Dragon Looks to Knock Alice Down to Size
After three weekends of Alice in Wonderland dominating the box office, comes a 3D challenge in the form of DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon.
Dragon, directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, is generating strong buzz and will open very wide in more than 4,000 cinemas.
The real battle, however, is over 3D screens. Dragon is expected to play in some 2,150 theaters with 3D screen capability, out of an estimated 2,300 such cinemas. That will bump Alice, which has been using most of those 3D screens for the past three weeks, down to 2D screens. Alice has ridden the surging success of 3D to a worldwide domestic gross of about $573 million.
While Dragon will be on the winning end of the 3D stick this weekend, it may be a short-lived victory with Warner Bros. set to put Clash of the Titans out in 3D next weekend.
Running as counter programming to Dragon is the screwball time-travel comedy Hot Tub Time Machine, opening in more than 2,700 cinemas.
Animation fans in select areas also will be on the lookout for the documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty, which opens in five cinemas in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. The documentary, directed by Don Hahn, chronicles the rebirth of animation at Walt Disney Studios in the 1980s and 1990s using new audio interviews with the animators who worked there and executives such as Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg who led the charge.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Bird Short-Listed for Mission: Impossible IV
Brad Bird, director of such popular animated features as The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, is reportedly thinking about going live action to direct Mission: Impossible IV.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bird is one of several contenders that producers Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams are considering to direct the film for Paramount. The studio is eyeing a May 27, 2011, release, meaning work on the film needs to start this summer.
Other directors reportedly in the mix are Edgar Wright Jr., whose next film is the comic-book adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer.
The film would again star Cruise as agent Ethan Hunt and be based on the classic 1960s television series.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Another Despicable Me trailer strikes the internet
A fourth trailer for Universal’s upcoming Despicable Me can be found in various formats over at Apple.com. The animated comedy starring Steve Carell opens in theaters everywhere on July 9th.
Why DreamWorks tops Pixar
Cinema Blend has a piece with the link-baiting title “5 Ways DreamWorks Animation Is Better Than Pixar”. The article isn’t nearly as contentious as the title would suggest, however, and does a good job of fairly pointing out the areas where DreamWorks excels over its rival.
Top celebrity voices
Forbes delves into the world of celebrity voice acting to rank the A-list — a top 10 based on box office earnings and press attention.
Catmull discusses keys to success
Mashable discusses a talk Disney and Pixar Animation President Ed Catmull gave at the Economist Innovation Conference. He said Pixar’s success was due to being able to trust his managers, not being afraid of making mistakes and then having to fix them, and balancing the artistic with the commercial.
How Disney Animation Got Its Groove Back
By Geoffrey Golden
If you are a loyal Lineboil reader, and therefore a dedicated fan of animation, I’ll sum up this review for you in 5 words:
Go see Waking Sleeping Beauty (opens in a limited theatrical run this today).
There are so many reasons to see this documentary by director Don Hahn (producer of several Disney features including Beauty and the Beast), who brings us a candid look inside the Magic Kingdom from the early 80s to the mid 90s. As Roger Rabbit would say, “let me count the ways…” One is that you’ll see handheld documentary footage of storyboard readings, staff meetings and voice recording sessions at Disney Animation. Two is that it challenges our pre-conceived notions of how executives and creatives work together. Three is that you’ll gain a level of understanding about Disney’s Second Renaissance you never had before.
Apparently the cameras were always on at Disney Animation. Though a good chunk of the documentary is told in still pictures — including hilarious caricatures drawn by the animators at the time, illustrating the creative tensions behind the scenes — a good half of the film is culled together with home movie footage. (One of the camera men? None other than John Lasseter.) This creates a very intimate effect. For an hour and a half, you really feel like you’re inside “Mousewitz,” experiencing the heartbreaking staff meetings and over-the-top office parties. Hahn’s insider knowledge of the subject matter and smart storytelling creates a more immersive experience than a lot of 3D animated movies.
From Termite Terrace to Adult Swim, the story usually goes: the executives leave the creatives alone and suddenly they produce incredible work. Waking Sleeping Beauty challenges that idea. In 1984, Disney Animation was left completely alone by executives, making it a leper colony of sorts on the lot. The young artists, like Tim Burton, Ron Clements and John Musker, had a lot of youthful creative energy, but felt stifled by Walt’s 9 Old Men animators, who completely ran the show. At the time, Disney Animation was producing bombs like The Black Cauldron. In this case, an animation studio suffered without studio intervention.
