Wednesday, October 28, 2009

News - 10/28/09...

Pixar Shorts Come To ABC Family

ABC Family will broadcast a two-hour presentation of Pixar’s short films as part of its holiday celebration.

The block of shorts is set to premiere Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. and again at 9 p.m., with encore presentations set for Dec. 18 at 10 p.m. and Dec. 19 at 6 p.m.

The block includes Oscar-winning short films Geri’s Game, For the Birds and Tin Toy, as well as the Oscar-nominated shorts Luxo Jr., Mike’s New Car, One Man Band, Lifted and Presto.

The remaining films in the block are: Adventures of Andre and Wally, Boundin’, Jack-Jack Attack, Knick Knack, Mater and the Ghostlight, Mike’s New Car, Red’s Dream, Your Friend The Rat, Burn*E, Rescue Squad Mater, Mater the Great, El-Materdor and Unidentified Flying Mater.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Ice Age, Tinker Bell Cast Cool Home Video Spell

Autumn is definitely working its magic on the home video shelves, delivering this week a double dose of magic and frosty coolness.

Leading the pack are the most-recent original animated DVD feature starring Peter Pan’s best pal, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (Disney, $29.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack). Directed by Klay Hall, the movie includes as bonus features deleted scenes, a Magical Guide to Pixie Hollow, alternate scenes and a featurette on how filmmakers turned Epcot Center at Disney World into Pixie Hollow.

Also out this week is the summer smash hit Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox, $29.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray). Packed with bonus features, this international blockbuster also is available in double pack with The Scrat Pack, a collection of the shorts, exclusive games and other material starring the determined critter and his beloved nut (Fox, $34.98). With an international box-office gross of $878,498,000 the movie is one of the year’s biggest features.

Fox is celebrating the release of the film Tuesday with a special event at ICE at Santa Monica, 1324 Fifth St. in Santa Monica, Calif., that includes a 45-foot-tall ice sculpture of Scrat. The sculpture, which uses more than 133,000 pounds of ice, is attempting to break the Guinness Record for tallest ice sculpture, which currently stands at 40.28 feet. Ice skating and other entertainment will be available, with the sculpture due to be unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 4 p.m.

Soaring into orbit this week are the new feature Battlestar Galactica: The Plan (Universal, $26.98 DVD, $39.98 Blu-ray) and Cartoon Network’s hit The Secret Saturdays, Vol. 2 (Turner, $14.97).

Anime fans will find this could be an expensive, but rewarding week, with the release of Pokemon DP Battle Dimension, Box 3 (VIZ, $24.92), Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Vol. 5 and Vol. 6 (VIZ, $14.98 each), Genshiken 2: Vol. 2 (Media Blasters, $29.99), Little Snow Fairy Sugar: Collection 1 (ADV, $39.98), Naruto Shippuden: Vol. 2 (VIZ, $24.92) and Popotan: Complete Collection (ADV, $29.98).

And classic cartoons get the deluxe treatment in the new collections Adult Swim in a Box (Turner, $69.98), G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Complete Collection (Vivendi, $179.99), Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1960s Vol. 2 ($26.99) and Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1970s Vol. 2 ($26.99).

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

WB Circles Pitch for Peacock Pic

Warner Bros. is looking to get back into animated features.

The studio is in talks to pick up an untitled pitch for an animated feature about a peacock from writers Austin Winsberg and Heath Corson, according to trade reports.

Details of the project are being kept under wraps, but the film will be produced by Trevor Engleson and Nicholas Osborne through their company Underground Management banner.

While Warner Bros. produces plenty of animated content for TV and home entertainment, it hasn’t been involved in an animated theatrical feature since Happy Feet.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Life’s a Zoo Wins Animated Gemini

Life’s a Zoo won the Best Animated Series honor at the Gemini Awards, given out for excellence in Canadian television.

The stop-motion series, about a group of animals that try to plot and scheme their way to fame and fortune, is produced by Cuppa Coffee Studios and airs in Canada on Teletoon.

