Dan Owen reviews

I s s u e # 1 52 5 O c t o b e r 2 0 0 2



‘Warner Brothers’ have purchased the rights to a movie adaptation of’Cartoon Network’ series “Johnny Bravo”, as a possible project for WWEwrestler The Rock.

Producer Marty Adelstein said: “When the Rock mentioned to Neal (Moritz)and myself he was a big fan of ‘Johnny Bravo’ and thought it was a greatidea for a movie, we thought it was a natural fit and potentially agreat role for him to play, so we went aggressively after the property.”

The animated series is about a muscular, vain, sweet-talking ladies withthe voice of Elvis Presley!


‘Ananova’ reports that actress Renee Zellweger is refusing to gainweight for the sequel to “Bridget Jones’ Diary”. For the first film shefamously put on 10kg (22 pounds), but has so far stuck to an earlieragreement to never pile on the pounds for a sequel.


Writer-Director Wes Craven (“A Nightmare On Elm Street”) is teaming upwith his “Scream” screenwriter Kevin Williamson on a werewolf movie -which should be released on 8th August 2003.

‘Dimension Films’ executive Bob Weinstein says: “Kevin wrote a fun,scary and surprise-filled script just like the original ‘Scream.’ Theonly person I thought of to direct it was Wes Craven, and I couldn’t bemore excited to team them up again for what I think is anothercrowd-pleasing thrill ride. In the way they made scary movies fun, Kevinand Wes will reinvent the werewolf genre”.

Craven had been on pre-production of his movie “Pulse” – which has nowbeen put on hold in preference for “Cursed”.


“DAREDEVIL”‘Superhero Hype’ have released some great pictures from next year’slive-action comic-book adaptation of “Daredevil” (see above).


Director Roland Emmerich’s $110-125m global-warming action flick “TheDay After Tomorrow” has its first batch of star names attached – DennisQuaid, Sela Ward and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Donnie Darko”).


Director Tony Scott (“True Romance”) will direct “Domino”, a dramaticthriller penned by talented writer-director Richard Kelly (“DonnieDarko”).

The film is based on the real-life story of Domino Harvey, an ex-Fordmodel and daughter of actor Lawrence Harvey, who gave up a pampered L.Alifestyle to become a real-life bounty hunter.

Cover“THE EXORCIST – THE BEGINNING”‘Sci Fi Wire’ recently interviewed Gabriel Mann (who plays FatherFrancis in the upcoming prequel to “The Exorcist”), about the new moviewhich starts filming in Morocco in a fortnight.

He said: “I think that it’s the [film] that seriously makes the closestattempt to get back to the elements that made the first one so great. Tome, it’s something that moves away a little bit fromrunning-around-with-axes, chasing-people-through-woods kind of terror,to the kind of creeping, growing eeriness that starts to really permeateinside you until you realize you’re really scared and really freakedout.”

Cover“FREDDY vs JASON”Director Ronny Yu has spoken about his upcoming “Freddy Vs Jason”, whichfinally sees “A Nightmare On Elm Street” villain Freddy Kruger battle itout with “Friday The 13th” slasher Jason Vorhees.

He said: “Last night was the first time I worked with Robert Englund[Freddy Kruger]. After we wrapped, he said, ‘Ronny, the way you makemovies is different.’ How do you mean different? ‘Different fromAmerican or European directors. You don’t go the normal way like doing amaster, then coverage and da da da da da. You just say what you need andwhat reaction you need, act scared and jump up.’ I said, ‘What’s sodifferent?'”

“I like to have a little bit of humour in all my movies. It doesn’tmatter what genre. I need the audience when they’re sitting there tofeel it’s a fun thing. So that’s why I insist in ‘Bride Of Chucky’ thatthey have a lot of fun, like humour, even though it’s a nasty humour.Still, you laugh and say, ‘Ooh, that’s nasty.’ But still you laugh.”