Hollywood outsiders like Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner were brought in to pull purse strings and turn this creative chaos into a movie-making powerhouse. However, show biz bitterness, intense rivalries and a drive for fame end up turning the House of Mouse into a war zone. As the movies get better and better, Roy Disney’s chosen executives end up battling more and more fiercely. The animators, who at the beginning of the film are playing music together and staging a reenactment of Apocalypse Now in the offices, end up with Carpal Tunnel and no family lives. Sure, they had classics like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin on their reels, but they were burning out fast.
The filmmakers describe the early 90s as a “perfect storm” of bold executives and creative talent. “Storm” is an apt analogy, because while they were able to create some of the medium’s all-time classics, the war of egos wrecked people’s lives. The film gives you a greater appreciation for Walt Disney. In the film, it’s pointed out that many hardworking people deserved more credit than they got working under Walt Disney, because Walt was always there to soak up the spotlight. Perhaps that’s a necessity. In this heated business, if you don’t have one charismatic leader, either creative or executive, the result can be a storm of egos.
At the eye of that storm was the songwriting team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Bringing the tenets of musical theater to Disney Animation was really the spark that made everything click for The Little Mermaid and subsequent films. Ashman’s death in 1991, right before the premiere of Beauty and The Beast, had a profound impact on everyone at Disney. You could argue, after watching this film, that Ashman was the quiet creative leader who is truly the heart of these movies.
I will point out here that there are two glaring omissions from film. One is a clear explanation for how the creative team created the “smoother” look-and-feel for The Little Mermaid (and subsequent films), which is a big visual leap forward from Oliver & Company or The Great Mouse Detective. More importantly, the movie is missing a true denoument. This is the story about a storm, but we never get a peak at the wreckage following The Lion King. A little bit about what was missing from films like Pocahontas and Hunchback of Notre Dame would go a long way in understanding what was special about 1989-1994.
However, these are minor complaints. Watching this documentary made me want to revisit the early 90s Disney catalogue with brand new eyes. Knowing about all the toil, sacrifice and painful memories that surrounds these films makes them even more astounding. If you’re a fan of animation, and want a realistic look at what goes on behind the scenes, then Waking Sleeping Beauty simply can’t be missed.
Alice’s Woolverton to Script Malificent
Having written the script that re-imagined Alice in Wonderland for Tim Burton, writer Linda Woolverton has been hired by Disney to tackle Maleficent, a live-action take on the evil queen from the animated classic Sleeping Beauty.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project could reunite the writer with Burton, who is considering directing the movie.
No deal has been made with Burton, and the hiring of Woolverton — whose credits include the Disney animated classics Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King — is the first concrete step forward in its development.
Few details on the project have been revealed, but Maleficent reportedly would tell the classic Sleeping Beauty tale from the point of view of the green-skinned antagonist.
No release date has been set for the project.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
CafeFX Scales Back, Shuts Santa Monica Office
Visual effects studio CafeFX has closed its Santa Monica, citing the weak economy and the lack of production incentives in California as factors in the decision.
Speaking to Variety, CafeFX chief Jeff Barnes says the company is “downsizing and retooling not closing.”
CafeFX’s Santa Maria facility remains open and the company is working on a high-profile film.
The visual effects house recently did 3D conversion work on Alice in Wonderland and while 2009 was strong the flow of work will be slower in 2010, Barnes told the trade.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Boxx Technologies Adds EnFuzion 3D
Boxx Technologies has added EnFuzion 3D render management software to the professional rendering applications for its dedicated, high-performance rendering computer systems.
Developed by Axceleon Inc., EnFuzion is a resource-management application for render farms.
“EnFuzion is professional-grade render farm management software for the most demanding 3D workflows,” said Michael Duffy, President and CEO, Axceleon. “And when it’s combined with a renderBOXX render farm and expert BOXX support, the result is a dedicated rendering solution that delivers increased productivity and profit through greater efficiency.”
EnFuzion supports all major rendering packages and usese proven client-server architecture to ensure reliability, scalability and performance for render farms of any size.
Featuring multi-processors and networked architecture, the high-density, purpose-built renderBOXX modules are designed to render intensive 3D graphics and animation workflows.
To learn more about BOXX rendering solutions, visit www.boxxtech.com.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Decode’s Pirates to Set Sail at MIP-TV
Decode Enterprises will launch the new preschooler series Pirates, Adventures in Art at MIP-TV.
