Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fringe Streamed to Dorms

Fox has announced it plans to stream the premiere episodes of Fringe and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles online to college students at the same time they premiere on TV. To view the stream, the computers must be located on a .edu domain probably limiting its streamers to those that live in college dorms.

The move is said to be an attempt to get students that probably have a computer but not a TV to watch the show. More likely the it’s an attempt to curtail later bittorrent downloads of television shows as the networks continue to have the false assumption that one download = one loss sale.

"We talked about what we could do with colleges given the fact that we have so much traffic coming from them," said Fox Entertainment chairman Peter Liguori. "The light bulb went off -- by simul-streaming 'Fringe' and 'Sarah Connor,' (the college students) get to see the show, and we get the increased fanbase and buzz."

Terminator premieres September 8th and Fringe on September 9th.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Earthquake in Abrams Future

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that JJ Abrams is joining Omen screenwriter David Seltzer to create an earthquake related disaster movie for Universal. The movie will not be a remake of the 1974 film "Earthquake."

The articles says, "Details of the story are being kept in a seemingly tremor-proof vault, though as is Abrams' modus operandi, relationships will be at the core of the project. Abrams arguably rewrote the rules for disaster flicks with "Cloverfield," which thrust the big story to the background by making the audience see the bedlam through the prism of a personal relationship."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fringe The Comic

Newsarama recently spoke with Athena Wickham to talk about Fringe the comic serires coming from Wildstorm on August 27th, before the series pilot airs on September 9th. Wickham is a TV executive for JJ Abram's Bad Robot production company and also was a co-story consultent for the comic series.

Wickham joins quite a few other people who are making sure the comic fits seamlessly with the show. Series creators Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci (the writers behind the upcoming Star Trek movie) are co-developing the comic book story and approving all scripts and art. Then the six issues of Fringe are being crafted by TV show staff writers Zack Whedon and Julia Cho along with Superman/Batman scribe Mike Johnson, who works with the Kurtzman/Orci production company. The comic will also have contributions from other members of the television show's staff of writers, including Alex Katsnelson, Danielle Dispaltro, and Matthew Pitts.

The Fringe show, which centers on "fringe sciences" like telekinesis and reanimation, follows the story of FBI agent Olivia Dunham. Working with scientist Walter Bishop and his son Peter, she discovers that a specialized government department is looking into a recent series of reality-bending events called the "Pattern."

As the comic series opens, Wickham said the first issue "begins when the yin and yang of fringe science first meet face to face."

"The issues will consist of two parts. Part A will tell the back-story story of two of our key characters: Walter Bishop and William Bell. Part B will consist of stand-alone stories," Wickham said. "Readers will be introduced to a range of characters -- from those at the epicenter of the pilot to others who might not live to make a series appearance."

Comics artist Tom Mandrake will provide art for the back-story. "He will be joined by Simon Coleby in the first issue, with surprise artists to come in upcoming issues," Baronoff said. "Mandrake just jumped out at us with his extremely emotional and creepy art. He's producing amazing work. Coleby is a rising star whose style is perfect for Fringe."

"We are working with the amazing team at Wildstorm so that both the artists' work and the physical book itself will be reflective of the story's place and time," Baronoff said. "Much like the series, we hope this comic will run the gamut from dark and eerie to funny and profound."

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pinkner Talk Fringe With Newsarama

Fringe Executive Producer Jeff Pinkner spoke with Newsarama about JJ Abrams upcoming television series Fringe. He discusses the series premise, the characters and the casting of the leads.
"The premise is that an event happens that brings FBI Agent Olivia Dunham, onto a case,” explains Executive Producer Jeff Pinkner. “In the course of it, her partner is actually injured and in an effort to try and save him, she seeks out a brilliant scientist who himself has been incarcerated in an institution for the last 17 years for various reasons. He is doing research in the fringe sciences, the very out there concepts, which of course are all very real like telekinesis and reanimation. The only way she is able to get him out of the asylum is with the help of a family member so she is forced to seek out his son Peter who has had no relationship with him over the last 20 years. He has no interest in helping but does so because he sees how emotionally invested Olivia is.

