'John Carter' Poster & Pics

carter-one-sheetIn these pictures from Walt Disney Studio’s JOHN CARTER, we see Carter (Taylor Kitsch) with Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) as well as the CGI versions of Tars Tarkas (voiced by Wilem Dafoe) and Carter’s Martian”calot” Woola, a sort of cross between a six legged reptile and a guard dog.  
Kitsch and  Collins both appeared ing X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (as Gambit and Silver Fox, respectively).
Directed by Andrew Stanton (WALL-E) from a screenplay by Stanton, Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon, JOHN CARTER is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars.  
The film, orginally to be called JOHN CARTER OF MARS, is due in theaters in 2-D and 3-D March 9th, 2012.

JOHN CARTER
Nature-gal Dejah must have felt chilly that day.

Personally, I think the settings and character/creature designs are extremely mundane and disappointing, considering the cost of the production and the the fact that they seem to basically ignore Burrough’s  vividly described versions.
JOHN CARTER & Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas looks like a pin-head, rather sporting than the novel's spherical cranium.

I realize a Disney film (and any general audience version) couldn’t feature essentially nude characters, but other than Kitsch’s bared chest, you’d expect to see more skln in a wholesome 1960’s Beach Party movie than the released stills and trailer seem to suggest.
The oddly Muppet-y version of Woola
The oddly Muppet-y version of Woola

Barsoom Dogfight
Barsoom Dogfight

Ender's Game in Play

Enders_GAME_HCAccording to The Hollywood Reporter, the script for a film adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s SF novel Ender’s Game is making a lot of buzz in filmland.

The script is “packaged” with screenwriter Gavin Hood (X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE) attached as director, with STAR TREK’s   Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci set to  produce,  along with OddLot Entertainment’s  Gigi Pritzker.
Apparently, almost every studio and a number of film finance companies have received the package, and several follow-up meetings have already been scheduled.
 Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel is set on a future Earth, which has barely survived two attacks by the Formics (or Buggers), an insectoid race. To train soliders the  Battle and Command schools have been formed where children are immersed in virtual reality “games”, which have greater signifgance than suspected.
The protagonist is Ender Wiggins, a bullied and  abused boy,  who becomes an unorthodox master of these vital skills, and put on a path towards leading the International Fleet.
A deal was in place at Warner Brothers in the 1990’s to make a movie version of the Hugo and Nebula Award winner, under director Wolfgang Peterson (ENEMY MINE), but production never came to pass.
The article speculates that Warner Bros. might be interested in reacquiring the project, as might Paramount/DreamWorks where Kurtzman and Orci already have strong ties.

New Title for New Wolverine Film

WOLVERINE_J_webAccording to  Hitflix, director Darren Aronofsky (PI) says that his Wolverine film is not a sequel to X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE.
His film will apparently be called THE WOLVERINE, with no number or subtitle. Though it still stars Hugh Jackman, Aronofsky calls it a “one-off”, and the article implies that the intent is the seperate the production from what has come before.
My general impression was that the film was more in the line of a prequel, or falling between events shown in the last film. Its reported Japanese setting, and various plot hints suggest to comic fans  that it will be inspired by the 1982 Wolverine  limited series by Chris Claremont and  Frank Miller.

'Ender's Game' Finally to Go to Screen?

Enders_GAME_HCAccording to the L.A. Times, X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE director Gavin Hood is delevoping Orson Scott Card’s Hugo and Nebula award-winning novel Ender’s Game as a motion picture.
The 1985 novel has been in development as a feature film on and off for years. In 2009, author Card announced that the project, based on his screenplay, was most likely dead.
Now it appear that independent production company Odd Lot Entertainment has enlisted Gavin Hood to revise Card’s most recent draft, and is tentatively attached as director.
The novel, an expansion of Card’s 1977 short story for Analog Magazine, deals with young Andrew “Ender” Wiggins.  He’s made to attend the the Battle School, where children study warfare through various activies, including  elaborate simulated wargames against the alien Formics, who have decimated Earth forces. Going on to Command School. Ender wins these battles, destroying the enemy fleets and bases — only to discover that these games were real, as were the deaths on both sides, for which he is ulitmately responsible
Ender Wiggins’s saga in told in the novels Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind,  and Ender in Exile, which cover a span of over 3000 years.

Donner on X-Men, Wolverine, Deadpool

xmen_firstclass_n1At the Saturn Awards this year, producer Lauren Shuler Donner (X-MEN) discussed  X-MEN: FIRST CLASS.
Some of her comments included thoughts on casting:

 “There are a lot of factors to consider. There are two mostly. One is the best actor possible because it is a movie. Then the best actor that approximates everybody’s image of these characters.”

 
Donner also revealed that the  Magneto film is likely to never be made, as much of his backstory used in the David S. Goyer script will be told instead in FIRST CLASS.
 
Despite the mediocre success of  X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE,  she confirmed that the Wolverine sequel,  to cover the Japanese saga comic book mini-series will go foward.
Laura Schuler Donner also said that a Deadpool movie is still in the cards, and that Ryan Reynolds is still involved with the planned film:

” You know, Ryan is so committed to being Deadpool. He is Wade Wilson. Well, no, he’s Deadpool. He is so committed to it that he worked with the writers on the script. Even though he’s doing GREEN LANTERN, he’s stayed involved in that project. I’m hoping we’ll get it off the ground next year.”

Read the entire interview at  CraveOnline

'Battleship' To be Sci-Fi, Casting

battleshipDeadline.com announced that model-turned-actress Brooklyn Decker  has been cast by director Peter Berg (HANCOCK) to join the cast of BATTLESHIP.
Yes, Battleship — Hasbro’s long-popular boardgame, is being set up as a big-budget (rumored in the $200 million range) science fiction film by Universal Studios. Don’t remember a SF aspect to the venerable two-player game of hidden, but stationary battle fleets? Neither do I.
It seems that  screenwriters Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber re-envisioned the mundane premise of two terrestial forces in a wargame into a scenario in which a Earthly naval fleet must combat an armada of ships of extraterrestrial origins.
Brian Koppelman and David Levien are said to be currently at work on re-writes.
BATTLESHIP will star Talyor Kitsch (X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE) as a naval officer, Decker as his love interest,  Alexander Skarsgard (TRUE BLOOD ) and singer Rihanna. 
 Production is expected to begin in September in  Hawaii, with an intended release date of  May 18th, 2012.
Note: Battleship was orginally a Milton Bradley game. The company was absorbed by Hasbro in 1984.