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THE ULTIMATE PREY
John Weber gave an informative talk on the background of one
of his favorite films, THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. It had a budget of
$202,000 and Fay Wray worked simultaneously in this film and KING KONG.
In fact, for GAME, she kept her natural brunette locks and switched
to a blonde wig for KONG. The alternate title for this
film is THE HOUNDS OF ZAROFF, so called because the film-makers borrowed
20 hounds from comedian Harold Lloyd. Mr. Lloyd was not too happy
when his great danes were returned dyed dark brown. Originally, they
wanted to use a big cat for the final hunt, but it proved to be too unmanageable.
Also important to note is that the trophy room, which consisted of human
heads on Count Zaroff’s wall, was censored.
Thanks for the presentation, John – and for the great props!
MOST COPIED FILM OF ALL TIME?
After the presentation, it was time for the movie, the original version
of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. Even club members who were seeing this
film for the first time were familiar with the story from A GAME OF DEATH,
HARD TARGET, GET SMART or THE PEST.
WELCOME KYRA AMARA FLEMING!
Heather and Tim Fleming stopped by the East Coast for the Holidays
and visited their favorite film club. In tow with them was our newest
honorary member – Kyra Amara Fleming – our youngest club member!
Once she gets out of the bib stage, she can think about what she wants
on her badge.
Thanks for stopping by, Flemings! As always, it was wonderful
to see you!
BADGE MASTER 2 : THE LASER PRINTER OF DEATH
Dave Henderson has performed many thankless tasks over the past 6 years.
One of them is maker of badges. Now that Dave is stepping down from
the board, it’s time to turn that responsibility over to someone else.
Lucky for us, Steve Vaught volunteered!
Thanks Dave, for all of your work. You have a great knack for
finding pictures of the obscure films and actors (not to mention your freehand
skills)! And Steve, thanks for stepping up – we’ll look forward to
seeing your artistry.
THE ENVELOPE PLEASE!!
We had so many night owls at the Halloween all-nighter, that we ran
out of Iron-Man Plemplee awards. Once again, Mr. Henderson saved
the day with certificates of Merit which can be displayed proudly.
Our winners are: Kim Bartenslager, John Clayton, Andrew
Kent, Justin Proveaux, Tom Proveaux, Skip Phillips and Steve Vaught.
Honorable mention goes to Dava Sentz, who had all intentions of staying
all night, except that her mom, Donna Burke picked her up before the last
film credits rolled!
And let us give a little thanks to our original Iron Man, Joe Plempel,
without whom the entire all-nighter would be impossible.
HELP WANTED: FOOD CO-ORDINATOR
So, what’s a food co-ordinator? Someone who makes sure that food
is opened in a logical order. If we have two bottles of coke, make
sure the first one is done before opening the second. Keeping extra
food either in the kitchen or in the ICS storage box until what’s on the
counter has been consumed. John Ward is in this temporary role right
now – but we are looking for his replacement. If you have good organizational
skills and a dose of common sense, think about applying! If you are
interested, you know the drill - contact a board member.
DECEMBER YANKEE SWAP – NEW RULE!
Coming up – another annual event - the December Yankee Swap on December
18th. Please select a gift up to $25 in value. There is one
additional rule. Please include either a receipt or gift slip with
your Yankee Swap contribution. In case someone receives a second
copy of KILL BILL or a Jim Carrey movie, they can graciously accept it
in the swap and exchange for the gift of their choice later on. We
appreciate your co-operation!
NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
NOT THE LAST SATURDAY---NOT THE LAST SATURDAY !!!
Our next meeting will be held on Saturday December 18th at 5:30
P.M. at the church hall behind the Perry Hall Presbyterian Church located
at 8848 BelAir Road. Take Baltimore Beltway exit 32 north on Belair Road.
Turn left onto Joppa Road. Immediately past the miniature golf course turn
left into the parking lot. If you miss it there are ample turn-around opportunities.
If you get stuck call 443-570-6455. That's Dave Willard’s cell phone. He'll
talk you in.
CREATURES I HAVE LOVED
With a topic like that, who knows what Sue Feder has up her
sleeve for the December meeting. Sue’s night has been postponed for
about a year, so she’s had a lot of time to think this one over.
Hmmm.,. wouldn’t it be something if she loves DRACULA’S DOG (but who wouldn’t)!
FORKLIFTS AND DAGGERS
It’s time to test our new Midnight Movie policy: Second features
will be shown on even months. On the month preceding, we will vote
on the feature to be shown at the subsequent meeting. Does
that sound confusing? Well, it isn’t.
At our November meeting, we voted on what to watch in December.
The winners are: STAPLEFAHRER KLAUS, a 9 minute German film on forklift
safety with more gore than DEAD-ALIVE, from Regina’s collection and the
ICS premiere of the new wire-fu flick from Yimou Zhang (HERO), HOUSE OF
FLYING DAGGERS, courtesy of Andrew Kent! I can’t imagine any other
lineup that would put us in a Holiday mood!
2005 Calendars are now available. The theme is big Japanese
Monsters. Steve Vaught was the first to spot the naked lady hidden
amongst the monster pics. Calendars are $15. See Regina at
the next meeting to pick up yours if you have reserved one. There
are no extra calendars available.
The annual ICS Election is coming up at the January meeting.
Dave Henderson, who has been on the board since day one of the club, is
ending his term as a board member. Over the past several years, he
has contributed much as a board member, such as securing our current location,
arriving early to set up the building, participating in all conventions,
and handling reservations for the 5th anniversary bash at the Senator.
And this is just a small representation of what Hendo has done over the
past 6 years.
The current list of candidates is: Jim Childs, Andrew Kent, Joe
Plempel, Regina Vallerani, John Ward, and Dave Willard. If you are
interested in running, please let Dave Henderson know.
It’s time to renew your dues. The Cost is $25 per person
or $40 per couple. Family memberships are available at $25 for the
initial family member and $15 each for the second to nth family member.
Dues can be paid in one of the following 3 ways:
Cash or Check to Regina at a meeting
Mail a check to Regina at:
1 E CHASE ST APT 405
BALTIMORE, MD 21202
Via Paypal to ICSFILM@HOTMAIL.COM. There is a Paypal link from
the ICS Website (WWW.ICSFILM.NET).
This is the list of people who have paid their dues. If
you have paid your dues, but are not on this list, please contact Regina
at RVALLER107@HOTMAIL.COM to correct the omission.
SO YOU WANT MORE ICS? BE A PART OF THE ICS MESSAGE BOARD!
What a wonderful club we have, meeting people that are
interested in some of the same things you are – movies, TV shows and then
willing to talk about them ad nauseaum!
Well, it doesn’t have to be just once a month either!
Come to the ICS message board and join up, then you can
stop in, read and comment on the threads or create your own – the ICS message
boards can be a fun daily addiction.
The Message board is a great way to talk about movies
you have just seen or tv shows that are on or DVD’s you have picked up
and want to share with others and just can’t wait until the meeting to
expound about. It is divided into sections for TV & Movie talk, DVD
talk and then just General discussion where we can bring up anything. We
have a lot of laughs and want to encourage our members to join up- the
more the merrier!
Charlie was even nice enough to write up some instructions
on ‘how to join up’ for anyone slightly befuddled. It is pretty easy
and once you are a member there you can log in at any time and read the
message board and share your views.
ICS Forum Registration Instructions
1. Go to our website, www.icsfilm.net and then up at the top, click
on ICS forum box. This takes you right to the forum page. On the ICS Forum
page, look for the link in the upper right under the picture that says:
Register Your Free Account (Required). Click it.
2. Choose Global Account if you want to use other Ezboard forums.
Choose Local Account if you just plan to use the ICS Forum. You will
probably have a better chance to pick the user name you want using the
Local Account option.
3. Type in the desired user name, password, and retype the password.
Pick a “secret question” which will help if you forget your password.
Fill out the rest of the profile information then submit the application.
4. If you get a page that has “Free Sponsors” with check boxes, click
the “No thanks” link on the bottom right side of the page. You will be
5. Check your email for a validation message that reads something like
Your ezboard User Account is ready!
To validate your free ezboard.com account, please click
on the URL below. You will also receive a second email
with your User Name and Password once you are validated.
6. Follow the instructions for the validation link and you will be
registered. You’ll also get another email with information like your
user name and password. Just remember, that if you have a GLOBAL
account, you only have to type in the user name. If you have a LOCAL
account, you have to type in the user name followed by @theicsmessageboard
If you need help, email Charlie Wittig at firstname.lastname@example.org
tvnews tvnews tvnews TheGlassTeat tvnews tvnews
ALIAS WANTS ROSSELLINI BACK
Isabella Rossellini said that she's been asked to reprise
her role as Katya on ABC's spy drama ALIAS, which kicks off a fourth season
in January. "They called me the other day to see if I was available in
January, so I hope they'll make me kill someone else soon," Rossellini
said. "I did say that I was available, so hopefully [it will work out]."
Rossellini guest-starred three times last season as Katya,
the sister of Irina Derevko (Lena Olin). In her first episode, "Crossings,"
Katya informed Jack (Victor Garber) that Sydney (Jennifer Garner) was still
alive, and offered to do everything in her power to save Sydney, so long
as Jack agreed to kill Sloane (Ron Rifkin). Later, Katya tried to kill
Sydney and made romantic advances toward Jack.
"My character is pretty mysterious, and we're all very
devious," Rossellini said. "So the moment you think you get your character—'I'm
bad at this, but good at that'—uh-uh. The next script arrives, and you're
betraying [someone]. We're meaner than the public can even imagine."
