The Morning Read: Raimi makes it official and ‘Oz’ is next

10.06.10 7 years ago 6 Comments

Ealing Studios

Welcome to The Morning Read.

It’s raining in Los Angeles, I’ve already interviewed Jason Schwartzman today, and I’ve got “Grindhouse” on the Blu-ray player.  Sounds like it’s time to see what’s going on out there today.

You guys haven’t had a chance to see “Rabbit Hole” yet, and I still haven’t gotten around to reviewing it, so we haven’t really begun singing the hosannahs for David Lindsay-Abaire here on the site yet.  We will.  And it looks like Sam Raimi’s also in Lindsay-Abaire’s fan club.  He had the writer working on “Spider-Man 4” for him before he dropped out of it, and now he’s got him hard at work on “The Great And Powerful Oz,” which Raimi is now officially set to direct for Disney in the spring.  Raimi appears to be the winner of the great “Oz” scramble of 2010, in which everyone in town simultaneously realized that Frank L. Baum’s books are public domain, and if he really does secure Robert Downey Jr. as the Wizard, something that’s not set in stone yet, then Disney might as well go ahead and break out the champagne, ’cause they can’t lose.

Oh, my.

When I was in Austin for Fantastic Fest, I stayed with my friends Aaron and Kaela, and he’s an avowed “Halo” addict who was firmly in the grips of “Halo: Reach” the entire time I was there.  That series has a hold on its fanbase that is truly impressive, so I’m not shocked to read that Hollywood is still sniffing around the game, trying to figure it out how to turn it into a film franchise of the same size.  I would, however, be shocked if all this talk of Spielberg adapting the spin-off novels actually amounted to anything more than a big fat game of “What if?”.

Guillermo Del Toro is living the dream these days, and I love how frank and revealing he is in interviews.  There’s a piece over on io9 right now that features some great Guillermo quotes, including my new favorite quote of the month:  “Adapting material is like marrying a widow. You have to be very respectful of the late husband’s memory, but at some point you’ve gotta f**k.”

Twitter was a-flame yesterday with people arguing about the reason behind AMC dropping “Hatchet II” from theaters after all the advance publicity about how proud they were to support the unrated release of a horror film.  There was a lot of speculation about AMC’s motivation, very little of which was backed up by any actual information.  What’s most important about the incident is that it points out just how little progress we’ve made in the last 20 years in regards to unrated or adult-rated material.  Movieline did a piece to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the NC-17, the MPAA’s failed attempt to create a way to release serious, non-pornographic films that aren’t appropriate for younger viewers.  It doesn’t matter if you like or dislike “Hatchet II”.  What matters is that we are treated like children as a culture, consistently allowing one group of people to decide what is or isn’t appropriate for us to watch.  It’s pathetic.  There was a time when I was consistently angry about it and vocal about that anger, but at this point, I don’t believe the studios will ever allow for any alternative for the MPAA to work.  It just doesn’t make financial sense for them.  I admire Adam Green and Dark Sky for trying, but I’m numb about the oh-so-predictable outcome.

Verrrrrrrrry interesting.  And very, very George Miller.

So let me see if I’ve got this straight… Paul King, the director of “The Mighty Boosh,” has a new six-episode sitcom he’s directed with David Walliams and Matt Lucas of “Little Britain” fame playing something like 30 roles?  Can someone just send this to me right this minute?  Please?

Mark Ruffalo says one little thing and the Internet goes crazy.

The scary thing is, they’ll sell out of these in the blink of an eye.  If they doubled the price, they’d still sell out.  The fandom of Burton/Elfman is almost impossible to overestimate.  Gotta say, that’s some impressive packaging.

The idea that John Landis has a new film finished is very exciting in theory… so how about in practice?  Now that there’s a trailer for “Burke & Hare,” it’s time to see how Landis is looking these days:

Okay… I’m in.  I like that Hammer is trying a comeback with their logo on the front of “Let Me In,” and now Ealing is also getting its name back out there, in what looks like an absolutely appropriate fit.  And Simon Pegg in a film with Jessica Hynes?  Sold.

I really liked Michael Winterbottom’s new film “The Trip,” and will definitely review it soon, but the one thing I’ll say about it first is that it played into my desire as a fan to see something new from Alan Partridge, the character that Coogan and Winterbottom helped make famous.  Particularly all the conversations about ABBA and how seriously Coogan takes them.  Hearing there’s some actual new Partridge on the way is very good news indeed, and I love that Coogan still feels like there’s more to say with the character.

Zombie Spaceship Wasteland is coming.  Resistance is futile.

And finally today, because it’s just pure sweet nerd bliss:


Plenty more for you tonight and this week, so keep reading.

The Morning Read appears here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Except when it doesn’t.

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