SciFi Wire’s latest news

Here is the previous week’s “gossip” from SciFi Wire – SciFi Channel’s Feed on the latest in the SciFi/Fantasy world, on the big screen, television, and in books. Additional sources are as cited (through links).

Indy IV Trailer Drops Next Week

Yesterday, February 07, 2008, 10:00:00 PM

“Paramount will attach the first teaser trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to the fantasy movie The Spiderwick Chronicles on Feb. 14, with the spot to hit the Web shortly thereafter, Variety reported.”

“The trailer comes relatively late in the marketing game, with only four months to go before the movie opens for the Memorial Day weekend.

The reason for the delay is that the film only recently wrapped, so much of the material that would go into a memorable trailer just wasn’t ready until now.

Nevertheless, awareness and anticipation are already high for the fourth installment in the beloved franchise, so producers didn’t feel the need to show too much too soon. The fourth Indy movie opens May 22.”

ComingSoon.net says: “Indiana Jones Trailer Coming Next Week”

Source: Variety
February 8, 2008

“Variety has confirmed what we hinted at in early December, 2007, the first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will be hitting theaters and online next week:

Par will attach the first teaser for “Crystal Skull” to fantasy pic “The Spiderwick Chronicles” on Feb. 14, with the spot to hit the Web shortly thereafter.

Reason for the delay is that the film only recently wrapped, so much of the material that would go into a memorable trailer just wasn’t ready until now.

Awareness and anticipation also is already high for the pic, so producers didn’t feel the need to show too much too soon.

“In the case of Indiana Jones, he’s such a well-known character that it’s not like you have to get out there and introduce something new,” said Spielberg spokesman Marvin Levy. “You tailor the campaign to the material. We also want to keep a lot of the surprises. That’s part of the fun.”

We’ll let you know as soon as the trailer is online, stay tuned!”

AceShowBiz.com said: “‘Indiana Jones 4’ Trailer Comes Out on Valentine’s Day”

January 19, 2008 06:30:59 GMT
by Staff Writer

“The trailer of “” will have its first appearance on Valentine’s Day. According to CHUD.com, the video footage of the much expected action film will first be broadcast by Entertainment Tonight on February 14.

On the same day, the trailer will be launched in theaters as well. Following the television and theatrical releases, it is said that it will hit the web the next day, February 15. Initially, its writer, George Lucas, wanted to reveal the film’s title in the trailer, but its actor Shia LaBeouf has outed the info at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards on September 9, 2007.

Starring Harrison Ford and LaBeouf, the Steven Spielberg directed-film will be the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones’ series following the 1989’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade“. Aside from Ford and LaBeouf, the movie cast also include Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, John Hurt and Ray Winstone. The film will be released in nearly four thousand theaters in the United States and will be dubbed into 25 languages for its worldwide release. So far, though there are many leaked details information hit the net, not much about the film’s details can be confirmed aside from the fact that it is set in 1957.”

Strike End Could Affect SF&F Films

Yesterday, February 07, 2008, 10:00:00 PMGo to full article

An end to the writers’ strike could affect several SF&F projects delayed by the walkout, including Sony’s Angels & Demons, which needs script revisions, and Warner Brothers’ Justice League, Variety reported.

“An end to the writers’ strike could affect several SF&F projects delayed by the walkout, including Sony’s Angels & Demons, which needs script revisions, and Warner Brothers’ Justice League, Variety reported. Studios are also contemplating how to revamp their schedules should the Screen Actors Guild go on strike in June.

Sony reiterated this week that Angels & Demons, the prequel to The Da Vinci Code, is delayed pending the outcome of the strike. Others suggest it could go into production this summer if all goes well. That’s also true for DreamWorks and Paramount’s Transformers 2. Both films are still set for release in 2009: Angels & Demons on May 15 and Transformers 2 on June 26.

Most of Warner’s movies slated for release this year are completed or are in post-production; Warner has only one movie dated so far for 2009, Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, set for release on March 6.”

Cast Set For Goyer Thriller

Yesterday, February 07, 2008, 10:00:00 PM

David Goyer’s as-yet-untitled supernatural thriller film has a cast: Gary Oldman, Odette Yustman and Cam Gigandet are in negotiations to star, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“David Goyer’s as-yet-untitled supernatural thriller film has a cast: Gary Oldman, Odette Yustman and Cam Gigandet are in negotiations to star, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Platinum Dunes is producing for Rogue Pictures.

