Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday Random STAR WARS pics

Ryan Church brings Dagobah back to life in his concept painting for Yoda's arrival, a scene cut from Episode III but available on the DVD release.

This Joe Johnston illustration is an early attempt to design the Millennium Falcon's landing gear.

In this unaltered frame direct from the HD-camera, Padmé's privacy skirt is missing since it is a digital addition, and the pylons supporting her bed are visible since they would be digitally subtracted.

The familiar looking medical droid that treats a badly injured Darth Vader. This droid was intended to be the same model as the 2-1B seen in Empire, but not the exact same droid.

In an unattributed storyboard of a shot cut from Return of the Jedi, Mon Calamari star cruisers bombard the surface of the second Death Star

One of the triangular data displays in the landed Utapau coreship tracks the deployment of LM-432 Muckracker crab droids.

Concept artist Kun Chang designed this Jedi utility belt to have a holstered lightsaber.

Stunt double Michael Byrne is ready for another slashing attack against Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu). As the production progressed, much of this duel was rephotographed during additional shooting.


Marji the elephant is made up for her intergalactic debut as a bantha.

How much OddBob do we need?


The Top 8 Bonus Features on the "War of the Worlds" DVD
8> The invaders just came here to kill us all for re-electing George Bush.
7> Copy of original FBI/CIA files proving several alien invasion cover-ups.
6> A special Flash game in which you get to smack Tom Cruise in the head with a rolled up newspaper every time he tries to jump up on the couch: "Bad Tom! Off the couch!"
5> More photos of Tom Cruise, because, goodness knows, we didn't see enough of him in the movie.EDITOR'S NOTE: MAYBE WE COULD SMACK PEOPLE WHO PUT TOM CRUISE IN MOVIES. I MEAN, IT'S THEIR FAULT, RIGHT?!
4> An automated "H.G. Wells Grave-Spins to Date" calculator.
3> Eagle-eyed fans will notice a brief clip of Tom Cruise in "Top Gun" regalia flying one of the overhead defense jets.
2> Tom's still wearing his lucky underwear from "Risky Business."
and the Number 1 Bonus Feature on the "War of the Worlds" DVD...
1> An animated history of Earth/Mars conflict, hosted by Valentine Michael Smith and Uncle Martin.EDITOR'S NOTE: AWWW....UNCLE MARTIN. SEE, NOW THIS WOULD BE WORTH BUYING THE DVD FOR!

The Top 15 Movie Quotes We'd Like to See
15> "Wait. Why don't we look for a campground that isn't plagued by a homicidal maniac?"

14> "Oh come on, Clarisse, just a nibble?"

13> "That's great, Will. Now solve *this* equation: How many times does a toilet have to back up before the whole damn math building stinks?"

12> "The truth? You can't handle the truth -- You're a freakin' Scientologist!"

11> "Since the ten of us are surrounding Mr. Van Damme, let's attack him one at a time... it just makes sense."

10> "Dad, can I borrow the Death Star tonight?"

9> "Okay, Jack, I will. But only because we're probably gonna be dead in an hour." EDITOR'S NOTE: WHAT'S THIS ONE? (SORRY...BAD QOTD, BAD BAD....)

8> "He can't be bargained with. He can't be reasoned with. He doesn't feel fear, or pain, or remorse. And until he is found guilty of *something*, there's no stopping the Clintonator!"

7> "The name's Jeremy... Ron Jeremy."

6> "Mrs. Robinson, promise me you'll never discuss this with the Independent Counsel."

5> "You know, Sally, rather than waste that talent in a deli, why don't we open a phone sex line?"

4> "I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that without Microsoft PodBay 2.1."

3> "Wardrobe! See if you can find Ms. Stone some panties."

2> "Thelma, I think we missed our turn."

and Number 1 Movie Quote We'd Like to See...

1> "This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendsh-- Hey!! Get your hand off my ass!"

If we are to learn anything of value from "Star Trek," it's that the universe is filled with vastly different styles of foreheads.-- Chris Needles

Closing out the Week - A few more ODDs-N-Ends


Ladies and gentlemen, start your screenings
By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES — With less than a month left to qualify for Academy Award consideration, all but one of the leading candidates for best picture have begun screening for Oscar voters and the media.

So, naturally, the unseen film is the one most on their minds.

Munich, the Steven Spielberg movie about the 1972 Olympics that opens in limited release Dec. 23, doesn't get its first screening until next week.

But "when it's Spielberg and serious subject matter, you have to pay attention," says Sasha Stone of the website She named Munich the leading contender for best picture. "His track record is so strong, it's the movie that shapes the race."

Still, several films are emerging with analysts as worthy competitors.

Brokeback Mountain, the Ang Lee film about gay cowboys, leads the pack, according to, which polls 13 film writers every week. The movie opens in limited release Dec. 9.

"It's hitting on a powerful demographic in the Academy (of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences): women and homosexuals," says David Poland, who runs

Other films gaining early momentum:
Walk the Line. The Johnny Cash biography has done well with critics and audiences, taking in $56 million as it enters its third weekend. "That musical biopic is a genre Oscar loves," says Tom O'Neil, of The Los Angeles Times awards site EDITOR'S NOTE: YEAH. MORE IS THE PITY. SNORE.

Peter Jackson's King Kong. Rob Alarcon of Cinema Confidential ( saw it Wednesday night. "I came in here thinking, 'No way in hell.' But I was really impressed with the quality across the board. It had everything you would be looking for" — emotion, story, acting and action.

Memoirs of a Geisha. It opens Dec. 9 and has scored well in screenings, O'Neil says. "It's epic, it's adapted from a beloved book, and it's a love story. It will need to really stumble at the box office to not get nominated."

The New World. Terrence Malick's take on Pocahontas, opening Dec. 25, won raves from the Los Angeles Times but is dividing others. "His films are always so meditative," says Jeffrey Wells of the site "It can be hard to get a consensus."EDITOR'S NOTE: 'MEDITATIVE'. THAT'S HOLLYWOOD SPEAK FOR BORING.

•Good Night, and Good Luck, Capote and Match Point. These smaller films are duking it out for what is typically Oscar's single seat for such fare at the best-picture table. Night and Capote have done reasonably well commercially, while Woody Allen's drama, opening Dec. 28, is "screening well," Poland says. "The question is how many small films there's room for."EDITOR'S NOTE: BOY, I'D TAKE ANY NUMBER OF THESE 'SMALLER' ONES, OVER THOSE BLOATED, EPIC MONSTERS. MY DERRIERE IS ALREADY GETTING SORE THINKING OF ALL THOSE OVER-WROUGHT TEARS-FESTS I'M GOING TO HAVE TO WALLOW THRU IN THE NEXT MONTH. URP.



The Forbes Fictional 15
Collectively, we are fascinated by the super-rich. We devour their biographies. We hang on their advice. Maybe we even hope for their downfall. But in our attempts to explain the ultra-rich--and their super-inflated bank accounts--we are often guilty of reducing real people to mere caricatures. There is the monopolist. The oracle. The genius. The thief. With the Forbes Fictional 15, we have taken the opposite approach--fiction’s caricatures are elevated to the status of real people

The List
Santa Claus

Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks

Richie Rich

Lex Luthor
Net Worth: $10.1 billion

Source: Defense, Software, Real Estate

Age: 52

Marital Status: Single

Hometown: Metropolis, U.S.A.

Education: Metropolis University, B.S; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D.

A year after his term as president ended in scandal, Luthor returned to the helm of LexCorp unbowed. Inventor of personal jetpack, robot guard dog said to be back in the lab. Singles out negative reporting by former friend and Daily Planet writer Clark Kent as "worst kind of tabloid journalism." Spent childhood in idyllic Smallville, Kans.; moved to Metropolis at age 21; built LexCorp into world's largest defense and software firm. Claims "superpowered do-gooders" are plotting to take over the world. Prominent supporter of "extropian" life-extension research. Member since 1940.

C. Montgomery Burns

Scrooge McDuck

Jed Clampett

Bruce Wayne
Net Worth: $6.5 billion

Source: Inheritance; Defense

Age: 32

Marital Status: Single

Hometown: Gotham City, U.S.

A Wealthy playboy took family business Wayne Enterprises private earlier this year; SEC still investigating; valuable military prototypes said to have "disappeared." Watched parents gunned down, age 8; spent years in hiding. Returned to Gotham, age 25, assumed control of Wayne Enterprise board. Lives in stately Wayne Manor despite municipal worries about giant sinkholes beneath foundation. Short-lived romances with famous faces: photographer Vicki Vale, socialite Silver St. Cloud and heiress Talia Al Ghul. Rumors continue to swirl over long-time habit of keeping teenage boys as wards. EDITOR'S NOTE: SNICKER... Member since 1939.

Thurston Howell III

Willy Wonka
Net Worth: $2.3 billion

Source: Candy

Age: 57

Marital Status: Single

Hometown: Kent, England

Reclusive chocolate-factory owner was hit hard by low-carb diet craze, but has seen fortunes improve in recent months thanks to innovative new sweets conceived by protégé Charlie Bucket. Currently under investigation by British authorities for illegally importing unregistered laborers from Loompaland, paying them only in cocoa beans. Authorized autobiographical 2005 film in attempt to rehabilitate image; revealed that as the son of a dentist, was long forbidden to eat chocolate. Member since 1964.

Arthur Bach

Ebenezer Scrooge

Lara Croft

Net Worth: $1 billion

Source: Inheritance, Antiques

Age: 37

Marital Status: Single

Hometown: Wimbledon, England

Education: Cambridge University

Daughter of a British lord; raised in luxury. Gained fame and even more fortune by crawling into dusty tombs, charging through jungles and getting into gun fights. Archaeologist and author of travel books; responsible for numerous discoveries, including the lost city of Atlantis and Pandora's Box. Experienced windfall this year by licensing name to endorse variety of products, from handguns to hot pants. Rumored to have fought, killed Bigfoot.

Cruella De Vil

Lucius Malfoy



Net Worth: $900 million

Source: Inheritance

Age: 51

Marital Status: Married, one child.

Hometown: Wiltshire, England

Education: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Patriarch of ancient wizarding family is known for his luxurious white hair, advocacy for pureblood magicians, and violent hatred of Harry Potter. Family stores of gold and illegal Dark Arts artifacts amount to significant fortune, most of which is used to buy influence within the magical community. Caught red-handed burglarizing United Kingdom's Ministry of Magic; currently incarcerated in Azkaban prison. Once asked: "What's the use of being a disgrace to the name of wizard if they don't even pay you well for it?"

Closing out the Week - A few more HARRY POTTER items


Film director sparks debate over origins of 'Harry Potter'
A Norwegian film director has sparked a debate in Norway over whether JK Rowling really is the enormously successful author who launched the Harry Potter craze, or whether she's just a good actress fronted by multinational commercial interests. EDITOR'S NOTE: OR MAYBE SHE'S CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE? (AND BY THE WAY...WHAT ABOUT THE SECOND GUY ON THE GRASSY KNOLL, AND DO YOU REALLY THINK ANYONE LANDED ON THE MOON IN 69?)

Film director Nina Grünfeld simply thinks the rags-to-riches story of JK Rowling is too good to be true.

Writing in a commentary in Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten's cultural pages this week, she questioned whether it's really possible for Rowling to have been the sole creative force behind what's become an international book and movie empire.

Grünfeld recounted the stories told about Rowling, where it's claimed the aspiring author was a poor, single mother with a hungry child to feed, who got the idea for Harry Potter while she sat on a delayed train between Manchester and London. With no money for paper or an office, Rowling reportedly started scribbling out the story of Harry Potter on paper napkins picked up in Edinburgh's cafés

Grünfeld called it a "fantastic" story, that "gives hope" not least to single mothers around the world as well as mothers with unrealized dreams and strong purchasing power.

"But can a person be so productive and commercially successful in a media industry where nothing is left to coincidence?" wondered Grünfeld. "Is it possible that a person can write six thick books that are translated into 55 languages and sell more than 250 million copies in less than 10 years? Is it probable that the stories then get filmed and commercially exploited to the degree seen here, without any well-thought-out strategy or highly professional players behind them?"

And then came Grünfeld's provocative question: "Is it possible that JK Rowling exists?" Her own answer: "Well, who do they think they're kidding? Not me!"EDITOR'S NOTE: CAN'T PUT NOTHING OVER ON THIS WILY NORD. (I'M GONNA FEEL REALLY SILLY MAKING FUN OF HER IF SHE TURNS OUT TO BE RIGHT).

Grünfeld then went on to float what she willingly concedes may be a conspiracy theory, that the books instead have been produced by hack writers like those at the syndicate that produced the "Nancy Drew" mystery series for young readers. The author printed on all the books, "Carolyn Keene," never really existed, Grünfeld notes, adding that she thinks Rowling is a product of "a gigantic concern with the names Bloomsbury Publishing plc and Warner Bros" in the concern's ranks.

