Geekwatch: Jurassic Park 4, Y: The Last man and the fate of Agent Coulson
Welcome back to Geekwatch, your nerds-eye-view of the week’s entertainment news. With more scoops than the Daily Planet, more insight than Professor X and more reveals than Power Girl’s wardrobe, we’re here to bring you the latest tittle-tattle from the slice of tinseltown we like to call our own. So from Jurassic Park 4 (they’re back) to the fate of Agent Coulson (he might be too), strap in for your rundown of the week in geek.
Jurassic Park 4
It’s probably fair to say that Richard Attenborough’s attempts to bring dinosaurs back to life is up there with the worst theme park ideas of all time, and that includes China’s unofficial World of Warcraft land. Nevertheless it made for one hell of a film, and even though it’s been 20 years since Jurassic Park first hit our screens talk of a fourth instalment of the Steven Spielberg fronted franchise has been doing the rounds for a while now. So it didn’t come as that much of a surprise when Universal announced last week that it was forging ahead with plans to release Jurassic Park 4, what was perhaps more of a shock however was that it’s set for cinemas in 2014. After all, there’s still no cast, no start date and as of yet no director; so there’s a lot of pieces to fall in place over the next 18 months. Fans will however be pleased to hear that Steven Spielberg is still be on board, and whilst the Lincoln director won’t be stepping behind the camera as he did for the first two films, it looks like he’s still going to play a prominent role as executive producer.
Of course all of that means that we can expect a frenzy of rumours to crop up over who’ll take up the reigns for our return to Jurassic Park. No doubt the big guns will all get mentioned, but perhaps a better bet might be Rupert Wyatt who did such a good job on 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. With a proven track record in reinvigorating once great franchises, he might be the perfect man for the job, especially seeing as writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (who worked on the script for Rise of the Planet of the Apes) are already hard at work on the screenplay.
It will also be interesting to see where Spielberg and co take the movie after the disaster that was Joe Johnston’s The Lost World. There’s also the question of how the finished film might look. Part of Jurassic Park’s success came from the eye-popping special effects that helped to bring the dinosaurs to life. But whilst 20 years ago the sight of Velociraptors running amok on the big screen was an awe-inspiring and Oscar-winning achievement, today it’s something that’s become altogether more commonplace. In fact it’s entirely possible to recreate the images Jurassic Park won it’s Oscar for on your home PC.
Universal have already announced that the film is going to be released in 3D, so we might see digital animation overtake the animatronics the original films were famed for. The question is whether that will diminish Jurassic Park’s charm or bring it into line with 21st Century blockbusters?
Are you excited about Jurassic Park 4, and who would you like to see direct? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Will Y: The Last Man work on the silver screen?
A big screen adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan’s sixty issue series of Y: The Last Man has long been touted over in tinseltown. But the project gathered pace earlier this week when it was announced that Michael Trachtenberg had signed on to direct.
It will be Trachtenberg’s first feature film, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be familiar with his work. The director is something of a pin up boy for fanboys after his spellbinding short film Portal: No Escape shot to fame on YouTube. Based on the popular puzzle solving game from Valve, the seven-minute spectacular has attracted more than 11.6million views since it was first uploaded in 2011. Clearly Trachtenberg has talent; he’s also a self-confessed fantasist of the comic. But it’s hard to shake the feeling that Y: The Last Man would work better as a TV series than a film.
If you’ve never read it, the comic tells the story of Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand; the only survivors of a plague that’s wiped out all of the men on the planet. It’s a gripping premise, but the comic itself works because it’s a master class in cliffhanger storytelling. Like The Walking Dead, it’s a slowburner that’s ideally suited to the small screen, and whilst I don’t doubt Trachtenberg’s ability, it’s hard to see how he’ll do justice to such a complex comic in a mere two-hour movie.
I’ve been wrong before though, so lets hope that I’m proved so again.
Agent Coulson is dead, long live Agent Coulson
When we last saw Agent Coulson medics were attending him to after being blasted by the mischievous Loki in The Avengers. For all intents and purposes he was very much dead, Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury even used his supposed demise to inspire the Avengers to save New York. But if recent comments from ABC entertainment president Paul Lee are anything to go by, Coulson is alive and well.
Speaking about the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D TV series Lee told IGN: “There is no question that it is part of the Marvel Universe. In fact, the story takes place after the battle for New York. This is S.H.I.E.L.D. They’re following their own particular stories. There are characters in it, Coulson, who clearly come from Avengers. So it’s part of the world, but we’re going to be very, very careful that we don’t tread on the toes of the features and build a whole new world. And that’s what Joss Whedon does better than anybody else. He’s built a world for us.”
This tells us two things. The first is that S.H.I.E.L.D will definitely not be the prequel many thought it would be. The second is that Agent Coulson is still very much alive, which is great news; especially, if like me, you’re a fan of Clark Gregg’s take on the character.
Production on S.H.I.E.L.D gets underway this month before officially landing on the schedules in the fall, so watch this space for all the latest from the set.
The Obama administration has won itself some fans this week with its geek friendly response to an online petition that suggested it build a Death Star. The light-hearted request, which called upon the Government to build a moon-sized battle station by 2016, was posted on the We the People website and attracted the 25,000 signatures required to illicit a White House response.
Are you looking forward to Jurassic Park 4? Are you excited about Y: The Last man? And what do you think about Agent Coulson’s resurrection? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
-- Daniel Bettridge