The Morning Read (1.29.09)
I'm still reeling from last night's episode of "Lost," which I recapped over on our "Monkeys As Critics" blog. If you're a fan, you know why I'm so blown away, and if you're not, I couldn't even begin to explain it.
Various news stories breaking at Variety are going to get regurgitated across the blogosphere today.
For example, there's the bidding war that erupted over "The Sitter," a spec script that ultimately sold to Fox Atomic. What that article doesn't say is that Jonah Hill may be attached to star, which is one of the reasons that package looked so attractive to everyone bidding on it.
I saw "Coraline" yesterday, and while I'm embargoed on any sort of full review, I'll just say that Neil Gaiman's got to be feeling better about the prospect of seeing his work done right onscreen than he ever has before. And just in time, too, since Neil Jordan's attached to write and direct the screen adaptation of "The Graveyard Book," which just won the Newberry Award. It's basically "The Jungle Book" if Mowgli was raised by the dead instead of animals, and it's another of Gaiman's great ideas. Jordan's a gifted visualist, and when he really nails a piece of material, there are few filmmakers I like more. I think this is terribly exciting news.
I remain profoundly unconvinced by this prequel to "The Thing" that is coming together. Ron Moore's a smart guy, but I don't give a shit about seeing what happened before Carpenter's film. I barely care about the idea of what happened after, but at least there's some latitude for storytelling there. But a prequel? I wish Matthijs Van Heijningen luck, but I just can't image why this story needs to be told aside from cash. Then again, I hope the producers remember the original was a massive bomb when it was released in '82. Also, technically, Bloody-Disgusting broke this story two weeks ago, so Variety once again reports something without sourcing the internet. Sweeeeet.
Speaking of Bloody-Disgusting, they have several stories of note up this morning. One is a confirmation that Nic Cage is attached to a "Ghost Rider" sequel. I actually had a long talk with Cage about this on the set of "Kick Ass," and he talked about how the idea for the sequel evolved. Basically, he was on a press tour for the first "Ghost Rider" and wanted to visit Westminster Abbey. When he did, he stumbled into a conference of cardinals, who recognized him and asked him to sit in with them. When he was sitting there, dressed as Johnny Blaze, surrounded by cardinals from all over Europe discussing official Catholic Church business, Cage had the idea: "what if Blaze was working for the Church? What if they needed their own demon to get certain things done?" As I understand it, that's where the sequel picks up. Right now, it looks like Sony's still looking for a writer for the film.
Is Robert Rodriguez finally producing his long-rumored "Predators" for Fox? If so, it's got to be a step up from those wretched AvsP films they've been cranking out the last few years.
Also, Bloody-Disgusting managed to sneak into that "Drag Me To Hell" test screening as well. God, I want to see that movie now.
Off to take Toshi to school, then I've got to take a quick nap before I run off to do interviews for "The International." Then, finally, I'll have time to type up this backlog of reviews. Seems like I haven't had ten free seconds since Sundance ended. Crazy, eh?