Author Archives: Sasha McBrayer

About Sasha McBrayer

Sasha McBrayer is a fan of Marvel Comics, science fiction films and bright nail polish. A list of her published, short, speculative fiction stories can be discovered over at her blog: nikanors-inn.livejournal.com. To see her weekly movie review visit coastalcourier.com and click on "Showtime with Sasha". http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/b6c8a69f9da49400b44cfcaa28774e90.png

Frank Grillo

Frank Grillo Added to ‘Captain America: The Winter Solider’

Frank Grillo

It’s confirmed, actor Frank Grillo will play a key role in the comic book movie sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

I’m a fan of the actor you may remember as Nick Savrinn of TV’s Prison Break. A natural as the gritty, NYC cop type, his other credits include Pride and Glory and Edge of Darkness. My favorite role was his somewhat small part as a trainer in the mixed martial arts flick, Warrior. He seemed to have a lot of heart in that one and his physique wasn’t bad either.

Grillo was also the jerk in the cast of The Grey, starring Liam Neeson, which was okay because he sort of redeemed himself in the end…a little. He also played in one of the best cop dramas of all time, 2012’s End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña. I still think Peña’s name should come first on that one, though. He plays their police sergeant.

But let’s talk comic book movies! Actor Chris Evans will return to the big screen as Captain America. The film is called Captain America: The Winter Soldier and I can’t wait until more details are revealed. I simply have to know if Agent 13, also known as Sharon Carter, a relative of Cap’s First Avenger love interest, Peggy, will be introduced.

I’ve also noticed that Sebastian Stan, who acted as Bucky Barnes is returning to the cast! This either means there will be WWII flashbacks involved, or, dun dun dun, Bucky lives!!! Well, you hard-core Marvel Comics fans probably saw that coming as soon as you read the film title. It’s true that Buck’s comic book hero name is The Winter Soldier. But I won’t give any more spoilers than that. We don’t know how closely the Captain America movie franchise will follow the comics anyway.

Anthony and Joe Russo are directing the film which comes to theaters April 4th, 2014. Frank Grillo is playing the villainous Crossbones! He’s one heck of a mercenary, but I doubt he’ll be the main antagonist in the film. We’ll have to wait until more is revealed. Great casting choice, though!

Frank Grillo must have a really great agent. We’ll also see him this December in the Kathryn Bigelow showstopper, Zero Dark Thirty. Bigelow won an Oscar for The Hurt Locker, so there are some ridiculously big expectations for this film, which proposes to tell the story of the ten-year hunt for Osama bin Laden. There is a great cast, including the spitfire Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong, James Gandolfini and Kyle Chandler.

The next Marvel Comics film will be Iron Man 3, released on May 3rd, 2013. Did you see the trailer yet? That one is followed by Thor: The Dark World on November 8th, 2013. Then, we re-visit Cap in 2014. The Avengers sequel is likely to follow along in 2015. Joss Whedon will probably return as director. That’s great news for this thriving franchise!

I don’t know how closely related it will be, but another Marvel film in development is Guardians of the Galaxy from director James Gunn. That one will bring the Rocket Raccoon to the big screen!

John Dies at the End

‘John Dies at the End’ Trailer Reveal

John Dies at the End

Start with some Bill and Ted, add some Evil Dead, Cheech and Chong, Men in Black and even a dash of A Scanner Darkly, pop it all into a blender and you’ll probably get a black, vile substance which causes hallucinations and one that no intelligent human being would touch with a ten foot pole; no would dare ingest it, that is, except for maybe a couple of pin heads called John and Dave. The bumbling pair are also the heroes in an epic new cult classic in the making called John Dies at the End. Today we’ve got the trailer, hot off of those proverbial presses.

John Dies at the End will hit theaters in limited release, beginning on January 25th. The darkly comedic horror thrill ride comes from the demented mind of Don Coscarelli, who did the screenwriting for the project, inspired from the novel of the same name, written by Jason Pargin, who published it under the pseudonym David Wong.

Don Coscarelli also directs John Dies at the End. If you want to get an idea of the brilliant insanity lurking in the recesses of this man’s mind, just take a gander at his previous work. In 1979 he unveiled Phantasm, which he wrote, directed and produced, starring Michael Baldwin. The villain at the the heart of the tale is a frightening undertaker who transforms the dead into dwarf zombies who assist him in his campaign to take over the world.

