Wednesday, November 12, 2008

News - 11/12/08...

Help the kids at Ronald McDonald House

If you want to help Art Leonardi and friends have fun raising money for Ronald McDonald Charities on December 13, see the flyer below the break.

And don't forget to RSVP to (310) 397-1862 (they need to have your name so they can let you onto the Warner Ranch lot.)

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Cleveland Delayed by FOX

Family Guy
fans will have to wait a while to see the animated show’s African American character get his own show. Daily Variety reports that Fox has moved the premiere of The Cleveland Show from late spring of this season to fall of 2009. The trade speculates that the announcement of a spring start date was a ploy to get advertisers excited about tBoldhe 2008-2009 season.

The Cleveland Show, the central character (voiced by Mike Henry) has taken his son moved from Quahog, Rhode Island to Stoolbend, Virginia, where he shacks up with his high school sweetheart, a single mother named Donna (Sanaa Lathan). Nia Long will play one of Donna’s two children, a rebellious teen named Roberta, and Kevin Richardson voices the role of a redneck neighbor. Strangely enough, political pundit and blogger Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post has also joined the cast in a recurring role.

In addition to voicing Cleveland, Henry serves as a writer and exec producer on the animated show.
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is also exec producing, along with veteran toon writer and producer Rich Appel (The Simpsons, King of the Hill).

FOX has ordered another nine episodes of the 20th Century Fox TV series, bringing the first season total to 22. The show will fill the hole in the network’s Sunday-night Animation Domination block left by long-running comedy King of the Hill
, which hasn’t been renewed for a 14th season.

Clone Wars, Disney Treasures on DVD

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the theatrically released feature that kicked off the Cartoon Network series, arrives on hone video today, along with the eagerly awaited Walt Disney Treasures Wave VIII. Other toon debuts include Storm Hawks: Showdown in the Skies, Pingu's South Pole Adventures and a DVD game titled Scooby-Doo: Funland of Freak Frights.

Clone Wars chronicles the adventures of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Ahsoka Tano and other favorite characters as they struggle against the dark side during the divisive Clone Wars. DwindliBoldng numbers of Jedi fight to maintain freedom and restore peace to the galaxy, pitting their army of genetically engineered clones against the vast droid army. Swept into the turmoil of war, our heroes must battle the evil Count Dooku, his assassin, Asajj Ventress, their master, Darth Sidious, the mechanical General Grievous and a rogue’s gallery of never-before-seen villains.

The movie is packaged as a two-disc special edition release featuring a host of bonus features. In addition to audio commentary, fans can enjoy
The Clone Wars: The Untold Stories, a featurette offering a sneak peek into the first season of the television series. Other extras include a behind-the scenes look at recording sessions for both the movie and the series, a look at scoring the project with a 90-piece orchestra in Prague, deleted scenes, six behind-the-scenes webisodes, an image gallery and trailers. The Blu-ray version also features a digital copy on a separate disc and a memory game titled Hologram Memory Challenge
, which unlocks three sneak peeks at the television show. The Warner Home Video release lists for $28.99 on DVD and $35.99 on Blu-ray.

Walt Disney Treasures Wave VIII consists of three two-disc, limited-edition sets hosted by film critic and historian Leonard Maltin. The Mickey Mouse Club Presents Annette offers classic episodes that aired during the 1957-1958 season and star the most popular Mousketeer ever. Dr Syn, Alias the Scarecrow first aired as three separate episodes on Disney's weekly TV show under the title The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh and was later edited for theatrical releases in the U.K. and the U.S. The set includes all three of the original TV installments and the theatrical version starring Patrick McGoohan. Finally, Chronological Donald Volume 4 includes 31 classic, CinemaScope Donald Duck shorts created between 1951 and 1961. All of the cartoons are presented in their original widescreen aspect ratio for the first time on video. Listing at $32.99, each Each individually numbered volume is packaged in a collectible tin and includes a certificate of authenticity and an exclusive lithograph.

Storm Hawks: Showdown in the Skies is a two-disc set with 13 episodes of the Cartoon Network/Nerd Corps’ CG-animated series. The Sony disc carries a suggested retail price of $24.94 and also features “Storm Hawks Fleet,” a 360-degree look at vehicle transformations.

Pingu's South Pole Adventures offers eight animated adventures form the popular preschool series. The HIT Ent./Lionsgate release lists at $14.98 and includes the bonus feature “Pingu's Family Album” and in interactive game titled Snowball Roll and Bowl.

Scooby-Doo: Funland of Freak Frights is a game that can be played on a standard DVD player and includes six activities for up to four players. The game is set in the Funland theme park and asks players to help Scooby, Shaggy and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang find clues as they investigate strange goings-on. The disc from Warner Home Video can be had for $19.98 or less.

Hellboy II, Harry Potter Bring Magic Home

Digital visual effects abound as Director Guillermo del Toro’s CG-laden sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army and the Harry Potter Years 1-5 Gift Set make their home video debuts. Both franchises have roots in the literary world, and each special edition offers a heaping helping of magic, monsters and bonus features.

Based on the Dark Horse comic-book series created by Mike Mignola,
Hellboy II continues the saga of a demon conjured by Nazis who decides to fight for the good guys. After an ancient truce between humankind and the invisible fantasy realm is broken, hell on Earth is ready to erupt. A ruthless leader who treads the world above and the one below defies his bloodline and awakens an unstoppable army of creatures, and it’s up to Hellboy and his buddies at the Bureau for Paranormal Research to stop him. Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones and John Hurt all reprise their roles from the first film. The bulk of the visual effects work was completed by Double Negative, with Hatch FX, Baseblack, The Senate VFX, LipSync Post, Cinesite all lending a hand.
The movie is available as a single-disc DVD, a three-disc special edition DVD and a two-disc Blu-ray version. Extras include commentary by del Toro and actors Jeffrey Tambor, Selma Blair and Luke Goss; video set visits; seven mini-documentaries; a behind-the-scenes tour with del Toro; an animated comic and deleted scenes. The special edition and Blu-ray releases also offer a special introduction by del Toro, a pre-production asset vault, a director's notebook, a concept art gallery, a DVD-ROM script of the film and the featurettes
Hellboy: In Service of the Demon and Production Workshop: Professor Broom's Puppet Theatre. The Universal Home Entertainment release lists for $34.98 on DVD (three-disc edition) and $39.98 on Blu-ray.

Warner Home Video has packaged all five Harry Potter
films together for the Harry Potter Years 1-5 Giftset. Visual effects by Industrial Light & Magic are spotlighted in these fantasy flicks based on the book series by J.K. Rowling. The DVD set carris a suggested retail price of $49.92, while the Blu-ray version lists as $129.95 and includes more than seven hours of special features. While these sets are sure to fly off shelves, some fans will no doubt wait for the eventually complete set that will feature the upcoming installments Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which moves opens on July 7, 2009, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
, which will be split up as two separate movies debuting in the Winter of 2010 and summer of 2011.

Pixar Introduces BURN•E

The world has fallen in love with WALL•E, but is there room in viewers’ hearts for another bewildered robot from the futuristic world created by Pixar? The Nov. 18 home video release of the Disney/Pixar hit WALL•E will include a new Pixar short titled Bringing Light to the Galaxy...Eventual-E, which introduces a new electronic hero named BURN.E.

The new star is a repair robot aboard the orbiting luxury liner who is trying to do his job, but is foiled at every turn by WALL.E’s adventures aboard the Axiom. The short is directed by Pixar veteran animator Angus MacLane, who has worked on Geri’s Game, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, For the Birds, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and One Man Band and won an Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Character Animation for his work on The Incredibles.

Enjoy the pics below and take the following Robot Quiz to discover which type of robot you would be in the

Tinker Bell Cast in Wax

In celebration of the release of her first animated feature, iconic pixie Tinker Bell was immortalized in wax at the world-famous Madame Tussauds in London on Monday. The smallest figure in the history of the legendary waxworks was inducted two weeks after the DVD and Blu-ray debut of the CG fairytale adventure Tinker Bell.

The Tinker Bell statuette stands, or rather sits just five and a half inches tall. Studying hundreds of drawings, 3D photos and footage from the new movie, Madame Tussauds artists had to adjust their techniques to accurately capture the tiny fairy’s appearance and personality. The process began with the sculpting of clay figure, from which a wax mould was created. Hair and color artists then took another four to six weeks to add fine details to the wax figurine. Ten layers of oil paints were used to build up color and give translucency to the skin tones. She is featured in her leafy-green fairy dress complete with delicate wings.

