Author Archives: Leo Choy

About Leo Choy

Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Leo Choy stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own, and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Leo can see and hear. And so, Leo finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.

Allan Quatermain the Inspiration for Indiana Jones is Set for TV

MIPTV has announced a new development deal.  If all things go according to plan, Allan Quatermain will grace television screens in a new 10 part series.  For those of you not familiar with adventures of Quatermain, he’s the 1880s literary character that inspired Indiana Jones; the creation of, not mentor.  The series is currently clocked at $30 million in order for this action-adventure to be produced in a team up between Sonar Entertainment and Ecosse Films.

When’s the last time you might have heard of this character?  Back in 2003 when Sean Connery played the crotchety, bearded adventurer in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Created by H. Rider Haggard in 1885; on a bet; Allan Quatermain is the action hero of King Solomon’s Mines and the subsequent prequels and sequels.  Yeah, this was written on a bet between brothers, namely whether or not Haggard could write a novel half as good as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, released in 1883.  What resulted was a book that became the year’s best seller.

In fact, due to the success of King Solomon’s Mines, a new genre of storytelling was created called the, “Lost World.”  This was the Twilight of its time, and soon writers were coming out of the woodwork with their own teeny romance equivalent.  Okay, maybe Jules Verne was responsible for the genre back in 1863 with Journey to the Center of the Earth, but Haggard must have had a better publicist.  The Lost World genre stuck and soon other books appeared which were compared to Haggard’s works.  Such works included Edgar Rice Burroughs’s The Land That Time Forgot, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World.

Haggard couldn’t stop there though.  Soon the sequels and prequels were cranked out.  Allan Quatermain would appear as the protagonist of stories ranging from his younger days at the age of 18, to his older and experienced years at 68.  50 years is a lot of grist for a television series to work with.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that they did the same with the Indiana Jones franchise.

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was a television series that went on from 1992 to 1993.  The official synopsis seems similar to what the Allan Quatermain storytelling went though.

“The now legendary, almost mythical character of Indiana Jones once had a childhood. Every episode starts out with the elderly man that he is in the 1990’s getting into a specific situation where he has to tell a story from his past. The stories go back to when he was ten years old and on a world tour with his father, and to his late-teens when he fought in World War I.”

This can only be explained through the magic of public domain stories and characters.  The only good thing that came from that show was a young Sean Patrick Flannery, who would grow up and kill criminals as a Boondock Saint.

Stewart Till, the CEO of Sonar Entertainment told The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s an incredible character from a range of best-selling books.  I read all the books as a child and it is something that many Brits have grown up with. It’s also the kind of high-concept adventure that broadcasters are looking for.”

Though no talent has signed on yet, Till says he has some actors in mind. “There are many British male actors in their early 30s who could play this rugged adventurer.” The only problem I see is how the world may perceive the story and it’s hero.  Who’s going to take the chance that they’ll be typecast as an imitation Indiana Jones?  Not that it’s true, but it’s all a matter of perception.

Till expects that scripts will be ready in the next few months, while the projected budget for each one hour episode is roughly $3 million dollars.  Already there are plans to shoot in Africa. “It is in exotic settings with lost tribes and treasures and African superstitions and big adventures, so its got everything,” said Till.   


Men in Black: Alien Crisis to Invade Games on May 25

Activision has announced that Men in Black: Alien Crisis will hit the shelves on May 25.  This will be the same day as the release of Sony’s Men in Black 3; adapted from the the Men in Black comic books.  The news that has hit the net has been of the generic nature as no one seems to know what stance to take on the game.  There simply isn’t enough information to make an informed opinion.  Maybe consumers have become numb to the words of advertisement announcements.

Here’s some of the official announcement:

In Men In Black: Alien Crisis, players take on the role as Peter Delacoeur, a MIB Agent in training, assigned to unearth enemy aliens who are planning to destroy planet Earth. With hidden surveillance and stealthy guards on the prowl, players must ambush confidential alien intelligence and stop all alien attacks. Men In Black: Alien Crisis brings exciting, realistic MIB Agent movements as players shoot, and dodge their way through action-packed levels to escape fierce alien assaults. Additionally, all platforms feature two-player split-screen gameplay and four-person “hot-seat” competitive action for awesome friends and family involvement.”

