Monday, December 5, 2011

Reel Facts & Opinions

FACT: Producer Neal Moritz has announced that he is moving ahead with plans to remake STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997). The new take is intended to stick more closely with Robert Heinlein’s novel, from which the campy sci-fi film was based on.

OPINION: Now before you lot get your asses into an uproar over the lack of originality in Hollywood these days (which wouldn’t be a bad idea), consider this; a remake of TROOPERS that would follow the novel (which was published in 1959) might be the best thing ever to happen to the franchise (which consists of one feature film, two direct-to-videos, and a TV series). The film was seriously hated by sci-fi fans when it was originally released, which traded in the books’ heavy-handed themes of philosophical aspects of suffrage and civic virtue for campy over-the-top action decorated with teenage angst and sex. The approach has worked before; when the Coen Brothers set out to remake TRUE GRIT a few years back, they intended not to remake the John Wayne rendition, but to stick closely to the original source material. The results were Oscar gold. So don’t cry blasphemy over a new TROOPERS just yet.

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FACT: After years upon years of starts and stops, the big-screen adaptation of ENDER’S GAME seems finally ready to get going for real. Asa Butterfield (from HUGO) is set to star as the main character, and Gavin Hood (of WOLVERINE fame) is to direct, with a targeted release date of Spring 2013. Harrison Ford is also rumored to be involved. The plot which follows a gifted young gamer who is recruited by the government to help battle an insect-like race.

OPINION: Having never read the book, this Blogger has no reason to be super-excited over the casting or the long-awaited green-light. It should be noted that the alien-insect thing has been done a LOT lately (STARSHIP TROOPERS, DISTRICT 9), and even though the ENDER’S GAME novel was released a long time before those films (1985), general film audiences are likely to shrug this one off as just another bug-hunt. It’s a shame all those delays had to happen.

FACT: The big-screen adaptation of 24 also seems to be finally getting rolling. Fox is looking to have a script ready by the end of this year, which would open up the possibility of cameras beginning to roll by next Spring or Summer.
OPINION: The writers will really need to have the creative juices flowing to separate this feature length films (which has to be at least called 80) from the countless plots/races against time Bauer has already faced. If not, then it will blend in with the horde of counter-terrorism films and be lost.

What say you?

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