Archive for September, 2017
Amazon has seen what big name genre programming can do for other outlets, so it is looking for its own, putting three big projects on the development slate: Larry Niven’s Ringworld, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, and Greg Rucka’s Lazarus.
Ringworld, which would be co-produced with MGM, has previously done a couple of development stints as a mini-series at Syfy, most recently in 2013. Word is that the series will potentially draw from all the novels. The first novel follows some explorers from several races who investigate – and crash land on – a gigantic artificial structure orbiting a star that has the surface area of millions of Earths.
Snow Crash, which would be co-produced with Paramount Television, follows Hiro Protagonist, a pizza delivery driver and hacker in future America, where a computer virus is attacking hackers and Hiro hunts down the virtual villain. Joe Cornish will executive produce along with Frank Marshall.
Lazarus, based on the comic book by Rucka, is set in an alternate near future where the world is ruled by 16 families in a feudal style, and each family has a Lazarus – a personal killing machine who acts as champion for the family.
It’s finally happened…the ambitious Avatar mega-sequel has finally started production!
Simultaneous production on the four Avatar sequels began this past week. This is the most ambitious production ever, tacking four movies at once for release in December 2020, 2021, 2024 and 2025. Previously, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy was filmed as a unit by Peter Jackson, as was The Hobbit trilogy.
The 1981 sci-fi thriller Scanners from David Cronenberg, which starred Michael Ironside and Jennifer O’Neill, is now being adapted as a possible TV series by Media Res and Bron Studios. According to Deadline, they came out as the victors in a competitive bidding war, beating out Lionsgate, Paramount and Skydance.
The movie dealt with people with telepathic and telekinetic powers who are forced to work secretly for a corporation that deals in security and weapons systems – or hunted down if they don’t.
Rights were previously held by Dimension Films where they attempted to develop a new movie and a TV series, but it never resulted in anything.
Star Trek: Discovery, which premiered last night on the CBS broadcast network (slightly delayed due to football) before it goes exclusively to the CBS All Access streaming service, pulled in 9.6 million viewers and a 1.9 rating in the 18-49 demo.
It is expected for those numbers to increase in the Live+7 as people watch it on a delay.
Our impression of the show from a single viewing is that it does seem like an acceptable member of the franchise so far, although there are some issues. Most notably for us there were three things: First, although it supposedly takes place in the original series timeline (not the “Kelvin” timeline of the movies), it takes liberties with the established canon, like Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) being an apparent ward or adopted daughter of Sarek and raised as if Vulcan, yet a seemingly important familial relationship has never been mentioned and stretches the canon thin. The Klingons are yet again changed, and the fact that the U.S.S. Shenzhou is apparently a more advanced starship than the original Enterprise of our childhoods.
And we never even get to see the title ship in the premiere!
I’d like to see more, but I’m firmly in the camp of not paying for yet another streaming service – even for Star Trek.
[Edit: A previous version of this article accidentally transposed the number of viewers]
HBO has given a green light for a pilot and backup scripts based on the limited comic series Watchmen from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. The project comes from Damon Lindelof, who teased the project on Instagram (see below) before the announcement, and Warner Bros TV.
Zack Snyder previously adapted Watchmen into a feature film in 2009.
Watchmen is set in an alternate history world in 1985 at the height of the cold war. Superheroes exist and have had a hand in changing the outcomes of major events for about 50 years, but they are now mostly retired, with a few working as government agents.
A couple of tidbits from Syfy today…first, Syfy has pushed back the premiere date of Happy! for a week, and it will now premiere on Wednesday, December 6th at 10/9c.
Universal Cable Productions’ Happy! is based on New York Times best-selling author Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson’s graphic novel of the same name. The series follows Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU) – an intoxicated, corrupt ex-cop turned hit man – who is adrift in a world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit gone wrong, his inebriated life is forever changed by a tiny, relentlessly positive, imaginary blue winged horse named “Happy” (Bobby Moynihan, Saturday Night Live).
Also announced are some cast additions to the Tremors reboot pilot.
Emily Tremaine (Vinyl) will play Emily McKee, the recently graduated “whip smart” daughter of Valentine McKee (Kevin Bacon, reprising his role from the original movie.)
Megan Ketch (American Gothic) will play Mindy Sterngood, a young doctor who is fixated on the older Val, but appears to be hiding something…
Shiloh Fernandez (Evil Dead) will play Nico Garza, who has been just hanging out in Perfection waiting for the opportunity to split, working at Earl’s Graboid Waste Gobbling company.
