Sunday, July 28, 2013



I found this In Issue 136 (November 1988) of Starlog:

“Strat is the newest SF project involving Michael Douglas. It's an $18 million film to be executive produced by Douglas. Lennie Kleinfield scripted the Columbia release, which begins shooting shortly for a Christmas 1989 premiere.”

It also appears in the film calendar in the June 1989 issue still saying it will open in Winter of 1989.

I did some searching and found the author’s web site (note that Starlog had a slight misspelling of the name). I contacted Mr. Klienfeld and he confirmed that this was his screenplay but stated that things didn’t go well during script development. He wasn’t willing to provide more details which I can understand.

It is interesting to note that in the Summer of 1990 Columbia released the movie Flatliners on which Micheal Douglas was one of the producers. Flatliners was written by Peter Filardi , but I still think there is a possibility that Start was an early script for the same movie but it also could have been a totally unrelated project. You can read a interview with Pete Filardi in the June 1990 issue of Starlog.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sword of Shannara


Some of my favorite fantasy books are from Terry Brooks’ Shannara series. I read a number of the books in the series when I was younger and I have recently started to re-read them. On page 16 of Starlog issue 26 (September 1979), there is the following news about the first book Sword of Shannara:

“Terry Brooks' Sword of Shannara had been optioned for filming by a new production company called Filme Magicke, Incorporated”

Based on an interview with Brooks in issue 107 of Starlog (June 1986), it appears that this didn’t work out so well.

“The author also has no great desire to see any of his works adapted to the big screen. "I'm scared to death," Brooks admits. "I've seen what they've done to fantasy in other forms and I haven't seen anything that I thought was done well.

'”I sold a movie company an option on The Sword of Shannara and they held it for six years. At the end of that time, they released it  with their last draft of the screenplay and it  was an abortion like you would not have believed. They completely changed the story. Thank God nothing happened. Now, I'm really gun-shy. I think maybe I'm better off if  they don't do anything and let it live out its life the way it was intended, rather than create  Frankenstein on the motion picture screen. I thought the movies butchered Tolkien
[remember this was before Peter Jackson’s movies], and if  they do to my books what they did to Dune, I'll go out and shoot myself."

His attitude towards a movie adaptation must have changed at some point because in 2007, the rights were acquired by Warner Bros. Note that this article is obviously incorrect about the rights never having been optioned before.

But the story doesn’t end there. In 2010 the WB rights expired and in 2012 it was announced that Sonar Entertainment had acquired the rights and plans to develop a TV series based on the books, most likely starting with Elfstones of Shanarra. I just finished re-reading Elfstones and think this is a good place to start a series. As much as I like Sword it follows the Lord of the Rings storyline a little to closely. It will be interesting to see what happens with this project.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

When Worlds Collide

One of the earliest movie rumors I found in Starlog was on page 7 of Issue #1, August 1976.

“With a whopper of a production budget. Universal and Paramount will jointly remake George Pal's classic When Worlds Collide. It has just been announced that Jaws man Stephen Spielberg will direct the film. “

On page 7 of Issue #2, November 1976 there was the following update:

”The script for the new Paramount/Universal remake of When Worlds Collide will be penned by Anthony Burgess, it has just been announced. Producers are Richard D.Zanuck and David Brown. It was previously announced that Jaws director Steven Spielberg would direct Worlds; but now that plans are firmer, John Frankenheimer has been assigned to the task. Production is to begin early in 1977. The film will be based (as was the George Pal version produced in 1951) on the 1932 novel by Philip Wylie and Edwin Palmer.”

It was obvious that this remake never happened, but while doing some research I was surprised to learn that Spielberg maintained some interest in this project. In 2005 news surfaced that Spielberg would be producing a When Worlds Collide remake with Stephen Sommers writing and directing. It appears that at some point Spielberg moved to the directors chair, but according to this article the project was put on hold because of Roland Emmerich’s 2012 which has a very similar story. I haven’t found any information that the project is still in the works. It is currently listed with an Unknown status on IMDB.

Starlog Magazine

When I was growing up one of my favorite magazines was Starlog. Published from 1976 until 2009, Starlog was a great source of news about science fiction and fantasy movies and TV shows, especially in the days before the internet.

I have a pretty good collection of Starlog magazines which I still enjoy reading. I recently discovered that has put scans of Starlog online which can be viewed and downloaded in various formats. Their archive currently covers from the first issue in 1976 until March of 1996.

One of the fun parts of reading the old issues is reading the rumors of upcoming movie and TV projects. A lot of these projects came to fruition as described still others took many years to surface and others never saw the light of day.

In this blog I want to take a look at these rumors and see how things actually turned out, or didn’t as the case may be. I will also cover other interesting things I find in the magazine.