Saturday, October 31, 2009

REBOOT downloading from the monitor to the theater!

Okay, I tried finding a link for this to explain, but I couldn't so here goes freehand. ReBoot was a fan-loved animated series running from 1994 to 2001. Think of it as Tron being a TV series (except no real contact with the outside world and Jeff Bridges; although there is mention of "Users"). When "The User" loads a game, a Game Cube drops on a random location in Mainframe, sealing it off from the rest of the system and turning it into a "gamescape". Bob [the main "superhero" character] frequently enters the games, "Reboots" to become a game character, and fights the User's character to save the sector. If the User wins a game, the sector the Cube fell in is destroyed.

On June 1, 2008, it was announced that there will be a trilogy of ReBoot films coming to theaters. How I missed this, I have no idea. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a die-hard fan of the show (saw it back in the day, got too mature for me - I WAS LIKE 5 YEARS OLD) but if I saw it again, I might understand it, especially now that I've seen Tron and am currently awaiting Tron Legacy.

Here's the teaser. It doesn't do much other than show off the city and remind of the "Game Cubes".

Friday, October 30, 2009

MEN IN BLACK III on the NYPD-in' way


"Columbia Pictures has hired Tropic Thunder writer Etan Cohen to pen the script for Men in Black III.

There are no deals yet in place for franchise director Barry Sonnenfeld and stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones to return.

The studio is looking to start filming the third installment in 2010, perhaps as early as the spring.

The first two films combined to earn nearly $1.1 billion worldwide."

Okay, just to be clear, I love both movies. They are the epitome of alien movie comedy!! PLEASE COME BACK, FELLAS!!! THE WORLD NEEDS YOU... TO MAKE THEM LAUGH AGAIN!!!!

Kick back wit' da "Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)"

Heed Odin's words... I shall be played by Anthony Hopkins!


"Anthony Hopkins has been cast as Norse god Odin in Marvel Studios' Thor, to be directed by Kenneth Branagh starting January.

Odin is the father of Thor and Loki, to be played by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, respectively. Natalie Portman is playing Thor's love interest, Jane Foster.

In the movie, written by Mark Protosevich and Zack Stentz, the powerful but arrogant warrior Thor's reckless actions re-ignite an ancient war. As punishment, Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans. Once here, he learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends dark forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

Paramount Pictures will release the film on May 20, 2011."

Okay, not who I was thinking of, but still, it's perfect casting. It's good to see that he's now more willing to play more pop culture roles (outside of his most famous one, Hannibal Lector - the American Film Institute's #1 villain). You can see Anthony Hopkins next in The Wolfman.

BTW, that picture is of Anthony Hopkins but it's not of Odin. It's King Hrothgar from Beowulf.


From MTV Movie Blog:

"...out of nowhere, Robert Zemeckis exclusively revealed to MTV News that new digital tools like performance-capture technology had him buzzing about finally making a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit. But there's a big difference between being excited about a project and actually moving forward with it.

MTV News has now exclusively learned that Zemeckis is not only pumped to bring the flustered cartoon bunny back to the big screen after 20 years, but that he has commissioned a script. And guess who's writing it? Original scribes Jeffrey Price and Peter Seaman.

'There's a script that's being developed,' he revealed, adding, 'We've got the original writers that are working on it now — Seaman and Price.'

There have been many false starts on another Roger Rabbit over the years, with potential sequels and prequels cropping up in rumors but never becoming realities — and for those who think only Zemeckis should helm the second Roger helping, that's a good thing. The director said he was never involved in any of those other ideas.

'I think there was a time right after the movie came out that the Disney regime at the time — it was a point in the life of the studio where if you made a successful movie they could no longer afford to hire you back,' he laughed. 'I guess there were some projects that I don't know anything about.'

We learned a bunch more about the upcoming film, info we'll be rolling out in the next couple of days. Just how will Zemeckis employ those new digital tools as he marries cartoons with real people? Which characters from the past — Jessica Rabbit? Eddie Valiant? — will we see? As Zemeckis said with a smile at one point during the interview, 'You're gonna have to wait!'"

NO WAY!! THAT MOVIE WAS AWESOME!! Just don't set it in today. Maybe do a story on how the Toons are losing their popularity and that affects their "tooniness" somehow.

Friday, October 23, 2009



"So, of course, you'd think that -- now that ads for Disney's A Christmas Carol have begun airing on television -- that those who tour this traveling exhibit for Robert Zemeckis' latest film would have a better sense of what to expect. But that really isn't the case.

You see, all of the commercials that are currently playing on TV here in the US play up A Christmas Carol's more comic moments. So when people see Jim Carrey's version of Ebenezer Scrooge being hit in the face by giant icicles ... Well, that's what these folks expect when they enter that inflatable 3D Theatre that Disney has been hauling from city-to-city on the Christmas Carol Train Tour. A comical holiday romp.

The only problem is ... That's not the Christmas Carol that Zemeckis set out to make.

In his introduction for Diana Landau's 'The Art of Disney's A Christmas Carol' (Disney Editions, October 2009), Robert talks about how ' ... I can't resist a great ghost story ... Finally we have the technology to bring (the ghosts that are showcased in this holiday story) to the screen as Dickens described ... With our CG tools (at ImagerMovers Digital) we can make the ghost as strange or enormous or terrifying as we want ...'

And though Zemeckis receives lots of recognition for his more life-affirming / family-friendly fare like Forrest Gump, Back to the Future and The Polar Express ... As 1992's Death Becomes Her and 2000's What Lies Beneath (not to mention Robert's work as the executive producer of HBO's 'Tales from the Crypt') proved, this Academy Award-winner just loves a good scare.

And the grislier the better. As is evidenced by that scene from Disney's A Christmas Carol that's been screened inside of the Digital 3D Theatre all across this country. When that bandage around Jacob Marley's head comes loose. And this ghoul's jaw & tongue suddenly -- thanks to the far-too-detailed cinematic magic of Disney Digital 3D -- dangles right in the audience's face.

'So why are the TV commercials & movie trailers that have been prepped for the U.S. market trying to sell Disney's A Christmas Carol as a comedy?,' you ask. Because the Mouse's marketing staff believes that the best way to sell a new film is with humor. That laughter -- more than anything -- is what prompts American to buy movie tickets.

Whereas for the Japanese ... Well, they're far more likely to buy a ticket to a new movie if the TV commercials and/or film trailers for that release do a proper job of showcasing the characters that you'll meet, the emotions that you'll experience while watching this movie. Which is why the Japanese trailer for Disney's A Christmas Carol is decidedly different than the one that Mickey's marketeers prepared for American audiences. These ads actually give you a sense of how scary certain sections of this movie might be.

Anyway ... Getting back to the Christmas Carol Train Tour ... Those who have been checking out this film's Digital 3D preview in that inflatable theatre have been coming out talking about that Jacob Marley footage. And not necessarily in a good way.

Said one tour insider:

'Yeah, we've been getting a lot of complaints about that sequence. Especially from parents who have taken small children into the theater. They say that there should have been some sort of advance warning about how intense that footage was going to be.'

Well, now that Disney's A Christmas Carol has officially been rated PG (Because the MPAA recently decided that some of the material in this Robert Zemeckis movie 'may not be suitable for children' due to 'scary sequences and images'), that's really not an issue anymore. Disney can now put signage outside of the train tour's inflatable theatre that actually informs parents about this movie's rating."


New clip from Disney's A Christmas Carol. "I'm Still Here".


Disney's A Christmas Carol "Ultimate Ghost Story"

First Official Look at THE A-TEAM


"Here is your first official look at Bradley Cooper as Lt. Templeton 'Faceman' Peck, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson as Sgt. 'B.A.' Baracus, Sharlto Copley as Capt. 'Howling Mad' Murdock, and Liam Neeson as John 'Hannibal' Smith in the Joe Carnahan-directed The A-Team. The action-adventure, also starring Jessica Biel, will hit theaters on June 11, 2010."

Kenny Ortega and Friends on MICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT!


"On Wednesday, October 28, the world will finally have a chance to see some of the last performances by the 'King of Pop', Michael Jackson, thanks to the extensive rehearsal footage that accumulated over the months in which he prepared for his string of sold out shows at London's O2 Arena, plans that were cut short by Jackson's sudden death on June 25th.

The results are Michael Jackson's This is It!, not necessarily a concert film as much as a behind-the-scenes documentation of all the work and preparation that went into what many thought would be Jackson's comeback.

To learn more about the movie, sat down with the film's director Kenny Ortega and Jackson choreographer Travis Payne, both of whom have been working with the singer on his live shows going back to the 'Dangerous' and 'HIStory' tours, as well as the show's musical director Michael Bearden. It was surprising to see them doing so many interviews for the movie, considering how difficult it must have been to talk about their dear friend, and it was quite an emotional experience for the men to talk with reverence about Jackson and his involvement with the movie from the beyond.

Before our interview, we were given a brief glimpse at roughly 13 minutes of footage from the movie, which showed Jackson preparing a few of the numbers from the show with this team. The footage goes through songs like 'Human Nature' and 'The Way You Make Me Feel' in their various incarnations as we watch their evolution from the early rehearsals to the last few weeks just before the show was going to debut. Needless to say, the first time we see Jackson in full regalia doing some of his trademark moves, a shiver goes down your spine, because it's obvious even from that little bit of footage, Jackson was still very much in his prime when he passed.

