SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 132
Our Interview with Marty Gear from Balticon
The SciFi Diner Podcast
Please call the listener line at 1.888.508.4343,
Email us at email@example.com
or visit us on Twitter @scifidiner.
And check out our YouTube channel.
Welcome to the Diner.
If you have listened to the show for sometime, we would love to have you leave feedback on iTunes. We know not all of you use iTunes, but for those that do, it helps us become more visible. If you don’t use iTunes, your feedback is still valuable. Visit our webpage at http://scifidinerpodcast.com and leave a comment on the show notes or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We want to know what you are thinking about what we are saying and what shows you are watching.
Music at the end of this week’s episode is the song The Final Rewind by Tyrad.
- Interview:Marty Gear from Balticon
- Trivia: New Trivia with a chance to win Kristen Bauer AND Emelie Ullerup
- TV News: Fringe Renewed!
- Movie News: What Watchmen’s mistakes taught Whedon about making The Avengers
- DVD Review: Justice League: Doom
- TWIST: Will Wheaton talks about life after TNG. Star Trek Sequel Spoiler News, Composer Joel Goldsmith Dead at 54
- SciFi Five in Five: Great Star Trek Voyager EMH Doctor Quotes
Our Interview with Marty Gear from Balticon
Up to the year 2000, Balticon was traditionally held on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Easter weekend in a Baltimore area hotel. As of 2001, Balticon moved to the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend. Contact BSFS to have your name added to our mailing list.
BSFS publishes an annual fanzine (fan magazine) BSFAN in conjunction with Balticon. The BSFAN generally contains bios of the current Guests of Honor at Balticon, (usually) a bibliography of our author Guest of Honor’s works, articles on science fiction, short stories, the winning entries in the Young Writer’s Contest, reviews, advertisements, and anything else the editors deem appropriate or related.
BSFS has presented “The Compton Crook Award” each year since 1983, for “… the best first novel in the genre published during the previous year…” The winning author is invited to Balticon (BSFS pays transportation and lodging) and presented with the cash award. Compton Crook, who used the nom de plume Stephen Tall, died in 1981. He was a long time Baltimore resident, Towson University professor, and, of course, a science fiction author.
BSFS holds a yearly “Young Writers Contest.” Contest submissions must be in the field of science fiction or fantasy. Contestants shall reside in, or attend school in Maryland, and be no older than 18 years of age as of the date of Balticon. Submissions shall be no more than 2500 words in length. The first, second and third place winners are invited to and announced at Balticon. Please see the BSFS Young Writer’s contest rules web page for the full rules or contact BSFS for a hard copy.
BSFS and Balticon support the BSFS Books for Kids charity (BSFS Books for Kids) with change collection jars and a charity auction (of donated books, artwork, or services) at Balticon.
BSFS produces a monthly newsletter addressing club business that is distributed free to all members and is exchanged with other Science Fiction Clubs throughout the world.
BSFS was the third Science Fiction Club in the country to own a building. LASFS (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society) and NESFA (New England Science Fiction Association) are the other two. The former theater at 3310 East Baltimore Street, in the Highlandtown section of Baltimore, is being slowly renovated as time and money allow.
BSFS maintains a library of science fiction and fantasy books with over 10,000 titles (mostly paperbacks) as well as periodicals, videotapes and DVD’s. BSFS members and the public may borrow most of these books and videos. BSFS also has an extensive collection of old pulp SF magazines on microfiche.
From Rado: ‘Fringe’ Renewed for Fifth and Final Season
UPDATED: The Fox drama will return for a 13-episode season, allowing the series to hit 100 episodes.
Fox has renewed the cult drama for a fifth and final season, giving the go-ahead on 13 more episodes. The renewal will bring the sci-fi series to an end after 100 episodes, a critical syndication threshold for the series’ studio, Warner Bros. TV.
“Fringe is a remarkably creative series that has set the bar as one of television’s most imaginative dramas,” said Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly. “Bringing it back for a final 13 allows us to provide the climactic conclusion that its passionate and loyal fans deserve. The amazing work the producers, writers and the incredibly talented cast and crew have delivered the last four seasons has literally been out of this world. Although the end is bittersweet, it’s going to be a very exciting final chapter.”