"I may be both paranoid and conspiratorial, EDITOR'S NOTE: YA THINK?! but I can't shake the thought that JK Rowling is a pseudonym along the same lines as Carolyn Keene," wrote Grünfeld, the 36-year-old daughter of a prominent psychiatrist EDITOR'S NOTE: DOCTOR, CURE THY FAMILY. who's been decorated by King Harald. Grünfeld recently completed a highly acclaimed documentary on her father's life as a juvenile Jewish refugee from Slovakia who was sent to Norway in the 1930s, and knows all too well the challenges artists face in securing financing for projects.

"I think the secret behind JK Rowling is guarded more strongly than the entrance to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory," Grünfeld wrote. EDITOR'S NOTE: I WONDER IF SHE KNOWS THAT WILLY WONKA ISN'T REAL? (EITHER?) The truth, she believes, won't emerge until "the market for Harry Potter is saturated, until the actress behind JK Rowling gets tired of her role and not until the real authors behind the pseudonym feel an enormous need for recognition."

'Pure speculation'Nonsense, reply Norwegian publishers and translators. Torstein Bugge Høverstad, who has translated the "Harry Potter" books into Norwegian, says the books offer evidence that just one author is behind them. He notes how it took three years to get the fourth book finished, and he sees consistent weaknesses in Rowling's writing that no group of hack writers would leave behind.

Tom Dahl of publishing firm Damm, which releases the books in Norway, says he doesn't take Grünfeld's theory seriously.

"This is pure speculation," Dahl told Aftenposten on Thursday. "It's fun to fantasize about such theories, but this one is entirely without facts. We're parking (Grünfeld's theory) here and now."

Øyvind Hagen, head of the first publishing house who had the rights to "Harry Potter" in Norway, Bazar Forlag, laughed at Grünfeld's commentary in Aftenposten. "I met the author (Rowling) a few years ago, and she was decidedly genuine and human, in addition to being a charming and quite special person," Hagan said. "There are actually some people who are very talented and productive." EDITOR'S NOTE: AND DONCHA HATE THAT?!


Photos from Entertainment Weekly photoshoot
Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint recently did a photoshoot with Entertainment Weekly. We have 9 high-resolution pictures for your viewing pleasure.


Closing out the Week - A few more TELEVISION items


Serenity 2 going straight to TV?
Sounds like there’s enough spacedust to sprinkle on the wonky old galactic transporter yet.

Despite some disappointing box office figures – it didn’t do too bad, but disappointing performances in some countries led to others cancelling its theatrical outing altogether – the brilliant “Serenity” looks set to spawn a sequel.

That’s the good news. The bad news? It won’t be in 35mm. EDITOR'S NOTE: WHO CARES!? WE GET MORE. THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS!

According to IGN FilmForce, Joss Whedon’s space-serial might continue as a telemovie series, with “Serenity 2” going straight to the tube – the SciFi Channel, in fact. The SciFi Channel is part of the NBC Universal family.EDITOR'S NOTE: WHY WOULD THE SCIFI CHANNEL PLAY IT? I MEAN, IT'S KINDA, WELL....SCIENCE FICTION. DO THEY PLAY THAT NOW ON SCIFI?


Though Joss Whedon’s camp – that’s his camp, not the man himself…yet – has denied that a plan for a lower-budget telemovie sequel is in the works, it’s still possible that there is something simmering away here.

And yes folks, they would have to have Whedon’s approval if they were to do it, even if he didn’t helm it. EDITOR'S NOTE: OK. STILL SOUNDS A LITTLE TOO AMORPHOUS AND UP-IN-THE-AIR FOR MY TASTE. LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN, PEOPLE!


The eight-hour series will star William H. Macy, Kim Delaney, William Hurt, McKenzie, Samantha Mathis, Jeremy Sisto, Ron Livingston, Henry Thomas, Tom Berenger and Marsha Mason. Directors for the installments include Rob Bowman, Mike Robe, Mikael Salomon, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan and Brian Henson. EDITOR'S NOTE: WOW. GREAT CAST, GREAT DIRECTORS. DESPITE THE FACT THAT I FEEL LIKE WE MIGHT HAVE BEEN BEATEN WITH THE STEPHEN KING STICK ONCE TOO OFTEN, THIS PROJECT'S PEDIGREE IS TOO GOOD TO NOT PAY ATTENTION. (PLUS, IT'LL AIR IN THE SUMMER, AND WHAT ELSE WILL WE WATCH, IF NOT THIS?)

The collection of short stories was first published in October 1993.

Parks Expands COMFORTS for BBC America

Nick Park and his Aardman Studios has expanded the concept of his 1989 short film CREATURE COMFORTS (1990) into nine 30-minute episodes for BBC America. EDITOR'S NOTE: STARTING TONIGHT, I BELIEVE!

The opener short, along with two other segments, will kick off the series, which will feature stop-motion critters pigs, alligators, dogs, monkeys, birds, etc. Sea lions will speak out against liposuction, a horse explains that he sleeps alone because of a flatulence problem, and so on.

For the series the animators asked members of the public their opinions about everything from aliens to holidays and then put their answers into the mouths of animated animals.

Parks said in an interview, "I have had this project in mind for a few years now. CREATURE COMFORTS was one of the first films I made and, upon reflection, I feel that it was never fully explored. There is a whole world outside the zoo to explore and empathise with; there are many parallels between humans and animals all around us." EDITOR'S NOTE: EXCEPT OF COURSE THAT THEY ARE BY AND LARGE SMARTER THAN WE ARE.

Closing out the Week - A few more MOVIE items



Morissette, Finn contribute to 'Narnia' soundtrack
Singer/songwriters Alanis Morissette, Tim Finn, Imogen Heap and Lisbeth Scott have contributed songs for the soundtrack to "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

Due Dec. 13 via Walt Disney Records, the set also features 13 tracks of Harry Gregson-Williams' orchestral score to the film version of the C.S. Lewis adventure.

The film opens Dec. 9 via Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. Morissette contributes the song "Wunderkind," former Split Enz principal Tim Finn adds "Winter Light," and Scott offers "Where," which is exclusive to the soundtrack and does not appear in the film. As for Heap's "Narnia" contribution, "Can't Take It In," the former Frou Frou singer recently told that it presented something of a challenge for her. EDITOR'S NOTE: I GUESS IF I KNEW...OR CARED....WHO THE HECK SHE WAS, IT MIGHT PUT HER STRUGGLES INTO CONTEXT?

