Friday, September 09, 2005

The DARKside of Friday (yay?)


The Top 6 Ad Slogans for Orion Slave Women
6> Get a girl who knows what's under Orion's belt!

5> MEAN, GREEN AND OBSCENE: Our Orion Slave Girls Have It All!

4> Orions: when you absolutely, positively, need a slave girl overnight.

3> Show us your green, we'll show you ours!

2> Now available in chartreuse, pine green and olive drab!

and the Number 1 Ad Slogan for Orion Slave Women...

1> Forget the block. Forget the world. They've been around the galaxy.





A few Friday (Zippideedoodah) OddsNends

Altman to direct on London stage
Hollywood veteran Robert Altman is to make his London stage directing debut at Kevin Spacey's Old Vic next year.

Altman, 80, will direct one of Arthur Miller's final plays, Resurrection Blues, as part of Spacey's second season at the London playhouse.

Miller was rewriting the play at the time of his death earlier this year.

Spacey, currently in rehearsals for an Old Vic production of Richard II, will return next autumn to star in Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten.

However, there are no plans for him to act or direct at the theatre between those two plays.

"I don't want to overplay my hand," he said at the season's press launch on Thursday.
"We have to allow the novelty of my being on stage to shift a little bit so it's not on my shoulders entirely."

Spacey said the combination of Altman and Miller was "a double whammy" for the theatre.

"It's a remarkable, challenging play, and Robert continues to be at the top of his game."

Recruiting the director of MASH and Gosford Park was a major coup for the two-time Oscar-winner, whose first season at the Old Vic was met with harsh criticism from some quarters.

His commitment to the theatre had also been questioned, most recently when he took a leave of absence midway through a revival of The Philadelphia Story in order to make a film in Australia.

However, Spacey said he had "no regrets at all" about his first year in charge at the historic south London venue.

"I walked in expecting to come under criticism," he said.

"But when you're in it for the long haul you're not concerned. It's too early in the game to start looking back."

'Convincing' king

Spacey said he was "having the time of his life" working on Shakespeare's Richard II with director Trevor Nunn - despite having to master an English accent for the lead role.

"I'm doing my level best to be convincing as an English king," he said. EDITOR'S NOTE: CERTAINLY AN ENGLISH 'QUEEN' WOULD BE A PIECE OF CAKE....(AHEM....SORRY.....SORRY....)

The 46-year-old admitted he was having trouble pronouncing certain words but added: "If it makes sense and feels real, it will sound right."

He also refused to confirm whether he and Nunn would film the show during or after its run.
Between Richard II and Resurrection Blues, Sir Ian McKellen will return as Widow Twankey in the Christmas pantomime Aladdin.

The Old Vic will then host a production of Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale, performed by a combination of British and Iraqi actors.

After the Miller play, first staged in the US in 2002, there will be another, still-to-be-named production.

Seven of Nine And Oh What a Bust it is...
Sideshow Collectibles is taking orders for the Seven of Nine Bust.

Seven of Nine, short for Seven of Nine Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One, joined the STAR TREK Voyager crew during the fourth year of their journey. She was designated to help Captain Janeway and Tuvok to destroy an alien species threatening both Voyager and the Borg, Species 8472.

The Seven of Nine polystone bust features:

- Jeri Ryan likeness sculpted by Oluf Hartvigson - Each base bottom features product information, a print of the artist’s signature, and hand-numbered edition info.


Original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA TV Series Action Figures
Later this month, Majestic Studios is heading back to the 70's with with 12" collectible figures from the original classic BATTLESTAR GALACTICA TV show.

Majestic will be offering all your favorites:

Richard Hatch as Capt. Apollo,

Dirk Benedict as Lt. Starbuck,

Lorne Greene as Commander Adama and more.


The villainous Cylons will be represented by the famous chrome robot and the equally evil gold robot.

The action figures will feature articulation, clothing and accessories. They are priced at $39.99 each.

Colin Firth was born to play Mr Darcy.
So can anyone else shine in the lead role?
By Chris Hastings, Arts Correspondent
(Filed: 28/08/2005)

It is universally acknowledged that Colin Firth was born to play Mr Darcy. EDITOR’S NOTE: YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY. COLIN FIRTH. YUMMY. (I’M SORRY….MOVING ALONG….)

Colin Firth: ‘definitive’

Despite a new "sexed-up" film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with Matthew Macfadyen in the leading role, Firth remains synonymous with the role.

Andrew Davies, who wrote the screenplay for the renowned BBC adaptation, last night concurred with Jane Austen aficionados and said: "Matthew Macfadyen is a brilliant actor, but I cannot imagine him being as good as Colin Firth." EDITOR’S NOTE: MATTHEW WHO?

Austen followers say the latest version of the classic, on general release on September 16 and starring Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennett and Macfadyen as Darcy, does nothing to undermine the appeal of the BBC's Bafta-winning adaptation, which featured a dripping Firth emerging from a lake.

Matthew Macfadyen: ‘sulk’

The film has also been criticised for taking "unacceptable liberties" with the novel and for portraying Darcy as if he is in a "perpetual sulk".

Joan Klingel Ray, a professor of English at the University of Colorado and the president of the Jane Austen Society of North America, who has seen a preview of the £20 million film, said Macfadyen wasn't a patch on Firth who was "simply more attractive". EDITOR’S NOTE: WASN’T A ‘PATCH ON’? ENGLISH. SOOOOOO TRICKY.

She said: "The Darcy in the film does not have the quality of attractiveness that Colin Firth has. I don't want to cause any offence but Colin is simply a much better looking man than Matthew." EDITOR’S NOTE: I’M BETTING IT’S MORE A FUNCTION OF CHARISMA THAN STRICTLY LOOKS. (COLIN FIRTH JUST OOZES ALL THE RIGHT STUFF)

She added: "I think Colin had the huge advantage of working with a terrific script which gave him glamour scenes which were not in the novel. The scene where he emerges from the lake is a case in point. The genius of these extra scenes was that they were in keeping with the book and the characters.

"There is simply nothing in the film to compete with anything like that. The new Darcy is too sullen for far too long. We do not see the gradual shift in his emotions which is an important part of the novel. He spends too much of the film looking like a young Heathcliff."

Prof Klingel Ray thought that the film's deviations from the 1813 novel were a step too far. She said the rustic look of the film and the obsession with pitting the action against the elements ensured that the film felt like an adaptation of a Brontë or Bridget Jones novel.

"The film is full of sexual imagery which is totally inappropriate to Austen's novel," she said. "In one scene a wild boar, which I assume is supposed to represent Darcy, wobbles through a farm with its sexual equipment on show. Also much of the action takes place against tempestuous weather which simply isn't in the novel. None of this is Jane Austen. The passion in Pride and Prejudice is more of a linguistic affair. I read an interview with the writer when she said she was trying to be honest but honest to whom. I feel the whole thing has been de-Austenised." EDITOR’S NOTE: THAT MIGHT END UP BEING THE CASE, BUT WHY WAS THIS GAL STARING AT A WILD BOAR’S PRIVATE PARTS? (KINKY PROFESSOR, KINKY)

Prof Klingel Ray said transplanting the famous proposal scene from the cottage to a ruined temple gave the film a feel of Jane Eyre rather than Pride and Prejudice. "I felt we were watching Rochester and Jane meet for the very first time. Later on there is a scene of Darcy and Elizabeth talking and there is a painting of gods and goddesses cavorting behind them. That also has nothing to do with Jane Austen."

The academic was, however, full of praise for Knightley as Elizabeth and Rosamund Pike who stars as her sister, Jane. She thought Jennifer Ehle, who played Elizabeth in the BBC series had been a little too "heavy" for the role.

The new film which has been directed by Joe Wright, a relative newcomer to the industry, is due to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival next month.

Davies last night revealed that he had been doubtful about casting Firth but said the actor had delivered a superlative performance. "Darcy was Colin's peak achievement and he was born to play the role. He gave a superlative performance which I do not think Matthew will come up to. Colin burnt his way into the hearts of England's womanhood." EDITOR’S NOTE; I AM PROBABLY GOING TO AGREE, BUT I FEEL SORRY FOR THIS MATTHEW CHAP. POOR DUDE.