Added showrunners Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman: “This pickup means the world (both of them) to us, because we love sharing these stories with our enthusiastic fans. On behalf of the cast and crew, we applaud our fans and Fox for allowing us to imagine the impossibilities together for so long. Season five is going to be a conclusive thrill ride for all of us.”
Fringe, which moved to Friday nights in its third season, has hit ratings lows on multiple occasions this year in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demo (0.9) and is hovering around 3 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Still, the perennial bubble show has maintained a vocal fan base, with critical and awards support, including two Emmy nominations in technical categories.
In anticipation of an official decision, the cast and crew shot multiple endings for the show’s two-part season finale, set to air May 11, which cast members have spoken publicly about.
Well-known Fringe fan Reilly acknowledged in January that the network was losing money with the heavily mythologized series. “At that rating, on that night (Fridays), it’s impossible to make money … and we’re not in the business of losing money,” Reilly said at the time, with some speculating that the statement was as much a negotiating ploy as it was an honest statement.
“I mean, 88 [episodes] is good, but 100 is better,” Wyman told THR in February of his desire to see the series continue. “We would never want to continue unless we felt that we had something incredibly creative to say and to do. We do, and if the powers that be deem it a plausible solution to go forward, then we’re thrilled.”
What Watchmen’s mistakes taught Whedon about making The Avengers
As the old saying goes, we’re all standing on the shoulders of giants. You’d be a fool not learn from the errors of those that came before. So when Joss Whedon got involved with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, he looked at the mistakes of earlier comic book flicks and discovered the secret of the satisfying superhero movie.
During the Avengers press tour, Whedon was asked how one goes about making a good comic book adaptation, and his answer is both simple and obvious—and yet it eludes so many people who attempt to make them:
“It’s capturing the essence of the comic and being true to what’s wonderful about it, while remembering that it’s a movie and not a comic. I think Spider-Man, the first one particularly, really captured [the spirit of the comic]. They figured out the formula of oh, tell the story that they told in the comic. It was compelling, that’s why it’s iconic, but at the same time they did certain things that only a movie can do [but] were in the vein of the comic.
“I think you see things like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, where they just threw out the comic, or Watchmen, where they do it frame for frame, and neither of them work. You have to give the spirit of the thing and then step away from that, and create something cinematic and new.”
It must be harder than he makes it seem, right? I mean, if it was that easy, everyone would do it … right? Right?!
Justice League: DOOM
Vandal Savage steals confidential files Batman has compiled on the members of the Justice League, and learns all their weaknesses.
Kevin Conroy … Batman (voice)
Tim Daly Tim Daly … Superman (voice)
Susan Eisenberg Susan Eisenberg … Wonder Woman (voice)
Nathan Fillion Nathan Fillion … Green Lantern (voice)
Carl Lumbly Carl Lumbly … Martian Manhunter / Ma’alefa’ak (voice)
Michael Rosenbaum Michael Rosenbaum … The Flash (voice)
Bumper Robinson Bumper Robinson … Cyborg (voice)
Carlos Alazraqui Carlos Alazraqui … Bane / Terrorist Member (voice)
Claudia Black Claudia Black … Cheetah (voice)
This week in Star Trek:
Major Star Trek Sequel Spoilers April 30, 2012
by Anthony Pascale
There have been a lot of rumors and spoilers floating around the web in the last few months, including some new ones today. So TrekMovie has checked with sources and can confirm some of these reports as well as adding some new info into the mix. See below for 3 spoilers about the Star Trek sequel but do not click below if you don’t want to spoil the fun (seriously don’t…just for Spoiler-fans).
Star Trek Sequel SPOILERS
Before we start it is important to note that it is still the case that no plot or character information for the Star Trek sequel has been officially confirmed by Paramount or anyone associated with the movie. The following based on reports from other outlets and/or TrekMovie sources. As always, Paramount’s policy is to not comment on what they consider rumors.
you have been warned
Spoiler 1: Leonard Nimoy returns as Spock Prime
The first spoiler was actually let out of the bag by the actor himself when talking to CNN last week (see video), and now AICN is reporting that Nimoy returning for the sequel. TrekMovie sources have confirmed that Nimoy indeed is back as Spock Prime and he has already completed his work for the film. Spock Prime was last seen at the end of the 2009 movie sending off the new crew of the USS Enterprise, leaving him to help the Vulcans who survived Nero’s destruction of their home planet.
