Sci-fi shots: Doctor Who, Kick-Ass 2 and Dredd

Daily digest of some of the sci-fi and fantasy news that’s caught our eye including: Peter Jackson and Doctor Who; Jim Carrey and Aaron Johnson filming Kick-Ass 2 video; The Cabin In The Woods Blu-ray disc faults; and Dredd sequel unlikely to happen.

Michael Bay’s to film fifth Transformers movie

Even though he and the movies have had their criticisms, Michael Bay may be set to film a fifth Transformers movie. Glenn Morshower, who played a military leader in the previous installments said “After I did the opening ceremonies for the [Transformers theme park] ride, Steven Spielberg walked up to me and chatted and said ‘You know we’ve got you set to do the fourth one and probably the fifth one on the heels of that. So, I guess in December we are on our way to making 4 and 5.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to get Royal premiere

The first part of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy has been chosen for this year’s 65th Royal Film Performance and will premiere in London on 12th December.

Dredd sequel not likely after poor takings

Despite being a pretty good action movie, Dredd has performed poorly at the box office. This means it’s highly unlikely we’ll get another movie based on the classic British comic. Dredd didn’t meet the estimates of $9 million to $10 million in its first weekend in the United States, pulling in an about $6.3 million instead. Unfortunately it hasn’t even done well enough in the UK and other countries to compensate for the poor US takings.

It’s a real shame as Dredd is actually really good and the Slo-Mo effects are stunning. They didn’t go easy on the violence which is very graphic in part. Dredd is stil out, you should go see it.

New Hulk movie?

Everyone loved Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner and Hulk in The Avengers movie and now Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is considering the prospect. “Do I think Hulk can carry a movie and be as entertaining as he was in ‘Avengers’? I do believe that. I do believe he absolutely could. We certainly are not even going to attempt that until [after] ‘Avengers 2.’ So there’s a lot of time to think about it. Part of what’s fun about the way we played him in ‘Avengers’ is the ensemble quality of it. I think the pathos and humor, most importantly, that Mark and Joss brought to it showcased a different element of Hulk that’s there in the comics, and was always inherent in his character. But when he was so brooding in his other two films, he didn’t get to have that wry sense of humor that Mark did such an amazing job performing.”

Buzz Lightyear Balloon Costume Cosplay

Jeff Wright and his very cool Buzz Lightyear costume made from balloons.

The Cabin In The Woods Blu-ray disc faults

Having been dicked about with the multiple versions of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers (Assemble) in the UK, none of which has his commentary; there’s now a problem with an authoring fault on Lionsgate’s UK Blu-ray of The Cabin In The Woods.

The disc does play, but it annoyingly freezes briefly at eleven points in the film. If your disc is one of those affected, you can email cabin@technicolor.com to ask for a replacement. You’ll need to provide proof of purchase. You’ll be asked to scan that and send it in or if you ordered online, you’ll be asked to supply a copy of the order confirmation email. Retailers like Amazon have acted quickly to withdraw the Blu-ray from sale because of this technical issue.

Lionsgate say replacement discs are now in production and are asking customers to return their Blu-ray to the retailer where it was purchased (along with their receipt). Check their Cabin In The Woods Facebook page for further updates.

The DVD version is unaffected.

Philip Pullman rewrites Grimm Tales

Philip Pullman has taken a break from writing a companion novel, The Book Of Dust, to the His Dark Materials trilogy, to put his own spin on fifty of the Grimms’ classic fairytales.

Grimm Tales for Young and Old is published by Penguin Classics on 27 September 2012.

Jim Carrey and Aaron Johnson filming Kick-Ass 2 in Toronto

Peter Jackson would love to direct Doctor Who episode

Peter Jackson has revealed that would love to direct Doctor Who and it looks like the BBC might be open to the idea.

Executive producer Caro Skinner said “It is beyond wonderful that Peter is a fan of the show and it’s beyond flattering that he’d even think about it,” says Skinner. “I’m absolutely sure that we couldn’t afford him but, you know, we can always negotiate. His enthusiasm is just fantastic of course.”

“Of course at some point we’d love to bring Doctor Who down under . . . it won’t be possible until at least a year after the 50th anniversary. We are already two-thirds of the way through the shoots of series seven and although we filmed a couple of episodes abroad I can confirm for the rest of series seven we will be shooting entirely in Cardiff Bay.”

Photos from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

A great collection of hi-res photos from Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever… Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities… A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

The Hobbit trailer and poster

Trailer and poster for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which is released in the UK on 14th December 2012.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever… Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities… A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

Official Hugh Jackman photo as The Wolverine

Hugh Jackman is one of those lucky men who just seems to look better the older the gets and here’s the proof; look how ripped he looks in the first official photo from The Wolverine.

