Monday, June 28, 2010
by Michael Ausiello
It’s been a month since the Lost finale aired and you know what that means: Make way for the parodies! The silly kids over at How It Should Have Ended — the Starz Digital animated web series that proposes alternative conclusions to popular movies and TV shows — have set their sights on the polarizing Lost swan song. And the results are undeniably ROTFLMFAO…
Friday, June 25, 2010
King of the World? More like King of the Universe.
Here's one more feather in his Na'vi cap: James Cameron's space-themed Pocahontas tale dominated last night's Saturn Awards, taking home Best Science Fiction Film, Best Director, Best Writer and Best Actor and Actress for stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana, who played the marine grunt sent to Pandora and the Na'vi princess he falls for, respectively.
The ceremony, which took place in Burbank, honors the most accomplished works in the sci-fi, fantasy, thriller and horror genres and the Titanic helmer has long been a mainstay. In fact, Avatar marks a personal triumph for Cameron who holds the mark for most Saturn victories, having won twice for directing and writing. He was also feted with the Visionary Award.
All in all, the blue-tinted blockbuster won 10 trophies including Best Supporting Actor and Actress for Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver, Best Music for composer James Horner and Best Production Design and Special Effects (natch) to the team of Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones.
Other notable winners on the film side: Watchmen, which snagged Best Fantasy flick, and Sam Raimi's Drag Me To Hell, which was named Best Horror film. While Quentin Tarantino's WWII revenge fantasy thriller Inglourious Basterds took a scalp of its own, Best Action-Adventure thriller, last summer's surprise hit District 9 scored Best International Film, and Monsters and Aliens landed Best Animation prize.
On the tube side, while Lost gets ready to enjoy a long after-life in syndication, its final season found the acclaimed ABC serial mystery earning a Saturn for Best Network TV Series while star Josh Holloway quipped his way to a Best TV Actor win for his role as everyone's favorite con-man, James "Sawyer" Ford.
Not to be outdone, J.J. Abrams' other baby, Fringe, garnered kudos for Best TV Actress for Anna Torv and Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy for Best Actor in a guest-starring role. While Breaking Bad broke in with Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series.
For making one of the best sequels of all time in The Empire Strikes Back and bringing unexpected depth and heartfelt emotion to George Lucas' space opera franchise among other cinematic achievements, veteran filmmaker Irvin Kershner was honored with the Life Career Award, appropriately enough on the Star Wars film's 30th anniversary.
The big loser of the night? Guy Ritchie's amped up take on Sherlock Holmes which uncovered eight nominations but walked away empty-handed.
Here's a complete list of kudos for the 36th Annual Saturn Awards:
Best Science Fiction Film: Avatar
Best Fantasy Film: Watchmen
Best Horror Film: Drag Me To Hell
Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film: Inglourious Basterds
Best Actor: Sam Worthington (Avatar)
Best Actress: Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Best Supporting Actor: Stephen Lang (Avatar)
Best Supporting Actress: Sigourney Weaver (Avatar)
Best Performance by a Younger Actor: Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones)
Best Director: James Cameron (Avatar)
Best Writer: James Cameron (Avatar)
Best Music: James Horner (Avatar)
Best Costume: Michael Wilkinson (Watchmen)
Best Make-Up: Barney Burman, Mindy Hall, Joel Harlow (Star Trek)
Best Production Design: Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg (Avatar)
Best Special Effects: Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham, Andrew R. Jones (Avatar)
Best International Film: District 9
Best Animation Film: Monsters vs. Aliens
Best Television Series: Lost
Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series: Breaking Bad
Best Presentation on Television: Torchwood: Children of Earth
Best Actor on Television: Josh Holloway (Lost)
Best Actress on Television: Anna Torv (Fringe)
Best Supporting Actor on Television: Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Best Supporting Actress on Television: Julie Benz (Dexter)
Guest Starring Role on Television: Leonard Nimoy (Fringe)
Best DVD Release: Nothing But the Truth
Best DVD Television Release: Lost (The Complete Fifth Season)
Best DVD Special Edition: Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut
Best DVD Collection: Star Trek Original Motion Picture Collection
Best Local Stage Production: Fantasy/Musical: Mary Poppins (Ahmanson Theatre)
Best Local Stage Production: Play/Dramatic Musical: Parade (Mark Taper Forum)
Best Local Stage Production: Small Theatre: Fellowship: The Musical (Falcon Theatre)
The Visionary Award: James Cameron
The George Pal Memorial Award: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
The Producers Showcase Award: Lauren Shuler Donner
The Life Career Award: Irvin Kershner
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
First off, let's just take a look at this set, out Aug. 24 (from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment):
Here's a photo of the 'Lost: The Complete Series' DVD set, out Aug. 24.
