This week, movies took a trip into a brave new world: a world where aliens have arrived on Earth just in time to be a clunky and troublesome metaphor; a world where Oscar Wilde protagonists are meant to be heterosexual; a world where Superman had better come up with a new origin story but quick. Below, I hash out the new, the notable, and the remarkably shirtless in Hollywood.
- District 9 opened last weekend to great reviews. Critics, audiences applaud the effects and action; don’t seem to notice any troubling metaphors or parallels or the witch doctor or anything.
- Literature’s favorite playboy, Dorian Gray, is getting a 2009 movie adaptation. The international trailer has been released, and reflects a slightly modernized take on the subject matter (bluer, more flammable, less gay than previously).
- Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus might be getting an American release, courtesy of Sony Pictures. The film is best known as the last film work of Heath Ledger; after his death, Colin Farrell, Johnny Depp, and Jude Law stepped in to fill portions of the role. The plot (as much as a Gilliam movie can be said to have a plot) centers around an immortal side-show ringmaster whose deal with the Devil comes back to haunt him.
- Speaking of deals coming back to haunt you, DC lost some rights to Superman’s origin story this week. Unfortunately, most other rights for Superman remain with DC, which means we’re in for another seventy-two seasons of Smallville, and a new Superman movie that proves that Clark Kent’s father is actually a time-traveling Bruce Wayne.
- Not that they’ll be making a new Superman movie, since Bryan Singer will be busy; he just got tapped to direct a Battlestar Galatica movie! It has no connection to the show, which at first sounds really infuriating, but the longer you think about Singer’s track record, maybe that’s for the best.
- Marvel took a quick break from gloating over the Superman thing to announce that Christopher McQuarrie will be writing the Wolverine sequel. The new movie is said to take cues from the Claremont and Miller Wolverine-hits-Japan miniseries. My eternal 13-year-old gets sad that the movies ruined Rogue, because she remembers that one time Rogue offered to join Wolverine on his hunt for his fiancée Mariko and took a laser blast to the chest and then she was finally accepted by the rest of the X-Men, and maybe that would have been a nice subplot, is all she’s saying. Ahem.
- In bizarre and totally unnecessary movie-remake news, Robert Downey, Jr. is in talks to play the vampire Lestat in a reboot/adaptation of Anne Rice’s seminal vampire novels. Even more bizarrely, the movie rumors are confirmed by a member of LiveJournal community Oh No They Didn’t, who emailed Anne Rice and got a personal response about the current state of negotiations. Welcome to the world of tomorrow!
- Milla Jovovich’s career just keeps going, doesn’t it? Her most recent movie is The Fourth Kind, based on “actual events,” where Milla’s the town psychologist who begins to suspect that Something is Up. (Hint: It’s aliens! They’re right behind you! RUN!)
- Because it was too funny to ignore: Summit slapped a New Moon trailer in front of a teen movie Bandmumblemumble, in an attempt at synergy. The movie flopped; the trailer is now on the internet. In case the trailer below isn’t working as of press time, just know that in Forks, Washington, it’s apparently illegal for teen boys to wear shirts.
Genevieve Valentine is an incurable movie and TV nerd whose fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Federations, and more. Her first novel (Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti) is forthcoming from Prime Books. Her appetite for bad movies is insatiable, a tragedy she tracks on her blog.