Every month, Starburst has the latest Sci-Fi news. Here's a few of this month's stories.

Things to Come
Crusade Update

On the first season of the Babylon 5 spin-off series, Crusade - slated for a January début in the States - the just-wrapped fifth episode, Of Late I Dream of Home, turned out to be a B5 reunion of sorts. Not only did it feature guest appearances by Richard Biggs and Tracy Scoggins reprising their roles as Dr Franklin and Captain Lochley, but it was also directed by Stephen Furst, his first assignment on Crusade.

Gary Cole, who plays Captain Matthew Gideon, claims his character is a bit darker than the usual heroic stereotype. “I think he’s cautious about anything that’s personal, and he’s obsessed about the task at hand; he’s fairly driven by that, but he’s also carrying some bags from the past, and I think that affects a lot of his psyche.”

Jackson Runs Rings...

In a surprise development at the end of August, Peter Jackson pulled his pet project, a cinematic Lord of the Rings, away from ‘development hell’ at Miramax and made it magically reappear at New Line. Miramax had wanted a single film that distilled JRR Tolkien’s classic Fantasy trilogy but Jackson had bigger things in mind.

The result is something to get really excited about for fans of the books or of Jackson – famed for his diverse and energetic work, including Bad Taste, Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners. New Line will pump over $130m into making three films matching the three Lord of the Rings books: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King. The films will be shot back-to-back in Jackson’s native New Zealand which is both cost-effective (about a third of the price of the US) and home to stunning locations that the director believes are ideal for the author’s Middle Earth. “We’ve got it all really,” said Jackson. “It’s almost like Tolkien wrote it on vacation here.”

Full stories in Starburst #243

Carrey on Grinch

Jim Carrey, who is amazing audiences with his performance in the brilliant Truman Show, is being lined-up to star in a large-scale, live-action film of the Dr Seuss Fantasy classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The multi-million dollar deal to secure the rights to the coveted seasonal tale, will see Splash and Apollo 13’s director Ron Howard take the reins along with his producing partner Brian Grazer. Though live-action, Grazer explained that filming will be “augmented by special effects to create a very unique world [so that] even live action characters will look different.”

Jet Pact

J Michael Straczynski has made a ‘strategic alliance’ with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to assist him in the production of his new series Crusade. Straczynski said, “Viewers will see distant worlds never before attempted on any other TV series; worlds around twin stars, bizarre and strange environments and alien life forms based on the best available scientific research from JPL. We want to bring the sense of wonder back into this kind of storytelling and put the science back into Science Fiction.”

For the full eight-page news section, get Starburst #243 
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