Newsbites: Knights! Terminator! Caspian! Mission!

Newsbites: Knights! Terminator! Caspian! Mission! May 6, 2008

Just a few quick items this time.

1. Variety and the Hollywood Reporter say Universal has picked up a spec script for a horror film called The Knights Templar:

Plot puts a horror spin on the famed organization of fighters from the Middle Ages, with the Knights Templar, fresh from the Crusades, forced to fend off an invading vampire army set on destroying the Holy Grail.

One of the producers attached to the project is Timur Bekmambetov, who directed the Russian genre pics Night Watch (2004) and Day Watch (2006), as well as the upcoming Wanted starring Angelina Jolie.

2. Variety reports that rapper Common, who was once slated to play the Green Lantern in the apparently defunct Justice League film, has signed on to play one of the freedom fighters, and a member of John Connor’s “inner circle”, in Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins.

3. CT Movies has a brand new interview with Andrew Adamson, the director of the first two Narnia films, which gets probably as much information about Adamson’s family and religious background as any interview with him is ever likely to get — but Adamson finds an interesting way to tie that subject to the themes of Prince Caspian, which comes out next week:

Before Lion/Witch, a USA Today story referred to you as the son of “associate missionaries” in Papua New Guinea. Can you tell me more about that?

It’s a difficult thing to get into. I’m sort of in the public eye, and I don’t think it’s fair to drag my family into it. So I don’t talk about it a lot. But yes, we did move to Papua New Guinea when I was 11. My father worked at the university there, and my parents were involved in the church there as well.

Living in Papua New Guinea is an important part of my story in another way. When I tried to understand the Narnia stories from a kid’s point of view, I realized that the Pevensie kids were going through something I’d gone through. I went to this country when I was 11, and Papua New Guinea has changed significantly since then. When I was there, I’d ride my cycle all around, a huge amount of freedom. Now there’s a lot of violence and corruption. Basically, the place that I grew up in doesn’t exist anymore, and for me, there’s a sense of loss. I realized that’s something the kids go through in returning to Narnia [in Prince Caspian]. They try to go back to a place they spent 15 years in, and now the place they knew is gone. And ultimately at the end of the story, for the older Pevensies, they have to let go.

It’s something we all go through in our passage from childhood to adulthood, when we realize we can’t go back to the innocence of our childhood. We can’t get back to the house being as big as we thought it was when we grew up. And at some point you have to say I accept that—and move on and become an adult. To me, that was the heart of this story from Peter and Susan’s point of view. And my own experience provided this sort of bittersweet, nostalgic framework for that.

4. Variety, Reuters and the Associated Press all report that Viacom chief Sumner Redstone has indicated that it would be okay with him if Tom Cruise came back to Paramount for another movie in the Mission: Impossible franchise (1996-2006), despite the fact that they parted on such bad terms just a couple years ago.

But wait a minute. Tom Cruise might indeed need a hit right now, but wasn’t his character on the verge of retiring and settling down with a brand-new wife in the last movie? Not that this franchise has ever cared much for things like continuity, but still, you can’t just dump story elements like that without a little more explanation than usual. Or, perhaps the fourth movie would tie into the third movie more than the first three movies ever tied into each other — but that, too, would be a little weird for this franchise.

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