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The Morning Roundup: Twilight Director Let Go, Slamdance Line-Up, Harry Potter Sneak Previews

Written by: Phoebe Raven, CC2K Staff Writer

Image This morning we have news aplenty: the Twilight franchise needs a new director, Viggo Mortensen isn't disgruntled, the Slamdance Festival revealed it's line-up and in TV Land some lost, but the Harry Potter previews won. Plus so much more newsiness!

For a case of déjà vu please see last Tuesday morning's roundup for the B.O. report. Nothing changed.
Things changed overseas though. James Bond has been dethroned after five weeks. And how could it be anyone other than cutesy animated animals? Madagascar 2 played in 35 markets and took the crown in Germany, France, the U.K., Belgium… and many other countries you can name.

A sequel of B.O. hit Twilight is coming our way, we knew that much, but it will not be directed by Catherine Hardwicke. She disagreed with the rushed production plan for New Moon, which is supposed to be released by the end of 2009, even though it demands extensive CGI effects. Kudos to her for not wanting to compromise her artistic integrity, for what it's worth.

Maybe this way Hardwicke will have some time to spend among people who like artistry, because the 15th Slamdance Film Festival has released its line-up and it looks very promising. You can read the complete list of movies at the end of this roundup. Here just a bit of info about the festival: it is open only to under-$1 million budgeted films from first-time filmmakers. It will run Jan 15th-23rd in Park City, Utah and is "the alternative festival" to Sundance.

Image What doesn't sound promising are the news that Luke Perry and Lauren Holly have signed on to start in Uwe Boll's new apocalyptic movie The Storm. Why is this bad news? Well, consider this tidbit from Uwe Boll's bio on IDMB:

"All four of the films he has directed that were based upon video games, House of the Dead (2003), Alone in the Dark (2005), BloodRayne (2005) and BloodRayne II: Deliverance (2007) (V) are listed on the IMDb Bottom 100. Most of the other films he's directed, including Heart of America (2002), Blackwoods (2002) and Das Erste Semester (1997) are not widely available in America, but have received similarly low ratings among those who have seen them. Having directed 14 movies up to 2008 Boll reached an average IMDb rating of 2,4 (2.44 to be precise)."



Some words from the movie stars themselves:

Image Will Smith clarified in an interview, that the I Am Legend prequel rumored to be a sequel will definitely be a prequel. Read the interview here.

And Viggo Mortensen was his usual graceful self when he explained to AICN that he understands why the release of The Road, which may have won him an Oscar, was pushed back. Read it here.

And what went on in TV Land?

Major drama unfolding at NBC, and I am not talking about one of their shows. Both Universal Media Studios' Katherine Pope and NBC Entertainment executive VP Teri Weinberg were let go on Friday. Pope's alternate Craig Plestis will leave by the end of the year. Read more about why this is complicated, here.

ABC on the other hand landed a coup this weekend. ABC Family aired five short spots with sneak previews of the new Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. You can watch them after the line-up of Slamdance at the very end.

Oh, and don't tell me you didn't miss them last week, news of comic adaptations. DC's Fables will get the small-screen treatment from ABC. It will be an hour-long drama and David Semel has agreed to direct. Excited yet?

15th Slamdance Film Festival lineup:


    * The Ante
      Max Perrier, Canada
    * A Quiet Little Marriage
      Mo Perkins, USA
    * City Rats
      Steve M. Kelly, U.K.
    * I Sell the Dead (Opening Night Film)
      Glenn McQuaid, USA
    * Mississippi Damned
      Tina Mabry, USA
    * Only
      Ingrid Veninger & Simon Reynolds, Canada
    * Punching the Clown
      Gregori Viens, USA
    * Son of the Sunshine
      Ryan Ward, Canada
    * Spooner
      Drake Doremus, USA
    * You Might as Well Live
      Simon Ennis, USA

    * At Any Second
      Jan Fehse, Germany
    * Drool
      Nancy Kissam, USA
    * Finding Bliss
      Julie Davis, USA
    * Not Forgotten
      Dror, USA
    * Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead
      Jordan Galland, USA
    * The Slammin’ Salmon
      Kevin Heffernan, USA
    * Weather Girl
      Blayne Weaver, USA

    * The Conjurer
      Clint Hutchison, USA
    * Mum and Dad
      Steven Shiel, U.K.

    * Graphic Sexual Horror
      Barbara Bell & Anna Lorentzon, USA
    * Hard to Be An Indian
      Beth Toni Kruvant, USA
    * Lost Sparrow
      Chris Billing, USA
    * Oh My God, It’s Harrod Blank
      David Silverberg, USA
    * The Road to Fallujah
      Mark Manning, USA
    * Second Sight
      Alison McAlpine, Scotland/Canada
    * Smile Til It Hurts
      Lee Storey, USA
    * Strongman
      Zachary Levy, USA
    * Unwanted Witness
      Juan Jose Lozano, Switzerland/France

    * Zombie Girl
      Justin Johnson, Aaron Marshall, Erik Mauck, USA