Nov 17 2010 4:45pm

Movie News Roundup: Red Riding Hood, Hulk, and Cowboys & Aliens

It’s been a busy last couple of days in science-fiction/fantasy movies, with a lot of news and trailers to get to. (Like the new trailer for Red Riding Hood above.)

Let’s start first with the annoying news that Robert Zemeckis—the once-exciting visionary behind the Back to the Future trilogy and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? who in recent years has been known for icy, CGI eye candy feasts like The Polar Express and Beowulf—has been hired to direct a remake of The Wizard of Oz...using the exact same shooting script as the 1939 original. The obvious question, “why?” has an obvious answer: “to make money,” rendering any questions of artistic purpose moot. Unless he casts Justin Bieber as Dorothy, there will probably be little cause for any emotional reaction whatsoever to this picture.

Next up in the “Hollywood is seriously out of ideas” genre is Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood. Hardwicke’s days of being the auteur behind 2003’s excellent Thirteen have long since been eclipsed by her odd Nativity Story and, of course, the first Twilight movie. The “From the director of Twilight” card seems a bit redundant with all the shots in Red Riding Hood being of Amanda Seyfried and the pretty boy with the nice hair (though in a daring departure from Twilight there seems to be only one pretty boy with nice hair). It would appear that Gary Oldman will get the chance to dine heartily on scenery, as he does so very well, and that they’re going to be building up Lukas Haas as the Big Bad Wolf only to reveal that the Wolf actually is the pretty boy with the nice hair, because teenage girls need all the mixed messages about the sexual appeal of bad boys they can get. In any case, this should make plenty of money, and men and women with girlfriends who insist on seeing this sort of picture have a few months to prepare their alibi for opening weekend.

Twitter users can only hope that the new TV version of The Incredible Hulk will take its inspiration from the Drunk Hulk, Feminist Hulk, and other entertaining feeds. With the venerable Guillermo del Toro and Battlestar Galactica producer David Eick running the show, however, we can more likely expect a modernized reboot of the old TTV series (that will apparently make the smart move of ignoring the two disappointing recent movie versions) when the series airs on ABC in Fall 2011.

Finally, because I’d hate to go out on a cynical or grouchy note, let us now feast upon the glory that is the trailer for Cowboys & Aliens:

If you need one guy to send those aliens running back to space with their tentacles between their tentacles, it’s Daniel Craig. Basically, if you are engaged in any sort of endeavor and wish to achieve victory, you call Daniel Craig. He’s the English Steve McQueen, it’s almost an unfair fight. But considering that in the Old West, without even the A-bomb to halt the aliens’ malevolence, you need a bit of an edge. So get Daniel Craig on alien-ass-kicking detail, STAT. Having Harrison Ford on hand is an excellent backup plan, as Harrison Ford even wins when he plays bad guys (see The Conversation and Apocalypse Now), and Olivia Wilde is simply lovely, even if she ends up being marginalized as The Girl (she deserves better, but even wasted Olivia Wilde is better than no Olivia Wilde).

Jon Favreau showed a deft hand with big-budget science fiction action spectacle with the Iron Man pictures, which were hampered only by the invulnerability of the lead. Here, working from a script by Star Trek reboot writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (it’s impolite to mention Transformers, so don’t) and Lost mastermind Damon Lindelof, Favreau could quite possibly turn in his best picture yet. Let us nerd out with great optimism!

Danny Bowes is a playwright, filmmaker and blogger. He is also a contributor to and

Angela Korra'ti
1. annathepiper
OH MY WORD. Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in the same movie? SIGN ME UP.
JS Bangs
2. jaspax
I second everything that annathepiper said. However, I also want to add that I first assumed that the aliens of "Cowboys and Aliens" were Ridley Scott's xenomorphs, which would be so awesome.
Harry Burger
3. Lightbringer
Now, if the Wizard of Oz remake was the first 3D movie of the new generation, Kansas was 2D with Munchkinland in 3D, that would have been an appropriate homage, I think. Alas, too late.
Ashe Armstrong
4. AsheSaoirse
I hope this movie redeems the weird western after the assplosion that was Jonah Hex. And you don't have to tell me that the comic is better, I adore the comic.
5. mirana
Wow, I hadn't heard about any of these until this post. Cowboys & Aliens looks like a great concept and excepting what you mention of poor Olivia Wilde being The Girl, I really like that trailer a lot.

Red Riding Hood has GOT to be kidding me. It's so awful looking. Such an obvious rip of the distasteful, "evil boys are great!" Twilight theme. It's really unfortunate, because of COURSE I like Gary Oldman, and the visuals look well thought-out (the red hood shots are lovely). *sigh*
Mike Conley
6. NomadUK
I first assumed that the aliens of "Cowboys and Aliens" were Ridley Scott's xenomorphs, which would be so awesome.

And would have the salutary effect of having rendered the human race extinct in the 19th century, thus saving us all the current bother.
8. dmg
The Internet is great at many things, but one item falls to the wayside in its haste to 'print' everything: not all news is fact. Although, having been 'printed' it assumes the imprimatur of truth.
Danny Bowes
9. DannyBowes
Yeah, Zemeckis is now saying he's not doing the Wizard of Oz remake. Kind of a relief.
Matthew Schmeer
10. mwschmeer
My bet on Red Riding Hood? The girl is the wolf.

And I'll third what annathepiper says.

And I love this line in the post about Daniel Craig: "He's the English Steve McQueen." Frakin' A!
Hannah X
11. h4nn4h
I'm going to watch Red Riding Hood; I'm a real sucker for trailers - once I've seen one, I almost always want to see the movie. Plus, Amanda Seyfried. She's great, I'd watch her in almost anything. PLUS, I hope mwschmeer is right, that would be cool.

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