The script, which Goyer wrote, follows a 19-year-old girl who is haunted by a dybbuk, the soul of a dead person barred from heaven, in the form of a young boy who perished in Auschwitz.

Yustman will play the girl, while Gigandet will play her sympathetic boyfriend. Oldman is the spiritual specialist who helps the girl.

Shooting is to begin March 3 in Chicago with Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller producing.”

Hollywoodreporter.com says: ” Three haunt Goyer thriller” by Borys Kit Feb 8, 2008

hr/photos/stylus/16850.jpg

Odette Yustman (Getty Images photo)

“BERLIN — Gary Oldman, Odette Yustman and Cam Gigandet are in negotiations to star in David Goyer’s untitled supernatural thriller that Platinum Dunes is producing for Rogue Pictures.

The script, which Goyer wrote, follows a 19-year-old girl who is haunted by a dybbuk, the soul of a dead person barred from heaven, in the form of a young boy who perished in Auschwitz.

Yustman will play the girl, while Gigandet will play her sympathetic boyfriend. Oldman is the spiritual specialist who helps the girl.

Shooting is to begin March 3 in Chicago with Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller producing.

Oldman will next be seen as Lt. James Gordon in “The Dark Knight.” He is repped by Paradigm and Douglas Management Group.

Yesterday, February 07, 2008, 10:00:00 PMGo to full article

USA Network will pay more than $50 million for the network-window rights to National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Enchanted and five other movies from Disney-ABC Domestic Distribution, Variety reported.

“USA Network will pay more than $50 million for the network-window rights to National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Enchanted and five other movies from Disney-ABC Domestic Distribution, Variety reported.

Disney previously sold the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy to USA, as well as the first National Treasure movie. ABC-Disney and USA declined to comment on the new deal, the trade paper reported.

Three of the four other titles in the Disney package will come to USA not as first plays but after another cable net takes a few premiere runs, including the fantasy film Bridge to Terabithia.

As part of the deal, USA sister network NBC will be able to take a run of Enchanted, as will other NBC Universal-owned networks such as SCI FI Channel and Oxygen. But USA will get the first plays.”

Variety says: “USA pockets Disney pics, Network nabs ‘Enchanted,’ ‘Treasure’ by John Dempsey

'National Treasure'
‘National Treasure: Book of Secrets’ was among the trio of pics USA paid over $50 million for.'No Country for Old Men'
Bravo could get a run of ‘No Country for Old Men’ after USA.

USA Network will fork over more than $50 million for the network-window rights to “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” “Enchanted,” “No Country for Old Men” and four other theatrical movies from Disney-ABC Domestic Distribution.Disney previously sold the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy to USA, as well as the first “National Treasure” movie and the hit family comedy “Game Plan.” ABC-Disney and USA declined to comment on the new deal.

USA Network has finished first in primetime among all ad-supported cable nets for the past two years, and high-visibility movies are a key ingredient in its programming strategy. The cabler recently bought New Line’s “Hairspray,” Warner Bros.’ “Ocean’s Thirteen” and Universal’s “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.”

Three of the four other titles in the Disney package will come to USA not as first plays but after another cable net takes a few premiere runs: “Bridge to Terabithia,” “Dan in Real Life” and “Becoming Jane.” The fourth, “Gone Baby Gone,” will make its debut on USA in November 2009.

As part of the deal, USA sister network NBC will be able to take a run of “Enchanted,” as will other NBC Universal-owned nets such as the Sci Fi Channel and Oxygen. But USA will get the first plays.

Sci Fi Channel is a likely destination for a run of “Terabithia” because of its fantasy elements, and Bravo could get a run of “No Country for Old Men.”

As is customary with most movie deals these days, USA will allow Disney-ABC to carve out a window for another cable network to buy a run or two of the big titles.

USA will get the Disney pics after their exclusive 18-month pay TV window on Starz, which has an theatrical output deal with Disney.”

Kilmer In, Arnett Out Of Knight

Wednesday, February 06, 2008, 10:00:00 PMGo to full article

A carmaker conflict has caused NBC to hire Val Kilmer to replace Will Arnett as the voice of K.I.T.T. on its Knight Rider TV movie/backdoor pilot, Variety reported.

“A carmaker conflict has caused NBC to hire Val Kilmer to replace Will Arnett as the voice of K.I.T.T. on its Knight Rider TV movie/backdoor pilot, Variety reported.

