Author: Josh Wigler

Fox Takes ‘Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’

Fox Takes ‘Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’

At long last, the 1968 written The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test from Tom Wolfe is heading to film. Fox Searchlight has picked up the rights for the novel, with director Gus Van Sant and writer Dustin Lance Black attached to the project. Richard Gladstein and his Film Colony banner will produce.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is a drug-addled new journalism epic in the vein of Hunter S. Thompson. The novel follows the hallucinogenic exploits of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest novelist Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters, proponents of psychedelic drugs, as they drive across the country. Their vehicle of choice is a DayGlo painted school bus named "Furthur." Some prominent figures featured in the novel include The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan and Timothy Leary. Sadly, the Kool-Aid man does not play a prominent role.

Gus Van Sant and Dustin Lance Black recently collaborated on the upcoming Milk starring Sean Penn and Josh Brolin. The film debuts on November 26, 2008 in limited release.

Van Sant has directed high quality films such as Good Will Hunting and Finding Forrester, one of Sean Connery’s final films before retiring. Black is a writer on HBO’s successful Big Love, a series about a Mormon polygamist and his very large family.

Producer Richard Gladstein originally enlisted Van Sant and Black for Kool-Aid with an eye for a 2009 release, but he was unable to find financing. Now that Fox Searchlight is backing the film, development should move much quicker.

‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Twilight’ Trailers

‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Twilight’ Trailers

The international trailers for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Twilight have hit the internet.

First up is Potter, which can be found over at Trailer Addict or watched below. The new trailer offers some interesting glimpses into the film, including Dumbledore’s curse-ridden hand and Potter chasing after Snape while shouting, "Fight me, you coward!" You also get to see the cave where Harry and Dumbledore have their last great team-up together. All in all, looks like a fitting adaptation of the series’ penultimate chapter.

Click below to watch!

Next is Twlight, an adaptation of the young adult vampire/romance novel by Stephenie Meyer. The book has spawned three sequels: New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. It follows the romantic relationship between a human named Bella and an animal-feeding vampire named Edward. The film stars Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Cam Gigandet, Peter Facinelli and Nikki Reed.

Head here to see the trailer.

Chris Pine Talks ‘Star Trek’

Chris Pine Talks ‘Star Trek’

Right now, fans across the world identify Captain James T. Kirk with actor William Shatner. That’s likely to change when the J.J. Abrams helmed Star Trek premieres this coming May with newcomer Chris Pine in Kirk’s captain’s chair. Collider got the chance to speak with Pine at the recent Hollywood Awards, where the actor initially shrugged off the epic scope of his upcoming film.

"[I’m in] a small, small movie called Star Twars," jokes Pine. "It’s a mix between Star Trek and Star Wars."

Pine acknowledges that he’s stepping into some hefty shoes, and knows that some fans are already "giving the middle finger" to the project. However, the endorsement of Kevin Smith was a huge morale booster for the young actor. When he found out about Smith’s glowing review of both the film and Pine’s performance, Pine was through the roof.

"[I sent him an e-mail and said], ‘Thanks dude. I couldn’t have asked for a better thumbs up from someone [of Smith’s caliber]," Pine says. "This far away from the release date, to have someone say I did a good job, especially with the potential naysayers out there, it was a nice ego boost for a Wednesday."

Unless Kevin Smith can create millions of clones, Pine and the rest of the Trek team will need to appeal to a much wider audience. In that regard, the soon-to-be Kirk isn’t worried about the detractors.

"It’ll be what it’ll be," says Pine. "People will like [our movie] or they won’t.  I’m really proud of it. From what I’ve seen I think we did a great job. We just have to leave the rest [up to] the peanut gallery."

For now, after months of fighting Romulans and avoiding Spock’s death grip, Pine’s working on a project that’s just a tad more small scale.


Nolan Talks ‘Batman 3’

Nolan Talks ‘Batman 3’

Batman, Batman, who’s got the Batman? The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan sure did, but according to a new interview with The L.A. Times, he might be hanging up the cape and cowl.

"There are two things to be said [in deciding whether or not to make a third Batman]," Nolan tells Geoff Boucher. "What’s the story? Is there a story that’s going to keep me emotionally invested for the couple of years that it will take to make another one? That’s the overriding question.

"On a more superficial level," he continues, "I have to ask the question: How many good third movies in a franchise can people name? [Laughs] At the same time, in taking on the second one [The Dark Knight], we had the challenge of trying to make a great second movie, and there haven’t been too many of those either. It’s all about the story really. If the story is there, everything is possible."

There are rumors all across the internet of what that story might be. Many suggest Catwoman, with Angelina Jolie as the most often discussed actress for the role, while certain news outlets such as the National Enquirer are convinced that Philip Seymour Hoffman and Johnny Depp are locked as the Penguin and Riddler respectively.

Nolan, on the other hand, doesn’t know much about what a sequel would entail. He admits that in filming The Dark Knight, his eyes weren’t set towards a third film, despite leaving The Joker alive.

