The Hollywood Reporter reports that J.J. Abrams has finally signed on to direct Star Trek XI — he was always going to produce it, but until tonight he had not committed to direct it.The paper adds that the film will revolve “around a young James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, chronicling their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and their first space mission.”I don’t know if I buy this. The Memory Alpha entries for Kirk and Spock seem to confirm that… Read more

My interview with Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, was cited again yesterday — this time in an excellent article by Emily Bazelon at on how both the book and the film treat mortality, denial, anger, and related themes.And while I like the film overall, I do agree that it “nearly wrecks” the final scene “by bursting into Disney fantasy” — a point that I considered making myself, in my review, but you never know just how closely… Read more

Now that Warner Brothers has tossed out the Joss Whedon version of Wonder Woman and the David Goyer version of The Flash, both of which had been in development for about two years, Variety reports that Warner has commissioned a screenplay for The Justice League of America. No doubt the studio is impressed by the success that Fox and Marvel have been having with the X-Men (2000-2006) and Fantastic Four (2005-2007) ensembles.It remains to be seen what, if any, connection… Read more

RC at Strange Culture says the Oscar nominations should not be based on which films did best at the box office. I agree.But that reminds me, I should probably update a post that I made here last year, which marked the first time since 1985 that not one of the Best Picture nominees grossed over $100 million either before or after their nominations, and possibly the first time ever that the winner was not one of the top 25 films… Read more

I will be appearing on the CBC Radio show BC Almanac this Friday — around 1:30pm PST — to talk about the Oscars.Fortunately, I have managed to see just about all the nominated feature films; the two remaining exceptions are:Curse of the Golden Flower (nominated for costume design; it has already left Vancouver)After the Wedding (nominated for foreign language film; it has not come to Vancouver yet)I have also seen three of the five nominated animated shorts, but I have… Read more

The New York Times ran a story yesterday on the misleading ad campaign for Disney and Walden Media’s new version of Bridge to Terabithia — and along the way, they cite my interview with Katherine Paterson, though without quoting the exact words:The reviews are in for “Bridge to Terabithia,” a new children’s film from Walt Disney and Walden Media: loved the movie, hated the trailer. . . .Advertising campaigns for movies present a carefully edited, and often misleading, glimpse of… Read more

We all know about the Chronicles of Narnia movie series, which began with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005).And we all heard about that adaptation of The Screwtape Letters that Ralph Winter and Walden Media are developing now.Now Mark Moring at CT Movies interviews Ken Wales — producer of Amazing Grace, Christy (1994), The Prodigal (1983), etc. — and discovers that he would like to adapt a C.S. Lewis book, too:What other films do you want to make?Wales:… Read more

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.Ma Fille, Mon Ange — CDN $513,061 — N.AM $513,061 — 100%Pan’s Labyrinth — CDN $4,124,585 — N.AM $30,035,000 — 13.7%Hannibal Rising — CDN $1,800,362 — N.AM $22,097,000 — 8.1%Because I Said So — CDN $2,539,454 — N.AM $33,382,000 — 7.6%Music and Lyrics — CDN $1,442,634 — N.AM $19,269,000 — 7.5%Bridge… Read more

The abolitionist biopic Amazing Grace opens in the United States on Friday, and in the United Kingdom a month later, but I have no idea yet when it will come to Canada. In the meantime, it is intriguing to read today’s New York Times feature on the film:Still, the makers of “Amazing Grace” say their movie raises broader issues.For Steven Knight, the film’s British screenwriter, public opinion was for the first time mobilized to press for social reform with the… Read more

From the New York Times’s current profile of New Line Cinema chief Robert Shaye and his studio’s “identity crisis”: One thing that has not been blunted by illness is Mr. Shaye’s temper, which flared last year when he was asked about a lawsuit filed by Mr. Jackson over profits from “The Lord of the Rings.” . . .Asked about the remarks last week, Mr. Shaye said that he made the statement “in a moment of emotion” but did not regret… Read more

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