Saturday 27 February 2010

From Your Blogosphere Correspondent (27/02/10)

Well, it's nearly time for me to disappear off into the great good night, and what better note is there to leave on than the weekly derring-do of Your Blogosphere Correspondent.

So much has happened since the last round-up that it's hard to know where to start. Let's begin with... *rolls dice*... news from Brandon Sanderson, another of the legion of landmark fantasy writers none of whose work I've yet read - although in my defense, I did order all three of the Mistborn books the other day!

Anyway, Sanderson recently updated his LiveJournal to reflect the progress he's made on the second-to-last novel in The Wheel of Time, the opus of the late, great Robert Jordan. Already clocking in at round about 300,000 words - longer even than The Gathering Storm - Sanderson asserts that though he's shy of perhaps another 50k and his usual in-depth edits, but Towers of Midnight should be meeting its Spring 2011 release date easily, if not shouldering its titanic way into an earlier publication period, potentially as early as Christmas this year. Thanks to an aside from the lovely Aidan over at A Dribble of Ink for parsing this news in a way even I could understand it.

I'll be perfectly honest: I'm more interested in The Stormlight Archive, an original fantasy saga Sanderson has in the works. I've come so late to some of these milestone series that it'd be great to get in on a few of them from the ground floor for once. Then again, I've got Mistborn to tide me over till The Way of Kings makes it into my bloggery paws; no doubt that should keep me plenty entertained in the interim.

Moving on, the superhero movie news has been coming thick and fast this week. io9 reports on a wave of rumours that early scouting is underway for suitable locations to shoot the third of Christopher Nolan's rebooted Batman films. One "unnamed" source even goes so far as to assert that sets are in the process of being constructed, and that filming could begin as soon as late 2010. That's this year!

Of course, take all this with a pinch of salt. In fact, no: take it with a whole mine of the stuff. I don't believe this news for a second. For one thing, the paramount reason unnamed sources don't want to be identified is because they're as like as not sourcing their reports from thin bloody air. And given that talk of a script, a treatment or villains has hardly even started, I can't imagine anyone's been daft enough to start building sets or scouting for locations. When no-one has a clue what Nolan has planned for the caped crusader's third turnabout, what would be the point?

Enough wishful thinking. Summer 2012 is the very earliest we'll be seeing what one must presume will be the last of Nolan's Batman trilogy, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it slipped another year into the future. In the meantime, who wants to play the guessing game with me? Given Batman Begins and the events of the last moments of The Dark Knight, I'd put good money down on the third film being called Batman Ends. Any other potential titles you'd care to share, readers? I'm all ears. Bat-ears, even.

Continuing the World's Finest theme, more solid news broke recently that David Goyer, co-writer of The Dark Knight among other things, has been taken on to write The Man of Steel, which is to say the next Superman film. On the up side, early reports suggest that this isn't another reboot. On the down side, Goyer clearly isn't the reason the aforementioned Batman films have been so incredible; we've the Nolans to thank for that, I think.

Discount those movies from Goyer's writing credits and you have a clearer picture of the man's capabilities. We're left with the Blade trilogy, The Unborn, Jumper, TV's FlashForward... largely a lot of average, if not dreadful stuff. Thanks to the Batman films, Goyer has some serious good will behind him, but I can't imagine that will ultimately make The Man of Steel any better.

Don't mind me, though; after all, I had a whale of a time with Superman Returns. Perhaps it wasn't action-packed enough for some, but I thought it was brave, perfectly cast and, you know... fun. Who's with me?

Still on the film tack, I'm pleased to report that things have been looking up of late for the April reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street. With a fantastic set report on Dark Horizons followed shortly by a positive puff piece on io9, I'll admit that I was begin to wonder if this movie mightn't be as appalling as I'd imagined. And then a new trailer was released:

If you can ignore the brief Michael Bay bit and the trademark evil laugh at the very end, well... tell me that doesn't look like a great time. Slick and atmospheric - against all the odds, eh?

And back to books. Last of the big news, but not least amongst it, would you believe that Scott Lynch is finally done with the oft-delayed third novel of The Gentlemen Bastards? Well, if Adam Whitehead of The Wertzone is to be believed - and I've no reason to doubt such a fine fellow - The Republic of Thieves is, at last, finished!


Well. At the very least, the manuscript is now out of his hands, and in his publisher's, which - unless it's an absolute mess, and there's always that possibility - means there aren't likely to be any more delays. In terms of a likely release date, Spring 2011 looks like a goer.

Honestly, I really enjoyed The Lies of Locke Lamora, but Lynch has been hammering one nail after another into his literary coffin since, for my money. It's not that the delays have bothered me particularly - his promise to somehow churn out a new book in the series every year made me nervous in the first place, a belief which Red Seas Under Red Skies only reinforced - but given that he's still, let's be honest, a new author, with the way he's systematically maligned his fans on his LiveJournal and insulted everyone's intelligence elsewhere, it seems to The Speculative Scotsman that he's have grown rather too big for his boots. And I don't know that on the strength on one very good book he deserves to have such large shoes anyway.

Still. I'll be reading The Republic of Thieves along with everyone else. I just hope it's been worth the wait.

Some news in brief before I call it a day and start packing for my trip:

Vincenzo Natali, director of the likes of Cube, Cypher and one of my most anticipated films of 2010, Splice, is set to adapt Tunnels, a popular YA fantasy series about "a 14-year-old boy [who] finds himself drawn into the world of a secret subterranean civilization dominated by the sinister, vicious Styx."

After the spiteful ruckus of a few weeks ago, there's been some movement on the director of Paranormal Activity 2. Apparently, Scarface and Carrie director Brian de Palma is one of three candidates Paramount Pictures are considering to helm the most unnecessary sequel in recent memory. My thoughts? Oh, no they're not! (Oh, yes they are!)

Wicker Park and Lucky Number Slevin director Paul McGuigan has let slip that he's at work on a limited television series with Arkham Asylum and The Invisibles writer Grant Morrison, starring so-called national British treasure Stephen Fry. And it's set in Scotland! If this pans out, it'll surely be one to watch out for.

The great bearded madman Patrick Rothfuss blogs about the state of play regarding the second book in The Kingkiller Chronicles. Suffice it to say, The Wise Man's Fear looks tantalisingly close to completion, but let's not count our chickens just yet. Can't wait!

And finally, as I found out first hand this week, if you sign up to Weidenfeld and Nicholson's Carlos Ruiz Zafon newsletter from the sidebar on this page, you get access to a free short story called Los Angeles by Gaslight - and it's a goodie.

That's it From Your Blogosphere Correspondent for another week! Hope you've enjoyed reading, and please, do feel free to chip in via the comments if you think there's anything I've missed.

Now, for that holiday...


  1. Dude, think about every superhero trilogy out there.

    The first movie is decent. The second movie is outstanding. The third sucks.

    I cite the Spider-Man trilogy and use this as evidence to say that the next Batman movie will suck.

  2. Mostly agreed, but how dare you declaim the Bat!

    Well, fine, take the mickey out of the caped crusader, but I'll say this: Christopher Nolan didn't direct the third installments of any other superhero trilogies. I don't expect to be disappointed - he hasn't put a foot wrong in his filmmaking career yet - although, saying that, neither do expect anything quite as fine as The Dark Knight.

  3. Black_Dog_Diary1 March 2010 at 01:33

    You know, I'd love to see the wonderfully nasty graphic novel Arkham Asylum brought to the big screen.