ultra HD with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Audio Description with English, English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles. The Combo Pack also includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film.
The Blu-ray Combo Pack and 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack available for purchase include a Digital HD Version of the film that can be accessed through UltraViolet™, a way to collect, access and enjoy movies. With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them—reliably and securely—to a variety of devices.

Arrival Single-Disc DVD
The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, and Spanish subtitles. The disc includes the feature film in standard definition.


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Syfy picks up Channel Zero anthology for two more installments

by on Feb.09, 2017, under Television

Syfy and Universal Cable Productions (UCP) today announced a pick-up of two more installments of the critically acclaimed horror anthology series, Channel Zero. In addition, UCP has signed an overall deal with the series’ executive producer, Nick Antosca (Hannibal, Teen Wolf). Under the agreement, Antosca will develop and produce scripted programming with UCP for the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment portfolio and for external networks and streaming services.

Each installment of the Channel Zero anthology is based on a “creepypasta” (user-generated horror stories published online). The first installment in the anthology series, the six-part ‘Candle Cove’, landed on several “Best TV of 2016” lists and centered on Kris Straub’s unnerving story of one man’s obsessive recollection of a mysterious children’s television program from the 1980s. ‘No-End House’, the second six-hour installment, is set to premiere on Syfy in October 2017. It follows Brian Russell’s story of Margot (Amy Forsyth, The Path), a young woman who, along with her friends, visits the No-End House – a bizarre house of horrors consisting of a series of increasingly disturbing rooms.

Channel Zero certainly hit a nerve with ‘Candle Cove’,” said Chris McCumber, President, USA and Syfy. “We look forward to creeping everyone out again this fall with ‘No-End House’ – and can’t wait to see what nightmares Nick has in store for the future.”

“Nick delivered a truly haunting and unpredictable first installment of Channel Zero and was embraced by fans and critics alike,” said Jeff Wachtel, President, Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “He is a fresh, passionate talent with a unique vision — precisely what we strive to cultivate here at UCP. We’re fortunate to have him in the family and look forward to developing new projects together.”

“Making Channel Zero’s ‘Candle Cove’ and ‘No-End House’ has been a terrific experience,” said Nick Antosca. “Universal Cable Productions and Syfy gave us a unique space to adapt weird cult horror stories and showcase some of the most talented independent directors out there. I’m so excited to bring more of these stories to the screen.”

Novelist, screenwriter and TV writer Antosca (Hannibal, Teen Wolf) returns as executive producer, showrunner and writer for both newly ordered installments alongside executive producer Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra), with Universal Cable Productions as the studio. Before Channel Zero, Antosca was a writer and producer on “Hannibal.” He has written five books including The Girlfriend Game, Fires and Midnight Picnic, which won a Shirley Jackson Award. He is from New Orleans, Louisiana and currently lives in California. Antosca is represented by WME, Writ Large and attorney Lev Ginsburg.

Antosca joins UCP’s roster of overall deals with A-list and top-notch emerging talent, including Sam Esmail, who is at work on Season 3 of the Golden Globe and Emmy-award winning Mr. Robot; James Frey’s Full Fathom Five, who are currently producing the supernatural horror-drama pilot The Haunted for Syfy; and Doug Liman’s Hypnotic, who recently produced the teleportation drama pilot Impulse with UCP for YouTube Red.


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Netflix and Showcase renew Travelers for second season

by on Feb.08, 2017, under Television

Canadian sci-fi drama Travelers, which stars Eric McCormack and was created by Brad Wright (executive producer on the Stargate TV franchise), has received a second season order from Canadian network Showcase and Netflix. Production will begin in March in Vancouver, with the show set to air on Showcase in the Fall, followed by a worldwide (except Canada) release on Netflix.

Travelers follows the last humans on Earth hundreds of years in the future, who have discovered how to send their consciousness minds into the past into random people, where they work together to avoid the fate that the human race faced in their future.

Schedules have been set to accommodate McCormack, who will also appear in a 10-episode revival of Will & Grace for NBC.


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Richard Hatch, the original Apollo on Battlestar Galactica, 1945-2017

by on Feb.07, 2017, under Obituaries, Television

I’m sad to say that we’ve lost another icon of SF…actor Richard Hatch, who played Apollo on the original Battlestar Galactica and later had a recurring role on the reboot, passed away today at the age of 71 after an extended illness, while surrounded by his family and friends.

Hatch started off on All My Children, then a string of guests spots on a variety of shows before landing a regular role in the last couple seasons of The Streets of San Francisco. He followed that up with his best known role on Battlestar Galactica, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.

After that, he went back to guest roles and lesser known movies, and some short runs on Dynasty and Santa Barbara. All the while, he kept the fandom of Battlestar Galactica alive at conventions, even writing and producing Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming, a short featuring several of his fellow cast members in raising interest in the possible return of the series. Even when Universal decided to go for a complete reboot, he felt that any Galactica was a step in the right direction, and was the only original cast member to appear in the new show, in the recurring role of Tom Zarek.

I had the good fortune to meet Richard at a smaller local convention a couple years ago, and he genuinely enjoyed talking with the fans. We chatted for a while about his thoughts on the reboot and the differing opinions of his cast mate, Dirk Benedict, who was next to him. He was glad the show came back in any form and was nothing but supportive of the effort. A franchise is lucky to have such a proponent that gets the fans and works with them, and Richard was one of the few.


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The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Super Bowl spot

by on Feb.06, 2017, under Movies

“Welcome to the frickin’ Guardians of the Galaxy…”

We get to see a bit more of Mantis, the newest member of the team – along with Drax attempting to help. Sort of.

May 5th!!!!


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The Stranger Things second season Super Bowl spot

by on Feb.06, 2017, under Television

The worst thing about this? We have to wait until Halloween.

I like how it starts out with the Jason Hervey Eggo commercial…really threw me off what it was…


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Sharknado 5 goes international

by on Feb.02, 2017, under Television

Sharknados do not respect borders…

Syfy and The Asylum announced today that Ian Ziering and Tara Reid will again star in Sharknado 5 (working title – expect a punny subtitle later…), reprising their roles as shark-fighting heroes Fin Shepard and April Wexler. Principal photography commenced today, February 2, in Bulgaria. The latest film in the hit global franchise, Sharknado 5 features the return of original cast member Cassie Scerbo as Nova, a bartender turned badass Sharknado fighter.

Sharknado 5, which sees the deadly weather phenomenon of shark-infested storms bombard cities around the world, will film in more than 5 countries, including the UK and Australia. Anthony C. Ferrante, who directed the first four films, is back to helm this latest installment, based on a script by Scotty Mullen.

The original 2013 Sharknado film, which introduced a cyclone depositing man-eating sharks on the citizens of Los Angeles, became a worldwide phenomenon and spawned a pop culture franchise. In Sharknado2: The Second One, New York City was the target of the disaster, and in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, a mega-sharknado made its way down the “Feast Coast” from Washington, D.C. to Florida. In the most recent installment, Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, the shark-infested storms went national. The film ended with the Eiffel Tower ripping away from Paris and crashing down on Niagara Falls – a chilling indication that no one in the world is safe!

Now, in Sharknado 5, with much of North America lying in ruins, the rest of the world braces for the inevitable – a global sharknado. Fin Shepard and his family must put a stop to this disaster before Earth is completely obliterated.

Still no sign of a musical version though…


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