October 28, 2005Reality TV)
The Muppets gang is planning a reality TV spoof, America's Next Muppet. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo and more will star in the series as they hold auditions to find a talented Muppet to join their ranks. The show will likely also focus on the efforts of the main characters to pull the show together, much like the old school Muppet Show.
Watch for the short-run show to debut on ABC in the spring or summer of 2006. A successful run could pave the way for the return of a full-time Muppet TV show.
October 25, 2005Business)
Kirk Cameron and Louis Gossett Jr. star in the third movie in the Left Behind series, World at War, the movie version of the best-selling book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. World at War came out on DVD Tuesday, but not before opening at more than 3,000 churches across the U.S.
Cloud Ten Pictures, the studio behind the film, opted to open film in churches rather than movie theaters to promote the DVD release. Churches bought public showing licenses that varied in cost depending on their congregation size and had the choice of offering the movie for free or charging admission. Most churches that charged admission donated the money to hurricane relief efforts or local charities.
Christianity Today interviews Producer Peter Lalonde (including details about Lalonde's inspiration from Billy Graham movies) for the full story on the Left Behind movies and the details on the World at War strategy:
Tribulation Force had had a small theatrical and church release, and that's where this church release idea was first born. When we were speaking to churches about Tribulation Force, I realized how desperately we needed the return to the "church film nights" of the early '80s. I sensed a hunger there. I also began to see the exploding technology in the churches that made it possible.
Doing something new for the sake of it being new is seldom worthwhile. But spotting an open door—an opportunity—and doing something new, something that makes sense, captures people's imaginations. There is this mystique about a theatrical release, but the fact is that most films lose millions—and most Christian films open on so few screens as to serve no real purpose. We are not trying to "go Hollywood." We make soul-winning movies.
October 20, 2005Buzz)
The new Johnny Cash biography Walk the Line comes out November 18. The New York Times tells the story behind the making of the movie, including the detail that the whole project didn't come together until Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash admitted their affair:
That night in Mr. Cash's bedroom, as June looked on, [James Mangold] put it to them straight.
"I don't believe you never touched each other in all those years," he told them, referring to their courtship. "I don't believe you never kissed."
Mr. Mangold saw the couple - devout Christians who had fallen in love while Mr. Cash was married to another woman - exchange a look. June finally said: "Vegas. The Mint."
Then, as Mr. Mangold recently recalled, "she told us about doing a show, and that one night they got together. How afterward she put an end to it, and John went downhill from there, with the drugs. And she gave up on him."
The director sighed, recalling the relief of unlocking that final door. "They'd told that story 100 times, without the part of their sleeping together," he said.
October 8, 2005Buzz)
You can watch the first nine minutes of Joss Whedon's new sci-fi western flick Serenity over at iFilm.
But you should really just go see the entire movie. Some are comparing Serenity to Star Wars.
October 7, 2005Buzz)
The buzz continues to build for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and many wonder if Christians will rally behind the film like they did for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Time magazine claims that it will come down to four lines. Nothing in the story makes Narnia explicitly Christian, and C.S. Lewis himself always said that it was never meant to be a strict Christian allegory. But four specific lines tie the story to Christian meaning and may determine whether or not Christians support the movie.
After Edmund Pevensie betrays Aslan and his brother and sisters, the Witch claims his blood in accordance to the laws of "Deep Magic." Aslan concedes this and offers himself up in proxy, announcing glumly, "I have settled the claim on your brother's blood." Miraculously revived, he explains, "the Witch knew the Deep Magic. But if she could have looked a little further back... she would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."
No word yet as to whether or not Aslan's explanation has made it into the movie.