Some exciting news today in the movie world. Neil Gaiman's latest journal entry had some "small news things":
- he's almost finished his next book The Graveyard Book
- Beowulf and Stardust are both up for some Saturn awards
- a dino-eating demon frog Beelzebufo was found in Madagascar
- oh, and DAVID FINCHER IS CONFIRMED TO DIRECT GAIMAN & ROGER AVARY'S ADAPTATION OF CHARLES BURNS' BLACK HOLE.
Now, some Soundgarden covers:
While Neil is my favourite author, I have to admit none of the films he's been involved with have been entirely satisfying. Mirrormask, Stardust, Beowulf... I really wanted to like them, but they all sort of fell short of the mark. He did write the script for the English translation of Miyizaki's Princess Mononoke, but that doesn't really count. On the other hand, David Fincher is among my favourite directors and if he didn't get a free pass already for Se7en and Fight Club, he definitely sealed it with Zodiac for me. So between this film in development and Coraline directed by Henry 'Nightmare Before Christmas' Selick, things are looking up. Even more so if Neil gets his Death adaptation back up and running post-strike. Last year Neil was hanging around the Hellboy II set, picking up pointers from Pan's Labyrinth and future Hobbit director Guillermo del Toro, who's signed on as a producer for Death with Neil making his directorial debut. Even while watching actress readings for Stardust, Gaiman was covertly screening for potential Deaths...
**UPDATE! Neil just posted the 3D teaser for Coraline previously seen before Beowulf. After crappy camera phone recorded versions cropped up on youtube, Laika studios gave him the go ahead to post higher-res videos. Go here for your choice of youtube or quicktime. This is great because when I went to see Beowulf 3D, I distinctly did not see this trailer.
Another Gaiman project kind of, sort of, someday in the works is his and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens. One of my several Best Life Moments was two summers ago when I met Terry Gilliam and he signed my copy of Good Omens (read the long version here). At the time he told me (this made me feel all special) that Good Omens was his next project after Tideland, provided financing fell into place. But knowing Gilliam's film history (see: Lost in La Mancha), I knew not to get my hopes up too high. And now two years later, there's not much movement on the project. But don't give up hope yet! The best source for Good Omens rumours is here and as recently as last month, Gilliam said that the chances are better of getting it made in light of all the high profile Neil Gaiman projects recently. Originally Gaiman and Pratchett had sent the book to Gilliam in hopes of getting a blurb, but he read it, loved it, and wanted to make it into a movie. At one point he had written a script with Tony Grisoni with Johnny Depp and Robin Williams attached, presumably as Aziraphale and Crowley, but still couldn't get financing for it.
I'm sure you've all heard the bittersweet news of Gilliam's latest project The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus being saved after the untimely death of Heath Ledger. The acting trifecta of Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell have stepped in to finish the movie, which is set to finish production here in Vancouver. The fantastical plot, in which Ledger's character travels through parallel worlds, allows for this creative solution to the horrible circumstances. The BBC has a pretty good article about the show-must-go-on mentality of the movie business. I'm glad Gilliam found a way to continue the movie in a way that I believe honours Ledger's last performance. Fortunately we'll also get to enjoy Christopher Plummer as the 1000-year old title character and Tom Waits as the Devil.