The real gem in his body of work, to me; however, remains Bubba Ho-tep, inspired by the novella from Joe R. Lansdale. Bruce Campbell stars in the 2002 release, which is very nearly ‘Nuff Said. The heroes in that film, trying to save the world from zombies, are Elvis Presley, as acted by Campbell, and his side-kick, Jack, played by Ossie Davis. Now Elvis, in an attempt to escape the pressures of his fame, switched places with an impersonator named Sebastian Haff. Haff is the fellow who actually died in 1977, leaving Elvis to a life of impersonating himself. As if that weren’t pure gold on its own, his side-kick Jack, believes himself to be, though it is never proven, President John F. Kennedy. Apparently after the “attempted” assassination, Lyndon Johnson dyed him black and stashed him in a nursing home.

We can only assume the new film, John Dies at the End, will be just as chilling, goofy, and brilliant. The film stars Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes and the exuberant Paul Giamatti. Events unravel as a new drug called Soy Sauce hits the streets. Users explore time and space with each hit, but nothing that otherworldly can go without consequences. Some users are coming back…changed. That means there is in all out invasion going down and only John and Dave can save the world. They’ll give it the old college try at least…. Did I mention they both dropped out of college? Oops.

Paul Giamatti is also helping to executive produce the project. He told Ain’t It Cool News in an interview, that the film was like a “violent adult cartoon” and cutting any of the terrific scenes during the editing process was going to be very painful.

No man, it’s almost like an embarrassment of riches, that thing. It’s almost going to be like what’s going to be tragic is what’s going to have to go, because stuff is going to have to go and it’s like it will kill me whatever goes because you want it all to be in there and you’ve still got to have this stuffed bag of stuff.”

You can watch the trailer below:

days of future past

No Matthew Vaughn for ‘X-Men: First Class’ Sequel

days of future past

Matthew Vaughn directed the successful prequel X-Men: First Class, produced by Bryan Singer. New news suggests Singer may direct the sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, with Vaughn moving to the producer’s chair.

The project is a big deal for 20th Century Fox and it seems like a logical choice to move from Vaughn to Singer now that Vaughn has stepped aside. Singer was behind X-Men and X2 as a director and writer. He first hit my radar screen with the crime drama The Usual Suspects, which he directed very well.

Vaughn’s influence won’t go missing on the Days of Future Past set, however. He wrote the film’s treatment. It was based on a script by Simon Kinberg, who will now follow suite in the game of musical chairs behind the picture to produce the movie alongside Lauren Shuler Donner.

Matthew Vaughn isn’t going on hiatus instead of directing X-Men: Days of Future Past. On the contrary, he’ll be hard at work on something else, and the rumor mill suggests that the something else might just be the Mark Millar adaptation, Secret Service.

The X-Men: Days of Future Past script is already complete. Returning with the sequel are actors Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence. The tentative release date is July 18th, 2014 release date. McAvoy recently voiced Arthur Christmas.

Nabbing Bryan Singer as director to replace Vaughn is not yet set in stone. I’m sure fans will agree that he’s a great choice, but we can’t count on him accepting just yet. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. His fairy tale adventure Jack the Giant Slayer starring Beast actor Nicholas Hoult, will debut from Warner Bros. on March 1st, 2013.

As for Vaughn, he is also directing Kick-Ass 2 film, which has been making headlines. We just recently released the film’s official synopsis. What is interesting about that project is that Jim Carrey has joined the cast.

I really enjoyed First Class and I’m especially excited about the sequel. The Days of Future Past storyline in the comics was dark and dramatic and we have yet to see something so nuanced come to the big screen, with the exception of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. The storyline in the sequel would involve a sinister future being revealed to the current members of the X-Men team. Believe me, they won’t like what they see.

What is further interesting to me has been the talk of other X-Men franchise characters returning to explore their origin stories. I thought of First Class as more of a reboot than a prequel, but it looks like I’m a little flawed in that line of thinking. We did, after all, see a glimpse of Rebecca Romijn in the film, though Jennifer Lawrence had taken over the role. That more than hints at the connection between the first X-films to the latest ones.

Rose Byrne and January Jones have also expressed their interest in returning to their roles.

It was Brett Ratner who directed the third film in the franchise, X-Men: The Last Stand. Might he be in the running for director if Bryan Singer doesn’t sign the dotted line?

Boris Kodjoe from ‘Undercovers’ to ‘Addicted’

Addicted

Beefcake, Boris Kodjoe, has a new gig coming up. He’ll lead the cast in an upcoming adaptation of the Zen novel, Addicted. One byline for the novel reads, “A woman’s sexual addiction will be her downfall or her liberation.”

Lionsgate has acquired the big screen rights to Addicted, which is a best seller from a lady who really knows romance. If you’ve yet to hear about Zane, I can tell you she’s a New York Times bestselling author, whose other books include Afterburn and the Flava series. She’s also the mind behind Zane’s Sex Chronicles, as spicy series on Cinemax. Zane has a spirited voice when she writes, and the protagonist of Addicted is irreverent and candid.

Addicted tells the story of a successful African-American businesswoman named Zoe Reynard. Zoe has it all; a marriage with her childhood sweetheart, three great kids, and a very successful company. She’s also a sex addict, and its that detail that threatens to topple everything she’s worked so hard to build.

Zoe seeks help through therapy and its in those sessions that she finally reveals her scandalous tale. The men whose company she has enjoyed in secret range from the dangerously violent, to a sensitive artist. And yet, as her life begins to take a swan dive down, she’ll discover that she has the choice to uncover the roots of her issues or lose everything.

Bille Woodruff, director of Honey, will helm the adaptation project. Woodruff also directed the Toni Braxton video for the hit song “Un-Break My Heart”, among many others.

Kodjoe played a role in Resident Evil: Retribution and was the lead in the J.J. Abrams action series, Undercovers. I never noticed Kodjoe’s accent before, probably because I always see him playing American roles, but his parents are German and he was born in Vienna, Austria. He’s a hottie alright, but he’s taken, ladies!

Speaking of Resident Evil: Retribution, Nurse 3D is a horror film directed by Doug Aarniokoski and written by David Loughery. Kodjoe is in the cast and working on the set re-teamed him with Aarniokoski, who also served as second unit director on Retribution

It is about time the work of Zane has been adapted for theaters. This should be the first of many, especially if Addicted rakes in some dough at the box office. Her body of work offers plenty to work from. Fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Michael Fassbender’s turn as a sex-a-holic in Shame, not to mention fans of Californication on Showtime, will probably really dig this project.

Mark Millar Wants Bradley Cooper for ‘Supercrooks’

Marvel’s man Millar wants Bradley Cooper? That’s right! First we hear that 20th Century Fox hired the comic book writer behind The Authority, Wanted and Kick-Ass as their creative consultant for all the upcoming Marvel Comics-themed projects, then we discover the first look at the Kick-Ass sequel official synopsis, and now we discover that the man with the plan wants to adapt Supercrooks with our very own “Face” from 20120’s The A-Team.

Kick-Ass and Wanted are just the beginning of the Millar-pocalypse! Millar wants to deliver movies for at least three more of his MillarWorld comics. Apparently the interwebs are all a-buzz with new news concerning an adaptation of his comic, Supercrooks.

Not familiar with that one? Well, Supercrooks, is an Icon Comics title, like Kick-Ass. There are four issues, which Millar wrote with the very talented artist, Mr. Leinil Francis Yu.

Millar has a chosen a director for the project, but hasn’t named him as of yet and there is already a screenplay, which means, half the preliminary work seems to be done! Millar really hopes this project will be in full production mode as soon as Christmastime. And if you’ve been to a department store lately, then you know Santa’s already on his way.

What really has the buzz going is Millar’s name dropping. What’s on his Christmas list this year? He wants Bradley Cooper to star as Johnny Bolt. I hope you are listening, Mr. Cooper.

I am literally calling up his guys tomorrow and want to secure him as Johnny Bolt.” says Millar “It’s about TIME he did a super-movie and having him as a likeable super-villain in a super-heist flick sounds about perfect. He’s our ideal choice and we’re going to pursue this properly tomorrow once I’m done with our Kick-Ass 2 business for the day.”

You’ve got me sold, Mr. Millar! By the by, did we mention three MillarWorld comics would be coming to a theater near you, besides the ones you already know? Well, Supercrooks isn’t one of those three! So this will be kind of like a treasure hunt as we wait for the names to be dropped of the other three.

And here’s what you’ve really been waiting for. What the heck is Supercrooks about?

When the market is flooded with competition and the authorities are always on your tail, what’s an all-American super villain to do? Go to Spain, of course! Johnny Bolt convinces his villainous pals to pull off one last heist but will culture shock get to them before the policia do? And when Johnny’s target is revealed as the greatest super villain of all time, things go horribly wrong – but it’s too late to turn back. A massive secret in the American superhero community might just work in their favor, and if the Supercrooks can survive, it will mean an enormous payday!

Sounds like a rip-roaring good time to me! If you are wondering, yes, Cooper does look a tad bit like Yu’s illustrations of Johnny Bolt.

Kick-Ass 2 is coming June 28th, 2013.

Right now Cooper is wowing in Silver Linings Playbook opposite Hunger Games star, Jennifer Lawrence.

Universal to Adapt Stephen King Short

When you have two horror flicks topping the box office in the same weekend, you really should get to choose a new project near and dear to your heart. That looks to be the case for Jason Blum, who is all set to finance an adaptation on Stephen King’s Gramma.

Gramma is the title of a King short story released in a 1985 collection called, Skeleton Crew. In the chilling tale, two young boys go with their single mother to visit their elderly, senile grandmother, whose name is Mercy. As events unravel; however; they learn that Gramma Mercy is a witch. It doesn’t sound like she’s a white witch either.

The film will be called Mercy. Jason Blum will produce via his Blumhouse Productions. That’s the same studio behind current hits, Paranormal Activity 4 and Sinister. Peter Cornwell of The Haunting in Connecticut will direct Mercy using a script from Matt Greenberg, whose previous work includes 1408. Aussie actress Frances O’Connor from Mansfield Park and The Hunter, which paired her with Willem Dafoe, will star in the new horror film. I think its safe to say she’ll be acting the part of the single mother.

Universal is the studio behind the project.

Stephen King’s story was once unveiled on the small screen once. It was adapted as an episode of “The New Twilight Zone” in 1986. At that time, the infamous Harlan Ellison provided the script and an actress familiar with King’s work, Piper Laurie, who played Sissy Spacek’s mother in the original adaptation of Carrie, did voice over for the character of Gramma Mercy. Of course Carrie is in the news again because there’s a re-make in the works. The new film stars Chloë Grace Moretz as the title character and Julianne Moore as her mother. It will debut March 15, 2013.

Speaking of King short stories being adapted, we reported it right here when we learned his short, titled, A Good Marriage, was going to be adapted. That one came out in the 2010 collection, Full Dark, No Stars and will star Joan Allen.

Mercy director Peter Cornwell was behind Haunting in Connecticut, which drew in $77 million worldwide and incited a whole string of Gold Circle Films, including The Haunting in Georgia. A sequel, The Haunting in New York, is being planned, too.

Matt Greenberg, our writer, wrote Halloween H20 and adapted a King piece before when he provides a screenplay for 1408. How exciting is this: Paramount has hired him to work on a Pet Semetary remake!

Before we see O’Connor acting in Mercy, we’ll see her in Billy Bob Thornton’s film, Jayne Mansfield’s Car, and in the Francesca Gregorini directed independent drama, Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes.

Trailer Unveil for Sparks Adaptation ‘Safe Haven’

Nicholas Sparks fans can mark their calendars for the February 8, 2013, debut of Safe Haven.

Coastal Town? CHECK!
Man who is too good to be true? CHECK!
Steamy love scene? CHECK!
Secret kept by main character? CHECK!
Romantic boat ride? CHECK!
Impending natural disaster? CHECK!

Yep, this is definitely a Sparks story. His other film adaptations of course include The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, Dear John and The Lucky One. Hey, as formulaic as it was, I actually enjoyed The Lucky One! Part of that is probably due to the fact that I’m too old to really have watched Zac Efron in his child acting days. I don’t have kids either, so High School Musical isn’t something I’ve ever watched.

For Safe Haven, beautiful people, Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough are at the center of some romantic drama. SHE is Katie Feldman, a woman running away from a past full of what appears to be domestic violence and has forgotten how to trust. HE is Alex Wheatley, a single father who has lost his wife. Cobie Smulders of HIMYM and The Avengers is Jo, the side kick/ confident, who shows Hough’s character the ropes when she arrives in a small North Carolina town to escape her past. The film is being called a “deeply moving romantic thriller.”

