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February 6, 2009 | Comments ()


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The Whitewash Is Over

The Weekly Geek / Claude Weaver III

Trade News | February 6, 2009 | Comments ()


Remember how you felt when we all first heard about the supposed casting of M Night Shyamalan’s Avatar: The Last Airbender movie? That feeling of bile and anger in your blood as you read that Jesse McCartney was being considered for Zuko?

Well you can take a breather, albeit a shallow one. Shyamalan (in what is either a rare moment of clarity, an even rarer moment of listening to other people, or possibly a deft move that belies a craftier intelligence originally thought possible) has cast Dev Patel, the star of the Oscar darling Slumdog Millionaire and an honest-to-God East Indian, in the film. And better yet, he is replacing McCartney as Zuko, who had to back out due to scheduling conflicts (although getting some damn sense into his head may have been a factor as well). So dance a jig of victory.

America’s enemies have struck again, this time with the help of video game maker Nintendo. A mother in Knightville, IN was shocked to discover that her daughter’s copy of a Nintendo DS game had a virtual baby spouting the phrase “Islam is the light” during a simulated bath. The really weird part: the same mother, months previous, found out that her younger daughter’s baby doll ALSO said the phrase.



Sounds like a good time to develop our own plush Godtopuses with helpful sound bites like “The Tentacle is the Way”, “There is an ‘I’ in Godtopi”, and “Convert or die.” They should be read by Liam Neeson, whose voice powers are explained here.

Now I am about to get real obscure in the geekery in here. Fasten your seatbelts: There is going to be a sequel to Hawk the Slayer.

For those of you going “wha?” Hawk the Slayer is a cheesetastic 1980 fantasy flick of great proportions. Red Sonja has nothing on this flick. Hell, Krull has nothing on this flick. It starred John Terry (Jack’s dad on “Lost”) as the mighty warrior Hawk, who is fighting to free his homeland from the tyrannical grip of his brother Voltan, played by, of all people, JACK PALANCE. It’s awefulsomeness caused comic shop owner Bilbo Bagshot to punch his own father (who dared call it rubbish) on an episode of “Spaced.”

Here is the trailer, in case you doubt me:



Original Hawk helmer Terry Marcel is partnering with Jinga Films for the $10 million Hawk the Hunter, with British actor Tom Hardy (Star Trek: Nemesis, Layer Cake, RockNRolla) to wield the Sword of Mind (how is that not awesome?). Voltan has yet to be cast.

In what maybe the weirdest spinoff news yet, The Star Wars franchise is getting a new entry: horror. Well at least in the books, anyway. Author Joe Schrieber has finished his book Deathtroopers, which is currently up for an October 27th release. He is keeping details hush-hush, but the story reportedly takes place before Star Wars: A New Hope.

Says Schrieber on his blog:


I had the time of my life on this one, I have to say. I’m doing the final edits now, and I’ve tried to make it into exactly the kind of book you’d want to read if you were a child of the 70s who grew up with the original Star Wars trilogy and really digs horror in the vein of The Shining and Alien, with a little dose of William Gibson mixed in.


I can’t see how it can be any scarier than Episode III being the final movie, but hey, give it a shot, buddy. The title does kinda invoke a possible undead situation. Zombies and lightsabers….shit, that might actually get me to like zombies.

This week’s comic suggestion is for the horror fans out there. Devil Due’s Hack/Slash takes place in a world where “slashers,” near-superhuman homicidal maniacs in the vein of your favorite movie killers, are a real threat. Cassie Hack, the lone survivor and daughter of a slasher known as The Lunch Lady, has partnered up with Vlad, a massive, enigmatic being, to hunt slashers before they kill too many. Think of it as R-rated “Buffy” as done by early John Carpenter.

As far as this week’s trailer, once again there seems to be a bit of a dry spell. It was either another Watchmen viral video, or the latest update from Dragonball: Evolutions (this time, with flying jeep and an actual dragon!).

I think I chose right.



You can see images for the Tales of the Black Freighter animated short here.

On a personal note: These viral videos are actually a pretty ingenious way around a key problem with adapting Watchmen: all the ancillary material. The series was chock full of background info that, while not really needed to understand the plot, really fleshed it out. By putting this material in a similar form online, and one assumes on the eventual DVD release, Snyder may have found a way around that pitfall. If he plays his cards right, he might just satisfy a few fanboys anyway.

You can read an interview with Snyder here, where he discusses how he got the project off the ground, his reaction to the Fox suit, and his “sequel” pitch that stopped Warner Brothers cold.

Claude Weaver III, aka Vermillion, has found the truth about Pixar’s success here. He can be found hiding under his blog, Vermillion’s Brain Receptacle.


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