How long does it usually take to stage a production on this scale? I know the shows were announced in March, so were you guys already well into planning and preparation at that point?
Kenny Ortega: 'No, actually, not at all. Michael called me just before the announcement in March, and then we began early April, and in the beginning it was just putting the team together and conceptual discussions, then the dancers started at the end of April, the band started the first week of May, didn't it?'
Michael Bearden: 'The band started the first week of May, but I started earlier. I was on before the dancers.'
Ortega: 'We put our creative team together, then we put our dancers, singers and band together. Michael was actually working with Travis privately on building up his dance routines and then also worked with Michael privately on the music. We all kind of came together on the big stage at the Forum in May.'

So that was the Forum that we saw in the movie.
Ortega: The Forum and the Staples Center. There are five venues in the picture: the O2 where Michael made the press announcement, the Nokia Live which is where we did the big dance auditions, and then we did Center Stages where we did band, dancer, singer and conceptual meetings and early rehearsal, and then we moved into the arenas as we started to put the show on its feet.

So we're going to be seeing some of the auditions and other things leading up to rehearsals?
Ortega: 'Yeah, yeah.'
Travis Payne: 'The film is the story of what was to be 'This Is It.' It's the entire process, the creation of the show.'

I know you two (Kenny and Travis) worked with Michael for a long time but was this the first time you worked with him, Michael?
Bearden: 'No, I worked with Michael in 2001 on the 30th Anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden, right before 9/11 happened. This is the first time I worked with him this closely and in this capacity. I was just a sideman in that band, and I worked with his brothers and every artist that was on the show, but this was not my first time working with him.'

Since you all had experience working with him, did you get the impression that he was trying to reinvent himself in some ways or was it just a matter of giving the fans what they were expecting?
Ortega: (chuckles) 'He didn't need to reinvent himself. It wasn't about reinvention, but in putting the show together, at times it was about reimagining, freshening, creating new stimulus, surprises.'
Bearden: 'Expanding ideas.'
Ortega: 'Expanding ideas, but there were the classics that didn't need to be touched. It was a real rangey dynamic of ideas that were as simple and as basic and as intimate as Michael standing on a stage in a light with the band and the audience, to these enormous elaborate 3-dimensional motion picture production experiences. We had a cast of 70 that was planned to open the show in London. It was truly without question the most realized arena production I think ever.'
Bearden: 'Amen.'
Payne: 'Yes.'

From what I've seen, this could have been like a long-running Broadway show that you set up and it would just run for months and months if they wanted. I was curious about the filming of everything. Was it always very common to do that?
Payne: It was always part of the process to document everything, often times just for reference sake, so that we could compare what happens from one day to the next. All in the efforts of honing the ideas to be the best they could, so fortunately, like every other process, the cameras were rolling, which is thankfully how we were able to construct this movie.

Who originally came up with the idea to do this? You obviously had spent a lot of time getting this show together, but who said, 'We should at least try to show the people what they would have seen...'?
Ortega: Well, the fans were demanding it. Immediately after Michael had died, while we were all just really arrested with the tragedy of it, in the midst of creating the memorial and really just in slow motion moving to the surreality of what had happened, the fans who were also going through their own tremendous agonies over the loss of Michael but also, at the same time saying, 'We had tickets. We must know what was it? What were you doing? Please please...' They were begging in the thousands from all over the world in every language, 'Please, please, please let us know what Michael was doing. Share with us, anything. Don't you have anything?' So the estate that represents the better interests of Michael, his family picked up on that and they came to us and said, 'We need to do this.' At first, we were all like, 'Huh?' But thankfully, we all agreed together that this was... we've said that this was an honor project, not a glory project, and that this was about a calling. It was like our responsibility to recognize that the journey was not over, and that we had to step it up and pull it together and find a way to become objective enough to be able to do it. It was very difficult, but we kept each other in the room, we kept each other up...'
Bearden: 'A lot of tissue moments, a lot of tissue moments.'
Ortega: 'We had to take some walks.'
Bearden: 'Yeah.'
Payne: 'And this was Michael's greatest work, and he was so very passionate about it. He knew that this was a time to return to the stage and remind people of a lot of the messages that had been woven through his music and his art for years. Peace and hope and love and protecting the planet and doing everything we could as a humanity to insure that there is an environment safe enough for future generations to inhabit. We knew from that moment on that this was so important to him. It was a journey we had all begun together that it was very important that we finished it... for and with Michael.'

At what point did you start going through the footage and what was involved with that because it must have been so difficult.
Bearden: 'Well, it was after the memorial and there was talk of a tribute concert and that was right before the bidding happened for the footage and then once Sony acquired the rights, all of the talks about tributes stopped and they brought Kenny and Travis and I in to look at this endless long string of...'
Ortega: (laughs) '80 hours of footage.'
Bearden: 'And it was quite emotional because we hadn't deal with it at that point.'

Not all 80 hours at once of course.
Ortega: 'No, no, no, but basically, we saw enough to know that there was enough there to do something, and that was in like mid-July, and then we talked about it musically, we talked about it conceptually, and we left the editors for two weeks and gave them a conceptual plan and direction, and then they did a massive assembly and that was like six hours and we all came in and looked at that together, then we got together and talked about it, and just basically went in after that and said, 'Okay, here's the movie we want to make. We see a movie in here.''
Bearden: 'At one point, one of us was with MJ every day, either Travis or Kenny or I or all of us collectively, so it was a big lump of clay, if you will, that we could start to see where to chisel and we had to do it as a team, because there was so much to do, and the other thing that we did was we always considered Michael in every aspect of it, so it wasn't only us guiding the hammer and chisel, it was MJ. I would go, 'Does he like this shot here? No.' Each of us would have a moment where we actually felt Michael's presence, so that's what happened. We had a wonderful blueprint from Michael; he was always the architect of everything that he did, and since we were there every day, we knew what he wanted so we tried to realize his vision and try to translate that into the film.'
Ortega: 'I have to tell you. One time, we were sitting in a room and we were looking at three different performances of rehearsal of Michael doing one song, and I was like, 'I love that. How are we not going to lose that?' and Travis and I were looking at it, and I was like, 'What do you think we should do?' and Travis said, 'He said 'All of them'' and I said, 'What?' 'He said 'All of them.'' He told me, 'Use them all.'' Then we realized that he was in the room, and he was talking to us and he was saying, 'You don't have to just show one of them, show them all!' At different intervals of the film, you may see Michael in one afternoon's rehearsal of something and then in the very next song, you might see weeks of rehearsal in a compilation. We really did feel guided, we really did, we felt guided. The other thing that was in our minds and in our hearts every single day was the fans. What do they need? What is going to help them come to arrest this heartache that is inside of them. Before we would throw something out, we would say, 'I dunno about that. They're going to want that.' So we argued for them, we were like there for them.'

In the footage, there's a split screen of Michael doing three different versions of how he ends one song. This show seems so planned and well-rehearsed so is there still room for improvisation when it comes to what Michael does in each song?
Ortega: 'These guys had to learn every song of every record. They had the whole catalogue.
Bearden: We had about 30 songs done in two weeks. I have the same sort of work ethic that MJ. He's all work. Very kind, very gentle, a perfectionist but not in a dictatorial sense where you must do whatever he says. It's very collaborative, but at the same time, you had to get done what he wanted to get done. We had to be at the ready for anything that he wanted to do, because he was so spontaneous and creative that way, even though he had a sense of direction. A wonderful thing that I loved about MJ is that he allowed for what we all called 'creative jousting' so if there was something that I didn't like--or not even that I didn't like but had a different suggestion--then he would go, 'Well, then make me feel that. Okay, let's do that.''
Payne: Having performed in the 'Dangerous' and 'HIStory' tours with him on stage, he was a master improvisational dancer, the best I'd ever seen, and there was a lot of room for him to have a different experience every night. There were moments where he called the chunks, where he was expected to tuck in and be in unison with the dancers, and that's what we would focus on in rehearsal, but then clearly there was room for him to have his own experience, so that it was fresh and new for him every night.
Ortega: 'And he always wanted you to be watchful. When you worked with Michael Jackson, you had to plug in. You weren't the band or the singers or the dancers; you were an extension of Michael Jackson. It was an organism, and you see in the film. At one point, he goes, 'No, stop. That happened too fast. Watch me!' and someone might start to say something and he would say, 'Just watch me. I'll take you there.' What it was was Michael was the conductor, and that at any given moment, he was liable to go into an improvisational moment. He was going to play the crowds, and he says it, 'I might just want to shake my shoulders. I might want to just unbutton my jacket.' So basically what was happening was everybody was getting fine-tuned, plugged in, and you even see him at one point, he does a stop and he does a little hesitation to see if anybody's going to jump the gun, a little passive/aggressive test... and no one does, and he's got a little smirk on his face, and he knows he's in charge and that everybody's watching him and paying attention, and then he drops that hand and everything goes. Michael had that ability on any given night, at any given time, to switch it up. He had to be ready and the choreographer had to be ready...'

That sounds a lot like James Brown. I've seen concert footage of him where you're really amazed that his band can keep up with him, because there's no way they could know what he was going to do next.
Bearden: 'That's funny that you say that because we actually talked about that a lot, and that's where he got a lot of that from. It is pretty much like James Brown and Jackie Wilson and all those things he absorbed when he was a kid. He would be on the side of the stage when the brothers were playing at the Regal in Chicago, all these wonderful places that they played, and he would just listen to them and he's looking and studying and even at age 8, he's doing this.'

