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 #268

Soft Rains fall for Stanley

Island of Dr MoreauHardware and Dust Devil writer-director Richard Stanley is close to reviving his cinema career with In a Season of Soft Rains. The SF-thriller is one Stanley has intended to make for several years but it looks like digital cameras may come to his aid in bringing the ambitious production in for a mere $9m.

The story is set in the UK after a revolution and follows an American assassin who attempts to kill a prominent member of the royal family who has retreated to Wales. Tests are occurring to see if digital cameras can handle the considerable number of night scenes for the film, although the electronic format will make the addition of digital effects easier - the same approach George Lucas is taking with Star Wars: Episode II.

Stanley was famously ousted from the 1996 Island of Dr Moreau. We can only wonder how much better that disastrous remake might have turned out if Stanley had remained. Hopefully Soft Rains will fulfil the potential he showed in Hardware and Dust Devil.

Jet Li singled out as The One

Jet LiHong Kong action star Jet Li (Romeo Must Die) has been offered $7.5m to star in The One, an epic SF thriller by former X-Files staffers James Wong and Glen Morgan, whose movie careers have soared since their Final Destination became a jumbo hit.

The One is the previously untitled project which was to star Dwayne Johnson (aka WWF wrestler The Rock) but he has since committed to a fast-track Mummy spinoff, The Scorpion King. Written by Morgan and Wong and to be directed by Wong, The One tells of a cop who encounters his evil twin from another dimension. Morgan and Wong will polish their script to suit Li's martial arts talents.

Li is currently in Paris for Luc Besson's thriller Kiss of the Dragon. He has also been linked to the role of Kato in the Green Hornet movie, but Hornet is being rewritten by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Way of the Gun) and will not be made until after The One, which is due to start in January. Li is still rumoured to have a role in the Matrix sequels but whether they fit his busy schedule remains to be seen.

Morgan and Wong are equally prolific these days. They've just signed a deal to write, produce and direct After the Visitation later in 2001. In a return to X-Files themes, After the Visitation is based on a Russian novella called Roadside Picnic which tells of a 20-mile area policed by the UN because an alien landing took place there two decades ago. A local man whose daughter's health has been affected attempts to find answers.


David Duchovny is to head the ensemble cast of Ivan (Ghostbusters) Reitman's Evolution, an SF comedy about a meteor carrying single-celled organisms which evolve at an alarming rate when they crash to Earth in New Mexico.

Some might say it's odd for Duchovny - who wanted to reduce his involvement with The X-Files after seven years - to go off and make another project featuring aliens.

Duchovny (who plays a science professor) will be joined in the movie by Julianne Moore (The Lost World, Hannibal), Orlando Jones (Magnolia, From Dusk Till Dawn 3, Bedazzled) and Seann William Scott (Final Destination, Road Trip).


Man of Iron
Blade movie studio New Line has bought the rights to Marvel's Iron Man after an attempted movie by 20th Century Fox stalled two years ago. New Line didn't need to look far for inspiration when it came to hiring a fresh screenwriter. Tim McCanlies, whose credits include Brad Bird's excellent Iron Giant, will tackle the big screen adaptation (we're glad they didn't ask the writer of Iron Eagle II).

Iron Man concerns billionaire Tony Stark who, after suffering heart damage from a war injury, builds a pacemaker into a high-tech suit of armour, which in turn allows him to create the persona of a mighty crime fighter.

Kung Fu comes out fighting
Mandalay Pictures (the company behind Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow) has acquired a high-concept comedy Fantasy script called Kung Fu Theater from Grosse Pointe Blank writer Tom Jankiewicz.

The story, co-written by Paul Jay Shrater, follows a comic book artist who's transported into martial arts films while scanning for ideas on TV. In this good-humoured parody, the artist finds himself living out storylines from his favourite kung fu movies.

Long-term Starburst readers may recognise the Jankiewicz surname. Tom is the brother of occasional contributor Pat Jankiewicz.

Solaris flares up again
Andrei Tarkovski's 1972 Russian SF milestone Solaris could be getting a Hollywood remake next year, but before any purists sweat too much, there are some stellar names attached. Overseeing the production will be James Cameron - who has been conducting extensive research into US and Russian space missions for his planned Mars venture. Writing and possibly directing will be the versatile Steven Soderbergh (sex, lies and videotape, Kafka, Out of Sight, The Limey and Erin Brockovich).

There's much more news in every issue.
So why not buy Starburst #268 now?

Feature © Visual Imagination 2000. Not for reproduction

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