Right off the bat I had an sophomoric reaction to the name of the video game character, Peter Delacoeur.  If we are to follow the naming convention of all MIB agents, it means that the name will be shortened to the first letter of the first name.  “In this game, you will play as Pee.”  ‘Welcome Pee.’  “Look out Pee!”  If you’re playing on the Ninteno Wii, you’ll control Pee with your Wii.  Yes, I’m a comedic genius.

While the name may be hysterical to my addled mind, the cover art is brilliantly done.  The image of the MIB agent is obscured enough to conjure the image of Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones, without having to pay any likeness fees.  Honestly, I can almost imagine the moustache on the shadowy face of Agent Pee.

“To create a completely authentic Men in Black world and tone, Activision aligned with Jeff Gomez and Mark S. Pensavalle’s Starlight Runner Entertainment, Inc. to create the story and script of the upcoming videogame. Starlight Runner, a leading creator and producer of highly successful transmedia franchises, was selected by Sony Pictures to work in concert with the filmmakers to provide a single voice to the Men in Black universe with the upcoming film and related properties.”

Remember, this is Activision we’re talking about.  While known for Call of Duty and the Guitar Hero games, it seems the majority of gamers want to hate what they have to offer.  The consensus though is that the game will be, “kiddy” in nature, which is not so innovative or “in your face” and a little more generic when it comes to gaming.  As the game’s story doesn’t seem to be cannon to the actual movie, it gives me the feeling that the game will be closer to Call of Duty with an MIB skin on top of it.

“The game will be available for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii. All versions of the game are compatible with the Top Shot Elite peripheral. The PlayStation 3 version is also compatible with the PlayStation®Move sharp shooter and the Wii version with the Wii Zapper™.”

  • 3rd Person Combat Tactics: Dodge and take cover as you battle hostile aliens in this action-packed, 3rd person rail shooter.
  • Investigation and Interrogation: Players must obtain vital intelligence by examining locations and interrogating suspects.
  • Nothing is What it Seems: Aliens often use clever disguises. Employ MIB investigative techniques to detect hidden threats.
  • Diverse and Customizable Weapons: Wield an awesome assortment of alien firepower including MIB classics like the “Noisy Cricket” and unique firing modes such as “freeze rays” and “antigravity grenades.”
  • High Octane Action-Oriented Experience: Pursue and escape fierce aliens in intense cinematic chase sequences.

Another New TV Spot for Marvel’s The Avengers Back in Action!

Marvel Studios has released another “new” TV spot for the highly-anticipated movie, Marvel’s The Avengers.  I really like how they’re really stressing the “Marvel” portion.  It really gets away from the trademark issues that were happening in the UK over the use of the name, “The Avengers.”

As this is the 6th television spot that has been recently released, it too has its own focus, this time being Captain America, titled “Back in Action”.  Yes, some of the footage has already been seen, but there are a few snippets and text that make this spot original.

The film will hit screens in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D on May 4.  Directed by Joss Whedon, the film stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson.

Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel’s The Avengers is the superhero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as SHIELD, finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.”

The new film sports an all star cast.  It includes:

Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man:

A self-described genius, billionaire, playboy and philanthropist with a mechanical suit of armor of his own invention.  Becoming a superhero is obviously the best way to make people forget one’s a drunk and a reformed arms dealer.  Honestly, Stark needs to run for President now.

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America:

A World War II veteran who’s convinced his only way to help in the war effort is to do drugs.  As the poster boy for steroid use, Steve Rogers is enhanced to the peak of human physicality by an experimental serum.  While the spot focuses on the Captain as the team leader, maybe they should have gone with someone more… PC.  In the Ultimate series, the Captain doesn’t buy that he’s in the future.  How does he arrive to this conclusion?  He bases it on the premise that there aren’t any African-American soldiers who’ve made the rank of Colonel.  “Must be a Nazi trick!”  Next thing you know, women will be able to vote.

Mark Ruffalo as Dr. Bruce Banner / Hulk:

A genius scientist who somehow gets caught in the blast of his own science experiment.  Forget fail safes and controlled environments.  Due to the exposure to gamma radiation, Banner is transformed into a monster when enraged or excited. Ruffalo was cast after negotiations between Marvel and Edward Norton broke down.

Lou Ferrigno; the man behind the monster in the 1977 television series of the Hulk, will voice “The Hulk.”  Lots of screaming and maybe some monosyllabic words.  “Hulk… Smash!”