“We’re delighted to have won Canada’s most prestigious award representing excellence in Television - an honor that carries with it a great deal of international prestige and respect,” said Adam Shagheen, president and executive producer at Cuppa Coffee.

The win has increased the awareness of the show in the industry significantly, he said. “We’re already fielding calls from broadcasters who are now better aware of Life’s a Zoo.”

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

TV-Loonland CEO Steps Down

Simon Flamank will be leaving his post as CEO of TV-Loonland for the job of COO/CFO of Handmade PLC.

“The last three and a half years have been both the most rewarding and also the most difficult for TV-Loonland,” said Flamank in a press statement. “Despite many obstacles we have been able to bring to the market quality new productions such as The Owl, Pat & Stan and, of course, our internationally recognized brand Little Princess. At the same time we have had to restructure the business and were able to achieve that through a cancellation of € 14m of debt in a debt for equity swap alongside the repayment of the remaining € 6m of debt through a library and asset sale.”

TV-Loonland will shortly announce a replacement for Flamank, who will step down from the post in November.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Three Weeks of Animation on Shokus Internet Radio

Shokus Internet Radio is beginning a three-week arc saluting the animation industry starting today with two of the best voiceover artists in the business: Gregg Berger (Garfield, The Angry Beavers, Batman Beyond, Duckman, Transformers, etc.) and Michael Bell (Rugrats, Voltron, Superfriends, Jonny Quest, et al). Stu’s Show airs live on Wednesday and repeated each subsequent day at the same time 7-9pm Eastern / 4-6pm Pacific.

On November 4th, Bob Bergen (Porky Pig, Tweety, Lupin III) will be the guest, and on November 11th, yours truly (Jerry Beck) will be there to answer questions on the burning issues of the day. Turn on, Toon In, Click Here.

(Thanks cartoon brew)

Toon Zone Interviews "Tinker Bell & the Lost Treasure" Art Director Ellen Jin Over

Art director Ellen Jin Over has managed to make quite a name for herself in a rather short span of time. Over was one of the first digital background painters in the United States, and shortly after her graduation from the Otis College of Art and Design, she was receiving recruitment offers from overseas animation studios like Hong Ying (Sonic the Hedgehog) in China and S.O.B. Animation Group in New Zealand. She returned to the United States to work on Clifford the Big Red Dog, and then on the 2002 revival of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Her work as art director on the series Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks won her a Emmy award in 2004, leading to further credits on the Marvel/Lionsgate direct-to-video movies The Invincible Iron Man and Doctor Strange

Her latest credit is as the art director for Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure, the latest direct-to-video CGI animated movie in the Disney Fairies line, chronicling the continuing adventures of the plucky tinker fairy who will eventually become Peter Pan's sidekick. Toon Zone News was able to speak with Over over the phone about her work on the new Tinker Bell movie.

TOON ZONE NEWS: Is Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure the first movie you've been the full art director for?

Yeah. In feature-length, DVD-side, this is the first project that I'm the full art director for. I've been an art director on the TV side, but this is my first time for a feature.

TZN: How did you get the job as the art director for the movie?

I was very lucky. I had a portfolio that I was taking around, and a friend of mine who was working at Disney at the time said, "Oh, there's an opening for an art director. Do you want to apply?" (laughs) So, I took in my portfolio, the producer and director looked at it, and they interviewed me. I didn't think I was going to get it, but I got a phone call later on that they wanted to go with me. So it was via an introduction from another friend who knew that there was going to be a job opening. Otherwise, I would have never known (laughs).

TZN: Can you walk us through what a typical day looks like for you?

A typical day is that I walk into the office and there's 1000 emails that I have to check. After that, I make a round with my assistant, because I lead a team of artists – character designers, layout artists, environmental designers, 3-D artists, background painters, and character painters. We go around and check how everybody's doing and give them some comments, walk them through different designs and give them new assignments. Part of the day consists of talking with my director, talking about the environment, and the next project, and getting involved in creating new ideas for the story.

TZN: The Tinker Bell movies are based on seasons, and the new movie is supposed to be set in the fall. How did you work with that theme, or how did you express it in the movie?

