Things to Come by Ian Calcutt Starburst always has the latest Sci-Fi news. Here's a quick burst of this month's stories
Compiled by Ian Calcutt Taken from Starburst #265

T2 star morphs to fill Mulder's shoes

More details on Robert Patrick's regular role in the eighth season of The X-Files. (Spoiler alert for non-US readers)

Robert Patrick in The FacultyPatrick – famed for his role as the main humanoid form of the shape-shifting T-1000 robot in Terminator 2: Judgment Day – will play FBI Agent John Doggett, a former cop who leads the manhunt for Agent Mulder, who was abducted at the end of Season Seven and will appear mostly during the second half of the new season.

Although not intended as a replacement for Mulder but an addition to the cast, Doggett will work with Scully. He’s described as a ‘blue-collar sceptic’. The T2 actor, recently seen in The Faculty, was part of a shortlist consisting of The Evil Dead’s Bruce Campbell, Lou Diamond Phillips and Hart Bochner (Die Hard). Previous rumours put Twin Peaks’ FBI man Kyle MacLachlan, Chris Noth (Sex and the City), Stephen Rea (The Crying Game) and David Caruso (NYPD Blue) in the frame.

As to the thrust of the next season, Chris Carter (talking in the LA Daily News) said, “We’ll bring in some new characters. We have some chances to expand the show yet again. I want to focus more on the character of Scully and tell stories that deal with with a more mythological magic realism approach than we have done before.”

Reitman and Tippett encourage Evolution

Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman is to make Evolution, a Science Fiction comedy from DreamWorks which charts what happens after a meteor strikes present-day Earth and single-celled organisms mutate rapidly. Phil Tippett (Starship Troopers) is to handle the effects. None of the (multi-celled) cast members has yet been confirmed.

Frakes finds time for Clockstoppers

Jonathan Frakes has been tapped by Terminator producer Gale Anne Hurd to direct Clockstoppers, a family Fantasy which follows a group of kids who discover a way to stop time. The Star Trek actor-turned-director also has a Sci-Fi spoof movie, Steve Was Here, in development.

Fox’s Freakshow

The Fox Network’s new genre series Fearsum is to change its name to Freakylinks. If that sounds tacky, it’s actually because the network thought Fearsum wasn’t descriptive enough and Freakylinks is the name of a website featured in the show which is run by the lead character (and recreated as a real website for viewers).

Chris Claremont on X-Men by Ian Spelling

Halle Berry whips up a Storm

Chris Claremont smiles. “I think anybody would be happy,” he says, just one day after the X-Men feature opened in the US to a record-breaking $54.7 million.

“To be one of the best three-day grossers in history is more than any of us hoped or dreamed. So, cool. Totally cool.” Claremont, of course, is the X-Men’s main man these days. Actually, he has been for a while. It was nearly 18 years ago that Claremont took over the day-to-day on the X-Men comic book title, which had been created by comic legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1967.

Thus, he was both curious and nervous about stepping into a movie theatre to check out what director Bryan Singer and company had done with X-Men. “Under the circumstances, I probably wouldn’t have done anything differently,” he says in the wake of the film’s success, before going on to comment on the fine line between film and comics.

“If it ain’t broke, why fix it? I think it did exactly what it had to do, which was present to the audience a collection of characters and a window on a world that they could relate to, that they could embrace, that they found attractive and interesting and cool and exciting and that left you wanting to see what happens next.

"It’s much like what Gene Roddenberry accomplished 30 years ago with Star Trek or what George Lucas did 20 years ago with Star Wars. In a sense, the X-Men story isn’t the most important aspect of this. It’s the characters winning the hearts and minds of the audience, which is necessary if you want to build an audience and tell more stories.

A candid conversation continued in Starburst #265...

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