Yu also confirmed that he is shooting alternate endings to the movie,perhaps meaning audiences will never know which ending they will see inthe theatre!

The director also spoke to ‘About.com’ saying: “The action will be fast,pacing will be fast but it depends what you mean by Hong Kong-styleaction. Like ‘Crouching Tiger…’, no. Definitely not because I thinkthe audience would be disappointed. You have two guys like flyingeverywhere? No, no, no. But some very dynamic action, yes”.

“I think that seeing less is better. That’s what Wes was telling Englundall the time. Seeing less is better, more scarier.”

“GLADIATOR II”‘IGN Film Force’ has reported that the sequel to “Gladiator” will be setduring the reign of Roman Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus – whorestores stability to the Empire after the tumultuous reign ofex-Emperor Commodus [Joaquin Phoenix] and the civil wars that erupted inthe wake of Commodus’ murder [at the hands of Russell Crowe’s Maximum].


‘Women’s Day’ magazine said that popstar Kylie Minogue is set to jointhe cast of the “Grease 3” as the daughter of Olivia Newton-John andJohn Travolta’s characters! Minogue later denied her involvement.


The elephant-riding general Hannibal (not the liver-eating cannibal) wasdiscussed recently by attached-star Vin Diesel. Diesel spoke to the ‘UKTimes’ about the project, saying that Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind”)could direct.

Vin Diesel: “… what I’m really excited about is ‘Hannibal’, about theCarthaginian general rather than the cannibal killer. It’s been a petproject for years.”

He stated that Ridley Scott is not attached to the movie. Producer JoeRoth has said that: “I have a meeting with Ron Howard when I get home.It’s going to be amazing. We’ll have battles, elephants, Carthage…”


Star Eric Bana has spoken about “The Hulk” director Ang Lee, saying: “Ithink Ang’s very specific vision is buried deep in his head. It wasfascinating to work on because all you could do was have complete andutter confidence in what he was wanting… just surrender yourself toit, and that’s what I loved about it.”

“It’s a stylised piece of work with elements that are obviouslyextremely deep, and deeper again because a lot of it is in his head -and not all of it is he able to communicate to you – or would want to.So it’s a very scary and thrilling experience; you have to relinquishall your control to this auteur. But the man is a genius…”

“I knew it would have a lot more elements than people would beexpecting. So in that sense I wasn’t surprised. You had to workextremely hard in every facet. Ang’s a perfectionist and he has a verydetermined vision. We all worked hard – not just hours, everyone workslong hours, but in intensity. The level of intensity was extreme. Hemade me dig deep and go places that I found pretty uncomfortable – butI’m weirdly attracted to that, so that as fine by me.”


One-sheet posters for “The Matrix Reloaded” have been released, andshould adorn cinemas (and quite a few bedrooms!) around the world very,very soon.

Take a look at all of themherebut for now, take in the majesty of Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity… (right)

“THE NUMBER 23”Director Joel Schumacher (“Tigerland”) is in negotiations to direct ‘NewLine Cinema”s “The Number 23” for ‘Firm Films’.

The screenplay has been written by British newcomer Fernley Phillips,and is a psychological thriller about a man who becomes obsessed with anobscure book called ‘The Number 23’, that he thinks is based on his ownlife – as the number 23 is strangely woven throughout his life…


A sequel book to Robin Williams’ special-effects comedy-adventure”Jumanji” is in the works, entitled “Jumanji II: Zathura”. The next bookfocuses on a variant magical board game that utilizes a science-fictiontheme instead of a jungle premise – with meteor showers, space piratesand evil robots!

It’s not yet known if the new book will be adapted into a movie, but itis quite likely given the original’s success.

Cover“THE RING 2”

Naomi Watts, the lead actress in recent smash-hit horror “The Ring” hasspoken about the possibilities of a sequel to ‘Fangoria’ magazine. Shesaid: “Yeah, I would [return], I would always be nervous about doing asequel, but just because I feel like I’m in safe hands – the’Dreamworks’ people are really smart.”

