The ratings boon that is AMC’s The Walking Dead isn’t enough for Robert Kirkman, the comic book writer and executive producer behind the zombie hit. He is preparing to bring a new series to the network based on another one of his graphic novels called Thief of Thieves. Per Deadline, this new comic “centers on master thief Conrad Paulson who, while attempting to reconcile with his estranged wife and son, vows to walk the straight and narrow, only to discover he’s completely addicted to the thrill of stealing. Now he must feed his addiction by stealing only what has been stolen, as the “Thief of Thieves.”
Says Kirkman: “Much like The Walking Dead brought horror to television in a unique and groundbreaking way, I feel Thief of Thieves can do the same thing for heist stories, showing the humanity of all the characters, including the criminals.” Unlike The Walking Dead, Theif of Thieves is “going to be very grounded in the real world,” Kirkman spilled to EW. “No zombies, no space aliens, no superheroes. It’s just going to be real human characters doing somewhat horrible things to each other.”
Kirkman will executive produce alongside fellow Walking Dead collaborators Charles Eglee (The Shield, Dexter) and David Alpert. If AMC picks up the show, Eglee will also serve as showrunner. More as this story develops.
Author Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) penned Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter in 2010 and this summer the history/supernatural mashup is coming to theatres in 3D. Here’s a quick synopsis, per Time Entertainment:
Honest Abe is born into an era of bloodsuckers, during a time of mass immigration, as the vampires are being flushed out of Europe. His grandfather was killed by a vampire, his mother was the victim to the poisons of vampire blood. When he’s elected president, he leads the charge into the Civil War as a means of averting a systematic takeover of America by power-hungry vampire hordes.
Though it sounds wacky, the novel went on to be hugely popular making the New York Times bestseller list and the trailer (embedded above) will definitely get your blood pumping. I mean, it’s Abe with an axe fending off vampires in Civil Wars times… what else could you ask for, really? Director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) and producer Tim Burton collaborated to adapt Grahame-Smith’s vision for the big screen. Benjamin Walker (Flags of Our Fathers) plays the 16th President of the United States. We’ll see if the hype is worth it come June 22.
Take a deep breath, this is heavy. The classic 1980s trilogy Back to the Future might be revisited, not on the silver screen but on Broadway! According to Deadline, Robert Zemeckis–director of all three Back to the Future films–is in “early talks” with his BTTF co-writer Bob Gale and the film’s talented composer Alan Silvestri. If it all comes together, Zemeckis’ production company ImageMovers will be involved. The three movies have grossed almost $1 billion worldwide, and so a plan to tap back into the franchise’s success shouldn’t come as a total shock. The recent Blu-ray release and Nike’s sneaker auction justifiably injected hype and excitement into the acclaimed sci-fi saga. I hope you’re with me when I say that a stage adaptation of Back to the Future is a tantalizing prospect worth salivating over.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, are itching to adapt yet another one of their works of art for the big screen. According to EW, the comedic duo are interested in adapting their Tony-winning musical The Book of Mormon into a feature-length film. The musical has been a raging success ever since it debuted on Broadway in February. I was in attendance at the very first preview night and early mishaps included I was blown away. This absurdly foul and endearing story is outrageously hilarious and so good that it deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. Making a movie will give people around the world an opportunity to witness Parker and Stone’s years-in-the-making creation that follows Mormon missionaries on the hunt for converts in Uganda of all places. Whether or not Broadway stars Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad will appear in the movie is still up in the air. Stone tells EW: “We want to do it some day. The great thing is, a lot of Broadway teams would have to go team up with a Hollywood producer and bring on a Hollywood director, but Trey’s a director and Scott [Rudin]’s a great producer. We’ve all made movies. So it’s kind of cool, it can stay in the same family.” Parker, Stone, and collaborator Robert Lopez are taking Mormon on a national tour next summer and after that they’ll start to focus on the production of the movie.
Whether or not you’ve seen the show, visualize it and laugh your ass off and listen to the soundtrack available here.
Big, big news for fans of The Dark Tower. Deadline reports that Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television Entertainment have been granted the rights to the enormously epic Stephen King book series (there are seven in total). It is going to be adapted for the big and small screen with director Ron Howard at the helm. He will be joined by his A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code cohorts Akiva Goldsman (writer, Fringe) and Brian Grazer (producer, 24, Friday Night Lights, Arrested Development).
The unprecedented plan to adapt The Dark Tower to the screen has me choked up in excitement. A feature film will introduce the characters and universe to viewers. A TV series will follow the first movie and act as a bridge to the second movie. Next the sequel will hit theatres, then a second season will air on TV. Instead of acting as a bridge to the final movie in the trilogy, season 2 will focus on the backstory of a young Deschain (the main character). The last movie will pick up where the sequel left off, following a mature Deshain completing his journey. Whoever is going to play Deshain (rumor has it it’ll be a big name star) will be required to carry on his role in both the feature films and the TV series. Deadline points out that by using the same sets, cast, and crew on the movies and TV series the production team will contain costs on what promises to be an expensive undertaking. It’s been confirmed that Howard will direct and Goldsman will scribe the first feature film and TV season. Goldsman, Grazer, and King will serve as producers.
King originally approached JJ Abrams and Lost executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse with the idea of adapting The Dark Tower for the screen. According to Deadline they “never cracked the sprawling plotline and all the characters”, so Goldsman wasted no time contacting his partner-in-crime Howard with the notion of helming the project. Howard recalls Goldsman’s pitch: “Akiva said, ‘Stephen will not let go of it, but it’s like nothing else you’ve ever read.” Howard continued, “It was frustrating because it’s one of those works where you read it, and then at odd times, the imagery and sensations just pop up in your mind. This is going to be an amazing life experience for us, trying to do justice to the story and the universe.”
Howard shared with Deadline his thoughts on how his approach with adapting The Dark Tower compares to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Ring series: “What Peter did was a feat, cinematic history. The approach we’re taking also stands on its own, but it’s driven by the material. I love both, and like what’s going on in TV. With this story, if you dedicated to one medium or another, there’s the horrible risk of cheating material. The scope and scale call for a big screen budget. But if you committed only to films, you’d deny the audience the intimacy and nuance of some of these characters and a lot of cool twists and turns that make for jaw-dropping, compelling television. We’ve put some real time and deep thought into this, and a lot of conversations and analysis from a business standpoint, to get people to believe in this and take this leap with us. I hope audiences respond to it in a way that compels us to keep going after the first year or two of work. It’s fresh territory for me, as a filmmaker.”
King also commented on today’s news: “I’ve been waiting for the right team to bring the characters and stories in these books to film and TV viewers around the world. Ron, Akiva, Brian along with Universal and NBC have a deep interest and passion for the The Dark Tower series and I know that will translate into an intriguing series of films and TV shows that respect the origins and the characters in The Dark Tower that fans have come to love.”
A shooting schedule has not been mapped out yet, but you can be damn sure I’m keeping my hear to the ground and will report back any and all information regarding the plans moving forward for The Dark Tower adaptation. For a major studio to sign on and agree to telling a story on two vastly different platforms is a rare, unprecedented feat. With Howard, Goldsman, and Grazer on board, I have no doubt the upcoming epic will impress.
Update: Stephen King sat down for an exclusive interview with EW and shared more thoughts on the project. Look after the break for the goods.
I have not anticipated the premiere of a new fall TV series like this in quite some time. The Walking Dead, the famed comic book series from Robert Kirkman that follows a band of survivors in a zombie-infested world, is being adapted to the small screen with executive producer/director Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) at the helm. I have attempted to hook you in from the start–reporting cast additions, production stills, and behind-the-scenes looks from the set. Today the four-and-a-half minute trailer, originally screened at Comic Con in July, has hit the ‘Net and boy does it impress. If nothing caught your attention in the past surrounding the development of the AMC series, this will. In it you will meet Rick Grimes, a man who gets shots and wakes up after a prolonged period of time in a hospital to find his home infiltrated by a hoard of flesh-hungry zombies. Said zombies look horrifyingly spectacular thanks to makeup/special FX extraordinaire Greg Nicotero. I implore you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the first in-depth peek at The Walking Dead.
We’ve been told that The Walking Dead would premiere in October sometime during AMC’s Fearfest schedule, which will include 14 consecutive days of horror-themed programming. Today THR reports that the zombie series will premiere on Halloween night, Sunday October 31 at 10:00PM ET. If you’re planning on spending the night trick-or-treating, don’t forget to set your DVR! The pilot episode, written and directed by Darabont, will run 90 minutes long.
Locke & Key, a comic book series written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez and published by IDW Publishing, follows three teenage brothers, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode Locke, who move to a Massachusetts mansion where they find the mystical Ghost Door which grants them powers, including the ability to separate his spirit from body and to transport between different worlds. The modern (2008-present) comic book is about to undergo a transformation with some HUGE names at the helm. A few months back, writers Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman (Fringe, Star Trek, Transformers) were approached to write a screenplay for a movie adaptation of the series. After much speculation, Vulture breaks news that the series will be adapted for television. In addition to Orci & Kurtzman, Steven Spielberg will serve as executive producer (via DreamWorks TV) and Josh Friedman, who was the showrunner of the dearly missed Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, will write and exec produce. Oh and you knnow Joe Hill, the writer of the comic book? He just happens to be Steven King’s son. 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks TV will back the venture. Now the wait begins to see which network is willing to scoop up all this talent and greenlight the production process.