While the superhero world continues to pay dividends, dabbling in science fiction within the relatively safe genre of action movies is something becoming more and more popular among studios. That’s easy to see with today’s batch of production news, which features a slew of the latter along with one of the former. Let’s address that one first.
Red Sonja, the ‘70s sword mage of Dynamite Entertainment, has had her popularity (and financial viability) boosted in investors’ minds by Wonder Woman. That means they need a movie, which has found its writer. Genre TV mainstay Ashley Edward Miller (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Fringe, Black Sails) will pen the script for Red Sonja, saying, “It’s an exciting opportunity to faithfully adapt the amazing Hyborean world Robert E. Howard created, and inject it with Sonja’s intelligence, ferocity, and fearless humanity.”
Next, we have news from STXsurreal, the VR division of STX Entertainment, which just revealed its new slate of upcoming shorts that will premiere on the VR headset channel Surreal, which launches later this year.
There’s a magic-influenced comedy called New Tricks from Ed Helms, which gives a Radio Shack employee a mystical run-in with an elf and a new lease on life as he pursues his destiny as the greatest wizard the world has ever known. Then there’s the even sillier return of Jay and Silent Bob, which return in a Kevin Smith short series that places the viewer in the perspective of Bob. Then, rounding things out, the clout of John Wick has continued to pave the way for its creators. Writer Derek Kolstad is bringing an untitled, 1947-set action series that has serious UFO flavor. Set in New Mexico, there’s X-Files levels of government conspiracies at play here.
While these VR series are emerging from an established company, other new projects include some from an entirely new production firm. Ex-Warner Bros. exec Sue Kroll has started her own production company, Kroll & Co. Entertainment, and she’s kicking off with plenty of genre flicks.
Sci-fi thriller Nemesis, produced by Ridley Scott, joins the YA fairy-tale dystopia of The Selection along with the decimal-point-moving The Six Billion Dollar Man on Kroll’s first slate of projects. The latter, purchased from The Weinstein Company in the wake of their bankruptcy, is based on the cyborg-building TV series, stars Mark Wahlberg, and will enter production soon. While few details are known beyond these announcements, the wealth of selection continues to be a boon for sci-fi fans.