Friday, July 28, 2006

And just a COUPLE more TV Dweebing items

Editor's Note: A couple of TV items too important to wait till we had a 'minyan' of postables---

Elizabeth Mitchell joins cast of LOST

Elizabeth Mitchell will join the cast of ABC's LOST as a regular cast member.

Mitchell will play Juliet on the show, but details about her character are still being kept under wraps. It was reported, however, that she may be a new love interest for Jack (Matthew Fox). Could she possible meet him while he is being held prisoner? Editor's Note: If it isn't going to be Kate, this is a lovely, talented, intelligent actress well worthy of 'our' Jack. (A smart blond....go figger)!

Mitchell is one of two regular players LOST has added for next season. Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro signed on to co-star on the series this week.

Ira Steven Behr drops hints about The 4400
Ira Steven Behr offered multiple hints and a little honesty regarding the character of 4400 leader Jordan Collier (Billy Campbell, below). Behr is the executive producer of the show, and spoke at the Comic Con this past weekend.

Collier was assassinated in the second season, but mysteriously re-appeared in the last few minutes of the final episode last season.

"Well, where was he last time?" Behr said. "Let's just look at this logically. The last time Jordan Collier disappeared, where was he? He was in the future, right? With all these other people allegedly ... taken to the future. Then he was killed and disappeared again. Where do you think he might have gone?" Editor's Note: Umm....nope. Not gettin anything. Give me another hint? (snicker...)

Behr added, "We will find out where Jordan Collier was according to Jordan Collier, and ... then it's up to all of us collectively to decide whether or not we believe him. ... I still have my doubts."

Then comes the honesty. Campbell, who was also attending the press conference at the Comic Con, said the following: "I have absolutely no idea what the explanation will be. They are making it up as they go along, which is part of the joy of the show." Editor's Note: That might be fun for the actor, but it's rarely a good idea when it comes to the impact and staying power of the show. (And by 'staying power', I don't mean longevity on the air, since the creators of "Stargate" change their minds about story arc often in the middle of an individual episode, and look how long THAT thing's been on the air. No. I mean 'staying power' in the annals of good scifi).

A WEE bit more STAR WARS stuff

Celebration IV Logo
Announced in the Star Wars Spectacular at San Diego Comic Con, comes this beautiful new design mixing elements from the past with a crisper design element of today.

You can expect to see this logo more and more as we get closer to Star Wars Celebration IV in Los Angeles, California!

Star Wars In 3-D
Steve Sansweet tackled this question from one fan at the recent Fan Club Breakfast last week in San Diego.

Here's his response as posted at

"George and Rick are really excited about the technology they have seen in 3-D... they showed about 10 minutes of Star Wars at a trade industry show about a year ago, and there was a lot of great buzz. Well, a couple of things have turned out. You have to look at the business plan: When does it make sense to do something like that? And you need thousands of digital screen theaters. It does not work on a film projector... This may be the thing that is finally going to force a lot of theater chains to bring in digital projectors at least for one of their screens... A lot of theater chains have announced they are going ahead. That said, how long is it going to take to get three- to four- to five thousand theaters digitally converted? It's not going to happen this year. It's not going to happen by the end of next year. In addition, the process to do the movie turns out to be a little more expensive than initially thought. So you have the theaters converting, you have the costs of converting one or all of the six Star Wars movies into 3-D, and you have the fact that the technology involves wireless battery-operated glasses that blink maybe a thousand times a second; it's not like a read and blue lens. So you have to take all those factors into consideration. I think Lucasfilm is still very interested in releasing the saga in 3-D. I think it's really just a matter of time, but I don't think it's going to be in the next couple of years."

So there you have it! I'm a little dissapointed myself, but with so much other great stuff coming down the pipe I'm sure we'll all find plenty of Star Wars to keep us all busy these next few years! Editor's Note: Well DRAT! (thank heavens for those upcoming dancing penguins)?

Editor's Note: Another 2007 Pic (This art is GORGEOUS, isn't it?!):

The skies of Felucia are much safer now under the vigilant eyes of the Galactic Empire.

And one more pic----

It's easy to see the source of inspiration that Alex Jaeger drew upon when designing this clone pod fighter for Episode III.

Friday Potter'ing

Editor's Note: Just a few Harry Potter'ish items for this fine Friday.

First up, something for thesp AND potter dweebs. (We post this KNOWING that we are risking going to a bad bad place, and knowing that OddBob has read ahead and is already THERE....)

Naked stage role for Potter star

Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe is to appear on the London stage next year, playing a stable boy who has an erotic relationship with his horses.

Richard Griffiths will co-star in the revival of Peter Shaffer's 1973 play Equus, to open in the capital in March.

Radcliffe and Griffiths are currently shooting the fifth Harry Potter film.

The role will require Radcliffe, 17, to appear naked and symbolically blind six horses. Richard Burton and Peter Firth starred in the 1977 film version.

Firth played disturbed stable boy Alan Strang in the original London stage production and later on Broadway.
Equus will be directed by Thea Sharrock, director of the Gate fringe theatre in Notting Hill, west London.

The controversial play marks a departure for Radcliffe, whose only previous stage appearance in London was as a guest star in The Play What I Wrote, directed by Kenneth Branagh.

He recently completed filming December Boys, an independent Australian film about four orphans growing up in the 1960s.

"This is an extraordinary play and, yes, there is a scene of nudity in it, but that's not what the play is about," said Radcliffe's publicist Vanessa Davies.

"He finishes shooting 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' in October or November and rehearsals are starting in January," she added. The play is expected to open in March.

This is what Daniel Radcliffe had to say:
"I'm really excited to be part of this production and thrilled to be working with Richard Griffiths (Uncle Vernon) again. This is obviously a huge departure for me as an actor, but Equus is such an amazing play that this really was an opportunity not to be missed. Rehearsal starts in January and I am very much looking forward to working with Thea Sharock who is an incredibly talented director. I only hope I do the role justice."

The part of Alan is usually performed nude in several parts of the play. However, there have been multiple versions of Equus in which no nudity was involved. Whether Dan will play the part nude or not, we don't know at this early stage.

Editor's Note: Let's wait a sec till OB gets back from researching flights to London....

Burbank, Calif., July 26, 2006 -- Warner Bros. Consumer Products announced today a multi-year licensing agreement that names NECA, Inc. the master toy, gift and specialty product licensee for the magical Harry Potter series throughout North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

New product is set to roll out in conjunction with Warner Bros. Pictures’ latest Harry Potter feature film installment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, scheduled to hit theaters beginning in July 2007.

The company will develop a range of gifts, toys and specialty products including collectible action figures, plush, mugs, wall décor and more, all inspired by the characters, creatures and themes from the Harry Potter stories. Editor's Note: Stuff to buy, stuff to buy! (and you can buy a Harry Potter action figure, take off all it's clothes, and have it do nasty things to one of those plastic HORSIE toys!)

bad bad bad QOTD....punish me?

As the Harry Potter series has matured with each subsequent film, so has its audience. Editor's Note: Ahem...apparently NOT...... The assortment of products being created by NECA will therefore be geared to appeal to older, loyal fans that have followed the stories over the years, while still offering something for younger fans that are new to the series.Editor's Note: See...I was RIGHT. "ADULT" Harry Potter toys! (going away to bathe now....)

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry returns for his fifth year of study at Hogwarts and discovers that much of the wizarding community is in denial about the teenager’s recent encounter with the evil Lord Voldemort, preferring to turn a blind eye to the news that Voldemort has returned. Fearing that Hogwarts’ venerable Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, is lying about Voldemort’s return in order to undermine his power and take his job, the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, appoints a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher to keep watch over Dumbledore and the Hogwarts students.

But Professor Dolores Umbridge’s Ministry-approved course of defensive magic leaves the young wizards woefully unprepared to defend themselves against the dark forces threatening them and the entire wizarding community. So, at the prompting of his friends Hermione and Ron, Harry takes matters into his own hands. Meeting secretly with a small group of students who name themselves “Dumbledore’s Army,” Harry teaches them how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts, preparing the courageous young wizards for the extraordinary battle that lies ahead.

