We told you during our continuing coverage of the San Diego Comic-Con that Ivan and Sam Raimi are working on developing an "Evil Dead" TV series and that franchise star Bruce Campbell would be involved somehow.
Late last night The Chin himself was addressing fans via his Twitter account when he dropped the news that the plan is that he'll be starring in the series. Check out the tweet conversation below and make of it what you will.
Campbell has been known to say lots of things only to recant a short time later so break out that grain of salt, kids! Nothing is solid just yet!
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) July 27, 2014
With practically no dialogue, the teaser trailer for Skybound Entertainment's AIR debuted at SDCC this weekend, and we have it for you right here along with a few highlights from the panel.
Director Christian Cantamessa described the film to the crowd assembled for Skybound's presentation, "[It] is full of hope. It's just my way to kind of give hope that there is a future, and the best way to experience it is maybe seeing the other side first, and then you can appreciate what you've got."
He added, "I think the best science-fiction is talking about our society and our world."
Co-star (with Djimon Hounsou) Norman Reedus said, "I'm really excited about this film. Christian's going to be a great director, I can tell."
Kirkman explained the setup, "Norman and Djimon are playing maintenance workers in a makeshift cryogenic facility in a missile silo that was put together in a hurry because the air has become poison." The facility is full of important people meant to restore society, and Reedus and Hounsou's characters have a "very limited amount of time to do maintenance."
Reedus previously stated how claustrophobic AIR is, a feeling he experienced from just reading the script. When discussing how he was able to maintain such a claustrophobic feel, even with all the people and technical elements needed to produce the film, Cantamessa, who co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Pasetto, said, "We didn't shoot with a massive crew. Everything was fairly intimate. We tried to build the sets in real locations to keep the atmosphere as real as possible and as claustrophobic as possible."
AIR, slated for a spring 2015 release, stars Norman Reedus, Djimon Hounsou, and Sandrine Holt. It's directed by Christian Cantamessa and produced by Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, Chris Ferguson, and the Sinister/Insidious team of Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and exec producer Bailey Conway.
The fate of Damon and Bonnie was up in the air following the Season 5 finale of "The Vampire Diaries," and the show's SDCC panel on Saturday did little to shed any light on what's in store for them in Season 6. They didn't even bring a trailer...
But they did bring this ingenious - and truly funny - video starring Ian Somerhalder and Kat Graham wondering if they've been cut from the series. It features all their cast mates commenting on their predicament, and even Klaus adds his 2 cents.
It was a scaled down panel compared to previous years with just the aforementioned Ian and Kat plus Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, and exec producer Julie Plec, although Matt Davis did pop up in the audience. Digital Spy provided a play-by-play of the presentation, and here are the highlights:
With regard to our two stranded frenemies, Plec said that that anyone who's died doesn't have the opportunity to come back, which is both good and sad. This will result in a "few different dynamics," according to Graham.
The time jump is four months, "big choices" have been made, and some characters are handling the change while others are still struggling. As for Alaric, after getting permission from Plec, Davis told the crowd that he's living outside of Mystic Falls, having compelled his way into a teaching job at a university. Plec gave us some hope of a romance for the fan favorite college prof: "I think people do get naughty in our universe, and if anyone deserves a little naughtiness, it's probably Professor Saltzman."
Don't look for Elena to find comfort from yet another man - or get back with Stefan. Dobrev said that would mean Elena's love for Damon wasn't real. But Elena is "not in a happy place" and has a "confusing" way of dealing with her pain. Even so, she's accepting of a relationship between her ex Stefan and her BFF Caroline. Otherwise, she would be a hypocrite considering she dated both brothers. "She kept it in the family!" Nina joked, and Paul added, "He [Stefan] deserves some action!"
During the 2014 SDCC panel for "The Originals" the day before, Plec was asked about potential crossovers, and of course the topic came up again here. She said they're always talking about the possibility, but it's logistically a "nightmare" so they don't want to make any promises yet. If they can make it work, they will.
What will happen to Bonnie and Jeremy's romance? Will he find someone else? Plec defended Jeremy's right to do so, reminding everyone that Bonnie called him to say she was dying and then hung up. Somerhalder pointed out that Bonnie's "stuck on the other side with the horniest guy on television!" Everyone will keep telling Jeremy to move on, Plec added, but he feels nobody understands what he went through. Elena and Alaric have to help when neither of them can enter Mystic Falls and Jeremy tries to keep his distance.
