Tuesday, 19 January 2010

From Your Blogosphere Correspondent (19/01/10)

Roll up, roll up!

No, naughty readers, not like that.

It's time, of course, for another scour around the internet for anything that might resemble interesting reading for the speculative-minded amongst us. I'd planned to run this increasingly regular round-up a few days from now, but there's been enough news of note in the last few hours that I wouldn't want to miss the proverbial boat. Thus spake the Speculative Scotsman.

With the third Spider-man sequel dead in the water and the studio looking to reboot the franchise now that Sam Raimi has left the project and taken his cast with him, significant developments on that front will likely be thin on the ground for the next while. According to MSN Movies, however, Peter Parker himself is set to play none other than Bilbo Baggins in the forthcoming two-part adaptation of The Hobbit. Here's the link.

Of course, their source for this shameless gossip is none other than The Sun, an absolute rag of a British tabloid infamous for talking utter bloody nonsense which has been giving UK newspapers a bad name since time immemorial.

If I were you, I wouldn't believe a word of it. I've been wrong before, though, and The Sun have certainly stooped to reporting actual news a few times in the past, but then, I suppose if you publish baseless lies often enough one of them's bound to come true.

That said, this is my skeptical face, and I'll wear it any time The Sun has anything to do with... well, anything.

Still on the film front, Coming Soon just broke a story that's nearly the equal of MSN Movies' tiresome re-reporting, although in this case it's the content that bothers me, not the form. Kevin Greutert, director of the execrable Saw VI, has apparently signed on to helm the sequel to Paranormal Activity. I'm a sucker for found footage, I'll grant you that, but Oren Peli's incredible debut was perhaps my favourite film of last year; certainly it's the spookiest thing The Speculative Scotsman has seen in years.

The original ending of that film, shown while it was doing the rounds at various festivals, was far and away the better climax, though I suppose a sequel was inevitable from the second the studio swapped it out for one that would leave the door open for more creepy goings-on - at Steven Spielberg's behest, the story goes. In any case, given the state of Saw VI, I can't say my hopes are high for Paranormal Activity 2, penciled in for release against the inevitable Saw VII this October, funnily enough.

You can sleep easy, though. On the appointment of Greutert and scriptwriter Michael Perry, the director of the original Paranormal Activity assures us that "these guys get it", very likely meaning someone has stuffed Oren Peli's face so full of money he's forgotten all about art and learned to love cocaine.

But to the book news!

Well, it's not so much book news as one author talking smack about another, but in his latest interview with webmasters Phil and Sarah Stokes over at Revelations, his official interweb resource, Clive Barker has been running his mouth off some. He says:

"I'm not Stephen King, I can't turn out five huge books a year, I just can't. I'm amazed that he can! I really am! I am astonished that, long after he retired, he's still producing three! When he took the Entertainment Weekly job, he said, you know, I'm not really a writer any more, I'm going to bum around - and I don’t think his production has gone down much..."

I mean, Barker's not wrong - literally speaking, of course, he is, but I take his point and I don't disagree with its spirit. He doesn't have to be so damn mean about it, though. The Weaveworld author might think himself some literary deity but, though I like his work, it's not, let's be frank, much more sophisticated than King's. It just has more sadomasochism. Which I like, don't get me wrong!

Anyhow. After a quiet 2009, it's looking less and less likely that there'll be any new fiction from Barker in 2010, either. The next publication to bear his unholy name, a massive short story collection entitled Black is the Devil's Rainbow, isn't due to for release until Spring of next year, and the oft-delayed third volume of the Abarat sequence is also scheduled for 2011 - the future! - in the Autumn, although I'll believe it when I see it.

So there we go. That's today snark, all told.

Do keep an eye on the blog over the next few days for a review of The Road, my final thoughts on Joe Abercrombie's brutal revenge fantasy Best Served Cold, not to mention a couple of new features currently in the works that I'm really rather excited about.

1 comment:

  1. I love those found footage movies, too. "Cloverfield" being one of my favorites in that regard. I really enjoyed "Paranormal Activity," but I'm not sure about this new director (I stopped watching the Saw series a long time ago). It might help matters that they're definitely going to have a bigger budget, but he might just end up doing less with more.

    But at least we'll have Oren Peli's "Area 51" coming out this year, I believe. That movie sounds just as intriguing as PA.