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World War Z may be looking for a new director

Posted by LiveFor on July 25, 2009

First there were delays then there was the news that J Michael Straczynski’s script was being rewritten by script hot shot Matthew Michael Carnahan.

Now a rumour that came from the San Diego Comic Con that Paramount Pictures is currently looking for a new director.

Currently attached is Marc Forster who directed Quantum of Solace. To me Quantum was a huge disappointment after the excellent Casino Royale. The action scenes in Quantum just didn’t work. Therefore, the news that Forster may not be doing World War Z is actually pretty cool to me. I just really want to see Max Brooks excellent book on the big screen – The Battle of Yonkers, lobos, the astronauts on the space station watching the swarms of the undead, underwater zombies and more.

This is a rumour at the moment, but who would be a good director for this adaption? Zack Snyder, Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Sam Raimi, Lloyd Kaufman? Who could it be?


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World War Z gets a new scriptwriter

Posted by LiveFor on July 17, 2009

On FANGORIA RADIO last week, guest Max Brooks told them about a new writer taking on the film version of his best-selling undead-epic novel World War Z. The movie is being developed by Paramount and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Production, and J. Michael Straczynski had already written the script.

Now taking on the adaptation reins is Matthew Michael Carnahan, a specialist in political thrillers such as State of Play and The Kingdom.

“He’s one of Hollywood’s hot A-list writers, so if they went after him and paid him a mountain of gold, it definitely shows their confidence in this project,” Brooks said on the show. “They say it’s a positive move because they’re very excited, but the truth is, it’s also positive because they just paid him a buttload of money, and [with] the money they paid him, the money they paid Straczynski and they money they’ve paid me, they’ve really dug themselves a deep hole, so they better make this thing!”

Not sure whether this news is good or bad. Carnahan may have just been brought in to polish the political aspect of the script or maybe he’s rewriting huge chunks of it.

Marc Forster is directing it and it was supposed to start filming this year. Obviously that is not the case, so who knows what problems there are with the script.

I just want to see this film! (below is a fan made teaser trailer using a whole host of other films).


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World War Z has hit some delays

Posted by LiveFor on June 16, 2009

Some bad news for fans of cool zombie literature (that includes me). Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) says that the anticipated film adaptation of World War Z may have to wait a little longer.

Speaking with Migros Magazin, Forster says the film’s script still needs a lot of development and is “still far from realization”. As a result he’s likely moving forward with another project entitled Disconnect which is ‘ready to go’.

Disconnect is said to be about how humans deal with new technologies and the changes it causes to interpersonal relationships.

World War Z, based on the novel by Max Brooks, is a series of interviews conducted with various people about the events that transpired when a zombie pandemic swept the globe.

I am a bit surprised about Forster’s comments as a script written by J Michael Straczynski has been around for ages (check out the script review). In December last year Straczynski also said “I’m working with [Marc Forster] notes to make one final pass on the script, Our hope is to get it moving into production by the first of the year.”

It looks as if they haven’t got final draft sorted. I have an awful feeling that there are some disagreements on the way the film should go and that the film may not be as cool as the book. Fingers crossed they get it resolved soon.

Discuss in the forum or leave a comment below.


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Thor to be gritty and dirty says the scriptwriter

Posted by LiveFor on May 31, 2009

CineFOOLS have a great interview with Ashley Miller. He is the screen writer for Kenneth Branagh’s adaption of Thor for Marvel.

Reading it does make me feel even happier about the project. Here are some of the main bits from it.

Are you a fan of Thor?

AM-Would you like me to pull my Simonson run out of its bags and boards? Zack had to take me down with an elephant tranq to stop me from throwing in a scene between Thor and a frog.

Is there any Thor storylines you are inspired by?

AM-So many things. Certainly, Walt Simonson’s take on the character greatly informs what we brought to the script although I wouldn’t say we went to a specific story from his tenure on the book. We saw part of our job as taking all the many approaches to the character over the years (including the myths) and distilling them down into a form that worked for a two-hour movie. There’s a tremendous amount of ground to cover, so inspiration has to come from everywhere.

As a writer what would you like to bring to the characters in the Thor Saga?

AM-Grit. Not in the sense that you’d want to see a generic “dark” take on Thor, but in the sense that you want to feel Thor’s rage when he rages. You want to see him fight like hell, and take as much he dishes out — maybe more. You want to have a visceral reaction to the guy, and what happens to him. You don’t want his adventures to be clean and antiseptic. You want to see the dirt, and grime and blood. You want to feel every bone crunching moment of every fight. And when he unleashes the storm, you want to feel like you’re seeing the power of a GOD at work.

The best example I can give you is the end of Ultimates 2. When Thor shows up and kicks ass, he shows up and kicks ass. He isn’t screwing around. There’s a certain brutal, cock-eyed realism to Thor in that moment (and through that book in general) that I really resonate to and want to expand on.

