FX Movie News: 10-19-06

All New Team For Terminator 4?; del Toro To Remake The Witches?; Fans Vote For Transformers Dialogue; Bucky O’Hare Goes CG; Films Can’t Save Sony; Spiderwick Director To Do Time-Travel Comedy; Shakespearean MMO; 3-D Film Conversion A Trend; Eragon Game Secures Film Talent;


All New Team For Terminator 4?

(comingsoon.net) Terminator 4 co-writer Michael Ferris has given Entertainment Weekly a hint about what we can expect from the next installment. First, however, he addressed the questions on whether Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back.

“‘Terminator 3’ kind of closed the book on Schwarzenegger, as did his gubernatorial career,” said Ferris, who wrote the fourth film with John Brancato.

Another missing element is producer Gale Anne Hurd, who worked on the first three films and is not involved, and “T3” director Jonathan Mostow has yet to sign on (he’ll be busy adapting Marvel’s Sub-Mariner for a while).

As far as plot points, Ferris offered this tease: “You will learn about Skynet and what that postapolyptic future is like.”

Del Toro Conjuring Witches

(scifi.com) Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro told SCI FI Wire that he wants to make a more faithful film version of Roald Dahl’s dark fantasy children’s book The Witches, which was adapted for the screen once before, in 1990, by director Nicholas Roeg. “I liked a lot of the Roeg film, but I really, really disliked that the ending was changed, because I think the essence of the Dahl story is that the kid remains a mouse,” said del Toro, who said The Witches is his favorite Dahl book. “Having said that, how the hell do I know that they won’t change it on me again? They probably did that to Nicholas Roeg. So it may happen again. But I want to try.”

In The Witches, a group of witches aims to rid England of all children, but their plot is thwarted by a resourceful little boy who won’t give up, even after he’s transformed into a tiny mouse.

Del Toro added: “Growing up, it was my favorite Dahl book. It was my favorite, because the witches represent adulthood. They represent the world. They represent all things that f–k up a kid. And I always thought it was great that the grandmother and the boy were essentially the same age and, therefore, were susceptible to witches that were in the guise of respectable old ladies. I thought Dahl has that subversive streak in him. It was there in his Unexpected tales, but it was also in his children’s books. And much like H.H. Munro, Dahl has a very definitely sophisticated point of view on what the children’s world is. That script is written. It’s budgeted and awaiting a green light.”

Del Toro added that he’s got several other fantasy and horror projects on his plate that he hopes to produce and/or direct in the near future, among them The Coffin, Mountains of Madness, Dead Man and Left Hand of Darkness. Pan’s Labyrinth opens in limited release on Dec. 29 and goes wide in January.

Voting Begins for Prime Line in Transformers

(Paramount Pictures) You can now vote for the fan-submitted line of dialogue to be spoken by Optimus Prime in Paramount’s Transformers movie at the film’s official website. Voting ends on October 23 and the winners will be announced by November 9.

Ten winners will have their winning line voiced and recorded by Peter Cullen, with first place becoming a line in the movie.

Bucky O’Hare Goes CG

(The Hollywood Reporter) Comic book creator Neal Adams’s new production company Buzzworthy will produce the CGI-animated feature “Bucky O’Hare” which Adams is directing and producing.

The story centers on a green anthropomorphic hare who, with a crew of other mammals including one boy, battles toads in an intergalactic war.

Comic book writer Larry Hama wrote the script, based on Adams’ 1980s comic book series. “Bucky” was a cartoon series in 1991.

Sony Film Studio Can’t Save Parent Company

(showbizdata.com) Although Sony’s film studio recorded its 12th movie to open at No. 1 and remains the most successful studio in 2006, the Tokyo-based company indicated today (Tuesday) that it will likely lower its annual earnings forecast. The company has been hit hard by a massive battery recall that not only is expected to cost it $200-300 million but has also tarnished its reputation for reliability. Moreover, the company has been forced to cut its pricetag for the PlayStation 3, even before it goes on sale, as analysts convincingly argued that consumers would shun the device at the planned price.

Spiderwick Director Attached To Time-Travel Comedy

(scifi.com) Walt Disney Pictures has bought a time-travel comedy project from screenwriter Larry Doyle titled Me2, with Mark Waters attached to direct, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Waters and his producing partner, Jessica Tuchinsky, will produce via their Watermark Pictures production company.

The plot for Me2 is being kept under wraps. Doyle came up with the idea before taking it to Watermark and will begin writing immediately.

Doyle was a writer-producer on TV’s The Simpsons and also wrote episodes of Daria and Beavis and Butt-head; his feature credits include Looney Tunes: Back in Action.

Waters is directing The Spiderwick Chronicles, the big-budget adaptation based on the best-selling children’s books, which is shooting in Montreal.

Shakespeare Coming To A Virtual World

(news.zdnet.com) Three-dimensional digital worlds and the world of William Shakespeare–it’s hard to imagine two more disparate universes.

But bridging the gap between them is exactly what Edward Castronova, an associate professor of telecommunications at Indiana University and the leading expert on the economies of virtual worlds, is doing.

On Thursday, the MacArthur Foundation is expected to announce a $240,000 grant to Castronova and his team to build “Arden: The World of Shakespeare,” a massively multiplayer online game, or MMO, built entirely around the plays of the Bard.