CAPTIONWalt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
It comes in a black box that looks big enough to contain a board game -- and it does! The set comes with a fold-out Senet board and black and bags of white rocks. It also contains a small black light, which is a little puzzling; I was told there are some elements to the set fans will have to "figure out for themselves." Intriguing.
The episode guide wasn't available for preview, but it's also part of the set, as is the ankh and the island replica. Here's a pic I took today for another view:
Here's another view of the 'Lost: The Complete Series' DVD set, out Aug. 24.
As for bonus features, I watched part of the "Slapdowns," where celebrities/Muppets face Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. In a feature called "Letting Go," the cast reflects on the series, and we see the empty post-Lost set. (Naveen Andrews looks quite fetching in that one.)
Lost University also returns with the release of The Complete Collection and Complete Sixth and Final Season. Fans/graduates will now be able to take part in a "master's program" that focuses more on theology, rather than last year's program, which included a lot of science and time travel. One not-to-miss course: "Exploring Spanish with Nestor Carbonell."
Finally, most of us can't wait for the "new chapter" of Lost -- 12 minutes of never-before-seen footage from Lindelof and Cuse. (Note: This is also available on the Season 6 set.) I was treated to one minute of this. I begged to see more, but no dice.
I don't want to reveal too many spoilers, and there are some spoilers from that 60 seconds, including the "when" and "where." But I will tell you the clip I saw featured Michael Emerson and "Dharma peas." Draw your own conclusions.
The DVD collection costs $229.99, while the Blu-ray discs will set you back $279.99. According to the box, it contains 5,074 minutes of material about Lost. Start clearing your calendar! I smell a marathon (and fish biscuits).
Monday, June 14, 2010
by Free Britney
There's so much more to go over. Voting opens today on teenchoiceawards.com. Follow the jump for the full list of nominees from movies, TV, sports and music:
Choice TV Show: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Actor: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Josh Holloway, Lost
Joshua Jackson, Fringe
Ryan Kwanten, True Blood
Tom Welling, Smallville
Paul Wesley, The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries
Evangeline Lilly, Lost
Hayden Panettiere, Heroes
Anna Paquin, True Blood
Anna Torv, Fringe
Choice TV: Villain
Russell Hantz, Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains
Jane Lynch, Glee
Terry O'Quinn, Lost
Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries
Ed Westwick, Gossip Girl
It's time to let you in on a little discovery that I made recently, because I believe a good number of you just might freak out over this. I mean that. Literally. Freak. Out.
A few days ago I posted an introduction to my new friend, Hawaiian native Tina Lau, along with a very cool article she wrote about the impact LOST has had on Hawaii. It also featured some really special photographs of the cast members that most people haven't seen anywhere else. If you didn't read it, please check it out!
So, in addition to being a sister designer, photographer, and LOSTie, Tina is a also a fellow eBayer. And what she sells in her store, AllAccess808, is going to blow your mind more than a visit to Room 23.
You see, Tina sells LOST props.
That's right! She's acquired a healthy number of AUTHENTIC items from the past six years of the show that she's been selling on eBay to fans and collectors who want to own a real piece of television history. Many of you are already aware of the "official" prop auction that is going to be taking place this summer through Premiere Props, a famous auction house for all kinds of entertainment memorabilia. Over 1,000 of the most iconic items from LOST will be up for grabs and open to buyers around the globe. However, most of us "normal people" are more than likely not going to be able to afford what these pieces are more than likely going to sell for.
Enter Tina and her extremely amazing find that one Saturday afternoon in May. As she told me, "It was by luck that I acquired these items. At first, the prop warehouse sale was meant only for the crew members of the show but they had thousands of items and realized they had to open it to the public. They advertised it on Craigslist as a "TV Warehouse Sale" so they didn't get a lot of people."
That meant that Tina was able to get a lot of stuff, though. She has been selling everything from designer ties, to jewelry and other ladies' accessories, "knick-knacks", vases, glassware, lamps, and anything and everything else that you can think of that would go to create one of the many sets that we have seen on LOST over the years. And as we all know, LOST has some very unique, even bizarre items on their sets.
