Friday 30 May 2014

Roland Emmerich is rebooting Stargate as a trilogy

Is Roland Emmerich suffering Star Wars envy? The Hollywood director, best known for brash B-movies such as Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, is rebooting Stargate as a trilogy with producer Dean Devlin.

The original Stargate was released in 1994 and spawned a successful television franchise.

"We couldn't be more excited to once again partner with Roland and Dean, the world-class creators of the original Stargate, to bring their reinvigorated vision of this wildly popular property to audiences of multiple generations. Stargate is one of the biggest titles in MGM's vast library, and we look forward to adding this great franchise to our slate,” said MGM chairman/CEO Gary Barber.

“The Stargate universe is one that we missed terribly, and we cannot wait to get going on imagining new adventures and situations for the trilogy. This story is very close to our hearts, and getting the chance to revisit this world is in many ways like a long lost child that has found its way back home,” Emmerich and Devlin said in a joint statement.

“Stargate created an expansive cinematic universe that has engaged fans for two decades. Under the guidance of Roland and Dean, these new films will build upon the creativity and popularity of the first film, while delivering an original film-going experience for fans and those new to the franchise,” added Warner Bros.' Greg Silverman.

Emmerich is also working on a sequel to Independence Day, which Twentieth Century Fox must be eager to release after losing Star Wars to Disney following the acquisition of Lucasfilm.

Are you bored by reboots? Let me know in the comments below.

Read Remakes and reboots: is Hollywood in decline?

Thursday 29 May 2014

Sci-fi thriller Extant debuts on Amazon Prime Instant

Amazon has announced CBS Studios International's sci-fi thriller Extant, starring Academy Award-winner Halle Berry and produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the UK this July.

“Extant is a bold and thrilling new series from some of the biggest names in entertainment”, said Chris Bird, Strategy Director for Amazon Instant Video Film & TV. “Having such a highly anticipated and star-studded show premiere exclusively on Prime Instant Video is a perfect example of our ongoing commitment to bringing the very best in movie and TV entertainment to our customers in the UK.”

While Armando Nuñez, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Global Distribution Group, added: “We’re excited to see the first window of Extant stream on Amazon in the UK. With its stellar talent, unique concept and production auspices, Extant is sure to be this year’s television event in the U.S. and around the globe.”

Amazon is upping the ante in its streaming war with Netflix and NOW TV in the UK.

Extant joins a growing line up of first run content on Prime Instant Video including Starz’s Black Sails, the TF1 series Crossing Lines, History’s epic drama Vikings as well as Amazon Studios original series Alpha House, Betas, The After, Mozart In The Jungle and Transparent.

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Doctor Who and Minecraft mashup: Timecraft

Blue Box Tees has released an awesome Doctor Who and Minecraft mashup tee for fans of both franchises.

Get it here.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Doctor Who almost axed after David Tennant quit

Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has revealed the sci-fi series was almost axed after David Tennant quit following three successful seasons as everyone's favourite time traveller.

Moffat speaking during a Q&A at the Hay Festival in Wales said:

"David owned that role in a spectacular way, gave it an all-new cheeky sexy performance and became a national treasure. And he didn't do it instantly, he did it over time. So the idea that Doctor Who could go on at all in the absence of David was a huge question, I didn't realise how many people thought it wouldn't succeed at all. That was quite terrifying when I found out about it later. I think there were plans maybe to consider ending it. It was Russell saying, you are not allowed to end it."

Moffat discusses the ongoing question of a female Doctor Who in The Telegraph.

Doctor Who returns to television screens with Matt Smith's replacement Peter Capaldi joining companion Jenna Coleman aboard the TARDIS this August.

Monday 26 May 2014

Conan O'Brien reviews Watch Dogs

Much has been made of Ubisoft's Watch Dogs review embargo, which ends tomorrow.

This doesn't appear to apply to US television host Conan O'Brien who gets his hands on this summer's most anticipated new IP for an hilarious 'Clueless Gamer' feature.

Are you getting Watch Dogs? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday 24 May 2014

Director Edgar Wright departs from Marvel's Ant-Man

Edgar Wright has walked away from directorial duties on Disney's upcoming Ant-Man citing creative differences with the studio.

Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on ANT-MAN due to differences in their vision of the film. The decision to move on is amicable and does not impact the release date on July 17, 2015. A new director will be announced shortly.

Who would you like to see direct? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 23 May 2014

Godzilla director to helm first Star Wars spin-off

Gareth Edwards, director of the blockbusting Godzilla reboot, is to helm the first Star Wars spin-off following JJ Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII in December 2015.

In a statement, Edwards said: "Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life - join the Rebel Alliance!

"I could not be more excited and honoured to go on this mission."

