Weekly Ketchup: Reboots for Buffy and Alien

Plus new projects for Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, and Steve Coogan

It's been a slow post-Memorial Day news week, but our top 11 stories still have some doozies, including four remakes, two movie projects based on British television shows and the news of what DreamWorks Animation plans to be releasing for the next few years.


#1 BUFFY THE TWILIGHT SLAYER

In 1997, writer and producer Joss Whedon took the idea of a TV show version of the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie and turned it into a cultural and generational sensation, making Sarah Michelle Gellar a star and launching a rabid fanbase that is still among the largest and most dedicated that television has ever seen. The show, however, ended six years ago. Meanwhile, Twilight has come along and given today's young girls a new franchise of human-vampire canoodling to fantasize about. To some tween fans of Twilight who barely remember the show, Sarah Michelle Gellar might just seem like an actress in her 30s who is single digits away from being old enough to be a gramma. So, if you are the producers of the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, what do you do? Take advantage of the concept of there being a "slayer for every generation" and, that's right, reboot Buffy the Vampire Slayer, all Star Trek-like. Oh, if only Star Trek had been both awful and a bomb so that it couldn't be used as an excuse now for even more remakes than we already had (I'm not serious, I wanted Star Trek to be good, and it was, but you know what I mean, right?). To make the concept even more egregious to Buffy fans, there are currently no plans to involve Joss Whedon in the reboot, although they don't "rule it out." Also, since the producers only have the rights to the original movie, that means you won't be seeing any of Buffy's friends, like Spike, Angel or Willow. So, Buffy fans, where do you stand? Do you embrace the concept as a way of continuining the Buffy franchise for generations to come, or does it sound about as cool as, you know, the original movie starring Kristy Swanson?


#2 IF KATEE SACKHOFF IS TYPHOID MARY, SHE SHOULD REALLY HAVE THAT CHECKED OUT

Okay, admittedly, this is a slow news week. Last week there was the Cannes Film Festival, where a lot of news happened, and then this week had Memorial Day and a four day week as well. So, a rumor from a Los Angeles comic book shop that I would normally never have room for, this week ends up in the #2 spot. Katee Sackhoff, who played Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica, paid a visit to Golden Apple last week, where she reportedly bought out every comic the store had that features the Marvel villain Typhoid Mary, possibly in hopes of landing a role in an upcoming Marvel movie. Typhoid Mary, a schizophrenic assassin with mutant powers of telepathy and telekinesis, is a character that is not particularly well known to the audience at large, but has maintained a bit of a fan base over the years among comics fans, since being first introduced as a romantic interest for Daredevil. Typhoid Mary also had a small role in the Elektra movie. So, the question we can ask next is which movie might Sackhoff be auditioning for? The three options seem to be the reboot of Daredevil, the Deadpool movie (Mary has also appeared in his comics) or, and this is probably less likely, a stand alone Typhoid Mary movie.


#3 DISNEY ON BOARD FOR YET ANOTHER FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR

Walt Disney Pictures is developing a remake of their 1986 sci-fi kids adventure (and flop), Flight of the Navigator. Flight of the Navigator was about a twelve year old boy who reappears mysteriously after his disappearance eight years earlier, without having aged a day, just as NASA discovers an abandoned alien spacecraft. Brad Copeland, the writer of Disney's 2007 hit comedy Wild Hogs has been hired to update Flight of the Navigator. There's no director attached yet. Disney had a hit earlier this year with Race to Witch Mountain, a remake of another of their old live-action science fiction movies, so it seems likely that is the model being used for pitching this remake as well. Perhaps Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson can play the NASA official who befriends the young boy?


#4 THE TAKING OUT OF PIRATES 1 2 3

Columbia Pictures has secured the film rights to the life story and upcoming memoir of Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama, the cargo ship famously highjacked by Somalian pirates last month, culminating in the expert sniping by Navy SEALS of three of the pirates holding Phillips at gunpoint. When the Maersk Alabama was taken, Phillips surrendered himself to the pirates so that his crew could lock themselves away, and later attempted an escape. Kevin Spacey is one of the producers of the project, but there's no word yet as to whether the actor is considering playing Phillips, to whom he bares absolutely no resemblance.


