the Future: Trust No 1
At last the X-Files movie is out there - in America at least - and a few things can be verified. Chris Carter admitted in the week of the film's June 19 US release that he had a hand in putting "enough bogus information out there". The main example is the surprise revelation that the character names of the film's two heavyweight actors, Martin Landau and Armin Mueller-Stahl, are not what everyone was led to believe. This appears to have been a ruse to make those doing advance preview features look out-of-touch when the film finally opened (and it worked, you sly jesters at 10:13 Productions!).
An explanation of Samantha Mulder's disappearance is another change. This was originally in the film but Carter is now said to want to deal with that in the show's next season.
Another example is the rumoured Mulder/Scully kiss. Although director Rob Bowman said David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson got "right into it" after a few takes and had a final passionate couple of takes - which were not used. It's now merely a 'near-kiss'. As Variety noted: 'The simmering sexual tension between the leads is taken to the brink in a way that will titillate the show's dedicated adherents, who in general can be expected to be satisfied by the film, even if it may not measure up to the most memorable episodes of the series.'
Strange but Truman
Peter Weir's stunning Truman Show beamed into the number one slot at the US box office on its June 5 release (knocking Godzilla off the top after just a week). Although the film is ironic and wryly comical - and sinister at times - its humour does not rely on its star Jim Carrey. Considering this totally 'non-Dumb and Dumber' approach was a risk, its début takings of $31.6m made it a resounding success. An almost unanimous hit with critics too, the film remained steadily at the top in the second week and within three weeks had taken $85m. In the same amount of time Godzilla was almost a memory as far as the Top Ten was concerned.
In a response to reviewers' raves about Truman's originality, The LA Times ran an article tracing some of the film's forerunners. It noted a similarity between Truman and a 1960 Twilight Zone episode by Richard Matheson called A World of Difference as well as a more specific resemblance with a 1966 short film by Paul Bartel called The Secret Cinema (which itself was remade by Bartel for Amazing Stories in 1986). In the article, however, Bartel was supportive, saying he has "heard nothing to indicate that the creators of The Truman Show knew of my film or were influenced by it in any way. If it turns out they have seen my film, so much the better. In a sense, their interest in the idea validates my own interest." (In fact, Truman's screenwriter Andrew Niccol denied all knowledge of the Bartel film).
Millennium's upcoming third season will be executive produced by Chip Johannessen and Michael Duggan - replacing Glen Morgan and James Wong. Johannessen has been a writer/producer on both previous years of Millennium (his credits include Season Two's excellent Luminary), while Duggan co-created last season's short-lived detective series C-16 FBI (he has also served on Law & Order and Earth 2).
Millennium's creator Chris Carter has also stated that he will take a more hands-on approach, having taken a step back to oversee the X-Files and its movie version in recent months.
Making it So
In Night, the fifth season première episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the crew experience a strange region of Space which contains no planets or life-forms of any kind (budget cuts?). The season commences in the US in mid-October. For highlights from an interview with Voyager's former executive producer Jeri Taylor, click here
Though there's still no official word on Tim Burton's Superman - the signs are, sadly, that the production shut-down could be permanent. New rumours say that Burton may even jump ship (though remain with Warners) and return to the Batman franchise.
In the meantime, Variety reports that Burton has been in talks about a brand new project, based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow adapted by the talented Andrew Kevin Walker (writer of Se7en). Filming on Sleepy Hollow, which concerns the myth of the Headless Horseman, will commence in the Autumn.
Focus on the Force
Rumours circulated on the Internet last month that some, if not most of the live-action footage of the new Star Wars movie was found to be faulty with parts of the image out of focus. This has been rigorously denied by official sources. Blame for the rumour has even been levelled at people disgruntled at Lucasfilm's joke about Godzilla (the infamous 'Plot Does Matter' banner poster put briefly on the official Star Wars Internet site in May).
Big Screen Buffy
Joss Whedon is bringing his Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise back to the big screen (where it began as a 1992 film). Whedon wrote the original movie, starring Kristy Swanson, but claimed it was heavily re-written. Now, with the TV spin-off a big hit, he will have the clout to remake the movie the way he wanted. The TV show's Sarah Michelle Gellar will, of course, play Buffy.
"[X-Files creator] Chris Carter admitted in the week of the film's June 19 US release that he had a hand in putting "enough bogus information out there."