Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Perils of Time Travel (Film News - 12/03/11)

It's been a very slow news week for film projects. So much so that I'm resorting to using the Tabloids as a source of information - although does that count if I don't believe the story? Hopefully next week will prove a little more exciting, otherwise I'm going to have to start making stuff up.

The Runner

Time travel is a silly thing to do, as we all know from watching the movies. Whatever your intention you always end up messing things up by kissing your mum, treading on butterflies or wearing a tea towel on your head. It's even more likely to go wrong if you've been sent by "the authorities" to prevent the oncoming apocalypse and end up falling for some girl you bump into. However Disney seem to think it won't go all Twelve Monkeys in the new multimedia platform franchise they've lined up from Dave Andron's pitch.

I'm not completely sure how they can spin quite a closed story into such a large tapestry, unless it's a fairly upbeat ending, or how they're pitching the tone (Andron has worked on "Knight Rider" and "Justified" so this could go any way), but the idea seems interesting it could be one to watch out for.

By the way this sculpture by Kostas Varotsos has nothing to do with the film, but it's also called The Runner and I liked the time travel feel to it so I'm sticking it in here with or without relevance.

Read on for C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhauser gate, a trip to Rome and some unsurprising casting news.

Blade Runner Prequel

Alcon Entertainment, the company behind Insomnia, 16 Blocks and The Blind Side (How's that for a night of counter-programming?) have bought the rights to all prequels and sequels of the classic mind-bending sci-fi actioner Blade Runner which pitted Harrison Ford against a cohort of replicants, of whom he may or may not have been a member. Featured some of Ridley Scott's most memorable work it's frankly a surprise the Hollywood vultures hadn't already jumped onto this particular rotting corpse. Whilst I have said repeatedly that I have no objection to the concept of remakes or sequels I do admit I'm slightly queasy about this possibility. One of the charms of the 1982 original is the unanswered questions that successive directors cuts have only left even muddier, all of which boil down to Is Deckard a replicant, and does he know?; any return to Philip K. Dick's world will only attempt to answer that, something which I doubt any of us really want.

Woody Allen's Rome picture

The Woody Allen grand tour continues. We've had Barcelona, this year we're going to Paris, and London's been done to death. Next stop Italy, just in time for the 150th Centenary of it's unification (see banner below). Not that it'll probably matter - location is so much background to Mr Allen - I suspect the real reason is down to generous tax credits or a sympathy for the beleaguered Silvio Berlesconi (after all they have some interests in common). Naturally we know nothing about the story or cast yet, but as soon as the details come in I'll be straight on it.

Casting News

Even the casting news this week was fairly uninspired. The only thing we learnt of note was Joe Wright is seriously considering Keira Knightley for the title role in Anna Kerenina. What the same Joe Wright who directed Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, both of whom starred Ms Knightley? Why yes, the very same. The Sun also proudly announced Anthony Hopkins will be joining Bond 23 as a villain, sounds possible but with that source I wouldn't hold my breath.

Charles Jarrott

We did learn of the passing of Charles Jarrott (83), the British film director behind the classic Tudor big screen adaptations Anne of a Thousand Days and Mary, Queen of Scots in 1969 and '71 respectively. Never more than a competent director - his projects before and after this mini-run were spectacularly bad - he nevertheless deserves all the praise he got for these delightful period romps. Here's a section of the former, with Richard Burton on fine form, for you to enjoy:

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