#5 DOCTOR WHO AND THE CASE OF THE RECURRING MOVIE RUMOR

Ah spring, it's an annual event as reliable as the recurring rumor of plans for a Doctor Who theatrical movie. Since Star Trek proved an old sci-fi show that got started in the 1960s can be turned into a successful movie 40 years later, why not Doctor Who, right? The revived show continues to be a success both in England and here in America on the Sci Fi network, with fans awaiting the arrival of the eleventh incarnation of The Doctor, to be played by Matt Smith starting in 2010. In the meantime, however, the most recent Doctor was played by Andy Tennant, who will be playing The Doctor in two upcoming episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures. In an article about that appearance, a BBC Films representative confirmed that a "script is in development" for the long-awaited Doctor Who movie. There are no details other than that, except that the movie is "a long time away," which means that by the time it's ever made, the star will probably be Matt Smith, or maybe even whoever plays the 12th incarnation.


#6 HE'S ALAN PARTRIDGE AND YOU'RE NOT

Steve Coogan appears intent to prove that Sacha Baron Cohen isn't the only British comedian who can turn fictional TV characters into movie stars, as he has revealed that plans for an Alan Partridge movie are still alive, based upon the fictional telly presenter that has starred in the shows The Day Today, Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge and I'm Alan Partridge. The idea of an Alan Partridge movie were first announced in 2005, but this is the first news we've heard in years that the project is still quite alive. Unlike Cohen's Borat and Bruno, which were featured in the HBO series Da Ali G Show, Coogan's Alan Partridge character is largely unknown in the United States. According to Wikipedia, Partridge's personality traits include homophobia (despite possibly himself being gay), misogyny, political conservatism and an obsession with being on television as much as possible.


#7 WHEN THE WORKING DAY IS DONE, GIRLS JUST WANNA GET REMADE

As we get closer to the saturation point at which there are no more 1980s movies that aren't being remade, 20th Century Fox has announced plans to remake Girls Just Want to Have Fun, the 1985 comedy starring Helen Hunt and Sarah Jessica Parker that borrowed its title from the Cyndi Lauper hit. Fox has hired Michelle Morgan, who also wrote a romantic comedy called Is He the One for the studio, to work on the script. In the original, Hunt and Parker played two friends who audition to be on a show called Dance TV. The remake seems to be trading upon the popularity of modern reality shows like Dancing with the Stars and Fox's American Idol, as well as the success of 2007's Hairspray, which had a very similar premise.


#8 DANNY MCBRIDE TO BE SOME LUCKY VILLAIN'S BEST HENCH, MAN

Danny McBride is not quite yet a household name, but the commercials for Land of the Lost are certainly getting him face time. The week before that movie opens up, McBride has landed a starring and writing role in Hench, a Warner Bros. adaptation of an obscure 2004 graphic novel ( http://ait-planetlar.com/hench.shtml ) about an injured football player who takes a job as a henchman for a successful super villain. Danny McBride's cowriter on Hench will be Shawn Harwell, who cowrote three episodes of McBride's HBO series Eastbound & Down. Danny McBride's other writing credits include cowriting The Foot Fist Way and the upcoming fantasy spoof Your Highness, in which he will costar with James Franco.


#9 PEGG AND FROST'S PAUL CASTS UP BY GOING SUPERBAD IN ADVENTURELAND

The third movie to costar British comedians Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (stars of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) will be Paul, a road trip comedy from Universal and Working Title about two sci fi fanboys who find an actual alien outside Area 51. That bit of news has actually been known for a while, as well as that it will be directed by Greg Mottola (Adventureland, Superbad), and was written by Frost and Pegg. What is news this week, however, is who the rest of the cast will be. As the voice of Paul, the title character alien, is Seth Rogen, who costarred in Mottola's Superbad. From Mottola's Adventureland (and Saturday Night Live), Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig have also been cast. The other two actors announced this week are Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) and Jane Lynch, the older actress/comedienne who is probably best known for playing Andy's boss in The 40 Year Old Virgin. Although Paul doesn't seem to be quite the same sort of "genre spoof" as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were (unless you consider it a take on the "road trip" comedy), those two guys have a great natural comedic chemistry, and so any chance to see them reunite is highly anticipated.


#10 DREAMWORKS ANIMATION ANNOUNCES THEIR PLANS TO BE ALMOST AS GOOD AS PIXAR FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS

DreamWorks Animation has bumped up its production schedule from two CGI animated movies a year to five movies every two years, and in doing so, has revealed a couple of projects that may have been announced as being developed, but were as yet unconfirmed as being within three years of release. First off, it's worth noting that this newly ambitious schedule follows 2009, in which the animation studio only released Monsters vs Aliens. In 2010, there will be How to Train Your Dragon (3/26/10), Shrek Forever After (AKA Shrek 4) (5/21/10) and Oobermind (AKA Master Mind) (11/5/10). In 2011, there will be Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom (6/3/11) and The Guardians (11/4/11), which is one of the first newer projects in this announcement. The Guardians is about a sort of super hero team made up of holiday representatives and other fairytale creatures: North (Santa Claus), Bunnymund (Easter Bunny), Tooth (The Tooth Fairy), Sand (The Sandman) and Jack Frost. In 2012, there will be the Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots (3/12/12), Madagascar 3 (5/25/12) and on November 2, 2012, one of three possible projects, with the other two presumably being released in 2013. The Croods is about a family of cavemen who encounter a "modern caveman" whose search for tomorrow is at odds with their reliance on the tools of yesterday. Truckers is based upon Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad Trilogy, and is about tiny creatures that live in a department store. Finally, there is Super Secret Ghost Project, which promises to give us ghosts as we've never seen them before.


ROTTEN IDEA OF THE WEEK: IN HOLLYWOOD, NO ONE CAN APPARENTLY HEAR YOU SCREAM ABOUT THE ALIEN REBOOT

Okay, Hollywood, now you're starting to make me angry. Yes, Star Trek was awesome. Yes, it is the biggest hit of the year. That, however, does not give you a greenlight to think collectively that every great franchise out there now needs to get a "reboot." And you especially don't go anywhere near my precious: Ridley Scott's 1978 horror masterpiece of Alien. That, however, is apparently what 20th Century Fox is thinking of doing, which we know about thanks to a tip to Bloody Disgusting from the same source that told them about the plans to reboot Predator. If the story holds out, the rumor is that Ridley Scott himself is producing the remake, which will be directed by one Carl Rinsch, who directs TV commercials for Scott Free Productions. The premise of the movie will be the same as Alien: a spaceship has a single alien on board, and it's causing havok. Can a remake of Alien hope to possibly deliver the same sort of horror and suspense, however? Alien is one of the most frightening and disturbing movies ever made, and from start to finish is just about perfect. If Ridley Scott wants to make more Alien movies, great. There's a whole wide universe out there in which the xenomorphs could have landed, and caused problems, but why revisit the Nostromo? Why, why, why?


For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS through his MySpace page or via a RT forum message. Greg also blogs about the TV show Lost at TwoLosties.Blogspot.com.

Comments

movies11rock

Ryan Kilkenny

these studios have to stop remaking EVERY single movie ever made!!

May 29 - 12:27 PM

First L.

First Last

I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that to do a Buffy movie without Whedon being involved would be even worse than doing a star trek movie without involving Roddenberry (when he was still alive).
They may attract an audience who are too young to remember the show, but this would be a sure way to guarantee that none of the fans of the original show will go to see this movie when it is released.

May 29 - 12:42 PM

scifimark

scifi mark

umm steve, rodenberry was out of the loop for star 2 so that might not be a good comparison lol

May 29 - 02:27 PM

First L.

First Last

As a television series, Buffy the Vampire series was a thousand times more successful than the movie and that was due to the fan base that it EARNED through the quality of the writing (which grew nearly every season) the acting and the sheer creative force of Joss Whedon. The love that exists for anything Buffy-related today is due entirely to that series. To act as if it never happened is to ignore the fans completely. Fran Rubel Kuzui wants to make money. That is all she's ever wanted. She hijacked Joss's vision in 1992 (unsuccessfully) and she's trying to do it again. She was credited as an executive producer for years on the series without ever having ANY input, creative or otherwise. She will be unsuccessful in this attempt as well.

May 29 - 12:43 PM

Chris B.

Chris Bellew

yeah i don't think you can do a whole lot of good with an Alien reboot. and a Buffy reboot is just totally unnecessary. i do like simon pegg and nick frost so i think that Paul will probably be very good with the likes of bill hader and seth rogen in it also. and on top of that is the fact that greg mottola is directing. Paul could be very good.

May 29 - 12:50 PM

spooksmagee

Matt Noble

Looking forward to Paul, as Pegg/Frost have been great in their last two films, not to mention the awesomeness that is Spaced.

And if Hollywood remakes Alien, I will burn down my local theater.

May 29 - 01:09 PM

vessel19

Brandon Johnson

Anything with Pegg and Frost in it... count me in! And throwing in Hader an Rogen, why cant it be a masterpiece. BUT AN ALIEN REBOOT... IF ITS NOT BROKE DONT FIX IT AND THE ORIGINAL ALIEN MOVIE IS PERFECT! Hollywood seems burnt out of new ideas. Grabbing the classics and trying to turn a profit. Do whatever ya want... but why Aliens!? Next thing ya know... they'll be trying to reboot Blade Runner! (But lets pray that never happens!)

