Borderlands, The Saint, Esther: Weekly Round Up. Alright guys, I’m going to be totally honest with you all here and admit that I’m just not that much of a gamer. I never have been, really, and even when I was younger, I can remember making a distinct decision to turn away from the gaming and onto the movies, because that’s where I wanted to be. I’ll get all that out of the way now, so you understand, and accept my apologies, if I get anything wrong here. But it does seem that there has been a fair few crossover points in the two mediums, and none more obvious than the dreaded video-game adaptation.
For years video-game adaptations have, for the most part, been dismissed as trash. More often than not they’re poorly made, seen as something of an easy buck for the studios who recognize a built-in audience when they see one. Whether it’s Doom, Hitman, or even the 90s take on Super Mario Bros. (which, full disclosure, I have total nostalgia goggles for and therefore absolutely love), video-game movies have had a pretty hard time when it comes to cinematic outings.
But recently the tide seems to have been turning. Last year saw the release of Pokémon Detective Pickachu, which got pretty decent reviews from critics and seemed to resonate with audiences as well – I took my five year old to see it and he loved it, I thought it was okay too – and just this month we’ve had Sonic the Hedgehog which, despite being terrible in almost every way, is so knowingly silly and fun that it’s next to impossible not to have a blast watching it.
Could it be that the curse of the video-game movie has finally been lifted?
Well, I’m sure Eli Roth is hoping that it has, because this week we got news that the Cabin Fever and Hostel director is now attached to direct a big-screen adaptation of the much loved video-game franchise, Borderlands, for Lionsgate.
Now, I don’t know much about the Borderlands games (most of what I do know about gaming comes from friends), but I am aware that it takes inspiration from Mad Max, and is set on a planet called Pandora (although it’s not to be confused with the one from the Avatar franchise).
Roth is an interesting pick for a property of this size, given his previous movies have been almost exclusively of the gory horror variety (the less said about Knock Knock the better), with the exception of The House with the Clock in its Walls, which was a pretty solid family movies of the kind we don’t really see all that often anymore. Whether this suggests that Lionsgate are aiming for a slightly more adult orientated feature remains to be seen, but with the success of Deadpool, Logan, and Joker, it certainly seems the tide is turning on those movies too.
Perhaps even more intriguing that Roth’s involvement, though, is that of screenwriter Craig Mazin, who won two Emmy awards last year for HBO’s hard hitting and incredibly well-made mini-series Chernobyl.
Filming is expected to start late this year, so it would seem that this is something that is really going ahead. Either way, I’m in. The artwork for Borderlands I discovered on my brief google while writing this has me sold on any movie adaptation.
Shifting onto a property and topic I’m much more comfortable about, is anyone else a fan of the Roger Moore starring, 70s TV show about Simon Templar, aka The Saint?
Well, I am.
Based on the books by Leslie Charteris, The Saint was a great show (and is pretty much wholly responsible for Moore’s casting as Bond) and is well worth your time if you can seek it out. In 1997 there was an attempt to bring it to the big screen, in an adaptation starring Val Kilmer, but… er… well, look, I don’t want to be mean. Let’s just say it didn’t do much for me.
Since then there have been various talks about bringing The Saint back. From a short-lived television pilot to a potential cinematic outing starring Chris Pratt, but all of these failed to really gain any traction and make much by the way of waves.
Quite where this sits in regard to Fletchers involvement in the recently announced Renfield – which Fletcher signed on the director not that long ago – or the long-awaited Sherlock Holmes 3 (seriously, when the f**k are we going to get that movie? I like the first two! I think RDJ and Jude Law and excellent in their roles. GIVE ME THAT MOVIE!) I don’t know, but we shall see.
Anyway, it does suggest, to me at least, that Paramount are at least on the right track. The thing I loved about the original show, that the 1997 movies lacked, was that sense of Britishness, and with Fletcher being very much of that ilk – after all, he appeared in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock – one would hope he can bring some of that charm back to the franchise.
Now, shall we do some horror?
Brahms: The Boy II is out this week, and it seems to have been met with… er, let’s just say “mixed” reviews (they’ve been terrible). I’ve not seen it yet, but for what it’s worth I actually quite enjoyed the first one. It’s a solid little thriller with a crazy third act and a decent twist. Anyone who has seen the original, however, is probably as baffled as me when it comes to the prospect of the sequel… especially given what we now know. Like… how?
Anyway, that films director, William Brent Bell, had managed to secure a couple of directing gigs following Brahms: The Boy II, both very much in a similar vein, I would say.
The first is Esther, a prequel to the 2009 horror film, Orphan (anyone remember that movie? Don’t worry, you’re not alone if you don’t). Either way, it’s expected to begin shooting in the latter half of this year and won’t be released until 2021.
The second movie of Bell’s slate – and the far more interesting one if you’re asking me – is Lord of Misrule, which is reportedly being described as a “contemporary folk horror film in the style of Midsommar or The Wicker Man”. The film is apparently being written by The Quiet Ones scribe Tom de Ville and is supposedly looking to start filming in summer of this year!
I mean, can’t we skip Esther and get straight to that?
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