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Filmism.net Dispatch August 9, 2009

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We said goodbye to John Hughes this week, the man who ended up (by all accounts) a bit like namesake Howard Hughes but who's films helped shape the childhoods of Generation Xers the world over.

Interesting news through the week that Paramount have decided not to screen GI Joe for critics, as studios sometimes do. Not unusual news in itself, except that some critics in some territories have already seen it, and doubtlessly their feedback to the studio prompted the quick turnaround.

One of them was actually yours truly, and if they'd read any other reviews like mine, that might explain it. I did however have the pleasure of talking to screenwriter Stuart Beattie, star Rachel Nichols and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

Exciting and bizarre sequel announcements, with follow-ups to films like Korean monster mash The Host , gay Republican parable 300 and nihilistic home invasion horror The Strangers in the works. Also veteran screenwriter Eric Roth told the Creative Screenwriting podcast audience recently that a sequel to Robert De Niro's CIA formation thriller The Good Shepherd had been talked about.

Seeing pictures of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in their Alice in Wonderland guises, though cool, prompted me to ask out loud something that's been bothering me about Tim Burton for a long while. Sure some actors and directors go together well, but can he direct anyone else? Watch this space for more comment on this subject soon...

In business news, the Pirate Bay deal we mentioned awhile back might be off, and Australian post house Animal Logic is following up their in house Happy Feet by jumping into the production sandbox along with contemporary Omnilab, who've been on the production end of a few films so far, including the ace The Bank Job. Maybe it's because they get to a certain size and want some studio action, or maybe it's symtopmatic of their reduced role in the digital age as grading, effects and post facilities.

After being moved once already, Universal's big budget Wolf Man's release is being shunted again, now to early 2010. Incomplete effects work is being blamed.

Project announcements – Sam Raimi's been attached to the had-to-have-it World of Warcraft film, there's going to be yet another Tarzan, and I bet you never thought you'd see three actors as different as Steven Seagal, Robert De Niro and Lindsay Lohan in the same film. You not only will one day soon, but they'll be in the feature length version of Machete, one of the fake trailers from the intermission of Tarantino and Rodriguez' Grindhouse (Planet Terror and Death Proof) that starred tough Mexican go-to guy Danny Trejo.

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