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RIP horror novelists David B. Silva, James Herbert and Rick Hautala

As March nears an end, it will be noted for losing three horror novelists:

From Locus:

davidbsilva01Writer and editor David B. Silva, 62, died in early March, 2013.

Silva is best known for editing influential magazine The Horror Show, which ran from 1982-1991 . Silva won a World Fantasy Award in 1988 in the special, non-professional category for his work on the magazine. He also edited anthologies, including Post Mortem: New Tales of Ghostly Horror (1989) and Dead End: City Limits (1991), both with Paul F. Olson, as well as books collecting the best work from The Horror Show. From 1997-2002 he and Olson co-edited industry newsletter Hellnotes, for horror professionals and fans. In 2004, the newsletter was revived as a website.

Silva began publishing short fiction in 1981, and The Calling (1990) won a Bram Stoker Award. Several of his other stories were Stoker finalists, and collection Through Shattered Glass (2001) won an International Horror Guild Award; more stories were collected in Little White Book of Lies (2005) and The Shadows of Kingston Mills (2009). His standalone novels include Child of Darkness (1986), Come Thirteen (1988), The Presence (1994), The Disappeared (1995), All the Lonely People (2003). The Family series, written with Kevin McCarthy, includes Special Effects (2001) and Into the Darkness (2002).

James-Herbert-2_2515502bWriter James Herbert, 69, died March 20, 2013 at home in Sussex, England.

Herbert wrote 23 novels, most horror, many of them international bestsellers. His books include The Rats (1974), The Fog (1975), The Survivor (1976), Fluke (1977), The Spear (1978), Lair (1979), The Dark (1980), The Jonah (1981), Shrine (1983), Domain (1984), Moon (1985), The Magic Cottage (1986), Sepulchre (1987), Haunted (1988), Creed (1990), Portent (1992), The Ghosts of Sleath (1994), ’48 (1996), Others (1999), Once (2001), Nobody True (2003), The Secret of Crickley Hall (2006), and Ash (2012). He also wrote non-fiction and a graphic novel, and many of his works were adapted for TV, film, and radio.

Herbert was born April 8, 1943 in London, and attended St. Aloysius College and Hornsey College of Art. He worked in advertising, including as an art director, before becoming a full-time writer. Herbert was named a Grand Master by the World Horror Convention in 2010, the same year he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He is survived by wife Eileen O’Donnell, married in 1968, and their three daughters.

Rick HautalaWriter Rick Hautala, 64, died March 21, 2013 of a heart attack. Hautala wrote more than 30 novels (most horror) and scores of short stories, and is best known for the internationally-bestselling novel Night Stone (1986). Always a prolific writer, his novels The Demon’s Wife, Mockingbird Bay, and Star Road (with Matthew Costello) are all forthcoming. He also published several books under the name A.J. Matthews, co-wrote five novels in the Body of Evidence series with Christopher Golden, and authored screenplays.

He published several standalone novellas, and some of his short work has been collected in Bedbugs (1999), Four Octobers (2006), Untcigahunk (2007), and Occasional Demons (2010), and the forthcoming Glimpses: The Best Short Stories of Rick Hautala. Hautala was active in the Horror Writers Association, where he served terms as vice president and trustee.

Richard Henry Hautala was born February 3, 1949 in Rockport MA, and graduated from the University of Maine in 1974 with a Masters in English, focusing on Renaissance and Medieval literature. He lived in southern Maine, and is survived by his wife, writer Holly Newstein, and their three adult sons.

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CN cancels ‘Green Lantern’, picks up new ‘Batman’; ’1952′ become ‘Tomorrowland’; 3D conversion of ‘Star Wars’ halts; and ‘Wonder Women’ faces more problems at CW

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Though not officially cancelled by the Cartoon Network, neither Young Justice nor Green Lantern: The Animated Series is on the cable net’s new fall slate of shows. Teen Titans: Go! and Beware the Batman appear to be their replacements.

