Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Sequels in Development

Today comes two stories in one post! News has broke around the net on two films getting sequels that I really can't get too excited about. One is a sequel I expected since the film released in 2008, while the other sequel has been rumored for a few years but now may very well actually have grown some legs. What films you ask are being sequalized? I am speaking about a sequel to Hancock and a sequel to The Wizard of Oz. Read more details about both of these projects below...

I deal with the THR's report first. Prior to today's latest news, Hancock director Peter Berg told SCIFI Wire that a sequel to the first film may not be too far off. He also told the news outlet that fans would be seeing more of mythos behind the two immortal gods introduced in the 2008 film. Yesterday THR confirmed Berg's earlier comments and reported that Columbia Pictures has hired Adam Fierro and Glen Mazzara to write a draft for the speculated sequel. Adam Fierro and Glen Mazzara will be making their first effort at a film script with the duo previously only written for television including episodes of the FX show The Shield. The report gave no specifics surrounding the plot, but one can only assume that Berg's earlier commentary with SCIFI Wire will be apart of the sequel.

A big question with a sequel to Hancock is how long will this film take to actually get made. The first film took twelve years to finally hit theaters, so who knows how long this sequel could potentially take. Columbia however does have the film on a fast track hoping to cash in on the $624 million the first film made worldwide.

Me, I really wanted to like Hancock, but ended up being bitterly disappointed with where the film went. One angle that did intrigue me in Hancock, was the back story to the immortal gods. That said, I highly doubt that I will enjoy actually seeing the mythos playing out on screen. There is potential there, but based off what happened with Hancock, I am not too excited.

This second bit of news comes from a British tabloid so it may a huge waste of time reporting, but the news is a bit alarming in a number of ways. First up the big scoop. The Daily Express reports that Dakota Fanning may be playing the Dorthy's grand-daughter who ends up in Oz. Wait a minute Dakota Fanning in a Wizard of Oz sequel? Huh!?! Warner Brothers executive Basil Iwanyk told the news outlet the Oz sequel would be based off the amazing series of figures Todd McFarlane created in 2003 called "Twisted Land of Oz". He said, "It will be set in the present day and feature Dorothy’s granddaughter." This news came on the heels of the 2007 Variety report that Warner Brothers and Village Roadshow have teamed up to bring a "revisionist" take on L. Frank Baum's original novel.

McFarlane's Oz figures were absolutely breath-taking and I love them, but where this news makes an immediate downward spiral is Josh Olson's 2007 comments on the property. Olson, who penned A History of Violence told Variety, "I saw those toys, and Dorothy as some bondage queen isn’t something I want to do." Olson continued his unsatisfying comments by explaining what he means, "The appealing thing about the Baum books to me is how wildly imaginative they are. There are crazy characters from amazing places. I want this to be ‘Harry Potter’ dark, not ‘Seven’ dark." Really? Really? Why make another cookie-cutter Wizard of Oz film for kiddies or teen's? Why not make a grizzly "Twisted Land of Oz" that those kids can appreciate when their older and we adults can enjoy now? Why take a brutal account from McFarlane and dilute it? Just makes no sense whatsoever and more importantly, totally turns me off to the project.

Todd Macfarlane offered his own opinion of his property of toys being concepted into an actual film. He said back in 2007, "I want to create (an interpretation) that has a 2007 wow factor. You’ve still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she’s much closer to the Ripley from ‘Alien’ than a helpless singing girl." In the same interview McFarlane said, "My pitch was ‘How do we get people who went to ‘Lord of the Rings’ to embrace this?’" It seems their idea was to tame down the original concepts from McFarlane's toys and make them more marketable for everyone. I really can't think of anything else to say but blah! Below I have some of the original concept art from the 2003 toy line for you to checkout. Who knows if any of these designs will make their way into the Warner Brothers sequel.

More news on both "Hancock 2" and Warner Brother Oz sequel as they develop...

What say you? Do either of these projects excite you? Strikeback...