Thursday, October 19, 2006

Darabont and King, together again

With one certified classic ("Shawshank Redemption") and one sure miss ("The Green Mile") springing from their partnership so far, here's hoping the third pairing of Frank Darabont and Stephen King churns out a real winner.

Signs are high that it will. Darabont is set to direct for Dimension "The Mist," which he has written from the King novella of the same name. Published in 1985 as part of King's short story collection "Skeleton Crew," "The Mist" takes place in a small town where a thick mist engulfs the area, killing those caught in its darkness. Terrified survivors seek refuge in a supermarket, while a swarm of murderous critters tries to get in.

Sounds like fun to me. One sure thing a King horror tale should deliver, which the current crop of slashmeisters seem to have forgotten, is actual characters we care about before they're in peril.

Of all the King novellas turned into movies, and there are too many now for me to keep track of, Bryan Singer's "Apt Pupil" remains my favorite. I just can't get creepy Ian McKellen out of my mind.

Dimension now has three films based on King fiction. Dimension has wrapped "1408," based on King's short story, with Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack starring. "Hostel" helmer Eli Roth is working on an adaptation of "Cell," King's bestseller about a cell phone signal that makes zombies of everyone gabbing on mobiles at a particular cataclysmic moment in time.

As much as that last idea just makes me smile, my money's still on Darabont's flick to be by far the best of the three.

Terminator 4 tidbits

Although we can't seem to get rid of Ahnold the politician, it seems his days with The Terminator really are finished.

" 'Terminator 3' kind of closed the book on Schwarzenegger, as did his gubernatorial career," Michael Ferris, who wrote the fourth film with John Brancato, told Entertainment Weekly.

Am I alone in thinking its just time to put The Terminator to rest? T3 was an average film at best, funny at times but hardly worthy of following its predecessors. Now T3 director Jonathan Mostow, who was supposed to be on board for this project, has yet to take the reins and is rather solidly attached to write and direct Marvel's "Sub-Mariner."

But for anyone still interested, and by the time this finally comes around in 2008 I just might be again, Ferris offered this plot tease: "You will learn about Skynet and what that postapolyptic future is like."

Good luck with that

While I'm all for political protest, and am certainly no fan of W's war in Iraq, this move just seems like a boner to me.

Producer-director Aki Kaurismaki has withdrawn his "Lights in the Dusk" from contention for the foreign-language film Oscar, reportedly because his permission wasn't sought to submit it.

In 2003, when Kaurismaki's great "Man Without a Past" was nominated for the foreign-language kudos, Kaurismaki did not attend, telling then-Acad president Frank Pierson that his boycott was part of his protest against the U.S. war in Iraq. "The argument from 2003 still stands accurate," Ilkka Mertsola, a producer in Kaurismaki's Sputnik shingle, added.

Now, I readily concede that a movie can be great without any kudos from the academy, but this is just plain silly. If I'm missing the connection between the Academy Awards and W, and that is entirely possible, please let me know what it is.

In the meantime, Mr. Kaurismaki, get over yourself. With "Pan's Labyrinth," "Volver," "Curse of the Broken Flower" and many other great films already in contention, somehow I think we'll be just fine without you.


Chris said...

"The Mist" is a great short story; I didn't think they'd ever make it. It has a classic King ending as well.

Anonymous said...

Darabont + King = my favourite film of all time.

It's all good.

Reel Fanatic said...

I wouldn't go quite that far with "Shawshank Redemption," Emma, but it's very high on my list too

Anonymous said...

"The Mist" is among my favourite Stephen King novellas, but I think it has real potential as a movie. And The Shawshank Redemption is one of one of my favourite movies of all time, while The Green Mile has its moments. Here's hoping Darabont and King strike gold again.

Of course, when it comes to King's novellas, I've always wanted to see "The Library Policeman" on film....

Reel Fanatic said...

I must confess I'm not familiar with "The Library Policeman" Mercurie .. I'll have to seek it out

Lori said...

I've been hearing about 'The Mist' flick for years now. Great little story. I have a lot of hope for the film version with Darabont directing. Out of all the directors who've done King adaptations, he definitely does the best job with them. I didn't love 'Green Mile' but I did like it a lot...I think it's a solid flick.

As for T4...oyy. I really wish they wouldn't.

cole edwards said...

I also agree that I love Kings short stories best. The Mist scared the crap out of me. I was bummed when Apt Pupil was made into a movie because Christine I thought was the only good one, aside from the classic The Shining and Stand By Me. but it was also scary. creepy. The boy in the movie was very convincing. Almost what I had imagined in my head.

Portnoy said...

After Stephen King saw the director's edit of Misery he started crying. Reiner asked him what was wrong. King told him he was the first director to make a film that reflected his book in a good way that overwhelmed him to tears.

(I imagine Shawshank did the same. )

The Green Mile got an interesting reaction from a strict Muslim mystic friend of mine. (i know that sounds odd. He's fresh from India married to a best friend.) I imagined he had never seen a movie. Au contraire. When I asked about his favorites he said "The Green Mile" I asked him "Why on earth..." He told me it was a beautiful, richly spiritual film about a healer who is misunderstood by those he tries to help. In that light, hmmmm.

Reel Fanatic said...

I guess it does show you there are many ways to look at movies, Portnoy ... Perhaps I'm just too cynical for "The Green Mile," but I was certainly less impressed with it than your Muslim friend

marina said...

I can't believe it but I'm still interested in seeing more from the Terminator world. It'll be interesting what they come up with next. As for the Oscar debacle...totally agree with you. The list of possibilities is long and amazing. I doubt anyone is going to miss one little movie.

Anonymous said...

yeah i was kinda blown away by my friend's explanation. I had read the script because i was supposed to work on it. that didn't work out. after i saw the film i thought it was a dissapointment. but having talked to my friend i think he was really onto something. In the light of looking at it as a healer - which is what he is also. i just can't get his description out of my head and wonder if the film had adhered to that premise it whether it would have been a much more sucessful movie. but that's 20/20 for you.

Prasad Venkataramana said...

So Darabont is set to direct a mystery/thriller. Hmmmm... I've always thought of him as a 'human director', trying to get emotions of the characters to the forefront and I wonder how well he would fare with such a storyline.


Reel Fanatic said...

It is a different direction for him, pv, but I know he has been working on this script for some time now, and he obviously has an affinity for the works of Stephen King, so I'm hoping this will be great