Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Battlestar's Jamie Bamber to enter the Dollhouse

Battlestar Galactica star Jamie Bamber will guest-star in the season-two premiere episode of Fox's Dollhouse, joining his former Battlestar castmate Tahmoh Penikett, who is a regular.
E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos reported the news, based on "network sources":

But where does he fit into the storylines? Here's what we're hearing: We're told that Bamber's character is heavily involved in an engagement Echo (Eliza Dushku) and her new handler Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) have been assigned to.
Dollhouse returns on Fox in the fall.
sci-fi wire...

Syfy sets Caprica debut date: Jan. 22

Syfy announced that its highly anticipated prequel series Caprica will kick off with a two-hour premiere on Jan. 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and will air Fridays at 10 p.m.

The show follows two rival families and their patriarchs—Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) and Joseph Adama (Esai Morales)—as they compete and thrive in the vibrant realm of the 12 Colonies, a society recognizably close to our own.

Caprica also stars Paula Malcomson (Amanda Graystone), Polly Walker (Sister Clarice Willow), Magda Apanowicz (Lacy) and Alessandra Torresani (Zoe Graystone). The series is from Universal Cable Productions and is executive-produced by Ronald D. Moore, David Eick and Jane Espenson. Jeffrey Reiner (Friday Night Lights) directed the pilot.
sci-fi wire...

Dorian Gray teaser trailer paints horrific picture

A trailer has gone live for the upcoming horror film Dorian Gray, which you can view after the jump. The film, based on the Oscar Wilde novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, is about a man who remains forever young while his portrait instead shows the effects of his physical and moral decay.

Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia) stars as Dorian Gray, while Colin Firth (Mamma Mia!) portrays Lord Henry Wotton, the man who corrupts him. The international teaser trailer for the film from director Oliver Parker debuted over at ShockTillYouDrop.com.

Dorian Gray is due for release on Sept. 9, 2009.
sci-fi wire...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The first look at the new Nightmare on Elm Street

During Warner Brothers' 2009 Comic-Con panel, producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller and director Samuel Bayer appeared in person to introduce the first footage ever from their upcoming Nightmare on Elm Street reboot film and field questions from fans and attendees. Speaking to an almost capacity crowd in Hall H, Fuller and Form said that they completed shooting just weeks ago, but that they were able to put together a short teaser trailer that promises an all-new but definitely familiar Freddy Krueger.

At the beginning of the clip, a very-much-alive Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley) is running from a group of parents. He arrives at a dilapidated factory and fortifies himself inside, only to have the parents to throw firebombs inside. As he wrenches off his jacket, revealing that iconic red and green sweater, the building explodes, engulfing Freddy in a wall of flames.

The remainder of the clip, which ran approximately three minutes, features Freddy coming to life even as he manages to send the kids of Elm Street to their deaths. There are many images that evoke classic scenes from the original film, including a shot of a poor, dead blonde in a plastic bag as she haunts the halls of main character Nancy's high school. In another shot, a girl wanders into a dusty attic, and as she looks around at the detritus, she notices a pair of eyes behind a box that flash at her, making her scream. Freddy's glove is heavily featured, but there are few shots of his face, at least not unobscured by shadows or darkness.

As the clip ends, we briefly see a boyfriend try to wake his girlfriend up, to no avail; subsequently, she rises into the air and strikes the ceiling, reminding fans of Tina's balletic murder in the original Nightmare on Elm Street. As the title card comes up, Freddy says, "Ready or not, here I come."

The new Nightmare will open a couple of weeks later than originally planned, on April 30, 2010, which Form told SCI FI Wire gives the movie the weekend to itself. We'll have more from our interviews with the cast and crew a bit later.
sci-fi wire...

Lost's Dominic Monaghan to FlashForward on ABC

Dominic Monaghan (Lost) is joining the cast of ABC's new sci-fi drama, FlashForward, which premieres on Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, the network announced.
The network doesn't say what role Monaghan will play. He isn't in the two-hour pilot episode but will apparently appear in later episodes.

Based on the SF novel by Robert J. Sawyer, the show asks: What would you do if you were given a glimpse of the future? Would you accept what you saw and live life to its fullest, or would you do everything in your power to change your destiny? In FlashForward, when the world's population is given a glimpse of its future, it forces everyone to come to grips with whether their destinies can be fulfilled or avoided.
FlashForward stars Joseph Fiennes as Mark Benford, John Cho as Demetri Noh, Jack Davenport as Lloyd Simcoe, Courtney B. Vance as Stan Wedeck, Sonya Walger as Olivia Benford, BrĂ­an F. O'Byrne as Aaron Stark, Christine Woods as Janis Hawk, Zachary Knighton as Bryce Varley and Peyton List as Nicole. The series' executive producers are David S. Goyer, Brannon Braga, Marc Guggenheim and Jessika Borsiczky Goyer.
sci-fi wire...

Oldman confirms new Batman shoots in '10

During the Comic-Con panel today for Warner Brothers' The Book of Eli, Gary Oldman told attendees that shooting for the third Batman film is imminent.

"Batman will start shooting next year," he said when a fan asked how soon we would get to see another film from Christopher Nolan. "So it's two years away [from release]. But you didn't hear that from me."

Oldman declined to provide additional details, but this qualifies as one of the first public confirmations that the third Batman is going forward.
sci-fi wire...