That means players can expect to trot around in 17th century regalia, buying ale in Elizabethan taverns and joining guilds aimed at toppling dukes and earls.

For Castronova, a longtime Shakespeare fan who once acted in a performance of “Richard III” and wrote a book called “Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games,” bringing Shakespeare’s universe to life is the chance of a lifetime. And, it’s an opportunity to use an MMO as a serious social-science research tool.

3-D Conversion of Nightmare Marks Trend

(vfxworld.com) The debut of Tim Burton’s THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS in Disney Digital 3-D on Oct. 20, 2006, comes on the heels of the long run of SUPERMAN RETURNS, which had scenes converted to IMAX 3-D. With word that STAR WARS, enhanced by similar conversion perhaps for next year in honor of the 30th anniversary, this trend gains real momentum.

Along with the recent success of 3D-animated films, from POLAR EXPRESS to OPEN SEASON, 3-D has captured the viewer’s imagination.

However, it is conversion of existing library films that first sparked the imagination of inventor and computer graphics pioneer David M. Geshwind, president of Three-Dimensional Media Group Ltd. 3DMG licensed two U.S. patents to IMAX to enable their conversion of films to 3-D.

Geshwind believes 3-D conversion offers a unique opportunity to bring blockbusters back into theaters with something new to offer. Consider the box-office that a relatively low-cost re-release in 3-D of E.T., INDIANA JONES, HARRY POTTER, LORD OF THE RINGS, THE MATRIX or even THE TEN COMMENCEMENTS would bring to theaters.

However, for new live-action films, with only a few weeks between the completion of a 2-D film and its release, there is not enough time to economically convert a two-hour film to 3-D using our original process. IMAX converted only 20 minutes of SUPERMAN RETURNS. We have worked hard to solve that problem, and developed advanced patent-pending technology to convert an entire film to 3-D for simultaneous day-and-date release with the 2-D version.

Library films can be converted at leisure, but what excites me now is the ability to show an entire new live-action film in 3-D on the same day as its 2-D release. We look forward to licensing the first such production with our new technology soon.”

While SUPERMAN RETURNS was the first widespread public use of Geshwind’s patented StereoSynthesis process, he first demonstrated it in the early 1990s to add 3-D depth to a segment of the original, 1933 KING KONG.

Geshwind, who holds eight other patents, developed StereoSynthesis as a low-cost form of virtual reality, and to “adapt the huge resource of existing 2-D media for 3-D systems. The advent of 3-D has taken longer than anticipated, but the effective use of 3-D adds greatly to the ‘suspension of disbelief’ that is key to entertainment. We will bring this same realism to enhance medical imaging, educational materials, scientific visualization, TV, games, the desktop, advertising and to other fields as 3-D digital displays become ubiquitous.”

3DMG (http://www.3dmg.com) licensed IMAX through UNIPAT.ORG. Geshwind conducts independent R&D in media technology through Digital Media Group, Ltd. (an affiliate of 3DMG). His other technologies, available for licensing through UNIPAT, include: ChromaSynthesis, Internet protocols, intelligent search, interactive video, bandwidth compression, educational technology, 3D paint, improved HDTV and personalized video.

Eragon Game Secures Film Talent

(ds.ign.com) When the Eragon videogame releases next month it will feature the voices and likenesses of the stars from the upcoming movie on which it is based. Edward Speleers, Sienna Guillory, Garrett Hedlund , and Robert Carlyle will all be making the transition from film to binary code.

In the game, players will control Eragon and, atop his trusty dragon Saphira, ride into epic battles against an evil king’s sinister forces. Eragon can overpower foes with some slick combos, utilize magic attacks, and can call in Brom or Murtagh at any point to give him a hand.

The Eragon videogame will ship November 14 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, PSP, Nintendo DS, mobile, and PC, followed by the feature film on December 15.

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2 Responses to “FX Movie News: 10-19-06”

  1. junky says:

    HOLY SHNOZ!  That is quite a sheet of headlines!  Welcome to EG Nmancer!  Thanks for the buffet table of goodies! 

    I know Mark Waters – he’s had amazing success ever since he directed Mean Girls and his projects all sound pretty good.

    I pity the continual downward spiral for the Terminator series.  These movies are hardly gonna live up to the hype.  I found myself enjoying some of Terminator 3, though I put it (obviously) in another class than the Cameron films.  But witout Hurd, Arnold, etc… Those writers would have to come up with some pretty hardcore BSG type writing to make this interesting.

    Then again, losing the whole Arnold angle and doing something completely new might work, but is it “Terminator?” I suppose there are other model T-series out there.  Perhaps THE ROCK?

  2. Eros Welker says:

    1. Terminator needs a kick in the ass.  It doesn’t need Terminator 4.  It needs a Terminator Begins.  They’ll never figure this out at the rate they’re going.

    2. Guillermo Del Toro.  I heard Hellboy’s now at Universal, which opens up the possibility of incorporating Universal monsters into the sequel.  That’s cool – I like his vision, but usually hate his execution.

    3. I’m upset that my Transformers quote didn’t make the cut… but I absolutely love, “Be a Decepticon, not a Deceptican’t!”

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