Grunting at the Screen (244)



The information age isn’t finished with us.




I can’t believe it. I honestly thought rebooting Dune was an uncertainty, but it looks like it is going ahead, and Denis Villeneuve is slowly coming forward with more detail.

He says he’s at the “dreaming stage” with Dune. Further answers confirm is working on the script. He also says he is “designing” the movie, which suggests a more visual aspect. With regards to David Lynch’s version he is not beholden at all and “feels totally free”.

It is scant detail, but encouraging.





This one snuck right up on me.

Kill Order, a Canadian science fiction feature: a young boy with problems and illnesses is suddenly the subject of a violent kidnap attempt and manhunt. The attack brings unexpected powers out in him as he begins to learn of his own hidden past. Directors are James and Chris Mark.

OK the theme is not exactly new: Shadowy organisation hunter a person with powers.

And it apparently is a vehicle for the cast’s stunt and martial arts skills.

It has been shown at festival, no release date is set.





We are hearing the release of Science Fiction feature Extinction has been delayed.

The film makers have been keeping it close to their chest but it has been described as a contained thriller, a mix of Sixth Sense and Cloverfield. Michael Peña and Lizzy Caplan have been cast and Ben Young was directing.

It was due for release 26 January 2018, but it is now unscheduled.

I’m trying to not find significance in this.

I am trying not to think that the major studios are getting cold feet about releasing science fiction.





Look out for a couple of live-action adaptations, both coming out of Japan.

I first saw a Garo trailer maybe seven years ago; Garo the Movie, 3D Red Requiem, it was incredible but the film never came to the UK, well they have kept making them.


Actually this trailer is not as bugfuck crazy as the first one I saw but it still looks pretty wild, and it looks like it will get a western release (though I doubt it will come to the UK).


Then there is Erased, an anime adaptation made by Netflix.

Now this is the answer to Ghost in the Shell; a Japanese story filmed in Japan with a fully Japanese cast. The US blogs are all over it as an example of… oh wait. Actually the big film-blogs that screamed and rent their hair over GITS have not mentioned it once. Because they don’t care; they only wanted to lay into Scarlett Johansson and use “whitewashing” as an excuse.

Now take a good look at the trailer for Erased.

Yep. Take a good look at it.

Netflix has no lack of money, but doesn’t this series look a little average in budget? Does to me.

And this is what you would have expected if GITS had been filmed in Japan with a fully Japanese cast; a smaller budget, more limited FX; all because the audience, and even the international media coverage, would so much smaller.




Marvel head Kevin Feige has been talking about the future of the studio. Personally I think they have done great. People complain about their films, but guess what, they still pay to see their films, so until the start talking with their pockets, let them flap their lips.

Feige is talking big changes in studio output post Avengers 4.

To the fans this means changes in cast, perhaps the disappearance of fan-favourite characters and actors. Meh.

To me it means the chance to mix it up, do something different.

Feige points out that there are 7000 characters belonging to Marvel, a rich source for future cinematic material.

He is saying some future Marvel films will occur is worlds “completely separate -geographically and in time” from the ones we have seem.

I have joked that Marvel could shift to making war films, westerns or romances; they have published all of these genres as comics and still more if when you include properties published when they were known as “Timely Comics”.

Getting back to the real world, I don’t think this is what he is talking about. I think Marvel will go one making superhero movies for a while. It is what they know.

I still believe that one day the genre will collapse; every film genre has had its day in the sun followed by a fallow period. We can hardly remember the day when musicals were the biggest selling movies in the world, or when Westerns dominated the box office, but their time came and went.

But I do believe Marvel will stick to their guns even as the ship sinks beneath them. And when they do make that major course correction they will look to material from outside of their ownership (possible non-super hero comics from the independent sector).




Talking about Robert Rodriguez, oh yes, we we’re weren’t, well not yet, anyway, Rodriguez is going back, back to his roots.

He is making a TV show called Rebel Without a Crew; five film makers are challenged to do what he did, make a film for $7,000 and no crew.

And just to make it interesting, Rodriguez himself will join them and make one himself.

The show will be downloadable on go90, and also air on El Rey Network.





It seems I am the last one in the world to know that Jackie Chan is working on a Science Fiction film.

I am not the biggest Jackie Chan fan (the early stuff was good, lately I’m not so interested) but this is worth look; it is in fact his first Science Fiction film.


Bleeding Steel, written and directed by Chinese helmer Leo Zhang is the biggest Chinese production to be filmed in Australia.


Chan plays a special forces agent. From there it gets vague. We know it involves a conspiracy and a Science Fiction novel that surfaces, perhaps the novel reveals details of the conspiracy in fictional form. Who knows?

Here is a trailer

It is due to be released on December 22.





Matthew Vaughn is in talks to make a Science Fiction film with 20th Century Fox; it is called Courage and was a spec script written by Karl Gajdusek.

They are keeping their cards close to their chest but they have described it as like “Inception or Edge Of Tomorrow.” (don’t you love it when the studio describes something you don’t know in terms of a couple of things you do? Hell, I do it myself.)

Now I’m not one to speculate but: time-loop movies are in fashion so it might have that aspect of Edge of Tomorrow, it might be the mind-invading aspects of Inception that are in play, but I suspect they are referring to the spectacular sky-folding FX, so Courage may take place in an environment where both time and space have been warped by an unknown power… Or I’m just blowing smoke).

Gajdusek has been known as co-writer for Oblivion and Stranger Things. Which is nice.