The 36 x 12 min. series, which was commissioned by the CBC in Canada in and produced by Halifax Film, the series uses a pirate premise to explore the world of great art.
“Halifax Film has a great track record in producing top quality preschool entertainment with strong international appeal and we’re looking forward to showcasing this brand new show at MIP-TV,” says Josh Scherba, senior VP of distribution at DECODE. “It’s a fun, lively, informative series guaranteed to get kids inspired and creative.”
Charles Bishop and Katrina Walsh produced the CG-animated series.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
4Kids Promotes Execs Haigney, Gray
4Kids Productions has promoted two executives, lifting Michael Haigney to the post of creative director and Kristen Gray to the job of head of network operations.
Haigney will be responsible for the creative direction of all series adaptations and other projects created by 4Kids. He joined the company in 2000 and worked as a producer and writer for various series, including Pokemon, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, F Zero, Sonic X and Chaotic.
Gray will oversee the daily operations of The CW4Kids bloc, 4Kids Productions and 4Kids.tv. Gray joined 4Kids in 2002 and will continue to serve as legal counsel on all network and website matters.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
PDFs for your portfolio
If you've been looking for work lately, you're doubtless aware that studios large and small are looking for ways to avoid having to deal with applicants bringing in physical portfolios as part of the application process.
Yesterday, one of our signator studios announced it will only accept portfolio submissions in PDF format. Like it or not, more and more studios are refusing to accept physical portfolios, and are requiring that submissions be in a common format such as PDF.
PDF is the document format supported by Adobe Acrobat. Chances are you have a copy of the free Adobe Reader program that reads and prints out PDF files (if not, click the link to upload it.) However, Adobe Reader only reads and prints out PDF files. To convert your graphics or resumes to PDF you will need to use an online converter, or a program such as Adobe Acrobat Professional.
There are several websites that offer free or low-cost online PDF conversions; Adobe offers this service at createpdf.adobe.com for $9.99 per month. Other similar sites include www.freepdfconvert.com, www.primopdf.com and www.pdfonline.com. Most of these sites have restrictions as to the types of files they can handle or the size or number of files you can convert for free.
If you own other Adobe programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator, check to see if they include a free version of Acrobat Pro. Also, if you own a scanner it might have PDF conversion built into its software, so you can scan and convert in the same step, and you may not even need to buy a separate program.
It may also be the case that you have a PDF print driver on your computer, in which case you will see an option labeled PDF or Adobe PDF when you are prompted to choose a printer. Choosing this option will "print" a PDF copy of your document as a file on your computer.
If the free websites are inadequate and you don't have a PDF-compatible print or scanner driver, you may want to invest in Adobe Acrobat Professional software. Go to google.com/products and type in the phrase "Adobe Acrobat Professional" (and make sure you're buying actual software and not a license or guidebook.)
As is the case with anything in the computer world, shopping around will result in some good bargains. For example, you don't necessarily need the most up-to-date version of Acrobat Pro, but make sure the version you buy is compatible with your computer and operating system.
We have Adobe Acrobat Pro available in our computer lab if you'd like to come in and learn about it. Contact Ken Roskos at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)
"I Spy" co-star Robert Culp, 79, dead after fall
Actor Robert Culp, best known for co-starring in the 1960s hit TV series I Spy as a world-traveling secret agent and international tennis star, died Wednesday morning after a fall at his Hollywood home. He was 79.
He hit his head while taking a walk outside his home and was rushed to Queen of Angels hospital just after 11 a.m., Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Bob Binder said. Paramedics, patrol officers and detectives came to the scene after a jogger found him and called 911.
Culp was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. A preliminary investigation found "that his death is accidental and there appears to be no sign of foul play," Binder said. A Los Angeles County Coroner's office is pending.
He guested as Halcyon Renard on four episodes of the cartoon series Gargoyles: Outfoxed and Golem (both 1995), and The Gathering, Part I and The Gathering, Part II (both 1996).
On the stop-motion animated series Robot Chicken, he played Bill Maxwell in the 2007 episode Yancy The Yo-Yo Boy.
He was also in the voice cast of -- appropriately enough -- the Saban Entertainment series The Secret Files of the Spy Dogs, which ran for 26 11-minute episodes on FOX in 1998-99.
