Alien vs. Ninja trailer!

It seems that the age old “Ninja vs. Pirate” debate will have to be put on hold, due to a late entry in the Battle Royale of Awesomeness – Aliens! A concept many never thought would happen – or honestly never thought of period – is coming soon in the Japanese Sci-Fi Slicefest ALIEN VS. NINJA. Unfortunately, unless you live in Japan, you’ll just have to sit back and dream as the film hasn’t acquired a U.S. distributor yet. Until that day arrives, watch the trailer and be content in the knowledge that something like this is out there, waiting to be seen.

Challenges Plague "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn"

You asked for it, and here it is! The fourth and final installment of the popular Twilight saga: Breaking Dawn, directed by Bill Condon, is set to hit theaters November 18, 2011, according to the Sci-Fi Movie Page. But before the wildly successful franchise’s final film reaches the big screen, there are still some hurdles to jump.
For starters, at a whopping 756 pages, Stephenie Meyer’s original 2008 novel Breaking Dawn is an intimidating project to tackle and adapt for film. Variety reports that the story will be split into two films because of the amount of detail necessary to properly bring the book to life.
(WARNING: Plot spoilers ahead! You’ve been warned!)
Next, Meyer herself has expressed real doubt as to whether specific plot points can really translate to a live action film format. In the novel, Bella and Edward give birth to a baby girl, Renesmee, who is fully alert, despite being a newborn. This presents obvious visual challenges to the filmmakers. “The one thing that I’ve never seen is a CGI human being who truly looks real,” said Meyer, who added, “they develop amazing new technologies everyday, and we’ve got a little time left.”
Another concern is scoring a PG-13 rating for the film which will be based on the novel’s very intense and graphic plot, and will include the controversial birth of a vampire/human child. The main cast of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner are expected to return, and filming is set to begin in Vancouver some time in 2010.

Coming 2011: Dick's "Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said"

According to a post at Sci-Fi Movie Page,  yet another novel by the accomplished Phillip K. Dick is set for a big-screen adaptation. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said follows such classic Dick adaptations as Blade Runner (1982) and Total Recall (1990) to the silver screen. Policeman tells the dystopian tale of a TV superstar who suddenly finds himself stripped of his popularity and forced to live in a futuristic police state. Interestingly, Derek Anderson is on board for the project, which could lead to some fascinating results given his producer credit on Terminator Salvation (2009).

Klass's "Firestorm" Headed to Big Screen

David Klass’s 2006 teen novel Firestorm will be getting a film treatment in 2011 with a little help from producer Basil Iwanyk (Clash of the Titans), according to Sci-Fi Movie Page. The book, first in a set known as the “Caretaker Trilogy,” tells the story of a teenaged boy and his super-powered companions who learn that their destiny is to save the world, both figuratively and ecologically. Though no director or casting have been announced as of yet, it sounds like a possible dark horse success, so keep your eyes open for this one!

Christopher Nolan: How To "Address Superman In A Modern Context"

In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, Christopher Nolan discussed his latest project Inception, the future of the Batman franchise, and his mentoring role in the Superman reboot expected to hit theaters sometime in 2012. Perhaps most interesting were his comments about writer/producer David Goyer’s take on the Man of Steel.

“..What it is, while David Goyer and myself were putting together the story for another Batman film a few years ago, you know thrashing out where we might move on from the Dark Knight, we got stuck. We were just sitting there idly chatting and he said ”by the way, I think know how you approach Superman”.. and he told me his take on it. I thought it was really tremendous. It was the first time I’ve been able to conceive of how you’d address Superman in a modern context I thought it was a really exciting idea. What you have to remember about Batman and Superman is that what makes them the best superhero characters there are, the most beloved after all this time, is the essence of who they were when they were created, when they were first developed. You can’t move too far away from that.”

Fans of old-school Superman will be pleased to hear that Nolan and Goyer seem eager to bring the character back to its roots and take a back-to-basics approach to story telling. Still, this does raise some questions about what a new Superflick will bring us. Will we see the destruction of Krypton again? Will the Last Son of Krypton be fighting one of Lex Luthor’s evil schemes, or will he return to the old days of fighting giant dinosaurs and rescuing the oppressed from tenements? Only time will tell, but if treated properly, a throwback to simpler times mixed with modern elements could redefine Superman for a new generation of moviegoers and bring about a rebirth of the beloved character’s popularity among the general public.

