Archive for June, 2011
Starz has reportedly canceled a second season of it’s freshman Arthurian fantasy drama Camelot after disappointing ratings (averaging a little better than 900,000 viewers, steady by not good). It did have the unfortunate luck of debuting against the heavily buzzed Game of Thrones), which enjoyed closer to 3 times the audience.
Although I liked the series, it seemed like I was always waiting for Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) to finally whip up some magic, or something a little more profound from Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower), and occasionally getting confused between Igraine (Claire Forlani) and Morgan (Eva Green) even without Morgan’s disguises.
Update: Hearing that scheduling conflicts may have also played a part in the decision, and that ratings had actually risen towards the end, with 1.5 million viewers in the finale.
World War Z, the post-Zombiepocalypse movie based on the book by Max Brooks being directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace), penned by J. Michael Straczynski and Matthew Michael Carnahan (Lions for Lambs) and starring Brad Pitt, reportedly lost two of its other stars: Matthew Fox (Lost) and Ed Harris (The Abyss) – just as production is starting. Fox reportedly has a scheduling conflict (he is also scheduled to star in I, Alex Cross with Tyler Perry), but no word on why Harris has backed out. Auditions have already begun for replacements.
World War Z is a historical account of first-hand experiences of the zombie crisis garnered by the “author” as he travels to gather information for a United Nations report a decade after the war.
Syfy just announced that Dichen Lachman, who starred as Sierra on Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse on Fox and appears in the upcoming Torchwood: Miracle Day, as well as guest appearances on Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS: Los Angeles, will play Izumi, a reclusive, centuries-old vampire royal whose unexpected return to Boston’s vampire society throws main character Aidan (Sam Witwer) and the city into disarray. Being Human begins production on its second season this month in Montreal and will air in 2012.
Being Human became an instant hit for Syfy when it premiered in January 2011 averaging 1.8 million viewers making it the channel’s most successful winter season scripted series launch in 6 years.
In the series, leading everyday lives is a lot harder than it looks for three supernatural roommates – vampire Aidan (Sam Witwer), ghost Sally (Meaghan Rath) and werewolf Josh (Sam Huntington) – who share their secrets and a Boston brownstone. Together they learn that there are fates worse than death and more to life – and the afterlife – than most “normal” humans could ever imagine.
The BBC finally announced the air date for the beginning of Torchwood: Miracle Day as July 14th – 6 days after it airs in the U.S. – and it has some U.K. fans upset. Although at some level it seems fair since we have traditionally gotten these programs a week or more later, this is also a traditionally U.K. production, even though now U.S.-based Starz is footing most of the bill and they likely have first-air rights. Not to mention that BBC scheduling can be pretty tight.
Yesterday marked the release of the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition on Blu-ray, and to celebrate Warner Bros. held a “Midnight Madness” event. If you weren’t able to be there in person in Los Angeles Tuesday night, check out the recap video and images below!
The grand-prize winner of the costume contest, judged remotely by WETA’s Daniel Falconer and Richard Taylor and given a special VIP tour of “Middle-earth”, was an interesting interpretation of a Balrog.
Still jonesing for some Torchwood? Here’s a little hit for you to tide you over – and 11 minutes behind-the-scenes feature for Torchwood: Miracle Day which gives a good look into the new characters…
It seems like Russell T. Davies is a bit tired of Torchwood – but he isn’t necessarily done yet. In an interview with The Guardian mostly about the new funding model involving the Starz cable network in the U.S. (and we may see more of it), he mentions that he might be tired of doing Torchwood. “In theory I could have handed it over to a bunch of strangers and said good luck to them – and if there was another series I might do that because I think there’s only so long you can spend doing Torchwood. I start the series and I think, I’m never doing this again…”
But then, thinking about the end of the show, “It’s hugely exciting and I’ve got to do this again. I’ve got one more story that I can tell – just one more that has Gwen right at the centre of it – that would be fantastic. So I’m my own worst enemy.”
He also spoke briefly about creating another children’s show after the passing of The Sarah Jane Adventures star Elisabeth Sladen. “We loved her,” Davies says of the actor, adding that the team couldn’t bear to do any kind of spin-off that didn’t have her in it: “It just wouldn’t be comfortable.” But the production team would like to create another show for children. “That’s the best audience that you’ll ever work for. Make a good kids’ show and they’ll remember it when they’re 80.”
Torchwood: Miracle Day will air on Starz starting on July 8th, and sometime later in July on BBC1.
Despite the lackluster performance of Green Lantern, Warner Bros. is still planning on a sequel, believing the franchise is worth pursuing. The studio is “somewhat disappointed”, with the movie falling 66% this weekend and a total cume so far of $89.3 million. Given that it took about $200 million to produce without including its extensive marketing costs, “somewhat” seems a bit light, but according to Dan Fellman, WB President of domestic distribution, such “fanboy” films see a similar drop off.
The only way I see a sequel making it is if they find a way to cut the production costs…which likely means less alien scenes and locations.
After the success of Riese: Kingdom Falling (which reached 2 million streams), Syfy is going to introduce another web series through its Syfy.com web site with The Mercury Men, a 10 part series, starting on Monday, July 25th, with a new episode each weekday for two weeks.
Created by acclaimed director Christopher Preksta (Captain Blasto), The Mercury Men draws on the same retro serials that inspired films such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
The Mercury Men is set in Pittsburgh in 1975. Edward Borman (Mark Tierno/The Road, Day of the Dead), a lowly government office drone, finds himself trapped when the deadly Men of Mercury seize the building as a staging ground for their nefarious plot.
Aided by Jack Yaeger (Curt Wootton/Captain Blasto, The Hidden Blade), a daring aerospace engineer from a mysterious organization known as “The League,” Edward must stop the invaders and their Doomsday Device, the Gravity Engine.
The Mercury Men is written and directed by Christopher Preksta, best known as the writer/director of Captain Blasto, for which he was nominated for two Streamy Awards. His work has been showcased at prestigious events including the Tribeca Film Festival and Comic-Con. Producer is Kati Lightholder.
With the buzz about Harry Potter likely to begin to die down after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 next month (at least after the subsequent Blu-ray/DVD release), and J.K. Rowling promising Daniel Radcliffe that no more stories about Harry would be published, what is the writer to do? Well, for the past week the new buzz has been around the word Pottermore, which was hinted at through a form of online scavenger hunt that led to the Pottermore web site, which promised more info today.
Well, the wait is over, and J.K. herself announced via video what it is about (which you can see below). The simple description on the web site says, “Pottermore is an exciting new website from J.K. Rowling that can be enjoyed alongside the Harry Potter books. You can explore the stories like never before and discover exclusive new writing from the author. It is FREE to join and use, and is designed to be safe for people of all ages.”
From her own description, it sounds like it is going to be a Harry Potter-themed social networking site, which will include ways to interact with the story itself by placing you in it, and will include things like the Sorting Hat and wand selections for each person, and even additional content. J.K. also says she will be participating as well. In addition, an exclusive Harry Potter store which will include digital audio books and ebooks will be attached.
Pottermore does not open publicly until October, but you can submit your email now (Ed: it doesn’t appear to be working at press time) and be notified when full registrations open sometime in July, and word is that a just a lucky few (if a million or so is a few…) might get early access and help the site before it publicly launches.