First up, the bigger of the two stories, that directors/writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller have exited the so far untitled young Han Solo Star Wars movie and, as of yesterday, the rumor was that Ron Howard may be brought in to finish the film. The below link is to an article by Germain Lussier at i09.com discussing that very topic:
Ron Howard is the reported front runner to take over Han Solo film
What’s most fascinating about this news is that Lord and Miller have been filming for months and were reportedly close to finishing principle photography when they left.
If you’ve been around these parts for any length of time, you know that I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, despite having been exactly the right age at the right time back in 1977 when the first film was released. In fact, I have yet to see Rogue One, which also had its difficulties upon completion. Supposedly most of the movie’s second half was re-filmed by others though the original director didn’t walk like Lord and Miller did.
I wrote a comment over at i09 regarding this and recalling it sounded a lot like what happened with another film…
The closest comparison seems to be what happened with Superman II, where director Richard Donner filmed something like 80% of the movie before being sacked. The film was completed with some new scenes directed by Richard Lester and while the film wound up being quite good -though I prefer the Richard Donner cut, even if it didn’t have a “real” ending- those who recognize the difference know what Mr. Lester added…and it was mostly silly humor.
To reiterate: It is my feeling most of the success of the theatrical cut of Superman II is attributable to Mr. Donner and the work he did in the film before being fired. Having said that, the theatrical cut, while not as good a film as the original Superman, nonetheless wound up being pretty good on its own, even if some of the things Mr. Lester added were silly.
Will the same happen with the Han Solo film? Until its released, we won’t know. I doubt I’ll catch the film until it airs on cable so I won’t know until then.
Second bit of interesting news, also found on i09 and in an article written by Charles Pullman-Moore is…
Damon Lindelof’s bringing a Watchmen series to HBO
Way back when I was a HUGE fan of writer Alan Moore. By complete luck I got back into the Saga of the Swamp Thing comic book with issue #16 when it originally hit news stands. I was a big fan of the Len Wein/Bernie Wrightson run of the book back in the early to mid-1970’s and when this new series came out in the early 1980’s, written by Martin Pasko and drawn by Tom Yeates, I gave it a try for something like five to seven issues before giving up on it.
A friend, however, told me to give the book another try and, as I mentioned above, I picked up issue #16 which, while still written by Martin Pasko, was drawn by the new art team of Steve Bissette and John Totleben.
While I love me some Tom Yeates, Bissette and Totleben were far more appropriate for a book like Swamp Thing and I bought the issue and those that came afterwards.
What happened, of course, is that with issue #20 Martin Pasko took off and Alan Moore, in his first U.S. work, stepped in. The book, frankly, was in trouble. It wasn’t selling well and there was no reason to think it would last too much longer. Yet with issue 21 of the book, with the head-turning Anatomy Lesson story, Alan Moore proved he was a talent to watch, even if most of the U.S. market didn’t know this.
I did, though at that time I was one of the very few.
I was so turned on by Alan Moore’s writing that I hunted down all the previous work he had that I could get my hands on. That turned out to be mostly Warrior magazine and there I found his awesome work on MarvelMan (later re-titled MiracleMan), V for Vendetta, and Dr. & Quinch. Meanwhile, sales on Swamp Thing grew and Alan Moore was increasingly being looked upon as a talent to watch. It amused me to be so ahead of the curve but I was only too happy to get even more…Moore.
I recall distinctly when The Watchmen series was announced and being so very excited to get it. By the time it was over, however, things had changed.
I can’t quite put my finger upon it but as I read more of his works, I realized that as good as Alan Moore was, he was best when doing short stories rather than longer series. His best issues of Swamp Thing, IMHO, were those that were “done in one” while his longer stories tended to amble on and not reach all that great of a resolution.
The same, alas, was my opinion of Watchmen. Great premise, obviously a lot of work invested in it, but the ending…jeeze. The ending was, in what I think was most likely a case of coincidental creativity (or perhaps Alan Moore simply forgot he had watched it), the plot of the famous Outer Limits episode Architects of Fear.
Clearly someone within DC (or perhaps Alan Moore himself) realized this as well for towards the end of the series we get this curious little panel which acknowledges the similarity in stories:
Again, I think this was probably coincidence as I would certainly hope someone as creative as Mr. Moore wouldn’t simply take another story premise and, even with an acknowledgement, pass it off as his own.
Still, the bloom had faded. Mr. Moore concluded his Swamp Thing run going farther and farther “out there”. Both Marvel Man and V for Vendetta were also given conclusions as the Warrior magazine folded before either could be done, but I found both stories also featured murky ends.
Mr. Moore also had a big argument with DC comics and left the company. His work following his departure, IMHO, was never quite on the level of where he started, and his interviews showed an at times very bitter man who didn’t seem to know when to let things go.
All this history came back to hurt my appreciation of The Watchmen. What I once viewed as a terrific series once done I couldn’t help but view in a lesser light. When the Zach Snyder directed Watchmen movie came out, I was somewhat curious to see it but didn’t. I eventually bought the director’s cut BluRay yet despite the fact that I love Mr. Snyder’s Batman v Superman, I haven’t had the desire to watch that film.
Which, in a very long winded way, explains why I’m not all that interested in seeing Mr. Lindelof’s Watchmen series, either. I think a series will do the work more justice as it felt like a great difficult thing to make a single movie, no matter how long it may be, of this 12 issue work.
Could it be good?
I have no doubt it could be good.
I just don’t think I’m going to bother watching it.