Newsbites: Ben-Hur! Obama! Dollhouse! Graysons! Wanted! Santa!

Newsbites: Ben-Hur! Obama! Dollhouse! Graysons! Wanted! Santa! November 7, 2008

Just some random bits and bites, this time.

1. Long before it became three precedent-setting movies — released in 1907, 1925 and 1959 — not to mention an upcoming three-hour mini-series, General Lew Wallace’s novel Ben-Hur was dramatized for the stage. It premiered on Broadway in 1899 — with live horses for the chariot race, among other spectacular sights — and it toured the world before closing in 1921. Now the story is being adapted for the stage again, in a production that will feature “a cast of more than 400 people and 100 animals” — as well as “considerable nudity” during an orgy sequence. The show will premiere at The O2, the venue formerly known as the Millennium Dome, in London next September. — London Times, BBC, WENN

2. President-elect Barack Obama may be a Trekkie. He is certainly the first president young enough to have grown up watching re-runs of the original series on TV. —

3. Fox, having left one Joss Whedon series to die on Friday nights, i.e. Firefly, is now poised to do the same to another Joss Whedon series, i.e. Dollhouse. Fox is also moving Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles — which features Firefly alumnus Summer Glau as a butt-kicking she-robot — to Friday nights as a lead-in to Dollhouse. — Hollywood Reporter

4. Remember The Graysons, that TV series about the young Dick Grayson and the life that he led before his parents were killed and he became Batman‘s sidekick as Robin the Boy Wonder? Ain’t gonna happen, now that Warner has pulled the plug. — Variety

5. Angelina Jolie has revealed that one of the more interesting plot twists in the film version of Wanted was her idea. — MTV Splash Page

6. One day after it was revealed that John Boorman would direct a computer-animated adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, it was announced that a few other studios will produce a computer-animated adaptation of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, which was also written by Baum. The story “follows Santa’s formative years, including a battle against the heart of evil that establishes the Santa mythology.” — Variety

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