Things to Come

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

Superman… Lives!
Really super Nic Cage?Superman Lives may take off next year according to its producer Jon Peters, probably with Nic Cage but possibly without director Tim Burton. The reason for the surprise turnaround is a new script by Dan (Freejack) Gilroy which Peters says is “good” (making it even more of a shock). Importantly the script focuses more on character action than big, expensive set-pieces which pushed some previous budget estimates to at least $140m. This Superman will be produced with a more ‘moderate’ $90m-$100m maximum. Filming could commence in Summer 1999 with a release in July 2000.

Cage still gets Peters’s vote for the Man of Steel because, “he’s very talented and he’s alien,” quips the producer. “What works in this movie is the death of and the reflection of his own alienness, if you will. I wanted an Academy Award-winning actor. I didn’t want just some tall, handsome guy.”

Full story in Starburst #244

Voyager Destroyed!
That got your attention! Okay, the real story is that a fire broke out on the bridge set of Star Trek: Voyager at the beginning of October. According to reports, a stage light blew during a publicity photo shoot with producer Rick Berman, starting a small fire. This was quickly extinguished but water from sprinklers is said to have rendered much of the bridge and adjoining Captain’s Ready Room and Briefing Room a total loss (think of all those damp monitor screens – not good!). They will have to be repaired or rebuilt, though filming can take place on the many other sets until the damaged sets are ready again, so severe delays are not expected.

Calling it a Day
Robin Tunney (of The Craft and Walter Hill’s upcoming Supernova) is in line to star opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the apocalyptic epic The End of Days. Tunney’s character is the, erm, ‘subtly’ named Christine Bethlehem, a teacher who becomes Satan’s ‘bride’ as he tries to rule over the Earth. Rod Steiger (Mars Attacks!) has also said to have been cast. Tunney will be joining at about the same time as the movie’s yet-to-be-announced director. The original one, Marcus Nispel, the – how shall we say – ‘assertive’ former commercials director has quit the $100m production “amicably” (which translates as – ‘the producers couldn’t wait to see the back of him,’ allegedly). Filming should still begin in November.

Menace: It's Official!
On September 25 George Lucas chose to reward fans checking out his Star Wars website (www.starwars.com) by using it to reveal the title for the previously named Episode One. The film now goes by the curious moniker of The Phantom Menace. The almost ’30s-style label, reminiscent of Rocket Man serials and the like, was met with a mixed reaction from fans venting their feelings on the Internet but after a few days some had warmed to it. Mernawhile, in a takeover that would rival that of The Empire itself, the major toy conglomerate Hasbro, owners of the Kenner brand that makes Star Wars toys, has bought its rival Galoob for a reported $220m. Galoob is the other main producer of licensed Star Wars toys. Both companies have rights to various toy ranges based on the upcoming prequels.

For the full eight-page news section, with news of Deep Space Nine, Sliders, X-Files season Six plus Frankenstein and The Twilight Zone reborn, get Starburst #244 
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