May 29 - 01:17 PM

manugon

Manuel Gonzalez

This was funny. Go RT

May 29 - 01:46 PM

sorcerer's_cat

Tracy Brown

The current Doctor Who is the rather divine young handsome scotsman DAVID Tennant, and for my money he's the best Doctor ever. C'mon RT, bad error.

May 29 - 02:12 PM

-apocolyptic-

chris armit


Tom Baker was my favourite for a long time. Until I watched David Tennant completley own that role. Hes gonna be missed I tell ya. Would love to see a full length feature with in the lead. Have to wait and see how the new guy does.

May 29 - 07:42 PM

sorcerer's_cat

Tracy Brown

Must confess I'm a recent convert to "Who" but David Tennant's reign has me mesmorized. And latest word is he'd be the Doctor if they do a movie, which fits, because Matt Smith, whoever he is, won't for a second measure up as the Doctor on a big screen even if he makes it for a new tv season. David's been there for three full, and now an abbreviated fourth season...I think he's brilliant--genius, madness, fun, risk, brilliance all running against each other--perfect "Doctor Who". The latest news I heard was movie version: DT and Catherine Zeta Jones...I don't care who they cast opposite him, but the fact is they won't put CZJ opposite MATT SMITH. David's got four years as the best Doctor ever and may be second-guessing leaving Who--he's going to appear on two eps of "Sara Jane" this season...I dunno, conspiracy theorists think the whole Matt Smith thing is a ruse and we'll get David back -- at this point, even if it wasn't, it might become so, if you know what I mean. In any case, "WHO" would make Matt Smith into someone, David Tennant already is someone, both from "WHO" and no less than Harry Potter. If there's a movie, it'll star Tennant. Or it should anyway...

May 31 - 12:28 AM

goni27

Benjamin Gonifas

no way david (yes david not andy) tennant is better than tom baker. The new doctor who sucks

May 31 - 02:55 PM

Fathom

Brad Kay

"If Ridley Scott wants to make more Alien movies, great. There's a whole wide universe out there in which the xenomorphs could have landed, and caused problems, but why revisit the Nostromo? Why, why, why?"

QFT!
WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE!

May 29 - 02:19 PM

Alex C.

Alex Carr

I could really care less about Buffy but Alien?! What the hell!? Seriously, this movie doesn't need any thing. Don't remake it! If you want to remake a movie, remake 2001: A space odyssey, that movie is boring.

;>

May 29 - 02:23 PM

scifimark

scifi mark

umm steve, rodenberry was out of the loop for star 2 so that might not be a good comparison lol

May 29 - 02:27 PM

Zaraki

Rick V

Joy, this alien reboot is going to SUCK. *sigh* Damn you Hollywood, stop remaking everything!

May 29 - 02:35 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Tyrant: Don't you at least want to give Ridley Scott a chance before you say the Alien prequel is going to suck?! He could have a great idea, but you'll never know until we find out more will you?

May 29 - 03:18 PM

Zaraki

Rick V

Normally I would, but this is one of those movies I just never want to see remade. The original was excellent, I grew up on Alien, but this just sounds bad. Look at other remakes of horror movies, they've all been terrible. So my uncertainty is quite warranted. Oh, and Fox hasn't exactly been producing Oscar material so far this year... that just adds to my uncertainty of this.

Once I read more about it, see the trailer, etc etc, perhaps I'll change my mind. I'm just so sick of remakes, let alone remakes of things from my childhood. Predator and Alien... if the AVP movies are any indication, yeah...

Hope it's good, but doubt it oh so much.

May 29 - 03:54 PM

inactive user

Jared King

In recent news, a remake to this years "Last House on the Left" is in works.

May 29 - 02:40 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

1) I love Flight of the Navigator, that movie has hardly aged at all, and the special effects are amazing for it's time! They should leave it the f**k alone!

2) I will not accept Paul as the third part of the trilogy formed by Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz without Edgar Wright directing. I'm sorry, but he did the first two movies, and he needs to do the last one for me to accept it as part of the trilogy.

3) The Alien prequel doesn't sound like such a bad idea when you consider that Ridley Scott is assisting with it (I'm not happy that he's not directing), he conceived the idea which means it's going in the right direction.

May 29 - 03:11 PM

badblokebob

Richard Nelson

No need to worry, whitey (and others) -- Pegg & co have already stated pretty definitively that "Paul" isn't intended to be Three Flavours Cornetto 3, it's just something they're doing in the meantime (Wright's busy with "Scott Pilgrim" anyhow).

Some sites seem to have confused "Paul" with another project Pegg & Wright had discussed though, which may have led to the confusion. Journalists aren't always so bright, bless 'em.

