Archive for film adaptation

Where Have the Wild Things Been?

Posted in adaptations, books, cast & crew, cult status, directors, fantasy, film, filmmaking, news, writers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2009 by worldofmatmos

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Undoubtedly one of Generation-X’s greatest filmmakers, Spike Jonze is known to film geeks worldwide for his magnificent visual style and ability to evoke the beauty and the strangeness of the stories and characters he films. With the long-gestating production of his adaptation of Maurice Sendak‘s beloved classic children’s tale Where the Wild Things Are, Jonze and company seem to have crafted a jarringly beautiful representation of the prose. Despite studio interference, visual effects set-backs, and rumors of Jonze having to go back to square-one and shoot everything completely over, it looks like things may be on track, as the film is still looking at an October 16 release.

Whilst that is still months away, Jonze will have the time to perfectly craft the picture and hone the performances of the characters. Beautifully photographed by Jonze’s long-time collaborator Lance Acord, and shot in the Australian wilderness, Where the Wild Things Are will have a “look and feel [that] is very naturalistic—when our creatures knock down trees, they really knock down trees,” explains Jonze.

The production, which has been ongoing since 2006, has been plagued by studio interference on many of the artistic decisions. First, there were issues with the creature work – CG versus practical effects – and Spike’s decision to go with an unknown lead, 9-year-old Max Records, who plays Max, who apparently received ill reviews from some during an early test-screening last year. According to the production team, Records is fantastic as Max, and it will be his performance that will ultimately carry the picture. When will studio suits realize that when they’re dealing with an artist of Jonze’s caliber, they just need to sign the checks, sit back, shut the fuck up, and the let the man do his job? Seriously.

where-the-wild-things_lWith an excellent script (with much approval by Sendak himself) by Jonze and mighty scribe Dave Eggers, the film stars Jonze-favorite Catherine Keener, James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Lauren Ambrose, and Tom Noonan. This film will not only be embraced by fans of the book, nor only by film geeks, but it looks destined to become a children’s cult-classic in its own right. It will definitely be one of the most personal films of the year. Hopefully it will receive its dues and the studio suits that have denounced it will get their comeuppance.

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Great Scott! Ridley’s Return to Science-Fiction!

Posted in action/adventure, film, news, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , on October 28, 2008 by worldofmatmos

As anyone who knows anything about film, there is resounding agreement that Ridley Scott is one of the few remaining master filmmakers still working. The man has undoubtedly “the best eye in the business” and has proven himself for nearly 40 years. The legendary director’s earlier films are some of the most beloved films in history, particularly in the realms of science-fiction and fantasy. Two of his most iconic works – Alien and Blade Runner – remain as pillars of the industry, still inspiring filmmakers today, and surely for all time. Nearing the end of the 1980s, Scott began delving into other genres, and whilst still creating magnificent pieces, geeks yearned for his return to sci-fi. Well, it seems that it may actually be happening.

Recently, news has been circulating webwide that Sir Ridley has finally rescued one of his long-entrenched-in-development-hell dream projects, the adaptation of Joe Haldeman’s classic epic novel The Forever War. The director had been trying to get the project into production for 24 years, but to no avail…until now. The thought of Ridley Scott helming something as huge [in narrative and scope] as this has left film geeks salivating.

The story involves a deep-space soldier who is thrust into intergalactic warfare that lasts only seven years, yet when he returns home to Earth, he finds that 20 years have passed and the world is much different than it once was. Expect a beautiful dystopic vision of the future as only Ridley Scott can portray it on the big screen. There is sure to be a great cast, majestic visuals, dramatic action, and cutting-edge effects in this highly-anticipated film. More on this as it comes in…

Warners to Adapt “Ninja Scroll”

Posted in action/adventure, anime, fantasy, film, horror, news, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2008 by worldofmatmos

Yoshiaki Kawajiri has been one of the Japanese anime industry’s greatest influences for nearly 30 years, and his seminal period piece Ninja Scroll (Jubei ninpuchou) is another one of his masterful works adored by fans worldwide. So, it’s only natural Hollywood wants to cash in on a live-action adaptation.

According to this past Sunday’s article at Variety, Warner Brothers in association with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production house will produce an adaptation by the currently red-hot scribe Alex Tse. The production will be co-produced by Madhouse. Tse pulled writing duty for Zack Snyder’s upcoming Watchmen and has also adapted Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man for Snyder. Appian Way is also currently making headway with their adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s masterpiece Akira.

On a personal sidenote, this news comes as bittersweet. Sure, it is cool that Hollywood has the ability to make such films these days, and there is undoubtedly some talent working on these adaptations, but being that the original works are [to some] untouchable – or at the very least should have the input of the original creators, directors, and/or artists, all of which has been thrown to the wayside in lieu of remaking these projects for American audiences.

Hopefully, Appian & WB will pioneer this with their joint production with Studio Madhouse, the original anime production team. As of yet, there has been no word on the level of their involvement, but hopefully if these great talents play a major role on these live-action anime adaptations, it may ensure that these projects do not ultimately fall prey to cinematic acculturation.

Who watches the Watchmen [new trailer]?

Posted in action/adventure, fantasy, film, news, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2008 by worldofmatmos

The film adaptation of Alan Moore’s iconic cult graphic novel is shaping up to be something quite spectacular. Director Zack Snyder has done a great job translating those pages to the screen. Of course, there will always be its critics, but check out the world premiere trailer that just aired on SpikeTV’s Scream Awards and decide for yourself. Watchmen opens on March 6, 2009. Awesome.