The dam broke. News just keeps flowing, with nothing outside consideration. Let’s get started on the March news roundup.
Catan TV and movie rights purchased.
Gail Katz, producer of /The Perfect Storm/, has bought the rights to the board game, The Settlers of Catan. While the purchasing of rights is just the first of many steps to get a movie or TV series made, it’s not a guarentee. Catan also has the interesting problem of having no set plot. Instead, players are in competition to settle the land of Catan, but may also trade with each other. The trading is the source of endless “wood for sheep” jokes amongst the game’s players.
Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar becoming TV series.
Starlin, creator of Guardians of the Galaxy, will also be the executive producer of the TV series. /Dreadstar/ will follow Vanth Dreadstar, sole surviror of the Milky Way galaxy, as he tries to end an war between two empires. No casting has been announced.
Fox greenlights Sandman spinoff.
Lucifer, a spinoff of Sandman, has been ordered by Fox. The original Lucifer had the lord of Hell giving up the title and moving to Earth to run a piano bar while interacting with other religious figures. The Fox series, though, has Lucifer assisting the Los Angeles police department in solving crimes.
New Alien movie to be directed by Neill Blomkamp.
Blomkamp, who directed /District 9/, has a deal with Fox to film a new /Alien/ movie. This film is separate from Ridley Scott’s Prometheus 2. Blomkamp’s movie will be a sequel to Aliens, and will bring back Sigourney Weaver as Ripley.
EL James to write script for 50 Shades sequel.
James, who wrote the 50 Shades trilogy, is exerting ownership and control and will be the scriptwriter for the next movie in the series. The sequel may be delayed as a result; James has not written a script before and the Valentine’s Day 2016 release date may not be possible. The sequel also needs a new director; Sam Taylor-Johnson will not be back after numerous fights with James on set during the filming.
MacGuyver may be getting a reboot TV series.
Lee Zlotoff, the creator of the original MacGuyver TV series, is working with the National Academy of Engineers on a crowdsourcing competition to find the next MacGuyver. The challenge – the new character must be a woman, who doesn’t necessarily need to be named MacGuyver. The prize is $5000 and working with a Hollywood producer to develop the script.
Netflix to make new Inspector Gadget, Danger Mouse series.
Netflix is becoming the newest source for series. Besides the Marvel offerings, Netflix will be adding animation to the lineup. First, Inspector Gadget, a 26-episode reboot of the classic cartoon, will start in March in the US and in other countries later. A revival of Danger Mouse, will follow.
Not to be outdone, Disney brings back Duck Tales.
Duck Tales, a staple of the late 80s and early 90s, is returning with new episodes on Disney XD in 2017. The same characters from the original will be in the new show.
The Search for More Money may become a reality.
Mel Brooks has said he wants to make Spaceballs: The Search for More Money. Nothing is confirmed, but the idea is to have the sequel come out after Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination may be adapted in near future.
Paramount Pictures may be signing a deal the lead the way to a movie adaptation of the novel. The novel’s been in development hell for twenty years, with Richard Gere and Paul W.S. Anderson being attached to the project. Talks are still early, though.
Electra Woman and Dyna Girl getting remade.
Taking the titular roles are Grace Helbigg and Dana Hart, both of whom are known through their work on YouTube. The original Electra Woman and Dyna Girl was a 1976 Sid and Marty Krofft series and starred a pre-Days of Our Lives Deidre Hall.
Adventure Time to become feature film.
Cartoon Networks’ Adventure Time is in development for an animated film. Chris McKay and Roy Lee, producers of The LEGO Movie and the upcoming The LEGO Batman Movie will produce the film.
John Barrowman to develop project from Heavy Metal.
Barrowman, known for his role of Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who and Torchwood, will produce and star in The 49th Key, a miniseries based on a story by Erika Lewis that just started in the magazine, Heavy Metal, as of issue #273.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM being remade.
MGM will adapt the book by Robert C. O’Brien as a mix of live action and CGI. Adapted once before by Don Bluth as The Secret of NIHM, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM is about a widowed mouse who gets help from escaped lab rats to save her home and her son.
Valiant Comics bringing their characters to the movies.
DMG Entertainment of Beijing has invested in Valiant Comics and wants to bring the Valiant characters to the silver screen and television. Valiant has Bloodshot, Shadowman, and Archer and Armstrong already in development.
Live action Akira film delayed again.
