The Weekly Wrap-Up: March 15-21, 2009
It's the first full day of spring, a time of rebirth and rejuvenation. It's also a time of another "re" word -- remake -- but I'm going to temporarily put that trend on hold (other than reminding you all to read Adam Gierasch's blog Creepy Mofos ... Creepy Movies
, the first subject of which happens to be those pesky re-dos).
Instead, let's focus on some fresh, original projects born from fertile minds (fertility is, after all, a touchstone of the Vernal Equinox) that came to light during the week of March 15-21, 2009.
First up are Slaughter's Road and Demonology, a pair of upcoming films that Watchmen co-writer David Hayter will direct. The former is a spin on the werewolf subgenre starring Thomas Dekker (the new Punisher, Ray Stevenson (interview here), is reportedly in talks to appear as well *crosses fingers*). The latter is autobiographical in nature, relating to Hayter's experiences at a Japanese international high school. And he's not stopping there. Hayter and producer Benedict Carver are also in the process of developing Dark Hero Studios, which will produce film, TV, Internet, and video game projects. It's an ambitious undertaking, but necessity is the mother of invention, and lord knows we need creative people like these guys working in the genre nowadays.
Matt Osterman isn't a familiar name, but I'm willing to give his Phasma Ex Machina a shot. Its premise is that the barrier that prevents the souls of the dead from walking among the living is a simple lack of energy, which of course means that some poor misguided electrical engineer is about to provide them the power they need to cross over, thereby fucking things up for the rest of us. Watch the trailer if you haven't yet; Osterman evokes a genuinely creepy vibe and tone.
The little road show that could is about to head back out, and if you didn't have a chance to see Repo! The Genetic Opera on the big screen during its various limited engagements across the country this year and last, do yourself a favor and check the listing of new Repo! Road Show dates. The fans spoke, and Lionsgate listened. It's downright heartwarming to see to Darren, Terrance, and the rest of the crew's perseverance and dedication pay off.
I'm almost afraid to draw attention to this next item. Every other time we've been given a date for the release of Richard Kelly's The Box, something has happened to make the powers-that-be at Warner Brothers change their mind. But in honor of the Equinox, I'm throwing caution to the wind. Click here to find out when we can finally watch James Marsden and Cameron Diaz struggle with the issue of whether it's worth $1 million to be responsible for the death of someone, somewhere, they don't know.
Fans have been clamoring for years for more literary adaptations as opposed to remakes and sequels, and at last it seems like production houses are listening. A good half dozen projects based on novels or comics were announced this past week, and the one that caught my eye the most is Demonkeeper. Yeah, it's cool that Sam Fell is set to direct, but the person who has me the most excited is screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis. As a co-writer of Night Watch, Kalogridis has more than proven his inventiveness and ability to adapt complex, visionary properties. I'm pretty sure Royce Buckingham's story of a young man charged with controlling a menagerie of demons is in very capable hands.
Along those lines, when all is said and done, treating source material with respect is really all anyone wants. But it rarely turns out that way, which is why so many of us have gotten so fed up with the redux craze. Nonetheless, there is one long-rumored re-imagining that I can't help but get all warm and fuzzy about, and it is the basis of the Woman's Story of the Week: Johnny Depp Closing in on Dark Shadows Adaptation. Much like many of you feel toward such classics as Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, Hellraiser, and even newer fare like Let the Right One In, Dark Shadows is sacred territory to me. I watched every single one of the show's 1,225 episodes. But I'm not the least bit worried. If anyone can do Barnabas Collins proud, it's Johnny Depp. However, I am kind of hoping Tim Burton winds up taking a pass. It seems too much been there/done that for him and Depp after Sweeney Todd. We all know Burton does Goth like nobody's business, but how about seeing what someone else can do in that milieu? An up-and-coming director who will keep the film stripped down and grounded in reality. Or not. If Burton does wind up involved, I won't complain … too much. And if Warner Bros is serious about turning it into a franchise, all the better! Just please get it done already, guys; none of us is getting any younger.
Until next time …
- The Woman In Black
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