ENJOY THE SHOW
There's a poignant phrase that shows up often in Watchmen, simply, "Who watches the Watchmen?" The question has a clear purpose in the story, which is to call attention to the authority enjoyed by the 6-person superhero team. But the same query is surely on the minds of studio execs now that the heralded comic book series has finally made it to the big screen. Who will flock to the theater to watch a two-and-a-half hour journey into an altered '80s reality? And does Watchmen truly deliver? While the film's quality has incited debate, the short answer to this question is that, truly, everyone should watch the Watchmen.
Director Vincenzo Natali might not be a familiar name to you yet, but just wait. The man behind the small, mind-bending films like Cube and Nothing is set to release his next, called Splice, for which none other than Guillermo del Toro is an executive producer. One look at these remarkable new photos courtesy of Bloody Disgusting and you'll see that Splice may be the next cult fave of the sci-fi genre. The film surrounds a creature named Dren, a "beautiful but dangerous winged human-chimera" who is created by two rogue scientists through combining human and animal DNA. Check out these photos below!
Since Jeffrey Tambor (aka George Bluth Sr.) said without equivocation last November that an "Arrested Development" feature film "is a go," we've been hesitant to report on details surrounding the project. Despite Tambor's confidence, there has been wave after wave of rumor surrounding the Bluth family's big screen debut. The latest news is centered on Michael Cera, who reportedly has been the lone holdout from the series' original cast. The prospect of an "Arrested Development" film with no George-Michael Bluth is enough to cast doubt on the entire project. So should we believe E!'s inside source claiming that Cera has finally signed on? And if we do, does that mean all this speculation can finally be put to rest?
News about the upcoming sequel to last year's Twilight continues to trickle in as the studio creeps towards a November 2009 release. Today, we have a look at the official title and logo treatment for the follow up, thanks to MTV. Leveraging the $360+ million draw from the original movie and ambitions for tween domination - it is, after all, "one of the most anticipated movies… a worldwide phenomenon" - New Moon gets a commercial-savvy prefix: The Twilight Saga's New Moon. Author Stephanie Meyer often used "Twilight Series" to describe the four-book series, but "saga" sounds so much more important, right?
Back in July amidst a storm of pre-Milk James Franco news, we reported that the current graduate student was set to star as the lead in Howl, an Allen Ginsberg biopic named after the late poet's best known work and focusing on his trial after its publication. According to Variety, that project is a now further along with production and financing being handled by indie studio Werc Werk Works. The studio just launched this past August and has two other small projects in the "werks" (pun intended), The Turin Horse and Forgiveness. Shooting will start on March 16 in New York for Howl, which sounds pretty interesting.
A few outlets caught up with Wes Craven recently at a showcase for the his upcoming remake of The Last House on the Left. Craven directed the original back in 1972 and opted for a redo after the studio's 30-year license expired. A similar situation arose with 2006's Hills Have Eyes, which was a solid trip back the 1977 original. It's yet to be seen if the latest remake of a Craven original - Dennis Iliadis is directing this time around - will perform at the same level of Hills, but the father of Freddy Krueger did talk with JoBlo's AITH about other horror remakes in the works, including Shocker and People Under the Stairs.
Sam Raimi might finally return to his campy Army of Darkness days of old with Drag Me to Hell, as our friend Nick claims, but don't expect that influence to carry over to two new films that Raimi's Ghost House Pictures has acquired. They are remaking two European horror films - Anguish from Spain and Room 205 from Denmark. Ghost House has been behind some decent additions to the genre (30 Days of Night and The Grudge), but they've also brought to the screen duds like Rise and Boogeyman 3. The attached names also don't lead us to believe that either of these two will ascend out of C-grade territory.
Back in August we reported that Peter Jackson's special effects shop WETA had become attached to a small horror project called The Home. While writer/director Kristoffer Aaron Morgan is set to start shooting in New Zealand come spring, Bloody Disgusting tells us today that the project has secured a trio of new producers. The first two are the duo behind the French scare Inside, Franck Ribiere and Verane Frediani, which brings another horror/thriller element to the project. The third to join the team is none other than Elijah Wood, whose involvement is a bit quizzical, but acceptable. BD also nabbed some pretty outstanding early art for the film, which definitely gives me the impression The Home is on the right foundation.
Proving he's not a one-hit badass, Liam Neeson leverages the fisticuffs he picked up as Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins to beat the sense out of some Algerian thugs who have kidnapped his daughter in Pierre Morel's Taken. Clean-cut and unassuming, Neeson's Bryan Mills is inescapably reminiscent of Matt Damon's Jason Bourne. But anyone hoping for the next sensible spy tale to follow that ground-breaking trilogy should probably continue to hold their breath. Taken is admirably in-your-face, satisfyingly (if not surprisingly) blunt and lensed like the best of them, but it lacks in the nuance and depth that might turn it into a genre mainstay. Nevertheless, Neeson has clearly broken the mold for ass-kicking fathers.
This weekend should prove particularly fun for sci-fi fans. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans takes us back to the beginning of the shadowy battle between vampires and lycans, while Outlander presents an altogether new conflict between ancient Vikings and what may be "the next big thing" in monsters of the genre, Moorwens. While each film maintains an engrained appeal for any fan of the category, it's Underworld that proves the better breed, thanks in large part to leads Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen. Outlander has the capable James Caviezel and John Hurt, sure, but neither do particularly well with the half-hearted story; whereas the origins tale for Underworld serves as a deft complement to the series.
The production company Stone Village Pictures, which was recently behind Love in the Time of Cholera and Turistas, has acquired a concept thriller called The Field, authored by TV support staff Josh Dobkin ("Scrubs") and Sean Wathen ("House"). The thriller is set in an endless field, where a group of strangers wake up with seemingly random items and must find a way out. Adding a taste of horror is the production company Benderspink (The Ring series, The Ruins), which will also executive produce. Not much else is known of the project at this time, nor is there insight into Dobkin and Wathen's foray into film.
Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment most recently optioned Nobel Prize-winner John Steinbeck's novel "East of Eden" back in 2004 (you can thank Oprah for that) and are finally hoping to begin production on the big-screen adaptation later this year. The studios have secured both a director and writer for the project -- Tom Hooper of HBO's "John Adams" and Christopher Hampton of Atonement -- despite earlier reports that Ron Howard and Paul Attanasio (The Good German) were involved. The 1952-published story spans 728 pages and, to crudely summarize, centers on life of the Trask brothers, Charles and Adam, drawing heavy inspiration from the Biblical story of Cain and Abel.