Some interesting Nerd News coming out of the past week. Let's start out with HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN.
If you'll remember, HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN grew out of the fake trailers that accompanied the Rodriguez/Tarantino GRINDHOUSE films a few years back. First there was this:
Now, this humorous concept has spawned a feature length film starring non-other than Rutger Hauer (BLADE RUNNER, SIN CITY) as the armed indigent. No other big stars grace the cast and the director is a rookie, but my interest is still peaked. This appears to be taking the themes and aesthetic of bygone b-movies to heart and that's something I can get behind, especially with Hauer as the ridiculous lead. A release is scheduled for some time in 2011, but no date has been specified.
2. Gaiman's "Sandman" may become a television series -
There isn't a whole lot of information coming out on this yet, just the announcement that has a lot of nerds riled up. Apparently Gaiman, Warner Brothers and Erik Kripke (creator of "Supernatural") are serious about bringing the project to fruition. There was talk previously of adapting the series for film, but according to Gaiman that produced one of the worst scripts he's ever read. I always thought television was a more fitting medium for the show, but that doesn't mean it will be good. There's a lot of questions that need to be answered about the intentions for the series first: What kind of network are they aiming for? If it's anything outside of the premiere channels, then I can't see it working. HBO and Showtime would allow for the material to be showcased in its truest form without being watered down. Some of the more brazen cable channels might be able to pull it off too, but don't even think about having it on one of the big networks because it won't last. Also, are they really aiming to make this a live action show? With all of the intense and psychedelic visuals/the supernatural nature of the title character, the show will require a lot of special effects and therefore a lot of money. "Sandman" has an avid following, but is it enough to justify such a budget? My vote would be to make an animated show. That way the budget would be cut down exponentially and there would be more hope of capturing the title's outstanding visuals. More news on this as it come.
3. Del Toro's MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS potentially off on a bad foot due to insane casting -
There's been a lot of buzz about Guillermo Del Toro's next project and now it's all but confirmed that he will be directing his dream project, an large-scale adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. The first casting news was leaked earlier this week saying basically that the studio wants James McAvoy for the lead and Del Toro himself wants Tom Cruise. The latter bit sounds like a joke, but apparently Del Toro and Cruise met when he was thinking of making a Van Helsing film, and the actor made an impression on him. I feel like everyone in the business is blind to Cruise's declining star power. The man is not someone you want to risk a big budget picture on anymore. Sure, I bet Del Toro could get an interesting performance out of the guy, maybe it would be good for his career, but an esoteric, period-horror epic doesn't need any more disadvantages in recouping its reportedly massive budget. McAvoy might be okay, but frankly I hope they find someone else and the way these things usually go says that they probably will. I just don't want to hear any more of this Cruise talk, it's too much risk for an already risky venture.
4. Ridley Scott giving hints about his planned ALIEN prequels -
- "The film[s] will be really tough, really nasty,"
- "will take place 30 years before the first film"
- "It's the dark side of the moon. We are talking about gods and engineers.
Engineers of space. And were the aliens designed as a form of biological warfare? Or biology that would go in and clean up a planet?"
I'm very excited for these films. Answering those last few questions posed could make for something very interesting. These films seem to be taking the ALIEN franchise out of its stagnant element. Each film involves survivors battling an alien or several within one confined setting. This was all well and good for the first two films, but expanding the story to visualize a future world in which these things exist is just what the series needs to be relevant again. We've been in the dark about these creatures since they were first introduced to us, it's about time we got some answers. Rewrites on the original scripts are being done by Damon Lindelof of "Lost" fame. When production will actually begin on the films is still up in the air though.