As most people will want to see Asgard does it feature prominently in the script or will it mostly be in our world?

AM-Marvel’s official description gives you a pretty good idea of what the divide looks like.

With all the Marvel films converging do you have to write with a bigger story in mind? Will you be involved with any other Marvel comic/film writers? E.g J Michael Stratzynski?

AM-We definitely wrote with the bigger story in mind, or at least the bigger universe. Our script is very firmly rooted in the Marvel film world. We were constantly looking for ways to connect Thor to the other movies and heroes, even if they were simply in passing. Part of grounding Thor in the world is grounding him in the specific, fictional world he inhabits. How many of those references and connections make it to the final product are beyond our control, but they are everywhere.

I’ll also tell you the nicest thing about working for Marvel, as a fan. You never have to defend the character to the people who own him. You never have to explain to them why Thor is cool, or what he can do. They are as likely as you are to come up with some awesome bit of obscure continuity and pitch it as a story or character element. It’s a very writer friendly place.

It is great to see that a fan of Thor is writing the screenplay. I also like the sound of the fights in that we will see the dirt, grime and blood. If they can make it like that then it should be amazing. Can Chris Hemsworth as Thor pull this off?

How do you feel about the Thor film? How can they tie it into the Iron Man film and other Marvel films? What look do you want Thor to have – classic Marvel or the Ultimate version?

Discuss in the forum or leave a comment below.


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V – The series is good to go. Easy as ABC

Posted by LiveFor on January 28, 2009

Cheers to Rich for sending me the link.

ABC has given a pilot order to V, a re-imagining of the 1980s miniseries about an alien invasion, according to The Hollywood Reporter.W
Written on spec by The 4400 co-creator/executive producer Scott Peters, the new V will center on a female Homeland Security agent.

This is the second ABC pilot picked up so far based on a 1980s property; the first was The Witches of Eastwick. Both are being produced by Warner Brothers TV.
It’s unclear whether this proposed series has anything to do with original V creator Kenneth Johnson’s sequel novel, V: The Second Generation, or his proposed reboot series or a proposed spinoff series by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski.

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Forbidden Planet news – Could be a trilogy and changes what we know about characters from the original

Posted by LiveFor on December 22, 2008

I mentioned a few days ago that James Cameron was interested in directing the Forbidden Planet film that had been written by J Michael Straczynski. Apparantly Cameron loves the script.

Latino Review have found out some more info about the film. Looks as if Straczynski’s script will definitely be a prequel to the 1956 original and he is planning to make it the beginning of a trilogy. It also looks as if his script keeps the original film in it’s place but changes the motivation of one of the main characters so gives us all a reason to re-watch the original under a whole new light which sounds pretty cool.

Here’s more from Latino Review about the set up to the prequel and the trilogy. Sounds amazing.  

According to sources, the prologue to the script contains the following: Two ships traveled to Altair 4, a planet orbiting a star 16.7 light years from Earth. The first ship, the Bellerophon, came to explore that world. The humans on board encountered the relics of the Krell civilization for the first time and exhumed their dangerous past. The Bellerophon was never heard from again. Twenty years later, a second ship, a C-57D Starcruiser, came to investigate the dissapearance of the Bellerophon and her crew.

The original 1956 Forbidden Planet told the tale of the second ship. What Straczynski’s draft is about is the never-before revealed tale of the first ship, the Bellerophon.

Sources also tell me the last page contains a epilogue where depending on the financial reaction to Forbidden Planet, Straczynski could create the following three film franchise.

Movie One tells the story of the original ship that came to Altair 4.

Movie Two tells the story of the search for the Krell by the captain of the Bellerophon and his crew…as Diana continues to grow into something profoundly other-wordly. The search takes them beyond the limits of known space into other dimensions, passing from what’s known into what’s not.

Movie Three tells the story of the second ship to arrive at Altair 4 to investigate what happened to the Bellerophon. They discover Morbius and his “daughter,” who is desperate to get off the planet and out into the rest of the universe, where her power would nearly be god-like…a fate we are spared when Morbius sacrifices his life to keep her there and eliminate the Krell homeworld once and for all.

Straczynski personally states in the last paragraph that what is cool about this new movie is that events shown completely change the meaning of the original Forbidden Planet without changing a frame of film. Altaira’s attempt to seduce or inveigle the crew comes across as manipulative, using them to get off the planet. Straczynski also states that this has value to geeks of which he is one.

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World War Z update from J. Michael Straczynski

Posted by LiveFor on December 3, 2008

MTV spoke to J. Michael Straczynski about his World War Z adaption of tha Max Brooks book. It’s about to begin production with Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) at the helm. Here’s what Straczynski had to say:

“We talk about it as a thriller, the closest comparison being ‘The Bourne Identity, Most zombie movies to this point have been small, focusing on a few people in a house. And this has got real scare. You’re in India with hundreds of boats trying to get out of there with a tidal wave of zombies. The scale of what we’re doing here is phenomenal.”

“Now that Marc is here, I’m working with his notes to make one final pass on the script, Our hope is to get it moving into production by the first of the year.”

“The fictional concept of the book is that its written by someone with the UN, so let’s tell that story. Let’s show the book being written. We follow this guy all over the world as he goes on these interviews, and he has his own personal story as well. You’re cutting between the past and the present, how he got to this point. It has that international feel to it, and because it goes backward and forward in time, we can cherry-pick our favorite moments in the book. Some of it is crazy in scale.

It’s huge. It’s as political as the book was. And it ends with that book being completed.”

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Staczynski talks about the Forbidden Planet sequel / prequel / remake and wants to make sure he gets the Krell right

Posted by LiveFor on December 1, 2008

MTV have this – “It’s my favorite science-fiction film of all time. I’ve watched the rights go from one company to the next. I heard that the rights at Dreamworks were about to expire and I went to Joel Silver and said I think if you move quickly you can grab it and I can write it. And he did. It’s the dream of a lifetime to play in that universe.”

Straczynski — whose stock in Hollywood as a scriptwriter just enjoyed a major bump thanks to the success of director Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling” — was happy to hint at what fans of the original “Forbidden Planet” can expect from his take.

“I told [producer] Joel [Silver] this is how you do ‘Forbidden Planet’ without pissing on the original that no one has ever thought of,” said Straczynski. “When I told [the idea] to him, his eyes lit up. It’s not a remake. It’s not a reimagining. It’s not exactly a prequel. You’ll have to see it. It’s something that no one has thought of when it comes to this storyline.”

Straczynski will be paying close attention to detail, with the writer revealing conversations he’s had to ensure the film is as scientifically attuned as possible. “[When coming] up with the Krell backstory and who they are, I sat down with some of the nation’s best minds in astrophysics and planetary geology and A.I. and asked them — based on what we know now — what will a million years from now look like? The goal is to put things in there you’ve never seen before.”

As for the 1954 film’s retro look, audiences can expect an updated vision that keeps the original’s iconic nature in mind. “At the time it was made it was cutting edge,” Straczynski explained. “They weren’t trying to be ‘retro’ — they thought they were right on the cutting edge. People that went to see that film saw things they had never seen before. What we have to do now is have this one be as innovative now as the original was then. It doesn’t mean we should look backwards.”

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World War Z to be directed by Marc Forster

Posted by LiveFor on November 14, 2008

Paramount has hired Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster to helm World War Z, the big screen adaptation of Max Brooks bestselling novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. The 352 page book chronicles the aftermath of a great zombie-human war.

J Michael Straczynski penned the screenplay. The basic premise of the book is that it is an oral history of the zombie war, compiled by an unnamed government employee. The movie follows this researcher, named Gerry Lane (possibly to be played by Brad Pitt, who is producing the project), as he travels the world conducting interviews with survivors, 10-years later. Forster told Variety that the story reminded him of “the paranoid conspiracy films of the ’70s like ‘All the President’s Men.”

The official plot description from the book below:

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

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Forbidden Planet to be remade. ID better be good (See what I did there?)

Posted by LiveFor on October 31, 2008

Following the recent Hollywood trend to take a classic and remake it for today’s audience (The Day the Earth Stood Still) it looks as if Forbidden Planet is next.
Warner Bros have hired J. Michael Straczynski to write the remake of Forbidden Planet. The original saw a group of Earth scientists who are sent some 17 light years away to investigate what happened to a colony of settlers on Altair-4. They find a man with a secret and his daughter who somehow survived a hideous monster attack on their planet.

Loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the movie was nominated for best special effects Oscar, and was noted for its groundbreaking use of an all-electronic score, and the first appearances of Robby the Robot and the C-57D starship. The movie’s poster was listed as the fifth best Movie Poster ever created by Premiere Magazine.

Forbidden Planet is one of my all time favourite films. It just works so well for so many reasons – great effects, brilliant story, Robby the Robot, Leslie Nielson with brown hair, Walter Pidgeon being all frosty and mad scientist as Dr Morbius, Anne Francis playing with tigers, Creatures from the ID, the vast underground city of the Krells, and the bit where you see the invisible beastie’s footsteps in the sand as it approaches the ship while the electro theromin music works its magic. It is just excellent. Go watch it. Go now. Do it.

When I watched it with my son (he was 8 at the time) he explained to me how, because the spacemen were travelling at the speed of light, time would move slower for them than it would for the people on Earth. Quite a big concept for an 8 year old and it made me proud. He also loved the film and thought Robby was cool.

However, I’m not sure if this film should be remade. There is just no need and I’m not sure if a remake could add anything new to the mix. Although if you look at it as a work based on Shakespeare then a remake is not that unusual as the Bard’s tales have been doing the rounds in all forms forever. What do you think of the news?


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