David Bamber, who played Mr Collins for the television adaptation, agreed that Firth, and Ehle, would be a tough act to follow. "I do think these things stand or fall on casting," he said. "I think Jennifer was amazing even though she was comparatively inexperienced. Colin, I think, was the definitive Darcy.

"I think meeting an actual aristocrat in 1809 or whenever the novel was set must have been an absolutely monstrous experience. I think Colin understood the social side of the story and managed to capture an element of that without going too over the top. He had the voice, the chin and the manner and slowly he let you in on the change he was going through."

He added: "All too often, nowadays, there is a tendency to say, 'Let's drop the accent, after all it is just a story about two edgy people.' But if it was just about two edgy people, there would be no story to tell. The social context is everything to this story. Without that there would be no struggle or tension. If you have an estuary English Darcy, what is the point?"

Ehle said: "I remember when we were about to make our version of Pride and Prejudice, there were so many letters to The Times and other newspapers saying how dare the BBC spend money on remaking this when the definitive film version already exists with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. So you never know. Nobody owns Pride and Prejudice. It's out there in the public domain, and it's good that people are taking a fresh look at it."

Deborah Moggach, the writer of the new film, said: "We have two wonderful stars and we are very pleased with their performances. I am not going to say whether either of our leads are better or worse. I will just say we have our own Mr Darcy.

"Matthew has put in a very complex performance and he has a very interesting journey in the film. His performance works on so many different levels and we do not react to him in a simplistic manner. He has a whole history behind him."

There were signs last night, however, that Macfadyen had managed to win the support of some diehard Firth fans. Members of the Republic of Pemberley Society, which was founded in honour of Firth, have been pleasantly surprised by the usurper.

A spokesman said: "The BBC version is highly cherished and Firth's Darcy was the reason why we are here as a society. A number of our members, however, have attended previews of the film and have been pleasantly surprised by what they have seen. They think he has done a very good job. We have reports that he is absolutely wonderful."

Top 10 Robert Redford films
From ‘The Sting’ to ‘Brubaker’ the Sundance Kid delivers

By John Hartl
Film critic

Updated: 2:07 p.m. ET Sept. 8, 2005

Robert Redford’s star power has faded during the past couple of decades. The Sundance Kid helps run the Sundance Film Festival, and he seems more interested in promoting and directing movies than starring in them.

Now 68, he’s made a remarkable impression on the other side of the camera, earning an Academy Award for best director for “Ordinary People” (1980) and winning the New York Film Critics’ award for best picture for “Quiz Show” (1994). Last year he helped produce “The Motorcycle Diaries.”

But he’s never really given up on his acting career.

He keeps on trying with projects that allow him to stretch, like last year’s “The Clearing,” in which he played Helen Mirren’s doomed husband, and “Spy Game” (2001), about a retiring CIA agent who’s committed to one last job.

Next up is Lasse Hallstrom’s “An Unfinished Life,” in which he plays a cranky Wyoming rancher whose daughter-in-law (Jennifer Lopez) EDITOR’S NOTE: WHY DOES SHE STILL KEEP GETTING ACTING GIGS? (HOPING SHE FINALLY LEARNS BY DOING?) moves in with him to escape an abusive ex-lover. Morgan Freeman plays his closest pal. Filmed more than two years ago, and once scheduled as a Christmas 2004 release, it’s finally opening this month. EDITOR’S NOTE: NOT A GOOD SIGN….

Hallstrom, who directed “My Life as a Dog” and “The Cider House Rules,” has promised “a slightly different Redford” this time around.

Sometimes accused of acting within a very small range, Redford has in fact given a wide range of performances that have consistently helped him to reinvent himself. EDITOR’S NOTE: I THINK REDFORD IS A LOT LIKE HARRISON FORD. WHAT HE DOES IS SUBTLE. AND BECAUSE BOTH MEN ARE SO HANDSOME (EVEN NOW) AND SO CHARISMATIC, THEY AREN’T GIVEN CREDIT FOR THE GENTLENESS, THE NUANCE OF THEIR PERFORMANCES.

Following a noteworthy television career (including “The Iceman Cometh” and “The Twilight Zone”), he made his big-screen debut as a Korean War soldier in a provocative 1962 anti-war movie, “War Hunt,” co-starring his longtime collaborator, Sydney Pollack. The National Board of Review named it one of the year’s 10 best.

Soon he was co-starring with Natalie Wood in “Inside Daisy Clover” (1965) and Pollack’s “This Property Is Condemned” (1966), and with Jane Fonda in “The Chase” (1966) and “Barefoot in the Park” (1967) — a popular Neil Simon comedy in which Redford recreated his Broadway role.
Apprentice performances they may have been, but Redford brought a memorably fatalistic quality to his part as an escaped convict in “The Chase." Pauline Kael singled out his work opposite Wood in “Inside Daisy Clover”: “As the young star’s no-good, vaguely homosexual husband (one of the most cryptic roles ever written), Robert Redford gives the only fresh performance.”

“Barefoot” was the first of his movies to break out at the box office. A string of hits, interesting misses and Oscar winners followed. Most of the best were released within a 15-year period.

These were 10 that delivered, in one way or another:

“Downhill Racer” (1969). Director Michael Ritchie’s scathing portrait of an arrogant athlete was the first movie Redford had to carry on his own. As a small-town Colorado kid who gets a chance at glory on the U.S. Olympic ski team, he gives a brave, self-effacing performance, especially in the edgy scenes with his no-nonsense coach (Gene Hackman) and jet-setter girlfriend (Camilla Sparv).

“Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here” (1969). Blacklisted writer-director Abraham Polonsky made his comeback with this gorgeous wide-screen Western about a manhunt that’s more like a witch hunt. Robert Blake plays the hunted Indian, Willie; Redford is the well-meaning sheriff on his trail. Redford and Katharine Ross won British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards for their performances.

“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969). Redford and Paul Newman teamed up for the first time in this lighthearted Western box-office smash, loosely based on the adventures of two legendary outlaws from the late 19th century. William Goldman’s Oscar-winning script has a loose, flippant quality that allows the stars (as well as Katharine Ross as Redford’s girlfriend) plenty of room to kid around.

“The Candidate” (1972). Redford and Ritchie reteamed for this smart political satire about a young liberal lawyer who tries to hold on to his ideals as he campaigns to defeat a conservative senator (Don Porter). Slowly he loses his way, and Redford’s skillful performance suggests just how aware he is of his failure. Jeremy Larner’s detailed script, based on the writer’s own campaign experiences, won an Oscar.

“The Way We Were” (1973). Directed by his old friend, Sydney Pollack, Redford’s most romantic movie clicks mostly because of his chemistry with Barbra Streisand. He’s a jock with few political commitments, she’s a left-wing activist, but in spite of their differences they marry and end up in Hollywood — just in time for the blacklist. The strain on their relationship is disastrous, but the bittersweet ending is sublime. EDITOR’S NOTE: OH HOW EMBARRASSED I AM AT HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS MOVIE AT THE TIME IT CAME OUT. (SHAME, THY NAME IS QOTD…..SIGH…..)

The Sting” (1973). George Roy Hill, who directed “Butch Cassidy,” brought Newman and Redford back together for this tricky story about a couple of con men who target a mobster (Robert Shaw) in 1930s Chicago. Showered with Academy Awards, including best picture, script and director, it earned Redford his only Oscar nomination for best actor. He’s rarely been so charismatic. EDITOR’S NOTE: ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE MOVIES.

“Three Days of the Condor” (1975). Pollack’s nifty political thriller, starring Redford as a CIA researcher who knows too much, reflects Watergate-era distrust in government. It also plays like an update of Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest,” with Redford as the fugitive everyone wants, Faye Dunaway as the woman who shelters him and Max von Sydow as an eeriely amoral villain.

“All the President’s Men” (1976). Redford attacked Watergate head-on in Alan J. Pakula’s tense account of the investigative work of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward (Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman). Jason Robards won a supporting-actor Oscar as their boss, Ben Bradlee, but it’s the give-and-take between Redford and Hoffman that anchors the movie.

