Everyone is talking about the recently announced Christopher Nolan-produced David Goyer-written Zack Snyder-directed Superman film project, which will set place during Superman’s “early days” with a story which is rumored to follow journalist Clark Kent who is traveling the world “trying to decide if he should, in fact, even become Superman.” This week DC Comics will release a new Superman graphic novel which, while not AT ALL related to the upcoming film, will give “new insight into Clark Kent’s transformation into Superman and his first year as The Man of Steel.”

Titled Superman: Earth One, the graphic novel is written by J. Michael Straczynski, who is best known as the creator/writer of the popular tv series Babylon 5, screenwriter of Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, James McTeigue’s Ninja Assassin, and he even has a story credit on Marvel’s upcoming big screen adaptation of Thor. Over the years he has written for such television series as He-Man, She-Ra, The Twilight Zone, The Real Ghost Busters, and Murder She Wrote. This is the first in a new wave of original DC Universe graphic novels featuring top writers’ and illustrators’ unique takes on DC characters.

This is a Superman for the 21st century. With SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE, Straczynski and Davis inject the folk tale and legend that is Superman’s origin with a modern, vital and forward-looking energy that makes for a refreshing, epic and challenging super-hero adventure. In SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE – the first original graphic novel retelling Superman’s origin — Clark Kent is a man looking for meaning in a new city and an age of failing newspapers, hand-held devices and instant gratification. But when you can fly through the sky and burn objects with a glance – things become a tad more complicated. Doubly so when a fleet of alien ships arrive on your doorstep. SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE channels the best tales of Superman with a look toward the future, by two of the brightest talents the industry has to offer.

The new 136-page hardcover graphic novel will be released in comic shops this coming Wednesday and bookstores the following Tuesday (buy in on Amazon for $13.49) and features artwork by Shane Davis (Superman/Batman: The Search for Kryptonite. But DC Comics has given /Film an exclusive sneak peek into the first few pages of this new graphic novel series before it his the shelves.

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shattered_union

UPDATE: Since publishing this, /Film reader Eneko Ruiz pointed me to Straczynski’s own site, where an email he reprints (from Oct 24) suggests that he’s not actively working on Silver Surfer. JMS writes: “My guess is that since my draft was closely tied into FF2, which is ancient now, they’ve struck off in a different direction.” Original article follows, but I deleted ‘Still on Silver Surfer’ from the original title of this piece.

The game Shattered Union only came out in 2005, but I doubt too many people remember it. The PC and Xbox turn-based strategy title speculated on a political future in which the US sees states seceding from the Union after the second-term retention of the most unpopular president in the nation’s history. Now Jerry Bruckheimer is setting a film version up at Disney, and has tapped J. Michael Straczynski to write. Read More »

Matthew Carnahan Rewriting World War Z

World War Z

What’s going on with the big screen adaptation of Max Brooks‘ book World War Z? J. Michael Straczynski wrote a screenplay, which seems like over a year ago, and Quantum of Solace helmer Marc Forster has been attached to direct. But aside from comments from Stazzynski or Foster here or there, we really haven’t gotten an update on the project in a long while.

Brooks, son of comedy legend Mel Brooks, revealed that Paramount Pictures has hired a new writer for the project, while making an appearance on Fangoria Radio. Who is the new writer? Matthew Michael Carnahan, brother of director Joe Carnahan, and writer of The Kingdom, Lions For Lambs, and State of Play. Brooks said that Carnahan is “one of Hollywood’s hot A-list writers, so if they went after him and paid him a mountain of gold, it definitely shows their confidence in this project.” Still no word an an updated production timeline.

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James Cameron to Remake Forbidden Planet?

In October, we told you that Babylon 5 creator an Changeling scribe J. Michael Straczynski was hired by Warner Bros to pen a remake of Forbidden Planet. Now IESB claims that James Cameron is once again eyeing the project. He was at one time attached to it post-Titanic, but nothing came of it. If true, this is an odd move from Cameron who has said that he wanted to do a much smaller movie called The Dive after finishing his current three year production of Avatar. For now mark this as a “rumor”. Joel Silver is producing the latest try.

The original saw a group of Earth scientists who are sent some 17 light years away to investigate what happened to a colony of settlers on Altair-4. They find a man with a secret and his daughter who somehow survived a hideous monster attack on their planet. Gene Roddenberry has noted that Fred Wilcox’s original 1956 sci-fi film was one of the inspirations for Star Trek.

Loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the movie was nominated for best special effects Oscar, and was noted for its groundbreaking use of an all-electronic score, and the first appearances of Robby the Robot and the C-57D starship (which was subsequently used in a number of productions, including the Twilight Zone’s “To Serve Man”). The movie’s poster was listed as the fifth best Movie Poster ever created by Premiere Magazine.

Discuss: Is James Cameron the right choice to remake Forbidden Planet?

World War Z will be a HUGE Scale Zombie Movie

MTV had the opportunity to talk with J. Michael Straczynski about his upcoming adaptation of Max BrooksWorld War Z. Straczynski says that it will be the first large scale zombie film.

“Most zombie movies to this point have been small, focusing on a few people in a house. And this has got real scare. You’re in India with hundreds of boats trying to get out of there with a tidal wave of zombies. The scale of what we’re doing here is phenomenal.”

Marc Forster recently signed on to direct, and Straczynski will be doing one more draft based on the filmmaker’s new notes. Straczynski calls the film “a thriller”, comparing it to the Bourne films. As cool as Straczynski makes the film sound, I’m a little nervous about the comparison to the Bourne movies, especially considering that Forster’s latest movie, Quantum of Solace, was heavily criticized for it’s disjointed action sequences.

AICN called Straczynski’s previous draft of the screenplay “a horror epic, a serious, sober-minded adult picture”, potentially “a genre-defining piece of work” with Best Picture potential (really?!). The basic premise of the book is that it is an oral history of the zombie war, compiled by an unnamed government employee. The movie follows this researcher, named Gerry Lane (possibly to be played by Brad Pitt, who is producing the project), as he travels the world conducting interviews with survivors, 10-years later. Forster told Variety that the story reminded him of “the paranoid conspiracy films of the ’70s like ‘All the President’s Men.”

The book was released in 2006, and is available on Amazon for $16.47. I’ve included the official plot description from the book after the jump:

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Marc Forster to Direct World War Z

Paramount has hired Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster to helm World War Z, the big screen adaptation of Max Brooks bestselling novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. The 352 page book chronicles the aftermath of a great zombie-human war.

Changeling scribe J Michael Straczynski penned the screenplay, which AICN once called “a horror epic, a serious, sober-minded adult picture”, potentially “a genre-defining piece of work” with Best Picture potential (really?!). The basic premise of the book is that it is an oral history of the zombie war, compiled by an unnamed government employee. The movie follows this researcher, named Gerry Lane (possibly to be played by Brad Pitt, who is producing the project), as he travels the world conducting interviews with survivors, 10-years later. Forster told Variety that the story reminded him of “the paranoid conspiracy films of the ’70s like ‘All the President’s Men.”

The book was released in 2006, and is available on Amazon for $16.47. I’ve included the official plot description from the book below:

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

Warner Bros has hired J. Michael Straczynski to write a remake of Forbidden Planet. The original saw a group of Earth scientists who are sent some 17 light years away to investigate what happened to a colony of settlers on Altair-4. They find a man with a secret and his daughter who somehow survived a hideous monster attack on their planet. Gene Roddenberry has noted that Fred Wilcox’s original 1956 sci-fi film was one of the inspirations for Star Trek.

Loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the movie was nominated for best special effects Oscar, and was noted for its groundbreaking use of an all-electronic score, and the first appearances of Robby the Robot and the C-57D starship (which was subsequently used in a number of productions, including the Twilight Zone’s “To Serve Man”). The movie’s poster was listed as the fifth best Movie Poster ever created by Premiere Magazine.

Straczynski is probably best known as the creator of Babylon 5, but in recent years he has transitioned into an A-list Hollywood writer. He wrote Clint Eastwood’s most recent film, Changeling, The Wachowski Brothers’ Ninja Assassin, and the big screen adaptation of World War Z. Many names have been attached to the project over the years including James Cameron. Joel Silver is producing the latest try.

Discuss: Do we really need a Forbidden Planet Remake?

source: THR

Silver Surfer

20th Century Fox must be expecting Fantastic Four 2 to make some big bucks this weekend. The bad reviews couldn’t stop the first film from selling tickets, and it seems like the studio believes they have another box office winner. The LA Times is reporting that Fox has already put a feature spinoff starring The Silver Surfer into development. According to the story, Babylon 5 scribe J. Michael Straczynski is already hard at work crafting the screenplay.

But will The Silver Surfer be able to carry a whole movie by himself? His character is certainly interesting enough (more interesting than Fantastic Four at least), and I’m more than confident in Straczynski. But I’m not quite sure that the public is ready for a comic book film where the hero is completely computer generated.

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