Extras! Meet your new Sarah Connors, Jonah Hill may be afraid of no ghost, Fast 7 hits the brakes, Why Wolverine stole Kitty Pryde's job, and Kevin Hart plays with LeBron James' balls?! Plus much more!

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Welcome to The Extras! A daily dose of all the smaller movie related news, clips and just plain cool stuff that you might have missed!

As was predicted to happen by many, Universal have officially halted all production on Fast & Furious 7 indefinitely, following the tragic death of star Paul Walker last weekend. The film will still be going ahead, but obviously time needs to be set aside to not only mourn the loss, but also decide exactly how the franchise will move ahead.

The studio has also announced that a percentage of proceeds from the DVD\Blu Ray release of Fast & Furious 6 will be going to Reach Out WorldWide, the charity organization started by Walker as a network of disaster first responders. A studio rep issued the following statement, as well as revealing a tribute video that the studio put together in honour of Walker.

“Right now, all of us at Universal are dedicated to providing support to Paul’s immediate family and our extended ‘Fast & Furious’ family of cast, crew and filmmakers. At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on ‘Fast & Furious 7′ for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise.”

“We are committed to keeping ‘Fast & Furious’ fans informed, and we will provide further information to them when we have it. Until then, we know they join us in mourning the passing of our dear friend Paul Walker.”

Apparently our Beatle maths has been off this whole time, as Peyton Reed (Yes Man, The Break Up) has been tapped to direct The Fifth Beatle, an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name about Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Tony Award winning producer Vivek J. Tiwary wrote the graphic novel, and will be adapting it into a feature film script himself. Here’s the blurb from the press release:

THE FIFTH BEATLE recounts the untold true story of Epstein, the brilliant visionary who discovered The Beatles and helped guide the band to international stardom as their manager, securing their first record deal at a time when no one else was interested, and successfully bringing them to the world stage with a scale and scope no music impresario had ever attempted. Epstein’s boast—“The Beatles will be bigger than Elvis!”— seemed absurd in 1961, but proved humbly prophetic by 1967. When he died at the age of 32, he was an extremely successful artist manager and entertainment impresario, but a painfully lonely young man.

So you may heard of Warner Bros’ new two small budget DC movies a year idea. Daryn thinks its a swell plan (although, Darryn also eats his own mucus so he may not be the best source), but the folks at i09 disagree and have up this article explaining Why WB’s plan to churn out small DC comic movies is a terrible idea.

I think comedian Kevin Hart and NBA pro LeBron James may have seen Twins one too many times. The mismatched duo are set to star in a new comedy, co-written by Hart, called Ballers, which will see the 5ft3 Hart as a man who is tired of literally always living in the shadow of NBA superstar brother, played by the 6ft8 James. He gets his chance in the spotlight though when he and some friends attend a weekend fantasy basketball camp in Miami.

This will be James’ debut as a professional actor, something which he’s been trying to do for a while now already. I guess having a movie come along where he had a to play a really tall professional basketball player just seemed like the right move to make.

If you’ve ever wanted to see a hobbit beat a dwarf in table tennis, then director Peter Jackson’s final production diary video for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the video clip for you. Okay, so it offers quite a bit more than that as well (first look at Stephen Fry in-character, pre-production work on the dragon, etc), but man that Bilbo has a backhand!

Schmoes Know have really been living up to their name recently, scooping all kinds of insider info. One such recent scoop was that Emma Stone and Jonah Hill were being looked at to play “Anna” and “Jeremy”, two unknown characters in the long in development Ghostbusters 3. But it looks like they may be batting .50 on this one, as they’ve now updated their initial scoop to say that Stone is passing on the gig, but there’s still an offer out to Hill. What’s even more interesting though, is that according to their source, “Sony wants two big stars signed on or they will not green light the picture.”

Original star Dan Aykroyd has been trying to get this project off the ground for years now, with Bill Murray, arguably the franchise’s biggest draw, giving a new film the cold shoulder. If this new stipulation turns out to be true, it may just be one complication to many.

I’ve called Transformers director Michael Bay many things over the years, but never once have I called him subtle. Or Guiseppe. The Master of Bayhem is very straightforward, especially when it comes to his own movies, as he has gone on record to say that he dropped the ball on the second Transformers pic. Transformers: Dark of the Moon was a bit of a step back towards the success of the first film, but there were still too many slip ups. And now that the Franchise is getting a bit of a makeover with the currently-in-production Transformers: Age of Extinction, Bay doesn’t want to repeat those mistakes again.

“I wanted the first Transformers to be very suburban and less cool. This is a much more cinematic one. I focused on keeping this one slick. There won’t be any goofiness in this one. We went a bit too goofy [on the last one].”

Anybody up for some free full length movies? Yeah, then check out this “director’s cut” of Jim Henson’s 1982 fantasy flick Dark Crystal. The last time I saw this movie, my people still hadn’t got the vote yet, and from what I can vaguely recall, it was a whole lot of cheese. That’s apparently not the version that Henson originally wanted to do though, as Youtuber scoodidabop, who put this whole thing together, explains.