Anchoring the new “Disney Fairies” series of animated movies, Tinker Bell marks the first time fans get to hear the iconic character actually speak. Tink is voiced by Mae Whitman, who replaced Brittany Murphy (King of the Hill), one of many changes that came about when John Lasseter assumed oversight of the pic. The star-studded voice cast also includes America Ferrara, Raven-Symone, Kristin Chenoweth, Lucy Liu and Anjelica Huston.

Bill and Joe Show You How It’s Done

This 1961 film clip of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera explaining the TV animation process is well worth a view. There’s a lot of crazy stuff that happens in the mere span of three-and-a-half minutes. First there’s the shot of layout man Alex Lovy, who takes a long drag on his cigarette before he even starts to draw, which is a unique sight for any animation documentary. That’s followed by a shot of a stereotypically obese animator who barely fits in the frame. I more or less expect animators to look like this today, but it’s something of a surprise to see such a bulky animator in 1961.

Mark Mayerson, who originally linked to this clip, also notes the video’s “casual sexism” in which “‘girls’ do ink and paint, but a ‘man’ paints the backgrounds.” Along those lines, it’s worth noting that the best “how-to” advice in the video has nothing to do with animation. Just watch as Joe Barbera puts the moves on the foxy woman interviewer at around 1:30 into the clip. Now there’s a glimpse into a long-lost era when animation execs were also smooth operators.

(Thanks cartoonbrew)

"Kung Fu Panda," "Wall-E" up for People's Choice

Animated films "Kung Fu Panda" and "Wall-E" are among the three "Favorite Family Film" nominees for this year's People's Choice Awards.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is the sole live-action film in the category.

Nominations for the 35th annual awards were announced Monday morning in Beverly Hills. Queen Latifah will host this year's show, to air live
January 7 from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Old warhorses
"Family Guy," "The Simpsons" and "South Park"
were nominated in the Favorite Animated Comedy category.

Several new categories are in this year's set of awards: Favorite Superhero, Favorite TV Drama Diva, Favorite Movie Cast and Favorite Scene-Stealing Guest Star. People magazine are joining People's Choice organizers to present another special award, the first People's Choice Award for Favorite Star Under 35.

Awards will be presented in over 40 categories. Voting for the PCAs continues through December 7 at

"Waltz With Bashir" up for 4 European Film Awards

Ari Folman's animated documentary "Waltz With Bashir" has been nominated for four European Film Awards, including the top prize, European Film 2008.

An Israeli-French-German co-production, Waltz With Bashir is vying for the top honor with live-action nominees Il Divo (Italy), Entre Les Murs (The Class; France), Gomorra (Gomorrah; Italy), Happy-Go-Lucky (United Kingdom) and El Orfanato (The Orphanage; Spain).

Folman was nominated for European Director 2008 and European Screenwriter 2008 for his film. Max Richter was nominated in the European Composer 2008 category.

Waltz With Bashir represents Germany's sole nomination this year for best film. Germany won best-film honors at the Eureopean Film Awards over four of the past five years.

Nominations for the 21st European Film Awards were announced Saturday at the Seville European Film Festival by the European Film Academy and EFA Productions. The 1,800 EFA members will now vote for the winners, to be honored during an awards ceremony December 6 in Copenhagen.

City of Ottawa ditches animation festival funding

North America's oldest and largest animation festival will be nearly 10% poorer if the City of Ottawa has its way.

The Canadian capital's 2009 draft budget proposes a $4.1 million (54%) cut to arts and culture funding -- and no money at all for city festivals.

Those to be cut off include the Ottawa International Animation Festival, founded by the Canadian Film Institute as the Canadian International Animation Festival in 1976.

This year, the City of Ottawa gave the OIAF $45,000, a sizable chunk of its $500,000 annual budget.

Second internationally only to France's Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the OIAF has bled previously from government budget cuts.

In 2003, Telefilm Canada, the federal film funding branch of the Ministry of Heritage, cut off funding to the OIAF. Telefilm Canada had been the festival's primary financier for almost 30 years (making up 25% of the budget). Telefilm Canada is "in a position to only support events that are primarily focused on screening feature films that are destined for wide distribution," the branch's director of communications and public affairs, Danielle Dansereau, said that year.

