THE ZOCALO TODAY October 14, 2006
Saw an update from JMS on BABYLON 5: The Lost Tales and The
Changeling so I thought I'd send it along. Production is getting
closer on Lost Tales so I hope JMS will be passing along more
information over the next few weeks.
Be sure to check out the new Discussion Topic. If you have an
opinion, be sure to share it by sending it along to be posted. I'm
interested in hearing what you have to say!
BABYLON: THE LOST TALES UPDATE
Date: October 12, 2006
Just a quick follow-up...I'm in Vancouver (coming back in 24 hours)
finishing up a round of final staff interviews for B5:TLT. Thus far,
we've hired two other producers, a script supervisor, a post
supervisor, the editor, a production manager, a conceptual
artist/storyboard guy, an art director/production designer, a first
assistant director, and closed several cast deals, with the rest
probably to be closed next week, at which time I may be able to say
who they are. Pending final negotiations, Chris Franke has agreed to
come on board to do the music. We're interviewing CGI houses up here
to decide which to go with. The three scripts have been completed,
and are now being storyboarded. We've narrowed down the director of
photography options to just a few last guys, and should have that
decided by week's end. We've also locked down the stage and have
started putting together our package (camera, lights, grip and
By this time next week, about 80% of our crew will be in hand, the
rest coming aboard during the start of prep.
Here's an update from JMS on THE CHANGELING project:
Just to clarify before the wrong impression gets out there....the
project has not been back burnered. First, Imagine owns the script,
they bought it, they want it, they want to see it made, so does
Universal. When Ron decided to go with the Frost/Nixon thing first,
one option would have been to hold onto Changeling until he was free
to direct it. But with the Forst/Nixon thing going first, Changeling
couldn't be shot until 2007...so Ron is going to produce, with
Imagine, and they're going to get another a-list director to come on
board and shoot this thing asap. The only thing that got back-
burnered was Ron, Imagine still wants to make this, and Ron has been
gracious enough to allow another director in, but still produce it,
so it can get filmed this year.
The draft is now ready to go, there are five a-list directors who
have said they want to come on, it's been budgeted, and the
president of Imagine called today *specifically* to say that they
want to put this thing into high gear now that Ron's made up his
mind. They'd like to see this thing going before the cameras by
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Our friends over at CafePress want to make a difference. During
October, CafePress.com will donate 40% of the retail price of all
products sold through the Breast Cancer Donation Shop through
October 31, 2006 to a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a core
purpose of raising awareness and funding breast cancer research and
Go to http://www.cafepress.com/bca2006
BABYLON PODCAST #36
Jeffrey is in Telluride this week, looking for snow to film, and
regaling Tim and Summer with tales of the beautiful skyscapes and
the free beer. Next, we talk with Carrie Dobro, best known for her
role of Dureena Nafeel on Crusade, but she also portrayed a medic in
the third season episode "Exogenesis" alongside Jeffrey and The
Carrie tells us stories about sitting in the makeup chair for hours,
her different experiences with mud and tight costumes, and with
extensive prosthetics in "Hypernauts", and the fun of working with
her Crusade co-stars, and the physical nature of Dureena's
character. Watch out when she's playing with the blades.
We also learn about her role as producer of Pickets, a highly-
regarded film that had made it's way around the film festival
circuit, and the challenges of filming on a schedule when your
outdoor sets have been victimized by weather. And bugs. And poison
ivy. Unfortunately, we can't see the film playing anywhere or on DVD
anywhere, but we'll keep an ear out and let you know if it becomes
If you want to listen to us live as we record episodes, tune in at
9pm EDT/6pm PDT. You can find all of the necessary info here,
including instructions on how to join the IRC chatroom for live
interactive feedback from the Draco Vista Studios.
Listener Feedback: Tim reads an email about the Vorlons in
the "Babylon Squared" time loop, an email of thanks from Matthew for
doing the podcast and helping keep the B5 fandom passions alive.
Jeffrey's really fascinated by the shiny gondolas going up and down
A giant supersized feedback show will be coming your way next week!
