DE­VEL­OP­MENT HELL

Your monthly glimpse into Hol­ly­wood’s hoped-for fu­ture

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert - Nick Setch­field’s

’Nuff said! STAN LEE: THE MOVIE

Stan “The Man” Lee – ’70s ac­tion hero? It’s ei­ther the most com­pellingly off-the-wall idea yet or hard ev­i­dence of a crack epi­demic rav­aging the stu­dio tow­ers of Hol­ly­wood. Face front, true be­liev­ers (and dazed un­be­liev­ers too)! Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox has just bagged the screen rights to Smilin’ Stan’s life story, but rather than bring us a straight biopic of Mar­vel’s found­ing fa­ther they’re plung­ing him into a pe­riod-set ac­tion­ad­ven­ture flick, chan­nelling the tone of Kings­man: The Se­cret Ser­vice and Roger Moore era Bond movies. Ex­pect laser-fir­ing hy­per­bole and sub­mersible al­lit­er­a­tion. Marty Bowen and Wyck God­frey – the team be­hind Twi­light, The Maze Run­ner and the im­mi­nent Power Rangers re­boot – will pro­duce, with Lee him­self as ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, along with Gill Cham­pion, his part­ner at POW! En­ter­tain­ment. So what’s next? Jack Kirby: Pen­cil Of Fury? Steve Ditko: Lib­er­tar­ian Ninja?

New­com­ers Re­newed! ALIEN NA­TION

Now here’s a timely re­make. Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox are tap­ping Jeff Ni­chols – di­rec­tor of this year’s ac­claimed Mid­night Spe­cial – to give a con­tem­po­rary spin to Alien Na­tion, the film that spliced a first con­tact tale with a buddy-buddy cop flick then up­ended a truck­ful of metaphor just to keep things in­ter­est­ing. Set in the then trem­blingly near-fu­ture of 1991, the 1988 orig­i­nal starred James Caan

as a xeno­pho­bic LAPD of­fi­cer part­nered with Mandy Patinkin’s ex­tra-ter­res­trial New­comer, one of 300,000 cos­mic refugees strug­gling to in­te­grate into a wary Amer­ica. It spawned a short-lived TV show and no less than five TV movies. Ni­chols will write and di­rect with Brian Ka­vanaugh­Jones (In­sid­i­ous) and Sara Greene (Pa­cific Rim) pro­duc­ing. Ru­mours that the plot con­cerns a tan­ger­ine-hued dem­a­gogue build­ing a gi­ant wall to keep the New­com­ers out re­main un­con­firmed at presstime.

GeN­er­a­tioN Game! AVATAR 2

A faint sig­nals reaches us from a dis­tant re­al­ity where some­one is gen­uinely thrilled by the thought of four more Avatar movies. Oh, wait, it’s James Cameron… “The story in the se­quels re­ally fol­lows Jake and Neytiri and their chil­dren,” the mas­ter of Pan­dora tells Va­ri­ety. “It’s more of a fam­ily saga about the strug­gle with the hu­mans.” Avatar 2 is sched­uled for Christ­mas 2018 (in­cred­i­bly, that’s nine years after the orig­i­nal – we’re fairly sure con­ti­nen­tal drift took less time) but that may slip. “We haven’t moved that tar­get yet, but we will if we need to,” says Cameron, bullishly. “The im­por­tant thing for me is not when the first one comes out but the cadence of the re­lease pat­tern. I want them to be re­leased as close to­gether as pos­si­ble. If it’s an an­nual ap­point­ment to show up at Christ­mas, I want to make sure that we’re able to ful­fil on that prom­ise.” Thanks, Santa.

strokiNG kills! BAT­MAN

Flash that Bat-sig­nal, Com­mis­sioner! There’s a new threat to prop­erty val­ues in Gotham City! Yes, Ben Af­fleck’s Dark Knight is set to grap­ple with none other than Death­stroke in the next Bat­man movie. First seen in the pages of The New Teen

Ti­tans way back in 1980, Death­stroke – in no way to be con­fused with Dead­pool, Mar­vel’s psy­chotic, sci­en­tif­i­cally-aug­mented mer­ce­nary whose real name is Wade Wil­son – is a psy­chotic, sci­en­tif­i­callyaug­mented mer­ce­nary whose real name is Slade Wil­son. He’ll be brought to the big screen by True Blood’s Joe Man­ganiello, Zack Sny­der’s sec­ond choice to play Su­per­man in Man Of Steel. Ex­pect the Bat­man movie to con­tinue Warner’s course cor­rec­tion of the cin­e­matic DCU, mov­ing closer to the core val­ues of the comic books. “It’s a hope­ful and op­ti­mistic view of life,” says DC En­ter­tain­ment pres­i­dent Ge­off Johns. “Even Bat­man has a glim­mer of that in him. If he didn’t think he’d make to­mor­row bet­ter, he’d stop…”

claws aNd ef­fect! BLACK PAN­THER

The DCU may be bright­en­ing up but the Mar­vel Cin­e­matic Uni­verse is set to em­brace a darker tone in Ryan Coogler’s adap­ta­tion of Lee and Kirby’s jun­gle su­per­hero. “On one hand, the Mar­vel movies that I’ve liked the most are the ones that are funny,” star Chadwick Bose­man tells Comic Book Re­sources. “I love Ant-Man. But most of the time the darker su­per­hero movies are the ones that I grav­i­tate to­wards, that I love the most. So I’m glad that I’m not in an Ant-Man. I’m glad that the tone of it may be a lit­tle grit­tier.” And Bose­man says the cham­pion of Wakanda is a per­fect fit for a darker take. “He’s not nec­es­sar­ily the comedic el­e­ment, the sparky stuff that ac­tu­ally works with many of the other char­ac­ters that you see in comic books. That’s not nec­es­sar­ily who he is. There’s a mys­tery and a mys­tique to him. So all those things to me present a recipe for a darker drama than you might nor­mally see.”

steel­iNG him­self! MAN OF STEEL 2

Call us crazy but we’re not sure Warner Bros is en­tirely in­vested in this whole “Su­per­man’s dead!” flim­flam­mery. An­other clue to the most in­evitable res­ur­rec­tion in movie his­tory comes with word that a stand­alone se­quel to 2013’s Man Of Steel is in ac­tive de­vel­op­ment. And Henry Cav­ill won’t just be wear­ing the cape. This time he’ll be a pro­ducer too. “Henry has a big ap­petite,” Cav­ill’s man­ager, Dany Gar­cia, tells Newsweek. “He’s re-strate­gis­ing, ac­quir­ing prop­erty [for his pro­duc­tion com­pany], he’s film­ing [Jus­tice League] now, he’s in de­vel­op­ment for the Su­per­man stand­alone… he’s be­gin­ning to ex­pand that world. It’s beau­ti­fully teed up. In a year from now, or two years from now, he’s go­ing to be a force glob­ally.” Hmm. Is this the mo­ment we put our na­tion’s nu­clear de­fences on tac­ti­cal alert? Maybe di­vert an air­craft car­rier or two?

hauNted house! WINCH­ESTER

Draw your­selves a lit­tle closer to the camp­fire as we ask, “Ever heard of the old Winch­ester place?” You’ll find it in San Jose, out on South Winch­ester Boule­vard. It’s the man­sion that be­longed to Sarah Winch­ester, heiress to the Winch­ester firearm for­tune. Now Sarah was sure she was be­ing haunted by all those poor, damned souls whose lives had been taken by the Winch­ester re­peat­ing ri­fle. She was con­vinced there was a curse upon her. She reck­oned the only way to beat the spir­its was to keep build­ing her home. So the lady kept build­ing. For 38 years, 24 hours a day. Room upon room. Doors upon doors, walls upon walls. Stair­ways that went nowhere. All to keep the spir­its sweet. Now them fancy Hol­ly­wood folk are telling her story. Got that He­len Mir­ren in to play her. But they’ll learn. Some sto­ries ain’t meant to be made into movies. Damn, the fire just went out… Say, is that the sound of sawin’-and-a-ham­merin’ you hear on the wind? Reckon it’s comin’ nearer?

It’s more of a fam­ily saga about the strug­gle with the hu­mans

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