prequel

The news that Warner Bros. has just made deals with Akiva Goldsman and Overbrook Entertainment to bring us an I Am Legend sequel is not surprising (as it’s been chattered about for years now), but it does somewhat confoundingly smack of an article from The Onion yesterday. That article, titled “Moviegoers Not Interested In Hearing What Is, Isn’t Possible, Demand Heath Ledger ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Appearance” might focus on the impossibility of bringing back the deceased Ledger for The Dark Knight Rises, but it does remind of the impossibility of bringing back the central character of I Am Legend: Will Smith‘s Robert Neville, who (spoiler alert?) crocked off at the end of the first film. But no matter in Hollywoodland! Though a second film has been talked about ever since the first film did big business at the box office (making $584m worldwide), it was long thought that the new film would be a prequel, but today’s report from Deadline Staten Island refutes that: “the film is not being called a prequel.” Well, alrighty! Maybe if they can bring back Neville, they can bring back his charming German Shepard, too. The new film is set to be penned by Arash Amel (the scribe behind the new Grace Kelly biopic, Grace of Monaco). Smith is reportedly waiting until the script is ready before he commits, and director Francis Lawrence has yet to weigh in on his potential involvement.

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Boiling Point

The Devil Inside is the talk of the town for two reasons: number one, it made around $35 million in its opening weekend, which is big no matter what qualifier you tack on, but when that qualifier is a reported $1 million acquisition cost, it’s gigantic. Number two (heheh), it sucks. It sucks bad. That’s nothing new, really, as everything about The Devil Inside screams shitty movie. First of all, it’s from the team that brought you Stay Alive. Second, it’s found footage. Third, it’s an exorcism movie. I’m surprised that people went to see it, because you list those three qualities and I am about as far from interested as possible. But rather than just throw another voice on the “what the fuck” bonfire, I wanted to take a few minutes and examine what we can learn from this situation.

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There aren’t very many good prequels out there. For the most part, what George Lucas hath wrought is a wide range of direct-to-DVD prequels of films we never liked in the first place. See The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior starring Randy “I’m a UFC Hall of Famer and I Have Cauliflower Ear” Couture if you don’t believe me. In fact, heading over to IMBD and looking up their list of prequels sends a Paul WS Anderson chill down your spine. There aren’t very many good entries, and some of the the ones that are passable – I’m looking at you, Temple of Doom – are barely prequels at all. So in honor of X-Men: First Class, a rare good prequel, I felt it necessary to run down a list. It’s a kind of guideline for future prequel-makers to follow – born from those who came before and succeeded. How can you craft a worthwhile prequel that doesn’t feel like it came right off the Hollywood assembly line? How can you make a story that creates interesting origin stories for characters that have already been established? Basically, how can you come up with a prequel idea that isn’t going to end up in Russell Mulcahy’s filmography? We love you, Russ. There can be only one. Those are some good questions. Here are some possible answers.

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Over the past 24 hours my Twitter feed has been abuzz with reactions to the announcement that Alcon Entertainment was close to signing a deal to make more Blade Runner movies. Capitalizing on the wave on controversy, i09 sat down with Alcon executives Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, and Bud Yorkin to ask them more about their plans for turning this cult classic into a modern franchise. When asked why they wanted to go after the rights to Blade Runner Johnson said, “We’re intellectually fascinated and ready to explore the themes that the movie invokes and the underlying material. At the end of the day those are the things that make great movies. Those and characters, it’s an opportunity of a life time to try and explore this further.” Kosove added, “I think that there’s a unique aspect of Blade Runner, and it is absolutely right to be re-address now at this time in human history. That is the concept of what it means to be a human being. What does it mean to be human, to have empathy, to have feelings?”

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Ridley Scott Goes Back to Sci-Fi

It’s been rumored for a little while, but now it’s official… Ridley Scott is attached to direct a prequel to his classic franchise-starter, Alien. Am I the only one who doesn’t see the upside here?

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John Carpenter

This isn’t necessarily new news, but it does move recent rumors into the realm of official announcement. Universal has hired Ronald Moore to write the big-budget “remake/re-imagining/prequel” of John Carpenter’s The Thing.

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So many questions. So we’ll have to make up answers.

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