If you want to know what roped director Len Wiseman into heading up a remake of "Total Recall," look no further than the script by writers Kurt Wimmer ("Equilibrium," "Ultraviolet") and Mark Bomback ("Live Free or Die Hard"). "I had the same questions many do," he told me by phone recently, "'why now,' and 'how would you approach it,' and should I do it." He credits the script with striking a tone of Philip K. Dick's 1966 short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale," and going in a different direction than Paul Verhoeven's 1990 film.
Keeping the character names but tossing out Mars, mutants, and much the bloody satire of the earlier film, Wiseman's is a more of a straightforward thriller starring Colin Farrell in the role of Douglas Quaid, an everyman who learns that the life he's been living may have been the result of implanted memories. "Total Recall" 2012 is out this week on home video, and Wiseman told us a bit about its productions, inspirations, and what he'd want if he were plugged into one of Rekall's machines.
Santa Claus is feeling left behind thanks to the tech and video game-savvy youths of the 21st century who no longer need the fat man's elfmade goodies. So St. Nick, one of his elves and their pal the Knight decide to create a comic that'll hopefully get the kids to drop their fancy gadgets and pick up a pencil and paper to create their own comic books. James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost's rhyming all-ages graphic novel, "Adventures in Cartooning: Christmas Special" from First Second Books serves as both the story of a Christmas wish as a christmas wish itself, since the creative team hopes "Adventures" will inspire real-life kids to take a breather from all the screen-staring to embrace their creativity by producing homemade comics. In fact, at the end of the comic, children are asked to send a comic to Santa instead of the standard letter.
I spoke with James Sturm about the inspiration of "Adventures in Cartooning: Christmas Special," the Center for Cartoon Studies (which he co-founded) and the comics that "Christmas Special" has inspired so far.
Making his first feature a horror movie wasn't the result of extensive deliberation on the part of Michael Swaim and his frequent creative partner Abe Epperson--in fact, he had to take a crash course in horror to prepare for the slasher comedy "Kill Me Now." He and Epperson sat down to watch a bunch of horror movies, picked at patterns and things they wanted to add structurally and then, in his words, "added a bunch of d**k jokes."
"Kill Me Now" is the feature writing-producing debut for Swaim, whose face you might have seen a here and there on Cracked.com where he serves as the comedy site's Head of Video while also appearing in the "Agents of Cracked" shorts. "We can be in any environment, we can make it funny, we can make it work."
Dick Grayson is no stranger to the pitch black antics of The Joker. He's had first-hand encounters with the Clown Prince of Crime as Bruce Wayne's trusty ward, Robin as well as plenty of run-ins since assuming the role of Nightwing. In "Nightwing" #15, some of that experience might pay off when Grayson finds himself in the midst of The Joker's brutal war on the Bat-family as DC's "Death of the Family" crossover comes to Haly's Circus and, according to DC, "can’t stop a devastating murder."
I spoke with "Nightwing" writer Kyle Higgins about Grayson's role in "Death of the Family," how his past with The Joker will inform this story and what he looks to for inspiration when writing the sinister funny man.
Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason's "Batman and Robin" is about to take a nightmarish trip to the zoo courtesy of the "Death of the Family" crossover event. Throughout the post-New 52 issues of "Batman and Robin," the relationship between Bruce Wayne and his son Damian has been tested by the villain Nobody, a $500,000,000 bounty placed on Damian's head by his mother Talia al Ghul, and plenty of other difficulties, yet, somehow it's managed to grow into something almost resembling a normal father-son dynamic...well, as normal as it can be when that dynamic is made up of the current Dynamic Duo. Now, in "Batman and Robin" #15, that growth might be further challenged by a purple, green, faceless, threat in the form of The Joker.
I spoke with Tomasi about "Batman and Robin's" tie-in to "Death of the Family," the humbling of Damian, and who, exactly this Joker is.
My priorities are screwed up: in advance of this week's finale for the web series "Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome," I got the chance to talk with "Battlestar Galactica" writer and producer David Eick and all I wanted to do was talk about his work on the short-lived CBS series "American Gothic." Eick was able to drawn a direct line between that show, which featured Gary Cole as a small-town sheriff with a sinister agenda, to his "Battlestar" work involving morally complicated heroes.
He says that like "American Gothic," which was born out of CBS executives' need for a horror series featuring a kid (because the then-president of the network was in love with "Stand By Me"), the 2004 reboot of "Battlestar Galactica" came from a similar sort of place: we've got a rough idea of what we want to do, so how could they make it interesting and complex?
While it's not unusual, it's still kind of a surprise to think that in the 13 years he's been voicing the character, actor Tom Kenny hasn't had the opportunity to write Spongebob Squarepants. Well, that all changes tonight as the series gets the Rankin-Bass treatment in the half-hour "It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!" which Kenny co-wrote with "Spongebob Squarepants" musical contributor Andy Paley as well as writer/Plankton voice actor Doug Lawrence.
The stop-motion episode, which airs tonight on Nickelodeon, not only features a guest appearance by John Goodman as the voice of Santa Claus, but also includes a song by Paley and Kenny called "Don't Be A Jerk (It's Christmas)" as Bikini Bottom suffers from an outbreak of bad feelings as the villainous Plankton taints the local holiday fruitcake supply with a dose of his patented jerktonium forumla. And of course, it's up to Spongebob to save the day.
But at one point--if the special had stuck with Kenny and Paley's original script--it might have had a darker ending.
Matt Kindt has been one of our favorite writers here at MTV Geek, with his series "Mind MGMT" even hitting our list of 10 Best Comic Books of 2012. So we’re extremely pleased to exclusively announce that starting in March’s "Justice League of America" #2, Kindt will be co-writing a "Martian Manhunter" back-up story in the title with writer Geoff Johns, and artist Scott Clark:
In "Earth 2" #8, James Robinson re-introduces us to Steppenwolf and Fury, as the rest of the team takes a brief breather from the complex, multiple-reality-laden story lines of "Earth 2." I spoke with Robinson about issue 8 about his approach to these two villains, the emotional place of Alan Scott and if the this world will meet DC's New 52 reality.
"Battlestar Galactica" has been enjoying a return to the small screen with the web series "Blood & Chrome," a ten-part story featuring future Admiral Bill Adama as a young pilot in the middle of the first Cylon war, airing on Machinima's YouTube channel.
But who could take on the role of the man who went head-to-head with the toasters and won? The series' producers went with "Skins" (U.K.) and "The Borgias" actor Luke Pasqualino for the role, introducing William Adama as a rookie pilot to a familiar ship and a fraught battle against the cybernetic enemy.
With the series reaching its conclusion this week, Pasqualino was kind enough to share his thoughts on "Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome," filling the shoes of Edward James Olmos, and what's next for the young actor in 2013.
This Sunday, THE MAN himself, Mr. Stan Lee drops by Red Bank, NJ to visit Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash on AMC's "Comic Book Men." It's a monumental moment for the geeks in the shop as they get to hang out with one of the people responsible for the obsession that became not only their passions, but their livelihoods.
I had the opportunity to chat with Comic Book Man Ming Chen via email as he and the rest of the gang gear up for the mid-season finale of "Comic Book Men" on Sunday at 11:30pm on AMC.
The new DC Comics series "Talon," by Scott Snyder, James T. Tynion IV, and Guillem March, spins out from "Batman" and the popular "Court Of Owls" storyline to create an altogether unique and high-energy superhero. MTV Geek chatted with "Talon" co-writer about issue 3, which hits stores in early January.
I had this sense that I was part of, sort of a lineage of artists and writers through history that have had mood disorders.
When cartoonist Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder over 10 years ago she was, understandably, crushed by the news that she was now the recipient of a bright, shiny, new DISORDER. But alternately, she was kind of elated. She had arrived. She was legit. She was, in her words from her wonderful new graphic memoir "Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me," "Eccentric! Passionate! Tortured! Scary! Deadly! Fire! Ice! Unmoored! Unbridled! Unpredictable! Dangerous!" She was officially a "crazy artist."
The relationship between madness and creativity is fascinating and Forney explores it beautifully. Is craziness necessary to be an artist? Can you create if you haven't lost it a little? Is mania and depression just a by-product of brilliance? Are all artists a little mad? Forney embarked on a journey of self-discovery throughout the creation of "Marbles" and came away with not only a better understanding of her diagnosis, but a graphic novel that will help guide the bipolar, the depressed, the mad, and the fellow (crazy) artists who may or may not have actually lost their marbles.
I spoke with Ellen Forney over the phone about the risks of revealing so much of herself, being admitted into "Club Van Gogh," and whether madness is a necessary component to the creative process.