Check out the trailer now! It has great music, too, I promise!

Directing Safe Haven is Lasse Hallström, Oscar nominated for his work on the phenomenal picture, The Cider House Rules.

Here’s the book synopsis from Amazon. You’ve got some time to read it before the film premiers!

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

You can watch the new trailer below:

The Starving Games

Maiara Walsh to Play Kantmiss Evershot in ‘The Starving Games’

The Starving Games

Katniss Everdeen is the very popular main character in the Suzanne Collins best seller, The Hunger Games. Jennifer Lawrence brings her to life in the film version and now Maiara Walsh will spoof The Games in a new parody called The Starving Games.

Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer may as well be the kings of spoofdom. Their devious comedic minds came up with Date Movie, Meet the Spartans and Vampires Suck. Now they have re-teamed for The Starving Games script. They’ll share directing responsibilities, too. Like many of their films, The Hunger Games isn’t the only film providing material for them to poke fun at. The Avengers, Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter also get cracked about in the upcoming comedy. Sounds like a good time to me. Maybe Iron Man will appear in the woods.

The fresh-faced Ms. Maiara Walsh currently acts as the troublesome Simone Sinclair on ABC Family’s Switched at Birth series. She knows her way around a young adult themed set. She has appeared on The Secret Life of the American Teenager and CW network series, The Vampire Diaries. Her character’s name in this one: Kantmiss Evershot, has already won a chuckle from this Hunger Games fan.

Speaking of young adult actors, from the set of Pretty Little Liars, come Brant Daugherty, who has been chosen to co-star with Walsh, playing the parody version of Gale. Gale is the best friend and hunting partner of Katniss in the original film and acted there by Liam Hemsworth.

The Starving Games is financed by Peter Safran, whoo also produced Scary Movie, Vampires Suck and Buried. Hey, that last one wasn’t funny! Filming will begin this week in New Orleans.

As much as I adore The Hunger Games, I’m sure it won’t be difficult to make fun of the plot and setting. As for the real thing, the sequel, Catching Fire is coming to the big screen in November of 2013. If you thought Katniss’ first Hunger Games was harrowing, wait until you witness The Quarter Quell. Brand new cast members include: Toby Jones as Claudius Templesmith, Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair (Yes, you can swoon now, ladies!), Jeffrey Wright as Beetee, Amanda Plummer as Wiress, temptress Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, and Meta Golding as the dangerous Enobaria.

I’m still not convinced Cladlin was the best choice for Finnick, but I’ll give him a chance. I like Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, but it wouldn’t have hurt to give the part to Kristen Bell.

‘Iron Man 3’ Trailer Unleashed

After the teaser to the teaser trailer put us all in a tizzy, we can finally relax, having enjoyed the first trailer for Iron Man 3. All I can say is, “Oh yeah!” This one definitely looks better than Iron Man 2.

For me, Iron Man was one of the best Marvel Comics based films to debut. When I saw Tony Stark in live action, speeding through the skies, war-gaming with Jarvis, I had to wipe a tear from my eye. A comic book legend had really, truly come to life. And hardly any actor looks more like his comic book alter ego than Robert Downey, Jr. looks like Tony.

If we’re honest, the highlight of the sequel was meeting Black Widow. I thought Mickey Rourke did a pretty spectacular Russian accent and it’s always a joy to see Sam Rockwell on the screen, but let’s face it, some bits with Whiplash were a little cartoony.

Yes, Joss Whedon’s Avengers was awesome, but that doesn’t mean I had the highest hopes for a thrilling Iron Man 3. Don’t even get me started on Captain America 2. Will they introduce Sharon Carter or not? I simply must know!

I have to say this trailer restores my faith in the Iron Man solo franchise.

Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel Studios will release Iron Man 3 in 3D and 2D on May 3rd, 2013. The film is directed by Shane Black. Along with Downey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau and Don Cheadle also return. Are you ready for some bad guys? Okay, so Ben Kingsley is acting as scary villain, The Mandarin. Right now I’m on the fence about how I feel about this. Sir Kingsley is an Oscar winner, but he also played a role in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The film wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but there’s a danger here of what happened to Whiplash in part two. There’s a fine line between drama and melodrama.