Lastly, what of our favorite newbie, Enzo? Will Alaric be jealous of his friendship with Damon? Julie said that while Enzo has charm, he also has a talent at pissing people off. Alaric, however, will think he can see through him.
"The Vampire Diaries" Season 6 kicks off on October 2nd. For more info in the meantime, visit "The Vampire Diaries" on CWTV.com, "like" "The Vampire Diaries" on Facebook, and follow "The Vampire Diaries" on Twitter.
There’s a pretty great video below that shows composer Bear McCreary in the studio conducting an orchestra with footage spliced in of the upcoming TV series Constantine, all overlain with the theme of the show. The music has a decidedly Victorian twist – thanks to the harpsichord-esque twang – but is completely modernized with deep bass lines and almost electronic stylings. From the footage shown, it looks like McCreary nailed it with this theme, fully capturing the visual style of the show. Check it out below!
Constantine premieres October 24th at 10/9c on NBC.
“2015 belongs to the Mad!”
The first full trailer for 2015′s Mad Max: Fury Road has been released and it looks insane! Complete with Frankenstein-ed vehicles, destructive car chases, intense violence, and nasty, nightmarish characters, I have a feeling that the fourth entry into the Mad Max series is going to be nothing short of a pure adrenalized thrill ride! Watch the trailer below!
Directed by George Miller, the creator of the original trilogy, Fury Road stars Tom Hardy (Inception) and Charlize Theron (The Devil’s Advocate).
Horror isn’t just full of badass survivors, people who will do anything to make it through a violent, terrifying situation. Sometimes the most interesting and exciting character is the villain, the person who is causing all that chaos in the first place! So what better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon than figuring out who might be the most badass amongst them?
Now, I could go with some pretty obvious choices, such as Jason or Freddy, but what fun would that be? Instead, I decided to go with some villains that might not get as much attention. Check out a few of my choices below and and then let me know some of yours!
Trick R Treat – Sam
Y’know why I love this little pumpkin-headed terror? Because he’s all about Halloween. You abide by the rules of one of the greatest holidays ever and you’re fine. But the second you break even a single one, you’re going to die in one of the most horrific ways imaginable. Plus, he gets creative with his kills. Maybe some dismemberment, maybe stabbing someone with a broken lollipop, maybe summon the ghosts of murdered children… It’s all gravy for him!
This is a momentous occasion, Dreadies! The start of a new tradition! Each year Dread Central heads to Comic-Con to make our way though a veritable sea of humanity to bring you the best and most up-to-date horror news possible.
Even though we're still trying to clear our noses of the foul Velcro-like stench of sweaty spandex and body odor (buy some fucking deodorant, will ya?), we wanted to do something special for those one or two people we see along the way who stay with us the entire time.
Maybe it's because of their costume... maybe it's because they made us laugh... but without fail someone will always stand out to us. From now on we shall honor these folks and dub one of them The Dread Central King (or Queen) of Comic-Con.
Below you'll find the 2014 winner plus the runner-up. We salute you two for doing your part to make the event a brighter and funnier place. You gentleman are our heroes of the weekend!
The 2014 Dread Central King of Comic-Con
I didn’t play either of the first two Doom games until long after their release, but when I did it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the series. There’s something about mowing down hordes of demons and zombies with badass, over-the-top weaponry that appeals to me. I’m sure you understand. I also enjoy getting behind-the-scenes looks at some of my favorite games, seeing how they’re made. It’s one of the reasons why I am in love with art books.
Some Doom II monster models were recently posted on Reddit, and they’re all very cool. I’m especially digging the Arachnotron.
If you really need to get that Doom fix, I suggest you check out the Brutal Doom mod that updates the first two Doom games with modern shooter mechanics and an extra coat of gore. The mod will see a new update soon that will up the brutal factor from 10 to 12, with roughly 200% more giblets and severed limbs.
Remember that amazing monster art that was so good I called it some of the best monster art I’ve seen in a long time? Well, because this world has no shortage of ridiculously talented artists with delightfully twisted imaginations, I just found another talented soul who’s capable of creating some crazy good creatures that look like they were Human Centipede-ed from the flaming ass of hell right into Clive Barker’s mouth, who then proceeded to make them even scarier.
Oh, and everything below is the work of Finnish artist Otto Lehtonen. He’s 19, in case you need help feeling bad about yourself.
For more of Otto’s work, check out his gallery.
Another huge story broke late last night that’s keeping me from enjoying the beautiful weather outside (I do it for you!).
