We all knew there was going to be an Avengers 2, right? Well, now we know that it's probably going to be very good.
Joss Whedon to Avenge Again
Not everyone who makes superhero movies is in it for a quick buck. The massive success of The Avengers and Dark Knight Rises shows there's a gigantic audience for ambitious, high quality summer entertainment. Marvel was smart enough to sign Buffy creator Joss Whedon to an exclusive multi-year deal, meaning he'll write and direct an Avengers sequel and create some sort of Marvel TV series. Whedon has been taking genre stories in surprising new directions for a long time now and he hasn't disappointed me yet.
Will Starbuck Keep Us Up?
Last week I told you about Vince Vaughn's new Brady Bunch project. This week, there's word about the Vaughn-starring Starbuck, about a sperm donor who discovers that his seed was used to impregnate hundreds of women and a lot of his now adult children want to meet him. Ken Scott, who co-wrote and directed the French-Canadian film on which it's based, will write and direct this remake for producer Andre Rouleau. Scott recently dropped out as director of the English-language remake of another of his films, The Grand Seduction. Starbuck sounds annoyingly whimsical. Hopefully it's more than just another excuse for Vaughn to drag out his hyperactive aging fratboy routine.
Satrapi Changes Gears
Graphic novelist/writer-director Marjane Satrapi is known for her vibrant semi-autobiographical stories of life in Iran (Persepolis and Chicken with Plums, which opens later this month). According to Deadline, her next project will be a bizarre horror film, The Voices, about a factory worker with an evil talking cat and benevolent talking dog. The script by Michael R. Perry (Paranormal Activity) made the Black List of the best unproduced scripts. The film will be produced by Mandalay Vision and Vertigo Entertainment. Satrapi showed some range with the live-action Chicken, and this one just sounds fascinating.
Ryan Reynolds Goes Atom-ic
Reynolds has had an up-and-down career, but his talent's never been in doubt. According to Deadline, he'll team with Canadian maverick Atom Egoyan for Queen of the Night, starring as a father who comes to believe that his daughter, kidnapped eight years earlier, is still alive. The film was co-written by Egoyan and David Fraser, and is a co-production of Ego Film Arts and The Film Farm. Egoyan's own profile is sure to be raised by the upcoming Devil's Knot about the wrongful convictions of the West Memphis Three. He's a consistently interesting filmmaker so this is a promising project for Reynolds.
In TV, the most intriguing news (via The Hollywood Reporter) is that HBO is producing a docu-drama about the relationship between author Norman Mailer and Jack Abbott, the prisoner/writer who helped Mailer write The Executioner's Song. Mailer helped Abbott get his book published and helped him get paroled, at which point Abbott murdered someone. It's an incredible story, even if the screenwriter of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Stephen Schiff, is writing it.
SyFy Brings the Big Guns
Bryan Fuller has Hannibal ready to go for NBC, but he's not too busy to executive produce another show, High Moon, for SyFy. The cable network has ordered a 90-minute pilot for the show, which was created by Fuller's Pushing Daisies partner, Jim Danger Gray, based on The Lotus Caves by John Christopher. It's about a future moon colonization/mining operation that's jeopardized when a new life form is discovered there.
SyFy has also ordered a pilot for Proof, about the son of a wealthy tech genius who, after his father dies, offers a massive reward for proof of life after death. Proof will mark the first foray into series television for M. Night Shyamalan, who was once a pretty big deal. He's expected to direct the pilot which he'll co-write with Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mad Men). These both have potential and it's nice to see SyFy working on original productions that don't involve giant mutant lizards and such.
Are you looking forward to any of these? Which one sounds the most intriguing? Please let me know in the comments below.