District 9 triumphant screening, new images

Much of the early attention at Comic-Con focused on the 20 or so minutes of James Cameron's Avatar that screened to great acclaim on Thursday to the 6,500 fans in Hall H. But a smaller group of ardent fans and journalists, including SCI FI Wire, got to screen an even more top-secret movie in its entirety: District 9, from producer Peter Jackson and newbie South African director Neill Blomkamp.

And the consensus among a small group of viewers on Thursday night was that District 9 is the sci-fi movie to beat. We can't give a formal review at this point, but we can tell you that the movie is original and unexpected, with a gritty look and visceral feel that deftly mix complex visual effects with the grim reality of a South African slum and rocking action with deep character development. The movie combines social commentary, satire and splattery R-rated sci-fi action.

The movie deals with the arrival of a million insectoid aliens, derisively called "Prawns," in a massive ship over Johannesburg, South Africa, and the uneasy coexistence between humans and aliens 28 years later who live in the grinding poverty and violence of a township-like camp. The action is set in motion by a low-level bureaucrat, played by newcomer Sharlto Copley, who heads an armed force that enters the slum, District 9, to make way for a forced relocation of the aliens. When things take an unexpected turn, Copley's Wikus van der Merwe finds his life turned upside down, and he is forced to question his assumptions and forge an uneasy alliance with an alien and his young son.

We also got to speak exclusively with Blomkamp and to take part in a group conversation with Jackson and will be posting those interviews soon. In the meantime, we have some new images from the film, below. District 9 opens Aug. 14
sci-fi wire...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Warner enlists veteran comic writers for superhero movies

Warner Brothers, still flush from the more than $500 million generated by The Dark Knight last year, has hired veteran comic-book writers Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison and Marv Wolfman to act as consultants and screenwriters for upcoming comic-book movie adaptations, according to The Hollywood Reporter .
Johns previously worked as 1978 Superman director Richard Donner's assistant and co-wrote with Donner the recent "Last Son" Superman story arc for Action Comics, which utilized fan favorite villains General Zod, Ursa, and Non, the trio of Krytonian criminals exiled into the Phantom Zone at the start of Donner's Superman. Other noteworthy works by Johns include a long stretch writing Justice Society of America and stints scripting The Flash, Green Lantern and Booster Gold.

Morrison is best known to comic book writers for his penchant for deconstructing comic book heroes, as he did with Animal Man. Other noteworthy superhero works by Morrison include the graphic novel Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, the depiction of the Joker in which was said to have been studied by Heath Ledger for his portrayal in The Dark Knight, All-Star Superman, Batman, RIP and The New X-Men.

Wolfman is the grand old man of the three, having worked in comics steadily since the 1970s and having been editor of Marvel's line after Roy Thomas stepped down. Aside from writing titles like Fantastic Four and Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, Wolfman wrote the acclaimed Tomb of Dracula comic and DC's epic Crisis on Infnite Earths.
The trio of vets are working on treatments that will be in keeping with various superheroes' continuities, while at the same time be accessible to wider audiences unfamiliar with decades of comic book history and back-story.

Johns has apparently created a treatment for a Flash movie to be scripted by Dan Mazeau. Other projects are in very early stages of development, so Warner Execs are keeping mum, for the moment.
sci-fi wire...

Review: Torchwood is back with a thrilling third season

Finally! It's about time. It's been over a year since Torchwood graced our TV sets, and when you find out we only have a five-episode mini-season to look forward to about our favorite alien hunters, it's hard not to complain. What took so long? Sure, one story that takes five consecutive episodes to tell sounds cool, but how about three of those? Come on BBC! One tiny, little mini-season just isn't enough!

Well, people, stop whining. Torchwood: Children of Earth begins tonight on BBC American at 9 p.m., and after you watch this breathtaking, thrilling, brilliant, devastating third season, you'll know why Torchwood creator Russell T. Davies wanted to tell this story. In fact, if you never see another new episode of Torchwood, what a hell of a way to go out.
Torchwood: Children of Earth explores what happens when every child on Earth stops one morning. It's only a brief moment, but it's enough for the British government and Torchwood to take notice. Not much later, the children stop again and begin speaking in unison, chanting, "We are coming." British civil servant Mr. Frosbisher (Peter Capaldi) realizes that the events connect back to something that happened in 1965 involving 12 children. He knows what happened in the past must stay in the past.
Meanwhile, Torchwood begins to investigate and quickly comes to believe what's happening with the children involves aliens. Their inquiry takes Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) to visit a psychiatric patient named Clem (Paul Coply), while Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) tries to figure out who Clem really is and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) heads to the hospital to find a child to examine.

As the children continue to speak in unison announcing the aliens' intentions, the British government orders the assassination of Captain Jack and the Torchwood team. The team is forced to run for their lives. Meanwhile, the aliens are coming and they want something from the human race.

In Torchwood's first two seasons, it was like a darker, more adult Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series was never afraid to have fun or deal with difficult issues. At the end of season two, two of the show's main characters were killed off, saving Cardiff. In this third mini-season, creator Davies obviously isn't worried about continuing Torchwood as a series. There are shocking character revelations, as well as powerful twists and turns to the story. Every character, including the guest characters, undergoes a powerful arc and most suffer devastating consequences to their actions. Lives are at stake and Davies spins out the ultimate no win situation for everyone involved.
Captain Jack, the man who's died perhaps a million times, will never be the same in our eyes. Barrowman's powerful turn takes Captain Jack to a place that gives us crushing blow about who he really is and then makes us love him all over again. Although he might not be eligible, Barrowman deserves an Emmy for his fearless work in Children of Earth. The rest of the regular cast does a fine job as well, especially Eve Myles and Gareth David-Lloyd.

