The Redblog Geek-News Roundup

by | Sep 29th, 2010 | 5:45PM | Filed under: Box Office News, News

Star Wars in 3D

Soon we can see Greedo shoot first in glorious 3D! George Lucas–who’s never run out of ways to re-release Star Wars in different versions and formats–has officially announced he’ll be converting all six films into 3D for theatrical releases. Promising to take time and care with the post-production 3D process–about a year for each film–Lucasfilm will start with The Phantom Menace in theaters sometime in 2012. Which means by the time they get to Return of the Jedi, the technology will be so advanced it’ll be like having an Ewok in your lap.

Sherlock Holmes 2 Casting Heats Up

Pre-production on Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes sequel is gathering speed. Of course Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law will be back, plus the Swedish Lisabeth Salander, Noomi Rapace, as the new love interest. (Rapace isn’t the only European actor to get a Hollywood career bump from the Swedish Millennium films–her co-star Michael Nyqvist has just been cast as one of the villains in Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible 4.)

And just this week comes a pair of note-perfect castings. The Great Stephen Fry will play Holmes’ lazier-but-smarter older brother Mycroft (completing some sort of Sherlock circle, as Fry’s old comedy partner Hugh Laurie of course plays the Holmes-inspired Dr. House on TV). And The Latino Review broke the news that Mad Men‘s terrific Jared Harris (who was one of the best things about Extraordinary Measures) is in talks to play Holmes’ ultimate foil, the egg-headed Napoleon of Crime, the evil Professor James Moriarty (glimpsed as a shadowy figure in the first Holmes film). Holmes 2 will be in theaters in December of 2011.

Related from redbox:

The Hobbit Facing Union Hassles Down Under

This makes my head hurt. Not just because it’s yet another bump in the road for Peter Jackson’s troubled production of my beloved Hobbit, but because my idea of fun is not trying to suss out all sides of a Union-employer showdown in 100 words or less. Suffice to say several Australian and international actors’ unions are threatening vague “punishment” to their members if they take jobs on The Hobbit, due to issues over whether Jackson and MGM/New Line are running a “non-union” shoot with New Zealand actors (many of whom have trouble getting acting guild cards).

As is typical in these situations, both sides are posturing, bluffing and jostling for power and money, with Jackson and the studios threatening to move the production out of New Zealand. Don’t worry too much–in the long run there’ll probably be back-room deals hammered out, but the hassle is another potentially costly threat to The Hobbit production, which has still not been greenlit due to MGM’s financial issues.

More Casting News and Rumors

* One of my favorite comedians, Patton Oswalt, and Patrick Wilson (Watchmen, The Switch) will appear in Young Adult, the new black comedy from Juno and Up in the Air director Jason Rietman and smart-mouthed Juno scribe Diablo Cody. The film stars Charlize Theron as a Minneapolis young-adult fiction writer returning to her Minnesota home town. (The Twin Cities were Cody’s old stompin’–and strippin’–grounds.)

* Kate Beckinsale is squeezing back into the leather and latex for a return to the Underworld series. The actress, whose husband Len Wiseman directed the first two films, did not appear in the most recent vampire-on-werewolf action flick, Rise of the Lycans. Wiseman will not be returning to direct the fourth movie.

* This is much more Erika’s territory, so I’ll keep it short: reports that Lost‘s Maggie Grace will appear in the Twilight: Breaking Dawn films as Irina, part of the Denali coven. Whatever that all means.

* 14-year old Chloe Moretz continues to be a hot commodity in Hollywood. Deadline says the co-star of Kick-Ass and this week’s Let Me In will star in the film adaptation of skateboarder Rob Reger’s Emily the Strange character, featured on T-shirts and skateboards, toys and school supplies.

* According to Variety, Easy A star Emma Stone is rumored to be on track for two high-profile gigs: As the female lead in the Jonah Hill remake of 21 Jump Street, and even better, as a possible new Mary Jane opposite The Social Network‘s Andrew Garfield in the new Spider-Man reboot.

Related from redbox:

Projects in Development

* Wow, it feels like 2003 all over. Once again we’re in a flurry of rumors and speculation as to who will direct yet another Superman reboot–this one produced by Dark Knight/Inception maestro Christopher Nolan. Luckily this time around the names are a little more reassuring than McG, Brett Ratner, and Michael Bay. (Though I still think Bryan Singer did a decent job with Superman Returns and might have really nailed it on a second spin.)

The Hollywood Reporter’s HeatVision blog reports that the Superman director wish list includes Moon‘s Duncan Jones, Battle: Los Angeles‘ Jonathan Liebesman, Let Me In and Cloverfield‘s Matt Reeves, Tony Scott (please, no), and 300/Watchmen/Legend of the Guardians director Zack Snyder. But with Ben Affleck bowing out of the running last week, the name at the top seems to be Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan). Ironically, Aronofsky was originally set to write and direct the Batman reboot a decade ago, until the gig went to… Christopher Nolan.

* Crash writer-director and Craig-Bond scribe Paul Haggis is considering penning a remake of the ’80s TV show The Equalizer that starred Edward Woodward. According to HeatVision, Haggis is working with Russell Crowe, who’s attached to The Equalizer project as star and producer. Crowe and Haggis just completed the upcoming thriller The Next Three Days.