Edwards is set to direct Godzilla 2 and 3. However, the first sequel does not have a script, freeing the director for Star Wars.

The unnamed Star Wars spin-off is being written by Gary Whitta (Book of Eli) and is scheduled for release in December 2016.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

JJ Abrams invites you to be in Star Wars: Episode VII

With filming now underway in Abu Dhabi, Disney Lucasfilm has launched a new charitable initiative with UNICEF called Force for Change. This not only allows Star Wars fans to assist a good cause, but also offers a chance to appear as an extra in Star Wars: Episode VII.

“We would like to invite you to be part of the fun here. We want to put you in the movie in Star Wars,” director JJ Abrams said in the video.

“The Star Wars fans are some of the most passionate and committed folks around the globe,” Abrams said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to offer a chance to come behind the scenes as our VIP guests and be in Star Wars: Episode VII. We’re even more excited that by participating in this campaign, Star Wars fans will be helping children around the world through our collaboration with UNICEF Innovation Labs and projects.”

Fans can donate as little as $10 for the chance to win the coveted movie appearance. You have until July 18th to make your pledge and be entered into the prize draw.

For further details on how you can contribute and enter the competition. Please visit Omaze.

May the force be with you.

Monday 19 May 2014

Halo: The Master Chief Collection for Xbox One

Halo 5: Guardians will launch in tandem with the Steven Spielberg produced television series in fall 2015. So, it's not unexpected to read rumours of a remastered collection bundling Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4 for Xbox One later this year.

Engadget's source suggests the collection will focus on Master Chief John-117 and his adventures with AI companion Cortana.

Microsoft's Xbox division is undergoing a reboot with the appointment of Phil Spencer. Spencer is an avid gamer and arguably ideally suited to be at the helm.

The Richmond-based company is effectively backtracking on last year's infamous media briefing, where the focus was on Kinect, at E3. A Kinect-less Xbox One bundle will be available from June and third-party entertainment apps will no longer be behind the Xbox Live paywall, which adopts Sony's PlayStation Network playbook.

Xbox 360 backwards compatibility is also mooted.

Is this positive news? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 16 May 2014

Filming on Star Wars: Episode VII has begun!

Star Wars: Episode VII began shooting today according to this tweet from Bad Robot! Looks like Abu Dhabi as evidenced by a dusting of sand on the film's clapperboard. Only a few weeks ago photos were posted online showing what appeared to be an AT-AT foot in the desert.

The majority of the new movie will be shot at Pinewood Studios, which also marks the first time director JJ Abrams has filmed outside the US.

The Ancient Fear (rumoured working title) will see the original principal cast reunited on the silver screen for the first time since Return of the Jedi.

Abrams, whose previous films have included Star Trek and Super 8, recently said: "Everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud."

Excited for new Star Wars? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Roberto Orci to direct Star Trek III

With JJ Abrams filming in a galaxy far, far away... Paramount isn't prepared to put the franchise in dry dock for the foreseeable future.

Step forward Roberto Orci. The Star Trek and Transformers scribe is directing the third movie with Abrams producing, according to Variety.

This is Orci's first time at the helm and marks a change in direction since splitting with longtime writing partner Alex Kurtzman. The trio of Abrams, Kurtzman and Orci brought us televisual masterpiece Fringe.

Thoughts? Feelings? Fears? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Alien artist HR Giger dies aged 74

"... I'm reminded of a giant poster of the "Space Jockey" from Alien adorning my childhood bedroom wall and being blissfully unaware of the nightmare cargo aboard the derelict spacecraft. What fun!"

The above extract is taken from an upcoming co-authored post and is all the more poignant given the sad news of Oscar-winning artist HR Giger's death, at the age of 74, following a fall at his home.

"My paintings seem to make the strongest impression on people who are, well, who are crazy," Giger said in a 1979 interview with Starlog magazine. "If they like my work they are creative ... or they are crazy."

Alongside the late Ralph McQuarrie (Star Wars), Swiss surrealist Giger inspired my nascent imagination and creative impulse amid the pages of Starburst magazine.

Director Ridley Scott hired Giger, as conceptual artist on Alien, after seeing a compendium of his work in 1977's Necronomicon. The titular creature would become one of mainstream cinema's most memorable movie monsters and birth a franchise.

Giger and Scott worked together again on prequel Prometheus, which would dovetail directly into Alien over the course of three movies.

A Pyramid Chamber Ampule prop prize, won in a Sky Movies competition, has pride of place in my home theatre.

Thank you for the beautiful biomechanical nightmares. RIP HR Giger.

