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Stuff You Need to Know, Wednesday, August 13, 2008

  • Witches of Eastwick: The Series. Okay, sure. So it’s like an older, wiser Charmed? Maggie Friedman, scribe for Dawson’s Creek, will scribe here as well. Apparently NBC has a pilot in 1992 for one version, starring Catherine Mary Stewart, Julia Campbell, Ally Walker and Michael Siberri. Yes, Stewart from Last Starfighter and Night of the Comet and Walker from Profiler. Then in 2002 there was Eastwick for Fox, which “focused on the teenage sons of the original witches,” with Lori Loughlin, Marcia Cross and Kelly Rutherford. And yes, Loughlin was Becky on Full House and Cross went on to star in Desperate Housewives. Has anyone seen either of those pilots? I’d be fascinated to hear about them. Then–and I knew this and had forgotten–it was a musical.

    Here’s a taste of said musical.

    Direct link for the feedreaders.

    No offense to the cast of that–I think they did the best they could with subpar source material. Seriously. That song’s pretty terrible. Source: Variety.

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  • In an attempt to make another movie where the camera can jerk all over the place, J.J. Abrams is on top to produce an untitled film about an earthquake for Universal. David Seltzer, who wrote the original Omen, is on board to scribe.

  • Some interesting bits on the new Conan film, which they’re trying to fasttrack out of Lionsgate: they want it to be Conan Begins (not an actual title), like the recent Batman franchise, which went back to telling the character’s origin rather than trying to simply redo the last franchise. They see it as a $100M R-rated flick. Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain are being brought in to rework the script, and they apparently wrote Amazon an action flick about female warriors with Scarlett Johansson attached. I know a lot of men who would pay good money to be attacked by Scarlett Johansson, so I’m sure it will do well if it ever gets made. Also mentioned–they worked on scribing for the third Underworld movie, Rise of the Lycans, which hits next year. Incidentally, McDonald’s has come on board already for the new Underworld flick. Their new slogan? “Lycan it? I’m lovin’ it!” Source: Hollywood Reporter.
  • Great article here on the state of Dixar and why they’re still Disney and Pixar. I thought this bit was extremely interesting:

    Part of the Pixar approach, he said, is that the director always has final say over what goes into his picture. Not even Disney topper Robert Iger has approval on a Pixar film.

    Upon taking over Disney Animation, though, Catmull and chief creative officer John Lasseter discovered “there were three levels of approval over the directors, so we had to clip that off.” But Catmull said they decided not to combine the two units, in part to protect Pixar’s creative community.

    In general, he said, efforts to make filmmaking predictable and smooth are bound to fail, and there will always be crises.

    “The measure is how do we respond to the crises as they happen. We have to be comfortable being uncomfortable,” he said.

    Read the whole thing. It’s worthwhile.

  • Okay, you seriously need to go read about the recent opening of Hair. Helluvan FX budget, that’s for sure.
  • First we get a Streets of San Francisco rework in the making now they’re seeking Ed Bernero, showrunner at Criminal Minds, to bring back Hawaii Five-O. He calls the project “Hawaii Five-0 2.0,” which would actually be written as “Hawaii,” I guess. And apparently this isn’t a remake, it’s a new generation: “In the original, the unit was headed by Steve McGarrett, played by Jack Lord. In the new series, McGarrett’s son Chris will be the top cop.” Yes, but will Chris have his dad’s hair? Source: Hollywood Reporter.
  • How the West Was Won has been “stitched together” in order to take it from three-screen Cinerama to a single screen experience. I was trying to figure out how to explain Cinerama, since I’ve heard of it and understand it for the most part, but have never witnessed it myself. So here’s what it was like–note the “seams” in the picture where the screens meet–that’s what they eliminated.

    Direct link for the feedreaders. This restored version runs on Starz Encore Westerns on August 30th. Then the letterboxed version (because the aspect ratio is 2.89:1–as opposed to 1.33:1 for old school full frame) will be on their Encore HD on Demand. You get the Blu-Ray on September 9th, which you can pre-order here, or the regular DVD flavor on the same day (pre-order here). And on the same day, “the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles will present a one-time-only showing of the original version featuring three projected images on three separate screens.” Nice. Source: Variety.

  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is hitting regular DVD and Blu-Ray flavored DVD on October 14th. You can pre-order the DVD here and the Blu-Ray here.
  • Lobo starts production on October 15th. It is an action thriller “about a colony of werewolves in Brazil.” Already sounds like a good rental to me. Source: Variety.
  • The Pokemon franchise, all eleven pics of it, have become the biggest box office animated series at the Japanese box office: US$455 million. What does this mean to you? There will be eleven more. Source: Variety.
  • Taylor Hackford is getting ready to helm Tenn, a biopic about Tennessee Williams. No start date yet, but remember that Hackford directed Ray. So. Worth looking out for. Source: Variety.
  • Roland Emmerich is remaking Independence Day. No…wait, sorry, he’s remaking The Day After Tomorrow. Sorry, no, I got it wrong, he’s doing yet another film about yet another worldwide cataclysm that features yet another ensemble cast of characters struggling to survive in the aftermath. It’s called 2012. Dear Roland: we appreciated the Irwin Allen homage of ID4, but it’s time to rent a new schtick. Love, the world.
  • Universal has snagged the rights to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series for a deal that was worth seven figures. The first adaptation will be the first book, The Eye of the World. No start date, so this could still never happen–just like the NBC miniseries that they wanted to make in 2000–so Jordan fans should refrain from chewing their fingernails at the moment. The final book in the series is going to be finished by Brandon Sanderson and is due out next fall. Source: Variety.
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