Super 8: Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast 2:22.1

The Effects Extravaganza Gets Real: A junior filmmaker (Joel Courtney, foreground) confronts a genuine threat in SUPER 8.
The Effects Extravaganza Gets Real: A junior filmmaker (Joel Courtney, foreground) confronts a genuine threat in SUPER 8.

J.J. Abrams, the man who set the deliriously enigmatic pace for LOST in that show’s pilot and upended STAR TREK by blowing up Vulcan (we still haven’t recovered) now sets his sights on the Spielbergian kids’ adventure in SUPER 8. Set in a small-town, rose-tinted version of 1979, the sf/fantasy film tells the tale of a group of tweens — prime amongst them Elle Fanning — who while filming their zombie movie capture on-camera a spectacular train crash and the unleashing of something malevolent from within. With Abrams idol Spielberg himself stepping into the producer role, will SUPER 8 be the film to take the Master’s visionary fantasy/drama template from the seventies and eighties and reconcile it with Abrams’ ability to work nuanced, character-based drama into a genre framework? Or is the inexorable pull of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS’ sense of wonder too strong even for the man who in the past few years has acquired a reputation for his own, unique storytelling style? Join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they discuss the issue.
Click on the player to hear the discussion.

Super 8: CFQ Round Table Podcast 2:21.3

Super 8 (2011) poster horizontal

SUPER 8 – the highly anticipated science fiction thriller from writer-director J.J. Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg – explodes onto screens this week. Naturally, the Cinefantastique Round Table Podcast – the podcast of horror, fantasy, and science fiction films – is here to tell you whether or not to get your hopes up; CFQ regulard Dan Persons, Lawrence French and Steve Biodrowski wiegh in, and Dan, who got a sneak peak months ago, opines that, yes, you should be excited.
Also on this week’s agenda: a look at some recent headlines, including news that Tom Cruise is signing on to appear in the big-budget futuristic would-be blockbuster OBLIVION and that directorial stylist Alex Proyas (THE CROW, DARK CITY) is developing a new science fiction film.


'Star Trek 2' — Delayed?

Star Trek (2009)According to, STAR TREK 2 may be facing a delay. 
Thus far scheduled for a June 29th, 2012 release, JJ Abrams has not yet signed on to direct the sequel–though he is expected to do so soon.
Writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof reportedly have about 70 pages of script/treatment completed, and are waiting for Abrams’ availability and input. Progress is at a standstill until then.
The site is speculating that Paramount Pictures might be inclined to push the FX-heavy TREK film to a December 2012 release to buy enough pre & post production time.

Fox Cancels 'Human Target'

human_target_legs_poster2Deadline reports that the Fox Network has canceled the DC Comics-based action series THE HUMAN TARGET.
The J.J. Abrams -proced FRINGE was renewed, and  FOX ahs ordered his ALCATRAZ, an investigative show with a sci-fi element that some are comparing to LOST.
Steven Spielberg’s TERRA NOVA is penciled in for the Fall schedule, possibly to be paired with ALACTRAZ.
LOCKE & KEY, based on IDW’s comic book series, is apparently dead.

CFQ Black Hole Ultra Lounge Podcast 2:15.3

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It’s time for another trip into the depths of the Black Hole – the Black Hole Ultra Lounge Podcast, that is, this time brought to you with all the excitement of D-Box motion simulation. So strap yourself in and get ready for a bumpy ride as Dan Persons, Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowski ruminate on the philosophical questions plaguing sophisticated aficionados of horror, fantasy, and science fiction cinema. To wit: How high a batting average does a genre filmmaker need to maintain in order to be considered a power hitter? Are the twin titanic terrors of of type-casting and sequels to blame for career slumps of otherwise stellar talents? Is the D-Box motion-simulator chair the only way to truly enjoy INCEPTION? Does the premise of J.J. Abrams’ SUPER-8 (kids filming a movie encounter real-life monsters) suggest a pint-sized version of George A. Romero’s DIARY OF THE DEAD?


'Super 8' — New Trailer

Here’s the latest Trailer for the Steven Spielberg / JJ Abrams film SUPER 8.
Due in theaters June 10th from Anblin Entertainment, Bad Robot Productions and Paramount Pictures, the mostly under wraps kid-centric film, written and directed by Abrams, stars Elle Fanning (TAKEN), Amanda Michalka and Kyle Chandler (EARLY EDITION).
Speculation is that the apparently 1970’s set film features monsters and/or ailens.

Star Trek Scribes 'Break Story' for Sequel

star-trek_poster_BlueThe L.A. Times reports that the STAR TREK reboot writers, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, have ‘broken’ the story for the sequel, meaning that they do have the essential plot set for the next film
While not revealing any details, the duo did provide some insight into their process. Alex Kurtzman said (in part):

 “I think one of the weird challenges that we’re facing on this one is that in many ways, with the first movie, I don’t think people knew what to expect, so when we were in the writing process, Bob and I really spent our time going to things that we loved about TREK and it was a very unfiltered process. It felt intimate and small….  Now, that first movie has come up and did well and everyone wants to know what happens next…. We need to find our way back to the same kind of vibe that we had when we wrote the first one: What do we want to see here? What moved us about TREK? Where can we go from where we left off?”

Roberto Orci noted that this film is not an origin story, and added the following:

 “We’re looking at a lot of the old episodes for inspiration, still. Whereas the last movie was all about breaking free from STAR TREK and its canon, now that we can do whatever we want, we still want it to feel like good ol’ STAR TREK, even though it’s a new story.”

For more details, including possible comparisons to THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, follow the link above.

Kristin Kreuk, Lauren German or Paula Patton for Mission: Impossible 4

After learning of Jeremy Renner and Tom Cruise’s involvement in the future of the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise, we now have word that Kristin Kreuk, Lauren German and Paula Patton are being considered for the role of a “young female operative.”
The film will be director Brad Bird’s first live action gig, and Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams are set to produce. The script was written by Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum. Paramount is behind the film and will of course also distribute it.

'Star Trek' Sequel Darker

star-trek-poster_NewDamon Lindelhof (LOST) told Eonline the following about the plans for the sequel to the J.J. Abrams STAR TREK reboot. Looks like they may be borrowing a page from the recent Batman movies.

“We’re looking at a movie like THE DARK KNIGHT , which went one step beyond BATMAN BEGINS. It was really about something, and at the same time it was a superhero movie. We don’t want to abandon all the things that made the first movie work…but we also really want the movie to thematically resonate.”

This may help the film, because though the first one had dark moments, it seemed very much like a lightweight popcorn movie. It seemed an odd thing that the movie somehow made the destruction of a planet, the death of millions, and the death of a major character’s mother all seem trivial.
See a video clip with Lindelhof at the link above.

Abrams' Bad Robot Backs Victorian Robot Flick

J.J. Abrams will be producing a robot period piece, according to The Hollywood Reporter. BOILERPLATE: HISTORY’S MECHANICAL MARVEL will be based on a graphic novel/picture book by Heartbreakers authors Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett.
BOILERPLATE is the tale of the world’s first robot, who came upon the scene in the 19th century and took part in some of history’s most memorable moments including the legend of Lawrence of Arabia, the silent movie era, and World War I. BOILERPLATE is not to be confused with Atomic Robo, a similar graphic novel series from Red 5 Comics that tells the story of a different robot who is instrumental in major historical events.
The story of BOILERPLATE is told in the graphic novel by picturing the main character in familiar period imagery. If this style choice carries over to the film adaptation, it could make for a really fascinating piece of alternate-reality storytelling.