Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why fans and non-fans alike will love Caprica

The stars of Syfy's upcoming Battlestar Galactica prequel series Caprica say you don't need to be a fan of that show to like the new one, but if you are, you'll love it even more, in these exclusive video interviews.

Alessandra Torresani—who plays Zoe Graystone—says fans will get "a kick out of it." "There's certain things they're going to love," she says in this interview at the Television Critics Association winter press party last week in Pasadena, Calif.
Co-star Magda Apanowicz—who plays Zoe's best friend, Lacy Rand—adds that non-fans—such as her friends—will also like it because of the family drama. "They watch it and they love it," she says.

Watch the rest of our interviews, including one with Sasha Roiz, who plays Sam Adama.
Caprica premieres this Friday at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
sci-fi wire...

Fox develops U.S. Torchwood: John Barrowman could star

Bad news with some good news: Fox—the TV network that killed Firefly and Dollhouse and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles—is developing a U.S. version of the hit Doctor Who spinoff series Torchwood.
The good news is: Doctor Who revitalizer and Torchwood creator Russell T Davies is writing the script for the pilot. And Capt. Jack Harkness himself—John Barrowman—might star!
sci-fi wire...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

U.S. version of Being Human to have Supernatural tie-in

Remember that Syfy Americanized version of Being Human we told you about last October? Well, it turns out the series, about a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost who end up as roommates, is one step closer to your TV screen.

Mark Stern, Syfy's EVP for Original Programming, revealed the names of the show's writers at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour—husband-and-wife duo Jeremy Carver (Supernatural) and Anna Fricke (The CW's Privileged).
"[He's] kind of got the genre cred, and Anna comes out of a more character-based drama world, so between them they'll be really interesting," Stern told
The Futon Critic. Stern also indicated that he hoped the series would be ready for a summer launch.

Syfy has ordered 13 episodes of the new series.
sci-fi wire...

Awesome! Supernatural could have a season 6

Throughout Supernatural's run, creator Eric Kripke has been saying he had a "five-year map" with plans for the CW series to go out with a bang at the end of this season. That would seem on par with the whole angels-vs.-demons-with-a-heaping-of-Lucifer-and-hell-on-Earth-thrown-in thing.

Well, now CW prez Dawn Ostroff thinks Kripke might just be considering the possibility of a season six. "I think he's in that state of mind," Ostroff told Entertainment Weekly. "I had lunch with Eric the other day, and he's really excited about the show right now. I think he feels this season has been really satisfying for him. He's certainly not running out of ideas by any stretch of the imagination."
While Kripke's contract ends this year, stars Jared Padalecki (Sam) and Jensen Ackles (Dean) have six-year contracts. So if the CW decides they want to renew Supernatural, and if they can make a deal with Kripke (which seems like their plan, since Ostroff is taking him to lunch and all), we could see another season of the apocalyptic demon-hunting series.

There's no denying Supernatural has been doing well in the ratings and is highly compatible with the CW hit The Vampire Diaries. The vamp series has led more young women than ever before to tune in for the adventures of the hunky brothers. "There aren't a lot of shows that you can say are doing better in their fifth year," said Ostroff.
To which we say, awesome! One of the best, most underappreciated shows on the air. Are you with us?
sci-fi wire...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hobbit to start shooting this summer

Looks like Guillermo del Toro's Hobbit movies are moving ahead as planned: Production Weekly now reports that they will begin a 14-month production schedule in June.

The publication's Twitter feed @prodweek also posted that the films will shoot as expected in New Zealand.

The news comes after word that casting had begun in earnest.
Last month, producer Peter Jackson
told us exclusively that he and his co-writers were working on scripts for two Hobbit films, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien.

"We're still working on the script, and of course it's going to be directed by Guillermo [del Toro]," Jackson said. "That's going really well, and in fact we've already delivered the first script to the studio, and they really liked it, so now we're working hard on the second script, and that's going to keep us pretty busy until the end of this year [2009]."

The first film is slated to come out sometime in 2011 if all things stay on schedule, so yay!
sci-fi wire...

Confirmed: Script problems may push Spidey 4 back

Before Christmas, the big rumor was that Spider-Man 4 had been shut down indefinitely because of problems with the story, which was first reported by our pals at

Well, despite studio denials that this was anything more than the usual holiday hiatus, now comes news (from Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood blog, followed later in the day by Variety) that it is indeed true.
Finke posts what she says is an e-mail that was sent out to the visual-effects crew on Dec. 11:

Hey there--
We were just notified that our schedule is pushing. We will NOT be starting as planned. I'm terribly sorry for this news, and I hope this email reaches you in time to find other options. We do not know how long we are pushing, and we will not know until mid-January. By mid-January, we will be told how long the push is, whether it be 2 weeks, 2 months, or something else. The studio has every intention of making the movie, but we no longer have a confirmed start date.

Again, I'm terribly sorry, but Sam Raimi has story issues [that] need to be resolved before we are ready to shoot.

Feel free to call me if you have any questions.
VFX Team

Director Sam Raimi and Sony are reportedly at odds over the film's story, particular the choice of villains.

Here's what Finke said:
Now Raimi and Sony are anxiously waiting for still another version from screenwriter Alvin Sargent, who wrote Spidey 2 & 3 and is married to Spidey franchise producer Laura Ziskind. "It is unlikely that May 11, 2011, date will be made," a Sony insider just told me today. "It depends on how quickly the script can get in." However, agents have told clients in the movie to already expect the film to be pushed back.

Raimi supposedly wants John Malkovich to play the villain, the Vulture, but Finke adds that "it's now unlikely Anne Hathaway will be cast" as another female villain.
sci-fi wire...

Why the vampire film Daybreakers is the anti-Twilight

If you've had it up to your eyeteeth with sparkly swoony teen vampires, then you're going to love Daybreakers, Ethan Hawke's upcoming supernatural sci-fi horror movie.
Hawke plays a vampire in the new film, which takes the old-school approach to bloodsuckers. You know, when they actually have pointy teeth and don't talk about their feelings.

"I think what's good about this movie is it's the first post-adolescent vampire movie in a long time," Hawke said in a group interview Monday in Beverly Hills, Calif. "It's an R-rated vampire movie. I remember being a kid and sleeping over at my friend's house and staying up late and watching the Isabelle Adjani Nosferatu. Vampire movies are supposed to be secret and bad. They should be rated R."

In Daybreakers, vampires have so overrun the world that humans are in scarce quantity, and the blood supply is dwindling. Hawke plays Edward Dalton, a vampire scientist working on a synthetic blood substitute. Writer/directors the Spierig brothers satirize human environmental movements from this perspective, but it's still all about the fangs.
"I made a joke that this could be the number-one movie for PETA advocates," Hawke said. "It could be a huge animal-rights champion film, in a certain way of thinking. Maybe in another way, oil is the most obvious [analogy]. Sucking the blood dry. But the movie wouldn't be good at all if that's the only thing that was interesting about it. The movie works as a flat-out genre movie. It just happens to have something else at play. Gattaca was a similar way, too. It works as just a basic sci-fi movie, but there was obviously all these themes at work underneath it."

Dalton winds up fighting off vampire mutants (a nasty side effect of drinking their own blood) and teams up with a group of rebel humans who may have a better alternative to his fake blood. To Hawke, though, what makes all the fun violence work is that you care about the people, alive or undead. Actors like Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill help sell it.

"That's the Spierig brothers," Hawke said. "They wanted us. That's the kind of actor they wanted. I mean, go figure. A lot of these kind of people who make these kind of movies, they don't care about the acting. They're so interested in their shot or their thing, and they just want somebody to do this thing. Claudia [Karvan]'s a very accomplished actress as well. And even the young people, Isabel [Lucas] and Michael Dorman, are incredibly good. I always think that that's what makes a good genre movie. Obviously the movies aren't really oriented around performance the way that a movie like Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is, but if at least the acting doesn't stink, it goes a long way. I mean, Wesley Snipes is great in Blade. The first one, he was awesome. That's what separates it."
sci-fi wire...

Prequel to Carpenter's The Thing is happening!

Proving once and for all that Hollywood is an amorphous, shape-shifting, evil, alien intelligence with no form, structure or integrity of its own, Production Weekly has tweeted that Universal is going ahead with its prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 SF/horror classic The Thing.Now it's true that Carpenter's The Thing—about members of a U.S. scientific research team in the Antarctic fighting off an alien menace that can assume the form of any living being—was itself a remake of Howard Hawks' 1951 The Thing From Another World.

But what made both versions of The Thing—based on John W. Campbell's classic short novel "Who Goes There?"—great was the fact that both movies were made by the sure hands of ballsy cinematic auteurs. Even though Hawks gave directing credit to his editor, Christian Nyby, the 1951 and 1982 versions demonstrate the hard-hitting styles of both Hawks and Carpenter at the height of their powers. This new Thing prequel—reportedly about what happens at the Norwegian camp that found the Thing before it infiltrated the American camp—will be directed by yet another commercial director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

The screenplay is by the writer of the Nightmare on Elm Street reboot, Eric Heisserer. The only hint of a real innovator's hand of the Hawks and Carpenter stripe comes from the fact that BSG's Ronald D. Moore did the first draft of the screenplay. So what do you think? Is this yet-another-remake? Or does the presence of Moore hint at a BSG-like re-invention?
sci-fi wire...

New preview of Matt Smith as Who's 11th Doctor

As we Yanks ready our tissues for the farewell of David Tennant as the 10th Doctor in tonight's episode of Doctor Who on BBC America, a preview has surfaced featuring a better look at the upcoming 11th Doctor, to be played by Matt Smith, below.
Here's the BBC's description:

The new series of Doctor Who starts later this year. It stars Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as his new companion, Amy Pond. This stunning preview offers a first glimpse of their adventures.
sci-fi wire...