The director attached to the project, James Collet-Serra, is taking time for himself after making the movies Non-Stop and Run All Night back-to-back. The fate of the adaptation is back in the hand of Warner Bros. The studio has been trying to cut the budget from the initial $180 million estimate down to between $60 and $70 million to offset the fan backlash currently happening. Warner has had the Akira adaptation in some form of development since 2002.
Sony working on an male-driven Ghostbusters remake.
The male-driven remake/reboot is being developed in parallel with the female-driven version. Sony is hoping to expand the franchise. Maybe the best approach for the movies is to borrow from the West End Games Ghostbusters role-playing game and set each movie as a separate Ghostbusters International franchise in different cities. Ghostbusters Tokyo: The Anime anyone?
Three Days of the Condor becoming a TV series.
The conspiracy thriller of the 70s is being developed for TV by Skydance and David Ellison. The original movie was itself adapted from the book, Six Days of the Condor, and involved a a CIA operative whose co-workers were murdered as part of a government cover-up.
Archie getting a reboot, new look.
In a possible first for the publisher, Archie Comics is getting a reboot and a new #1. Mark Waid and Fiona Staples will helm the title and will bring Archie to the 21st Century in appearance without taking away from what makes the character who he is. The re-imagining comes with Archie’s 75th anniversary and follows such works as AfterLife with Archie and the announced Riverdale TV series.
A third Tron movie is in the works.
A sequel to Tron: Legacy will be directed by Joseph Kosinski, who directed the previous Tron movie. The movie should follow from events in Legacy.
Last week, I covered how technology and progress affected vehicles in remakes. This week, I look at vehicles that have featured in projects that haven’t been remade yet.
The vehicle: Kaneda’s motorcycle.
Currently in the process of being adapted for a live-action movie, Akira was a milestone in anime released to North American audiences. One of the plot elements is Kaneda’s red motorcycle, something that Tetsuo coveted. The motorcycle is obviously powerful and futuristic, with no make or model given. For a live action version of the movie, the motorcycle needs to match the appearance.* Fortunately, without a specific manufacturer to worry about, the producers can approach a number of motorcycle firms for sponsor ship or try to get one of the fan-made models.
The vehicle: The titular helicopter.
Airwolf came out in 1984 on the heels of The A-Team and Blue Thunder and featured a helicopter with hidden weapons and capabilities. The Airwolf itself was a modified Bell 222 helicopter, used for both utility and executive transport. Remaking the series would require keeping the fictional helicopter’s role the same, an attack vehicle capable of blending into an urban airspace. With the Bell 222 no longer in production, another base model would be needed. Fortunately, a Google quick search brings up several suitable models from Sikorsky and AgustaWestland that have similar appearances to the original Airwolf.
The vehicle: The Bluesmobile, a former Mount Prospect police Dodge Monaco.
As mentioned last year, The Blues Brothers was adapted from a series of musical sketches by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi on Saturday Night Live. Elwood (Aykroyd) had to trade their old Cadillac for a microphone, replacing the caddie with a former Mount Prospect police car dubbed the Bluesmobile. The car, a 1974 Dodge Monaco, was chosen because Dan Aykroyd felt it was the hottest police cruiser in the 1970s. In Blues Brothers 2000, the new Bluesmobile was a 1990 Ford LTD Crown Victoria, an ubiquitous vehicle in law enforcement. A remake of the original movie, a daunting challenge in itself because of the music, would need a make and model of car that has been used as a police car. A used Crown Vic from a more recent year would work, as would a used Dodge Charger.
Back to the Future
The vehicle: A silver DeLorean DMC-12, modified.
In the Back to the Future trilogy, crazy Doc Brown modified a DeLorean DMC-12 to become a time machine, powered by a nuclear reactor. The DeLorean had several things going for it – unique appearance and not well known. The former let the car look cool, a different type of sports car than what was normally seen on screen. The unfamiliarity helped with people not knowing about its performance issues. TVTropes lists the car under the Real Life section of The Alleged Car. Doc Brown was crazier than people suspected. A remake of the movies will have to keep the DeLorean in mind; either to keep the signature car or find a new vehicle that fits the same role. Most car manufacturers prefer not to make bad cars; they cost money, either in lost sales or in lawsuits.** At the same time, a car that’s unique would also fill the role well; for example, a Tesla Motors Model X.
Next week, back to the reviews.
* Something has to remain original.
** The Ford Pinto with its exploding gas tank comes to mind here.