Ewan McGregor Joins Gilliam's Don Quixote

Actor Ewan McGregor
Actor Ewan McGregor

Empire Online have been talking to director Terry Gilliam (TWELFTH MONKEYS, BRAZIL) at the Cannes film festival and it appears Ewan McGregor (STAR WARS, THE ISLAND) has been cast in his latest film, THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE.

DON QUIXOTE is a fantasy/sci-fi film about an advertising executive who, after finding himself unstuck in time, unwittingly travels between modern day London and 17th century La Mancha where he participates in the adventures of Don Quixote. This is Gilliam’s second attempt at making the film; the earlier version started production in 2000 but was halted by the constant noise of overhead fighter jets, the lead actor attaining a torn spine and even a flash flood. The production was a notorious failure for the director and even spawned a documentary on the subject, LOST IN LA MANCHA.
After finishing work on his last film THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS,  however, Gilliam decided to revisit DON QUIXOTE and resumed production on the film in 2009. Robert Duvall (THX, THE ROAD) has replaced Jean Rochefort as the titular QUIXOTE and now Ewan McGregor has been cast as the advertising executive, replacing Johnny Depp (who is probably too busy with PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4). Gilliam had this to say of his new cast:

“Robert Duvall is one of the greats, no question – and he can ride a horse! And Ewan has gotten better over the years. He was wonderful in The Ghost. There’s a lot of colours to Ewan that he’s not been showing recently and it’s time for him to show them again. He’s got a great sense of humour and he’s a wonderful actor. He’s wonderfully boyish and can be charming – when he flashes a smile, everybody melts. He wields it like a nuclear bomb!”

Gilliam also stated that the budget of the movie will be around $20 million, a lot less than the $35 million he had to play with way back in 2000. Gilliam has been through so much with this film, and the idea sounds so good, that we should all be praying to the movie gods it finally gets made this time around.

Two Remakes of 20,000 Leagues Underway?

Poster for Disney's 1954 version of 20, 000 Leagues
Poster for Disney's 1954 version of 20, 000 Leagues

According to The Hollywood Reporter Sci-fi classic 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA is set for not one, but two remakes. Both Disney and 20th Century Fox  are trying to get a remake in the works, with the former lining up David Fincher (FIGHT CLUB, ALIEN 3) and, the latter Timur Bekmambetov (NIGHT WATCH, WANTED), to direct.

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA is a classic science fiction novel by Jules Verne and was published in 1869. LEAGUES tells the story of Captain Nemo and his underwater adventures in his submarine, Nautilus, and has been subject to numerous television and movie adaptations over the years. As the story is now in the public domain it’s relatively easy for anyone to make an adaptation, without the needs to purchase rights from the copyright owners. As such, two studios are plunging into the depths once more.
Disney originally had McG (TERMINATOR: SALVATION, CHARLIE’S ANGELS) working on a version of the film but ultimately thought it ‘too dark’. The studio is now in negotiations with David Fincher to direct and Scott Z. Burns (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, CONTAGION) to write the remake. As surprising as it sounds (this is the man that brought us ZODIAC after all), Fincher apparently approached Disney’s new production head Sean Bailey himself stating his wish to tackle a major blockbuster film for the studio. Nothing is set in stone as of yet but Fincher and Burns have entered talks for deals.
Meanwhile 20th Century are also hard at work on their own version, which is said to be set in the future. Scott Free Productions (Ridley and Tony Scotts’ production company) are helming the film for the studio which is being written by Travis Beacham (CLASH OF THE TITANS)/ Again, no director is officially attached but Fox are apparently hoping to get Bekmambetov on board. Fox’s project quietly kicked-off shortly after the writers strike when Beacham is said to have approached the Scotts with his take on the story, which the studio then bought.
So it’s battle stations go as the two studios go head-to-head, each presumably hoping to get their version of the film out first. Hollywood is no stranger to this sort of affair, we currently have two versions of THE THREE MUSKETEERS coming up and there were the two films focusing on Truman Capote which were released a few years back. All things considered, which version are you more excited about?