"I only deal with one film at a time," states Nolan. "We’ve never attempted to save anything for a sequel or set up anything for a sequel. That seems improbable to some people because, particularly with Batman Begins, the film ended with a particular hook [with Jim Gordon showing Batman a Joker playing card announcing the arrival of a new villain in town]. But for me that was just about the excitement of people leaving the theater with the sense that now we have the character up and running. I wanted people to walk away with that sense in their head. You know, that he’s become the Batman in the movie. That’s why we had the title come up at the end, because it was Batman Begins, and it was all very specific to that. Then I got excited about seeing where that character would go. It was planned in advance, but it followed in that way."


WB Finds a ‘Ninja Scroll’

WB Finds a ‘Ninja Scroll’

Jubei Kibagami’s strapping on the ninja gear and heading for theaters around the globe.

Variety reports that the acclaimed anime film Ninja Scroll will be adapted by Warner Bros. as a live action adventure. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way will produce the picture alongside Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Mike Ireland. The film will be written by Alex Tse, who worked as a writer on Zack Snyder’s Watchmen.

Set in feudal Japan, Ninja Scroll follows ninja for hire Jubei Kibgagami as he battles longtime rival Himuro Gemma. Gemma, who is seemingly invincible, dispatches a legion of dangerous villains to dispatch of Jubei, including the stone golem Tessai and the blind assassin Utsutsu Mujuro. Jubei is joined by the female ninja Kagero, the lone survivor of a team of killed Koga Ninja.

Ninja Scroll is one of the most beloved anime features to cross from Japan to American shores. It joins an ever growing list of anime-to-live action adaptations, including the in production Dragonball starring Justin Chatwin and Chow Yun Fat. James Cameron has stated for years that he plans to adapt Battle Angel Alita, which is rumored to be his next project after Avatar. M. Night Shyamalan has similar plans for a live-action trilogy of Avatar: The Last Airbender, which was announced in February 2007 and has a tentative release date of July 2, 2010. There’s been little movement on the project thus far.

Perhaps most closely related to Ninja Scroll is Appian Way’s involvement in the adaptation of Akira. Although Leonardo DiCaprio is not attached to star in Ninja Scroll, it’s possible that he’ll play a role in Akira, which is rumored to be set in America instead of Asia. The move is somewhat worrisome given the way Dragonball looks to be turning out with American actors in Japanese roles, but the prospect of Leo as the telepathic terror Tetsuo is awesome enough for us.

Three Head Down the Rabbit Hole

Three Head Down the Rabbit Hole

Following the news of Crispin Glover’s casting as the Knave of Hearts in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland comes word that Christopher Lee and Eleanor Tomlinson are joining the cast, while Danny Elfman confirms his involvement on the musical end of things.

SlashFilm reports on Lee’s casting, stating that the actor’s role in the film has yet to be made known. Speculation exists that he’ll either play The Caterpillar, King of Hearts or The White Knight. Lee is no stranger to fantasy films, as he’s played Sith Lord Count Dooku in Star Wars and Saruman the White in Lord of the Rings. He’s also a familiar face in the Burton circuit, having had roles in Sleepy Hallow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride and deleted scenes of Sweeney Todd.

Sixteen-year-old Eleanor Tomlinson has snagged the all original role of Fiona Chataway. Fiona, created specifically for Burton’s vision, is a spiteful young peer of Alice’s who appears in the film before Alice journeys down the rabbit hole.

Danny Elfman, meanwhile, is set to contribute to the score for Wonderland. Elfman is a staple in the Burton universe, composing music for Batman, Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas, among others.

Two-Face Sees ‘Clear and Present Danger?’

Two-Face Sees ‘Clear and Present Danger?’

News about Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan film franchise has unfolded faster than one of the author’s fictional terrorist plots. First came word that Sam Raimi was dropping out of the planned Ryan relaunch, then a report that the film was still a go ahead despite the director’s departure. Now, Moviehole reports that The Dark Knight star Aaron Eckhart is being tapped to take over the spy franchise.

"Harrison Ford apparently won’t be getting another look in as Jack Ryan," says the site. "We’re told since this is a complete reboot of the series the studio wants someone new to play the literary hero.

"Rumored to be among the names on that wish list is Aaron Eckhart."

Moviehole states that while no offers have been made, Eckhart is "a name that keeps popping up in relation to the part of Ryan, so someone over [at Paramount] obviously likes him."

Things have been good for Aaron Eckart lately. His role as ill-fated District Attorney Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight launched the actor to world renown status. Before that, his performance as tobacco proponent Nick Naylor in Thank You For Smoking gained critical acclaim across the board, as has his work in Bill as a reluctant mentor to a rebellious teen.

Eckhart is not the only name attached to Jack Ryan. In addition to Harrison Ford, who previously played the role but is no longer considered in the running, there’s the oft mentioned Ryan Gosling. Gosling was attached to play Ryan around the same time that Raimi was on board, but no official movement occurred in either direction. Funnily enough, Gosling’s name is listed on the Jack Ryan Wikipedia page.