Arnett (Arrested Development) had already completed his part for the film, which is slated to debut on NBC in less than two weeks. Producers Doug Liman, Dave Bartis and Dave Andron–along with the network and studio–were all fine with his performance, the trade paper reported.

The problem is, Arnett had a contractual conflict of interest. For the better part of a decade, Arnett has done voice-over work for General Motors as the voice of GMC Trucks. NBC’s new K.I.T.T., however, is a Ford Mustang.

Ford isn’t simply providing cars for Knight Rider: It’s taking an active role in the marketing and branding of the telefilm. Ford’s logo even appears all over NBC’s on-air promos.

Not surprisingly, when GM found out about the Ford connection, it asked Arnett to pull out. Knight Rider airs as a two-hour movie on Feb. 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. (NBC is owned by NBC Universal, which also owns SCIFI.COM.)”

According to Wordcarfans.com “Val Kilmer to Voice KITT”

An unusual twist has scored a star for American television network NBC’s new Knight Rider movie. Due to actor Will Arnett’s conflict of interests Val Kilmer will now voice the show’s supercar, KITT.Arnett, of Arrested Development fame, was asked to step down from the role by General Motors because the actor has served as the voice for GMC Trucks over the last ten years. Despite having already recorded his voice-overs as the talking car, Arnett stepped down, according to Daily Variety.He told the entertainment industry publication, “I was very excited at the prospect of playing the part of KITT in the new Knight Rider movie. … However, because of a long relationship with General Motors as the voice of GMC Trucks, I had to respectfully withdraw from the project.”

KITT, formerly a GM-made Pontiac Trans-Am, has been re-branded as a Ford Mustang GT500. Ford is also taking on a huge chunk of the marketing for Knight Rider.

No doubt NBC is sad to see Arnett go, but happy to have Kilmer on board. Kilmer, well known for his work in Top Gun, Batman Forever, and Heat, should help generate some buzz about the movie.

If the film is well received, NBC will use it as the pilot in a new Knight Rider series.

Editor’s note: The author originally reported that the original KITT was a Pontiac Thunderbird. Obviously, and as many of our readers pointed out, this was not the case. A change has been made to the text to correct that error.”

Shadow’s Web Mirrors TV

Wednesday, February 06, 2008, 10:00:00 PMGo to full article

SF author Emma Bull told SCI FI Wire that her new collaborative Web fiction project, Shadow Unit, was inspired by her desire to write fan fiction for a television series that didn’t exist.

“SF author Emma Bull told SCI FI Wire that her new collaborative Web fiction project, Shadow Unit, was inspired by her desire to write fan fiction for a television series that didn’t exist.

“Elizabeth Bear has been urging her published writer friends to try writing fan fiction, because it’s a great way to remind ourselves that, ultimately, writing is fun, that that’s why we’re doing it,” Bull said in an interview. “I wrote a Criminal Minds novella [based on the CBS TV series] and had a great time. But it made me realize that what I really wanted was to write fan fiction about a show that was a little like Criminal Minds, a little like The X-Files, a little like Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible and Millennium and various other shows I loved–plus a few comics series.”

Bull decided to create the show herself–with the help of some of her writer friends–but as a Web site rather than a TV series or a novel. She co-wrote the “series” bible with her husband, author Will Shetterly, and then started recruiting other authors to take part in the project. First, she brought Elizabeth Bear on board, then Sarah Monette, and she selected some other support personnel to help with the Web site and art direction.

Bull and company started creating story and character arcs in August 2007, examining character backstories, outlining and assigning episodes for each of the authors to write. “We established that, like a TV show, the story would be told in seasons, with eight episodes per season,” Bull said. “Each episode will be a more-or-less stand-alone story; well, as much as stories in a series can stand alone. The ‘air date’ for the first episode of season one on the site is Feb. 18. After that, there’ll be a new episode every two weeks, until the novel-length season finale, which will appear in serial form, daily, starting on May 26.”

In addition to the episodes, the site features character bios, vignettes from stray (possibly nonexistent) episodes, artwork and secret links that connect to more story and character fragments. “We have a bulletin board for readers/viewers to comment and share information and speculation,” Bull said. “We hope to have theme music, even. The site is still a work in progress, really; we’re coming up with ideas for potentially neat content pretty much every day.” –John Joseph Adams.”