Chris Hemsworth as Thor:

The god of thunder and disco era armor.  Thor which is based on the Norse deity of the same name is more a space alien than; thus saving religious issues being brought up in the movie. Hemsworth stated that he was able to maintain the strength he built up for Thor by increasing his food intake, consisting of a number of chicken breasts, fish, steak and eggs a day.  Fine and dandy really, but does an actor ever have to pig out and get obese for their role?  Probably, but not to be made of eye candy for those that like their men made of abs.  Now excuse me while I go back to eating this tub of ice cream.

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow:

A highly trained spy working for the international peacekeeping organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. “Her superpower set is using a gun and launching a luchador wrestling technique that disables men with her swinging crotch.”

Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye:

A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and master archer known in the comics as the “World’s Greatest Marksman”. While originally a superhero with a crippling obsession with bows and arrows, Hawkeye has had some proper reconstruction of his superhero background.  Now his abilities are due to his specials eyes.  Better than lasik, operations have allowed Hawkeye to squint his way into seeing his targets; his eyes utilize more muscles to constantly change the way he sees over long distance.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki:

Thor’s adoptive brother and nemesis based on the deity of the same name. Man, how did Odin the All Father not see any of this coming?  I thought he had a plan for everything.

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury:

The baddest director to ever walk the street for S.H.I.E.L.D.  The Colonel was revealed in previous films to be coordinating the “Avenger Initiative” which I thought was the training program for potential Avengers.   While he forgot to recruit Spider-Man and the Wolverine, Jackson was brought to the project with a deal containing an option to play the character in up to nine Marvel films.

Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill:

A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who works closely with Jackson’s Nick Fury.  While in the comic she is pretty much a control freak and a raging bitch, I just don’t buy Smulders in the role.  This is not “How I Met Your Mother”.

Check out the new TV Spot below:

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy Gets the Blu-ray Treatment

The official website for Marvel Entertainment has just announced the return of Sam Raimi!  Well, not Sam Raimi per se, but the original Spider-Man films the he directed.  This time they’re coming to Blu-ray and in a brand new special edition packaging. “But that’s not all.  There’s more!”  Each package will contain Movie cash for the release of Sony’s July 3rd release of The Amazing Spider-Man.

This looks an awful lot like how the Star Wars saga churned out their reproductions.  This is truly the merchandising that comes out when companies turn to the dark side.  At least each of these Ultraviolet digitial copies comes with a bucket full of features.  Let’s look at the list below; and hope that we see stuff with Bruce Campbell in it *SQUEE!*

The special features are listed as follows with the cover art:

New to the “Spider-Man” Blu-ray:

  • “Spider Sense Trivia Challenge” — Rise to the ultimate web-slinging challenge as you test your “Spider-Man” movie knowledge in this over feature trivia game. Do you have the spider sense to achieve the highest score?
  • “The Spider-man Cutting Room” — Create and share your own video using clips and music from the movie!
  • New collectible O-Ring packaging
  • “Spider-Man” Blu-ray Bonus Features Also Include:
  • Filmmakers and Cast Commentary Sam Raimi, Laura Ziskin, Grant Curtis, and Kirsten Dunst
  • Visual Effects Designer & Crew Commentary John Dykstra & Special Effects Crew
  • Tobey Maguire and J.K. Simmons Commentary
  • “Spider-Man: The Mythology of the 21st Century”
  • HBO Making of “Spider-Man”
  • “Spider-Mania” an E! Entertainment Special
  • Director Profile: Sam Raimi
  • Composer Profile: Danny Elfman
  • Costume Design Featurette
  • Seven Behind The Scenes of “Spider-Man” Featurettes
  • Screen Tests with Tobey Maguire, J.K. Simmons, and CGI Spider-Man
  • Costume and Makeup Tests
  • Gag/Outtake Reel
  • Six Muti-angle Webisodes
  • Music Video: “Hero” performed by Chad Kroeger and featuring Josey Scott. Performed by Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, Saliva vocalist Josey Scott, Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, and Theory Of A Dead Man guitarist Tyler Connolly
  • Music Video: “What We’re All About” performed by Sum 41

New to the “Spider-Man 2” Blu-ray:

  • New collectible O-Ring packaging
  • “Spider-Man 2” Blu-ray Bonus Features Also Include:
  • Commentary with cast and crew (Theatrical Version)
  • Technical commentary (Theatrical Version)
  • Commentary with Producer Laura Ziskin and Screen Writer Alvin Sargent(Extended Version)
  • Blooper Reel
  • 12 Part Making of — Making the Amazing Featurette
  • Hero in Crisis Featurette
  • Ock-Umentary Featurette
  • Five-Part Visual Effects Breakdown

