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Scheduled to open in theaters on September 6th is Riddick, which was written/directed by David Twohy (A Perfect Getaway) and stars Vin Diesel (Fast Five) in the title role. The film marks the third installment in the popular sic-fi series following Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick, respectively. In addition to the return of Diesel, the movie also stars series newcomers Karl Urban (Dredd), Katee Sackhoff (TV's Battlestar Galactica), David Batista (The Man with the Iron Fists), and Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall).
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the pleasure of sitting down with actresses Katee Sackhoff and Emily Alyn Lind to discuss their work on The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, which opens in theaters on February 1st. Philbrick also had a chance to ask Sackhoff about her role in the upcoming Riddick, as well as her thoughts on the legacy of Battlestar Galactica. While we will run our conversation with the actresses about The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia closer to the film's release date, we wanted to let you know now what Sackhoff had to say about Riddick and Battlestar Galactica. The fan-favorite actress discussed Riddick, her role, working with writer/director David Twohy and star Vin Diesel, being the only actress on set surrounded by men, possibly having a fight scene with Diesel, shooting guns, Battlestar Galactica, and if she ever gets sick of fans calling her "Starbuck."
Every once in a while, there will be a new TV series that changes the landscape of television and the way shows are made forever. Recent examples would include The Sopranos, 24, The Wire, Lost, The Shield, and Mad Men. But if there were any one show that has truly had an impact on television in recent years, I would have to say it is the reimagined version of Battlestar Galactica.
Before BSG, you didn’t see theatrical quality sci-fi on network TV, or even cable for that matter. Now, you can’t turn on the tube without seeing several, big-budget, special effects driven genre shows like True Blood, Grimm, Falling Skies, Torchwood, Game of Thrones, and even NBC’s upcoming Revolution. Not to mention all of the recently failed sci-fi series like FlashForward, The Event, or Steven Spielberg’s Terra Nova. Another thing that I believe makes Battlestar Galactica standout amongst its peers is that it had an extremely successful, fan-friendly, final season and series finale. In fact, it was so satisfying to its viewers, I think most fans would agree that the show’s finale was one of the best ever. It certainly deserves to be mentioned in that debate, along with The Wire and The Shield, and was definitely nowhere near as disappointing or confusing to fans as the endings of The Sopranos and Lost were.
Since Battlestar Galactica ended its four year run in March of 2009, the series has spawned two different spin-offs including Caprica and the upcoming Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, as well as a direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray film entitled Battlestar Galactica: The Plan. One of the other things that made the series so great was the incredible cast of actors that they were able to assemble including virtual unknowns (at the time) like Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck), Jamie Bamber (Apollo), James Callis (Gaius Baltar), Trisha Helfer (Number Six) and Grace Park (Boomer/Number Eight), as well as seasoned veterans such as Dean Stockwell (Number One), Lucy Lawless (Number Three), Michael Hogan (Saul Tigh), Mary McDonnell (Laura Roslin) and the great Edward James Olmos (William Adama).
Without a doubt, one of my favorite characters on the show was Colonel Saul Tigh, played by the always-excellent Michael Hogan. Tigh was a pivotal, grumpy yet loveable character that served as executive officer to Commander William Adama and was eventually revealed to be one of “The Final Five” Cylons. Since BSG ended, the actor has stayed quite busy appearing on several successful TV series including Smallville as popular DC Comics villain Deathstroke, Warehouse 13, Supernatural, Fairly Legal, and Teen Wolf, as well as the feature film Red Riding Hood starring Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman. Hogan once again returns to the big screen in the new film noir comedy Searching for Sonny, which was helmed by first time director Andrew Disney and will be available on VOD, DVD, Blu-ray, and in theaters via TUGG on August 28th.
Opening in theaters via TUGG, VOD, DVD, and Blu-ray on August 28th is the new film Searching For Sonny from first time director Andrew Disney. The film stars an excellent cast of well known television actors including Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights), Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars), Masi Oka (Heroes), Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica), and Clarke Peters (The Wire).
IAR is proud to present an exclusive clip from Searching For Sonny entitled "Finding Dead Body."
After graduating from USC Film School, Screenwriter John Orloff spent the first ten years of his career working in advertising on various TV commercials but it wasn’t until he met an HBO executive, now his wife, that his writing career really took off. Frustrated with the below average scripts that had been submitted to her for work, Orloff’s wife recommended he write his own screenplay about a subject that he was obsessed with: the Shakespeare authorship issue. Orloff completed the script and it was sent to Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, but they were ultimately not interested in making the project. Instead, they asked the writer if he would be interested in penning a few episodes for their proposed HBO miniseries about World War II, which of course went on to be the Emmy award-winning Band of Brothers. Orloff would go on to write an adaptation of Mariane Pearl’s memoir A Mighty Heart, which was made into a film starring Angelina Jolie, as well as adapting the fantasy book series "Guardians of Ga’Hoole" into the animated 3-D film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole directed by Zack Snyder. But the writer never gave up his passion for the Shakespeare authorship film and after years of development his dream project, now titled Anonymous, has finally made it to the big screen and was released in theaters on Friday, October 28th.
The movie, which was directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day), revolves around the life of Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans) who the film credits as being the true author of Shakespeare’s plays. However, the bulk of the story focuses on the succession to Queen Elizabeth I, played at different points in the film by both Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson, who are real-life mother and daughter. While the royal drama unfolds, we find out Edward’s true relationship to the Queen and why he is forbidden to write any prose. In order to have his plays published, Edward seeks out a poet named Ben Johnson and enlists him to disguise the work as his own. Confidant that he will write a great play of his own someday, Johnson refuses and allows a sleazy actor named William Shakespeare to take all the credit. The plays become a huge success of course, but as the political drama of the royal court heats up, the true origin of the literature becomes in question and begins to threaten England and the crown.
I recently had a chance to discuss Anonymous with screenwriter John Orloff, who will next be adapting the classic TV series Battlestar Galactica into a film for director Bryan Singer. The writer spoke freely with me about the new film, the origin of the idea, his passion for it, collaborating with director Roland Emmerich on the script, casting mother and daughter as the Queen, the authorship issue, and the controversy behind the new film.
Yesterday, news broke that Universal Pictures has hired screenwriter John Orloff to write the script for a rebooted Battlestar Galactica feature film directed by Bryan Singer. Glen Larson created the original Battlestar in 1978, as part of an unstoppable tide of spacefaring adventures that followed the phenomenal success of Star Wars, and though the series lasted only one season, followed by a brief revival as Galactica 1980, it managed to hold onto a certain nerd cachet over the decades. In 2003, Ronald Moore oversaw a new Battlestar Galactica on the Sci-Fi Channel, and the result was a four-season masterpiece of modern long-form storytelling. The combination of space-based action, intelligent social commentary, and philosophical rumination won may passionate fans who are now wondering just what Singer and Orloff's approach to the material will set it apart.
Orloff wrote and executive produced next weekend's Anonymous, an historical film from 2012 and Independence Day director Roland Emmerich that dramatizes a theory asserting that William Shakespeare was not, in fact, the author of the plays attributed to him. IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick conducted an exclusive interview with John Orloff regarding Anonymous, and while the full interview will be available soon, Orloff also shared some thoughts on this new Battlestar Galactica.
As created by Glen Larson in 1978, the original Battlestar Galactica was a blatant attempt to capitalize on the space-mania incited by Star Wars the year before. It could even be uncharitably but totally justifiably be called a ripoff. Though the series was short-lived, it maintained a certain cult status, and the 2004 Sci-Fi Network reboot refashioned Battlestar Galactica as a crazy-intelligent series with a lot to say on subjects philosophical, social, and theological. Bryan Singer has been itching to reboot the series theatrically for years now, and his take seems to be gaining momentum at Universal Pictures, particularly as the studio has just hired John Orloff to draft the screenplay for this new Battlestar Galactica.
In part two of my interview with Husbands co-creator and writer Jane Espenson, Jane tells us a little more about her experience in web content and how each project differs and offers advice for up-and-coming web content creators. You can read the first part of the interview here.
Some of the earliest wins in web content came out of the 2007 – 2008 Writer’s Guild strike Most people, whether they are web series fans or not, are aware of the explosive success of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Another high-profile win for the web space came out of a derivative series based on a little sci-fi show called…Battlestar Gallactica.
I watched the first series of Battlestar Gallactica webisodes religiously.They featured a lesser-known character played by an actor I have been a fan of for years and so I was thrilled he was getting more attention, while also getting to build out the intricate universe of the series. The webisodes also lead into the new season of the show, with the character featured in the new season, who they proceeded to kill in the premiere episode…but we don’t need to get into that. (I never quite forgave the show for that.)
What was so lovely about the Battlestar Gallactica web “experiment” is that they continued to support the medium even after the strike was over, doing several web series in between seasons of the show. For Battlestar Galactica: The Face of the Enemy, they brought in veteran TV writer and fan-favorite Jane Espenson to co-write and executive produce. Jane has written for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, The O.C., Gilmore Girls, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Game of Thrones, and Torchwood: Miracle Day among other series. She also co-created Syfy’s Warehouse 13. She’s got street cred and the series went on to be nominated for an Emmy as well as winning a Streamy Award.
And now Jane has moved from a derivative web series to team up with actor and internet entrepreneur Brad Bell ( AKA Cheeks) in creating her first original, independent web series, a delightful and unique romantic comedy called Husbands. I had a chance to screen episodes of the series at Big Screen Little Screen LA and had the wonderful opportunity to interview her via e-mail to discuss her background as a writer, the unique opportunities that come with working on the web, and asked her to give tips to web series creators just starting out.
Though the upcoming The Thing shares a title with John Carpenter's classic 1982 The Thing, the new film by director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr is technically a prequel taking place at the Norwegian research base in the Antarctic where an alien entity is uncovered. That entity eventually finds its way to an American scientific outpost in the form of an adorable canine, and that's where Carpenter's story, itself a remake of The Thing From Outer Space, goes down. The first trailer the new The Thing is now available for viewing, and though it is explicitly a prequel, it looks like the film hits all the beats established by Carpenter's film. Speaking of beats, the trailer also incorporates Carpenter's strikingly minimal score. Listen (and look) for yourself.
Right screenwriter-actor-uber director Jon Favreau is finishing up work on this summer's blockbuster Cowboys & Aliens. Once he's done with that, he won't be returning to the Iron Man franchise, of which he directed the first two films, but will instead direct Magic Kingdom, a family friendly adventure film set in Anaheim. More specifically, it's set in Disneyland, where Walt's legendary attractions comes to life at night. Over the Memorial Day weekend, Favreau himself dropped a none-too-subtle hint that Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and all-around baller Michael Chabon might just be re-writing the Magic Kingdom screenplay.