“Brubaker” (1980). W. D. Richter’s Oscar-nominated, fact-based screenplay focuses on a new warden’s attempts to clean up a corrupt Southern prison that turns inmates into slaves for local farms. Redford captures the man’s naivete and integrity (echoing the character he played in “The Candidate”), and he gets to interact with a first-rate supporting cast, including Morgan Freeman in his first strong film role.

“The Natural” (1984). Although Redford would later have one of his biggest hits with “Out of Africa” (1985), that was primarily Meryl Streep’s movie. Redford’s last memorable movie-star role was Roy Hobbs, the elusive baseball champ of Barry Levinson’s fantasy-laced sports drama. The movie’s attempts to mythologize Hobbs’ story are over-the-top, but Randy Newman’s irresistible score, Caleb Deschanel’s lush cinematography and Redford’s larger-than-life performance help you buy it.

Friday (falalalala) with some VERY groovy STAR WARS news (and PICS)


Burger King Brings Back The Force


Get ready for another round of Super D toys at Burger King this fall as Star Wars takes over for another promotion beginning November 7th. EDITOR'S NOTE: SOMEONE REMIND ME TO START CHECKING OUT BK AGAIN IN A MONTH OR SO?

Seventeen more toys will join the lineup with 4 Cosmic Cruisers, 4 Shadow Casters, 4 Galactic Spinners, and 4 Jedi Wisdom 1 Darth Vader chase figure.

Also get ready for 6 Destiny Watches that you'll flip over


Revenge Returns to Burger King


Hot on the thrusters of Burger King's extremely popular series of Star Wars Super-D figures and vehicles, an all-new series of 17 additional collector toys are set to target your local Burger King restaurant in conjunction with the Revenge of the Sith DVD!

Four all new categories of the Super-D series have been devised for this stellar promotion, each containing four characters from the Star Wars saga.

In addition, Darth Vader returns as the elusive chase figure, this time sporting a sound chip heaving his signature rasp. EDITOR'S NOTE: WOOOHOOOOOO!!!

Categories include:

Cosmic Cruisers -- rolling spring-loaded vehicles that launch from special keys inserted in the back:

ARC Clone Fighter

Vulture Droid



Shadow Casters --- by depressing a button on the back, an image is projected from the bottom of the figure:

Stormtrooper with Imperial logo

Queen Amidala with Anakin Skywalker

Bail Organa with Yoda


R2-D2 with Princess Leia

Galactic Spinners -- tops that you rev up and spin on a "whirler" revealed by removing the figure's lower half:

Emperor Palpatine


Luke Skywalker

Anakin Skywalker

Jedi Wisdom -- magic fortune telling cubes are revealed beneath these four Jedi figures:EDITOR'S NOTE: MAGIC 8 BALLS, BUT JEDI?! ZOWEEEE!

Obi-Wan Kenobi from A New Hope

Mace Windu

Kit Fisto


Finally, a Darth Vader chase figure with sound chip will be tough one to find this time, so make sure to perk up your Sith sense looking for them. EDITOR'S NOTE: 'SITH' SENSE. HA HA. I JUST NEVER GET TIRED OF THAT ONE. AHEM....


Have It Your Way Destiny Watches
In addition to the new figures and vehicles, six unique flip watches commemorating each film in the saga will also be available in special collectible tins.

The six Destiny Watches truly allow you to "Have It Your Way" -- each liquid crystal digital watch face can be flipped to reveal a laser hologram image on the reverse, and each sports two completely different patterns on each side of the watch bands.

What's more, the two halves of each watch band can be swiveled independently, allowing for eight different configurations! EDITOR'S NOTE: STOP STOP STOP! TOO MANY CHOICES. MUST LIE DOWN NOW......

Each watch comes in a collectible tin with stylized embossed imagery and one of six titles from the Star Wars saga.

Look for the Destiny Watches, which will be available for $1.99 with the purchase of any Adult Value Meal, and free with Kids Meal Super-D saga figures starting November 7 and running through December 11, or while supplies last. EDITOR'S NOTE: I DON'T CARE IF YOU ARE ON A DIET. I DON'T CARE IF BEEF DISGUSTS YOU AND THE THOUGHT OF EATING CORPORATE JUNK FOOD IS AGAINST YOUR RELIGION.



Chocolate Mpire Returns

Rebelscum reader Richard Blood received this email from Masterfoods when he inquired about the dark chocolate M&Ms:

Masterfoods USA is excited about our promotional partnership with Lucasfilm and STAR WARS as the exclusive confectionery snack sponsor of the sixth and final movie; Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.The promotion is dubbed, "The Star Wars M-Pire", and for the first time, M&M'S CHOCOLATE CANDIES were made available in dark chocolate beginning in April 2005.

M&M'S DARK CHOCOLATE CANDIES were only available for a limited time and sold out very quickly. The product cannot be purchased via the Internet nor directly from us.This product will be available again at the end of September through November 2005. As in the Spring, the product will be available in limited quantities at, Target, Walmart and Kroger. We hope you will watch for them.


Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume 2 Coming to DVD

Jedi heroes Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi continue their valiant fight to stop the evil Separatists led by General Grievous in the Emmy Award-winning and critically acclaimed Star Wars: Clone Wars series. The animated adventures that appeared on Cartoon Network and Hyperspace will be complete on DVD on December 6, 2005 with the release of Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume 2.

All five 12-minute chapters of Volume 2 are included in this release, chronicling Anakin's rise to
Jedi Knight as well as General Grievous' daring attack against the Republic capital, leading directly into the events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. See Grievous cut through Jedi warriors as he kidnaps the Chancellor, Mace Windu and Yoda fighting side-by-side to defend Coruscant, and Skywalker's shocking vision of the future.

Directed by
Genndy Tartakovsky with Art Direction by Paul Rudish, the Clone Wars series are a fresh, stylized take on Star Wars.

Each chapter features exclusive audio commentary by Tartakovsky and his team of artists. Also included as bonus material is a brand new featurette, "Connecting the Dots," that takes audiences inside the creative process and shows how the series connects to Episode III.

There are also two full galleries of animation concept art, storyboards, and sketches, as well as trailers for upcoming LucasArts video games, Star Wars: Empire at War and Star Wars Battlefront II, which also includes an Xbox playable demo of two entire levels from Battlefront II.

Be sure to pre-order your Clone Wars Volume 2 DVD


Geonosian fliers atop aiwhas hound a doomed Republic gunship in this concept illustration by Doug Chiang.

Oola makes her objection to Jabba's advances clearly known. Femi Taylor returned to the green-skinned role after over a decade to film new elements for the Special Edition release of Return of the Jedi.EDITOR'S NOTE: AND STILL IN FAB SHAPE! (YOU GO, GIRL!)

GREEN NOIR. The slatted windows of his chambers cast a moody shadow on the wise Yoda

Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) takes well to the demands of the dark side during pickup photography in Shepperton. EDITOR'S NOTE: EVIL CAN BE SO PRETTY....

An early meeting of the minds for Empire -- Producer Gary Kurtz and Director Irvin Kershner discuss the upcoming film with Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. EDITOR'S NOTE: LOOK HOW YOUNG THEY ALL WERE!

Friday (whoohoo) hangin with Harry

Warner Bros confirms trailer information
We reported earlier today on news that the next trailer will be released September 16th in select cities with Corpse Bride.

The new Tim Burton film will be released in all theaters on September 23rd.

We've now confirmed with Warner Bros this information is indeed accurate. We also now know that the trailer will run a little over two minutes long and will appear online shortly after (if not on) the 16th. EDITOR'S NOTE: WELL "CORPSE BRIDE" IS ON MY MUST-SEE LIST, BUT WHO CAN WAIT WHEN WE CAN SNEAK A PEEK ONLINE?!

David Tennant: GOF was a great experience
The actor who plays Barty Crouch Junior in the Goblet of Fire movie participated in an interview for the September edition of Dreamwatch magazine.

