May 27, 2008
Animated Teen Spies On The Big Screen
...not Kim Possible, though, unfortunately. Instead, the popular animated kids' series Totally Spies will make its theatrical debut next summer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Says the trade: "Based on the TV series about three teenage girls from Beverly Hills who accidentally become international secret agents, the film will explain what the series has yet to address, namely how the heroines became secret agents to begin with." The article goes on to describe the series as "Clueless meets James Bond" and quotes a production executive as saying, "We didn't want to just make a long episode of the series. Our job is to make a good film for fans and also show parents they won't be bored."
I've only seen a couple of episodes of Totally Spies, and it didn't really capture my interest too much. I don't think there's as much there for adults as Kim Possible offers, but it is very popular among its target demographic. So far the show, produced in France, has spanned five seasons and 130 episodes, plus countless merchandise tie-ins. The Hollywood Reporter says it's one of the five highest rated kids' programs in the world. The movie is budgeted at $12 million and aiming for a Summer 2009 release in France, with the rest of the world presumably to follow.
More On The 24 TV Movie
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that former Bond baddie Robert Carlyle and Chuck's Tony Todd have joined the cast of this fall's 24 TV movie, the "prequel" to next January's long-delayed Season 7. Eric Lively and Gil Bellows will also appear. Predictably, "Bellows, best known for his role on Fox's Ally McBeal, will play a State Department officer ordered to serve Bauer with a subpoena to appear before the Senate." Lively plays the son of the new President (Cherry Jones). Todd will play "cruel African dictator General Juma," a character expected to recur during the regular season.
Leo As Fleming?
As has been widely reported (originating in a Los Angeles Times story), Leonardo DiCaprio has come aboard to produce the Ian Fleming biopic that was first announced way back when Daniel Craig was first announced as the next James Bond. Media speculation has quickly attached the actor to the role himself, but so far he's committed only to produce. Co-producer Andrew Lazar promises, "It's going to be very different from the Bond films." Screenwriter Damian Stevenson appears to immediately contradict him, explaining: "It's the real James Bond. In England, Ian Fleming's exploits are much better well known. Talking to people out here, no one had any idea that M was based on a real person, Miss Moneypenny was based on a real person." So it sounds like the same approach taken by the 90s TV movies Goldeneye (with Fleming doppelganger Charles Dance) and Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming (with Jason Connery), both of which went to great lengths to equate Fleming's actual adventures with those of his famous fictional spy. I'd love to see a big budget version of Fleming's life filmed; I just hope they stick to facts. There's enough fascinating stuff there that you don't need to put him on secret missions he never really participated in, as Spymaker did.
Also, I really, really hope that DiCaprio sticks to producing on this one! He looks nothing like Ian Fleming, and I can't see him pulling off the accent, either. He's a great actor, but his boyish looks don't really lend themselves to playing every historical figure he wants to. They didn't work for Howard Hughes, either.