In the end, let's hope there are more seasons of Torchwood to come. Davies would certainly have to get creative when it came to putting the team back together, although there's no doubt he'd be up to the task. In the mean time, stop worrying about what might be and enjoy what is. Tonight is the beginning of some of the finest hours ever created for television and you won't want to miss them.
sci-fi wire...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sanctuary star on season two and Michael Shanks

Who says there's no rest for the wicked? As the homicidal John Druitt in Syfy's original series Sanctuary, Christopher Heyerdahl has gleefully tormented Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping); her daughter, Ashley (Emilie Ullerup); and Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne). But today, he's taking a well-deserved break.
Having already enjoyed a morning swim, the ever-friendly Vancouver, Canada, native is all refreshed and in the mood to preview the second season of Syfy's breakout hit. (Possible spoilers ahead!)

"Right now, we are shooting episode nine, so we're almost at the end of the season," Heyerdahl said in an exclusive interview. "This episode is called 'Penance,' or at least that's what it's called now. Basically, we have a special guest star, who is Michael Shanks. He's playing a wonderful departure from what we're used to seeing him. The two characters that spend most of their time together are Michael's character, Jimmy, and Kate Freelander [played by new cast member Agam Darshi]. They end up together and discover they share a similar past. They're a couple of streetwise wanderers who find their lives have a very surprising similarity. It's a pretty cool episode because it's a mystery search story, as well as those two characters getting together to fight for their lives."

Sanctuary follows the adventures of the beautiful, enigmatic and always surprising Dr. Helen Magnus, a brilliant scientist who holds the secrets of a clandestine population, a group of strange and sometimes terrifying beings that hide among humans. Along with forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman, they seek to protect these threatened phenomena as well as unlock the mysteries behind their existence.

Heyerdahl's Druitt has no interaction with Shanks' Jimmy, but he will figure heavily in the rest of the season. "From Druitt's point of view, he is doing his very best to play the team game," Heyerdahl said. "His abilities are going to come into play greatly with the battle against the Cabal. They are also going to be used against him. How playing the team game influences his next move. And let's just say he goes rogue."
On more than one occasion, Druitt has pitched in to help Magnus, and apparently that uneasy alliance only becomes more strained over time. "It just gets worse," Heyerdahl says. "Druitt's definitely a lone wolf. Working together with the establishment is always hard, so more conflict comes into play. In season two, nobody is safe. Every time someone feels they are on solid ground, the carpet is just pulled out from under them. His conflict with the gang is cranked up another level."

As in season one, what will draw Druitt back to the Sanctuary is his spitfire child, Ashley. "We definitely see some father/daughter conflict," Heyerdahl says. "There's a certain amount of bonding that goes on, because we're definitely going to see a bit of Ashley's dark side. I think that Druitt has to come to grips with his own dark side, the sins of the father, and how that reflects on his own daughter. The script I'm reading right now is very Druitt-centric. We did a major peek through the looking glass into his history and how and why he has become what he has become. It's big stuff."

If Druitt's time-and-space-warping abilities have caused his mental instability and murderous impulses, why not simply stop using them or search for a cure? "Well, that's a very good question," Heyerdahl says with a smile. "The best way I can describe it is that things are not always what they seem. Their idea of why and how Druitt's insanity has come about will become very clear in that episode, and things are not what we thought they were."

Sanctuary returns in the fall.
sci-fi wire...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Warehouse 13 is tops again for the night

In its second Tuesday airing, Syfy's new Warehouse 13 was the top original cable drama in prime time Tuesday for the second week in a row among adults 25-54, the network announced.

The new episode, "Resonance," beat new episodes of A&E's The Cleaner, TNT's HawthoRNe, TNT's Saving Grace and F/X's Rescue Me.

The one-hour dramedy delivered a 2.4 household rating, 3.4 million total viewers, 1.6 million adults 25-54 and 1.2 million adults 18-49.

In its 9 p.m. timeslot, Syfy delivered more adults 25-54 than ABC (including a new episode of ABC's Better Off Ted).
sci-fi wire...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stephen King's Cell to be TV miniseries?

You may or may not remember that torture-porn filmmaker Eli Roth was once going to shoot an adaptation of horrormeister Stephen King's The Cell. Well, now comes news that not only is Roth not going to make such a movie, it's also not going to be a movie at all.

Fangoria reports that John Harrison (Syfy's Dune) is writing a four-hour TV miniseries based on the 2006 novel, in which the population of America is transformed into mindless, rampaging killers by a signal sent through their cell phones.

Here's what the magazine reported:

Harrison is scripting Cell for the Weinstein Co., which had originally planned to turn the book into a theatrical feature (with Eli Roth attached at one point to direct), but decided to abandon those plans and will be shopping the project to networks instead. Having served as assistant director/composer on the King-scripted Creepshow and helmed Tales From the Darkside: The Movie (including an adaptation of the author's "Cat From Hell"), Harrison considers Cell one of King's best recent books, with opening chapters that will make an incredible first 30 minutes on screen. The filmmaker adds that he doesn't see this as a zombie story so much as a Village of the Damned-esque chiller and enjoys the fact that the infected populace possesses a hive mentality. While he has been officially contracted to direct, he would certainly like to.
In 2007, Roth (the Hostel films) told SCI FI Wire that he considers the story timely and relevant. "I love the idea that technology turns on us," Roth said in an interview while promoting his second Hostel movie. "I have always wanted to make an apocalypse movie, and I like that this isn't a straight zombie movie, that these are humans who are crazy, whose brains have been scrambled by cell phones. I read that a quarter of the U.S. bee population has died off, and they don't know what's killing the bees. Is it a virus? There are people who think it could be cell phones, that they're screwing up the bees' radar, and they can't get back to their hives." (In fact, the study suggesting this has been discredited, the Los Angeles Times reported.)
sci-fi wire...