* For years, the only real knock on the glory that is Pixar was that all their stories were boys’ adventure tales centered on male heroes. (Our former colleague James Rocchi spelled it out perfectly in a redblog piece last summer.) Now Pixar has announced its first female director. Brenda Chapman (director of Dreamworks’ Prince of Egypt and a writer on Disney/Pixar films such as Cars, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast) will be helming Brave, a medieval tale of tomboy princess who loves archery. The CG animated film will be released the summer of 2012.

8 Responses to “The Redblog Geek-News Roundup”

  1. matphoto
    Posted on September 29, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Lucas should follow the 3d releases with films 7-9. It’s the perfect opportunity to continue the more successful storyline and presentation of the original trilogy which will be fresh in everyone’s minds.

  2. Jeremy F.
    Posted on September 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Leah slave outfit in 3D….. \m/

  3. Matthew S. AKA Matthew The Movie Geek
    Posted on September 29, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Wow, thanks for all of the info…Matthew the Movie Geek approves!!

    To matphoto, my question would be, what material would be used for 7-9? I think a number of fans would enjoy seeing the Thrawn Trilogy: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command.

    The question really would become, what story arc would be best suited? The original three obviously followed Luke in his growth and the fall of the Empire. The ‘new three’ focused on Anakin and his dark path…So where would/should Lucas go?

    Personally as a fan of the original three, I think he should just leave it as it is…Because recently re watching the 1-3 movies left my geek rather upset again, as really the films felt over computerized, less on the space opera that the original three were, and also with some great (and not so great) actors given horrible lines.

    *Gets off Soapbox*

  4. Fiirvoen
    Posted on September 30, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    To Matthew S. and Jeremy F. Couldn’t have said it better myself. :)

    As for future SW movies, I think they should step away from picking up where they left off and do some stuff that suits the original actors current ages (that’s right, bring em all back!) maybe something with the Solo kids?

  5. Fiirvoen
    Posted on September 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    It’s not like they’re hurting for good storylines with all the books to choose from, some of which are exceedingly well written.

  6. matphoto
    Posted on September 30, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I’m not familiar with those books, so I was thinking more along the lines of following Luke as he set up a new Jedi order or something, but then again it would probably be best to take a brand new path, maybe 10 or 20 years after film 6. Then a lot of new story could be introduced without straying too far from the original charm. I think one of the things that was lacking in 1-3 was that in the end they were just filling in the blanks, which might be why Lucas felt the need to introduce so much flashy coating, with all the real plot lines already set in stone. In that case it might actually be best to follow a brand new character, maybe another kid growing up in a shantytown somewhere, who meets some of the old characters and gets caught up in the light vs dark thing. Who knows? – In the end I’d never refuse another trilogy, as long as enough time and effort was put into it, and especially if it took after the originals.

  7. Matthew S. AKA Matthew The Movie Geek
    Posted on September 30, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    To Fiirvoen: I agree, while the actors have certainly aged, it would be good to see them, bring that continuity and luster the fans enjoy. The Young Jedi series was great, and Han and Leia’s kids had some interesting adventures, and if I remember, Chewbacca’s kid was there too…

    To Matphoto: I concur, with one addendum (which you’ll probably agree) I would rather a trilogy never be made and allow my brain to be satisfied to what has been made, than create something if it’s going to be ill-conceived, and just upset us more…

    At any rate, yeah, no lack of material, it’s just a matter of 1) having a material that will be marketable (which if it’s star wars, people will see it) and 2) as Matphoto has pointed out, it will take time and effort. With studios often rushing to get stuff out, it pains me to see something that would have been awesome fallen to what seemed like something that was put together over a week (though without the success of something like “Paranormal Activity”.

    Us geeks/fans could discuss all day about what should be done, but also these things should definitely be thought out:

    1) No more computer generated attempts at comic relief. CP3O and R2D2 were plenty in the original, and Jar Jar was a disaster…

    2) Have a clear trilogy intended. Don’t do like a lot of movies have and made one movie that was brilliant (The Matrix) and then realize, “Hey, we can make money with this” and release movies that are subpar (Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions, which had elements I liked, but felt like they were forcing too much.)

    3) Don’t pull a “Oh…since it’s not a ‘normal’ universe, we can make stuff up…” Sure, they’ll have to have some exposition to catch up people, but at the same time, there should be that continuity we know and love, there should be consistency, and it must remain true to the genre.

  8. matphoto
    Posted on October 1, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Yea I agree with those points for sure, but between the 6 movies they should definitely have a good idea of what works best. As you probably know, while creative inspiration can carry you a long way, it eventually all dries up, usually after a couple rounds of polishing. After that, going back and working on something that is by most accounts already finished gets very mediocre. While it could be a little revitalizing to convert the films into 3D, and something that many fans will appreciate for sure, the real satisfaction for both the artist and viewer comes from something new, so it would a win-win (and if that means taking on a new sci-fi epic then so be it – In which case I vote for this one).

    There’s easily more than enough potential for another SW trilogy though, so I’d be surprised if a number of ideas haven’t already been bounced around at Lucasfilms, that is if it’s not already secretly in the works with ’3D conversion’ as the cover (that’s my new hope at least).