Monday, August 17, 2009

Spidey troubles, WoT MMO, new BSG and more

Some tidbits of recent entertainment news that caught my attention...

Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, who in this past year's Oscar ceremony turned Frost/Nixon into a romantic musical number (Jackman as Frost, Hathaway as Nixon), will re-team for a movie musical called "The Greatest Showman on Earth", about circus showman PT Barnum (IMDb). Jackman has proven himself in musicals, winning a Tony for best leading actor in a musical. All I've seen of Hathaway doing song and dance is that Frost/Nixon number. But she is a very talented young lady. This project is still "in development", so we'll see what becomes of it.

Having gently poked fun at the concept ever since I first heard about the project a year ago (various posts), I am sorry to report that there may be production troubles surrounding Spider-Man: The Musical (formally known as Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark). There have been a whole series of articles about it, reporting on various rumors that it's been scrapped or put on hold followed by producers insisting that it will debut as scheduled. It seems that the technically demanding show has run into monetary issues, perhaps not for lack of money but because there have been issues mobilizing the money that has been raised. Production is on hold until the cash starts flowing again, but people involved with the show are convinced that will be soon and they will be able to stick to the schedule, with previews starting on February 25 followed by a March opening (Variety, IMDb). There are rumors that cast and crew have been released from their contracts (IMDb), and Evan Rachel Wood, who was cast as Mary Jane, is looking to win back some movie offers she had passed up because of the musical (IMDb). After everything, I think I would be sad if this project fell apart. I'll be keeping my eyes open for more news.

Warner Bros. is planning to make a Lego movie (IMDb). The film will not use real Legos, but will be live-action/CG. No word on the plot, but the studio says the movie will be suitable for children but will also hopefully appeal to adults.

Jay Chou, a Taiwanese singer-actor, has been cast as Kato alongside Seth Rogan in The Green Hornet (Variety). He replaces Stephen Chow, who was originally also supposed to direct until he stepped down from that role to be replaced by Michel Gondry. I don't really know Chow or Chou, so I'm kind of indifferent to the recasting, other than it's a bit sad that someone originally planning to direct and star has been completely ousted. I don't know the story behind all this, but I guess that's the business.

Channing Tatum, the star of G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra as well as the Step Up movies, is apparently writing what he describes as a "fantastical dance-ical" (IMDb). This is apparently a dance musical with a fantasy theme, a la Alice in Wonderland. He's just working on it; the project is a long way off. Fantastical.

This bit of news isn't particularly interesting to me, though it does have a nice example of "artistic differences": the author of novel The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer wants Mickey Rourke for the lead role in the adaptation, while the director wanted Channing Tatum (IMDb). But the article made me laugh because of the line that labels someone as "the brains behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra". Haha. "Brains."

Chris Morgan, who was a screenwriter for Wanted, Cellular, and Fast and Furious, has signed on with Red Eagle Games as the story director for the Wheel of Time video games that Electronic Arts will publish for all major gaming platforms (Variety blog). Red Eagle is also planning to make an MMO based on the WoT world. A WoT FPS came out in 1999, but was not a hit. As a gamer and WoT reader, I am intrigued that they are making a new video game based on the series, and an MMO. I'll have to see how they come out; even though I'm a fan of the series, I won't play the game unless it's supposed to be good.

Bryan Singer, director of the first two X-Men movies and The Usual Suspects, has signed on to direct and produce a movie version of Battlestar Galactica (Variety blog). It will be a complete re-imagination of the BSG story (yes, another one). As a fan of the very recent BSG series on Sci-Fi, I find the fact that they're making the movie now to be very odd. It's too soon. We finished a very long, difficult journey just this past spring, and now they're going to do it all over again? And as a movie? Bryan Singer is pretty good, so I guess I'll wait to see where he takes this.

And last, Sony has hooked James Vanderbilt, the first writer of Spider-Man 4, to write the screenplays for the Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6 movies (Variety). Yes, while they're planning to begin production on Spider-Man 4 early next year, they are already getting two more sequels into motion. At this stage, we don't know if director Sam Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst would be back for 5 and 6 (they will all be back for #4). If not, then the new Vanderbilt scripts may become "reboots" for the franchise. Oy. If you must continue, just make them good, please.


CatNip Thief said...

I hope they are slight reboots. Like Superman Returns. That movie was technically part 3 when you think about it. Part one of Spidey is still the best and was perfect. But the whole love triangle best friend thing that started in part 2 and part 3 I really didn't like. Started feeling more about the relationships and less about spidey saving the city from the bad guys. Just got to corny and sappy for me. And besides. Everyone knows Gwen Stacy was his first girlfriend and dies at the bridge where the first movie takes place. Should be gwen falling to her doom. Not MJ. >.>

Eleni said...

I wouldn't mind a reboot as long as it's good. It does seem a little odd, though, to have a reboot so soon after such a popular run of the franchise.