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July, 2010:

Disney’s Gargoyles, the Movie… but not

Word has snuck out that the Walt Disney Company is working on a gargoyles-themed live-action movie. This is from Variety: “Zoe Green is in final negotiations with the Mouse House to pen a screenplay based on an original idea developed by Lauren Shuler Donner, who will produce the live-action film for Disney.”  Unfortunately, much to the chagrin of many fans of the 1990’s animated TV series Gargoyles, the new project has nothing at all to do with that show. According to Variety, “Instead, it centers around a world and mythology of the menacing stone statues that the studio was keen to explore, sources said. Both Disney and Shuler Donner were circling separate gargoyle projects and ultimately paired up and hired Green to tackle an idea hatched with Disney exec LouAnne Brickhouse, who is shepherding the project at the studio. Shuler Donner will produce through the Donners’ Co., which she runs with husband Richard Donner.” None of which is sitting well with the many fans of the original TV series created by Greg Weisman. There’s a Facebook page dedicated to convincing Disney to re-think the whole idea. Stay tuned.

Yogi Bear. In 3D.

In the “Where the heck did this come from?” department… Warner Brothers is releasing a new live-action-with-CGI Yogi Bear movie this coming December 17th. Starring as the voice of the animated Yogi is none other than Dan Aykroyd, with Justin Timberlake (!) as the voice of Yogi’s little bear-friend Boo-Boo. And yes, it’s all about grabbing pic-a-nic baskets and running away from Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh). The new Real-3D film is directed by Eric Brevig (Journey to the Center of the Earth). You can check out the brand new trailer on YouTube and see what you think.

Johnny Depp is Getting Weird Again

You might have come across the teaser trailer for the upcoming CGI film Rango, which features a giant wind-up fish floating serenely through the air across a desert landscape. Well now there’s a possibly even more weird trailer that at least tells us a little more about the film. For one thing it stars Johnny Depp as the voice of a nerdy chameleon named Rango who aspires to be a swashbuckling hero. When he finds himself stranded in a run-down desert village beset by bandits, he might just have to play the role to save the day. Interestingly, this is the first animated feature film produced by Industrial Light and Magic (of Lucasfilms fame), and it’s directed by none other than Gore Verbinksi, who directed Mr. Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. This very odd (check out the trailer, trust us!) little film from Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures is set for release in March of 2011.

Werewolf Stories for a Summer Night

Two new collections of lycanthrope-themed short stories turned up in a recent visit to Barnes & Noble Booksellers. First up is Full Moon City, edited by Darrel Schweitzer and Martin H. Greenberg (in paperback, from Pocket Editions). Here’s the publisher’s description from “From New York to Los Angeles to Bucharest, fifteen never-before-published tales by some of the world’s finest fantasy and horror writers celebrate the newest incarnations of an age-old terror that strikes when the moon is full . . . the werewolf. No longer confined to the forests, these modern monsters can be found in places you frequent every day—and never before thought to fear. Carrie Vaughn’s popular werewolf radio host Kitty Norville is drawn into a controversy as to whether it’s fair to ban lycanthropy from professional sports. New York’s famous Plaza Hotel is the setting for  Esther M. Friesner’s tale of one very grisly little girl, while Beverly Hills may never quite recover from Ron Goulart’s middle-aged Hollywood screenwriter who falls prey to a most unusual problem. Celebrated fantasy author Peter S Beagle tells a chillingly lyrical story of three Louisiana loup garoux locked into a deadly dance of death. Plus many more biting tales from award-winning authors Holly Black, P.D. Cacek, Gregory Frost, Tanith Lee, Holly Phillips, Mike Resnick, Darrel Schweitzer, Lisa Tuttle, Ian Watson, Gene Wolfe, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Then there’s Running with the Pack, edited by Ekaterina Sedia (this one in paperback from Prime Books). The description goes: “Remember the werewolves of classic stories and films, those bloodthirsty monsters that transformed under the full moon, reminding us of the terrible nature that lives within all of us? Today’s werewolves are much more suave – and even sexy – and they’ve moved from British moors to New York City lofts, shaved, and got jobs. But as the tales of these writers will show you, they remain no less wild and passionate, and they still tug at the part of our being where a wild animal used to be. Running With the Pack includes stories from Carrie Vaughn, Laura Anne Gilman, and C.E. Murphy [and others — ye ed-otter] and they will convince you that despite their gentrification, werewolves remain as fascinating and terrifying as ever.” You heard ’em.