The Access ‘Week In Geek’ (March 5, 2010)

Bill Murray: Ghostbuster To Ghostbusted?
Bill Murray appeared on “The Late Show With David Letterman” on Monday night and confirmed speculation that his Peter Venkman character would in fact be killed off early (and subsequently appear as a ghost) in the planned “Ghostbusters 3.” There is a loyal fan base, myself included, which is looking forward to the still in-development film, and trust me, the fan community would welcome with open arms another onscreen adventure featuring the original paranormal activity investigators combined with modern visual effects.

However, Murray visibly seemed to be there only ‘in spirit’ (pardon the pun), when talking to Letterman about being in the film. He prefaced his comments by saying that his participation in the movie hinged on whether or not the producers promised to kill him off early in the film, which he seemed to think they wouldn’t be willing to do. But the screenwriters obviously managed to figure out a way to do that and therefore, secure Murray’s return.

I spoke with Harold Ramis, who plays Egon Spengler, at the “Year One” junket back in June 2009, and he confirmed at the time that the studio-commissioned screenplay was still being written, and that it would include a ‘passing of the torch’ storyline to a younger team of Ghostbusters.

Also in the plus column, original cast members Sigourney Weaver and Dan Aykroyd have stated in various interviews over the past year that they would be willing to return, provided the script is solid. Director Ivan Reitman told MTV this past January that he would also come back to helm the second follow-up to the 1984 original blockbuster.

Stan Lee Makes A ‘Bang’ Of A Cameo
“The Big Bang Theory” continued its successful fanboy-friendly cameo streak this week, scoring an appearance from none other than comic book legend Stan Lee. The creator of some of Marvel’s most popular and enduring superheroes (including Spiderman, Fantastic Four and The X-Men), had a scene stealing turn at the end of the episode opposite stars Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco. Other notable celebs recently seen playing themselves on the hit sitcom have been Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Galactica,” “24”), Summer Glau (“Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles,” “Firefly,” and “Dollhouse”), and self-professed fanboy Wil Wheaton (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”), who found himself assuming the role of Sheldon’s very own arch nemesis on the show. Wheaton is expected to return as the evil version of himself later this season to continue his torturous ways on Jim Parson’s character. And if you missed this week’s episode, you then owe it to yourself to check out Access Hollywood’s Dish of Salt’s behind-the-scenes set visit and interview with Stan Lee himself.

‘Smallville’ To Return For Tenth (!!!) Season
The CW Network just announced the good news that “Smallville” will return next fall for its tenth season. The network’s retelling of Superman’s early years (before donning the iconic red and blue costume) has come well into its own by adding a unique stamp on the superhero’s mythos with reboots of numerous familiar characters and aspects from the comics; all while putting its won modern spin on them.

Like 2006’s theatrical “Superman Returns” directed by Bryan Singer, “Smallville” also pays homage to the original films starring Christopher Reeve, borrowing the crystal-based appearance of Krypton from those films and writing in numerous subtle references into their scripts. The show has also brought in appearances from the films’ stars including Margot Kidder, Marc McClure, Terrance Stamp, Annette O’Toole, and the late Christopher Reeve.

In recent years, “Smallville” has also introduced an early version of the Justice League of America, giving viewers their first glimpses of Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna and Aquaman in action.

This season, “Smallville” has held strong for the CW in its new Friday timeslot with its ‘Absolute Justice’ TV movie (which brought in an older generation of superheroes, The Justice Society of America), an episode featuring Zan and Jayna (The Wonder Twins from the animated “Superfriends” cartoon), Brian Austin Green as super villain Metallo, and a running dark story arc leading to a possible apocalyptic future for Earth at the hands of Superman’s Kryptonian arch enemy, General Zod.

The early mantra of the show was “No tights, no flights,” promising viewers that they’d never have Clark Kent soaring through the air or seen in the full Superman costume. But you certainly can’t help but hope, ten years deep into the show’s run, that fans will eventually get to see star Tom Welling suit up and take to the sky… if even for just a moment!

The Iron Man To Follow The Golden Guy On Sunday Night
Stay tuned to ABC after the Oscar telecast on Sunday night for “Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Academy Awards.” Robert Downey Jr. will be making the short walk across the street from the Kodak Theater to Kimmel’s studio and will have nothing less than the new trailer to “Iron Man 2” in hand. If this second spot is anywhere near as big of a crowd pleaser as the first action packed peek we got of the film, I definitely think it would be well worth losing the extra sleep over.

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