Born Robert Martin Culp in Oakland, California on August 16, 1930, the 6'2" actor graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.
Entering Hollywood in the late 1950s, Culp gained huge fame as Kelly Robinson in the hour-long series I Spy, which was filmed in exotic places around the globe and ran from 1965 to 1968. The drama also ended racial barriers by having Bill Cosby as the first African-American actor to star in a non-comedy series.
From 1996 to 2004, Culp appeared as Warren in 11 episodes of the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.
Though known primarily for his TV roles, Culp had movie appearances as well. He was naval officer John F. Kennedy's friend Ensign George Ross in PT 109, Jane Fonda's fiance in the rom-com Sunday in New York, and gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok in The Raiders. A star of the 1969 movie Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, he portrayed the president in Alan J. Pakula's murder mystery The Pelican Brief (1994).
Outside the entertainment industry, Culp was active in civic causes, most recently attempting to oppose construction of an elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo. In 2007, he worked with real estate agent Aaron Leider in suing zoo director John Lewis and the City of Los Angeles to halt construction of a $42 million elephant exhibit and stop the zoo from keeping elephants there.
He alleged that zoo authorities withheld medical care from the pachyderms and kept them cramped in small places.
Los Angeles City Council voted last year to go ahead with the original project after temporarily stopping construction on the elephant exhibit.
The actor was one of Hugh Hefner's poker-playing pals and, therefore, was a frequent guest at the Playboy Mansion, according to the Internet Movie Database.
Robert Culp was married five times; his first four marriages ended in divorce. He was married to Elayne Carroll in 1951, Nancy Ashe (with whom he had four children) from 1957 to 1966, France Nuyen from 1967 to 1970, Sheila Sullivan from 1971 to 1976, and Candace Faulkner (with whom he had one child) from 1981 until his death.
How To Train Your Dragon is as bad-ass as Avatar
When DreamWorks began its upcoming 3-D animated movie How to Train Your Dragon, it started out as a light kids' movie, but it quickly turned into a surprisingly kick-ass action movie that draws comparisons to James Cameron's own 3-D epic.
Jay Baruchel began voice work on the main character, the young Viking named Hiccup, three years ago, but when directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois joined a little over a year ago, they changed everything, upping the dragon-flying, fire-breathing action, Baruchel said.
"It was a lot younger," Baruchel said of the original version, in an exclusive interview last week in Beverly Hills, Calif. "Where this one is sort of dark and ballsy, the other one was kind of more cutesy. It was quite funny, but it's not the epic that it is now."
Baruchel felt comfortable swearing about its PG-rated awesomeness. "This movie, honestly, to me, is going to be nominated for f--kin' best picture, in my opinion," he said with some exaggeration. "I really think it's balls to the wall. It's a movie. The other one was a really great story, but it lacked some of the gravitas that this one has. That's what the [the directors] brought. They made it darker. They brought their own unique visual style to it. Everything that captivates you in the movie, I think, is because of them."
In the film, Hiccup is a Viking teen whose father wants him to become a big, strong dragon slayer. Hiccup meets a Night Fury dragon named Toothless and learns instead how to ride him.
The dragon flights are so wild that some critics are comparing them to footage from Avatar. "When I started recording, actually, I was kind of doing a kid voice and stuff," Baruchel said. "Not on my own, it was their direction, but he was a younger kid, and everything about it was younger. He didn't work at the blacksmith shop and didn't make the weapons. He was just more kind of a quintessential goofball to all the other normal Vikings, which is still very much there, but they just gave him a lot more."
Co-director Dean DeBlois explained how he and Sanders beefed up the film. "Part of that was creating a level of believability within the world so that we understood the stakes and the peril," DeBlois said in a press conference earlier that day. "That meant removing a certain amount of magic and replacing it with elements that we understand, taking the very brilliant decision of having multiple breeds of dragons but imbuing them with characteristics that we understand and appreciate and recognize in the animal world. We thought there were enough cues and personality traits to be gleaned from the natural world that would actually help us in our storytelling—the hive behavior of their dragons' nest; that they serve a larger, dominant master; Toothless being panther-like, black panther, vermilion in his design—that all of these things created elements of a story that would be best for Hiccup's journey of befriending an enemy and understanding the unknown without having communication to complicate that."
With all the different dragons in the film, everyone is sure to have a different favorite. Baruchel is a little biased. "Oh, Toothless," Baruchel said. "Come on, he's a Night Fury. He's the stealth bomber of dragons, and he's an adorable, catlike creature. ... And the big one at the end, the Green Death, that one's pretty special too."
How to Train Your Dragon opens Friday.
Little Rascals From The Dwarfs World by Olaf Albers
Lausbuben aus der Zwergenwelt (Little Rascals from the Dwarfs World) in Lausige Zeiten (Lousy Times) is a fractured fairy tale from the mind and pen of Olaf Albers. Created during the winter semester at Fachhochschule Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences, Albers says, “The protagonists are two young dwarfs named Heinrich and Hannes who have nothing but nonsense on their mind and do not care about any socially rooted restrictions. Following their hedonistic way of life they nearly terrorize the other peace and harmony seeking creatures of the woodlands.”
Translation Wolf: “Oh, how nice! A warm summers rain!”
Translation children: “You have saved us -we grant you every wish!”
(Thanks, Thomas Wellman)
(Thanks cartoon brew)
Long Drawn-Out Trip by Gerald Scarfe
The Lost Continent is a real treasure of a blog and has introduced me to lots of great British animation over the past few months, some of which I should have already known about. One such film is Long Drawn-Out Trip: Sketches from Los Angeles by Gerald Scarfe. The eighteen-minute film was shown on TV only once in its entirety and that occurred 1973 on the BBC. It has a stream-of-conscious flavor as evidenced by this tantalizing four-minute clip.
The film’s lack of distribution is largely due to the fact that Scarfe didn’t obtain clearances to the music he used, which included everything from Jimi Hendrix to Neil Diamond. (Shades of Nina Paley’s problems with Sita Sings the Blues). It’s unlikely he would have ever been able to make the film either had he pursued legitimate channels. Try asking Disney for permission to use “When You Wish upon a Star” when your film has an extended sequence of Mickey smoking a spliff.
In this interview, Scarfe spoke about how the film came about:
Well the BBC in London sent me to Los Angeles, to work on what they thought was a new animation system. It was something called the de joux (ju) system which is spelled dejoux. That was a system started by a Frenchman which was supposed to make animation an easier experience. When I got there I found that it wasn’t a computerized system at all. It was just a system whereby between shall we say frame a and frame e, it kind of mixed through b, c, d, into e. It kind of dissolved from one picture to another. So if one drew a picture it would then dissolve through, or mix through, to the next picture.
Where as in animation you have to kind of do a series of drawings in between to complete the movement. But it wasn’t a very successful system in that way. But since I was in Los Angeles, I decided to make the best of it, and I did a kind of stream of consciousness drawing everything I could think of about America at that time. Like, the Statue of Liberty, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Black Power, Mickey Mouse, Coca Cola, Playboy Magazine, sort of a million images all melting one into the other. I was supposed to be there for 10 days, but I stayed for about 6 or 7 weeks. Hence the title, Long Drawn Out Trip. And it was also a kind of a trip, cause it was very much the drug era. And it was a kind of a hallucinatory trip too.
The entire film doesn’t appear to be online, but there are plenty of frame grabs available on the Lost Continent blog.
(Thanks cartoon brew)
Rinky Dink by John Dilworth
A new short by John Dilworth (Courage the Cowardly Dog, Dirdy Birdy) is always an occasion for a post. Rinky Dink combines drawn animation with stop motion and photo cut-outs. It has the trademark Dilworthian oddness, more than a few giggles, and a cute (if common) message. The film can be viewed on his website StretchFilms.com. (Click on the little yellow creature on the upper left of the site.)
(Thanks cartoon brew)
Jeff Scher Profile
A profile of New York animator Jeff Scher who makes rotoscoping seem alright. Video offers lots of good shots of his studio and him working in it.
(Thanks cartoon brew)
Bless by Overture
An old man confronts his fears, “traveling across a personal landscape to realize and accept his path”, in this trippy music video designed and animated by Overture (Jason Malcolm Brown and Aya Yamasaki Brown). Music is Bless by Kira Kira from her album Our Map to the Monster Olympics.
(Thanks, Carlo Guillot)
(Thanks cartoon brew)
Timeout! Take a Break For Titmouse 5 Second Day
Our employers may allow us to sneak away for a smoke or two, steal a stapler every now and again, and use their phone to call Indonesia, but they don’t give us 5 Second Days. This is a Titmouse thing – a once-a-year chance to screw around on your own animated what-cha-ma-jig, and then post it on the web for the world to enjoy (or at least stare at in utter confusion).
