Grunting at the Screen (229)

18 Apr





The information age isn’t finished with us.



What the F*** is Ridley Doing? No Really!

You know, every time we think we’ve figured what Ridley Scott is doing he blindsides us.

I’m sure it is not personally directed at the fans, just a defence mechanism against the film industry, but still.

So what has he done now?

You know he announced he would directing one Alien movie after another (the sequel to Alien: Covenant is already written), and you know he then announced his next film would be All the Money in the World the kidnap drama.

That in itself puts Alien 6 (or Prometheus 3… who knows) three years away: figure it out, a year for All the Money in the World and two at least for another Alien.

Well he’s just gone and signed for another film. And it isn’t even one of the numerous projects on his backburner (he has a backburner bigger than the Dorchester Hotel’s kitchen). Oh no Ridley’s latest project is an unnamed Battle of Britain feature; screenplay is by Matthew Orton and 20th Century Fox is behind it.

When is he going to have time for this?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care if he never makes another Alien film, he has been there and done that (superbly).

But it drives me nuts; what is he doing?



We have more information on Sci Fi London 2017 programme.

Also screening are.

Diverge: Director James Morrison

The Kaos Brief: Director JP Mandarino

Caught: Director Jamie Patterson

Anti Matter: Director Keir Burrows

The Last Scout: Director Simon Phillips

The Gatheouse: Director Martin Gooch

Occupants: Director Russ Emanuel

Virtual Revolution: Director Guy-Roger Duvert

The End of the Lonely Island: Director Ren Chao Wang

Domain: Director Nathaniel Atcheson

Sublimate: Directors Roger Armstrong, John Hickman

Space Detective: Director Antonio Llapur


Some of these we have covered before.

The Last Scout: British movie, humanity’s search for a new home planet. Was due for release two years ago.

Virtual Revolution: French, yes it is that low budget cyberpunk thing. From the trailer it looks very generic.

Domain: social media during the viral holocaust.

(In fact three of Sci Fi London’s features take place during or in the wake of some kind of pandemic disaster: do they know something we don’t?)





This is big news, although you may not see it as.

Invincible will be a movie.

OK, you likely don’t read it but Invincible is a comic written by Robert (The walking Dead) Kirkman.

Yes, it is a superhero comic. But it is more.

See it started as a comic for all the family, the story of a boy who gets super powers and comes to terms with it while having relationships, dealing with family etc. So far so Spider-Man.

Then in issue seven the equivalent of the Justice League in this universe are brutally murdered.

I dunno, maybe Kirkman just got bored of the “leave it to beaverness” of it, but from there it gets brutal, with secrets, alien invasions, worldwide crises and battles that leave all parties beaten to bloody pulp. What happened dude? OK, it is unspeakably violent, but a really different take on the superhero genre.

Now it will be a film,

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are to write and direct and as long as Rogen is not playing the title character it should be fine.




I am staying on top of the Dune project, latest news is that Eric Roth will write the screenplay.

It’s a classy choice he’s written Forrest Gump, The Insider and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

And he’s not a ‘genre” writer so emphasis is going to be character not FX.

It’s cool.




It should not surprise me but Ghost in the Shell will get a new anime feature, it will be directed by Kamiyama Kenji and Aramaki Shinji.




The Recall hasn’t got a release date but Wesley Snipes has another feature lined up: Armed Response directed by John Stockwell, written by Matt Savelloni from WWE Studios. Anne Heche, Gene Simmons and Dave Annable co-star.

A highly trained armed team is trapped in a compound where the central AI has been shut down, they begin to experience strange phenomena.

Sounds like the start of every zombie film. (I do hope it is not zombies).

More details as they emerge.





Activision Blizzard Studio are planning to build a cinematic universe around their Call of Duty, property. Because that worked so well with Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed.

Wait, this imaginary thing in my ear tells me attempts to boost Ubisoft game property to the big screen have in fact crashed and burned.

They have plans for at least three films with the first arriving as early as 2018.

Well maybe Activision Blizzard Studio will have better luck.





In Grunting (224) we blogged Ad Astra, the feature that goes into space but goes nowhere near the stars (unless you count Sol… no, wait, they are going the other way.)

Well it has a schedule now. Brad Pitt will be shooting on July 17th. He will play an astronaut on a voyage to Neptune in search of the fate of his father who disappeared earlier.

Director James Gray is very bullish about it; he wants to give us the most authentic version of space travel in a movie yet. Looks like he’s going up against the biggest swinging d… er.. the most illustrious directors on earth. Good luck with that. I predict he will get caned by the same folk who gave Gravity a thrashing.

Nevertheless I am glad Brad Pitt is getting into the Science Fiction game, he’s been out of it since 12 Monkeys (Come on! World War Z was a fantasy.)

And you know what? We like ambition. We’ll keep on top of it.





What’s Neill Blomkamp Doing?

Since he finished Chappie there has been some speculation about what the District 9 director would do next. For a while it looked like he would do a sequel to Aliens, but Ridley Scott put the kibosh on that one.

Lately he has been hinting at an original project he’s been working on; but without giving specifics.

Latest word from his twitter account is him asking if people would be interested in him putting his experimental films on the Steam Games web-site, as tests for potential feature films.

He is making the short films right now and the main question is whether to give them away for free.


In fact the plan is to release them on Steam via a company called Oats Studios.

Author William Gibson has had a preview and he says ” I can personally vouch for @NeillBlomkamp having some exquisitely weird shit to show you on Steam.”






So we mentioned Warriors Gate back in… oh, we don’t seem to have blogged it.

Anyway, produced by Luc Besson and starring Dave Batiste.  It’s a fantasy adventure and it has a trailer.

A boy is transported from his ordinary life to China where his video-game skills make him a warrior.

It has a Chinese release on August 5, 2016, no UK or US release as yet.





We are hearing about a new science fiction feature called Occupation; a band of small town residents fight to resist an alien invasion. Director/writer is Luke Sparke, Tempera Morrison and Dan Ewing will star.

Shooting commences in Northern New South Wales and the Gold Coast, Australia on May 2.




Now this is something: Needle In A Timestack, an adaptation of Robert Silverberg’s short story: Time travel is real, it is happening now, in fact time travellers are back there changing your present as we speak, Mikkelsen is married to  Janine but Tommy  is trying to split them up, using time travel. It is up to Mikkelsen to figure out what Tommy has done, and stop him.

This one is loaded with potential: writer/director is John Ridley. No cast or schedule yet.




Coming soon is Alienate, directed by Michael Shumway, written Rick Hansberry by and Lex Hogan: aeroplanes fall out of the sky, cell towers fail and David fights to return home in the wake of an alien invasion.  Limited opening in theatres and VOD on May 5th.




Full Metal Alchemist second trailer is out, you’ll need a Google apps account

















I’m Jack Eris and if you know me, you know Jack.






And if you want some real movie news you know what to do.


And if you want to walk the wild side of genre video, try Starburst’s review section





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