Today's latest buzz includes casting details on a new Scooby-Doo animated movie, a horror film starring Avatar’s Stephen Lang, and a Chinese science fiction short story being made into a feature by Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin's production company!
First up, the mystery of which Hollywood stars will be behind the characters in a new Scooby-Doo film has been solved! The as-yet-untitled project for Warner Bros. and its Warner Animation Group will feature a starry cast including Will Forte (Last Man on Earth), Gina Rodriguez (Annihilation, Jane the Virgin), and Tracy Morgan (30 Rock), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Also in the mix, of course, is the franchise stalwart Frank Welker, who voiced the role of Fred Jones since the cartoon’s inception in 1969 and has been the voice of Scooby-Doo from 2002 on. Rordriguez will be putting on her specs in the vocal booth to play Velma, Forte will voice Shaggy, and Morgan is said to be voicing someone from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon universe, Captain Caveman.
Animation veteran Tony Cervone, who has directed two previous Scooby projects, will helm the feature film, while Chris Columbus, Charles Roven, and Allison Abbate will produce. It’s the first big-screen outing for the gang since 2004's live-action Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, and we're excited that the gang is getting back together again.
Next, Deadline reports that Stephen Lang, who is perhaps best known for playing Colonel Miles Quaritch in James Cameron’s Avatar, has signed up to lead a new horror film titled V.F.W. The action/horror flick is a Fangora production helmed by director Joe Begos (The Mind’s Eye, Almost Human).
According to the report, the film has been pitched as being somewhere between The Wild Bunch and Night of the Living Dead, which sounds both promising and terrifying.
V.F.W. – which stands for Veterans of Foreign Wars – sees a group of Vietnam vets, including Fred (Lang), fighting against an army of unstoppable punk mutants, while protecting their local V.F.W. post and an innocent teen. Filming is expected to start in Texas next month.
Lastly, Justin Lin’s production company, Perfect Storm Entertainment, is adapting an exciting new sci-fi short story, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Lin’s company is partnering up with Beijing Pu Luo Media Co. to adapt a Chinese-language tale called The Pantheon as an English-language feature film.
Based on a story by writer Hao Jingfang (the first Chinese woman to win a Hugo Award), The Pantheon is said to be a timely and thought-provoking sci-fi mystery. So far, the story hasn’t been translated into English, but it is expected to be later this year, once production on the movie begins.
Jingfang made literary waves in 2012 with her sci-fi dystopian novella Folding Beijing, which described a society split into three social classes, all obsessed with time. It would eventually win the Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2016, going up against Stephen King's Obits. So we certainly have high hopes for The Pantheon. What about you?