The Hollywood Universe – 12/8/07
1) Star Trek Casting News: George Takei will cameo in J.J. Abrams’ attempt to revive the franchise with Star Trek XI, playing older Sulu, and joining Leonard Nimoy, who is reprising his role as older Spock. (In the film, meant to be a prequel to the original Star Trek series, John Cho is playing young Sulu and Zachary Quinto is playing young Spock.) Both fans and William Shatner are hoping they’ll find a spot for old Captain Kirk and an online petition to get him there is up on the Web: http://www.wewantkirk.com
2) In 2004, director Shinji Aramaki and Digital Frontiers Inc. put out Appleseed, a CG animated feature film based on the popular manga series. The movie was a box office success in Japan and a big seller in the U.S. on DVD in 2005. So of course, there’s to be a sequel, Appleseed: Ex Machina, which will be distributed outside of Japan by Warner Brothers and will be directed by John Woo. Limited screenings in the U.S. and a DVD will be available in March 2008.
3) Knight Rider Casting News: In the States, NBC’s remake television series of Knight Rider, about a trouble-shooter and his talking car, has announced that Bruce Davison, Wayne Kasserman and Greg Ellis wil be joining the cast. Justin Bruening stars as Mike Tracer, the son of the original super agent Michael Knight, who takes up his father’s legacy with a new A.I. car buddy. David Hasshelhoff, who played Michael Knight in the original 1980’s series, will reprise his role for the two hour pilot movie.
4) Jericho, the U.S. sci-fi television series that won new life thanks to a massive campaign by its fans, will return for a shortened second season on CBS on February 12th. The show will run seven episodes that have already been produced, with ratings and the writers’ strike to determine whether the series continues after that.
5) Filmmaker Francis Lawrence is executive producing and directing a new pilot for NBC called Kings, which updates the biblical story of King David and sets it in an alternate reality version of America, in which David becomes king of New York City. Michael Greene (Heroes) wrote the script and NBC has given the project a green light.
6) Robert Zemeckis (Beowulf) is doing yet another motion capture/cgi film, a new version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The movie stars Jim Carrey as Scrooge, and the cast now includes Robin Wright Penn, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Bob Hoskins. The film is scheduled to hit theaters in November 2009, in time for the holidays.
7) X-Files Casting News: Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, and rapper Xzibit have joined the cast of creator Chris Carter’s second X-Files movie, a stand-alone story starring the television series’ original leads David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI agents Mulder and Scully. The first X-Files film came out in 1998. The new film has been somewhat delayed due to the writers’ strike.
8) Terminator Casting News: Batman takes on another icon as it has been confirmed that actor Christian Bale will star in the Terminator 4 movie, Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. Bale will play the savior of humanity against the robots, John Connor, in the big budget film directed by McG, for Warner Brothers, which also produces the Bale’s Batman movies. Though the movie hasn’t officially been greenlit yet, it’s tentatively scheduled to start shooting in 2008.
9) The cable sci-fi cop series, the Cleveland-based Out of Darkness, written by Emmy winner Alex P. Michaels, is looking to liven up its second season by trying to attract a big name actor or actress to the cast. The show is currently airing on the Dish Network and Time Warner Cable in the U.S. and clips are available on YouTube. For more info about the casting search: www.prelude2cinema.com/dark.htm.