Tag Archives: Highlight

Game of Thrones is Coming to IMAX

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For some reason that I am sure HBO thought was warranted, the network has announced that the popular series will be heading to IMAX theaters later this month. Sort of.  Theaters will show the final two episodes of season four and an exclusive trailer for season five.

This is the first time in history that a television show will be shown like this in IMAX. If you choose to experience it, you can relive the Battle of Castle Black as well as the Emmy-nominated season four finale, “The Children.”

Greg Foster, senior executive vice president of IMAX Corp says,

“The scope and production quality of the show is quite remarkable, which will be highlighted even further in select IMAX locations—allowing fans, as never before, to become a part of author George R. R. Martin’s world that [showrunners] David Benioff and D. B. Weiss created for HBO. It has the action, storyline and epic nature that our fans seek in IMAX and we’re thrilled to team with HBO and our longtime partners at Warner Brothers to offer audiences a chance to experience it in the ultimate theater setting joined by other fans of the series.”

The IMAX showings will run in 150 theaters for one week beginning Jan. 23. We currently have no premiere date for season five of “Game of Thrones” but typically it has premiered either the last week of March or the first week of April.

AMC Officially Orders Preacher Pilot

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It has been in the works for months, but AMC has officially announced that they have ordered the pilot episode to the television adaption of “Preacher!” The adaptation is coming from This Is The End writers/directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

“Preacher” was released in the 90’s by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. It follows a conflicted preacher named Jesse Custer in a small Texas town who becomes accidentally possessed by a supernatural force, which makes Custer a powerful being driven by a strong sense of right and wrong. Along with his ex-girlfriend and a cantankerous Irish vampire, he embarks on a journey to find God and discover his new powers.

The series was developed for TV by Rogen and Goldberg, who will direct the pilot, and Sam Catlin of Breaking Bad, who penned the script for the pilot and will serve as a showrunner.

In a statement, Rogen and Goldberg said that “Preacher has been our favorite comic since it first came out. Garth Ennis is one of our idols and it’s an incredible honor to be working on this. We promise we won’t make too many dick jokes and ruin it.”

AMC rep said in a statement,

“Every once in a while you find a project where all the elements line up beautifully. With Preacher, it starts with a bold, compelling, and thought-provoking comic book series from Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon and a whole lot of fans who already know Jesse Custer, Cassidy and Tulip. Add to that the passionate and talented Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin, an incredible producing team in Neal Moritz, the Original Film team and our good friends at Sony Pictures Television, and we have everything we need to be VERY excited to move forward on Preacher.” Consider us officially excited!

There is no word yet on who they are eyeing to star in the series.

Maze Runner Sequel Announced For 2015

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The big screen adaptation of The Maze Runner finally released in theaters and it has already been green lit for a sequel that will release as soon as September 2015. The news was announced by 20th Century Fox via Twitter with the first piece of concept art for the film which you can see above.

The film is set in a post-apocalyptic world and follows the story of Thomas (played by Dylan O’Brien), a young man who wakes up to find himself in a community of kids welcoming him to the “Glade” – a large expanse of land completely surrounded by a concrete maze.

The now-franchise is based on the young adult book series of the same name written by James Dashner. The sequel film, titled The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials will release next year on September 18. Wes Ball will also direct the sequel.

The book series has a third book titled “The Death Cure” meaning the film will possibly be turned into a trilogy. Or a four film franchise if it goes the way of similar films such as The Hunger Games. 

“Doctor Who” Star Matt Smith Joins “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”

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Matt Smith, who is sadly no longer playing The Doctor on BBC’s “Doctor Who” had officially joined the cast of the big screen adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (and I feel all is right with the world again.)

The film is based on the wildly popular novel written by Seth Grahame-Smith. The movie is a horror-comedy spin on Jane Austen‘s Pride and Prejudice. The heroine, Liz Bennett (James), is pressured by her family to marry into a wealthy upper-class home but chafes at the stiff social mores of Victorian England. Instead, she feels that she should help defend the countryside against the onslaught of a horrifying zombie plague.

Smith will be playing the role of Mr. Collins, a handsome young gentleman who is on the lookout for a wife and proposes to Bennett.

The film version has long been in the works and is finally moving forward with the cast that includes Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote and Douglas Booth.

The project is scheduled to begin shooting later this month on September 24. There is no word yet on an anticipated release date in theaters.

Official Poster for The Walking Dead Season 5 Released

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The poster for the upcoming season five of “The Walking Dead” has been released by AMC. You can see it above! It features Andrew Lincoln with one of the themes of the season 5, “hunt or be hunted.”

Season 5 will pick up with our favorite group of survivors after their arrival at the “sanctuary” terminus. After their arrival, they are taken hostage and their lives are put into danger once again.

Based on the comic created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, Season Five of “The Walking Dead” premieres Sunday, October 12 at 9:00pm ET/PT. It stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chad Coleman, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney, Danai Gurira and Sonequa Martin-Green.

The Mystery of a Great Book

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I spent months slaving away on my first story, a science fiction epic of grandiose proportions. When I completed it, I thought to myself, “This is great. Everyone’s going to love this.”

I was nine years old.

But seriously. I had written something I’d never read anywhere else before. It was new and bold. It was, in fact, a science fiction adventure called “Mr. Mooney Goes to the Moon” about an ordinary guy selected (by mail!) to go to the moon, where he has adventures and comes home again.

I liked it.

My parents oohed and ahhed appropriately. My sisters and brothers said, “Good job, bro!” My best friend politely said, “Nice. Now let’s go ride bikes.”

At nine years old, the secret to a really great story was still a mystery. My knowledge of those particulars lay in my distant future; I was a long way away from writing The Ultra Thin Man, and I had a lot to learn.

I’m still learning.

Learning how to write is cheap. I listened to professional writers give me conflicting advice. I heard writers and editors say use common sense. Some said intuition leads the writer in the right direction. Some believed writers write when they’re inspired. Some touted the importance of complicated outlines. Some said just start writing and see what happens.

After college, I started submitting short stories with serious intent, emerging from my insular writer’s lair to put new stories out there, competing with a scrum of writers bent on similar goals. But I still didn’t have a clue about what made a story great.

My first rejection letter came to me in 1981: a little card from Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, with a cute illustration of a pig dressed as a mailman looking up with consternation at an open mailbox, a slimy tentacle sticking out from the inside holding a letter. Editor George Scithers had typed an actual note on the card. I would’ve been awed by this personal attention if I hadn’t immediately noticed the first word, “Sorry.” He went on to say: “This fails to hold interest. The characters are one-dimensional and they tend to give long lectures about the situation instead of live in it.”

And, finally, he inserted a small dagger to the heart: “The story lacks any central wonder or new idea.”

Ouch.

Not ready to give up, I cranked out new stories and mailed those out, and the rejections piled up. Some were form rejections, some had a few encouraging notes. I took some classes. Attended some workshops. Eventually sold some stories. Not many; I still received way more rejections than acceptances. Then I debuted Talebones, a small press magazine I edited for 14 years until 2009. I received about 200 short story submissions a month. At a twice-a-year schedule, that meant 1200 submissions an issue, and I could only buy about eight stories.

Mostly, these stories (like my earliest attempts) were boring. I admired the courage of some of these writers, who were chucking their work into the mail as fast as I could reject them, but I started to learn more about my own writing. I began to see that it wasn’t so much the courage of these writers that mattered. It was about how well they could communicate with readers. You see, as an editor, I was now an audience. I had certain things I liked about stories, things I hated. I wanted to be entertained. I wanted stories to pull at my heartstrings, or strike me with fear. I needed the best stories in my magazine because I had subscribers who expected great stories.

What I learned is the same thing filmmakers intuitively understand when they make movies. The audience is most important. The audience desires story. They want to be entertained. They want to be enlightened. How do filmmakers do that? They merge language and style with strong actors and powerful images and emotional music, and they draw a cathartic response from the audience without them seeing who’s pulling the strings.

When I understood this, I realized the same rules applied to writing short stories, and when I started working on novels, I found that the rules held sway here as well. Language creates that relationship between the writer, the characters, and the reader. Maybe I could even write the type of book that got picked up for film or TV. (It’s a dream I have.) But I knew, deep down, a book that paid attention to its relationship with the audience, if nothing else, was a book that had soul.

A book with soul is faithful to itself, but it shares that experience with the reader, and that makes for a great book.

PSwenson1 credit Bobbie ClimerGuest post written by Patrick Swenson, author of the novel “The Ultra Thin Man.” Swenson is the publisher and proprietor of Fairwood Press, a small Fantasy and Science Fiction publisher based in Washington state. You can find him online at www.patrickswenson.net and on Twitter at @patrick_swenson. “The Ultra Thin Man.” is his first novel.

Photo Credit: Bobbie Climer

Chris Pratt Almost Turned Down “Guardians of the Galaxy

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After seeing Guardians of the Galaxy, it feels wrong to think of any other actor in the lead role of Peter Quill, yet Chris Pratt revealed that he almost turned down the role that has made him one of the hottest actors of the year (and hopefully the decade because I’m officially in love with him, sorry boyfriend and Pratt’s wife Anna Farris.)

Pratt revealed in an interview with Esquire for their September issue that he almost backed out of the Marvel picture thanks to a bad experience with an audition for G.I. Joe role a few years ago. He said,

“When Guardians of the Galaxy was pitched to me, I said, ‘I don’t think so.’ I just didn’t picture myself getting the role,” Pratt says. “I didn’t want to go and embarrass myself like I did when I auditioned for G.I. Joe a couple of years previously. I went in there, and halfway through I saw the director’s eyes just glaze over. It made sense — I was a little heavy and out of shape. I was not gonna play someone from G.I. Joe. I did not look like a G.I. Joe action figure come to life.”

But as you know, Pratt got the role and did an intense physical regimen to get in shape for the film. (And looks damn fine in it.)

“I can do 40-inch box jumps now. Action-hero physical stuff,” he says. “Jumping that high feels really good. You see a giant hillside, and you think, I wanna get up that. You see a building, you think, I could climb that. When you get in shape, the world around you becomes things you wanna jump on and climb up.”

Pratt proved himself worthy as well. Guardians of the Galaxy as blown away audiences and the box office this year and as already been picked up for a sequel that will release in 2017. Pratt has signed on for a multi-year contract with Marvel as well which is only good news for me and fans everywhere.

The First Trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Revealed

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We finally have the first trailer for the upcoming third film installment in the Hunger Games franchise. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 has release a trailer in the form of a PSA from Panem and President Snow.

The PSA shows President Snow in a perfectly white background as he promises peace and unity. Though he hints that those who resist may be presents with a future that is not so peaceful. And just as he’s warning, “If you resist the system, you starve yourself. If you fight against it, it is you who will bleed,” the camera pans to reveal Peeta beside him. Blurgh.

Part one sees Katniss in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.

The film stars Jennifer LawrenceJosh HutchersonLiam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonElizabeth BanksJulianne MooreJeffrey WrightDonald Sutherland, and Philip Seymour Hoffman

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 hits theaters on November 21. (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 will release on November 20, 2015). 

You can watch the trailer below.

Ready Player One Movie Finally Moving Forward With Zak Penn

ready-player-one We have been waiting more than four years for the film adaptation of the novel “Ready Player One” to begin production. FINALLY, Warner Bros. and De Line Pictures have begun to move forward according to a report at The Wrap. According to the story, they have hired Zak Penn to adapt the novel written by Ernie Cline. The novel is officially described as follows:

In the near future, outcast teenager Wade Watts escapes from his bleak surroundings by logging in to the OASIS, a globally networked virtual utopia where users can lead idyllic alternate lives. When the eccentric billionaire who created the OASIS dies, he offers up his vast fortune as the prize in an elaborate treasure hunt. Along with gamers from around the world, Wade joins the adventure, and quickly finds himself pitted against powerful corporate foes and other ruthless competitors who will do anything, in the oasis or the real world, to reach the treasure first.