Warner Starts EXTRAORDINARY Project
Warner Bros. Pictures has picked up the rights to THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ALFRED KROPP by Rick Yancey.

The novel centers on an awkward 15-year-old who gets plunged into an Arthurian adventure when his uncle convinces him to steal an ancient sword that turns out be Excalibur.


Colmbia Sinks Teeth Into HISTORIAN
Columbia Pictures is in talks with screenwriter David Magee to adapt Elizabeth Kostova's vampire-themed best-seller THE HISTORIAN.

The story, set amid ruined castles and moonlit crypts, centers on a young woman who travels through Europe looking for her father who went missing while trying to find the grave of Vlad the Impaler. In the process, she battles nefarious vampires. EDITOR'S NOTE: MY DAD WENT TO EUROPE AND ALL I GOT WAS THE LOUSY 1000-YEAR-OLD CURSE?

Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce.

New Yorker hails rights to 'Free Zone'
New Yorker Films has acquired worldwide rights to the Natalie Portman starrer "Free Zone." Israeli director Amos Gitai's drama features Portman as a troubled American living in Jerusalem who bonds with a cab driver (played by this year's Festival de Cannes best actress winner, Hanna Laslo) and joins her on a road trip to Syria in a search for missing money. The film will be released theatrically in April

'Kingdom' comes for Foxx, Uni
Jamie Foxx has signed to star in Universal Pictures' "The Kingdom," a political thriller being directed by Peter Berg. Scott Stuber also is coming on board the project as a producer, joining Michael Mann, who is producing via his Forward Pass banner.

Based on an original idea by Berg and Mann, the story centers on Foxx's character, who is leading an elite team of counter-terrorism investigators trying to find those responsible for a deadly bombing attack on American workers the Middle East. Once inside the previously off-limits desert kingdom, the Americans engage a local police officer to help in their investigation but end up frustrated by bureaucracy and tradition, and find their lives threatened.EDITOR'S NOTE: MICHAEL MANN....IT'LL BE LOUD AND KINDA POINTLESS? (JUST A GUESS.....)

Wadlow vote with Focus for 'Hail' pic
Jeff Wadlow has inked a deal with Focus Features to direct and co-write a ripped-from-the-headlines action heist film, "Hail to the Thief," in which a bank robber uses the 2004 George W. Bush/John Kerry Iowa primary showdown to outfox a distracted police force.

Wadlow co-wrote the screenplay with the project's producer, Beau Bauman. Their story is loosely based on three similar bank robberies that happened on the same night Bush and Democratic opponent Kerry hosted dueling campaign parties in August 2004. This new fictional caper weaves in elements of political satire as it follows one novice criminal's quest to outfox an overwhelmed Iowan police force and rob several banks with his equally amateurish friends

Got a problem? Odds against you?
Yet another staple of 80’s TV is getting the big-screen makeover.

The Weinsteins are pouring some revitalizing youth serum on the old Edward Woodward show “The Equalizer”, announcing plans to bring the old action series to cinemas.

Mace Neufeld, best known for producing the Jack Ryan flicks (“Sum of All Fears”, “Clear and Present Danger” and so on) is overseeing the project, which he hopes will fill the void of the Tom Clancy/Ryan movies that have died off.

The Weinsteins acquired the rights to the show from Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim, the original creators.

Harvey Weinstein stated, "'The Equalizer' was one of my favorite TV series in the 1980's because the writing was always smart and very unpredictable. I am really excited about developing and producing this film."EDITOR'S NOTE: AND HERE I EXPECTED HIM TO SAY IT WAS A FAIRLY PEDESTRIAN SHOW THAT NEVER DID ALL THAT WELL IN THE RATINGS BUT WE WERE STRAPPED FOR IDEAS.

Michael Sloan said, "Tony Eldridge and I are thrilled to be working with two legendary filmmakers like Harvey Weinstein and Mace Neufeld. 'The Equalizer' is a character we believe will resonate strongly with today's audience; a man of style and compassion using skills as an ex-covert agent to help ordinary people in trouble."EDITOR'S NOTE: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Mace Neufeld said, "I have been looking for a big franchise series to follow-up on my Tom Clancy films. 'The Equalizer' perfectly fills the bill."

The original hit television drama series “The Equalizer” starred Edward Woodward and Robert Lansing and ran on CBS from 1985-1989. It told of Robert McCall, a veteran covert operative seeking redemption for his darker exploits, quits a CIA-like agency and puts an advertisement in the newspaper that reads; Got a problem? Odds against you? Call The Equalizer.

Who's wearing the Halo?
According to, Hellboy’s pop might be breathing fire into the long-awaited film version of the video game “Halo”.

Producer Peter Jackson – he of “King Kong” fame – told the site that “Hellboy” director Guillermo del Toro is someone he’s in talks with right now to take the reigns on “Halo”.

If del Toro signs on to direct “Halo”, the site suggests that someone else might have to come onboard to direct the upcoming “Hellboy 2” – the first draft has just been handed into Sony, they said – because the big man won’t have time to do it.

The movie, based on a 2001 game, is a complex mix of mythology, characters and worlds and follows the adventures of futuristic super-soldier Master Chief as he fights to save mankind from an alien race. EDITOR'S NOTE: DON'T THEY ALL?

Tiger Crouches again, Dragon hides again?
The on-again off-again on-again prequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” could again be in the works, according to director Ang Lee.

The “Brokeback Mountain” helmer tells MTV that "It would be a prequel, if it happens”, adding that it’s still in the early stages of production so anything could happen. (For instance, the outline might end up as origami material).EDITOR'S NOTE: GIGGLE. AND LIKE THE PLOT WAS SUCH A BIG (LINEAR) THING WE WOULD KNOW WHAT PART OF THE TIMELINE WE'RE IN?

"I haven't found a new passion equivalent to the first one," Lee says, adding that none of the first film’s stars - including Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang — have yet to sign on to reprise their characters.

Instead of worrying about them, however, Lee is keeping his focus on getting the prequel in tip top shape. "Once I have the script, we'll see what happens with the actors." EDITOR'S NOTE: WHAT A CRAZY CONCEPT!




Exclusive 9-Feet Tall Inflatable Darth Vader

Our Price: $499.99

Measures 9-feet in heightIncludes full set-up instructions and foot operated air pump
Very limited quantities available

For fans and collectors who like to make a big impact with their Star Wars collection, StarWarsShop has got the ultimate Sith exclusive for you.