This spoiler comes as somewhat of a surprise, as Nimoy himself had previously indicated that he was happy to let the new cast take the reigns of the franchise forward. But apparently JJ Abrams and crew were able to convince the actor and Star Trek legend to come out of retirement one last time to play Spock. On a historic note, this would be Nimoy’s eighth appearance in a Star Trek feature film, which will be a record (he and Shatner are now tied with seven movies each).
Leonard Nimoy in the 2009 “Star Trek” – returns for the sequel
UPDATE: Nimoy tweets about talking to JJ
Leonard doesn’t even seem to be trying to keep this one a secret. Here is a tweet he sent out this morning:
Spoiler 2: Cumberbatch is playing Khan
TrekMovie was first in reporting that Benedict Cumberbatch had joined the Star Trek sequel cast, to play a villain (originally a role offered to Benecio del Toro). A few outlets have also reported (including today’s AICN) that this villain was Trek’s most famous bad guy – the exiled Eugenics War leader Khan Noonien Singh (originally played by Ricardo Montalban). TrekMovie has also confirmed this with a number of sources so we no longer consider it to be a rumor. Khan is back in 2013, however sources indicate that the film is not a rehash of “Space Seed,” the original Star Trek episode where Kirk and crew first encounter the genetic superman from the past.
While big news, this is actually not a huge surprise. Trek’s new filmmakers have often cited the Christopher Nolan’s Batman series as their model, with the second film The Dark Knight successfully brining back the Joker and Khan is the closest to Trek gets to Batman’s Joker. And again the team kind of already let the cat out of the bag on this one when they recorded the DVD commentary back in 2009 and said they had considered a post-credits sceene showing the Botany Bay, Khan’s sleeper ship. Then of course there is Abrams widely reported casting process which began with Benecio del Toro and went through a number other prominent Latino (like Montalban) actors before he ended up picking Cumberbatch, after what has been said to be a very powerful audition.
Spy photo of Zachary Quinto as Spock fighting Cumberbatch’s villain – now known to be playing Khan
Spoiler 3: Klingons featured in Star Trek sequel
This third spoiler is not something from the new AICN report, but multiple TrekMovie sources have confirmed that the Klingons will be featured in the Star Trek sequel. Of course Klingons were were originally going to be part of the 2009 movie as well – in a subplot where they had captured Nero and his crew after the destruction of the USS Kelvin, however those scenes were cut from the final release (but did appear on the DVD/Blu-ray). TrekMovie sources indicate that this time the Klingons are not a sub-plot that could be easily cut out of the film, so we will finally see the JJ-verse version of Klingons on the big screen.
This spoiler seems to be a no brainer. The Klingons are likely Star Trek’s best known adversary aliens, and they appeared in most of the movies featuring the original cast. The intent was to put them in the last one and fans have been asking for Klingons to make the cut for the sequel.
Klingons in deleted scene from the 2009 “Star Trek” movie – but they should make the final cut of the 2013 sequel
Sequel production enters final stretch
TrekMovie has also confirmed that the Star Trek sequel has wrapped up shooting on stages and on location in southern califormia. The film remains on schedule with a couple more weeks of shooting on on location in northern California.
That’s it for now, stay tuned to TrekMovie for all your Star Trek sequel news.
Composer Joel Goldsmith Dead at 54 April 30, 2012
by Jeff Bond
Joel Goldsmith, son of famed film composer Jerry Goldsmith and a talented composer in his own right, died of cancer at the age of 54. Joel was the eldest of six children by Jerry Goldsmith, and he reportedly began assisting his father with electronics in his scores as early as 1976 on the science fiction adventure Logan’s Run.
Joel Goldsmith – 1957 – 2012
Around the same time Joel began working in film as a boom operator and sound mixer on films like Joe Dante’s Piranha. Joel frequently assisted his father as Jerry Goldsmith expanded the range of his electronic music palette on scores like Runaway (the score of which Joel Goldsmith co-produced) and Hoosiers.
