Ah the comings and goings of Michel Gondry’s The Green Hornet. People are cast, people leave and it’s all a bit up in the air even though they have started filming (check out the photos).
Last we heard Nicolas Cage had to bow out from being the gangster villain of the piece due to other commitments. That left a gap in the cast of Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Jay Chou, Edward James Olmos and Tom Wilkinson.
Step forward Christoph Waltz. He is the excellent actor who was absolutely brilliant in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds as Col. Hans Landa. He was calm, collected, witty, manic and intelligently insane. A superb performance in my mind and I hope he gets a Supporting Actor nod at the Oscars.
I think Waltz will give this production an absolute lift and if he is working his milk drinking strudel chomping mojo then we should be in for something simply splendid.
How do you feel about Waltz going up against the Hornet?
The English version of the trailer for Solomon Kane.
Spend your life cutting men down with your blade and robbing them of their wealth, and word of your exploits is sure to reach the devil, who is always on the lookout for new souls. Meet Solomon Kane, the invention of Robert E. Howard, the legendary creator of Conan the Barbarian. Howard published his sword-and-sorcery stories in the Depression-era pulp magazine Weird Tales, and his influence on the fantasy genre is rivalled only by J. R. R. Tolkien.Armed with a rapier and flintlock pistols, Solomon Kane dresses in black, his pale face and cold eyes shadowed by a hat. He is a true rogue, blasting and slashing forward on a mission of pillage and plunder in war-torn North Africa in the late 1500s.
When the devil lays claim to his hopelessly corrupt soul, Kane escapes only to face the sobering truth: in order to seek redemption, he must renounce his wicked ways and devote himself wholly to a pious life. His new-found piety is put to the test when he is forced to return to his murderous ways to save England from the grasp of evil.Under the fine direction of Michael J. Bassett, James Purefoy brings this swashbuckling hero to life on the big screen, eliciting more depth and intrigue from Kane than Arnie was able to deliver in Conan. His bare flesh scarred with spiritual symbols and a cross branded on his back, Purefoy (known for his role as Mark Antony in HBO’s Rome) as Kane has looked into the fiery pits of hell and is ready to take on the demonic hordes. Purefoy is backed by the solid casting of Jason Flemyng, Max von Sydow and Pete Postlethwaite.
Shot in a gritty manner that embraces the story’s mud, filth and blood, Solomon Kane evokes Michael Reeves’s The Conqueror Worm, starring Vincent Price. However, our hell-bent hero never takes his valiant quest too seriously, marking a glorious return to high-spirited action and adventure.
The always excellent Latino Review have managed to get a look at a script for The Lone Ranger written by Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio.
Jerry Bruckheimer recently said at the Licensing International Expo that development on the film was going full steam ahead, but all we really know is that Johnny Depp is Tonto and Mike Newell may be directing it.
As for the Ranger himself, Matthew McConaughey is rumoured to be the favourite, but I am still not sure if that would work. Anyway, below is the script review and it sounds as if things could be serious on this one.
Producers Charles Roven (The Dark Knight)and Steve Chasman (Transporter) are teaming up to produce The Destroyer. This is the hopefully the first of a franchise that brings back ’80s action hero Remo Williams.
Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir wrote the initial batch of “Destroyer” adventure tomes, which centered on Williams, a New Jersey cop convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Williams is sentenced to the electric chair, but his death is faked so he can be reborn as the vigilante character the Destroyer, joining a top-secret assassin squad set up by the government to operate outside the bounds of the law.
With the help of an Asian assassin named Chiun, Williams also then wreaks havoc on the criminal underworld as well as on those who framed him.
Like me, you probably know of the character through the film Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins that came out from Orion in 1985. It starred Fred Ward as Remo Williams and I loved it. Lots of martial arts training, fights, and it was funny.
Murphy and Sapir wrote scores of Destroyer paperbacks in the 1970s and ’80s, with other writers eventually taking over scribe duties. New installments of the series — more than 100 have been written all told — continue through this decade.
So many books and I haven’t read any of them. Think I’ll have to get hold of some.
I’ve been following the development of the web serial, The Mercury Men, for a while now (I first mentioned it back in February). It is old school Saturday Morning Serial action in the same vein as Flash Gordon and King of the Rocket Men. Edward Borman, a lowly government office drone, finds himself trapped, when the deadly Mercury Men seize his office building as a staging ground for their nefarious plot. Aided by a daring aerospace engineer from a mysterious organization known as “The League,” Edward must stop the invaders and their doomsday device, the Gravity Engine.
The new web series, written and directed by Christopher Preksta (Captain Blasto) stars Mark Tierno (Day of the Dead, The Road) and Curt Wootton (Captain Blasto), starts in Autumn on mercuryseries.com and iTunes.
Yesterday I mentioned that Mike Newell could be directing the big screen Lone Ranger. A while back it turned out Johnny Depp would be playing Tonto, but there was no word as to who would be playing that masked man.