Monday, July 13, 2009

17 Months From Creation To Reality

Just after Valentine's Day 2008 the idea for Strolok, the book, began to form in my imagination. After long hours and many iced tea breaks it is finally here for your enjoyment. The Prologue is available for you to read and if you wish to follow the journey of Jason then you can also purchase it here.
This book is made up of the support and love from many people and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing and editing it. Thank you!!

What's next for Spock Prime? Trek's Nimoy speaks

One of the pleasures of J.J. Abram's hit Star Trek movie is seeing "Spock Prime"—original series star Leonard Nimoy—given his due in a respectful and valedictory way, something the stewards of the previous Trek incarnations failed to do.

As Nimoy himself has noted in various interviews (including one with SCI FI Wire), he and Spock himself were callously cast aside and allowed to fade away when the film series transitioned to the Next Generation cast.

But what about the future? When we last see Spock Prime, he's headed off to help the Vulcans preserve whatever culture they can in a new colony after their home planet is destroyed by Nero.

Nimoy spoke with Star Trek Communicator and Official Fan Club founder Dan Madsen about the expected sequel to Abrams' Trek in a wide-ranging interview and was blunt about his prospects:

"I have no illusions on whether or not they need me. They decided that they wanted to make this film using Spock as kind of an anchor for the story, which I think worked very, very well. They don't have to do that again. If they decide they have a role for me to play, I would be very interested in talking to them about it. But I have every reason to believe that they have established a whole new set of characters, and they can sail very well without me, and that's fine. Either way is good with me. I am very gratified that this has happened."

Elsewhere, Nimoy said it's hard to say how Spock Prime might figure into the story anyway:

"It certainly is the beginning of a new era for Spock! It is impossible to predict about me and Spock. I have no idea where they want to go next, and I feel very comfortable either way. I feel very gratified that I have been able to have some kind of closure. If this is the closure, then I am very comfortable with it. I was not happy at all with the closure that was imposed on the Spock character some years ago when Spock was just simply abandoned and Kirk was killed all in one fell swoop! I felt both were great losses to Star Trek. There was no reason to kill Kirk, and there was a neglect of the Spock character. It seemed intentional. It seemed as if someone was saying, 'Well, we have to put a stop to that and start with a whole new era here.' Having had this movie and this experience as Spock and seeing Zachary Quinto in the role now, I feel the character has a potentially wonderful, new life and certainly the success of the movie is just so terrific! It is so wonderful to see this happen and to see Star Trek have a chance of a reinvention and a revival. It was certainly in need of a revival. ... "
What do you believe is Spock Prime's future after this film?

"My sense is that he has some work to do. He talked about establishing a new Vulcan colony, and I think he will be very involved in that. If we never see him again that is what I would imagine he is doing. He is busy rebuilding the Vulcan story."
sci-fi wire...

Report: Ryan Reynolds is Green Lantern

A day after The Hollywood Reporter said that three actors were vying for the coveted title role in The Green Lantern, it reports that one has prevailed: Ryan Reynolds, whom Warner Brothers has settled on as its choice to play Hal Jordan. The film is being directed by Martin Campbell and produced by Donald De Line and Greg Berlanti.

Here's what the trade paper reported Friday night:
Reynolds and his camp entered negotiations for the part Friday, after the studio held two rounds of screen tests, along with actors Bradley Cooper and Jared Leto. Justin Timberlake also did a screen test.

The studio had holding options on the actors, but, except for Reynolds, those expired Monday. Reynolds' option would have expired end of day Friday.

The trade paper goes on to observe that Reynolds will be the only one of the few actors to have played characters in both Marvel and DC films: He recently appeared as Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and the character is in development for a spinoff movie. Fans of the Blade franchise also recall Reynolds role as Hannibal King.
Reynolds was also attached at one time to a Flash movie from writer/director David Goyer, but nothing ever came of that.
sci-fi wire...

New Moon's vampire 'Marcus' reveals sequel details

Over his career, Christopher Heyerdahl has played a Wraith, a demon, Bigfoot and now the centuries-old vampire Marcus, in the cast of the upcoming sequel film The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

It's perhaps one of the highest-profile roles for the versatile Canadian actor, who is known to fans of Syfy's Sanctuary, Stargate Atlantis and dozens of films and TV shows.

"Well, it's a little independent film I'm helping out with," the good-natured Heyerdahl said with a chuckle and tongue firmly in cheek. "This guy, poor old Marcus, is a 3,000-odd-years-old vampire who has spent at least the last 2,000 of it with a broken heart. Really, one of the main reasons to play that character and have anything to do with that series is my niece, who is absolutely obsessed with this series of books. To see how it has had such an effect on the teenage female community throughout the world is amazing."

Word of Heyerdahl's casting in the second of four contemplated films based on Stephenie Meyer's best-selling books caught the attention of his friends. "I have friends of friends who send me e-mails and call me from all over the world," he said. "Every one of these young women feel that this story is about them. It's absolutely remarkable to be a part of something so widespread. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Heyerdahl's character is a member of the Volturi, a venerable coven of vampires based in Volterra, Italy, whose members also include Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning.
"He's one of the oldest vampires on the planet, and who doesn't want to play a 3,000-year-old vampire?" Heyerdahl said. "The cast that I get to work with, like Michael Sheen. ... We had so much fun goofing off together. It was an absolute hoot. Director Chris Weitz's version for this piece is like a Renaissance painting. The images were absolutely beautiful, and the character is such a tragic old fellow." (Possible spoilers ahead!)
Heyerdahl adds: "Here's how I approach him. When Marcus is brought in, he's there against his will. He and his love tried to leave an awfully long time ago. Through a series of tragic circumstances, the love of his life was killed, and he's now being forced to stay and use his powers for the betterment of the Volturi. He's not exactly there, waking up and looking forward to eternity. When Edward and Bella come walking in, his ability to sense the power of their connection is something that wakes him up, brings him back from the boredom of that eternal life and sparks something in him that brings Marcus as close to excitement as he can get. That idea has to be contained and expressed as little as possible to his rather power-hungry captain-in-arms, Aro, which makes for a rather interesting conflict. You might not know it, but Marcus is pretty darn excited by this love that he witnesses. At the same time, it causes him great pain with the memory of what he had and lost. It was very complex to play, especially when you are doing it with so few lines. It will be interesting to see how it is cut together."

Heyerdahl—who has worn extensive makeup and prosthetics for some of his roles —said that the makeup required in New Moon to transform him into one of the undead was easy by comparison.

"Yeah, they do their best to suck the life out of you, but certainly nothing compared to any of those past prosthetics," Heyerdahl said. "From that perspective, it was pretty easy. The looks they are getting in this film are absolutely fantastic. Everyone looks gorgeous and deliciously lifeless."

Marcus also plays an important role in the fourth Twilight novel, although Heyerdahl hasn't peeked that far ahead yet. "I have left that book alone," he confirms. "I want to leave it until we get closer to the movie. I was talking to Stephenie about it, and she asked if I had read the final book. I said 'Nope, I don't want to read it yet. I want to leave it alone until we get there.' 'Oh, just you wait. You'll love it.' I do know generally what happens, since it is impossible not to find out. And, yes, I've been contracted for the final chapter."

Is Heyerdahl ready to become part of the pop-culture phenomenon? "Well, who knows about that?" he said with a laugh. "We joke we're the old guys on the set, and perhaps I am the oldest vampire on the set. Who knows if the fans are going to care about us? But it's been interesting. We went out for a cast dinner while we were shooting, and it was fascinating to see the masses of people trying to sneak their way into the restaurant or find where everyone would be leaving from. To be a part of something that has been compared to Beatlemania, which comes close to a good way of describing it, it's pretty incredible." New Moon is slated for release on Nov. 20.
sci-fi wire...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why the clock is running out for a Superman sequel

The most interesting points in a court ruling on Wednesday over the rights to Superman are, 1, that the rights revert back to the heirs of creators Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster in 2013 and, 2, that Warner Brothers has no script and no development plans for a sequel to Bryan Singer's 2006 Superman Returns.

Indeed, the studio wouldn't be able to release a sequel until 2012 at the earliest, meaning that the clock is running out for Warner.

The details were contained in a ruling that otherwise favored Warner and its corporate sibling DC Comics in a suit filed by the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerome Siegel, Variety reported. Here's some of what the trade paper reported:

In a decision announced Wednesday, U.S. Judge District Court Judge Stephen G. Larson found that the license fees the studio paid to corporate sibling DC Comics didn't represent "sweetheart" deals as they weren't below fair market value. That means the heirs will be able seek profits only from DC Comics—which earned $13.6 million from Warner Brothers for the 2006 release of Superman Returns—rather than from Warner Brothers as well. ...

The judge also set a Dec. 1 trial date for determining the allocation of profits to the heirs, who won a ruling last year from Larson that awarded them half the copyright for the Superman material. ...

The judge, who conducted a 10-day bench trial, also noted that Warner Brothers chairman Alan Horn had testified that he hopes to make another Superman movie but added that the property wasn't under development at the studio, that no script had been written and that the earliest another Superman pic could be released would be in 2012. ...

Attorney Marc Toberoff, who represents heirs Joanne Siegel and Laura Siegel Larson, told Daily Variety that the judge had erred in not considering comparable licensing deals for best-selling novels penned by Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton and popular musicals such as My Fair Lady. ...

Toberoff also asserted in a written statement that the Siegel heirs and the heirs of co-creator Joe Shuster will own the entire Superman copyright in 2013.
sci-fi wire...

Warehouse 13 was the top cable show on Tuesday night

The Tuesday premiere of Syfy's new original series Warehouse 13 was the network's biggest launch of a scripted series since Eureka in 2006, pulling in a total audience of 3.5 million viewers and putting the newly rechristened network on top among its peers for the night, the network announced.

The show's ratings made Syfy the most-watched ad-supported cable network in the 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. prime-time period.

The debut of the series surpassed last October's premiere of Sanctuary by 29 percent in total viewers and 20 percent among adults aged 18-49.

Warehouse 13 reported a household rating of 2.5, with an audience of 1.3 million among adults aged 18-49 and 1.7 million aged 25-54.

