Tag Archives: Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie, Pirate of the High Seas?

In what appears to be quite the “get”, Hugh Laurie is in talks with NBC to star as Edward Teach in their upcoming pirate drama, Crossbones. Who is Edward Teach? Well, he is none other than the infamous pirate, Blackbeard.

Laurie, fresh off House, has not made any announcement, nor has NBC, so it’s all speculation at this point. Fun speculation, but speculation all the same. If nothing else, it will be nice to hear Laurie in his native tongue once again. Perhaps that is why the Emmy voters snubbed him for so many years as Gregory House, they just didn’t like his American accent. Hogwash. Could he take home an Emmy as Blackbeard, a la Kevin Costner in Hatfields & McCoys? We’ll have to see.

“But wait, what is this Crossbones of which you speak?” You have questions, I have answers, as limited as they may be. NBC, who is leading the charge so far this season when it comes to viewers 18-49, for the first time in a very long time, is in development for a 10 episode mini-series about Blackbeard and his “rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors” (Deadline). Set in the 1700’s on the island of New Providence, Crossbones will hopefully deal with Teach’s transformation from student pirate to the most notorious and recognizable pirate we know today.

Crossbones is written by Neil Cross, creator of the fabulous Luther (if you haven’t watched it, head over to Netflix and remedy that, post-haste) who has written for MI-5 in recent years as well. With a seasoned BBC man at the helm, one has to wonder, is NBC willing to further their 10 episode experiment into more similar projects in the future?

One has to hope that reality TV will someday fall out of favor and people will return to scripted television. Problem is, 22 episodes is too long. It just is. I enjoy a long season of a show just as much as anybody else, but in terms of coming up with material and funding and just the investment that needs to be made ahead of time, 22 episodes is too long. Not only are there financial issues, there are creative issues. Perfect example is Life on Mars.

Life on Mars had two seasons (series) on the BBC each consisting of 8 episodes. It was met with critical acclaim and after the first series, the creator (Matthew Graham) announced that the story was finite and there would only be one more season. There was a total of 16 episodes that told the story from beginning to end, quite nicely. ABC decides to remake show here in America. Same concept, better budget, arguably better production value, 17 episodes. Difference? It was canceled after 17 episodes due to waning viewership. Instead of controlling its own destiny like the BBC version and having the chance to write out the ending in a way that made sense and wrapped things up to viewer’s satisfaction, the US remake falls somewhat flat. It was a great show! Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but it wasn’t a concept that was built for many seasons of 22 episodes each. This is where American network television and it’s stubbornness has sunk itself. Boardwalk Empire is getting ready to wrap up their third season, with its 12 episodes each season. Are there people out there complaining the season is too short? Of course, as a society we like to get more, but by the same token, are there many people complaining that the quality of the show is less because it is shorter? No. And if they are, well they are wrong.

All that to say, I hope Crossbones is successful and it heralds in a new age of network programming in America. One that doesn’t revolve around teenagers singing and getting pregnant. Oh what a happy day that would be.

Because we’ve discussed shows being canceled and NBC, I feel obligated to further my one woman campaign to resurrect my favorite canceled show. Bring back Kings! If nothing else, let’s just hope Crossbones doesn’t suffer a similar fate.

GB’s VHS Vault: The Truth Behind “Robowar”

Normally when I start these articles I give a little introduction to what type of film I’m going to be talking about, but in this case I don’t really need to. For example – have you seen Predator? Sure you have, it’s a great piece of 1980’s action. Okay have you seen Robocop? Well if not – why not, the remake will be out soon so get a move on!

Continue reading GB’s VHS Vault: The Truth Behind “Robowar”

Another Take on the Robocop Updates…

 

It’s no secret here at GB we’re fans of RoboCop. Something about the combination of humanity, steel, justice, and violence [in Detroit] that’s perfectly captured by RoboCop speaks to our heart of hearts. Which is what makes the following news pretty surprising, that unlike previously reported, Hugh Laurie will NOT be playing the villain of the remake. Taking his place is Michael Keaton, who I’m positive is a familiar name to all of you out there.

via [Deadline]

“Michael is the final addition to the amazing cast we have assembled for this film and it is so great to have the last puzzle piece in place. It is thrilling that everything has come together to bring this innovative new vision of RoboCop to life. We’ve got a great script, a great cast, some killer ED-209’s and I can’t wait to get Alex Murphy back on the streets,” said Padilha.