You've got a part in another high-profile British-based project, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Harry Potter was fantastic. It was a great experience. It's a relatively small part, I suppose, that I have. I wasn't there a lot, but I had a great time in it.

Did you work with the leading kids at all?

I worked with Dan [Radcliffe], and I met the other two. They're great. They're fabulous. I think that if I was that age and I was the most famous teenager in the world, I'd just be messed-up. They're so not. They're so good and have their heads screwed on. They're great kids. They're lovely people to be around. EDITOR’S NOTE: HOW NICE TO HEAR, EH?

Since September 7th, some new character posters have surfaced in the hallways of the Paris subway:


Potter wizards on the hunt
'Half-Blood Prince' cliff-hangers have fans re-reading the series, hoping for clues to book 7

September 8, 2005
Now what?
Almost two months after the unveiling of J.K. Rowling's sixth and penultimate chronicle of the wizarding world, diehard fans are coping with severe "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" hangovers.
Eager for some more hair of the three-headed dog that bit them, EDITOR’S NOTE: GIGGLE….CUTE…. many wonder how to occupy themselves over the next couple of years before the arrival of still-unnamed book seven.
The logical choice?
Time to re-read the entire canon in a hunt for overlooked passages and illuminating clues.EDITOR’S NOTE: PHEW. I WAS AFRAID THEY WERE GOING TO SUGGEST THAT WE GET A LIFE. SHUDDER. (BUT WHAT IF WE ALREADY RE-READ BOOKS 1-5 LEADING UP TO BOOK 6…AS A TRUE DWEEB DOES?!)
To that end, here are some theories about the most vexing questions that remain, culled from message boards and fan sites.
But be forewarned: Hagrid-sized spoilers follow.
How many horcruxes?
One major revelation in "Half-Blood Prince" is that Lord Voldemort tried to ensure his immortality by splitting his soul, then embedding the pieces in objects or individuals called horcruxes.
Tom Riddle's weird diary from "Chamber of Secrets" was one; a ring originally belonging to Salazar Slytherin and destroyed by Dumbledore in "Half-Blood Prince" was another.
Seven being a magic number, Dumbledore theorizes that Voldemort created six horcruxes, the seventh piece of his shattered soul still residing in You-Know-Who himself.
In the final book, Harry will need to destroy the four remaining horcruxes before attempting a facedown.
Since a murder is required to make a horcrux, one speculation is that Harry was inadvertently made into a horcrux when Voldemort killed his parents, which explains why he has acquired some of Voldemort's powers.
Another iteration has Harry's scar as the actual horcrux, leaving open the more pleasant possibility that only it, and not all of Harry, need be destroyed in order to off Voldy. EDITOR’S NOTE: OOOOO…TO BOTH THEORIES. OOOOO.
Other possible horcruxes, some more likely than others: Nagini the snake from "Chamber of Secrets," Hufflepuff's goblet, the Sorting Hat, the sword of Gryffindor (like the hat, located in Dumbledore's office), even Wormtail's magical silver hand.
Who is R.A.B.?
In "Half-Blood Prince," Harry and Dumbledore travel to a mysterious cave in the hopes of finding a horcrux; instead, they recover a fake horcrux - an empty locket - and a note taunting Voldemort that is signed "R.A.B."
Do those initials belong to the now-dead Regulus Alphard Black, brother to Harry's godfather, the much-mourned Sirius?
It's a conclusion Rowling herself has called "a fine guess." EDITOR’S NOTE: OF COURSE JKR IS A TROLLOP AND A DREADFUL TEASE.
Since breaching the cave's magical spells requires two people, only one of which can be a wizard, many have speculated that the Black family house elf, Kreacher, helped Regulus retrieve the original horcrux-locket.
In "The Order of the Phoenix," a heavy locket that cannot be opened is found among the Black family possessions. Hmmm. EDITOR’S NOTE: OK, THAT ONE WE ALREADY HAD IN MIND, YES?
Will Dumbledore pull a Gandalf?
The ultimate spoiler - don't blame me if you don't stop reading now - is that at the end of "Half-Blood Prince," ill-tempered professor Severus Snape murders beloved Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore.Though a proper funeral was had and Dumbledore's snoozing image has appeared in a portrait on his office wall of departed headmasters, some fans advance the argument that, like the popular "Lord of the Rings" wizard, Dumbledore will reappear after his death, whether real or faked.
More likely to surface in book 7: Dumbledore's low-key brother, Aberforth, who had been prosecuted for practicing "inappropriate charms on a goat" (don't ask), and is the barkeep at the Hog's Head Inn.
Snape - good or evil?
The answer to this hinges on whether you think Dumbledore's death was a pact between the two, a necessary sacrifice to ensure Voldemort does not suspect Snape's betrayal. Or whether you believe Snape was a double-double agent, convincing the wise but trusting Dumbeldore that he was defying Voldemort's orders to spy on Hogwarts, but in truth keeping his promise to the Dark Lord. EDITOR’S NOTE: KNOWING HOW SNEAKY JKR IS (SEE TROLLOP NOTE, ABOVE), THERE MIGHT BE A THIRD OPTION WE HAVEN’T THOUGHT OF. BUT IF THERE BE ONLY TWO CHOICES, MY BET IS STILL THAT SNAPE IS ON OUR SIDE. (UMMM….UNLESS YOU ARE A DEATHEATER. IN WHICH CASE, DON’T TELL YOUKNOWWHO, BUT I THINK SNAPE IS PLAYIN YA, DUDE).
Then there is the "crush" theory.
Rowling has hinted there was someone else at Godric's Hollow the night Harry's parents died. And it was out of character for cranky Voldemort to give Lily Potter so many chances to step aside before he attempted to kill her son.
Was Snape at Godric's Hollow, and was it at his request that Voldemort agreed to spare Lily? And is that why Snape resents Harry so deeply - because Harry, with his mother's green eyes, reminds Snape of the woman who died in order for Harry to live? EDITOR’S NOTE: OOOOO, ENCORE. (WHEN DID WE GET THE HINT THAT THERE WAS SOMEONE ELSE AT GODRIC’S HOLLOW THE NIGHT THE POTTERS DIED?)
Will Harry survive book 7?
Optimists look to a line in "Goblet of Fire" in which Harry sees a "gleam of triumph" in Dumbledore's eyes after the old wizard learns Voldemort used a drop of Harry's blood to regenerate himself. Dumbledore has told Harry that wizards saved by another of their kind have a "life debt." EDITOR'S NOTE: SO HARRY WILL BE RESCUED BY WOOKKIES?
Perhaps now Voldemort has this magical IOU to Harry - with happy-ending-inducing results.
On the Web, just wild about Harry
There's no shortage of sites where you can find Potterheads prognosticating. Beware of wild theories - Neville's crazy mother is not sending him secret messages on those candy wrappers, and Snape is not a vampire - and maybe concoct a few of your own: - Herself's very own site. Lots of tidbits if you poke around, including why Harry's wand is made of holly (tradition is, it repels evil), while Voldemort's is yew (long lived, but its sap is poisonous). - Talk about juice: Emerson Spartz, the 19-year-old founder of this authoritative fan site, was one of only two people granted a private interview with Rowling when "Half-Blood Prince" debuted. The discussion forums can get as weighty as a grad class, from "Voldemort, the Ourobouros Worm, and the Legend of Kronos" to "Fudge & Machiavelli." - What Rowling herself has called "my natural home," and an indispensable destination if you need to brush up on characters and plot lines. Searchable by key word ("butterbeer," "Slughorn") or category ( "Wizards A to Z," "Magical and Mundane Plants"), it's positively encyclopedic. EDITOR’S NOTE: DWEEBS ARE TRULY MARVELOUS FOLK, AIN’T WE? pronunciation/play.htm - Who knew Voldemort has a silent "T"? Before you botch "boggart" and "animagus," too, consult this Scholastic guide. EDITOR’S NOTE: I WISH THEY’D MAKE UP THEIR MINDS ABOUT THE ‘T’ AT THE END OF YOUKNOWWHO’S NAME. THE BOOKS-ON-TAPE GO BACK AND FORTH. THE MOVIES PRONOUNCE THE ‘T’. WHO’S IN CHARGE HERE?! - A compendium of interviews and quotes from the reclusive author, who often debunks theories on her own (including the two mentioned above).

