Oct. 19, 2009 | 8:22 p.m.
This is a significantly longer version of an article I wrote on Akiva Goldsman that ran Sunday in the Los Angeles Times Calendar section. Goldsman is one of the busiest Hollywood figures in comics and sci-fi projects with four adaptations coming based on DC characters and his new role as a key figure for the Fox series “Fringe.” He’s also a figure of controversy for fans who have not forgotten the sight of a Bat-suit with nipples. Akiva Goldsman arrived at the door of producer Brian Grazer in 1998 with one purpose. “I went there,” the screenwriter says, “to beg.” Goldsman, who had enjoyed a steady ascension in Hollywood for years, was coming off a string of films that had badly battered his reputation. He had produced and written the forgettable dud “Lost in Space” — and far worse, he had written the screenplay that […]
Sept. 17, 2009 | 3:40 p.m.
ON THE SET Here’s a longer version of my cover story on “Fringe” in today’s Los Angeles Times Calendar section. The season premiere is tonight on Fox. The low-slung motel looked like the sort of place Norman Bates might open as a north-of-the-border expansion of the old family business. The roadside sign promised “TELEPHONES” in every room but the brownish-orange carpeting and peeling paint were nothing to call home about. The radioactive Russian cosmonaut in the parking lot, however, was something you don’t see everyday. “Who comes up with this stuff?” asked a smirking Joshua Jackson, one of the stars of the Fox series “Fringe,” which returns tonight with the premiere of its second season of conspiracies and codes, parallel worlds and evil corporations, mad scientists and con men. “Seriously, who are these people?” Jackson was waiting for the camera to start rolling […]
May 14, 2009 | 3:36 a.m.
I’m still digesting last night’s epsiode of “Fringe” (and wondering why Leonard Nimoy was grinning so zealously in that anti-climatic ending — and why exactly the makers of the show felt compelled to shroud Nimoy’s face in shadow for so long when his name is in the opening credits), but I wanted to draw attention to Robert Lloyd’s review of the season finale. As usual, he is sharp in his analysis and I particularly like this vivid paragraph: Like most science fiction, the show is an invitation to obsession, but like much science fiction, it helps if you think more about the fiction and less about the science, which is, one might say, loosely based on a few convenient facts. But what makes the show work in any case is not so much character and plot — the first is barely explored, except as […]
Feb. 11, 2009 | 6:56 p.m.
I was a huge fan of “Detective Comics” and “The Brave and the Bold” comics as a kid so I smiled when I read a brief item in the trades today about a new television series featuring Christopher Chance, the Human Target, a character that popped up in both those comics in the 1970s and 1980s. Here’s the brief blurb today by Nellie Andreeva, who notes that one of the stars of “Fringe” (and an oft-mentioned but so-far-unofficial candidate to play Captain America) will star… Mark Valley has been tapped as the lead in Fox’s drama pilot ‘Human Target’ for director Simon West, while Kathryn Hahn has been tapped to star in Fox’s comedy pilot ‘Absolutely Fabulous.’ ‘Target,’ from WBTV, DC Comics and McG’s Wonderland, is based on the DC Comics title and centers on Christopher Chance (Valley), a mysterious […]
Feb. 04, 2009 | 12:02 a.m.
Welcome to today’s edition of Everyday Hero, your roundup of hand-picked headlines from across the fanboy universe … A WEDDING GOWN WITH "FRINGE": Ah, weddings always make me cry … especially when the groom is a dead counter-agent involved in a shadowy global conspiracy. I’m a big fan of "Fringe" and its star, Anna Torv, and apparently so is coy costar Mark Valley (whose name, by the way, keeps popping up when people discuss the film adaptation of certain Marvel Comics icon). Here’s the report from gossip writer Kristin Dos Santos: "A rep for Anna Torv has just confirmed to us that the ‘Fringe’ star secretly married Mark Valley, who plays her love interest on the Fox show. OK, ‘love interest’ may be simplifying things just a wee bit. Mark plays her ex-lover John Scott, who turned out to be […]
Jan. 14, 2009 | 2:32 a.m.