About Warner Bros. Consumer Products Warner Bros.
Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

About NECA
NECA, Inc. is a recognized worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of fine collectible products. With headquarters in Hillside, New Jersey, NECA sells its products in more than 100 countries.

Potter's positive impact on kids' reading habits
We've all heard the story of the Harry Potter reader who had no interest in reading before HP came out, but for the first time, a report by Scholastic has quantified the huge impact the books have had on kids' reading attitudes and behaviours.

Here are some astounding facts discovered in the survey:

- 51% of HP readers, aged 5-17, say they had not read before for fun

- 65% say they're now doing better in school as a result of their newfound interest in reading

- More boys than girls read the books (57% vs. 51%) (surprising, seeing as more girls than boys visit MuggleNet)

- 62% of boys felt it important to read the books to feel "in" with their friends while only 44% of girls felt the same

- Almost 60% of 9 to 11-year-olds have read the books; 70% are interested in re-reading them

- 63% of 12 to 14-year-olds have read the books; 69% are interested in re-reading them

- 57% of 15 to 17-year-olds have read the books; 60% are interested in re-reading them Editor's Note: Those percentages are kind of amazing, given the general level of illiteracy in this country these days. BRAVA JKR!

Yates discusses OOTP filming
Movie Web has posted some quotes by David Yates and Daniel Radcliffe from their taped video shown recently at Comic-Con.

Yates had this to say:

"Harry is in a battle for his life and soul. There's a wonderful battle scene at the end for his life; it's absolutely amazing."

On Imelda Staunton as Professor Umbridge, he said:

"She's a cross between Doris Day and Freddy Krueger." Editor's Note: LOL! Wonderful image!

They're also going to add some new creatures for this fifth version of the Harry Potter series; "We're also bringing in these half-men/half-horse characters to the mix that are wonderful." Editor's Note: Has he not SEEN the first HP movie? These 'new' creatures are called CENTAURS, and one of them made an appearance in "The Sorcerer's Stone". (Hope this doesn't bode ill for his grasp of the material).

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Smidgeons of Dweebing

Editor's Note: Time for just a tad of this and that to keep us abreast (snicker...she said BREAST) of the more important Dweeb NEWS.

Julian McMahon returning to FANTASTIC FOUR sequel

Julian McMahon has revealed to iF Magazine that he will be back as Dr. Doom for the FANTASTIC FOUR sequel.

Though McMahon will be back in some form, he is not sure of his exact role in the film.

"We haven't got a script yet. The script hasn't been put out and I'm not going to start until the end of August or September. Right now, I'm literally every day, 16 hours a day on Nip/Tuck... I don't think there is going to be as many prosthetics. That was tough. I would rather not do it again, but at the same time, I've signed up to do what I need to do." Editor's Note; That's kind of a quick turn-around given they don't have a finished SCRIPT yet, huh? The last one was entertaining but NOT all that tightly written, so I hope they put getting the script right over speed. (Hope do spring ETERNAL, don't it?)

The FANTASTIC FOUR sequel is set to release on June 15, 2007. The rumored title for the film is FANTASTIC FOUR AND THE SILVER SURFER.

Disney goes back to 2-D with FROG PRINCESS
Walt Disney Feature Animation is getting back into the business of traditional animation with it's upcoming animated film FROG PRINCESS.

The studio has put John Musker and Ron Clements together to develop the film. They will attempt to put a female spin on the tale of the Frog Prince. Musker and Clements worked together to make Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID. They also worked together on such traditionally animated Disney musicals as Aladdin and Hercules.

The film is still in the early stages of development and no real script or cast details are available as of yet. All we know is that the film will be a female twist on the standard tale of the Frog Prince. Editor's Note: Chicks...and frogs...RULE!

James Marsden Applies Hairspray/Cyclops joins movie musical

Dying by the hand of your super-powered lover is easy. Especially when you do it off-screen. Now it’s time to find out if X-Men’s James Marsden can sing and dance.

The man formerly known as Cyclops has been added to what can only be described as the sprawling Hairspray cast. He’ll play Corny Collins, the host and dreamboat star of the dance TV show that our heroine, Tracy Turnblad, dreams of appearing on. Let's hope Wolverine's been giving him song and dance lessons. Editor's Note: Oooo.... If Wolverine would give ME lessons, I'd actually PRACTICE!

You know the rest – John Travolta in a dress, Queen Latifah, Adam Shankman directing, release date set for summer next year

Brad Pitt Is Benjamin Button/Commits to the Fincher film

Editor's Note: yeah yeah yeah....You're pretty. (you wife-cheater, you).

One of those films we were beginning to think would never crawl from development hell has at last made it out into the glow of the green light.

Brad Pitt has finally committed to star in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button for the combined forces of Paramount and Warners. He plans to make the film after sequel Ocean’s 13.

Based on an F Scott Fitzgerald story, the script – penned by The Insider’s Eric Roth – finds the titular character ageing backwards from 50. Trouble is, that’s when he meets a 30-year-old woman (Cate Blanchett) and falls in love.

Button has been tumbling through the wilds of Hollywood for more than ten years, with Pitt interested for at least one of those. The movie will reunite him with Fight Club director David Fincher.

But it’s not the only film on the actor’s to-do list. He’s also considering taking on the US version of the top BBC drama State Of Play.

Rodrigo Santoro joins LOST

Editor's Note: Not that we NEEDED another reason to watch "Lost", but this will do in a pinch........

TV Guide's Michael Ausiello has learned that Rodrigo Santoro will join the cast of LOST for the upcoming season.

Ausiello writes, "Lost has found its new mystery man — and you're reading about it here first! Rodrigo Santoro, best known to American audiences as the hot dude Laura Linney crushed on in Love Actually, is joining the cast this fall. I know what you're thinking, "Rodrigo... Whatchoo Talkin' 'Bout Willis?" That was my initial reaction, too. Well, the 30-year-old actor may not be a household name here in the States, but there apparently is no bigger movie star in Brazil than him."

His part is listed simply as 'mystery man'. Editor's Note: Strangely enough, that is also what is listed on OddBob's business cards. (or is it WEIRD man?)

LOST airs on ABC on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST. It will return in September for 6 episodes and then go on hiatus for 12 weeks before coming back for 17 straight episodes.

Vin Diesel developing animated HANNIBAL TV series
Vin Diesel is developing a 'groundbreaking' animated television series that will span the life of Hannibal. The film will follow Hannibal from his tutelage as a warrior under his father, to his scaling of the Alps on the backs of elephants, to his invasion of Italy.

Six episodes of the series have been ordered by BET and will be aired during prime time in the fall of 2007.

BET's Senior VP of Animation Denys Cowan had the following to say, "This isn't a Saturday morning show -- we want to be able to show a lot more of the drama and action that you expect to see in prime time."

Diesel's big screen take on HANNIBAL is still stuck in development heck, though the plan is still to make the film. Editor's Note: Cartoons sure do make strange bedfellows. Why BET? And Why Vin Diesel?

And here's an interview with a lovely man. (sigh......)

Jason Isaacs: More Than a Bad Brother
by Matt Webb Mitovich

Jason Isaacs, Brotherhood

When Jason Isaacs first comes on the phone, he mentions that he is covered in blood. Sounds like an interesting — but not atypically brutal — moment is in the works for Showtime's Brotherhood (Sundays at 10 pm/ET), where he plays prodigal hoodlum Michael Caffee, MIA for seven years and now back home in Providence, Rhode Island, to reclaim his turf, all the whole trying not to sully his legislator brother's political profile.