The City of Ottawa's 2009 draft budget was released last week. Details of cuts recommended by staff were stated in documents obtained by many of the 286 affected groups and individuals. Many of those persons planned to meet Monday to discuss how to react to the proposals.

Festival organizers in the country's capital warn of hugely diminished events and staff layoffs, not to mention a gigantic drop in tourism revenues.

Some larger, older organizations, such as the Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa (IFCO), would lose 42% of their funding.

IFCO executive director Patrice James said that she's unsure how her organization will cope with its budget cut. "I don't know if we can recover from that in certain ways, so it could compromise the integrity of programming," she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

"We realize that city funding is the cornerstone of all of our other government funding," Bluesfest executive director Mark Monahan told the Ottawa Sun. "The other levels of government can then ask why they should fund us if our own city won't."

"The city benefits so much from our event and others. This can only be described as a slap in the face," added Monahan, whose festival would lose $100,000 in municipal funding.

Among other festivals to be cut off from city funding are the Canadian Tulip Festival ($100,000), Festival franco-ontarien ($80,000), Ottawa Folk Festival ($75,000), Ottawa Fringe Festival ($40,000), Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival ($140,000) and Ottawa International Jazz Festival ($110,000).

Such prizes as the Ottawa Book Awards and the Karsh Award program for outstanding artists, along with groups such as choirs and heritage societies, would also lose their annual funding.

Public consultations on the draft budget will continue until November 27.

Ottawa city council will also hear from public delegations on December 1 and 2 -- and, if needed, December 3 -- before approving the final budget by December 5.

"Variety" on Uphill Battle for French CGI Animation

Variety has outlined the difficulties that currently block French CGI animated feature films from achieving the same kind of success that American CGI animation has. Although hand-drawn French animation has been quite successful at the box office, CGI has suffered from a lack of funding compared to American productions, and movies have a much smaller domestic audience to recoup the investments. Several high-profile French productions have encountered delays or halted production recently.

Briefly: Casarosa on "Venice Chronicles"; Chris Patton Interview; NYCC Casting Call

* Pixar's Enrico Casarosa discusses his new graphic novel travelogue The Venice Chronicles, also briefly touching on his day job at Pixar and his work on Up. [ PULSE News]

* Andrew Stanton has stated that the WALL-E Blu-ray "exactly represents how good a film looks in the building here" to Video Business Magazine. [IMDb]

* Right Stuf's Anime Today podcast interviews actor Chris Patton. [Press Release]

* The New York Comic Con will be hosting a casting call for MTV's True Life: I'm a Fan Boy. [Press Release]

EXCLUSIVE: Leonardo DiCaprio Updates ‘Akira’ And ‘Ninja Scroll’ Status, Won’t Star In Either Film

While most of Hollywood seems to be focusing on comics made stateside — with even French publishers getting some attention lately — Leonardo DiCaprio has clearly set his sights on the Far East.

Already reported on MTV's SplashPage, DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company has been picking up classic heavy-hitters from the world of Japanese manga and anime — most notably “Akira” and “Ninja Scroll” — to develop into live-action feature films. While the news of “Ninja Scroll” is still fresh on the blogs, “Akira” has already made some moves in Hollywood, being picked up by Warner Bros., scooping up Gary Whitta to write the script, and there’s even rumors that Joseph Gordon Levitt will play the role of Tetsuo.

“We’re waiting for the final draft of the script [for 'Akira'],” DiCaprio told MTV. “I’m a big fan of Japanese anime — that and another project called ‘Ninja Scroll’ we’re trying to get developed and made into a movie, and I know there a lot of loyal fans out there of the project and die-hard fans, so we’re going to try to do the best job we possibly can and we’re not going to make the movie until the script is in the right shape.”

However, for those of you out there hoping to see DiCaprio on Kaneda’s souped up motorcycle in “Akira” or munching on rice balls a la Jubei Kibagami in “Ninja Scroll,” don’t hold your breath. When asked about what his role will be in these properties, DiCaprio made it clear that he’d be producing, and as for as any interest in acting: “No, not really,” he responded.