May 29 - 07:29 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

I just want to add that I like Frost and Pegg, Pegg is currently one of my top 2 favorite imports from Britain (the other being Ricky Gervais) but you can't finish the trilogy without Edgar Wright. They all started this with Spaced, and continued it with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, I don't think they should finish it without him.

May 29 - 03:15 PM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Tyrant: Don't you at least want to give Ridley Scott a chance before you say the Alien prequel is going to suck?! He could have a great idea, but you'll never know until we find out more will you?

May 29 - 03:18 PM

Zaraki

Rick V

Normally I would, but this is one of those movies I just never want to see remade. The original was excellent, I grew up on Alien, but this just sounds bad. Look at other remakes of horror movies, they've all been terrible. So my uncertainty is quite warranted. Oh, and Fox hasn't exactly been producing Oscar material so far this year... that just adds to my uncertainty of this.

Once I read more about it, see the trailer, etc etc, perhaps I'll change my mind. I'm just so sick of remakes, let alone remakes of things from my childhood. Predator and Alien... if the AVP movies are any indication, yeah...

Hope it's good, but doubt it oh so much.

May 29 - 03:54 PM

Nick P.

Nick Porter

If nothing else, an Alien remake could be an entertaining horror film. It's a fundamentally gripping concept.
But yes, the main problem is that they could use this money to create entirely new movies using the intellectual property. Remaking the original film is a complete waste.
Also, I wish Ridley would go back to directing sci-fi films. Gladiator was great, but I don't think he's ever made anything that remotely approached Alien or Blade Runner.


As for Buffy... there is absolutely no good in this idea. For one thing, the show only finished six years ago, and repeats are aired regularly (here in England at least - not sure about the States). There hasn't been long enough for some 'untapped generation' to arise, but it *has* been long enough for interest to cool. While there is still a community out there, in the mainstream most people have moved on with their lives. The best time to do it would have been right after Angel finished in 2004.

Furthermore, they aren't going to attract the old fans by cutting out the TV show's cast (and Whedon, obviously) and taking off from the universally unloved Kristy Swanson film.

Finally... the reason people fell in love with the TV show was because of the ongoing character and plot development, which continually ramped up throughout the series. This is TV's fundamental strength over cinema, and it is impossible to replicate in a 2-hour format.

May 29 - 03:21 PM

bluestar2000

Todd Foster

An Alien remake is going to be a disaster big time. Alien is one of my all time favorites. Aliens topped the first film though. WTF, they're going to hire Carl Rinsch, who directs TV commercials? Please bring back James Cameron, or Ridley Scott.

May 29 - 03:47 PM

Lestatdelc

Mitchell Gore

As others pointed out, you do realize that Ridely Scott got his start making commercials, yes? Mann, Scott, Fincher all got their start doing commercials and music videos, and all have produced some stunningly good movies.

May 31 - 01:15 PM

Zaraki

Rick V

Normally I would, but this is one of those movies I just never want to see remade. The original was excellent, I grew up on Alien, but this just sounds bad. Look at other remakes of horror movies, they've all been terrible. So my uncertainty is quite warranted. Oh, and Fox hasn't exactly been producing Oscar material so far this year... that just adds to my uncertainty of this.

Once I read more about it, see the trailer, etc etc, perhaps I'll change my mind. I'm just so sick of remakes, let alone remakes of things from my childhood. Predator and Alien... if the AVP movies are any indication, yeah...

Hope it's good, but doubt it oh so much.

May 29 - 03:54 PM

sorcerer's_cat

Tracy Brown

They keep saying "reboot" Buffy, but you can't reboot Buffy. You can reboot the Vampire Slayer thing with a different slayer if you can find a single interesting storyline that they didn't chew down to gristle in the seven years or so of the TV series. Good luck with that.

The only thing that makes me kind of okay with the idea of introducing a new slayer and a new storyline is because the fervent adoration young girls have for Twilight makes my skin crawl--dashing vampire hero comes to the rescue of helpless, hopelessly clumsy, damsel in distress Bella. Rinse. Repeat. It's so annoyingly cloyingly Victorian. At least in Buffy even the non-slayer girls had more spunkiness than a single female character in Twilight. And of course the slayer kicked a**. And it was clever and funny.

May 29 - 04:04 PM

neshizas

nickolaos s

I was really pissed when I heard about the reboot. But you know, I dint think of that-the whole slayer lineage thing. You could do "Vampire Slayer" projects over and over.
But it's gotta have Joss. I think people might be more accepting if it were done in the same vein. (pun intended)

May 31 - 08:46 AM

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