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Filmism.net Dispatch March 3, 2009

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Talk about coming full circle. The big scale film based on the recent Battlestar Galactica TV series has just been announced. So like the best example of media convergence, we have a film that was made into a hit TV series that spawned a highly regarded TV series remake that's so popular it's now going to be a movie. Talk about Hollywood eating itself.

I've also got to feel a little sorry for Frank Miller. He waited a long time to be in the right place at the right time when his medium of choice (comics) became cool, and for a little while he got to hang around Hollywood parties with buxom starlets and powerbrokers instead of conventions full of grown men in trench coats who don't have girlfriends (apologies for the stereotype, but writing is all about creating an image to tell the story).

It was only natural some studio would give him the keys to the midsized bank vault, but the soggy reception to The Spirit will see him relegated back to con-land, unless a much more credible director like erstwhile partner Robert Rodriguez continues to lobby for him. In a telling twist however, I can't even find mention of the movie's budget. Maybe the high-profile cast ate most of it up and left little over for script development.

Sly's retirement home action star ensemble The Expendables continues to gather steam, with The Governator popping up in a role – possibly as himself. But with action heyday stars old and new like Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and Eric Roberts already attached, how can this be any cooler? High kicks and walking frame hi-jinks abound...

I've reported before on the most devastating news of recent times – a remake of Alex Proyas' 1993 classic The Crow, about as close to perfect as any movie's ever been. Well, it got worse this week with the news Stephen Norrington is set to direct. Yes, the hack so bad he almost got in to a fight over editing of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with Sean Connery (as if any changes were going to improve it) – the best example yet of just why Alan Moore might be right about his anti-Hollywood views.

In more directing news, I wouldn't have been the least bit interested in The Green Hornet, seeming like just another bland low-tier superhero a studio was hoping to flog some licensing deals out of. Then I read that Michel Gondry had been put in the chair. We can only wait to see what mind-bending ideas and approach Mr Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind, Rewind will bring to what looked like such a formulaic studio effort.

You'll also be hearing a lot more in the near future from a long-forgotten name in toy lore. Despite owning some of the biggest toy and game product licenses in the world, Hasbro has never made a splash in Hollywood, but after the staggering success of Michael Bay's Transformers, Hasbro executives will be enjoying the plunging necklines and trays of coke at the same parties Frank Miller's now looking back on wistfully.

Ridley Scott's already attached to a movie version of the classic game Monopoly (how moving around a square buying property will make a movie I can't imagine) and now they're going all Marvel on us. Recent announcements have been movies based on board games Cluedo and Candy Land.

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