Wednesday, August 27, 2008

News - 08/27/08...

The Secret Saturdays

Review of the premiere episode of 'The Secret Saturdays,' a new action-adventure animation from Cartoon Network and PorchLight Entertainment. Following a family of globetrotting scientists and archeologists who track down mythical beasts and match up well against a nifty arch villain, 'The Secret Saturdays' is another promising original series.

Animated programs nominated for Canada's Geminis

"Leon in Wintertime," a half-hour film co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada and France's Folimage studio, is vying with four TV shows for the Gemini Award for Best Animated Program or Series.

Nominations were announced Tuesday for the 23rd Gemini Awards, Canada's top television honors and the country's equivalent of the Emmys.

Competing with Léon in Wintertime in its category are TV series Chop Socky Chooks (Decode Entertainment Inc., 2006 Aardman Animations Limited, CSC Productions Inc.), Ruby Gloom (Nelvana Limited), Storm Hawks (Nerd Corps Productions V.I. Inc.) and Total Drama Island (Fresh TV Inc.).

For Best Direction in an Animated Program or Series, the nominees are Robin Budd for the Ruby Gloom episode "Hairless the Musical - part 1," Pierre-Luc Granjon and Pascal Le Nôtre for Leon in Wintertime, Jason Groh for the My Friend Rabbit episodes "Mouse's Moss" and "The Sound of Silence," Vadim Kapridov for the Futz! episode "Dancing With The Futz!," and Rick Marshall for the Peep and the Big Wide World episodes "The Sounds of Silence Part 1/Part 2."

Nominees for Best Original Music Score for an Animated Program or Series are Bob Buckley for the Storm Hawks episode "Storm Warning"; Ian LeFeuvre and Ari Posner for the Johnny Test episodes "Johnny vs. Bling-Bling 3" and "Stinkin' Johnny"; Normand Roger and Denis Chartrand for Leon in Wintertime; Daniel Scott for the Toopy and Binoo episode "Binoo the Brave"; and Tom Szczesniak, Carolyn Hay and Ray Parker for the Ruby Gloom episode "Hairless the Musical - part 1."

In the category of Best Individual or Ensemble Performance in an Animated Program or Series, the nominees are David Bernie and Jonathan Wilson for the
Iggy Arbuckle episodes "There's Something about Berries"
and "Idle Worship"; Brooke D'Orsay, Stacey Depass, Megan Fahlenbock, Jess Gibbons, Terry McGurrin and Christian Potenza for the 6Teen episode "Silent Butt Deadly"; Sarah Gadon, David Berni, Stacey DePass, Emily Hampshire, Jeremy Harris, Peter Keleghan, Scott McCord and Adrian Truss for the Ruby Gloom episode "Hairless the Musical - part 1"; Gordon Tootoosis, Raven Brass, Trevor Cameron, Lorne Cardinal, Taylor Cook, Eric Jackson, Andrea Menard and DerRic Starlight for the Wapos Bay episode "The Guardians"; and Jamie Watson for the Peep and the Big Wide World episodes "The Sounds of Silence Part 1/Part 2."

Three animated shows are among the five nominees for Best Pre-School Program or Series: Backyardigans (Nelvana Limited, Nick Jr.), Peep and the Big Wide World (9 Story Entertainment Inc., WGBH Educational Foundation) and Will & Dewitt (Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc.).

As well, the five nominees for Best Writing in a Children's or Youth Program or Series include three animated shows. Dennis Jackson has been nominated for the Wapos Bay episode "The Guardians"; Terry McGurrin for the 6Teen episode "Silent Butt Deadly"; and Robert Pincombe, Shelley Hoffman and Karen Moonah for the Iggy Arbuckle episodes "There's Something About Berries" and "Idle Worship."

The animated series Odd Job Jack, from Smiley Guy Studios, is one of six Gemini nominees for Best Comedy Program or Series. The others are live-action shows Cock'd Gunns, Corner Gas, Kenny vs. Spenny, Rent-A-Goalie and This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

The Dark Years, an animated mini-series from Barna-Alper Productions Inc., has been nominated for Best Documentary Series. Other nominees are CBC News: The Lens, Diamond Road, The Nature of Things and The View From Here.

Awards in animation categories will be presented Tuesday, October 21 at the Gemini Lifestyle, Children's and Youth Gala in Toronto. The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television has decided to bring the awards back to Toronto after holding its annual celebrations in Regina and Vancouver.

The award for Best Comedy Program or Series will be presented Friday, November 28 at the main Gemini Awards Gala, to be broadcast on E! Network and Showcase. The Best Documentary Series award will be given Monday, October 20 at the Gemini News, Sports and Documentary Gala. Both events will be held in Toronto as well.

Michelmore Scoring "Hulk Versus," More Upcoming Marvel Animated Projects

Guy Michelmore, composer for the popular direct-to-video Marvel Animated features lines, including Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther, The Invincible Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, will be providing the score for more upcoming Marvel-based projects.

Michelmore has confirmed that he will be providing the score for both Hulk Versus and Thor: Tales of Asgard, two upcoming titles from the Marvel Animated Features direct-to-video line, released through Lionsgate. Both titles are slated for a 2009 release. He has not yet confirmed his involvement with the currently-in-development direct-to-video Planet Hulk animated feature.

Michelmore will also be providing the score to the upcoming Iron Man: Armored Adventures CGI-animated series, slated for an early 2009 debut on the Nicktoons Network.

NYT: In-depth 'Watchmen' lawsuit analysis

New York Times provides an in-depth analysis of the Fox vs. Warner Bros. struggle over 'Watchmen'.

The article clarifies the basis for the legal arguments. The crux of Fox's argument is, yes, they put the movie in turnaround (a legal mechanism by which a studio divests its interest in a project) but the turnaround contract with producer Lawrence Gordon had many clearly visible strings attached. Writes NYT:

That trick turns on a term of art: “changed elements.” A producer of a movie acquired in turnaround who comes up with a new director, or star, or story line, or even a reduction in budget, must give the original studio another shot at making the movie because of changed elements, even if a new backer has entered the picture.

And then...

Fox, in its complaint filed in February with the United States District Court for the Central District of California, contended, among other things, that Lawrence Gordon, a producer of “Watchmen,” was given a somewhat unusual perpetual turnaround right under an agreement reached in 1994. Such rights are conventionally given for a finite period, but Mr. Gordon, as a powerful producer who was once a Fox studio chief, may have had an edge.

According to the court filings, Fox had declared its willingness to part with the project under certain terms in 1991. In any case, Fox says, Mr. Gordon was supposed to resubmit “Watchmen” to Fox every time he came up with a changed element.

And then...

Warner gave “Watchmen” the go-ahead when Zack Snyder, immediately after his surprise hit with “300,” took it under wing. Yet Mr. Gordon, by Fox’s account, never checked back with Fox about any of this.

Read the complete article for more interesting info about preceding cases (including some where an injunction was successfully attained to prevent the release of a film) and the other studio whom Warner already has a side-partnership with due to their turnaround attachments to 'Watchmen'.

Downey Disses 'Dark Knight'

The Hatfields and the McCoys. The Yankees and the Red Sox. Jennifer and Angelina. When it comes to a long-running feud, people choose their side and they defend it to the end. For comic book fanatics, it's always been the divide between the two major publishers -- Marvel and DC Comics. Devoted readers on both sides have argued for years over which was better: DC, with it's stable of classic heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman, or Marvel, which has always prided itself on more flawed characters like Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk.

Leave it to Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. to stir up the hornet's nest again. After his movie opened huge in early May, it looked like Marvel's steel-plated superhero was destined to be the box office champ of the summer. Until, of course, The Dark Knight broke records with its gargantuan July debut, making DC's Caped Crusader the season's richest crimefighter.

In an interview with, Robert Downey Jr. shared his thoughts on the complex story of "The Dark Knight," and he left no doubt where his comic book loyalties lie:

"My whole thing is that I saw 'The Dark Knight'. I feel like I'm dumb because I feel like I don't get how many things that are so smart. It's like a Ferrari engine of storytelling and script writing and I'm like, 'That's not my idea of what I want to see in a movie.' I loved 'The Prestige' but didn't understand 'The Dark Knight'. Didn't get it, still can't tell you what happened in the movie, what happened to the character and in the end they need him to be a bad guy. I'm like, 'I get it. This is so high brow and so f'ing smart, I clearly need a college education to understand this movie.' You know what? F*** DC comics. That's all I have to say and that's where I'm really coming from." >> Read the full interview here.

Downey will have the chance to show his devotion to Marvel Comics again, with production on "Iron Man 2" starting soon. It's scheduled to hit theaters in the summer of 2010.

Vin Diesel Whips Out His Riddick +2 Sequel Sword

Vin Diesel spoke with MTV about he and Director David Twohy working on two more Riddick sequels:

"David Twohy right now is writing the scripts. The only question is whether we take a page from the ‘Lord of the Rings’ guys and try to shoot the two chapters at the same time. There are two more in mind,” he said of Riddick, the Furyan warrior first introduced in the 2000 film “Pitch Black.” “‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ was presented as a three part trilogy that would answer ‘Pitch Black’ in the same way that ‘Lord of the Rings’ answered ‘The Hobbit.’

"Everyone knows I love the Riddick character and I’m always working on it,” Diesel asserted. “It just takes five years to make another one because David Twohy and I are so precious about it.”

Click HERE to read the rest of the article including where Diesel thinks the character could go.

Backing up Diesel's claims of sequels comes this from David Twohy's own blog site:

Now on to ALIEN VERSUS PREDATOR. Apparently there’s a petition floating around the internet that seeks to draft me as director of the next installment of the series. (It seems my old ALIEN 3 script figures into this master plan, too, in ways that aren’t entirely clear to me.) My reaction is “Hmm.” Flattering? Sure. Realistic? Not so much. See, if I’m going to spend a year of my life (and more if I write it) on the third installment of a science-fiction series, well, why wouldn’t I just do the third installment of my own science-fiction series?
Catch my drift?

Click HERE to read his entire blog.

So what do you guys think? Are you excited for more Riddick movies? Personally, I loved Pitch Black and didn't think Riddick was that bad. He's certainly a character I enjoy watching on screen.

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