StarWarsShop has arranged to be the exclusive distributor of Burger King's limited remainder of enormous inflatable Darth Vader displays -- the same giant Vaders that were used on rooftops of BK restaurants participating in their extremely successful Episode III summer promotion.

Just think of all the ways to display your inflatable Vader -- how about a headboard for your bed, or behind your big-screen TV? It's also great for Star Wars party photo-ops, or for leering out over your apartment balcony on special occasions.

Darth measures 9 feet tall, and includes full set-up instructions. Foot-operated air pump is included.

This is an exclusive special order item. Once your order is placed a member of the team will contact you to complete the order and make special shipping arrangements. EDITOR'S NOTE: OOOO...SPECIAL SHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS. THEY USE THE FORCE, I BET!

JEDI Luke Skywalker - Regular Edition
Sideshow Collectibles has released images of the upcoming Jedi Luke Skywalker - Regular Edition action figure.


The 12-inch Jedi Luke figure includes:
• Authentic likeness of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker from Return of the Jedi
• Fully articulated 'short' male body with 30+ points of articulation
• Authentic costume includes the grey tunic, black shirt & pants, and boots

• Accessories include:
Hooded cloak
Detailed belt w/ lightsaber hook
Lightsaber hilt
Lightsaber hilt w/ ignited blade
Femur bone from Rancor battle
Multiple interchangeable hands, including: -Force Wield left hand -Gloved right hand -Blaster damaged right hand -Lightsaber grip left hand -Lightsaber grip right hand

The figure stands 12 inches high and will retail for $49.99. EDITOR'S NOTE: YES. I COULD GO TO A BAAAAAD PLACE TALKING ABOUT 12 INCHES OF MARK HAMILL. BUT I WON'T. NOT ME. NO WAY.


Star Wars Pewter Yoda Bottle Opener

Estimated Arrival: January 2006(subject to change)
Price: $64.99

Star Wars Pewter Darth Vader Corkscrew

Estimated Arrival: January 2006(subject to change)
Price: $124.99

Star Wars Pewter R2-D2 Bottle Opener

Estimated Arrival: January 2006(subject to change)

Price: $84.99

Star Wars Pewter C-3PO Foil Cutter

Estimated Arrival: January 2006(subject to change)

Price: $84.99

More Than Meets the Eye: Star Wars Transformers
The power of the Force meets the power of the Allspark with a new assortment of Star Wars vehicles from Hasbro that are actually robots in disguise. Star Wars Transformers combine the classic characters and vehicles from a galaxy far, far away and transforms them into mighty mechs with seamless Star Wars alt-modes. This first wave of unique crossover toys includes four 'bots, with a mix of good and evil to wage shapeshifting battles among your other Star Wars or Transformer toys. Each figure also comes with a miniature pilot.

Darth Vader could give Megatron a run for his Energon when it comes to evil leadership, and he isn't likely to stomach dissention in his ranks -- Starscream would likely find himself the victim of a throat-crunching Force throttle. This mecha-fied Dark Lord transforms into his TIE Advanced x1 starfighter mode, and comes equipped with two lightsaber missiles that really fire.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was never a fan of flying, but he better get used to it because now he's actually a Jedi starfighter. The Jedi Master transforms into the Episode III fighter design, and comes equipped with a lightsaber and two missiles that actually launch.

General Grievous has sowed enough metal-crunching mayhem to earn him a spot among the Decepticon ranks. Now, the evil Separatist leader can transform from robot to ground-tearing wheel bike and back, armed with twin lightsabers and a firing missile launcher

When the Death Star menace became the Rebel Alliance's darkest hour, Luke Skywalker had the touch to defeat the massive battle station by trusting the Force in his speedy X-wing fighter. This Transformers-incarnation of Luke twists and turns into an Incom T-65, complete with lightsaber and four firing missiles.

This first wave of Star Wars Transformers is expected to hit store shelves in January 2006. Keep checking as well as Hasbro's official site for more information about these and other exciting new products. May the Force be with you... till all are one.

2006 Hasbro Preview: Battle of Geonosis
Following the Battle of Carkoon and Battle of Hoth, the third wave of Hasbro's Star Wars 2006 Saga Collection figures features characters from the Battle of Geonosis.

Each figure comes with a base and a randomly-selected bonus hologram figure. EDITOR'S NOTE: OOOOO. AAAAAHHHH. They will be available at retailers everywhere starting in early 2006.

Sora Bulq. This fierce Weequay Jedi is part of the forces sent to Geonosis to save Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala from execution. Thanks to his Jedi skills, he helps to ensure that the mission is successful.

Sun Fac. Sun Fac believes that Anakin and Padmé are guilty of treason, and so agrees that they should be put to death for their crimes. But the captives and their Jedi friends have other plans. Includes Geonosian blaster

C-3PO with Battle Droid Head. EDITOR'S NOTE: SEEING THIS TOY REMINDS ME OF THE FEW THINGS I REALLY DIDN'T ENJOY ABOUT AOTC. (MUCH AS EVERY BIG BATTLE SEQUENCE NEEDS A KNOCK-OFF LAUREL & HARDY ROUTINE IN THE MIDDLE OF IT....) R2-D2 is always getting C-3PO into trouble. Artoo pushes Threepio onto a conveyor belt at the massive droid factory on Geonosis, where his head is swapped with that of a battle droid. But Artoo makes it right by getting Threepio's proper head reattached.

Poggle the Lesser. EDITOR'S NOTE: POOR POGGLE. HE DIED NEVER GRADUATING TO BECOME POGGLE THE GREATER. OR EVEN POGGLE THE ALMOST THERE. This Geonosian sentences Anakin and Padmé to death for treason after they are caught trespassing in the Separatists' droid army factory. He orders their immediate execution, but little did he know that it would not go exactly as planned.

Jango Fett. EDITOR'S NOTE: CAUSE A GIRL JUST CAN'T HAVE TOO MANY JANGOS. (SOUNDS NAUGHTY, HUH?) Jango Fett is commissioned by Lord Tyranus to be the template for a massive droid army being built in secret on Kamino. His extensive career as a bounty hunter is put to an end at the Battle of Geonosis at the hands of Mace Windu, leaving his one unaltered clone Boba to carry on the family bounty hunter tradition. Includes grappling hook and removable helmet.

Scorch, Republic Commando. Scorch fights the droid army on Geonosis when the Republic's clone army is sent to rescue Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padmé. While he is a highly skilled explosives technician, accidents do happen -- such as the one in which he earned his nickname by scorching off his eyebrows! EDITOR'S NOTE: PROVING ONCE AGAIN THAT, HUNKY THOUGH THEY MIGHT BE, CLONES SHOULD PICK THE NAMES.

Yoda. Yoda leads the Republic's newly-discovered clone army to Geonosis to stop the execution. He fights to save his friends first in the arena and then in the dark hangar bay where Count Dooku has defeated Obi-Wan and Anakin. EDITOR'S NOTE: IS IT JUST ME, OR DOES THIS LOOK LIKE YODA IN HIS UNDIES? (JUST ME?)


Back at Burger King: Episode III

Still reeling from the rush of all the Revenge of the Sith DVD hoopla and retailer exclusives?

Well, take a minute to catch your breath, then hightail it out to your local Burger King to get one of six Star Wars Destiny Watches or a free Super D character or vehicle with the purchase of a Kid's Meal!

As previously reported, 17 all new collector toys are being added to Burger King's popular Star Wars Super D line which launched last May. Starting todayEDITOR'S NOTE: THIS IS A REPRINT OF A BLOG ITEM FROM EARLY NOVEMBER, ACTUALLY., collectors can start adding these new characters and vehicles to the already expansive line, which now totals 48 toys in all!

True to the spirit of celebrating the Star Wars saga as a whole, Burger King is also offering a set of six Destiny Watches, each themed specifically to one chapter in the Star Wars saga and packaged in attractive embossed collector tins.

The Super D toys and Destiny Watches will make perfect stocking-stuffers for new fans or old, so make sure Burger King is first on your list of shopping destinations this holiday season.

With all this information, it's sure easy to get confused.

To help you kleep track of what you have and what you need, Rebelscum reader Alex Pineda has created checklists for each of the promotions that you can download and print out.

· Super D Toys Checklist

· Destiny Watches Checlist

A mish-mash of Star Wars Odds-n-Ends



Coming 2006: Darth Bane Novel
The Sith were in shambles. In-fighting among their ranks allowed the Jedi to thwart their dark plans. One last battle to end an era resulted in the extinction of the Sith. Or so it was believed -- one Dark Lord survived.

From the ashes emerged Darth Bane, the lone Sith who was able to foresee the inevitable doom of the misguided order, and learn from this costly lesson. He forged a new order of secretive Sith, plotting from the shadows, carefully rebuilding power a generation at a time for centuries until the revenge of the Sith could finally be achieved.

Who was this Dark Lord? What events forged the man who would split from the Sith ranks and entirely redefine the order?

Readers will find out in the forthcoming hardcover novel, Star Wars: Path of Destruction, A Novel of the Old Republic.

Set over a thousand years before the events of A New Hope, and just prior to the events of the Jedi vs. Sith comics series, this novel by author Drew Karypyshyn is scheduled for release in October of 2006 from Del Rey Books.



ILM Receives Medal

George Lucas' VFX company Industrial Light & Magic will receive the 2004 National Medal of Technology, along with two individuals and four other companies. The award is given out by the Dept. of Commerce and given annually by the president, is the country's highest honor for innovation.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez yesterday congratulated the recipients of the nation’s highest honor for technological innovation.

“I join President Bush in congratulating the 2004 National Medal of Technology laureates,” said Gutierrez. “Their creativity and willingness to take risks to achieve technological breakthroughs have helped make America the leader in innovation.”

ILM is being honored for "over 28 years of innovations in visual effects technology for the motion picture industry."

The National Medal of Technology, bestowed by the President since 1985 as the nation’s highest award for innovation, was mandated by Congress in 1980 to recognize the significant contributions that America's leading innovators have made to the nation's economic strength and standard of living. A distinguished, independent committee appointed by the Secretary of Commerce evaluates the merits of all candidates nominated through an open, competitive solicitation process. Committee recommendations are forwarded to the Secretary, who makes recommendations to the President for a final decision.



Exploring Real Life Varactyls

In Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi relied on the trusty female varactyl Boga EDITOR'S NOTE: I GUESS THIS ANSWERS THE QUESTION WE WERE DEBATING ABOUT WHETHER 'BOGA' WAS THE SPECIES NAME OR THE CRITTER'S NAME. to sneak up on and then chase down General Grievous on the sinkhole planet of Utapau. These native cliff-climbing lizards, prized as loyal and smart creatures, are often used as quick transport from one place to another.

In real life, Boga resembles a wide variety of reptiles including iguanas, geckos, Komodo Dragons, regal horned lizards, frilled lizards, and even prehistoric dinosaurs. Boga was brought to life as a computer-animated creature.

To get Boga's movements as lifelike as possible,
Industrial Light & Magic Animation Director Rob Coleman and his team refined Boga's run cycle by studying actual nature footage of various running lizards.

Take a look at some of the lizards that may be the closest creatures we have to varactyls here in this galaxy. You might be surprised how many reptiles resemble and act like Boga in more ways than one

What real-life lizards make sounds like Boga and why?
While most lizards and various reptiles do not communicate by using sounds, geckos (Phelsuma madagascariensis) do. Out of the 800 different species of geckos, some create a clicking noise that mimics the actual word "gecko," which may explain how they got their name. These chirping and clicking noises could be used to defend their territory or attract a mate.

Where do most lizards live on Earth?
Currently, there are over 4, 675 documented lizard species that dwell on this planet. The unusual frilled lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii) lives in the tropical and warm-temperate forests of northern Australia and in New Guinea, as do geckos and iguanas (Iguana spp.) who can live in a variety of warm habitats, including rainforests, deserts, and marshes -- and are often kept as domesticated pets around the world. Komodo Dragons (Varanus komodoensis) live in hot grasslands and tropical forests, primarily in Indonesia. Regal horned lizards (Phrynosoma solare) prefer an arid climate much like Utapau, and are found mostly in the western region of the United States and Mexico.

How do lizards climb on steep walls and cave ceilings like Boga does on Utapau's sinkholes?
Geckos are best known for being able to defy gravity as they climb smooth walls and upside down on ceilings. Underneath their toes they have "lamellae" (large overlapping plates) which are covered by thousands of microscopic spatula-shaped prongs called "setae" that operate like tiny suction cups. However, in order not to damage the delicate lamellae, geckos must pick up their toes one by one when moving -- which gives the lizard a funny waddling walk. In addition to gecko, other lizards like iguanas can climb walls at a 90 degree angle.

How do different lizards defend themselves against predators?
Female varactyls like Boga have rigid spines along their tails providing defense; the erect spines can hurt any creature attempting to bite at the tail. Their heads are also protected by an armored skull of dense bone.

For most real-life lizards, like geckos and iguanas, tails are their weakest body parts for a special reason. When a predator grabs it, the tail can easily break off, allowing the lizard to escape. The tail may grow back after awhile, but it will never be fully restored to the original size.

The frilled lizard will hiss and use its frill -- a bit of scaly skin around the neck that looks like an open umbrella -- to ward off approaching enemies, and can run away on its hind legs.

Iguanas can flee from predators by diving from trees from as high up as 15 meters (50 feet) without getting hurt! In addition to using its spines to injure an enemy, the horned lizard will also spurt blood from the corners of its eyes for a dramatic warning. EDITOR'S NOTE: THAT'D WORK ON ME!

Which lizards are good swimmers?
Boga has waterproof scaled skin and like all varactyls, is a powerful swimmer. Varactyls only swim in the grottos when the hot sun shines directly overhead, warming the waters below. To swim in later hours exposes the varactyl to grotto dangers such as the predatory nos monster. EDITOR'S NOTE: SO NAMED CAUSE IT NOSSES ON VARACTYLS. (SORRY).

In real life, it's the iguana that likes to swim for food. The marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) of the Galápagos Islands not only is an impressive swimmer, but its black skin helps to keep its body warm after swimming in the cold ocean.

Which lizards resemble Boga the most?
Boga has a pebbled skin with an iridescent green and blue sheen. A bright crown of colored feathers fringes her head and neck, trailing away from her beaked face and keen eyes. Her powerful limbs end in five-toed feet, tipped with curved claws which come in handy while climbing sandstone surfaces. And her long tail helps her balance. She is a massive 15 meters long.

Generally speaking, most lizards have a small head, short neck, and long body and tail. Lizards tend to have mostly dry and scaly skin that they shed, or molt, to make way for the new skin growth underneath.

The scale-size and color on lizards vary, depending on where they live. Many lizards have scales that closely blend in with the background, like the frilled lizard who uses this skin camouflage to protect itself against predators. Iguanas also use their green coloring to hide amongst plants and trees.

Iguanas' whip-like tails compose about half of their body length, much like Boga. The Komodo Dragon is the largest lizard, measuring up to three meters (10 feet) long and weighing up to 80 kilograms (176 pounds)! Regal horned lizards have a set of four equally-spaced horns on the back of the head, as well as spines down its body much like those of Boga.

Do any lizards with feathers exist here?
While no modern-day lizards feature feathers on their bodies, it has been discovered that the ancient reptiles that roamed Earth over 200 million years ago may have.

Recently, paleontologists have learned that some dinosaurs, which represent the missing link between lizards and birds, exhibited feathers. The Caudipteryx had feathers on its tail (more for show than to help it fly), while the Tyrannosaurus Rex ancestor Dilong paradoxus exhibited feather-like structures on its body that resembled hollow tubes. The Microraptor had feathers covering both its arms and legs.

Because many predator dinosaurs like the T-Rex and Velociraptors share in common more than 100 physical features with birds such as a wishbone and three forward-pointing toes, scientists have argued for decades that modern-day birds did indeed evolve from egg-laying dinosaurs.

What do real lizards like to eat?
Boga likes to eat rock-hugging green-muck from the lower, wetter levels and the succulent roots that grow in the porous rocks. However, unlike Boga, most lizards prefer meat.

Frilled lizards dine on bugs like cicadas, ants, and spiders, as well as smaller lizards. Geckos also munch on bugs, but balance out their diet with bananas and other fruits as well as flower nectar.

Most iguanas share Boga's craving for fruits, flower buds, and leaves, but occasionally like to snack on a juicy mealworm!

One of the deadliest lizards in existence -- the Komodo Dragon -- prefers to attack its dinner with an extremely toxic bite. Because they carry strains of deadly bacteria in their saliva, Komodo Dragons can attack larger animals (as big as a deer) than most reptiles can handle. A dragon may eat 60 percent of its body weight at one time!

If you would like to learn more about the lizards that inspired the varactyls, please visit your local or school library for more detailed books.EDITOR'S NOTE: STUDY UP, DWEEBPALS. THERE COULD BE A POP QUIZ AT ANY MOMENT!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Disney stuff


Musician Jim Brickman essays theDisney standards.

"I've always been a huge fan of Disney -- I grew up loving all the Disney music," says Jim Brickman.

The adult contemporary singer's legion of fans might be surprised to know that he's a Disneyphile, but Jim claims it makes perfect sense.

"My first album I ever owned was the 'Mary Poppins' record. It was the first movie I ever saw, too. The songs told me stories that I always thought were so inventive and theatrical, I just loved it. I think it was some of the first music that inspired me to want to become a musician," he says.

That love should soon be public knowledge, as Jim is embarking on an exploration of the music of Disney.

His newest album, "The Disney Songbook," has just been released. On it, Jim performs Disney classics in his own heartfelt style. He's an artist known for collaborating with talents across the musical spectrum and "The Disney Songbook" is no exception - it includes appearances by Wayne Brady, Lila McCann, Kassie DePaiva, and Josh Gracin.

"I always try to pick interesting combinations of people on my albums," Jim tells us. "In this case, because Disney music is so diverse, it was especially important to me to have an eclectic mix of singers bringing those songs to life."

The album also includes two new songs.

"I thought it was very cool that Disney let me do two originals inspired by the new release of 'Cinderella' on DVD," says Jim. "One of those is called 'Beautiful,' and it's a duet with Wayne Brady. It's a love at first sight story that was inspired by the Cinderella story."

However, asked to name a favorite, Jim goes with a classic - "When You Wish upon a Star," from "Pinocchio."

"The melody is so beautiful and it's so nice to play. It just sort of feels right under your fingers. Aside from the fact that it's just sort of the quintessential Disney song, I just happen to think it's beautiful."

The album is far from the only thing keeping Jim busy - he is taking this show on the road. Starting Thanksgiving weekend, his latest music special will be playing on PBS affiliates around the country.

"Jim Brickman at the Magic Kingdom - The Disney Songbook" features Jim at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, performing with the naturally dramatic backdrop of Cinderella Castle and the nightly fireworks display. Shooting the special also gave Jim the chance to enjoy the Parks.

"They wanted to show me on the rides, so it was actually part of my homework that I had to do!" he laughs. EDITOR'S NOTE: MY DREAM. SOMEONE PAYS ME TO GO TO DISNEY WORLD! (AND, PART 2 OF THE DREAM, THEY PAY ME TO MAKE APPEARANCES AT DWEEBFESTS. SIGH.....)

As if these projects weren't enough to keep a person busy, Jim is also currently on tour, performing songs from the new album.

In a coup, he was able to get permission from Disney to use footage from several animated classics as a backdrop - something rarely allowed.

"We hit 35 cities between Thanksgiving weekend and New Year's Eve," he says.

After all this, how does Jim feel about the possibility of working with Disney again?

"I would love to do an animated movie, or another album! I've talked to some of the powers that be about that. I think the sensibility I come from with my music is so similar; I like to write very positive, hopeful songs that are somewhat message-oriented. It's all family entertainment, and it's all multi-generational. I think it's one of the reasons that it's been such a great collaboration."
Check out song clips and more at the "Disney Songbook" site.

Filming C.S. Lewis' masterwork, the seven books that compose the Chronicles of Narnia, has been something of an impossible dream for decades. Ever since the first of the books, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," was published in 1950, children and adults have adored them alike - they have been perennial bestsellers for more than 50 years.

The history of Narnia has everything: magic, adventure, tragedy, humor, and triumph -- it's not surprising that Hollywood has longed to bring it to the big screen.

However, save for a few television adaptations, a Narnia movie never materialized - no one was able to find a way to convincingly capture Lewis' fantasy world onscreen. Film technology had not caught up with the richness of Narnia's gallery of creatures and enchantments until now.

On December 9, we will all have the chance to venture through an enchanted wardrobe with four amazed British children and explore a magical land locked in eternal winter.

The enchantment of Narnia begins for Lucy(Georgie Hensley) when she encountersMr. Tumnus (James McAvoy).

We'll meet fauns, centaurs, talking animals, the terrible White Witch who has enslaved Narnia, and the magical magnificent lion Aslan who will rally the children to free this fabulous realm.

The man who helmed "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is director/cowriter Andrew Adamson. He told "The Insider" about the creation of the film, his own love of Narnia, and what the movie holds in store.

The first thing we realize is that Andrew is as big a fan of the books as any child; in fact, he became a fan when he WAS a child, as so many readers did. And one of his inspirations in bringing Narnia to film was his own memories of how the book affected him.

"When I first became involved in the project I sat down and wrote out all of my memories, because before it got polluted by my adult mind, I wanted to get my childhood impressions," he says. Only then did he sit down and reread the books. EDITOR'S NOTE: WHAT A LOVELY NOTION. A TRUE FAN.

The White Witch (Tilda Swinton) entices Edmund (Skandar Keynes): a more sophisticated sort of villainess.

One great surprise he encountered was the climactic confrontation between the four children with their army of good creatures, and the forces of the evil White Witch.

"I remembered this epic battle," says Andrew. "When I came back to read the book as an adult, I read through it and thought 'Where's what I remember?' Because in the book it's about a page and a half, and it's mostly Peter telling Aslan about it afterward. It would be kind of disappointing to build the movie toward this epic battle, and then be with Aslan through the whole thing. So I wanted to film the battle that my eight-year-old mind had imagined the battle. And I think Lewis counted on that; there are places in the book where he says 'I can't tell you about it because your parents wouldn't let you read the book.' As a kid you go this must be really bad, and your mind fills out what happened."

A similar balance between the words on the page and the world they create in the imagination informed the creation of the White Witch (played by Tilda Swinton) and her castle

Bringing Aslan to life was a monumental achievement.

"C.S. Lewis describes her in great detail in the book, and of course I think Pauline Baynes illustrations in the book give you an impression of her, but at the same time I think that over the years that character can become somewhat of a cliche. One way you can read the White Witch is the screeching Cruella DeVil or the evil stepmother, these evil female characters. I wanted to make sure she was evil that was as evil as Aslan's good, she was as intelligent and sophisticated as our hero," Andrew explains. "Tilda Swinton was a huge inspiration to start from. She was the first person I wanted to cast, and I was lucky enough to have her agree to do it. But I also looked into the background of the White Witch, and the fact that she had come from the world of Charn - which is in The Magician's Nephew, we get the backstory of how she came to Narnia at the inception of Narnia. I really wanted to try to capture the otherworldliness about her - she doesn't come from Narnia, but at the same time she's made it her world by freezing it. We worked with the idea that she's almost not physical, and her dress changes throughout the movie as she does. We kept a lot of the specifics that Lewis mentioned, like the spiky crown, but we thought that making it out of ice was more interesting than how it was described in the book, so we started playing with that."

Similarly, the White Witch's castle has the jagged towers described in the book - but on film those towers are clearly icicles, a product of the wicked queen's wintry reign.

Nothing in the film, says Andrew, was as challenging as bringing Aslan to life. The great lion is central to the story, the creator of Narnia and the only one who can help the children succeed in freeing it.

"I knew going in that one of the most technically challenging things was going to be Aslan. Because it's a very complex thing to pull off, a fully furred realistic creature. And then you have to have him speak. And I didn't want everyone to be thinking 'Oh, that's a great computer-generated lion.' So he had to be photo-real, to just get the reality of Narnia," Andrew explains.

"We started the research and development on Aslan two years ago, just to get the wind in the hair and eyes that really have soul. Saliva in the mouth. Those things are very important - not because you notice that they're there, but when they're not there you really notice the absence and stop believing in the character. First he had to look like a real lion, and secondly characterwise he had to fit in the story."

That character is a complex one. "There's a great line in the book, 'Aslan is not a TAME lion,' and yet he's a very paternal character. He comforts and protects the kids, but you always know he's capable of great anger and great strength. I think that's why C.S. Lewis used a lion," Andrew muses. "Both the villain and the hero have an attraction/repulsion thing. The White Witch is physically attractive, and yet she's very evil. Aslan is very warm and approachable, and yet you know he could bite your hand off. Real lions have the same thing - I've been around a lot of them lately. You want to pet them, and at the same time you're terrified of petting them. What Liam Neeson brought to the character is this incredible resonance and power in his voice." EDITOR'S NOTE: LIAM NEESON!? I DIDN'T KNOW THIS. OK. I'LL GO SEE LIAM NEESON AS A LION. (I'M EASY WHEN IT COMES TO LIAM/LION).

On December 9, the wardrobe will open and we'll all be able to enter the world of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

From hero to villain to the incredible cast of fabulous creatures that fill the screen, Narnia never ceases to amaze - both the four children who have stumbled upon it and film audiences alike. Andrew Adamson and his crew have brought the Narnia in the minds of millions of children to vivid life, and 55 years does not seem like it has been too long a wait.