But it turns out that Isaacs — whom you know from such film fare as The Patriot (he popped Mel Gibson's son) and the Harry Potter series — has his hands dirty for a different, even heroic, role. Why are you covered in blood?
Jason Isaacs: It's for a BBC miniseries called State Within; I play the British ambassador who's trying to save the world from terrorists, and the leader of the rebels has been shot in my arms. Just another day at the office! [Laughs] Editor's Note: Oooo. I hope we get this show on BBC America or something. It's about TIME lovely Lucius gets to be a GOOD guy! You had me wondering for a second what sort of fresh mess Michael Caffee was involved in.
Isaacs: Oh, no, no. I haven't done [Brotherhood] since December. It's strange when it comes on the telly; I watched the DVDs and thought, "God, I remember that...." Michael is so miserable and tortured all the time — a huge weight lifted off my shoulders when it was all over! The ads have positioned the show as this "brother versus brother" thing, but that's not all it's about.
Isaacs: In many ways, the show is about a neighborhood and not a family. But there are things going on between these two siblings that we've probably all experienced. They grew up together, and from Michael's point of view in some ways he raised Tommy. The father was gone and he kept Tommy on the straight and narrow. Then when he comes back he is no longer the head of the family; Tommy is a big local figure with a lot of status and respect, which Michael is very proud of and, on some deep level, envious of. Similarly, Tommy was the little brother, and little brothers, no matter what kind of status they achieve, always have a chip on their shoulder and feel a need to prove themselves. Michael and Tommy are both control freaks and want the best and worst for each other. They both want to be at the center of the family, to be the one who works out the problems. Obviously you've been busy with theatrical work. How did you get recruited for a Showtime series?
Isaacs: I hadn't done many pilots before, but that year I had done a couple of episodes of The West Wing because it was my favorite show and it was a complex character in an interesting, grown-up story. That made me realize that what I was doing for my own entertainment was watching television. I was making films, and I will continue to do so, but most of the time the films were not for me, they weren't the kinds of things that I watch. The stuff I like to watch — provocative, adult and complicated stuff — I was always guaranteed to find on pay cable. When my agent came to me with this, he said, "Look, I know you don't read pilots, but it's being directed by [The Patriot's] Phillip Noyce." And that was it for me. It wasn't part of some plan; I just stumbled into it. What did you admire most about the script?
Isaacs: One of the things that intrigued me was that Michael's been away for seven years and when he comes back he's obviously a different man, and he has made these mysterious statements about what his plans are, about who he [is] now. When I went to meet Phillip and [executive producer] Blake [Masters], I said, "What do you think this is all about? Where has he been? What is his agenda?" They looked at each other, and then looked at me, and Phillip said, "I don't know. What do you think?" I thought, "Wow, this is not like the movies at all." This is open-ended and we don't have to answer all the questions within an hour. In the end, that conversation is what made me sign up for it. As I cued up the pilot, I was curious if the British Jason Isaacs would be giving us an Irish accent. Not quite.
Isaacs: [Laughs] What's amazing is that if you go to Providence, the first thing that hits you — and the American actors found this to be true as well — is, "What the hell are these people saying?" This is a very, very unusual accent. You can travel all over America and people sound pretty much the same — yes, the South sounds a bit different and we're used to the East Coast accents from the New York movies — but this is a really weird, idiosyncratic accent. Being British, I love doing dialects and accents, so as soon as I got there I was in my element. It's a really juicy sound to get your mouth around. Some actors, they get the clothes right; for me, I like to get a voice. Early on in the production I met a guy who I thought sounded perfect for Michael, and I walked around with [his recorded voice] on my iPod all the time. All of us did. Jason Clarke (Tommy) and I looked like the iPod twins, walking around listening to Providence people. Speaking of you and Jason Clarke, I can't decide if there is a "family" resemblance or not.
Isaacs: Just the eyes. We both have blue eyes. I'll tell you —and this was rather weird — I'd pick up his iPod and we'd have exactly the same songs. Or, we'd be sitting in a restaurant and order the same drink with the same food and the same fussy little [changes] we'd have them make. There was a whole host of stuff that made us realize it was spookily good casting. Did you get typecast as a baddie after The Patriot?
Isaacs: It's not so much typecasting as when you're casting a movie you think, "Who have I seen do this before?" — whether it's a priest or a murderer or a balloonist. Having just played a baddie, I was offered lots of baddies and I said no to them. I went straight from The Patriot to doing a drag queen in Sweet November. I didn't do another bad guy, in fact, until Harry Potter [and the Chamber of Secrets. That and Peter Pan came along in the same week, and I thought, "I've resisted doing bad guys for five years and suddenly there are these two choice parts." I agonized about which one to do, which one not to do, and I was going to say no to Harry Potter because Captain Hook obviously was a bigger part, when all of my godchildren and my friends' kids went ballistic and threatened me. So I ended up doing both! Editor's Note: Go Kids! Yay! Where do you stand with the next Potter film, Order of the Phoenix? [Isaacs plays Lucius Malfoy, the father of Harry's archrival, Draco.]
Isaacs: I'm shooting [State Within in Canada] all of next month, and then I go home, unpack, get the mothballs off the wig, stick it on and start waving my wand about. Editor's Note: Wave that thing over HERE! (sorry...blushing and fanning myself.....) A Potterphile pal of mine says fans are anxious to see how Order of the Phoenix handles the Battle of the Ministry, a "beyond huge" moment, I am told, in Potter lore.
Isaacs: I am, too. This is all as entertaining for me as it is for many of the fans. I turn up and they go, "OK, you materialize from here and you fly in over here, and then you point at this and it's going to explode...." I stand there with my jaw dropped. When I did [Chamber of Secrets], they said, "OK, there's going to be a little blue guy [Dobby the House Elf] walking next to you and then he's going to jump up to here...." [Laughs] On the first day of the first one I did, the first shot I had to do was storming out of a room, leaving the lovely Richard Harris (the original Dumbledore) and Daniel [Radcliffe, Harry]. [Director] Chris Columbus shouted, "OK, and then shut the door on your way out." I said, "Do I have to shut the door? I don't know what the rules are, but can I just wave my hand and the door shuts by magic?" Chris paused for a second and said, "Sure. If you like." That's when I knew I was going to have a great ride. Lucius must be pretty fed up with always being bested by those pesky kids.
Isaacs: Well, I know that I go to prison for No. 6 [Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince], so I suspect that I have time to build up another deep well of bitterness that hopefully will burst out in No. 7. Before we go, back to Brotherhood for a second. What's going on with Michael and Single-Earlobe Girl? Have we seen the last of her after he stormed out of their first date?
Isaacs: Um, he's gone into very deep water. This is a guy who's absolutely all about control, and he's hooked up accidentally with this young girl who might find it kind of sexy that he's a criminal, but is probably more unstable than he is. I think he's bitten off more than he can chew. He ought to know better. Editor's Note: Yes he SHOULD. When there are such lovely (and NOT insane) women his own age. Ahem.... If Brotherhood does well, are you open to a Season 2?
Isaacs: Oh, I don't have a choice. If the show does well they've got me until I'm on a walking frame. They might not want me back, who knows? Over the years I've been in things and your head gets turned and twisted by all the people who talk about what it's going to do when it comes out and how many people are going to watch it, and how it's going to change the lives of the people who are in it... crazy talk. When I was younger I listened to it, but over the last few years I've tried to enjoy the filming process and not really give a monkey's [butt] whether the thing even comes out. We've had amazing reviews so far for Brotherhood, and the people I've lent [the DVDs] to like it, but my job was six months last year in Rhode Island. What happens now is out of our hands. If I go back and do it, I hope that Michael continues to be surprising and interesting because the last thing the audience wants, and the last thing I want, is to have him be predictable. Editor's Note: I've watched 3 episodes so far, and he is a VERY interesting character. And not bad to LOOK at either!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A couple of weeks' -worth of STAR WARS News

Editor's Note: I've been totally remiss...dweeblogging away, but nary a Star Wars item in sight! (Mustn't take my first love for granted. Shame shame).

This first bit of weirdness sent to us by dweebpal Gamemaster Dave.

"The Vader Sessions"

GamemasterDave opines: moments of brilliance, here...

Editor's Note: Funny stuff. But more proof of what happens when people have a TAD too much time on their hands. (And by PEOPLE, I mean DWEEBS, of course).

This next item is not, strictly-speaking, SW, but sort of ties in. A bit.

Piqued by prequels (From 'Superman' to 'Saw,' tie-in comics enrich pics)
Most "Star Wars" audiences met the mysterious General Grievous in the opening scene of "Revenge of the Sith." But fans enthusiastic enough to watch Cartoon Network's animated "Clone Wars" series, which George Lucas created to bridge the gap between Episodes II and III, found little mystery in the villain with whom they were already well acquainted from the show.

And while average viewers thought nothing of Neo's spoon-bending acolyte from "The Matrix Revolutions," hardcore devotees instantly recognized him as "The Kid" character from "The Animatrix," a series of nine anime episodes commissioned by the Wachowskis (who penned four of the shorts themselves) to help connect the original pic with its two 2003 sequels.

Once redundant as merely franchise adaptations, today tie-in comics and cartoons frequently provide valuable supplemental details to the story and characters, rewarding fans who do their homework with key background information. Editor's Note: Homework...but in a GOOD way!

Take Kevin Smith's four-part comic "Chasing Dogma" (1998), which explains how the Jay and Silent Bob characters went from New Jersey at the end of 1997's "Chasing Amy" to Chicago for the opening of 1999's "Dogma." Skip the comics, and the movies still make sense, but read the comics, and fans are rewarded with added insight.

With auteur filmmakers catching on that they can expand their mythologies offscreen -- and companies realizing there's additional money to be made through this continuing pop-culture phenomenon -- the trend is heating up. Editor's NOte: Money, mythology, fan emmersion...EVERYBODY wins!

Comics-based "Superman Returns" was a natural for the treatment, yielding four special issues that sold out before Superman flew onto screens.

"These prequel comics were the brainchild of (director) Bryan Singer and (screenwriters) Mike Dougherty and Dan Harris," says Gregory Noveck, senior VP of creative affairs for Warner-owned DC Comics. "They wanted to fill specific gaps in the time frame between (1980's) 'Superman II' and their film, 'Superman Returns.'"

The comics focused on what Superman's friends and enemies had been doing before the film begins. Only by reading the prequel comics would auds know that Ma Kent covered for Clark's absence by forging postcards to Lois Lane (the cards even appear on Lois' desk in the film) or understand why Lois fell for Richard White in Superman's absence. Editor's NOte: If our lovely local comic shop had been on top of things, they would have probably advertised this to movie/dweeb fans like moi, huh? Wonder if we can still get copies, cause some of the back-story would really have helped the enjoyment of this movie.

"I think culturally when people find a world that they like, they want to immerse themselves in it," Noveck says. Editor's Note: Often beats the humdrum reality in which we loll, eh? (Types the woman working on her dweeblog at work....ahem....)

Graphic novels can also provide artistic refuge for filmmakers. When Brad Pitt dropped out of "The Fountain" in 2002, the production shut down, leaving writer-director Darren Aronofsky distraught.

"After I licked my wounds, I immediately set up the graphic novel because I wanted the work of the artists from the film and (co-writer Ari Handel) to find an audience," he recalls.

The pricey "Fountain" hardback sold out in fall 2005, while a moderately priced trade paperback will generate new awareness leading up to the pic's release.

"Some people wondered if we were giving away the whole story and all of its secrets," Aronofsky says. "I think the two works complement each other."

Other studios have also used comicbook tie-ins to hype their upcoming pics. For instance, Lionsgate released a graphic novel before "Saw II" that shed light on the Jigsaw character's mysterious origins, and New Line has similar plans for its "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" prequel.

Filmmaker Richard Kelly is taking a more ambitious approach with "Southland Tales," telling the first three episodes in three graphic novels, with episodes four through six told as chaptered segments within the film.
Each of Kelly's 100-page prequels covers a full day's events, providing heavy backstory on how these characters all came to arrive in Los Angeles for the beginning of the film, suggesting that auds' true understanding of the film may depend on whether they've read the books first. Editor's Note: Ok, but in this case, where it isn't a story or author I'm familiar with, what is the incentive to invest in three books prior to seeing the movie? (I mean, other than OCD issues)?

"'Southland Tales' was designed with the same kind of storytelling grammar that 'Donnie Darko' was made with," Kelly says. "It's a big puzzle with a lot of characters that all fit into an intricate film that challenges the audience to engage in the narrative to try to solve the puzzle."

Smith, who appears in "Southland Tales," co-financed the graphic novels with longtime partner Bob Chapman of Graphitti Designs. At a cost of roughly $60,000 per issue, it was a risky venture, but as Chapman explains, they were investing in both the unique story and Kelly's strong fan base -- the same fans who practically willed a director's-cut DVD of cult favorite "Donnie Darko" into existence.

"There really were no limits," Chapman says. "We told Richard to tell the story he wants to and that we'd facilitate making sure that story reaches audiences."

Kelly, new to the world of comicbooks, took advantage of the financial freedoms the page offers. Rather than taking $1 million out of the film's $17 million budget to create an elaborate dream sequence, Kelly accomplished it in his graphic novel. Now, as the director re-edits "Southland Tales" after its chilly reception at Cannes (possibly augmented by the crowd's unfamiliarity with the graphic novels), Kelly's found himself adding comic elements into the film.

"It's been a challenge to make sure that the film does not live or die based on whether or not you've read the graphic novel,"Editor's Note: THAT would be nice. (especially given the spotty availability of many lesser-hyped comics titles). he says. "But at the same time, that was always what I felt was so cool about telling a story across different media."

Editor's NOte: And now....back to the Full-frontal STAR WARS stuff ----

Essential Update: Alien Cover Art

As previously reported, Del Rey Books will continue to update and expand their library of Essential Guides with the addition of The New Essential Guide to Alien Species by authors Ann Margaret Lewis and Helen Keier. The original story posted last February had preliminary cover art, but today's update shows the real deal -- the finished art by Steven D. Anderson.

The book will feature full-color interior artwork by Chris Trevas and William O'Conner. The text has been fully updated to encompass the entire Star Wars movie saga and the completed New Jedi Order series. Entries feature complete physical descriptions and official designations, specifics about homeworld, phonetic pronunciation, and a list of notable appearances. Plus, this brand-new edition includes a glossary of crucial descriptive terms. Editor's Note: Crucial descriptive terms? How to say 'yo mamma' in Bothan?

The New Essential Guide to Aliens is slated for paperback publication this fall from Del Rey Books Editor's Note: Must have must have must have!!!!

New Star Wars: Dark Side Video slots

Star Wars: Dark Side video slots are the latest addition to IGT's Star Wars slots series, and they're making their nationwide debut in casinos this summer.

Based on the most popular movie saga of all time, Star Wars Dark Side video slots are perfect for penny players and feature authentic characters, vehicles, footage, dialogue and sound effects from the films.
The Empire in Pursuit bonus, featuring Darth Vader, awards free spins and multipliers on the Death Star top box. Animated reel characters offer sound bites and special pays from movie favorites Darth Sidious, Tarkin and Boba Fett. Editor's Note: I feel a sudden urge to GAMBLE coming on!!!

Star Wars: Dark Side follows the successful 2005 debut of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope video slots. Beginning in fall 2006, you'll be able to enjoy a trilogy of Star Wars games when The Empire Strikes Back video slots are introduced.

These 5-reel, 30-line MegaJackpots games offer Instant Winners top awards of $1,000,000, depending on jurisdiction. A $3 maximum bet is required to capture the MegaJackpots Instant Winner award, which is won when five Star Wars symbols appear on the first payline. Editor's Note: But only when the FORCE is with you? (or can you win at GAMBLING only when you harness the power of the DARKside?)

For more information on MegaJackpots locations, themes and current jackpot amounts, visit

Star Wars Packaging Gets a New Look for 2007
At San Diego Comic-Con International, where Star Wars licensees such as Hasbro and LEGO revealed some of their product lines for 2007, fans got an eye-full of exciting new packaging designs that celebrate 30 years of Star Wars fandom.

This sneak peek for readers comes courtesy of Lucas Licensing and Hasbro, who are both very excited about the new face of Star Wars merchandising for 2007. This new design, which features angular styling, cropped text, and an edgier distressed look, will be installed across most branded merchandise next year, from toys to clothes tags.