As far as the design goes, autumn stays pretty much the same in Pixie Hollow. It's static...we'll be featuring some areas in Pixie Hollow that have a fall feel to them, so we created an area where it's populated with red and yellow, maple and birch trees, and long yellow grass. We made the lighting a little bit warmer, so that's part of the fall feeling.

TZN: Were there any special challenges that doing things in autumn presented for you?

Well, it wasn't really about the autumn. The challenges came when I had to create some other locations outside of Pixie Hollow and Neverland. Nobody has ever gone there before, so coming up with the design of the new island that Tinker Bell travels to, a far distance away...that was challenging. Within Pixie Hollow, it wasn't really that challenging because Pixie Hollow does resemble a little bit of the real world, except it's got a Pixie Hollow flair to it. Autumn tends to have a bit more of a saturated palette because of clear air and blue sky, so we made it as colorful as we can.

TZN: On the commentary track to The Incredibles, Brad Bird commented that he felt that computer graphics wanted to make everything shiny, smooth, and clean. How do you feel about that, or do you think that the technology has advanced to the point where that's not really true any more?

Good question. You know, CG technology has come a long way, but to get the look that you want or to make it as natural as it should look, it takes a final human touch in every corner. Unless you tell the computer to do things in a certain way, it won't do it. You have to go extra lengths to drop the leaves everywhere. They create really generic grasses, so you have to bend the grasses a certain way, turn the trees a certain way, mess up the bushes a little bit to make it more natural. So, even though we do CG animation, and we've been developing it for years, it still requires a human touch to make it look natural. And then, for the shininess that he commented on, we need a special rendering process to make it more natural than a glossy, generic 3-D surface.

TZN: Did you think that there was any really hard technical problem that you had to solve or get around in making this movie?

Yeah, when we created a large environment, we did have some technical difficulties because the set is so huge, and when you come to the rendering process, it takes a long time. Ground textures are always challenging because when characters are on the ground, you need to make it look like they're standing on a real surface, not a 3-D hard rock glossy surface, so texturing is another challenge. Lighting is the most difficult part, becuase that's where you can tell how realistic the CG characters and environment look like. You need a lot of extra layers and techniques to make it look like a real environment. Atmosphere and shadows and stuff like that. Other than that, we didn't run into any particularly difficult problems I can recall.

TZN: You had also mentioned that you had been the art director for the Jakers! series, which was also CGI.

Yes! That was my first CGI production experience.

TZN: What's the difference between being the art director for a TV series vs. a film?

The huge difference is schedule. We are in production for 2 years to make this 70 minute film, and for TV, the schedule is very, very short. We were shipping out 20 minute episodes every week, so the amount of work is really different. What's great about this feature film is that you can fully explore the quality of the work instead of producing a massive amount of work that is not as good. You can really get into designing things specifically or making things feel a certain way. The quality of that is definitely different, and the amount of techniques you can use. There's a big difference.

TZN: Is there something specific in the movie that you want to make sure that audiences notice?

Oh, yeah. I love to get feedback on the new land that we designed, and how they feel about it. We designed a lot of beautiful locations, like the distribution depot that's made from natural stuff like a honeycomb. I'd love the audience to notice that, and since it's set in fall, I'd like the audience to feel that they're really in a fall setting and get a full impact of beautiful colors.

TZN: What's next for you?

I'm currently moving over to the winter movie, which is the fourth installment of Tinker Bell. It's got a different look and different feel. It's winter. It's exciting. It's exciting to be working on the winter movie.

TZN: So you're skipping over the summer one, then?

Yeah, we have another art director who worked on the first movie. He's taking on the third movie at the moment, so I'm taking the fourth.

Toon Zone News would like to thank Ellen Jin Over for taking the time to chat with us, and to Dre Birskovich of Click Communications and Mindy Johnson of WDSHE Global Publicity for arranging the interview.

The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History

Noteworthy new book about The Simpsons—The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History by journalist John Ortved draws on eighty new interviews to create an oral history about the creation and day-to-day production of the show.