Friday (huzzah huzzah) watchin TV

Scott Baio gets Arrested
With Henry Winkler packing his bags for his own show ("Out of Practice"), TV's "Arrested Development" has been one Bluth family lawyer short of a sitcom.

Solution? Bring in another "Happy Days" alumni.

Taking over where the Fonz left off will be Chachi himself, Scott Baio, who just filmed his first - and it could only be the one - episode as the wacky family's new lawyer.

The links to "Happy Days" run deep on the show - Ron Howard is both the show's narrator and executive producer.

"We're thrilled to have Chachi here," says Will Arnett (Gob Bluth). "I'm hoping Pat Morita is next."

ABC speaks Spanish in primetime
Spanish-speaking TV viewers are about to learn what all the fuss over "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" is about.

Starting Sept. 19, ABC will offer its entire primetime entertainment lineup in Spanish -- saying that it's the first English-language broadcast network to do so on such a large scale -- through a combination of closed-captioning and dubbing.

Returning shows "Housewives" and "Lost" and new comedy "Freddie" will be dubbed, with casting under way for the actors who will voice the roles. In addition, "George Lopez" will continue to be dubbed as it has been since its 2001 premiere.

The remainder of the network's primetime entertainment series will be available with Spanish subtitles EDITOR’S NOTE: WHY DO I SENSE THAT MY LITTLE FREE SPANISH CLASS THAT I SO CASUALLY STARTED THIS WEEK ISN’T GOING TO BE ENOUGH FOR ME TO KEEP PACE WITH MY OWN SURROUNDINGS?

Barbs won't be cut from telethon
The stars lined up for Friday's live multinetwork primetime telethon will not be censored if they make any politically tinged comments, program organizers said Thursday.

In a conference call with reporters, executive producer Joel Gallen noted that editing would occur only if obscenities accidentally were uttered. EDITOR’S NOTE: SO CUT TO THE QUICK, BUT KEEP IT CLEAN BOYS AND GIRLS! (GIGGLE)

The editing would be enabled by a 30-second time delay, standard for many live programs.

"The only precautions we have right now are for language," said Gallen, who added that he does not expect any of the dozens of musicians or celebrities appearing on "Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast" to editorialize.

Friday (yippee skippee) at the Movies

NC-17 upheld for ThinkFilm's 'Truth'
The Appeals Board of the MPAA's Classification and Rating Board upheld the NC-17 rating it awarded director Atom Egoyan's "Where the Truth Lies" at a meeting Wednesday at which it heard statements from Egoyan and actress Rachel Blanchard.

The rating was given to the film, which will be released by ThinkFilm, because of what the board described as "some explicit sexuality."

ThinkFilm requested the appeal after Egoyan had already made several cuts to the film, starring Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth, in hopes of receiving an R rating.

At issue, according to ThinkFilm, was the mystery's pivotal scene, which involves a menage a trois between Bacon, Firth and Blanchard, which leads to a young woman's death. EDITOR’S NOTE: SO…TO CLARIFY….IS IT THE MENAGE THAT GETS THE RACY RATING, OR SEX=DEATH, OR WHAT?

According to Egoyan, the shot was filmed as a single sustained master shot and he couldn't cut it any further without rendering the mystery incomprehensible EDITOR’S NOTE: THEN AGAIN, MOVIES MAKING SENSE IS A NEW CONCEPT; WHY START NOW AND MESS UP YOUR RATING?

Danes joining 'The Flock' for shepherd Lau
Claire Danes is in final negotiations to star alongside Richard Gere in "The Flock," Bauer Martinez's thriller being directed by Andrew Lau.

"Flock" follows a hypervigilant federal agent (Gere) who is training his young female replacement (Danes). The two must track down a missing girl who might be connected to a paroled sex offender under investigation.

Hans Bauer and Craig Mitchell wrote the script. Bauer Martinez's Philippe Martinez will serve as producer on the film along with Elie Samaha, Jenette Kahn, Adam Richman and Lau. The budget is pegged in the $35 million range EDITOR’S NOTE: PLEASE TELL ME THAT DANES AND GERE ARE NOT TIED ROMANTICALLY IN THE MOVIE. PLEASE? (HE’S A HANDSOME MAN. BUT HE’S APPROACHING GEEZERHOOD. AND SHE IS STILL, WELL….EWWWW….NOT RIGHT).

Work underway on 24 the movie
Just when it looked like he was going to be stuck in the box forever - not that he's complaining, you could imagine the Ben's that are aligning his wallet thanks to the series - Kiefer Sutherland has confirmed there are plans to take "24" to the big screen, and he will be back as Jack Bauer.

"We have talked about it. Our biggest problem right now is getting the writers to find enough time to write a screenplay", he tells Empire Online. EDITOR’S NOTE: YEAH, CAUSE THEY ARE USED TO HAVING A WHOLE SEASON TO MAKE IT UP AS THEY GO ALONG.

"There are certain inherent challenges in trying to make something in real time over a two-hour period that’s going to allow enough to be engaging. I certainly believe that they’re going to accomplish that, but I don’t think that’s going to happen—well, it might happen for next year—for next year’s hiatus. We’re not sure yet, but they have been working on it."

Spider-Man 3 secrets revealed!
Many have been speculating/guessing/assuming what characters Topher Grace and Thomas Haden Church are playing in "Spider-Man 3".

Most recently, the majority agreed that one - or possibly both, which would make sense? - will be donning the name-tag 'Chameleon'.

Not so, says Freeze Dried Movies, who have got to the bottom of the 'which villains are they playing?' conundrum.

According to the site, Grace will play the character of 'Venom', and Haden Church will be playing 'Sandman'. Done. Finished. All-Clear. The puzzle be solved, y'hear? EDITOR’S NOTE: OH. SO EARLIER GOSSIP WAS JUST FANBOY RUMORMONGERING, EH? (OR IS THIS SOMETHING TO TOSS US OFF THE SCENT?)

In addition, there's a third villain in the film. James Franco, who plays in the previous films, transforms into Hobgoblin (not the Green Goblin II, as he was in the comics) sometime in the next instalment.EDITOR’S NOTE: YEAH. ABOUT TIME HE WENT ALL THE WAY TO THE DARKSIDE, SINCE HE’S BEEN BEATEN ABOUT BY FATE FOR TWO MOVIES.

Crowe on Gladiator 2 and Master and Commander 2
Apparently - and not surprisingly, the films added an extra floor to most of the exec's condo's - the respective studios behind both "Gladiator" and "Master and Commander" are hungry for sequels to the hit films - but what does AT&T spokesman Russell Crowe say about that?

The Kiwi spoke to Australia's Empire Magazine about the likelihood of any of them happening.

Would you ever play Capt.Jack Aubrey again?
It comes up all the time, man. People I meet - bankers, doctors, pilots - are always pulling me aside and saying [adopts English accent], 'So, Captain Aubrey. When do you think he might set sail again?".

So will he?
Contractually, with Fox, I'm not required to. Everybody else is if they want to do another one. I think Paul [Bettany] is contracted for three. There are 20 books and there are so many more adventures. You never know. There are some intriguing ideas, like bringing in his dad, his wife, other characters from the books.

There's always talk of a [Gladiator] sequel or prequel. Have you ever been interested?
At first I was very cynical about that notion, but I've come around on it. We've had other ideas too, where we step off into the metaphysical and you actually acknowledge the fact that Maximus is dead [laughs], but that is a hard script to write.

How far did you get with the idea?
Nick Cave actually wrote a draft for me and Ridley [Scott] at one point. He's an excellent writer, man. Nick did this draft and Ridley and I considered it for a while. Actually I paid for it, such is my belief for the idea. But again, like I say, unless everybody is on line then it's kind of pointless going forward with it. EDITOR’S NOTE: SO…A DEFINITE, OR NOT-SO-DEFINITE MAYBE TO BOTH, EH?