Joel made two important contributions to the Star Trek feature film franchise. With Alan Howarth and others he worked to develop electronic sound effects for 1979’s Star Trek – The Motion Picture, which featured an Oscar-nominated score by his father. In 1996 Jerry Goldsmith found himself in the middle of delays and rescores on the adventure film The Ghost and the Darkness just as he was beginning to prepare to score the second Next Generation feature film, Star Trek First Contact. Goldsmith called in Joel to assist him on the project and wound up writing a substantial amount of the score, particularly a number of the cues involving the Borg’s takeover of the Enterprise as well as the film’s climactic action involving the flight of the first warp drive ship Phoenix and Picard and Data’s struggle with the Borg Queen on the Enterprise. GNP Records recently released an expanded album of the score that includes all of Joel Goldsmith’s contributions, including the climactic cue, “Flight of the Phoenix.”
Joel Goldsmith is probably more familiar to fans for his contributions to a different “Star” franchise—he wrote scores for an astonishing 350 episodes of Syfy’s Stargate series including Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate: Universe. Joel wrote the title music for the latter two series, and earned three Emmy Award nominations for his work on Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate: Universe.
Joel Goldsmith had a talent for dramatically powerful television themes, including one for the Witchblade and Sanctuary TV shows and a terrific theme for the short-lived 1993 show The Untouchables. Joel had his father’s gift for working in the sci-fi and fantasy genres, something that went back to his early collaborative work with composer Richard Band (both worked on the score to the 1978 film Laserblast and 1980’s The Day Time Ended). He provided a droll electronic score to Steve Martin’s sci-fi-themed comedy The Man With Two Brains in 1983 and wrote a stupendous full-on orchestral score to Roland Emmerich’s 1990 sci-fi adventure Moon 44, a work that showed the younger Goldsmith just as capable of working on a large-scale action canvas as his father was. He continued to collaborate with Jerry Goldsmith on television projects like H.E.L.P. and Brotherhood of the Gun while tackling further genre works like the 1996 direct-to-video movie Vampirella, episodes of the revived 1997 Outer Limits TV series, and the sword and sorcery adventure Kull the Conquerer. He also easily handled dramas and comedies like Man’s Best Friend (1993), Shiloh (1996), Shadow of a Doubt (1998) and Diamonds (1999).
Great quotes from ST Voyager’s EMH: The Doctor
1. Kes: On my home-world it’s much simpler. You choose a mate for life. There’s no distrust, no envy, no betrayal.
The Doctor: Your world must have very dry literature.
2. The Doctor: All of us have violent instincts. We have evolved from predators. Well, not me, of course. I’ve been programmed by you predators.
3. Seska: I won’t play these games with the trick of light.
The Doctor: Sticks and stones won’t break my bones, so you can imagine how I feel about being called names.
4. Vidian Doctor: “ Strange . Accding to my readings, you aren’t here.” Doctor: Believe me. I wish I weren’t.
5. Janeway: “I need to know if we did serious harm to that life-form.”
Doctor: “Let’s see … you ran your ship through it, fired phasers at it, and blew a hole in it with a photon torpedo. I’d say it’s a pretty good chance that you did some fairly significant –(than the Captain mutes him.)
SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 89 – Our Interview with Bob Greenberger, Star Trek Author and Editor for DC and Marvel Comics.
SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 89
Our Interview with Bob Greenberger
Star Trek Author and Editor for DC and Marvel Comics.
Please call the listener line at 1.888.508.4343,
Email us at email@example.com
or visit us on Twitter @scifidiner.
Welcome to the Diner.
If you have listened to the show for sometime, we would love to have you leave feedback on iTunes. We know not all of you use iTunes, but for those that do, it helps us become more visible. If you don’t use iTunes, your feedback is still valuable. Visit our webpage at http://scifidinerpodcast.com and leave a comment on the show notes or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We want to know what you are thinking about what we are saying and what shows you are watching!
On the menu tonight:
- Interview with Bob Greenberger, Star Trek author and Wonder Woman and Batman Aficionado
- Our Winning Trivia
- Our Next Trivia
- Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome
- Being Human
- Season 3 of Dollhouse
- Game of Thrones
- Gandalf, Gollum, and Frodo are back.
- Top Movies Fans are looking forward to.
- Voyager 1 Enters Interstellar Space
- A lightsaber Battle you won’t want to miss
- This Week In Star Trek
- SciFi Five In Five: Bob Greenberger
Trivia Question/Challenge: Locate the lyrics written by Gene Roddenberry to the Star Trek Original Series theme song and then send us a mp3 or a flip video (or call into 18885084343) of you singing the song.
Thanks to our contestants who had the guts to try this trivia: Ryan, Osriman, Rado, and Herne. Herne get and honorable mention for his Cat rendition on Twitter (No audio)
New Trivia Question: Which villains were original in the 1966 Batman TV series?
Choices: To hear the choices, you’ll have to listen to the first 15 minutes of the podcast.
The Prize: An autographed copy of The Essential Batman Encyclopedia
You will have until January 25th to answer this question. Send your answer with your mailing address to email@example.com, call us at 18885084343, or DM us on Twitter at @scifidiner. Make sure you include your e-mail with all entries! Only one entry per person. The SciFi Diner is not responsible for any injuries occurring if you secretly decide to dress in a black cape and go out at night. No Code word.
The Main Course:
Robert Greenberger (born July 24, 1958) is a writer and editor.
Greenberger was born in Brooklyn in New York City, the son of Edwin L. Greenberger and Joan Greenberger. A lifelong fan of comic books, comic strips, science fiction and Star Trek, he drifted towards writing and editing, encouraged by his father and inspired by Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent.
While at SUNY-Binghamton, Greenberger wrote and edited for the college newspaper, Pipe Dream, moving from general assignment writer to Arts Editor, Managing Editor and ultimately Editor-in-Chief. He served an internship at Gannett’s Binghamton Sun-Bulletin as a feature writer and reviewer.
Upon graduation, he worked for Starlog Press as Managing Editor of Fangoria. He was also an Associate Editor for Starlog and while there, created Comics Scene, the first nationally distributed magazine to focus on comic books, comic strips and animation. The magazine lasted 11 issues before its first cancellation at which time Greenberger went to work on their sports magazines.
In 1984, he joined DC Comics as an Assistant Editor, working with Len Wein and Marv Wolfman on DC’s Golden Anniversary projects Who’s Who and Crisis on Infinite Earths. He went on to act as assistant editor to numerous titles for each editor until he was promoted to editor. During his tenure, his titles included Star Trek, Suicide Squad, Warlord, Doom Patrol, Lois Lane, Action Comics Weekly, Time Masters, Secret Origins, The Hacker Files and others.
By 1990, he had given up editing to become the company’s Editorial Coordinator, helping grow the Editorial Administration department. When he left the company, he was Manager-Editorial Operations.
In March 2000, he left DC to become a Producer for Gist Communications, television news and listings web site. After ten months there, he learned some new skills and got out before the dotcom bubble burst.
In January 2001, he joined Marvel Comics as Director-Publishing Operations. During his year with the company, he oversaw editorial schedules, Production, Manufacturing, the Print Library, and other departments.
In January 2002, he left Marvel and rejoined DC in May 2002 as a Senior Editor-Collected Editions. He helped grow that department, introducing new formats and improving the editions’ editorial content. He also managed DC’s ElfQuest publishing program.
He left DC in January 2006, becoming a freelance writer and editor. His clients included Weekly World News, Platinum Studios, scifi.com, DC and Marvel. By June, he was offered the post of Managing Editor at Weekly World News where he helped transition the newspaper from being produced jointly in Florida and New York to just NYC.
When the paper folded in August 2007, he resumed his freelance career which continues to this date. Along the way, he helped revitalize Famous Monsters of Filmland and served as News Editor at ComicMix from August through December 2008.
First concept art from Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome
We’ve got an EXCLUSIVE look at the first four concept images from Syfy’s upcoming two-hour pilot movie for Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome. The movie focuses on the adventures of a young William Adama during the 10th year of the first Cylon war.
According to an earlier press release, here’s what we have to look forward to:
“Ensign William Adama, barely in his 20’s and a recent Academy graduate, finds himself assigned to the newest battlestar in the Colonial fleet … the Galactica. The talented but hot-headed risk-taker soon finds himself leading a dangerous top secret mission that, if successful, will turn the tide of the decade long war in favor of the desperate fleet.”
Remember—these are concept images, so the scenes they represent may or may not make it into the final cut of the movie, but they definitely show some interesting directions being considered for what executive producer David Eick calls an “authentic, relentless depiction of combat and the agony and ecstasy of human-Cylon war, which was the hallmark of Battlestar Galactica’s early seasons.”
We’re definitely hoping the Cylon snake (we’re told it’s called a “Cython”) makes the cut.
Meet the bloody, hairy, ghostly roommates of Syfy’s Being Human
We showed you what the press kit for Syfy’s new series Being Human was like—now take a look at Being Human itself, in a new trailer than explains how a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf ended up as roommates.
Meet vampire “Aidan” (Sam Witwer), werewolf “Josh” (Sam Huntington) and ghost “Sally” (Meaghan Rath), three paranormal, 20-something roommates living in Boston and struggling with living double lives as they try to be human.
Being Human debuts on Syfy Monday, Jan. 17, at 9/8C.
We interviewed Sam Witwer in episode 52.
REVEALED: How season 3 of Dollhouse would have been like Buffy
Dollhouse lasted only two seasons, but what would have happened in the subterranean wish-fulfillment complex had Fox given it one more year’s worth of airtime? Producer and writer Tim Minear tells all.
Minear, who also wrote and produced episodes of other Joss Whedon shows, Angel and Firefly, told Assignment X that the problem with a character who can’t remember her actions becomes “a little boring for the audience.” The writers then inverted the character’s flaw.
So when we started allowing her to remember things, and then started taking the concept and making it into what her superpower was, it started turning into something else. I think what you would have seen in Season Three is [a series] a lot more embracing of its mythology and turned into more of a superhero show. It would have been a little bit more like Buffy in some ways.
Although Echo would have had no vampires to fight, she could have actively drawn upon the powerful abilities she learned at high speed. And after 38 personalities, she had many heroic talents to choose from: negotiations, hand-to-hand combat and survival skills, to name a few. It would have been wonderful to have seen them put to good use.
Another Mutant Enemy show about a girl who kicks ass? It sounded too good to be true, and sadly it was.
GAME OF THRONES: Mark Your Calendars For Premiere Date In April – from SciFi Mafia
HBO has finally announced the premiere date for the much anticipated television adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series, Game of Thrones. Mark your calendars for April 17, 2011! The ten-part series is based on Martin’s book series “A Song of Ice and Fire.”
Martin himself never thought it was possible to adapt his book to a television series. He had previously written for television on series such as Beauty and the Beast and The Twilight Zone in the 1980’s and was frustrated by the constant demise of his grand ideas being shot down due to budgetary restrictions and decided to “write a book that’s just for me:”
“I said, I’m going to write a book that’s just for me. I’m going to do something that’s as epic and huge as my imagination can contain. I’m going to have hundreds of characters, and gigantic battles, and amazing vistas of castles – because I don’t have to worry about a budget and a production schedule and how we’re going to do this. This is prose. All I need is words and my and the reader’s imaginations joining together to do this.”
“So it’s ironic that here we are and we’re producing it. Thankfully [executive producers] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] have to deal with all the problems and I don’t. They have to take this thing that was never intended to be a television show or film and adapt it for television.”
“So far they’re doing a hell of a job at it… But if the show is successful – knock wood – there’ll be a second season and a third season, and it just gets bigger and harder.”
Martin is an executive producer for the show and wrote the eighth episode of its freshman season.
Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen confirmed for The Hobbit: Who’s next?
The casting news keeps coming for The Hobbit! Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen have officially signed on to reprise the roles of Gollum and Gandalf—and even more familiar faces may be returning as well.
According to Deadline, a deal has been closed for Serkis to once again don the motion-capture suit and perform the role of Gollum for director Peter Jackson’s two-part adaptation of The Hobbit. Serkis’ portrayal of the doomed creature in The Lord of the Rings was a breakthrough both for him and for the art of motion capture, bringing Gollum to life almost entirely through CG.
