News Bites: J.J., J. Michael and J. Malko

News Bites LogoFriday morning has rolled around once again, and if I had thought that previous weeks were indicating an increase in the amount of press releases coming out of Hollywood, this week’s the mother lode. Even with the usual caveat that there are things I miss or overlook or just don’t attribute any significance to, there’s a lot. In fact, there are just shy of two dozen news items this week.

Sheer volume indicates at least some of it should catch your interest, so let’s get to it, shall we?

If you’ve been wondering when the next Christopher Nolan sci-fi epic was going to hit, the answer is November 7, 2014. That’s when Interstellar, written by his brother Jonathan Nolan, will arrive in theatres. Little is known so far about the cast or plot except that it was “informed by” a Caltech physicist whose theory is that wormholes can be used for time travel.

Nicolas Cage has said he highly doubts he’ll take part in a hypothetical third Ghost Rider movie, stating he’s said what he wants to say with the character.

Bassist Nikki Sixx says Mötley Crüe is just about done. Though the band still like each other and work well together, they want to go out “with a bang”, according to Sixx. They hope to finish up their film (an adaptation of their autobiography The Dirt), release a soundtrack for the film, release one more studio album, and then have a farewell tour, which Sixx is adamant will be a genuine farewell tour and not lead to a resurrection of the band at a later date.

Steven Spielberg says the Tintin sequel is in the works, with him producing and Peter Jackson directing. Spielberg hopes to have the film out for Christmas 2015.

Also from Spielberg’s court, Jurassic Park IV now has a director: Colin Trevorrow, best known for last year’s underground hit Safety Not Guaranteed. From a low-budget indie film to a huge-budget blockbuster franchise sequel… bet that’s going to be an adjustment.

J. Michael Stracyznski is working on the screenplay for a film adaptation of Valiant Comics’ Shadowman, about a supernatural-themed character in New Orleans. Production is expected to start soon, with a fall 2014 release date. I guess comic book movies have really come into their own when adaptations are being made not only for obscure characters, but obscure companies.

So what’s the next decades-dead TV series to be adapted to film? If you picked Good Times, please seek professional help, but you’re right. Scott Rudin is producing the film for Sony, and it is expected to remain set in the 1960s. Was there any demand for this? Any at all?

Of course, it’s not the only TV series coming to the big screen. Earlier this week, Veronica Mars alumni Rob Thomas (writer) and Kristen Bell (star) launched a Kickstarter project to help finance a film adaptation of the series. Fans donated the necessary money — over $2 million — in half a day. Warner Brothers has agreed to produce the film and pick up the cost of marketing. Co-star Percy Daggs III has said he’s eager to join the film as well.

Almost as quickly as the Veronica Mars movie got funded through Kickstarter, fans started wondering if the same technique could work for another Firefly movie. Someone asked Joss Whedon, and he’s said that a sequel to Serenity won’t be happening any time soon.

John Malkovich is coming to NBC. Malkovich will be playing the pirate Blackbeard in NBC’s drama Crossbones. This could be very interesting… pirates are a topic that have been moderately popular in film lately, but haven’t been touched by television since… well, the last one I can think of is The Hundred Lives of Black Jack Savage, and that only lasted a month. And Malkovich is a great actor, and should be able to bring a lot of life to Blackbeard. What’s particularly interesting is that the series is apparently planned to only be 10 episodes altogether and isn’t meant to go multiple seasons. Considering the number of series that have been wrecked by later seasons, deliberately writing for just one season holds some definite promise.

Kevin Smith has started writing the script for Clerks III, which he says “will be the best film I’ll ever make”. Well, after the last few, it’s pretty clear he knows where his bread is buttered.

Dave Bautista has signed on for the role of Drax the Destroyer in Marvel Comics’ Guardians of the Galaxy. Bautista starred in 2011’s House of the Rising Sun and had a role in 2012’s The Man With the Iron Fists, both fairly under-the-radar films, but is best known as a professional wrestler. Marvel appears to be working very hard at giving themselves an uphill battle marketing this film.

Jim Carrey has confirmed he and Jeff Daniels will be teaming up again for Dumb and Dumber To (spelling not a typo). It’s still in the process of being greenlit, but Peter Farrely has said he’d also like to get Channing Tatum and Emma Stone in the film.

Sarah Silverman, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Reggie Watts, and Michael Cera have teamed up to launch a YouTube comedy channel called Jash. Considering that Tim and Eric were responsible for the worst movie I’ve seen since I started blogging, it’s a safe bet I’ll be staying far, far away from this. But maybe this explains why I’ve always had the unexplained urge to punch Michael Cera; perhaps it was a psychic premonition?

