Sam Neill Jurassic Park

Colin Trevorrow‘s Jurassic Park 4, originally scheduled for release Summer 2014, is currently locked in a holding pattern. The studio and director agreed taking more time to craft the film was the best way to ensure it will be the sequel we all want. But what does that mean exactly? Quality is obviously the number one priority, but how will a film almost fifteen years in the making take up the mantle left by directors Steven Spielberg and Joe Johnston?

One of the franchise’s stars, Sam Neill, might have a clue. The actor who portrayed Alan Grant in both the first and third installments said in a new interview he doesn’t think he’ll be asked to return because he hears the new film is a “reboot.” Read More »

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Though the small screen retains an unfair reputation as a lesser medium — think of all the snobby types who’ll brag about not owning a television, but would never be so dismissive about books or movies — the truth is that the medium varies as much as any other. Today’s TV Bits runs the gamut from highbrow (a literary adaptation on HBO) to lowbrow (a modeling industry reality show on The CW), with plenty of stuff in between. After the jump:

  • Noah Baumbach’s Jonathan Franzen adaptation The Corrections is a go at HBO
  • HBO will offer an early look at its highly anticipated Luck next month
  • Fox puts new eps of Alcatraz on hold while it goes back for reshoots
  • Burt Reynolds signs on to guest star on FX’s Archer
  • Summer Glau joins Tricia Helfer on TNT’s Scent of the Missing
  • The CW announces start dates for its midseason shows

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Our first word on The Hunter came late last year when we learned that Daniel Nettheim would direct Sam Neill, Willem Dafoe, Frances O’Connor and more in an adaptation of Julia Leigh‘s novel of the same name. Willem Dafoe plays a character who claims to be on the hunt for one thing, but is in reality working for a larger entity and seeks a more specific game: the last Tasmanian tiger.

Now there is a little bit of extra weight behind the project, as Julia Leigh has emerged as the director of the unusual Cannes entry Sleeping Beauty, featuring Emily Browning as a very specific sort of prostitute. Julia Leigh, as best I know, had nothing to do with this adaption of her novel, but the fact that this novel is from her pen certainly adds a layer of interest to The Hunter for me.

The Hunter has been announced as a Toronto Film Festival entry, and a teaser trailer is now available. Check it out below. Read More »

Welcome to another J.J. Abrams-produced mystery island show. Alcatraz was one of several new TV series premiered at San Diego Comic-Con Wednesday night, and it was by far the standout.

The series centers around a mysterious event in 1963 that made 302 Alcatraz prisoners and guards vanish without any explanation. For some reason we don’t yet know, a prisoner named Jack Sylvane (Jeffrey Pierce) appears in present day Alcatraz and makes his way to San Francisco to seek payback from those who’ve done him wrong. It’s up to a spunky young police officer (Sarah Jones), assisted by a geeky Alcatraz expert (Jorge Garcia), to stop Sylvane, all the while dealing with a mysterious federal agent (Sam Neill) who clearly knows more about the Alcatraz disappearances than he lets on. Read More »

Some of you — and you’ll know who you are immediately — just got plans locked in for your 2012 Valentine’s Day. That’s when The Vow will release, allowing us to watch Channing Tatum make one hundred minutes worth of earnest faces as he tries to win back the love of his wife (Rachel McAdams), who doesn’t remember anything of her former life after an accident. And then Scott Speedman enters the picture, and makes things even worse. The trailer below will let you know exactly what The Vow is promising to deliver.

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Fox has finally released photos, a long-form plot synopsis and a trailer for the upcoming JJ Abrams-produced Elizabeth Sarnoff-written (Lost, Deadwood) television series Alcatraz. The “chilling new thriller centers on America’s most infamous prison and one-time home to the nation’s most notorious murderers, rapists, kidnappers and thieves.” Find out what the show is about, see some photos, and even watch a two and a half minute trailer after the jump.

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Sam Neill Starring In J.J. Abrams’ ‘Alcatraz’

Briefly: Add one more big name to the prison roster of Alcatraz, the new show being produced by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Elizabeth Sarnoff, who wrote the pilot and will be showrunner. Sam Neill has just joined the cast in one of the lead roles. He’ll play Emerson Hauser, “the head of a government agency who radiates authority and piercing intelligence.”

We still don’t know a lot about the show, other than it is about a cop (Sarah Jones) and some FBI agents trying to track down prisoners and guards who disappeared from the prison while it was active and reappear in the present day. Jorge Garcia (Lost) plays an Alcatraz historian/expert and Jonny Coyne (Undercovers) and Jason Butler Harner (Fringe) play prison warden Edwin James and associate warden E.B. Tiller, respectively. [Deadline]

I didn’t know anything about the film Ice before today — it is an adaptation of James Follett‘s environmental apocalypse thriller. Think The Day After Tomorrow, without all the Roland Emmerich bombast. There’s a trailer for Ice after the break, during which you might ask, “well, actually, could we have a little more bombast?” Read More »

As I understand it, Julia Leigh‘s novel The Hunter is doing quite well in Australia. Ostensibly about a search for the last Tasmanian tiger, the thriller has a bit more going on than that. A film has gone into production this week under the direction of Daniel Nettheim, and it has a great cast, including Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill and Frances O’Connor. More details after the break. Read More »