BoingBoing.net posted “Shadow Unit: award-winning sf writers create “fan site for a show that never existed”

Shadow Unit is, more or less, the website for a serial drama in internet form. Or possibly it’s a fan site for a TV show that doesn’t exist.Over the next couple of months, the site will be updated on a weekly or biweekly basis with new information, vignettes, character sketches, character bios, a community message board, and other exciting things.And starting in mid-February, there will be a series of novellas and novellettes, and one complete novel. Approximately one story every two weeks for sixteen weeks (though we are still tweaking the schedule), comprising the first season (of hopefully many) of a television show that doesn’t exist.

Some of the content will be free. Some will be by subscription. (Subscriptions will be extremely reasonable.) There will be DVD extras, deleted scenes, background information, character-based digressions, and I dunno what all else.

The staff writers (as of today) are Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Sarah Monette, and myself. The Brilliant Web Ghoul and Fabulous Artist is Amanda Downum. The Technical Supergeek is Stephen Shipman.

Link to announcement, Link to Shadow Unit) (Thanks, Bear!)”

Kelly Wraps The Box

Tuesday, February 05, 2008, 10:00:00 PMGo to full article

Director Richard Kelly wrote on his MySpace.com blog that he has wrapped production on The Box, his upcoming film adaptation of a Richard Matheson SF short story.”

“I haven’t blogged in a long time because, well, … I’ve been in Boston/Virginia directing my third movie!” Kelly wrote. “And now I am back in L.A., and we have officially wrapped production on The Box.”

The movie stars Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella in a story about a couple who receive a mysterious device that grants wishes–but at the cost of a human life.

“My editors have been working nonstop, and we are beginning to work on the visual effects, signing a composer, etc.,” Kelly said. “As soon as Warner Brothers gives us a release date, I will let you know.”

Kelly added that the DVD for his last movie, the apocalyptic SF movie Southland Tales, comes out March 18.”

Flixster.com: “Richard Kelly Wraps ‘The Box‘”

“Director Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko) has updated his official blog with some information about his upcoming sci-fi thriller “The Box.””Hello everyone… I haven’t blogged in a long time because, well… I’ve been in Boston/Virginia directing my third movie!,” explained Kelly. “And now I am back in LA and we have officially wrapped production on ‘The Box.'”In the movie, a small wooden box arrives on the doorstep of a troubled married couple, who open it and become instantly wealthy. Little do they realize that opening the box also kills someone they do not know.

“It was an amazing experience working with Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella and the entire supporting cast and crew,” Kelly added. “My editors have been working non-stop, and we are beginning to work on the visual effects, signing a composer, etc.”

At this point, he has no idea when “The Box” will appear in theaters, but says that “as soon as Warner Bros. gives us a release date I will let you know…”

Road Gets Its Young Star

Tuesday, February 05, 2008, 10:00:00 PMGo to full article

Young Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee is hitting the post-apocalyptic road with Viggo Mortensen in the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winner The Road, according to The Hollywood Reporter.”

“Smit-McPhee, 11, will play Mortensen’s son in the tale of a journey across a barren U.S. landscape after a cataclysmic event has destroyed most of life on Earth. Charlize Theron co-stars in the Dimension Films drama.

The Melbourne native recently starred opposite Eric Bana, Marton Csokas and Franka Potente in Romulus, My Father.”

HollywoodReporter.com: “Smit-McPhee takes ‘Road‘ less traveled”

By Leslie Simmons
Feb 6, 2008

hr/photos/stylus/16663.jpg

Kodi Smit-McPhee

Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee is hitting the post-apocalyptic road with Viggo Mortensen in the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winner “The Road.”

Smit-McPhee, 11, will play Mortensen’s son in the tale of a monthslong journey across a barren U.S. landscape after a cataclysmic event destroyed most of life on Earth. Charlize Theron co-stars in the Dimension Films drama.

2929 Prods., Nick Wechsler Prods. and Chockstone Pictures are producing.

The Melbourne native recently starred opposite Eric Bana, Marton Csokas and Franka Potente in “Romulus, My Father.” The Australian Film Institute nominated Smit-McPhee for best lead actor in “Romulus” and honored him with the Young Actor Award.

Smit-McPhee is repped by WMA, Active Artists Management in Australia and Goodmanagement.”

Iron Dragons Back In Babel

Tuesday, February 05, 2008, 10:00:00 PMGo to full article

“Multiple-award-winning SF/fantasy author Michael Swanwick told SCI FI Wire that his latest novel, The Dragons of Babel, is not a sequel but is set in the same world as his novel The Iron Dragon’s Daughter. That book was inspired by a discussion he and his wife had about steam trains and fantasy novels.”