This year was a bumper crop over at Titmouse Inc, the studio that’s been churning out stuff like Metalocalypse and Freaknik. So let’s get started – below are 5 of the stand-out shorts from 2010, and the rest are collected over on YouTube. And if you’re feeling nostalgic, call home to Indonesia, and then go watch the shorts from 2009.
60 Second Science For Kids – Mike Roush
The Beautiful Ocean – Mike Moloney and Brandon Cuellar
Titmouse Five Second Day – Drew Newman
My “Five Second Day” Animation – Megan Dong
Chirp 2k10 – Ben Li
(Thanks cold hard flash)
French Student Parties After Finishing Rococo
Belated congratulations go out to Marylène Pourcelot on graduating from the French art school e-art sup Institut. She spent 14 months on her 3-minute gradutation film, titled Rococo, laboring on lavish environments in Photoshop, and subtle animation timing in Flash. The timing is a bit on the sluggish side (perhaps just in the middle), but the environments and enjoyable twist at the end make for a strong short. [NSFW - tasteful nudity]
'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World' Trailer Arrives!
I knew something was up when "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" director Edgar Wright posted a trio of mysterious messages on Twitter today.
"Wait. What's that? (looks into distance)," he wrote around 11 AM EST, adding just a few minutes later, "(squints) Ah. I guess it was just a mirage or something."
What he was hinting at was the debut of the "Scott Pilgrim" teaser trailer just a few minutes ago on Apple Movies. While we can't embed the trailer here for you (Boo to you, Apple! Boo!), we do have a few new images that were released along with it.
(ED note: Now it's on youtube)
Wolfgang Petersen's Live-Action 'Paprika' Adaptation Is On 'The Fast Track'
Wolfgang Petersen proved he had an eye for the fantastic with 1984's "The Neverending Story," but the imagery in the source material for his live-action "Paprika" adaptation may take him into scenes that look more like "Akira" or David Cronenberg's "Scanners." The "Troy" and "Poseidon" director loved "Paprika" as an anime, and the treatment he recently received could become a wide release that he compares to "The Matrix."
"We have a young writer on it, and he just delivered a very specific and detailed treatment that we’re working on," Petersen told MTV News. "And then if that’s a go then he will write the screenplay and that will go very fast because the treatment is already very detailed. So I’m very excited about that. I would say it’s on the fast track."
The "Paprika" story, which originally began as a 1993 novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui, but has since seen life in manga in the 2006 anime film by Satoshi Kon, which sounds like it sold Petersen on the new adaptation.
"The original one -- the anime that I saw -- my people here they came to me and said had a look at this," he explained. "And I saw it and bingo, I thought this is fantastic. This is a great piece. That will be a very very interesting movie."
Though the screenplay hasn't been written yet, Petersen believes his new psychological sci-fi film has enough potential that's he's willing to compare to one of the biggest action films of all time.
"We open it up a little bit more so it’s more accessible for a wide audience, but it comes a little bit sort of "Matrix" feel," he said. "Not like Matrix but sort of the size of it all, the scope of it all. So that it becomes more of a film for a mainstream audience."
No 'Pink Bodysuit' For Blake Lively In 'Green Lantern,' Two More Actors Added To Film's Cast
With filming of director Martin Campbell's "Green Lantern" well underway in New Orleans and only hours after it was announced that Angela Bassett has signed on to portray Amanda Waller in the film, two additional actors have been confirmed to appear within the movie.
According to a post on the Coastal Talent Facebook page, Gattlin Griffith has been cast as "Robert" in "Green Lantern" and will film his part over the course of 12 days. Although Griffith is perhaps best-known for portraying Angelina Jolie's son in "Changeling," he has also appeared in several TV series including "Monk," "Without a Trace," and "Supernatural." ComicBookMovie.com has speculated that Griffith's role could potentially be Hal Jordan's nephew or possibly a young Hal Jordan in a flashback sequence.
Actress and model Marcela Duartee also revealed on Twitter that she was cast in "Green Lantern." While the nature and extent of her role is unclear, Duartee posted pictures of herself on the set with Campbell and "Green Lantern" star Ryan Reynolds.
"Gossip Girl" star Blake Lively also recently dropped some hints about her role as Carol Ferris in "Green Lantern." During a profile with Vogue Magazine, Lively was asked whether she would dye her hair to match her character's hair color in the comics.