This movie isn't really a concert film as it's more behind-the-scenes...
Ortega: 'When we started out making the film, we did think it was going to kind of be a documentary, in that it was going to, as best we could, tell the story of the greatest show that no one ever got to see. I always put my foot down when anybody ever tried to reference it as a concert film and I'd say, 'Don't say that.' Because we were always a work-in-progress. We never were able to become the concert, the show that we had set our path on, however, the movie at some point kind of just grabbed a hold of itself and formed itself, and what we ended up with was 111 minutes that's pretty much wall-to-wall music. The sound in this film is extraordinary. Michael worked with Paul Masi, Academy award winner that did the mixing for Shine a Light, the Scorsese/Rolling Stones film. Really, it's like a mosaic that lives somewhere in the middle of being a documentary and a concert film.'

Do you think a movie like this might have ever happened if Michael Jackson was still alive? Would he have allowed this much behind-the-scenes footage to be seen?
Ortega: 'We have never found a movie out there that is like this. We tried. We really wanted to find one, we wanted someone to show us something, to help us. It would have been really nice to have a reference, and I want to say, 'No, I don't think so.''
Bearden: 'Yeah, someone asked me that earlier and there is no reference, because even Shine a Light and those kinds of music films, the artist could actually go to the premiere and see it. This was never intended to be a film.'
Ortega: 'How about that there was nobody in the arena while we were shooting it?'

I heard some applause during certain moments so obviously someone must have snuck in.
Ortega: '11 dancers and a few crew members that were privileged to witness it.'
Bearden: 'Have you ever seen Michael in any video moment in an arena that big with nobody inside?'

I want to talk about Michael's legacy. Obviously, he made and sold a lot of records, and now everyone is realizing we've lost someone great. Can you talk about that legacy and where you feel it goes from here? Do you think that his unfortunate passing will insure more people discover his music?
Payne: 'I think so. I think that clearly Michael's fanbase that had been with him all these years was poised to descend on O2 and just soak it up and be with their hero, but I think of course, because of his untimely death, there's a lot more curiosity surrounding the project. I believe that it could quite possibly reach many more people than it would have. It's unfortunate that we had to lose him physically in the process, but I believe that he'd be happy that a greater audience are going to get to hear and see the messages that were so near and dear to his heart for all of these years that were the foundation for him wanting to return to the stage.'
Ortega: 'And we had such reason behind everything that we were doing. Everyone that worked on this project, once we lost Michael, kind of immediately knew that he left us with this responsibility. His music's always going to be there. His short films are always going to be there. You can look at 'Dangerous,' you can rent 'HIStory' or 'Thriller', but the reasons behind Michael wanting to go out and do this series and beyond--take it to India, take it to Japan, take it around the world--were plentiful, and they were deep and they were sincere, and he was really emotional behind some of it. We were there every day, coming to really appreciate and value why Michael was doing this at this stage of his life. Now he's gone and I know I speak for all of us here and everyone involved, we know that part of the legacy we have to keep by doing everything we can to remind people of those messages that were so important to Michael. That's how you keep someone alive. That's how the legacy continues, and even grows, that all of us: His fans, the creative people that were privileged enough to work with him, have to remember that we have our part to do. We have a responsibility to do.'
Payne: 'Hopefully, if people attend this film, and are able to connect with Michael again and are able to hear the messages that are so passionate to him and he was so adamant about. If each one of them goes out and does one thing each day, then that would have made him happy. I believe that starting there can affect a great deal of change, and that would be a triumph.'

I wish there was a movie like this when Elvis Presley passed away or when John Lennon was shot, because this puts the focus back on the music. I haven't seen this in IMAX so how has the footage translated to the larger format, because it's obviously very rough.
Ortega: 'Yeah... at first, our post-production producer came in, dancing a jig, Chantal Feghali, an amazing post-production supervisor/co-producer, she came in, 'We've got the IMAX!' and we kind of looked at her and went, 'What?!?' Because it is gritty, it is raw, it is not always so pretty.'
Bearden: 'It was never meant to be a film.'
Ortega: 'But in fact, all the folks that went to Seattle to work on it came back to us going, 'You're going to flip out.' You know on Halloween night, we get to see it at IMAX, they're giving us a special screening. I hadn't even told you yet.'
Bearden: 'Is that right? Wow.'
Ortega: 'I don't know if you know but we have 15 world premieres happening simultaneously, which I've been told is completely unique and from Los Angeles, we're going to be like the homebase, plugged into all 15 of those world premieres, screens everywhere, Leicester Square in London, they're expecting thousands of people to come in at 1 o'clock in the morning. On the streets, they're going to have big screens out there. Everywhere on the planet at the same time. We're talking some major cities including Sydney and Tokyo and London and...'
Bearden: 'Even Bermuda!'
Ortega: 'Bermuda, Munich, it's pretty exciting.'

As far as your own plans, Kenny, are you going to go back to working on Footloose now that you're done with this?
Ortega: 'Woo! You know, I gotta take a minute. I really have to take a minute. I haven't had a chance to really fully just have some personal time with the idea that Michael is no longer here. That that phone is not going to ring with some new idea, that I'm not going to be sitting across from him, talking about the movies that we were planning. These things, I've had to put on the backburner and just stay focused on the creative issues at hand, and I think before I do anything next, that I just want some really good alone time, and some time with my family. Because a lot has happened, and it's going to impact my life. Michael and I weren't just doing 'This Is It' - which is enough to be doing with Michael. I mean, you come out the other side of that, having been on a journey like never before. Michael and I also had film projects in mind, so this changes the course of my life, and I just need to kind of step back and look at that. Footloose is out there. There are other projects in development that are out there. What's absolute is that I'm going to put a hold on that right now.'
Bearden: 'I echo what Kenny says. I haven't really had time to process everything. We went straight from Michael passing to the memorial to the proposed tributes to the crafting of the film, to the funeral. Like he says, I'm still going to miss the alone time with Michael just talking about simple things like grits or anything stupid that we would talk about, but what I am going to do is that I'm the new musical director for George Lopez's new talk show [Lopez Tonight] that's going to come out on TBS four nights a week starting November 9. What I was able to do was get a couple of the guys that were in MJ's band and who weren't working--when Michael passed, the work stopped for them--so I was able to get them into a new fold and we'll still be able to create and do things, which I was happy I was able to do. In this tragedy, came some light for them. I never stopped working on this, but this is something I can do. I'll still need some alone time to be with my family and I'm going to take that time, but I'm going to embrace this new project, and George was gracious enough that I think he said he wants us on to talk about this when the film is out.'
Payne: 'Fortunately, we had the opportunity to assemble this film with Kenny leading the way, and that's all supporting each other, and it began a healing process for us. It proved very helpful and cathartic to be able to sit there with the footage and still be with Michael. I hope that his fans will feel that way, too, that they have him back for a while, and to celebrate him now. I think that the world has mourned for so long, and I'm not at all suggesting that we forget him, but I think it's time to celebrate him and do the work. I think he would want to connect with his fans, get these messages out there, and smile down from heaven that change is actually happening because of his work.'"

The movie is released October 28th for two weeks only.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Lizard in SPIDER-MAN 4?


"UGO reports that Dylan Baker confirmed last night at a Trick 'r Treat screening in New York that he'll be back as Dr. Curt Connors in director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4.

There's been a lot of speculation that Connors will finally become The Lizard in the fourth installment, but Baker said that he had just gotten his first call about the film that very day.

The site says that Trick 'r Treat director Michael Dougherty ribbed him about 'just appearing in the background,' and Baker said that's what he'd be doing. It is, of course, unknown if Baker can say anything at this point, so it might be too early to take that as a fact.

Columbia Pictures is planning a May 5, 2011 release in conventional and IMAX theaters."

Nickelodeon buys Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

From Coming

"Nickelodeon has acquired global rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brand from Mirage Studios and will develop a new CG-animated TV series, while Paramount Pictures is developing a new feature film for a 2012 release. The full press release:

'Furthering its mission to provide premium content to its audiences, Nickelodeon--part of MTV Networks, a division of Viacom Inc.--has acquired the global rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from The Mirage Group and 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. The acquisition provides Nickelodeon, the world's number-one entertainment brand for kids, global intellectual property rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the hit television, film and video game property that has delighted kids around the world for the last 25 years. The aggregate purchase price for the transactions is approximately $60 million.

Nickelodeon also announced plans to develop a new CG-animated television series based on the popular superhero franchise, anticipated to premiere in 2012. Additionally, in partnership with Viacom's Paramount Pictures, a new release of a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feature film is also planned for 2012. Nickelodeon has also acquired all merchandising rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and will continue to work with its original and long-standing toy partner, Playmates Toys, which has been the creative force behind the successful TMNT master toy program over the last two decades.

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shares a comedic sensibility with the Nickelodeon DNA, with added layers of action and fantasy that have kept this property an evergreen favorite with multiple generations of audiences,' said Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. 'We are extremely happy to have the opportunity to be able to focus on this property and creatively re-introduce it to a new generation of kids.'

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a property that maintains a very passionate global fan base, is rich with opportunity for a tentpole movie, and is exactly the right property for us to work together with Nickelodeon,' said Adam Goodman, President, Paramount Pictures.

'Mirage has been the proud keeper of the Turtles' brand since 1984, and in 2009 we celebrated their 25th anniversary with our legions of fans,' said Gary Richardson, CEO, Mirage Studios. 'Nickelodeon is a powerhouse global brand, and we are confident that the company will be a wonderful steward for Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello and all the other TMNT characters and take them in all kinds of exciting and new creative directions.'

'We enjoyed our eight-year partnership with Mirage during which 4Kids and Mirage re-launched the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise for a new generation of kids around the world,' said Alfred Kahn, Chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. 'We will also work with Mirage and Viacom so that our Turtles' licensees can be assured of a seamless transition.'

Considered one of the most popular kids' television programs of the 1980s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a classic, global property created in 1984 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. It first debuted as a successful comic book series and then became a hit animated TV show, a live-action television series, and later spawned four blockbuster theatrical releases. The property also has translated into a significant consumer products business--with DVDs, video games, toys and more--that has generated billions of dollars at retail.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is based on four mutant turtles--trained in the art of Ninjitsu--who battle evil from the New York sewers. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated television series--jointly produced by 4Kids Entertainment and Mirage Studios--will continue to air on 'TheCW4Kids' Saturday morning programming block on The CW network through Aug. 31, 2010."

Is it still going to be a live-action sequel with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Chris Evans?



"Comic Book Resources attended the Big Apple Comic-Con and listened in on Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada's Q&A at the event. While he wasn't able to say much about Spider-Man 4, he was able to give an update on The First Avenger: Captain America:

'I've seen a couple of outlines and an initial screenplay, and it's going to rock everyone's socks off,' Quesada said. 'It's very unexpected, the kind of movie it is.' He added that Captain America sets up The Avengers in 'a fantastic way' and also mentioned that there is an undisclosed wish list of actors to play the superhero.

Paramount and Marvel Studios are planning a July 22, 2011 release date for the Joe Johnston-directed Captain America, which will be followed by The Avengers on May 4, 2012."

I thought they were supposed to be telling who was going to play Captain America by the end of October!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Steven Spielberg scared by PARANORMAL ACTIVITY?


"This [past] week [saw] the release of Paranormal Activity, the brainchild of Oren Peli, who wrote and directed the low-budget horror film in 2006. The movie is shot with a minimalistic 'found footage' style and primarily focuses on the two stars, Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston, as they use the video to try and discover who, or what, is causing disturbances in their house.

DreamWorks originally acquired the movie after it showed at 2008's Slamdance so they could remake the film with a bigger budget. They held a screening for writers trying to gauge who would be interested in re-making the film, only to discover that the [original film was already adapt at scaring audiences even making some leave during the film].

Just how scary is Paranormal Activity? It scared Steven Spielberg so bad he was convinced his screening DVD copy was haunted:

It was early 2008, and the director's DreamWorks studio was trying to decide whether it wanted to be a part of the micro-budgeted supernatural thriller. As the story goes, Spielberg had taken a Paranormal Activity DVD to his Pacific Palisades estate, and not long after he watched it, the door to his empty bedroom inexplicably locked from the inside, forcing him to summon a locksmith.

While Spielberg didn't want the Paranormal Activity disc anywhere near his home -- he brought the movie back to DreamWorks in a garbage bag, colleagues say -- he very much shared his studio's enthusiasm for director Oren Peli's haunting story about the demonic invasion of a couple's suburban tract house. [The original ending was changed at the suggestion of Spielberg.]"
Okay, this movie must be the scariest thing to come out of Hollywood since The Exorcist. I'll admit, the first trailers I saw, I was like, 'How is this scary?' Because all it was was that stupid door opening and closing by itself. Anybody can pull that stunt off!

But seeing this trailer made me believe this thing may have some credible scares in it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jude Law and Robert De Niro in THOR?


"The superhero movie rumors continue this weekend with word from Ain't It Cool News that actor Matthias Schweighöfer (Valkyrie) told the German edition of GQ magazine that he's in the running for a role in director Kenneth Branagh's Thor and that Jude Law and Robert DeNiro have also joined the cast.

If true, the trio would be joining Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Jaimie Alexander, Colm Feore, Samuel L. Jackson and Stellan Skarsgard in the comic book adaptation scheduled for a release on May 20, 2011."

Oh, that's weird. Who wants to bet DeNiro will play Odin, Thor's father?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

STAR TREK 2 coming 2012?


"Star Trek was one of this year's biggest movies and left fans eagerly wanting more. Unfortunately, it looks like audiences will have to wait a few more years for the sequel to hit theaters.

At the 2009 Screenwriting Expo which is being held in downtown Los Angeles this year, asked Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the writers of Star Trek, if they could give us any updated info as to where the storyline will be going in the next film. While they're still very much in the beginning stages and couldn't give us many details, they did give a possible release date year.

'We're rereading some of our favorite 'Star Trek' novels now and watching the original series again. The honest answer is we don't know yet,' Orci said. 'We think it's going to be a 2012 release, but I'm not sure,' he continued.

'Originally we thought we were going to have to have the script in by Christmas, but the release changed so certainly within the next eight months I'd say,' Kurtzman told us.

We tried to find out where the two writers would like to see the story go and Orci said: 'They're established now in the second movie and they're finally a crew so it will resemble what you see in terms of they are already who they are.'

The pair have focused their attention towards feature films the last few years, but recently returned to TV to work on 'Fringe' with their old friend J.J. Abrams, who they wrote for on 'Alias'. They admitted it was for partly selfish reasons.

'When J.J. said he wanted to create a show with me it's like 'Screw you buddy,'' Orci joked. 'Also he had studio commitments to Warner Brothers and we wanted him to direct Star Trek. We feared he wouldn't be able to do it if we didn't help fulfill those obligations so we did,' he continued.

'We wanted him to be as focused on it as he could be on that so we're like, we'll absolutely help you. We would have done it anyway, but also it freed him up to do Star Trek.'

Lauren Shuler Donner talks X-MEN franchise!


"Empire magazine recently got a chance to talk to X-Men franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who shared some great bits about Wolverine 2, X-Men: First Class, Deadpool and X-Men Origins: Magneto.

Wolverine 2

'That's the furthest along of all the X-Men projects on the boil. It's actually the story we wanted to use for the first 'Wolverine' film, but [Fox head honcho] Tom Rothman preferred to set the character up with an origin story first. This movie will really focus on the relationship between Wolverine and Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord, and what happens to him in Japan. We're very fortunate to have a story mostly outlined for us [from the comic book arc co-written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller]. And we wanted an A+ writer, so we want to Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie, The Usual Suspects). He came in and has tightened the story and got really immersed in the whole thing - he's in Japan in his head! We want to make it authentic so I think it's very likely we'll be shooting in Japan. Also, by the way, we are looking to have the Japanese Fox executives involved in helping and counselling us, because it's a different culture and we don't want to portray the way they speak, dress and act in an inaccurate way. I think it's likely the characters will speak English rather than Japanese with subtitles. What's cool about this part of the saga is that Wolverine will be fighting in a different style to what we've seen before. Mariko's father has this stick-like weapon, so Wolverine will have to fight against that. There'll be samurai, ninja, katana blades, different forms of martial arts - mano-a-mano, extreme fighting. We're going to come up with a new style of fighting. It's going to be awesome.'

X-Men: First Class

''Harry Potter' is a bit of a role model for us, absolutely. But we want it to be like the recent, darker Potters. It should not be a kiddie movie - we're in the X-Men world so you can't suddenly change the tone. The First Class comics are really fun - they're funnier than any other comics I've read. Basically in each one the kids are fighting strange villains, sometimes it's aliens, sometimes it's monsters. I want to get a flavour of that world. Occasionally the kids will be in class, but more often they'll be off on adventures. Which Professor X isn't too happy about! There's nothing more interesting than a bad kid, and this is full of naughty children. Cyclops, for example - he's a tough kid that bobbed from foster home to foster home, until he ends up at the school and becomes the leader. There's also still an element of friction between the mutants and the outside world. Remember that this will be set way back before anyone knew mutants existed. Right now the script is not done -we're not where we want to be yet. We have to be careful that we don't tread on familiar territory, that people don't say, 'Oh, I've seen that, been there.' But (screenwriter) Josh Schwartz has a great young pulse and he's doing an amazing job bringing the characters to life. We want to make this a franchise, following these kids at the school, so the casting of the child actors will be all-important.'


'I want to ignore the version of Deadpool that we saw in Wolverine and just start over again. Reboot it. Because this guy talks, obviously, and to muzzle him would be insane. I don't see it as a problem that Ryan [Reynolds] is also playing Green Lantern. I mean, look at Harrison Ford - he was in Star Wars and Indiana Jones at the same time and everyone was fine with that. Green Lantern could not be more different to Wade Wilson. Green Lantern is a guy who finds a ring and is thrust into this world, much like Spider-Man. Wade Wilson is a guy who unfortunately gets cancer, and volunteers for a test that will give him healing powers. He is a bad ass, a wise-cracking mercenary, who will go out and kill anyone for money. But the thing about him is that, underneath it all, and he wouldn't want you to know this, sometimes he's not such a bad ass after all. Sometimes he does the right thing. It's going to be a dark, snarky, very funny movie. It's the hardest story to tell, I think. There's no clear cut villain - though you do have great baddies from the comic-books like Black Tom, Slayback, Blind Al and the Weasel. Blind Al is this blind woman in his house, who he abuses and mocks… it's terrible. But you find out that she was a convict who did something terrible and he saved her from execution. So he lets her live in his house and she looks after him, but they both torture each other. Anyway, there are good stories and we're figuring out which ones to incorporate. We're right in the thick of talking to writers right now, and hopefully by November we'll have decided who's going to do it. We need someone really imaginative because we want to do some really innovative, ambitious stuff. Ryan's mentioned this in an interview already but there are parts where he's going to break the fourth wall and talk directly to the audience in the cinema. We have to work out how to do that. I don't know that Fox will agree with all our decisions, but we'll see!'

X-Men Origins: Magneto

'David Goyer has written a brilliant script. It starts in the concentration camps and has Magneto coming out of there. But you know, I'm not sure that film is going to be made. The studio has a wealth of potential stories, and they have to stand back and decide which ones to make. And Magneto, I think, is at the back of the queue. Maybe it'll get made in five years - who knows? I can tell you that Ian McKellen won't be playing the character the whole way through. We used Lola technology in X-Men 3 to de-age Ian and Patrick for one scene, but it's very expensive. To do that for a two-hour movie would be prohibitive financially. And to find a younger actor to fill Ian's shoes, that's pretty daunting. It's not easy.'"

From Rorschach to Sinestro?


"Ain't It Cool News is reporting an interesting rumor that Jackie Earle Haley, who played Rorschach in Watchmen and stars as Freddy Krueger in the upcoming A Nightmare on Elm Street, is the frontrunner to play Green Lantern villain Sinestro.

Not only that, but the site says that Superman may make a cameo appearance as well!

Green Lantern, to be directed by Martin Campbell and starring Ryan Reynolds, is targeting a June 17, 2011 release date."

Oh, this sounds interesting!! I just wanna know why he keeps getting these creepy, villainous roles (Rorschach, I'll admit, wasn't a villain but he also wasn't much of a hero, either.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

SPIDER-MAN 4 gets back to basics!


"Director Sam Raimi was interviewed... and was asked about Spider-Man 4.

Asked about complaints that there were too many villains in Spider-Man 3, he said: 'I think having so many villains detracted from the experience. I would agree with the criticism.'

Raimi added that he had learned some new lessons and storytelling tricks from his last film, Drag Me to Hell. 'I think I've learned about the importance of getting to the point and the importance of having limitations, and I'm hoping to take that into a production where I'm actually allowed to explore with more of the tools to pull it off with a little more splendor.'

'I hope I don't lose that edge that I've just found. That would be my approach to Spider-Man 4: to get back to the basics.'"

Just put in a final web-swing at the end of the movie and no more massive amounts of down-in-the-dumps behavior (It's a superhero movie, you're allowed to have fun! Unless it's Watchmen). Also throw in a spider-sense sequence (the coolest one was in Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 had one in the 'catching the train' scene but Spider-Man 3 had none!!)



"Warner Bros. Pictures is pulling the production of director Martin Campbell's comic book adaptation Green Lantern out of Australia.

The studio said that 'the current global economic situation, including fluctuations in currency valuation and overall costs. We have also had to reassess film projects in other countries as well.'

'After working closely with our partners at the NSW Film and Television Office (Screen NSW) and examining every scenario, we have decided to move the production of Green Lantern. We are extremely grateful for the assistance we have received from the NSW Government, Fox Studios and the NSW filmmaking community,' the statement said.

The Green Lantern production is expected to move to either Mexico or Canada.

Starring Ryan Reynolds, the film is scheduled for a release on June 17, 2011."

Better start practicing your Spanish accents or your "ehs".

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jon Favreau's not directing THE AVENGERS

From Slashfilm:

"Speculation has swirled about whether or not Jon Favreau would direct The Avengers for Marvel after he finishes Iron Man 2. Now we know the answer: he will not. And furthermore, Edward Norton will not appear in Iron Man 2. So there.

MTV talked to Favreau about The Avengers while he was promoting Couples Retreat, and his statement about directing the film was quite clear:

'They’ll have to [find a different director], because I’m not going to be available. It’s something I’m being the executive producer on, so I’ll definitely have input and a say. It’s going to be hard, because I was so involved in creating the world of Iron Man and Iron Man is very much a tech-based hero, and then with Avengers you’re going to be introducing some supernatural aspects because of Thor. How you mix the two of those works very well in the comic books, but it’s going to take a lot of thoughtfulness to make that all work and not blow the reality that we’ve created.'

Normally this sort of thing would be a non-issue, but there was plenty of reason to suspect that Favreau might take the job, not least because he has expressed interest in doing so. Now the wild speculation can begin: who will Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios hire to helm the film? Marvel has made some interesting directorial choices of late (Kenneth Branagh for Thor) so it’s not like there’s reason to expect a hire along the lines of Paul W.S. Anderson.

Finally, we more or less knew that Edward Norton would not be making a cameo in Iron Man 2 (persistent rumor suggests Bruce Banner or the Hulk might appear in the film, to set up The Avengers) and Favreau agreed that Norton is not in the film."

More from Kurtzman and Orci!

From TrekMovie:

"Today we have the rest of the Q&A, with discussions of the Star Trek movie, the DVD, their writing process, and a bit more on the sequel as well.

Question: Now that you have Spock Prime who has actually boldly gone everywhere, is that going to be a problem with the exploration of the next film because you have a character that can say 'if you go that way you will hit the Denobulans, and if you go that way…'?

Alex: 'No, because Spock came back into a different timeline where everything is….the circumstances on those planets could be entirely different than what Spock is aware of.'

Bob: 'Spock may decide it is wrong to tell them everything.'

Alex: 'Even going back in time is a violation of the prime directive for him.'

Question: Does the success of the first movie sort of embolden you guys to take more liberties as you’re coming up with ideas for the next one? Or does it put more pressure on you to go further to explore canon?

Bob: 'I think it is the exact same pressure as the first one. It’s like, 'Great, I’m glad we had a nice victory, but now we’ve gotta do it again.' There’s the same amount of trepidation and reverence for Trek.'

Alex: 'But, the excitement is knowing that we have everything in place. Going into the first movie, we had no idea what the actors were even going to look like. Now, knowing what the feeling was and who’s playing the parts, will definitely be helpful.'

Question: In Star Trek, you hear Greg Grunberg as the stepfather, but you don’t see him. Will you see him on the DVD?

Alex: 'You will see the stepfather on the DVD, but not Greg. You’ll see a scene there that we ended up losing.'

Bob: 'Greg wasn’t originally cast as that, and then he came in as the voice. There is a scene that was shot with another actor.'

Question: Is there room for Greg Grunberg to fit into the Star Trek sequel?

Alex: 'There is always room for more Grunberg. It’s whether or not he can find the time. He’s one of TV’s heroes. We’ll see how that goes. If he has the time, we’d love it.'

Question: Grunberg wants to play Harry Mudd, what about that?

Bob: 'Maybe, he can fight it out with Jack Black.'

Question: JJ [Abrams] spoke earlier about the importance of Leonard Nimoy’s involvement in Star Trek, so I was wondering, from a writer’s point of view, how important was his involvement.

Alex: 'We couldn’t have made the movie without Leonard. We knew early on that so much of what was going to be required in re-imagining Star Trek, and also in staying true to everything that came before it, was going to hinge on Leonard, in a way, blessing us moving forward. And telling the audience that it is OK, you can make this transition now, I am here to help you. And we knew without him, we were never going to be able to have a movie.'

Bob: 'We didn’t agree to do the movie until we had the idea that if we could get Leonard to agree to be in the story, that is a way to do both pleasing old fans and having him him, the soul of Star Trek, be the plot reason for the changes. So we we needed his blessing…it wasn’t until we hit upon that, that we said 'now we know how to do it.' So, it was pivotal for us.'

Alex: 'Pitching the fate of Spock, to Spock, was a bit unnerving. [Bob interjects 'and then your planet blows up, you like that?'] But, it was great and actually gave us the confidence. He didn’t commit right away, but he gave us the confidence to move forward, knowing that he liked the direction we were going in. So I think both creatively and in our hearts where we wanted the movie to be could not have happened without his ‘OK’'.

Bob: 'We took a big risk. We spent five months writing it, with him in it, without knowing if he would say ‘yes.’'

Question: Someone sent me a letter saying that the fact that Spock had to stop the movie to explain to Kirk was some sort of break point script-wise. Do you agree with that? That you had to stop and explain to the audience, everything that has happened?

Alex: 'I think that we tend to be drawn towards structures that are very mysterious, for at least and hour, or hour and fifteen minutes. As an audience member, I always really like to be wondering, 'What’s happening here? I don’t understand it. It’s really intriguing. Where is the punch line going to go?' But, when you incur that debt, then you owe the pay off, and the pay off is always the moment where someone comes in and says, 'Okay, here’s some of the answers to the questions you’ve been asking for the last hour and fifteen minutes.' The trick with those kinds of scenes, is to make them really interesting and to make them very character driven, because what you don’t want is a scene where someone is just telling you plot. That’s really boring, and the audience tends to just check out. The ace that we had in the hole there was that we knew that it was a very emotional story for Spock to tell, because he was telling the loss of his planet and he was talking about his responsibility in that.'

Bob: 'And it is a mind-meld. It is not just an information dump. It is an artistic element from Star Trek.'

Alex: 'That’s right And it’s literally a new Kirk, who doesn’t like Spock, realizing, 'Oh, wait, Spock is a much broader character than I ever knew.' So we were very lucky in that case, to have so much character stuff infused in that scene.'

Bob: 'We wouldn’t change it.'

Question: Can you talk about, with Star Trek, what was the first moment, whether in the writing or once you start to see it come together in the editing room or on set, where you began to feel you had it?

Bob: 'You get it twice. You get it once when you know you have the right story, and I think we did feel that that, very strongly, as we were writing it. The 'Ah-ha!' of having Leonard Nimoy in it was big for us. But then, you have to actually shoot it, and cast it. Can you really replace icons? What’s that going to be? Even in the middle of shooting, when you go onto a set, you’re hoping it’s looking cool and not like Saturday Night Live, or something. I think it was after we saw the first cut, probably. So, once when we wrote and once when we saw the first cut and realized, 'Oh, man, these actors are great, and the production design actually looks great.' We saw it come together then.'

Alex: 'I think that writing was probably the most emotional experience we’ve had, in the actual writing part of it, because you are dealing with, not only these iconic characters, but the responsibility that you are suddenly bearing, of bringing them back to the world in a new way and then telling a story that is deeply deeply emotional.'

Question: You are fans right?

Alex: 'Exactly. It’s like, take this thing from your childhood and make it someone else’s childhood. It is very daunting. That is the kind of thing where you have to tune everything out. We literally locked ourselves in a hotel room for weeks and weeks and just scene for scene, line for line. You don’t always get the luxury at the pace that we work at, to luxuriate in every dot and comma, and in Star Trek it really was that and we really loved that.'

Question: When you’re writing characters that are that well-established and on the other hand, but with 'Star Trek: The Original Series', some of that dialog is a little iffy. How do you capture the sound of it, without having dialogue that is 60’s clunky?

Bob: 'We were lucky in this one when we came up with the idea, because we we knew it was going to be them young and them turning into who they are, so it prescribed a very natural arc that they don’t arrive at the people you see in the series, until the end of the movie, so it freed us up to not have to mimic them exactly, and be able to tell a growing up story. '

Alex: 'Also, because these characters were so ingrained in our minds from childhood, they are already alive in your head, in some way. So, once you are sitting down to actually write them, you’re listening to your childhood voice, coming back up for you and that becomes your best compass when you are writing dialogue because we all knew that there were certain key traits about all the characters that had to be represented, but the question became, 'How are you going to do it in a new way?' We hadn’t cast any of the actors that we had in the movie, when we were writing the first draft, so it was very much about knowing their personalities, but then finding a way to make it fresh. '

Bob: 'And, reading the novels helped, a lot of Star Trek novels.'

Question: The opening sequence of Star Trek was very surprising. How did that evolve, and how did you approach that?

Alex: 'Interestingly enough, that was not the first scene of the movie that we wrote. That was the second scene of the movie, and the first scene of the movie is actually on the DVD. The first scene of the movie was the birth of Spock. We knew that the way these characters were born was going to define everything about who they would become. Knowing that Kirk was going to be a renegade, knowing that he was going to have father issues, knowing that he was going to be lost, knowing that he was going to have to come into his own as captain, prescribed a series of things that allowed us to think about, 'What would create a man like that?' Rising to the challenge of, 'Are you going to be as good as your father, who literally died in the service of keeping you alive? Are you going to rise to that challenge?', was a very emotional place to begin.' Also, one of the things that we heard a lot was that women do not like sci-fi because there is no emotion. We were like totally offended by that and thought, 'Well, okay, that’s bull[spit]. Let’s show them how wrong that is, from the word go, and then everyone will be equalized. Then, we can all go forward from there.''

Bob: 'I think the first kernel we had of that was that we thought, 'Kirk should be born in space. He’s on his dad’s ship, and he’s in battle.' It started that he should be born in space…and not Iowa.'

Question: You spoke about your childhoods. Do you have any specific memory of the first time you encountered 'Star Trek', as a child?

Bob: 'For me, it was being with my uncle and he did the kid’s version of relativity, why going faster than warp was a crazy cool concept. I just remember, that was the first time I heard the name Einstein, and I just realized there was a larger physical, scientific, magical world, and it was through family, my uncle.'

Alex: ''The Original Series' was what I knew, it already in re-runs on KTLA, when I was growing up. Then the big bang–I liked that, but I didn’t lock in, in the same way that I did when I saw Wrath of Khan. Watching that, in the theater, and watching that Ceit Eel go in Chekov’s ear and going, 'Oh my God, what is this?' And the friendship between Kirk and Spock, that was so beautifully drawn in that movie, it just touched me then and it was a huge compass in terms of what we wanted to get out of the movie.'

Question: JJ talked about taking the opportunity [on the DVD] to sort of explore or examine some of the logical questions that even fans of 'Star Trek' had. Was that important to you, or was there even a possibility, with Star Trek, of sort of making some of the logical leaps or logical explanations for the story on the DVD?

Bob: 'Yeah. As we said earlier, we tried to be open about what we’re aware of at the moment. Certainly, some of the decisions that we made, scientifically, in terms of canon, and all that are there, yeah. That’s what the whole movie is about. Is it canon or isn’t it? And where do you fall on it, if you’re a fan? You can’t avoid that conversation.'

Question: 'There’s a lot of deleted scenes on the Star Trek DVD, and there were even scenes deleted from the script before it was shot. What was the hardest scene for you guys to lose?'

Bob: 'There wasn’t anything because our original script didn’t include the scenes that ended up getting cut.'

Question: What about the whole Klingon thing?

Bob: 'We added that later. We knew it might be long, but we just went for it. So ,we were fine with exactly how it ended up.'

Question: Can you talk about some of the the differences in your approach to the Star Trek DVD and the special features on the [Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen] DVD? Is there a difference in overall approach?

Alex: 'No, we tend to sit down and talk very loosely about the experience of making the movie. I think the differences are in the way that the movies were made, but not necessarily in the approach of the DVD extras. What’s really cool about the DVD extras is that, in both cases, they documented everything we were all doing together, from the minute that it started, to the minute the movie was released. So, tt’s pretty extensive.'

Bob: 'We tend to try to just be as open in how we came to things as possible. It’s not just, 'I remember that day.' It’s more of an interpreting of what we did.'

Alex: 'We grew up having nothing like this at all. For example, there was one screenwriting book when we grew up. Only one! Now, there are DVDs, you can go online, and you can see everything. There is so much there. I think we feel like, 'How cool is it for people to actually have the thing that we didn’t have?' So, we try and give as much to the DVD extras as we can.'

Question: What was the screenwriting book you grew up on?

Alex: 'Well, there was actually one screenwriting book that was interviews with screenwriters, and one that was just format.'

Question: How did you learn your craft?

Alex: 'A lot of writing badly for a long time.'

Bob: 'We met in high school in senior year and we just just wrote in every year in college. And by studying movies. We would watch a movie and write down every scene and stare at it and outline it to see what are the structure looked like on paper and you reverse-engineer from that.'

Question: JJ has this great working relationship with Michael Giacchino, and I was wondering if music was a critical part of your writing process and at what stage?

Alex: 'It is almost the first thing, actually. I don’t have anything in my car or my iPod that isn’t a soundtrack, which is very sad, actually. It is how the ideas get dreamt up. All of Michael’s stuff is on there, along with a million other composers.'

Question: How do guys work with each other? Who comes up with the ideas? Do you have roles between the two of you?

Alex: 'Our writing is a dialogue. It is a process of debate back and forth. I’ll be like 'what if we did this, or did that?''

Bob: 'We sit across table from each other, both at computers, and we decide what is the right line.'

Alex: 'We started writing pre-Internet, with both of us on the phone, and that is how we developed our voice. That back and forth became how we write.'

Question: With the relationship between Spock and Kirk, does it resemble your relationship?

Alex: 'We were in the middle of writing the fight scene on the bridge, after the destruction of Vulcan, and realized that we were writing about ourselves.'

Bob: 'I realized that a lot earlier.'

Alex: 'Yeah, but Bob didn’t say anything.'

Question: Which one of you is Spock and which one of you is Kirk?

Bob: 'I think Alex is Kirk and I’m Spock.'"

As Spock himself would say, "Fascinating."

Ryan Reynolds... cross-dresses?


"Allan Loeb will write an untitled comedy for Working Title as a star vehicle for Ryan Reynolds (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, upcoming Green Lantern).

[The film is described] as a 'dude-in-drag romantic comedy, with Reynolds playing a jilted lover who must disguise himself as a woman and befriend his ex in order to win her back.'

Working Title partners Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan will produce along with Jonathon Komack Martin (Reynolds' partner in Dark Trick Films) and Steven Pearl (Loeb's partner in Scarlett Fire). Working Title has a first look deal with Universal.

Liza Chasin will be executive producer along with Reynolds and Loeb."

Okay, let's momentarily forget the number of plates that Ryan's now holding.


THE LOVELY BONES examined by royalty!


"The Lovely Bones, based on the critically acclaimed best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, and directed by Academy Award-winner Peter Jackson, has been selected for the Royal Film Performance 2009. The World Charity Premiere will take place in late November in Leicester Square.

The Lovely Bones stars Academy Award-nominee Mark Wahlberg (Jack Salmon), Academy Award-winner Rachel Weisz (Abigail Salmon), Academy Award-winner Susan Sarandon (Grandma Lynn), Stanley Tucci (George Harvey), Michael Imperioli (Len Fenerman) and Academy Award-nominee Saoirse Ronan (Susie Salmon), many of whom are expected to attend along with members of the Royal Family.

The Lovely Bones is a DreamWorks and Film4 presentation of a Wingnut Production and is distributed by Paramount Pictures worldwide, on general release in the UK in January 2010. The film centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family – and her killer – from heaven. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.

CTBF President David Murrell said: 'We are delighted to be able to premiere a film of such distinction for the Royal Film Performance 2009. This will be a truly world-class event, attended by an internationally acclaimed director and cast and members of the Royal Family. We are truly grateful to Paramount Pictures for arranging this special premiere two months ahead of UK release and to the Royal Family for their unstinted support of this exceptional fundraising event.'

Director Peter Jackson added: 'I am honored that The Lovely Bones has been selected to be this year's Royal Gala film, in support of the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund. This film has been an extraordinary journey, for myself as a filmmaker and for all of those who worked on it. On behalf of everyone involved, we are thrilled that Their Royal Highnesses and the CTBF audience will be amongst the first people in the world to see it.'"

Pip-pip! Cheerio and whatnot!

Also, this is a great time to use the new The Lovely Bones poster:

Monday, October 12, 2009

TOY STORY 3 trailer sheds a tear and makes you laugh!


"Disney•Pixar has now officially released the new trailer for Toy Story 3 online and you can watch it using the player below. Opening in theaters on June 18, 2010, the Lee Unkrich-directed sequel features the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, John Morris, Laurie Metcalf, R. Lee Ermey, Jodi Benson, Ned Beatty, Michael Keaton, Timothy Dalton, Jeff Garlin, Bonnie Hunt and Whoopi Goldberg."

Good to see it still has the same heart, despite a potentially heartbreaking storyline. If you don't love Toy Story, you just have no soul.


MOSES: The Movie? Like 300?


"20th Century Fox will develop a retelling of the story of Moses, from his near death as an infant to his adoption into the Egyptian royal family, his defiance of the Pharaoh and deliverance of the Hebrews from enslavement.

The script will be written by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, who recently completed a scripted retelling of Herman Melville's Moby Dick for director Timur Bekmambetov at Universal.

Moby Dick was pitched as a 300-like reimagining of the Melville story as a visually stunning action piece, and the story of Moses is conceived similarly.

The trade adds that the goal is to give a Braveheart feel to a story most famously captured in Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 film The Ten Commandments. Peter Chernin will produce with Dylan Clark."


Bryan Singer wants to come back to X-MEN


"Bryan Singer said Sunday he's interested in making another X-Men movie and has discussed the possibility with 20th Century Fox.

'I'm still looking to possibly returning to the X-Men franchise. I've been talking to Fox about it,' the X-Men and X2: X-Men United director said at South Korea's Pusan International Film Festival. 'I love Hugh Jackman. I love the cast.'

Singer said the X-Men series is about tolerance and social structures. He said he likes to 'trick audiences into thinking they're seeing fireworks, but they're learning about themselves and listening to what I have to say.'

'The excitement about working in science fiction and fantasy is — the stories, if they are good, are about the human condition,' he added."

Okay. Finish up Jack the Giant-Killer while Hugh Jackman starts Wolverine 2 and Ryan Reynolds plays Deadpool then we'll talk.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kurtzman and Orci talk new TREK also!


"Finally, a couple of Hollywood screenwriters that are treated like rock stars – or at least gurus of geek chic. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are easily the hottest name-brand writing team in Tinseltown after a year of major hits including Star Trek, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and their producing efforts 'Fringe' and The Proposal. played the third wheel as the duo weighed in on what's about to come forth from their dual computers.

On building a brand new adventure or borrowing and tweaking more 'Star Trek' canon for the highly anticipated Star Trek sequel:
Alex Kurtzman: 'Every franchise has a different need. So you have to look at them differently based on whatever kind of a mandate is there. But in the case of Transformers it was very important to us to have a sequel idea that stood on it's own. You need to have been able to not have seen the first movie to appreciate the second one. I think that for us it's always about going back to the sequels that we loved as kids and asking ourselves why we loved them. Empire Strikes Back, Superman II, Aliens, Terminator 2, Star Trek II, what do all of those movies have in common? Well, they are amazing stories all on their own. You didn't have to see the first movie. There was some incredibly emotional test of character in all of those movies. Superman has to give up his powers for love. The Spock and Kirk relationship is being tested by Khan. Ripley finding a daughter, essentially. All of those things are such big ideas in and of themselves. And you really can't tell those kinds of stories in movie #1, because movie #1 is very much about establishing a world.

On the things on their Star Trek wish list that didn't make it into the first film that might be revisited in the second:
Roberto Orci: 'You know, we had a few characters in early drafts. [Christine] Chapel – maybe some of the friends in the Academy. But in terms of big concepts? No, nothing that was like 'Oh, not going to be able to fit that in.''
Kurtzman: 'Right. We kind of threw it all in the first one!'

On the possibility of introducing concepts from the various 'Star Trek' sequel series - like The Borg, for example - into the relaunched franchise:
Orci: 'I think we would think about it, because we do love 'The Next Generation'.'

Do they have a priority or any particular element of those sequel series that they most would like to put into the movie?
Kurtzman: 'I think our instinct would be to first look at the original series before we would consider that, but all of that would be on the table for us, it is on the table.'

On the possibility of doing Star Trek 2 and 3 back-to-back:
Kurtzman: 'I think we tend to look at this as it's very, very important to us to make sure that each movie is good. It's not 'Hey, let's do as many as possible.' But rather 'Let's make sure that they are good.' I think that we feel like we've inherited this incredible honor, in this mantle of 'Star Trek' and the most important thing is to make sure that we are protecting that first. So, if the studio wants more than one, then great, but our thinking is going to be very much about the story.'
Orci: 'The story.'
Kurtzman: 'Whether the story prescribes there will be more than one. Part of what is great about 'Star Trek' is that it's a continuing adventure so you naturally think that there will be many, hopefully. But we only focus on what comes next and then build off of that. So, right now we are not thinking specifically about making two and three. It may come up but it's not where our heads are right now.'

On adding an allegorical element to the plot of the second film – including an Internet-rumored Guantanamo Bay metaphor:
Orci: 'The Gitmo thing was just a for instance. We're not doing a story that is going to be about Guantanamo Bay. Now that we've established the characters we can have a more philosophical allegory where what is happening in the future represents, like the best versions in the '60s did it – represented women's rights, racial equality, and progressive issues. We're still just brainstorming internally and going to get together soon and bust our riffs out, see what happens, and start putting it together.'

On whether the success of the first film will influence their storytelling decisions on the sequel:
Orci: 'I think it's the exact same pressure as the first one. Great, I'm glad we had a nice victory but now we have to do it again. Same amount of trepidation and reverence for 'Trek'.'
Kurtzman: 'But the excitement of knowing that we have everything in place. Going into the first movie we had no idea of what the actors were even going to look like, so now knowing what the feeling was, and who is playing the parts, will definitely be helpful.'

On the potential for adding pre-established 'Star Trek' elements, such as Khan Noonian Singh – into the sequel storyline:
Kurtzman: 'Where we are starting is 'Okay, where are our characters now and what are interesting complications that we can put in their lives? What feels like an organic emotional place for them to get to? How do we want to test them?' Then you look at everything. You look everything and start asking 'Who would be the best foe?'
Orci: 'There are mental exercises we play with them – in fact, we even at one point had one conversation I think was all about the first movie. It could have ended on '…and then the Botany Bay floats by.' You can't be fans of this and not sit around one night and go 'What if we…?' So we've gone through probably whatever you've gone through in your minds.'
Kurtzman: 'The short answer is that we haven't landed on anybody yet.'

On collaborating on their next film, Cowboys & Aliens, with director Jon Favreau:
Kurtzman: 'It's the greatest.'
Orci: 'We just started and we're getting along really well. We actually sent ourselves back to school and we're watching Westerns together, analyzing them, and just kind of getting into it.'
Kurtzman: 'Yeah, we had a lot of these Westerns in our heads but Jon is an incredible fountain of Western knowledge.'
Orci: ''Star Trek' was pitched originally as a space Western anyway. So Star Trek was a nice lead up to this project.'
Kurtzman: 'I think also that Jon comes from a very similar emotional place. Because he's an actor and he knows what plays and what doesn't play very quickly. We're having an unbelievably good time working with him on that.'

On the status of The Defenders, the gaming-themed movie they're developing with 'Heroes' star Masi Oka:
Orci: 'We're still working out the story.'
Kurtzman: 'We actually can't say too much about it, but Masi is amazing. He's wonderful to work with.'
Orci: 'Gary Whitta is writing it.'
Kurtzman: 'Gary Whitta is writing it and he wrote Book of Eli which is coming out this year.'
Orci: 'He's developed a great story and we have to go pitch it to the heads of the studio. We'll find out what happens.'

On their latest toy-themed project, View-Master, which they'll be producing:
Kurtzman: 'Here's what is really interesting about that, because we've read a lot of the response – and a lot of the wildly cynical response – to it. Here's what I'll say. Some toys should be movies and some toys should not be movies. I like to believe that we know the difference between those toys. The movies that work, work when there is a story there that you can take the toy out of, but then when you put the toy in it because an even more amazing experience for whatever reason. Brad Kane, who is a writer for us on 'Fringe' came to us with an amazing idea that had absolutely nothing to do with View-Master, we loved it, thought it was fantastic, and then along comes...'
Orci: 'We said 'It's missing one thing, I don't know what that thing is…''
Kurtzman: 'Then along comes View-Master, right? It felt like a perfect marriage of ideas. It's because we started with a story that felt like it could be told all on it's own before that came along. So in some ways its like 'Bring it on, if you want to be cynical about View-Master then great.' We're so confident in where it's going to end up going that we feel like in some ways there is nowhere to go but up. Brad is finishing a script and then he's going to start writing.'
Orci: 'Actually, Spielberg told us once that his first draft story of E.T. didn't have an alien in it, but it was a family drama about a kid missing his father. So that's always stuck in our mind as 'Wow, you have to be able to take out the thing.''
Kurtzman: 'Take out the giant robots and what's the story you have left over?'

