Strange Happenings  
Grant Kempster checks out the fantastic world of entertainment. Oh, and he does the artwork too
Choice morsels from our news section, covering the world of the fantastic selected from Xposé #43

Could Buffy Meet Spidey?

Nicholas Brendon could be climbing the walls as SpidermanIt’s been a while since we’ve mentioned the world’s most famous webslinger - Spider-Man is one of those projects which has dwelled in production hell for so, so long...

Since the departure of James Cameron, we can tell you that directors such as Chris Columbus, David Fincher and Jan De Bont have all been considered. Then a certain cult director walked into Sony’s offices and pitched his ideas to great effect, leaving execs stunned. That man was Sam Raimi, and despite the lack of confirmation from the men at the top, it would seem that he is Spidey’s best shot at hitting the screens in time for Summer 2001.

Of course, nothing is that simple though, as our man Raimi is about to begin production of The Gift, a supernatural flick set in Georgia starring Cate Blanchett and Keanu Reeves. “Uh, I’m trying to get Spider-Man, but they’re never going to let me do it,” Raimi told Sci-Fi Wire, “They’d have to move this and that.” Despite Raimi’s pessimism, it looks as if Sony are prepared to work around the problem.

Already the name Nicholas Brendon is being mentioned in the same breath as Spider-Man, (you know the guy, he plays Xander in a little show called Buffy!), a fact that I’m sure we are all extremely happy to hear. Of course the Brendon camp is neither confirming or denying the rumor (what’s new!) but we can but hope.

Uber Jason?

You thought that hockey-masked Jason Vorhees had hacked his last victim to bits in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday? Wrong!

Jason X. No relation to Malcolm X, then Don’t start barricading the doors yet though, ‘cause he’s not going to return for another 400 years! As we’ve mentioned briefly before, New Line’s latest horror project Jason X is due to begin production early this year, but this time he’s swapping the woods of Camp Crystal Lake for the smoky corridors of a space station in a story that pits our Jase against a bunch of alien explorers. No, I’m not kidding!

“I wanted to take Jason X to a completely new level,” executive producer and originator of the Friday franchise Sean Cunningham told The Hollywood Reporter, “like nothing anyone has ever seen before, with lots of unexpected twists and turns... When I saw what Jim Isaac and Todd Farmer had done with the material, I knew that we really had something special.”

The story is set on a desolate Earth in the year 2455 where Jason and a mystery female are cryogenically frozen, that is until a bunch of aliens drop down for a field visit and defrost the duo. Cue lots of blood, guts and perhaps even a cyber-Jason? At a recent Fangoria convention, the producer teased with this line. “I’ll only tell you this: think Uber-Jason.” Erm, okay.

The Lost Girls

When word spread that Joel Schumacher was interested in reviving the Lost Boys franchise, many of the original’s fans got all excited. If you were one of those, then you’d better sit down as I reveal what the man who brought the Batman series crashing to its rubber-padded knees has in store. A family moves to a small town, there are a strange contingent of female babes who seem to have a secret; that’s right, they’re vampires! Nice to know that after 13 years to think up a clever idea you haven’t let us down, Joel!

Batman Beyond

The next phase in the actual Batman franchise remains annoyingly close yet still tantalizingly far away. This month’s rumors start with news that the director of cult film Pi, Darren Aronofsky, is in the running to make the fifth movie in the series, with hopes from Warner Bros that the character can be brought back to his dark roots à la the first two movies. Maybe they should consider asking back the man responsible... Meanwhile, the proposed Bruce Wayne animated series, set to follow Bruce before the bat, has been put on hold while movie plans advance very slowly.

Images © Grant Kempster/Visual Imagination, Paramount Pictures
Feature © Visual Imagination Ltd 2000. Not for reproduction.

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