Dan Owen reviews

I s s u e # 91 3 S e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 2



“28 Days Later” – British Zombies!

Just thought I’d mention a rarity in film – an upcoming British moviethat isn’t (a) a James Bond flick, (b) an Northern comedy, or (c)involves the wearing of tights and/or corsets.

The movie in question is post-apocalyptic zombie flick “28 Days Later”,the latest project from director Danny Boyle (“Trainspotting”) and thescreenwriting debut of author Alex Garland (“The Beach”).

“28 Days Later” is about the accidental release of a virus that turnsthose infected into a permanent state of killing rage. Carried byanimals and humans, the virus is impossible to contain, and spreadsacross the entire planet. 28 days after its release, a small group ofsurvivors are trapped in London, caught in a struggle to protectthemselves from ‘the infected’. As they attempt to salvage a future fromthe apocalypse, they find that their most deadly enemy is not the virus,but other survivors…

Sounds unoriginal I know… but show me a zombie movie that doesn’t owea debt to George Romero! Anyway, it’s just nice to see a new trend inBritish horror movies hitting the multiplexes – after the fantastic funof werewolf hit “Dog Soldiers”.

“28 Days Later” stars Christopher Ecclestone, Brendan Gleeson, MeganBurns, Naomi Harris and Cillian Murphy. It should go on release nextyear. Keep an eye out for it!

“AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS” – …with Jackie Chan!

Yes, pint-sized martial arts star Jackie Chan has signed on to playPhileas Fogg’s intrepid English adventure in another movie adaptation of”Around The World In 80 Days”. The movie will be directed by FrankCoraci (“The Wedding Singer”), and will retain the 18th Century setting.

“BLADE III” – Luke Goss Speaks!

‘Teletext’ has reported that ex-‘Bros’ pop star Luke Goss looks likelyto reprise his role as Jared Nomak in the third “Blade” movie.

Goss said: “I don’t know how I reappear in the movie – it’s possible Iemerge from the embryos that you see at the end of Blade II. I’d like toappear in less make-up. Writer David Goyer is thinking about a ‘PlanetOf The Apes’ type of twist – it’s very, very interesting”.

Goss is about to start work on “Charlie”, a biopic of British gangsterCharlie Richardson, and is hoping to fit in a role in “Tomb Raider 2”.He’s also working on a script for Snipes and himself: “It’s aheist-buddy sort of film, a bit like ‘Mission:Impossible’.”

Cover“CHARLIE’S ANGELS 2” – In The Pink!

Pop starlet Pink has been hired to provide the title track for”Charlie’s Angels 2: Halo” – continuing a trend started with Destiny’sChild with their “Independent Women” hit. Pink is also set to cameo asherself in the new movie.

“FLUSHED AWAY” – Rodent Release!

Bristol-based studio ‘Aardman Animations’ are working on “Flushed Away”for their US partner studio ‘Dreamworks’. The film is the story of apampered rat who finds himself flushed into London’s impoverishedsewers.

The project is being undertaken while ‘Aardman”s next major release -“The Tortoise & The Hare” – goes through a frantic rewrite. Once work iscompleted on these films award-winning animator Nick Park is thenscheduled to bring his Wallace & Gromit characters to the big-screen in”Wallace & Gromit & The Great Vegetable Plot”. Can’t wait!

Cover“THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW” – Eco-Thriller!

Director Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day”) is bringing anotherdisastrous scenario to cinemas – in the shape of eco-thriller “The DayAfter Tomorrow”. The movie will show the catastrophic after-effects ofglobal warming with a variety of natural disasters; such as hurricanes,blizzards and storms.

‘Digital Domain’ will handle the 300+ effects shots, and will alsostoryboard the entire movie using 3D computer visualisations.

“HARRY POTTER 3” – New Director Being Primed…

Producer of the Harry Potter movies, David Heyman, has talked about”Harry Potter & The Prizoner Of Azkaban”, the third movie of thefranchise that should start filming next year under the direction ofAlfondo Cuarón (who takes over from Christopher Columbus)

Heyman said: “He [Chris Columbus], just as I am, is really excited aboutAlfonso Cuarón coming in. Alfonso has already met with the kids, withthe three leading actors [Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and RupertGrint], and has gotten along incredibly well with them. But Chris ishere for support and for guidance and for us all to benefit from hisgreat wealth of experience, having directed the first two.”

“The third film will grow out of what has already been created. Thethird book is slightly more mature, so I think the approach will beslightly more mature. The film will be a little darker, more mature andmore adult, just as the book is. Also, Alfonso Cuarón is a differentfilmmaker from Chris, and I think the film will necessarily reflectthat, because film is a director’s medium.”

Cover“FREDDY vs JASON” – Pinhead In & Renfro Out…?

A “Friday The 13th’ fan-site (yes, you read that right – they do exist)has suggested that horror icon Pinhead, the sadistic villain from the”Hellraiser” movies, is set to cameo in the “Freddy Vs Jason” crossovermovie – currently filming.

Pinhead, played by Brit actor Doug Bradley, is said to feature early inthe movie talking to Freddy in Hell. But it’s unknown if Bradley isattached to the movie…

But one person who definitely isn’t starring in the movie now is BradRenfro – who has been fired according to the ‘Creature Corner’ website.No official reason was given for Renfro’s unceremonious sacking, butproducers scrambled for a last-minute replacement so they can keep theirSeptember 9 start date for filming and have now cast Jason Ritter(“Swimf@n”). Monica Keener (“Dawson’s Creek”) has also joined the teencast.

Cover“HIGHLANDER: THE SOURCE” – Immortal Franchise Continues!

The fifth instalment of the curiously popular franchise begins filmingin early-2003. The fifth movie has been pushed into production on theback of a successful DVD release for the original 80’s hit starringChristopher Lambert as immortal Scotsman (with French accent!) ConnorMacLeod. Lambert will not feature in the new movie, however.

“LEGALLY BLONDE 2” – $15m Pay-Out!

Reese Witherspoon will land herself a cool $15 million to reprise herrole as airhead lawyer-wannabe Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde 2: Red,White & Blonde” for ‘MGM Studios’. In the sequel, directed by CharlesHerman-Wurmfield, Witherspoon’s character now finds herself running forpolitical office!

“THE MATRIX 2” – ‘Reloaded’ Titbits!

French magazine ‘Cine Live’ has managed to pry some information fromcrew working on the sequels to “The Matrix”, both due next year.

Producer Joel Silver states that “The Matrix Reloaded” will explainprecisely how characters can now fly through the air (isn’t that kindaobvious, Joel?), the film’s lead villain (played by Collin Chou) isnamed Seraph, Monica Belluci’s character is called Persefone, andLambert Wilson (playing Belluci’s husband) is a character described asthe ‘king of the virtual world’ who can program himself into anylanguage he wants (huh?).

Second-Unit Director David R. Ellis also described the infamouscar-chase sequence in the sequel: “Even if you have already seenimpressive car chases, you have never seen one where guys jump from carto car and fight in the air in a ‘Matrix’ style.”

“MIMIC 3” – The Insects Return!

The second sequel to “Mimic” will star Amanda Plummer (“Pulp Fiction”),John Kapelos (“The Breakfast Club”) and Lance Henriksen (“Aliens”)according to the ‘Moviehole’ website.

“OCEAN’S ELEVEN” – Get A Twelth Member…

Steven Soderbergh (“Full Frontal”) has spoken about the possibility of asequel to his hit remake of heist movie “Ocean’s Eleven”.

He said: “I know we can make a better film than ‘Ocean’s Eleven’. I’vebeen playing with ideas in my head, but nothing is materialised. I knowwe’ll shoot in Europe and that all actors are in on it. I’ll make asequel that’d be cheaper to make than the first one. The actors tooklarge pay cuts to make the first one, this time they work for free. Andnone of them has protested against that”. Shooting on “Ocean’s Twelve”(?) is loosely scheduled for 2004.


Orlando Bloom (Legolas in “The Lord Of The Rings” trilogy) has landedhis next major role as Will Turner in an adaptation of ‘Disney’theme-park ride “The Pirates Of The Caribbean” – produced by JerryBruckheimer.

His character is the friend of the film’s pirate-hating Captain JackSparrow (Johnny Depp). Geoffrey Rush has also signed to play the leadvillain, who kidnaps a governor’s daughter.

Filming begins next month under the guidance of director Gore Verbinski(currently enjoying plaudits for his remake of Japanese horror smash”The Ring”).

“PORNO” – Begbie’s Back?

Author Irvine Welsh’s novel “Porno” – a sequel to “Trainspotting” – issoon to be released, and could be adapted into a movie.

Robert Carlyle, who starred as Scottish maniac Begbie in”Trainspotting”, would apparently consider revisiting the role that madehim famous: “It depends on the development of the character, on whereBegbie has gone. Jail probably. Normally, the salaries would exceed thebudget but I’d do it for very little if we could get that same feelingback again. It would have to be Danny Boyle directing, nobody else. If ascript of the quality as ‘Trainspotting’ comes out of this – that wouldbe great.”