For those of you who can't wait till next week to hear it, the feed
will be going live at our usual time on 10/11/2006, at 6pm Pacific.
Go to www.babylonpodcast.com Babylon Podcast to listen to all of the
KEEPING UP WITH CAST AND CREW
BILL MUMY -- LIVE PERFORMANCE TONIGHT
Saturday, October 14th
Bill Mumy & Band in concert at the Rusty's Surf Ranch in Santa
Monica Pier, CA One set only starts at 9:15pm - Reservations are
recommended. Call 310-393-7437. Band Members: Bill Mumy: vocals,
guitar, harmonica; Steven Patt: vocals, guitar, pedal steel guitar;
Chris Ross: drums; Chris Varosy: vocals, keyboards and William
BABYLON 5 DISCUSSION TOPIC:
There are a number of shows this year that are serial in nature.
Some have already fallen by the wayside. Is serialized stories dead?
Are viewers finding it harder to stay with a story?
Send your comments along to sgbruckner@...
. I'll post them for
everyone to read on the Discussion Page.
INSIDE SCI-FI NEWS THIS WEEK:
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA RUMORS
Earlier this week, rumors surfaced indicating that BATTLESTAR
GALACTICA might move from SciFi to parent network, NBC. A SciFi
spokesperson indicated that there was no truth to this rumor. The
rumor has appeared on fans sites such as the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
site and been picked up by other entertainment news sites. "Word has
begun to circulate that NBC's acquisition of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA is
in the 'waiting-for-the-ink-to-dry' phase at this moment, and an
official announcement could be days away," the Battlestar Galactica
Site said. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA returned for its third season on SCI
FI on Oct. 6 and airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. It was the number-one
cable show in its timeslot for the night.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA RATINGS
The Oct. 6 third-season premiere of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA was the
number-one cable series of the night, delivering a 1.8 household
rating, or 2.2 million total viewers.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA COMIC
Javier Grillo-Marxuach, a writer and producer for ABC's ALIAS and
LOST, will write a new miniseries of comic books based on the
classic 1970s Battlestar Galactica show, Dynamite Entertainment
announced. The miniseries is being scheduled for an early 2007
release. Grillo-Marxuach calls himself a big fan of the original
Galactica universe. "One of my favorite childhood memories is
sitting in a movie theater, watching Battlestar Galactica in
Sensurround!" Grillo-Marxuach said in a statement. "With the renewed
interest in all things Galactica, it truly is an honor to revisit
the swashbuckling world of the original series and tell a big,
heroic adventure that's both true to the character of the classic
universe and so epic in scope it can only be presented in the comics
medium, ... and that's no felgercarb!" Grillo-Marxuach is an Emmy
Award-winning television writer and producer whose credits include
The Pretender, The Chronicle, Charmed, Jake 2.0, The Dead Zone, Dark
Skies and seaQuest. He is also the writer of Marvel Comics'
Annihilation: Super Skrull and creator of Viper Comics' The
There is a cool/hot clip for the new GHOST RIDER movie over at
that shows the
transformation of Johnny Blaze to the Ghost Rider. While there are a
number of formats available for viewing, the RealMedia format worked
best for me.
GHOST RIDER, written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson, hits
theaters on February 16. Nicolas Cage, Wes Bentley, Eva Mendes, Matt
Long, Sam Elliott, Peter Fonda, Donal Logue, Mathew Wilkinson and
Daniel Frederiksen star.
Variety reports that Andy Lau and Asian-American actress Maggie Q
(Mission: Impossible III) will star in THREE KINGDOMS: RESURRECTION
OF THE DRAGON, a big-budget historical action film being put
together as a pan-Asian co-production. Lau, who is honored this week
as Asian Filmmaker of the Year, and Q, currently filming LIVE FREE
OR DIE HARD pposite Bruce Willis in Canada, will present "Kingdoms"
to media in Pusan Sunday. Daniel Lee (Dragon Squad, One Armed
Swordsman) will direct with Sammo Hung ("Martial Law") on board as
action choreographer. With a budget approaching $25 million, the
film is set up by Hong Kong's Visualizer Film and Korea's Taewon
Entertainment and will shoot in China from March 2007. The project
is based on "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" a vast 600-year-old
novel by Luo Guangzhong that ranks as one of China's four most
important pieces of literature, and also provided source material
for John Woo's upcoming BATTLE OF RED CLIFF. The movie is expected
to use 40,000 extras, twice that of "The Lord of the Rings."
