What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that brings you only the most excellent links, news items, art and moving images from around the web. It’s also glad to be back in the saddle now that guest author week is over.

First up tonight, a big round of applause for Ryan Gallagher of The Criterion Cast for stepping in last week and filling in while I gorged myself on the bloody mess known as Fantastic Fest. It made the festival experience that much more enjoyable to know that fans of this column were being treated to some excellent writing. Maybe we’ll convince him to come back again in the future. We begin our news night with one of over 30 new images from Argo, the Ben Affleck directed drama that’s getting all sorts of buzz. Even our own Rob Hunter is said to have liked it a lot…

1. Danny Strong gets a Mockingjay pin – An interesting choice for Lionsgate to go with a guy who is known for writing and producing political stuff — like HBO’s Game Change – for the third film in The Hunger Games series. There’s a bit of political intrigue in that franchise. Perhaps the recent Emmy Award winner will be able to capitalize on that.

2. Ken Kwapis and Exotic Pets – The director of Dunstan Checks In is making some moves, as his production company In Cahoots has picked up the rights to Diana Wagman’s psycho-thriller novel “The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets,” a kidnap thriller that involves a seven-foot iguana.

3. Friedkin. Cage. Done. – “It’s the Friedkin Weekend, baby I’m about to have me some fun,” says Nic Cage and the film I am Wrath. Apparently the director is done circling the project and is ready to jump in.

4. From Gambit to Nicholas Sparks – Director Michael Hoffman — whose credits include Gambit, The Last Station, One Fine Day and Soapdish (awesome) — has been tapped to direct the next Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Best of Me. It’s about former high-school sweethearts who… Zzzz…

5. Rinsch still fighting on 47 Ronin – According to new reports, Carl Rinsch has not been kicked out of the editing room of the Keanu Reeves-led 3D action extravaganza 47 Ronin. Which is good, because that guy’s short (The Gift) was pretty rad. Universal is maintaining a Christmas 2013 release for the film, which is a sign of confidence.

6. 50 Years Ago Today, Here’s Johnny… – Today (Oct. 1) marks the 50th anniversary of Johnny Carson’s debut on The Tonight Show. The man’s talent was something I thought about recently as I watched the past few episodes of Louie, in which Louis CK goes on an adventure to potentially take over for Letterman. It was a tough job, but Johnny was always on his game. To celebrate, here’s one of my favorite classic Carson bits. A parody of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood starring a major action hero. Carson was an original mash-up master:

7. Why We Need a New Star Trek show – io9 pulls together quotes from two different Wired interviews with Battlestar Galactica man Ronald D. Moore and Star Trek: TNG star Michael Dorn, who outline the reasons why we need a new Star Trek show in this day-and-age, and what it should be about.

8. Fran Kranz and his big bong – Over at Ain’t It Cool, Quint has a very fun interview with The Cabin in the Woods player Fran Kraz (he played Marty, the bong-toting fool) about monsters and what exactly was on the 16mm film in the basement of the cabin. As always, Quint’s interviews are top-notch. One of these days I’m going to get around to starting a Kickstarter to help me steal him away from AICN…

9. The Sounds of Fantastic Fest – Slackerwood’s Mike Saulters walks you through some of the moving soundtracks from the films of Fantastic Fest 2012. Just as it was a good year for FF’s film slate, it was a good year for composers and music producers.

10. Killing this poster – Three awesome retro posters were released for Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly, starring Brad “Gangsta Mullet” Pitt. The one below is my personal favorite. You can find the others via the link that leads to The Film Stage.

Killing Them Softly Poster

11. Herzog on Man’s Futility – From the archives over at IndieWire, two video essays and one written essay on Werner Herzog. The video below is an exploration of man’s futility. There’s no rhyme or reason as to why this came back into my purview  but is there ever really a need for reason when highlighting the work of Werner Herzog? No, there isn’t.

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