Now the baddie who cannot fail is Mr. Guy Pearce. Yes, you heard me. He just performed a killer cameo in Prometheus as Peter Weyland and now he’ll be a comic book villain. Rock on! He was pretty much already a super villain in Prohibition film, Lawless, anyway. He knows what he’s doing.

Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak and James Badge Dale round out the cast. Seems to me the plot will loosely follow the Extremis storyline from the comics. The synopsis circulated the web were a little vague, however. They refer to The Mandarin as simply “an enemy whose reach knows no bounds”. Stark will suffer some personal trauma. It looks like his home is toppled into the ocean. This seems to test Stark in a grueling way, the likes of which we haven’t seen since his original story. Here’s the money line: “Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?”

I’ll be watching! Now, who can tell me why there’s a red, white and blue iron man suit? Okay, it’s more of a silver than a white, but that made me very nervous. If you’ve read Marvel’s Civil War arc, you’d be anxious about it, too. Oh, I get it now. The patriotic suit belongs to War Machine, a.k.a. Rhodes. Duh.

James Cameron Plans ‘The Informationist’

Call on just about anyone to list ten directors who don’t suck and surely James Cameron will wind up on that list. Right now the visionary director is hard at work on sequels to Avatar, the somewhat groundbreaking adventure he directed, wrote produced and edited, but we know the name of the project most likely to get his attention next. It’s a book adaptation called The Informationist.

Sure, some folks didn’t see much difference between the Avatar storyline and that of Disney’s Pocahontas, but if you weren’t dying your skin blue after seeing the 2009 release, don’t forget that incredible innovations in filming technology were utilized during production. Cameron’s work is all about boldly going where no man has gone before. The Terminator series is still considered a landmark in science fiction. For the sequel, T2: Judgement Day, a liquid metal humanoid killing machine brought terrific advances in special effects artistry. Just prior, his highly under appreciated work, The Abyss, took a hearty group of survivors to the bottom of the ocean to interact with an alien much kinder than the one he directed in Aliens. As for Titanic? Well, who else would have been bold enough to recreate such an epic disaster in such studied detail?

What uncharted terrain is left to be traversed? How about the wilds of Africa? Or maybe the layers of a woman’s psyche?

Lightstorm Entertainment purchased the motion picture rights to the 2011 novel The Informationist by Taylor Stevens, with James Cameron eager to direct the film for Twentieth Century Fox. We just have to wait for the finishing touches on the second and third Avatar films, in pre-production now, for work on The Informationist to begin.

The Informationist is the story of Vanessa “Michael” Munroe, an information specialist. Her area of expertise strikes me as awfully similar to that of Lisbeth Salander of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Olivia Pope of Scandal, the addictive political thriller from Shonda Rhimes.

Because of her skills, Vanessa is highly sought after by heads of state and wealthy private clients. A rich oil baron puts her on payroll to search for his daughter who went to the continent of Africa four years prior, and then seemingly vanished. Vanessa, who actually lived in Africa as a child winds up quickly double-crossed, stuck in the middle of no where, and left for dead. As she tries to survive, she also must face a past she’s been trying to forget her entire adult life.

On the production team are James Cameron and Jon Landau. They’ll have to shop around for a writer to adapt the novel soon, but we probably won’t be hearing about actors for a while.

In his statement, Cameron said, “Taylor Stevens’ Vanessa Michael Munroe is an intriguing and compelling heroine with an agile mind and a thirst for adventure. Equally fascinating for me is her emotional life and her unexpected love story. I’m looking forward to bringing Vanessa and her world to the big screen.”

John Landau added, “This was an opportunity to continue our relationship with Fox and Jim Gianopulos beyond the Avatar films. We were drawn to this book because of the terrific, compelling narrative and the character, who typifies the strong female protagonists that have inhabited Jim’s work in this case Vanessa Munroe is essentially a mix of Lisbeth Salander and Jason Bourne.”

See that? Landau and I agree about Dragon Tattoo similarities.

A follow up, second “Vanessa Michael Munroe” novel, titled The Innocent, premiered just this year.

An autobiography from the book’s author Taylor Stevens, would be just as compelling to read. The woman was raised as a child inside an apocalyptic religious cult. She lived in strict all over the world, was cut off from her family at age twelve, not educated more than on a sixth grade level, and spent much of that time begging on the streets or washing clothes for hundreds of her fellow cult members. In her twenties, Stevens was able to escape the cult and is now a full-time writer and mother.