A guy who tends to hear reliable things read this morning’s Lone Ranger item and said that “per studio desire, the leading candidate for The Lone Ranger is Matthew McConaughey. The initial choice was Christian Bale, but there’s worry about his spearheading too many franchises so they’re waiting to see how McG’s Terminator film does. He’s carrying a certain prick status at the moment due to his still reverberating rant.”
I hadn’t even thought of McConaughey in the role as I associate him with either romantic comedies or surfer typer naked bongo shenanigans. He is actual a pretty good actor when given a decent role. Still not sure if he is the best choice to sit in Silver’s saddle.
What do you think of surfer dude as the Lone Ranger?
Buck Rogers – sci-fi pulp hero. He’s been around for years in comics, radio play and TV shows featuring the lovely Wilma Deering. Now he is back with a new look in Dynamite Entertainment’s new comic book. Creator of Buck’s new wardrobe (which I feel is very Adam Strange in design, but then Adam Strange was very much inspired by Buck Rogers) and technology is artist extraordinaire, Alex Ross (Marvels, Justice, Project Superpowers etc). Comic Book Resources have a great interview with the artist along with some cool artwork. I’ve included part of the interview along with some pictures by Alex Ross and cover artist John Cassaday (Planetary).
If one theme pervades the entirety of Ross’ vision for the world of Buck Rogers, it’s the idea of a “neo retro” take to the hero and his world, taking the Depression-era designs that remain the visual cornerstones of space opera and marrying them with artistic techniques garnered from decades of science fiction art and movie special effects.
Ross dove deep into his reference library to pull together the new Buck’s motifs. “Looking at that suit exhaustively and thinking, ‘Is there anyway I could justify that original version so completely?’ and wishing that I could paint a new version of the exact thing they had done 70 years ago, I realized there were only so many things people were going to swallow,” the artist explained. “So I backed away from a lot of what had been and replaced it with this kind of ‘Tron’ effect. That was a big influential film from my childhood. “With that same concept, part of my approach to this universe is that it uses that holographic hard light effect as part of their technology and their guns. The spaceships have a contour that gives the overwhelming effect of being the ships that were designed in the 1920s but with this projected, hard light effect that makes them look immaterial.”
The most divergent piece of Alex Ross’ Buck Rogers design from the origin source material – the hero’s propulsive jetpack – was inspired by a piece of art from the same era, the December 1932 “Wonder Stories” pulp cover by artist Frank R. Paul. “The jetpack was me riffing a completely different source from the 1930s – an old pulp cover – a design that wasn’t so much a jetpack as it a disc on the back of a flying man with three blades. But these weren’t moving propeller blades. They were almost something that would seem to be causing the person to be weightless. The glowing effect applied by my painting gives a hint to a phenomenal level of power that we don’t have which is somehow breaking the boundaries of gravity. I was bringing that one other element in because I think that the regular jetpack from Buck Rogers was pretty traditional. I don’t think it was entirely original in its design.”
Taking Ross’ designs from concept to penciled pages is interior artist Carlos Rafael, who teams with writer Scott Beatty on the Dynamite series, and the artist brought his own history with the character to bear in how he approached drawing the series. “Well, I already knew Buck Rogers from the ’70s TV show, which still runs on cable,” Rafael told CBR. “But through my interest in comics, I came across his older version, the comic strips one, several times. So I didn’t start to work on this story without knowing the character, but I was amazed by the new concept. It’s a modernized version of the retro visual. As a challenge, I think that in terms of design, the costume is a single piece, well balanced in light and shadow. Maybe the greatest challenge is the completely black uniform in certain environments. But it’s worked out studying the masses of light and shadow in the environment. I think that, overall, the aspect of the uniform is great and seeing it on paper is very exciting.”
Buck Rogers #0 will be available for $0.25 on Free Comic Book Day (May 2) with the ongoing series launch following in June.
I’m a big fan of all things pulp and The Shadow is very much pulp. I love the old novels and the whole mythos around him. I even enjoyed The Shadow film starring Alec Baldwin. Therefore when it was mentioned a while back that there could be a new take on The Shadow heading to the big screens I was all ready to don my scarf and floppy hat and head down to the local picture house. Then it all went quiet.
Now MTV have some news on what could be happening with the new version.
Producer Michael Uslan’s had mentioned that he’d be offering fans a take on the character that’s more true to his roots. Then, when word got out that Sam Raimi was onboard as a fellow producer, fans knew this vision of The Shadow would be vastly different from the 1994 offering.
“I think the one thing going in is we all see The Shadow as more of a force of nature than a specific person in a secret identity,” Uslan told MTV in an exclusive interview. “The Shadow may actually be many people.”
“We’ve gone back to the pulp roots, the comic book roots of The Shadow, with a dash of the radio roots,” added Uslan. “But we’ve deeply ensconced ourselves in the world of pulps and comics.”
However, looks like it will still take a while before it goes into production.
“Sam [Raimi] and Josh Donen are my partners and we have it set up Sony, and a wonderful writer named Siavash Farahani who has worked for me before is writing the screenplay,” Uslan said. “It’s coming along great, we’re very excited about it. You know, it takes time to nurture these things. You probably know all the stories. The first ‘Batman’ film took me 10 years to get made.”