Warehouse 13 drew the third-highest total viewership for a Syfy original series, trailing only the series premieres of Stargate Atlantis (4.2 million total viewers on July 16, 2004) and Eureka (4.1 million total viewers on July 18, 2006).

When final DVR viewing is included, Warehouse 13 will increase its viewership and may surpass one or both of those premieres.
sci-fi wire...

We have your first look at NBC's apocalyptic sci-fi show Day One

Quiet Earth has dug up the first trailer for NBC's upcoming apocalyptic series Day One, which you can view after the jump.

Here's how the site describes the show:

Day One chronicles a global catastrophe from the perspective of the residents of a southern California apartment complex. In the wake of a mysterious event that has shattered lines of communication and (literally) changed the shape of the world, the survivors must work together to both rebuild and save the Earth from a menace that might have already consumed countless other worlds.

The trailer shows something far more sci-fi than we've been led to believe about this show, which many had thought would be along the lines of CBS' lamented Jericho.
For his part, Day One writer and producer Jesse Alexander has tweeted that the trailer, which was shown at NBC's upfront presentation to the media and advertisers in the spring, features temporary visual effects and music, but is otherwise authentic. The show is slated to debut at midseason, after the winter Olympics.
sci-fi wire...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Megan Fox burns up the screen in R-rated Jennifer's Body trailer

Megan Fox, the hottest thing in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, is even hotter as the demon-possessed high school cheerleader of Jennifer's Body—especially when she sticks her tongue in the flame of a cigarette lighter in the new "red-band trailer" released earlier today at ShockTillYouDrop.com. (Red-band trailers can be screened in theaters only when they accompany R-rated films, since the trailers themselves may contain strong language or sexual situations.)

The teen horror flick, written by Diablo Cody, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Juno, won't hit theaters until Sept. 18, 2009.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

What's breaking in Eureka: A new romance, some old friends, a big threat

When SCI FI's Eureka returns for the second half of its third season next week, it will immediately deal with the cliffhanger of Sheriff Carter's (Colin Ferguson) firing. (Spoilers ahead!)

Sheriff Andy, a billion-dollar robot, replaces him as Carter looks for a new job. Andy lasts only one episode, but series co-creator and writer/producer Jaime Paglia already wants him back.

"I would like to have Sheriff Andy make a return to the show," Paglia told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday. "He very nearly [returns] in the season finale, but I would definitely say that, looking forward optimistically to season four, I think that he would be great to have come back, on at least some kind of recurring basis."
The finale that will close the third season will deal with everything from fire to water to human emotion, according to star Colin Ferguson. Paglia, who wrote the season finale, also had his hands full. "For me as a writer, that was probably one of the most gratifying to write," Paglia said. "It was a really big challenge, I think, from the story standpoint. But once we wrap our heads around what that was and then, knowing what the character storylines are going to be, those are the great ones."

Before that, expect to see the town of Eureka deal with ghosts and a high-tech baby shower. Paglia wanted to have some corporate synergy with the Ghost Hunters of the SCI FI reality series showing up to help Sheriff Carter, but that did not work out. "As I recall, when we were in the exploratory phases, we just couldn't get the schedules to work out," Paglia said. "In [the] episode that actually introduces the Tess Fontana character, Jaime Ray Newman's character, to the show, it is a paranormal ghost episode."

Fontana has eyes for Carter. Fans hoping that he and Allison (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) will finally hook up now that Stark (Ed Quinn) is dead will have to deal with an all-new romantic triangle. "We wanted to bring in a new love interest for Carter and sort of change the dynamic," Paglia said. "We traditionally have had, with Nathan Stark's presence, the two alpha males battling over the alpha female. With Stark's passing, we wanted to bring in a new character, which we did with bringing in actress Jaime Ray Newman, playing Tess Fontana, who has a history with Allison. They're old friends, but that also gets a little tense when she and Carter start to develop a connection, a romantic connection."
Allison is still pregnant with Stark's child as the new run of 10 episodes begins. Before the season wraps, she'll have a baby shower, Eureka style. Thania St. John wrote the episode in which the town scientists create the ultimate baby gifts.

"What does a super-absorbent diaper or a baby bottle or a bib look like when it's been created at Global Dynamics?" Paglia asked. "I think those are some of my very favorite ideas. In particular, there's an aspect of that show that ultimately it was very important that ties into the emotional through-line of the episode for Carter and Allison in a way that is the backbone of the episode."

With all these individual ideas, it may seem like a collection of 10 stand-alone episodes. Paglia assured fans that there is still another overarching conflict that carries through until the finale. The Big Bad of season three is not just a "bad guy," and it relates to the town history.

"So instead if it being necessarily a person, it's a thing," Paglia said. "You don't know what it is, and the question is, is it from out there? Is it man-made? But it's coming towards Eureka, and we have to deal with it. That allows us to bring in some new characters and bring back some old characters that we haven't had a chance to see in a while. I think that was also a lot of fun for all of us: to be able to get back some of the people that we've been missing for a little while."

Could it be Olivia D'abo? Frances Fisher? Matt Frewer? "I don't want to spoil it," Paglia said. "I can't spoil it, but I can tell you that there are two characters who have been a major part of our series who will be making reappearances, as well as Lexi Carter is coming back, who's played by Ever Carradine. She's back for a couple episodes, but, yes, we do have two favorites, I think, who are making a reappearance. And Billy Campbell: We got Billy Campbell, too."

