'Knight's Tale', 'The Strain' & 'Midnight Mass' headed to TV; Sackhoff joins 'Oculus'
I never saw A Knight’s Tale when it was released in 2001, and though it had a solid box-office and helped cement the late Heath Ledger’s career, for the life of me, I never thought anyone saw a TV series in it. Still, today with studios and broadcast networks looking for cheap, short term profit in the property they already own, I guess we should not be surprised. So Sony Pictures TV and ABC have brought in Battlestar Galactica show runner and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine producer Ron Moore to develop it into a functioning series. Set in medieval times, the film had Ledger playing a peasant masquerading as knight all while interacting with real historical figures such as the poet Geoffrey Chaucer. But despite the setting, the film used anachronistic touches to entice kids into seeing the film -with Queen’s “We Will Rock You” used on the soundtrack and other things. The series would continue this trend.
Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff (currently on A&E’s exceptional Logmire) is joining the horror film Oculus, which already has casted Doctor Who sidekick Karen Gillen in the lead role. The plot begins a decade after a terrifying family incident left two young children orphans. Although her brother was charged with murder, Kaylie (Gillen) is convinced that a haunted antique mirror is the real perpetrator and years later wants prove that the mirror was responsible for destroying her family. Sackhoff will play Marie, the mother to a younger version of Kaylie.
FX has landed a series adaptation of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hohan’s vampire novel trilogy The Strain. The series will be run by former Lost co-show-runner Carlton Cuse. Both del Toro and Hogan will script the pilot, which will be directed by de Toro. Cuse will help develop the series and serve as executive producer/show-runner. Like Lost, The Strain is envisioned as having a limited run. Del Toro believes the books have enough story to fill three to five seasons of series, and that he would like to helm as many episodes as his feature schedule allows.
NBC has put in development Midnight, Mass., a drama series based on characters from the Vertigo comic books and graphic novels published by DC Entertainment. Snow White and The Huntsman co-writer Evan Daugherty will write the adaptation. The Midnight, Mass. is about a sophisticated, sexy, globe-trotting husband and wife paranormal investigator team — based in Midnight, Massachusetts — that takes on supernatural foes, macabre mysteries and the most frightening creature of all: marriage. This is the second time NBC and Warner Bros. TV are taking a stab at a Midnight, Mass. drama series.
Problem plagued 47 Ronin has forced Universal Pictures to take some drastic steps. While first-time director Carl Rinsch’s name may stay on the film, the studio has taken the editing process out of his hands. This move comes after the budget ballooned from $175 million to $225 million and need for a number of reshoots, including creating new scenes of star Keanu Reeves to be incorporated into the ending –apparently in Rinsch cut, Reeves was not even present in the final battle; now he’s there and takes on a supernatural creature. Other additions, from close-ups and extra dialogue to a love scene, are all designed to boost Reeves’ presence in the film. While it’s rare for a studio to take such action, in the ashes left by John Carter, one guesses that Universal does not want to take a huge write-off that came with that Disney film.
The CW is developing a sci-fi series that will resemble District 9 somewhat. Called Oxygen, the series will focus on a pilot program by the government that attempts to assimilate a group of stranded humanoid aliens who’ve been living in a forced segregation camp. To keep viewers interested, the drama comes from competing agendas from both humans and aliens, and, of course, prejudice. And everything will hang in the balance –will it be saved or destroyed- when there is a flourishing relationship between a human girl and an alien boy?