Stuff You Need to Know: Meet Murray McKellen, Headmaster

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.
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    By |November 5th, 2009|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments

    Stuff: Sims on Sale, But Don't Abuse Your God-Like Powers

    It's a pop culture jungle out there. Rather than select as your guide a website that doesn't give a damn about you, take us along. We promise not to walk out of the underbrush wearing your bandoleer, if you know what I'm saying.

  • Amazon's deal of the day is obviously in honor of our very own Kim, Minister of Simulated Mayhem: it's The Sims 3 at 40% off. So if you'd like to make your own creepy simulated Weekend Justice house--you know, please don't--but I mean, if you do, then the price is $29.98 today only Image from Rox's site.

    Also, the price on the Xbox 360 has dropped--the Elite 120GB model is now $299.99 and the Pro 60GB model is now $249.99. You can snag one here if it so moves you.

    In other Amazon news, Mac OSX Snow Leopard is now available from Amazon. And if you were going to buy it anyway, if you do it through us--if you buy any of this stuff you were going to buy anyway from us--then we get kickbacks that support the site. So thanks in advance.

  • Pirate Latitudes, Michael Crichton's final book (which is due out on November 24th), has been picked up by DreamWorks. Spielberg might direct. David Koepp (Stir of Echoes) is scribing. The book is set in 1665 and "revolves around a daring plan to infiltrate Port Royal, Jamaica, one of the world's richest and most notorious cities, and raid a Spanish galleon filled with treasure." This will come after Harvey--which the article mentions as being based on the original play and not saying a word about the Jimmy Stewart movie. Weird. The Crichton book, incidentally, can be pre-ordered here.
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    By |August 28th, 2009|Stuff You Need to Know|3 Comments

    Stuff You Need to Know: Kids in the Hall "Come to Town" in January

    Because there's a lot of pop culture stuff going on. We sift out the best bits so you don't have to, saving you time and energy. Somebody has to go have a life, right?

  • Amazon has fifty albums on sale in MP3 form for $5 each. YMMV for stuff you can find there, but at first glance, the one that sticks out as a must-own above all others is Rodrigo y Gabriela's self-titled one. To hear them playing a track live on David Letterman, go here. See the available albums here.

  • So the aforementioned Chris Nolan flick Inception has a teaser trailer. Check it out:

    Direct link for the feedreaders.

    I dunno, it's got sort of a Matrix meets Dark City-done-correctly vibe to it. I'm game.

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    By |August 25th, 2009|Stuff You Need to Know|2 Comments

    Stuff: Eagerly Awaiting "Lawn Darts: The Movie"

    Star Wars: Death Troopers

    And we're back, trying to keep you as up to date as you need to be on the machinations of the mad gods of pop culture. Enjoy.

  • Proof that zombies go well with everything, we're finally getting our first Star Wars zombies book: Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber. Would you like to hear the premise? No, you wouldn't. Because Star Wars and zombies together is really all you give a damn about. And rightly so. There were undead Stormtroopers at ComicCon, apparently, in support of the book. Which somehow is less impressive if you consider the prequels to be within continuity and they're just the same cloned guy but undead. But since nobody in their right mind actually accepts the prequels as being in continuity, I think the idea retains some coolness. Source.
  • David Mamet is scribing, and will co-produce and helm a new version of The Diary of Anne Frank, which has been done a few times before--most recently last year by the BBC, it seems. "The film will be an amalgamation of the famed diary; the stage adaptation by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich; and Mamet's own original take on the material that could reframe the story as a young girl's rite of passage." Interestingly, having written a crapload of plays before, Mamet is directing on Broadway for the first time when his new play, Race, opens in December. Source.
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    By |August 13th, 2009|Stuff You Need to Know|1 Comment

    Stuff: Peter Berg to Direct "Dune Hard"

    Faith No More clown poster

  • Faith No More is rampaging across Europe now. Tuffley sent me this poster for an upcoming date in Greece. Nice, yes? He also is fairly certain we will see some North American dates later on. We sure as hell better.
  • Dark Crystal 2, which I could have sworn we had mentioned before--but I must have dreamed it during one of my blackouts--is going into pre-production. It has a title, too: The Power of the Dark Crystal. It sounds like they're just getting funding and distribution nailed down. I can't seem to drum up a reaction to this--it just seems too remote, like Tron Legacy before the teaser trailer. After all, the originals for both came out the same year...
  • The Peter Berg-helmed Dune is not dead--in fact, Berg apparently revealed he wants a more action-oriented take on the film than the original adaptation or the miniseries: "[The book] was much more muscular and adventurous, more violent and possibly even a little bit more fun... There's a more dynamic film to be made." No completed script yet, though per this article, and we are fifteen months later. See why I find it hard to get worked up about films in development? Best to save one's energy.
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    By |August 10th, 2009|Stuff You Need to Know|3 Comments

