There's been so much news on the science fiction-movie front this past week that I don't blame you for being confused. I don't blame you for not knowing what to think about everything that's going on. But don't worry, I'm here now and it's my job, my duty, to tell you what to think about everything.
Bad News: The Potential Ender's Game Sequel Sounds Like a Total Cop-out
There are a number of reasons why the proposed Ender's Game sequel idea completely and totally stinks. We'll get the more important one out of the way first: any sequel moving into development would mean infamously homophobic author Orson Scott Card getting a paycheck and that's something that the Last Sci-fi Blog simply cannot abide. There's a reason I bought my copy of Ender's Game at a used book store: my cash will never end up in that bigot's pocket. But theres another, nerdier reason to be down on this idea -- it's a safe and easy escape route.
You see, the actual sequel to Ender's Game is Speaker for the Dead (which you really should also buy from you local used book store) and it's a crazy and often difficult novel. It's hard science fiction that pushes the universe of Ender's Game in wild directions. A film adaptation would be difficult, but it would have the potential to be something truly special and unique. Director Gavin Hood's statements that Card is working on a new novel that would make for an easier sequel is pretty much the coward's way out. Why do something new when you can just stick around what you already know? Boo to every angle of this.
Good News: Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Sounds Crazy
The Marvel movies have dabbled in sci-fi, but Guardians of the Galaxy looks to go full space opera, telling a story with only one main human character and a whole bunch of weird aliens, including a giant tree and a gun-toting raccoon. Director James Gunn keeps on saying the right things, making this sound like Marvel's most insane project yet and the proper outlet for his absurd talents (go watch Slither and Super). Will audiences actually embrace a comic book movie that looks to be as out-there as this? Who cares? It sounds terrific.
Good News: Star Wars: Episode VII is Casting... Maybe?
New casting call sheets suggest that Star Wars: Episode VII is looking to cast some two of its lead characters through open auditions in England. Some have suggested that these two youthful roles are members of the Solo and/or Skywalker families, but others have some pretty good arguments as to why they can't be. However, there's no real point in arguing over the semantics of basic character descriptions on a casting form that may not be 100% accurate. I'm just calling this one good news because it's evidence that the film hasn't completely stalled.
Bad News: Max Landis Gets a Little Petty with His Chronicle Revelations
Since Chronicle writer Max Landis was kicked off the sequel to his hit movie (and because he really doesn't know when to stop talking ever), he's gone and explained exactly what gave the kids superpowers in the first place. Since the mystery at the heart of the first film is one of its best traits, it feels downright weird that Landis would try to deflate it in the press. It's especially weird when you consider that Chronicle 2 is still being made by other people. This feels like he's using a public forum to scream that his idea is better than the idea that people are actually moving forward with. It just feels so petty.
Bad News: The George Lopez Movie La Vida Robot Will Not Be About Mexican Robots
It will be a true story about a Mexican robotics team. That's fine and all, but is it wrong that I was hoping for this century's Heartbeeps?
Good (?) News: Christopher McQuarrie Will Direct a Live-Action Star Blazers
The good news here is that Christopher McQuarrie, the man behind the criminally under appreciated Jack Reacher, has landed another gig and that gig is a sci-fi flick. That weird news is that it's an adaptation of a '70s anime called Star Blazers. Huh? Welp. Any Star Blazers fans in the house?
Good News: Joe Cornish May Direct Star Trek 3
Attack the Block is one of the best genre movies of the past decade, so anytime director Joe Cornish gets mentioned next to a new project, it's time to get excited. Of course, the big news this week was that he's apparently being considered to replace J.J. Abrams on the Star Trek franchise and that's wonderful news. Although Abrams' direction was never the biggest problem with the most recent Trek films, this series needs someone new at the helm to help maintain quality control. It's hard to imagine a guy as talented and picky as Cornish directing a script as bad as Star Trek Into Darkness.
Bad News: The New RoboCop Trailer
Someday, someone will write a book about how a major Hollywood studio took the very talented Jose Padhila, tied his hands behind his back and asked him to make the most generic version of RoboCop imaginable. Paul Verhoeven's original is a satiric masterpiece and the remake looks like the kind of thing the original movie would have laughed at while mocking it relentlessly. It's still possible to hope for the best, but yikes. This trailer offers almost nothing to get excited about.
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