Darren Phillipson, Lucas Licensing's Director of Global Product Development, worked with
PILOT, a Boston based packaging design firm. Chris Ford and Bill Concannon, the firm's two principals, worked to find a look that met the needs of both the Lucas Licensing executive team and their respective licensees.

"We wanted to ensure that the new line look was appropriate for the Star Wars brand and met the criteria we had initially established for 2007," says Phillipson. "We really wanted to do something special with the packaging to mark our 30th anniversary."

While the anniversary design gives Star Wars merchandising a fresh new look, it also showcases the brand's enduring vitality. "We chose a contemporary styling to the logo for a fresh look at the brand, and created a distressed architecture to celebrate its long heritage," says Pilot partner Chris Ford. "It was important to deliver an ownable shape to the action figure packaging in particular." adds Concannon.

Edito'rs Note: Ooo...check it out! We get to buy are very own lava-planet day-laborer! (bad QOTD, bad bad bad....)

For the highly visible Hasbro action figure line, different pieces of artwork were devised for each figure's cardback, and discreet bits of text citing the saga's 30-year legacy, chapter title, and "A long time ago..." slogan were inserted.

"For the collectors, I think the unique and visually appealing nature of the backer card artwork will encourage the collectability of the line," says Phillipson. "This decision really came from the fact that we wanted to create a unique experience for the consumer every time they bought a different action figure. Editor's Note: Thank heavens they put almost this same amount of thought into the toys themselves!

"The same principle was applied to the vehicle packaging," continues Phillipson. "We wanted to make sure we placed an image of the character that would normally be associated with the vehicle on the box." Editor's Note: Or else you'd accidentally have a WAMPA piloting a snowspeeder. (which would be very very wrong. Everyone KNOWS Wampas prefer FORDS).

In addition to striking new graphics, the vehicle boxes also received an added architectural enhancement -- an angled corner.

"This was a great idea that came from Bill and Chris at Pilot. The idea was to establish an interesting form to the box which would complement the angle of the Star Wars logo."

Beyond the action figures and vehicles, licensees such as LEGO will sport a unique, stylized Vader head graphic on their packaging.

"We wanted to add a graphic element that was visually arresting to the consumer and we thought the idea of creating a retro-inspired Darth Vader illustration would be perfect," says Phillipson, who suggests the red pattern in front of Vader also reveals a subtlety of design. "It reminds me of the Japanese rising sun graphic which is quite fitting based on the fact that some of Vader's styling originated from the Samurai warrior."

2007 is definitely looking like a stellar year for Star Wars, with an anniversary, a celebration, and a cool new merchandising look to commemorate the first 30 years of Star Wars!
Editor's Note: Umm...Yay. (and the Wampa in his Taurus says yay, too!)

Industrial strength (F/x house ILM lines up slate of big pics)
Flush with positive reviews of the visual effects on "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" -- and basking in the reflected glory of its grosses -- Industrial Light & Magic is gearing up for a year of high-profile pics.
George Lucas'' vfx giant is the lead shop on Paramount's adaptation of fantasy book series "The Spiderwick Chronicles." Pic, based on the bestselling series of children's books, is skedded for release Christmas Day 2007.

Pablo Helman, Oscar-nommed last year for "War of the Worlds," is vfx supervisor on the pic, with Tim Harrington overseeing animation.

ILM also is retooling Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" into stereo 3-D for an October re-release from Disney. Editor's Note:Wowie zowie! Tim Burton in 3d!!! Hot dog!

Company continues as lead effects shop on the "Pirates" and "Harry Potter" franchises, both of which have releases skedded next year.

Supervisor John Knoll and animation director Hal Hickel, who oversaw "Dead Man's Chest," return for the third "Pirates" pic.

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" also will see an encore for the effects toppers, as vfx supervisor Tim Alexander and animation director Steve Rawlins, who oversaw "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," return at Warner's request.

In addition, the company will be working on Fox's holiday '06 fantasy "Eragon," Universal's "Evan Almighty," the "Bruce Almighty" sequel starring Steve Carell; and Par's "Transformers" for helmer Michael Bay.

ILM VP of production and marketing Mark Miller said the stereo 3-D business is an emerging market for the company.

ILM did the stereo version of Disney's "Chicken Little," which did boffo B.O. in 3-D theaters, and will be using the same process for "Nightmare Before Christmas."

Miller said, "It seems like most of the 3-D animated movies are considering 3-D stereo versions of their films, and studios like Disney are coming back with niche films like 'Nightmare' to bring them out in 3-D."

"Spiderwick Chronicles," from producer Kathleen Kennedy, is about three children who are drawn into a world of fairies and sprites. Pic in its early stages and ILM is helping design the digital characters.

Miller said ILM is reaping the benefits from its move to its custom-designed facility in San Francisco's Presidio.

"Something like the massive amount of work we put through on 'Pirates' at the end, we wouldn't have had the firepower to do that in our old facilities."

He said the facility and ILM's new production pipeline will make it possible to push through a similar crunch in order to get next summer's releases completed.

ILM contracted its staff after the completion of the "Star Wars" trilogy, and some in the vfx industry wondered about its future. But the company has invested heavily in infrastructure.

On "Dead Man's Chest," it unveiled new motion-capture technology that works on the set under first-unit conditions.

"As usual, there's an ebb and flow," Miller said. "We're looking for summer '08 stuff and for what else is out there for Christmas '07. But for next summer, we've got our hands full. It's a good situation to be in."

Star Wars Spectacular
The Force Comes to the 118th Tournament of Roses Parade

On January 1, 2007, denizens of a galaxy far, far away will march down the streets of Pasadena, California, in a one-of-a-kind "Star Wars Spectacular" during the 118th Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade®.

More than 350 Star Wars characters, including stormtroopers, Imperial officers, Ewoks and Darth Vader himself will entertain the nearly one million people expected to line the streets of Pasadena to see the Parade in person and the tens of millions of more around the world who tune in via multiple television broadcasts. Editor's Note: This is GREAT! (Someone remind me to tape the parade! So far away, so much nutrasweet between now and then. EEEK). I wonder why they didn't do this LAST year in conjunction with the big movie-year-event?

The massive Imperial stormtrooper contingent will comprise members of the international 501st Legion, a costuming and volunteer organization made up of Star Wars fans. Some 200 stormtroopers from more than 20 countries will participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade, showcasing the emblems and colors of their local garrisons.

"During the global premiere of Star Wars: Episode III last May, George Lucas was deeply impressed by the presence of 501st Legion members around the globe, and we wanted to honor them for their loyal support of Star Wars and their global philanthropy," said Tom Warner, Senior Director of Marketing for Lucasfilm Ltd. Members of the 501st regularly volunteer their time to support local charitable efforts.

Providing musical entertainment in the "Star Wars Spectacular" will be the renowned Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band.

In keeping with this year's Parade theme "Our Good Nature," the "Star Wars Spectacular" will feature the Ewoks, residents of the forest moon of Endor, who will ride on a float showcasing their planet's unique environment with a plea to "Save the Trees." Editor's Note: Awww...TOO cute!!!! (come on, you cynics. ADMIT it......Ewoks Rock!)

The celebration of Star Wars -- which coincides with the start of the 30th anniversary of the epic Editor's Note: Ahhh...sooo...big anny celebration. Yeah, I guess that's a better reason than just one movie release., six-episode adventure -- will also showcase a float that depicts the romantic beauty of Naboo, the garden planet of the Star Wars galaxy. Editor's Note: Drewster! Isstinia! Your home planet on a parade float!! (Sorry Oddbob...NO Alderaan. Maybe if you look really closely at all the confetti, you can see PIECES of Alderaan?)


"Being part of a grand tradition like the Rose Parade is a fantastic way to kick off this milestone year," Warner said.

Over Memorial Day Weekend 2007, a large fan convention, Star Wars Celebration IV, is expected to attract more than 30,000 worldwide fans to the Los Angeles Convention Center.

