>> Lansdale readies “The Bottoms”

Joe R. LansdaleIt’s just a quick line, but it means a lot to fans of author Joe R. Lansdale:  “Currently finishing up THE BOTTOMS screenplay, which Bill Paxton plans to direct,” Lansdale writes on his myspace blogThe Bottoms is Joe R. Lansdale’s most heralded novel, having been awarded the 2000 Edgar Award for Best Novel by the Mystery Writers of America, as well as being a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”.  It was nominated for a Dashiell Hamett award for “Best Novel” and “Best Mystery Novel” by the Macavity Awards.

The book mixes a Depression-era coming-of-age story with nail-biting suspense, as a young East Texas boy comes across the murdered body of a “Negro” prostitute in the woods.  As his hometown largely ignores the murder, the boy and his sister become convinced that the murderer is the Goat Man, an urban legend who may prove to be more real than anyone suspects.

This would be Bill Paxton’s third time in the director’s chair, and a welcome return to the Southern Gothic thriller subject matter of his debut film, Frailty.  Lansdale is perhaps best known by movie fans as the man, along with writer-director Don Coscarelli, behind the horror-comedy Bubba Ho-Tep.  This would mark the second time one of his stories has made it to the big screen, and the first film written solely by him.


>> Missing Nightbreed Footage Found!

Click to view trailer

Click to view trailer

Horror fans have waited for years to see Clive Barker’s original version of his 1990 film Nightbreed, and now the discovery of long-lost footage from that film might make a Director’s Cut a reality.  Referred to by Barker as “the Star Wars of monster movies” before studio execs got involved in the final cut, the film chronicles Craig Sheffer as Aaron Boone, a troubled young man whose black-outs and detailed dreams about a creature-filled cemetary called Midian allow his psychiatrist (David Cronenberg) to manipulate him into believing that he is a serial killer.

The movie is memorably strange, but severely disjointed, and I’ve always wondered if a re-cut with the intended footage would actually turn it into a better film, or would it just be a longer version of the same odd, clumsy film that already exists?  Now, I might actually find out.

From Clive Barker’s Twitter (tweets edited together for readability):

Unbelievable news.When Mark Miller (apologies.I am shaking with excitement) volunteered to try and find my cut of Nightbreed, I thought there was 25 minutes missing.  I was wrong. Phil and Sarah Stokes called.  They possess a video copy of my Work Print, 44 minutes longer than the theatrical release.  Now all we need is somebody to fund the reconstruction of what was always intended to be Celebration of the Shamanic Outsider.  When Nightbreed was released the only support came from the gay press.  But the movie seems to have found a broader audience.  Nightbreed‘s about outsiders.  And if the Inside is grey fat hamburgers and eye candy I’ll stay outside with the monsters.  It’s wonderful that people find something of value in Nightbreed, though it reveals my failings both as an artist and as a man.  The failure as an artist is tied to the inability to fuction as a normal member of the species; to pack every sliver of time with signifigace, like capsules of humanity on craft sent to the stars.

You can read more about some of the lost footage here.

>> BNAT X: The Stuff We Didn’t See

Everyone expected Watchmen but no, I didn’t see Watchmen, the one film everyone thought would play BNAT X. Two years ago, director Zak Snyder came to town and showed off an unfinished version of 300 to the crowd at Octo-BNAT, so everyone assumed that he’d be back to dazzle us with an unfinished version of his Watchmen adaptation. It didn’t happen. For some attendees, this was a massive let-down. For me, it was just another BNAT surprise.

Read the FULL ARTICLE on cybermonkeydeathsquad.com! I will be writing for CMDS throughout 2009, as well as keeping up with reviews on this very site.

You Won’t Like Ed Norton When He’s Angry…

Incredible HulkFrom eFluxMedia:

The debut of “The Incredible Hulk” trailer released Wednesday night comes on the background of some dissensions between the lead actor Edward Norton and the Marvel Studios execs, over the film’s final cut, Deadline Hollywood reports.

Insiders say that Norton “was promised tremendous involvement and access” into the movie, and now there is “a lot of posturing going on between Edward’s camp and Marvel over how you edit the final version.”