One character who is definitely not coming back, no matter how much fans cry, is Nathan Stark. "I knew the question was coming," Paglia said. "I don't want to tease fans and disappoint them. He will not be back in these back 10 episodes."
Eureka returns on July 10 in its new Friday timeslot, 9 p.m. ET/PT, on SCI FI.

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Rumor mill: Live-action Star Wars TV series in preproduction in Australia?

Our Australian sister site SCI FI TV reports a rumor that preproduction is gearing up for George Lucas' proposed live-action Star Wars series, which is to be shot Down Under.

The site, citing anonymous sources, adds that the show is assembling high-quality writers from the Aussie TV industry, including writers from Love My Way and Secret Life of Us, who have been approached by Lucas' longtime producer Rick McCallum.

The as-yet-untitled series is supposedly set to debut in 2010, though there has been no word of a distributor yet. The series will reportedly be set between the eras of Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope and will not feature any major characters from the film series.
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Torchwood's John Barrowman reveals Children of Earth details and why the show may not be done yet

It's been a long, long wait for the return of Torchwood, but star John Barrowman, who plays Capt. Jack Harkness, promises it will be worth the wait when the series returns on July 20 for consecutive nights on BBC America in a five-episode mini-season called Torchwood: Children of Earth. And if it does well, we could expect more (more on that later).

"If I were to describe the progression since series one, I'd say [season] one we were like a toddler who was learning how to crawl," Barrowman said in an exclusive interview. "And [season] two we were walking, and now [season] three we're running. We have totally found our feet. ...

"The story, without giving any inkling of what happened, the story is incredible," Barrowman added. "It's darker. It's filled with a lot more action. There's revelations about Jack that are just going to make people, ... let's say, ... crap themselves because they're so shocking. There's things that happen to each and every one of the team that will just blow your mind. It is a huge, big roller coaster, and there's one thing ... [producer] Russell [T. Davies] said this the other day in the panel, so I'm not saying, I think, anything that is out of line. But he said, 'It shows you how things in our life can disposable.' And he's not just talking about trash. He's talking about individuals."
In the story, all the children on the Earth suddenly stop, and Torchwood discovers an alien threat is behind things. Harkness, Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd), Rhys (Kai Owen) and PC Andy (Tom Price) return for the third season. Torchwood: Children of Earth will be the first series on BBC America to be simulcast in HD.

Following is an edited version of our interview with Barrowman. Barrowman will also appear at Comic-Con International in San Diego next month to talk about Torchwood.
How do you feel this fits in with the whole series?

Barrowman: I've seen episodes one through 3, and I'm getting four and five just so I can see what the final product is, really. The series itself is a comment on—as Russell is brilliant at doing with all of this—there's a social comment in there. How when we sit back in our lovely back gardens with our manicured lawns and see things on the news. For instance, this revolution that's starting to build in Iran or things that happen to children in Africa, we sit back and go, "Oh, that's awful! But it will never happen to us." Well, this is a situation where it makes you realize you're just one step away from that kind of thing happening and how we need to be aware and on our guard.

And it is creepy [laughs]. It is so creepy. Anytime you have children doing weird things, it is creepy. ...

It must have been kind of a shock of the evolution of Jack.
Barrowman: I don't know if it was [so much] a shock as it was a surprise, because at first when Jack was created in Doctor Who, ... I didn't want him to be liked. And then as more episodes came up, and they're like, "You are in this episode and this episode." The writing was so brilliant, he had this journey where he was going to change, and you had this anti-hero become a hero. It was a wonderful progression to watch, and in the media, it first happened over here in the U.K., to see that change and that thing happened.

And also there is no character like him on television. He's so up-front about who he is. He does things for the greater good. He doesn't care if somebody argues with him, [if] he thinks he's right, he'll do it, because he knows he's right, because he's lived it, if that makes any sense for those people read and know that he's been in the future and the past. He's somebody whose decision-making qualifies him, really. He's a groundbreaking character for television on both sides of the Atlantic.
In more than one way, because of his sexuality?

Barrowman: We've seen it on television, but we've seen it in a stereotypical way. We've never had a gay hero. How marvelous it is that we do have a gay hero and that it's not about a guy who's running around wanting to dress up in women's clothes or talks, and there's nothing wrong with that, because that's a specific type of gay man also. But it's nice to have the other type represented on television. Brothers and Sisters are doing that kind of same thing, because I was asked to do a role on there, but I couldn't fit in my schedule to play, I think, Rob Lowe's gay brother. Things are starting to change, and I like to think that maybe Jack was a catalyst for some of that change. ....

What's the biggest challenge about playing Captain Jack?

Barrowman: The biggest challenge about playing Captain Jack—it's nothing kind of internal, because I'm not one of those kind of actors. I just get up and I do it. I'd say one of the biggest challenges is running in that damn coat [laughs]. I guess, if you want a deeper kind of answer, the challenge to keep him fresh [is] that he represents all people, and that's why people have connected to him. And also the challenge is to make him honest and make him truthful rather than being a stereotype.
While running in that damn coat.

Barrowman: I call it the flick. I have to do a special flick, and [Doctor Who star] David Tennant has the same problem in his coat, and when we're together, we look like two really flouncy men flicking our coat before we start a run. And they never show that in the edit. ...