LucasArts and Sony Online Unveil Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Online Adventures
LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment today announced Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Online Adventures, the most inclusive Star Wars Galaxies experience ever released. The Complete Online Adventures is scheduled to be available at retail stores nationwide November 2006 for a suggested retail price of $29.99. Editor's Note: This seems like a really good price! (I wonder if I could learn how to play this game without tearing out hair)?

The Complete Online Adventures features the base game, Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, along with all three of the game's expansions: Jump to Lightspeed(R), Rage of the Wookiees(TM), and Trials of Obi-Wan(TM).

In addition, Star Wars Galaxies subscribers will automatically receive a series of game updates that are scheduled to be released by LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment throughout 2006, filled with new content, features and gameplay enhancements.

In addition to the hundreds of hours of gameplay included in The Complete Online Adventures, the game is also slated to include a bonus DVD filled with premium content including:

-- An exclusive in-game item for use while playing the game - a personal AT-RT vehicle as seen in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith(TM);

-- A slide show Star Wars Galaxies screenshots and never-before-seen concept art, all set to beautifully orchestrated in-game music;

-- Interviews with Star Wars Galaxies production staff, detailing the incredible art, characters and music of the game;

-- Excerpts from the popular "From Pencil to Pixel" book that chronicles the art of Star Wars Galaxies;

-- In-game movie featurettes produced by Star Wars Galaxies fans;

-- Cinematic trailers and commercial television ads produced for Star Wars Galaxies;

-- A demo of the popular PC strategy game Star Wars: Empire at War(TM).

About Star Wars Galaxies
Star Wars Galaxies is one of the longest-running and most popular online experiences, bringing gamers of all ages and skill levels Editor's Note: ooo! All ages and skill levels! That SHOULD include even MY age and SKILL level, huh? together in the ultimate Star Wars journey. Jump into exciting adventures that lead you to legendary Star Wars locations including Jabba's Palace and the infamous Mos Eisley Cantina. Begin aboard the Millennium Falcon helping Han Solo and Chewbacca fend off the notorious Jabba the Hutt. Along the way, join with Star Wars characters on missions that span across the galaxy. Ally with the Rebels to fight against the Galactic Empire, or join forces with the Dark Side and crush the Rebel scum. Heroic adventurers can seek their fortune in space or on the ground as a Bounty Hunter, Smuggler, Jedi or a host of other unique Star Wars professions.

Throughout 2006 and into 2007 LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment are scheduled to add a host of new content and features to Star Wars Galaxies through a series of downloadable adventures. Featuring such high-value enhancements as PvP upgrades, a character profession expertise system, new high-level quest series, and epic, server-wide events, these downloadable adventures provide players new content to explore and new ways to influence the entire Galaxy.

For more information on The Complete Online Adventures and the entire Star Wars Galaxies experience, please visit

First Look: Return of the Dark Side

Here's a first look at the book's cover by renowned Star Wars poster illustrator, Drew Struzan.

Years ago, when they were both Jedi apprentices, Ferus Olin and Anakin Skywalker were rivals. Now, their paths are about to cross again...

Abandoning the Jedi order saved Ferus's life. As a result, he is the only one who can track down and save Jedi who have survived the rise of the Empire. He has rebellion on his mind, and hopes to bring about the fall of the Emperor.

Only Darth Vader stands in his way. Ferus may not realize it, but his old rival is now his new deadly enemy.

Find out more in book six of the Last of the Jedi series, Return of the Dark Side, by bestselling author Jude Watson.

This paperback is slated for release in December 2006 from Scholastic, Inc. Editor's Note: This series has been great, so far. The first couple had Obi-Wan dealing with his new loneliness and confusion just after the events of EP3. VERY poignant. Now Obi-Wan is back guarding baby Luke, and the stories are focused more on Feris. Filling in time-line gaps in very exciting, and often moving ways. (not just for kiddies).

Download the 1976 Poster

In the summer of 1976, the idea of promoting a film such as Star Wars at the San Diego Comic-Con (it had yet to acquire its "International" suffix) was unheard of, and considered a bit risky by some. What if the hardcore comic and science fiction fans scoffed at the notion of sound in space? Of laser swords with blades that magically stop at three feet? Of giant fur-covered starship co-pilots? Or of the self-anointed "science fantasy" genre the film was attaching itself to?

These questions undoubtedly vexed Star Wars Corporation publicist Charles Lippincott in July, 1976, when he brought a stack of publicity materials and a slideshow to the Southern California event that summer. From a small booth among a sea of comic, art, and science fiction exhibitors, Lippincott talked the film up behind a table topped with flyers and a stack of Star Wars Poster 1" prints, priced at a paltry \$1.75.

Armed with an intimate understanding of his audience, Lippincott had contracted up-and-coming comic artist Howard Chaykin to devise a piece of artwork that would appeal to comic and film fans alike, brimming with action and excitement. Thirty years later, that early poster -- of which only about 1,000 were made -- is now among the most sought after by collectors, demanding hundreds of dollars.

To celebrate 30 years of Star Wars at San Diego's Comic-Con International, has resurrected Chaykin's classic artwork to banner our 2006 coverage of the event, and is providing this downloadable .pdf for fans to display at home.

Editor's Note: In case that link doesn't work, here's the web address:



Some things are best left in the past.

And the other pics ---

Luke Skywalker confronts Darth Vader in the carbon-freezing chamber in this production painting by Ralph McQuarrie.

This rough Ralph McQuarrie painted sketch captures the rushing velocity of the Endor speeder bike chase.

C-3PO's skeleton, as sketched out by Episode I Design Director Doug Chiang.

An otherwise unseen concept costume for Senator Amidala by Iain McCaig.

Read any good books lately? (Come ON, Kids! The darkside says READ!!!!)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

FOX loves us...or so they SAY

Editor's Note: Most of this article is just ROX Net PR rhetoric (malarky). But read the part about how they feel our pain when serial dramas leave us hanging.

Fox's Liguori: 24 to Air Continuously
In what may have been the least eventful executive session at the annual TV critics convention in Pasadena this summer, Fox entertainment president Peter Liguori answered questions from the press with significant aplomb, underscoring Fox’s continued status as the top-rated network among 18-49 viewers.

Not surprisingly, the subject of serialized programming came up, as it did for all network execs at these sessions this summer. Again, the focus was on offering viewers a sense of closure on series that are prematurely cancelled.

“I think all of us have to ask the question, ‘What do we do if these shows don’t work?’ Liguori posed, rhetorically. “It’s not an idea we like to think about going into a season. But frankly, we do have to have some plans, that, say these shows don’t work, how do we wrap them up, how do we give the audience some satisfaction. And I think that there are ways to do it.

One, we’d love to have an episode that does wrap it up….even if we did a conversation with the showrunner or creator, put that out online, and have text on it. I do think the audience deserves some closure.

And frankly, I think the industry on the whole, we all have to start thinking about that, because if, in fact, some of these serialized shows are cancelled, and there’s no explanation, there’s no satisfaction, I’d have fear for next year, when a bunch of serialized shows come out, will audiences now be really gunshy about committing to these shows?”Editor's Note: Some shows are just SO good that from the first episode I decide to commit to them, risk of abandonment be damned. But for those middle-level shows where I know there is a good chance (ie, they are scifi'ish) that I will be left adrift on the ice flow of a never-resolved cliff-hanger, I often tape them and then wait to watch them until they are picked up for a second season.

So yes, from the incredibly scientific research of my own personal experience, I would say audiences WILL be really gun-shy about committing to these shows now that we see WE are being asked for a higher level of devotion than the networks are willing to sign up for.

Acknowledging that serialized programming fares poorly in repeats, Liguori stressed that 24 would air continuously, as it did this past season, because, as he added, “you’re giving up a lot of momentum when you running repeats of your Losts of this world and your Grey’s Anatomies of this world.”

Liguori also expressed relief at the success of the network’s other serialized hit last season Prison Break.

First and foremost, thrilled to have a 4th quarter show get out of the gate and work,” he said. “Let’s face it, that’s job #1 for us here,” he added, addressing the network’s persistent challenge of having its fall programming interrupted by baseball.