The sources, which were not named, have also revealed that Norton has been meeting with Marvel Studios Chairman David Maisel, Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige, and director Louis Leterrier, and they are all trying to “reach an amicable resolution” to this feud.

Norton rewrote the scrip of the $150+ million production, and he is also the lead actor playing the role of Bruce Banner, which has been previously portrayed by Eric Bana in 2003.

The movie is due to be released on June 13 this year.

Norton has expressed his views as far as editing is concerned with other films, such as “Frieda” and “Keeping the Faith.” “[…] to me the whole thing was to envision it in multiple parts. We left a lot out on purpose. It’s definitely intended as chapter one,” Norton said in an interview earlier this year.

“The Incredible Hulk” is directed by Louis Leterrier, and is said to be more action-oriented than Ang Lee’s 2003 flick.

Edward Norton seems to slowly be building a reputation for himself as someone who is difficult to work with, starting with his butting heads with Tony Kaye during the editing process of American History X and continuing his reputation with The Italian Job and the other films mentioned in the article above. I’m a fan of the man’s acting, not his work in the editing room, and I’m hoping Norton doesn’t become the Kevin Costner of the 2000’s (regarding his unusual desire to involve himself in all aspects of the films he agrees to star in–not based on his acting talent. Norton has it all over Costner.)

The trailer for this Summer’s The Incredible Hulk is strangely uninsipiring–not different enough from the trailer to Ang Lee’s ill-received orginal stab at the “Gamma Goliath” to make fans get excited. Time will tell.


It’s Over!!!

Striking writers will return to work Wednesday!



>> “Clash of the Titans” Remake Back On

>> “Clash of the Titans” Remake Back OnSteven Norrington is back. After butting heads with two of Hollywood’s most notorious head-butters (Wesley Snipes on Blade and Sean Connery on LXG), the lure of remaking the 1981 film Clash of the Titans has apparently drawn Norrington back into the limelight for another go at a major motion picture. The guy is talented, and, from the sound of it, not someone who enjoys actors getting their say in the final product. I hope they cast someone he can actually work with, in the role of the hero Perseus.


Steve Norrington will direct “Clash of the Titans,” the remake of the 1981 mythical adventure that is best remembered for Ray Harryhausen’s special effects.

Warner Bros. and Legendary are plotting a production start next year.

Basil Iwanyk will produce through his Thunder Road banner. In his first such effort since “The Empire Strikes Back,” Lawrence Kasdan rewrote a script by Travis Beacham.

Norrington hasn’t directed a film since 2003’s “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.”


>> “Jackass 2.5” Premieres over the Internet

>> “Jackass 2.5″ Premieres over the InternetBlockbuster Inc. will present “Jackass 2.5” free of charge at Blockbuster.com beginning Dec. 19 through Dec. 31; on Dec. 26, DVDs of the film will be available for purchase on the site and at major retailers, as well as for rent at Blockbuster stores and the company’s Web site. The film will also be available for download at iTunes, Amazon.com and other sites at a price.In lieu of box-office sales, the venture expects to make money from DVD sales, downloads and embedded ads online the latter being exactly the kind of new-media revenue stream that Hollywood writers are striking to get a piece of. While that wouldn’t necessarily apply to “Jackass 2.5” because it didn’t require writers, the marketing strategy is an example of what writers expect to see more of in the future.

Lesinski said the nature of “Jackass 2.5” made it a natural to try out on this new form of distrubution.

“When this idea first came up, it was clear that `Jackass’ had a lot of potential on the Internet,” Lesinski said. “First of all, the demographics are just right. And, if you go on to Youtube today, you can see there’s lots and lots of (people) doing stunts … a lot of those people are just copying what the `Jackass’ guys developed a long time ago.”

Lesinski said the movie’s online distribution has potential to be “a game-changing model for Hollywood.” But will those used to watching 5-minute YouTube vidos sit still for a longer film?

Lesinski thinks so and, at some point, he says, clips of various scenes will be ripe for viral video sharing.

Yahoo! Movies/Associated Press