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  1. #1
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    WB Producing Live-Action Akira
    Thursday, October 10, 2002 1:10 CDT

    Warner Bros. Pictures will produce a live-action, English-language remake of Japan's anime classic Akira. Variety says that Stephen Norrington, who has just wrapped The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, has reteamed with "League" screenwriter James Robinson to develop the project. Jon Peters will produce.

    Released in 1988, "Akira" was the brainchild of Katsuhiro Otomo, who directed the film and wrote the comic from which it stemmed.

    The remake will tell the story of a bike gang leader who must rescue his younger brother from his involvement in Akira, a secret government project. In the process, the biker must do battle with anti-government activists, greedy politicians and irresponsible scientists.

    Peters is currently busy ironing the red cape for Superman, which he is producing for Warners.

    [ October 13, 2002, 06:06 AM: Message edited by: FH ]

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    Video Helmer to Direct Reeves' Constantine
    Thursday, October 10, 2002 1:21 CDT

    The Hollywood Reporter says that video director Francis Lawrence is in negotiations to make his feature directorial debut on Constantine, an adaptation of the DC-Vertigo comic book "Hellblazer," starring Keanu Reeves in the title role.

    "Hellblazer" is described as Dirty Harry set in the occult world. Reeves will star as John Constantine, a man who dabbles in the occult and teams with a female police officer to fight evil forces.

    Kevin Brodbin wrote the original script, with a rewrite by Mark Bomback and Frank Cappello.

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    TV's Dallas Coming as a Feature Film
    Thursday, October 10, 2002 1:07 CDT

    According to Variety, Regency Enterprises will turn the primetime soap opera Dallas into a feature film. Original show creator Dave Jacobs is on board to produce along with former Sony Pictures Entertainment executive vice president Michael Costigan (Charlie's Angels). No writer is yet attached.

    "I like the idea of doing it for the 21st century, with a new cast," Jacobs told the trade. "We've got a new take on it. It's a much bigger canvas today and it belongs up on the big screen. Before people would have been interested in who is screwing each other. Now it's the national crimes that are affecting everyone. The conflict is still about family conflicts, but the stakes are higher now. That's the thing that excites me about it."

    "Dallas," which ran on CBS from 1978 to 1992 and was produced by Lorimar, was ranked either first or second for five straight years in the early 1980s. The famous "Who Shot J.R.?" episode garnered one of the highest ratings for a series in history of TV. Show, which is still running in syndication in many countries, has revenues of more than $1.3 billion.

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    Warner Bros. is Visiting The Farm
    Thursday, October 10, 2002 12:55 CDT

    Variety reports that Warner Bros. Pictures has bought a tentatively titled film from Cats & Dogs and Looney Tunes: Back in Action scribes John Requa and Glenn Ficarra.

    The live-action pic, which will feature significant animatronic elements, is a family comedy about a farmer who disappears and whose animals pull together to save the farm, managing to convince the townspeople he is still running the show -- down to bringing in the harvest.

    When the farmer's son returns from years away in the city to help run the farm, the animals end up having to teach him all they know about rural survival.

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    NEWS - Rod Stewart Says Keith Richards Should Have Covered Up For 'Rolling Stone'
    10/09/2002



    (10/9/02, 6 p.m. ET) -- Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards's recent appearance on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine has surprised fans and observers throughout the music industry. It's not because they feel Richards doesn't deserve the coveted spot--rather, it's his shirtless appearance that has taken people aback, a bold move for a man who turns 60 in December.

    Among those cackling at Richards's image is his good friend Rod Stewart, who tells LAUNCH that such a pose might be preferable for someone a bit younger. "There's got to come a time when you ought cover up a little bit, 'cause I think people don't understand! I've got so many people phoning me up--Elton John told me, 'You've gotta see Keith on the front of Rolling Stone!'"]

    But appearances aside, Stewart says he still has enormous respect for Richards and the Stones. "No one can come up with those riffs better, and no one has, as far as I'm concerned. He's the greatest. They're the greatest rock-and-roll band in the world. No one's ever gonna take that away from them. I mean, they might be looking a bit ancient now but, you know, it's what they do. They're the best at it, and good luck to 'em. No one can do it better."

    Stewart is preparing for the October 22 release of his standards album, It Had To Be You...: The Great American Songbook.