"That's all under discussion," said Lively. "Anything is possible, just not the pink bodysuit, please!"
In the "Green Lantern" mythology, Carol Ferris goes on to become Star Sapphire, a villain who wears the very revealing "pink bodysuit" mentioned by Lively in the interview.
'Iron Man' Writers To Script New 'Buck Rogers' Movie
One of the original space heroes is heading back to the big screen.
According to Variety, Paul W.S. Anderson ("Resident Evil") is attached to direct a new "Buck Rogers" movie with a script by "Iron Man" co-writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway.
Paradox Entertainment — the production company behind the upcoming "Conan" reboot — is producing the film in partnership with Incognito Entertainment and Randall Emmett/George Furla Productions. Anderson and Furla are also attached as executive producers along with Flint Dille, a long time animation writer, producer and grandson of John F. Dille, who was one of the creators of the "Buck Rogers" comic strip.
The story also notes that "Buck Rogers" may be released in 3D to capitalize on the currently rising trend.
Created in 1929, Buck Rogers was a fighter pilot who was accidentally thrust into the 25th century, a world of aliens, rocketships and rayguns. His adventures paved the way for future outer space action heroes like "Flash Gordon."
"Buck Rogers" has been adapted into several movie serials and two TV series, most notably the 1979 NBC series starring Gil Gerard as Buck Rogers and Erin Gray as Colonel Wilma Deering. A new "Buck Rogers" comic book series was recently launched by Dynamite Entertainment.
Back in 2008, it was announced that Frank Miller would direct the new "Buck Rogers" film. However, the dismal performance of "The Spirit' led to Miller being removed from the project as the property was transferred to Paradox Entertainment.
A surprise cameo and other Clash of the Titans secrets
In the end, it took fanboys to bring Clash of the Titans back to the big screen.
The idea of a remake of the classic 1981 sword-and-sandals mythological adventure movie had been floating around Hollywood for almost a decade before it found itself in the hands of longtime Clash fanatic, Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier. And so it was only natural that Leterrier placed the rewrite in the hands of two fellow fans, co-screenwriters Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay. (Spoilers ahead!)
"We all had a really simpatico vision of what it should be," Manfredi told SCI FI Wire. "We holed up with Louis in an office and really tried to get inside his head and see what he wanted and kind of constructed it that way."
The writers started off with a draft by Travis Beacham and began to rework the material to fit Leterrier's vision. "There had been a mythological take with a lot of gods from different cultures and belief systems," says Manfredi. "We wanted to pull it directly back to Greek mythology and see those gods we had grown up reading about obsessively from Edith Hamilton. We wanted all of the touchstones from the original—the Kraken, the Medusa, the Calibos, the witches."
The writers were tasked with modernizing Clash while also retaining the "fun adventure movie" aspects that fans loved about the 1981 film. "Anything that we remembered fondly, which was a lot, we wanted to find some way to do in the movie," says Hay. "What changed is a lot of the stuff around the character journey for Perseus [Sam Worthington]. [We wanted] to see the whole movie through Perseus' eyes and create some of the supporting characters that we are going [to see] on this journey."
The writers had fun working with Leterrier, who they say had a contagious enthusiasm for the project both in preproduction and on set. "He's so energetic and so enthusiastic," says Manfredi. "He combines that with just an amazing visual sense. The action he he shoots is so imaginative and so kinetic and fun. It's perfect for the kind of adventure movie we were trying to make."
"I think his personality actually infuses the movie itself," adds Hay. "His kind of energy and kind of lack of cynicism comes through in the movie."
Bubo in the original Clash of the Titans
As fans, the writers couldn't help but make a few overt nods to the original, such as the inclusion of everyone's favorite mechanical owl, Bubo. "They designed and shot, at some point in the cut, a cameo by Bubo," says Hay. "We honestly don't know if it's the final cut or not."
To cap off the writing team's adventures, Leterrier and his team assembled a pretty exceptional cast to add a little add weight to the epically powerful gallery of characters. "It's great," says Manfredi. "To see [Liam Neeson] for the first time say, "Release the Kraken!" It's pretty exciting. "To have people like him and Ralph Fiennes in the movie, I think they bring the perfect combination of gravitas."
"They both have such a presence to them," adds Hay. "You have to suspend your disbelief a little bit less to believe that they're on Olympus."
Clash of the Titans opens April 2.