Of course, what Fox session would be complete without some sort of prediction regarding next season’s American Idol?

We all prepare ourselves that, eventually, it stands to logic and reason, that this show has got to notice some ratings erosion,” Liguori said. “We go into the year thinking that, and then every year we’ve been surprised, awed, by how the show has grown. So I can only predict a little bit of erosion, and then keep my fingers crossed and hope that the opposite occurs.”

In related news, Fox also announced it has renewed both of its summer reality shows, Hell’s Kitchen, and So You Think You Can Dance, for new cycles.

Hurry Up and DWEEB

Editor's Note: NO TIME!! Running around! CRAZED!

Actually have WORK to do. Drat.

So here are the big/breaking items we can't live without till the schedule settles down ---

A Bunch of LOST News
Comingsoon has posted highlights from the LOST Comic Con presentation. They list a bunch of Season 3 scoops, none of which are too spoilerish.

Describing the presentation, Comingsoon writes, "co-creator/executive producer Damon Lindelof, executive producers Bryan Burk and Carlton Cuse, and stars Jorge Garcia (Hugo) and Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) attended the San Diego Comic-Con today and talked about the upcoming season three starting on October 4.

The presentation was briefly interrupted by a planned protester, a Rachel Blake, who yelled at them for supporting the Hanso Foundation and told people to go to"

Some of the more notable scoops mentioned:
- Season three will have a vastly different feeling, but at the same time reembrace the roots of the series.

- Season three will focus more on adventure.

- The first six episodes in the fall will be like a mini-series and focuses on the captivity story of Jack, Kate and Sawyer.

- We'll learn more about The Others and Alex's story.

- An event will happen mid-season that will blow people away!Editor's Note; ARGH! Tease tease TEASE. (and this will no doubt happen RIGHT before the show goes on hiatus until spring?)

- J.J. Abrams will co-write the first episode which is titled "The Tale of Two Cities." He'll also direct the seventh episode, which is the first episode of the second half of the third season (early next year).

- They are going to reveal what happened to Locke, Desmond and Echo. Editor's Note: Well I would HOPE so!

- They are adding new regular characters, which they are casting for now. Editor's Note: For a deserted (or SEMI-deserted) island, they sure have a lot of TRAFFIC!

- You'll see more scenes from the outside world (taking place at the same time they are on the island). Editor's Note: COOL!

- Desmond and Penny's relationship forms a new seed for a new element in the series.

- Libby will be back to fill in the gaps.

- Within the first few episodes Kate "gets with someone". Editor's Note: Jack? Sawyer? Vincent?

- They are going to explain the medical miracles.

- They debunked the rumor that the monster is a cloud nanobot.

- The hyroglypics on the countdown clock are signs of the underworld. Editor's Note: The underworld as in the mafia or as in HELL?

- They have 4 to 5 seasons planned out, and they knew the beginning and ending from the start. Going beyond 5 seasons would be stretching it, they said. Editor's Note: This brings me back to one of my major themes/soap boxes....when show creators have a thru-line (B5, Star Wars, to some extent Farscape) everything has a LOT more heft and emotional staying-power. It frees the writers to focus and pull back in an almost balletic way because they really are in control of the whole dance. You can tell. (and you can REALLY tell when they are making it up as they go along....Star Trek).

- If they introduce a question on the show, they already know the answer. Editor's Note: Amen!

- They do look at fans' reactions and that does affect how they do things on the show.

- They showed a promo for the 13 "Lost" diaries that will be on Verizon, which featured Hugo finding a camera and interviewing people on the island.

- A "Lost" game from Ubisoft is coming next year which features a new story.

- On the season two DVD, you can expect one feature which has all of Sawyer's famous lines! Editor's Note: And he is not wearing a shirt while he delivers them? (She lives in hope.)

I owe you buckets of STAR WARS's steeping... but in the meantime, here's a brief taste ----
Sansweet updates upcoming STAR WARS series
Steve Sansweet, Lucasfilm's Head of Fan Relations, gave everyone an update on the upcoming STAR WARS animated and live action series.

Sansweet said that the animated series is scheduled to premiere in 2008, and the live action series is aiming to debut before 2010. Editor's Note: I would HOPE it's beFORE 2010! Jeez, string us along, why doncha!

"We've been spending the last couple of years building from scratch two new state-of-the-art digital animation companies, one at Skywalker Ranch and one in Singapore," Sansweet said. "The scripts for the first batch of shows have been completed, and Animation is hard at work on the first episodes."

Sansweet also added that David Koepp's script for INDIANA JONES 4 is still a couple of months away, but the hope is that pre-production can start rolling by the end of this year, early 2007 at the latest.

Hayden Christensen in JUMPER?

Editor's Note: As a non-dweeb co-worker just opined when he saw me posting this pic..."He's so dreamy". (This non-dweeb was being snarky. But then, he's Canadian and is no doubt bitter that a fellow Kanook is SO much dreamier than HE is).

Cause our Hayden IS so dreamy.....

Samuel L. Jackson told Moviehole that Hayden Christensen might be starring with him in the upcoming film JUMPER.

He would join Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Sturridge, Jamie Bell and Teresa Palmer in the cast. Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) is attached to direct the sc-fi thriller for the studio.

JUMPER is based on a Steven Gould novel and follows a kid from a broken home who discovers that he has the ability to teleport. In his quest for the man he believes is responsible for the death of his mother, the kid draws the attention of the National Security Agency and another youth with the same abilities.

Jackson will be playing an NSA agent who tracks the jumper.

Editor's Note: No script and no cast....BUT WE'VE GOT A POSTER!

Poster released for upcoming STAR TREK movie

The production team for the upcoming STAR TREK movie saw fit to release a piece of artwork this weekend, coinciding with this year's Comic Con.

J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof are producing the film, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will executive produce.

You can look for STAR TREK to beam back into theaters sometime in 2008.

Tim Allen and Tom Hanks return for TOY STORY

Tim Allen said in a recent interview that both he and Tom Hanks would be returning to add their voices in the upcoming Pixar film, TOY STORY 3. Allen will once again voice Buzz Lightyear, while Hanks will provide the voice for Woody.

"It's going to be great," said Allen. "We have John Lasseter, the original director, and I believe Tom is on board."

Allen also went on to say that he has had a look at the script and feels this script is stronger than the previous film.

Disney's Chief Executive Robert Iger revealed in May that Disney had started production on the third film. Once Disney acquired Pixar, Pixar took over production of TOY STORY 3.


Freddie Highmore and Sarah Bolger have been cast as the three Grace children in the fantasy film The Spiderwick Chronicles, which Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies will been shooting Sept. 12 in Montreal, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Written by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi, THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES is about two twin boys and their sister who discover a land filled with fairies and goblins inside their great-uncle's dilapidated house. The project was first optioned for film back in June 2003.

Mark Waters will direct the film from a screenplay by John Sayles based on the best-selling series of children's books by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi.

In the movie, the three Grace children move to the ancient Spiderwick mansion, where they discover Brownie, an enchanted creature who introduces them to a world of goblins, fairies and sprites.

Highmore will play the dual role of the troubled Jared and his bookish twin Simon. Bolger will play their sister Mallory. Editor's Note: Freddie Highmore, this generation's Haley Joel Osment. (who we hope is ok after he wrapped his car....our baby is DRIVING!....around a tree).

A Quick Report from Comic-Con

Editor's Note: I start the dweebing week out by sniffling and feeling bereft. Yet another year has gone by in which the QOTD has NOT gone back to the San Diego Comic-Con. Sigh....


Next year in (no...NOT Jerusalem, for those of you having Passover flash-backs) San Diego!

H'w'd enlists geek army (Comic-Con fires up fans)
Hollywood brought fewer tentpoles to the floor of Comic-Con, but the fanboy nation and a battalion of stormtroopers packed the exhibition floor and crowded sessions for "Snakes on a Plane," "Battlestar Galactica" and "Spider-Man 3."