Saturday night hosted the San Diego Comic-Con panel for FX’s “American Horror Story” where they revealed the entire cast for the fourth season of FX’s anthology series. Here’s who’s joining the “Freak Show”, courtesy of EW:
Kathy Bates and Evan Peters will be playing Ethel and Jimmy Darling. Joining them will be Angela Bassett’s Desiree Dupree, Michael Chiklis as Dell Toledo, Sarah Paulson in the dual role of conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler, and Emma Roberts as Maggie (no last name as of yet). Finally, series staple Jessica Lange will be playing a character is named Elsa Mars. Chiklis is playing Bates’ husband…and Bassett’s ex-husband.
They also add that one of this year’s core villains will be played by John Carroll Lynch, pictured below, the great everyguy-psychopath character actor. One of Lynch’s best-known performances came as the possible serial killer Arthur Leigh Allen in Zodiac; executive producer Tim Minear described the tone of “Freak Show” as “Douglas Sirk meets Zodiac.” Minear also said he will rivaled season one’s Rubber Man, Asylum’s Bloody Face and Coven’s Minotaur, calling the character one that will “scare the shit out of you,” THR added.
Watch for the show’s return this fall.
Back on Friday Sam Raimi broke the news out of the ongoing San Diego Comic-Con that he’s been developing a television series based on his The Evil Dead franchise.
He also explained on the “The Last of Us” panel that he and his brother Ivan, along with Bruce Campbell, are currently writing the “Evil Dead” series.
Late last night some mega news hit while I was fast asleep recharging from yet another massive news outing. Campbell responded to a fan, via Twitter, confirming that the intentions are for him to star in said series.
The Fede Alvarez-directed Evil Dead remake, which hit theaters in April of 2013, bowed well for Columbia Pictures earning close to $100M worldwide. Said remake is rumored to actually be the third sequel – following The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness – which would eventually tie into the original trilogy. At the end of the movie, they teased Campbell’s return as Ash (below) – does this mean Campbell will play Ash in the new series? Probably. Will it tie into the movie? Hopefully. Will we see another movie? I’d bet on it.
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) July 27, 2014
Are you sick of The Last of Us news yet? Between the upcoming live-action film adaptation — which might star Arya Friggin’ Stark as Ellie — the announcement of even more multiplayer DLC coming later this year and a live performance of the game to celebrate the arrival of the Remastered version on PS4 — this has been a busy week for fans of Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic masterpiece.
Speaking of The Last of Us Remastered, one of the game’s more intriguing features is a special Photo Mode, which allows players to freeze the game at any time by pressing down on the left joystick. This gives you the time to frame the perfect shot before sharing it with the rest of the world.
Naughty Dog community strategist Arne Meyer told
“One of the things that we wanted to include was the share mode, especially after we saw the reaction for the inFamous photo mode,” Naughty Dog community strategist Arne Meyer told Eurogamer. The feature is still being tweaked — probably the reason why it’s arriving in a patch — but they want to make it something that players actually want to use.
The Last of Us has a certain cinematic flair, so I imagine lots of folks taking advantage of this feature.
In related news, sometimes retail copies of certain games get shipped out early. The folks who received their copies of The Last of Us Remastered are reporting that the game has a gargantuan 50GB install. That’s a lot of bytes.
The Last of Us Remastered releases on the PS4 on July 29.
You guys like shaky cam movies, right? Good, because a teaser for the upcoming Zack Snyder directed Batman vs. Superman has made its way online. It’s mostly made up of glowing eyes and man-geeks losing their damn minds, but if the latter doesn’t bother you this is definitely worth checking out. You may want to act fast, because I don’t see this teaser remaining online for long.
Assuming you catch this before it’s taken down, what do you think?
Comic-Con broke with tradition this year, holding a special Saturday night screening with Warner Bros. TV that included the first episode of "Constantine." As part of the event, a new trailer premiered, and we have it here along with a peek at SDCC favorite Bear McCreary scoring the pilot.
About the Show:
"CONSTANTINE" follows enigmatic and irreverent Liverpool con-man-turned-occult-detective John Constantine, who is reluctantly thrust into the role of defending our world against dark forces from beyond.
Featured in hundreds of comic book issues, John Constantine has been a DC Comics staple since his first appearance as a supporting character in Swamp Thing in 1985. The character was subsequently featured in his own bestselling Hellblazer and Constantine comic book series.
UK native Matt Ryan (Layer Cake, "The Tudors," "Torchwood") stars as the title character. The cast also includes Harold Perrineau, Angelica Celaya, and Charles Halford.
