Tagged: Variety

Diesel, Cohen Reunite for ‘XXX 3’

Diesel, Cohen Reunite for ‘XXX 3’

Michael Ferris and John Brancato, the men behind the Terminator Salvation script, are negotiating to write the third XXX film, The Return of Ander Cage. Vin Diesel is on board as is director Rob Cohen, according to Variety. Once Columbia had the principals of the first film in place back in September, they got a quick approval from Revolution Studios.

Both Diesel and Cohen skipped XXX: State of the Union which flamed out with Ice Cube as the extreme sports star turned espionage agent. Similarly, after missing the second and third films, Diesel will be back behind the wheel for the fourth Fast and the Furious film, due out next June 12.

Jingle Belle Fights Frankenstein

Jingle Belle Fights Frankenstein

Top Cow sent along the cover to Jingle Belle: Santa Claus Vs. Frankenstein illustrated by Wizard Fan Award-winning artist Greg Horn (Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk). This one-shot issue kicks off the move of superstar creator Paul Dini’s line of characters in the Dinicartoons universe to Top Cow.

The book is written by Dini with art and standard cover by Stephanie Gladden.

The solicitation copy  for the book, due in stores December 3, reads:
Paul Dini’s JINGLE BELLE comes to Top Cow in a special “Halloween collides with Christmas” one-shot written by Dini and drawn by Stephanie Gladden (POWERPUFF GIRLS, CHOWDER, HOPSTER’S TRACKS). In years past, Santa has triumphed over a variety of enemies, including the Devil himself. Now, St. Nick gets ready to face his greatest challenge ever in JINGLE BELLE: SANTA CLAUS VS. FRANKENSTEIN!

Inspired by Mary Shelley’s original novel (sort of), the story of Frankenstein’s monster takes a new twist when he is found by Jingle in the Arctic wastes and “rehabilitated” to fit in with the elves at Santa’s Workshop. All goes well until an ultra-PC city declares Santa Claus taboo and awakens Frankie’s monstrous side in a misguided attempt to help his friend. It’s up to an ailing Santa and a reluctant Jingle Belle to stop their monstrous “apprentice” before he destroys the town and ruins the reputation of Christmas forever!

Regency Wants ‘The End of Eternity’

Regency Wants ‘The End of Eternity’

Isaac Asimov hasn’t been well served by Hollywood adaptations of his novels. That hasn’t stopped Regency from trying their hand with his long out of print The End of Eternity. Variety reports the 1955 novel has been picked up.

The production entity is seeking a writer and director.

The trade says the book is “a futuristic tale in which humanity is controlled by a ruling class called Eternity, a member of which can manipulate time to alter history and prevent disasters or wipe out undesirables.

“One of the time cops flirts with disaster when he breaks the cardinal Eternity rule and falls in love with a woman from another time period.”

Considered one of the prolific writer’s stronger efforts, it originally began as a 25,000 story which was rejected in February 1954 by Galaxy’s Horace L. Gold.  Undaunted, he decided to expand the story into a novel and had the concept accepted on April 7 by Walter I. Bradbury at Doubleday. The final manuscript was delivered December 13, being published in book form in August 1955.

At one time it had been optioned for a film to be directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Cruise but died during development.

‘MadTV’ Canceled by Fox

‘MadTV’ Canceled by Fox

Fox announced the cancelation of Mad TV. The series lasted an impressive 14 seasons but had suffered season-to-season ratings declines for a while now so the news came as no surprise.

"There’s been great interest in recent years," executive producer David Salzman told Variety. "We’ve had a number of networks inquire as to whether the show was coming off Fox and saying that they’d be interested. We have not started to talk to them yet, but now is the time to begin those conversations. I think we have real prospects, but you never know, especially given the economy."

The announcement came Wednesday, allowing the produces to plan to wrap production of the shortened season in December. "This will give us a proper sendoff, a chance to promote the finale and bring back old cast members," Salzman said.

"They said it was too expensive for a daypart where dollars have been shrinking," he said. "Their thought was, the show is what the show is, and that essence needs to be maintained — but it’s hard to produce as big and ambitious a show as ours for less money than they’re paying now."

Comedy Central has been airing reruns of the show, based in name only on the legendary humor magazine, but their deal with Fox expires at year end. Salzman intends to find a home for the 326-episode library and hopefully continue to produce new episodes.

Dave McKean goes Hardcore for the ‘First Time’

Dave McKean goes Hardcore for the ‘First Time’

NBM reminds readers what the First Time was like, in an erotic hardcover anthology that will feature the works of Dave McKean.  The collection of ten tales comes from writer Sybilline, a French woman with decidedly spicy ideas.  The art is handled by a variety of talents including McKean, Cyril Pedrosa (Three Shadows), and Olivier Vatine (Aquablue). 

The publisher says: “10 hot stories about first times. From having sex to having a very different sexual experience such as going beyond the couple, or the woman strapping it on for her man, or… all from the point of view of women.”

The 112-page book will be released in January, retailing for $19.95 and is most decidedly hardcore so be warned.

Jack Black to Travel as Gulliver

Jack Black to Travel as Gulliver

Jack Black will tower over his co-stars in the remake of Gulliver’s Travels.  The 20th-Century Fox film, according to Variety, will be directed by Rob Letterman (Shark Tale) with a screenplay from Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Joe Stillman (Shrek).

Lemuel Gulliver, a free-spirited travel writer who, on an assignment to the Bermuda Triangle, suddenly finds himself a giant among men when he washes ashore on the hidden island of Lilliput, home to a population of industrious, yet tiny, people.

Jonathan Swift’s 1726 satirical tale is formally known as Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships and was modified by the author in 1735.

The classic has been adapted previously, most notably by the Fleischer Bros. Studios in 1939. The most recent version was a 1996 miniseries which starred Ted Danson. Ross Martin and Richard Harris have also played the character. He was played by Bernard Horsfall in the 1968 serial, “The Mind Robber” on Doctor Who.

Shooting will begin in March with the studio planning a 2010 release date.

Fox Finds ‘Good Vibrations’

Fox Finds ‘Good Vibrations’

Good Vibrations is a potential animated mid-season replacement series for Fox. Created by Pineapple Express’ David Gordon Green, Variety says the show “centers on two high school surfer dudes who live near the beach in California.”

The trade also reports voice casting is complete and will feature Josh Gad (Back to You), Adam Brody (The O.C.), Debi Mazar (Entourage), Olivia Thirlby (New York I Love You), Alan Tudyk (Firefly) and Jake Busey (Broken).

Gad will star as Mondo, an “out-of-shape, shaggy-haired teen looking to master surfing and win over Jeena (voiced by Thirlby) — who thinks of Mondo more like a brother.”

Brody, the once and maybe future Flash, plays Woodie, Mondo’s best friend. Tudyk will supply the voice for Lonnie, “an old surf bum who doubles as the show’s narrator.”

NBC Scores a Golden Fleece

NBC Scores a Golden Fleece

NBC has scored a pilot commitment to Jason and the Argonauts, based on the classic quest for the Golden Fleece in Greek mythology. Argonauts will mark the first-ever green-screen drama developed for primetime television. Films such as Sin City have made use of green screen, but this will be the first time the technology makes the leap to a primetime TV series.

The network secured the projected after a "fierce bidding war" with a rival network, believed to be Fox. Interestingly enough, Fox is developing The Argonauts as a feature film with Zak Penn (The Incredible Hulk) scripting. In fact, Tom Rothman mentioned the project as recently as today in his interview with IESB.net. Variety reports that DreamWorks also has a project titled The Argonauts. Their interpretation of the story would feature treasure hunters from today transported back to the time of Jason. This comes the same time that War of the Gods and the remake of Clash of the Titans are also moving into production.  And let’s not forget competing Hercules films having also been announced over the last few months.

This will be NBC’s second attempt this decade at getting the Argonaut mythology correct. A previous miniseries, from producer Robert Halmi, also titled Jason and the Argonauts (are you keeping track?) and starring Jason London, Frank Langella, and Dennis Hopper aired in 2000. The two projects will be completely unrelated other than in title and source material.

In Greek mythology, Jason was the leader of the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece, which belonged to the winged ram Chrysomallos. Members of The Argonauts include Heracles (commonly known by his Roman name "Hercules") and Castor and Pollux of Troy, both of whom were featured in John Woo’s Face/Off. (Just kidding, kinda.) During the quest for the Fleece, Jason meets and marries Medea the sorceress. In Euripides’ play Medea, Jason leaves Medea to marry King Creon’s daughter. Medea exacts vengeance by killing Creon and her own two sons in order to devastate Jason. Man, and you thought modern times were rough!

Of course, the best recalled version of this tale is Ray Harryahusen’s classic 1963 film, Jason and the Argonauts, compelte with the heroes fighting skeletons. One can only hope one of these projects has something equally thrilling in store.

Sequel and Prequels in the News

Sequel and Prequels in the News

There’s a lot of prequel/sequel talk in the air this week.  First, rumors have it that Jennifer Aniston is being offered tons of cash to reprise her character in a follow-up to The Break-Up, opposite Vince Vaughn.

On the other hand, Corey Haim says he’s up for a Lost Boys film; one he claims will be a prequel to the first film and not a follow-up to the direct-to-DVD sequel that was released in July. He told Bloody Disgusting, “I’ve seen the whole movie; I don’t like it, to be honest with you. I don’t like it, I’m not gonna lie to you. I don’t like it as much as the first one.”

No official word has come from Warner Bros. or any of the Lost Boys participants so Haim could be drumming up work for himself. Still, he clearly had his own vision of how the next film should be done. “[The] direction [will be] more so like the first one…" Haim described. "As far as I heard, it will be thrown back into the proper genre it was when Joel [Schumacher] executed it.”

Warner Bros. announced yesterday that they have signed a three-year first-look deal with The Office’s Steve Carell. The deal, according to Variety, has led to the formation of Carousel Productions to be overseen by Vance DeGeneres and Charlie Hartsock.

The new deal does not guarantee a sequel to the television spin-off, but given its $230 million success around the world, the gears have started to turn.  Anne Hathaway, his co-star, already told the press she was up for a second film.

"My idea was to partner with friends of mine, people I trusted, with whom I share a certain sensibility," Carell told Variety. "I have some ideas for films, but I’ve gotten to know so many people who are funny, talented and fertile with ideas that I’m confident this very strong base of friendships will lead to projects."

After the fifth season of the NBC hit, he will co-star with Tina Fey as spouses in Date Night for 20th Century-Fox and director Shawn Levy.

‘The Graysons’ Fly to the CW

‘The Graysons’ Fly to the CW

Inspired by Clark Kent’s Smallville roots, the CW is launching a new DC hero-turned-angsty teen television series called The Graysons. According to Variety, the show follows the early years of Dick "DJ" Grayson before he becomes Robin. Smallville executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson are behind the series, as is Supernatural executive producer McG. The CW has committed to a pilot episode.

Variety is calling the show a potential replacement for Smallville should that series end this season as anticipated. The Graysons would also be a solid companion to Smallville should it return next year. Further, the move to bring another DC property onto the CW shows a sign of good faith from Warner Bros., who has a 50% investment in the network.

Fans of the character are familiar with Robin’s origin. Dick, a young acrobat, is orphaned when his parents are murdered by gangsters during their trapeze act. He’s taken in by Bruce Wayne and becomes Batman’s protege. The Graysons takes place before these events. Set in modern times, the hour-long drama will focus on young "DJ" as he faces tasks fit only for a hero of Robin’s caliber: first loves, young rivals and family. Ahem. Guess you can’t say Dick on TV?

Smallville grew out of the oroiginal producers’ desire to tell the story of yourn Bruce Wayne.  When Warner Bros. refused to let television have access to their movie franchise, they shifted gears and set their sights on Clark Kent growing up and discovering his powers.

Since then the eight seasons have seen a variety of DC heroes and villains appear, some with spin-off potential.  Among the characters already seen have been Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), A.C. Curry (Aquaman), Bart Allen (the Flash), Dinah Lance (Black Canary), Cyborg, and the Martian Manhunter.  Coming this season will be Plastique and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

In 2006, a pilot was produced for an Aquaman series much in the same vein as Smallville and the proposed The Graysons, but the CW decided not to air the program. Smart money says that even if The Graysons sees the light of day, the series won’t survive long. Part of Smallville‘s appeal is its unique spin on a superpowered adventure. Considering The Graysons is pre-Robin, it’s hard to imagine little Di–… sorry, "DJ" sharing in Clark’s success. Makes one wonder why they didn’t just go for a Bruce Wayne show. Maybe then Armie Hammer would actually have a job.