Saturday, 16 February 2008

News for Nerds: Entertainment Edition

A Shadowy New Flight

The long-awaited sequel (well, I've been waiting a long time) to legendary 1980s TV show Knight Rider will air on NBC tomorrow. KITT the talking Trans Am has been mysteriously morphed into a Mustang, and apparently KITT now stands for Knight Industries Three Thousand.

Because, of course . . . Two Thousand is so very 1982.

In a controversial move at the eleventh hour and after all recording was complete, actor Will Arnett was replaced as the voice of KITT for the new show. It turns out that General Motors, for whom Arnett has done some ads and to whom he's still under contract, decided they didn't like the idea of their guy's voice coming out of a Ford.

A case of branding gone mad, maybe, but his replacement? Val Kilmer. Serious. Geekgasm.

Between this, the forthcoming remake of The A-Team in 2010 and the just-announced remake of The Greatest American Hero, it looks like it's gonna be all Eighties all the time for a while.

The Dark Knight may not be Heath's swansong

Heath Ledger may yet appear in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, the film he was making with director Terry Gilliam when he died.

This could prove a headache for the marketers of the new Batman movie The Dark Knight, who would dearly love to credit Knight as Ledger's last film performance.

Gilliam was barely halfway through filming when Ledger died, but there might just be a way to save his performance and still complete the film. Rumour has it that Doctor Parnassus is a jumping-between-worlds extravaganza, and apparently there's no reason that Heath's character need look the same on either side of the "gate".

So rather than resort to some Oliver Reed-style CGI face-pasting, Heath might be just one of a few big names playing the lead role. Some of the other names being bandied about include Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell. Stay tuned for more on this one.

And spare a thought for poor Terry Gilliam. He just can't catch a break when making movies. Having said that, the inevitable extended DVD doco about the making of Doctor Parnassus should be a corker.

Peter Gabriel and Wall-E

The hotly anticipated new film from Pixar is science-fiction epic Wall-E, concerning the adventures of a trash-collecting robot left alone on an abandoned Earth.

With a look somewhere between Johnny Five and the walking binoculars from Toy Story, Wall-E looks set to melt the flintiest of hearts when released in June. Check out the trailer here and you just try not to mist up.

But the news that really looks set to the put this one over the top, artistically at least, is the announcement that Peter Gabriel is involved in the music soundtrack. The extent of his involvement isn't quite clear, but whatever he does will be worth hearing. His scores for the films Last Temptation of Christ and Rabbit Proof Fence are modern classics.

You can hear the man himself talking about his involvement here. (As well as hearing all about his recent broken leg, funky new technology, 2001: A Space Odyssey and human rights).

The man in the hat is (almost) back

The trailer for the new Indiana Jones film was released last week and can be seen on the official site.

Look out for Cate Blanchett in an unconvincing wig and Shia Labeouf in an unconvincing goatee.

Other than that, it looks about as realistic as the other three movies.

And finally . . .

Jericho, one of the best new shows of 2006 has returned to CBS for its (belated and truncated) second season.

When the first season ended on the mother of all cliff-hangers and was then promptly cancelled, the fans mobilised and sent pallet-loads of nuts (an obscure reference to a line in the show) to the studio in protest.

The studio heads folded under the pressure and a final seven episodes to wrap up the story got the green light.

This success has prompted similar campaigns in support of The Dresden Files (drumsticks), Journeyman (Rice-a-Riso) and for the WGA members on strike, pencils.

Goddamn nerds.


Spoon said...

My first impression of Wall-E, from the opening "pixar" bit was that he looks and sounds like E.T.

But yes Johnny Five is definitely there as well.

I didn't "mist up" but I did laugh and it looks spectacular. (Pixar need to make me cry again, maybe they can do it with this guy).

Matt said...

The Johnny Five thing is more in the personality.
Wall-E looks like he's got some moxie.
E.T. had no moxie.