'Blakes 7' for U.S. TV?

blkelogoAccording to Deadline.com , Martin Campbell (CASINO ROYAL, GREEN LANTERN) is attached to  direct a pilot that would re-boot the 1970’s BBC space opera hit BLAKES 7.
Joe Pokaski (HEROES) is set to write (and one assumes re-interpet) the original series, created by the late Terry Nation, who also gave us the Daleks of DOCTOR WHO.
Marc Rosen (THRESHOLD) is to produce the project with Georgeville Television’s Leon Clarance. The venture’s development  is to be funded by Motion Picture Capital, with the hope that the new version of the dark UK ‘Cult Classic’ series will interest an American network.
Georgeville Television got the rights from Andrew Sewell’s B7 Enterprises, who had purchased the property from Terry Nation’s estate. B7 had been trying to relaunch the franchise as a TV series with ill luck for the last several years.  Only audio dramas based on the original program have thus far been produced, with a potential new series on the UK’s SKY 1 not coming to fruition.
B7-S1CrewThe series, which ran for four 13-episode seasons beginning in 1978, starred Gareth Thomas as the protagonist Roj Blake, a political dissedent framed for a crime by the Terran Federation. Sent off to exile on a primitive world, Blake  along with other convicted criminals, are sent to try to salvage a mysterious advanced spacecraft. Blake managed to push through his plan of using the ship that he dubs “The Liberator” as a weapon to fight for freedom. Some of the crew would be supportive of the plan, while others seemed more concerned with protecting their personal freedom and  enriching themselves instead.
The show also starred  Paul Darrow as the calculating Avon, Sally Knyvette
as smuggler Jenna Stanis,  Michael Keating as the genial expert safecracker Vila Restal, David Jackson as the strong and loyal Olag Gan, and  Jan Chappell as the cloned telepath Cally, from the planet Auron. Sentient ship’s computer Zen brought the team up to seven, and the independent ORAC (both voiced by Peter Tuddenham) would be added later.
Blake7iberator2That team would change over the seasons; Gan was killed on a mission during season 2, and Blake and Jenna would leave as series regulars at end of the second season, lost and presumed dead.  
Younger characters Dayna Mellanby (Josette Simon) and Del Tarrant (Steven Pacey) would join the crew in the third, with expert shooter Soolin (Glynis Barber) replacing Cally for Season four, after her off-screen death.
Often called the “anti-STAR TREK”, BLAKES 7 took place in a dark and bleak universe, with the corrupt Federation running or pulling the strings behind most human worlds. Even organized crime was under government direction. The power-mad Servalan (Jacqueline Pearce, veteran of Hammer horror) rises from Commander to President, becoming obsessed with possessing the Liberator and quelling rebellion.

The heroes were less than perfect, the series pitched as an outer-space “Dirty Dozen”. Even the initially heroic Blake realized on some level that his quest for freedom had a high and possibly futile cost in human lives. The amazing precedent of continuing BLAKES 7 (never an apostrophe) without the title character  required that the cynical, self-interested Avon  take on Blake’s crusade, and by the fourth season it was clear that the pressure was driving him mad.  

Season 4 Cast, with Paul Darrow as Avon in the foreground.
Season 4 Cast, with Paul Darrow as Avon in the foreground.

 

Originally made on the budget of a canceled police show, BLAKES 7 was a rough-hewn low-rent affair, shot on a mix of studio video and location film, often looking hokey even for its time.Some of the scripts and acting were cliche or over the top at times—and yet it worked. The series was very popular, watched by over ten million people in the UK, and exported to many other counties, including the U.S.
(The series ran largely on PBS stations in America, often paired with DOCTOR WHO.)
It’s difficult to imagine an American broadcast network being interested in a dark SF series like BLAKES 7. Fox’s FIREFLY had a similar vibe, leading to a very short life. The old Sci-Fi Channel’s FARSCAPE and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA reboot had more success, but would the current, mainly Earth-bound SyFy have any interest? Hard to say. Perhaps there’s a cable programmer looking for a space-based series with some kind of pedigree.

Greenlight for 'Green Lantern 2'?

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According to the L.A. Times, the underperforming GREEN LANTERN movie may yet garner a sequel.

Warner Brothers’ chief  Jeff Robinov had the following to say:

“We had a decent opening, so we learned there is an audience. 
To go forward, we need to make it a little edgier and darker with more emphasis on action…. And we have to find a way to balance the time the movie spends in space versus on Earth.”