Antoine Fuqua, the director who was attached to the 24 film adaptation, says it won’t be happening with him, and might not happen at all. As it’s been three years since the Kiefer Sutherland series went off the air, Hollywood’s enthusiasm for the movie might be starting to lose steam.

Karl Urban, who starred as Doc McCoy in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek will play the lead in Human, Abrams’ series for FOX about a police officer who has shut down emotionally and is paired up with an android officer. The latter will be played by Michael Ealy of Common Law, and Lily Taylor from Six Feet Under is also in the cast.

Jai Courtney (A Good Day to Die Hard and Jack Reacher) and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants and recently announced as Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2) have been signed for the sci-fi film Divergent, along with Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort and Maggie Q. The Summit film is directed by Neil Burger, and is about a future in which people are divided into groups based on personality types. Woodley’s character is a “divergent”, who will never fit into any group, who uncovers a conspiracy to eliminate all divergents. The film is set for release on March 21, 2014. I have to say that I’m hoping that once trailers come out, they make this look better than it sounds… it has potential, but the “individuality is good” theme is not only a little redundant (most audience members fully agree), it’s also unoriginal as a theme, although the particular execution (pun intended) is at least a little different.

The Wachowskis’ next film, Jupiter Ascending, has been given a release date of July 25, 2014. The film stars Channing Tatum as assassin who is assigned to take down a Russian janitor whose genetics mirror those of the Queen of the Universe and threaten her rule. The assassin falls in love with the janitor, however, and they wind up on the run. Mila Kunis and Sean Bean also star in the film; presumably Kunis is the janitor (and possibly the Queen as well, given the brief synopsis of the known plot). Sounds pulpy; might be interesting.

From the same article, Warner Brothers has delayed the film Grudge Match, starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro as retired boxers coming out for one last bout. Originally slated for November of this year, it has been moved to January 10, 2014. Doesn’t exactly bode well.

Manny Eating PasteRumors and Speculation:

Rumors have been going back and forth on whether Alan Cumming would be reprising his role as Nightcrawler in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Rather than link all the yes/no, I’ll just cut to the chase: Cumming himself says “no”; he apparently hasn’t even been asked to join.

Here’s an interesting bit on the technological front, especially given some of my thoughts on digital content a few weeks back. Apple has filed a patent for a process of transferring ownership of digital content. Now… putting aside the dubious idea of patenting a process (I’m a programmer, and certain things I find are ludicrous patent ideas, such as digital shopping carts)… there’s an interesting question of intent here. Apple could just be doing this for some arcane business reason, but it seems more likely they intend to implement it at some point. And this would mean that you would be able to buy an album (or TV show, or movie) on iTunes, listen to or view it for a while, and then decide “yeah, I don’t want this anymore” — and sell it to some other iTunes user (or loan it). Essentially they’ve filed a patent for the idea of a seconary market of digital content. The ability to lawfully transfer ownership is one thing that’s been consistently missing from the digital revolution thus far (although eBooks are often loanable), so this is at least potentially an interesting move.

Steven Spielberg has dropped out of directing the Moses film Gods and Kings. Warner Brothers is reportedly looking at Ang Lee as a replacement. On more solid news, Lee is directing the pilot to Tyrant, an FX tv series about an American family becoming embroiled in turmoil in the Middle East.

I’m not dumb, I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
— Calvin, in Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson

About Morgan R. Lewis

Fan of movies and other media
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3 Responses to News Bites: J.J., J. Michael and J. Malko

  1. Wow. Boatload of news this week!

    “Nicolas Cage has said he highly doubts he’ll take part in a hypothetical third Ghost Rider movie, stating he’s said what he wants to say with the character.” Specifically, PI&td;ge4eyigfqopwrgy;wfuketSDFLIAYFw’;gyf LOL

    Psyched for TinTin 2. The first one rose in my estimation upon a rewatch. Glad to hear its a go.

    Well, Dumb and Dumber To is off to a good start at least. That title is funny 😉

    • Laughing at the Nic Cage “quote”. Well played.

      I still need to see the first Tintin. Was really looking forward to it, and just plain missed it. Can’t even rent it off Amazon now (what the heck, right?) Glad to hear it went up in your eyes on a second viewing.

      Having Carrey and Daniels back for Dumb and Dumber To is, I think, essential for that film to have any success at all. Granted, I haven’t watched the original (I have, however, been subjected to the most annoying sound in the world approximately 257 times.) But it seems to me that you either get the stars back or you don’t bother.

      • The first one is ok. Would give you a few laughs along the way.

        Definitely check out TinTin if you get a chance. Its a very energetic animated flick. I gave it a B+ when I first reviewed it, I think I’d bump it to an A- now, at least. 😀

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