The Weekly Wrap-Up: March 29-April 4, 2009
From the amount of genre news that's filtered through the site these past seven days, it's tempting to ask, "What recession?" But except for a very few high profile films, the majority of the projects currently in various stages of production are quite modest, whether they are indies or studio funded. And lucky for us, some sound quite promising. Which are the five that stood out during the week of March 29-April 4, 2009?
First up is Section 8. Paramount, Gaumont, and MySpace are teaming up for this new web series, which will debut exclusively on MySpace in the fall. Do we need another supernatural thriller with a Ten Little Indians premise? Isn't that what "Harper's Island" is? But Section 8 is additionally part social experiment as "it will have elements designed to allow viewers to use various functions of the [MySpace] networking service while watching the segments. Viewers will also be able to vote on the ending of the series." Could be fun or an absolute flop; only time will tell.
It's another threesome -- comprised of the talented Ridley and Tony Scott (both producing only this time) and Josh Lucas -- that has me curious about an updated loose adaptation of Poe's classic Tell-Tale Heart, shortened to just Tell-Tale. Plus the director is Michael Cuesta, who honed his craft helming several episodes of "Six Feet Under" and "Dexter" as well as the taut and powerful L.I.E.. On its surface at least, this should be a win for us viewers.
We got a look at the first still from the Thomas Jane-directed Dark Country, but what can you really tell from one picture? More illuminating was Ron Perlman's (interview here) assertion that "(Jane) has a highly articulated sensibility about tone and dark themes. I just knew that working on this film was going to be interesting since the movie takes place in a secluded desert and there are some seriously strange things going on.” Of all the 3D projects floating around out there, Dark Country could turn out to be one of the best.
The upcoming film with the most serious star power has to be Jonah Hex. Multiple Oscar nominees -- John Malkovich, Josh Brolin, and newly added Michael Shannon -- plus current "It Girl" Megan Fox pretty much assure its success. The real key, however, will be how well Jimmy Hayward works in reverse (so to speak) when he goes from animator to director of live action whose source is comics.
No Wrap-Up is complete without a contribution from the Foywonder, and this week is no exception. Click here to behold Billy Zane's mesmerizing bald head. It stars in a little picture called Magic Man along with Robert Davi, Armand Assante, Bai Ling, Andrew Divoff, and Richard Tyson. That's some cast; now I'm not so sure Jonah Hex is all that. Maybe the Magic Man will kick its ass. Ha! Not likely. But in times like these, we could all use a little cheesy diversion.
Which brings us to the Woman's Story of the Week, which is the saddest I've yet to do: RIP Andy Hallett and Lou Perryman. It was a double punch to the gut of horror fans. On Monday we got word that Andy Hallett had succumbed to an ongoing heart condition. He was so young, and it was unexpected to those of us unaware of his illness. And then unimaginably came the news that Lou Perryman had been murdered in his own home by a very sick and disturbed young man. So much tragedy in such a short time frame. But no matter how prematurely they were taken, we'll always think of Andy and Lou with great fondness and appreciation for their talent. Here's one last look at them at their most memorable:
Until next time …
- The Woman In Black
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Christian Bale Next to Join Prisoners?
The Endeavor project known as Prisoners just got a whole lot more interesting with the news that Christian Bale is a strong possibility to play the second lead in the film opposite Mark Wahlberg. A report came out of The Hollywood Reporter that while "the project isn't financed and the Wahlberg-Bale combo is fragile ... Bale is actually perfect for this -- it's a brooding, dark script."