“I made a joke about the Baldwin Steam Dragon Works, [my wife] Marianne laughed, and then I asked her to write that down–because it implied an industrialized Faerie, one that I could work my own experiences into,” Swanwick said in an interview. “That became The Iron Dragon’s Daughter. I never expected [to] write another book in the same world, but not long ago I had the image of young Will running to the top of Grannystone Hill to see the war-dragons flying by. I set it down on paper, and by the end of the first two pages, I knew I had a novel on my hands.”

In The Dragons of Babel, young Will le Fey’s idyllic life is disrupted when an injured mechanical war-dragon crawls into his village and declares itself king. “Though Will kills the dragon, he becomes an outcast and then a refugee, who ends up in the monstrous heart of empire–the Tower of Babel,” Swanwick said. “There he rises from the lowest levels of society to its very peak. But the dragon is not entirely dead: He still carries it within himself.”

We all know how this plot is supposed to go, Swanwick said: The hero has a destiny of which he is unaware and winds up being crowned the king. “My problem with that is that as an American and a small-D democrat, I don’t think that the restoration of the monarchy is a good thing,” he said. “So I set myself the task of turning the conventions of fantasy on their head, while still providing the traditional satisfactions of fantasy.”

Swanwick is currently working on a novel featuring the “post-utopian con men” Darger and Surplus, the subjects of his Hugo Award-winning story “The Dog Said Bow-Wow.” –John Joseph Adams

See Flogging Babel for more info.

Fourth Who, New Sarah Due

Monday, February 04, 2008, 10:00:00 PM

SCI FI Channel has acquired the fourth season of Doctor Who and its hit spinoff series The Sarah Jane Adventures from BBC Worldwide America. Both series are slated to premiere on SCI FI in April.”

“The Sarah Jane Adventures is written and produced by the same creative team behind Doctor Who, including multiple-award-winning writer Russell T. Davies. The series centers on Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), former companion to the Doctor, who investigates offbeat mysteries with her young friends Maria, Luke and Clyde.

The fourth season of Doctor Who, meanwhile, brings back star David Tennant as the 10th Time Lord, joined by a new companion, Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), who reprises her role from the previous Christmas special. The Doctor’s previous companion, Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), also makes a triumphant return in the middle of season four.”

Galifreyone.com (The Doctor Who News Page): “Sci Fi confirms April debut for Who and SJA”

Broadcasting

February 4, 2008 • Posted By Josiah Rowe

The Sci Fi Channel has confirmed earlier reports that both Doctor Who Series Four and The Sarah Jane Adventures will begin airing on the channel in April. The channel’s news service, Sci Fi Wire, has the confirmation, and Sci Fi’s full press release is below.(Thanks to “GracieLizzy” of the Doctor Who Forum.)

DOCTOR WHO SEASON FOUR AND THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES COMING TO SCI FI CHANNEL IN APRILNEW YORK – February 4, 2008 – “SCI FI Channel has acquired the fourth season of People’s Choice Award-nominated Doctor Who and the phenomenally popular series’ new spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures from BBC Worldwide America. Both series are slated to premier on SCI FI in April 2008.The Sarah Jane Adventures is written and produced by the same creative team behind Doctor Who, including multi-award winning writer Russell T. Davies. Having traveled the universe with The Doctor, Sarah Jane is used to alien encounters. Accompanied by her new young friends Maria, Luke and Clyde, she becomes embroiled in an offbeat world of mystery and danger.

In season four of Doctor Who, David Tennant reprises his role as the tenth Timelord. For his latest adventures he is joined by a brand new companion, Donna Noble, played by award-winning actress Catherine Tate (The Catherine Tate Show, BBC AMERICA) who appeared as ‘the runaway bride’ in the previous season. ‘Martha Jones,’ played by Freema Agyeman, the Doctor’s most recent companion, who had a dramatic role last season’s finale, makes a triumphant return in the middle of season four.

“We are excited to have Doctor Who back on SCI FI for its 4th season,” said Chris Regina, Vice President of Programming, SCI FI Channel. “It’s an exciting franchise that continues to reinvent itself for new generations of viewers. The youthful appeal of The Sarah Jane Adventures will no doubt attract even younger new viewers.”

Candace Carlisle, EVP Sales and Co-productions, BBC Worldwide Americas commented, “The imagination of Russell and the rest of the production team in Cardiff who have produced these two incredible shows is outstanding. We are so pleased that the loyal fans of the SCI FI Channel will be able to meet a whole new range of characters and aliens that are intrinsically linked to the Doctor’s history. Both ‘Sarah Jane Adventures‘ and the new season of ‘Doctor Who’ are jam packed with some of the most creative storylines ever produced by the BBC’s brilliant team.”

The third season of the new Doctor Who averaged 1.3 million weekly viewers on SCI FI.

The deals were brokered by Lisa Hofer, Vice President of Co-Production & Sales, BBC Worldwide Americas. Executive Producers for The Sarah Jane Adventures are Russell T Davies, Head of Drama, BBC Wales, Julie Gardner and Phil Collinson. The series producer is Matthew Bouch. Doctor Who season four is produced by Phil Collinson; Executive Producers are Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies. Doctor Who season four is a BBC production in association with CBC.

SCI FI Channel is a television network where “what if” is what’s on. SCI FI fuels the imagination of viewers with original series and events, blockbuster movies and classic science fiction and fantasy programming, as well as a dynamic Web site (www.scifi.com ) and magazine. Launched in 1992, and currently in 93 million homes, SCI FI Channel is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.

BBC Worldwide Americas incorporates the U.S., Canadian and Latin American arms of BBC Worldwide, a commercial and wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). With offices in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Sao Paulo and Miami, BBC Worldwide Americas has five core businesses: Channels, TV Sales, Content & Production, Home Entertainment and Digital Media. Profit from BBC Worldwide is returned to the BBC public service.”

Adams To Visit Museum 2

Monday, February 04, 2008, 10:00:00 PMGo to full article

“Enchanted’s Amy Adams is in negotiations to star opposite Ben Stiller in 20th Century Fox’s Night at the Museum 2, Variety reported.”

“The movie kicks off when the artifacts from the Museum of Natural History are boxed up and sent to the archives at the Smithsonian in Washington. Adams will play an undetermined historical figure who has a crush on security guard Larry (Stiller).

Shawn Levy returns to helm the sequel, which has a U.S. release date of May 22, 2009. Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon wrote the screenplay, and Scott Frank penned the most recent draft.”

Variety reports: “Amy Adams visits ‘Museum 2’ Actress to costar with Ben Stiller in sequel” by Tatiana Siegel

Amy Adams
Adams

Amy Adams is in negotiations to star opposite Ben Stiller in 20th Century Fox’sNight at the Museum 2.”

Pic kicks off when the artifacts from the Museum of Natural History are boxed up and sent to the archives at the Smithsonian in Washington. Adams will play an undetermined historical figure who has a crush on security guard Larry (Stiller).

Shawn Levy returns to helm the sequel, which has a U.S. release date set for May 22, 2009. Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon penned the screenplay, Scott Frank the most recent draft.

Levy’s 21 Laps is producing alongside 1492 Pictures. Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe will serve as producers. Studio is eyeing a May start date in Vancouver.

Adams is onscreen in “Charlie Wilson’s War” and “Enchanted.” She stars in the indie “Sunshine Cleaning,” which bowed at the Sundance Film Festival.

Adams is repped by Endeavor”

Singularity Posits The Plural

Monday, February 04, 2008, 10:00:00 PMGo to full article

“SF author Paul Melko told SCI FI Wire that his novel Singularity’s Ring postulates a future Earth in which computers and networks are not the technological basis of human society.”

“Humanity has been genetically altered to form pods–groups of two, three, four or five humans–which can share emotions and thoughts chemically,” Melko said in an interview. “These pods now govern a desolate Earth that has been vacated by the technologically advanced entity called the Community,” he said. “The main character is a quintet named Apollo, created to pilot a starship in search of what happened to the Community.”

The protagonist, Apollo, is a pod of five humans engineered to be a single entity. “He shares thoughts and emotions among the five via pheromones and chemical memories that they transfer by touching,” Melko said. “Pods are a biological network that is larger than the sum of the parts; Apollo is capable of highly intuitive thoughts and analysis when he comes together to think, or, as it’s called in the novel, to consense. To come to any decision, they reach a consensus among themselves. As you might expect, pods think slower than a single human–a singleton–but their final decisions are more logical and consistent.”

