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May 10, 2007 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 10, 2007 |

Ah, Ethan Hawke. So fresh-faced, so young, and once the poster boy for a certain brand of Gen X-er, Hawke has traded in roles about students and soldiers coming of age for, well, ones that require him to carry a gun and look harried. Hawke’s career follows the Clooney model of doing a few flicks to make some cash that then allow him to do lower-budget art house flicks that shore up the credibility he loses when he does stuff like Assault on Precinct 13. That’s why, after recently appearing in Fast Food Nation and his own The Hottest State, Hawke has signed on to topline Lionsgate’s Daybreakers, described by the studio as a “futuristic vampire film,” which doesn’t exactly sound promising. In fact, the script sounds like a half-assed ripoff of I Am Legend: Hawke is set to play a researcher in 2017, when a plague has turned most of the world’s population into vampires. The vampires survive by kidnapping and farming the remaining humans, but then there’s some kind of discovery, and maybe it’ll save the planet, yada yada who gives a set of hairy balls. Australian filmmakers Peter and Michael Spierig are handling the writing and directing duties. So, we’ve got relative unknowns helming a vampire flick for Lionsgate. The only thing that could possibly redeem this is if Hawke’s character meets a demure blonde vampire pretending to be normal who seduces him and tells him to show up in six months at the train station so that they can prove their undying love, only she won’t even be there because she’ll make up some crap excuse about a family emergency, and then you’ll be stuck in Europe and forced to wait an entire decade to exorcise the demons of that devastating first love. … Yeah, I would go see that.

Also, I know it’s totally off-topic, but my favorite part of the AP story about the $10 million eBay bid for the General Lee being a hoax is the fact that John Schneider is apparently “upset” about it. Why is no one doing a follow-up on how pathetically gullible John Schneider is?

Anyway, moving on: Producer Dino De Laurentiis, that icon of crappy filmmaking for something like seven decades running (OK, Three Days of the Condor was awesome, but everything else sucked), is teaming with wife Martha and a trio of German producers to adapt Frank Schatzing’s novel The Swarm into a big-budget “ecological disaster film.” Screenwriter Ted Tally (The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon) has been tapped to adapt the novel, about an alien presence existing on the ocean floor whose ecosystem is ruined by those wacky ol’ polluting humans, and which then rises up to destroy humanity as an act of vengeance. Aside from sounding like The Abyss with fewer nukes and hostile aliens, the film looks to be nothing more than a shameless attempt to cash in on the environmentalist trend that’s been in vogue ever since Al Gore got really popular again. Damn you, Gore. I liked your movie, but now you’ve gone an unleashed De Laurentiis on us. That’s unacceptable.

Finally, I’m not sure how I feel yet about the new trailer for Ratatouille, the latest Pixar flick that’s bowing at the end of June. I pegged Patton Oswalt’s voice from the first time I saw the teaser, since I’m a big fan of his stand-up comedy. But I’m not quite sure how Oswalt’s geek-rage persona will gell with that of director Brad Bird, who also helmed The Incredibles and The Iron Giant. Still, I’ll probably check it out:

Daniel Carlson is the managing editor of Pajiba and a low-level employee at a Hollywood industry magazine. You can visit his blog, Slowly Going Bald.


I think Ratatouille looks good, certainly better then Cars (probably Pixars only lackluster movie so far?)

There is a 9 minute clip available as well

Which I think sells it much better.

Posted by: Alexander at May 10, 2007 6:48 AM

Apparently I Am Legend is being made into a movie as well. Looks liek it is scheduled to come out December of this year.

Book looks cool though (never heard of it before)

Posted by: Brian at May 10, 2007 8:55 AM

And according to Wiki - this would be first adaptation of the book (not including Mr. Hawke’s) but the first using the book’s title.

Will Ethan play this researcher as a whiny musician who is friends with someone who works at The Gap? Do futuristic vampires shop at The Gap?

Posted by: Brian at May 10, 2007 9:01 AM

Meh, Assault on Precinct 13 wasn’t that bad. Daybreakers reads a lot like a rip-off of Trinity Blood (anime) without the religious aspect, the story is based on humans who become infected by a virus and start feeding on blood blah blah blah…

It wasn’t very good. I predict major suckage.

Posted by: BarbadoSlim at May 10, 2007 9:03 AM

Producer Dino De Laurentiis, that icon of crappy filmmaking for something like seven decades running (OK, Three Days of the Condor was awesome, but everything else sucked

Put down Conan the Barbarian and back away, Daniel, or you’ll have me and Manny so far up your ass, you’ll be tasting geek for weeks.

(There’s also the small matter of a handful of Fellini films…AND Danger: Diabolik)

Posted by: Ranylt at May 10, 2007 9:17 AM

It wasn’t very good. I predict major suckage. —BarbadoSlim

A-hahahahaha!! I hope I’m not the only one laughing at this pun. Class.

Posted by: stardust savant at May 10, 2007 9:35 AM

Matheson’s book is a great read and far superior to any of the several attempts that have been made to film it. Y’all should all read it.

There was a low-budget film with Vincent Price that I remember seeing that was pretty faithful to the book (to my dim recollection), and there was the crappy 70’s Omega Man with Charlton Heston.

I was tickled when I first heard about the latest film, until I found out Will Smith was the star. I generally enjoy watching Will Smith, but I don’t think his wisecrackin’ catchphrase-spoutin’ persona is going to be a good fit for this material—not if they mean to do it right.

Posted by: Jerce at May 10, 2007 9:52 AM

So ban me from Pajiba for this, but Ethan Hawke! As they say over at TWOP, I have no defense against that demographic. I’m also a sucker for vampire movies so I must accept my exile if Pajibans so deem, because I will see this film when it’s released.

Also, how great would that alternate plot be if he did as you suggest meet a demure blonde vampire and wander around Vienna with her preying on the blood of Austrians? Gives a whole new meaning to the title “Before Sunrise”.

Actually, I just re-read that last sentence and we’d have to make it quite clear that they’re not Jewish vampires or the Austrians would be back on the whole “Jews drink the blood of Christian virgins” thing. It didn’t turn out so well the last time they jumped on that hobbyhorse.

Posted by: PaddyDog at May 10, 2007 10:42 AM

BarbadoSlim - The original Trinity Blood novels (that they based the anime on) are actually really good - much darker, scarier, and they make more sense then the show, since they had to take so much out.

Of course, I’m a sucker (haha) for vampires, and have been ever since my pre-teen heart was stolen by Jason Patrick in Lost Boys, so I’d probably go see this one.

Posted by: pinkcheese at May 10, 2007 11:07 AM

I read the loose plot decription in the last part of the first paragraph and racked my brain, as it sounded familiar. Then I realized with horror/ pride (an unusual combination) that it rings familiar to the plot of Hot Shots: Part Deux. Anyone else? …anyone?

Posted by: CC at May 10, 2007 11:23 AM

Yeah, CC - I can see it. :-)

Posted by: pinkcheese at May 10, 2007 11:41 AM

So you’re thinking Vampires Before Sunrise? Makes sense. I’d see that.

Posted by: Gabs at May 10, 2007 11:46 AM

CONAN! What is best in life?!

Yeah, I’m with Ranylt. You don’t mock the man behind Conan the Barbarian, which I firmly believe is some sort of bizarre Robert E. Howard/Frazetta-inspired art film combination.

And aren’t the making I Am Legend with Will Smith? Assuming we don’t get the Bad Boys Will Smith (which I like, but only in Bad Boys)… no. No, I still hate the idea. Though the director did do Constantine, which I kind of enjoyed… I think I’m trying to talk myself into it. And failing.

Posted by: TK at May 10, 2007 11:46 AM

CC: I’m not sure if you mean the last part of the first “major” paragraph ending in “yeah, I would go see that” or the last part of the first “minor” paragraph ending in “turned most of the world’s population into vampires”. If it’s the former, he’s referring to Before Sunrise and its sequel Before Sunset, if it’s the latter, you’ve got me. I’ve never seen Hot Shots.
Help me someone, this site has made me so anal about responding to issues such as paragraph endings!!!!!

Posted by: PaddyDog at May 10, 2007 11:47 AM

Gabs - Vampires Before Sunrise would work, but they can’t do the sequel Vampires Before Sunset unless it takes place indoors. Then again, 2 minute film, Ethan screams, turns to a pile of ash - I’ld watch that. Might be more fun than the 10PM showing of Spider-Man I’m being dragged to tonight. Wanted to see Hot Fuzz, my friend doesn’t want to and it has been so long since I’ve been to the theater (I think The Illusionist was the last I went to) that I’m not wiling to fight about. I want to see Spider-Man, but more out of a sense of obligation (saw the first 2 in the theaters, liked the comic book nad character alot when I was a kid (and some now)) than any real interest.

Posted by: Brian at May 10, 2007 12:09 PM

pinkcheese-thank you for the heads-up I’ll check them out.

Posted by: BarbadoSlim at May 10, 2007 12:23 PM

Yeah, but if the Ethan Hawke vampire and the blonde vampire were stupid enough not to exchange phone numbers in case of emergency, it’s not really her fault that she had a crap family emergency and couldn’t be there.

Posted by: Claire at May 10, 2007 12:27 PM

Pinkchhese- YES!

PaddyDog: i definitely meant the last part of the
first major paragraph. this is the part where i pretend i know it was Before Sunrise and was making a pseudo campy reference when in really my taste really is more like Hot shots. wow.

Posted by: CC at May 10, 2007 12:50 PM

No problem, BarbadoSlim. I thought the anime was pretty, if a bit confusing and derivative, but the novels are awesome.

Posted by: pinkcheese at May 10, 2007 12:57 PM

O Captain, my Captain, please save us from derivative, stale vampire movies. Everything about this movie sounds ripped off, e.g., the “farming humans” concept that comes straight out of “The Matrix.” And haven’t other vampire films tried to soften the edges by having the vampires drink blood from IV bags, etc. instead of preying directly on humans? Criminy, how hard is it to put together a decent movie concept?

Posted by: socalledonlycousins at May 10, 2007 1:59 PM

CC: I wasn’t trying to make any point. I’m horribly un-attuned to Internet sarcasm. Hope I didn’t offend.

Posted by: PaddyDog at May 10, 2007 2:09 PM

Poor Daniel. The cynicism is eating you alive. I don’t envy your proximity to the Hollywood machine.

Posted by: katy at May 10, 2007 2:29 PM

Paddydog: any sarcasm was entirely aimed at self :)

Posted by: CC at May 10, 2007 3:24 PM

I hate Ethan Hawke. I liked him Reality Bites (don’t judge me — pretentious screw-ups are sort of my thing), but my senior year of high school I was subjected to the travesty that was Hawke’s Hamlet. He took one of the greatest achievements in Western art and pummeled it into a bland, greasy paste. Go away, Ethan; I just can’t look at you any more.

Posted by: Liz at May 10, 2007 6:47 PM

Does Daybreakers sound freakishly similar to the sequel to Nightwatchers that is supposed to be coming out soon?

Posted by: Annie at May 11, 2007 1:44 AM

Well thank you. I just started reading the swarm, which is rather well written, and now I know what is going to happen!!! I had no idea that it was about aliens, so there goes all the surprise.

Posted by: Samantha at May 11, 2007 6:26 AM

Oh Pajiba, My Pajiba

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Daniel Carlson

Industry | May 10, 2007 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.


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