Deadline Hollywood reports that the undisputed king of the box office is turning his focus toward primetime television. Cameron dabbled in TV with the two-season drama 'Dark Angel,' but is looking to return to the medium with an adaptation of his hit 1994 movie.
This is probably a bad idea.
Of course, this adaptation is still in the early stages, and as is the case with most properties being developed for television, it's entirely possible (if not probable) that the project will never get made.
Still, there are quite a few reasons to treat the idea of a TV version of 'Sandman,' which tells the story of the Dream (or Morpheus) and his similarly powerful siblings, with extreme caution. I say that despite reading that 'Supernatural' creator Eric Kripke may take the lead role in the development of the 'Sandman' series.
Those who've read my work in the past will know that I'm a serious 'Supernatural' fan, and whatever ups and downs that show may have had over the past five seasons, Kripke's ability to mine the moral and emotional potential of genre fare has proved to be exceptional.
So it's not that I think Kripke (who isn't officially on board yet) isn't the right guy for the job. It's just that I'm not sure the job can or should be done. After the jump are just five of the reasons why I think a 'Sandman' adaptation is probably a bad idea.
What makes Prime Suspect particularly of concern is that the British show had a great actress starring in it. Helen Mirren has deserved every award -- Oscar, Tony, Golden Globe -- that she's received. As the tough-as-nails detective chief inspector Jane Tennison, she was simply amazing.
Who could they get to fill his massive shoes for this one? The movie is intended as an action comedy, so I don't see Chris Pine as the lead. Perhaps Jack Black?
I never really watched the show, but I do recall the funny sketch from SNL when Shatner was a guest host. Hooker jumped on a car hood and was stuck there while the car continued to drive for a few states.
It would be kind of typical to not have a cameo by Shatner in the remake. After all, he didn't appear in the Star Trek movie.
I'm sure Hollywood is not done mining Shatner's legacy for the movie adaptation game. Next up, Boston Legal the movie.
It's gotten so bad that he is "seriously thinking" about working for the narrow-minded fickleness of television.
Kaufman told The London Paper that the filmmaking process has infuriated and frustrated him so that he may make the jump to TV.
Other than the name value, I don't see the point of NBC doing an adaptation when they could simply create another program in a similar format. The McLaughlin Report has been doing the panel discussion concept for decades (whether it's for humorous effect depends on the viewer) and I even once attended a taping of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn which was the same concept but involved a panel of comedians and included sketches.
I've never seen Have I Got News For You. For those who have, is it good? Do you think it would fly with American audiences?
If you're like me, you raced out to your local book merchant last Tuesday and got yourself a copy of Neal Stephenson's latest book, Anathem. Then, more than likely, you tore through it before you realized, "Crap, it's going to be another five years before there is another one." But this isn't Book Squad, so what am I on about?
You might recall a January 2007 post by Kevin about Stephenson's earlier novel, The Diamond Age, being adapted for the Sci Fi Channel. As a longtime fan, I was thrilled to hear the news. But then, months and months passed with no real updates. I make periodic runs through IMDB, the official Neal Stephenson site, Smokehouse Productions, the Sci Fi Wire, wikipedia... Nobody has any information on just what the heck is going on with the adaptation. Given the nature of TV and movies, I was starting to worry that it had all just been back burnered. Or worse, they spent all that Diamond Age cash on Painkiller Jane. Not so fast...
I'll blame my relative indifference toward the anime series itself, but it was only recently that I had heard anything about a live-action Dragon Ball Z flick.
Last month, IGN had a brief write-up about the alleged adaptation, but didn't have much other than speculation. Now, however, comes word that the movie will begin shooting in Montreal sometime in the near future, with plans to wrap production by next July. There has been no official word on who will star in it, or who will make it, though Roland Emmerich's name was tossed around.
I'm going to file this under "Rumor" for now, since none of the major outlets appear to have anything on it, but some of the more gossipy sites are reporting the same story that actor Nicolas Cage is considering the role of Thomas Sullivan Magnum, IV in an upcoming film version of the popular '80s dramedy Magnum P.I. Tom Selleck, of course, played Magnum in the original series, and has said in several interviews he wanted to play the character in the film version.