Of course, as the deal is not finalised there is no schedule.





The feature programme for Sundance is here, what do we have of potential interest?


I Think We’re Alone Now, directed by Reed Morano; the last person on earth gets a visitor.


Sorry to Bother You, directed by Boots Riley, in the near future an African American discovers a magic key to success. It does not go well.

No reviews as of yet.






Boom Studios comic, no wait, Boom! Studios* comic Goldie Vance is getting an adaptation from Rashida Jones and Kerry Washington, Jones will direct, Washington will produce and it is set up at Fox.

Created by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams, Goldie Vance is about a 16 year old who signs on as apprentice to a private detective (and no doubt gets in over her head).

No schedule as yet.


Boom! has been busy. They have another property in play; Imagine Agents, created by Brian Joines and Bachan.

The scenario is an Agency tasked with policing people’s imaginary friends. One boy’s vengeful imaginary friend manifests in the real world to kidnap the boy. The mother and two Imagine Agents work to recover the boy and stop mass invasion of imaginary friends.

Simon Rich wrote of the screenplay and Richie Keen, is to direct for Fox.

No schedule as yet.





Jupiter’s Moon from Hungary didn’t just sneak up on me; it has a release, and a UK release to boot. Apparently the Curzon cinema chain is also a distributor (I’m learning a lot here) and they are behind getting this in cinemas.

The notion behind this feature is a Syrian refugee develops powers (so far what I’ve seen is flight) and becomes a hunted man. The feel looks like am indie art film which happens to have fantastical elements, it could work.

I’ve been taking a look around, it got a standing ovation at Cannes, and reviewers are raving about it as a film which reconciles commercial and artistic film making. Now I am intrigued

Director is Kornél Mundruczó

here’s trailer

Release date is January 5 2018.




Oh look yet another movie called Capsule, no to be mistaken for the British movie named capsule from last year.

This one is to be directed by Christopher Landon (who just had a hit with the time-loop horror Happy Death Day) and written by Joe Greenberg.

A solitary marooned astronaut with only his hot-looking AI companion is starving to death when rescue arrives, or is it rescue?

You will only hear about this one if you read the horror blogs.

So far no schedule.




Director Brad Peyton, (San Andreas, Rampage) is considering Leo Saradian’s spec script The Expansion Project; a female space marine is stranded on a hostile planet with her suit losing power.

(Sounds like The Martian).

No indication of Payton will make this his next project or not.




Netflix just acquired the Science Fiction spec script ‘Mimi From Rio’: two brothers from the Favelas of Rio are tasked with transporting the world’s first wholly sentient android.

Written by Matthew K. Firpo and Ryan Firpo.

So far no schedule and no indication if it will get a theatrical release.





Running a film blog can be disheartening, you flick though the other blogs and all you see is same-old same old.

But there are some actual interesting things happening outside the mainstream film industry, Much of it outside of the US itself.

Hollywood Reporter did a piece on forthcoming Chinese Science Fiction films (and there’s a bunch of them).


Some of these look like they could be real fun.


Shanghai Fortress; it is the future and the city of Shanghai is the last city on earth defending itself against an alien invasion.

An adaptation of the novel by Jiang Nan.

They are already calling it China’s answer to Independence Day, but I am hoping it will be better than that.

Director is Hua-Tao Teng

It opens in 2019.


Realm of the Tiger; a superhero film; collaboration with Stan Lee, filmed in English and staring Li Bingbang, written by Alex Litvak.



Crazy Alien

A science fiction comedy, actually the third part of Director Hao Ning’s trilogy (Crazy Stone and Crazy Racer came before it). The interesting thing is the heavy involvement of a western cast including Matthew Morrison.





Based on an online comic series. Directed and written by Zhang Xiaobei

Chinese explorers crash-land on a planet and have to battle alien creatures and each other in a bid to survive.

There is a trailer

I’m kinda impressed, has that Mad Max in space vibe.



The Wandering Earth

Based on a short story by Liu Cixin: the sun is about to explode. Earth Unity government has erected Earth Engines to propel the planet out of the solar system.

Sounds crazy in a good way.

It has a budget of US$50 million; mid budget for an American film but big budget for any Asian feature.

Director is Frant Gwo.

It started filming in June.

Release is set for late 2018.


Liu Cixin is cinematic hot property and he has a number of his works in play as feature films including: “Micro Era”, “The Era of Supernova”, and “The Rural Teacher”.



On the way they mentioned two facts I was not aware of: franchise films do poorly in China; they just don’t have the experience of having loves the series thirty years ago and are not entranced by the history they come dragging. (I’m surprised…)

But what is more original Science Fiction does well there. They loved Interstellar, The Martian, and Pacific Rim. I’m intrigued. (and it also explains why Blade Runner: 2049 failed to make up its box office deficit in China…)


I wondered what had happened to the much vaunted production of Liu Cixin’s The Three Body Problem, (Grunting 195) well it is right there: principle photography was done in 2015, it languished in post-production for months with costs rising alarmingly, until the post-production team was fired and replaced. It seems the Special effects were far harder to realise than anticipated. Production was taken over by a new company and the project is now languishing in limbo. Nice to know, I’d wandered.











*Which is the correct grammar.



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



And if you want some movie news about other than sequels and reboots try


And if you want to check out Science Fiction releases beyond the usual try First Showing.


Most Indie Film blogs are prey boring but Indie Activity reports of Science Fiction as well

%d bloggers like this: