The Calm Before the Storm--Having weathered three major film festivals in as many weeks (four, if you count the Gallup Intercultural Film Festival), New Mexico’s film scene is finally quieting down for a bit.
Not to worry, there are still plenty of new Hollywood films going into production (yes, the Sophia Bush/Sean Bean remake of The Hitcher is shooting a bit outside of Santa Fe), loads of locally made features about to be released (check out the Nowhere Street page at www.myspace.com/nowherestreet) and even a few film festivals left in the year (submissions are now being accepted for the 2006 Santa Fe Film Festival to be held Dec. 6-10).
But, for now, things seem quiet. So how about we spend a week indulging in spurious Hollywood rumor? Sounds like fun to me.
Frodo Lives?--MGM recently sent a letter to theonering.com suggesting that the company has “had a few initial conversations” with Peter Jackson about directing a version of The Hobbit. (MGM owns part of the rights to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings prequel.) Let’s keep our fingers crossed, people. Currently, Jackson is producing the big-screen version of the X-Box game Halo and is directing an adaptation of Alice Sebold’s offbeat murder mystery The Lovely Bones.
Send in the Clones--George Lucas, who now says he’s sick of working in film, claims TV is the wave of the future. Though it has yet to be written, shot, cast or sold to a network, the Star Wars guru insists his CG-animated “Clone Wars” TV series will be on the air by 2007. What do we know so far? Well, the series will be set between episodes III and IV (just like Genndy Tartakovsky’s well-received “Clone Wars” toon) and is unlikely to feature any original voices from the film series.
The Invincible Iron Man--Marvel Comics has restructured its credit with Merill Lynch, ensuring that its biggest film projects--Iron Man and a Hulk sequel--are covered under the agreement. This puts Iron Man (now starring Robert Downy Jr.) on a fast-track to development, but throws into question lesser (currently unfinanced) projects like Cloak and Dagger, Hawkeye and Luke Cage: Power Man.
The Remake: Part 2--Scared by my previous mention of a Hitcher remake? Well, here’s some more frightening news. Among the newest crop of classic horror films about to achieve remake status: Near Dark, The Changeling and The Birds. All of those will come courtesy of Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes outfit--the very same company working on that Hitcher remake.