Archive | TV To Film

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Still Hope For VERONICA MARS Movie

Posted on 07 April 2010 by Rich Drees

If you thought that the lack of news about the development of a possible big screen continuation of the canceled TV series Veronica Mars meant that the project was dead, you may be wrong. Of course it’s not exactly going to be getting in front of cameras anytime soon. As the show’s creator Rob Thomas explained to Entertainment weekly –

It’s not dead… I continue to want to do it. It’s funny, because the rumors go around and around. Kristen Bell had said to somebody that I had written a script, and that wasn’t correct. I did have a treatment and a pitch, with which I went to Warner Bros. and [Mars producer] Joel Silver and said, ‘Here is the fastball version of the movie, the big studio version of the movie that I think we can make.’ And I think they did one of their brand-awareness surveys and were like, ‘We don’t know if we can make money with that.’ So it’s been back-burnered. But I still want to do it. I’m still happy to do it. We’re still looking into it.

Of course, Thomas concedes that there is one thing that could derail the story of a sardonic teen detective faster than studio indifference.

There is a bit of a ticking clock [because] Kristen Bell does continue to age… And doing ‘teen detective’ [is a] dicey proposition. But frankly, I think Veronica Mars as a 30-year-old noir detective at some point in the future would still be interesting to me.

Personally, I don’t think that Bell’s age would prove much of an impediment to a big screen installment. When the series was still being considered for a fourth season back in 2007, Thomas had pitched moving the show from the college setting of the third season to having Bell’s character being a rookie agent in the FBI. While the network didn’t bite, I think it was a perfectly legitimate approach. For any ongoing franchise to remain successful, characters can’t remain static, but must grow. Of course, the trick is to make sure that they don’t grown and change in ways that would alienate audiences. But I think that moving Veronica to either the FBI or having her open her own detective agency sounds like a logical progression fro the character. And as long as the story that they decide to tell is interesting and fun, the studios shouldn’t have to worry too much about the brand’s name recognition limiting any potential box office.

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Neil Patrick Harris To Meet THE SMURFS

Posted on 04 March 2010 by Rich Drees

But will it be legen- wait for it -dary?

Neil Patrick Harris has been cast in the upcoming live action and animation combo The Smurfs. Director Raja Gosnell, the man who brought Scooby Doo to the big screen, will be using computer-generated animation to bring the little blue, three apples-high people to life to interact with live action actors. Hollywood Deadline broke the news but had no word as to what role he would be in outside of the fact that it would be an on camera role and he would not be voicing one of the film’s animated characters. Could it be Gargamel, the evil, but inept wizard who lives to make the Smurfs’ lives miserable?

Although I’ve enjoyed how Neil Patrick Harris lampooned himself in the two Harold And Kumar movies and his work on the internet series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, I’ve really begun to appreciate his comedy chops only recently, while I’ve been working my way through the season sets of How I Married Your Mother. However, Gosnell at the helm of this project does give me pause to worry. Thye phrase “from the director of  Big Mama’s House, Scooby Doo, Yours, Mine And Ours, Beverly Hills Chihuahua” doesn’t inspire much confidence. Will this streak continue with The Smurfs?

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Warners Looking To Go To GILLIGAN’S ISLAND

Posted on 03 March 2010 by Rich Drees

Warner Brothers is moving ahead in their plans to bring the seminal 60s comedy series Gilligan’s Island to the big screen by hiring Brad Copeland to write a new scenario in which a small group of people go for a simple three-hour boat tour and find themselves marooned on an uncharted island in the Pacific. (No, there’s no smoke monster in this.)

On the plus side, Copeland started his career as a staff writer on the sitcom News Radio before working on Arrested Development, Grounded For Life and My Name Is Earl. On the minus side is his first feature film credit- Wild Hogs. Copeland has also scripted the upcoming Yogi Bear film and a remake of Flight Of The Navigator. Weigh those as you will.

Although it is hoped that the film will be in front of cameras early next year, no director or cast has been attached to the project yet.

I suppose that a decent film could be made out of Gilligan’s Island, though it would probably be very hard to do so. A majority of the charm of the series was the chemistry between the actors and by extension, the characters. But the show always seemed to struggle when it came to concocting a storyline that didn’t feel stretched out at just a half-hour.

Although the series only ran three years, it was a mainstay in syndication for decades. It also spawned a cartoon series, three live-action made for TV movies and even a reality series.

Source- Variety

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Imagi Studios Closes, GATCAHMAN Fate Unknown

Posted on 15 February 2010 by Rich Drees

Last week, Imagi Studios, the CGI animation group behind the recent Astro Boy big screen adventure, was closed by its owner, Hong Kong-based Imagi International Holdings Ltd. Over 300 employees are now out of work due to the closure. The studio had been hemorrhaging money and had seen the shuttering of its US studio in Los Angeles last month.

What is unknown at this time is the fate of the studios currently in production feature Gatchman, based on the 1980s anime TV series syndicated in the US as Battle Of The Planets.  Imagi did state that would continue to develop ideas for films, but outsource the actual animation production to more cost-effective (i.e., cheaper) studios in China and other countries. However, the Gatchaman project was not mentioned by name, leaving its fate up in the air. It seems to me, though, that Imagi International Holdings’ vow to keep developing film ideas sounds more like something to appease stockholders. I have little hope that we will actually see Gatchaman ever be completed.

Imagi’s first release, 2007’s TMNT, featuring the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and cartoon characters, pulled in a respectable $95.6 million at the worldwide box office. However, last year’s Astro Boy tanked and tanked hard with only $23 million in worldwide ticket sales.

Although Imagi hasn’t officially released any footage from Gatchaman, they did have a teaser on display at last year’s Anime Expo, which some nice people have captured and placed on YouTube for the rest of us to look at and speculate over how the movie may have turned out.

It looks like Imagi was developing a Tetsujin 28/ Gigantor film as well-

Via Associated Press.

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Posted on 21 January 2010 by Rich Drees

Let’s face it, you could count the number of times that a character from the long-running sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live has been successfully translated to the big screen on one hand. As opposed to the number of times that the translation has failed, for which which you would need a couple of more hands for counting. Since different writers have been involved with almost every attempt, it may be that there is something inherently insurmountable with taking a comedy concept that can sustain a three to five minute sketch and asking it to hold up a feature-length film.

Will Forte is the next to step up to the plate, bringing his spoof of the 80s action series MacGuyver, MacGruber, to the big screen. In the past couple of days, two trailers for the film have been released – one green band and a racier red band – and honestly, they’re not exciting much. Joining Forte in the movie are SNL castmates Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph while show writers John Solomon and Jorma Taccone are collaborating on the script with Forte. That’s some good, solid talent, so let’s hope that this is just a case of some badly assembled trailers. We’ll find out when the film hits theaters on April 23, 2010.

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Live Action SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO Teaser Trailer

Posted on 02 January 2010 by Rich Drees

I have to admit, the teaser trailer below for the upcoming Japanese live action adaptation of the classic anime Space Battleship Yamato gets my geek blood a-pumpin’. Known as Starblazers here in the United States, I grew up watching the show with friends every day after school in the early 1980s, a daily dose of a drug called space opera for us kids already hooked by Star Wars.

This film only started shooting in the middle of last October, so I am a bit surprised that there is already a teaser trailer, short as it is, out already. The producers must think they really have something to start the hype so early in advance of the film’s Japanese release next December. From the small glimpse that we do get, it looks like they are indeed on the right track.