Ortved wrote an interesting article for The Daily Beast in which he talks about how Fox and James L. Brooks refused to cooperate with him for the book:

Brooks sent a letter to every current Simpsons employee, and all the former ones he thought mattered, asking them not to speak to me. The writers’ agents sent denial after denial for interview requests and eventually stopped responding altogether…There was one “D’oh!” in James L. Brooks and the Gracie Films master plan: Many people don’t like James L. Brooks. No one gets as successful as Brooks in Hollywood without making enemies, but people carry a special dislike for the man whose power and smart media control has managed to project an image of an avuncular, loveable neurotic for the better part of 50 years.”

Reviews of the book—Entertainment Weekly, NPR—have generally been positive, with the biggest complaint being that it falls apart towards the end. This is an almost inevitable byproduct of writing a book about a studio or show that is still in progress. David A. Price’s otherwise well-researched The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company also suffered towards the end when it attempted to put newer Pixar efforts into context without the participation of key figures.

I’m still curious to read Ortved’s book for its documentation of the early years. No doubt, there will be many more histories of The Simpsons in the years to come. This is only the first, and it appears to be a solid start towards chronicling the most successful animated TV series of all time. The book can be purchased on Amazon for the discounted price of $17.82.

(Thanks cartoon brew)

This Little Light of Mine

Dave Way directed this commercial, Light of Mine, another beauty from New Zealand animation collective Watermark - the same gang who produced the beautiful Greg Johnson I Got Candy video we mentioned a few weeks ago.

(Thanks, Dave Follett)

(Thanks cartoon brew)

1960s Saturday Morning Cartoons DVD

You young lads out there didn’t covet the Saturday morning cartoon block like us old timers. Until Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network came along, we’d have to wait until the weekend to watch our animations. Back in the 1960s, that included The Jetsons, The Tom & Jerry Show and Magilla Gorilla. Today these cartoons are available on a single DVD titled Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s. Here’s a clip featuring everyone’s favorite space dad – George Jetson:

Cool is Resurrected in Jesus 2000

This amazing, uber-stylish short Jesus 2000 somehow slipped past me last month. It’s from students attending the French art school Gobelins. It’s the creation of Rémi Bastie, Jean-Baptiste Cumont, Clément Desnos, Jonathan Djob Nkondo and Nicolas Pegon.

Clapin Chugs Through Animated Train Spots

Here’s one of 3 new CG spots for the French high speed train service iDTGV, which speeds at over 150 mph. The series was directed by Mr Clapin from the production company Mr. Hyde. The agency on the gig was Nogoodindustry. This one is titled Cou-Cou.

DreamWorks Moves

DreamWorks was part of my appointment calendar today (and yes, I swing by a lot. There are a lot of buildings to hike through.) One tidbit:

"They changed the release date for Puss'N Boots, moved it up, and a whole bunch of us got moved, I think it was two hundred people. I was over on the other side of the campus, but now I'm in the Lakeside Building. I get moved so often I forget which building I'm in ..."

The constant shifting of personnel would make me crazy. I stayed in one office for years at the Mouse House. I knew old-timers there that had been in one office for flipping decades.

Different companies, different management styles ...

One story artist I came across offered the opinion that at some point, story artists won't be drawing boards anymore, even on Cintiqs. He thinks the boarding process will evolve to three-dimensional boards with the modeled characters and rudimentary, three-dimensional sets, and that boards in the Snow White and Dumbo style will cease to exist. His words: "This won't be happening soon, but in five to eight years. I think it's inevitable."

Me, I'm not too sure. I mean, live action has done three dee boards for a while now, blocking out camera angles and positioning characters, but in live-action it serves a somewhat different purpose. I think hand-drawn boards will remain the coin of the realm, at least for the first pass.

. Like so many other things, I am probably wrong.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Astro Boy Muscular in China

Okay, so it had a lacklustre launch stateside, but the Middle Kingdom is a whole different story:

"Astro Boy" set a new opening weekend box-office record in China for a CG-animated movie, its producers Imagi International Holdings announced.

