Er, possibly. At least, she isn't yet...
IFG (I Feel Good) Holdings, the new owners
of Viz magazine,
have recently announced a film venture
with Film Four to bring
those delicious strip stars The Fat Slags
to the big screen...
The publicity blurb would like us to believe
that the film makers
passed over the obvious contenders to
play our weighty wobbly duo
(Kathy Burke, Dawn French, etc..) in favour
of a pitch to Gwyneth Paltrow and Miss
Minnie Driver. Apparently the plan is to - erm -
'pad them out' in special over-size costumes.Hmm.
A publicity scam?
- Probably. But it raises a smile...
Meanwhile, according to the Sunday Times,
IFG lawyers are also
looking closely at upcoming Pathe movie
Thunderpants, lest it
bears too close a resemblance to their
infamous Johnny Fartpants
strip. Pathe's movie is about a lad who
uses his 'special talent' to
become an astronaut. Hmm, again. We'll wait
and see on that one...
The Hound hears that hideously kinky
Kate Winslet is releasing
a single from the soundtrack of the upcoming
Carol: The Movie. That's the new film
from director Jimmy T.
The Wind Blows), highlighted back in the
edition. Anyways, EMI producers were apparently so
impressed with Kate's angelic tones on
the ballad, 'What If' that
they thought it would make a fine single...
But hold your horses, our Kate's
not swopping careers just yet.
This release will be strictly for
charity, mate, with proceeds going
to worthy children's causes. Apparently,
it's already being tipped
as a potential Christmas #1...
Christmas Carol gets its release
here late November, and there's
more on this intriguing animated
feature at the official site:
No, no, not our feisty friend from Pipkins.
This one's all
about the latest production from director
The Runt) and the boys and girls at Aardman Animations,
who've got into a bit of a muddle...
Apparently, as of July 3rd, production
has been halted on their
eagerly-waited second feature, The Tortoise
And The Hare.
Reports cite 'script problems' which
have forced the $40m production
into a temporary hiatus. Now some say the entire
crew has been
laid off, amidst tears and tantrums. But
the official line is that
there's been a 'scaling down' of the crew,
with some 90 staff
being shed temporarily from an original
crew of 172. Work is
expected to be resumed at full-throttle
within six months...
The Tortoise And The Hare, Aardman's take
on the classic
Aesop fable, features the voice talents
of Bob Hoskins, Brenda
Blethyn and Lee Evans and industry anticipation
high on the back of the mega-success that
was Chicken Run.
Whilst there's no Nick Park on the project,
Peter Lord is back
again, as Producer and the film is the second
under the ongoing
financial deal with DreamWorks SKG...
Aint-It-Cool-News and other movie websites
talk of sets being
built, filmed, and trashed with animators struggling
to film from
unfinished scripts and various voice artistes
being brought in to
re-record stuff. Again, however, the official
line makes no mention
of this, and quite properly points out
that Chicken Run had a
two and a half year production schedule
whereas Tortoise has
been shoehorned into just twelve months.
And anyway, there's
a flip-side to this supposed tarnished coin,
and that's to mention
that it's actually been a very brave thing
to do. In this world of
Summer Movie Deadlines and Mega-Tight Turnarounds
almost a relief to see some level-headedness
coming to play.
The script wasn't there so they put it on hold,
instead of ploughing
on with a flawed production. DreamWorks were
burnt in this way
on The Road To Eldorado, and we mustn't forget
that the boggling
brilliant Shrek endured two similar 'hiccups'
prior to completion -
and look how well that's turned out!...
Now some talk has turned to Nick Park
and his oft-proposed
Wallace & Gromit feature. This was
supposed to be Aardman's
next feature after Tortoise. There's a
suggestion that this may
now be 'fast-tracked' to fill the void.
Let's hope the same level-
headedness is deployed here. If Nick's
feature isn't fully
developed, please, don't jump headlong
into it. Wallace & Gromit
are Aardman's Dream Team, their Cash Cow,
their Golden Goose.
