Clybersurfing: Branagh discusses "Thor" subject; Twilight destroys Dark; and Star Wars: The Musical!

Seems like George Lucas has found a new way to milk the STAR WARS cash cow: a concert in London:

The Times has learnt that Lucasfilm has authorised Star Wars: A Musical Journey, a retelling of the story that will combine excerpts of the film with live orchestral accompaniment.
Diehard fans may dream of Jedi Knights serenading Jabba the Hutt and C-3PO singing “Don’t cry for me, R2-D2” but they are likely to be disappointed. Producers for the show, which will have its world premiere in Britain, emphasised that although actors would be used to narrate the story, it would not be a stage musical.
The production, which condenses more than 13 hours of film into 90 minutes, will be more like a classical music concert performed in front of a cinema screen, 27m (90ft) wide.

MTV’s Splash Page blog has an interview with Kenneth Branagh, who discusses his upcoming directorial assignment, a film adaptation of the Marvel comic book hero Thor. Of course it is too early for Branagh to reveal any news-worthy details, such as the casting of the lead; instead he offers up some enthusiastic generalities:

“There’s science fiction and science fact and fantasy all woven into one. It’s based on Norse legends which Marvel sort of raided in a brilliant way.
[…]
“There’s been lots of talk [about casting] — I sound like a politician — but we are too early at this stage. We’re getting the story and the visual effects together and all of that is very exciting. Someone sensational is going to play the part but it is early days.”
[…] It’s a chance to tell a big story on a big scale,” said Branagh. “It’s a human story right in the center of a big epic scenario.”

The Evening Class has an interview with writer-director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who should be well known to horror fans for films like PULSE. The subject of the interview his Kurosawa’s latest, non-genre film, TOYKYO SONATA; although not horror, it will appeal to fans of his J-horror films:

While it is devoid of supernatural elements and includes occasional forays into screwball comedy, Tokyo Sonata is not a total departure from Kurosawa’s genre offerings of the past 10 years. In fact, it could be his most frightening film to date. Thematically, it contains many of the motifs present in the director’s horror films: alienation in contemporary Japanese families, the fragility of the social fabric, the incapacity to articulate our fears.

Producer Brad Fuller tells Empire magazine that the NEAR DARK remake is off:

“Near Dark is probably not going to happen,” he confirmed, talking exclusively to Empire. “I think that Twilight was the same type of thing we were going for although Near Dark was a much darker, sexier, rated R version of that. But I’m concerned that, conceptually, that Near Dark and Twilight are too similar in terms of a vampire movie. For now, that movie is on hold.”
[…]
“The concept of ‘one person’s a vampire, the other person isn’t and they’re in love,’ with the success of that film, we would not measure up,” continued Fuller. “It’s not the right time to make that.”

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