Ron Howard’s ambitious multi-platform project to being Stephen King’s The Dark Tower to life – originally conceived as a trilogy of movies AND two TV series – is looking for studio backing again. After Universal balked on the project a year ago, Warner Bros stepped in – but now it seems even WB has passed on it, despite getting an updated script from Akiva Goldsman and buzz about Russell Crowe interested in a lead role.
But another funding source may be in the hunt, with Media Rights Capital interested. MRC recently funded the Seth MacFarlane hit comedy Ted, and also the upcoming Elysium starring Matt Damon and Jodi Foster and directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9). So for now, the project lives on.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter may be getting a twin…and perhaps a lot more siblings. Earlier this month Universal Studios President Ron Meyer said in an interview, while panning recent studio failures, said, “Yes” when asked about plans to build additional Harry Potter parks.
Well now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that a second Wizarding World of Harry Potter is on the way (paid subscription required to read the whole article) – and the location will be at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Not much more details, other than an official announcement may come next week. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was a huge success in Orlando (see a previous trip report here), helping to bolster the flailing Islands of Adventure park. Rumors have gone around about a possible expansion to that area, but with the possibility of money going to the other coast to build fresh there, I wonder if that pay delay any expansion plans.
Syfy Ventures and Universal will be partnering up to launch Syfy Films, a film company that will leverage Syfy’s knowledge of the science fiction, fantasy, horror and supernatural genres and aims to produce 1-2 films a year starting in 2012. The joint venture will be headed by Mark Stern, Syfy’s head of original programming and and co-head of content at Universal Cable, and Donna Langley, co-chair of Universal Pictures.
The obvious question is – will we get space opera ala Battlestar Galactica, or monster movies ala Sharktopus?
So while on vacation we went to the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – for me this was the second time, the first being during exclusive access at the Syfy Digital Press Tour. This time it would be with the family, during normal hours – and I’m told a dessert buffet, open bar and all the butterbeer you can drink is not the typical experience… 😉 We also checked out the rest of the Islands Of Adventure, which none of us had seen before. It was also unusually cold there, with temps 20-25 degrees below normal – makes for a convincing winter scene in Hogsmeade, but not so great for water rides…
[WARNING – some of what is below could be considered spoilers if you are planning on attending…]
As part of the Syfy Digital Press Tour, on the first night we were taken over to Universal Studios for a special “RIP Tour” of Halloween Horror Nights XX, the 20th year of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida. I’ve never attended a horror-oriented event before, so had no idea what to expect and wasn’t originally planning to attend but as I heard more about it it sounded interesting.
Surfers, tourists, and local Los Angelenos alike were stunned yesterday morning by a rather HUGE mystery: the discovery of 15 foot long footprints in the sand at Santa Monica Pier!
A local fisherman was perhaps the only person who caught a glimpse of the creature responsible. “Everything started shaking,” he said. “Then I saw this thing. Bigger than any whale…eyes dark and menacing, teeth as big as the poles under the pier here.” Police are cautioning people not to panic, and to be careful not to fall into the deep footprints on the beach. Residents and tourists are wondering what kind of monster could be responsible for footprints so massive.
See photos at: http://dailyspace.blogspot.com/2010/06/gigantic-footsteps-found-in-sand-at.html