Cover“RED DRAGON” – Ratner & Tally Tell All!

‘Cinescape’ have a great interview with “Red Dragon” screenwriter TedTally, who details the task of adapting Thomas Harris’ novel into amovie that would fit with the canon of previous Lecter movies.

Tally also spoke about the fact “Red Dragon” is essentially a secondattempt at the novel – after Michael Mann’s “Manhunter”: “One of thethings I hope to do in this adaptation was to sort of dig more out ofthe book than I felt ‘Manhunter’ had done.”

“‘Manhunter’ is a film that I like and respect, but you make choices inany adaptation, and one of the choices that Michael Mann made was toturn the Francis Dolarhyde character [now played by Ralph Fiennes] intosomething of a cipher. I didn’t think we understood [in ‘Manhunter’]where that character was coming from, what had made him into amonster…”

“As good as ‘Manhunter’ was, I felt there was room for anotheradaptation that would find different colours from the novel andemphasize them more. I saw it more as the movie being shared among WillGraham, Lecter and Dolarhyde.”

In related news, director Brett Ratner has spoken about the public’scommon perception that “Red Dragon” is a remake of “Manhunter”. He says:“It makes my skin crawl when people say, ‘Oh, you’re doing a remake of’Manhunter’. It really isn’t. If you know the book well, ‘Manhunter’doesn’t even end at all like the book – it’s like nothing like it.”

“Michael Mann made ‘Manhunter’ [FBI profiler] Will Graham’s story, butit’s really not. It’s mostly [serial killer] Dolarhyde’s story, andthat’s what I did. Also, ‘Manhunter’ doesn’t incorporate the idea that[Dolarhyde] had a facial disfigurement; a cleft palate, that he had thathuge tattoo on his back. You didn’t know why he was a serial killer. Thebook explained his history and background, and that’s what we do in ourmovie.”

He also praises Ted Tally’s high regarded screenplay. “I was completelyblown away by the script. It wasn’t ‘Manhunter’, it wasn’t ‘Silence OfThe Lambs’ – it was a unique movie. Ted captures the voice of HannibalLecter like no other.”

“STAR WARS EPISODE III” – The Final Chapter Begins!

The ‘Star Wars’ official website has stated that work on “Star WarsEpisode III” has begun. Producer Rick McCallum said: “They’ve been doingresearch on some different scenes and potential new environments. Wemeet with George [Lucas] once a week for review. These preliminaryvisuals serve as inspiration for writing, more than anything else.”

“We’re really going to pump up the 3-D matte department at ILM. We’relooking to cast for that in early September, in the next few weeks. Weexpect to have twice as many as we did for ‘Episode II’, where they dida fantastic job.”

“TERMINATOR 3” – Production Terminated!

“Terminator 3: The Rise Of The Machines” finished filming very soon,with the final scene being ‘Terminatrix’ villain Kristanna Lokkenarriving in Beverly Hills stark naked.


‘Coming Attractions’ has suggested that “Gladiator” star Ralph Moelleris in line to play cannibalistic maniac Leatherface in the remake of”The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.

“THREE MEN & A BABY” – Part 3?

The French movie “18 Years Later” is to be released next year. So? Well,it is the third French movie of the original film that was remade in theUS as “Three Men & A Baby”.

Well, an American studio is already working on a remake of this thirdFrench film for US audiences – which will reunite Steve Guttenberg, TedDanson and Tom Selleck from the first US version and its sequel “ThreeMen & A Little Lady”.

“THUNDERBIRDS” – 5… 4… 3… 2… 1!

Jonathan Frakes (actor/director of various “Star Trek” episodes/movies)has spoken about his next directing job – “Thunderbirds”!

In an interview with ‘SCI-FI Wire’ Frakes admitted he didn’t knowanything about Gerry Anderson’s cult 60’s series before landing the roleof director: “I know a lot about it now. It’s about a familyinternational rescue team that functions under the radar of the public.This family, the Tracy family, is called in to save falling bridges andburning buildings that firemen can’t save.”

“It’s one of those situations where someone calls a hotline, and thisfamily comes to the rescue. There’s also a wonderful international spynamed Lady Penelope, who drives a six-wheel pink Rolls Royce. Theoriginal show was done with marionettes, and it was pretty wacko.”