Based on the celebrated comic book arc, The Wolverine finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed.

Directed by James Mangold and starring Hugh Jackman, Brian Tee, Will Yun Lee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Rila Fukushima, James Fraser, Tao Okamoto, Luke Webb and Hal Yamanouchi, The Wolverine is scheduled for release 26th July 2013.

Interview – Danie Ware on her debut novel Ecko Rising

Danie Ware is the publicist and event organiser for cult entertainment retailer Forbidden Planet. She has been immersed in the science-fiction and fantasy community for the past decade. An early adopter of blogging, social media and a familiar face at conventions, she appears on panels as an expert on genre marketing and retailing.

Danie’s debut novel, Ecko: Rising follows a savage, gleefully cynical anti-hero immersed in his own fantasy world. Ecko joins a misfit cast of characters and strives to conquer his deepest fears and save the world.

GSFN: Tell us how Ecko Rising came about.

Danie: From a starry-eyed youth of writing ‘what if’ fiction – fun fic rather than fan fic!

In 2008, I went to EasterCon for the first time in 15 years and found myself back in the industry. It gave me the confidence to start writing again, to pick up those old threads and weave them properly – I put the first few chapters on Googlepages and the response from my Twitter friends was huge. It was also picked up by an author who promised to show them to his publisher – and it all snowballed from there.

GSFN: The main character, Ecko is quite the anti-hero – an antagonistic protagonist if you will. Did his character make it more challenging to write the book?

Danie: I think he made it easier – his dark, biting humour and sharp insight give the story an energy that carries it forwards. Sometimes, I’d write when I was angry, and Ecko would give me an outlet for that anger; sometimes, his sardonic views of classic fantasy situations and archetypes just wrote themselves. He could be quite unpredictable, though, and there were times he’d ignore the chapter plan completely and just do his own thing!

GSFN: You’ve taken two genres, sci-fi and fantasy and have created a subtle cohesive story. What do think of the more ‘in your face’ mash ups such as historical characters fighting vampires and zombies? Julian May is a very popular author who achieved an exciting blend of sci-fi and fantasy, do you make any contrasts to your own work or does it not compare?

Danie: Julian May’s ‘Exiles’ saga is one of my absolute favourite reads – she did past and future, SF and fantasy, anthropology and politics, all woven expertly in the same story. It’s astounding writing; I’ve never come across anything else like it. Her story is subtle, intricate, flawlessly crafted – a complete antithesis to the current trend for ‘Everything Vs Zombies’ mash-ups.

Being honest here, I’ve not actually read one of the latter – though I do like the fact that genre boundaries are being confronted, and are coming down, now more than ever. Julian May is one of my inspirations. As for Jane Austen thumping the undead with a spade – well, good on you girl, let’s hope you pave the way for some more freethinking!

GSFN: How did it feel to see Ecko Rising in book form for the time?

Overwhelming – the first time my editor showed me the cover art, it had me in tears (no kidding)! With each stage of the book’s production – acceptance, editorial, art, proof copy, reviews, final product – there’s been a new rush of nervousness and wonder. Seeing something that’s been in my head slowly conjured to life has been a magical thing.

On occasion, I’ve been lucky enough to be present when an author has seen their finished book for the first time – and it’s made me realise that the wonder never palls. And that’s perhaps the best thing of all.

GSFN: You have a dream fangirls’/boys’ job, working for one of the well-known comic book stores in the UK. How has this day job environment influenced your writing?

Danie: If anything, it’s raised the bar! When you’re surrounded by the industry – not only its creators, but its critics and fans and retailers and shoppers and marketeers, you have an insight into the whole process that’s pretty scary. Add to that the sheer heavyweight of talent that regularly comes through FP, and it’s a heck of thing to try and live up to!

It’s also made it surreal – things like seeing my own name on company schedules and setting up my own signings have been very bizarre!

GSFN: Your job involves organising signing events with authors. Have you asked for advice from these guest authors when it came to writing professionally? If so, what was the most profound or useful piece of advice given to you?

Danie: In a word: no. There’s nothing more annoying than the badgering wannabe! Some people knew I was writing and would enquire – but that’s all. In fairness through, I’ve friends through my job who’re authors, and they have been incredibly supportive in helping me make sense of the wheels of the professional process.

GSFN: Ecko Rising is a superb debut novel, and it was a pleasure to read. What can we next expect from you Danie?

Thank you very much! I’ve just handed in the first draft of Ecko II, and I have another novel, urban fantasy-ish, with my agent. After that, we will have to see!

Danie Ware will be reading from and signing, Ecko Rising (Titan Books) at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Thursday 20th September from 6 – 7pm.

Ecko Rising by Danie Ware, available from 21st September, Titan Books, £7.99. You can pre-order your copy from Forbidden Planet.

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