Some of her most amazing acquisitions include items that are more familiar and that she has even been able to find screen-captures from the show to demonstrate exactly which episode(s) the items have showed up in. There's Sawyer's jewelry box, a rosary from the finale, items from both Kate's and Juliet's kitchens, items from Jack's desk, Jacob's tea kettle, even one of the light fixtures from Hurley's room at Santa Rosa.
Not to mention, she was even able to get Richard Alpert's old trunk that he had with him during his time living in one of the Others' tents. There's also one of the many DHARMA binders we have seen over the years in various offices on the Island. Oh yeah, and Tina even has the dartboard from the Swan Hatch itself!
The best part is, there is literally something for everyone here, as in, in everyone's price-range. I have seen items sell from as little as $0.99 on up. Of course the more iconic items are going to cost you a bit more, but still these prices are nowhere near what a prop from the Premiere Props auction is going to go for.
So why is Tina selling all of this great stuff? Well, although she is a LOST fan, she's not really that big of a collector. She really wants to give true fans an opportunity to get something from the show since she knows how much LOST means to so many of us.
In return, fans also get to help someone out, a freelancer just like yours truly who has really been affected by the current economy. So do know that by making a purchase it isn't like you are helping to line the pockets of some huge corporation like Disney, but instead just another fan of the show and of the entertainment industry in general. Fans helping fans....how much better does it get?
Besides, when was the last chance you had to own a piece of your favorite TV show?
So go do yourself a favor and take the next available submarine over to Tina's shop, AllAccess808 and pick yourself something out really cool. If it doesn't have a screen-cap, you can then devote some of your episode re-watch time to trying to find your item, kind of like a fun little LOST scavenger hunt!
You'll also want stop by Tina's Flickr account where she has several MORE pages of items photographed for your viewing (and buying) pleasure. Tina is selling her props outside of eBay as well, and so she is open to direct contact if you want to make her an offer on something in her album that you like.
PLEASE NOTE: If you do end up picking something up, or even just making Tina an offer on an item, PLEASE MENTION THAT Anna from The Four Toed Foot (4TF) SENT YOU! This would be VERY MUCH appreciated, as we're curious as to how many people this post is going to reach and help her bring into the shop.
Good luck to you all, and feel free to come back and post a comment so that you can share with us all what LOST item(s) you ended up getting. I will be posting my little prop collection soon so stay tuned!
HAVE A BLAST (without the C4 this time...)!!!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
By James Hibberd
June 8, 2010, 08:55 PM ET
Check out the full list of shows headed to Comic-Con at The Live Feed
Can a CBS crime procedural make a big splash at a fanboy convention?
The network is bringing its new police drama "Hawaii Five-0" to the July 22-25 Comic-Con, just one of several cop shows and offbeat choices invading the increasingly broad-based fan event.
In addition to "Five-0," ABC is touting crime show "Castle" and FX will field a panel for outlaw biker drama "Sons of Anarchy" -- both for the first time.
The additions come after Fox and USA Network helped trailblaze Comic-Con for procedurals last year with panels for "Bones," "Burn Notice" and "Psych." All three drew a large enough crowd to earn a return performance this year, plus USA is adding a panel for "White Collar."
Though the dramas play in more grounded genres than such Comic-Con TV pioneers as ABC's "Lost" and Syfy's "Battlestar Galactica," each choice needs to present a compelling case to be included in the lineup. Comic-Con picks are debated by networks and studios and discussed with Comic-Con organizers -- who veto shows from participating if they're too off-brand.
All agree it's not in anybody's best interest for a show to go to the event if fans ridicule its inclusion or fail to pack its ballroom. (Networks declined to comment for this report since Comic-Con organizers prefer to announce the event schedule).
In the case of "Five-0," there are a few factors that make the show more Comic-Con friendly than one might expect. It's a remake of a 1970s series, it's CBS' tentpole new title for the fall and it boasts heavy amounts of action. But what best lures Comic-Con fans to a new show is the panelists, and "Five-0" has former "Battlestar" veteran Grace Park and ex-"Lost" co-star Daniel Dae Kim, not to mention "Star Trek" producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
Networks are using similar logic behind including "Sons" and "Castle." "Sons" stars "Hellboy" lead Ron Perlman and "Futurama" co-star Katey Sagal, while "Castle" has "Firefly" and "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" star Nathan Fillion.