Industry estimates indicate since opening last Friday on approximately 1,100 screens across China,
"Astro Boy" has recorded $5.9 million in box-office receipts, topping the weekend box office chart and setting a new mark for the opening weekend box office of a CG-animated feature film on the Mainland.

That record was previously held by
"Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," which had an opening gross of $4.4 million ...

It's more than likely that breaking records in China isn't going to push AB into Ice Age territory worldwide, but every national market helps, does it not?

I haven't seen how the picture is doing in other Asian markets, but it will probably fly higher than its sputtering liftoff in the U.S. and Canada last weekend.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

ANIBOOM Marvel Motion Comic Finalists Chosen w/Video

More Than 10 Hours of Motion Comics Created by Aniboom Community of Animators For The Marvel Motion Comics Creation Competition

Top 5 Finalists To Have Their Motion Comic Spotlighted On

New York, NY, October 26, 2009 – Aniboom, the world’s first virtual animation studio, announced today that 5 finalists have been selected for the motion comic competition in partnership with Marvel Entertainment, one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. A staggering number of original motion comics – more than 10 hours in total - were submitted in a 6 week period from Aniboom’s community of nearly 8,000 animators from across the globe. Marvel’s blue ribbon panel of judges has narrowed it down to the best of the unique motion comic interpretations of comic book stories starring renowned Super Heroes Wolverine, the Incredible Hulk, and Nova.

The 5 finalists come from Los Angeles, New York, New Hampshire and Australia, and each will receive $2,000 to expand their motion comic into a full-length story. These five, plus one additional “Wildcard” finalist, will compete for the grand prize of $10,000 and the opportunity to showcase their work across Marvel’s digital network. Beginning the week of October 26th, the motion comics created by the 5 finalists will be the featured animations on Aniboom’s YouTube Channel. The Winner will be announced November 16, after a one-week viewing and voting period on

“Aniboom’s community has brought Marvel’s iconic figures to life with these striking motion comics,” said Uri Shinar, founder and CEO of Aniboom. “We have a talented pool of animators that are consistently demonstrating their versatility, creativity, and prolificacy, generating more than 10 hours of motion comics. Their body of work has significantly increased the number of motion comics that exists today.”

John Dokes, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Marvel Entertainment, added, “We have some remarkable submissions that reflect the combination of some of Marvel’s treasured characters and stories and some of the world’s best animation talent. We look forward to presenting the winning submission to Marvel fans.”

In addition to showcasing the Incredible Hulk, Wolverine and Nova characters, this motion comics creation project also provides Marvel a high profile promotion for its newest digital initiative. Now one of Marvel’s hottest new entertainment categories, Motion Comics refashion the world’s most popular comic book content into brand-new entertainment that remains true to the heritage of panel-by-panel graphic storytelling. With groundbreaking graphics, top-rate voice talent, and sensational soundscapes all set within the explosive Marvel Universe, Marvel Motion Comics inject new life into favorite comics, authors and artists in a never-before-seen way.

Throughout the contest, members of Aniboom’s community have submitted their unique motion comic interpretations based upon classic Marvel Universe stories Hulk vs. Wolverine, written by acclaimed film, television and comic book writer Jeph Loeb (“Heroes”, “Lost” and Marvel’s The Ultimates and Captain America), with eye-popping art by fan-favorite artist Ed McGuinness (Hulk, TheUltimates, Deadpool). Fan-favorite series Nova, Aniboom users’ other Motion Comic option, was written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (War of Kings, Annihilation) with art by Kev Walker (Marvel Zombies, Exiles, The Eternal).

The Top 50 motion comic submissions – as voted on by the Aniboom community – will each receive a free one-year subscription to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, which features online versions of your favorite Marvel Comics that are created from the original artwork used to print them. This easily accessible online library has over 6,000 comics, and new comics are being added each month.

Microsoft exits as sponsor of 'Family Guy' special

Seth Macfarlane, creator of the animated series, 'Family Guy'

Fans of "Family Guy" are chortling about Microsoft's belated discovery that a "Family Guy" special might not jibe with the software giant's corporate image.

