Things to Come

Starburst always has the latest Sci-Fi news
Here's a quick burst of this month's stories

selected from Starburst #252

The Returning Jedi

Rumours gather about who may be in line to play a 19-year-old Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars - Episode II, with NYPD Blue’s Rick Schroder as one candidate and even Leonardo DiCaprio as another (the Titanic star, a known Star Wars fan, was seen visiting Lucas). But it is still early days and speculation is sure to be rife in the coming months. For the record, producer Rick McCallum was quoted as saying that no casting will begin until the autumn.

We can be fairly sure that Samuel L Jackson will be back. George Lucas told Rosie O’Donnell on her TV show that Sam’s is “an emerging character as we call it. He and Ewan McGregor are both emerging characters. They’re going to be much bigger in the next [movie].” Most fans will probably not relish the return of Jar Jar Binks. His fate currently seems undecided.Shooting on the $100m-budgeted Episode II is scheduled for June 2000 for a release in 2002.

Babylon Slide

Jerry Doyle Slides away from B5

There are some familiar new arrivals in the fifth season of Sliders which recently started in the US with three Babylon 5 actors shifting across, one in a recurring role.

Peter Jurasik will play Dr Oberon Geiger, a ‘disembodied scientist’ who causes the Sliders to experience an identity crisis in the season première, The Unstuck Man. Jurasik is scheduled for at least two further appearances. Meanwhile, Jerry Doyle plays a soldier in command of a strange bunker situated between dimensions in Strangers and Comrades. Finally, Julie Caitlin Brown will appear in one episode as a female Kromagg.

Stewart Goes X-Rated

The X-Men movie has found its Professor X – delighting Star Trek fans and surprises no one. Confirmation crept through with surprisingly less fanfare than Ian McKellen’s casting as Magneto (see last issue) that, as heavily rumoured for months, Patrick Stewart will indeed play Charles Xavier. The third confirmed cast member is wrestler Tyler Mane as Sabretooth. One casting suggestion that won’t bear out is that Russell Crowe (Virtuosity, LA Confidential) will be Wolverine. Ever After and Crow Road star Dougray Scott (currently filming Mission: Impossible 2) is reportedly in talks for that role.

Back from the Dead
The extraordinary US box-office success of Stephen Sommers’s hokey The Mummy ($135m and counting) has already led to talk of a sequel. “We see the sequel as The Mummy Goes to London,” said co-producer Jim Jacks in Entertainment Weekly. “He’s shipped to the British Museum and suddenly wakes up again.”

The Mummy’s popular mix of a mainly computer-generated title character and large-scale Fantasy horror or adventure looks like having a knock-on effect both inside Universal Pictures and elsewhere. Sommers is the latest name being tipped to helm Jurassic Park 3, with The Haunting’s Jan De Bont another contender.

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