Rendition On DVD
According to The Digital Bits, New Line will release this fall's politically-minded CIA drama Rendition on DVD on January 15. DVDActive adds that extras will include "an audio commentary with director Gavin Hood, an 'Intersections: The Making of Rendition' documentary, an 'Outlawed' featurette, deleted and alternate scenes, and the theatrical trailer." The film, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon, was one of several high-profile flops this year that dealt with current events.
Final Season Of Wild Wild West Due In March
TVShowsOnDVD.com reports that the fourth and final season of the Avengers-ish spy Western hybrid The Wild Wild West will be released March 18, 2008 by CBS/Paramount. It's set to include all twenty-four fourth season episodes, but there is no word now on the two TV reunion movies, The Wild Wild West Revisited (1979) and More Wild Wild West (1980). I was hoping those would be included as bonus features. Maybe Paramount has plans to release them on their own down the line, but that somehow seems unlikely... The Third Season came out last week, and I should have a full review up soon.
More Alex Rider To Come!
I had been under the impression that Anthony Horowitz's popular and influential series of novels about teen spy Alex Rider were set to conclude with Book 7, which materialized earlier this month in the form of the bestselling Snakehead. (I haven't read it yet because I'm not caught up with the series, but reviews have been wildly positive.) However, as Snakehead's publication drew near, it became clear that that wasn't the case. (Whether it ever was or I was just plain mistaken, I'm not sure.) Now Horowitz foresees three more books, ending the series with number ten. The author told Reuters, "The big secret is to stop while the books are good. I dread stopping. I love the books and the books are loved." I guess it is a classy move to wrap up the ongoing story and cut off the series before it starts to sag, but I'm definitely glad he's at least planning a few more. (I wish Charlie Higson would do the same with Young Bond!) Horowitz estimates the final three books will take him five years to complete.
He's much less enthusiastic about prospects for an Alex Rider film franchise, blaming the failure of the first movie, Stormbreaker, on its American distributor's perplexing decision to dump the promising feature. "Harvey Weinstein decided not to distribute it [in the United States]. It is one of the most bizarre and annoying things that the film didn't get given its shot in America. To this day I don't know why." I certainly sympathize with the author, and share his frustration. I really can't understand why the film was so unceremoniously dumped last fall, with virtually no advertising and a terrible (and misleading) poster in hardly any theaters! Horowitz says he's written a screenplay for the second book, Point Blanc, but "the chances are fairly slim" of that getting made.
I think Higson will continue writing Bond, it's just a question of what he'll be writing. Hurricane Gold suggests that he'll move on to the Fettes years. Plenty of stuff to work will till Bond joins the Navy and WW2.
I'd love to see Higson write a series of adult novels about the younger Bond while at Fettes. It would be a great bridge from his fine Young Bond work to Fleming's canon, and we could get some of the seedier events of Bond's formative years, like that Parisian visit where he lost his wallet and his virginity. (Yeah, I know Pearson covered this, but he covered a lot of territory Higson has revisited.) However, IFP could probably never allow that, because no matter how it was marketed, the kids who loved Young Bond would still flock to Higson's continuing adventures of their hero. But maybe if he used a pen name it would work, even if that would be frustrating for the author...
I think the Alex Rider film has its flaws, but it bothers me how it was treated with an American release. It deserved better. I would love to have seen this become a new franchise. I've not really read any of the books before. I did buy Ark Angel the other day. Not sure what number that is in the series.
Oh, the Stormbreaker movie definitiely had it's flaws, but not in any way to merit dumping it. It's weird, but TWC's treatment of the film (and potential franchise) has made me a champion of a movie that I was actually a little bit disappointed in. (Mainly I thought it betrayed the dark tone of the books with a lot of unnecessary added spoof humor.) It was still a better film than certain teen spy movies that DID get wide releases, do well, and spawn sequels! (Hello, Cody Banks!) And just based on the popularity of the books themselves, with a little marketing and a wider release Stormbreaker could have made money. I'm mainly annoyed at the fact that TWC's decision effectively doomed what could have been a very promising franchise. As I've said before, the second book is way better than the first, and would have made a great film. Maybe another studio will attempt to reboot the series in a few years with a clean slate.
I had never read any of the books before I saw the film, so I had nothing to compare it with. I did enjoy it. It was better than some of the other teen spy flicks that I've seen, such as Cody Banks. I wonder why TWC handled the film the way they did. Did the film do good elsewhere besides the States? I hate to see a possible franchise to have been doomed by some bad decisions like that. I've about 100 pages into Ark Angel. I'm really enjoying it.
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