    Stuff: Send Some Birthday Love to Uncle Ray

    Ray Bradbury

  • Uncle Ray Bradbury is celebrating his 89th birthday and there's apparently a party taking place on August 22nd at Mystery and Imagination in Glendale. Sadly, I won't be able to make the shindig, but here's the cool bit: the bookstore will pass any birthday cards off to the man himself. So if you owe him some snippets of imagination that he inspired or if he helped shaped your writing (his Zen in the Art of Writing is an invaluable resource), then shoot him a card, why don't you? I'm sure you can still find a meatspace mailbox somewhere near where you are. Found via.
  • An Alien prequel? Ugh. I know. It just makes your head hurt. But when you tell me that Ridley Scott is attached to direct? Then I'm just...terribly confused. The way you revitalize the franchise is to go backwards? When all you need to do is make an actual Aliens vs. Predator film based on the comic? But later in the article, it's referred to as a "reboot." So are people learning the wrong lesson from the latest Star Trek film? No idea. I just know the script hasn't been written yet and it's a long, long road between pre-script and hitting the cinema. And Ridley's a busy guy, as has been discussed before. So I'll believe this when it starts shooting.
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    By |August 7th, 2009|Stuff You Need to Know|2 Comments

    RIP: John Hughes

    John Hughes

    Well, it's a dark day for my generation and 80s cinema--the latter certainly shaped the former. And one of the directors who defined movies in the 80s was John Hughes. His filmography has not only the high school love trifecta of Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful (all three of which he scribed--and he directed Candles) but also the high school drama of The Breakfast Club. And there's also the classic Weird Science, one of my favorite John Candy starring roles in Uncle Buck, and the mayhem of Vacation.

    And of course, the high school character everyone wanted to be...

    Direct link for the feedreaders.

    Sadly, John Hughes died yesterday at age 59 of a heart attack. [...]

    By |August 7th, 2009|Stuff You Need to Know|2 Comments

    Stuff: Mashup Artists Looking Forward to Warren Ellis/Holy Grail Possibilties

    Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex with Megan Fox

    There's plenty going on in the world of pop culture. But you have a life--we don't. That's why we do this: news in quick digestible chunks so you can be about your business, armed with geek info. You're welcome.

  • A bunch of posters were rolled out at San Diego, including Jonah Hex (snippet shown), can be found at Yahoo Movies. Some are unimpressive, like, oh, Saw VI. But the Alice in Wonderland posters give a better look at the characters. And such.
  • Castlevania is back on again, with James Wan (Saw) on board to co-scribe and helm. And they're apparently discarding the previous version of the script and starting over. And what does this mean to the animated version that Uncle Warren scribed? No idea. Although if somebody wanted to send me his script, I wouldn't be sad. I'm just saying. Source.
  • You L.A. types, be aware that Cirque du Soleil is doing more of their 25th anniversary fun-stuff at the Grove this coming Sunday, August 2nd. All six shows from Vegas will have acts on hand to perform starting at 12:30pm and for free. Nice. "The event will be family friendly, featuring a circus play area set up for kids with face painting, jugglers and other activities. Prize giveaways, specially priced tickets for the shows in Vegas, and a chance to meet Cirque du Soleil castmembers will round out the festivities." Also nice. Seriously, if you're out that way, go. It'll be a hoot. Source.
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    By |July 28th, 2009|Stuff You Need to Know|2 Comments

    Stuff You Need to Know: If Ned Gets Involved in Blackest Night, Consider Me On Board

    San Diego Comic-Con happened this weekend. We, like you, are trying to pick up the pieces. We'll break out the Shop-Vac and let you see the results. You just relax and have an espresso.

  • So here's the trailer from Comic-Con for the upcoming Starz mini, Spartacus: Blood and Sand (which we warned you about previously). Which is cool, as long as you understand it appears to be Zack Snyder's Gladiator.

    Direct link for the feedreaders. Found via TV Squad.

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    By |July 26th, 2009|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments

    Stuff You Need to Know: San Diego Mayhem Has Begun

    The Losers movie poster by Jock

    Don't panic because San Diego is going to be throwing news at your head. We'll try our best to run some interference. It's a madhouse out there--trust us, we've been before--but there's no reason for it to spread like something out of Romero's The Crazies. Enjoy.

  • Don't miss this: Amazon's deal of the day is The Definitive Collection of the original Twilight Zone on DVD. For $105.99, which is 65% off. It is worth it, especially at this reduced price. Trust me. It's the whole freaking series plus bonus bits. Get yours here.
  • So The Losers has started production. And here's the poster from original series artist Jock--click to embiggen. Jock and original scribe Andy Diggle have stated they've seen a still of Oscar Jaenada as Cougar--but to my knowledge that's not online anywhere. (Would love to see it, though, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.) If you haven't read the comics, you should. And if you haven't told me what dark arts I have to perform to get these guys to do The Authority, then you're falling down on the job. Get on it. Found at Comic Book Resources via the creators' respective Twitters...get them here: Jock and Andy Diggle.
  • The first ground test firing of the Ares I solid rocket booster is happening August 25th. For those not keeping score, Ares is what will replace the Space Shuttle. Last I heard it was 2015 when Ares was expected to hit, and that sounds far away to say until you realize that it's, you know, not. Ah well. Source.
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    By |July 24th, 2009|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments