The Morning Read: 'Harry Potter' animation director signs on for a brand-new 'Pan'
Plus Nic Cage freaks out and Pixar says 'It gets better'
Welcome to The Morning Read.
I'm off to a late start today. There was that breaking "Buffy" news, the "Tangled" interview, and some running around to get ready for the rest of the week. But now I'm ready to sit down and see what's been going on while I've been busy.
It appears a whooooole lot of people went to see "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" this weekend, and if you did, there's a good chance one of the things you remember most about the film is that animated sequence they used to tell the story of The Three Brothers, the exposition necessary to make sense of the Deathly Hallows. Ben Hibon directed that sequence, it turns out, and now he may be signed on to direct the Ben Magid script "Pan." That's intriguing news. I remember reading "Pan" back when it was first set up with Guillermo Del Toro attached as director. It's a refiguring of the Peter Pan archetypes that plays as a dark murder-mystery with Hook as a police detective tracking a killer. It's about as far from the original J. M. Barrie story as possible, and I'm a firm believer that Barrie's work is already jet-black to begin with, filled with rich subtextual material for new writers to explore in a million different ways. If the new "Potter" is what it took to kickstart Hibon as a filmmaker, it sounds like a real win all the way around, because he ended up contributing one of the best moments in the series, a pivotal piece of Potter folklore.
Here's an earlier short by Hibon, courtesy of Cartoon Brew.
If you're going to try to get your series picked up, it helps to get a really strong filmmaker to set a style with a pilot episode, and it looks like "Locke & Key" just turned into one of the most interesting shows on the horizon. I was already interested since it's based on the Joe Hill comic series about Keyhouse, a mansion filled with doors that do remarkable things and open on remarkable places. It's a really cool idea for a TV show, and having Mark Romanek direct the pilot guarantees that it won't just look like business as usual. Very curious to see how this one comes together.
If you've got a soft spot for Atari 2600 era gaming, you'll love this.
Pixar wants you to know it gets better:
One of the things that makes me laugh hardest about "Cougar Town" is what a bunch of raging no-apologies drunks they all are. And aside from the producers, they drink a lot on the show, too. (Rim shot.) If you watch the show, this will make you smile. God bless you, Big Joe. And hats off to Kevin Biegel for using a candle holder as a wine goblet.
If you haven't enjoyed Nicolas Cage yet today, it's time.
I love him. I really do. I don't understand how anyone could want a world in which we didn't have at least one beautiful superfreak like him turning in one envelope-shredding performance after another. I'll live with a dozen "National Treasure" films if it means I get a "Vampire's Kiss" or a "Bad Lieutenant" from time to time.
I just got around to reading Damon Lindelof's piece on the Daily Beast where he essentially apologized to angry "Lost" fans. Or at least, that's the spin I'm reading out there in a number of places. What he actually did is simply realize that their anger doesn't make them into former fans or non-fans, but simply fans who wanted something other than what they got. It feels less like an apology and a simple perspective shift, where now he understands the validity of that anger without any sense that he's sorry he ended the show the way he did. I think it's an interesting piece about fandom in general, and I like that Lindelof could take this step back. I can't imagine George Lucas writing a piece that self-aware.
Remember, it's all perfectly safe.
Amy Nicholson's part of the relaunch of BoxOffice magazine, and if her Q&A with Michel Gondry about "The Green Hornet" is any indication, the magazine should be a hell of a read. I'll have that new "Hornet" trailer up here later this afternoon for you.
Devin Faraci found these amazing movie nerd onscreen displays. And if you don't know what I mean by that, just go look. Trust me.. it's groovy.
If I told you that you could see what Parallax will look like in "Green Lantern," would you click this link? What if I wasn't sure if the image was real or not? Your call.
You know what all of this means? It means HAL 9000 is going to be shooting us all out the airlock any day now. Just so's you know.
I am so confused by this, and so delighted by JCVD's list of "recommendations." I always knew he was a big "13 Going on 30" fan. This might be the strangest link I'll run today, and if you're a Van Damme fan, you absolutely have to click it.
I've said for years that there are few things worse on the whole than films about filmmakers and filmmaking.
Remember what I said about the Amazon Studios deal? Craig Mazin just weighed in, and it's worth a read, and it looks like James Frey is also gearing up on an idea that sounds like bad hoodoo for young writers looking for a break.
Robert Davi is best known for playing bad guys and tough guys and guys who are terrifying even when they're not meant to be, but in real life, Davi's a sweetheart, a family man with a fondness for Italian delis, fine cigars, and singing the songs of Francis Albert Sinatra. Right now, he's prepping for a big LA show, and if you want to attend, his Facebook page has details.
Here are 19 senators who I would highly recommend you never vote for again if you use and enjoy the Internet.
This is a horror movie. It makes me shiver to look at every single photo in the story. If I go into the hospital for any procedure, I am going to superglue the name of the procedure to my forehead just in case. Good lord.
This must mean Disney is about to start releasing the catalog Ghibli titles on Blu-ray, and if "Nausicaa" is the first one released, that's just fine by me. It's one of my very favorite of his films, and this is great news. March 8? Bring it on.
Great interview with the guys behind the amazing new film book Destroy All Movies. Read the interview, and if that doesn't make you want to run out and find the book, then you are wired very different than I am.
I've seen some critics piling on again in response to this article by Scott Weinberg, but I think there's an important point here, and it's one I wrestle with when I really don't like a movie. There's an informative and opinionated way to share that information and there's a genuinely unkind way to do it. I don't want to be cruel just because I can be, and I work to try to avoid it if I can.
It must have been amazing to be able to wander through the personal archives of David Foster Wallace, but it's deeply sad that what we have is all we get. I'm still not over the loss of his voice.
Rosario Dawson? Sexy Vulcan? Oh, god, someone make this happen.
I don't even know who Dan Snyder is, but I am in awe of the furious hate that inspired this article. There is no one I dislike enough to write an article like this, and that almost makes me sad.
And on that note, I'm out of here to see one of the 22 movies left before I'm done with 2010. Two more tomorrow. And then it's a mad scramble to the finish line. I'll have a "Tangled" review for you after I'm back from tonight's movie, so please check back in for that.
The Morning Read appears here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, except when it doesn't.
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