Almost missed all of April, but there was news about adaptations coming in. Here is your news round up.
Sony Pictures to make live-action Robotech.
Sony now has the rights to Robotech, via Harmony Gold, and is looking to use the series as the base of a franchise. Harmony Gold seems to be still involved.
Steven Spielberg to helm Ready Player One adaptation.
Ernest Cline’s cult novel, Ready Player One has been optioned by Warner Bros, who will be working with director Steven Spielberg to make the movie. Some rights issues, mostly involving video game icons of the 80s, will need to be cleared, but Warner is hoping for a repeat of what happened with The LEGO Movie, where rights owners jumped on board.
Coach returning after 18 year hiatus.
Craig T. Nelson is coming back as the titular character in a follow-up series. Thirteen episodes have been ordered. This isn’t the only TV series making a comeback.
The reboot re-unites David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, and Chris Carter. The three said they would only come back if the others did as well.
Galaxy Quest Returns to TV.
Okay, technically it was never on TV. But the show in the movie was, in-universe. And thus is getting a reboot. Sort of. Metafiction weirds timelines.
Full House Returns to TV.
This, however, is simpler. Fuller House is a continuation, with Candance Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, and Andrea Barber returning to their original roles. Talks are ongoing with other members of the original cast, though John Stamos is on board as producer and will guest star.
It’s Time to Get Things (Re-)Started!
A new Muppet series to air on ABC. The new show will be aimed at an adult audience, though that’s not new for Muppets, and will take a look at their personal lives.
Archie will face his most deadly crossover yet!
Archie vs. Sharknado is a real thing. Sharknado director Anthony C. Ferrante has teamed up with Archie artist Dan Parent to bring the latest Archie crossover. Move aside, Punisher. Too bad, Predator. Archie has a new danger in his life.
Last Thursday night was an interesting night to watch my Twitter feed. Two movies were standing out from from the stream – Pacific Rim and Sharknado. The former is a big budget movie about giant mecha fighting kaiju. The latter is a SyFy Channel movie of the week made for, according to IMDB, one million dollars, featuring sharks in a tornado. No, really, check out the trailer on io9. If I ran a Hollywood studio, I’d be worried about my future.
We here at MuseHack have been tracking the Hollywood bubble, from superhero similarities to the big names questioning the sustainability. The bubble’s due to pop; how big the gooey mess will be even we can’t predict. Three big-budget movies have failed this summer. A SyFy B-movie managed to grab more attention than The Lone Ranger. The people in charge should be asking, “Why?”
Pacific Rim, while finishing behind Despicable Me 2 in North America, earned $US3.6 million, with another $US3.7 million in Asia. That is one night’s gross, the opening late show Thursday night. People are going out to see it; visually, it is like no other movie this summer and features giant robots punching giant monsters. My Twitter stream showed a positive reaction to the movie, including Canadian TV personality Ed the Sock calling it one of the greatest movies ever. Meanwhile, at the other end of the budget, Sharknado pulled in 1.4 to 2 million viewers, low but the viewers reached 350k tweets during the length of the movie, shy of the number of tweets generated by the “Red Wedding” epsiode of A Game of Thrones, an episode that garnered 5.22 million viewers. Both movies feature elements not normally seen in North American entertainment. The mecha and kaiju of Pacific Rim are staples of anime and Japanese cinema, but are rare to see in Hollywood.* Meanwhile, Sharknado had people fighting and being eaten by sharks in a giant tornado; a combination that it’s safe to say has never crossed through anyone’s rational thoughts**.
There must be committees now going on in Hollywood, sitting down, analyzing both Pacific Rim and Sharknado, trying to figure out what makes the movies tick, why their respective audiences are raving on social media, and how to duplicate that success. What the committees might miss is that both movies deliver on their promise; giant robots punching giant monsters and sharks in a tornado being fought against with chainsaws. The movies aren’t deep; even Ed the Sock says Pacific Rim is a movie, not a film. But they bring something different in a summer where checklists are failing and tentpoles are falling. I just don’t expect the committees to realize where the problem is.***
* Outside dinosaurs, which fill in for the giant and the monster, but not the fear of nuclear power that kaiju also have.
** Like kaiju, Sharknado uses fear as a hook for the audience. Instead of nuclear power, the fear is of climate change, of once-in-a-century storms happening several times a decade. And the fear of sharks, thanks to Jaws.
*** I do expect copycat films. There should be a MechaShark vs the HurriKraken in the next few years.