On Monday, Microsoft said it's pulling out as sponsor of a "Family Guy" variety show, just two weeks after announcing its sole sponsorship of the special, "Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show," scheduled to air Nov. 8.

The Fox special apparently follows in the racy tradition of the animated "Family Guy" series — just as any fan would expect.

The special includes "typical 'Family Guy'-style jokes, including riffs on deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest," said Variety, which first reported Microsoft's exit.

The special stars "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, who voices many of the characters, and Alex Borstein, who furnishes the voice of Peter Griffin's wife, Lois.

In the original announcement, the half-hour special was billed as a half-hour with no commercial breaks that blends "unique Windows 7-branded programming" seamlessly with "original animation, live-action performances of 'Family Guy's' most memorable musical numbers, comedy sketches and surprise celebrity guests."

Microsoft had originally touted the "subversive and unique humor" of the show's co-hosts.

But apparently it was all too subversive and unique for Microsoft. Backing off with Monday's statement, the company said that, after reviewing an early version of the special, it had decided the variety show's content "was not a fit with the Windows brand."

In its statement, Microsoft hastened to add there are no hard feelings. The company said it continues to have "a good partnership" with MacFarlane, Borstein and the network, and is "working with them in other areas."
Fox plans to air the show, which was taped Oct. 16, as scheduled, with a new, as-yet-undisclosed integrated sponsoring partner. The network had no comment on Microsoft's defection.

Video: Behind the scenes on Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

Check out these exclusive clips interviewing the cast and creators of Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, now out on both DVD and Blu-ray. The film tells of humanity's fight for survival through the eyes of its deadly adversaries, the Cylons.

As Grace Park says, the movie will "answer a lot of questions that you probably didn't even know that you had."

Lucasfilm: Star Wars 3-D rumors ignorant and stupid

Remember the rumors floating around last week that George Lucas was getting ready to film a 3-D Star Wars trilogy? We told you it was too good to be true—and we were right. Steve Sansweet, Lucasfilm Head of Fan Relations, put the kibosh on those 3-D dreams in an interview at Star Wars Fan Days III.

Our friends at moviegeekfeed caught up with him there and got him to address the rumors. Check out the video below and you'll learn why, as Sansweet says, "You shouldn't believe what you read on the internet."

5 major spoilers about Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan promises to show us how the Cylons planned to eradicate humanity and ultimately failed to stomp out the last bits of resistance. The film looks at all the major events from the TV show that involved cylons, but this time we get to see things from the toaster point of view.

Edward James Olmos, who plays William Adama in the series, directed The Plan. We talked to him the other day and he explained The Plan with some spoilers, but the big stuff is still to come for viewers. Battlestar Galactica: The Plan is available Oct. 27 on DVD and Blu Ray. Syfy will air an edited version in 2010.

See "33" and "Water" in a whole new light
The Plan takes cornerstone moments of the series and shows the Cylons operating behind the scenes. You'll see Boomer before and after her treacherous assignments in the episode "Water." The new footage blends in seamlessly with footage from season one.

"Most of that footage is new but it feels like it was shot and that you've seen it before," Olmos said. "That's because we duplicated a lot of the situation and re-shot a lot of it. That had to feel as fresh as the stuff that was shot five years before. So it became a real issue and was brilliantly orchestrated by all the departments and all the actors."

Meet new characters who didn't take the spotlight in the series
The Plan also has the opportunity to weave new characters into the existing narrative. You'll see Cavil bond with a little boy named John, culminating in a shocking demonstration of Cavil's lack of humanity. The mechanic named Giana (Lymari Nadal, Olmos' real life wife), who only appeared briefly in the miniseries, gets her chance to work with series regulars in a storyline from The Plan.

"In the scene with the chief in the store room when he comes in and meets the new knuckle dragger, Giana, in walks Boomer and they have a little relationship, a triangle right there that happens," Olmos revealed.

See other cities destroyed
You got to see Caprica City wiped out in the Cylon attack the first time around. Now that they're going back, they also threw in some more destruction of cities like Picon in all new visual effects spectacles.