“We did a lot of script changes while we were shooting and we shot a fewdifferent endings and we didn’t know what we were going to use and theway they played it out, I think, was really smart and I love the way itends.”

“So, I feel inspired and encouraged by that and hopefully Gore[Verbinski, director] will be able to do the sequels, too. [My characteris] obviously going to go through a lot again. It will be a big one. Ido like that character, so I’d be happy to go to more dark, strangeplaces.”


Jessica Biel is rumoured to be lined up for a role in “The AmazingSpider-Man” (a.k.a, “Spider-Man 2”). Perhaps she will play Gwen Stacy -a character that screenwriter Michael Chabon is apparently keen on.


Director Brett Ratner spoke about his decision to cast Anthony Hopkinsas Jor-El in the upcoming new version of “Superman”. He said: “He[Hopkins] did such a good Brando impression for me, I said I gotta getthis guy to play the father of Superman.”

What does Ratner think of the scathing reviews of the first “Superman”draft by J.J Abrams? “I trust my instincts… a script is a script, it’snot a movie – it’s my interpretation of it and I think they’re readinglike old drafts or something – I just got the new draft yesterday thatwas hand-delivered by like a guy with a gun”.

‘Moviehole’ scored a great interview with Ratner this week, too -hightlights below:

  • Q: First off, I’ve heard a rumor the last few days that Edward Nortonmight be playing Lex Luthor in “Superman”?
    A: That would be great. He’s a little young though. He’s definitely notSuperman – but I like the Luthor idea. I suppose people are saying thisbecause we worked on “Red Dragon” together, but no, it’s good.
  • Q. Any other thoughts on casting yet for “Superman”?
    A: No. It’s too early. I just got the job like two weeks ago. I’m nottalking to any actors. I’m going to do a search for Superman – maybe anunknown – and surround him with a great Lex Luthor and a great JimmyOlsen. I might just find Superman on the New York Stage or something.
  • Q. And what about Christopher Reeve, will he get a cameo?
    A. I’ve had a lot of people ask me. That would be nice. I don’t knowwhat he could do – he’s kind of capacitated.
  • Q. Do you think you’ll still be casting an unknown for the role?
    A: It’s possible. That’s what I’d like to do. People want to see acharacter, not a movie star.
  • Q. So how far along is “Superman” anyway?
    A. The scripts almost there. I’m just casting, crewing up, getting ittogether.
  • Q. What’s your take on the script that was floating around the net?
    A. Oh god. Yeah, that wasn’t even a draft. It was ridiculous. Some oldscript – someone with too much time on his or her hands. I mean I agreewith some stuff, I mean some of it spilt over into my script, but LexLuthor is NOT going to be an Alien and we ARE blowing up Krypton. Itkeeps the law that people know but it goes a step further. I can do thefuck I want. I mean I have ‘DC Comics’ and all the creators of thecartoon behind me. Some people aren’t going to like it, that’sinevitable. Thing is, I know it’ll be a boring movie if I just remakeDick Donner’s film, because it’s already done. I mean I haven’t changedit much at all – I just added some new shit, so how can anyone be mad atme. And we’re talking about the trilogy – it’s full on. Conference callswith the studio and Jon Peters and…
  • Q. So Jon Peters is still attached (trying not to laugh)?
    A. Yes.
  • Q. So are you basically remaking the first one or are you starting afresh?
    A. It’s a re-inventor but it’s based on the story, “The Death ofSuperman”. It’s going to have the old mythology, but it’s not going tobe camp, it’s going to be a bit more psychological. More traumatic andit’s going to be darker.
  • Q. Are there any other Superhero features you’d be interested in?
    A. I would have loved to have done “The Hulk”- that will be a coolmovie. I like Batman. “Batman vs Superman” was going to be done.
  • Q. Someone told me that it’s not going to happen now at all?
    A. No I don’t think so. Wolfgang [Peterson] really wanted to do it. Imean who really wants to see an Old Batman and an Old Superman. “Batman:Year One” would be good though.

    As well as what’s happening with “Rush Hour 3”

  • Q. You have “Rush Hour 3” coming up. When’s that?
    A. After “Superman” I think. I’m working on a script now. This timewe’re going to put them somewhere where they’re both out of water. Thefirst one it was Jackie in L.A, the second one it was Chris in HongKong. Possibly Australia.
  • Q. So even though you’re doing “Rush Hour 3” is there anything insideyou that says ‘hey, I really don’t want to do this?’
    A. I mean everyone is saying ‘you don’t want to do “Rush Hour 3″‘. But Icreated “Rush Hour”, I love it, I’m not a snob. I mean I’m following thesame career path as Richard Donner – “Superman”, “The Omen”, and “LethalWeapon”.


A sequel to “The Wizard Of Oz” is being lined up to star Drew Barrymoreas Dorothy, according to ‘Varuety’ magazine.


Arnold Schwarzenneger spoke to Australia’s ‘The Herald Sun’ newspaperabout the fight sequences in “T3”, saying: “I love the Hong Kong styleof action movies, but that only looks good for small guys. The reasonwhy the whole style was developed over there was because those guys werevery puny guys. They’re not powerful looking guys.”

“There’s no weightlifting champion coming out of Hong Kong – maybe inthe bantam division or the lightweight division or something like that.In order for them to be equal in a fighting situation, they had to learna technique that small people can do that is as effective as the bigguy’s strength. So that’s where the martial arts came from.

“Therefore, it was always a smaller person’s trick. The Bruce Lee kindof a guy, he looks very ordinary and small, but he’s very quick and canfly through the air and kick and all that stuff. It looks great, butwhen you’re a big guy, it doesn’t look as good.”

“When you’re a big guy the people like to see you pick up the guy, takehim and throw him against the wall. They think that’s a cool move whenyou’re a big guy. Like in ‘Terminator’… be thrown around. They want tosee the size of body do something. They would be disappointed if a bigguy always had to resort to those tricks because that would mean that hehad no power.”


Yes, Marily Manson has been confirmed as the music scorer for thisremake of Tobe Hooper’s 70’s classic. Also, Andrew Bryniarski (“PearlHarbor”) is playing the lead role of chainsaw-wielding nutjobLeatherface.


As reported a few issues back, the second sequel to 80’s comedy smash”Three Men & A Baby” is going ahead. Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson, TomSelleck and Nancy Travis will star, with “baby” Mary now an 18-year-old.


‘Ananova’ reports that ‘South Park’ creators Trey Parker and Matt Stoneare creating their own adult version of “Thunderbirds”! Stone said: “…it’s going to be for over 16’s, very over the top, and no holds barred.


‘UK Yahoo’ recently spoke to director Danny Boyle (“28 Days Later”)about author Irvine Welsh’s sequel to his acclaimed novel”Trainspotting”.

Danny Boyle said: “I’ve just finished reading it, funnily enough, and I reallyenjoyed it. I found it very difficult to start with, because I am insuch awe of the original book, which I think is a modern Ulysses. Ithink the idea of taking the characters ten years on is brilliant, butone of the problems at the moment is that the actors – Ewan and Ewen,Bobby, and Jonny – don’t look ten years older”.

But would he direct a film version? “It’s a fantastic idea. I don’t knowwhether it will happen or not because of the logistical problems thatwould be involved. I’d love to go back to it; I think the idea of aten-year gap is a great idea”.

Cover“WALLACE & GROMIT”Animator Nick Park (“Chicken Run”) spoke recently to ‘USA Today’ aboutthe upcoming 2005 feature-film of “Wallace & Gromit” entitled “The GreatVegetable Plot”.

Nick Park said: “That was the working title of the ‘Wallace & Gromit’feature. I can tell you that in the way we often borrow movie references(Ealing comedies, Hitchcock, etc.), this one borrows most from B-moviehorror and British horror. But it’s also about vegetables, so we oftendescribe it as a vegetarian horror movie. The rest you’ll have toimagine.”

Park also spoke about the delayed movie “The Tortoise & The Hare”,saying: “It’s actually gone back into development, and it’s now amongsttwo or three films we’re developing. It will happen eventually. Thevoices are all being reconsidered.”

Cover“X-MEN 2”

‘Entertainment Weekly’ printed a new photo of Hugh Jackman as Wolverinefrom next year’s movie “X-Men 2” (right). Goherefor even more images from the film, including as-yet-unseen pictures of the cast!

“xXx 2”

‘Yahoo Movies UK’ has reported that Samuel L. Jackson may return for thesequel to this year’s spy hit “xXx”. Director Rob Cohen indicates thatJackson’s character of Gibbons may not even appear in the sequel,saying: “I’m not certain about that… I love Sam and I was very happywith what he did in the film but the road divides at a certain point.”

“You either go down one of two roads with a character. He either remainsthe handler and is always on the phone going ‘Get out of there Xander’and all that stuff which is thankless for an actor or it becomes ‘LethalWeapon’ and suddenly it’s a buddy movie and neither option at the momentseems as anarchistic as I’d like.”

“What might be interesting is that there’s another force that comes intothe story. I really want the movies to stay fresh and not to go ‘Oh,here’s the familiar, comfortable element’… so we’ll move on andhopefully it’ll be a good surprise”.



  • 1. The Ring ($15.0m)
  • 2. Sweet Home Alabama ($9.5m)
  • 3. Red Dragon ($8.7m)
  • 4. My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($7.1m)
  • 5. Brown Sugar ($5.2m)
  • 6. The Transporter ($5.0m)
  • 7. Abandon ($5.0m)
  • 8. Tuxedo ($4.1m)
  • 9. Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie ($3.9m)
  • 10. Tuck Everlasting ($3.7m) UK TOP 10 (CINEMA)
  • 1. xXx (£3.4m)
  • 2. Lilo & Stitch (£1.5m)
  • 3. Red Dragon (£1.4m)
  • 4. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (£0.8m)
  • 5. Signs (£0.44m)
  • 6. Road To Perdition (£0.43m)
  • 7. My Little Eye (£0.25m)
  • 8. Slap Her, She’s French! (£0.21m)
  • 9. One Hour Photo (£0.19m)
  • 10. All or Nothing (£0.16m)

    ** WEBSITES **

    Cover“28 Days Later”:The official site for British director Danny Boyle’s England-set zombieflick starring Christopher Ecclestone. One to watch!

    ** TRAILERS **

    “House Of A 1000 Corpses”:

    Rob Zombie’s stalled horror movie is finally being released. Too muchgore and violence nearly stopped a theatrical release – now if that’snot a recommendation, I don’t know what is 😉

    Buzz Rating: 2/5 – Beyond gore-addicted teens it’s difficult to see thismovie doing very well at the world-wide box-office. A cult status on DVDbeckons…

    Cover“Catch Me If You Can”:Steven Spielberg teams up again with Tom Hanks and Leonard DiCaprio.Hanks plays an FBI Agent tracking DiCaprio’s master conman, in a storybased on real events. The comedy also stars Martin Sheen and ChristopherWalken.

    Buzz Rating: 3/5 – There’s no denying Spielberg’s on a role after “AI”and “Minority Report” and the film will doubtless look fantastic, butthis is Spielberg’s first comedy since box-office turkey “1941” – so canhe tackle the genre successfully? With fine support from Hanks, Sheen,Walken and an apparently excellent DiCaprio – things do look good, justnot great.

    Page Content copyright © Dan Owen, 2002.

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