Meanwhile, EW.com has confirmed that Ian McKellen has also officially signed his contract to portray Gandalf the Grey, one of the few characters who plays a major role in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The news comes on the heels of last week’s spectacular revelation that Elijah Wood was also coming back as Frodo Baggins for scenes that will frame the story and provide a link to the earlier Rings movies.
But more names from the Lord of the Rings trilogy may be returning as well. Deadline says that Christopher Lee is in talks to reprise the role of the wizard Saruman, and that Ian Holm may cameo as the older version of Bilbo Baggins, which he played in the Rings movies (the younger Bilbo will be played by Martin Freeman in The Hobbit). Both Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel and Hugo Weaving’s Elrond are expected to show up in the films as well, and Orlando Bloom as Legolas may also make an appearance.
As noted before, Jackson and his co-writers (Fran Walsh, Phillippa Boyens and one-time director Guillermo del Toro) may have stretched their adaptation of The Hobbit to fit some of these characters into that novel’s storyline. But we would be lying if we didn’t admit that the thought of seeing these actors playing their beloved roles again almost overrides any concerns about liberties taken with the text.
Are you looking forward to seeing so many Rings alumni in The Hobbit?
ULTRAMARINES: A WARHAMMER 40,000 MOVIE
Starring: Terence Stamp, John Hurt, Sean Pertwee, Steven Waddington, Donald Sumpter, Johnny Harris
Director: Martyn Pick
U.S. Release Date: December 13th, 2010
For the first time ever, and to hundreds of thousands of fans’ anticipation, a feature film based on Games Workshop’s phenomenally popular Warhammer 40,000 science fantasy universe has been bought to screen by new production company Codex Pictures, starring Terence Stamp (Superman 2, Valkyrie), John Hurt (Alien, Hellboy) and Sean Pertwee (Event Horizon, Dog Soldiers).
Based on internationally successful tabletop miniature wargame Warhammer 40,000 from Games Workshop (~$200 million revenue 2010), the screenplay for Ultramarines has been written by one of their best-selling Games Workshop Black Library authors Dan Abnett, who also writes for 2000AD, Marvel Comics and DC Comics.
Employing a rich, atmosphere-laden CGI animation style, Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie is available now as a two-disc special edition collector’s set in a striking original SteelBook case, including bonus features and a specially commissioned graphic ‘prequel’ novel. This give fans a unique opportunity to own the film as a collectable DVD ahead of its limited theatrical run in selected US and UK cinemas and a retail distribution later next year.
Ultramarines has been produced by UK independent production company Codex Pictures in association with Good Story Productions. The team behind Ultramarines were producers of the original trilogy of highly successful and multi award-winning Bionicle DVDs, made for the LEGO Company.
Ultramarines is set 40,000 years in the grim, dark future when the Imperium of Man covers a million worlds and faces threats from aliens, traitors, and demons.
The suspenseful story follows a raw squad of Ultramarines, (a special unit of genetically enhanced, armored Space Marines) investigating an urgent request for assistance from the remote shrine-world of Mithron. Mithron is defended by a full company of Imperial Fists, a fellow chapter of Space Marines who, for countless generations, have stood guard over the planet and its Imperial Shrine. What dreadful fate could have overcome them that they had to activate the distress beacon?
On arriving, the squad discovers that a terrible battle has taken place and some great evil has been unleashed. As unseen dangers close in around them, the newly promoted battle-brothers have to mount a tense and deadly insertion to find any surviving Imperial Fists and the reason behind the emergency signal . . .
SyFy ran a poll on their site:
Which 2011 sci-fi movie are you looking forward to most?
Green Lantern (6/17) 1262 votes
Thor (5/6) 1160 votes
Captain America: The First Avenger (7/22) 1119 votes
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (7/15) 999 votes
Sucker Punch (3/25) 539 votes
Cowboys & Aliens (7/29) 520 votes
NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft, now in its 33rd year on the job, has reached the very edge of our solar system and is nearing the cusp of interstellar space. How does NASA know? The wind has died down. Voyager 1 has reached a point in the heliosheath that envelopes our solar system in which the speed of the solar wind that has been at Voyager’s back for three decades has dropped to zero.
That point is some 10.8 billion miles from the sun, beyond the outer planets and somewhat near the boundary between the solar system and interstellar space. That boundary is defined by the heliosphere, which reaches outward from the sun as far as the charged particles given off by our anchoring star can reach.
Those charged particles hurtle outward at supersonic speeds until they cross what is known as the termination shock. From there, they begin to slow and heat up significantly in a buffer region known as the heliosheath. Eventually, when traveling outward, they reach a point where the net outward speed of the solar wind drops to zero, and like the eye of a storm the chaos of the cosmos is calm for a bit (the wind is more likely turned sideways due to pressure from the interstellar wind that exists in the regions between stars).
That’s where Voyager 1 is now. In fact, it’s been there for a while. NASA handlers knew Voyager 1 crossed the termination shock back in late 2004 when the solar wind at its back began to slow. In June of this year Voyager recorded a net outward wind speed of zero, but the researchers wanted to conduct a few more measurements to make sure Voyager wasn’t simply in an eddy of some kind. Since June, the net outward solar wind speed has remained at zero.
That places Voyager 1 fairly deep in the heliosphere and about four years from emerging from the other side into interstellar space, where it will remain the furthest-reaching mission ever launched from Earth. That’s pretty impressive when you think about it: a piece of equipment conceived in the Apollo era when the moon seemed a distant target – Voyager 1 launched in 1977 mind you – is now poised to become the first man-made object to leave the solar system for the larger galaxy beyond.
The most unexpectedly awesome lightsaber battle you’ll see today
When we think lightsaber battles, the first thing that comes to mind is NOT Glee. But Harry Shum Jr., who stars in that hit series as Mike Chang, just released a three-minute short film (titled, what else, 3 Minutes) that has us changing our minds. (And don’t worry—there’s no singing in the awesome mini-movie that follows.)
Shum calls this his “indie action/thriller short film,” and promises more to come. Watch it below and let us (and him) know if you think his lightsaber adventures should continue.
How much of an inkling did you have that Major Kira could be an unusual and special character?
Visitor: I absolutely had that sense right from the get-go, but I had no sense that she was a lead character. None. I thought that Kira was a one-off. I thought she was a guest star role. I don’t know why I wasn’t clear about that. Frankly, at the time, I was auditioning for three shows a day some days. So it was that time in TV when a lot of pilots were being made, and I was at a prime age and place in my life to be up for a lot of them. I absolutely knew, though, that the role was extraordinary and I wanted it. I actually didn’t know it was a woman. I wasn’t sure that it was a woman because it didn’t sound like a woman. It was like, “Wait a minute. Is this really the role I’m supposed to be reading?” It just resonated with me so deeply. It was like putting on an outfit and thinking, “Yeah, this is mine. I’ve worn it before. It fits me perfectly.” I think the warrior archetype has always been a part of me.
Star Trek: The Experience’s unofficial historian and friend of Subspace Communique, Vernon Wilmer is fighting to have the ST:TE sign saved. As you may know, The Experience left the Las Vegas Hilton back in 2008 (we cried) and has yet to reborn in any other location. The Hilton also has yet to fill the giant hole left by The Experience, but still brandishes the iconic delta shield and ST:TE logo on the hotel’s facade. That’s where Vernon comes in, he’s trying to get the ST:TE sign saved and preserved as a bit of Vegas history. A completely worthy and noble cause as far as were concerned. Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS featured Vernon & another friend of Subspace Comms, ST:TE’s April Hebert on the evening news, covering the plight of ST:TE sign.
“My concern is that it’s the last vestige of Star Trek, The Experience, of a beloved local landmark, and I think the sign should be preserved somehow,” said Vernon. “I’ve tried suggesting to a number of organizations, ‘See if you can grab that sign, preserve it,’ and either the response is we’re disinterested or our hands are tied,” he said.
With the hope of ST:TE re-materializing somewhere else slowly fading, we can only wish that at least the sign can be saved and preserved. Check out the KLAS coverage featuring Vernon and April.
Scifi Five In Five
The top best comic adaptions in modern media:
- Christopher Reeves Superman
- Chris Nolan’s Batman
- Sam Remy’s Spiderman
- The Watchmen and various Novel adaptations of Superheros