Archive | TV To Film

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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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A Look At The New A-TEAM

Posted on 05 October 2009 by Rich Drees

ATeamCastThe big screen adaptation of the popular 1980s television series The A-Team began shooting in Vancouver last week, and we’ve already gotten our first glimpse of the cast at right. (I’m not sure about the graying up of Liam Neeson’s hair…) But can Liam Neeson and company step in to the shoes of George Peppard, Dirk Benedict, Dwight Schultz and, of course, Mr. T, as a group of soldiers of fortune who are persued by the military for a crime they didn’t commit? It was the same dilemma facing the cast of this summer’s Star Trek reboot and they managed to do it. Can lightening strike twice? Let’s take a look.

ATeamHannibalLiam Neeson as Captain John “Hannibal” Smith- The smiling and cigar smoking leader of the A-Team is a master of disguise and a cunning strategist. Neeson has played a number of characters that share similar traits in films from Darkman to last year’s Taken. While I think that Neeson might be a little intense as compared to George Peppard’s lighter take on the character, his casting is probably an indication that the movie will probably be less cartoonish than the television series.

ATeamFaceBradley Cooper as Templeton “Faceman” Peck- Cooper is certainly charming enough to pull off the role of the A-Team’s resident con-man, to the point where this casting seems pretty much like a slamdunk. The Hangover has shown he can pull of a quick talking smooth operator, and he while he certainly has a charm about him similar to the television series’s Dirk Benedict, Cooper’s is a bit scruffier than Benedict’s cleaner good looks. This is probably the strongest casting out of the four roles.

ATeamBaracusQuinton Jackson as B. A. Baracus- The Ultimate Fighting light-heavyweight champ will be taking over perhaps the most iconic role of the original series from bodyguard-turned-actor Mr. T. The problem is that B.A.’s character was pretty much the public persona of Mr. T himself. Can Jackson, with his limited acting experience bring something different to the role? While some of that might depend on the script, much of that rests on Jackson’s shoulders.

ATeamMurdockSharlto Copley as “Howling Mad” Murdoch- Almost as unpredictable as the character himself is the casting of District 9’s Sharlto Copley as the A-Team’s reality-challenged pilot. Copley’s only film role before this was this summer’s District 9, which admittedly was an outstanding performance. But we’ve seen impressive debuts that have never fully lived up to their promise before – Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder, anyone? – so we have to admit to being a bit wary about this one.

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SOUL TRAIN Chugging To The Big Screen

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Rich Drees

DonCorneliusNow you’re probably thinking that the current trend of adapting television shows into films has gone too far when they decide to try to transition a dance show to the big screen. But according to Variety,the longtime showcase for R&B and soul music, Soul Train, is being readied for feature film treatment.

Warner Brothers has hired Dead Presidents writer Malcolm Spellman to craft a story about the syndicated series that ran for 35 years between 1971 and 2006. Set in the early 1980s, the plot will center on a young breakdancer from L.A., who sees securing a spot on a proposed concert tour sponsored by the show as a way out of the ghetto. Soul Train creator and longtime host Don Cornelius had always wanted to actually mount such a tour, showcasing music and dancers from the show, though it never happened.

I have to admit that this sounds fairly interesting. I’m always up for a good story about a talented, poor kid out to make his fortune in the world and with the emergence of breakdancing in the early 1980s, the movie is set in a visually interesting time for dance. Scoff all you want at movies like Beat Street or Breakin’, the dancing featured in them was fun to watch.

My one concern is how much of a role will Cornelius play as a character in the script. If you’ve seen his acting turns in Roadie (1980) and Tapeheads (1988), then you know that Cornelius is a suave and magnetic presence on screen. It will be interesting to see how much screen time Cornelius-as-character gets and who they cast in the role.

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