Charlaine Harris Charlaine Harris writes more than just novels featuring Sookie Stackhouse. In fact, she just signed to writer the fourth Harper Connelly novel for Editor Ginjer Buchanan at Berkley Prime Crime, for publication in fall 2009.
Not only that, but she’s teaming with Toni Kelner to edit Death’s Excellent Vacation, a cross-genre anthology. Stories will play mix and match with the science fiction, fantasy, mystery and paranormal genres, with each story revolving around death and a holiday. Such blended anthologies have occurred before and may become a new trend. Buchanan will produce this for the Ace imprint, due out in spring 2010.
Dead and Gone, the eighth Stackhouse book, will be out in May 2009.
Speaking of vampires, the mother-daughter team of P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast’ have signed to write three more books in their House of Night series, plus an illustrated companion with award-winning artist Kim Doner, for Jennifer Weis at St. Martin’s Press.
Lost amidst DC Comics’ latest round of solicitations is a historic reprint collection of one of its seminal works: DC Comics Classics Library: Roots of the Swamp Thing. And it’s historic not because it represents the first hardback compilation of the material but because the story is being published in its entirety for the first time ever.
Upon her arrival at DC Comics in 1976, Jeanette Kahn made no secret of her disdain for the company’s sampler-style use of reprints in the years prior to her arrival. Instead, she wanted to see specific fan-favorite storylines compiled in a single volume or series. So 1977 saw the release of four key Ra’s al Ghul stories in the tabloid-sized Limited Collectors’ Edition #C-51 and the beginning of an irregularly-published set of one-shots called the Original Swamp Thing Saga (appearing in DC Special Series #2, 14, 17 and 20) that ultimately reprinted Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson’s Swamp Thing #1-10 from 1972-1974.
The years passed and collections of specific stories grew to become the industry standard, evolving from the newsprint of these formative examples to much nicer grades of paper and from the traditional pamphlet-type package to paperbacks and hardcovers. There was a tendency, however, to favorite the art over the scripts in many of these early (and not-so-early) collections.
When Steve Englehart’s landmark eight-part Batman opus from Detective Comics from 1977 was reprinted (first in 1985/1986 and again in 1999), the impact of his last chapter was blunted a bit by the fact that the Len Wein-scripted Clayface III follow-up was attached by virtue of the fact that it had also been penciled by Marshall Rogers. Conversely, Wein’s own run has only ever been reprinted up to Swamp Thing #10–because that’s the point when artist Bernie Wrightson left the book. Problem is, Len continued to write Swamp Thing for another three issues, ably abetted by artist Nestor Redondo. More significantly, he carried the themes from issue #1 (and specifically the tragic creature’s relationship to his pursuers Matt Cable and Abby Arcane) to a touching, satisfying conclusion in #13.
Unfortunately, the fan without access to the original issues has never read it. The first ten issues (along with the prototype story from House of Secrets #92) were gathered again on much nicer paper in 1986’s Roots of the Swamp Thing #1-5 before going the trade paperback route with Swamp Thing: Dark Genesis in 1992. And most recently in the digest-sized Secret of the Swamp Thing (2005). [Meantime, the pre-series short story from House of Secrets #92 is now one of the ten most-reprinted stories in DC’s history, with–to date–ten reprintings compared to Swamp Thing #1’s five.]
Whatever Disney intends to formally call its sequel to Tron, the movie has added Olivia Wilde (House) and Beau Garrett (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer), joining returning star Jeff Bridges.
The 1982 film was among the earliest to use computer special effects and has a strong fan following. The sequel was among the top five film searches performed at IMDB in 2008.
The trades refer to the sequel as Tron 2.0, and was written by Lost’s Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, for director Joseph Kosinski, making his helming debut. Steven Lisberger, who directed the original and cowrote its script, will produce with Sean Bailey and Jeff Silver.
Wilde’s character will be ‘worker in the virtual world who tries to help fight Master Control Program, the villainous intelligence protocol that was the nemesis in the original film. Garrett will play a siren in the virtual world.”
The film’s tech look has been in development for a year with footage screened at Comic-Con International, igniting a fresh round of buzz for the film. Actual production begins in the spring.
Sonya Walger (Lost) will play the female lead in ABC’s Flash Forward, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Christine Woods (House) has also joined the cast in what is probably the hottest pilot currently in production.
Walger will play Ralph Fiennes’ wife, Olivia, “who is disturbed by her vision of being in love with another man.” Woods, meantime, will play Janis, a “computer-savvy FBI agent who helps to uncover a pivotal clue in the mystery.”
Robert J. Sawyer’s science fiction novel is being adapted by David S. Goyer (Blade), who will direct the pilot, Brannon Braga (Enterprise) and ABC Studios. The trade says the novel “chronicles the chaos that ensues after everyone in the world blacks out for two minutes and 17 seconds and has a mysterious vision of the future that changes lives forever.”
ABC has high hopes for the pilot which may become a companion series for Lost for the 2009-2010 television season according to the trade.
Warner Premiere is known to ComicMix readers as the source for the cool direct-to-DVD movies featuring the DC heroes but they also produce original fare as well. This morning, they announced a deal with director Bryan Singer to create a “cyberpunk sci-fi thriller” H+, “which picks up after a terrorist fries the brains of a segment of the population ‘jacking’ into the net”
The series will be written by John Cabrera (Gilmore Girls) and Cosimo De Tommaso, who will also serve as executive producers. They conceived of H+ as a television series but Warner Premiere’s Head of Digital Content, Lydia Antonini, persuaded them to convert it to a web-based series.
The new series, to debut sometime in mid-2009, will be produced by Singer’s Bad Hat Harry Productions, the outfit that already gives us House.
Warner Premiere is dipping its toe into live action after working on numerous animated efforts including the recently unveiled Peanuts, a full animated comic web series. They have 20 original web series in development, some of which will go to video, some to the recently relaunched TheWB.com.
P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast’s nine volume House of Night series has been optioned by producers Michael Birnbaum (John Tucker Must Die) and Jeremiah Chechik (Benny and Joon) according to Variety.
The young adult novel series is yet another to feature teens and vampires, a sub-genre exemplified by Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. The conceit, according to the trade, "’vampyres’ are accepted in society; they possess a genetic anomaly that manifests itself in some people at puberty. Vampyres are ‘marked’ and sent to the House of Night, a school that offers training necessary to become an adult vampyre.”
The lead character, 16 year old Zoey Redbird, has just been turned into a vampire and switches schools with all the attendant teen issues plus the vampire factor.
The series kicked off just last year with Marked. The fourth book, Untamed, was released in September by St. Martin’s Griffin.
"P.C. and Kristin Cast created a thrilling world that juxtaposes teen drama with supernatural suspense, using the transition from human to vampire as a metaphor for the transition from adolescence to adulthood," Birnbaum said.
Monsters vs. Aliens, slated to open March 27, 2009, reinvents the classic 50s monster movie into an irreverent modern day action comedy.
The cast of Monsters vs. Aliens includes: Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line, Rendition) as Susan Murphy, a.k.a. Ginormica; Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie (TV’s House, Stuart Little) as Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D.; Will Arnett (TV’s Arrested Development, Blades of Glory) as The Missing Link; Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, Superbad) as B.O.B.; Rainn Wilson (Juno, TV’s The Office) as Gallaxhar; Emmy winner Stephen Colbert (TV’s The Colbert Report, Bewitched) as The President of the United States; Golden Globe winner Kiefer Sutherland (TV’s 24, Phone Booth) as General W.R. Monger; and Paul Rudd (Knocked Up, Night at the Museum) as Susan’s boyfriend, Derek.
Directed by Rob Letterman (Shark Tale) and Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2), produced by Lisa Stewart (I Think I Love My Wife) and co-produced by Jill Hopper and Latifa Ouaou, the film marks the theatrical debut of DreamWorks Animation’s Ultimate 3-D.
When California girl Susan Murphy is unexpectedly clobbered by a meteor full of outer space gunk, she mysteriously grows to 49-feet-11-inches tall and is instantly labeled a “monster” named Ginormica. The military jumps into action, and she is captured and held in a secret government compound. The world learns that the military has been quietly rounding up other monsters over the years. This ragtag group consists of the brilliant but insect-headed Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D.; the macho half-ape, half-fish The Missing Link; the gelatinous and indestructible B.O.B.; and the 350-foot grub called Insectosaurus. Their confinement time is cut short however, when a mysterious alien robot lands on Earth and begins storming the country.
As a last resort, under the guidance of General W.R. Monger (on a desperate order from The President), the motley crew of Monsters is called into action to combat the aliens and save the world from imminent destruction.
Fox announced a dramatically restructured midseason lineup, radically different than the schedule they outlined over the summer. They have revived the Friday night science fiction dumping ground, placing Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse on that evening, beginning February 13, the beginning of a three-day weekend when viewership tends to drop anyway.
Other shifts sees House slip to Mondays, allowing the return of the American Idol juggernaut on Tuesdays, which makes for a marvelous lead-in to Fringe. Bones shifts from Wednesdays to Thursday pitting the series against Ugly Betty and Smallville.
The Friday night curse began with the genre-related The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. in 1993 and was following in subsequent years by MANTIS (1994), Strange Luck (1995), VR.5 (1995), Sliders (1996), Millennium (1996), The Visitor (1997), Harsh Realm (1999), Freakylinks (2000), Dark Angel (2000), The Lone Gunmen (2001), John Doe (2003), and Firefly (2003).
Hot off the heels of yesterday’s report that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is endangered, word has come in that Fringe is thriving.
According to Variety, Fox has ordered a full season’s worth of episodes for their newest science fiction serial. That’s hardly a surprise, considering Fringe helped put Fox on top in the ratings on Tuesday night with a strong 9.91 million viewers. Of all new shows this season, Fringe has ranked No. 1 among all adults in the 18 – 49 age range. That ranking is in no small thanks due to House, the show’s lead-in. On Tuesday, Fringe retained 78% of House‘s audience in adults 18-49. Looks like Grumpy McGrump House (that’s his name, right?) is good for something.
Fox’s full season order means that nine more episodes will be produced for Fringe‘s freshman season, totaling the usuaal 22 episodes for a full season. There’s no guarantee that these episodes will be made, however, if the Screen Actor’s Guild approves an impending strike order. In that case, viewers will have a lot more to worry about than Fringe. Fingers crossed that those cooky Bishops can rig something up to stop the SAG!
This is the second freshman series to get a full season order, following on the heels of 90210. CBS’ well-regarded The Mentalist is expected to get its "back nine" order shortly. Of the sophomore shows, Chuck is the only one with a full season order to date.
Fringe focuses on Olivia Dunham, an FBI Agent investigating mysterious happenings known as The Pattern. She’s assisted by Walter Bishop, an questionably sane but brilliant scientist, and his son Peter, an equally brilliant but arrogant mind. To catch up on the show, check out our weekly reviews by clicking here! (Yes, we know it’s a shameless plug-in, but just do it. It feels so right, and you know you want to.)
Saavy readers of Previews may have already picked up on this bit of news, but BOOM! sent out a release to ensure everyone was aware that Rockne O’Bannon was getting som ehelp turning Farscape into a comic book. Here’s the release:
September 4th, 2008 – Los Angeles, CA – BOOM! Studios and The Jim Henson Company announced today that Keith R.A. DeCandido will be scripting the Farscape miniseries from an original story by Farscape creator Rockne O’Bannon.
Using O’Bannon’s unique vision and richly detailed story, DeCandido will work with BOOM! Studios and The Jim Henson Company to bring fans the best comic this or any universe has ever seen!
Keith R.A. DeCandido has authored more than 30 novels, among them, the acclaimed Farscape novel House of Cards, released in 2001. DeCandido also wrote three short stories in that universe for the show’s official magazine and role-playing game.
"Words cannot describe how thrilled I am to be returning to Farscape. Writing House of Cards was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my career, and I was always sorry I didn’t get to do more work in the universe," said DeCandido. "Re-immersing myself in the wild and wacky world of FARSCAPE has been a true joy, as the show remains just as brilliant in 2008 as it was at the turn of the century.