Welcome to today’s edition of Everyday Hero, your roundup of handpicked headlines from across the fanboy universe…. WHAT PRICE WILL BE PAID?: The nasty legal squabble over “Watchmen” is winding down but what’s the bottom line for Warner Bros.? Reporter John Horn gets into the nitty gritty and finds that Larry Gordon, the colorful producer who brought landmark action films such as “48 Hrs.,” “Die Hard” and “Predator” to the screen, may get stuck with part of the sizable bill in the property dispute: “The court fight over ‘Watchmen’ is costing Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, but the biggest bill of all could fall to the film’s producer, Larry Gordon, his lawyers and their insurers, who could be on the hook for substantially more money. Court documents in the nearly yearlong […]
Dec. 06, 2008 | 5:33 p.m.
Here’s the latest edition of Everyday Hero, your roundup of handpicked headlines from the fanboy universe… The Oscar goes to … ?: Reporter Rachel Abramowitz of the Los Angeles Times (who also did a great article a few months back on Hollywood’s sad treatment of the heirs of J.R.R. Tolkien) takes a look at the tricky business of campaigning for a posthumous Oscar in a Calendar article on Heath Ledger. “How do you run an Oscar campaign for Heath Ledger, the widely admired young actor who died last January of an overdose of prescription drugs? Very carefully, it seems, as Warner Bros., the studio behind ‘The Dark Knight,’ tries to tread the line between tribute and exploitation in rallying academy support for Ledger’s performance as the maniacal, nihilistic Joker…. It is a near-consensus in Hollywood that Ledger is a shoo-in […]
Sept. 09, 2008 | 12:45 a.m.
“Fringe,” the new show from J.J. Abrams, premieres Tuesday night (8 p.m., Fox) and Abrams has been pledging for weeks that it will be easier to follow than some of his other shows, which he believes left some viewers feeling, well, “Lost.” How does “Fringe” compare to his past work? Is it too derivative of shows such as “The X-Files” or his own baby, “Alias“? Here’s the lowdown from Los Angeles Times television critic Mary McNamara, who has a mixed-bag review of the show: The poor airline industry. As if rising gas prices, increased security measures and constant cost-cutting were not enough, now there’s another J.J. Abrams pilot. Travelers who have finally shaken the anxiety-provoking images of cult-inducing “Lost” can look forward to a whole new set of phobias thanks to the opening moments of Abrams’ new show “Fringe.” As […]
July 24, 2008 | 5:10 a.m.
It’s just the preview night, but the ‘exclusives’ sellout frustration, shoulder bumps, stroller trips and aisle clogging fun is already in full stride. A few highlighted items, besides the crowds and $5 pretzel dogs: – Every year, there’s THE bag. The prized big bags that patrons will most likely carry around throughout the Con and are often completely given out by Friday. Bags from Warner Bros. (a vintage WB network bag with "Smallville," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Veronica Mars," and "Gilmore Girls" pictured (below), and a Wonder Woman bag), Little Big Planet, BET Animation, and a big frakkin’ bag from the Sci Fi Channel were the ones making the rounds on the floor. Bag, you say? While it may not seem like much, they are coveted, as evidenced by the fact that many sported last year’s well-received Warner Bros. "Smallville" […]
July 23, 2008 | 12:46 a.m.
Once J.J. Abrams and “Fringe” stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble wrap their Saturday Comic-Con panel, potential “Fringe” fans will embark on a scavenger hunt to find…well, that’s top-secret, but we hear the payoff will be worthwhile. Participants need to sign up at ExploreTheImpossibilities.com to register to receive their first clue — it will be sent out Saturday after the session, so laptops, iPhones and other Web-friendly cellphones are recommended — but we here at Hero Complex have already secured an *exclusive* sneak peek at the first clue for you. Here’s your jump start: During last year’s Comic-Con, Warner Bros. put on a similar interactive event for “Dark Knight,” where crowds slowly morphed into the Joker — the studio provided the makeup — as they chased clues throughout San Diego. – Denise Martin