New to the “Spider-Man 3” Blu-ray:

  • New collectible O-Ring packaging
  • “Spider-Man 3” Blu-ray Bonus Features Also Include:
  • Commentary with Director and Cast
  • Filmmaker Commentary
  • Bloopers
  • Concept Gallery: Sketches
  • Concept Gallery: Paintings
  • Concept Gallery: Sculptures
  • Photo Gallery: Special Effects
  • Photo Gallery: Director and Cast
  • Music Video: “Signal Fire” by Snow Patrol

Not exactly the hippest pieces of cover art I’ve seen.  They didn’t even bother to clear up the yellow light refractions from Spidey’s eyes overlooking a sunny New York; probably from when they got Photoshopped.

Maybe this new upcoming Spider-Man movie is the one we deserve.  Not the one that we need.

Also nothing on the list about the Bruce. *Sigh*

Rosario Dawson is Bringing Occult Crimes Taskforce to Television

“The Walking Dead” can move over.  It seems that Rosario Dawson has her own horror comic to bring to the small screen.  Dawson is teaming up with Gale Anne Hurd, producer for “The Walking Dead.”  Instead of AMC, they’ll be working with A&E.

While women are attached as executive producers for this show, Dawson who is known for her roles in such movies as Sin City, Clerks 2 and Death Proof, just may have planned the whole thing. First, let’s look at the official comic book description of issue #1.

Rosario Dawson (star of Sin City and Clerks 2) breaks new ground as she co-creates and stars in the Occult Crimes Taskforce!

When N.Y.P.D. detective Sophia Ortiz (modeled after Rosario Dawson) stumbles upon a bizarre murder scene, she is quickly brushed aside by a covert police unit – – the Occult Crimes Taskforce.  Versed in the black arts and equipped with mystical weaponry, the O.C.T. keeps the streets of Manhattan safe from the unholy creatures of the night.  Can Sophia help them stop this supernatural killer?  Find out when this action-horror thriller hits the stands!

Yeah, that was the official plot summary.  Almost seemed like a message to “Stay Tuned for More Action!”  It’s a pretty awesome move when you have the power and opportunity to create your own comic book in your own image.  It’s as if Dawson really wanted this to be made into a movie starring her; which it almost was, but Dimension films dropped it for some reason.

Sure, if Dawson wanted to ensure she was to be cast as lead; if the story were ever to be adapted back in 2006; she didn’t have to get drawn into the comic.  It’s also not a guarantee.  The magical, chain smoking John Constantine was modelled after musician Sting, but yet they cast Keanu Reeves.  What keeps her in the spotlight is her ownership of the intellectual property.

The story in itself seems like someone slammed together a lot of popular movie themes into one serial.  The comic only ran for four comics, but there are derivatives of movies that did well in there.

1)  Ghostbusters; they even said it in the comic; where they deal with the supernatural.

2) Then there’s the Men in Black, where they substituted aliens and science for magick.  The story begins with Ortiz stumbling onto a scene of a super natural crime in progress and survives.  Later she’s inducted into the super secret force, tasked with being the last line of defence against things that go bump in the night.  As the new guy, she’s shown a wild and bizarre world hiding under mere mortal noses.  Here come the O.C.T.

3) The magic incantations the O.C.T. uses screams Harry Potter, or maybe anything related to magic.  Instead of wands, they use their badges.  When the center of the badge is dialled to the correct glyphs and the spell is spoken, the officer can wield magical power. “Conjunctis virbus incursio!” is a spelled Ortiz uses in the comic to channel magical energy through a shotgun.  On a side note, I always thought it would be funny to see Samuel L. Jackson shooting someone while shouting, “Avada Kadavra Mother !@#$er!”

4) The taskforce is comprised of humans and special people/creatures referred to as Ceteri.  Now this reminds me a whole lot of Hell Boy and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD).

5) Ortiz is special.  For she is, “The One” who is prophesized to do something or other.  It’s been played out a lot, but it still reminds me of Neo in The Matrix.

6) Magical happenings are focused in one spot, because evil enjoys living in Manhattan.  This is much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it’s Sunnydale Hellmouth.  The portion I enjoyed though was the back story.  The Native Americans ditched Manhattan for such a low price because they knew it was spiritually messed up.  Think of it as a diseased blanket.