Donald De Line and Dan Farah are set to produce. The adaptation was announced before the novel was even released on shelves.  There is currently no officially word from the studio about a production date or an anticipated release date. No actors are attached at the moment either.

Robert Kirkman Talks “Outcast” and Season 5 of “Walking Dead”

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Robert Kirkman, the creator of “The Walking Dead,” recently spoke out about the upcoming fifth season of the AMC series that is based on his comics as well as the new series based on his comic series, “Outcast.”

“Outcast” will be released at the end of June will follow similar themes to “The Walking Dead.” The title, released via Kirkman’s Skybound imprint, is already out-selling his other series. 

Kirkman explains what kind of similarities “Outcast” and “The Walking Dead” share.

I think that both of them strive to be very real examinations of a very fantastical and unreal kind of situation. Although I would argue that demonic possession is certainly something that there’s evidence to support the possibility that it could be a real phenomenon — much more so than zombies. I think zombies are probably definitely never going to happen (Laughs). I think people may wish that they would. But they’re both stories about very real people against these horrific backdrops. That’s something that I really enjoy doing.

For those who are caught up with comic series of “The Walking Dead,” the series has started a new story after a time jump. We see Rick re-established in a larger society. Kirkman spoke about whether he knows how the story will end and its effects on creating “Outcast.”

I’ve known roughly how The Walking Dead [comic] ends for a while now. It’s something that I took my time figuring out but I always knew the direction I was going in. A few years ago the end cemented itself. But that’s something that is very far off into the future and it’s an ending that doesn’t really work unless I take my time getting there. I feel like, as withOutcast, the stakes on The Walking Dead have continued to escalate, and in recent issues, we’ve revealed the full extent of the world building that we’re planning to do long-term, and just how important these characters that we’ve been following are going to turn out to be in the history of civilization. That’s a pretty exciting prospect and a really cool change and shift in the narrative of that story.

Unlike “The Walking Dead,” “Outcast” will be a series at Cinemax and Kirkman is actually prepping the potential pilot himself. Kirkman explained how the show would compare to the comics.

There’s definitely going to be a lot similarities, but despite the fact that I’m writing the comic and writing the pilot episode of the series, you will see some pretty big differences. There are certain ways to tell a story, and certain mechanics and things that work really well in comics that don’t work well on television and vice versa. There are certain opportunities to be taken when you adapt something into television, where you have motion and sound, where you can expand on and change things in very cool ways in a manner that wouldn’t have worked so well in comics. To be honest, that’s the fun part and the challenge of saying, “This is going to be moving and there’s going to be actors, and it’s going to have sound, and there are different things to be done.” It’s cool to limit the same story and think about it in a different way.

Even though season 4 of “The Walking Dead” ended on a pretty crazy note, we didn’t see any major characters die, which is surprising in itself. Kirkman tells us what we can expect with season 5 of the show.

It’s always highly likely, though I wouldn’t say that it’s any more likely than it ever is, but it is always extremely likely. We did pull back on the reins a little bit at the end of season four. We’re definitely going to hit the ground running for season five and we really don’t let up very quickly at all. It’s going to be a pretty fast-paced, intense season.

When it comes to rumors about character Glenn possibly meeting his maker, Kirkman unfortunately did not confirm nor deny the rumors.

I absolutely love it. It means people care and people are paying attention. So keep those rumors flying!

Kirkman also commented on the addition of Seth Gilliam to a currently unconfirmed role.

Every season we try to bring in new characters that add something in their own way to the cast, much in the way that Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) brought a new narrative and more character dynamics to the show. Seth Gilliam’s character — whoever it may be — brings a lot of conflict and really cool character traits to the mix.

The Walking Dead returns in October. A specific premiere date will likely be announced at Comic-Con. Outcast No. 1 is released June 25 via Image Comics. Check out an advance look at Outcast No. 1, below.