    The Stones, meanwhile, end a week-long break from their Licks tour on Saturday (October 12) at Ford Field in Detroit.

    -- Gary Graff, Detroit




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    ZAKK WYLDE Builds New Custom Guitar - Oct. 9, 2002

    The following item comes to us courtesy of Gibson.com:

    When OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist Zakk Wylde and his BLACK LABEL SOCIETY bandmates stopped by the Gibson headquarters back in July, they brought with them several of Zakk's trademark guitars (including the original "bottlecap" Les Paul) for repair.

    Zakk also came in with an idea for a new guitar, one which would be a variation on his Signature Bullseye Les Paul Custom.

    The new Les Paul, affectionately (and unofficially) known as the Buzzsaw, sprang from a pattern Zakk had seen on his manager's Zippo lighter. Zakk's idea was to have the black, circular pattern overlaid on an orange Les Paul Custom. Why orange? Zakk is a fan of The Dukes of Hazzard and wanted a guitar in the same color as the legendary General Lee, the 1969 Dodge Charger that the Duke boys drove on the show.

    With some research into the exact shade of orange, a little tweaking of the shape and locus of the buzzsaw pattern, and judicious use of paint masks, Zakk's new guitar was born to rave reviews, including one from the man himself, who (in his usual understated fashion) declared it "f***ing killer" on his return visit to the Custom Shop last week.

    Other than the top color and design (and an orange stinger on the back of the headstock instead of the usual white), the new Les Paul is identical to Zakk's existing Signature model, with red-hot EMG pickups, an unfinished neck, and Zakk's silhouette on the rear of the headstock. If you're lucky enough to be going to the [sold out] October 25th OZZY OSBOURNE show at Rain in the Desert at The Palms in Las Vegas, be on the lookout for Zakk's new, one-of-a-kind Halloween treat!

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    According to a report on Creature-Corner, veteran comic Don Knotts - star of films like "The Love Bug" - has joined the cast of new Eddie Murphy starrer "Haunted Mansion". According to the site, he's signed on to play the groundskeeper at the mansion. In addition, the site says Rick Baker is on board to design some of the numerous ghosts seen in the movie as well as "Madame Leota's crystal ball FX."

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    Billy Corgan announced that his new band Zwan's debut album is nearing completion.
    "The Zwan album is just about done and we are all very excited and proud that we were able to come together to make this possible," Corgan said in a Web post. "We've been having a lot of fun, working like wizards under red lights here in the studio . . . Everyone has worked very hard so we could make the first Zwan record a reality by the end of this year, and it looks like we will probably be playing some shows after Thanksgiving."

    Zwan's current line-up is Corgan on vocals and guitar, former Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin resuming his old post; Matthew Sweeney, formerly of New York indie band Chavez, on guitar; David Pajo, formerly of Slint and Tortoise, on guitar and Paz Lenchantin, formerly of A Perfect Circle, on bass.

    In other Corgan news, the singer commented on the November 19th Smashing Pumpkins DVD release of Vieuphoria, a re-release of the 1994 home video of the same name. "Everyone agreed that it was the most exciting and dramatic footage of the Pumpkins that we had ever seen from around the Vieuphoria time period of 88-94," he wrote. "The tapes are from 1994, and prior to finding them we didn't even know these tapes existed. They are a little raw, but really do capture the spirit and aggression of the band back in the good old days."

    CHRISTINA SARACENO

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    House of 1000 Corpses: The official site indicates the date has changed yet again to March 2003.

  10. #10
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    Phone Booth Sniper Concerns
    Friday, October 11, 2002 12:50 CDT

    Well, this would be a shame - though understandable. We caught a screening of director Joel Schumacher's Phone Booth Thursday and it's an intense, on the edge of your seat thriller - with Colin Farrell possibly looking at some awards for his brilliant performance.

    But according to Variety, 20th Century Fox may be moving the film's release date back from it's currently scheduled Nov. 15 bow. Once again, a real event - the fatal sniper shootings in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia - is possibly too close to the movie's plot.

    Phone Booth concerns a randomly selected man (Colin Farrell) pinned down in a phone booth under the crosshairs of a deranged sniper (Kiefer Sutherland).

