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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Orson Scott's "Empire", City of Heroes, 30 Days of Night, etc.

Another day, another movie adaptation. First up is “Empire” (2006) by Orson Scott Card, a numerous award-winning (Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, etc.) author probably best-known for his Ender’s Game series. Warner Bros. Pictures picked this one up – boy have they been busy! – with Joel Silver (The Matrix Trilogy, V For Vendetta) producing. “Ender’s Game” is the only book I’ve read by Mr. Card and while I would definitely check out the movie if it’s ever made – Wolfgang Peterson (Troy, Poseidon) is supposedly attached – I’m not so sure about “Empire”. I read that the book was written as part of a potential ‘multi-format entertainment franchise’, which includes a videogame, comic book series, etc., and I wasn’t too impressed with the premise…and from the reviews I’ve seen, it looks like some readers are mixed on this one as well…

The American Empire has grown too fast, and the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point. The war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war, though most people just want to be left alone.

The battle rages between the high-technology weapons on one side, and militia foot-soldiers on the other, devastating the cities, and overrunning the countryside. But the vast majority, who only want the killing to stop and the nation to return to more peaceful days, have technology, weapons and strategic geniuses of their own.

When the American dream shatters into violence, who can hold the people and the government together? And which side will you be on?

Moving on, producer Tom DeSanto who’s worked on X-Men, X2 and the upcoming Transformers movie, has acquired the rights to the MMORPGs videogame franchise City of Heroes, developed by Cryptic Studios (Marvel Universe Online, City of Villains) and published by NCsoft. Considering that there are already novels, a comic book series, a collectible card game, and a forthcoming role-playing game, it’s no surprise that Hollywood would try and take this franchise into film and television. Let’s just hope they do a better job with it than the majority of videogame adaptations released so far, which haven’t been quite as successful as their comic book counterparts…

A couple of movies that I’ve been anticipating recently released trailers. First we have 30 Days of Night, an adaptation of the outstanding comic book series by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. The 30 Days of Night film was directed by David Slade (Hard Candy), produced by Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, The Grudge) and stars Josh Hartnett (Sin City, Lucky Number Slevin), Ben Foster (Six Feet Under, X-Men: The Last Stand), Melissa George (Alias), etc. I highly recommend you check out the trailer HERE. It looks pretty damn awesome! Then there’s the new adaptation of Richard Matheson’s great novel “I Am Legend” – if you haven’t read this yet, then how can you call yourself a horror/vampire fan? Anyways, the movie stars Will Smith (Bad Boys, I, Robot), is directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine), produced by Akiva Goldsman (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), with the screenplay by Mark Protosevich (The Cell, Poseidon) and you can check out the trailer HERE. Based on just the trailers, I Am Legend doesn’t look nearly as good as 30 Days of Night, but I’ll keep my final judgment reserved until I’ve seen the movies.

Finally, over at Variety, there’s a great article on the recent wave of nostalgic cartoon/toy movie adaptations, which includes information on Transformers, G.I. Joe, He-Man, Thundercats and Voltron. I definitely recommend that you check out “Hollywood’s toy ploy” article HERE.


Reanimated said...

Hey Dude!
I have not read 30 DAYS OF NIGHT but it sounds amazing. I liked Hard Candy so it sounds like it's in good hands.
I LOVE I Am Legend!! You are right, it is practically a right of passage for any horror fan.

Keep up the great job on the blog!


Robert said...

If you get a chance to check out the 30 Days of Night graphic novel, I definitely would. It's great stuff, very visceral, yet intelligent...and as always thanks for reading!

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