Statham CRANKs it up
Lakeshore Entertainment will produce the action-thriller CRANK for Lions Gate Films. The film will Jason Statham.


The story centers on a hit man's one-day rampage through the streets of Los Angeles after learning he's been poisoned.

Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor wrote the script. They will also direct.


Manson Crimes Inspire FREAKY Animated Musical
Wellspring has acquired all North American rights to LIVE FREAKY! DIE FREAKY!

The stop motion animated musical was inspired by the Manson family crimes. EDITOR’S NOTE: APRIL FOOLS! NO, ACTUALLY, I DIDN’T MAKE THIS ONE UP. (REALLY. I DIDN’T)

The story centers on a young man in the year 3069 who discovers a copy of Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry's "Helter Skelter," which described the murders committed in the '60s by Charles Manson and his followers. Treating the book as a biblical text and adopting Manson as a messiah, the young man preaches a better world through "music, murder and mayhem." EDITOR’S NOTE: CHARLES MANSON JUST SCREAMS COMEDY AND MUSIC, DOESN’T HE? (I’M SO SURPRISED NO ONE FILLED THIS ACHING VOID BEFORE NOW)

Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Tim Armstrong of Rancid and Operation Ivy provide the voices for two of the characters.


Moviehole talked to WALLACE AND GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT's director Nick Park, who offered an update on what he/or the studio are up to next. Though he says a WALLACE & GROMIT 2 is a ways off - he has got an idea for a sequel to CHICKEN RUN. EDITOR’S NOTE: WHAT ABOUT MORE TALES OF SHAWN, THE SHEEP!?

Park says he’s looking forward to a well-earned rest after he travels the world to promote WALLACE AND GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT and has no immediate plans for a follow-up film. He seems confident that there might be another WALLACE AND GROMIT movie in the future - but is in no rush to see it come to fruition.

“I guess if this is successful, there probably will be talk of another one. I don’t quite know yet. It’s a long haul thing. I find every film I do sparks off a hundred more [ideas] – especially with these, they sort of write their own stories”.

One film he does have an idea for is “Chicken Run 2”.

At the time I thought ‘No Way, I don’t want to see another Chicken as long as I live!’ but I have got an idea for a sequel”, he says. “I don’t want to do it just because you have to – because of commercial pressure [though]”.

Meantime, he’s lending a helping hand on some other Aardman projects, including the highly anticipated FLUSHED AWAY.

“It’s half-way shooting right now actually. It’s all CGI”, he explains. “It’s about rats in a sewer. It’s looking good. Very funny”.

Also, “John Cleese is writing a film for us as well, about cavemen. I think it’s all going to be in plasticine. It’s called CRUDE AWAKENING. I think there’s a lot of jokes in there about the French”, he laughs. EDITOR’S NOTE: WELL, IF YOU WANT TO TAKE THE EASY ROUTE…….

Lynch on those Twin Peaks rumours
You can wish and wish all you want - but it doesn't sound like there's anyway to get Kyle MacLachlan back in a trenchcoat with a dictaphone glued to his gob. At least, not until the only job on his to-do list is an ad for Cherry Pie.

Rumours of a series of new "Twin Peaks" telemovies, featuring the character of Agent Dale Cooper, have been debunked by creator David Lynch.

Lynch, who hasn't worked with McLachlan for a few years now, told readers on his official site that there's no plans for a Cooper comeback.

"The Rumors are not true", said the unique lizard of lens.

Lynch initially planned on doing more than one "Twin Peaks" spin-off film, but when "Fire Walk With Me" bit the big one at the box office - and, was trimmed to shreds by the studio - he changed his mind. A couple of years back a UK production company called Phoenixmedia contacted us to let us know that they were trying to get a new "Twin Peaks" movie off the ground. Called "With a Thousand Angels", it. The company had hoped to get Lynch's approval. We assume, they never did.

"Many people have been asking about the involvement of David Lynch, as far as we are concerned there will be no movie if David Lynch is not on board", the company said at the time.

All is not lost though. If you're based in the country where a 'Meat Pie' is one of the main food groups, you can see Cooper in the DVD debut of "Twin Peaks : Fire Walk With Me", which arrives on shelves in a couple of weeks. The Region 4 edition - the MK2 one, for those who know what I'm yabbering about - includes a couple of vintage extras including interviews with some of the cast, a trailer and two-hundred and fifty deleted sce...OK, got ya there. Again, that was me hoping. You've simply got the interviews and a couple of other smallish things. Those who actually purchase the DVD - not just snag a review copy from the distributor - will also get a bonus 40-page collectors booklet on the film. EDITOR'S NOTE: GOSH I LOVED THE SHOW ONCE UPON A TIME. BUT I DON'T SEE IT PLAYING AGAIN OR ME CARING AGAIN.

Attack of the Clones
Now that he's all finished with the lightsabers and greenscreens, Ewan McGregor's sliding back into the kind of films he does best. The "Island" star will headline "The Great Pretender", says Variety, in which he plays four roles - in two different time periods.

The movie, from director Peter Capaldi, tells of two ambitious filmmakers who try to coax Hollywood legend Leslie Grangely into playing Bonnie Prince Charlie in a movie about Scotland's Jacobite Rebellion in the 18th century. When Grangely goes AWOL - they have to get an extra (who looks like the actor) to fill in.

McGregor will play Grangely, the extra, and, the two characters they play in the film within the film. The $18 million dollar project kicks off in London in January.EDITOR'S NOTE: SOUNDS LIKE FUN! (AND I LOVE IT WHEN AN ACTOR I LIKE SO MUCH HAS SUCH AN OCD WORK-ETHIC).

Is Connery returning to shoot Canon?
Sean Connery is said to be ready and willing to give the prematurely squashed "Josiah's Canon" another go.

The semi-retired actor, who last year walked away from 'Canon' to concenrate on his writing, is in talks to rejoin the production. Brett Ratner will resume his directing position.

"20th Century Fox apparently intended on getting the movie up-and-going again - but they assumed with a new star. To their surprise, Connery's considering it now", an insider tells Moviehole. It's unsure when the film will go ahead, but both Ratner, currently helming "X-Men 3", and the studio, "are hoping for a Fall start".

It will film in Prague.

The dramatic heist story is about a Holocaust survivor who leads the world's foremost team of bank robbers. The criminal mastermind sets his sights on a supposedly impenetrable bank in Switzerland, which holds special purportedly houses gold deposited by Jews prior to the Holocaust. Adam Fields will produce. EDITOR'S NOTE: SO THE OLD CRANK DECIDED TO BACK-PEDAL ON HIS FORESWEARING OF ACTING? GOOD. WE NEED MORE OLD CRANKS ON SCREEN.

The X-Files 2
The 'little sequel that couldn't' isn't quite dead yet - atleast William B.Davis (The Cigarette Smoking Man), speaking to MTV, hopes not.

"I remember when we talked about it way back, just after the [TV show's] finale, but what kind of a film could I do?" he laughed. "One of the problems, of course, for me is that I'm very dead. I mean, they demolished me in the finale. I've come back from the dead a couple of times, but whether I could come back from that is a little hard to imagine."

Apparently one idea that Chris Carter has for the film is a prequel - which means Davis could return. "His point [however] was that David [Duchovny] and Gillian [Anderson] are getting older, so how far back in time can you go? And now quite a number of years have gone by. So whether the cigarette-smoking man can make a believable appearance other than a ghost, I don't know ... [but] I'd love to do it. It'd be great."EDITOR'S NOTE: CSM OR NOT, GET THIS MOVIE MADE, DURN IT! (BEFORE I CARE AS LITTLE AS I NOW DO ABOUT "TWIN PEAKS". NOT THAT THAT IS IN ANY DANGER OF HAPPENING, XFILES STILL TOPS IN MY BOOK).

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A couple more GOF pics!

New McGonagall and Cho images
MuggleThai and Latino Review have two new pictures from Goblet of Fire: a promotional shot of Cho and a photo of McGonagall in the Great Hall.

