As you may know, casting announcements for Peter Jacksons
The Lord of the Rings now include Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Ian Holm as
veteran Hobbit Bilbo Baggins and Christopher Lee as the wicked wizard Saruman.
The word on the street is that Lee turned down the larger role as Gandalf
because he did not want to spend a protracted amount of time in New Zealand,
and he is keeping himself free for the first of the much-anticipated Hammer
remakes, The Devil Rides Out, which will be directed, very soon, by Joe
feature on Peter
Jackson's Braindead in this issue!
DreamWorks Television, Steven
Spielbergs TV off-shoot has just signed two of the writer-producers
behind The X-Files and Millennium series to develop new SF TV
programming for NBC. Glen Morgan and Jim Wong will serve as executive producers
for the upcoming paranormal thriller series The Others. The duo also
teamed on the supernatural thriller Flight 180 with Wong directing and
the two men sharing screenwriting credits. The Others is an hour-long
drama about a group of people from different walks of life drawn together by
their powers to connect to the spirit world. NBC has ordered 13 episodes, which
will begin airing early next year.
Spielberg himself is also bringing Stephen
Kings novel The Talisman to the ABC network as a four-hour
mini-series. The novel follows a young mans perilous journey to find a
mysterious talisman that holds the key to saving his mothers life. His
travels take him into a parallel universe discovered by his father, a
treacherous world where the son is forced to battle demonic forces at every
King wrote the 1984 book with Peter
Straub and Spielberg has owned the rights to the project since then. The
Talisman project marks the second major TV mini-series Spielberg has committed
to executive produce as hes spearheading the megabucks, 20-hour alien
abduction mini-series Taken for the Sci-Fi Channel.