To top it off, at the end of each comic, there are pages from the official Occult Crimes Taskforce Officer Training Manual.  It contains diagrams, procedures and spells.  Had the series really taken off, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an actual training guide that would be merchandised afterwards.   This should be around the time the Zombie Survival Guide began to take off.
This whole story sounds like a joke that went too far.  I blame Kevin Smith as Dawson must have consulted him on this, as he’s one of the authorities on all things comic books in the Hollywood circles; plus I figured they must have stayed friends after Clerks II.  The comic even depicts Ortiz’s partner, Detective Aaron Cain, as a ringer for what looks like a slightly slimmer Smith.

While cable networks are ready to jump on what they think is the next Walking Dead, or Game of Thrones, I hope they do their research on this.  As the series only went four issues, there’s a lot to fill in; the story really jumped from scene to scene, so I can imagine it gives them a lot more writing wiggle room.  The main thing to look at is the fan base.  While I enjoyed the comic when it first came out, it also went by too quickly for me to get too attached.

Unknown artist, Tony Shasteen, the comics illustrator must have been going for the organic look that graphic novel Ex Machina had.  Ex Machina, drawn by Tony Harris, was at the time very popular in comic book circles and it most likely didn’t hurt to emulate it.  It gave the comic less of a cartoony feel, closing the gap to reality.  It even seemed that Marvel comics was brewing their own organic variant at the time, using photos of models to draw from.  It was weird looking at these images in their Ultimate series.  It seemed that all the superheroines had permanently swaying hips.  See, the problem was that Harris made it look good when he did it.

Aside from the cover, the artwork in O.C.T. almost looks as if it they were originally photos that were edited in Photoshop.  It’s true that Harris may have used photographs of models set to scene, but again, it didn’t look like he traced over real photos.  The imagery in the O.C.T. was closer to the Keanu Reeves movie, A Scanner Darkly, where they took real footage and then animated it; including special effects.  So that’s what I see whenever I crack open the O.C.T. comic.  The magic bits are just drawn in bits over the cartoon-yourself like photos.  Dawson is beautiful, but I didn’t need detailed artistry of every single detail of her mouth; yeah, compare it to her real photo sometime.

In all honesty, I give this comic adaptation the same chance to take off like as I did Lost Girl.  Not everyone’s heard of it, and not everyone likes it, but it must be doing well if it’s still on the air.  Now Chew, that’s a comic I can’t wait to see come out as a television show.

Toby Kebbell Confirms Major Changes in Akira Scripts

Actor Toby Kebbell has been saying some interesting thing lately.  Kebbell, who played Agenor in the recently released Wrath of the Titans, was reported to be number one in line for the role of Tetsuo Shima in Warner Bros. adaptation of Akira.  Currently the rumors are that the film will be a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s animated film, and not of the graphic novel (manga) of the same name that Otomo also wrote.

Kebbell should be ecstatic as he claims to be a fan of the manga and original movie.  However, after he heard some of the creative choices of the live-action script, it did not sit well with him.  Speaking with IFC, Kebbell had this to say:

They were like, “This is going to be a big franchise!” So I said, “Then in that case, understand that I’ve read the comics, and I’ve read the comics that got turned into the annuals, and then the annuals that got turned into the one-off anime. So if you really want to do it, then why don’t you look at the six comics and just put two into each film?”

That way my character, Tetsuo, is not the lead. He’s not the second lead, and he’s not the third or the fourth lead, because there are eight major characters there. You’ve got great young actors, and you could get them in there. That’s the way to do it if you want to do sequels.

They were like, “Welllll…” So I told them, “Then this is a remake [of the animated movie], and I don’t want to do a live-action remake of the cartoon, because [the cartoon] is perfect and you’re not going to do it dark enough — so therefore, I don’t want to do it.

Kebbell also said that the studio wanted to make Tetsuo and Kaneda brothers, which was one of his biggest problems with the script.

The other thing they wanted to do was make [Tetsuo and Kaneda] brothers. I was like, “The point is that Tetsuo can’t comprehend how someone who isn’t his brother could love him so much — and that’s where his wrath and his rage come from. Do you not see that? Why have you made them brothers? What the fuck are you doing?

Yep, it looks like Tetsuo and Kaneda will be brothers.  To ensure that nothing is amiss in casting, Garrett Hedlund of TRON: Legacy is already favored to play the part of Kaneda.  It would just be weird if one was Asian and the other wasn’t.  Heaven forbid we have another public outcry about casting visible minorities in corresponding character roles.  Like with Rue in the Hunger Games.

