SFFWorld News – 2/10/10
1) Actor/director Bruce Campbell, currently on cable show Burn Notice, is making a sequel to his satiric cult film My Name is Bruce. In the first movie, Campbell directed and starred, playing a version of himself as a seedy B-movie legend who gets asked by some townspeople to help out with what turns out to be a real demon. The sequel will be called Bruce Vs. Frankenstein (and will probably feature Frankenstein’s monster,) and will likely be out next year.
2) In the wake of Spider-Man Gate, a new director has been found for the high school reboot Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios has planned for the superhero character. The job goes to Marc Webb, currently getting acclaim for the romantic drama 500 Days of Summer. The new Spider-Man movie is scheduled for a 2012 release.
3) The Horror Writers Association have announced the winners of the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement and HWA Specialty Press Awards. The Lifetime Achievement award will go this year to both Brian Lumley and William F. Nolan. The Specialty Press Award goes to Tartarus Press of North Yorkshire, England. The awards will be presented in March at the World Horror Convention in Brighton, England.
4) U.S. cable channel AMC has ordered a pilot episode for The Walking Dead, based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, who will serve as an executive producer on the pilot. Director Frank Darabont will write, direct and executive produce in conjunction with Valhalla Motion Pictures. The Walking Dead follows a group of survivors in the wake of the zombie apocalypse.
5) DreamWorks will adapt a film version of the first of an upcoming YA science fiction series by authors James Frey and Jobie Hughes, called I Am Number Four. The movie will tell the story of a group of nine aliens who escape the destruction of their home planet and hide out as high school students on Earth. (Because that’s what aliens do.) D.J. Caruso will direct the movie and Michael Bay will produce. Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar wrote the screenplay adaptation. The first book in the series will come out from HarperCollins Children’s Books this fall.
6) Sony Pictures has optioned the rights to a series of science fiction novels by Jeff Somers, starting with The Electric Church. The novel concerns a new religion founded by a mysterious man who converts the faithful into cyborgs with human brains, enhanced robotic bodies and virtually unlimited life spans. Trevor Sands has been hired to adapt the work.
7) The big-screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s award-winning, best-selling children’s book, The Graveyard Book, has hit a snag. The film was being produced by Miramax Films, which owner Disney Co. has now dissolved. The film project was being adapted and directed by Neil Jordan and word is that it will be moved somewhere else, but development of the project has been delayed.
8) Author Ann VanderMeer, fiction editor for Weird Tales, has been promoted to editor-in-chief of the magazine. Author Mary Robinette Kowal will become the magazine’s art director and Paula Guran its non-fiction editor. Editorial and creative director Stephen H. Segal will remain a senior contributing editor to Weird Tales but is otherwise stepping down to serve as an acquisitions editor for Quirk Books.
9) The two film adaptations being made of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien have been furthered delayed for a new release date of late 2012. Guillermo del Toro is still directing the films, and Peter Jackson, who produced and directed the Oscar-winning films for Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, is producing.
10) Harlan Ellison’s legendary post-apocalypse story A Boy and His Dog, was made into a live action film starring Don Johnson years ago. The novella is getting a new adaptation, this time in animation from director David Lee Miller. The new film is tentatively scheduled for release in 2012.
11) Publisher Black Coat Press has launched a new program of English translations of classic and new works of French science fiction and fantasy. Author Brian Stableford will be heading the translations, with editors Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier. Some two dozen titles will be released this year, including a five volume series by Maurice Renard and a six volume series from J.H. Rosny Aîné, the author of The Hands of Orlac and Quest for Fire.
12) Bestselling author and screenwriter Neil Gaiman has confirmed that he will be writing an episode for the British television series Doctor Who. The episode is scheduled for the second season under the new Doctor played by actor Matt Smith.
13) Mervyn Peake was prevented from continuing his famed Gormenghast series by Parkinson’s disease, leaving behind only some notes on the next volume when he died in 1968. Peake’s wife, Maeve Gilmore, who aided Peake in his later years, apparently undertook to write the fourth novel of the series, Titus Awakes, but kept the manuscript locked away, unknown to anyone until recently discovered in the family home’s attic by Peake’s granddaughter, Christian. Random House has now won rights to publish the work in auction from Peake and Gilmore’s estate for its Vintage Classics imprint. Vintage will publish the book in July 2011, at the centenary of Peake’s birth, along with a new edition of the previous three books, accompanied by never before published illustrations by Peake himself.
14) The writers of the hit post-apocalypse movie Zombieland have officially announced that there will be a sequel and it will be in 3D. The film is tentatively scheduled for early 2012, and the four main characters/actors: Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) are all expected to return. The first movie is now available on DVD.