Popcorn: Comic Convention news and views
Over the past few years the San Diego Comic Convention has become less about comics and more about mainstream films. Here are some news highlights from the past week: Bruce Willis says Die Hard 5 is happening, and, sometime after that, he also wants to do a sequel to Unbreakable (underrated film, that); Mark Ruffalo has been cast as The Hulk in the new Avengers film, which will feature Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, among other superheroes; footage of Let Me In (the English-language remake of Let the Right One In) was met with enthusiasm; and finally, MTV's small-screen remake of Teen Wolf will supposedly be "edgier" than the movies. Because that's what the world needs -- an edgy remake of Teen Wolf.
Nick Cave meets The Crow and ... Pinocchio?
Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) has dropped out of directing The Hobbit, and he's making the most of his spare time. As well as working on a Mexican vampire movie and an update of The Haunted Mansion, he's co-written and produced a new, gothic take on the Pinocchio story. Production on the stop-motion animation is already underway, with children's author Gris Grimly directing, and the music provided by the mighty Nick Cave. The Australian singer has also been approached to work on the screenplay for The Crow remake. Cave is gravitating towards cinema more and more these days, having written The Proposition and provided the music for The Assassination of Jesse James and The Road.
Daniel Craig gets a Dragon Tattoo
There have been rumours (including in these pages) that Daniel Craig (above) was a contender to star in the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Well, now it's official. In fact, according to Deadline.com, the actor has signed a deal to also star in two sequels, should they happen. Director David Fincher (Fight Club) is still looking for his leading lady, a tattooed, punky cyber-sleuth. I imagine it's one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood right now. Meanwhile, despite a new 007 book and videogame on the way, Bond as a movie character is still on hold for the foreseeable future.
Paul the Octopus, The Movie
Among the most entertaining aspects of the World Cup thingy (at least for this writer) were the psychic predictions of one Paul the Octopus. Well, fans of the clairvoyant sea creature won't have to wait long for a movie because, amazingly, production for The Murder of Paul the Octopus has already wrapped. The movie was filmed in South Africa over the past few weeks using a stand-in for the busy octopus. (Will he resemble the real Paul?) Plot details are sketchy at present, but all will be revealed when the film will receive a limited worldwide release in August.
Rihanna will sink your Battleship
Pop star Rihanna (left) is joining the cast of an oddball project, a movie adaptation of the board game Battleship. Directed by Peter Berg (The Kingdom), this is being touted as a big-scale naval action movie with an alien invasion twist. Taylor Kitsch, a relative unknown who appeared in the recent Wolverine movie, will take the lead. This will be Rihanna's first acting role, and it looks like she's diving in at the deep end.