1952It has been reported before that Brad Bird will direct and help write, with Lost’s Damon Lindeloff (from a story by Jeff Jensen), a drama about Walt Disney was known as 1952. Now the film has a new title, Tomorrowland. The movie will star George Clooney, but beyond that, nothing much is known about the project beyond that it was borne out of a suitcase that Disney himself left behind filled with numerous papers, 45’s and other scraps flotsam and jetsam  and was marked on the outside with the year 1952. A lot of speculation about what the project is about has been floating around for a bit, but clearly the veil of secrecy has fallen. And depending on your point of view, this could be a good thing, as it builds anticipation. Then again, Lindelof’s track record of late has not been the best when it comes to paying off that anticipation. Still, Brad Bird is a competent writer and director. The movie will bow December 19, 2014.

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Speaking of Disney, the studio will be passing on converting the rest of the prequel Star Wars (and eventually the older ones) series into 3D. Part of it is the underwhelming return on The Phantom Menace, which only scared up only about $23 million domestically in sales when it was re-released last February. Another part is fan backlash, as many accused George Lucas of –once again- of a just cash grabbing.  Still, the official word is that new parent company Disney wants to spend money on the starting a new series, which begins in 2015, so the 3D conversion of all six films –at least for now- will not move forward.

There won’t be a Wonder Woman prequel series yet again this pilot season on the CW, but the mini-network has decided that Amazon will still get a shot, either for midseason or, possibly next TV season. The long planned prequel series was thrown in turnaround due to script issues –with the CW brass indicating the pilot need more working out, while unofficially, writer Allan Heinberg has not known for his ability to meet deadlines on other projects he’s worked on for on the paswonder_womant with DC, including the Young Avengers. Still, this is just the latest in a long line of issues concerning the legendary Amazonian woman, as one project after another has fallen by the wayside –mostly it seems, due to “script issues” (and the apparent predilection of broadcast networks who want a superhero TV series, but don’t want the superhero to be, well super –anyone remember Smallville?). But the real culprit may just be the cost. These shows –above and beyond other regular dramas- are expensive to make. And if they fail, they recoup expenditures are nonexistent. So in some ways, the brass at any broadcast network wants a good story so the show is a success right out of the gate.

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Disney and Lucasfilm confirm J.J. Abrams directing ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

 

“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”

George Lucas went on to say “I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”

 

“To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”

 

After the news broke Thursday by The Wrap, there still some Star Wars fans who had hoped -as has happened in this day and age of social media where unconfirmed rumors go viral- that this was all it was, an unconfirmed rumor. NoJJ-Abrams-250x416w with the “official” announcement, we can expect 2 years worth of starwarsspeculation as to what Abrams will bring to this new series, and how he’ll -maybe- put some of the bad taste left by the prequel trilogy out the minds of some of us.

Still, haters are going to hate.

Meanwhile, Paramount commented on the status of third potential Star Trek film with Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore revealing that Abrams will still be involved in some capacity with a possible third Trek movie, at the minimum as a producer. “J.J. will continue to develop projects for us including a new Mission: Impossible, and he is committed to produce another Star Trek“said Moore.

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‘Blood & Chrome’ (finally) gets an airdate; ‘Retaliation’ does not have more Channing

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Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, the second prequel to the Syfy Channel’s original reboot of the late 1970’s show Battlestar Galactica, will debut on the cable network on February 10. It will be released on VOD, Blu-ray and DVD on February 19. This show was originally planned as a series, set around the beginning of the Cylon war, before they vanished for a century that would eventually be depicted in Ron Moore’s reboot of Glen A. Larson’s original series. It was designed as a more action-packed drama than the more cerebral Caprica, the first prequel, was. But in March of 2012, Syfy decided not to move forward with the show beyond the pilot –while it was designed as a cost-effective show with virtual sets and other cost-saving factors, but they claimed the post-production lead-time and expenses actually made the series not financially viable for always cost-conscious cable net and their parent company, NBC/Universal.  Though they promised it would eventually air on the cable channel, it languished in some dark, dusty corner of the network before finally debuting online with aide from the YouTube channel Machinima Prime as a series of 10-12 minute chapters; there it garnered some 8 million views. For fans, who watched the online version, they may want to tune in, as this broadcast version will actually have scenes that not aired in the online version.