Some other new shows making their Comic-Con debut include NBC thriller "The Event" and superhero drama "The Cape"; ABC superhero family drama "No Ordinary Family"; AMC zombie drama "The Walking Dead"; and the CW's action-series "Nikita." Fox's new animated show "Bob's Burgers" will be there, as will Steven Spielberg's new dino-drama "Terra Nova."
TBS hasn't had conversations with Conan O'Brien about attending Comic-Con, but having its new late-night host make an appearance would seem to be a smart play.
The San Diego event also will host a slew of returning shows, including Fox's "Glee," "Fringe" and "Human Target," ABC's "V," Starz' "Spartacus," the CW's "Vampire Diaries" and NBC's "Chuck."
The list will continue to fill out as Comic-Con gets closer.
Good news for those of you still struggling to "let go" from Lost: Jorge Garcia confirms that there is indeed an extended bonus scene he shot with Michael Emerson for the upcoming full-series DVD collection. Holler!
We just caught up with the island's awesome new "No. 1" at the Monte Carlo Television Festival in, you guessed it, Monte Carlo, and here's what he dished:
"It will address some of the issues, like the food drops, and it will deal with what happened on the island after Hurley took over and how he handled things," Garcia reveals of the DVD bonus feature he shot. "It will give you a taste of what took place after Hurley took over as the new number one. There's a little epilogue thing going on with the DVD."
That little epilogue will be available to fans when Lost: The Complete Collection is released on DVD and Blu-ray August 24.
Inside sources also told me that Walt (Malcolm David Kelley) will be shown in the bonus material. "We'll find out what happens to Walt," says the insider. But when asked who else he worked with, Jorge replied coyly: "There are other people in it, but I'm not going to tell you who." Hmmm!
So now that he's done with the show and can really tell us what he thought of the controversial series finale, what does Jorge have to say?
"I loved it," Jorge says. "When I first got the finale script, it didn't have the final act in it yet. But I got to the part where Hurley takes over and there was a kind of a sigh of relief. I thought OK, this ending is a satisfying ending for me. Everything I invested in this show does pay off. And so I'm good, the ending is good, and I don't have to worry about it."
And though many viewers didn't see that twist coming—that Hurley was named the protector of the island after Jack decided to sacrifice himself—Jorge says he and Matthew Fox both had a sneaking suspicion. "During the whole season, Matt Fox and I were going back and forth, going, 'It's going to be one of us, it's not going to be one of them, its got to be one of us.' So yeah, I liked it [the ending], it was quite heavy."
Now that Lost is gone for good, Jorge says he's ready for another TV acting gig, when the time is right. "Because of the success of Lost I am able to be a little bit picky, which is nice," Jorge admits. "I have been sent three or four scripts for television series, but there wasn't anything I really wanted to do. I want to tell a good story, whether it's a TV show, a movie, whatever. That's really my No. 1 criteria."
Looking back, Jorge says that shooting Lost was the best of times—and sometimes, the comically worst of times. "During the pilot, they brought a bright light to an undeveloped area of the island that had probably never seen light at night, and all sorts of bugs came out of the forest," Jorge remembers with a laugh. "Many of them landed in my hair and during breaks they would have to come and pick them out. It is my worst memory, because even after I got home, after we thought they had all been taken out, two more bugs fell out into the drain when I was taking a shower."
As for the good: "A collection of things come to mind, but one in particular stands out. One time we were working on a scene and a whale breached for like five minutes, and we all just paused and watched it happen and afterward we just sat back and said, 'You don't see that when you're working on a set in Burbank.' " And how.
Are you looking forward to seeing Ben and Hurley's time on the island as No. 1 and No. 2? Who else are you hoping to see?
—Reporting by Lisa Abdolian
He said: "The hottest thing is lingerie. The least sexy outfit is baggy sweat pants and a large T-shirt. And granny panties!"
The 40-year-old hunk is also scared off by women who fill their bedroom with stuffed toys and wedding magazines.
He said in an interview in the June issue of Women's Health magazine: "One stuffed animal is fine, but if there are a lot, that's scary. Another warning sign is when a woman has too many pictures of herself around. And the worst: baby and bridal magazines!"
Although he is clear about what traits put him off a woman, Josh also knows what he likes and he adores women who are cute, pretty and hot.
He added: "It's nice if a woman has a bit of each. Cute is the fun part you play around with every day. Pretty is nice to look at. And hot is sex."
However, Josh hasn't always been the ideal boyfriend and was once smashed over the head with a picture frame as a teenager when his girlfriend found out he had cheated on her.
He said: "I had a girlfriend, but I agreed to go to another girl's prom at a different school. My girlfriend busted me and broke a picture frame over my head. I believe it was a montage of photos of us. I didn't need stitches though. It was a nice, clean smash.
Also the website this website asked for a file of my Frank Lapidus design!
Outstanding Drama Series: LOST
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series: Matthew Fox
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series: Evangeline Lilly
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series: Naveen Andrews, Nestor Carbonell, Michael Emerson, Jeff Fahey, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Ken Leung, Terry O’Quinn
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series: Yunjin Kim, Emilie de Ravin, Zuleikha Robinson
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series: Henry Ian Cusick (”Happily Ever After”), Alan Dale (”Happily Ever After”), Mark Pellegrino (”Across The Sea”)
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series: Allison Janney (”Across The Sea”), Elizabeth Mitchell (”The End”)
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: “The Substitute”, “Dr. Linus”, “Ab Aeterno”, “The End”
Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series: Tucker Gates (”Ab Aeterno”), Jack Bender (”The End”)
Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series: LOST
Outstanding Cinematography For A One Hour Series: Stephen St. John, Director of Photography (”Ab Aeterno”); John Bartley, Director of Photography (”The End”)
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series: Stephen Semel, Mark J. Goldman, Christopher Nelson, Henk Van Eeghan (”The End”)
Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series: “The End”
Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour): “The End”
Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series: “Ab Aeterno”
Outstanding Costumes For A Series: “Ab Aeterno”
Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single-Camera Series: Doreen Schultz Marchetti, Rita Troy, Patricia Gundlach, Joanne Miyata (”Ab Aeterno”)
Outstanding Makeup For A Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic): Steve LaPorte, Department Head Makeup Artist; Chantal Boom’la, Makeup Artist
Outstanding Music Composition For A Series: Michael Giacchino, LOST
The nominees will be announced on July 8. How many nominations do you think LOST will get?
Almost every "Lost" fan would be super excited to meet Michael Emerson ... even a Grammy winner like Brandy.
Emerson was having a friendly chat with our photog at LAX on Saturday, when Brandy politely interrupted just to say she's a huge fan. The whole encounter lasted less than 10 seconds ... and it's unclear if Michael (or our photog) even knew she was famous!
Brandy tweeted after, "OMG! I just met Michael Emerson from the series Lost. I lost my mind! Straight up FAN. I wanted to take a flick but I was too shy to ask.
"You're welcome, Brandy.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
May 26th, 2010 2:29 PM
Shawn Ryan, whose ‘The Shield‘ has often been held up this week as a gold standard for series finales, tells Fancast that ‘Lost’s showrunners “should be very, very happy” with the way they wrapped up their show.
“I have a feeling that Carlton [Cuse] and Damon [Lindelof] were ultimately pleased with what they did,” Ryan says. “And that’s the important thing.”
Sunday’s two-and-a-half hour ‘Lost’ finale rankled some fans by revealing that the “sideways” reality that shared the stage this season was a pre-afterlife “holding area” and not an existence that actually happened.
Also, numerous mythological questions were left unresolved. As such, some viewers felt cheated – if not pretty darn confused.
“You really and truly cannot please everyone,” Ryan notes. “A lot of critics really liked the ‘Shield’ finale, but I also read plenty of people online who wanted something different, or something more.”
We’d hate to spoil ‘The Shield’ for anyone who might dive into that complete series DVD set, but in a nutshell its finale delivered heaps of comeuppance to those who deserved it. Some fans, though, took issue with the fate assigned Michael Chiklis’ Vic Mackey.
Ryan makes this observation: “As finales go, time changes perspective, so just because [the way 'Lost' ended] might be polarizing now, it doesn’t mean that a year from now the majority might fall to one side or the other.”
Ryan also stresses perspective when considering the source of critiques. Those born of fan blogs versus professional critics “tend to offer extreme points of view that do a lot of shouting and don’t necessarily represent the vast majority,” he points out. “Hopefully [Cuse and Lindelof] aren’t spending all of their days reading them, good or bad.”
Ryan also shares his opinion on series finales for the ‘Lost’ Season 6 DVD set coming out August 24.
As for ‘The Shield’ returning to the spotlight this week in the wake of ‘Lost,’ ‘24′ and ‘Law & Order’ signing off, Ryan – who executive-produced Season 2 of Fox’s ‘Lie To Me,’ returning June 7 – says, “That show is very near and dear to me, so anything that brings it back into the public consciousness is great.”