Early versions of The Dark Crystal were a bit different than the version we see today. Jim Henson and Frank Oz originally sought to create a much darker story that relied more on the audience and less on voice-overs and inner monologues explaining the plot. In this version there’s no narrator, Jen’s inner monologues are gone, and the Skeksis hardly ever say anything in English (Aughra speaks some Skesis too!). This version is much more modern and a little darker with this original audio and the slightly different score. Some of the scenes are moved around too, which adds to the surreal feel of the original film. Some test audiences were more casual moviegoers and responded negatively to this version so the Henson team redubbed the ENTIRE film to help explain the plot to the audience up front and make things more obvious.

Sadly this beautiful version was mostly lost with a few rough-looking (yet still redubbed at times) scenes making it to the DVD and Blu-Ray versions. Demonoid user Aikousha saw this early test version when he was a kid and took it upon himself to track down this little bit of film history. What he found was a very nasty black & white “workprint” copy (used by the Dark Crystal production team) on a VHS tape that was very grainy and was almost unlistenable due to tape compression and SEVERE hiss and noise. But the important thing was that it was a mostly intact version of the beautiful vision of Jim Henson, Brian Froud, and Frank Oz. The Dark Crystal, as originally intended!

Workprints are used by the production crew and this one has all the trappings of one. Grease marks on the film, rough cuts, tape slowdown, and unfinished special effects among other things. Now, this workprint is still out floating around on the internet but it’s really painful to watch and the sound is atrocious so I took it upon myself to clean up the audio, sync it to a clean treatment of the video, include some scenes that were unavailable anywhere else, and recut a watchable version that played out like the workprint.

There’s been a running gag among comic fans for years already about how Wolverine seems to appear in and take over second book on the stands. The same has sort of stayed true for the cinematic version of the character which is why nobody really batted an eye when it was revealed that for the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, unlike in the classic comic book story which acts as this film’s source, it would be Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and not Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) who would be getting her time travel on. But according to writer Simon Kinberg, there’s a much more logical reason for it: He has better genes.

“When we started thinking about the logistical realities of Kitty’s consciousness being sent back in time, to her younger self, as opposed to her physical body being sent back… It was impossible. Obviously in the book it’s Kitty… But you’re talking about an actress (Ellen Page) who, in the age of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, would have been negative 20 years old. So we started thinking again, and the first reflex response to that was a character who doesn’t age. Wolverine is the only character who would looks the same in 1973 as he does in the future.”

And the fact that he’s the franchise’s most recognizable and bankable star certainly didn’t hurt, I bet.

Hey, great news for fans of the Paul Bettany fantasy-thriller Legion (all 7 of you), as SyFy has picked up the rights to develop the angels vs demons story into a TV series called Dominion. None of the original cast will be returning – which is a pity since Bettany was probably the only good thing in that movie – but the show will feature Buffy alum Anthony Stewart “Giles” Head.

“Based on characters from the hit theatrical film Legion (2010), Dominion is an epic supernatural drama set in the year 25 A.E. In this transformed post–apocalyptic future an army of lower angels, assembled by the archangel Gabriel, has waged a war of possession against mankind. The archangel Michael, turning against his own kind, has chosen to side with humanity against Gabriel. Rising out of the ashes of the 25 year-long battle are newly fortified cities which protect the human survivors. In Vega (formerly Las Vegas), the largest of these cities, two houses vie for control and the stage is set for political upheaval and a dangerous power shift. Meanwhile, a rebellious young soldier begins a perilous journey as the war between the human race and the fallen angels hell-bent on their domination escalates.”

If you like news anchors smelling of sex panther as well as consuming copious amounts of alcohol, then this next one is for you, as a new line of Ron Burgundy Scotchy Scotch Scotch whisky has just been released. Its a “40% ABV Scotch” which is “a blend of Scotch whiskies from Speyside, Highlands, and Islay” boasting “a hearty fruit flavor”. Now, you can be just as drunk as the Anchorman news team.

Ron-Burgundy-Great-Odins-Raven-Scotch-Whisky-600x510

We’re big fans of Nickelodeon’s Avatar universe (that’s the one with the kids doing kung fu to manipulate the elements, not James Cameron’s space-pocahontas film) around here, but we’d be the first to admit that the last season of The Legend Of Korra was a bit uneven. It may have ended in some eyeball-bubbling awesomeness, but it hit some rough patches along the way. i09 feel the same and think that they’ve nailed the 13 Ways to Make Legend of Korra’s Third Season Amazing and I’m inclined to agree with them.

Looks like the Mother of Dragons may just be the Mother of John Connor as well. That is unless a certain indie darling has anything to say about it. Deadline are reporting that Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke (probably better known as Daenerys Targaryen) and Short Term 12 star Brie Larson are currently the frontrunners to play Sarah Connor in the upcoming Terminator reboot. According to sources though, Clark may just have the edge on her rival. Clearly the fact that Alan Taylor, the man who directed most of all the major episodes on Game of Thrones, is also helming this, has nothing to do with her apparent advantage. Clearly.

What’s really interesting is that Deadline, John Connor’s father, Kyle Reese (played by Michael Biehn in the original) will also be in the film. This lends some heft to my theory that this film will see the older John Connor travel back in time himself to when his father originally travelled back to meet his mother, and will change something critical giving rise to this new rebooted timeline.

The festive season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate Christmas than with a new rendition of that classic Christmas ditty, “Let it Snow” as performed by the crew of the Starship Enterprise!

If you have anything you would like to contribute to Extras, whether it be interesting stories, funny videos, or artistic photos of yourself in morally questionable poses, feel free to drop a mail to [email protected]

Last Updated: December 5, 2013

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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