Monday, February 12, 2007

A new "Muppet Show"?

I know, I know. This is supposed to be about movies, and there's a fairly big awards show coming up soon, but there were two TV tidbits I found this morning that were just too good to pass up.

Perhaps it was because it first debuted when I was 6 years old and therefore at the perfect age for puppets, but I've always had nothing but love for "The Muppet Show." The Henson clan has had kind of a rough ride lately, but they're now trying to relaunch the show again with an intriguing approach.

According to an article at Muppet Central, a 10-minute presentation pilot has been filmed that pitches a mock-documentary miniseries about Kermit trying to gather up the original gang for a new show (clearly time is of little significance in the puppet realm.) If this gets picked up and made into a miniseries, and Disney is apparently very interested in it, the miniseries could then lead to this new show.

In the pitch pilot, Kermit apparently finds his friends have moved on to their own careers. Fozzie has gone off to a solo career in stand-up comedy, Sam Eagle is now a security officer (now that could be very funny!) and Miss Piggy has been a busy actress in Hollywood. Similar to The Muppet Movie, Kermit travels around getting the gang to come together for a common goal – putting on a show.

Huzzah, indeed. Like I said, I just love the Muppets, so any hope that this could ever become a real TV show is just a great way to start a Monday morning.

Summer Glau a terminator?

Up until now, I've had little interest in "The Sarah Connor Chronicles," a Terminator spinoff being developed for Fox. Can there be a Sarah Connor series without Linda Hamilton? I think not. Lena Headey is playing Connor for the show, which just makes me say meh.

But there is one piece of good news, which may just be enough to make me tune in for a few episodes and give it a try. IGN is reporting that River Tam herself, Summer Glau, has joined the cast, and will most likely play a Terminator, if not the main one. This could be pretty cool. In "Serenity" we all learned that she can do at least three things well: Act, kick ass and look great doing it.

Okonedo to star in "Skin"

OK, there was also some movie news that caught my eye this morning. Sophie Okonedo, who I just loved in "Hotel Rwanda" and even moreso in "Dirty Pretty Things" (if you haven't seen this Stephen Frears flick, rent it immediately and thank me later), is set to star in the true story of a black woman born to Afrikaner parents.

Apparently Africa, and specifically South Africa, will be in for at least a little longer (I'm even going there for two weeks at the end of June, and just can't wait.) The flick, "Skin," is based on "When She Was White," a biography of Sandra Laing by Judith Stone.

At birth in 1955, Laing was classified as white, but a genetical quirk had given her dark skin and frizzy hair. In childhood she was reclassified as colored under apartheid laws and forcibly removed from her whites-only school, despite a legal challenge by her parents. She later eloped with a black man and became estranged from her parents, before seeking a reconciliation with her mother after the fall of apartheid.

This all sounds great to me, and I'll watch Sophie Okonedo do just about anything.

Weisz, Farrell to make 'Music' for Noyce

I hesitate to pick a single favorite director, but every time I sit down and think about it, Aussie Phillip Noyce always ends up in the top five. Even though his latest, "Catch a Fire," kind of bombed at the box office, it was easily one of my favorite movies of 2006.

Now he's taking on something different with an adaptation of "Dirt Music," a novel by Tim Winton. Set against the extreme landscape of Australia's Northern Territories, it's a love story about a woman (Rachel Weisz) struggling with isolation and loneliness in a remote community, whose passion for life is rekindled by a mysterious drifter (Colin Farrell).

This doesn't seem like the most promising premise to me, and I have little time for Mr. Farrell, but I'll still give it a shot. Filming is set to begin in August in Australia.

And before that, we might be getting Noyce's take on a truly great novel, Philip Roth's "American Pastoral." In the novel, Roth's alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman, reconstructs the story of Seymour "the Swede" Levov, and looks into an extreme act of protest against the Vietnam War by Levov's daughter, Merry, that tears the family apart. Details are murky at the IMDB about where this project stands, but hopefully it's moving along quickly.

Whew! That went on longer than I had intended, so I have to hurry and get ready for work. Peace out.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully will promise to deliver. The book's about journey and redemption and I live in the landscape it's set which is f-ing phenomenal. More vast than the human spirit, so a good place to tackle it hopefully! cheers

Reel Fanatic said...

I hadn't heard of the book before, anonymous one, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what Mr. Noyce can do with the scenic locale

Eaglewing said...

More muppets! Who doesn't like Kermit?

I agree on the Sarah Conner Files tv show. Without Linda Hamilton, I'm not sure how interested I'll be. However, with Summer Glau on board, I might have to tune in. Even so, I think this show may have 'Cancelled' written all over it.

Marina said...

I was only mildly interested in the new Terminator TV show but with Summer on board, I'm much more likely to give it a shot.

Reel Fanatic said...

I suspect pretty strongly you're right, eaglewing ... Linda Hamilton, along with being a great actress, is from my hometown of Salisbury, Md., so I always cheer for her whenever possible

Edge said...

I LOVE the Muppet Show. If you have not gone back and watch the orginal Muppet Movie in a while (ie since you were a kid) you will find it a whole new movie as an adult. I saw it again not to long ago, with no kids in sight, and laughed my head off.

I just hope they don't fall in the same trap they did with the other 'muppet shows' that came and went since the first one.

Reel Fanatic said...

That certainly is a risk, Edge, but from everything I read in that Muppet Central article, they're really going back to the classic approach, but with a little new spin, so I'm cautiously optomistic this time

The Wanderer said...

Oh Rirefly *grins* the people who were on that show should do more things.

Reel Fanatic said...

I always keep my eyes out for them, Wanderer .. I know Nathan Fillion is due back on TV soon in something called "Drive," about a secret road race or somesuchthing ... I'm not sure what the other are up to, but I do try to keep track