Friday, 2 February 2007

BIG SCREEN ... little screen

Polanski Headed To Pompeii!

Roman Polanski's next directing effort will be his biggest undertaking yet in terms of scale, subject and budget, reports Variety.
"Pompeii" is a dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of Mt. Vesuvius just before and during its eruption. The budget is projected to be $130 million, the director said.
It is based on the bestseller of the same name by "Fatherland" novelist Robert Harris, who is writing the script. Filming will begin in Italy this summer.
"Pompeii" will be produced by Polanski and Robert Benmussa of RP Productions, along with Alain Sarde. It will draw on private funding sources, as was the case with many of the director's previous projects.
"It will be handled like our last two films," Polanski said, "as an independent European production." No studio or distribution partners as yet have been approached, he said.
Pic's protagonist is a young engineer who has to repair an enormous aqueduct whose destruction threatens the Roman Empire. He finds himself enmeshed in politics and romance. The film takes place over three days and the final act is the volcanic eruption and the destruction of the aqueduct, which stretched 60 miles and served hundreds of thousands of people.
"I got seduced by the writing," Polanski told Daily Variety. "In general terms, when someone tells me to make a movie set in ancient times, I say it's not my cup of tea. But I liked that it was a thriller and I have read all of his books and there is such minute detail. He goes very far into the research."
Read the complete article by clicking here.
Written by Robert Sanchez

[Korean Film News] Critic Predicts "Voice of a Murderer" Will Flop
(Posted In Asia Box Office Drama Film News )
A film critic predicts that the docudrama "Voice of a Murderer," which opened today in theatres, will do poorly at the box office. One of the most highly anticipated films of the year, Park Jin-pyo's (You Are My Sunshine) latest work, about a kidnapper who abducts the child of a successful news anchor (Seol Kyeong-gu) and his wife (Kim Nam-joo), is based on actual events that took place sixteen years ago. The kidnapper demands a ransom of 100 million won, which is, well, a lot of dough. When the police intervene, things go from bad to worse and over the course of 44 days, the parents receive threatening phone calls demanding still more money. When the child is found dead on the banks of the Han River, it is revealed that the nine-year-old boy was murdered just two days after the kidnapping. The killer remains at large. At the time of the ordeal, the event received a good deal of media exposure, with the result that a great many Koreans are already familiar with the outcome of the story. According to Kim Tae-jong, staff reporter for The Korea Times, the film lacks "cinematic interpretation", explaining that "It remains too faithful to the horrific crime, coming across more like a long reconstructed television crime docudrama." Director Park's previous film, "You Are My Sunshine" (starring the radiant Jeon Do-yeon), was the most successful melodrama in history.
[Source: Han Cinema]

There will be another murder...
Rebus and Taggart set to return


GRITTY Scottish crime dramas proved their fatal attraction for UK television viewers yesterday as the ITV network commissioned major new runs of both Rebus and Taggart.
SMG Productions, which makes both shows, said the four new episodes for the two series were worth £10 million to the Scottish television industry.

The taste for Scottish crime fiction on the bookshelves already runs from the best-selling Rebus creator, Ian Rankin, to newcomers such as Lin Anderson, a former teacher whose star has been rising since the publication of her first novel, Driftnet.
Now the rise of Tartan crime has seen Scottish Television step into the shoes of Thames TV, which turned out The Sweeney and launched The Bill.
"We have taken over as the great producer of crime drama," said Charles Fletcher, from the international media organisation Caledonia Media.
Rebus and Taggart, Britain's longest-running crime drama, are mainstays of the Scottish TV industry. "Virtually all of that money will be spent in Scotland, crewed here and produced here," said Eric Coulter, the SMG head of drama.
Rebus, like Taggart, has built a strong brand that sells in dozens of countries. "The combination of Rebus, the books, and Ken Stott, the actor, make it a very appealing proposition," said Mr Coulter. But TV experts said it was hard to pin down why hard- bitten Scottish detectives had such enduring popularity. Adrian Monkton, a media analyst, said: "It's hard to say if it's the Scottishness of them that makes them so viable. You might say Rebus is part of the Scottish renaissance in crime writing, with Alexander McCall Smith.
"There is this fantastic bank of Scottish crime writers, so it's only natural that Scottish crime drama is part of any broadcaster's popular repertoire."
Filming on Rebus starts this Sunday in Edinburgh on the first of four 90-minute programmes. SMG adapted four of Rankin's novels last year, drawing audiences of up to 8.4 million. The new series sees Stott return in the lead role, with Claire Price as his sidekick, DS Siobhan Clarke.
"I'm looking forward to bringing Inspector Rebus back to the screen and delving a bit deeper into his character, letting viewers get to know him better," Stott said.
The four books being adapted in 2007 are Resurrection Man, The Naming of the Dead, Knots and Crosses and a fourth title yet to be chosen. Rankin - who started a new Rebus novel yesterday, the last before the character retires, said it was "excellent" to see the series return.
Filming for four 90-minute episodes of Taggart, starring Alex Norton and Blythe Duff, begins in April or May, though they are not expected to screen on ITV until 2008.
Duff, who plays DS Jackie Reid, said: "I'm delighted that we'll be back on set soon. After so many years of working together, the Taggart team is like a family and we have such a great time."
THE Northern Irish crime author and screenwriter Colin Bateman has joined the team adapting the Inspector Rebus novels for the small screen.
Bateman is the author of 15 novels, including Divorcing Jack and Murphy's Law, which began life as a BBC series. He will write one of four Rebus episodes.
Ian Rankin, author of the Rebus books, said he was "especially pleased" to see Bateman on the team.
With a limited number of novels, Rankin and SMG producers expect scriptwriters to begin devising their own plots. "It's a lot easier for them to think up stories of their own than shoehorn a 500-page novel into an hour-and-a-half show," said Rankin.

Doing for Books in 2007 What MTV Did for Music in the 80’S; Author Richard Hains Creates a New Sexy, Edgy Promotional Tool: The Literary Video
Author Richard Hains is only too aware of the reality of the book industry: With 500 books published daily in the U.S., new authors have little chance of getting noticed—unless, of course, they give the market something never seen before, like a slick, smart, and edgy music video based on his new provocative thriller, an award-winning finalist in the mystery/ suspense/ thriller category of the Best Books 2006 Book Awards. It also offers a small glimpse into the life of a wealthy and successful yet reclusive hedge fund manager, gold mine proprietor, and a man known around the U.K. to be one of the hottest bachelors in London.
When Richard Hains, author of Chameleon, wanted to pump up the marketing volume for his racy novel, he turned to a young producer friend in London to craft what is sure to become one of the hottest new downloads on YouTube, ( or via Hains’ Chameleon web site ( Set to slick, funky music and shot around some of the most iconic sites of London, the Chameleon video is intriguing and alluring, drawing the viewer into the book, into the author, and into London's notorious fast lane.
The video is tied to the “Win a Weekend in London That Money Can’t Buy Competition,” which offers the winner an all-expense paid weekend with London’s fast-moving bachelor at some of its best tourist and shopping sites, finest restaurants and most exclusive nightclubs in London.
Hains, a native Australian with a penchant for privacy, recently opened up his personal life to reporters from the U.K.'s exclusive Tatler Magazine, which flatteringly compared him to James Bond, Jay Gatsby and Thomas Crown. It’s the first time anyone’s gotten a glimpse into Hains' mystery-shrouded background, but between the book, the contest and the music video, his life is unlikely to remain private for long.
Chameleon is a sexy, fast-paced Wall Street thriller written by an insider who’s spent a good piece of his life managing an intensely private hedge fund. “It is difficult to write a highly contemporary book about big money, high ambition and low morals without a solid thread of sex and drugs and rock and roll,” says Hains. “This book is about a highly indulged trader who’s played hard and fast all of his life. When an enormous deal goes spectacularly wrong, he finds himself in the center of a violent and intense manhunt.”
Chameleon has been recently optioned by the highly successful producers of the award-winning film, "Hotel Rwanda." Hains has recently completed the final draft of the screenplay. The project is currently in pre-production, and this development project will be formally launched at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival in May.
The contest begins Feb. 1, 2007 and the winner will be announced at Book Expo America in June 2007. “I hope,” says Hains, “that people will have fun with this. Sure it’s meant to promote the book, but more importantly, I wanted to have a good time with it.”

This has nothing to do with the classic 1960s ABC Science Fiction series.Variety has reported that Warner Bros. have picked up the script Invaders from screenwriter Jayson Rothwell.
The action-thriller centers on a group of thieves who are forced by a rogue U.S. government agent to retrieve a video of the president having sex with the wife of an Arab sheik.
Talk about suspending belief. Next you’ll be saying that Tony Blair is Bush’s puppy!

Billionaire claims that novelist duped him in selling film rights
As a trial over the movie 'Sahara' begins, Philip Anschutz's lawyers say Clive Cussler inflated book sales figures.
By Glenn F. Bunting and Josh Getlin, Times Staff Writers

Attorneys for Philip Anschutz allege that author Clive Cussler duped the Denver industrialist into paying $10 million for film rights to the adventure novel "Sahara" by flagrantly inflating his book sales to more than 100 million copies.

"Cussler and his agent had gotten away with these numbers for years," said Alan Rader, Anschutz's lawyer. "It was a lie and it doomed the movie."
The claim is "ridiculous," Cussler said Thursday outside a courtroom at Los Angeles County Superior Court. "They wanted the book. They solicited us."
Read the full story

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