Things to Come

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

selected from Starburst #246

Insurrection Makes It So
It’s another hit for the Enterprise crew. Star Trek: Insurrection made a respectable début in the US with $22.4m in box-office takings for the weekend of December 11-13. Critically, the ninth big-screen adventure (and second ‘proper’ one for the Next Generation cast), fared well among the mainstream press but worse with those more committed to Trek over the years – complaining that with Insurrection they’ve seen it all before and often better on the small screen. An action sequence was reportedly added to the climax by the studio to try and appease the ‘core audience’.

In the publicity rounds for Insurrection, several indicators of the franchise’s future have emerged from those involved. Firstly, will Data be terminated? Brent Spiner revealed to The Calgary Sun that because his face is aging and the role won’t be plausible for much longer, he wanted his android character to be killed off in this film, something that may yet happen with Star Trek X.

Full story in Starburst #246

Peter Jackson has been quoted saying that work on the Lord of the Rings film trilogy is “going good” even though he and his wife are “in scriptwriting hell” trying to finish all three scripts by February so full development work can go ahead before the massive 13-month shoot starts at around August time. “We’re not being quite so archaic with the Hobbit’s dialogue,” Jackson told a local New Zealand paper, “but at the same time we are certainly not being colloquial either. Some of the characters [like] kings and wizards, we’re writing in the same colloquial style Tolkien used.” It was also mentioned that parts of the dialogue will be in elvish with English subtitles and Jackson has been contacted by at least six people from various parts of the world who claim to be able to translate it for him. “What we are doing,” he said, “is to write the English version, get that working first, then contact our elvish experts and get advice on language and guidance on how to pronounce it.” Casting has been taking place in London, Dublin, Sydney, Los Angeles and New Zealand.

God’s Gift
In a surprise choice, America’s respected National Board of Review of Motion Pictures made Bill Condon’s Gods and Monsters its Best Picture of 1998. The touching film (relating the last days of Frankenstein director James Whale – played by the excellent Ian McKellen) was widely acclaimed but few expected it to win such an award ahead of contenders like Saving Private Ryan.

Condon said he was “astonished” at the win. McKellen also won Best Actor while Ed Harris won Best Supporting Actor for The Truman Show.

Clive Barker, one of Gods and Monsters executive producers, has produced and narrated a 30-minute making-of documentary for the film which will be included on laser disc and DVD editions. At a special Hollywood screening of the documentary, Barker reportedly unveiled his next project re-teams him with Bill Condon and will be “an all-out gay Horror movie; it won’t be all hints and suggestions.”

Sleepy Time
The Ain’t-it-Cool News website carried a scoop on Tim Burton’s upcoming Sleepy Hollow by revealing the full and very impressive cast as well as displaying some enticing production design drawings. According to the report, the cast of Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci and Casper Van Dien now also includes Burton stalwarts like Jeffrey Jones (Beetle Juice), Lisa Marie (Ed Wood, Mars Attacks!), Michael Gough (Batman) and Christopher Walken (Batman Returns) as the Headless Horseman. Due to the UK studio filming, Gough is joined by such Brits as Miranda Richardson (Black Adder), Richard Griffiths (Greystoke, Withnail and I) and Ian McDiarmid (Star Wars). We can’t wait!

For the full eight-page news section, with news of Bond 19, Austin Powers 2, The Simpsons plus Minority Reportand Star Wars Starburst #246 
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