The structure mimics the makeup of the main character; each of the first five chapters is told from the point of view of one of the members of the pod. “The final chapter is told from their complete–omniscient?–point of view,” Melko said. “They can each act as an individual human, but together they are something more.”

In the book, Apollo travels from Ohio to low Earth orbit and to the Amazon and the Congo, as well as to other places. “It was fun to research each of those places and extrapolate them into a world in which humanity as we know it has all but disappeared,” Melko said. “The dominant structure of this world is the orbital ring left behind by the Community. Designing and creating that was fascinating to me; I have spreadsheets of calculations covering gravity, centripetal forces and volumes.”

Ten Sigmas and Other Unlikelihoods–Melko’s first short-story collection–will be out in March from Fairwood Press.” –John Joseph Adams

Paul DiFillipo’s Review, as noted on Paul Melko’s Blog: February 04, 2008Singularity’s Ring” B+

In the wake of the Exodus, a handful of remnant humans struggle to maintain and extend their gestalt civilization

“As this debut novel opens, at some indefinite point in the Earth’s future, we find the state of human affairs to be summarizable thus:

It’s no mean feat to build a five-sided hero …
The whole planet hosts only 500 million people. They constitute the baseline humans who were left behind when the other billions of their compatriots, linked into a group mind called the Community, vanished down the rabbit-hole of the Singularity, an event called the Exodus. The Community left behind the Ring—a huge artificial habitat that girdles the planet, attached by a number of equatorial space elevators—and the Rift, a kind of mysterious wormhole portal in the distant reaches of the solar system.Did I say that baseline humans—the “singletons”—were the only survivors? Not exactly. Because before the Community vanished, they created “pods.” Pods are gestalt intelligences composed of two, three, four or five people, each specializing in a certain quality of mind or body. Pods seem to be the next step in the evolution of the species, although they are delicate constructs. Although each pod member has a unique personality when alone, both the incomplete pod and the separate individual are always less than optimal under these conditions. They need to be close, to exchange rich chemical data through their special organs.Oh, and let us not forget Malcolm Leto, the last member of the Community, who was left behind in cryonic suspension when his brethren evaporated.

Our hero is a five-person pod called, collectively, Apollo Papadopulos: Meda, Moira, Quant, Strom and Manuel. They are in competitive training to captain a starship to the Rift. But once they’re in the orbital segment of their competition, things begin to go very wrong, and the pod is forced to flee for its life—into the long-uninhabited Ring itself!

And baby makes five

Despite dealing with the hot topic known as the Singularity, Paul Melko’s very nicely crafted and intelligent novel has a bit of an old-fashioned feel to it. I think this stems from two factors.

First, Melko—unlike Rudy Rucker or Charles Stross—really doesn’t deal with the most mind-boggling issues of the Singularity. He takes the quite defensible course of focusing on those “normals” left behind, on the assumption that everything on the far side of the Singularity is unintelligible to us mere mortals. So even the token spokesperson of the Nerd Rapture, Leto, is hardly onstage.

The second reason Melko’s book reads a bit old-school is his major trope: the gestalt personality. This is a venerable SF “power chord,” with, arguably, many ramifications left to explore. But for some reason it’s just not used much anymore. The Sturgeon novel More Than Human (1953) did such a landmark, seminal job of handling this concept that I think writers ever after have been a little daunted. Even Le Guin’s “Nine Lives,” which shares some atmosphere with Melko’s book, is no more recent than 1969.

Finally, there’s a vaguely Simakian feel to Melko’s milieu: The vanished majority of the human race, an uplifted species (dogs in City [1952]; bears here). … Simak is one of my all-time favorite authors, but his quiet bucolic wisdom is not the razzle-dazzle flavor of the month.

But enough of these comparisons to older works. Melko does some fine new things. He shows admirable daring in switching his narration during the first five chapters among the five different pod members. He conveys action well—although the formula of “one major crisis per chapter” gets a bit predictable. His dialogue is very believable, whether spoken or transmitted among the pod. He conjures up a weird cultural vibe a little similar to what John Crowley created in his dystopic tale “In Blue” (1989). But on the deficit side, Melko does throw away any exploration of the Ring. And Leto as villain is offstage too much.

Still, it’s no mean feat to build a five-sided hero and put “him” through some thrilling adventures, as Melko cleverly does here.

In my novel Fuzzy Dice, I postulated an alternate timeline where all humans existed as gestalt personalities consisting of 12 people in each pod. As you can imagine, cars and beds had to be pretty darn capacious! Paul

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