“What I understand from being over in England already is that’Thunderbirds’ is as popular with the English as ‘Star Trek’ is withAmericans. It’s a huge favourite there, with the toys and the Tracyfamily action figures. All of those things are still huge sellers atChristmas every year. As I understand it, England, Australia and Japanhave a passionate audience. Anyway, our version of ‘Thunderbirds’ willbe entirely live-action, with a ‘Spy Kids’-meets-James Bond kind ofvibe.”

Production begins in February 2003, with filming taking place in SouthAfrica and London. ‘Universal’ will release Thunderbirds in 2004.


Jamie Kennedy (“Scream”) recently hosted a TV show in the States (airinghere on ‘E4’ and ‘Channel 4’) called “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment”, inwhich he fooled members of the public “Candid Camera”-style bypretending to be various outrageous characters.

Well, the success of his show has spawned a movie currently known as”The Untitled Jamie Kennedy Experiment” which utilizes a popularcharacter Jamie played on his hidden-camera show called Brad Gluckman -an dumb white rapper from Miami.

The movie will see Brad Gluckman’s billionaire father running forgovernor and who needs to do something about his troublesome son. So hehires two actors to take Brad into the “hood” (South Central L.A) toshow him what the “gangsta” lifestyle is really like. After the actorsget Brad involved in L.A gangster life – real gangsters find out aboutBrad’s family fortune and kidnap him for ransom.

Producer Mike Karz has said: “This is really one of the quickestproduction stories in the history of Hollywood. This movie came togetherso quickly that we still can’t believe we’re in the middle of the movienow. Basically, what happened is that the show came on in January, thefirst season, and luckily it was an instant-hit. The show is on the’WB’, which is part of the ‘Warner Brothers’ family and the studio, theyjust loved the show and were interested in doing a Jamie Kennedy moviefor the summer.”

“Jamie had this character he had been working on for ten years, BradGluckman, which was one of the break-out characters of the show. Webasically came up with an idea to do a movie based on this character andit was written while we were shooting the show. We were literally inpre-production on the movie within a few weeks after we finished up ourfirst season.”

Jamie Kennedy himself says: “We’re three-quarters of the way done and wegot a lot of the big stuff done. It’s just hard to have all these littlebabies. When you’re writing it and you want to get this in and you wantto get that in and you don’t have time. Sometimes it’s hard because youhave to take off your writer-hat and put your actor-hat on and viceversa.”

The movie should be released early next year. It will be interesting tosee what impact Kennedy’s character has in the UK – seeing as Ali Gpioneered the same basic idea with far more satirical meat on Britishtelevision years ago(we’ll forget his recent hit-and-miss filmventure…)



  • 1. Swimfan ($11.3m)
  • 2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($10.3m)
  • 3. City By the Sea ($8.9m)
  • 4. Signs ($7.8m)
  • 5. xXx ($5.2m)
  • 6. Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams ($3.0m)
  • 7. Austin Powers in Goldmember ($2.7m)
  • 8. FearDotCom ($2.3m)
  • 9. Spiderman/Men in Black 2 ($2.1m)
  • 10. Blue Crush ($1.8m) UK TOP 10 (CINEMA)
  • 1. The Bourne Identity (£2.1m)
  • 2. Insomnia (£0.8m)
  • 3. The Guru (£0.6m)
  • 4. The Importance of Being Earnest (£0.5m)
  • 5. Men in Black 2 (£0.47m)
  • 6. The Sweetest Thing (£0.44m)
  • 7. Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams ($0.33m)
  • 8. Reign of Fire (£0.32m)
  • 9. Spiderman (£0.27m)
  • 10. Austin Powers in Goldmember (£0.25m)

    ** TRAILERS **

    CoverThe Core:A better quality trailer for action movie “The Core” – which is about ateam of scientists who must drill down to the centre of the Earth todetonate a nuclear device to stabilize the planet.

    Buzz Rating: 3/5 – bound to be a dumb movie, but the effects are boundto please and if it lives up to its ‘underground “Armageddon”‘ premise -it should be enjoyable popcorn hokum for 2003.

    Die Another Day:The 20th James Bond adventure on the 40th Anniversary of the character’sbirth. Pierce Brosnan continues his reign as 007, with Halle Berryproviding the eye-candy and John Cleese replacing Desmond Llewelyn.

    Buzz Rating: 4/5 – there’s a lot to prove for Brosnan’s fourth outing,particularly with the ’20th film, 40th anniversary’ expectancy fromfans. The trailers look good (as always) but the real buzz has been withthe script – which apparently shake the franchise up a little for once.Doubtless a mega-hit, but is this the movie to push 007 into the 21stCentury?

    Page Content copyright © Dan Owen, 2002.

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