"It was reported on January 21, 2008, by the Empire official website and Moviehole, that a new reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise will take place in the near future, featuring Ryan Gosling in the title role," reports Wikipedia.

Just goes to show that the only news outlet you can rely on is ComicMix. Boo-yah!

Review: ‘Dexter’ Episode #305

Review: ‘Dexter’ Episode #305

Note: Click here for last week’s victim!

The Crime Scene: “Turning Biminese”
From [[[Showtime]]]: “While Dexter struggles with how to handle Rita’s desire for them to move in together before they get married, Miguel tells Dexter about a husband who has gotten away with killing two of his wives for financial gain. For Dexter, this seems like the perfect candidate to satisfy his dark urge and his need, like every man under relationship pressures, to get away. Dexter tracks the murderer to Bimini. While on the hunt, Rita has a medical emergency and he is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Debra works with Anton, her confidential informant to track down one of Freebo’s criminal confidants. But Debra finds herself oddly (and disgustingly) attracted to Anton.”

Blood Spatter Analysis
“Turning Biminese” is a weirdly unfit title for one of the most defining moments in [[[Dexter]]] history. The whole hour focuses on just how drastically Dexter’s life has and will continue to change by the impending birth of his child and his newfound engagement to Rita, among a whole slew of other things. By episode’s end, it’s very clear that Dexter’s life is about to get very, very different.


Whedon Gives ‘Dollhouse’ Update

Whedon Gives ‘Dollhouse’ Update

When it comes to Joss Whedon’s new television series Dollhouse, "playtime" is the last word on anyone’s lips.

The upcoming Fox show has experienced some pretty serious road bumps since its inception. A reshoot of the series pilot was ordered, shifting the originally shot first episode into the second episode slot. Soon after, a filming hiatus was announced to refocus the tone and direction of the series. Most recently, the full season pick-up of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has left some Whedonites wondering whether there’s an adequate prime time slot for Dollhouse.

Now, Joss Whedon’s breaking the silence about the mishaps on his blog, Whedonesque.

"Basically, the Network and I had different ideas about what the tone of the show would be," Whedon writes. "Their desires were not surprising: up the stakes, make the episodes more stand-alone, stop talking about relationships and cut to the chase. Oh, and add a chase. That you can cut to. Nothing I hadn’t heard before on my other shows (apparently my learning curve has no bendy part) but frustrating as hell given our circumstances – a pilot shot, scripts written, everybody marching together/gainfully employed… and then a shutdown."

Despite the hardships, Whedon states that "nothing essential has changed about the universe [of Dollhouse]. The ideas and relationships that intrigued me from the start are all there (though some have shifted) … and the progression of the first thirteen eps has me massively excited."

Whedon also writes that Eliza Dushku’s performance is nothing short of "strong, radiant and unmistakable," calling her an actress "who could coast on talent and never ever does."

"Some things I’d intended to hold back are laid out much sooner," Whedon continues about the show’s pacing, "and some are rolling out more slowly." Part of these pacing issues, he clarifies, include the full scrapping of the original pilot in favor of the reshot version. He doesn’t say whether or not the original pilot is still set to be the series’ second episode despite previous reports.

Other than that, there are some casting changes, as the Dollhouse head of security, Laurence Dominic (Reed Diamond), is sticking around the show longer than the single first episode he was originally planned for.

"Most of my problems seem to involve my actors making themselves indispensable," Whedon concedes, then clarifies: "This is the good problem kind."

The first promos for the series, marked only as "coming soon", began airing during the World Series broadcasts and looks pretty cool.

‘Lost’ Secrets Unearthed

‘Lost’ Secrets Unearthed

While the networks are busy slugging out the fall television season with competing series both new and old, the viewers are left without a shepherd to guide them towards true quality programming. In 2009, that shepherd returns, and its name is Lost.

ABC’s award-winning smash-hit Lost has gained an unbelievable following in its four short years. It’s often a show of balance as some mysteries get solved ("What’s in the hatch?") and some never do ("What’s the frickin’ monster?"). Despite some of the rockier terrain that seasons two and three trekked through, fans have stuck through the turbulent times by having faith that their loyalty would be rewarded.

When Lost returns early next year, the shape of that reward will come into sharper focus. Season five marks the penultimate year for the series, as showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse previously inked a deal with ABC to end Lost after six seasons. Since that move, each episode instantly gains a higher sense of importance for both the show’s mythology and its fans’ patience. Nary an hour can be wasted with so many pressing questions to be answered, and with Lost officially on the downhill end of the slope, Lindelof and Cuse promise that the series will shift away from generating mysteries and into "answer mode."

There’s still some months before the new season, but information about the plot, characters and more are slowly find their way onto the internet. We’ve done some digging around and compiled the following list of points regarding what you can expect from Lost in the future. Be warned, however, as there are some spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution…