Shivers news logo
Read Alan Jones' full News Pages every month in Shivers.
Can't find it locally? Buy it here at VI DIRECT
selected from Shivers #89

Ralph Fiennes as OneginAlong came Cronenberg's Spider
After deciding not to direct Basic Instinct 2 (thank goodness, what was he thinking!) Canadian shock purveyor David Cronenberg is teaming with Ralph Fiennes for the psychological thriller Spider. Patrick McGrath adapted the script from his best-selling dark novel about a young man’s descent into insanity. The title refers to a childhood nickname given the protagonist by his mother. “Everyone who’s involved with Spider has that special tingle, that passion,” said Cronenberg. “We are sure it’s going to be a classic psychological thriller and we can’t wait to get started.” Unconfirmed reports state that Billy Elliott star Jamie Bell will play the Fiennes character as a teenager.

Great Bales of Fire
I caught up with American Psycho star Christian Bale recently when he was putting the finishing touches to the SF drama Equilibrium in Berlin.

Christian Bale and Emily Watson first co-starred in Metroland.In that Brave New World action adventure, he stars with Emily Watson, Taye Diggs, Sean Bean and Angus MacFadyen. Bale really is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet in the film industry and he told me the main reason he took on the Big Brother action adventure was to learn all about making a special effects driven movie. Why? Because he’s just about to start filming the futuristic sword and sorcery blockbuster Reign of Fire for X-Files director Rob Bowman in Dublin.

As reported here before, the Mad Max-style tale is set in England and revolves around a brood of fire-breathing dragons that emerge from a subterranean world to dominate the planet. Bale plays the hero who wants revenge on the creatures for killing his mother. He teams up with American slayer Matthew McConaughey to destroy the queen dragon. Bale said, “I’m the one who tries to keep everyone alive while hunter Matthew attempts to kill the bastards. It’s a great script full of exciting stunts and loads of special effects.” But don’t call them dragons in Bale’s presence. He remarked, “They are fire-breathing reptiles. We are under strict instruction by the director not to mention the ‘D’ word because they don’t have any real connection to the mythical creatures of old..."

So is that because dragonish films like Dragonslayer and Dragonheart didn’t do so well at the box-office? Bale continued, “I don’t know about that! Reign of Fire is an original idea. I made Equilibrium to put my toe in the visual effects waters to see what it was all about. I wanted to know what I would be up against.”

Wes Craven's Jekyll and Hyde
The classic Robert Louis Stevenson Horror tale Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is coming to the screen again thanks to Scream director Wes Craven. The Elm Street helmer will direct the new version for Dimension Films from a script by Craig (Jurassic Park 3) Rosenberg. The project will add a few twists to the original tale, which has been adapted for the screen several times, most notably in 1932 by Rouben Mamoulian starring Frederic March’s Oscar-winning performance and in 1941 by director Victor Fleming starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner. Also on the slate for Craven and Dimension is Alice, a Gothic Horror version of the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland based on the recent Electronic Arts video game.

Feature © Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction