Friday, December 26, 2014

"The Walking Dead" Prequel Gets Leads

Cliff Curtis (Live Free or Die Hard, Gang Related) now has his leading lady for the prequel to AMC’s highly praised and rating’s buster “The Walking Dead.” Actress Kim Dickens, best known for her roles in “Deadwood,” “Sons of Anarchy (SOA)” and the much touted Ben Affleck film “Gone Girl” will star opposite Curtis as both a work companion and future love interest.

This, as yet untitled prequel, takes place shortly before the outbreak that caused normal people to turn into flesh-eating zombies and explores the origins of whatever it was, who is behind, and why the zombie apocalypse was allowed to spread unhindered.

Co-writer Dave Erickson sought out Dickens for the role after working with her on SOA. Dickens’ character is married with two children and works with Curtis’ character at a local school. They become entangled after the strange disappearance of her husband. She is left with one child battling drug addiction (Frank Dillane) and another (Alycia Debnam Carey) on the fast-track to great collegian accomplishments. The Curtis character, named Sean Cabrera, also has a son from his first marriage (yet to be cast). The entanglements of all these interrelationships become the backdrop behind the search for understanding the zombie outbreak.

The prequel is currently in its early stages of development with several other peripheral but important roles yet to be cast. However, with the choice of the two leads of Curtis and Dickens head writers and show-runners Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson are now free to set the pilot in full forward gear. Indie film and TV director Adam Davidson (Hell On Wheels) has been given the nod to helm the first episode.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

“Star Trek 3″ Opens July 2016

Amidst the recent controversy surrounding the next big screen Star Trek film Paramount Pictures has announced the release date for “Star Trek 3.”

Many are excited about this third entry in the alternate Trek timeline because the crew of the Enterprise will finally be able to begin its big five year mission into deep space exploration for new adventures and first contact with new civilizations.

This third film will also mark a very important milestone in the life of the famous Trek franchise as it marks its 50th Anniversary since first warping into living rooms in 1966.

Fans were also thrilled that the direction for the franchise was being placed into the hands of someone other than J.J. Abrams and into those of Roberto Orci. Orci, among all those closely associated with Abrams is the most knowledgable and familiar with the original vision of Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and it was thought that he may be the one man who could return Star Trek back to more cerebral plots and move it away from the Star War elements introduced by Abrams in the first two films with the new actors portraying those iconic characters of Kirk and company. At least it was hoped that Orci would get rid of those torturous lens flares his boss was so fond of.

Alas, soon after the announcement from Paramount that Orci would sit in the director’s chair he was removed citing creative differences. On Tuesday the studio announced they had found Orci’s replacement with director Justin Lin. Orci will stay on as producer along with Abrams.

Justin Lin is most remembered for his directing of the last four “Fast and Furious” films, so this may be Paramount’s way of saying they liked the direction Abrams has taken the franchise and want to continue in that vane, that is, less cerebral and more Star Warsey action and bang bang.

A financial argument can certainly be made for keeping the direction that Abrams began since the first two films have been the highest grossing Trek movie projects in its entire five decade history on the small and big screen. “Star Trek” and its sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness” have grossed close to a billion dollars (USD) worldwide which is likely, at least for the time being, to put an end to the more intellectually driven Star Trek that nearly three generations of fans have come to love about the show.

“Star Trek 3” directed by Justin Lin will hit theaters on July 8, 2016.