10 February 2012

Media tidbits

Two more writers have been confirmed for season seven of Doctor Who, joining the previously announced Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and John Fay. First up is Being Human (UK) creator Toby Whithouse, whose previous episodes include School Reunion, Vampires of Venice, and The God Complex. The second writer is Chris Chibnall, who wrote the underrated David Tennant episode 42. There might be another writer or two who still hasn't been announced, possibly including Gareth Roberts, who might end up writing a third Craig Owens episode with James Corden, something that has been rumored a few times.

Terry O’Quinn has snagged a 2 episode appearance on TNT’s Falling Skies. The big hit from last summer returns with further alien aggression. O’Quinn will guest star in the final two episodes of the season.

20Th Century Fox has set July 26, 2013 for the release of The Wolverine, the sequel to 2009’s X Men Origins: Wolverine. While a boxoffice hit, the first movie generated a lot of criticism for its story, and cheap CGI effects. Returning actor Hugh Jackman (who also will produce) has said the script is stronger and the effects will be improved. It's still believed that the movie, which is directed by 3:10 to Yuma's James Mangold, is a loose adaptation of Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's Japan-set 1982 comic miniseries.

Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment has optioned out Anne Rice’s The Tale of the Body Thief. Lee Patterson, who wrote the screenplay for Snatched, is working on the script. 

Syfy has picked up their version of Being Human for a third season. Also at Syfy, the cable net is developing a series version of the 2010 supernatural thriller Legion, which starred Paul Bettany. The feature’s director/co-writer Scott Stewart is set to direct and executive produce the TV adaptation, which will be written by Vaun Wilmott (Sons of Anarchy).

Jessica Lange, who has won almost every acting award for her role on Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, will return when the series comes back next year, though probably not playing the same character. The main cast from season one, Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton and Taissa Farmiga will not return however, Murphy added. The shows storyline is being kept under wraps. Only thing that seems confirmed is where it will be set, which is somewhere on the East Coast. Whether it will film there is a big question as well.

With FOX announcing the end of House after 8 seasons, and new show Alcatraz holding its own, could this mean the expensive, but ratings challenged Terra Nova could be back next season? The latest series from Steven Spielberg’s apparently limitless Idea Brain Machine struggled in the ratings for its 13 episode run this fall. It was also criticized by fans and reviewers for being dull 80% of the time and only got interesting when the dinosaurs showed up, and then they were bad CGI ones at that. The show is, in all fairness, designed as a family show like the broadcast networks used to see in the 1960s (Lost in Space, Land of the Giants). But while many see the series potential, its execution has been horrendous. Given a second season, the writers and producers (who’ve acknowledged some of its weaknesses) would hope to change that perception to show that it can be “family” orientated, plus make it watchable for a larger demographic that will be needed to make the show a financial hit as well.  

With 2 potential versions of Beauty and the Beast heading to TV in fall (though, logically either one of the two won’t make it. As different as they may be, one a re-telling of the original fairy tale set in the medieval past, and one a reboot of the late 1980s CBS series now set in a post 9/11 New York, the odds of both making it are pretty astronomical. The question is, which network will fold first), word has come of a big screen version to be helmed by Silent Hill director Christopher Gans is on the way as well. The director is teaming up with the production companies Eskwad and Pathe for the project, which would make it the first French production of that particular French fairy tale since Jean Cocteau directed one back in 1946. Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Ocean's Twelve) and Lea Seydoux (Midnight in Paris, Robin Hood) are set to star. Filming begins in October.

Space: 1999, the British produced sci-fi series that starred Martin Landau and Barbara Bain and was syndicated in the States and ran for 2 seasons is being re-booted by the producers who brought us the failed rebooted V. HDFilms president Jace Hall (who brought us the new V) claims that Space: 2099 will feature familiar themes taken from the original. "We are indeed re-imagining the franchise and bringing something new and relevant to today's audiences," said Hall. "I feel strongly that some of the overall tones set by the original Space: 1999 television show represents an exciting platform to explore possibilities."

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