Rossellini added that playing so mysterious and devious
a character wasn't unusual or difficult, as she's played dark characters
before. But she said that perpetrating Katya's brand of violence did not
come easily. "I had to take my chopsticks and put them [through] somebody's
hands," Rossellini said, referring to a scene in "Crossings."
"There were all these special effects, and I wasn't hurting
the person, but even just doing it I flinched a little bit. So the director
said to me, 'Isabella, you have the accent. If you get the violence, you
can be governor. So go. Go for it.'
They're a great bunch of people. [Executive producer]
J.J. Abrams and Jennifer Garner, they're so great. It's fun to be with
ALIAS begins its new season with a two-hour premiere on
Jan. 5 and moves to a new timeslot, Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following
Abrams' other hit series, LOST.
LIKING THE SMALLVILLE CHANGES
Kristin Kreuk, who plays Lana Lang in The WB's Superman
series SMALLVILLE, said that the show is entirely different this season
and that her character has undergone changes as well.
"That's actually quite fun for me," Kreuk said. "I enjoying
changing it up."
Among other things, Kreuk's Lana has developed a new relationship
with Jason Teague (Jensen Ackles), a storyline that will continue to develop.
"The show has evolved a lot," Kreuk said. "They were going darker last
year, which I actually thought was quite interesting, going more adult
and a little darker. But it wasn't appealing to the same audience anymore.
So they brought it back to being more youth-oriented, and there's more
sex, and I think the storylines are starting to shift again. There were
a lot of shuffles in The WB itself this year, so powers were kind of shifting,
and I think the direction of the show got confused. But now it's coming
together, and all these really great storylines that we have are being
fleshed out a little more."
Kreuk declined to discuss details. "I'm just going to
be selfish about this, because I really only know where I'm going, mostly,"
Kreuk said. "But we've got the storyline with Lana's tattoo. Jane Seymour
has come onto the show to play Jason's mother. Jane's character is quite
evil and complex, and Lana has dreamt of her in her past, from when she
was a witch. It's all convoluted, but they're going to flesh out that storyline
and see how it connects to the mythology and to Superman and to these crystals.
And that will eventually lead to ... well, that's the secret.".
DOCTOR WHOOOOO….DR. WHO. – THE TEASER GOES LIVE
The BBC has posted a teaser trailer for its upcoming new
DOCTOR WHO TV series, which premieres next year. Christopher Eccleston
will play the new Doctor, alongside Billie Piper as the Doctor's companion,
The Doctor and Rose will come face to face with a number
of new monsters, as well as battling with the Doctor's archenemy, the Daleks,
Filming in Cardiff, U.K., until 2005 for BBC One, DOCTOR
WHO is written by Russell T. Davies, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell
and Robert Shearman.
EVENT NEWS HAPPENING FANDOM THINGS EVENT NEWS
December 10th-12th, 2004: Philcon 2004, Marriott Center City Hotel Philadelphia,
February 11-13, 2005: Farpoint 2005, Hunt Valley Inn, Baltimore, MD
February 18-20, 2005: Katsucon 2005, Arlington, VA
movienews movienews Silver Screen movienews movienews
RAIMI AUCTIONS UP EBAY HORROR
Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert’s Ghost House Pictures
will produce DIBBUK BOX, from a script by Stephen Susco, who penned Ghost
House’s hit THE GRUDGE. The new project is based on an article from the
Los Angeles Times by Leslie Gornstein called Jinx in a Box, about an antique
wooden box sold on eBay that contained an evil spirit and was brought to
America by a Holocaust survivor after WWII. BOX will be about a woman who
buys a similar cursed item and then has to uncovers its secrets to save
her family’s lives. "Gornstein’s article is ideally suited to be retold
in a film that distinctively captures and magnifies the most chilling aspects
of this story. We envision this as a unique horror feature that is fundamentally
engaging and frightening," Raimi explained.
Ghost House, which is still plowing ahead
with 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, scripted by Stuart Beattie(COLLATERAL) from Steve
Niles’ comic, for Columbia, is also developing another horror feature with
a Beattie script for the Danny and Oxide Pang (THE EYE) to direct. And,
of course, a sequel to THE GRUDGE is also in the works, though a storyline
and filmmakers have yet to be announced.
DAWN OF THE REMAKE SEQUEL
Director Zack Snyder said that Universal Pictures
has already approached him to make a follow-up to his hit zombie remake
Dawn of the Dead, but that the movie won't be a remake of George Romero's
own sequel, Day of the Dead. "It's fascinating, because it's the sequel
to our movie," Snyder said in an interview. "I was like, 'We should do
a sequel to Day,' but they [weren't interested]."
Snyder said that he and screenwriter James
Gunn diverged from the rules Romero created for the original Dawn, which
rendered it difficult to continue remaking Romero's movies. "Inadvertently
we created a whole different world," Snyder said. "We went off, and in
a lot of ways the rules that George created don't apply at the end of this
Dawn." Snyder said that his original idea for the remake may have made
subsequent films harder to develop. "I always wanted to make a movie where
the zombies won from the beginning," he said. "I think I demonstrated that
in the first 10 minutes. It doesn't take long for them to really kind of
win. It's more about, like, you're [in] an air bubble."
Snyder said that talks have begun with Universal,
but the project does not have a definite start date. "We kicked around
some ideas, but I don't know what we're going to do with it," he said.
"We've talked about it. I met with James. I met with the producers. The
heat comes on and off of that. I think Universal wants it bad."
HEYMAN ON AN ODYSSEY
Harry Potter producer David Heyman has set
up The Odyssey, based on Homer's epic, at Regency Enterprises. British
screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce will adapt the epic poem for the screen.
The Odyssey centers on Odysseus and his 10-year journey home after the
Trojan War, during which he is confronted by natural and supernatural threats,
including shipwrecks, battles, monsters and the sea god Poseidon. Heyman
wants to tell the story from the point of view of Telemachus, Odysseus'
20TH CENTURY ARGONAUTS
Another Greek legend is on its way. Argonauts
will delve into the famous legend of Jason and the Golden Fleece although
don't expect any togas here. Michael Cooney (Identity) will script the
feature for Dreamworks which describes the project as in the vein of Raiders
of the Lost Ark. Taking place on the eve of WWII, a group of treasure hunters
think they've figured out the location of the fabled sunken ship of the
Argonauts. The Mummy man Stephen Sommers is set to produce - in fact he
was originally going to direct but has pulled back to simply produce. A
draft by Cooney is expected by early next year. DreamWorks is hoping for
a 2006 holiday season release.
INDY IV WHIPS UP ANOTHER WRITER
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have hired
Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) to pen a new draft of a proposed fourth
Indiana Jones movie. Nathanson has a track record with Spielberg, having
written Catch and co-written The Terminal. If Lucas, Spielberg and star
Harrison Ford approve of the draft, Spielberg would still have to make
the film a priority to get it into production anytime soon.
The Indiana Jones project seemed all but dead
in February, when Paramount Pictures called off a summer production start
because a script turned in by Frank Darabont didn't get a unanimous thumbs-up
from Lucas, Spielberg and Ford, the trade paper reported. The trio has
worked toward a fourth Indy film for a decade, with the understanding that
each had to approve the script or they wouldn't go forward.
BRIGHT LIGHTS UP ULTRAVIOLET
Cameron Bright recently wrapped production
on the upcoming SF-horror-adventure movie Ultraviolet, in which the 11-year-old
actor co-stars with Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil). "I play a boy—a petri-dish
boy—who was created in a lab," Bright said in an interview while promoting
his latest film, the controversial drama Birth. "And in my blood I hold
the antigens that can destroy the human race. Milla is Ultraviolet, and
she's trying to save me, trying to protect me."
Bright is best known to genre audiences for
his performance as the title character in Godsend, as well as for The Butterfly
Effect and his roles in such television shows as Dark Angel and Night Visions.
He and Jovovich filmed Ultraviolet in Shanghai and Hong Kong in China.
Written and directed by Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium), Ultraviloet will be
released in August 2005.
GREENLIGHT FOR FEAST
FEAST, the latest Project Greenlight movie,
has begun shooting in LA for Dimension release. Starring in the film, being
directed by John Gulager from Marcus Dunston and Patrick Melton’s screenplay,
are Krista Allen (PAYCHECK), Balthazar Getty (LOST HIGHWAY), Navi Rawat,
Josh Zuckerman, Eileen Ryan (EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS), Jenny Wade, rocker/actor
Henry Rollins, Judah Friedlander, Jason Mewes and Anthony "Treach" Criss.
The director’s pop, actor Clu Gulager (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD), has
FEAST, a mix of horror and gory humor, takes
place at a rural bar, where the patrons fall under siege by a flock of
flying, flesheating creatures. It’s the first genre outing for Greenlight,
the on-line contest set up to seek out up-and-coming directors and screenwriters.
Greenlight originators Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Chris Moore return as
executive producers, this time joined by fright master Wes Craven, while
Dimension’s direct-to-video sequel king Joel Soisson and his frequent partner
Michael Leahy are producing. Gary Tunnicliffe (EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING)
tackles the makeup FX chores. Bravo airs the PROJECT GREENLIGHT series
beginning next February, while FEAST will open in theaters sometime in
GHOST RIDER REVS UP
An information session on the Ghost Rider
film being shot in Melbourne Australia was recently held at ACMI (Australian
Centre for the Moving Image) and featured writer/director Mark Steven Johnson
and producers Bennett Walsh and Gary Foster. Amongst topics discussed were
the long development process that the film had undergone, which was relatively
fast tracked once Mark Steven Johnson came aboard the project and offered
his take on the story. LA based company Imageworks was confirmed as the
effects house for the production and the casting of Nic Cage was effectively
confirmed, although apparently no official announcements have been made.
Johnson stated that he will be keeping as
faithful to the comic book concepts as possible, while trying to make the
concept of a demonic character fighting evil more plausible within the
logic of his story. To this end, he is approaching the Ghost Rider as a
"Bounty hunter for the Devil", and he described the feel of the film as
a modern day western with supernatural elements.
The story will feature the Johnny Blaze version
of the Ghost Rider and will also feature Mephistopheles and Blackheart
as villains, and was described as a "Faustian" tale. It was confirmed that
CG effects will be used for the Rider character (no surprise given the
Costume-wise the look of the Rider will continue
to develop over the course of the movie, so we'll get to see him in stunt-rider
gear as well as the chains and spike look from the 90's comics version.
The film will start filming in Melbourne on January 31 in locations around
Melbourne and Broken Hill - including a stadium shoot - quite probably
for one of Johnny Blaze's stunt shows. An 80 day shoot is planned.
RETURN TO THE PRECINCT
The remake of John Carpenter’s ASSAULT ON
PRECINCT 13 is nearing completion in post-production. Director Jean-Francois
Richet (All About Love) directed from a script by James DeMonaco (The Negotiator).
The cast includes Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Maria Bello, John Leguizamo,
Drea de Matteo, Ja Rule, Gabriel Byrne, and Brian Dennehy. The flick is
billed as an action-thriller set in the present day, in an about-to-be-closed
police precinct building. During a snowy New Year's Eve, a most-wanted
mobster, Nicholas Zambrano (Fishburne), is temporarily incarcerated at
the doomed Precinct 13 - and the address received renewed, unwanted attention
from all sides of the law. As the sun sets and a long night begins, a motley
crew of policemen and prisoners, reluctantly captained by cop Jake Roenick
(Hawke), must band together to fight off a rogue gang that wants to extract
Zambrano at any cost. Assault on Precinct 13 hits theaters in January 2005.
THE FOG ROLLS AGAIN
Revolution Studios has acquired rights to
remake John Carpenter's 1980 horror film The Fog. Cooper Layne (The Core)
will write the script. Debra Hill and Carpenter, who wrote the original,
will produce the remake with David Foster. John Carpenter commented, "I
have done it once, and I don’t want to do it again. I did my FOG, and now
it’s someone else’s time. It’s very flattering. It’s terrific that they
want to make it. We have been thinking of doing THE FOG over for some time,
as maybe a sequel. But now is the season of the remake." The Fog centered
on a Northern California town and its inhabitants, who bear some responsibility
for a shipwreck 100 years earlier, and the spirits of the drowned seamen,
who return in a mysterious fog to wreak vengeance. The Fog is slated for
a February production start.
SCI-FI UNDER GLAZER’S SKIN
Jonathan Glazer (Birth) said that he plans
to direct a big-screen version of Michael Faber's sci-fi novel Under the
Skin. Set in Scotland, Under the Skin tells the story of an alien living
on Earth in human female form, who plucks hunky male hitchhikers from the
road, fattens them up, kills them and then ships them to her home planet
to be served as a delicacy for the upper class.
"The heart of the story is really about the fact that
we're not necessarily the top of the food chain," Glazer said. "That's
the prose of the piece, but the poetry of the piece is everything that
spins from that. For us, it's about the little man versus the corporation.
It's about the fact that the pursuit of money is a universal thing, and
that in our search for light we find the dark." Glazer added, "I think
it's a very powerful political piece, actually, and I'm very excited about
Glazer said that Under the Skin is in the
earliest stages of development and that he's not yet finalized a script,
selected a cast or envisioned the look of the aliens. "I'm thinking hard
about that, actually," Glazer said. "That's a very difficult question to
answer. The aliens are the hardest thing to do, because we want to do them
in a way that's never been seen before." If all goes according to plan,
Glazer hopes to roll camera on Under the Skin in November 2005.
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN KUNG-FU DWARFS
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon
will write Snow and the Seven, a martial-arts/Chinese fantasy retelling
of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, for Walt Disney Pictures. Yuen Wo Ping,
the choreographer of groundbreaking action films The Matrix and Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon, will direct the live-action movie. Previously known
as Snow White and the Seven Shao Lin, the movie will mark Yuen's English-language
directorial debut. The original draft of the script was written by Josh
Harman and Scott Elder. The project will be set in 1880s British colonial
China and will have fantasy and martial arts elements, with the "seven"
being Shaolin monks. The story also will hearken back to aspects of the
original Grimm Brothers' fairy tale. Chabon is the author of Wonder Boys
and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which won him the 2001
Pulitzer for literature. Chabon also was a writer on Spider-Man 2.
THE BLOB OOZES AGAIN
Paramount Pictures and producer Scott Rudin
will remake The Blob, the 1958 camp sci-fi movie that launched the career
of Steve McQueen. The movie centers on a jelly-like substance that crashes
from space and grows as it consumes every human in its path. Paramount
is picking the project up from Warner Brothers, where the film's original
producer, Jack Harris, set it up. No writer has yet been set for the remake,
which will be updated. The original movie launched several spin-offs and
was remade in 1988, when Frank Darabont wrote the script with Chuck Russell,
MEMOIR OF A TEEN-AGE CANNIBAL
Film rights for a new Hannibal Lecter novel,
Behind the Mask, have been acquired by the Dino DeLaurentiis Company, which
produced the Hannibal movies, Red Dragon and Hannibal. The book is scheduled
for release next Fall. Harris has written three previous Lecter books:
Red Dragon, Hannibal and The Silence of the Lambs, which was adapted into
an Academy Award winning movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.
Dino De Laurentiis, who first introduced Hannibal Lecter to the big screen
in MANHUNTER and also produced its remake RED DRAGON and HANNIBAL, inspired
Harris to pen MASK in the first place, convincing the author that there
was demand for more of the cannibal’s exploits. MASK, for which Harris
is scripting the film version concurrently with writing the novel, will
expand on a passage from the HANNIBAL novel which describes how Lecter
watched his young sister being murdered and eaten by soldiers in WWII Lithuania.
"It is a revenge story that shows why he became a cannibal," De Laurentiis
explained. "But he kills people that audiences want to see killed. So while
there is a natural revulsion, the sympathy toward Hannibal remains."
Continuing the trend of directors from outside
the horror genre tackling the good doctor’s exploits, De Laurentiis has
already signed Peter Webber to helm the feature; Webber’s credits include
THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING and episodes of SIX FEET UNDER. De Laurentiis’
wife Martha will join him on the producing side, and the movie will roll
in May for summer 2006 release; Universal and MGM, which partnered on HANNIBAL
and RED DRAGON, will have the first shot at domestic distribution rights.
The film will be shot in Europe, and three different actors (yet to be
cast) will play Lecter at different times in his life.
HANKS FUELS EMBER
Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman
have bought Jeanne DuPrau's young adult SF best-seller The City of Ember
to adapt into a movie. The partners are in talks with Edward Scissorhands
screenwriter Caroline Thompson to adapt it and Gil Kenan (upcoming MONSTER
HOUSE) to make his live-action directorial debut. Walden Media is coming
aboard as co-producer and financier. The sci-fi fantasy adventure is set
in a future when Earth's citizens have moved underground to escape the
planet's toxic atmosphere and deals with two teens: one who longs to be
a messenger to venture above ground, and another who dreams of working
underground to repair a generator whose failure will doom the city's power
supply. The deal includes an option on a sequel novel DuPrau is writing.
THE LEGEND GROWS
Justin Theroux (MULHOLLAND DR), Brooke Adams
(THE UNBORN) and Mark Boone Junior (VAMPIRES) have been added to the cast
of THE LEGEND OF LUCY KEYES, the supernatural chiller reported last month
in the ICS Files. Theroux joins previously cast Julie Delpy as a couple
from the city who move into a new rural home, and find a 250-year-old local
myth about a missing girl repeating itself when their young daughter vanishes.
Writer/director John Stimpson began shooting the indie feature during November
in central Massachusetts.
TARANTINO TALKS MANDARIN
Director Quentin Tarantino says he's planning
a kung-fu film with all the dialogue in Mandarin Chinese and out-of-sync
English dubbing in homage to many such films in the past. In an interview
with Total Film magazine, Tarantino said he decided to do the kung-fu movie
instead of Inglorious Bastards, the working title of his long-expected
movie based on World War II. "I enjoyed shooting all the Japanese stuff
in Kill Bill so much that this whole film will be entirely in Mandarin,"
he said. "If you're not up to watching it with subtitles, I really want
to do a full-on dubbed version."
SHARK BOY SWIMS INTO DIMENSION
Sony is in talks with Dimension to co-finance
Robert Rodriguez's family movie The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl
IN 3-D. Under terms of the deal Dimension would handle domestic distribution
and Sony would take international. George Lopez and Jacob Davich
are starring in the film, which is about a 10-year-old outcast forced to
spend summer vacation alone who teams up with two imaginary friends to
go on a mission to prove dreams can be reality. Newcomers Taylor Dooley,
Taylor Lautner and Cayden Boyd also star. Rodriguez wrote the script and
is directing the movie, which is aiming at a June 2005 release date.
TRANSFORMERS MORPHS ON
John Rogers (Catwoman) is writing Transformers,
a DreamWorks/Paramount live-action SF movie based on the popular Hasbro
toys. Steven Spielberg is executive producing the movie, which is slated
for a summer 2006 release and is being eyed as the start of a franchise.
Angry Films chief Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto, who executive produced the
two X-Men films, are producing the movie, along with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura.
DeSanto wrote the story that Rogers will adapt. Transformers, which were
popular in the 1980s, are giant robots that morph into cars, trucks and
planes. Rogers is also working on Rush Hour 3 for director Brett Ratner
at New Line, due out next year. At DreamWorks, he's producing Fatal Frame,
based on the Japanese video game.
LINNEY DEFENDS EXORCIST
Laura Linney said that she's just started
work on her next movie, a horror-thriller entitled The Exorcism of Anneliese
Miche (reported last month in the ICS Files.). "The Exorcism of Anneliese
Michel is based on a trial that happened in Bavaria in the late '70s,"
Linney said in an interview. "It will not take place in Bavaria, nor will
it take place in the late '70s, but it's about a woman who went through
a series of exorcisms and then died a young girl of 22." Linney, whose
previous genre credits include Congo and The Mothman Prophecies, added,
"The priest [who led the exorcism] was arrested and put on trial for negligent
homicide. Tom Wilkinson (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is playing
the priest. Campbell Scott (Dead Again) is the prosecuting attorney, and
I'm the defense attorney." The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel will be released
AMERICA LULLED INTO DEATH TRANCE
Media Blasters has announced that it is co-producing
DEATH TRANCE with Japan’s Media Suits, Inc. The film is the first in a
deal to co-produce three features, budgeted at $3-$5 million, over the
next five years. DEATH TRANCE is a supernatural samurai adventure to be
directed by Yuji Shimomura, the action choreographer on Ryuhei Kitamura’s
VERSUS and ALIVE (both out Stateside on Media Blasters DVDs) as well as
BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL (coming to US DVD soon from Subversive Cinema). Tak
Sakaguchi, from VERSUS, BATTLEFIELD and Kitamura’s upcoming GODZILLA: FINAL
WARS will star, and executive producer Yoshinori Chiba also has a long
list of genre credits, including Keita Amamiya’s ZEIRAM, the EKO EKO AZARAK
series and Takashi Miike’s FUDOH. The release of DEATH TRANCE will be accompanied
by a manga book series that will also be distributed Stateside by Media
BARKER STARTS PLAGUE
Clive Barker's Midnight Picture Show has teamed
with Armada Pictures to produce the SF horror thriller film Plague. Hal
Masonberg will direct the film from a script he wrote with Teal Minton
(the duo are former casting agents turned scriptwriters). The film is in
pre-production for a February start. Plague is set in the future, when
a mysterious apocalypse has left the world's children comatose and unresponsive.
Trouble starts when the grownup kids wake up and lash out against their
parents. Barker, Jorge Saralegui and Tim O'Hair are producing. Midnight
Picture Show is the joint venture between Barker's Seraphim Films and Saralegui.
Barker (Hellraiser) is currently producing Dread for 20th Century Fox,
based on his short story of the same name. He's also writing Tortured Souls
for Universal and is attached to direct.
GELLAR TO SHOOT REVOLVER
Fresh off the success of her hit horror film
The Grudge, star Sarah Michelle Gellar has signed on to headline Revolver,
a supernatural thriller film, for Focus Features' Rogue Pictures. Asif
Kapadia (The Warrior) will direct Revolver, which follows a tough, successful
saleswoman whose vivid nightmares drive her to investigate the mysterious
death of another young woman 25 years earlier. Adam Sussman wrote the script,
and Aaron Ryder will produce through his Raygun Productions company. No
start date has been set. Ryder is also working on Rogue’s English-language
remake of the Korean chiller PHONE.
It's not clear whether Gellar will star in
The Grudge 2, the upcoming sequel film from Senator International and Ghost
House Pictures. Stephen Susco, who wrote The Grudge based on the Japanese
horror film Ju-on, has been hired to write The Grudge 2. It's also not
clear whether Grudge director Takashi Shimizu will be part of the sequel.
Shimizu directed the first installment, as well as Ju-on, the 2003 Japanese
film on which it's based.
SERENITY FLIES TO THE BIG SCREEN
Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed the upcoming
sci-fi movie Serenity, claims it's been a challenge adapting his low-rated
Fox TV series Firefly for the big screen. "It's incredibly hard, you know,
building a story that doesn't repeat or contradict what we've already done,
that satisfies the fans, and yet is really made for people who have never
seen the show," Whedon said in an interview on the film's set at Universal
Studios in Los Angeles last August. "[It's] incredibly tricky. There's
Serenity, set 500 years in the future, picks up
the story of the intrepid crew of the Firefly-class transport ship Serenity.
Fox canceled Firefly in the middle of its first season, but fan enthusiasm
for the show and its subsequent DVD release persuaded Universal Pictures
to green-light a movie adaptation.
"It's the hardest story I've ever had to structure," Whedon
said. But, he added, "once I get writing these people, it's the easiest
thing in the world, because I know them so well. The other thing is, a
TV show is built around slow development of character. A movie ... is built
around momentum. They're very different things. So ... you have to let
some things drop, and you have to speed some things up, and you have to
sort of know which ones are which."
Serenity also marks longtime TV veteran Whedon's feature-film
DIMENSION PULLS STRINGS ON DOLL MASTER
Dimension Films has acquired the rights to
remake the South Korean horror film THE DOLL MASTER (INHYEONGSA). Written
and directed by first-timer Jeong Yong-ki, the movie is about a group of
people invited to a remote art museum, where dolls are to be created in
their images. After meeting the museum’s weird inhabitants (human and doll),
they start getting killed off one by one. Dimension also bought North American
and Australian distribution rights on the original.
DROP THE BOLL
HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2, the upcoming sequel to
Uwe Boll’s original arcade-like zombie shoot ‘em up, has landed a different
director to breath new life into the franchise. Taking over (many would
say thankfully) for Uwe Boll (with ALONE IN THE DARK completed and awaiting
release he is currently finishing BLOODRAYNE) is Mike Hurst, a Britisher
who previously scripted and helmed the 1999 crime thriller NEW BLOOD, starring
John Hurt, Nick Moran and THE MATRIX’s Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano,
and this year’s crime comedy THE BABY JUICE EXPRESS, also starring and
co-scripted by Moran. The new HOUSE began rolling the last week of November
for Lions Gate release.
LEVEN IS PEN OF STEEL
DreamWorks has tapped Jeremy Leven (The Notebook)
to write the robot-boxing movie Real Steel and is in talks with Jonathan
Mostow (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) to direct. DreamWorks launched
the project last year when it bought Dan Gilroy's spec script for Robert
Zemeckis' ImageMovers company to produce. DreamWorks-based ImageMovers,
Don Murphy and Rick Benatar are producing.
Real Steel takes place in a future in which 2,000-pound robots resembling
humans battle in a boxing ring. The story revolves around a promoter who
takes his fighter to the championships
ALBA GOES SONIC
Jessica Alba will get $3 million to star in
and produce the Regency Enterprises sci-fi drama Sonic, written by newcomer
Kirsten Elms. Sonic is set in the not-too-distant future and follows a
young waitress who dies suddenly, but is brought back to life by her lover,
the trade paper reported. Alba (Fantastic Four) and her Thruline Entertainment
manager Chris Henze have been developing the project with producers John
Davis and Wyck Godfrey after reading it as a writing sample for another
project earlier this year. Alba and Henze will executive produce, while
Davis and Godfrey will produce. The former Dark Angel star recently completed
the 2005 releases Sin City for director Robert Rodriguez at Dimension Films
and Into the Blue for director John Stockwell at MGM. Fantastic Four is
currently in production.
Blade: Trinity writer/director David Goyer
is contemplating a spinoff movie centering on the Nightstalker characters
of Abby Whistler (Jessica Biel) and Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) if Trinity
does well. "When New Line read the script, they said, 'Wow, these characters
are really great. We love these characters. We'd love to see them again
for sure,'" Goyer said in an interview. "And then when we cast Ryan and
Jessica, they just said, 'Well, ... should they be successful, let's put
something in place. Let's put a deal in place just in case.'"
In Trinity, Reynolds (Van Wilder) plays King,
a former vampire who now hunts them with Biel's Abby, the daughter of Kris
Kristofferson's Whistler character, and the duo hook up with Blade (Wesley
Snipes) to tackle a group of ruthless bloodsuckers who have resurrected
Dracula. Both Reynolds and Biel have signed contracts to appear in a spinoff
film. "I loved working with Ryan and Jessica, would work with them again
in a heartbeat," Goyer said. "And so if the will of the people dictates
it—if [Blade: Trinity]'s successful, and people really respond to the characters—then
we'll try a movie with them. It wouldn't involve vampires, though. It would
be something else." Blade: Trinity, the third movie in the vampire franchise,
is being released by New Line on Dec. 8.
SOYLENT GREEN IS STILL PEOPLE
Blade: Trinity writer/director David Goyer
said that his proposed remake and update of the classic 1973 SF movie Soylent
Green will pick up where the original film left off: with the well-known
revelation that "Soylent Green is people!" "I will say that the reveal
at the end of the first movie happened at the end of our first act," Goyer
said in an interview. "So the first movie is kind of the first act of our
film, and then it's about what happens afterwards."
The first movie, set in a dystopian future, centers
on a cop (Charlton Heston) who investigates a murder, leading to the gruesome
discovery about the principal food source of the overburdened population.
The film's surprise ending is by now familiar
to audiences, "of course, which is why you can't have that be the punch
line anymore," Goyer said. Goyer added that he won't write or direct the
remake, but will instead act as producer under his just-signed one-year
first-look deal with Warner Brothers.
ALLEN ZOOMS TO SCI-FI
Tim Allen said that he'll begin work on his
next movie, the sci-fi comedy Zoom's Academy, after he completes work on
a remake of The Shaggy Dog. Based on Jason Lethcoe's comic book, Zoom's
Academy is "about an aging superhero [Allen] who has lost his powers and
is forced to mentor a group of very gifted young people," Allen said in
an interview. "He has to encourage their handicaps, which are, in a sense,
super powers. But on the surface they're handicaps." Allen added, "He tells
them that all super powers are that, handicaps on the surface. And by this
resurrection of his caring spirit and a big, huge villain, I get my very
powerful powers [back], and we save the world."
Lethcoe's comic is targeted at young adults,
and Allen said that the story blends elements of X-Men, The Incredibles
and the Spy Kids adventures. "I told them when I signed on, ... ‘I don't
want it as dark as the X-Men or as fanciful as Spy Kids,’” Allen said.
"It's in between there. These aren't mutants. These are handicapped children,
but the handicaps are special abilities. Of course, I'm from the '50s in
the movie, and I say things like, 'And we just have to irradiate them!'
I just want to bombard them with gamma rays. And they go, 'No, we don't
do that anymore!' That's how I got my powers, but it also made me very
sick. It's just terrific. It's so warm and different. I love science fiction.
It's in the vein of Galaxy Quest, and that's another reason why I signed
on. We're going to start in March, the week after I wrap The Shaggy Dog."
Peter Hewitt (The Borrowers, Garfield: The Movie) is set to direct Zoom's
Academy, which will be released in 2006, with its title possibly shortened
D-WAR ON THE FRONT BURNER
Jason Behr (THE GRUDGE) has the lead in the
upcoming dragon invasion film D-WAR. A Korean/U.S. co-production based
on a legend from the former country, the movie (a.k.a. DRAGON WARS) is
about a plague of winged, fire-breathing monsters attacking Earth. Behr
plays reporter Ethan Kendrick, who teams with a girl named Sarah (Aimee
Garcia), who’s stricken with a strange illness, to stop the creatures from
destroying Los Angeles. The cast also includes TWIN PEAKS’ Chris Mulkey
and Matthias Hues (I COME IN PEACE); the director is Hyung-rae Shim, who
previously unleashed a scaly city-smasher in YONGGARY (a.k.a. REPTILIAN).
POTTER SCRIBE STEPS DOWN
According to producer David Heyman, Steven
Kloves, who wrote the first four Harry Potter screenplays will be stepping
aside for the fifth installment in the series, Harry Potter and the Order
of the Phoenix, to return to directing. Kloves wrote and directed the 1989
film The Fabulous Baker Boys and he is anxious to get back into directing.
Heyman will be working with writer Michael Goldenberg on the script for
Order of the Phoenix, with the usual final approval by J.K. Rowling herself.
Goldenberg wrote Jodie Foster's Contact, the 2003 adaptation of Peter Pan,
as well as the screenplay for the upcoming Where the Wild Things Are film,
which is to be directed by Spike Jonze. At the time of this writing, the
plans are to start shooting Order of the Phoenix in January 2006 for a
Spring or Fall 2007 release. A director should hopefully be announced by
the end of the year.
SPIERIG BROTHERS FIND THE DAY
Lions Gate Films said at the American Film
Market that it has acquired the horror spec Daybreakers, written and to
be directed by Australian filmmaking twins Peter and Michael Spierig. Daybreakers
explores a near-future world conquered by vampires, where a small band
of humans are fighting to bring back humankind. The Spierig brothers directed
the cult horror film Undead, which Lions Gate previously acquired. Brothers
Sean and Bryan Furst, who paired up with Lions Gate to distribute The Cooler,
WHAT’S NEXT FOR CAGE
Nicolas Cage will star in and Lee Tamahori
will direct the sci-fi action thriller Next, based on the short story The
Golden Man by Philip K. Dick. Cage will also produce the film for Revolution
Studios. Gary Goldman, who adapted the Dick story We Can Remember It for
You Wholesale into 1990's Total Recall, wrote the script for Next. Tamahori
directed Die Another Day.
Cage will play a man who can see the future
and change events before they happen. Eventually, he is forced to choose
between saving the world and saving himself. Next is expected to start
shooting next summer. Cage will produce, along with his Saturn Films partner
Norm Golightly. Goldman will be an executive producer, along with Jason
Koornick, who holds the rights to Dick's short story.
TINGLER SCREAMS AGAIN
Neal Moritz is set to bring back the 1959
horror classic The Tingler for Columbia Pictures. Greg Pace is set to write
the feature. The original movie starred Vincent Price as a scientist who
discovers an organism that grows along a person's spine when that person
enters a state of extreme fear. One way to defeat the creature is to scream.
The movie was directed and produced by horrormeister William Castle, who
was known for his promotional gimmicks: For The Tingler, Castle wired theater
seats so that audiences felt a jolt when a scream occurred during the movie.
The new version will follow a scientist who, in the search for a medical
cure for fear, unleashes the Tingler, an entity that kills its victims
THE URBANE DOUG BRADLEY
Park Entertainment has picked up the worldwide
distribution rights to URBANE, a horror feature starring Doug Bradley.
The movie, currently in development, was written and will be directed by
Frazer Lee, who previously made the short films ON EDGE and RED LINES,
both featuring Bradley and released on DVD together. It’s set at a medical
school where a student named Lili is drawn into the horrific world of the
titular sect after the suicide of her roommate; Bradley will play the owner
of a fetish club, and another HELLRAISER veteran, Bob Keen, is on board
to create the makeup FX. An URBANE graphic novel is also in the works.
Universal has bought the horror script THE
STRANGERS by Bryan Bertino for Vertigo Entertainment to produce. A semifinalist
in the recent Nicholl Fellowship screenwriting competition, first-timer
Bertino’s work is about a couple who return from a wedding to their isolated
house and come under attack by a trio of mysterious people. Vertigo currently
has a first-look deal with Universal after setting up Asian-remake projects
all over Hollywood, including THE RING and its sequel at DreamWorks, THE
GRUDGE at Columbia and the upcoming DARK WATER at Disney. The company’s
Roy Lee and Doug Davison will produce THE STRANGERS, along with Senator
Entertainment, parent of Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert’s Ghost House Pictures,
which produced THE GRUDGE.
SOPRANO ON A DARK RIDE
Jamie-Lynn DiScala, who plays Meadow on THE
SOPRANOS, is starring in DARK RIDE, a horror film currently shooting in
LA (at Universal Studios and elsewhere) for My2Centences in association
with Blue Omega Entertainment, with Lions Gate set to release. DiScala
plays one of a group of college students on a road trip who stop in at
an abandoned amusement park in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The film is largely
set inside a horror attraction there, where the youths are stalked and
slain by a vicious murderer. The cast also includes Patrick Renna, Alex
Solowitz (GHOST WORLD), David Rogers, Jennifer Kelly Tisdale and Andrea
Bogart. Craig Singer is directing from a script he wrote with Robert Dean
Klein, with Chris Williams producing. Patrick Magee of Magee FX, who has
worked on real haunted attractions as well as the unofficial superhero
shorts BATMAN: DEAD END and WORLD’S FINEST, is creating the special makeup.
GREENGRASS LOOKS TO WATCHMEN
Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy) will
direct Watchmen, a film adaptation of Alan Moore's classic superhero graphic
novel, for Paramount Pictures, stepping in for Darren Aronofsky. David
Hayter wrote the screenplay for Watchmen, which Paramount was eager to
put into production. With Greengrass aboard, the project is now eyeing
a possible 2006 release date. Writer Moore and artist Dave Gibbon created
the comic in 1986, and Aronofsky had been attached to direct, but bowed
out because of scheduling conflicts. Aronofsky is shooting The Fountain,
starring Hugh Jackman.
DEL TORO JAMS ON HELLBOY 2
Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro said in
a recent interview that he is actively developing a sequel film for a 2006
release, again based on Mike Mignola's graphic novel series. "The storyline
for this one is going to be created both by Mike Mignola and [me], and
we've been on the phone [talking] about it and just jamming," del Toro
explained. "We have one idea that we have been nurturing since the early
stages of the first film, and we're fleshing it out. Definitely, it's been
a very active communication."
In addition to bringing back Hellboy (Ron
Perlman), Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones, with a
voice by David Hyde Pierce), Hellboy 2 will also feature other characters
from Mignola's universe, del Toro said. "You will get new characters from
the B.P.R.D. comics," del Toro said, referring to Hellboy's organization,
the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. "You're going to get Johan,
the guy with no body, which is a really great character. And we're going
to have a little surprise cameo from one of the villains from the first
Mexican-born del Toro said he wants to begin
production on Hellboy 2 after he shoots a smaller, Spanish-language movie
first. "We're going to be thinking about late 2005 at the earliest to start
pre-production," he said. "You never know with these things, but that would
be a good guess."
KILLER RIPTIDES CRASHING IN
With the completion of SATAN’S PLAYGROUND,
which apparently looks like it’s headed for theatrical release, writer/director
Dante Tomaselli is next tackling a project that will take him from PLAYGROUND’s
Pine Barrens to the sea. "I’m prepping THE OCEAN right now," Tomaselli
tells the site. "It’s about supernatural riptides terrorizing a coastal
community. Expect plenty of drownings, possessions and spooky haunted-house
scenarios. I’m writing the script and designing the soundtrack right now.
I plan on shooting THE OCEAN in the summer of 2005. [PLAYGROUND star] Felissa
Rose plays a religious woman haunted by the drowning deaths of her husband
and son. She inherits a mansion overlooking the crashing surf. It’s a dreamy,
disturbing horror film with chills galore."
Rose isn’t the only genre veteran Tomaselli
is aiming to cast. "I would love to have [SUSPIRIA’s] Jessica Harper play
Felissa’s mother in the film," he says, "and I think I’m going to pursue
that. I already have Judith O’Dea [NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD] committed
for a role. Obviously, I’m the kind of director who’s more impressed with
actors like Ellen Sandweiss [the EVIL DEAD vet who also stars in PLAYGROUND]
than Meryl Streep."
RAVIN RIDES SANTA’S SLAY
Emilie de Ravin (ABC's Lost) said that her
next project is a horror-comedy feature film entitled Santa's Slay. "It's
a black-comedy Christmas movie," de Ravin said in an interview. "That was
a lot of fun to shoot. I have some comedy to work with, which I hadn't
really explored too much before." Written and directed by first-timer David
Steiman, Santa's Slay posits that Santa Claus (professional wrestler Bill
Goldberg) is actually a demon who lost a bet with an angel and has spent
a near-eternity spreading joy and doling out presents. When the bet ends,
however, the demon returns to his wicked ways.
"I play Mac, who's a high school student,"
de Ravin said. "My friend Nicholas [Douglas Smith] and I pretty much save
the day in the movie, or at least we're trying to. It turns out that Nick's
grandpa [Robert Culp] was actually the angel, and he gave up his eternal
life to marry his wife. And all is being revealed now because Nick has
found the “Book of Claus,” which is pretty much the book of secrets to
do with what actually happened. So he's back, and now we're trying to save
the day and kill Santa. It was fun playing high school again [as she had
on The WB's Roswell] and being the kids on the run." Santa's Slay will
be released in 2005.
TURTURRO LEADS FEAR X
The indie company Silver Nitrate (DEAD BIRDS,
FRANKENFISH, Chris Fisher’s HILLSIDE STRANGLER) has acquired the nightmarish
psychological thriller FEAR X and will release the film theatrically in
New York and Los Angeles on January 21, 2005. FEAR X stars SECRET WINDOW's
John Turturro as a man obsessed with finding the true circumstances surrounding
the murder of his wife.
FEAR X, which co-stars CRASH’s Deborah Kara
Unger and James Remar (WHAT LIES BENEATH), marks the English-language debut
of Denmark native Nicolas Winding Refn. The film was scripted by Refn and
the late author Hubert Selby Jr. (LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, REQUIEM FOR A
DREAM)—marking the latter’s first original screenplay—and music great Brian
Eno (DUNE) of Roxy Music created the original score. The surreal, haunting
drama, which resides squarely in TWIN PEAKS territory, has won kudos from
genre fans on both sides of the Atlantic.
DEAD RISES AGAIN
After years of rumors and speculation about
an EVIL DEAD 4, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert will instead oversee a remake
of their gruesome classic via their Ghost House Pictures banner, producing
the new film with series star Bruce Campbell. Raimi won’t direct, and a
script won’t be written until a new filmmaker is chosen to helm the project;
it’s not likely Campbell will star either. "THE EVIL DEAD is such a special
film to Sam, Rob, Bruce and horror fans that we are going to take great
care in renewing this franchise," Joe Drake, president of Ghost House parent
company Senator International, explained. "By keeping its original formula
intact and given audiences’ appetite for horror, we expect that we’ll have
a real hit on our hands." The original movie spawned Evil Dead II (which
was essentially a remake of the first film) and Army of Darkness, all of
which starred Campbell as the demon-fighting Ash.
WHISPER GETS HEARD
Gold Circle Films, H2F Entertainment and Deacon
Entertainment are teaming to produce the supernatural thriller Whisper.
Gold Circle is fully financing the project.
Scripted by producer-turned-writer Chris Borrelli, the New England-set
story revolves around the kidnapping of a young boy by a former convict
and three friends. After a series of unexplained events, they begin to
realize that the child is less innocent than he seems. No director has
been set yet, nor has a distributor, though Gold Circle currently has an
output deal with Universal.
WAR WARPS INTO PRODUCTION
Steven Spielberg will make his upcoming H.G.
Wells adaptation War of the Worlds in a breathtaking eight months, from
the start of filming Nov. 7 to the June 29, 2005, release date. Shooting
in New York and New Jersey, the director will film the movie's big action
sequences first, to give Industrial Light & Magic time to complete
the estimated 500 visual-effects shots. Principal photography will take
In the first weeks of shooting, production
included action sequences with alien forces bombing streets, ripping up
sidewalks and blasting apart buildings in industrial-type areas. By the
second week of filming, sequences were already being shipped to ILM, and
by the time production wraps, ILM will either have finished or be working
on at least half the effects shots. Tom Cruise stars in the update of Wells'
classic Martian-invasion story.
TODD PROMISES MORE CANDYMAN
Final Destination star Tony Todd got talking
recently about Candyman 4. "Yeah, I've been meeting with Clive [Barker],
his representatives, and the production team. I know their was a rumor
when the whole Freddy vs. Jason film came out that Miramax wanted to do
a ‘Candyman vs. Hellraiser.’ I think Clive wisely opted against that. He
didn't want either of those two characters to sell out for a commercial
gain. He is very strongly interested in CANDYMAN 4. That problem that is
going on much like many backstage workings, is determining who owns the
CANDYMAN franchise. Which is strange to me because it's Clive's Character?
But in dividing the first CANDYMAN's profits, the ownership went from Propaganda,
to Sony, to Columbia, then to Artisan. Then Artisan became Lions Gate.
As soon as it's all straightened out and it's determined who has to be
paid before the film even gets written, then the movie will move forward.
…We've been in active discussion about doing it. …And if for some reason
we can't get the character back from the powers that be, then we're going
to re-create it."
BLACK HOLE GAINS INERTIA
The independent sci-fi movie Black Hole began
production on Nov. 28, months earlier than the original early 2005 start
date, because of healthy foreign presales at this year's American Film
Market. Black Hole, budgeted at $3.5 million, will be shot in St. Louis
and stars Kristy Swanson and Judd Nelson in a tale about an experiment
at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island that goes horribly
awry, resulting in the formation of a black hole on Earth.
THE POP-GOTHIC JIM CARREY
Julia Pistor, executive producer of the upcoming
fantasy film Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, thinks the
movie stays true to the darkly comic tone of Daniel Handler's best-selling
books. "I think it's more pop-gothic than dark, because it's funny," Pistor
said in an interview. "Someone wrote that it's a gothic left-of-center
fantasy. That's really what the books are, and that's really what we've
delivered with the film."
In Lemony Snicket, the Baudelaire children
go to live with their greedy relative, Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), after their
parents die in a mysterious fire. Pistor said the books appeal to kids
and adults, because they don't pander to the audience and they champion
the child characters as heroes. "The 'series of unfortunate events' in
the books is that in every book, these orphans are sent to a different
guardian, which is just ridiculous, because the Baudelaires are so smart,
and every adult around them is just an idiot," Pistor said. "They get sent
to a guardian who says, 'You will be working in my mill!' And then Count
Olaf shows up in disguise, and the orphans are like, 'That's Count Olaf!'
And all of the adults are like, 'What are you talking about?' It's universal.
Don't we all feel like everybody else is an idiot, and we're the only ones
who see what's going on?"
Pistor added that Lemony Snicket treads the
line between dark and darkly comic. "I don't even like using the word dark,
because it makes fun of all of those Grimm's fairy tales, if you think
about it," she said. "Cinderella is forced to sit in ashes all day, and
the Baudelaire children are forced to eat gum for, like, three weeks. It's
dark, but that's pretty silly. It's very witty and irreverent, and I think
it taps into a universal theme. But it's fresh, and it's not afraid to
be gothic." Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events opens Dec.
LAST WINTER TO RESUME AFTER THIS WINTER
Cult director Larry Fessenden (WENDIGO) has
quietly begun 2nd-unit shooting on THE LAST WINTER, a genre yarn he co-wrote
with Robert Leaver. Fessenden’s being very cagey about plot details of
the new film, but it will involve some of his usual dark passions, he says.
"THE LAST WINTER is a menacing apocalyptic ghost story set in a remote
arctic outpost," he said. "The story calls for a lot of snow and ice, and
Iceland has a lot of snow and ice," Fessenden notes. THE LAST WINTER is
being produced by WENDIGO’s Jeff Levy-Hinte and Joni Sighvatsson, whose
credits include Clive Barker’s LORD OF ILLUSIONS and the first two CANDYMAN
ROBOTS TO THE BIG, BIG SCREEN
Imax and 20th Century Fox have reached a deal
to release the computer-animated movie Robots in both Imax and conventional
theaters simultaneously on March 11, 2005. Robots is the first so-called
"day-and-date" Imax release to open during the spring, marking a change
to a year-round release strategy for the Canadian large-screen exhibitor.
In the past, Imax movies opened only during the summer and holiday seasons.
Robots reteams Academy Award-winning animation director Chris Wedge (Ice
Age) with Fox. Robots is voiced by Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Mel Brooks,
Greg Kinnear, Drew Carey, Jim Broadbent, Amanda Bynes and Robin Williams.
ENGLUND GOES BEHIND THE MASK
Horror icons Robert Englund and Zelda Rubinstein
(POLTERGEIST) are starring in BEHIND THE MASK (no relation to the upcoming
Hannibal Lecter prequel), an independent low-budget mockumentary that "satirically
and cerebrally deconstructs the horror genre." BEHIND THE MASK is currently
being filmed in Portland, Oregon under the direction of Scott Glosserman.
"It’s BLAIR WITCH meets SCREAM meets BEST IN SHOW," Glosserman tells Fango.
The project co-stars Scott Wilson (MONSTER), Julliard grad Nathan Baesel
and Angela Goethals (24). Neverland Films is executive-producing. Glosserman,
who is also producing and scoring BEHIND THE MASK, co-wrote the film with
David Stieve as well.
"Robert Englund plays Doc Halloran," Glosserman
says. "He’s going against type. In BEHIND THE MASK, Robert plays the conventional
Donald Pleasence-type psychiatrist who’s desperately trying to track down
and capture [the villainous character] Leslie Vernon before he kills again…"
Portions of BEHIND THE MASK are being shot in digital video, while others
are being shot on film. A significant section of the movie will be shot
through two first-person points of view. The filmmakers intend to enter
BEHIND THE MASK into festivals next year in order to generate interest
in both foreign and domestic theatrical distribution.
IMAGINATIVE CINEMA COMING SOON
MUST SEE MOVIES FOR ICS MEMBERS LIKEYOU!
DEC 3rd HOUSE OF THE FLYING DAGGERS
Cast: Zhang Ziyi (Mei), Andy Lau (Leo), Anita Mui, Takeshi Kaneshiro
(Jin), Dandan Song (Yee)
Premise: Near the end of the Tang Dynasty, police deputies Jin (Kaneshiro)
and Leo (Lau) tangle with Mei (Ziyi), a dancer suspected of having ties
to a revolutionary faction known as the House of Flying Daggers. Enraptured
by her, the deputies concoct a plan to save her from capture, and Jin leads
her north in what becomes a perilous journey into the unknown.
DEC 17th LEMONY SNICKET’S - A Series
of Unfortunate Events
Cast: Jim Carrey (Count Olaf), Liam Aiken (Klaus Baudelaire), Emily
Browning (Violet Baudelaire), Kara Hoffman and Shelby Hoffman (Sunny),
Jane Adams, Cedric the Entertainer, Billy Connolly (Uncle Monty), Jude
Law (Lemony Snicket), Meryl Streep (Aunt Josephine),
Premise: This is the story of the Bauedelaires, three young orphans,
Violet (Browning), Klaus (Aiken) and Sunny, looking for a new home, who
are taken in by a series of odd relatives and other people, including Lemony
Snicket, who narrates the film, and starting with the cunning and dastardly
Count Olaf (Carrey), who hopes to snatch their inheritance from them. Violet
is the oldest of the Baudelaires at 14, and is their brave and fast-thinking
leader. The only boy is middle child Klaus, 12, who is intensely intelligent
and obsessed with words. The youngest is infant Sunny, who speaks in a
language only her siblings can understand, and she has a tendency to...
DEC 17th AVIATOR
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio (Howard Robard Hughes, Jr.), Alan Alda
Brewster), Alec Baldwin (Juan Tripp), Kate Beckinsale
Premise: Focusing on his early years (from the 1930 production of 'Hell's
Angels' to the 1947 test flight of the Blue Spruce, when he was 42),
the story of how young Howard Hughes transformed a small fortune into
DEC 22nd FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX
Cast: Dennis Quaid (Captain Frank Towns), Tyrese Gibson, Miranda Otto,
Giovanni Ribisi (Elliott), Scott Michael Campbell, Tony Curran, Hugh
Jared Padalecki, Jacob Vargas;
Premise: When a C-119 cargo plane full of oil workers crashes
Mongolia's Gobi Desert during a sandstorm, the survivors attempt to
new plane from the parts they find in the wreckage to escape. Its an
old friend remade.
DEC 25th DARKNESS
Cast Anna Paquin (Regina), Lena Olin (Maria), Iain Glen (Marco),
Enquist (Paul), Giancarlo Giannini (Albert Rua), Fele Martinez, Fermi
Premise: A teenage girl (Paquin) moves into a remote countryside
her family, only to discover that their gloomy new home has a horrifying
past that threatens to destroy the family.
JAN 7th WHITE NOISE
Cast: Michael Keaton (John Rivers), Deborah Kara Unger (Sarah),
West (Anna Rivers), Ian McNeice, Amber Rothwell (Susie), Aaron Douglas
(Frank Black), Micki Maunsell (Edith Tomlinson)
Premise: A man is contacted from beyond the grave by his murdered wife
through the "white noise" on the radio. Communication with the dead through
tv or other electronic media. But if the good can come through, what else
JAN 14th ELEKTRA
Cast: Jennifer Garner (Elektra Natchios), Goran Visnjic (Mark Miller),
Terence Stamp (Stick), Will Yun Lee, Kristin Prout (Abby), Cary-Hiroyuki
Tagawa (Roshi), Lina Teal (Typhoid Mary), Colin Cunningham, Hiro Kanagawa,
Premise -Following the events of Daredevil, Elektra Natchios (Garner),
sai enthusiast and assassin for hire, is revived by the Order of the Hand,
a group of assassins who helped train her. Assigned by the Hand's current
leader, Kirigi, to kill a man, Mark Miller (Visnjic), and his 13-year-old
daughter, Abby (Prout), Elektra soon befriends them and decides to stand
up to her ninja peers. Together, the foursome must take on Kirigi's lethal
quartet (which includes Tengu and Typhoid Mary), before Elektra ultimately
takes on Kirigi himself.
computers computers Internet/Technology computers computers
ON-DEMAND services on the movie, er move
Most of you are aware of the ability to watch movies and
other content over a broadband (DSL/Cable) connection using a PC.
There are now ways available for the discerning video enthusiast to download
content and view it on their TV after downloading.
Simply put, a digital video recorder is used to record
the downloaded content, then play it back on a TV system. In case
you don’t know about digital video recorders (DVR), it is like a VCR without
the tape, but with a large computer hard drive that digitally stores the
content. So having said all of this, the latest news is of a partnership
between TIVO, a leader in digital video recording and content delivery
A similar service is available now for downloadable /
play on your TV content via http//:www.akimbo.com. Akimbo offers
their own player that interfaces between your PC and TV system. Be
aware that there are several catches to this newly emerging technology.
There are monthly fees for these services and the equipment
can be proprietary ergo, the Akimbo player works only with the Akimbo internet
service. Who knows how this will affect Hollywood.
This video geek predicts limited first run features from
Hollywood being made available in the next few years. The only caveat
here is that instead of the normally high eight bucks we have to shell
out to be insulted at Loews, we will probably be asked to shell out $19.95
to download a widescreen, Dolby Digital 5 to 1 feature. It’s a brave
Blu-Ray and HD-DVD
Ok, so you finally got the concept of a CD-R containing
750 megabytes of data. Some of the more technically minded geeks
know all about the DVD-R/DVD+R ability to store 4.7 gigabytes of data per
disc or in the case of dual layer DVDs, double the 4.7 gigabytes.
Now comes Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs.
This next generation, due out next year can get up to
25 gigabytes per disc. That’s enough for 4 or 5 feature length DVD
quality movies on one disc! Now, lemme get your little heads spinning.
At a recent data storage conference in Taiwan, a physicist
named Dr. Peter Török said that research was being conducted
in the possibility of storing 1000 gigabytes or one terabyte on one 5 inch
optical disc. That’s enough to store 236 two hour films on one disc.
Sheesh, I give up.
farewellsfarewellsfarewells Good bye farewellsfarewellsfarewells
Marion Shilling, leading lady of 1930s B-movies, mostly westerns, who
appeared opposite Buck Jones, Hoot Gibson and Tim McCoy has died at age
93. The Denver-born actress launched her film career in 1929 in MGM's Wise
Girls. She co-starred in 10 B-westerns, most notably the 1934 serial THE
Red Ryder with Jones. Other cowboys she appeared with were William Boyd,
Tom Keene, Guinn “Big Boy Williams, TomTyler, Charles Starrett and Divin’
Dave Sharpe. She also showed up in pictures with stars such as William
Powell, Jackie Cooper, Boris Karloff, Joel McCrea, Constance Bennett, Louise
Beavers, Gilbert Roland and Betty Furness. Best title in her filmography,
the amazing exploits of the clutching hand (1936 serial). After appearing
in 40 films, Shilling left the business in 1936 at age 25. In 2002, she
received a Golden Boot Award from the Motion Picture and Television Fund
for her contributions to the western genre.
French film director Philippe de Broca, best known for his eccentric
comedies and swashbuckling adventure movies, has died. De Broca was an
assistant to directors Francois Truffaut and Claude Chabrol before he made
about 30 films of his own. His films include the games of love, cartouche
and that man from rio with a young Jean Paul Belmondo, the king of hearts
with Alan Bates and Genevieve Bujold and 1001 nights. He was 71.
John Drew Barrymore, whose name and ancestry were far better known than
his own credits in the acting profession that made his family famous, has
died at age 72. Born in Los Angeles in 1932, he was the son of legendary
actor John Barrymore, and his third wife, actress Dolores Costello, and
the nephew of Lionel and Ethel Barrymore. His mostly lackluster career
was marred by a continual battle with substance abuse and a volatile temper,
which often brought him into conflict with the law in the U.S. and abroad.
His daughter is actress Drew Barrymore.
Dayton Allen, a comedian and actor who lent his voice to a variety of
characters on the original Howdy Doody Show and was the voice of the cartoon
character Deputy Dawg, has died. He was the voice of the cartoon magpies
Heckle and Jeckle, and many other Terrytoons characters. He was also a
regular on The Steve Allen Show, where he often played a bogus expert or
had roles in comic "Man on the Street" interviews.
He was 85 years old.
Harry Lampert, the illustrator who co-created the DC Comics superhero
The Flash and wrote books on bridge, has died at age 88.
Lampert began inking cartoon characters such as Popeye, Betty Boop
and KoKo the Clown for the Fleischer Studios. In 1940, he teamed with writer
Gardner Fox to create The Flash and their Flash Comics. They based their
speedy superhero on the mythological character, Hermes.
Ed Kemmer, who played the steel-jawed Cmdr. Buzz Corry on the popular
1950s SF TV series SPACE PATROL, died Nov. 9 in New York after suffering
a stroke on Nov. 5. He was 84. Kemmer died at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital
Center in New York.
Television was still a novelty when SPACE PATROL debuted on March 9,
1950, as a 15-minute show that aired live five days a week on Channel 7
in Los Angeles. By the end of the year, a weekly half-hour SPACE PATROL
was being broadcast live on the ABC television network, where it ran until
1955, the newspaper reported. Kemmer was ideal for the heroic lead role
of Corry, who policed the solar system as commander of the 30th-century
battle cruiser Terra V.
But Kemmer was also a real-life hero, having been a World War II fighter
pilot who spent 11 months in a German prisoner of war camp. After the war,
he studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse on the GI Bill, the newspaper
reported. After SPACE PATROL, Kemmer played villains in episodes of PERRY
MASON, GUNSMOKE and MAVERICK. In the early 1960s, he played a Cape Canaveral
flight engineer on the live soap opera CLEAR HORIZONS on CBS and eventually
moved to New York in 1964 and spent the next 19 years as a regular on the
soap operas THE EDGE OF NIGHT AND AS THE WORLD TURNS and others.
Kemmer, who retired from acting in 1983, is survived by his wife of
35 years, former actress Fran Sharon, and three children: Jonathan, Todd
THE LAST WARD . . .
By John Ward
the Academy Award nominations won’t be released for another six weeks,
I’m going out on a pretty short limb to make three predictions. First,
Martin Scorsese will be nominated for Best Director for his film about
Howard Hughes, THE AVIATOR. Second, he will finally win the Oscar.
Third, he won’t deserve it.
I’m sorry if that sounds a tad harsh to all you Scorsese fans
out there, but the truth is, he really doesn’t deserve it. I’m not
talking about the movie, you understand. (Heaven forbid.) I’m
talking about the reason why so many Academy members will cast their ballots
for Mr. Scorsese: he’s overdue. Way overdue.
It’s very possible that THE AVIATOR is a good movie, maybe even
a great one; as I write this, the film is still a week or two away from
opening in Baltimore, and no one I know has seen it yet. I’ll probably
check it out myself, and it may even impress me enough to make my Top Ten
list for the year. (You’ll have to check this space next month to
find out.) But I’ll still be disgusted when it gets nominated for
a passel of Oscars, with Scorsese leading the way. Because it will
be the latest example in a long string of Oscar snubs and flubs, screw-ups
that are as much a part of Oscar lore as David Niven and the streaker.
Let’s start with Scorsese himself. A lot of folks have
said his first well-received film, MEAN STREETS, is still his best.
Maybe so; I can’t comment because I haven’t seen it. What I will
say is that three films that came later – TAXI DRIVER, RAGING BULL, and
GOODFELLAS – are three of the very best films of their respective decades.
And in each case, by a weird coincidence, Martin Scorsese’s Oscar chances
were done in by movies either directed or written by actors. For
example, Sylvester Stallone’s ROCKY in 1976 knocked out (pun intended)
any hope for a TAXI DRIVER Oscar. (For the record, I think ALL THE
PRESIDENT’S MEN should have won that year.) In 1980, RAGING
BULL hit the canvas thanks to Robert Redford’s first directing job, ORDINARY
PEOPLE. And ten years later, GOODFELLAS (my personal favorite Scorsese
picture) was blown out of the water by Kevin Costner’s labor of love, DANCES
WITH WOLVES. Is it any wonder that Scorsese has never really shown
a lot of warmth around actors?
Now, 14 years after GOODFELLAS, comes THE AVIATOR.
The early buzz is quite good, and some folks in Hollywood are saying that
it’s the most commercial “studio” picture Martin Scorsese has ever made,
which is another point in his favor. It’s just going to seem like
a case of too little, too late.
Turn that theory around to the acting side, and the very best
example that comes to mind is Henry Fonda, who almost didn’t live to see
his Oscar for playing the crotchety old coot married to Katharine Hepburn
in ON GOLDEN POND. I always saw POND as something of a vanity picture,
a way to showcase two cinema legends in the twilight of their respective
careers. It was a folksy comedy at best, a shameless tearjerker at
worst. And Fonda simply meandered through his unchallenging role,
playing himself. For this, the Academy saw fit to give him his overdue
In reality, Fonda should have won at least four – count ‘em,
four – times before. He was memorable as the haunted Tom Joad in
John Ford’s THE GRAPES OF WRATH in 1940, but was denied the Oscar thanks
to James Stewart, who grabbed Best Actor for THE PHILADELPHIA STORY basically
as a sop for getting screwed out of the award a year earlier for MR. SMITH
GOES TO WASHINGTON. In the previous case, Stewart lost to Robert
Donat for GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS.
Starting to see how this whole Oscars thing works now?
Fonda went on to a spectacular but unrewarded career. There
was his title role in MISTER ROBERTS, the classic World War II comedy-drama
that gave a young and energetic Jack Lemmon his big break (and his first
Oscar). Fonda wasn’t even nominated for that one, believe it or not;
Ernest Borgnine won the Actor award that year (1955) for MARTY. Fonda
was spectacular two years later for his righteous turn as Juror no. 8 in
TWELVE ANGRY MEN, yet once again the Academy ignored him. The Oscar
that year went to Alec Guinness for THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI.
I also think Fonda deserved consideration in 1969 for his about-face
portrayal of one of the all-time great screen villains in Sergio Leone’s
masterpiece, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. Compared to some of the
other Oscar snubs Fonda had received, however, WEST barely registered on
But the other big western role of 1969, the one that overpowered
Fonda’s, was itself a sop “career” award. John Wayne flew high on
everyone’s radar as Marshal Rooster Cogburn, the centerpiece of TRUE GRIT.
There was no denying Wayne’s charisma as Cogburn, and many people felt
that the Duke was overdue for some recognition. Since I loved his
performance in TRUE GRIT, I’m not going to begrudge the man his award.
But it doesn’t change the fact that, by this time, Wayne wasn’t acting
so much as building on his persona. He could have won the Oscar several
times before in a long and distinguished career, and should have won it
in 1956 for his performance as Ethan Edwards in John Ford’s western classic,
THE SEARCHERS. The Oscar that year went to Yul Brynner for his career
role in THE KING AND I.
Sometimes the Oscars just seem like one big, fat, vicious circle,
I can think of at one more glaring example of Oscar ignorance
in the Best Actor category. Paul Newman’s career has rivaled that
of Fonda’s and Wayne’s for length and memorable roles, and his Oscar snubs
have been notable, too. Newman’s first truly great role was as “Fast”
Eddie Felson in THE HUSTLER, and he probably should have won, but for some
strange reason, the Oscar went to Maximilian Schell for his portrayal of
the unsympathetic defending attorney in JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG. It
was strange because Schell won the Best Actor Oscar for what was essentially
a supporting role: he was fourth-billed in the cast.
Newman was cheated again in 1967 for what was arguably his greatest
performance as COOL HAND LUKE. It was a pretty crowded field that
year, including star-making roles for Warren Beatty (BONNIE AND CLYDE)
and Dustin Hoffman (THE GRADUATE), as well as a career send-off for Spencer
Tracy GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER). Not to mention Newman.
In one of the all-time great Oscar upsets, Rod Steiger won for IN THE HEAT
OF THE NIGHT, considered one of the least deserving Best Picture winners.
And I won’t even mention the Academy’s failure to nominate Sidney Poitier’s
performance in TO SIR WITH LOVE. (But that’s just me.)
After years of iconic but ignored performances in movies like
BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, THE STING and SLAP SHOT, Newman was
memorably ripped off once again in 1982 for his portrayal of alcoholic
lawyer Frank Galvin in THE VERDICT. Newman never had a chance that
year; too much press was going Ben Kingsley’s way for another one of those
career-making performances the Academy loves, as the title character in
Richard Attenborough’s bloated biopic, GANDHI. (On a side note, 1982
probably ranks as one of my all-time least favorite Oscar years.
Not only did Kingsley win for what was no better than the third best performance
– I’d also cite Dustin Hoffman’s TOOTSIE role as a classic Oscar snub job
– but GANDHI managed to thumb its nose at THE VERDICT, TOOTSIE, and E.T.,
So how did things finally turn out for old Paul? Well,
it took Martin Scorsese, of all people, to steer Newman to his overdue
Oscar, reprising his Eddie Felson character for Scorsese’s THE COLOR OF
MONEY. Newman never even showed up for the ceremonies; he’d been
quoted previously as saying he was tired of showing up as the favorite
and walking out as the big loser.
At various times in its history, the Academy Awards have presented
“Special Awards” for careers, usually as a gee-we’re-sorry-we’ve-ignored-you
to make up for the slights. Famous “Special Award” recipients – who
incredibly, tally exactly zero competitive Oscars among them – have included
Charlie Chaplin, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, Greta Garbo,
Kirk Douglas, Mickey Rooney, Lillian Gish, and Barbara Stanwyck.
There’s probably more, but it’s a long list, and my typing fingers are
Which brings us back around to Martin Scorsese, this year’s Overdue
Poster Child. Best wishes to ya, Marty. You shoulda been a
contender – and a winner – sooner.
ICS CALENDER –the Month in review!
DEC 3rd HOUSE OF THE FLYING DAGGERS
DEC 17th LEMONY SNICKET’S - A Series
of Unfortunate Events
DEC 17th AVIATOR
Dec 18th ICS meeting – NOTE It is NOT the Last SATURDAY
Our next meeting will be held on Saturday December 18th at 5:30
This delightful Holiday meeting will have the annual December Yankee Swap
and the movie theme is CREATURES I HAVE LOVED with Sue Feder presenting.
DEC 22nd FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX
DEC 25th MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!