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Movie News for August 15th, 2000

Hey Movie Gang,

It's been a long time since the last movie news was sent out. This is for three reasons: One, I was working hard getting the 90's movie info up on my site. I hope all of you have checked it out! Two, I was busy looking for a new job. And three, there hasn't really been too much to say. The 2000 summer movie season is slowly coming to an end, and I haven't been too impressed. Last year was such a great year for film that I think I got a little spoiled. There is still hope for the fall. Well, here is some news on films we hope will make the next few years great! Most are for sequels of films we already love and seem to be the ones most people ask me about!

Terminator 3
What started out as having some possiblities, is slowly fading in my book. James Cameron and Arnold both said they wanted no part of it, but the studio still wanted to suck every last dime out of this franchise. Then the studio hunted down Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, and Alien) to direct. They spent $20 million dollars to lasso Arnold back. (Since he hasn't had a hit in a long time, I guess he thought he needed it.) But after fighting over the story and who has the right to the final cut, the director or studio, Ridley Scott has now backed out. Scott was one of the few things going for this project, and now no-name directors are being mentioned, which means the studio wants all the say. The funny thing about this is even the no name directors don't want to touch this film. Especially after reading the script which is said to be pretty bad. The studio recently signed the young (now old) kid from T2, that played John Connor to revise his role. Which has 2 drawbacks in my book. First, I thought he was one of the few flaws of T2 and second, it means the story is going to continue where it left off and not far into the future like orginally intended. I'm beginning to have fears of this turning into the sequels to Jaws! Terrible!!!

Jurassic Park 3
Speaking of sequels to Jaws, Jurassic Park is heading in that direction. This is one of those francises which should just be happy with what they got. But the studio (do you hear the sucking sounds of the studio lips on that money) continue to work on a new JP. Sam Neill has signed on to reprise his role as well as Tea Leoni. Tea Leoni...hello!!!! Should we just throw this franchise into the trash now?

Planet of the Apes
Here's some funny news! If you haven't heard, The Planet of the Apes is being remade with Tim Burton directing. The only fact I am just a little excited about. Burton always seems to find a strange bizzare humor to his films and it sounds like "Planet" is no exception. Mark Wahlberg, of Boogie Nights and Perfect Storm will reprise the Charleston Heston role. He was interviewed and said that he would be doing a sex scene with Helena Bonham Carter, who is playing an ape. So does this constitute a cinema first, an inter species sex scene? Beastiality goes mainstream! Seeing as this is going to be an ape faced prosthetics latex fest, do you think Marky Mark will be donning his Boogie Nights, extra helper for the scene as well?!

X-Men Sequel
Yes, they are already talking about a sequel to the summer hit "X-men". I was a little dissapointed in this film, but felt they had a lot of charactors to deal with and a complex story to tell for people who don't have a clue about the decades old comic. Not that is was bad by any means and I am looking forward to a sequel. When Wolverine was recently asked at a convention about his trip on Cyclop's motorcycle (the way the past film ended) He told he found: Project X and Sentinels. Also, the X-Men got a "new" member: Gambit. He kept saying that the trip was so action packed, it could have been a movie! Hmmm... This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Matrix 2-3
Here's a little taste for the coming sequels to the Matrix films which are set to begin filming in March. All the orginal stars (that were still alive at the end of the last movie) are set to come back. Also signed on is Jet Li, the female martial artists expert. Other characters that are being casted are Niobe: described as Morpheus' ex-lover who is now dating one of the bad guys. Commander Lock: they're looking for a leader, someone in his late 30's / early 40's. Who's compared to the character of Patrick Stewart's role in X-Men. The casting office is also looking for an older French Man and someone to play a young, hot, and very sexy French Woman in her 20's. These two characters will be a couple. And finally, the casting office is also looking for someone to play an 18 year old male character that is just named KID.

Star Wars: Episode 2
The bigggest stuff happening on this flick is the cast is now complete with filming just starting. There seems to be some bigger names attached to this film then the last. Jimmy Smits (of NYPD Blue fame) will be playing Bail Organa. If you remember from Star Wars lore this character is Princess Leia's step father and was last seen in the orginal Star Wars, blowing up on Alderean. Gabriel Byrne is casted as a jedi. Christopher Lee will also be appearing. Lee was an old time horror star appearing in many of the Dracula movies of the 60's and 70's. Like Peter Cushing who starred as Grand Moff Tarkin in the orginal SW, Lucas is bringing back the old horror star to add a special evil to the role! Speaking of evil, Christopher Walken is also scheduled to star, and no matter what he does he shines with creepiness! The bad guy in this film will be called Darth Bane. I've seen some sketches of him and although he looks nothing like Darth Maul (who was just way too cool) the character looks pretty excellent.

There were rumors floating around that Yoda may have some fight sequences, but those may appear to be false. But one jedi who will be kicking some butt in this film is Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson). Mace Windu is gonna be heaps more lethal, cooler, and less flamboyant Jedi. It's said that there is a flaw in Qui-Gon's training of Obi-Wan, which will be passed onto Anakin, thus causing the inevitable turn to the dark side. Apparently, the fight sequences in episode 2 are gonna be much better than those we have seen.

Dungeons and Dragons
Has been picked up by New Line Cinema for U.S. release. This is interesting because it is New Line which will have rights to Lord of the Rings when those films are finished. New Line will use this film as a pre-hype for LOTR and may attach a special trailer to this film for release!

Lord of the Rings
Filming for this trilogy of films continues and for those who are waiting for more info, there really isn't too much to tell. So I will just give a quick recap: Peter Jackson (of Heavenly Creatures) is directing this trilogy in New Zealand. Joining him are Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf, Elijah Wood, in the lead as Frodo Baggins, and Sean Astin as his sidekick Samwise Gamgee. Others in the cast include Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler and the New Zealand actor Marton Csokas, who plays Galadriel's husband, Celeborn. Filming of all three parts - The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King - is now halfway complete at studios in Wellington. The Fellowship of the Ring will be released at Christmas 2001 and the sequels the following two Decembers. Making the movies all together over such a long period - 18 months of filming - one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken.

Until Next Time
Alan


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