Science-Fiction Weekly – Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Starship Troopers, Voltron, Ghost In The Shell
As much as I want to turn this column into a meaty discussion about Mass Effect Andromeda, Game Informer is hitting that drum thunderously; you already have plenty to read, and many more stories and reveals to digest in the coming days. I am instead turning my attention to a scattershot of awesome science-fiction news; beginning with a few interesting developments out of Hollywood.
The Hollywood Reporter says Starship Troopers is coming back! Hold back the excitement for one second, people. Casper Van Dien likely won't be your bug-riding savior in this reboot. Colombia Pictures has inked a deal with Mark Swift and Damian Shannon (the writers behind the forthcoming Baywatch movie starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron) to breathe new life into this awesome dormant franchise. The early scuttlebutt is that Swift and Shannon are drawing more inspiration from the original Robert A. Heinlein Starship Troopers novel than the campy Paul Verhoeven adaptation of it. Regardless of what happens, I wouldn't mind seeing Van Dien make a Stan Lee-like cameo for fans who enjoyed his take on Johnny Rico.
The success of Netflix's new Voltron: Legendary Defender animated series has apparently turned the right heads at Universal Pictures. Deadline reports UP is currently working on a live-action adaptation of this beloved property. Deadline also learned the film is currently being scripted by David Hayter, who penned the screenplays for X-Men, X-Men 2, and Watchmen, but is best known in our circles as the voice of Solid Snake from the Metal Gear video game series. After Hayter finishes up the script, Kiefer Sutherland will be brought in to change it, and ultimately make it slightly worse.
After seeing Pacific Rim, I can see Voltron working as a live-action property. Just stick to the design and colors of the animated version (seen below), and whatever you do, Universal, don't Michael Bay the hell out of him. I don't want to see a billion exposed gears of this legendary character, like we see on Bay's Transformers. And no neon hair! What the hell was Bay thinking? Holy hell.
On March 31, 2017, theatergoers will see if Ghost in the Shell should have been turned into a live-action property. This movie has been under fire from the day Scarlett Johansson was cast in the lead role of The Major. People are upset that another white actress was selected for an Asian role. In an interview with Buzzfeed this June, Ghost in the Shell's producer Steven Paul defended the casting, and said both DreamWorks and Paramount are trying to do the property justice. “I think we’ve done the manga comic great honor," he said. "Fans will be very happy, because there’s a great respect that’s been paid to the manga. We’ve been very, very careful. Obviously, there’s some new imagination, as well. I mean, like anything, when you’re making a movie, you’ve gotta bring your own.”
The film hits soon, but we still haven't seen a full trailer for it, and instead have received a steady drip short teasers. The latest one finally shows Johansson in action, and you can see what she's capable of in the video below, which strings together all of the teasers.
If Netflix's Stranger Things reminds you of The Goonies, you won't be able to escape that comparison when season two hits next year. New faces joining the show are Paul Reiser (yes, he still exists), Danish actress Linnea Berthelsen, and the head Goonie himself, Sean Astin. Can Netflix do this? Is adding a Goonie to the cast too much of a nod to the movies of yesteryear? The studio is certainly playing with fire, but Astin is a fine actor, and lover of lembas bread. The good news here: Casting usually means filming is right around the corner. We should get the show soonish. Yes!
The last bit of movie news isn't news, per se, but a reminder: Go see Arrival this weekend. It opens Thursday night, and is sitting at a perfect 100 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with over 70 reviews filed. It's supposedly the best thing since sliced lembas bread. (pauses for laughter)
I'll leave you today with praise for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. I realize many of you probably have little interest in this annualized series, but this year's entry is worth a play. All of the comparisons you are hearing to Mass Effect 2 are apt; Infinite Warfare has a remarkable science-fiction vision. It really doesn't feel like Call of Duty in the traditional sense. I continually find amazement in the game's sci-fi technology and themes. What they do with artificial intelligence is particularly interesting. Infinite Warfare is a cool vision of the future, a marvel to look at, and an exhilarating ride. I even like Kit Harington as the antagonist. He isn't bubbling with emotion, but I think that's what makes him such an interesting threat. You can't read him, but you just know he's one step ahead of you. This last point is something I disagree with Dan Tack on. Tack who wrote Game Informer's Infinite Warfare review, which, outside of this one point, lines up with my thoughts.
And that's it for this week. Get out and vote, people! Seriously, if you are reading this and haven't voted yet, shutdown the computer, and hop in the car to take care of this important task. It isn't just a contest between two people – you are determining your future, which may end up looking like the Hunger Games no matter what, but you get my point. It's important.