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SEX AND THE CITY 2: First Teaser Poster And New Pic

Posted on 11 December 2009 by Rich Drees

Released in the summer of 2008, chick flick Sex And The City did surprisingly well at the box office against such summer blockbuster powerhouses like The Dark Knight. The film was set to be the finale of HBO’s long running cable series of the same name and featured Sarah Jessica Parker’s writer character Carrie Bradshaw and her friends having one last glorious romantic Manhattan adventure before riding off in to the sunset. And the film actually delivered a nice sense of closure to the quartet and their trials and tribulations with relationships and their adoration of all things shoes. But in the wake of the film’s $415 million worldwide box office gross, studio brass at Warner Brothers were of course quick to order up a sequel. The new film opens next summer, but the first teaser poster (below) has just been unveiled. Also, Warners has just released a picture of the film’s four stars- Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis. Why are they on a stage singing? Is perhaps karaoke a major plot point?



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Deleted TREK Scene: Nero And The Klingons

Posted on 28 October 2009 by Rich Drees

Ever wonder what Nero was up to for the two decades or so that passed between his first appearance in JJ Abrams’s Star Trek film and when the main story kicked into gear? Me too. Well, it turns out that the time-travelling Romulan was a guest of the Klingons. And while where we see where the Klingons have been keeping Nero in the clip below might be considered by that warrior race as their version of Club Med, I don’t think I want to be visiting it any time soon.

The clip is just one of nine deleted scenes that will be among the special features that will appear on the two disc DVD set and three disc Blu Ray editions that will go on sale November 17.

Star Trek – DVD Bonus Footage

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First Official Look: THE A-TEAM

Posted on 25 October 2009 by Rich Drees

A few weeks ago we offered you the first unofficial look at the the cast of the big screen adaptation of the 80s classic tv  series The A-Team being directed by Joe Carnahan. Now studio 20th Century Fox has released the first official picture of stars Bradley Cooper, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Sharlto Cople and Liam Neeson as American soldiers-framed-for-a-crime-they-didn’t-commit Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck, Sgt. “B.A.” Baracus, Capt. “Howling Mad” Murdock and John “Hannibal” Smith. (Click for a larger view.)


While I like the costumes and the look of the actors in the picture, I’m not sure that I’m thrilled with the gritty look of the photo itself. If you’ve seen Smokin’ Aces, you know that Carnahan is very much a visual stylists. But does The A-Team need that gritty, over-processed look? We’ll see next June 11, 2010.

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Live Action YAMATO Blasts Off

Posted on 23 October 2009 by Rich Drees

StarBlazers2They’re back off to outer space, defending mother Earth and saving the human race.

The crew of the classic anime series Space Battleship Yamato, known in the United States as Star Blazers, is set for a new big screen adventure. But instead of their familiar two-dimensional, hand drawn appearance, this new film, which started shooting in Japan last week, will sport a  real life, flesh and blood crew.

The film, budgeted at over two billion yen or $22 million American, is being directed by Takashi Yamazaki, the director best known to Western fans of Asian action cinema for the time travel action film Returner. Popstar-turned-actor Takuya Kimura is leading the cast as Susumu Kodai, the character known as Derek Wildstar to American audiences. Reports state that this live action version will make some changes to the original animated version. Two characters – Aihara (known as Homer to English-speaking audiences) and Dr. Sado (Dr. Sane) – are getting sex changes in the transition, becoming females.

Premiering on Japanese TV in 1974, Space Battleship Yamato told the story of the crew of a starship racing across the galaxy to retrieve a cure for the radioactive fallout from an alien invasion’s bombardment that is slowly poisoning the Earth. It was brought over to America in 1977, where it was embraced by an audience already excited by the space opera of Star Wars. Two more television series and several animated films followed.

A live action Space Battleship Yamato/ Star Blazers adaptation was close to being a reality a little over a decade ago. The project was in development at Disney through most of the 1990s, with a script having been written by Tab Murphy. You can read our less than glowing review of it here. And while the script took several liberties with the story that would probably not go well over with fans of the original, the project was ultimately shelved after studio head Michael Eisner departed.

The film is set for a December 2010 release in Japan, but as of now, there is no word if any US distributor picking up the film for release here. I would think, though, that there would be a viable enough audience between anime fans and those, like myself, who remember the original series from its syndicated runs years ago to support at least a DVD release if not some limited theatrical distribution.

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