Friday 9 May 2014

Marvel's Agent Carter

It's fair to say Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. got interesting and then some in the wake of The Winter Soldier. The series is to be renewed for a second season and Captain America's Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell) gets her own spin-off.

Official description of the new series from ABC:

“Marvel’s Agent Carter,” starring “Captain America’s” Hayley Atwell follows the story of Peggy Carter. It’s 1946, and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life – Steve Rogers. Inspired by the feature films “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” along with the short “Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter.” “Marvel’s Agent Carter” stars Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter. Executive producers are Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters, Steve McFeely & Christopher Marcus, and Jeph Loeb.

ABC isn't pulling any punches and Marvel fans have much look forward to including a new Netflix series too.

Thursday 8 May 2014

Star Wars: Episode VII may be The Ancient Fear

The working title for Star Wars Episode VII is The Ancient Fear according to Harry Knowles at Ain't It Cool News (one of the very first websites I bookmarked in 1998).

This allegedly refers to Max von Sydow‘s character, Knowles says. Will Sydow play Darth Plagueis who was Senator Palpatine's old master?

It taps into the saga's mythology and ties in elegantly with A New Hope and The Phantom Menace. However, the latter was derided by some fans for sounding like a Scooby-Doo yarn! The Balance of the Force sounded so much better.

What do you think of The Ancient Fear? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Star Wars: Battlefront to be shown at E3

EA CEO Andrew Wilson has confirmed Star Wars: Battlefront will be showcased during this year's E3!

Little is known about DICE's Battlefront reboot beyond a teaser trailer shown last June.

Rumours suggest there may be further Star Wars franchise news from Visceral Games and BioWare at E3.

Anyone else still lamenting the cancellation of Star Wars: 1313?

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Join the Rebellion in Star Wars Rebels

“In a time of darkness, when fear ruled the galaxy, heroes will rise, destinies will collide and a rebellion will ignite,” intones the new full length trailer for Star Wars Rebels.

Any reservations I may have had about the series adopting a lighter tone were swiftly swept away. Star Wars Rebels looks like a worthy successor to The Clone Wars.

Star Wars Rebels is set to launch this fall with a one-hour special on Disney Channel, before the series premieres on Disney XD around the world.

Monday 5 May 2014

24: Live Another Day simulcast on NOW TV

Jack Bauer's back, and he's just as great as ever.

4 years ago acclaimed television series 24 ended, after 8 seasons, with a whimper. Tonight Jack Bauer returns in a brand new London-based 12-part series on Fox.

Following the success of Game of Thrones on Sky Atlantic. UK broadcaster Sky will simulcast the US premiere of 24: Live Another Day on Sky1 at 1:00AM Tuesday morning. Then the new series will be shown at its regular time of 9:00PM Wednesday.

Jack Bauer fans without Sky can watch the new series and much more on NOW TV.

Sunday 4 May 2014

Happy Star Wars Day from JJ Abrams!

Director JJ Abrams and writer Lawrence Kasdan have posted a quick "video selfie" for Star Wars fans to celebrate May The Fourth!

Perhaps the most interesting element of the clip? Abrams’ suggesting that casting announcements for Episode VII could continue as production ramps up.

Friday 2 May 2014

Kevin Spacey in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

House of Cards collides with Michael Bay in the next installment of the Call of Duty franchise this November.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare stars Kevin Spacey who's playing a nefarious role in a near-future war.

"Ideas don't determine who is right. Power determines who is right. And I have the power. So I'm right," intones Spacey's character. Shades of Frank Underwood?

Developer Sledgehammer Games is concentrating on current gen consoles PS4 and Xbox One and high-end PC. This year's game ushers in the three-year development cycle for each title, where Sledgehammer, Infinity Ward and Treyarch will take turns developing annual Call of Duty games.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is released on November 4.

Thursday 1 May 2014

NOW TV coming to PS4 this summer

NOW TV and Sky Go are coming to PS4 from this summer.

Fergal Gara, VP and MD for Sony Computer Entertainment UK said: "Now TV has been a great addition to the PlayStation 3 entertainment portfolio, so bringing it to the new PS4 is going to delight all users of the newest, most powerful member of the PlayStation family. Sky Go joining both PlayStation platforms further enhances our credentials as the ultimate gaming and entertainment package."

Sky points out: "Sky Go includes all six Sky Sports channels, Eurosport, 11 Sky Movies channels, great entertainment from Sky Atlantic and third party channels such as FOX, plus hours of shows from Nickelodeon and others. Now TV is the contract-free internet streaming service from Sky that provides instant access to hundreds of films from Sky Movies on demand, pay-as-you-go access to live Sky Sports and must see shows on 10 of the best pay TV channels including Sky1, Sky Atlantic and Sky Living."

Find out more at