It only lasted nine episodes on TV back in 2001 and delivered paltry ratings, but for those who enjoy their comedies on the cult side, The Tick remains a fond memory. Now it appears that the show – including star Patrick Warburton – could get a second chance at life via Amazon.
Originally created by Ben Edlund in 1986 as a newsletter mascot for a comic shop, the character evolved into an indie comic in 1988 before graduating to bigger things with an animated series that ran for three seasons starting in 1994. From there, it spawned the live-action series that featured Warburton as the titular goof, a good-natured parody of superheroes. David Burke played Arthur, his put-upon sidekick, while Liz Vassey was female hero Captain Liberty and Nestor Carbonell was Batmanuel who… look, you can work it out from the name, okay? Despite great reviews, the series was soon shut down even though the character remains hugely popular among those who encountered him.
According to The Wrap – which confirmed a story first floated by People Magazine – Warburton has worked out a deal with rights holders Sony television to produce a pilot for Amazon, which commissions the shows and then puts them on its streaming service to let users vote on which they want to see go to series. People mentions that Edlund will also be back to oversee the show and we can only hope that Burke, Vassey and Carbonell will have the requisite schedule freedom to fill out the cast again. SPOON!
That sound you hear is Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion cowering in anticipation of a thousand questions about whether Firefly could receive the same treatment…
Following the first teaser earlier in the year, here’s a longer and more complete look at footage from Shaun The Sheep’s movie, following the adventurous ovine and his buddies as they hit the nearby metropolis.
There’s a definite flavour of Wallace and Gromit at the start here, especially given that regular Shaun character Blitzer reminds us strongly of Aardman’s most famous canine.
In this expanded adventure, Shaun and his pals decide to take the day off. That would be fine, except they don’t bother to tell the Farmer where they’re going, causing no end of trouble and leading to the poor, put-upon bloke being carted off to the big city. Shaun and co. must travel to the confusing, chaotic city and help him out.
We’re promised the usual sheep-powered chaos plus a few new characters including animal warden Trumper and Slip, an orphan dog who helps out our heroes. You’ll want to bleat it (sorry, couldn’t resist) to cinemas when Shaun The Sheep arrives on February 6.
The Greatest American Hero is one of those cult US TV properties that never quite achieved mainstream awareness here in the UK. What better duo, then, to dust off an old telly property and give it a new lease on life than Jump Street writer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller?
Yes, the Lego Movie pair is working with 20th Century Fox to develop a new take on the series, which originally ran between 1981 and 1983 and sprang from the prolific brain-factory of producer Stephen J. Cannnell, who created or co-created nearly 40 shows, including The A-Team, The Rockford Files and 21 Jump Street.
The Greatest American Hero starred William Katt as Raph Hinkley, a teacher who comes into possession of an alien suit than affords him superhuman powers. Unfortunately for our hero, he doesn’t quite know how to control it, and his efforts to fight crime are a little hit-and-miss. Check out the opening credits below.
It really is fertile territory for Lord and Miller, who have retooled the concept to revolve around a teacher named Isaac, who hates wearing the suit and quickly loses the instructions. Then there is the government handler assigned to his case, who has a very different agenda.
The new show has a “put pilot” commitment, which means Fox will have to pay up if the episode doesn’t reach the air. Given the people involved, this one has a better chance than many.
New characters and new factory locations revealed in Roald Dahl's notes
Steve Oram offered horror and laughs in equal measure as the homicidally angry Chris in Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers. For a future film, he’s planning to cut out even the dark comedy and focus solely on the horror, as he’s set to star in Its Walls Were Blood alongside Edward Hogg and Pollyanna McIntosh.
Blood, a title that reads like the worst ever TripAdvisor hotel review, is planned as a portmanteau film with four stories set in the same house. The writer/directors – Sean Hogan, Paul Hyett, Tom Shankland and Paul Davis – will chronicle the haunted residence’s dark history from the 19th century to the present day.
Conner Chapman, Ruth Bradley, Rosie Day, Sam Gittins, Scott Chambers and Belinda Stewart-Wilson make up the rest of the cast for the horror, which should be cranking its cameras later this year.
Oram is also part of the cast for TV series Glue and has worked two other horror films, The Canal and Altar. He’ll also be seen in Mathew Webb biopic The Greatest Englishman, which we’re fairly certain won’t contain much horror besides possibly some greased-up channel English Channel swimming.
A couple of months ago, director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera brought some footage from Pixar’s next film Inside Out to premiere in Los Angeles. Also included in the presentation was a full look at Lava, the short that will screen before the movie, introduced by director Jim Murphy. The first look at a scene from the short is online over at Yahoo.
While we’re loath to say too much about the plot (we’d rather that you experience the whole thing for yourself and let the charm wash over you), Lava focuses on Uku, a lonely, three-mile-wide Hawaiian volcano. Yes, you read that right: the romantic lead in the film is a lava-spewing natural formation. The story is told musically, using the singing voice of musician Kuahna Torres Kahele to tell Uku’s tale of longing for love in an ocean where everyone around him – the birds, the dolphins, even the clouds – seems to have found that someone special.
It might seem like a challenge to bring an essentially static character to life, and indeed the animation supervisor-turned-director admits as much. “We struggled with it a lot,” Murphy tells Yahoo. “But I feel like, once we were able to embrace the limitations of it, it unlocked all sorts of possibilities. I love that about animation: You can really make a mountain come alive. You can’t do that in another medium.”
For more from Murphy, head to Yahoo’s site. Lava will hit our screens along with Inside Out on July 24 next year.
After several weeks' of hype, the Richard Ayoade interview you've been waiting for is finally here, accompanied by some Mad Man - you see? Because of the TV show? And humour? - called Jon Hamm, with the former here to talk about The Double's Blu-ray release and the latter discussing Million Dollar Arm's cinema release. And beards.
Elsewhere, the issue issue has its trumpet blown, Doctor Who gets a brief going over, and the villainous lairs of villainous movie villains are given the Location, Location, Location treatment. Why? Because you asked for it.
P.S. You can check out our podcast photo gallery here and subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed. You can subscribe to the magazine here if you like it in paper form, or here if you prefer things digitally. And to make use of our SquareSpace sponsor offer, be sure to click in this direction and enter the special code (which you will have no doubt heard on the podcast itself already).
Chadwick Boseman plays the Godfather of Soul
Tommy Lee Jones’ second feature as director showcases two Oscar-winning actors in top-notch form
The actress takes a break from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to star in ‘Madame Bovary’
Big Hero 6 has released a new TV spot to coincide with the end of the school holidays, in which cuddly robot Baymax offers a word of comfort to returning pupils (and teachers) everywhere.
“You will be alright,” intones the robot, soothingly. “There, there”. We’d imagine there are more than a few people who could do with hearing that this week!
Meanwhile, there are a couple of new snippets of footage in the ultra-brief spot, including Baymax’s adorable attempts to get to grips with a football…
Take a look at the new spot, below…
The new film will follow the adventures of teen inventor Hiro Hamada, who will join forces with Baymax and a host of fellow wannabe crime-fighters in an attempt to thwart the plans of a criminal organisation…
Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams and featuring the voices of Jamie Chung, Scott Adsit and Genesis Rodriguez, Big Hero 6 will open in the UK on 30 January 2015.
Australian government approves $20.2m incentives package for Captain Jack's next outing
Liam Neeson has been discussing the part of Ra’s al Ghul, newly announced as the primary villain in the next series of Arrow, and would be open to reprising the role should the chance come his way.
No official casting has been announced as yet, but when Neeson was asked by MTV whether he would consider it, the star was unequivocal in his enthusiasm…
“No, I haven't, I haven't at all,” said Neeson, when asked whether he had been contacted by the show. “I would, in a heartbeat, if it came my way, yeah, very much so.”
And even if the call doesn’t come, Neeson still has some advice for whoever does end up playing the role…
“They have to believe in their philosophy,” he explains. “Ra's al Ghul absolutely believed what he was doing was ultimately saving civilization, and it was quite a good argument he comes up with.”
“Throughout the ages this fraternity, that brought the plague to wipe out a section of mankind because it needed to be regenerated again… very dangerous, but you have to believe it.”
Somebody at the studio needs to give Neeson a call, stat…
Aardman Animation has released a new trailer for Shaun The Sheep, in which the titular critter finds himself amongst the bright lights of the big city.
Shaun and the rest of the flock have gone walkabouts from their farm, you see, only to discover that city living is a lot scarier than they might have imagined.
And when the hard-ass warden of the city’s animal shelter gets wind of the flock’s presence, it isn’t long before Shaun and co. find themselves in real danger.
Take a look at the new trailer, below…
While this latest trailer doesn’t go too deep into the plot beyond the basic set-up, the stop-motion animation is as easy on the eye as ever, and there are some great sight gags thrown in for good measure. Kebab, anyone?
Directed by Mark Burton and Richard Starzak, who also penned the screenplay, Shaun The Sheep The Movie will open in the UK on 6 February 2015.
We haven’t heard anything about the proposed Escape From New York remake for a little while, but that could be about to change in the wake of some new casting rumours.
According to Starlog, Silver Pictures and StudioCanal are looking to secure a leading man to play Snake Plissken, with Charlie Hunnam currently sitting pretty at the top of their list.
Hunnam is reportedly the number one choice, although Jon Bernthal and Dan Stevens are also being considered as alternatives, given that Hunnam’s schedule could potentially pose a problem.
Meanwhile, the report claims that this new version of the film will see Snake accompanied by a gang of criminals in his attempts to save the President – they help him break the main man out of prison, and they get to keep their freedom into the bargain.
A director has yet to be appointed to the project, although with the casting process about to kick into gear, expect that to change within the coming weeks…
Katniss would not be pleased
Mia Wasikowska stars in the latest adaptation of the classic French novel
Palestinian screenwriter Suha Arraf marshals an all-female cast for her directing debut