A few TV items on this fine Wednesday

Vartan to be Killed off ALIAS?
TV Guide Online is reporting that ABC has all but said that the character of Michael Vaughn, played by Michael Vartan, is being killed off the spy series. EDITOR'S NOTE: SNIFFLE. (NOT THAT THE PALPABLE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN VAUGHN AND SYDNEY IS STILL REALLY THERE. BUT STILL......)

Various rumors continue to circulate about Vaughn in the press, but only time will tell if he is truly exiting ALIAS. ABC's reps continue to show a lot of support for the actor and describe him as being well liked on the set by all. They also denied rumors that his name was not to be mentioned on set due to his one time relationship with Jennifer Garner. EDITOR'S NOTE: I WONDER IF THEY ARE ALL ACTING LIKE GROWN-UPS OR IF THE WHOLE THING IS THAT CHILDISH AND TAWDRY? SAD..... (BUT WE MUST PUT OURSELVES FAITHFULLY IN J.J.ABRAMS' CAPABLE HANDS, AND HOPE HE DOES RIGHT BY US).

NBC presides over 'Union' pilot
NBC has given the green light to a pilot from scribes David Israel and Jim O'Doherty for a domestic comedy to star Greg Grunberg EDITOR'S NOTE: SPEAKING OF FRIENDS OF J.J.......and Beth Lacke.

The NBC Universal Television Studio project dubbed "Grand Union" revolves around Grunberg's trials as the manager of a Long Island grocery store and at home with his colorful family.

The project was penned on spec by Israel and O'Doherty this year when the duo was in the final months of their overall deal with Carsey-Werner Co.

9/11 Reflected in Fall Sci-Fis
June 20, 2005
By A.J. Frutkin
Most analysts credit ABC's Lost with spurring next season's flurry of network sci-fi dramas.

But the events of Sept. 11, 2001, also may have impacted the trend.

In ABC's Invasion, a Florida community faces the unsettling aftereffects of a hurricane. On CBS' Threshold, government officials try to stave off an attack from outer space. NBC's Fathom finds scientists coming face-to-face with mysterious creatures from the deep.

Far from Steven Spielberg's benign view of aliens in ET: the Extra Terrestrial or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, what these series share is a portrayal of the unknown as menacing.

Such observations may not be that surprising. EDITOR'S NOTE: NO, THEY'RE NOT. IN FACT THIS SEEMS A TAD FACILE AND HEAVY-HANDED. (IMHO....) After all, in an age of global terrorism, suicide bombers and underground cells, the idea of hostile forces infiltrating America's neighborhoods, schools and workplaces is a top-of-mind subject not only for viewers, but for Hollywood creators as well.

"We live in a very unstable time," said Shaun Cassidy, creator of Invasion. "People are afraid because there is no rule book and no assurances." EDITOR'S NOTE: YEAH, WELL, DA DOO RON RON TO YOU TOO.

Some media buyers are reluctant to directly link 9/11 to next season's sci-fi and mystery shows, noting that broadcasters are more concerned with creating escapist fare than programs steeped in social and political metaphors.EDITOR'S NOTE: AND MOST AD FOLKS WOULDN'T KNOW WHAT A META WAS PHOR, IF IT FELL ON THEM.

"The media's motivation is to make prime-time hits," said John Rash, Campbell Mithun's chief broadcast negotiator. "But at a time of an undefined end to the war on terrorism, let alone the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, these shows may have tapped into the current American psyche."EDITOR'S NOTE: SEE, NOW...YOU'VE GONE AND WASTED A PRIME OPPORTUNITY TO USE THE WORD 'ZEITGEIST'. SHOULDN'T MISS THESE CHANCES. (CAUSE SOON, YOU WILL BE BURNING IN H-E-DOUBLE-CHOPSTICKS JUST FOR BEING IN THE AD BIZ, AND HEAVEN KNOWS IF YOU'LL BE PUNDITING FROM THE NETHERWORLD).

Cassidy noted his series primarily is a family drama about a blended household and the challenges that arise both from divorce and re-marriage. Although he said he didn't set out to create an allegorical tale about 9/11, "obviously it was in my subconscious."

Brannon Braga, exec producer of Threshold, echoed Cassidy's sentiments, noting that any reference to 9/11 was "not intentional."

However, with three TV series all dealing with the unknown, the terrorist attacks "must be in the zeitgeist...There's something in the blood right now," Braga added.EDITOR'S NOTE: OH, HUZZAH! I KNEW WE COULD COUNT ON BOOB-HEAD BRAGA TO TOSS IN THE WORD. WHAT A RELIEF. (YOU KNOW HOW YOU SORT OF HOLD YOUR BREATH WAITING FOR BAD NEWS AND HOW GOOD IT FEELS JUST TO GET IT OVER WITH?) "There can be no doubt that, even subconsciously, 9/11 is a thematic undercurrent in our show, for sure."

Intentional or otherwise, the unease portrayed in next season's sci-fi and mystery shows is a sign of the times, agreed several advertisers.

"It's no secret that popular culture and entertainment are driven by what is happening nationally and internationally," said Tom Weeks, director of entertainment at Starcom."I definitely think we're in a culture where the idea of good versus evil has been heightened. In a post-9/11 world, where there are no easy answers, all these shows are reflective of what this country is going through," Weeks added. EDITOR'S NOTE: WHY? THE ELECTION DIDN'T SEEM TO BE REFLECTIVE OF IT? WHAT MAKES THEM THINK THE MAJORITY IS EVEN PAYING ATTENTION? (WHAT ME? BITTER? NAWWWW.....)


Yahoo! TV has teamed up with the WB to sneak preview the first episode of the new series SUPERNATURAL. The show stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.

The story is about Sam Winchester (Padalecki) who has done his best to escape his family's eerie history. Unlike his older brother, Dean (Ackles), Sam rejected their father's obsessive quest to uncover the evil forces that claimed the life of the boys' mother, Mary. Putting as much distance as possible between himself and his family, Sam left home and went away to college. His new life includes a beautiful girlfriend, Jessica, and law school. Dean, however, took a very different path, following their father, John, into the "family business." When Dean arrives on Sam's doorstep with the news that their father has vanished, Sam has no choice but to put his personal plans on hold and join Dean on the road.

In this Yahoo! TV Exclusive, watch the entire first episode of the new series 'Supernatural' before it airs on The WB.

From the network that brought you 'Buffy,' 'Charmed' and 'Smallville,' brace yourself for a new kind of paranormal thriller. 'Supernatural,' as brothers Dean and Sam Winchester hit the road in search of their missing father, facing off against evil paranormal forces along the way.-->

Premieres Tuesday, September 13, at 9/8C on The WB.

Watch it now:
'Supernatural' - Preview the entire 60 minute first episode [viewer discretion advised].

A bit more (NON-Supes) Movie news

James Bond and the Prisoner of Azkaban?
Daniel Radcliffe, best known for his role as the bespectacled Wizard Harry in the "Harry Potter" flicks, might be handing his flying broomstick in for a fully-accessorised Aston Martin.

According to Contact Music, the young Brit is a leading candidate to fill the size-small Tux of James Bond in "Silverfin", a film based on the book about a teenage 007.

Though Bond is 13 in the book, the film's producers are apparently going to raise the lad's age to suit an older actor.

Set in the 1930s, it follows the young Bond from school at Eton to his uncle’s house in the west Highlands, where Bond stumbles upon a megalomaniac American laird and sinister genetic experiments with killer eels. EDITOR'S NOTE: OH DRAT! SOMEONE'S BEEN IN MY ATTIC!

A source says, "With it being so popular around the world, the book is certain to make the big screen. It has all the hallmarks of a hit. Murder, mystery, action and a young James Bond. Daniel Radcliffe would be perfect but they are also looking at Jamie Bell. They want to make the young Bond a bit older so they can have one of those two names."

Orlando Bloom was rumoured to the frontrunner for the role of the pre-Martini swigging superagent, but the popular actor recently denied the claims.EDITOR'S NOTE: RADCLIFFE, BELL, AND BLOOM ARE ALL VERY DIFFERENT IN AGE AND TYPE. I THINK THEY'D BETTER PICK A GENERATION BEFORE THEY FINALIZE THE SCRIPT!