"The three of them are able to actually solve the case and during the course of it, it is revealed to her that there is actually a very specialized department of Homeland securities unit looking into a series of recent events that the government is referring to as The Pattern. These are unexplained events which seem to call into question what we understand as reality. With the help of the scientist, Walter Bishop, played by John Noble, and his son Peter, played by Joshua Jackson, the three of them set out to discover what the hell is going on.”

“Olivia is just an incredibly driven, incredibly brilliant agent with her own complicated past that we will peel back over time,” reveals Pinkner. “She is exposed to these events which seem to be taking place around the globe at more regular intervals than previously and sets out to solve these cases, if anyone is behind them, if they are simply freak natural occurrences, and at the same time, figure out her life.”

“Peter is sort of a jack of all trades. He is a brilliant person with a lot of his father’s innate intelligence but given his relationship with his Dad, he has turned his back on science and what he believes in. He has sort of lived by the seat of his pants for many years and in the process, has left a wake of disappointment with business partners and vengeful ex girlfriends.

"Peter is sort of a guy running from his own shadow, living by the seat of his pants, and cutting business deals as he globe trots. He is forced by honor and duty to join the team as well. He has one foot in and out and isn’t happy about being his father’s babysitter. Peter is understandably freaked out with the matters they are looking into but he finds a certain satisfaction in his own degree of expertise and being able to help. He has feelings for Olivia, a complicated relationship with his father, and starts to find his faith in the world as he moves along.”

“Walter is perhaps one of the most brilliant scientists known but in the name of science, and on behalf of the government back in the 70’s and the Vietnam/Cold War era, he has perhaps left a lot of harm in his wake. He has potentially damaged a lot of people and developed a lot of technologies that others may have exploited in the past. As a consequence, there either was or wasn’t a series of events that caused him to lose his mind and break down. He was found criminally guilty and put into an institution where they have done all kinds of advanced therapies to him, which have further damaged his mind. Despite all that, he’s the only person we can rely on to help us solve all these cases.”

“Walter Bishop had a former partner, William, back at Harvard when they were both working for a government corporation called Massive Dynamics. William has since gone on to become one of the richest men on the planet. Think Bill Gates. He runs a company which has its hands in every kind of consumer goods you can imagine from energy to television sets.”

“William’s chief operating officer is a woman named Nina Sharp who takes a maternal interest in Olivia and a concern for her looking into these cases. Nina has clearance to know about The Pattern so the corporation has vast interest in these events taking place around the world because at the very least, they could affect Massive Dynamics’ business. It’s also possible they are trying to harness these events to exploit them either for profit or some other reason.”

“To be honest, Josh was one of the first people who read for us,” recalls Pinkner. “People also had Pacey in mind and Josh is not Pacey by any means. He is very much all grown up. Josh is an adult now and Pacey was an adolescent. Every other actor we auditioned, it was like ‘We need Joshua Jackson.’ Josh is perfect for the role and interestingly enough, he forced everyone to reconsider him because everyone had a little bit of a Pacey hangover. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but actually great. The character is just not Pacey. This character is a lot darker, a lot more soulful, and Josh came in and nailed the role and convinced everyone he is Peter. He is incredibly talented and pretty much emails me every couple of days going ‘When can we get started?’ The other fantastic thing about Joshua is he is wildly intelligent, as is his character, so he just brings a depth and gravity to everything he does.”

“As for Anna Torov, the process for Olivia had gone well past the 12th hour because nobody was willing to settle. Somehow, someone discovered Anna, an Australian actress who hadn’t really worked in New York before. She was put on tape in Australia and as soon as everybody saw her audition, it was instantly ‘There’s our girl! We found her! Moving on!’”

"Fringe, unlike Alias or Lost, will have cases of the week, cases that we well get involved with and may solve at the end of each episode,” reports Pinkner. “At the same time, there will be a much larger mythology running through the whole series. What I enjoy about that is we are literally exploring a world. The show is about things much larger than itself. What I enjoy about TV is spending time with characters that grow. What is great about these shows with mythologies is that at the same time that the characters are changing, we are exploring different aspects of a real fictional universe so our canvas is very vast. We as writers and creators can explore themes or ideas that interest us. We don’t feel limited because anything that interests us we can chase down. That is really fun for me.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fringe Trailer

Whee, a trailer for Fringe. Sigh, Abrams and his secrets makes running a blog very difficult.