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At the TCA’s ‘Defiance’ & ‘The Bates Motel’; Gordon-Levitt in ‘Sin’ sequel; Darabont rewrite on ‘Godzilla’ and RIP ‘Snakes’ director David R. Ellis

With the holidays over, and people getting back to work, the art of film shuffling has begun again. The remake of Carrie, which was to bow in March, has been pushed to a more appropriate release date of October 18th. No Good Deed, a thriller starring Idris Elba will be delayed an entire year, bowing on January 14, 2014. Meanwhile, the thriller The Hive has been renamed The Call and will now bow on March 15.

tcaSyfy has announced an April 15 premier date for their very expensive Defiance -a drama series that will exist as both a TV series and a video game in collaboration with Trion Worlds. The show depicts a futuristic Earth with a boomtown set on the ruins of St. Louis that is now home to seven alien species and Earthlings. Rockne O’Bannon was the original showrunner before dropping out to work on the CW’s The Cult, but new showrunner and executive producer Kevin Murphy said “The game has its own narrative and story lines. They are shared universes with dual portals. If there is a catastrophic weather experience [in the TV show], the characters in the game [may] put that in motion.” He said the game will create an illusion of spontaneity, but “if you are supposed to get the gadget, you will get the gadget.” Murphy said that although the producers of both the TV show and the game will collaborate on creating parallel realities, players of the game will have no influence over major plot points in either one.

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batesmotel02A&E has set a March 18 date for the debut of their latest series, The Bates Motel. At the TCA’s in Pasadena, showrunners Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin said that this prequel show to the classic Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho is not intended as, nor will it pay homage to, that film, but they admitted the various incarnations of the franchise helped them to craft an original story. “We don’t really view any of that as canon,” Cuse said, which was the reason the show has a contemporary setting, rather than being set in the ’60s. While the series will be serialized, Cuse said the show does “have a beginning, middle and end.” The only real homage to the movie maybe the hotel and house itself. They used the original plans for the movie Bates Motel that stands on the Universal Studios lot and recreated it on location in Vancouver. Freddie Highmore, Vera Farmiga star as son and mother, while Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, Nicola Peltz, Nestor Carbonell, Mike Vogel and Richard Harmon co-star.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is already filming, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt has signed on to play a major role in this sequel.According to Deadline, Gordon-Levitt will play the role of Johnny, a part that the filmmakers originally offered to Johnny Depp. He’s one of the core characters in overlapping story lines that feature returning players like Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, along with newcomer Dennis Haysbert, who replaced the late Michael Clark Duncan.

Actress Hayley Atwell will not return for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We learned in The Avengers that her character, Peggy Carter, was still alive in the present, so there had been some hope she would either be featured in some flashback or possible -via make-up- appear in the sequel. Still no word as to who will be the female lead in the film.

The faith-based Left Behind series, which is being rebooted as a more conventional disaster movie with Nicolas Cage in the lead, has cast Disney stalwart Ashley Tisdale to play Cage’s daughter. Also on board is former One Tree Hill star Chad Michael Murray. While the gist of the novel series remains -millions of people suddenly disappear from Earth one day, leaving many to wander America looking to find family members- word is the religious overtones will be greatly reduced in hopes of finding a broader-based audience.

As the Godzilla reboot rushes closer to its March start date, The Walking Dead former showrunner and The Green Mile director Frank Darabont has been brought in to do a final rewrite of the script, based on the latest one done by Max Borenstein. Also, Deadline reports that long-time Warner Bros producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee are in a feud with Legendary Pictures, as they are reportedly been dropped from the film in favor Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, along with Brian Rogers, who was one of the producers who was there at the beginning of deal between them and the Japanese studio Toho. Both Legendary Pictures and Toho control the rights to Godzilla, and Legendary has a long standing relationship with Warner Bros distribution, but the studio is only releasing the film and has no say on producers. While a press release indicated it was an amicable split, unofficially it seems this is a case that will involve the courts. It also puts the studio in an awkward position.

mattdallasNormally, something like this would not be written about here, mostly because I want to focus on the entertainment industry news, versus tabloid aspects that are handled by other sites, but since Doorq is site devoted to science fiction, fantasy, horror, and graphic novels and is a little bit gay, I thought this did bare a mention. Actor Matt Dallas, who starred in the ABC Family sci fi series Kyle XY, announced his engagement to LA based singer/songwriter Blue James Hamilton over Twitter (where social media is once again is playing a huge role for the likes of Frank Ocean, Zachary Quinto and Jim Parsons, who’ve been able to talk about their same-sex relationships in interviews or blogs, passing them off, more or less, in such a low-key, nonchalant way). While this is the first time the actor has publicly mentioned his homosexuality, like many other gay actors in Hollywood, it was a fairly open secret. The couple has been dating since 2009. I wish the best to both of them.

davidrellisDirector David R. Ellis, whose career in Hollywood began as an actor/stuntman/stunt coordinator that eventually segued into second unit directing before becoming a full time director, died suddenly in Johannesburg, South Africa on January 7th. Cause of death was not known; he was 60 years old. He worked as a director for second unit for such films as Waterworld, The Matrix Reloaded and Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. He made his feature debut as director with Disney’s 1996 sequel Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco. But it was 2003’s Final Destination 2 that put him on the map. He followed up that with 2004’s Cellular and 2006’s notorious Snakes on a Plane starring everyone’s favorite go-to actor for colorful metaphors, Samuel L. Jackson. In 2008 he helmed Asylum and came back to direct The Final Destination in 2009 and then 2011’s Shark Night 3D. Ellis was in Johannesburg working on pre-production on his next film, a live-action adaptation of the 1998 Japanese anime KITE that would have reunited him with Jackson.

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