“It’s been quiet an interesting period film-wise,” writer J. Michael Straczynski stated this past weekend at the New York Comic Con. Although he has worked in television for the better part of two decades, notably creating and writing a majority of the classic series Babylon 5, Straczynski stated that he is considered still a relative new comer to the world of feature film scripting, a world he entered after selling his script The Changeling to director/producer Ron Howard.
During a panel dedicated to him on Sunday, Straczynski spent much of the hour discussing his past and current work writing comics, but managed to let slip a few tidbits about his current film work, including his cameo in the upcoming Thor film, for which he also has a story credit.
Thor – I was supposed to just show up and do a walk-through like they always have guys do. And Ken Brannagh decided I could act, against all the evidence to the contrary. He had more things to do and more scenes and this and that. If you’ve read the Thor book that I did, where the Hammer lands somewhere in the mid-west and this whole line-up of guys comes over to try and pick it up. The role that I play was extended to become this guy driving driving down the road, sees this crater and gets out of the car, walks over, tries to pick up the hammer. He can’t. so he gets a great idea, calls his pals and they all show up with trucks and he’s there trying to pull the hammer out. Which is what I wrote. I’ve vanished into my own narrative! I hate when that happens.
Forbidden Planet – Forbidden Planet is looking for a director. Jim Cameron, who is involved as a producer, wanted to direct it but he had to bail because he wants to do Avatar 2 and that movie will take 35 years of prep. I fully understand why he did that. It takes a lot of energy to put together a film and that’s his baby. he said, “I really can’t do a film like Forbidden Planet while I’m out doing Avatar 2 prep” and I totally get that.
Underworld 4 – I’ve just finished the script for Underworld 4, which is slated to go into production in March and come out next winter.
World War Z – I hear World War Z has gone to prep or pre–production. I’ve been told that it’s gone to prep, I haven’t been told that officially.
Shattered Union – I’ve turned in a script for a movie based on the game Shattered Union to the Bruckheimer boys and they liked it so much, much to my surprise, that they’ve hired me for a second film that I can’t tell you about it yet.
Others – I’ve decided to do a movie for Dreamworks animation that I can’t tell you about.