News briefs: Black Freighter released, Venice honors Pixar, Astro Boy resumes

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Patrick Lee
Dec 14, 2012

Warner Home Video will release the DVD and Blu-ray of Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter & Under the Hood, the companion pieces to Zack Snyder's Watchmen movie, on March 24; based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' comic-within-a-graphic novel, Freighter features the voice of 300 star Gerard Butler.
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Pixar animator John Lasseter will receive the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement from the Venice Film Festival, which also will honor the Disney toon guru's close-knit team of hitmaking helmers, the Associated Press reported; Lasseter, who is chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, will travel to the Lido accompanied by colleagues Brad Bird (Ratatouille), Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.), Lee Unkrich (Finding Nemo) and Andrew Stanton (WALL-E).
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Variety reports that the U.S. film adaptation of Astro Boy is back on track after producer Imagi Entertainment temporarily suspended production; the company had to shut down its U.S. operations for a week because bridge financing hadn't come through on time, but it's now in place.
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Cartoon Network's animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars will receive an encore run on sibling channel TNT, debuting on Feb. 14 with back-to-back first-season episodes, Variety reported.
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CBS has yet to decide on the future of the science-fiction series Eleventh Hour, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer is waiting for the official word to plan for a second season or close up shop, he told SCI FI Wire: "You never know. It's performing quite well. It's done really well, so we'll see."
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Remains of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and his wife, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, will be shot into space next year by Celestis Inc., the Associated Press reported; the couple's cremated remains will be sealed into specially made capsules designed to withstand the rigors of space travel.
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Neil Gaiman told NBC's Today show that Neil Jordan will adapt his Newbery Medal-winning fantasy children's title The Graveyard Book.
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TV scribe Tom Wheeler has been hired to write the Shrek spinoff movie Puss in Boots for DreamWorks Animation, a stand-alone feature foray for the feline assassin/swordsman voiced by Antonio Banderas, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
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Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have acquired U.S. rights to Snoot Entertainment's animated 3-D feature Battle for Terra and plan to release it on May 1, Variety reported; the movie will open in both 2-D and 3-D formats.