My biggest upset is that you are only going to have five episodes. I want three events.
Barrowman: That could happen. In fact, I had a discussion the other day with Russell. We were doing a panel, ... showed the first episode at the National Film Theater here in London with an audience of viewers and what we call punters, and we did a panel question thing afterwards. One of the things we came up with, we said, "If this does well, we could come back for [season] four," which I would love and hope that we do. I said—and as Russell said—it could be two events, three events, but done in what we find the stories work over this five-day period as a one-off thing, but we could do maybe two events or three. So then you would get the full amount of episodes.
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Could a movie version of the vampire TV show Moonlight rise from the dead?

The recent vampire craze born of Twilight and True Blood came a bit too late to save CBS' Moonlight: The vampire detective series was canceled after one season. But it won a Saturn Award for best series on DVD last week, and executive producer Harry Werksman offered fans some hope that a Moonlight movie could offer some closure.
"Well, we were setting up in the end of our first season that there was a coming war," Werksman said in an exclusive interview at the awards ceremony in Burbank, Calif. "There was the family from which Coraline came, and it was a royal bloodline of vampires that Mick had been brought into, very much unwanted on his part. I think what we were going to try and do is to have the movie encapsulate the entire second season of the coming war."

The series chronicled the casework of detective Mick St. John (Alex O'Loughlin), who could solve crimes committed by vampires. He was dealing with his own issues with an ex, Coraline (Shannyn Sossamon), who turned him without his consent, and a 400-year-old vamp (Jason Dohring), who butted in with underworld politics.
Of course, a movie would require the entire cast to return, and after the show's cancellation, they all booked new gigs. "You know, unfortunately, I think that everyone has kind of moved on," Werksman said.

One medium that does not need actors, however, is comic books. "No, they don't need actors," Werksman said. "We could always do comic books, graphic novels, that's true."

A movie is not out of the question, though, because lead actor O'Loughlin has told Werksman he's still interested. "I know I talked to Alex just a couple weeks ago, after Three Rivers got picked up, and I was congratulating him," he said. "He's like, 'When are we going to do the movie?' I said, 'I don't know, man. Any time you're ready.'"
Moonlight: The Complete Series is available on DVD; reruns currently air on SCI FI Channel Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Edward James Olmos: Why Battlestar Galactica: The Plan will surprise you

First Edward James Olmos told a panel of fans that the final Battlestar Galactica telefilm, The Plan, would be exactly what they expect: The two-hour movie shows the events of the series from the perspective of the Cylons. Now Olmos—who directed the film and appears as Adama—says it will be a surprise.

"What their plan was, I think that's a big surprise," Olmos said in an exclusive interview last week at the Saturn Awards in Burbank, Calif., where he won an award for best actor on television. "Finding out what the plan was and how it was structured and how close they were to completing it."

Boomer/Athena/Number Eight actress Grace Park joined Olmos in previewing The Plan. "[There is more than] the obvious, which is what was the Cylon perspective," Park said after accepting the Saturn for best actress on television on behalf of Mary McDonnell. "If they had a plan, what their plan was, what it entailed. I think besides that, [The Plan shows] probably how alike or unlike humans they really are."

Dean Stockwell takes a leading role in The Plan as John Cavil, whose part turns out to be bigger in the Cylon story than it may have appeared in the run of the series. "Dean is definitely the person who masterminded the entire event," Olmos revealed.

Olmos also praised Park's performance. "This woman should probably win everything possible," he said. "Her performance in The Plan is one of the most exquisite pieces of work on the film. You'll be very happy with your work."

This was news to Park. "Really, thank you, Eddie," Park said. "It's because you were directing us. Every time Eddie directs ..."

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan will air on SCI FI in the fall, with a DVD release that includes an extended cut.
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A new Alien Nation series develops at SCI FI Channel

Looks like another fan-favorite franchise will get the reboot: SCI FI Channel is developing a new version of Alien Nation, which originated as a 1988 movie written by Rockne O'Bannon and was spun off as a TV show and series of TV movies.

Tim Minear—the writer/producer known to fans for his work on Angel, Firefly and Wonderfalls, among others—is writing the new take on the franchise, about the arrival of a group of refugee aliens and their integration into Earth's population, with the focus on a veteran police detective and his "newcomer" partner and family.
Variety broke the news:

Alien Nation centers on the partnership between a veteran cop and his alien detective partner, set against the larger tale of alien "newcomers" who move to Earth and attempt to assimilate into society.

Fox 21 topper Chris Carlisle said he believed Alien Nation could rep the next franchise revival for SCI FI, which found huge success in dusting off Battlestar Galactica and reworking it for today's auds. Carlisle said Alien Nation works both as a sci-fi piece and a procedural drama.

"It's absolute perfect timing for this type of show," Carlisle said. "They're looking for more grounded sci-fi and close-ended episodes, and at the heart of Alien Nation, it's a cop movie. It's grounded. And it has a tremendous amount of dramatic possibilities and humor."

Alien Nation was originally envisioned in part as a metaphor for the immigration issues facing America in the 1980s; the new version would undoubtedly work in current issues facing society in the first part of the 21st century.

The new series is designed to take place in the 2020s, about 20 years after the first ship crashes on Earth and will take place in the Pacific Northwest (perhaps to take advantage of a shooting location in Vancouver? We're just guessing here). The aliens will have multiplied to a population of about 3.5 million and would live in their own communities, analogous to the North African ghettos in France.

The news coincides with the similarly themed movie District 9, produced by Peter Jackson, which deals with the arrival of a group of refugee aliens who find themselves segregated from society and interned in camps. That movie opens on Aug. 14.
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