1. David Hayter has been selected as the writer for the adaptation of Dragonriders of Pern. Hayter is the man responsible for the screenplays for X-Men, X2: X-Men United, The Scorpion King, and Watchmen. I enjoyed hearing Ann McCaffrey, creator of the bestselling series, vehemently profess that her novels are not fantasy but science fiction. She is absolutely right. Although many might think that firebreathing, flying dragons might be the stuff of fantasy, the saga is set on an alien world and the inhabitants of Pern are colonists who have settled on the planet. Many folks have rightfully claimed that James Cameron's vision of the Na'vi flying the dragonlike Torak in his sci-fi blockbuster Avatar owes a lot to Pern. So when young folks see movies like How to Train a Dragon (based on the children's books by Cressida Cowell), I hope they realize that McCaffrey came up with the idea first (and in many ways better).
2. I had previously joined the petition to bring a Space Shuttle to New York City, and this week it was announced that the Enterprise will be sent to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. The Daily News and some others griped about it being a prototype and not one of the official fleet of shuttles. True, unlike Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour, or the tragic Columbia and Challenger, the Enterprise never went on an official Shuttle mission, never was rocketed above Earth's atmosphere, never carried astronauts or payloads into space, but its achievements and importance to the legacy of space flight should not be overlooked. The test flights of the Enterprise were vital to NASA's mostly successful Shuttle era. The Enterprise was a pioneer and it is very fitting that while the rest of the fleet is retired and celebrated, the prototype on which they were all based will be on display in New York and not forgotten.
3. One of the greatest directors of our time, Sidney Lumet, passed away. It is mindboggling that the man who gave us such classics as 12 Angry Men, Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Pawnbroker, Fail-Safe, Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Equus, The Wiz, Deathtrap, and The Verdict, never won an Academy Award for Best Director. Nevertheless he has earned his place among the greats of cinema (and is in good company with other legendary filmmakers who never won an Oscar, other than an honorary one). May he rest in peace.
4. Leonard Nimoy's retirement from acting was shortlived. He will apparently provide the voice for Sentinel Prime in the threequel, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and he is still rumored to be in the running to be the voice of the villainous dragon Smaug in Peter Jackson's long-awaited The Hobbit. Maybe Nimoy doesn't consider voice acting to be real work, or maybe he just values the nostalgia of returning to the franchise that gave him work in the 1980s when he starred as the voice of Galvatron in the cartoon film, The Transformers: The Movie. Whatever the rationale might be, I hope we will see a lot more starring roles from Mr. Nimoy, whether in Star Trek, Fringe, or any other production.
5. A week after I saw and reviewed the Broadway musical American Idiot, news came out that a movie version of the stage show is in the works. While I love the music by Green Day, and think this could make a very interesting motion picture, I do hope they manage to flesh out the plot a little more.
There you have it...until next time.