Yes, it seems to make perfect sense for Hollywood to whitewash an entire script that was originally written in Japanese; names and all.  So why go out of their way to mangle the story that’s already popular and will automatically make money? There’s absolutely no need for it.  If they were to make any changes, it would have been easier to swallow if Tetsuo and Kaneda were brothers because they were alien ninja turtles.  If I wasn’t annoyed enough, let me remind everyone that Kristen Stewart was offered the role of Kei for goodness sakes!

To quote Jamie Noguchi, they should, “Rename the Stupid Thing Steve.”

An excerpt from the AngryZenMaster:

“If you want to keep the plot but cast all White people, just change all the names. Instead of Tetsuo, try Eddie. Instead of Kaneda, try Paul. Instead of Akira, call the goddamn thing Steve. Why Steve? Well, if you’re Japanese, Akira is a pretty generic name. If you’re American, Steve is a pretty generic name. I mean sure, it’ll sound really silly to hear Eddie scream at the top of his lungs, “WHAT IS STEVE?!” But it would make the whitewashing of this film much more bearable.”

Akira has been regarded by critics as a landmark anime film.  The one that influenced in the anime world that followed its release.  It is like the mother of all anime.  Epic on its first try.  While it’s refreshing to hear that a young actor is not only honest, but informed on the work he’s partaking in, it pains me to think it’s done nothing from stopping this monstrosity of a film from being made.  Kebbell won some points today, but while burning bridges it won’t make a difference in Akira being churned out of Hollywood.

However, it seems that we may not be able to see the changes after all, as of January 6, 2012, production has been “shut down” for the fourth time. There is no word when or if it will be picked back up again anytime soon.

Chloe Moretz Gets to go to Prom in Carrie Remake

Chloe Moretz, the who played Hit Girl in the ultra-violent Kick-Ass film is getting ready for the high school prom.  The 15-year-old actress has won the lead role in the latest adaptation of Carrie.  No, not the CW’s “The Carrie Files”; the prequel pilot for “Sex and the City”.  It’s actually for the cult classic horror story according to reports from Deadline.

The film however is not being touted as a remake of Brian De Palma’s 1976 horror film.  Instead the film is currently being sold as a new adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name; the first one he ever published actually.

The story is about a young high school girl with telekinetic powers.  A mixture of a sheltered home life, lack of social skills, and an escalating harassment from bullies causes her to flip out and take revenge on them.  Every single one of them.  It’s basically a Columbine shooting with super powers but much before it’s time.  Not to make too light of it, both are considered scenarios are horrors afterall.

Moretz already has quite the impressive resume.  Having started in 2004, the popularity of Moretz continues to grow.  Not including the film Carrie, Moretz currently is in six other films that are in pre-production.  Having recently co-starred in Hugo with Asa Butterfield, I’m more surprised that Moretz didn’t land a role aside him in the upcoming awesome known as Ender’s Game.  I think Moretz would have made a proper Petra Arkanian.  Somehow, casting thought it more suitable to cast the girl from True Grit (Hailee Steinfeld) over Hit Girl.  While still awesome, the Charles Bronson with pigtails still would have won in a real fight; Hit Girl is obviously more dangerous than snakes.

Moretz was actually in competition for the role of Carrie.  She was up against a range of young actresses that included Dakota Fanning, Lily Collins, Bella Heathcote, and Haley Bennett.  According to Vulture, 24 year old Bennett was actually Moretz’s top competition.  Wow.  Hollywood actually cast a high school aged kid to play a high school aged kid.

While Moretz is still unsigned, the actress is already tweeting her excitement about the new job.

“Never been so happy in my life!”

“Thank you Kim Pierce and thank u MGM for the chance of a lifetime i will never forget!”

The Kimberly Pierce that Moretz is referring to, will be directing this adaptation for MGM.

Speaking of tweeting, aside from the cultural and technological differences in era, this new adaptation won’t be as close to the book as the original film.  If Hollywood is to bring it up to date, there will be iPads, smart phones and more of a contemporary feel.  The special effects will be off the charts, but how will the current technology add to an already great movie that couldn’t be done with corn syrup and red dye?

Highskoolbullie: “HEP!!”

Highskoolbullie: “HELP!!”

Dad: “What’s the matter son?  You knock up another girl at school?”

