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The Future of Fox Atomic

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John Hegeman dishes the dirt to Johnny @ Comic Con!While in attendance at Comic Con this year, I kept wandering past the booth for Fox Atomic, the new 20th Century Fox offshoot who will be putting out The Hills Have Eyes 2, Turistas, and 28 Weeks Later among various other non-horror projects.

Fox Atomic just sort of appeared out of nowhere shortly after the 28 Weeks Later announcement was made, so I wanted to find out more about them.   I managed to not only get info from them, but got said info from one of their highest sources: COO John Hegeman, whose history includes running the marketing for Lionsgate for many years. In fact, Hegeman was one of the brains behind the trend-setting viral campaign that helped make The Blair Witch Project one of the biggest little horror films of all time. Now he's on board at Fox Atomic, and they've got some great plans for the fans.  

"We just announced our graphic novel deal with Harper Collins for 28 Days Later: The Aftermath and the Hills Have Eyes book, which is huge," he told me. "We also have a deal with Thomas Ligotti's Nightmare Factory, which is a series of about 40 short stories, and we're going to start picking certain ones and adapting them into graphic novels."

The Nightmare Factory (click to see it bigger!)When asked if the series could eventually turn into films as well, Hegeman verified that they're open to pretty much whatever the fans think will work best. "What we want to try and do is use our official site as a source we can go to as a resource to test out new ideas, to get a response from the fans," he informed me. "Maybe something will start out as an animated short but fans say they'd like it as a comic book, or the other way around; that sort of thing. We want to use the site as a platform to both push out with new stuff and pull in information from our audience regarding what they'd like to see."

That's definitely a novel approach to both marketing to the fans and maintaining a loyal fanbase. The plan is to use the Fox Atomic site as the base of operations for everything they have in the works and to make it a resource fans will want to hit even between projects. "We're trying to have an online community that will offer something to visitors whether we have a new movie to talk about or not. Hopefully it will be a place that people will go to on a regular basis so that when we have movies to promote, we'll have an audience that we can connect with and already have a relationship with."  

Of course the topic of The Hills Have Eyes had to come up, and Hegeman gave me a bit of info as to what the graphic novel from Harper Collins will be like. "[It] will be a bridge between the first and second movies, focusing a bit more on the mythology of the town, finding out how this town became the breeding ground for a clan of mutants. We're going to trace the timeline back to the initial explosion and how people began mutating, looking at why they started inbreeding and moving into the caves and the mountains. We thought it'd be a fun way to make the movie more enjoyable when it's out."  

Though it's not an entirely new concept to come out with a backstory comic or novel before a big film, these won't be one-off novels written by no names. Indeed, the 28 Days Later bridge novel, The Aftermath, is being penned by horror freakmaster Steve Niles himself. Just a small indication of the level of assuredness and respect Atomic is showing for the fans.
   28 Days Later: The Aftermath (click to see it bigger!)
Before parting ways, I had to pick John's brain a bit about Turistas, Atomic's only acquisition to date, and he seemed genuinely excited about getting it out to the world. "The movie is just great, it's got a lot of what I think makes horror work so well, a very confined atmosphere, which just breeds horror; but then because it takes place in Brazi, it taps into this new fear we have, as Americans, of traveling across our borders." he enthused. Turistas tells of a group of backpackers who get stranded in the jungles of Brazil after a bus accident and encounter some less-than-friendly locals. "It's the beauty of Brazil that entices you, but then as you get deeper, it just keeps getting darker and darker. I don't think Americans are well liked in very many places right now, and Turistas plays into that fear of going somewhere just to have a good time but not being as welcomed as we once were. Then it takes it to a very extreme level from there!" Turistas is due out in theaters this December 1st.  

Though nothing else is solid for Atomic right now, the slate they have set up out of the gate is one that is certain to keep the fans happy for months to come.

Be sure to hit Fox Atomic's official site to become part of the ever-growing community, and keep it here for the latest news on all their badass upcoming projects! And a big thanks to Deborah for setting up the interview! 

Johnny Butane

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Jack Huston and Tessa Ferrer Join Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes Season 2

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Three months back we let you guys know that Stephen King’s “Mr. Mercedes” TV series had been renewed for a second season. And today we have some casting news.

Insidious: The Last Key star Tessa Ferrer is set as a series regular opposite Jack Huston, with production set to begin in Charleston, SC next month.

Further info on Ferrer’s character via Deadline tells us, “Ferrer will play Cora Babineau, wife of Dr. Felix Babineau (Huston) and head of marketing at a major pharmaceutical corporation, who’s even more ambitious than she is beautiful. If her husband has a genius for manipulating people from the inside out as he reaches into their brains and rewires them, Cora has a genius for influencing people from the outside in. Her beauty, brains, and force of will, judiciously softened with poise and extreme charm, make her a formidable saleswoman, of whatever she’s peddling.”

What did you think of season 1 of Mr. Mercedes? Let us know below!

The second season will also be based on King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy (“Mr. Mercedes”, “Finders Keepers”, and “End of Watch”) and hits AT&T Audience Network this summer.

Season 1 synopsis:

A demented killer Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway) who taunts a retired police detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) with a series of lurid letters and emails, forcing the ex-cop to undertake a private, and potentially felonious, crusade to bring the killer to justice before he is able to strike again.

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Razzies 2018: Transformers: The Last Knight Edges Out The Mummy in Nominations!

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The Razzie Award

The film industry as a whole has always treated the horror genre like some misshapen creature that they keep tucked away in a closet a la The Brain That Wouldn’t Die. It doesn’t matter how much horror films make at the box office or how many countless moviegoing seasons we’ve saved for Hollywood… hell, the powers-that-be rarely even acknowledge the fact that some horror movies are even horror movies. They’re “psychological thrillers” or some silly jargon like that. Whatever, right?

At least once a year, though, the film industry takes a moment to make fun of itself as a whole. Lord knows they don’t mind including us on these auspicious occasions! In any event… this year’s Golden Raspberry Awards (aka The Razzies) nominees have been announced, and we have them for you below. Both Transformers: The Last Knight and Universal’s Dark Universe reboot of The Mummy are leading the wack-pack in terms of nods.

Who’s your pick? Tell us in the comments section below!

WORST PICTURE
Baywatch
The Emoji Movie
Fifty Shades Darker
The Mummy
Transformers: The Last Knight

WORST ACTRESS
Katherine Heigl (Unforgettable)
Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades Darker)
Jennifer Lawrence (mother!)
Tyler Perry (Boo 2! A Madea Halloween)
Emma Watson (The Circle)

WORST ACTOR
Tom Cruise (The Mummy)
Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales)
Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades Darker)
Zac Efron (Baywatch)
Mark Wahlberg (Daddy’s Home 2 and Transformers: The Last Knight)

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Javier Bardem (mother! and Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales)
Russell Crowe (The Mummy)
Josh Duhamel (Transformers: The Last Knight)
Mel Gibson (Daddy’s Home 2)
Anthony Hopkins (Collide and Transformers: The Last Knight)

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kim Basinger (Fifty Shades Darker)
Sofia Boutella (The Mummy)
Laura Haddock (Transformers: The Last Knight)
Goldie Hawn (Snatched)
Susan Sarandon (A Bad Moms Christmas)

WORST SCREEN COMBO
“Any combination of two characters, two sex toys or two sexual positions” (Fifty Shades Darker)
“Any combination of two humans, two robots or two explosions” (Transformers: The Last Knight)
“Any two obnoxious emojis” (The Emoji Movie)
“Johnny Depp & his worn-out drunk routine” (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales)
“Tyler Perry & either the ratty old dress or worn-out wig” (Boo 2! A Madea Halloween)

WORST REMAKE, RIPOFF OR SEQUEL
Baywatch
Boo 2! A Madea Halloween
Fifty Shades Darker
The Mummy
Transformers: The Last Knight

WORST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky (mother!)
Michael Bay (Transformers: The Last Knight)
James Foley (Fifty Shades Darker)
Alex Kurtzman (The Mummy)
Tony Leonidis (The Emoji Movie)

WORST SCREENPLAY
Baywatch
The Emoji Movie
Fifty Shades Darker
The Mummy
Transformers: The Last Knight

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Jessica Rothe Compares Happy Death Day 2 to Back to the Future

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One of the best surprises of last year was Blumhouse’s Happy Death Day starring Jessica Rothe as a girl stuck in a Groundhog Day-style time loop where she keeps getting murdered by a masked slasher.

The PG-13 teen horror flick was a blast and I’m looking forward to any news on the possible sequel Happy Death Day 2. Speaking of which, last week Rothe spoke to Collider about the film’s planned sequel and had some very interesting tidbits to drop.

“[Director Chris Landon] has done this incredible thing where the sequel, the way he described it to me, elevates the movie from being a horror movie – and I wouldn’t even say it’s just a horror movie because it’s a horror, comedy, rom-com drama – into a Back to the Future type of genre film where the sequel joins us right from where we left off, it explains a lot of things in the first one that didn’t get explained, and it elevates everything,” Rothe said. “I was really pleased to know that we weren’t just gonna be pushing all the buttons that people loved the first time, over and over again, ‘cause I think that gets old. I’m really excited to see if it comes to fruition and, if it does, what the final product looks like. I hope we get to do it! I had a ball!”

A Back to the Future-style slasher movie?? I’m in. I’m there. Where do I sign up? What did you think of Blumhouse’s Happy Death Day and are you excited about a possible sequel? Let us know below!

The original film was directed by Christopher Landon from a screenplay he wrote with Scott Lobdell. The film stars Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, and Rachel Matthews.

BUY IT HERE!

Synopsis:

A college student who relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity.

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