Calling all Warehouse agents!!! We know you like Warehouse 13…do you like semi-cooperative board games? Did you know there is a fully licensed board game in development? We need you to help get it made!
Work as one of the familiar agents, while trying to stop MacPherson from gaining power from the artifacts. But beware – one of you is actually a spy for MacPherson!
There is still a week to pledge money to help get this project to completion. Head on over to the Kickstarter page and pledge any amount. $50 will get you a copy of the game along with an exclusive Leena character!
Check out this gameplay video with Pete Lattimer himself, Eddie McClintock!
Put simply, Wonder Woman is a spectacular movie. It is likely the best superhero movie DC and Warner Bros has yet put out. And now it heads to Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Ultra 4K Blu-ray and DVD this Tuesday, September 19th! And the Blu-ray releases include a special bonus scene not seen in theaters!
Like any superhero action movie, Wonder Woman is laden with action scenes and visual effects, but they are done so well and don’t detract from the character story, which delves into the origin of Diana, Princess of Themyscira, who we all know as Wonder Woman, although it starts off where Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had left with Bruce Wayne wondering about where she came from in a photo taken 100 years earlier.
The visual effects were simply amazing. To me, extensive use of “bullet time” effects can get annoying, but their use here was not only not distracting but incredible. Combine that with some of the spectacular location shots, and it makes for a beautiful movie. There were only a couple of visual issues I picked up on, and only on viewing the Blu-ray…the early wide shot of the Amazon training felt composited where it seems like some of the fighters were overlaid on the scene. And the glowing of the lasso rope felt too cartoonish…a light glow only to enhance the color would have been better.
The cast was excellent as well.
Gal Gadot was awesome. Aside from her appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which as a movie I didn’t care for), this was the first movie I actually saw her in. I think she was perfect in the part as a fish-out-of-water superhero, both fierce and beautiful simultaneously.
Chris Pine as Steve Trevor…Pine for some reason always makes me feel like he’s somehow going to charm his way out of every situation with his smile…and I still like him. His charm I think works for the spy character.
Freeform has canceled sci-fi procedural Stitchers, no long after it concluded its third season.
Creator and executive producer Jeffrey A. Schechter tweeted not long ago, “Sadly, it’s true. #Stitchers is done. But the energy, love, and support of our fans is something that I am grateful for & will never forget. Our amazing cast and crew are the real heroes of this adventure. And thanks @FreeformTV for giving me the chance to tell 3 yrs of stories.”
Star Emma Ishta posted on Instagram:
Today we say goodbye to what has been a huge part of my life for the past 3 years -The Little Show that Could – @stitcherstv . I want to thank our creator and show runner Jeff Schecter, our executive producers @jonathanbaruch and Rob Wolken, Steve Minor and @freeform for taking a chance in a completely unknown actor with hardly any experience. You have given me the opportunity to grow exponentially as an actor but more importantly as a human. I am so grateful. And to our fans: THANK YOU. It has been a delight and honor to create this show for you. Your enthusiasm and passion is unparalleled, thank you for believing in us. To the next chapter! P.S. See how they catch me when I fall? @kyleharris @damondayoub @teshrajan
This is especially sad for my family, as myself, my wife and two daughters would all watch this show together. We wish the cast and crew good luck in their next endeavors!
Syfy will not proceed with a series order for pilot The Machine.
Based on a 2013 British cult film, the series will explores humanity through artificial intelligence when a sentient AI is created, but the military wants to use it for war. Most recently, Battlestar Galactica‘s Katee Sackhoff and Aliens‘ Lance Henriksen were announced to join Jaeden Bettencourt (Hotel Transylvania 2) as the voice of three supercomputers.
Word is that Syfy brass wanted the pilot reworked, and liked the improvement, but not sufficiently to pick it up as a series.
Deadline reports that writer Jason Fuchs, who co-wrote Wonder Woman and also wrote Pan and Ice Age: Continental Drift, will take on the screenplay for Sony’s Robotech. Andy Muschietti (It) was attached as director in July.
The project is Sony’s attempt at a new franchise based on the 1985 anime series from Harmony Gold USA in partnership with Tatsunoko Production Company, and was actually three separate anime series (“Super Dimension Fortress Macross”, “Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross”, and “Genesis Climber MOSPEADA”), dubbed and edited to have a common plot line, showing three “generations” of characters. The common theme in the series is what is called “robotechnology” (a.k.a. “mecha”) – vehicles and spaceships which could transform into robots, which allowed the humans to take on aliens of immense size. It also spawned a number of direct-to-video movies.