Why Disney Artists Now "On Call"

I'll be out most of today, plunged into the the warm, swirling hot tub of union-management negotiations.

But if you want to know one of the reasons why Disney artists are being asked to go "on call," being low-balled with salary offers and generally squeezed, look no further than this:

Walt Disney Co. said Thursday that earnings skidded 13% for its fiscal fourth quarter, and executives gave what they called a "sobering outlook" for its current year because of slowing television advertising sales and theme park resort bookings.

Net income dropped to $760 million, or 40 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 27, compared with $877 million, or 44 cents, for the same period last year. Revenue increased 6% to $9.4 billion from $8.9 billion.

Excluding one-time charges, the Burbank entertainment giant's earnings were 43 cents a share, well short of analysts' estimates of 49 cents, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

"The quarter was uglier than anyone anticipated," said Janna Sampson, co-chief investment officer at Oakbrook Investments.

"Going forward, it becomes a question of how long and how deep this economic recession will last. And that's very, very difficult to predict ..."

This isn't just Disney going through a rough patch and passing the hard times on to its employees. In case you haven't noticed, every entertainment conglomerate is getting hammered in this financial downturn. Fox, Time-Warner, Viacom, News Corp., they are all eating it.

And all of them are going to cut, trim and squeeze wherever they can, because their brighter minds anticipate that the misery we are currently enduring will last a while. Which means that we eat it as well.

Offical unemployment is now at 6.5%. From the articles I read, actual, real-world unemployment is close to twice that ... and rising.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Da Negotiations -- Day One

Studio labor reps and the unionists who make up the different unions and guilds of the IATSE gather this afternoon for the first day of the reinstituted talks for the IA Basic Agreement.

We had one big meet in the big conference room, where both sides gave short speeches about truth, justice and Life in America. (In other words, I'm not going to say much about it.)

The big part of my day was reading through printouts and projections for the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan.

I found out (again) how much money is in it (billions), and how much money will most likely be in it if investment income totals 0% in 2008, or -10%, or -20%. Each scenario produces a different dollar total, and a diferent amount of bucks that will have to be found to keep the Pension and Health Plans solvent.

The numbers are detailed, and boring, and I won't bore you with them. We're in the early stages of clawing our way to an agreement, so they wouldn't mean much anyway. Nobody knows what that fabled "final package" is going to look like at this point.

We go back into negotiations tomorrow morning.

Fun fact: The Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires Taft Hartley Pension Plans to stay in the "Green Zone" (80% or more of all pension obligations must be funded by assets in the plan.)

If a pension plan falls below the magical 80% threshhold into the horrid Yellow Zone, the plan must inform its participants, and take action to climb back into the Green.

I'm simplifying a bit, but you get the idea.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

NOGGIN Awaits 'Toot & Puddle' in Primetime

Toot and Puddle TravelBold

Later this November, NOGGIN television programming will be offering early education audiences a good chance to familiarize themselves with one of the network's newest animated titles: Toot & Puddle, an educational adventure series about two pals whose passion for exploration lead to new discoveries day-in and day-out. Follow two best friends, Toot and Puddle, who are piglets, Toot & Puddle will land on NOGGIN later this month with back-to-back weeks of new animation. NOGGIN is the 24-hour commercial-free educational preschool network from Nickelodeon.

Hoping to teach preschool viewers that adventure is just around the corner, the animated television series Toot & Puddle offers the everyday story of two friends who exploration everything from their neighbor's backyard to lands far in eastern Europe.

Toot is the more outgoing one; he loves to meet new challenges and doesn't shy away from trying something new, somewhere new, sometime new. Of course, trekking across the globe wouldn't be possible without a best friend… which is where Puddle comes in. Puddle is "the backyard explorer," who prefers to find interest in things closer to home. Together, through brightly colored environments and constantly meeting new friends, these two place an emphasis on curiosity and imagination, all the while bouncing around from hot air balloon to kite flying and everything else.

Making its world premiere this past September on Corus Entertainment's Treehouse TV, which originally commissioned the animated program, Toot & Puddle is now ready for its U.S. debut. NOGGIN is planning a fairly big reception for the new show, following up its primetime debut with two straight weekdays of brand-new episodes.

