January 2008

Shinya Tsukamoto makes Bullet Man

The next film from gloriously bonkers Japanese surrealist Shinya Tsukamoto will be a new wave suspense movie entitled Bullet Man, according to Jason Gray (via).

They are currently looking for actors - especially a caucasian or a half caucasian male actor in his 20’s to 30’s - for the film, which is due to start shooting in June.

The Resurrection of Doctor Parnassus

Following on from yesterdays news about Terry Gilliam’s Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus shutting down, it appears that there may be a way forward that would preserve both the film and Heath Ledgers role within it. According to Dark Horizons (via):

There is a point in the film when Heath falls through a magic mirror. He could change into another character after that and that is where Johnny would come in. Its a weird, fantasy, time-travel movie so Heaths character could easily change appearance. It would be a poignant moment. Johnny [Depp]’s not working at the moment so everyone is praying he will do it.

Its an elegant sounding solution and one that may just work. It also means that Terry Gilliam would finally have a chance to work with Johnny Depp after the collapse of Man Who Killed Don Quixote.

Guillermo del Toro to direct The Hobbit?

There are a quite a few rumours flying around at the moment over who will be directing the adaptation plus sequel of The Hobbit. Back in December, the man of the moment was Sam Raimi. Now, according to The Guardian, Guillermo del Toro is in talks to direct the films.

Since this is all grist to the rumour mill, its probably wise to not believe anything until a contract is signed. But it does sound like the films producers are looking in all the right places.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus shuts down

It shouldnt be much of a surprise - and is obviously much less significant than the cause - but production on Terry Gilliams The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus has been shut down (via) following the death of Heath Ledger, who was starring in the film.

Apparently, the London-set location shooting had been completed and everything was about to head over to Vancouver for the special-effects work. The Canadian crew has now been laid off and no-one is saying whether or not they will be recalled.

This leaves the producers in a bit of a bind. It sounds like they were pretty much exactly half way through the work for which they needed Ledger so they are going to have to either start the whole thing all over again, or cancel the film. Neither is a good option.

My Little Reality Show

A few years ago, while sitting in a pub and talking about reality television and how low it could go, I came up with Psycho Survivor. The set-up would be the same as Survivor - several people trapped on an island - but with one important difference. One of the contestants would be a violent psychopath with access to a cache of weapons. The contestants would then have to identify and evict the psycopath before it was too late

Of course, such a show would be beyond exploitative and you would have to be slightly drunk to even consider mentioning it. However, having just seen the extended preview (via) of The Moment of Truth, I am now now claiming copyright for Psycho Survivor and will be suing for compensation when - as seems to be increasingly inevitable - it eventually gets made.

And before anyone asks, both Kinji Fukasaku and Marc Evans thought of this first. But Ive never claimed to be original.


Gay hate group, Westboro Baptist Church has announced (via) that they are planning to picket the funeral of late actor Heath Ledger.

The church, which has become notorious for picketing the funerals of US soldiers killed in Iraq, announced on their website that they will picket the actors funeral because he promoted homosexuality by starring in Brokeback Mountain.

Marina Hyde says it all:

Further comment feels unnecessary, other than perhaps to wonder whether the church will ever realise that their continued existence is the most eloquent argument against the existence of any deity. And then to accept the answer would be a no.


PZ Meyers has more:

That epitomizes the problem, I think. There is a kind of sliding scale of belief: most of us value our lives to some degree, and consider how we spend our three score and ten to be important; then there are people who attach some degree of importance on an afterlife theyve imagined, and consider this hypothetical eternity to be a matter of concern. Atheists have the scale pegged way over to the left and see this little slice of time we have as all we have, and therefore the only thing we have to make work. Most religious people have the dial turned up a little to the right — they are clearly operationally secular, spending most of their time on work and family, and socking away a little Sunday prayer time for an anticipated and wholly delusional Heaven. We can all live with that.

But then there are these wackos like Fred Phelps who have the dial turned so far to the right that they place a higher priority in their fantasies about what theyll be doing after theyre dead over what theyre doing with their life right now. Thats where religion becomes a great evil, where it destroys lives and compels people to commit acts that are materially insane, but make great logical sense to people infected with the idea that there is an eternity of consequence for trivial transgressions against a shared belief.

More Muppetry


Seen at Vicious Imagery.

So does this mean we can expect some explosive action?

It has been announced that Transporter 3 is going ahead. Jason Statham will, once again, be behind the wheel.

The director, this time around, will be the appropriately named Olivier Megaton.

Open animation

Blender is a free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License. The first open movie - made entirely with open source graphics software such as Blender, and with all production files freely available to use however you please, under a Creative Commons license - was Elephants Dream which was released in 2006.

Not content to sit on their laurels, however, the Blender team are moving onward and upward with Peach, which promises to be funny and furry!

The DVD is available for pre-order now and - if you want to get a sense of the animation - check it out here.

Castro, Nixon, Morrison Bush

Oliver Stone, who has made films about several major figures has found a new subject: George W Bush.

The plan is for the film to be released by November, when presidential elections are held, or at latest by January when Mr Bushs sucessor will take up his or her place at the White House.

Mr Stone - who has expressed strong views on Mr Bushs decision to invade Iraq - has said, in an interview with Vanity Fair, that he intends the film to be a fair, true portrait of the outgoing US president, focusing on his family relationships, his childhood and his conversion to Christianity.

This could turn out to be one to watch.