According to Variety, Rogue Pictures has signed James Cameron to co-
write and produce "James Cameron's Sanctum," a live-action drama to
be shot next spring in high-definition 3-D. Gary Johnstone will
direct the pic revolving around a deep-sea diving team headed by a
father and son. When the team heads to uncharted depths, a life-
threatening crisis occurs. Cameron is rewriting the script with John
Garvin. Despite the ambitious technology and undersea storyline, the
film will be budgeted in the low $20 millions. While Cameron is
preparing to direct the lavish 3-D drama "Avatar", he'll be actively
involved in "Sanctum".
Based on the epic graphic novel by Frank Miller, 300 is a ferocious
retelling of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae in which King
Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death
against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. Facing insurmountable
odds, their valor and sacrifice inspire all of Greece to unite
against their Persian enemy, drawing a line in the sand for
democracy. Lena Headey, David Wenham, Vincent Regan, Rodrigo Santoro
and Dominic West also star. Directed by Zack Snyder, 300 will be
released in theaters on March 9. For a look at the production blog
and trailer, go to http://300themovie.warnerbros.com/.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, John Goodman has signed on to
star in 20th Century Fox's upcoming vigilante drama DEATH SENTENCE.
He will join Kevin Bacon, Kelly Preston and Aisha Tyler in the cast
of the film. The film centers on a father, played by Bacon, whose
family is attacked as part of a gang initiation. The father is out
for revenge and enacts a death sentence on each gang member
involved. Tyler plays a homicide detective who aids Bacon's
character despite her growing suspicions that he might have
committed murder. Goodman will play Bones Darly, an arms dealer and
the boss of a drug ring that includes his two sons, Billy (Garrett
Hedlund, Four Brothers) and Joe (Matthew O'Leary, Brick). The
screenplay was adapted from a Brian Garfields novel, in which
Tyler's character is written as a 50-year-old man. The role was
revised by the filmmakers during casting.
JERICHO - FULL SEASON ORDER
CBS has given a full-season order to JERICHO. The show, about the
aftermath of a nuclear attack, has averaged 11.3 million viewers and
a 3.4 rating among adults aged 18-49, boosting CBS' performance on
Wednesday nights. JERICHO stars Skeet Ulrich, Gerald McRaney, Ashley
Scott, Pamela Reed, Kenneth Mitchell, Lennie James, Sprague Gradon,
Michael Gaston, Erik Knudsen, Brad Beyer and Shoshannah Stern. Jon
Turteltaub, Stephen Chbosky and Carol Barbee are executive producers
for CBS Paramount Network Television. The show airs Wednesdays at 8
HOUSE OF HORRORS
Variety reports that director/producer Sam Raimi is developing a
hybrid horror/reality series HOUSE OF HORRORS for The CW network.
Raimi and his longtime producing partner Rob Tapert are executive-
producing. CW executives told the trade paper that the show could be
on the air as early as next summer once it gets a green light.
Gunnar Witterberg (Treasure Hunters) came up with the idea and will
serve as co-executive producer; William Hamm is also onboard as co-
executive producer. In HORRORS, competitors will try to stay "alive"
in a mysterious house in which they must face their darkest fears.
One by one, players are "killed off" via elaborately staged "deaths"
that will mix elements of the reality and horror genres.
According to Variety, Anthony LaPaglia, star of CBS' WITHOUT A
TRACE, is also developing TV shows at CBS and Fox via his new Last
Straw Productions company, including a supernatural series called
Damnation. LaPaglia is partners with producer and former NBC
executive J.J. Jamieson. DAMNATION is set up at the Fox network and
is a half hour about a recently deceased young man who believes he's
wrongly been sent to hell. He makes a deal with the devil and ends
up working to recruit souls to the underworld. Canadian playwright
Morris Panych is writing the script. Timothy Busfield (Studio 60 on
the Sunset Strip), who brought the project to Last Straw, will
executive-produce and is attached to direct.
In a recent interview with journalists, Tim Kring, creator and
executive producer of NBC's HEROES, said that audiences can expect
the show's superpowered characters to start joining forces and
working as a team in upcoming episodes. "As their destiny starts to
sort of become intermingled with one another, yes, they have to form
this sort of alliance with one another," Kring said. "And then, in a
sense, join with each other in order to figure out what's going on.
Every character has sort of a tiny piece of the puzzle. So the
puzzle gets put together by the characters coming together." Rather
than continuing to focus on the individual storylines of the large
cast of characters, Kring said that Heroes will gradually integrate
the threads into a single overarching story. "If you sort of look at
it as kind of a funnel, it starts wide and starts to narrow," he
said. "As these characters start to cross paths, you no longer have
to tell eight stories. You can tell four stories or three stories.
So there is a natural progression that's allowing us to tell less
and less scattered stories." Kring confirmed that the heroes will
find a common enemy in the mysterious serial killer known as Sylar,
who Kring called the "major villain" of the first season. Though the
identity of Sylar hasn't been revealed, he may be someone that
viewers have already met. "We're going to leave some of the answers
to that vague, because I really want the audience to be surprised
when we do introduce the character." Kring said. "I know there is
speculation that the character is somebody that is among the
characters already, and I'm comfortable with that speculation. And I
kind of don't want to give it away." HEROES airs Mondays at 9 p.m.
MEDIUM TO RETURN
NBC will bring back its Emmy-winning MEDIUM in a new timeslot, the
10 p.m. Wednesday slot vacated by the new, low-rated serial
KIDNAPPED, according to The Hollywood Reporter. MEDKUM, starring
Patricia Arquette, will take over the slot by mid- November.
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Amber Tamblyn (THE GRUDGE 2) has
signed on to star in BLACKOUT, an independent thriller being
directed by Rigoberto Castaneda. Simon O'Leary and Valerio Morabito
are producing. The script, by Ed Dougherty and Morabito, revolves
around three people who are trapped in a hospital elevator for
almost 24 hours as what at first seems like an inconvenience turns
into a nightmare. Tamblyn will play a young woman who is trying to
get to her grandmother in the hospital who is moments away from
death. Also cast in the film are Aidan Gillen (The Wire), playing a
doctor who happens to be a psychopathic killer, and Armie Hammer, a
teen who wants to run away with his girlfriend. Shooting begins
early next month in Spain. Tamblyn next appears in THE GRUDGE 2,
which opens Oct. 13.
FINAL DAY OF PLANET EARTH
Campbell Scott (TV's Six Degrees) told the Associated Press that he
had a simple reason for starring in the upcoming SF movie FINAL DAY
OF PLANET EARTH on the Hallmark Channel: cash. Scott co-stars with
Daryl Hannah in the TV movie, in which he plays an astronaut who is
kidnapped by alien insects while on a space mission. Three years
later, he's rescued, on the verge of insanity, and discovers that
his former colleague (Hannah) is now the Alien Queen, bent on
destroying the city with her fellow insects, disguised as human
beings. "I was curious to work with a green screen, plus I got
offered a lot of money to work on something that is fast and fun and
really weird," Scott told the AP. "I also love working in Vancouver.
It is a beautiful city." FINAL DAYS OF PLANET EARTH airs Oct. 14.
STARGATE SG-1 MOVIES?
SCI FI Channel's original series STARGATE SG-1 will wrap up its 10-
year run this spring, but that's not the end of the saga. Executive
producer Brad Wright told TV Guide that MGM has granted a green
light, and enough money, to produce two movies, most likely for DVD.
