Arthur C Clarke Dead at Age 90

Arthur C Clarke

Acclaimed sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke has died at age 90. Clarke is probably best known as the writer of Stanley Kubrick’s landmark film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Clark is considered a scientific visionary, known as “the godfather of the telecommunications satellite”. He also foretold future technological ideas such as space stations, the moon landing, cellular phones, and even the Internet. Clark wrote 80 fiction and nonfiction books and wrote more than 100 short stories (not including hundreds of articles and essays).

David Fincher has been trying for years to develop a big screen adaptation of Clarke’s popular 1973 novel Rendezvous with Rama. Set in the 22nd century, a group of human explorers, who intercept a thirty-mile-long cylindrical alien starship that passes through Earth’s solar system, and attempt to unlock its mysteries.

Clarke is also the third in a series of geek idols to die in the last two weeks, which fits into the theory that everything happens in 3’s (“The Rule of Three’s”). The first was Gary Gygax, best known for co-creating the pioneering role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). The second happened earlier today, Oscar-winning director and writer Anthony Minghella died at age 54.


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Judd Apatow Talks Sequels and Anchorman 2


You have to give Judd Apatow credit for still not having a single sequel, especially a Knocked Up with Twins, on his vast production buffet. MTV recently spoke to him about the sequelitis that all big producers feel at one point or another, and Apatow admitted there is one film, Anchorman starring Will Ferrell as ‘stachioed newscaster dumbass Ron Burgundy, that is due for a follow-up. Fortunately, or unfortunately, if this sounds like a good idea to ya, Apatow wants Ferrell to do it when he’s wearing diapers for old-timer, as opposed to comic, relief.

“The movie that probably has a best shot at a sequel is Anchorman. Ron Burgundy would be hilarious at 70-years-old, being the anchor,” Apatow said. “We all think it would be fun to see him up on his feet again doing what only he can do. That would be awesome – but it could only happen in 30 years.”

Ferrell recently updated the Net on several unlikely sequels (Old School 2, Elf 2), but omitted Anchorman. I’m not saying Ferrell was implying that an Anchorman 2 will happen before three decades have passed; but I do think the image of a liver-spotted septuagenarian Burgundy taking multiple shots of liquor as he gets out of bed in the nerve-addling era of blogs, Twitter and YouPorn leaves an ocean of possibilities. How about you?

Discuss: Anchorman Deux? Would you like to see Apatow do a sequel to any of his flicks?

Anthony Minghella Dead at Age 54

Anthony Minghella

Oscar-winning director and writer Anthony Minghella died on Tuesday at age 54. The Guardian reports that the director suffered a fatal hemorrhage after a “routine operation” was motivated by a growth on his neck which was suspected to be “cancer of the tonsils and neck.” The surgery took place last week and everything looked good, until “he developed a haemorrhage last night and they were not able to stop it.”

Minghella’s Memorable Film Credits include:

  • The English Patient (1996) 9 Oscar Wins including Best Picture. Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) Nominated for 5 Oscars
  • Cold Mountain (2003) Nominated for 7 Oscars
  • Breaking and Entering (2006)


After countless delays (to some fanboys’ enjoyment), the Justice League of America 2009 tent pole from Australian director George Miller has hit another snag, a major one that has been months in the making. The production was just refused a tax rebate vital to filming down under by the Australian government. Miller is right angry…

“A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Australian film industry is being frittered away because of very lazy thinking,” Miller told The Sydney Morning Herald. “If that’s going to be the final decision, they’re throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars of investment that the rest of the world is competing for and, much more significantly, highly skilled creative jobs. …It feels to me like I’m not fighting for this film. I’m fighting for the Australian film industry.”

The tax rebate was turned down because the powers that be think the film will be seen as All-American and not Australian upon release. What does this mean for the D.C. Comics dream team currently starring Megan Gale, Adam Brody and other unproven, fresh faces? Over at, a writer speculates that the suits want to move the film to Canada now, and goes so far to say that sources have told him Miller, who was key to getting the rebate, may be replaced along with the entire generally C-list cast. Wishful thinking or is Warner Bros. simply over it?


Can you imagine if The Dark Knight was the last Batman film for actor Christian Bale? Clearly no person plays more into the monumental equation of a trilogy starring him than director Christopher Nolan. Bale recently spoke with EW about a second sequel to Batman Begins, or as the odd interviewer incorrectly called it, Batman “film number six”(I counted seven, Peter counted eight with the Adam West film)…

Interviewer: So do you think there will be a part 3 of Batman?
Christian Bale: Um, look, let’s wait and see…

Interviewer: Or, I guess it’d be part 6.
Christian Bale: No, no, no, no, no. [Smiling] Part 3 is what I’d consider it, yeah, I don’t say part 6. Batman begins – that was the beginning there, with all due respect to the others. We are re-creating this. You know, obviously the decision is out of my hands. I would, knowing the Dark Knight story, I would like very much to complete a trilogy. And I think that knowing the story of The Dark Knight, it leaves you anticipating something that really can get very, very interesting for a third. Now, the question would be: Is Chris going to be doing it? Because to me I find it tricky to imagine working on it without it being a collaboration with Chris.

Sounds good, but it won’t be cheap. Bale was signed for three films way back when, including a Batman “team-up” movie. There was a time when a third film in Nolan’s series was strongly rumored to be the trial of the Joker (screenwriter David Goyer even said so back in 2006) but that piped down even before Heath Ledger’s passing, and Two Face’s appearance in TDK would also negate it.

With general interest already through the roof for TDK partially due to the best early trailer of the summer flock, and one of the strongest viral campaigns ever, the first sequel is going to rock registers and hopefully fanboys’ minds as well. A third film would be ideal and everything points to it happening with Nolan and/or Bale at this stage. But hey, it’s Hollywood, nothing is a sure thing.

Discuss: What are the chances we’ll see a Batman 3? If Christopher Nolan suddenly (and uncharacteristically) said, “I won’t do another Batman film unless it’s the last one…and I mean ever!” would that be worth a Warner Bros. handshake?


Buried in this report covering yesterday’s Wizard World convention in L.A. is the news via a panel that Samuel L. Jackson may not have a cameo as Marvel character Nick Fury in Iron Man after all. Nearly a year ago AICN reported the casting news as a definite for the summer blockbuster, and since then everyone from Avi Arad to Jackson to director Jon Favreau has reluctantly nodded “yes.” Even IMDB and Wikipedia have it listed as fact. Top that!

The panel, which consisted of Wizard‘s Ricky Purdin and Toyfare‘s Adam Tracy, maintained that Jackson is still Nick Fury and seemed to imply that the footage with Jackson and Robert Downey Jr. might appear elsewhere. CHUD just sprinkled their ellipses, and we’ll throw out a giant …but where?! as well. Moreover, the panel confirmed that a crossover between The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man is still happening as rumored.

So, would the Fury cameo pop up on the Iron Man DVD? That’s no way to launch a character that has an individual action tent pole film scheduled in the next couple years. Might it be used in promotional materials? Promoting what? Coolness? Will it appear in The Incredible Hulk? On one hand that seems like too much “Uma, Oprah” crossover, but could turn out great. Cutting room floor? Gasp. Somewhere Jackson chews on a cigar and laughs at his laptop. More on this if it develops…

Discuss: Whaaa happen? Throw some guesses in the Easter basket. And who’s the ideal director to realize a Nick Fury flick starring Jackson?

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“I’m back. [belch!]”

Oh yes, to be bathed in ketchup-colored red by an R-rated movie trailer inside a cinema. It’s been nearly a decade since the largest theater chain in North America, Regal Entertainment Group, showed its last restricted movie trailer but times are a changing. Regal will reintroduce the kid hating trailers before R-rated and NC17-rated films, with other exhibitors expected to follow suit.

Be sure to thank Judd Apatow, whose open endorsement of filthy dialogue and red band trailers for Knocked Up and Superbad, which were posted exclusively on the Internet and turned into outright sensations, helped jump start the decision. And, while you’re at it, thank Peter at Slashfilm, who lead the ‘Net charge and got rid of those pesky age restriction gates to many squares’ chagrin.

Back in 2000, a report by the Federal Trade Commission spanked the entertainment industry for marketing violence to children, even though back in those “wild days” red band trailers still weren’t supposed to be shown in front of a PG or G films. The red promotional tide was soon gone from mainstream theaters, and looking back on it, crowd pleasing R-rated films also went the way of John McClane spouting profanity at evil doers. So, lovers of R-rated films, Sexman and those in between: dance.

Discuss: Now that R-rated films are easier to market to wide audiences, do you think Regal’s decision will have any impact on studios making R-rated flicks? If PG-13 was a person, would you hang out with him?

Source Links: HR / First Showing


Director Louis Leterrier recently did a shot-for-shot recap of The Incredible Hulk teaser trailer with Empire and if you missed it, there are some tasty chunks of info therein. For instance, Leterrier recognizes how late in the marketing game it is for the June Hulk reboot, but still emphasizes that none of the special effects shots in the teaser were finished but were “decent enough” to put out there for the fans and general audiences alike.