On how they won't likely be returning to pen a third Transformers film:
Orci: 'We've been working on Transformers longer than I was in college. I think we have our degree in Transformers now.'
Kurtzman: 'I think it's just a question for us of, the franchise is so wonderful and it deserves to be fresh all the time. I think we just felt like we had given it a lot and didn't have an instinct for where to go with it next. We said 'You guys should do it right.''
Orci: 'The studio said 'Oh yeah, if you guys want to come back, come back.' But we never want to do that unless we have an idea. We always think that the best idea should win. That means opening it up to everybody.'"

Updates on SPIDER-MAN 4


"MTV talked to director Sam Raimi, who says he's hoping to start shooting Spider-Man 4 the first week of March 2010 for a May 5, 2011 release.

Raimi added that Gary Ross is doing a rewrite of the script using notes Raimi gave him, a production designer has started designing the sets and environments, and Scott Stokdyk is back on board on his fourth Spidey film as visual effects supervisor.

Raimi said that no casting has taken place--other than Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst--but that they are starting to think about that now."

What about J.K. Simmons and Bruce Campbell who say they're coming back?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ivan Reitman is back into GHOSTBUSTERS III


"BloodyDisgusting has confirmed that Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II director Ivan Reitman is 100% attached to Ghostbusters III. He hasn’t decided yet if he wants to direct the project, but is definately on board to produce. This shouldn’t come as much of a shock as almost everyone associated with the first two films are also on board for a third film if it goes into production.

[It has been known] that Office/Year One scribes Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg have turned in a script, and BD is reporting that the sequel script begins as the paranormal researchers 'reopen' their ghost removal service after it has been closed for years. We’ve already heard that the film will introduce a new generation of Ghostbusters, who will be trained/mentored by the original crew."

ALL RIGHT!! This movie can't go wrong!

J.J. Abrams talks new TREK


"With projects like 'Lost', 'Alias', Mission: Impossible III and 'Fringe' on his resume, J.J. Abrams clearly knows the value of keeping secrets and maintaining an air of mystery. But the producer-writer-director also knows the value of a tantalizing tease.

To that end he recently indulged in some intriguing details regarding his highly anticipated future projects, including a sequel to his blockbuster re-imagining of the Star Trek franchise, a fourth Mission: Impossible film and Leonard Nimoy's ongoing involvement in 'Fringe'. was there to hear just what Abrams was willing to reveal.

On whether he's in for shepherding the Star Trek franchise for the long haul, or planning a movie-by-movie involvement:
J.J. Abrams: 'That's a wonderfully optimistic question and I appreciate that, but the answer is that it's obviously just movie-to-movie. The fact that we are now actively discussing the second film is surreal and very nice, and I'm thrilled. I hope that that results in something worthy of your time. But it's one of those things that you just don't know. And so I cannot presume it's gonna be a series that goes beyond those. Do we have ideas for a few movies and have we discussed them? Of course. You can't help but go 'Oh, it would be really cool if we could do this or if we can set that up there!' You throw those things around. But we can't presume it's going to be anything more than now another film that we're lucky enough to do.'

On whether he plans to bring further elements of established Star Trek lore into the re-imagined franchise:
Abrams: 'Going forward, the fun of this movie series is that we will have the opportunity - given its alternate timeline - to cross paths with any of the experiences, places and characters that existed in the original series. We have to be really careful, obviously, doing that. I don't want to do something that is so inside that only die-hard fans will appreciate. We're just now working on the script and just beginning the process of story-breaking, but I guarantee you whatever the story is and whatever the final movie ends up being, I know it will be something that will work on its own terms and be something that you don't need to know and study Star Trek to get. But if you are a fan, there will hopefully be gift after gift of connections, references, characters that you hold near and dear. At least, that's the intent.'

On the possibility of shooting the Star Trek sequel in 3D:
Abrams: 'Paramount talked to me about doing the first one in 3D and, having it only be my second film, I was petrified just at the addition of it. I thought it would be another dimension of pain-in-the-[rear]. I was just like, 'I want to make a decent 2D movie.' I was so worried that instead of being a decent 2D movie it would have been a bad 3D one. I'm open to looking at it because now I feel a little bit more comfortable. And, if I, in fact, direct the Star Trek sequel, 3D could be really fun, so I'm open to it. What I've seen of Avatar makes me want to do it because it's so crazy-cool looking.'

On revisiting the notion of including William Shatner in the sequel:
Abrams: 'The Shatner thing comes up quite a bit. As someone who was a William Shatner fan, in a huge way, just because of 'The Twilight Zone' episodes he did, and then completely appreciating what he did in 'Star Trek', but not really becoming a fan until I started working on this movie, it was a foregone conclusion that we wanted Shatner in the movie. The problem was that his character died on screen in one of the Trek films [Generations], and because we decided very early on, that we wanted to adhere to Trek canon as best we could - which was a huge challenge, because even the original series in many ways didn't always adhere to Trek canon - the required machinations to get Shatner into the movie would have been very difficult to do, given the story we wanted to tell, and also to give him the kind of part that he would be happy with. It was this thing where it would have felt like a gimmick, in order to get Shatner in the movie, which would have honestly, to me, been distracting. Having said that, would it have been fun to have him in the movie? Of course. Would it be great to work with him? No doubt. I was as excited to work with him as I was Mr. Nimoy, who we luckily did have in the film… In terms of moving forward, I am open to anything. I would love to figure out something, given the challenge of introducing these new characters and given the burden of having to cast these people. I feel like the first movie did some of the heavy lifting that needed to be done, in order to free us to continue, going forward. Maybe there's less of a burden and there's going to be more opportunity to work with him again. I would love to work with him. We speak. We actually have a lunch date planned. I'm a fan. I'm a friend of his. Or, he's at least a friend of mine. He may say otherwise on his blog today. I have no idea. But, I really couldn't like him more and would love to work with him.'

On the potential for incorporating Star Trek's tradition of current events allegories and philosophical metaphors into the storyline of the sequel:
Abrams: 'It's hard to give a blanket answer to that question. I do think that, whether it's Star Trek or anything - whatever is being investigated, created or produced now, in movies or TV needs to consider the context in which it is being distributed. It's not a vacuum. There are certain universal themes of love, conflict, loyalty or family that are everlasting and that need to be presented in a way that makes it feel relevant, even if it's a period piece. You need to consider what context that film, that story and those characters are being seen in. But having said that, with Star Trek it's not like we're looking to make the second movie some kind of heavy political allegory. I think that it's important that there is metaphor to what we know and that there is relevance, and I think allegory is the thing that made shows like 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Star Trek' resonate and still be vital today. But because the first movie was so much about introducing these people and it was very much a premise movie about how to bring these people together, it made it difficult to also have the film go as deep as it could, about certain conflict, certain relationships and the heart of who some of these characters are. I think it was successful in what it needed to do to introduce these people, but I feel like now that we've done that, it is the job of the next film to go a little bit deeper. It shouldn't be any less fun or take itself too seriously, but consider who these people are now and grow with them, and just examine them a little more closer, now that we've gotten through the pleasantries and introductions.'

On Leonard Nimoy's recent suggestion that future 'Star Trek' films just might not need him anymore:
Abrams: 'I can't imagine a Star Trek movie not needing him. I'm sure that what he's saying is a combination of modesty and honesty. He may actually feel that way. But, the truth is, we could never have made this movie without him, and working with him again would be a joy. It is clearly too early, given that we are just now talking story, to conclude whether or not Spock Prime is in the film or not. Do I want to work with him again? Of course, one hundred percent. I'd love to.'

On what to expect from Nimoy in his role on the Abrams-produced TV series 'Fringe':
Abrams: 'In terms of his role as William Bell, none of us could believe our luck that we convinced him to say yes to being on the show. He is wonderful on the show. And, I will say that this is not the last you will see of his character… I don't want to give anything away, but this is not the last you'll see of him. He is so good and so wonderful to work with that I wouldn't limit the possibilities of what he'll get to do.'

On the notion of having Nimoy reprise his '60s TV role of Paris in a fourth Mission: Impossible film – and possibly other original cast members as well:
Abrams: 'How cool would that be? I just got a call that Peter Graves is in great shape, which would be a very bizarre bend in the space-time continuum, for obvious reasons. I almost feel like you could make him serious again and bring him back. Whether it's Nimoy, who I have an incredible affinity for, or Graves or anyone, we'll see. I actually tried to get Martin Landau in Mission III, in a very small little moment just for fun, and was told that he had no interest in doing it. But then, when I met him, after the movie came out, it was the greatest thing. We were at this restaurant in New York for one of the TV Upfront parties, and someone introduced me to Landau. They took me over and Martin Landau came over to me, extended his hand, and [pretended to lift a false face off]. That was the greatest thing I'd ever seen!'

On the rest of his future plans in film and TV:
Abrams: 'Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman are running 'Fringe' very well. We're still very involved in that, but they're running that. We have a new series that we just sold to NBC that we're going to be producing. It's a pilot. And there's a movie that I'm writing that I would love to direct, early next year, so we'll see if that comes to fruition. There's a movie [I'm producing] called Morning Glory that's coming out next year – with Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams and Diane Keaton – that's being edited now. Roger Michell directed that. And we're obviously hard at work on Star Trek 2 and Mission: Impossible IV. There's a LOT that we're working on.'

Star Trek hits DVD and Blu-ray on November 17."