Toot & Puddle will drop on Sunday, November 16th at 7:00pm (ET), airing for one hour. Featuring animation production by the ever-busy Mercury Filmworks (Jimmy Two Shoes, World of Quest), the twenty-six episode series Toot & Puddle will additionally with new episodes from November 17th through 21st, and November 24th through 28th (at 5:00pm ET). The premiere episodes of Toot & Puddle will feature the following stories:

Sunday, Nov. 16th at 7:00pm
"Party Pride": After days of rain, Toot and Puddle plan an indoor beach party for their friends. Puddle tries to do it all himself but learns that it's more fun for all when everybody pitches in. Meanwhile, in "The Race," Toot and Puddle travel to Mallorca, Spain, and build their own soap box car to compete in a race. Along the way, they meet a rooster and hen team that are quite cocky. Race day comes and off they go!

Sunday, Nov. 16th at 7:30pm
"Free Falling Friends": Toot has the desire to fly, so he decides to take skydiving lessons. He manages to get Puddle, who is scared of heights, to sign up and train with him. Taught by a near-sighted flying squirrel, Toot and Puddle train day after day until Puddle has overcome his fear of heights just in time for Toot's big jump. Additionally, in "Curried Flavors," Toot travels to India, where he quickly finds himself amidst the busy civilian streets of Jaipur. He befriends a monkey named Kammu, who shows him to a historical sundial that's more than200 years old. Battling the heat, Toot wants to get off his feet, so he gets a guided tour of the city by an elephant named Rohini.

Wonder Woman : Full Throttle?

While I don't think the Beyonce Knowles wants to play Wonder Woman story is news-worthy - Which Hollywood actress hasn't expressed an interest in playing Princess Diana at one stage!? - I think this could be worth flexing the typing fingers muscles for.

According to IESB, there may be movement on the long-gestating "Wonder Woman"- yes kids, the one Beyonce says she wants to star in - with the site hearing it may have a director.



OK, OK...Now before you go ape-s*** and use your keyboard to flatten a cat let's all be honest and admit how 'cool' some of the stuff from McG's ''Terminator Salvation'' looks. He's seemingly done a good job with that pic. So, he may indeed have what it takes to pull this one off too - but, well, even if he isn't, it makes sense that he's in with a shot considering how happy Warner Bros are with what they're seeing of his Schwarzenegger-less sequel. And no doubt it'll make a s***-load of money for them.

McG was once attached to direct the-film-that-became "Superman Returns" at one stage.

20 Minutes Of STAR TREK Screens In UK!! At Last, Many Details!!

Kirk: “Coming back in time, changing history, it’s cheating.”
Spock: “A trick I learned from an old friend.”

Twenty minutes of STAR TREK were screened in UK with Abrams in attendance.
The links below offer extensive write-ups of the footage shown.


Read lots about J.J.'s TREK...




Steven Spielberg, Will Smith In Talks To Remake Manga-Based Japanese Action Film ‘Oldboy’

FROM MOVIES BLOG: Japan has long been considered a hotbed for groundbreaking comic concepts turned films — from “Akira” (soon to be a state-side live-action remake) to “Ju-On” (which begat “The Grudge”) — and it looks as though the trend is only just beginning to take off here.

Case in point, MTV Movies Blog reports that two of the biggest names in Hollywood — Steven Sielberg and Will Smith — are in early talks to work together on a remake of “Oldboy,” 2003’s ultra-violent film based on Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya classic manga epic (which has since been republished through Dark Horse Comics). According to a Variety report, Spielberg has been looking for a project to work with Smith on for some time now, and Smith will naturally play the title role. The iconic director is currently on the hunt for a screenwriter.

“Oldboy” tells the story of a man trying to recapture his life after being locked in a cell for 15 years for no explained reason, but soon discovers that he’s involved in an underworld conspiracy in which he will need to fight his way out of in order to find peace…and himself. The manga later found new life thanks to South Korean director Park Chan-wook, and has gone on to garner a cult-like following among both film and manga fans.

For more on the potential pairing of Steven Spielberg and Will Smith in “Oldboy,” head over to

Anyone out there ever read the manga or seen the original film? If you haven't, rent or buy the movie asap, then you'll know why this is NOT the movie for EITHER of them to attempt to remake.

Wonder Woman Writer Gail Simone Talks Movie Rumors

With Beyonce making a bid for the title role and rumors of McG being considered for the director's chair, it's beginning to look as if the Wonder Woman movie may finally be about to move out of the limbo that it's been in for too long. With that in mind, we asked the current writer of the Wonder Woman comic what she thought of a movie version of her heroine.

Simone, who's been writing the character since last November (and is only the third woman ever to write the character, and the first to handle her longterm), gave us her thoughts about where any potential WW movie could go wrong - and what they could do to make things right:

In general, I'm very skeptical of any fake irony when dealing with Wonder Woman. If we're getting some kind of post-modern satire of the Lynda Carter series, I'd rather they just pass on the whole idea entirely. Christopher Reeve showed that the noble characters work best when played nobly. Winking at the audience insults everyone involved.

So I guess I'd just hope for the best no matter who was chosen. It would be my fervent hope that they'd look at some of the better WW stories of the last couple decades before making the film... that could only be a positive gesture.

We've already suggested that whoever ends up making the movie could learn a thing or two from Simone's run on the book so far, but agree with that last point; there're a lot of material there for movie makers looking to avoid a camp, retro version of the character.

Of course, if they really wanted to make the right move, they could just ask Simone to write the movie (and if they do, I'd like 10% of your fee, Gail).

The Dark Knight: For Your Consideration

Warner Bros. Pictures has launched a "For Your Consideration" website for The Dark Knight which includes the full script for the film!

In related news, Variety says the major of an oil-producing city in southeastern Turkey named "Batman" is suing director Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. for royalties from The Dark Knight.

Huseyin Kalkan, the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party mayor of Batman, has accused the film's producers of using the city's name without permission.

"There is only one Batman in the world," Kalkan said. "The American producers used the name of our city without informing us."

We wish him the best of luck. More details here.

Also, The Dark Knight has reached a worldwide total of $997.6 million ($528.6 million domestically, $469 million internationally) and should be able to cross the $1 billion mark with the re-release in January.

'Star Trek': An exclusive first look at the Enterprise

JJ Abrams wasn't a huge fan of the original Star Trek TV series as a kid, but he does have one unabashed gee-whiz Star Trek memory: watching the first feature film (1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture) and marveling over the big reveal of the Enterprise during a long sequence in which James T. Kirk takes a slow-boat tour around the iconic starship. "The coolest thing about it—maybe the coolest thing in the movie—was when you flew around the ship, you could see all the different panels that made up the ship," says the director of the forthcoming Trek reboot, slated for a May 8, 2009 release. "It was the first time I had ever seen that level of attention, that love of detail, given to the tangible, practical reality of the ship."

Here, in this exclusive first look at Abrams' take on the Enterprise, you not only see his vision of the ship, but his attempt to evoke that sequence from the first film that so captured his imagination. If you're thinking, "Wow! It looks the way the Enterprise has always looked"—well look at the big Spock brain on you! Abrams wanted to take the original TV series Enterprise and the movie franchise Enterprise and fuse them together into a new yet familiar Enterprise. His ambition was a ship that felt very realistic, that could "stand up" to today's f/x standards—and beyond. "If you're going to do Star Trek there are many things you cannot change. The Enterprise is a visual touchstone for so many people. So if you're going to do the Enterprise, it better look like the Enterprise, because otherwise, what are you doing?"

Fans and other interested parties will get more looks at the new Enterprise when the first trailer arrives this Friday, attached to Quantum of Solace. And if you missed the additional 11 Star Trek photos we debuted last month, click here and check 'em out.

New Terminator 4 Concept Images

i09 has images of Terminator concept art for the new McG Terminator Salvation movie.

The images show giant Terminator T-600 robots and vehicles. The T-600 guy looks like he could double as an enemy in a Quake video game.

The Harvester robots are enormous. I wonder who would win in a fight between one of these guys and a Transformer? Actually, that conversation will have to wait for a time when I'm desperate for something to talk about if I ever go to a Nerdcon convention.

Click HERE to check out even more pictures from i09.

Six "Watchmen" Character Posters

Warner Bros. Pictures has just released six new character posters for the upcoming superhero feature "Watchmen".

They are, in order, The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), Ozymandias (Matthew Goode), Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman) and Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson):

No comments: