Things to Come by Ian Calcutt Starburst always has the hottest Sci-Fi news from around the world. Here's a dip into this month's stories
Compiled by Ian Calcutt Taken from Starburst #275

Coppola conceives Mega city

Francis Ford Coppola Francis Ford Coppola has unveiled plans for an ambitious Sci-Fi movie called Megalopolis. Work is already underway in New York, believed to involve master cinematographer Ron Frike, whose astonishing visuals graced the Coppola-produced Koyaanisqatsi and, later, Baraka.

‘It deals with a man who wants to build a city of the future, a utopia,’ Coppola told Teletext, ‘and it’s about the forces that shape it. The scope of this film is equal to if not larger than Apocalypse Now. Megalopolis is a mix of New York and Ancient Rome. I’m working with George Lucas on the use of special effects and CGI... how to use the tools properly.’ Coppola, who plans to release the film in early 2003, will court ‘the greatest actors’ of today, whom he hopes will be drawn to this ensemble piece, as many were for the director’s Godfather saga. The latest news on that is that Brad Pitt will star, and production is slated for the autumn.

Roswell's Jason Behr and Katherine HeiglRoswell gets a third chance

Roswell has once again survived by the skin of its teeth, and may even benefit from the bout of network politics triggered by Buffy’s defection from The WB to UPN.

As predicted last month, The WB decided against renewing the two-year old series, perhaps fearing that its makers Fox might transfer it to a higher paying network once the show had become a success. But UPN have come to the rescue, scheduling it at 9pm on Tuesdays, immediately after the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Though Roswell won’t make its UPN debut until a week after Buffy’s return with a two-hour opener resolving the fifth season’s shocking cliffhanger, its chances of catching the all-important teen zeitgeist should be boosted immensely by inheriting the audience of a show UPN are sure to hype to the sky.

In the meantime, both Roswell and Buffy are off the air for the summer, Tbe WB having decided against giving them repeat screenings.

Time and Again

Pop-star turned actress Samantha Mumba is probably wishing she had a time machine of her own. She is having to redo all her scenes in the HG Wells-inspired Time Machine remake after story modifications were ordered by producer Steven Spielberg.

That’s not the only problem facing the large-scale production. It seems that the rigours of live-action directing have proved too much for former animator (and HG Wells’s grandson) Simon Wells who was reportedly forced to take a rest after suffering ‘extreme exhaustion’.

Taking over for the last three weeks of shooting was MouseHunt director Gore Verbinski. In related news, a $42m digital cinema version of HG Wells’s The War of the Worlds is said to be in development by US production company Pendragon. It’s likely to feature ‘unknown’ or TV actors and be directed by Timothy Hines (Bug Wars).

Starburst #275

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Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction

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