Friday, December 19, 2008


Two news stories that have bubbled up to the surface today have left me feeling rather short on optimism, in two different ways. Please indulge me while I sulk a little.

Firstly: Stephen Chow is to no longer directed the Green Hornet film due to "creative differences" but is still "likely" to play Kato. That pretty much cuts off my enthusiasm for the project, and near the root too. Of course, we're only back to where we were some months ago, and I could muster up some energy then, so what's different now? Well, now we have a small stamp of disapproval from Chow. And, frankly, I trust Chow far more than I do Seth Rogen or, more importantly I suspect, producer Neil Moritz. Is Rogen going to can the whole thing all together? There's a possibility, if definitely not a probability, that this might happen. There's a stronger possibilty that if he doesn't, he'll one day wish he did.

Chow's attachment as solely an actor probably speaks more about paydays and contractual obligation than anything else. Crying shame.

Secondly: production on The Hobbit has been postponed for at least a year. Shooting is now set to start in 2010 with release on the first film only possible for 2012 or maybe even later. Again, this indicates possible problems with the production - most likely with the screenplay. Discord between Del Toro and Jackson could see the director depart or, possibly, a new writing arrangement struck. Only time will tell if either prove necessary.

Jackson has had a real run of bad luck of late - his Tintin film seems increasingly unlikely to ever go before the camera (or, rather, motion capture sensors); supposed creative differences saw Ryan Gosling duck out of The Lovely Bones; Susan Sarandon has publicly spoken out in criticism of the film and of Jackson's approach to characterisation; the production design and FX team on the film appeared to mount a mutiny that halted progress and highlighted possible serious cause for concern.

So, three of the upcoming films (four if we count The Hobbit as two) that I'd be most likely to get be getting excited by right now are, currently, looking a little worrisome instead. This time of year for film bloggers is very often about celebrating the best of the year gone by and looking forward with hope to the year to come but sadly, while I'm looking forward all right, it's with a definite set of mixed feelings.

Here's hoping Jackson can pull it all together down at Wingnut, and quickly, too; and that Chow bails entirely from this Hornet palaver and goes off to do something a whole lot more interesting instead.

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