By CRAIG YOUNKIN – February 17, 2010
The Good: Steven Soderbergh (pictured) has assembled an interesting cast of characters for his new film “Contagion.” Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Marion Cotillard will star in the film written by Scott Z. Burns about a deadly virus outbreak. Sure, the movie sounds a lot like Michael Crichton’s “Outbreak” but I loved that movie and I like this cast. Soderbergh taking a seemingly new direction into horror-thriller is also interesting so a new deadly virus flick sounds just infectious to me.
The Bad: Producers say they want to make a “hipper” version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” Great story. I watched the old movies about a hundred times when I was a kid. Although that “hipper” tag doesn’t sound good. Case in point: Disney tried to update and modernize the story with 2002’s “Treasure Planet,” a sci-fi version of the classic that wound up costing $140 million to make and then bombed at the B.O.
The Ugly: “Wolfman” and “Dracula” have already gotten their reboots and now it would seem that “Frankenstein” is most definitely “alive” again too. Dean Koontz’s “Frankenstein” series of four books will be made into films. The books center on Deucalion, Frankenstein’s first attempt at a monster, and his detective partners, as they wage a war against a monstrosity that even Dr. Frankenstein could not have imagined. Producers Ralph Winter (pictured) and Terry Botwick say, “these books have enough twists and turns to keep the public coming back to the theaters for many years to come.” The first book is “Prodigal Son,” the second is called “City of Night,” and the third is called “Dead and Alive.” There is also a fourth book coming called “Lost Souls”, which will be published June 22. Sounds like another bloody-disgusting gore-fest will be born onscreen. Can’t wait!