The "CONSTANTINE" pilot is executive produced by Daniel Cerone ("The Mentalist," "Dexter") and David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight films, Man of Steel). Neil Marshall (The Descent, "Game of Thrones") is directing from a teleplay by Daniel Cerone with story by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer. "CONSTANTINE" is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television and is based upon characters published by DC Entertainment.
In news I’m sure no one saw coming, Telltale Games president Kevin Bruner and The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman dropped a bomb earlier today on unsuspecting Comic Con attendees. It’s payload? The confirmation that Telltale’s fantastic episodic series The Walking Dead: the Game has been greenlit for a third season.
We still don’t know how the current season will end, but things aren’t looking too good for Clem and friends. If you missed it, you can (and should!) check out my spoiler free review of the fourth episode below.
The second season will likely conclude either in September or October with the fifth and last episode, titled No Going Back.
Overall "American Horror Story: Coven" was a bit lacking, but with word coming out of the show's SDCC panel that its successor, "Freak Show," will be home to a new villain who rivals Season 1's Rubber Man, "Asylum's" Bloody Face, and "Coven's" Minotaur, color us curious.
We don't know the big bad's name yet, but John Carroll Lynch (pictured; Shutter Island, Fargo, "Carnivale") is playing him, and exec producer Tim Minear promises "he will scare the shit out of you.”
Minear says "Freak Show" is "not like the first three seasons," dubbing it "Douglas Sirk meets Zodiac." Coincidentally (or not, you never know with "AHS") Lynch appeared in David Fincher's Zodiac.
Several of the other cast members' full character names were revealed during the Saturday evening event: Emma Roberts is Maggie; Sarah Paulson is Siamese twins Bette and Dot Tattler; Michael Chiklis is Wendell del Toredo; Angela Bassett is Wendell's wife, Desiere Duprée; Kathy Bates is Effil Darling, Wendell's ex-wife; Evan Peters is Wendell and Effil's son, Jimmy Darling; and Jessica Lange is Elsa Mars, who runs the Jupiter, Florida, set "Freak Show."
The only other tidbit of info about the upcoming season is how Paulson's two-headed transformation, her favorite of all the "AHS" roles she's played, is accomplished. "It feels very organic to me, and I love her," she told the crowd, emphasizing that there's no prosthetic involved. The process is done off-screen and "in a way that's never been done before in a sense that no person has played a person with two heads... people have done it with another actress, [but] this is a new thing," Paulson said. It takes around 22 people working together to create each of her shots.
Below you'll find a photo of the group tweeted by Emma Roberts just before the panel began.
"American Horror Story: Freak Show" begins in October.
— Emma Roberts (@RobertsEmma) July 27, 2014
If there’s one thing I can say about Australian indie developer Dylan Browne, the one-man team behind the sci-fi horror game Caffeine, is that he does not give up easily. Back in May, Browne launched an Indiegogo campaign, which only managed to raise about $3,200 of its hopeful $80,000 goal. A few months later, Browne returned with another crowdfunding campaign — this time on Kickstarter — that saw essentially the same results after raising $4,000 of its $70,000 goal.
This is where most folks would’ve seriously considered giving up, but not Browne. Content to see his horror game come to fruition, Browne has gone and launched a third crowdfunding effort where his first failed. And now, I do believe it has a significantly better chance at being successful.
The biggest change is the revised funding goal, which has been lowered substantially to a more modest $5,000. I played its demo back in April and really enjoyed the look of it. There wasn’t much in the way of plot or scares, but that’s the nature of ‘proof of concept’ demos.
If funded, Caffeine is now planned to come to PC, Mac, Linux and PlayStation 4. PS4 support was a stretch goal in the earlier campaigns, so including it among the main platforms was a smart idea.
The vibrant, futuristic art style is great, but I’m a fan of the premise, too. Caffeine follows a young boy — played by you — who finds himself alone on a caffeine mining vessel in outer space. Because this is a horror game, he’s totally not alone, though your guess is as good as mine as to what it is that’s stalking the poor kid. Of the numerous trailers that have steadily trickled out over the last three months, the only glimpse we’ve been given was of a shadowy humanoid figure, and I’m pretty sure that was just a placeholder.
If all of the above tickles your fancy, you can support the game here.
As has become a tradition, this year's SDCC presentation for "True Blood" included a look at "the weeks ahead" on the show - its FINAL five weeks to be exact - and you can check out the video here along with a few highlights from the panel.
