SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 113
Our Interview with Mike Dougherty,
from Big Damn Films
The SciFi Diner Podcast
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Welcome to the Diner.
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The Music at the end of this week’s show is from
- Our Interview with Mike Dougherty from Big Damn Films, Zombie Con, and Browncoats Redemption
- Terra Nova’s ratings.
- Rumor: Scarecrow in new Batman movie?
- Mortal Kombat reboot
- 6 sci fi films that cry out for a Prequel
- 5 things we ‘learned’ from EW’s new Avengers cover
- TNG BLU-RAY Date
- The Star Wars Blu-ray Release
- Twist: 6 villains we think should return to cause trouble in Star Trek 2; Brent Spiner & Will Weaton on Big Bang?
- Sci Fi 5 at 5: with Izzy
Trivia Question: What does the American version of Life in Mars have in common with the new upcoming show Terra Nova?
The Prize: Eddie McClintock signed photo from Warehouse 13
You will have until the first week of October to answer this question. Send your answer with your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 go all shiny and dress in a browncoat and walk into your local bar. BE SURE TO INCLUDE THE CODE WORD mentioned in the first 15 minutes of the podcast.
Michael has previous experience as owner of two businesses and Vice President of Marketing. He has worked in the interactive media and entertainment industry for the last 10 years. He has relationships with various fan conventions and vendors to assist with long-term promotional efforts.
‘Terra Nova’ no go.
Terra Nogo. Fox’s epic family adventure “Terra Nova” premiered to so-so numbers Monday night. The show, about a family that travels back to the dinosaur era to be part of a group trying to save the planet, drew fewer than 10 million viewers and a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49. While those numbers are better than what Fox was doing on Mondays last year, the high cost of “Terra Nova” means one can’t just look at year-to-year comparisons in deciding whether the show performed well. Similar story for “The X Factor,” which opened to lackluster numbers last week given all the cash spent on it. Ratings coverage from Variety.
Fox’s ‘Terra Nova’ OK in bow Posted: 9/28/2011 Author: Rick KissellIt had dinosaurs and Steven Spielberg’s name attached, but costly Fox drama “Terra Nova” settled for average numbers in its bow Monday. While nothing special, the “Terra Nova” opener was in line with last week’s top drama premieres in the demo (ABC’s “Revenge” and “Pan Am” and CBS’ “Person of Interest”).
Just when it seemed the list of villains was complete for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, fan sightings are putting Scarecrow actor Cillian Murphy on the film’s Los Angeles set. Will the Scarecrow become the only villain to appear in all three Nolan Batman flicks?There are no photos or otherwise solid evidence to suggest that Murphy has definitely been doing work on the flick, but fans who’ve been lurking around the set swear they’ve seen him. Take this message board posting from user Magnusrex:
“Cillian Murphy is returning in TDKR. You can see him at Union Station in Los Angeles, but at least that’s where I saw him earlier on my way back home from taking spy photos. I couldn’t take a picture of him because there are a ton of security guards, but he’s definitely there.
You can take this as 100% legit fact.
Scarecrow is in TDKR.
He was wearing a black robe, probably to disguise his suit underneath.”
It could be argued that Murphy’s just visiting old friends, but then there’s the robe to consider. Plus, it’s not the only account. Here’s a snippet from a supposedly legitimate scene description on a Dark Knight Rises Facebook community page:
“It appears that exile means walking a dangerous frozen river on the outskirts of Gotham. Which would coincide with the LA River scene filmed with Gordon and his men tip toeing awkwardly in the leaked video. Oh P.S.
Judge’s identity: JONATHAN F#CKIN CRANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cillian Murphy is back with a bang!”
You can read the full scene description here if you’re not scared of potential spoilers, and decide for yourself if this seems like an actual snippet from the flick.
With all the rumors and long-lens photographs and people who claim they’ve been to the Dark Knight Rises set floating around, it’s tough to distinguish fact from fiction on this film anymore. We do know, however, that Ra’s al Ghul—Scarecrow’s Batman Begins accomplice—is returning for the flick in some form, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
What do you think? Is this another rumor that won’t die, or is Scarecrow actually back?
Warner Bros. is ready to produce the Mortal Kombat we’ve always wanted. The studio has given Mortal Kombat: Legacy‘s Kevin Tancharoen the thumbs up to direct a big screen reboot. (In creepy MK announcer voice: Excellent!)
Who do we have to thank for Warner Bros. renewed interest in Mortal Kombat? It’s a mix of Kevin Tancharoen and the obsessive fans who tuned in each week to his webseries Mortal Kombat: Legacy. Tancharoen’s vision of a less campy and more gritty MK world pleased viewers who were yearning for a darker adaptation. In other words, there was blood! Lots and lots of blood.
Mortal Kombat: Legacy raked in 15 million viewers after it debuted in April, which was music to the studio’s ears. Therefore, they bit the bullet and decided to reinvest in the ’90s property. The good news is Tancharoen will return for the reboot; the bad news is none of the actors from the webseries are involved and it will be based on a new story written by Oren Uziel.
The film is currently in development so it’s too early to tell if any of the actors would even be open to reprising their roles . But if they do decide to tap into Legacy’s roster, Michael Jai White should be the first to return. He is a perfect Jax!
Are you excited to see Mortal Kombat in theaters again? Who would you like to return?
General Sci Fi Interest:
It seems the age of prequels is upon us all. George Lucas (perhaps infamously) started it just over a decade ago, and now it seems to be in full swing. We have a prequel to The Thing just a couple of weeks away, an adaptation of The Hobbit (a prequel to The Lord of the Rings) filming and a prequel to The Wizard of Oz on the way. And who knows how many more are in development that we don’t know about yet?It might seem like a sign that Hollywood is utterly out of original ideas (and hey, maybe they are), but when they’re done well (as X-Men: First Class was), prequels can be effective. Who doesn’t love a good origin story? In that spirit, here are six film franchises ripe for the prequel treatment.
Why We Love It: The Matrix opened new cinematic doors for American movie audiences. Combining the wire-effects martial arts of Asian action cinema with the counterculture concepts of writers like Grant Morrison, it remains the ultimate mass-consumption cyberpunk story. Its power may have faded with the third installment of the film trilogy, but fuzzy endings aside, those fight scenes remain awesome.
The Prequel: Leave Keanu out of the equation and make a film about the franchise’s most intriguing character, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). Tell the story of how he was unplugged, how he met the mysterious Oracle and how he helped organize a revolutionary movement that actually made a difference.
Why We Love It: Subpar sequels aside, Highlander is a mass of ’80s movie awesomeness, filled with big swords, leather-clad villains and Sean Connery speaking like a Scotsman even though he’s playing a Spaniard (because he’s allowed to do that). It established a ripe mythology with the ability to span the whole course of human history, and it became an urban fantasy landmark.
The Prequel: The cool thing about a Highlander prequel is that you can set it almost anywhere and any time (though you might not be able to call it Highlander anymore). The best idea, though, could be to draw on what some of the Highlander comics did, and portray the origin and adventures of Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez (Connery’s character). Show his life from the time he realizes he’s an Immortal to his first encounters with Kurgan (Clancy Brown’s villainous Immortal) and other Immortals, and end the film with his mission to find and mentor Connor MacLeod, the Highlander.
Why We Love It: Well, apart from the often-frustrating revisionist tendencies of its creator, Star Wars continues to grapple with Star Trek for the title of Most Influential Science Fiction Franchise of All Time, and until Lucas decides to release an edition that replaces all the characters with digital Hilton sisters, it’s still going to be cool.
The Prequel: Yes, we know, there’s already been a Star Wars prequel. Three of them, in fact, not to mention the comics, novels and TV shows that tie in to the before and after of the original trilogy. But there’s still cinematic territory to be explored, namely the territory of the Old Republic that’s been such successful videogame fodder. Who wouldn’t want to see a film (or a trilogy of films) on the Sith Wars? Set it 1,000 years before The Phantom Menace, get a completely new cast of characters and take the Jedi Order to an epic level. We’ve seen them struggle. Let’s see them triumph.
Why We Love It: Mike Mignola’s creation was a different kind of superhero comic, and Guillermo del Toro’s two films were a different kind of superhero movie. Darkly humorous, working-class and immersed in a world of cosmic creatures and hidden civilizations, Hellboy is both complex and easily accessible.
The Prequel: We know Hellboy arrived on our plane of existence in World War II, and the two films so far have been set in the present day. But Mignola’s comics are filled with Hellboy stories that take place throughout the 20th century as he travels the world battling occult forces in a variety of historical eras. Either take one of those stories and adapt it straight to the screen, or find an interesting chunk of historical backdrop (the late 1960s, say) and give Big Red some monsters to fight in his adolescent years. We know how he came to Earth, but now we want to know how Hellboy became Hellboy.
The Lord of the Rings
Why We Love It: As we’ve said before, it’s the granddaddy of modern epic fantasy, and plot changes aside, Peter Jackson took Tolkien’s supposedly unfilmable mythology and transformed it into damn good, Oscar-winning cinema. It’s a modern classic in two media, and Tolkien’s lifetime of work on his stories makes Middle-earth a world filled with new stories to tell.
The Prequel: Yes, we know a prequel is happening here already, but The Hobbit is just a prequel to the Lord of the Rings story proper. It’s only the tip of a very big epic fantasy iceberg. Tolkien spent decades crafting the detailed backstory of his world (ostensibly just so he could have a cool explanation for the two Elvish languages he’d created, Quenya and Sindarin), and the origin story he came up with, The Silmarillion, is a dense piece of cosmic mythmaking filled with gods and monsters. It’s not the easiest thing to adapt, but if it’s done right, it could be one of the most visually and thematically stunning things ever seen at the movies.
Why We Love It: Clive Barker’s imaginative and dark fairy tale set a new standard for horror cinema, and probably did a lot for the S&M scene, too. It remains his best-known work, and despite a slew of forgettable sequels, the original remains a classic.
The Prequel: Sequels to the original film have shown the iconic Pinhead (whom no one but Doug Bradley can play) as he transforms from a man seeking the outer limits of pleasure to a creature of hell bent on tormenting others. A good prequel would fill in the gap between the moment he became the Cenobite with nails in his skull and the moment he steps on screen in the original film. Who were his first victims? How did he fit into the hierarchy of hell? Did he ever remember any of his human self? Did he struggle with being a demon? These are the questions that could return the Hellraiser franchise to glory.
Who wants to see these flicks? And what flicks did we miss?
DVD/Blu Ray News:
Force is with ‘Star Wars’ Blu-ray sales
Nine-disc set takes in $84 million in one week
These are the discs they’re looking for, apparently. “Star Wars: The Complete Saga” is now the highest-selling Blu-ray set of all time.
Apparently, these are the discs viewers are looking for.
The nine-disc set of “Star Wars: The Complete Saga,” released on DVD Sept. 16, earned $84 million in its first week on store shelves. It’s now the highest-selling Blu-ray title ever.
Story: 7 surprises you’ll find in ‘Star Wars’ Blu-ray set As noted in our preview of the set, not all fans love the changes George Lucas has made. Some are upset that the original theatrical versions of the first three movies aren’t included. (Greedo shoots first, in other words.) And not everyone loves the freshening and small tweaks Lucas has made throughout (blinking Ewoks, CGI Yoda).
Story: ‘It’s a trap!’: Celebs mimic ‘Star Wars’ voices in cancer PSA But this is “Star Wars,” so diehards are buying them anyway. And since the set’s not out for regular DVD, we’re betting a few of them have decided to invest in a Blu-ray player as well.
What’s that Han Solo said to Leia back in the first movie? “I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, Princess. I expect to be well paid.”
Did you or will you buy “Star Wars” on Blu-ray?
Make it So: The Next Generation is finally heading to Blu-ray
Star Trek fans all over the world have been waiting what seems like forever for this news: Star Trek: The Next Generationwill beam into our homes on beautiful high-def Blu-ray just in time to celebrate the show’s upcoming 25th anniversary in 2012.The news broke today—on the 24th anniversary of The Next Generation‘s TV premiere back on Sept. 28, 1987—and first popped up on Star Trek.com. Here’s what looks to be their official press-releasey announcement:
Star Trek: The Next Generation will be released in high-definition Blu-ray, starting in January with a sampler of several popular episodes, followed by a season-one set to be released later on in 2012, and subsequent seasons beaming down after that. Each of the 178 episodes spanning The Next Generation‘s seven seasons will be transferred to true high-definition 1080p for release in the Blu-ray format and, eventually, for runs on television and digital platforms in the U.S. and across the world. Star Trek: The Next Generationwill, as fans know, be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012.”Fans have been clamoring for a high-definition release of Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Ken Ross, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Entertainment, said in a statement. “Transferring the series to high-definition presented difficult technical challenges, but our team has come up with a process to create true 1080p HD masters with true HD visual effects. We can’t wait to show fans how pristine the series looks and sounds with our upcoming Blu-ray releases.”
CBS is, in fact, returning to the original film negatives, a mother lode of material encompassing 25,000-plus reels of footage, and editing the episodes together precisely as they were when they originally aired between 1987 and 1994. Visual effects will not be upconverted from videotape, but instead will be recompositioned. The freshly cut film will ultimately be transferred to high definition with 7.1 DTS Master Audio. And all of the work is being done in conjunction with respected, longtime Star Trek figures Denise and Michael Okuda, who are on board as consultants.
The episodes included in the single-disc sampler called Star Trek: The Next Generation—The Next Level are the series’ two-hour pilot “Encounter at Farpoint,” “Sins of the Father” and “The Inner Light.” (Not a bad selection, though we’d have liked to see either “Yesterday’s Enterprise” or the “Best of Both Worlds” two-parter as well.) The sampler will hit stores on Jan. 31, 2012.
Image of the Day: 5 things we ‘learned’ from EW’s new Avengers cover
5 things we ‘learned’ from EW’s new Avengers cover
For its Sept. 30th issue, Entertainment Weekly got a first look at Joss Whedon’s Avengersflick. And, yes, the story might yield some nuggets of new … but nothing as instructive as the things we divined just by looking at the cover.We’re not going to count “the wonders of Photoshop” among the things we’ve learned from this cover, despite the overwhelming evidence, as we’ve known that for quite some time. But here they go:1) Thor has better hair than Black Widow.Though, if you follow his eyeline, it’s clear he’s envious of the red. Maybe it speaks to the Norse alien in him.2) Cap’s costume looks like it’s made of velcro and styrofoam. To be fair, his old outfit was pre-space-age, so he didn’t have access to “the future.” But there’s just something reassuring about leather. (That’s what she said.)
3) Mark Ruffalo looks like he’s visiting from a totally different movie. I get that they don’t want to give away what this version of the Hulk looks like, but this just looks like a fashion scientist dropped by the set … after a tussle with a hair dryer.
4) Robert Downey Jr.’s facial hair looks more geometrically silly than ever when next to real people. Seriously, if something goes wrong with this whole Iron Man thing, he could try his hand at fighting crime as the Protractor.
5) Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye looks like he’s modeling the Ozymandias Summer Casual Collection. It’s all collars all the time, baby!
This Week in Star Trek :
6 villains we think should return to cause trouble in Star Trek 2
Star Trek 2 continues to move ahead and it’s hard to not think about the potential villains who might be causing havoc for the Enterprise crew. The last movie featured a Romulan from the future, Nero, whose arrival in the past immediately causes an alternate reality for Abrams’ and his creative team to start anew for future films.
Back in July, MTV, spoke with writer/producer Damon Lindelof, who said the springboard for determining the antagonist for the next film was “to Khan or not to Khan.”
“I think that to Khan or not to Khan was the jumping off question,” Lindelof explained. What followed was a heated debate and then a resolution. “Once we came to that decision we stuck to our guns.”
Even though Lindelof and company are keeping the villain they’ve decided on to themselves, there is no reason we can’t imagine who that character might be.
Lindelof stated further in the interview that the next movie would focus more on characters who are not named Kirk and Spock.
“The first movie was really kind of designed as a buddy cop movie,” said Lindelof, citing the iconic Lethal Weapon pair of Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh as examples. “That’s definitely a huge theme of Trek and one that you cannot abandon. But I do think that the sequel is also going to want to explore other relationships,” he added, “and certainly characters who are more in the background get to shine a little bit brighter.”
Perhaps the villain will help focus on these “background” characters, perhaps even be one of them? Check out the list below and let us know your thoughts on villains we think should return to cause trouble in Star Trek 2.
First Appearance: Star Trek Nemesis
The Future Past: Remans were explored very briefly in the Next Generation continuity when they were they introduced in the Nemesis film. Then they were shown again in several episodes of Star Trek Enterprise. Given they were so new to the franchise and never fully fleshed out it would be interesting to see them approached in the Abrams’ canon of Star Trek. Remans are said, though never explicitly stated, to have descended from Vulcans like the Romulans. The three species share many similar features such as pointed ears, humanoid appearance and limited telepathic abilities.
The Possible Star Trek 2 Future: This could make for an interesting plotline in the film, exploring another Vulcan enemy, while they try to rebuild their planet. It would be hard to imagine that Abrams and crew would want to use another Vulcan plotline for the sequel, but the Remans are one of the few Star Trek aliens we don’t know a lot about. It would be cool given the clean slate to explore their origins and how they actually do relate to the Romulans and Vulcans.
The Future Past: A Starfleet lieutenant commander and ship’s navigator named Gary Mitchell and Kirk were friends since he joined the service. Kirk asked for Mitchell to come aboard his first command. While aboard the Enterprise, Mitchell is “zapped” by the Galactic Barrier, which turns his eyes glowing silver and grants him enhanced ESP powers. As he grows stronger, he becomes a danger to the ship and crew, so Kirk is forced to maroon him on the planet Delta Vega. Mitchell doesn’t go quietly, however, and Kirk is forced to kill him on the planet’s surface.
The Possible Star Trek 2 Future: The idea of making Mitchell, a Federation officer and friend to Kirk, the villain would be one of the ways you could break down Kirk’s world and show the crew coming together … not to mention it’s a great human element. This could also be the way Lindelof and crew figured out how to explore the other characters outside of Kirk and Spock. You probably need to recreate the circumstances of how Mitchell becomes evil, but the idea is sound. The greatest thing about sequels is that it gives people a chance to knock down the universe you just created. Give the people who just won a defeat. The Dark Knight did it well and The Empire Strikes Back is often referenced as a great example of this. So why not do that with Mitchell in this upcoming Star Trek film?
The Future Past: An interesting character, Trelane is like a cross between Liberace, The Scarlett Pimpernel and Jack Sparrow, plus he has always captured the fancy of Star Trek fans. A god with the mind of a child, you can’t help but want to find a connection with Trelane and the later Q villain. And in the Peter David novel, Q-Squared, Trelane is revealed to be a member of the Q Continuum, with Q being assigned as his mentor.
The Possible Star Trek 2 Future: Abrams’ could bring an interesting spin to a character like Trelane in the new universe. Wouldn’t it be even more interesting if the Gary Mitchell and Trelane plotlines crossed in the next film? Seeing the Chris Pine Kirk in a battle of wits with this guy would be entertaining as much as it is fun. The only worry is that you risk just making this guy another Q, so the approach would really have to be distinct. It’s the childlike nature of Trelane that is most interesting so that might be a place to start.
First Appearance: Star Trek TOS episode: “The Devil in the Dark”
The Future Past: a non-traditional villain from TOS episode “The Devil in the Dark,” they are a silicon-based life form and not humanoid. In the episode, the Horta were difficult to detect with tricorders, and are invulnerable to type 1 phasers, though they can be injured with an adjusted type 2 phaser. They feed on rock with the aid of an extremely corrosive acid. This acid is so corrosive that it only leaves fragments of bone and teeth if used on a human.
The Possible Star Trek 2 Future: JJ Abrams loves monsters (i.e. Cloverfield, Super 8) and the Horta would give him an excuse to bring on some monster magic for his next Star Trek film. A Star Trek monster movie has never been done before so it would be interesting to see Abrams portray the Horta in that regard. Perhaps he could go all Ridley Scott Alien on the next Star Trek, which would be something interesting. After all, Lindelof did just write Prometheus, a prequel to that film, so that isn’t too far of a stretch, is it?
First Appearance: Star Trek TOS Unaired Pilot Episode: “The Cage”
The Future Past: There have been rumors of a Christopher Pike subplot in the next film, one that even connects in Robert April. The Talosians might be the thing that puts that subplot together. In the unaired TOS pilot episode “The Cage,” the Enterprise, then led by Pike, head to Talos IV where they are met by the Talosians, who have insane telepathic skills. Living a life using illusion in an addictive way, these guys could be menacing and would certainly create a pretty trippy Star Trek film. The illusion-addicted aliens returned in the famed “Menagerie” episodes to give Pike a place to go where he could live out the rest of his days with the illusion he has legs.
The Possible Star Trek 2 Future: This would be interesting to see Abrams tackle given his record with the supernatural. Giving Bruce Greenwood more to do in the next film is always a great idea as well. The idea of showing the crew in a situation where they question their own reality, who they are, and their mission are all things these villains could manifest in a sequel. It would also allow for the development to focus on the other characters outside of Spock and Kirk.
First Appearance: Star Trek TOS episode: “The Errand of Mercy”
The Future Past: This Klingon warrior has been all over the place in the Star Trek franchise. First appearing in the TOS episode “The Errand of Mercy” and then in later DS9 episodes, Kor would be great to make the Klingons the center of the next story, especially since we didn’t see them at all in the last film. In the previous canon, Kor played key roles in many legendary battles against the Federation and the Romulan Empire.
The Possible Star Trek 2 Future: This guy could be the guy who gives Kirk his early mistrust of Klingons. Klingons are also some of the most famous species in the franchise so making them the villains again would be fun. Sorry, Worf! But this alternate timeline could justify making the Klingons the center of Federation attention and Kor as the main nemesis just seems logical. Wouldn’t it be cool to have Michael Dorn play the character of Kor? Or is that asking too much?
Sci Fi Five at Five:
- The Sarah Conner Chronicles
- Dresden Files
- Legend of the Seeker