“[We released the trailer quite late because] no shots are finished yet. That’s why we took so long to release the teaser, because unlike the other movies coming out this summer, our main character relies on so much calculation and technique. None of the shots in this trailer are finished shots, but I think it’s decent enough and it shows the audience what we’re going for. There’s a different version of the teaser that will only be shown in movie theatres where you see a close-up of the Hulk’s face as he comes out of the darkness and cries to [Betty]. A full close-up, like full-screen. And until we had that shot right I didn’t want to release it.”

While the trailer received a positive reception overall, the new CGI Hulk didn’t receive too many “looks insanely real” or “CGI looks awesome” remarks compared to May’s jaw-dropping Iron Man. And 125 million bucks later, it should, no? One other nit-pick I’ve heard on Slashfilm, from peers, and in my head is doubt that the Hulk will be on screen much and deliver the maximum goods. Might Leterrier would hold out the spectacle like a budget horror film or a lame ’70s porn? That’s how the teaser played it, and smartly so we thought here, but the actual movie has to “wow” and “wow” quick to be a smash hit. Umm, expect a “Hulk-out” by minute three of the film…

“You’ll see Bruce Banner transform in minute three. (Laughs) Minute three! That’s what’s good about it and it was really important when I was accepting the movie. We’re not treating it as an origin movie but: Bruce Banner stepping into his chair and the gamma bomb and everything. He’s the Hulk already, with the Hulk within him, and you get to understand how he came to be in this situation…”

Lastly, if your gut told you that the teaser’s scenes with Hulk versus Abomination outside Harlem’s Apollo Theater (see pic above) were from the movie’s final, you were correct. But this will be one battle royale that lasts longer than many heavyweight boxing matches, 26 minutes to be exact…

“But our final scene, our final battle – unlike a normal movie where the final fight scene is six minutes long, ours is 26 minutes long! So you get 26 minutes of two monsters pummelling each other through New York City, jumping up and down, ripping helicopters from the sky and stuff. You know, lots of green blood on the street, splashed all around. So it’s pretty cool. …Some humans try to get out of the way but no, they can’t… there’s a little bit of collateral damage! (Laughs) There’s a bit of a bodycount. Not on account of the Hulk – the Hulk’s a saviour – but Blomsky [Abomination] is ruthless.”

With any reboot, fans are going to be quite skeptical (especially with so little noise from the flick thus far), and unlike the awesome hodge-podge trailer to The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk‘s seemed to play it a little too linear for some. Leterrier was smart to voice up and obviously realizes how much is on the line. With Ed Norton, we know what we’re getting in terms of quality, so if the action is there as well, sounds that much more promising.

Discuss: Does a 26-minute monster mash impress you? After the teaser’s release and the director’s comments, how does The Incredible Hulk stack up against this summer’s TDK and Iron Man? Do you expect it to out-perform the $132 million of Ang Lee’s Hulk?


It’s Saturday, it’s raining, college basketball is slowing down, and Doomsday belly-flopped: how about a Neil Patrick Harris post? Why not, right? Peter didn’t exactly chug a pitcher of beer in totes awe after watching Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay at SXSW, but I think it’s safe to say we’d both like to see this stoner comedy franchise continue. AICN reports that H&K2 directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg are toying around with a spin-off to the “it’s not a bomb, it’s a bong!” sequel (hitting April 25th) focusing on the former titular star of Doogie Howser, M.D.

And NPH himself, he of the unicorn mastery (see above), has chimed in about the possibilities. While he’s hesistant, he’s also seemingly aware and open to the idea of a spin-off…

Neil Patrick Harris: Part of me thinks that would be really hilarious just to make up this fictitious back story of my family and that makes me think of Steve Martin in THE JERK, just going really outlandish and then part of me thinks that is just truly jumping the shark, so I don’t know. When you are spinning off a character that’s based on a real person, but not real… I don’t know, it might be too much, but if anyone can write it…

Quint [AICN]: It worked for John Malkovich

Neil Patrick Harris: That’s true. If anyone could write it, they can, so who knows? I think that would honestly entirely depend upon the success of the next couple of months. 

With NPH already so integral to the marketing of the sequel and doing more press this go’round, such a spin-off is not unlikely (…actually :). The only question is, would such a spin-off be like playing limbo with the pop culture niche factor? How many people would get the joke/appeal outside of College Humor readers and loyal viewers of How I Met Your Mother?

Discuss: Could an NPH spin-off do well at the box office? Is NPH the new WTF or POS (Parent Over Shoulder)? Do you expect H&K2 to be a big hit or just another college sleeper?