Variety reports that, having passed the 5 million admissions mark in France, Arthur and the Invisibles has now officially spawned two sequels, "Arthur and the Vengeance of Malthazar" for 2009 and "Arthur and the War of Two Worlds" for 2010. Luc Besson had previously said that Arthur would be his last film as a director, but the series, based on Besson's own children's book franchise "Arthur and the Minimoys", have a higher purpose than just bringing people into the theatre. Besson told SCI FI Wire that the film is intended specifically for young kids as "an antidote to today's world." Set in 1960 the story tells of 10-year-old Arthur (Freddie Highmore), who must go to the underground land of the microscopic Minimoys in order to defeat an evil wizard (David Bowie), and bring back grandfather's treasure of rubies to save his family home. Besson said: "I have kids [of] my own, and I think when you watch the news and you watch the world, every day it's harder to build yourself when you're a kid, because who are you going to trust? The adults right now, they're killing each other in war for money and power, and on the way they destroy the planet. You're 5, 10 years old, you smell all these things. You see the sports guys, who half of them take drugs. The politicians, half of them are in jail because they lie. How are you going to believe that? How are you going to find yourself in the way of being real and to stand up?" Though it is a fictional fantasy, its points will ring true with children. Besson added: "And that amaze me, because everyone knows it's fake. But it doesn't matter. Even if it's done in the fake, if they can learn some truth in it, they're happy. So I was very concerned. When you do a violent film like [La Femme] Nikita or Leon [aka The Professional], honestly, the adults are grown enough to separate the thing and say, 'It's violence, but, yes, I understand' or 'I agree' or 'I don't agree.' So that I care less. The child, I really care. My big concern was, . . . at least maybe I don't feel so proud as an adult today, and at least I try in one film to give good things to them, good food to them." "Arthur and the Invisibles" opens in the U.S. on Jan. 12.
Dave Matthews is set to guest star on "House, M.D." as a savant and piano prodigy under the care of Dr. Gregory House. This isn't the Grammy winning performer's first connection with the show, however, his track "Some Devil" was used in the soundtrack of an episode in 2005. Matthews will appear on a March episode of the show.
"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," a film that you might have thought impossible (or, at least, pointless) to do a sequel to, has just been set to prove that there is no film that Hollywood cannot do a sequel to. Ed Bass and Karen Sharpe Kramer (widow of director Stanley Kramer) will be creating the follow-up film. To be called "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, MAD World," the story tells of the descendants of the characters from the first movie who engage in another madcap chase after it is revealed that the money found in the first movie was counterfeit. Bass began work on the sequel began in 1991 when he produced the "Mad World" documentary "Something a Little Less Serious" with Stanley Kramer. The two started working
on the sequel, but Kramer became ill, and the project was put on hold. Kramer died in 2001. The sequel derailed again when Paramount released 2001's "Rat Race," with a similar concept. Bass reconnected last year with Karen Sharpe Kramer when he was making "Bobby," about the day Robert F. Kennedy was fatally shot. Bass said: "I wanted to do a follow-up to 'Bobby,' which had a one of the best casts ever assembled, and was wondering what to do next. Then I learned that Bobby (Kennedy) was at the premiere of 'Mad World' back in '63. I said, All right, all the signs are there." No director has been named, and Bass and Kramer plan to finance the picture independently. With an even bigger cast than the original, the pair hope to involve actors from the original movie. Kramer said: "Now is the time to make this picture while members of the original film can still appear in cameos."
Avatar: The Last Airbender
James Cameron has announced that his next film will be "Avatar." That may be a problem, since M. Night Shyamalan has said he will be making a feature film based on the animated Nickelodeon series "Avatar: The Last Airbender." Shyamalan is set to write, direct and produce the live-action adaptation for Paramount Pictures' MTV Films and Nick Movies. The hope is that it will become a trilogy with Shyamalan's continuing involvement. The creation of Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, "Avatar" happens in a world balanced on four nations - Water, Earth, Fire and Air. In each society, masters manipulate their native elements (Waterbenders, Earthbenders, Firebenders and Airbenders) and the one person who can master all four is the Avatar. When the current Avatar, a 12-year-old boy still learning to master his powers, appears to die, the Fire nation launches a war for global domination. After one hundred years, two teens discover and free the Avatar and his flying bison from suspended animation, and he restore harmony among the four nations.
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