Access Week In Geek (June 15, 2010)

Green Lantern Sequel and “The Flash” Speeding Ahead

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has already green-lit work on a treatment for “Green Lantern 2” by the screenwriting team of Marc Guggenheim, Greg Berlanti, and Michael Green, even though the first movie isn’t due for release for nearly another year. “Green Lantern” is being prepped to be DC Comics’ answer to Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man” in both franchise options and merchandising possibilities. Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale,” “Goldeneye”) helms the 2011 summer film starring Ryan Reynolds as a test pilot who is bestowed with a powerful ring that can do anything through his force of will and joins an ancient group of intergalactic patrolmen known as The Green Lantern Corps. WB and DC are fast tracking the Emerald Gladiator to become a household A-List name alongside their marquee heroes Superman and Batman, much like Marvel Studios elevated Iron Man.

The same screenwriting team has also been tapped to write a script for a big screen version of DC’s scarlet speedster, “The Flash.” Ironically enough, Ryan Reynolds was prepared to take on that role long before he was ever envisioned as Green Lantern. Writer/Director David Goyer (who also wrote “Batman Begins”) was slated to helm a proposed version of the film, and having worked with Reynolds on “Blade: Trinity,” the actor was both an obvious and fan favorite choice to take the title role at the time.

If there is any proof needed in the grand plans for Green Lantern, in a recent trade ad released by Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Green Lantern stands firmly in front of an entire who’s who of DC Comics characters, including both Batman and Superman.

“Torchwood” Sees Starz

“Torchwood” will be coming back to American airwaves after all. BBC Worldwide announced that Starz will air 11 new episodes of the sci-fi Brit hit in the summer of 2011. The show will be co-produced by Starz Entertainment and the BBC. “Torchwood’s” first three seasons previously aired stateside on BBC America. The new episodes will also air simultaneously in the UK on BBC One.

In addition to series creator Russell T. Davies returning as both Executive Producer and show runner, original stars John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) and Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper) are returning for the new episodes. To reflect a more international scope for the show, additional cast members will be announced soon. According to the release, “The new series will allow Davies and his writing team to tell a more explosive and global story.

“Fright Night” Remake Snags McLovin & Dr. Who

Christopher Mintz-Plasse and David Tennant will join the cast of the remake of one of my favorite cult films, 1985’s “Fright Night” says The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog. The duo — also better known as McLovin’ and “Doctor Who’s” tenth Doctor — will join the solid cast that has already secured Anton Yelchin (“Terminator: Salvation,” “Star Trek”) Colin Farrell and Toni Collette.

The original starred Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent, (as a host of a late night TV horror show), Chris Sarandon (as a vampire living in secret in suburbia) and William Ragsdale (as the unfortunate mortal who discovers the sinister double identity of his next door neighbor).

This remake’s so far spot-on casting will see Tennant reprising McDowall’s role of the host turned vampire hunter, but updating the character as a headliner of a Vegas stage act who is thought to be a vampire specialist. Mintz-Plasse will play Yelchin’s disgruntled best friend who turns on him to join Farrell’s blood sucking evil brood. Last seen in a dramatic role in “Crazy Heart” alongside Jeff Bridges, to me this seems to be the sort of role Farrell will effortlessly tear the scenery up on.

Voltron Roars To Both TV & Movie Screens

Last week it was “Thundercats,” now this week Variety reported that the popular 80’s cartoon “Voltron: Defender of the Universe” will celebrate its 25th Anniversary by returning to TV with an updated animated version called “Voltron Force” to air on Nicktoons. The original series followed the adventures of five space explorers who left Earth to pilot mechanical space lions that could combine and transform into one giant robot warrior called Voltron. Along with “Transformers” and “GoBots,” the hugely popular character was part of the transforming robot toy/cartoon craze that dominated the ‘80s.

“Voltron” was also on the fast track for a live action big screen adventure to feature giant robots after Michael Bay’s “Transformers” hit big in 2007. A spec script written by Justin Marks made the rounds, and according to reports from those who had read it, the story was a gritty post apocalyptic translation set on Earth rather than the Planet Arus (as in the animated series). It reimagined the familiar characters for an international cast and apparently would have been both an incredibly ambitious and expensive film to produce. Some gave it high praise, others thought it deviated too far from the source material. Marks also wrote an early script for the big screen update of 80’s animation and toy icon He-Man called “Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe” for mega producer Joel Silver. That screenplay reportedly had a heavy “300”-meets-“Star Wars” theme, which met with similar split decision reviews. The path to the multiplex for both “Grayskull” and “Voltron” landed firmly, as they say, in development hell.

Not to rain entirely on Voltron’s big screen aspirations though, MTV News caught up with “Voltron” film producers Richard Suckle and Ted Koplar who confirmed that the animated return didn’t mark the end of the lionbot’s movie plans.
“We’ve been working over the last several months meeting with various screenwriters, and we’re actually on the cusp of securing an A-level screenwriter who’s going to write the ‘Voltron’ movie,” Suckle revealed to MTV.

“That’s all part of the plan here: reintroducing the brand to the fans who’ve watched over the last 25 years and to a new generation, he said. “We are very close to securing a screenwriter who’s going to actually write the feature version — so that’s always been part of the plan.”

The duo said they would start from scratch with the screenplay and hope to have an open forum of shared ideas with the producers of the animated series to have a continuity consistent feature in theatres by 2013.

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