Highskoolbullie: “Sum1s killin evry1 @ prom”

Dad: “What?”

Highskoolbullie: “tht grrl welaf@ wnt crzy n’now imtrappd call hlep!”

Dad: “Was that English?  If you can’t take the time to message me properly or sober up, I’m going to cut off both your cell phone and booze privileges.”

Highskoolbullie:  HURRE!

Dad: It makes you sound like an idiot.

Dad: Sweetie, this is Mommy.  If you continue to text like this, everyone’s going to laugh at you.

Highskoolbullie: NOOOOOO!

Dad: See you in the morning son.

It’s almost as if Hollywood wants to be reminded that this was already done in 1999. The movie was called The Rage: Carrie 2, and I think it’s being treated the same way everyone else remembers Highlander 2: The Quickening and The Next Karate Kid; maybe even Schumacher’s nipple filled Batman & Robin.  Basically it didn’t happen and everyone wants to forget it.

E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey to be Adapted by Universal and Focus

It was announced recently that Universal Pictures and Focus Features will partner up in marketing and distribution of a film adaptation of an online best-seller, Fifty Shades of Grey.  This was after Universal Pictures won a major bidding war for the film rights over the weekend, where they promptly announced that they will develop a film .  Written by E. L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey is the first book of a romance genre trilogy called the Fifty series.

The announcement was made by Universal Pictures’ Chairman Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman Donna Langley.  Both went on to say,

The ‘Fifty Shades’ Trilogy is a one-of-a-kind series of stories and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with E. L. James to bring them to the big screen.  Like so many readers all over the globe, we’ve fallen in love with ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ It’s a special story and working with Focus, we hope to bring audiences a film they can enjoy as much as they loved the book.”

James Schamus, Chief Executive Officer of Focus Features said,

At its core, this is a romance of the most emotionally resonant, but delicate, order – and we look forward to working with our colleagues at Universal to transform E. L. James’ vision into a great film.”

That’s the clean version of how the story is being sold by Universal and Focus.  It gets better.

Initially the book was distributed by an Australia based publisher The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House.   The book has since turned into an overnight literary success has begun to sell an estimated ten thousand copies per day.  The e-book format of the book currently holds spots on the bestseller list on Amazon, The New York Times and Barnes & Noble.

Is it because romance is a high sell point that sales are doing well?  Certainly Twilight can’t be to blame here, can it?  Well, yes, it actually is to blame but there’s a twist.  The story was inspired by the popularity of the Twilight series.  James actually published the book independently online then took it down when the popularity caught on.  The book was then picked up by The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing, then bought by Vintage Books; part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; a major U.S. publisher.  This romantic story is actually bondage erotica which has been dubbed online as, “Mommy Porn.”  I on the other hand will go with what my high school English teacher called all romance novels.  Cliterature.

The Fifty series deals with sexual behaviour that is usually considered taboo; aside from porn that is.  The story seems to have hit a target audience of adult females who have continued to spread the message almost virally online.  While there are those that do this openly, a lot of women are also living in the luxurious anonymity of cyberspace.  Free to be unrepressed and vocal about it.

The clean version that will appear on most sites talking about the news in passing will be as follows:  The Fifty Shades of Grey story; in a nutshell; is a story about a relationship between 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele.

Forget that the names even matter. The story romanticizes female sexual submission which revolves around a graduate student who falls in lust with an dashing, older billionaire.  The man is handsome, wealthy, and has some extravagant bedroom appetites.  Who says you can’t buy happiness?

The Fifty trilogy also includes titles Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, in which the couple’s relationship is further explored.  I’m not sure how much more freaky things can get after the first book, but it’ll be fun getting there.  Bow chikka wow wow!

Warner Bros. to Adapt John Twelve Hawks’ The Traveler

Warner Bros. is currently in the works for developing a potential trilogy based on the Fourth Realm book series.  Written by John Twelve Hawks, the first book called The Traveler will be adapted for the big screen, Deadline reports.

The story is officially described as follows:

In London, Maya, a young woman trained to fight by her powerful father, uses the latest technology to elude detection when walking past the thousands of surveillance cameras that watch the city. In New York, a secret shadow organization uses a victim’s own GPS to hunt him down and kill him. In Los Angeles, Gabriel, a motorcycle messenger with a haunted past, takes pains to live “off the grid” — free of credit cards and government IDs. Welcome to the world of The Traveler — a world frighteningly like our own. In this compelling novel, Maya fights to save Gabriel, the only man who can stand against the forces that attempt to monitor and control society. From the back streets of Prague to the skyscrapers of Manhattan, The Traveler portrays an epic struggle between tyranny and freedom. Not since 1984 have readers witnessed a Big Brother so terrifying in its implications and in a story that so closely reflects our lives.”

