Friday, April 17, 2009

Daisies airs, Fringe goes viral, Star Trek coolness, and more

Well, the stories have been collecting since my last entertainment news post...

Robert Downey Jr. has confirmed that Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, Garry Shandling, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Sam Rockwell, and Gwyneth Paltrow will all be in the Iron Man 2 cast (IMDb). Rourke has been cast as Whiplash, Johansson will play Black Widow, and Sam Rockwell will play Justin Hammer. Cheadle takes over the role of Rhodey from Terrence Howard. Paltrow will reprise her role as Pepper Potts, and Jackson will return as Nick Fury. I'm not sure at this point who Garry Shandling will play. I loved the first Iron Man movie, so I'm looking forward to this one.

Universal Pictures, which made a three-year production pact with Dark Horse Comics, is planning to make an "Umbrella Academy" movie (Variety). The story is about a dissolved band of superheroes who reunite following their adoptive father's death to carry out his plan to save the world. Mark Bomback, who wrote Disney's recent Race to Witch Mountain, has been chosen to write the adaptation. The Witch Mountain credit doesn't make me immediately confident, but we'll see how it goes.

Gore Verbinski has told Disney that he is done with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (Variety). He will not be directing the planned Pirates 4 film, instead choosing to move on to other projects, including a movie adaptation of the video game BioShock (which came up briefly in a post I wrote last July). Verbinski's Blind Wink Prods. is also working on a movie adaptation of Hasbro game Clue and a drama based on the Wall Street Journal article about how online fantasy roleplaying (particularly focusing on Second Life) can negatively affect people's real world lives.

Michael Sheen has been cast as a vampire in Twilight sequel New Moon (IMDb, Variety). He will play Aro, the head of Italian vampire clan the Volturi. New Moon director Chris Weitz says of the character, "Aro is, on the surface, a very gracious and friendly vampire, but beneath that he is a tremendous threat." I have never read any of the books, so I don't know the characters, but judging by Weitz's description, Sheen is probably a good fit for the role. He can transition easily from gracious and friendly to threatening and dangerous, and he is overall a very talented actor. However, the first role I ever saw Michael Sheen play was the werewolf Lucian in Underworld. I think having Sheen play a vampire violates some sort of... mythical creature law, and we all may be in very grave danger.

ABC has announced they will air the leftover episodes of some of their cancelled series on Saturday nights at 10:00 starting May 30 (Variety). This means that the final three episodes of my dear show Pushing Daisies will finally be aired from May 30-June 13. Eli Stone, which I also followed, will have its final unaired episodes shown from June 20-July 11. Though I'm still sad these shows were cancelled, I am glad that I'll get to see whatever the shows' creative teams managed to pull together to end the series. Before I go and buy the complete DVD set of Pushing Daisies.

Speaking of cancelled series, while FOX is still not ready to make an official announcement, Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will not be returning for a third season ( Season 2 ended last week with some pretty exciting revelations and cliffhangers, but I think it was a satisfying end for the show. The question now is What will Summer Glau do next?

FOX is conducting some sort of viral campaign for Fringe (Variety). Michael Cerveris has appeared in character as the mysterious Observer at a number of live events broadcast on FOX, including American Idol, an NFL divisional playoff game, and a NASCAR race. FOX has not commented on the campaign, possibly to make the promotion a little more mysterious, but due to the character's hairless nature, insiders have apparently nicknamed the campaign the "Where's Baldo?" initiative. I am much amused. Unfortunately, I don't watch any of these live shows on FOX, but viewers have posted clips on YouTube, and FOX has not been complaining about it. See them here: Idol, NFL, NASCAR (I'm pretty sure the Lance Reddick voiceover in the latter two clips was added and not actually aired live).

Finally, I must admit I'm getting pretty psyched about the new Star Trek movie coming out on May 8. I am totally jealous of the people who got to see it at the surprise screening of the movie in Austin on April 6 (NYTimes blog). I'm really not any sort of Star Trek fanatic; I consider myself a casual fan of The Next Generation, but the only original Star Trek that I've seen is the whale movie. I am, however, a fan of J.J. Abrams, and I'm excited about what he's done with the franchise (i.e., reboot it with a cool movie that is accessible to people like me). I am also totally digging the cast. The only movie I've actually seen with Chris Pine (Kirk) is The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement (yes, I've seen it), but he's cute and, from what I can tell from the trailers, good for the part. Zachary Quinto (Spock), of course, is Sylar from Heroes. I'm still not sure about his voice (Leonard Nimoy has such a nice deep voice, which is not Quinto's natural tone), but I'm still rooting for him. Simon Pegg (Scotty) is hilarious and brilliant (I loved him in Hot Fuzz... still haven't seen Shaun of the Dead). Karl Urban (Bones) was Eomer. Zoe Saldana (Uhura) I noticed in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie because I already knew her from that ballet movie Center Stage (her big screen debut). John Cho (Sulu) is Harold of Harold & Kumar, which is awesome. And Anton Yelchin gets two super summer blockbusters within two weeks of each other, playing not only Chekov in Star Trek but Kyle Reese in Terminator: Salvation, which opens in theaters on May 21. Busy kid. I really hope the movie lives up to all the buzz. I can't wait.


Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

Pegg's in it? Sweet! I'm sure he'll get to deliver some fantastic ad lib lines. Or do something hilarious, at least.

I didn't know you were a Fringe watcher. I like it, though a lot of my friends (OK, acquaintances, I don't have many friends) don't think it's great.

I think it's the best sci-fi/supernatural show since X-Files (and I didn't like season 1 of Supernatural, though I hear that got better?).

The blonde is no Scully though, huh...

Eleni said...

Yeah, I like Fringe, and it's one of the few shows I watch that my housemate likes as well; she'll watch other shows sometimes with me, but this is basically the only one she makes time for each week.

I think the show is getting better, but Olivia Dunham is still no Sydney Bristow.