The first film will tie up most of the finale's loose threads. "It's
the climax of the Ori storyline," Wright said, and will be written
and directed by executive producer Robert Cooper. The second film,
written by Wright, will involve time travel, and both projects
should debut in the fall of 2007. Though no deals are signed, SG-1's
stars are said to be "very eager" to continue, Wright
added. "They're not big-budget [films] by any definition, but for us
it's pretty good," he said. "As we've proven over the years, just
give us little more money and we can make pretty good television or
X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
20th Century Fox's "X-Men: The Last Stand" and Buena Vista's "The
Little Mermaid" continued their strong first-day sales momentum,
selling 5 million and 4 million units, respectively, their first
week in stores, studio sources said. That led to a one-two finish on
the national DVD sales chart for the week ending Oct. 8 and,
according to observers, should mitigate fears among some big
retailers that digital downloads are eating into DVD sales. Both
titles achieved their DVD success despite being readily available,
at lower prices, through online download services. Sales were so
strong for both titles that the No. 3 DVD on the Nielsen VideoScan
First Alert Sales chart, the previous week's chart-topper "The Fast
and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," sold one-tenth as many copies during
the week as "X-Men."
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Paddy Considine has signed on
to join the cast of the upcoming Universal Pictures film THE BOURNE
ULTIMATUM. The series stars Matt Damon as assassin Jason Bourne who
uncovers various mysteries of his past, putting him in the
crosshairs of killers. Considine will play a London journalist who
is tracking a former CIA director. Paul Greengrass is directing the
According to Production Weekly, John Leguizamo is looking to star in
an upcoming Franc. Reyes' thriller called THE MINISTERS. The film
follows a female NYPD detective whose father was murdered by a
mysterious religious group thirteen years prior and had disappeared
from the murder scene. She then learns that the group is active and
killing again when a nervous police chief takes her off the case,
she's unknowingly pulled back in as her boyfriend is a member of the
disturbingly homicidal group. Production is expected to start
sometime in December in New York.
HARRY POTTER TRAILER COMING SOON
Warner Brothers announced that the teaser trailer for HARRY POTTER
AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX will debut in theaters on Nov. 17,
attached to the studio's upcoming animated musical comedy film HAPPY
FEET, and will appear online sometime the week after.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Scott Speedman has signed on to
star in Rogue Pictures upcoming suspense thriller STRANGERS. He will
join Liv Tyler in the cast of the film. Speedman and Tyler will
portray a couple living in a remote house who come under attack by
three masked strangers (including one played by model Gemma Ward)
and have to fight for their survival. The film began production on
Monday in South Carolina and is set for a September release.
According to Variety, Chad Lowe will appear in several episodes of
Fox's 24. Lowe will recur on 24 as Reed Pollock, a "savvy politico"
based in the White House. His character joins 24 several episodes
after the show's sixth-season launch. Other newcomers to 24 in it's
sixth-season include Peter MacNicol and Regina King.
According to Variety, Terrence Howard is set to join Robert Downey
Jr. in IRON MAN, the superhero movie to be directed by Jon Favreau.
Paramount Pictures will release the film on May 2, 2008. Howard will
play Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes, the confidante of Iron Man's alter ego,
Tony Stark, played by Downey. Rhodes, a high ranking military
officer and aviator, steers the team that develops the robotic suit
that allows the sickly Stark to fly around and battle bad guys. In
the Marvel Comics series on which the film is based, Rhodes'
character gets his own armored suit and evolves into an occasionally
antagonistic character called War Machine. That development seems
likely to be saved for the sequel, though, as Iron Man will battle
the villainous Mandarin when shooting begins in February in Los
THE DARK KNIGHT
While director Christopher Nolan is still busy wrapping up his
latest supernatural film, THE PRESTIGE, he has turned attention to
his next project, the Batman sequal, THE DARK KNIGHT. He said in a
recent interview that Heath Ledger will make a perfect Joker, though
he might not seem so at first blush. "He's just exactly the kind of
energy I needed for the character," Nolan said. "Everything about
the risks that that performer is willing to take are the things I
need for somebody to take on that iconic figure. It's going to be a
huge challenge for us to create it, and he's exactly the guy you
want to be in the trenches with." Nolan added that he hasn't had
time to focus on other new casting for the Batman Begins sequel.
Ledger will play the Joker opposite Batman Begins returnees
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred,
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Gary Oldman as Lt. James Gordon. As
anyone who saw Batman Begins knows, that film's final moments
included a sequence between Batman and Lt. Gordon in which they
react to the discovery at a crime scene of a playing card bearing
the face of a Joker. THE DARK KNIGHT will no doubt pick up right
after the discovery of that card. "To be frank, I hadn't really
thought about doing the sequel while we were doing the first one,
but we wanted to end the first one with a sense of possibility,"
Nolan said. "And, frankly, the dynamic of that scene and the sense
of possibility that we tried to leave the audience with at the end
of Batman Begins just stuck with me. And I felt it as much as I hope
the audience did. So we really just want to carry on that story and
see where it goes." THE DARK KNIGHT will be released in 2008.
Signatures for nearly 50,000 fans were sent to MGM and New Line in
support of Peter Jackson helming a movie based on J. R.R. Tolkien's
THE HOBBIT. TheOneRing.net reported that MGM has confirmed that it
has held initial talks with Jackson about helming the movie. In a
letter responding to fan support, MGM wrote: "We would like to give
you the official statement from Rick Sands, [chief operating
officer] of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. ... Peter Jackson's
phenomenal success with The Lord of the Rings trilogy makes him the
first and most ideal choice for directing The Hobbit. ... MGM would
be thrilled to collaborate with the Academy Award-winning director
on this MGM New Line Cinema production. And, I'm sure to the delight
of the 50,000 filmgoers who have petitioned us in recent weeks,
demanding we bring this film to fruition, we have had a few initial
conversations about the project with Mr. Jackson's representatives."
New Line, the studio that produced the Rings films, has not
responded yet to the petition.
Variety writes that "Battlestar Galactica" executive producer David
Eick is teaming with feature screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis to
reinvent THE BIONIC WOMAN for NBC. Eick and Kalogridis will
executive produce a new take on "Bionic," a 1970s spinoff of "The
Six Million Dollar Man" in which Lindsay Wagner played tennis pro-
turned-superwoman Jamie Sommers. The series aired for two seasons on
ABC before shifting to NBC in 1977 for its final year. "It's a
complete reconceptualization of the title," Eick told the
trade. "We're using the title as a starting point, and that's all."
NBC Universal Television Studio is producing the new take, which has
been given a script commitment by the network. Instead of focusing
on terrorism and militarism, the new "Bionic" will explore the role
of professional women in contemporary society and how they juggle
their various roles. "It's using the idea of artificial technology
as a metaphor for what contemporary women sometimes feel is
necessary to do everything that needs to be done," Eick said.
October 21-23, 2006
Armageddon Pulp Culture Expo
City: Auckland, New Zealand
B5 Guest: Mira Furlan
For more information, go to their website at http://www.pulpexpo.com
October 27~29, 2006
SuperNova Pop Culture Expo
City: Sydney, Australia
B5 Guest: Mira Furlan
For more information, go to http://www.supanova.com.au/
October 27~29, 2006
City: Orlando, Florida
Guests: Avery Brooks, Jonathan Frakes, Denise Crosby, Walter Koenig,
Armin Shimerman, Rene Aberjonois Tim Russ, Andrew G. Probert, Suzie
For more information, go to http://www.vulkon.com/upcoming.htm/
November 10-12, 2006
United Fan Con
Place: Springfield Marriott
City: Springfield, Massachusetts
B5 Guests: Claudia Christian, Walter Koenig
Other Guests: William Shatner (Saturday only), Grace Park
(Sharon "Boomer" Valerii), Linda Blair, David Nykl (Atlantis), Gary
Jones (Stargate), Jewel Staite (Firefly), Dean Haglund (X-Files),
Peter David, comic book writer
For more information, go to http://www.unitedfancon.com
That pretty much brings you up to date with what is going on with
Babylon 5 and a lot of the science fiction community. I hope that
you'll drop over to the website at http://www.isnnews.net
see what daily material has been posted.
Have a terrific weekend.
ISN News: The Zocalo Today