"Oh man, the destruction of those places," Olmos marveled. "To me, that first half hour is worth its weight in gold. It really puts the onus on exactly what went down, something that we imagined but we never thought we'd see. I wanted to go deeper but we just couldn't. We didn't have the financial ability to do so."

Cylons in love?
Well, you wondered what could possibly stand in the way of the Cylon's perfect plan to destroy humanity. It's the same thing that makes all of us screw up.

"What stopped that is one single human emotion that prevailed itself inside of the Giana/Simon story," Olmos said. "Love came in and really no one, no machine, no human was ready for what happened. Love actually changed the course of what would have been the annihilation of both the human species and the termination of the cylons also."

See more on the DVD than on TV
The DVD and Blu Ray release of The Plan runs one hour and 52 minutes. The TV broadcast will be cut to fill a two hour time slot with commercials. Also, they can't show topless bar tenders and communal showers on basic cable.

"I'm very grateful that they're releasing it in its entirety uncut, the director's cut with all of the reality that we shot, because in the television movie, they're going to show only 88 minutes. That's a big difference."

Fans Call For Bruce Campbell As Mysterio In 'Spider-Man 4'

There are a lot of questions flying around about which character Bruce Campbell will play in "Spider-Man 4," so last week we took 'em all, put 'em together, and had you vote on the casting you'd like to see for the "Evil Dead" actor in the next installment of Sam Raimi's superhero franchise.

In the end, the most buzzed-about rumor was also fans' favorite of the bunch, with nearly half the votes tagging Campbell to play Marvel's bubble-headed Master of Illusion, Mysterio. Some have wondered whether his trio of seemingly unrelated cameos in the previous "Spider-Man" films could play into the role, too—since it wouldn't be too unbelievable for a master of special effects to be found in the background during a few key moments in Peter Parker's recent history.

Interestingly, it wasn't another character that earned the second-place nod in our poll. More than 18 percent of voters simply wanted Campbell in thefilm, and couldn't care less which role he played—as long as it was a big one!

Here's how the final tally looked:

Mysterio: 48%
I don't care, as long as he has a big role! 18%
Chameleon: 11%
Kraven The Hunter: 10%
I don't care, as long as he's in it! 8%
I don't care if he's in it at all! 4%

EXCLUSIVE: Willem Dafoe As Batman? It Almost Happened!

Before "The Dark Knight," many fans wondered how Jack Nicholson's portrayal of the Joker in Tim Burton's "Batman" could ever be topped, least of all by the seemingly unnatural choice of Heath Ledger. But if you believe one certain rumor, Nicholson almost lost the part to another actor—none other than Willem Dafoe.

Dafoe's IMDB page harbors a curious bit of "trivia," which states that the actor was considered for the Clown Prince of Crime in the Burton-directed "Batman." MTV News went straight to Dafoe for official word on the rumor, and while the actor said he was never considered for the Joker role, he did have an early attachment to the 1989 film.

"Very early, they talked to me about playing Batman," Dafoe told MTV News.

In Burton's "Batman," Bruce Wayne was played by actor Michael Keaton, who was viewed as an unconventional pick for the role—but just like Ledger as Joker, Keaton's performance was ultimately embraced by many fans. It's hard to imagine how differently the movie could have turned out with Dafoe under the Caped Crusader's cowl, but the actor insisted that it almost happened.

"I hate to spread these things because unless you remember it well, you're stoking the fires of bulls---," said the actor. "But I remember [it]. I've had my brush with these things."

In the end, Dafoe never connected with the Gotham City crowd, but some might say it worked out for the best—not only did Nicholson and Keaton provide fans with their memorable performances, but who knows if Dafoe would have wound up in the "Spider-Man" franchise otherwise.

It's times like these that I wish DC's multiverse actually existed, as I'd be very interested in seeing Dafoe's take on Batman. Maybe he'll be up for it if Zack Snyder ever takes a shot at "The Dark Knight Returns" in a decade or so.

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