Those in attendance included exec producer Brian Buckner and co-stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Nelsan Ellis, Rutina Wesley, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Deborah Ann Woll, Carrie Preston, Chris Bauer, Anna Camp, and Nathan Parsons.
"This season had to be about Bill and Sookie," said Buckner. "It’s not going to be exactly what you think it is, but this show started out and worked because of the chemistry they shared… I certainly felt that we had to come back to Bill and Sookie; how we’re coming back to them, we’re not telling you."
As for what's ahead in the upcoming episodes, he teased, "It’s not done changing. It’s not gonna slow down any; there’s just a bit more focus on romance… We put last season’s issue to rest early on purpose. We know you love these characters so we landed them in a place where we hope you guys will be okay not with getting them anymore."
It sounds like we'll be more than okay with where Camp’s Sarah Newlin ends up. She told the crowd she has a big part to play in the final arc, adding, "I think I get what I deserve." Buckner concurred, "I had to explain it to her boyfriend when he saw the punishment on set: ‘No, she deserves this!’" Yikes! Sounds like payback's a bitch for Sarah!
For those who felt robbed of a chance to say goodbye to Tara, Buckner promised, "You haven’t seen the last of Rutina yet."
Trammell weighed in on Sam's outcome, "Sam’s story has been about family for the past few years… [Nicole] has a very objective view of this town and how insane it is. We’ll see how committed I am to her and how committed she is to staying."
Lastly, Preston's Arlene looks to finally be on track for some happiness as she embarks on a relationship with vampire Keith. "I don’t think you introduce a hot vampire on ‘True Blood’ without doing something with him… I feel like this season I got the real ‘True Blood’ experience, I got a vampire exploding in my crotch… [and] there’s something coming up with Arlene and Keith that’s unlike anything I’ve had to do on camera before." Oh my!
Episode 7.06 - “Karma” (air date 7/27/14)
A shocking discovery forces Sookie (Anna Paquin) to reassess her recent involvement with Bill (Stephen Moyer). In Dallas, Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) and Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) forge an unlikely alliance in their hunt for a shared nemesis.
Meanwhile, Andy (Chris Bauer) bickers with Holly (Lauren Bowles) about their children’s behavior; Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) shares a vision with Lettie Mae (Adina Porter); Jason (Ryan Kwanten) owns up to his true feelings about Violet (Karolina Wydra); and Sam (Sam Trammell) finds himself in a quandary regarding Nicole (Jurnee Smollett-Bell).
Written and directed by Angela Robinson.
#SDCC14 Exclusive: Anne Rice Talks Prince Lestat, Future Vampire Chronicles, Updates on Her Werewolves, Witches, and More!
With vampires and witches descending on SDCC today, we squeezed in a few moments with someone who knows a thing or two (or 20) about both types of creatures: author Anne Rice, in town to promote Prince Lestat.
Since "True Blood," "The Vampire Diaries," "Salem," and "American Horror Story: Coven" were all in town, Saturday was the perfect time to head over to the Hyatt for a quiet one-on-one with Ms. Rice, one of the forerunners when it comes to stories about these two uber popular supernatural beings.
We dug right in to find out all we could about Prince Lestat. With so much time having passed since her last entry in The Vampire Chronicles and considering all the various incarnations of vampires over those years, we first wanted to hear from Anne about what excited her most about reconnecting with her muse, Lestat. What was her favorite reaction to revisiting this familiar character in her new novel?
"Exploding with a whole bunch of new ideas," she answered. "I didn't know whether I could. I wanted to get back, I wanted to talk about him again, and I started reading all the books. Right away I thought, 'Of course, of course. I want to do this, I want to do that. I want to take this further, I want to go there.' All this came to me, and that's [why] taking ten years off from the Chronicles has worked out well for me because Prince Lestat couldn't have been written ten years ago. I didn't have it in me at the time. I hadn't gone to those places yet."
"In the book he is coming out of his depression. He's coming out of his exile so I'm accommodating that long delay. Nobody's heard from him in a long time."
We mentioned that she's said before Lestat simply wasn't talking to her anymore, and she agreed, "He wasn't. In a way, he really wasn't. And I associated him with some of the most painful and dark periods in my life. He was very much associated with that, and what I had to do was go and ask him, 'Can you talk about something else besides pain and darkness?'"
"And the novel shaped up with the vampires all turning to him and saying, 'Come back. We need you. We need you as the leader. We have to have some kind of new faith in what's going on.' And that's really what the novel is about; it's about how he becomes 'Prince Lestat.' How he lives up to that title, what that title means."
What sort of surprises might there be for the fans along the way during Lestat's new journey? Rice was pragmatic. "I can tell you this: From the very beginning the audience has always been polarized on every book from the start."
She has no illusions of pleasing everyone. "There were people that hated the second novel [The Vampire Lestat] and felt it was not as good as the first. There were people that read the second one first and thought the first was not as good as the second when they read it. There were people who hated the Queen of the Damned and people who loved it… Every single book that happens."
"Some people are very disappointed, and they say it's not what they wanted. That's one of the first, loudest things you hear. And I think that's inevitable, that's going to happen. But I certainly put everything into it that I wanted to be in it, and I certainly have found it very satisfying to take Lestat into new areas and to revisit old characters and bring in new characters. Some people, again, it's not going to be for them, and that's inevitable."
Anne's next remarks were music to my ears as she compared Prince Lestat to my most favorite chapter of The Vampire Chronicles, the aforementioned Queen of the Damned. "It's definitely the most like Queen of the Damned. It's the only one other than Queen of the Damned that really talks about the whole tribe being in a crisis, more or less - several crises actually - and demands from the young ones for the Old Ones to please come forward, come out of hiding, and take over and lead."
"The young are very dissatisfied that Mekare and Maharet, the eldest of the tribe, are in hiding, in exile, unreachable. They summon people to themselves every now and then. It's Maharet really; Mekare is not doing anything except holding the Sacred Core inside her. It's about the proliferation of the young vampires in 2013 all over the planet needing somebody to be a leader. They are a leaderless tribe, a leaderless people. The threats they are mainly facing are from one another. They are battling over territory in the cities, they're squabbling. Different things happen and they don't know whether it's the Old Ones targeting them or other young ones. There's a lot of chaos. They want somebody to step up; they want somebody to be a leader. And that's what it's really about. It's whether or not Lestat will come forward and whether any other of the ancients is willing to come forward and give up their sort of sublime solitude and their sublime exile to come into the fray, more or less, and be seen and be heard and so forth."
CLICK "NEXT" FOR UPDATES ON ADDITIONAL CHRONICLES,
THE WOLF GIFT, THE MAYFAIR WITCHES, AND MORE!
With a lot of chaos in play and Anne's own Facebook post back in March of this year that she was already formulating ideas for the sequel, which the author confirmed for us will be titled Blood Paradise (conceived by her editor, Vicky Wilson), we wondered how many more novels about the Brat Prince there might be on the horizon.
The potential is "unlimited right now," according to Rice, "unlimited. The second one I hope to have finished by October. It's just boiling over with material…
"When I finish it, I'll know. There'll be a period of exhaustion, but then I'll know if there's going to be a third right away or if it's going to take a little time. But I would say it's unlimited right now; I don't see closing it out. I never really wanted to close it out anyway. When I stopped, I left it open; that's why a lot of people were disappointed in Blood Canticle back in 2003 because there was no real finale. It was just Lestat went dancing off into the night. *laughs* I left it open. I didn't resolve things... I liked the idea of them all existing out there and all moving through time and making new connections and making new vampires."
With new connections being mentioned, we asked Anne, now that Lestat is back in her life, does she still have time for Reuben Golding and his Wolf Gift cohorts? "I'll get back to them soon," she promised. "They're just a different language and a different kind of pleasure to write."
What sort of differences are there when writing about vampires versus werewolves? "[Wolves] are a lot of fun... to me it's a different story [to write] about immortals in the modern world and how they adjust. The wolves are different because, you know, they're really human most of the time. Fully, completely human. So in some ways it's a lot of fun to write about them because they can function so well in the human world. With the vampires, it's always after dark. And it's always titanic powers: mind-reading, flying, defying gravity, being able to burn someone up with your mind."
"When you deal with characters who are that powerful, it takes a lot of negotiation. How do you find a plot when you have a houseful of people who can all read each other's thoughts? You have to find some way to describe how they shut one another out or confuse one another… with the wolves I don't have to do that so much."
With witches being so ubiquitous these days, especially on TV, we had to ask Anne about any progress being made with regard to James Duff's adaptation of her The Lives of the Mayfair Witches novels, a project that first sprang to life over five years ago. You'd think HBO, Showtime, or even upstarts like A&E or WGN America would snap it up. Unfortunately, it's not so simple.
Rice explained, "The actual, practical reason [is] Warner Bros. owned two of The Witching Hour books for ten years, and when they reverted back to me, they reverted back to me with a lien against them for a certain amount of money. It's that that's hanging things up. The rights are available; they're mine, I own the rights, but whoever steps up to make a movie or a miniseries has got to pay Warner Bros. that money… It's a fairly large lien… they paid me quite a bit for The Witching Hour and for Lasher, the second novel. But there is a lot of interest... I think things will move. Let's hope that Prince Lestat, even though it's not about the witches, will help."
As for any of the latest reboot/remake/reimagining rumors about the granddaddy of them all, her classic Interview with the Vampire, Anne acknowledged, "There's a lot of movie interest. Let's hope... It's always a matter of hammering out the contract, and it's so complicated. I do think it's a golden era though. We have never had fantasy and the supernatural on TV like we have today of the finest quality… It's just a banquet table right now of unbelievable entertainment. It's really great… Today we have this feast, and we have this archival culture where you can find anything of any age, too. It's just a great time."
It certainly wasn't always that way. Genre films and TV shows of any sort were few and far between back when Anne was growing up and starting her career. She told us how impactful NBC's 1973 TV movie "Frankenstein: The True Story" was on her writing back in the beginning. "That had a big influence on me," she reminisced. "I saw that and wrote Interview with the Vampire… it was so well done and so beautiful, so romantic and so rare, at that time, that it just sent me right in to my desk to write Interview with the Vampire. And now we've got 20 times that happening."
With Prince Lestat hitting bookshelves October 28th, Halloween 2014 is sure to be one to remember for Rice, and she'll be celebrating in style at the Lestat Coronation Ball (hosted by Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat Fan Club) in New Orleans on October 31st.
Anne extended us - and our readers - an invitation: "If you've never come to the Ball, think of coming because it can be quite wonderful. It also can be a lot of fun to be in New Orleans and in the French Quarter for Halloween!" Be careful what you wish for, Anne. We just might take you up on your offer!
Our thanks to Anne Rice for her time, Becket for his camera work, and Josh Zajdman at Penguin Random House for coordinating.
There are a million things to do at Comic-Con, but if you're a fan of Alien and a gamer, all roads led to Sega's impressive Alien: Isolation booth. It's home to one giant sized Xenomorph egg & opens up to let attendees slide in and spend time with the game in the coolest setting possible.
After checking out the game a bit, we were able to chat with the game's developer, Al Hope. Read on for our first impressions and Al's comments.
Alien: Isolation was running on the PlayStation 4, and the controls were pretty simple. You have to hold down the R1 shoulder button to bring up the Motion Tracker we all know and love. L2 was aim, R2 was fire, pressing the right stick in would crouch, and X would let you interact with the environment (i.e., picking up weapons and collectibles and hiding). Like in Outlast, something tells me hiding is an activity we all will be doing a lot of.
This is not a blazing action game so if you think that you're gonna be going on massive bug-hunts (which were pitifully presented in Aliens: Colonial Marines), then look elsewhere. This is a true survival horror game.
The level we got to play was a simple challenge map. We had to get from point A to point B without dying. Easier said than done. Trying to survive the various hallways is a lot harder than you may think. The stealth approach seemed to be the best tactic. There were closets to hide in and things to duck behind.
Even though you may not see the Alien at first, you can feel that he's omnipresent at all times. This is you against it. As the motion tracker pulsates, signifying that the creature is nearby, the DualShock 4 controller rumbles accordingly. Pretty much in accordance with your heart rate because this was some high anxiety on display. When the Alien gets close by and you're hiding, it's really hard to resist the urge to run. Doing so, however, will alert it to your presence, and if you're not packing some serious firepower, you may just want to stay the hell where you are until it is "safe."
There was never a feeling of safety though, as much like the original movie, this felt like a haunted house in outer space type of experience. Along the way in our playthrough we managed to find a flame-thrower. Even though that's a serious weapon, the Alien was lightning quick, and before we knew it, it was upon us... drooling... black lips peeling back over its metallic teeth until the familiar inner jaws shot out like a rocket. Fade to black.
If this is representative of the final product, we're all in for a serious treat. The graphics and sound were mind-blowing and the controls very intuitive. Immediately upon exiting the egg, I had to speak with game developer Al Hope to ask him some of the hard questions and dig deeper into what to expect.
Again, every Alien fan who's played Aliens: Colonial Marines is naturally taking a wait and see approach to Isolation. We asked Hope if there was anything he could tell us to temper some of those fears.
"The honest answer is, we started making this game about four years ago, so, way before 'Colonial Marines' came out," Hope tells us. "Me, in particular, wanted to make a different kind of 'Aliens' game. I think games based on the franchise previously had been about the James Cameron experience: Vietnam in space, lots of pulse rifles, lots of aliens."