Some have argued Selleck's too old to play the part, and that's true, he is too old to play a young Magnum, but with "senior citizens" such as Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford coming back to play roles from their more youthful days, I don't think Selleck returning as an older, seasoned Magnum is a terrible idea for a feature film.
G.I. Joe is just one of many adaptations of '80s toys/animated series that have been on deck for the last few years. There was of course Transformers, followed by rumors of bigscreen versions of He-Man and Thundercats. Now, however, the live-action G.I. Joe movie is official.
Writer/director Stephen Sommers (The Mummy) will helm the project, which will envision the G.I. Joe team as an international collaboration of military forces battling the evil Cobra, as opposed to the America-centric gang most of us remember from the '80s cartoon. Fans can also expect favorites like Duke, Snake Eyes, Scarlett, Destro and Cobra Commander in this new flick. The movie could hit theaters by summer of 2009.
Much like the new Underdog movie, the Wachowski brothers' bigscreen adaptation of the popular Speed Racer cartoon will not be animated, but considering the Wachowskis were behind the Matrix trilogy, one assumes the new film will be both visually stunning and not especially "heavy" storywise. Of course, it's not as if the original cartoon was all that deep, either, so in many ways this is a good match. If they do it right, it could be the perfect no-brainer, popcorn matinee.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, HBO and the BBC are adapting Caryl Churchill's short play A Number for HBO. This could be the first in a series of short play adaptations for HBO.
A Number will star Tom Wilkinson and Rhys Ifans. Wilkinson plays a father who encounters his cloned sons ten years later. Ifans will play both sons. James MacDonald directed the original stage play and will also direct the one-hour show for HBO.
Of course, whether the idea works or not will depend on how good the material is and whether it adapts well to television. Nevertheless, I like the idea of doing a series of one-shot "plays" for television that can stand or fail on their own. It wouldn't be too dissimilar to anthology series like The Twilight Zone, offering something completely new each time.
As we all know, the Stephen King / Peter Straub novel The Talisman is being made into a six-part miniseries for TNT for the 2008 season.
Now TNT has told advertisers that the Stephen Spielberg-produced miniseries could also become a regular series in 2009.
The original novel, the first collaboration between King and Straub, focused on a young boy named Jack Sawyer who flips back and forth between two worlds: our world and a mystical but malevolent world known as the Territories as he attempts to secure the titular talisman that may save his dying mother. A sequel, Black House, followed many years later. Both stories also tie into King's larger Dark Tower series, which may also be developed for television.
Eddie Murphy will star in the big screen remake of the popular series Fantasy Island.
I'll let that first sentence soak in. Ready? Okay, let's continue:
Murphy, much like in the Nutty Professor and Norbit, will play multiple roles in the adaptation of the series which starred Ricardo Montalban and Hervé Villechaize, ran from 1978 to 1984, and always creeped me the heck out when I was a kid. I'm not sure why it creeped me out, but it did. Hey, I was young and my parents watched it, plus I was kind of a wuss anyway. Maybe it was Montalban's accent.
In the original series, Montalban played Mr. Roarke, the caretaker of a mystical island where visitors could have any fantasy fulfilled, but there was always a catch.
Norbit screenwriters Jay Scherick and David Ronn are re-writing the script, and no director is attached to the project at this time.
Jason Lee, star of My Name is Earl, also has another career apart from television: crapping all over my childhood memories. Lee will not only provide the voice of Underdog in the upcoming live-action feature based on the beloved children's cartoon, but has also joined the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie as Dave Seville, the human "father" to Alvin, Simon and Theodore (the Chipmunks will be computer generated). Seville was the stage name of songwriter and performer Ross Bagdasarian, who first used the sped-up voice technique on his song "The Witch Doctor" and later used the same technique for his Chipmunk records.
The film is being produced by Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. and his wife Janice Karman. Tim Hill, director of the second Garfield feature film, will direct.
[via Toon Zone]
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