They need to be handled with Kid Gloves,
lest a decade's
worth of brilliance is undermined. I think
maybe this rumour is
a non-starter anyway...
Oh well. Whichever way this develops,
I'll post the details here...
Meanwhile, keep checking the official
site for updates:
That's what Colin Frewin's doing...
Who's Colin Frewin? - Well, he's
the guy who spent £500,000
to aquire the rights to Frank Hampson's
Eagle Comic classic,
and now he and his new company The
Dan Dare Corporation
are in the process of producing
a £14m animated Dan Dare
series of 26 episodes which he's selling
around the world,
even as you read this...
Apparently, he's got the likes of
Robbie Coltrane on board
to add - er - weight to the voice
talent, but the bigger, more
interesting factor is that our Dan
has supposedly been updated
somewhat for this new series - modernised,
with respect to
the Hampson original, I hear. Frewin
said on Ceefax t'other
day: 'respected and further developed
to bring Dan up to date'.
Hmm. I hope they haven't gone too far
here. Dan's clunkiness
is all part of the deal. He was created
in a particular era, and
you have to respect that or you lose the
essence of the strip.
I mean, if you bring him slam up to date
you're so far removed
from what he is, you may just as well
invent your own new
hero instead of messing with a retro classic...
Still, I'm intrigued and thrilled. If
they lean it towards a more
sophisticated audience, a la Batman and
co. it could be
terrific, eh? - We'll see in time. Meanwhile,
Hill's top site dedicated to the original
You know, Jan Dalibor's high-pitched squealers
go away. Pinky and Perky are apparently booked
at this year's Edinburgh Festival as a prelude
towards their brand-new late-night tv
Planet 24 (Big Breakfast, etc) are producing
the series which will
include new songs and interviews with
established stars, whom
we're told by gushing pr managers, are
queueing up to appear
on the show. Planet 24's Entertainment
Chief Richard Woolfe
says 'Pigs can get away with asking the
human presenters dare not ask'...
All this ties in neatly with the Just
Group's aquisition of the
puppets' rights last year, and the launch
of their new funky
website, which is actually rather good:
As for the new tv show, well I'm sceptical.
It's kind of a lazy
thing to do. Too easy. Pinky and Perky
have always been for
kids. I mean, look at the Beeb: they could
have thrown away
Bill And Ben in a new 'gimmicky' format
for knowing adults.
Instead they nurtured and developed a
beautiful new animated
series that's reaped great rewards. And
as you can see below,
they look like they might be about to
repeat that success:
Toot-toot! - That there nostalgia train is chuffing
round yet again.
This time it's bringing us Watch With Mother fave Andy
in a new updated form...
The BBC are to spend £1m on a stop-motion Andy
series to be animated by the fantastically capable
Cosgrove Hall. The Cosgrove gang have, of course, recently
animated the Beeb's updated Bill
And Ben series to great
acclaim. And before that they turned Noddy and Oakie
into equally-fine BBC success stories. If Andy
turns out anything
like these, we're in for another classic toon
show, aren't we?
Apparently, like Bill And Ben before, the plan
is to expand
Andy's world and take him into the nearby village
meet new friends. In keeping with the original
however, Mr P will not be a speaking creation.
have a narrator (just like the Flowerpot Men).
Look out for Andy,
Teddy, Looby and their new friends on BBC tv some time
A plug this month for the dynamic duo of Ian and
Gems, working tirelessly to bring you online memories
of classic toons and tv past and not-so-past.
Of course, I only
feature their British toon pages, like those for the
Moschops, Joe and their recent Aubrey addition.
But you really
should take a look at the rest on offer - especially
pages on Deputy Dawg and The Banana Splits. They've
just added the original creakingly-brilliant Flash
of olde, repeated so-frequently during school
holidays here in
blighty. All this, and exclusive interviews too
- keep it up, Gems!...
As for Yours Truly, well I almost managed all
last month, but Fleetway
Street is still causing me grief. The
revamp is continuing, but it's taking a painfully
long time - there's
so much information to cross-reference!
it'll all be worth it in the end, eh?
- Till next time!