Zack Stentz

Power Rangers 90s Movie

From one superhero franchise to another. Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, the writers behind X-Men: First Class, have signed on to mighty morph the Power Rangers film into something a little more sophisticated than the Saturday morning kid’s hour. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Robert Orci, one of the screenwriters behind the Transformers and Star Trek franchises, has also hopped on board to serve as the film’s executive producer. He will team up with Miller and Stentz to formulate a new story around the team of teenaged superheroes, but he’s leaving the actual screenwriting duties to the twosome, whose writing credits as a team also include 2011’s Thor and the highly important Frankie Muniz teen spy flick Agent Cody Banks. But the three shouldn’t have much of a problem finding inspiration in the source material — or even reason to change it much, actually.


Starship Troopers

It was all the way back in 2011 when producer Neal Moritz announced that he, for some reason that probably made sense to him at the time, would be remaking the 1997 cult classic Starship Troopers for us citizens of the future. The Paul Verhoeven film is still beloved for being a satirical take on the Robert A. Heinlein novel of the same name; and by satirical, it’s a goofy, caulculated mess of a good time where Denise Richards is a lieutenant, Jake Busey is allowed to exist, and giant bugs are the enemy. Naturally, this means that the remake is going the straight, serious route, instead of recreating the fun of the first film. In 2012, producer Toby Jaffe said that this version would be much more faithful to Heinlein’s source material — meaning a more patriotic than satirical film was apparently in the works. That premise is still being echoed by writer Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class) who is currently working on the script with his collaborator Ashley Miller (Fringe, X-Men: First Class). Over the holidays, Stentz took to Twitter and answered questions about the remake from film blogger Scott Weinberg. According to Stentz, what we can expect from the redo is “less a satire & more an actual adaptation of the Heinlein novel. An Officer & a Gentleman in power armor.”



There’s a lot to like about the Star Trek franchise ever since it got its JJ Abrams-led reboot. Visually, the property has never looked better, the current cast may be the most talented that’s ever been assembled for a Star Trek crew, and there’s certainly now more sex-appeal and action thrills popping up in this universe than there ever has been before. That doesn’t mean that new Star Trek is a total improvement over the old Star Trek though. Fans new and old have had a handful of complaints about the last two Trek films, and a lot of them have revolved around their scripts, which were largely credited to Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci. Sure, they made for exciting stories, but they were also the sloppy sorts of narratives that didn’t pay much attention to plugging plot holes, and they were kind of lacking in that specific Trek-ness in an undefinable way. A report coming out of Badass Digest is suggesting that the third Star Trek film in this rebooted universe may either benefit or suffer from being handled by someone else’s pens though. According to their sources, for whatever reason, Kurtzman and Orci have been instrumental in bringing two new writers on to the project, and two writers who have both genre film experience as well as experience working with Bad Robot to boot.


Back in the late 90s, expert director of schlock Paul Verhoeven took a stab at adapting one of legendary sci-fi novelist Robert Heinlein’s most popular stories, “Starship Troopers”, and the results were something that resembled Heinlein’s far-looking, satirical tale less than it did a B-level genre piece that was far more…well, schlocky. Starship Troopers was all about bad acting, big explosions, disgusting amounts of bug goop, and exploitative co-ed naked shower scenes. It may not have been an adaptation with a tone that was true to its source material, but it had its own kind of charm, you know? And since it was just made in the 90s, and it’s got special effects that actually hold up pretty well, you wouldn’t think there would be any need to revisit the material again. But you would be wrong. Or at least producer Neal Moritz thinks you’re wrong. You may have heard Moritz’s name before, he’s the Sony Pictures bigwig responsible for another recent remake; the upcoming and Colin Farrell-starring Total Recall. The similarities between these two projects are endless. The original Total Recall was also a Paul Verhoeven movie, it was also (very loosely) adapted from a story by a legendary science fiction writer (Philip K. Dick), and it was also something that nobody really thought needed to be remade. That film hasn’t hit theaters yet or anything, but Moritz must be really happy with what he’s seen of it, because with this new take on Starship Troopers he’s pretty clearly […]


It’s only appropriate that, on the same day two films born from the neon womb of the 80s release into theaters, we get an announcement regarding yet another project that’s cribbing straight from the glory days of side ponytails and slap bracelets. Or, rather, the high-flying times of being dangerous. For whatever reason (cough, money, cough), Paramount is going ahead with their Top Gun sequel, which we’re all going to call Top Gun 2 until someone finally announces that it’s called Top Gun: Living Life Between Your Legs or similar. The studio is now reportedly in negotiations with X-Men: First Class and Thor scribblers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz to pen this latest iteration of dudes gone wild. If you’re looking for a plot, don’t come sniffing around here, as Variety says that details are “nil,” as the script has not even been written yet. What, was there no treatment? Maybe a model fighter jet emblazoned with key words? A volleyball with character names on it? In any case, who knows what the heck this film is about and how it will tie back into the 1986 original or if it will just focus on dweebs in trailers playing glorified video games that control fighter jets (whatever Tony Scott said a few months back, I don’t quite see that aspect being the center of the new film).


“Eloquent badass” is not only how one would probably describe Thor’s brother/nemesis, Loki, but also the actor who portrays him, Tom Hiddleston. At last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Hiddleston was the only cast member that wasn’t tight-lipped as if they were hiding serious government secrets. The actor spoke off the cuff, even revealing a plot twist… and he did so in that ear-pleasing British accent of his. Hiddleston’s voice is smooth, clear, and everything you’d want from a great British accent. Hearing my voice go up against his was quite an emasculating experience. My sometimes quick, Mark Zuckerberg-like mannerisms sounded even more idiotic, something I never thought possible. Hiddleston made me sound like one of those hicks from Deliverance in comparison, but that seemingly total gent would never be one to tell me so. I unfortunately didn’t have the chance to see Thor before speaking with Hiddleston, but we covered an array of topics from tone, finding humanity in a villain, what you get when angry Gods do battle, and how much of an honor it must be to have one’s face on a 7-Eleven Slurpee cup.

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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.05.2014

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