You can never have too many Argonauts!


Variety reports that NBC is developing a new version of Jason and the Argonauts, and it will be “the first-ever green-screen drama developed for primetime.”

NBC previously adapted this Greek myth in 2000, in a mini-series starring Jason London, Frank Langella and Dennis Hopper.

Apparently there are also two big-screen projects in development right now called simply The Argonauts, one of which — mentioned here two months ago — is being written and produced by Zak Penn.

The most famous version of this story, of course, was produced for the big screen by stop-motion specialist Ray Harryhausen in 1963.

Franklyn has a trailer.

Franklyn — a story set partly in a parallel universe dominated by some sort of religious organization — now has a trailer:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAu-jf1PbSw]
Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

The trailer doesn’t really clarify what the movie is all about, but so far, the story has sounded somewhat sprawling or confusing whenever people have tried to sum it up in a few words, or sentences, or paragraphs — so I’m not surprised that the trailer barely even tries to spell out the various plot points.

Without a clear narrative hook, the trailer has to make its pitch with images — and for some reason I can’t shake the idea that the Johnny Depp character in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) has been cloned repeatedly, and that the many copies of him have been dropped into the middle of Dark City (1998).

Hopefully the actual film will be better than that image suggests.

Star Trek XI bucks the long-reboot trend.


For whatever reason — the idea that long movies are important movies and vice versa, an increasing demand for movies that justify the hype and give us our money’s worth by putting more footage on the screen, etc. — movies that revive or reboot a franchise tend to be a little on the long side.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) was 132 minutes when it first came out in theatres, then grew to 143 minutes for TV (and, if I recall correctly, for VHS) before shrinking back down to 136 minutes on DVD. But one thing all three versions have in common is that they are longer than all of the Star Trek films that followed, which range from the 103 minutes of Insurrection (1998) to the 118 minutes of The Voyage Home (1986).

Batman Begins (2005) was 140 minutes, and The Dark Knight was 152 minutes. Both films were longer than the Batman films directed by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher, all of which ran between 122 and 126 minutes.

Casino Royale (2006) was 144 minutes, and thus longer than any of the James Bond films produced before or since — although On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), i.e. the film in which Bond got married (and thus a very “important” entry in the franchise), came very close to matching it, at 142 minutes.

Why do I mention all this? Because J.J. Abrams, director of the upcoming Star Trek movie — which seems to be part sequel, part prequel, and part reboot — recently told MTV Movies Blog that his film will not conform to this trend:

“It will be a two-hour movie,” Abrams said of the film’s running time. “I’m sick of these two hours and forty-five minute movies. Seriously, it’s like I don’t have enough time to stay two hours and forty-five minutes. I’m exhausted just saying that twice. I can’t stand it.”

Well, that’s okay. The Star Trek franchise has done the long-ish reboot thing already, sort of. No need to do it again.

For what it’s worth, Abram also hints that there might be a teaser or trailer for the new film some time in November. Can’t wait.

UPDATE: Pictures from the new Star Trek movie have started to pop up on certain specially-chosen websites. See UGO.com (the source of the photo above), Ain’t It Cool News, IGN.com, JoBlo.com, the MTV Movies Blog and, of course, TrekMovie.com for more. The latter site also gives us an advance look at the Star Trek-themed cover of next week’s Entertainment Weekly.

OCT 16 UPDATE: And here is the Entertainment Weekly article itself, which includes at least one more brand-new picture.

Yahoo! has an exclusive photo of John Cho as Sulu, too.

Canadian box-office stats — October 12

Here are the figures for the past weekend, arranged from those that owe the highest percentage of their take to the Canadian box office to those that owe the lowest.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist — CDN $2,450,000 — N.AM $20,730,708 — 11.8%
Burn after Reading — CDN $6,230,000 — N.AM $55,177,399 — 11.3%
Religulous — CDN $758,856 — N.AM $6,732,631 — 11.3%

Body of Lies — CDN $1,180,000 — N.AM $12,884,416 — 9.2%
Eagle Eye — CDN $6,250,000 — N.AM $70,409,979 — 8.9%

Nights in Rodanthe — CDN $2,510,000 — N.AM $32,297,101 — 7.8%
Lakeview Terrace — CDN $2,690,000 — N.AM $36,201,729 — 7.4%
City of Ember — CDN $222,193 — N.AM $3,129,473 — 7.1%
Quarantine — CDN $978,464 — N.AM $14,211,321 — 6.9%
Beverly Hills Chihuahua — CDN $2,490,000 — N.AM $52,532,310 — 4.7%

A couple of discrepancies: Burn after Reading, City of Ember, Religulous and Lakeview Terrace were #7, #8, #9 and #10 on the Canadian chart, respectively (they were #14, #11, #13 and #12 in North America as a whole), while The Express, Appaloosa, The Duchess and Fireproof were #6, #8, #9 and #10 on the North American chart, respectively (the first three films were #13, #12 and #11 in Canada, and the latter film has not been released in Canada).

Newsbites: The comics and cartoons edition!

Just catching up on a week’s worth of buzz, here.

1. Did Glen Keane voluntarily step down as co-director of Disney’s Rapunzel, or did John Lasseter fire him? It depends on who you talk to. What is known is that Keane and his co-director have been replaced by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, the latter of whom was one of the two directors who took over the upcoming Disney film Bolt after the original director, Chris Sanders, ankled the project. — Cartoon Brew, Ain’t It Cool News, Jim Hill Media

2. Don Cheadle is replacing Terrence Howard as Jim Rhodes, AKA the future superhero War Machine, in the sequel to Iron Man. — Hollywood Reporter

3. A plot synopsis has been revealed for The First Avenger: Captain America — and yes, it takes place during World War II. What is more, some sharp-eyed observers have spotted Captain America’s quasi-cameo in one of the deleted scenes on the Incredible Hulk DVD — and yes, he is buried under the Arctic ice, just as it was rumoured he would be. — Film School Rejects, Film School Rejects

4. The writers of Iron Man agree with the director of The Incredible Hulk that the Hulk himself should be the villain of the upcoming Avengers movie. — MTV Splash Page

5. They rebooted the Hulk franchise after making just one movie, so hey, why not reboot the Daredevil (2003) franchise after just one movie, too? (Assuming we don’t count 2005’s Elektra as part of the franchise, that is.) Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman says his studio is “seriously” thinking about starting over again with Daredevil — and Oscar Isaac, who was so good as Joseph in The Nativity Story (2006), is one actor who says he would die to play that superhero. Ben Affleck, for those who have forgotten, played Daredevil in the earlier movie. — IESB.net, MTV Splash Page

6. The Green Lantern movie is “moving along at a pretty hefty clip,” says one of its writers, and rumours have begun to surface that the title role may have been offered to Ryan Gosling. — Newsarama, Latino Review

7. Certain comic-book writers are of the opinion that, if a Wonder Woman movie ever gets made, it should hark back to the comic book’s “kinky” roots. — MTV Splash Page

8. DC Comics president Paul Levitz says Superman Returns (2006) star Brandon Routh is still in the running for the next Superman movie! But first, DC and/or Warner Brothers are waiting to see what happens with the next Batman movie: “Everyone is waiting for Nolan to sign on for another Batman, once that happens, the release date for Superman and all other future projects will follow.” — Latino Review, MTV Splash Page

An American Carol — the review’s up!

My review of An American Carol is now up at CT Movies.