g_i_-joe_-retaliationIt had been guessed that the reason Paramount pulled G.I. Joe: Retaliation from the release schedule last May –almost six weeks before its release- was because the film was in trouble. Paramount said it was just to do a 3D conversion –which do extremely well in foreign markets- and maybe a few reshoots to tighten the film up. As the weeks went on, more rumors surfaced that not only was Retaliation more than troubled, it needed to have Channing Tatum –who was in the first film and who’s character is the catalyst for the titled (thus, Paramount revealing secret plot of the movie) sequel was returning to film additional scenes.  But according to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, he told the press at the TCA’s in Pasadena recently that more Tatum was not the reason. “No, it’s not,” Di Bonaventura says. “That is a complete rumor. I don’t know where that started. Literally, Channing shot for – if I have it wrong, I’m off by an hour – four hours, five hours? So it wasn’t really about that at all.” And he says the current cut is not that much different from the one they planned last summer. “It’s not much different,” Di Bonaventura says. “Literally, we shot for three extra days. We just added sort of explanation in what we did afterwards.” Still, historically, when a film is delayed, it usually means the films narrative is in trouble. And while these type of films are seen as more escapism than having any sort of internal logic, American audiences are beginning to see that they are, at times, being lured not for the joy of a film experience, but just to make sure they score as much money as they can before the viewer’s catch on. As for the 3D, again, the oversea market does not care how bad a film is here. They’ll see any American made film.

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‘Muppet’ casting; ‘Monument 14′ to be adapted; Franco out of ‘Apes’ sequel and a ‘Doctor Who’ prequel

Just after Modern Family’s Ty Burrell was cast in The Muppet sequel, word has come that Ricky Gervais is in negotiations to lead the film after Jason Segal announced that he was not returning. The European-set film begins production in January, with a December 13, 2013 release date. James Bodin returns as director.

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It’s been described as The Breakfast Club set after the apocalypse, but in the age of studios swallowing any young adult content out there hoping to find a worthy series to follow up successful franchises like Twilight and Hunger Games, it’s no surprise Reel FX and Andrew Adamson’s Strange Weather have acquired the rights to Emmy Laybourne’s post-apocalypse trilogy Monument 14. It’s about a group of teens who are trapped together in a chain superstore and face the prospect of life, death and love and hate while the world as they know it ends right outside. The first book was released last June with its follow-up, Monument 14: Sky On Fire, to hit bookstores in June 2013. Brad Peyton, who helmed Journey 2: Mysterious Island will adapt and direct. While no studio is attached, Reel FX is a company that launched a development and production slate in 2010, and then they finance the development of projects and then take those packages and places them with studios.

James Franco does not expect to return for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, as he says changes at the studio and a new director (Matt Reeves replaces Ruperert Wyatt) will probably mean his arc is finished in the new take on the classic movie franchise. He told MTV News: “I was going to be a small part of the next one. There was a moment when Rupert Wyatt was going to direct the second one. A lot of the human characters that were in the first movie were dead in the sequel that Rupert was going to direct. But there was one scene, between Caesar and my character, maybe even just like on a video that was left behind, but then a lot of things happened, like [former Fox co-chairman] Tom Rothman who was a big part of the first movie, left. Now Rupert’s not a part of it so I don’t know. My guess is I won’t be in it. Nobody’s talked to me since Rupert left.”

One of things that interested my about Madame Vastra –the Silurian we met in A Good Man Goes to War- was how she got stuck in Victorian London, met Jenny and interacted with the Doctor. Also, I was curious how Sontaran Commander Strax arrived there as well and how it all tied them to that story from last season, considering that these adventures must take place before that season six episode. So, I was hoping that Steven Moffat would reveal this in next week’s Christmas episode, The Snowmen. But part of those two questions is being answered by this short prequel clip to that special Madame Vastra Investigates. I hope they do explain Strax, but those answers may have to wait until 2013, as all three are scheduled to return again in episode 11, The Crimson Horror and the currently unnamed season finale.