Newsbites: The sci-fi and fantasy edition!

Newsbites: The sci-fi and fantasy edition! January 14, 2009

1. Transformers director Michael Bay and Terminator director McG are getting into a bit of a contest over whose giant-robots movie will be better, more original, etc. — SlashFilm

2. Speaking of Terminator: Salvation, director McG has begun showing about 15 minutes of footage from that film to select media. And, among other things, he has revealed that the development of the T-800 — the human-like robot that Arnold Schwarzenegger played in the first three movies — will now happen earlier on the timeline than John Connor expected. (You might recall that Kyle Reese said these Terminators were “new” when he came back in time from the end of the war in the first movie.) Also, while there is no time travel in Terminator: Salvation, it will be the “central focus” of the next film. — MTV Movies Blog,, National Post (x2)

3. Speaking of McG, he wants Will Smith to star in his 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea prequel. Meanwhile, Drew McWeeny reminds us that there was another adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea being developed at New Line Cinema before that studio got absorbed by Warner last year; it would have been directed by David Fincher. — Latino Review, Drew McWeeny

4. John Carter of Mars is now in the pre-production phase. Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton says he’s working on the next draft of the script, he has started talking to actors, and the film itself will be a “hybrid” of live-action and computer-generated effects. He also notes that it will be a Disney film, not a Pixar film, because it won’t be for “all ages”. — MTV Movies Blog, Sci Fi Wire

5. The DVD for Twilight will include a commentary by director Catherine Hardwicke and her two lead actors. I wonder if it was recorded before, or after, she was “let go” from the franchise? And, if the latter, whether the commentary will make any reference to that? Meanwhile, people are already beginning to get excited about the third installment in the series, Eclipse. — Christian Toto, Anne Thompson

6. Paramount is developing an adaptation of Daemon, the Daniel Suarez novel about “an iconic game designer who, before he died, set up a program to fight mankind”. — Hollywood Reporter, Chris Thilk

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