Starburst always has the latest Sci-Fi news
The X-Men film casting takes new surprising turns, proving that beyond the predicted naming of Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier, director Bryan Singer is fostering an unconventional approach. The mainly young cast even finds an Oscar-winner in its midst with 17-year-old Anna Paquin who is to play psychic schoolgirl Rogue. Paquin was an Academy Award-winner for The Piano and also impressed in Fly Away Home.
Joining her are former beauty queen Halle Berry (Jungle Fever, The Flintstones) as Storm, and ex-Sports Illustrated pinup Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (seen briefly in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) as the blue-tinted, shape-changing villainess Mystique. Mid-July saw a strong hint that Payback's Maria Bello (who made a beguiling addition to the ER cast in the 1997-98 season) will play Jean Grey.
Already on-board are Scotland's Dougray Scott (The Crow Road, Ever After) as Wolverine a character whose Canadian origins will be retained in this Toronto-based production and Ian McKellen as Magneto. The only main role that appears vacant at the time of writing is Cyclops, though Jim Caviezel (one of the most prominent actors in the ensemble of The Thin Red Line) has been in -preliminary talks.
Arnie's Bronze Age
As well as Superman, another fine specimen returning to the big screen is Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. Arnold Schwarzenegger is to star as the 'perfect human being' for producer/directors Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) and Chuck Russell (Nightmare on Elm Street 3, The Mask and The Blob). Kenneth Robeson's pulp magazine hero first appeared in the 1930s but has only been filmed once - in a poorly received 1975 production by George Pal.
Before Doc Savage, Chuck Russell will preside over a supernatural thriller called Bless the Child. Ex-NYPD Blue star Jimmy Smits is to play investigator trying to save a child from the clutches of a satanist. Kim Basinger co-stars.
Lone Gunmen fans are in for a treat with Season Seven of The X-Files. Starburst has been told that the trio are lined up to star prominently at least one (and possibly two) special episodes along the lines of The Unusual Suspects and Three of a Kind. They will also make their usual cameos in about five further episodes.
After his hugely entertaining turn as Mini-Me in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Verne Troyer is a little man who's suddenly in big demand. He's next up for a part in the Jim Carrey version of Dr Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Troyer is also said to be considering a part in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Armageddon's director Michael Bay strays further from the genre after hanging up the Larry Cohen-scripted high-concept thriller Phone Booth in favour of a trek into the savannah-based real-life adventure Africa. The Hughes Brothers (Dead Presidents, From Hell) may enter Booth instead.
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