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After glowing reviews for his role opposite Oscar nominee Ian McKellen in Gods and Monsters, Brendan Fraser will star in the supernatural adventure Monkey Bone for Fox Animation Studios. In the combination of live-action photography and stop-motion animation to be directed by Henry (Nightmare Before Christmas) Selick, Fraser will play a neurotic cartoonist with a hit animated TV show. After a car crash, he winds up in a coma and must join forces with one of his creations, Monkey Bone, to outwit Death and escape Dark Town, a purgatory-like limbo between life and death. Fraser replaces Ben Stiller, who has taken a co-starring role in Universals Mystery Men. With much of the set and creature design work already completed (the Monkey Bone character is entirely stop-motion animation), Fox is looking toward an April or May start. The film is based on Kaja Blackleys graphic novel.
Action blockbuster producer Joel Silver and director Robert Zemeckis have teamed up to form Dark Castle Entertainment, a Warner Bros-based film company designed to produce mid-budget horror pictures. Their first venture will be a remake of gimmick producer William Castles famous 1958 Vincent Price starrer House on Haunted Hill (see also this issue's feature on Castle's Mr Sardonicus). Zemeckis wanted to remake the Castle chiller because its one of his all-time favourites. Silver said, We will invoke the spirit of William Castle but our pictures will be more cool and smart. In the remake written by Dick Beebe and Malone, five strangers are offered $1 million each to spend the night in a house with a hideous past. As the occupants learn more about the history of the house, they discover that it was once an insane asylum headed by a deranged doctor, and they come to understand the true power of evil.
Also in this issue's news... The Martian Race is coming! - to TV progress on John Travolta's pet project Battlefield Earth more Bond 19 casting Steve Miner's all set for Ghosting David Bowie gets The Hunger again, and much more