Starting Saturday, Jan. 8, the Albuquerque / Bernalillo County Library System and Guild Cinema will join forces for the first annual Books to the Big Screen film series. The idea is to spotlight acclaimed novels that have been made into popular films. The series starts with The Shawshank Redemption on Jan. 8. Stand By Me follows a week later on the Jan. 15. Slaughterhouse-Five closes it out on Jan. 22. All shows begin at 1 p.m. at Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE). The screenings are free, but seating is limited. You can pick up your free tickets at the Guild box office or at the Main Library (Copper and Fifth Street NW).
Yes, you heard correctly, Albuquerque is about to play host the most expensive movie ever filmed in the state of New Mexico. In one of his last acts as governor, Bill Richardson announced that the superhero flick The Avengers would be shot at Albuquerque Studios in 2011. The $200 million film will star Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo as The Incredible Hulk and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly”) is the film’s writer-director. Scheduled to film April through September, the film will be one of the longest shoots done in the state as well. Apparently, the film’s producers, who made Thor here in 2010, liked the state well enough to return. Not too shabby.
In reporting the film’s arrival, however, the Albuquerque Journal created a bit of a stir in the universe of fandom. In a recent article, the Journal ran down the cast and spilled a bit of the film’s storyline—stating that Captain America and company would be caught in the middle of an intergalactic war between the Kree and the Skrull empires. That came as a major scoop to everyone, since Marvel Studios has yet to leak any information at all about the film’s script. As it turns out, though, it’s not true. The Journal just reported some early Internet speculation as fact. Mind you, Marvel didn’t out-and-out deny the speculation. But it seems more likely that the “big bad” of The Avengers will tie more closely into the upcoming Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger films—given that Marvel is working hard on its whole “synergy” thing.