Shawn Ryan has a new drama premiering on Fox during the 2010-11 TV season, the Chicago-based cop drama ‘Ride-Along.’
Posted by Corinne Heller at 04:16:34 PM PDT
FlashForward fans plan to stage their own "blackout" on June 10 by pretending to pass out in front of ABC offices around the world to protest the network's recent cancellation of the show after its debut season.
"On June 10th, 2010......Fans of ABC's canceled FlashForward are going to blackout for 2 minutes and 17 seconds," Save FlashForward campaign's website states. "Come join us in a protest to change the doomed future of FlashForward.
In the sci-fi series, which starred LOST's Dominic Monaghan and Sonya Walger, the characters cope with the aftermath of a mysterious global "blackout" that lasted two minutes and 17 seconds, which rendered them unconscious. When they wake up, they receive what appear to be visions of their future on April 29, 2010 - six months away.
ABC confirmed in May that it had cancelled FlashForward. The show debuted in September 2009 and its ratings dropped steadily since then. FlashForward fans plan to launch their demonstrations, to try and save the show, in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and London.
"We are sending calendars with 4/29 circled, friendship bracelets and letters to show our continuing support for FlashForward and we are sending them to the head of ABC, Stephen McPherson, who with a flick of his pen can give it second life," the campaign's website said, referring to the president of ABC Entertainment Group.
"We are getting FLASHFORWARD a SECOND SEASON!" it said. "SAVE FLASHFORWARD!!"
The campaign also urges fans to send homemade videos of themselves pretending to black out and then have a "FlashForward".
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Lost looker Evangeline Lilly dropped by Craig Ferguson’s couch last night for some after-hours chit chat. And after covering a few non-kid-friendly topics (Ferguson’s snake-shape mug, the potential removability of Lilly’s dress, etc.), she shifted gears to give a sneak peek of a children’s book she’s writing called Squickerwonkers (we’re guessing at the spelling there). Here’s a sample:
“The name is Squickerwonker, perhaps unknown to you. But that’s it, Squickerwonker. And here’s what Squickerwonkers do…”
Of course, Lilly didn’t spend six years on that island for nothing: She ends her little recitation with a Lost-worthy cliffhanger about the Squickerwonker’s “horrible secret.”
Are they actually smoke monsters? Or maybe they exist in an alternate universe? Lilly says she doesn’t have any firm publishing plans yet for the book, so I guess we’ll all just have to hang in there for a while. But you know what? The whole thing actually sounds kind of cute. We’d totally pre-order a copy for ourselves our appropriately aged cousins next Christmas.
Posted:June 2nd, 2010 at 10:12 am
Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria Parker, Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), Peter O’ Toole, and Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek) will star in the Mexican historical epic Cristiada. Variety reports that the film centers on the 1926-1929 Cristero War, “touched off by a rebellion over the Mexican government’s 1917 attempt to remove the influence of the Catholic Church and secularize the country.” Chronicles of Narnia visual FX supervisor Dean Wright will direct the film from a script he wrote with Michael James Love. The film also stars Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood) and Nestor Carbonell (Lost).
No one could ever accuse me of being overly Scientific, except when it comes to methods for applying eyeshadow so that it doesn’t crease or fade (oh yes, there ARE ways). But when you bring Michael Emerson aka Ben Linus of Lost into the equation, I can maybe get a tad interested in science.
Michael Emerson as Ben Linus on Lost. He's an evil genius. Photo: ABC
Dr. Craig Venter has recently announced he and his team have created a living, self-replicating cell. That’s pretty major. Even I know that. Because this is a big break- through for science, and causes so many questions in the religious and scientific worlds, the Science Channel is airing a special all about it.
This special is called Creating Synthetic Life and it will air on Thursday, June 3rd at 8pm EST. Is the Dharma Iniative involved? Well, just a tad. Ben Linus aka Emmy-Award winning Lost alumnus Michael Emerson will be narrating the special for us. As if science couldn’t be freaky enough on its own, eh? Kidding!
Following the special at 9pm ET, Science Channel will present Creating Synthetic Life: Your Questions Answered with Emmy Award-winning journalist Paula Zahn hosting a roundtable discussion with Dr. Venter; journalist and author Michael Specter; futurist, inventor and author Raymond Kurzweil; George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard University; Father Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco and others, exploring important ethical, scientific and societal questions surrounding Dr. Craig Venter’s recent announcement.
