Videogame tie-in novels get a bad rap. Sure, they’re often cynical cash-ins that get farted out by games studios periodically to milk cash from innocent, story-hungry gamers, but they aren’t all terrible. In fact, in recent years big names in the Science fiction and fantasy community have come forward, recognising the creative opportunities of playing in other people’s imagined worlds and shedding light on the stories that lurk in the background of their favourite game series. Mass Effect, the sprawling RPG with limitless potential for storytelling, just signed up a new author to pen their latest novel, and they may have just won the jackpot.



If you grew up in the 90s, you are probably well acquainted with the works of R.L. Stine, but if you’re not he has a written output that makes Stephen King and John Grisham look like slackers. Basically, many of Stine’s novels fill a void between the Great Pumpkin and Freddy Krueger, perfectly inoffensive spine-tinglers for tweens, a kind of Twilight Zone meets Are You Afraid of the Dark? kind of thing. But while Goosebumps‘ popularity may have waned in the wake of the likes of Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games, it’s still got that magical name cache that studios love. So let’s take it to the movies!

Director? How about Rob Letterman? The man behind the animated hit Monsters Vs. Aliens is in negotiations with Sony to take over the project. Last year it was reported that screenwriter Darren Lemke (Jack the Giant Slayer) was hired to do a page one rewrite after attempts made to bring the book series to the big screen in 2008 and 2010 by Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters) and Carl Ellsworth (The Last House on the Left), respectively.

So is Letterman the one to make this happen? Good chance. His directing has leaned to the side of youth material that also might appeal to adult moviegoers. Aside from Monsters Vs Aliens, he also directed the animated Sharktale and the live-action Gulliver’s Travels. I would say that he definitely knows how to walk the fine line between kid-friendly and broad appeal, which might produce a focus group proof take on the concept that could get Sony to pony up a production budget. Time will tell.

Goosebumps was previously brought to the screen, be it the small screen, in the mid-90s as a series produced by Canadian cable network YTV. Like the books, it was an anthology series and feature a host of young Canadian talent, some of whom went on to have a career after Goosebumps like Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, V), Shawn Roberts (Resident Evil) and Hayden Christensen (the Star Wars prequels). Adam “Batman” West, also guest starred on a couple of episodes.

More news as it develops.

Source: /Film

Spielberg’s Robopocalypse Put on ‘Indefinite’ Hold

It’s a good day for Steven Spielberg as his latest film, Lincoln, received 12 Academy Award nominations this morning. On the other hand, Spielberg’s encountered some drama on getting his next film project, Robopocalypse, off the ground. The film was already been delayed once, but it seems that script difficulties have stymied any potential progress on what might be Spielberg’s first foray into sci-fi since 2005’s War of the Worlds.

Here’s Spielberg’s statement to The Hollywood Reporter:

[The project is] too important and the script is not ready, and it’s too expensive to produce. It’s back to the drawing board to see what is possible.

Robopocalypse, based on the book by Daniel H. Wilson, is a pretty hot property. Chris Hemsworth, Anne Hathaway and Ben Whishaw were already attached to star, and The Cabin in the Woods filmmaker Drew Goddard’s been working on the script.

Although it’s disconcerting, it’s still possible that we might see Robopocalypse in the near future. After all, it did take about ten years to get Lincoln in front of the cameras, so we might see it sometime sooner or later. In the meantime, I guess you can read the book.

Plot Synopsis:

Not far into our future, the dazzling technology that runs our world turns against us. Controlled by a childlike—yet massively powerful—artificial intelligence known as Archos, the global network of machines on which our world has grown dependent suddenly becomes an implacable, deadly foe. At Zero Hour—the moment the robots attack—the human race is almost annihilated, but as its scattered remnants regroup, humanity for the first time unites in a determined effort to fight back. This is the oral history of that conflict, told by an international cast of survivors who experienced this long and bloody confrontation with the machines. Brilliantly conceived and amazingly detailed, Robopocalypse is an action-packed epic with chilling implications about the real technology that surrounds us.

Source: /Film

Zach Helm Penning ‘Jumanji’ Reboot

Nope. No one at Sony has yet said that maybe remaking a movie that holds up and is barely 18 years old is using up precious resources that could best be directed elsewhere. So in the spirit of “if it ain’t broke, fix it,” Heat Vision is reporting that the studio has signed writer Zach Helm to pen the new screenplay for the new Jumanji.

Based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg (who also wrote the books Zathura and The Polar Express were based on), Jumanji is the story of a boy who gets sucked into a jungle-themed board game for decades only to be freed when two other kids move into his old house and pick up where he left off years later. The film made over $250 million worldwide at the box office, and was a major hit for eventual Captain America filmmaker Joe Johnston. It was also considered, at the time, to be the next great leap in the development of CG after Jurassic Park.

Helm’s previously writing experience includes screenplays for Stranger Than Fiction and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, two movies I happened to enjoy a lot, so hopefully he’ll be able to find a new way to break the story. It’s worth noting that the movie version and the original book version are very different, so maybe that’s easier said than done. Matt Tolmach (The Amazing Spider-Man) and Bill Teitler are producing.

Source: Coming Soon

So Where Was The Joker During TDKR? [Spoilers]

I think its safe to say that director Christopher Nolan had some idea for a future for The Joker in The Dark Knight Rises, but the tragic death of Heath Ledger derailed any possibility for a future appearance of The Joker. Naturally though, the trivia buffs among us wondered what role, if any, The Joker might have had in TDKR.