Sam Raimi showed raw footage of the just-wrapped third installment in the Spidey franchise, Bryan Singer talked up plans for another Superman installment, and New Line screened 10 minutes of "Snakes," which drew huge approval for Samuel L. Jackson-delivered lines like "You have a snake on yo' ass! Hold still!" Editor's Note: Two thoughts about this line. 1) Boy howdy is THAT ever a t-shirt! and 2)If you have to be TOLD to hold still when you have a snake on yo youknowwhat, should your genes be passed on to another generation?

Deals announced at the confab included Kurt Russell's for the Quentin Tarantino-helmed half of the Weinstein Co.'s "Grindhouse" and a BET Network pact with Vin Diesel's One Race Prods. to produce animated series "Hannibal of Carthage."

The major studios dominated the main 6,500-seat exhibition hall, but some of the most oversubscribed sessions were for TV skeins and held in conference rooms on the periphery, leaving thousands of disappointed fans for shows like "Lost" locked out and leading convention staff to reconfigure security for bigger crowds. Editor's Note: Plannng, people, Planning!

Despite the lack of broad tentpoles to flog, "The Con" appeared set to break another attendance record for the nonprofit org that started as a comicbook bazaar in 1970.

"It just keeps getting bigger and more crowded each year," said Lucasfilm fan rep Steve Sansweet. "While films keep getting bigger, this is not a profit-making enterprise; it's a conundrum for them, and I'm sure they're working on it."Editor's Note: I wonder why it doesn't make money? I mean, don't many of the artists come down for free to promote their work? I'm sure it makes money for the city of San Diego and the hotels and restaurants in the area, at least. (MAN, I want to go back!!! I can't IMAGINE how huge it must be now, if it grows every year. I mean, I thought it was a Zoo when I was there...what...ten years ago?)

The estimated 100,000-plus attendees complicated logistics both inside and outside the venue. Kevin Smith missed his Saturday "Clerks II" panel stuck in traffic trying to get to the convention center. Inside, long lines were a constant feature of in-demand panels. Editor's Note: Then again, maybe I DON"T want to go?

While last year the studios had "Superman Returns," "King Kong" and "X-Men: The Last Stand," this year was about stoking the appetite for franchises on hiatus while publicizing niche films with devoted followings.

Sony's "Spider-Man 3" stood alone as the major superhero pic, and the studio brought out director and fan favorite Raimi, as well as the rest of the cast, Toby McGuire, Kirsten Dunst, Bryce Dallas Howard, Thomas Haden Church and Topher Grace. Raimi said to expect a darker interpretation of the character, who becomes more aggressive when he dons the black Spidey suit. Editor's Note: Ok..yes I DO want to go. Check out the list of people there for SPIDEY!!! (That said, I WILL admit, that though it's fun to see the actors in person, the REALLY interesting panels are usually the writers and be-the-scenes folks).

Though shooting wrapped just two weeks ago, Raimi showed a trailer cut from unfinished scenes with green screen, wire frames and rough special effects. "The truth is, this crowd doesn't care; they like seeing works in progress," said Con emcee Jeff Walker.

Fans shook the hall with their enthusiasm for the trailer, which might have been better shown in Petco Park across the street given the thousands who didn't get in. In terms of fan response, only New Line's "Snakes on a Plane" came close, thanks to a boisterous crowd held over from the "Star Wars" panel who saw plenty of humor in the concept.

Director David Ellis said the film was made for the fans, not the critics. The joke, intentional or not, was not lost on the crowd, which tittered when Ellis said, "We intentionally did not put a trailer out there because we did not want to give the (plot) of the movie away."

At the always-crowded Lucasfilm presentation on Friday, Sansweet revealed precious little to the "Star Wars" faithful. Editor's Note: Oh Stevie Stevie are SUCH a cruel tease! Fest marks the 30th year since George Lucas first promoted a new film called "Star Wars" in front of a crowd of about 100 people Editor's Note: See Commemorative Poster link in upcoming SW News posting. , but Sansweet admitted that with no new pics planned for the saga, the challenge is to come up with enough product to feed the demand. But it's unclear if that had anything to do with the devotion of the faithful in full costume undeterred by the triple-digit temperatures outside.

Andrew Talleh, 21, dressed as Anakin Skywalker from Episode III, said he was just happy "they take the time to come out and entertain us."

Warner Bros. rolled out footage of "The Reaping" and Frank Miller's "300," but WB's biggest draw was a panel with "Superman Returns" director Bryan Singer, who appeared with Richard Donner, who directed the 1978 version. Singer said he'd like to direct a "Superman" sequel for release in 2009 and told the crowd his ideas for the second installment include "plenty of crazy sci-fi shit" Editor's Note: And THAT is why he makes the big bucks; he's so durned ARTICULATE. with a villain that is a "terrible alien force," hinting that fan-favorite Braniac could be included.

Paramount showed clips of "Stardust," with Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Ricky Gervais, but the big crowd reaction came when producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura took a call from Peter Cullen, the voice of the original Optimus Prime, to say he'd signed on as the voice on next summer's "Transformers."

Comic-Con cult favorites Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez showed gory, grainy product from Rodriguez's half of their double-feature "Grindhouse." In Rodriguez's "Planet Terror," a one-legged Rose McGowan uses a machine-gun prosthetic to mow down the invading undead. "This is not a faux double-feature," Tarantino said. "This is two fucking movies for the price of one!" Editor's Note: If we took away the "F" word from little Quentie, he'd be so very very QUIET.

Tarantino's half hasn't started filming, but he announced Saturday that Russell would play the slasher Stuntman Mike, in a deal sealed the night before. Also starring in "Deathproof" will be Rosario Dawson, Mary Elizabeth Weinstein, Marley Shelton, McGowan and Uma Thurman's stunt double on "Kill Bill," Zoe Bell, who will play herself.

Fox showed clips from "Eragon," "Reno 911: Miami" and "Borat." Lionsgate rolled out talent-heavy presentations for the genre-targeted "Crank," "Skinwalkers," "Saw III" and "The Descent."

While the massive Hall H was dominated by theatrical releases, one has to wonder when TV nets will graduate to the 6,500-seat venue.

Security staff estimated that for every fan that got into the 4,200-seat room for Sci Fi's "Battlestar Galactica," another two were shut out. Panels for both "Galactica" and ABC's "Lost" saw thesps and showrunners greeted with standing ovations and enthusiasm like those at a rock concert.

Saturday's "Lost" presentation was interrupted by a fake protest by "Rachel Blake," a character in "The Lost Experience," Alphabet's online interactive game. Exec producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse played along as Blake's diatribe against skein's Hanso Foundation gave fans several new clues and Web links to continue gaming. Editor's Note: Ok...GOOSEbumps!

Cuse hinted the online game would finish before season three premieres on Oct. 4. Lindelof and Cuse discussed tension between the desire to have a finite lifespan for a show vs. a network that has rights to continue a money-making skein. Lindelof indicated ABC listened directly to fan feedback in deciding to air season three in two uninterrupted arcs to avoid repeats littering a year-round schedule.

Ronald D. Moore confirmed a script for a "Galactica" spinoff skein "Caprica" has been delivered to the network, and that Carl Lumbly ("Alias") would join the season three cast. Editor's Note: Oh...COOL! Among other TV events, Saturday panels for "The Simpsons" and the CW's "Veronica Mars" were packed to capacity. Scattered "Star Trek" fan presence and scheduling of a "Trek" presentation in a non-primetime slot Friday morning indicated a noticeable decline in fandom's interest for Paramount's franchise. Editor's Note: Isn't it a little bit the other way around? Paramount has kind of abandoned (temporarily) the fans and the franchise, haven't they?

Lines also formed for panels for niche product such as the Friday premiere of the TV version of the cult online cartoon "Happy Tree Friends," in which cuddly animals are drawn, quartered and otherwise dismembered in creative ways. Editor's Note: Re-read that. Man...I don't know where to go with a comment on that. But I think I will be giggling abut it on and off all day!

Also announced at the confab: Brit director Michael Bassett will direct the epic adventure "Solomon Kane," based on Robert E. Howard's classic comicstrip, for Samuel Hadida's David Films. Howard also created "Conan the Barbarian.