ITEM! In case you haven’t heard, Kazu Kibuishi’s kids GN AMULET came out a few months ago, but it is already optioned and on the fast track, with Will Smith’s kids Willow and Jaden set to star as siblings who must traverse a strange world in search aided by a sinister amulet after their mother is kidnapped. Kibuishi comments on his blog:
I never imagined we would be moving so quickly on the film side of things. I better get the next few books done a little faster! Anyway, I’m really looking forward to meeting the Smiths. I’ve been a huge fan ever since the early Fresh Prince days, and seeing the kind of work they’ve been doing lately, I can see that we’ll be on the same wavelength on this project. This is going to be cool.
A total of five AMULET volumes are planned.
ITEM! According to a terse trade report, that Virgin Comics/Sci Fi Channel deal is paying off. The Sci Fi Channel is developing a TV series project around The Stranded, (left) one of Virgin’s Sci Fi branded comics. It’s written by Mike Carey and involves regular folks who discover they are really aliens,
ITEM! Speaking of the Sci Fi Channel, they are also developing a pilot for TRUE BELIEVER, a series created by Rosario Dawson and David Atchinson (OCCULT CRIMES TASK FORCE) about a comic book enthusiast who hires a former superhero to teach him about crime-fighting.
ITEM! Director James Mangold ( 3:10 to Yuma, Girl Interrupted, Walk the Line) has signed on the graphic novel express with French gn CYCLOPES by Alexis Nolent :
Variety reports that Warner Bros. has secured the rights to Alexis Nolent’s French graphic novel Cyclopes, set in a dystopian future where soldiers wear cameras in their helmets and broadcast what they see in real time. One soldier realizes that what he’s fighting for isn’t justice, but commerce.
Nolent is now a two-fer, as another one of his books, KILLER is being developed for David Fincher.
ITEM! More obstacles for the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie. It appears that the Australian government is refusing the film a 40% tax rebate which is offered to Australian productions of Australian films. Despite Aussie helmer George Miller and a few native actresses in the cast, the movie is under great suspicion:
Since Warner Bros suspended filming plans in January, citing uncertainty over the new incentive, opponents have argued that the offset should not be available for big-budget movies not developed by Australian filmmakers from inception.
The director of the equity section of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Simon Whipp, has lobbied against Justice League Mortal’s eligibility, describing it as an American story that will be performed in American accents.
Has this guy no desire to see Green Lantern up on the big screen? With a $200 million budget, the tax rebate was an important financial element of the film, which could be forced to shoot somewhere else. Miller was non-plussed with the decision : “A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Australian film industry is being frittered away because of very lazy thinking,” Miller said.
The problem seems to be that it is an American film, with American accents, and it will not do the Australian film industry any favors. But native director George Miller points out that the country needs movie franchises, even if they aren’t “recognizably” Australian, to boost production and bring in jobs. I can’t really say which side is right — it seems Australia is a bit miffed Warner Bros shut down production in January over uncertainty about the incentive, and they punished them for their doubts. (I’m really curious if X-Men Origins: Wolverine is getting that tax break. Everyone knows Hugh Jackman is Australian, but come on, that’s not going to be seen as a Down Under movie either.)
The film is also apparently called JUSTICE LEAGUE MORTAL.