Theres’ already a sequel outline by GREEN LANTERN writers Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim. However, the site says insiders tell them that the studio would likely have the story revised to make it more in line with Robinov’s ideas, if not starting over from scratch with a new script.
They also feel that  Warner Brothers Pictures would likely go with another director, as they felt that Martin Campbell (CASINO ROYALE) was ultimately not a good fit for the cosmic superheroics of the hero and the galaxy-spanning police corps.
Flash_GLIn terms of tent-pole superhero prictures, Warners has THE DARK KNIGHT RISES coing out in 2012, and MAN OF STEEL for 2013.  The studio would like to have another DC Comics character film for 2014, and Green Lantern might fit that bill, although apparently they also have a FLASH screenplay that Robinov thinks is “solid”.
Jeff Robinov has long been a supporter of a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie, which might also be a good way to restart a new BATMAN franchise, now that the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale trilogy is coming to an end.

Green Lantern: Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast 2:23.1

Mean, green, interstellar justice machine: Ryan Reynolds is the GREEN LANTERN.
Mean, green, interstellar justice machine: Ryan Reynolds is the GREEN LANTERN.

Somebody notify Kermit: Being green just got a little easier. That’s what happens when the all-powerful will of the universe taps test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) to be its latest defender, and a dying alien bequeaths him a ring that turns him into the GREEN LANTERN, a mighty force for good with a bitchin’ emerald wardrobe and the ability conjure anything that can be imagined into reality. The new film is Hollywood’s latest attempt to take the comic book movie back to its purer roots, when heroes were heroes, bad guys were malevolent, and the galaxy had the colorful vividness of a two-page splash. Does GREEN LANTERN earn its stripes as simple summer fun? Do Reynolds and Blake Lively (playing Jordan’s boss, wingman, and love interest Carol Ferris) make an appealing screen couple (even as the kids are going, “Yick”)? And what the hell’s going on with Peter Sarsgaard’s forehead? Listen in as Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons discuss these and many more issues.

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'Green Lantern' TV Spot #12

As the June 17th release approaches, Warner Brothers Pictures is cranking up the promo volume for GREEN LANTERN.

“In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers.

But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.
Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity.
With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax…he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.”
 

'Green Lantern' 3-D Trailer

Geoffrey Rush (Tomar-Re) narrates this latest (and very cosmic) GREEN LANTERN Trailer.
Directed by Martin Campbell, produced by Greg Berlanti, Donald De Line, Geoff Johns, Executive Producers: Andrew Haas
Donald De Line, Screenplay: Marc Guggenheim, Michael Green, Greg Berlanti, Michael Goldenberg .
Due in theaters June 17th, in standard and 3-D versions.
From Yahoo via kino.com

Full 'Green Lantern' Costume Shots


Warner Brothers Pictures released these three shots of star Ryan Reynolds in his full GREEN LANTERN CGI “uniform”.

Green Lantern_RyanReynoldsCG1
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As can be seen, if the lighting isn’t just right, the composite looks pretty unconvincing.
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Still not liking the peeled skin look, the feet in particular border on the  laughable, to my taste.
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Click to Enlarge

However, it’s servicable, and the distinct CGI look will likely help blend the live action character with the other wholly CGI-animated Green Lantern Corps members from various alien races.
From Breaking News USA, Via Coming Soon.net.

'Green Lantern' Wondercon Trailer

Here’s an abridged clip of the extended trailer from Warner Brothers GREEN LANTERN that was shown at Wondercon this weekend.
This is more like it — previous footage made the film look almost like a romantic comedy about an irresponsible guy who becomes a superhero. This piece has the gravitas that most comic book fans likely desired for this first feature film version of the DC Comics hero.
GL_tomar-re_CropThe trailer features Tomar Re, voiced by Geoffery Rush (PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN), as revealed this week.  Mark Strong’s (SHERLOCK HOLMES) Sinestro is a major presence, as is Temuera Morrison’s (THE PHANTOM MENACE) Abin Sur, with glimpses of Peter Sarsgaard’s mutating Hector Hammond.
GREEN LANTERN opens June 17th, directed by Martin Campbell, and screenplay by  Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, and
Michael Goldenberg.
Not yet rated.
(Video via The GeekGen’s youtube page.)