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Stuff You Need to Know: Meet Murray McKellen, Headmaster

By Widge - posted 11.05.09 @ 3:05 pm
Sir Ian McKellen

We're back with all the pop culture news you need in bite-sized chunks so you can, you know, get on with having a life or something.

  • So Ian McKellen, who will soon be gracing the small screen in the remake of The Prisoner, is headed for television again. He is on board a mockumentary series called The Academy. Now here's the bit that shows it's too brilliant and cannot possibly ever hit the airwaves. Or, erm, cablewaves. Whatever the hell they're called these days. The bit: "McKellen would play his fictional brother, Murray McKellen, who heads a run-down drama school, the Clapham Academy of Creative Arts, that is hoping to secure new funding through a docu on the school." See what I mean? It's just too good. Oh, and the other reason it might not happen is that Hobbit starts in March and if they don't shoot it quick, they'll miss Sir Ian's window of opportunity. Oh, and "Murray" is indeed Sir Ian's middle name. Nice. Source.
  • Uncle Warren's Black Summer has been optioned for a feature film, so the man himself has told us. Should be interesting in that the comic book's plot was about a hero deciding that the President of the United States was a criminal and, because he was created to deal with criminals, um, dealt with the guy. Decisively, shall we say. This is Vigilante Entertainment's first joint and they've brought on Knowing co-scribe Ryne Pearson to adapt it. The collected series is available from Amazon here.
  • The project Hemingway and Fuentes is Andy Garcia's--meaning he's in it, he's helming it, producing it and he co-wrote the thing with Hilary Hemingway, Papa's granddaughter. What is it? "The drama chronicles the two decades that Hemingway spent in Cuba fishing with his best friend, Gregorio Fuentes. There, the author fell in love with a beautiful Italian girl who inspired him to write 'The Old Man and the Sea.' Garcia will play Fuentes, and [Annette] Bening will play the author's third wife, Mary Welsh Hemingway." And Anthony Hopkins is on board to play Papa. He's going to be doing this film after he gets done being another Papa in Thor. Nice. Cast. Source.
  • That restored version of Metropolis we told you about before will hit at the Berlin Film Festival on February 10th. No word on a DVD release for the rest of us, but I'm sure it will be following hard upon. Source.
  • The folks who brought you Slumdog Millionaire are getting their band back together for 127 Hours. Danny Boyle has written up a treatment, Simon Beaufoy is being chatted up regarding scribing the thing, and so forth. The tale is of Aron Ralston. Who is Aron Ralston, you might well ask. Well, here's the guy who got his arm pinned under a boulder and had to use a very dull knife to...yeah, that guy. Source.
  • Whatever you were planning to get Judge Wapner for his 90th birthday, it probably won't be as cool as this: November 13th he's back in the saddle on The People's Court for a day. And yes, as TV Squad points out, Wapner was the Ur-TV Judge. Before him, you didn't have TV judges, and frankly--having seen a few of the present day judges--Wapner still rules.
  • So there's a Shrek spinoff for Puss in Boots with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek on board, with Zach Galifianakis also on tap to voice Humpty Dumpty. It will essentially be Shrek Origins: Puss in Boots. It hits November 4, 2011. But don't think you're safe from more Shrek, since the fourth film, Shrek Forever After hits May 21st. And I have to say--before you wince too much, there might be a silver lining to all this. Hollywood might interpret "fairy tales = $" and help Fables eventually happen, TV series or not. Source.
  • The Tourist has lost Sam Worthington and its director but still has Angelina Jolie, apparently. And could get Johnny Depp. They better hurry, though, since it goes into production in February. When was the last time we had somebody step into the director's chair with this little runway before the start of production? Oh, right: X3. Depp's role would be "an American tourist drawn into a web of intrigue by a female Interpol agent (Jolie) who is attempting to locate a criminal who was once her lover." Now what this would do to that big thing he was brought in by Disney to announce at D23--you know that whole Pirates 4 thing--no idea. Maybe they came to their senses? Doubtful. Source.
  • Theater worth seeing in New York: a revival of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge goes into previews December 28th at the Cort Theater and opens January 24th. It will run for fourteen weeks and stars Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schreiber. Also, did you know Catherine Zeta-Jones is going to star in a revival of A Little Night Music? Fascinating. Source.
  • Hulk: Winter Guard cover art

  • In a desperate attempt to get me to buy something they've published, Marvel has tapped friend of Needcoffee David Gallaher to scribe Winter Guard about the Soviet Super Soldiers. High Moon (itself a Harvey-winning series) co-conspirator Steve Ellis is on hand to provide the art. To find out more, check out this article on the Marvel site. And if you haven't snagged a copy of High Moon yet, you should really fix that.
  • Read More About:

    Widgett Walls is Need Coffee's Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. He is the author of the novel Mystics on the Road to Vanishing Point, and two collections of short stories, Magnificent Desolation and Something Else: The Complete First Season. He is also co-author of the children's book There's a Zombie in My Treehouse! All of those books are available in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon. He is also the narrator and publisher of the first unabridged recording of Seneca's letters, available here. He is active on both Twitter and Facebook. (If you befriend him on Facebook, do say you came via Need Coffee.) He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He hardly ever sleeps.

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