Stuff You Need to Know, Thursday, July 17, 2008
Stuff You Need to Know, Thursday, July 17, 2008
Okay, so Audible just did a bit called “Dueling Narrators” where they put audiobook readers of the same work up against each other in a kind of Iron Reader sort of deal. The much beloved Jim Dale beat out Tim Curry for reading Peter Pan…but Christopher Hurt beat out Uncle Ray reading Uncle Ray’s own Fahrenheit 451? Holy shit. This I have got to hear now.
So how do you roll out a multi-platform zombie project? You get in bed with Devil’s Due on a graphic novel called Chopper Zombie, about a motorcycle builder killed for his superfuel who comes back from the dead to provide beatdowns to the corporation who had him killed. Then you produce a movie based on the comic. Then you launch the book at Comic-Con next week where you’ve got a “custom zombie chopper” created by the folks from Monster Garage. This is all because you are Thom Beers, the producer of the show. Again, not a bad strategy if you ask me. One of the films I saw early on that shaped me was Demons, in which our hero rides a motorcycle through a cinema infested with zombie-esque demons while he lops off their heads with a katana blade to the melodious strains of “Fast as a Shark.” So I’ve always had a fondness for the crotch rockets when it comes to anti-zombie work. Official site is live here.
Funny funny guy Danny DeVito is going to direct The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. I admit that that statement doesn’t lend itself to a lot of “Man, I’m so glad you told me that, Widge.” But check out the cast: Saoirse Ronan in the title role, working alongside Morgan Freeman and Pierce Brosnan. Production starts in September. Doyle apparently crosses the Atlantic during the 1830s and “finds herself caught between a charismatic but ruthless captain and a mutinous crew.” Brosnan is the captain, Freeman the ship’s cook. I just want to hear this exchange between Ronan and Freeman, “Did God salt your pork?” “Did God salt my pork? For certain.”
Emmy noms are out. I don’t watch television, so if you guys want to comment, feel free.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is coming from Rockstar for the DS, actually. Now you’ll be very easily able to congregate outside any building Jack Thompson is in and play the game in great numbers. Not that I would ever honestly expect anyone to *cough* try a stunt like that, whatever gave you that idea?
Justin Theroux (scribe on Tropic Thunder) is going to scribe Iron Man 2. The article says that they’re working on a deal to bring back Downey Jr. and Favreau. I’m surprised they didn’t lock them into at least a three-picture deal at the beginning. Was that to shave costs? Didn’t studios used to do that with these things? Faaascinating. Hell, I hope they not only get signed to more pics, but also bring the people who did the movie on board with writing the comic. Wouldn’t that be a nice change of pace?
Speaking of audiobooks, Hachette Audio has Nelson Mandela‘s Favorite African Folktales coming next summer. Check out the readers lined up so far: Gillian Anderson, America Ferrera, Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Alan Rickman, Jurnee Smollett and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The production will be directed by Alfre Woodard. Proceeds go to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Is there anybody who wouldn’t want to hear that? No? I didn’t think so.
William Petersen is leaving CSI in his capacity as Gil Grissom but staying on as executive producer and since they’ve said he’ll come back for guest appearances, they’re more than likely not going to kill him off at the midway point of the season. I wonder what he’s doing next–television or trying to go back to the big screen. Usually you can at least see what they’ve got on tap, but I don’t see anything on his filmography for the future.
The concept of an Office spinoff suddenly seems more interesting when you put Amy Poehler‘s name on it.
Well, here you go…the console wars are going to get very, very interesting. Xbox 360 has paired up with NetFlix, while PlayStation 3 now has a video download service with all the studios on board but Universal. All the networks are in bed with Microsoft already. It apparently launched this past Tuesday–has anybody tried it? Apparently the service lets you download them to your PSP as well, or to your PC from the PlayStation store. So is the download thing that much of a killer addition to the PS3 repertoire? Do people really run around watching movies on them? I’m asking because I just flat out don’t know. I barely have time to watch movies on a real TV. So.
A Prison Break spinoff? Really? Is the show that popular? They’re talking about doing it with a women’s prison and naming it Prison Break: Something Something a la CSI’s branding. Now when it’s time to the third spinoff, that’s when you need to get creative. Like Prison Break: Juvie Hall. Or Prison Break: Christmas With the Relatives.
They’re trying to figure out what to do with Scrubs now that Zach Braff is on is way out. Can they bring in new cast members and keep the show going? That’s the question. I think they should take the route that a lot of shows seem to these days: get yourself a larger name actor to sign off for a season and build an arc around them. And with this show, it might be entertaining to see it be a revolving door for excellent comics. And this might be the best TV-related line you’ll hear this year, from creator Bill Lawrence: “When you hear the janitor’s name, the show’s over.”
Terminator: Salvation‘s teaser trailer is apparently live. I coulda sworn the thing said it was premiering tomorrow. Oh well. Maybe it’s a leak or maybe it’s a “leak.” If Christian Bale wasn’t in it, I don’t even know if it would be on my radar.
Remember how recently I was lamenting that we don’t get Robin Williams in any really superlative roles anymore? I’m hoping that’s about to change. He’s signed on to World’s Greatest Dad. Here’s the synopsis: “Story centers on a single dad and high school teacher who finds his son dead after an apparent autoerotic accident. In an effort to give his son dignity in death, he pens a suicide note that is accidentally leaked to the student paper.” Yes, it’s a dark comedy. That’s not what interests me. What interests me is that it’s written and will be directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. Wait, hold on. Before you go any further, I know what you’re thinking. Bobcat…he was funny in Police Academy and so what? Well, when Comedy Central sent me his stand up album, I Don’t Mean to Insult You, But You Look Like Bobcat Goldthwait, I thought it was really damn funny. So might we be afforded a glimmer of hope? Mayhap we might.
So YouTube‘s been busy. TiVo is going to let folks, starting today even, stream YouTube videos through broadband-connected TiVo sets. You can’t download them, just stream them–and if you like them, bookmark them so you can…stream them again. I suppose if you really wanted to download a YouTube vid, there any number of vid-grabbing sites and utilities that will help you do this. So no harm, no foul. But anytime I think of streaming-only media–I think of RealPlayer. Which always makes my spleen twitch.
And while we’re on the subject of YouTube, Google’s not going to have to turn over full-on viewing history of vids in their litigious struggle against Viacom. Just stats that are anonymized. Two interesting things on that–a study apparently found that you can be identified just by your viewing history, is one. So do the equivalent of running through a stream to throw off your scent…like say, watching this. The second is hey Viacom, you’re spending money while Lionsgate is about to be making money. And I sent them coffee. You…get no coffee.