SFFWorld News – 3/30/2010
1) Warner Brothers Studios will be tackling the werewolf oeuvre with a new film, The Girl With the Red Riding Hood, based loosely on the Brothers Grimm folktale. Catherine Hardwicke will direct, David Johnson is doing the script, Amanda Seyfried will star as the girl, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company will produce.
2) HBO has officially picked up the first season of Game of Thrones, the television series adapted from George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. The first season will roughly follow the events in the first book of the series, A Game of Thrones, about the kingdom of Westeros, and run 10 episodes, including the pilot. The series will air on HBO in Spring 2011 in North America. David Benioff and Dan Weiss are the series’ creators, with author Martin serving as a consultant who will also pen one episode of the season.
3) Del Rey has acquired three new novels in Terry Brooks’ bestselling, long-running postapocalyptic fantasy series, Shannara. The books will follow in time from the previous trilogy High Druid of Shannara and be released through 2015.
4) Directors Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov will produce the adaptation of the fantasy novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith for film, along with Jim Lemley. Grahame-Smith is writing the screenplay
5) Television series pick-ups:
A) The CW has greenlit a 10th season of Superman series Smallville, starring Tom Welling. The show has been on a creative high and racking up good ratings numbers on Friday night under the guidance of new showrunners Darren Swimmer, Todd Slavkin, Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson. The major actors in the series are apparently all on board for the next go-round. The CW also renewed Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries (see previous news items.)
B) Fox Television has renewed Fringe for a third season, despite the show getting a bit pummeled on Thursday nights. The show has been stuffed into the dreaded mid-season break strategy but returns with new episodes on April 1st, including appearances by Leonard Nimoy.
C) The Syfy channel has renewed Warehouse 13, a hit for them, for a second season, which will premiere in July, for 13 episodes. All the major actors are returning, as is showrunner Jack Kenny. Warehouse 13 is produced by Universal Cable Pictures.
6) Despite the happy renewal of Smallville, though, there is a legal dispute brewing between the creators of the show and Time Warner, its distributor. Miles Millar, Alfred Gough and co-producer Tollin/Robbins Productions claim that Warner owes them money from the show and have filed suit for breach of contract and fiduciary duty with both Warner and the CW network that airs the show, which Warner owns. The dispute centers around discounts given to former WB and current CW affiliates and sales to foreign markets.
7) Over ten years ago, actress Sigourney Weaver was given a record deal for a female actor in the film industry to reprise her role as Ripley for the next Alien movie. That project bit the dust, to be followed by things like the Alien vs. Predator hook-ups. Now, the Alien franchise is attempting to relaunch by doing a prequel movie to the original film. Tony and Ridley Scott, who did the first Alien movie, are involved as producers and Ridley Scott will direct. The rumor is that the movie will be done in 3-D. No word on whether James Cameron, who directed the second Alien movie, Aliens, will loan them his Avatar tech to play with.
8) Neil Patrick Harris will headline the new live action, part-animated The Smurfs: The Movie. Harris will be playing a non-Smurf character. Hank Azaria is also in the film and Quentin Tarantino, Kevin James, Alan Cumming, Katy Perry, George Lopez, and legend Jonathan Winters will be providing voices for the Smurfs. Raja Gosnell is directing. (There is probably going to be at least one Avatar joke in this thing.)
9) One of the granddaddy games of the arcade, Space Invaders, is, yes, being made into a movie, from Warner Brothers in a deal with the game company Taito. Mark Gordon, Jason Blum and Guymon Casady will produce. The film should go nicely with Missile Command, being adapted over at Fox, and Asteroids from Universal Pictures.
10) SFF television is not letting Summer Glau go, even if her t.v. shows (Firefly, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dollhouse,) keep getting cancelled. The fan-loved actress will star in the new NBC superhero show The Cape. Glau will play Orwell, a blogger journalist investigating David Lyons’ cop, who becomes a masked hero to clear his name after being framed as a crook. The show’s creators promise that Glau will be kicking butt on the new series.
11) The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America will honor Vonda N. McIntyre and Keith Stokes with SFWA Service Awards for 2010 during the Nebula Awards Weekend in Coco Beach, Florida, May 13-16. McIntyre, a bestselling author and founding member of the Book View Cafe, is getting the award for her work on the groups’ websites, and Stokes, who has written for the SFWA Bulletin, Locus and File 770 and helped found the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, is getting his for his work with various committees, including membership organizing, and his work managing SFWA news alerts.
12) Gordon R. Dickson’s iconic SF series The Childe Cycle is being produced as a television series by MDR Productions. The first book in the series, Dorsai!, introduced readers to a world run by powerful AI’s. Information on the new series can be found at the website: http://www.dorsai.tv/
13) Oscar winner Frances McDormand, John Malkovich and Ken Jeong have all signed up for the third Transformers movie, expected out next summer. Producer and director Michael Bay also announced that a new Autobot in the movie will be a Ferrari. Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox return in their lead roles. (There is probably going to be at least one Fargo joke in this thing.)
14) SF author Samit Basu became a major bestseller in India with his Gameworld Trilogy. Now Hachette India is bringing out his new novel Turbulence, tackling the subject of superheroes, in the fall. Basu is also working with Scholastic Press on children’s books and has done comics with Virgin Comics.
15) ABC Studios is trying out No Ordinary Family, about an American family that develops superpowers. The show will star Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz as the scientist mom who presumably gets them all in trouble. (There is probably going to be at least one The Thing joke in this thing.)