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    Resident Evil Sequel Moving Ahead
    Thursday, October 10, 2002 11:35 CDT

    Paul W.S. Anderson is penning and will produce the second installment of Resident Evil, says Variety. The film grossed $40 million in North America through Screen Gems and passed the $100 million mark at the international box office. The sequel's production will start in the first half of 2003. The original pic was written, directed and produced by Anderson. It's not decided if he'll direct the sequel.

    Scooper 'Angara' also sent us this bit with possible news on the second film's plot.

    Resident Evil: Nemesis. AKA Resident Evil 2. Complete with Milla Jovovich as Alice, an unknown Jill Valentine, and Eric Mabius as Nemesis/Matt Addison - - After escaping from the Racoon City Medical Facility,(as seen at the end of the last film) Alice searches for answers to the T-Virus and how to contain it, all while trying to find a way to escape the ruined city with fellow survivors. On the other side of town a woman named Jill Valentine tries to escape from the city while battling zombies and Matt Adison, now transformed into a monster called "The Nemesis" who is bent on destroying all who live.

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    Scorsese's Gangs Won't Play Catch
    Thursday, October 10, 2002 11:24 CDT

    According to Variety, Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York is on the move again just days after lining up an international release schedule.

    "Gangs" had been scheduled to bow on Wednesday, Dec. 25. Now, Miramax says it will release the pic on an earlier Friday -- Dec. 6, Dec. 13 or Dec. 20 -- but a firm date has yet to be reached.

    Earlier in the week, Initial Entertainment Group, which pre-sold and controls "Gangs" overseas, confirmed that the Martin Scorsese-helmed pic will open in Japan on Dec. 21.

    Though normally rivals come Oscar time, Miramax and DreamWorks appear to be working in tandem to try to coordinate two big films that both star Leonardo DiCaprio. DreamWorks' Catch Me If You Can is opening on Dec. 25.

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    Sam Neill Talks Jurassic Park 4
    Thursday, October 10, 2002 6:23 CDT

    Scooper 'TrikeAttack' sent us this interview with Jurassic Park series star Sam Neill in which he reveals that a 4th installment is definitely in the works...

    The "New Zealand Listener" featured a talk with fellow New Zealander Sam Neill, who once again hints that JP4 is in development, and that he just might play a part, according to Spielberg:

    Q: The role you're most internationally recognized for is probably Alan Grant from Jurassic Park. Any truth to the reports there will be yet another sequel? Are you involved?

    SN: Oh, well I could...Actually, I'm...(laughs). I'm not sure what I'm allowed to say in regard to this. Yes, another Jurassic Park is in the developmental stages at the moment. I think I can say that without being arrested, or eaten by one of those scary dinosaurs (laughs). As for my involvement, it's a possibility. I certainly had a ripper of a time doing the previous two, so I have no objection in that respect. Steven (Spielberg) has spoken with me briefly about the new story they are working on, which is remarkably inventive and intriguing, by the way.

    Q: Any plot teasers you would care to share with New Zealand first?

    SN: (laughs heartily) You really DO want to get me arrested, don't you? No, I'm very sorry, no juicy secrets from me. Steven has indicated I may have some part in the film, but I'll leave it at that. From what I know, it's pretty early goings. As always, I'll wait for the finished script, and just see how my schedule shapes up.

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    According to Dark Horizons, Director Paul Scrader is set to direct a sequel to his 1980 film "American Gigolo", only with Kevin Kline in the role this time, replacing Richard Gere. Based in Washington D.C. - the story would revolve around this character as he's now in his 50s and a confirmed homosexual - he is at the employ of the rich and powerful in a "social" capacity (not sexual) in the political capital.

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    Yippie-Kay-Ya! Die Hard 4 is on the Way
    Friday, October 11, 2002 7:46 CDT

    Bruce Willis and Arnold Rifkin's Cheyenne Enterprises are near a deal with 20th Century Fox to bring yet another installment of the Die Hard franchise to the big screen, reports Variety.

    The deal for Die Hard 4, details of which are being finalized, comes as the result of a title swap. Willis' latest project at Revolution Studios, directed by Antoine Fuqua, has gone through several monikers, including Tears of the Sun, but the studio and the producers wanted to call it "Man of War." That title, however, happened to be a Fox property.

    Fox agreed to hand over the "War" title if Cheyenne would commit to a fourth installment of the popular and lucrative "Die Hard" franchise. There is no writer on board for the next actioner.

 

 

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