This dystopian future merged with science-fiction/fantasy has certainly caught the attention of everyone with the recent release of The Hunger Games in theatres.  The story however does sound oddly reminiscent of the author’s own obfuscated identity.

In times past, some authors were all about wanting to remain anonymous.  Now days, books are written keeping in mind how the pages might translate better to film.  Authors themselves take on a celebrity status and get a lot of media attention; so to possibly sell the story more.  For some authors, remaining anonymous is their way of being judged for their writing.  This isn’t so for John Twelve Hawks; known as JXIIH and J12H to his fans.  For Hawks, this is his way of staying off the grid, just like his character Gabriel.

In fact, Hawks’ American publisher states that he has never met his editor.  All communications are done either via the internet or an purportedly untraceable satellite phone.  Probably to make things more irritable, a voice scrambler is tossed into the mixed.  Man, that’s got to annoy the editor on those calls.

To top it off, according to Joe Regal, Hawks’ agent, “He lives in New York, Los Angeles and London.”  The same locations where The Traveler is set.

So the story is taken largely from the writers life.  Sure it might be a bit eccentric and there’s room to wonder if this is all a gimmick, but hey, write what you know!

Depending on how The Traveler does in the box office, all three books of the series might be adapted to film as well.

Paramount to Reinvent Mark Twain with ‘Huck’


Paramount Studios has recently picked up some work by Andy Burg titled Huck.  While the script is under wraps at the moment, the story will be based on the 1876 novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Written originally by Mark Twain, the novel is mainly known for the mischievous teenagers Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.  Originally Sawyer was presented as an all American boy who tends to dream big and scheme.  Finn on the other hand is more of an social outcast who’s stuck with making tough moral choices.  While the duo first meet in their youths, the project itself has been touted as a re-imagining, focusing on Sawyer and Finn as young adults.  According to the Hollywood Reporter, there will also be an element of the supernatural involved.

So here is where I get a bit thrown for a loop.  Some sites have been saying that the whole project will be a 21st century makeover, while others say this is a re-imagining closer to Snow White and the Huntsman.  There are a few ways to take this.

One: The story is turned into a contemporary update like Jules Verne’s works have been recently turned to.  See Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.  In this scenario, I see Sawyer constructed out of a high school football quarterback who’s trying to make it big in life; lots of bad choices and poorly made commercial endorsements down by the car lot.  While I see Finn as an emo misfit who tries to solve the world’s problems via blogging and hacking.

Two: The script which is likened to the style of Snow White and the Huntsman, turns the duo into story character slayers.  Both banded together in face of a common foe.  To speak to the rampant slavery that Finn has faced, the story will go the way of True Blood and substitute a supernatural critter in place of the oppressed.

Three: More believable is if this movie is cast from the same mould that brought us Sherlock Holmes.  The adventures become the start of a bromance, so they’ll be in the beginning stages of bro-puppy love.  A  lot of bullet time will be used in fight scenes, while Huck and Finn utilize the most advanced technology known to brass and steam.

From Boomtron, Mina Kelly’s reaction went, “Again, I blame Twilight for this nonsense!”

I don’t think we can actually blame Twilight, but more a cross between the success of the Journey movies and the hype surrounding Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  For those not familiar, these are literary remixes and re-imaginings.  What makes them valuable to studios is two things.  1) How familiar audiences already are with the stories for the nostalgia factor. 2) If the stories are in public domain which means they don’t have to pay for the intellectual property.  It’s now just a matter of who gets to what first.  Look at the Snow White movies that are being cranked out.

Already there’s Sherlock Holmes who’s more action than brains.  Zombies mixed in with Pride and Prejudice.  Honest Abe, the first male Slayer from the Whedonverse.  Then on television we’ll see Detective Edger Allen Poe, macabre crimes unit.  How long will it be before I get to see Hansel and Gretel: Witch Burners?

The movie will be produced by Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark alongside Matt Lopez.  That’s right, the producers of Rise of the Planet of the Apes are doing this.  The same one’s that let Draco Malfoy mishandle animals that would ultimately destroy us.  You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!