Now, I love Michael Keaton, and I’m positive he’ll do a great job, but the fact Hugh Laurie left before he even started isn’t a good sign. Actors leaving projects before they begin is almost never a good thing for pre-production. Along with that slightly disheartening blow, is a much greater one, hearing that apparently the studio behind Robocop is making things “Hell” for director Jose Padilha. According to his close friend and Director of City Of God, Fernando Meirelles, Padilha is having the stereotypical, Studio-Makes-Things-Impossibly-Difficult-For-Director woes.

via [Screenrant]

Here’s Meirelles’ quote, translated from his native Portuguese:

“I talked to José Padilha for a week by phone. He will begin filming Robocop. He is saying that it is the worst experience. For every 10 ideas he has, 9 are cut. Whatever he wants, he has to fight. ‘This is hell here,’ he told me. ‘The film will be good, but I never suffered so much and do not want to do it again.’ He is bitter, but it’s a fighter.”

Out of every 10 ideas, 9 are cut? Ouch. That really sounds rough. To make things worse, the script was reviewed recently, and Drew McWeeny of Ain’t It Cool News posted a series of tweets describing some of the plot points and ideas behind the film, including the idea of “re-vamped” Robocop suits.

via [Screenrant]

I’ll share this one detail. In the film, when Murphy is turned into Robocop 1.0, it’s described “a high-tech version of the ’80s suit.”

Then they show a focus group scene where criminals laugh at the design. “He looks like a toy from the ’80s!”

So they redesign him to look “meaner” as Robocop 2.0, who passes focus group approval.

So they not only make sure to include the original design, they also point out it’s dated and stupid. *facepalm*

Hold onto your sides for more hilarious “Robocop” details. They outsource his construction to China. #seriously

And we meet the ED-209s in the field in Iran, where they’re used to subdue suicide bombers. #ineedallthedrinksnow

Ahhh… now they just dropped Robocop 3.0 onto an Al Queda training camp to see what he does.

“He should be programmed to incapacitate in all scenarios.” “Agreed. Let’s keep him PG-13, Dr. Norton.” No. No. No. No.

By page 54, they are already onto Robocop 4.0, who looks like a “cop on steroids painted metallic blue.”

That… That whole thing sounds pretty awful, and really seems to be “borrowing” the idea of the Iron Man Mark 1/2/etc armor pretty heavily. I know the whole movie is supposed to be contemporary, and that’s not really the issue I have, but the thought of watching a scene of people in a focus group, talking shit about the classic, totally awesome ’80s RoboCop suit, seems really disingenuous and insulting to the RoboCop franchise in totality. Part of his appeal is his unique look, and to strip it down, or make it more streamlined or modern, would really leave a sour taste in fans’ mouths.

Plus, there’s this concept art floating around the web, which in all likely hood is fake…

It makes me cringe to look at, because it’s SO generic and boring. This is what the nameless villains in any random dystopian movie should be wearing, NOT RoboCop. I know it’s just a concept art, but if this is the direction the studio is steering Padilha towards, I wouldn’t be surprised to have to be writing a report about his leaving the project in a month or two. Hopefully all of this negativity is for naught, and we’ll end up with a great movie out of it, but so far, things aren’t spelling out an easy beginning.

‘RoboCop’ New Viral Campaign – The ED-209 is back!

‘OMNICORP, we’ve got the future under control’. That doesn’t sound suspicious at all.

This viral campaign which is one of many I am sure to be coming out during this Comic-Con has given us the OMNICORP mission statement and the OMNICORP advert to protect your city, which is a great bit of Robocop style TV. Here is the Ad below:

What did you think of the OMNICORP viral Ad? Well I think it is great because we get to see… well anything really keeps me happy, but it has something I was hoping they would have robotic ED-209. So now let’s talk about the ad, it has the smooth big defence company voice narration, the tech is looking very sharp and they give us a little sneaky in the shadows tease of RoboCop.

In true RoboCop style we have totally overkill military tech to protect us from criminals. Feel safer already.

Now we also have the OMNICORP mission statement, which came out with the Viral Ad.

For a half-century, these words have set the framework upon which OmniCorp has aimed to build a brighter world. We don’t do passive technology. At OmniCorp, our solutions generate a beacon of safety that we shine upon on the dangers of the day. No matter the obstacle – political, cultural, philosophical – we pursue our convictions around the globe to secure peace of mind at home. And when this requires bold new direction, we never allow doubt to shrink our duty. When your quality of life is in the balance, our leadership team will tip the scales.

Our products have elevated your lives. Our people have inspired your future. Our passion will always be at your side.

Don’t they sound like the good guys?

So finally what your thoughts? Do you think it’s looking great? Can you not wait until Comic-Con releases more viral goodies? Please comment below.