"That can be a great experience but I really loved the first film and I thought there had to be an awesome video game there. So, from day one, that’s what we were going to do. So it was me going to SEGA and then going to FOX and saying, ‘Hey look, this could be incredible.’ So, for a long time we’ve been working on this project going in a completely different direction. We really wanted to make a game completely focused on survival and not about killing so it’s a completely different experience. We really, really just wanted to make one Alien super meaningful to the player: terrifying, intelligent, something that actually made you feel like you were being hunted. I think that's what 'Alien: Isolation' is. For the first time a game offers the player a chance to experience Ridley Scott’s 'Alien' and that’s a completely new and unique experience."
Being that there is just one Alien menace and players are used to getting a constant amount of stimuli in their games, we wondered what Hope's team did to limit the experience to just one 'Big Bad' while keeping it interesting for the player.
"At E3 we announced that we were going to introduce some other characters to the sort of wider world, so the game takes place on a very remote deep space station. There’s a very small amount of inhabitants in that situation. Now, they're in the same situation as the player; they’re desperate to survive. That makes them extremely unpredictable. Sometimes you’ll come across people and they can be kind of a help and can help you on your way, sometimes they can be less so. That provides a big problem to the player because everyone starts getting jumpy and starts firing a weapon. You can see what can potentially occur."
"Because they are also unpredictable, they’re using the same core A.I. They’re listening and that informs their core behavior. You can have these incredible escalation of events where you think you have a plan of action which might seem very simple but, in a moment, things can change up and suddenly you’ve got a completely different scenario to deal with."
"For me, it’s a game about player choice: moment to moment, what are you going to do? There’s some things to collect in the world that allows you to, if you get the right components, build tools and devices which will help you change the odds. If you’re in the space of an alien and you throw a flare and you get it right, it will attract his attention and he’ll move out of the way and you can bypass him without a confrontation. We also have the synthetics that are all kind of basic androids, and they’re way behind in the tech race and they’re very unpredictable. Sometimes they’re helpful and sometimes they’re very aggressive. There are a number of mysteries and stories within the game, and that gets revealed over time."
In terms of creating the Nostromo and the original cast for the game's DLC...
"For us to be doing this in the first place is amazing. Actually, for this demo, to kind of pitch it, we recreated the medical lab from Alien. We built one and then we smashed up the second one. But, of course, you do that and all the light bulbs start going off and you think maybe we should build the 'Nostromo.'"
"Our game takes place 15 years after the 'Nostromo' goes missing. So, if we’re doing that, we thought maybe we can get the original cast to come and be part of this. One of the goldmines we got was from Twentieth Century Fox; they gave us a huge amount of archive material. For this, one of the most important things we had were the continuity photos of the cast in their full make-up from the front and the side, and we used that original 1979 material to recreate those faces. That really helped us take it further."
Hope continues, "This whole project has been based on ‘We have to make this happen.’ The attention to detail, the atmosphere, the immersion… for me, I was convinced that if we could get it in front of the right people, [we'd succeed]... and fortunately they said yes. For Sigourney Weaver, for the first time in video games, to come back and reprise her role… I still remember the cheer when I told the team that she’d agreed to do it. It was a pretty magical moment."
Alien: Isolation is a single-player experience and Hope confirmed that there are no plans to add on multi-player down the road. Given this fact we inquired as to the length of the game's campaign.
"That’s a really good question and a difficult one to answer, not because I’m trying to avoid it, but because of the nature of the game. People get really immersed and highly involved in the world. It’s a highly detailed world. And also the fact that it’s a very dangerous world means that you can try, but it’s high risk. You go can through the game and replay it differently each time."
"That’s what’s fascinating about [Comic-Con] for me... you have people standing here and these people play for about forty minutes to an hour but that’s because every time someone goes inside an egg, we have a different entertaining experience. When you’re playing the main game, say you do die and you’re in a certain space trying to get from point A to point B, when you go again it’s going to be different. The Alien is really dynamically reacting off the world around you and reacting to your actions."
Alien: Isolation is a first person survival horror game where players must traverse a space station in solitude. Well, not total solitude, there is one guest. A gigantic Xenomorph that wants to know what your insides look like. You will need to use all of your wits, not just to succeed, but to survive.
Alien: Isolation will be released on October 7th, a short one week before the new title from Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami releases, The Evil Within. Both titles will be available for PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.