Lost on the big screen?
Various internet and newspaper sites, including Monsters and Critics, are reporting that the TV series "Lost" might be headed to a projection booth.

According to the rumours, an uber-pricey film version of the hit series - currently one of the top-rating series on the Idiot Box - will likely happen at the end of the second series, or end of the third - depending on when ratings start to drop off.

The report states that three rival Hollywood studios are currently fighting to secure the rights to the movie, in a deal which would make the show's biggest stars at least $3.6 million million.

A series insider says, "The last thing producers want is a mutiny. Now they've hit a sure-fire way of hitting the big bucks. Three studios have said they are keen to make a Lost blockbuster. The show is seen in more than 70 countries, so it's guaranteed box-office success. Whoever puts in the best bid will get the prize".

The scooper adds, "Now the actors have been told about a film deal they're overjoyed. There are lots of ideas about how the story could end but it's thought that who ever is left will be found."

As the IMDB states though, "Lost" is owned by Disney's Touchstone so the house-of-Mouse would be making the film - if there were one. EDITOR'S NOTE: I THINK THEY'VE GOT A LONG WAY TO GO BEFORE THIS CAN BE COUNTED ON. COOL RUMOR, THOUGH.

Hail, Clooney!
George Clooney's having Steven Soderbergh sit out on his next, re-teaming instead with his "Intolerable Cruelty" and "Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?" directors Joel and Ethan Coen.

According to Aint it Cool, Clooney's pencilled in to star in the Coen's "Hail, Caesar!", a Greek tragedy fixing on a 1920s theater troupe that are putting together a stage performance of Bill Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar'.

It's the third in what the Coen's apparently describe as their Clooney-headlined "Idiot Trilogy". EDITOR'S NOTE: GIGGLE.

Clooney recently told the BBC a little about the project. "Joel and Ethan have another film they want me to do, Hail Caesar - where I play an absolute jackass. They're talking about it being my trilogy of cowardly idiots [laughing]. Which seems perfect for me. I'm really lucky that I get to work with guys like those; they're so much fun to work with". EDITOR'S NOTE: AND THE CASTING TO TYPE DOESN'T BOTHER YOU? (I GUESS AS LONG AS THE NAME IS SPELLED RIGHT ON THE CHECKS.....)

Marvel to Produce and Finance Their Own Flicks

Marvel has announced they will change their name from Marvel Enterprises to Marvel Entertainment.

The plan is for the company to produce films based on its own properties.

Per their set up, Paramount Pictures will market and distribute their films much like 20th Century Fox does for Lucasfilm. EDITOR'S NOTE: IN OTHER WORDS, PROSTITUTE THEMSELVES FOR ALMOST NO RETURN. (NOT THAT I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH PARAMOUNT NOT MAKING HAY OFF OF MARVEL'S CREATIVE LICENSES).

The company has identified ten characters & groups it will develop as potential feature franchises:

Captain America


Nick Fury

Black Panther


Cloak and Dagger

Dr. Strange


Power Pack


The "new" company hopes to release its first film in the summer of 2008. Marvel Studios' Avi Arad said they are looking to quickly hire writers and directors for the various productions.

Superman pics!

Newsweek Takes Flight with SUPERMAN
Sean Smith from Newsweek magazine took an exclusive visit to the set of Bryan Singer's SUPERMAN RETURNS.


Sept. 12, 2005 issue - Surely they're not going to kill Superman.

Inside a soundstage in Sydney, Australia, Brandon Routh, as the Man of Steel, crawls across a black, wet wasteland, pursued by the evil Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) and Luthor's three henchmen. One of the thugs grabs Superman by his hair and shoves his face into a dark puddle, holding the hero's head underwater as he struggles for air. Luthor strides up behind Superman, stabs him in the back with some sort of Kryptonite shiv and whispers a sentence so horrifying (and, for now, top secret) into his ear that Superman cries out in agony. He staggers to his feet, stumbles and topples backward over a cliff. Luthor walks to the edge, looks down into the abyss and sneers, "So long, Superman." Playing this scene just once would be rough. Routh will be beaten and tormented for hours. EDITOR'S NOTE: WHINE WHINE WHINE. TRY WORKING IN ADVERTISING FOR A WHILE, WIMP!

"He's very heroic normally," says director Bryan Singer, sipping an iced vanilla latte. "You just happened to catch him on a bad day."

By the time "Superman Returns" lands in theaters next summer, it will have taken Warner Bros. 11 torturous years to get the movie off the ground. At one point in the mid-1990s, Tim Burton was going to direct Nicolas Cage as the man in tights. The next big plan was "Superman vs. Batman," directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Then, a few years ago J. J. Abrams, creator of the shows "Alias" and "Lost," chipped in a "Superman" script that whipped up a frenzy around the lot. It was teeming with huge action sequences, but altered the Superman myth. (In Abrams's version, the planet Krypton survived.) Director McG was dying to direct it, but couldn't because he had committed to make "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle." Brett Ratner signed on, but tussled with the studio over the budget—at one point it was estimated at more than $200 million—and left after six months. McG then stepped back in to direct, but location became a problem. By shooting in Australia, the studio could shave about $30 million off the budget. McG refused to fly, so the studio showed him the door.

Meanwhile, Bryan Singer was coming off his second "X-Men" movie for Twentieth Century Fox, and gearing up for a third. Years earlier he had passed on the Abrams script because he had his own idea for a "Superman" movie, if he ever got the chance to direct one. Now, with the job open again, he decided to take the leap, even though it would mean burning a bridge with Fox. At a dinner at studio chief Alan Horn's house last summer, Singer pitched his vision for "Superman": the Man of Steel has vanished for five years, then returns to Earth to find that the world is a different place and that his love Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has a 4-year-old son and a fiance (James Marsden). It's unclear which man is the boy's father, and Lois doesn't exactly give Superman a hero's welcome. She writes a story in the Daily Planet that includes the line "The world doesn't need a savior. And neither do I."

Until, that is, Lex Luthor takes another stab at world domination.

"On an external level, the movie's about how an idealistic superhero functions in the modern world," Singer says, sitting in his trailer on the Sydney lot. "But it ultimately becomes a story about what happens when an old boyfriend comes back into your life, and about Superman trying to find a place in Lois Lane's world. I'm attempting to make a very emotional film. This is certainly the most romantic, and the funniest, movie I've made, and toward the end it gets a bit intense."

The atmosphere on set is surprisingly light. Spacey, with his head shaved for the role of Luthor, has turned his blue golf cart into the "Lexmobile."

"This is Lex's Superbuster," Spacey says, giving a tour of the tiny vehicle. There are Kryptonite decals, like flames, on the sides. "We drove around the lot in it one day with a bullhorn, yelling 'Superman must die!'"

On set, Singer and Spacey—who haven't worked together since Singer's film "The Usual Suspects" earned Spacey his first Oscar—joke around constantly. When Singer demonstrates how Spacey should arch his back when hit by debris, the actor observes his technique, then says, "I sense a little Brian Boitano in there."

As for Brandon Routh (rhymes with mouth), he does not get to play around much. The sunny, earnest 26-year-old, who hails from Iowa, has never made a film before; Singer found him on an old screen test done for McG.

The role of Superman is, of course, dauntingly physical. Being strapped into flying harnesses takes more patience and endurance than you'd think—as does having your head shoved into a puddle repeatedly. Routh doesn't complain about any of this. You hear about how hard he's working only from other people.

"Poor Brandon," says Parker Posey, who plays Luthor's girlfriend Kitty Koslowski. "He's got everyone touching him all the time. He's lying on his stomach and he's got five people coming up and pulling his underwear down, sticking their hands up the butt of his suit. I can't imagine what it's like."

Well, what is it like? "I'm pretty OK with myself and with my space," Routh says, sitting in a "hot tent" between takes to keep warm. "I don't have special issues with people getting too close to my bubble."EDITOR'S NOTE: HE MIGHT BE FROM IOWA, BUT THEY OBVIOUSLY TAUGHT HOLLYWOOD-SPEAK AS A SECOND LANGUAGE AT HIS FARM SCHOOL. (UGH).