Share Comments Add your comment Cursed numbers. Hidden hatches. Miracle cures. Tropical polar bears. Wrinkles in time. Flashbacks, flash-forwards, and, yes, flash-sideways. Over the last six seasons, Lost has taken us on an adventure so trippy and labyrinthian, it's almost hard to remember how it all started. So before we reach the end of this magical mystery about a group of plane-crash survivors marooned on a freaky island, let us relive the story of the two-part Lost pilot, which in the fall of 2004 made jaws drop across the nation and raised hopes of what a network drama could be. Buckle up for a wild ride involving an out-of-control hunk of flaming metal, a furry killer pillow, and a sweaty Matthew Fox.
1. HOW TO CRASH A PLANE
Our saga opens on the eye of then-ABC Entertainment chairman Lloyd Braun, who, while vacationing in Hawaii in the summer of 2003, formulated a Cast Away-meets-Survivor series pitch. A few weeks later at a corporate retreat, he shared his vision. The feedback? ''Deafening silence,'' he recalls. ''I felt like I was the only Jewish guy at a Ku Klux Klan rally.'' Afterward, ABC drama head Thom Sherman whispered to Braun that he liked the idea, so Braun instructed him to ''quietly'' develop it. Screenwriter Jeffrey Lieber penned a script, but Braun wasn't satisfied, and in January 2004, he rang up Alias creator J.J. Abrams — who was developing another ABC pilot at Braun's request, The Catch, starring Greg Grunberg — and asked him if he would take a whack at it.
Lloyd Braun (former chairman, ABC Entertainment) I say to [J.J. Abrams], ''I know it's an almost impossible drill. But I believe in every bone in my body that in your hands this is a huge hit show.'' I'm pleading with him to consider it. He starts to joke about how completely ridiculous this scenario is, but I get him to go home and think about it.
J.J. Abrams (series co-creator) I called him back and said, ''Look, I have a version of this, but you are not going to like it. It's more Michael Crichton than it is Cast Away. There would be a hatch on this island. And you would start to learn truths about these people that aren't immediately obvious. It's a weirder version than you want to do.'' And he said, ''No, I love that version.''
Braun asked for an outline for the pilot by the following week, and Abrams signed on — with a caveat: He needed a writing partner. On Monday, Crossing Jordan writer-producer Damon Lindelof, who'd been itching to meet Abrams, was dispatched to Abrams' office.
Damon Lindelof (series co-creator) I was wearing this Star Wars Bantha Tracks T-shirt. And J.J. accused me of wearing it for purposes of impressing him, which was absolutely correct.
Abrams He had this detail of a guy waking up and having a vodka bottle in his pocket. He was not looking at it from the point of view of the horrors of the crash. He was looking at this crazy detail as a way in, which was the greatest way ever. All of a sudden, we started riffing on characters and ideas and things that we loved — Twilight Zone, Star Wars. And we very quickly realized that this could actually be something very cool, as opposed to a pain in the ass that had been dropped on us.
Lindelof We left feeling completely jazzed. In addition to the Hatch, the flashbacks [which peeked into characters' precrash lives], and Jack waking up in the jungle as the opening of the show, we had that the ending [of the pilot] would be that there was already a transmission going out that had been repeating on a loop for so long that the castaways knew they were hosed. That all happened on the very first day.
2. CASTING A WIDE NET
With the help of Alias producers Bryan Burk, Jesse Alexander, and Jeff Pinkner, Lindelof and Abrams constructed a 21-page outline that tickled Braun. But with pilot season well under way, ABC needed a finished show in about 12 weeks. Abrams agreed to direct the pilot, and they began furiously writing placeholder audition scenes, just so the actors would have something to read.
Bryan Burk (exec producer) The casting process was crazy. It was falling in love with people who were not at all what we had in mind for each role.
Jorge Garcia was invited to come in after Abrams saw him on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and he wound up with the tailor-made role of comical lottery winner Hurley. Aging rocker/addict Charlie was made younger after the producers were charmed by The Lord of the Rings' Dominic Monaghan. Harold Perrineau (Oz) and Malcolm David Kelley were cast as estranged father and son Michael and Walt.
Malcolm David Kelley (Walt) I had on my red Allen Iverson jersey, so I felt pretty lucky going into the audition.
Lindelof We did not want a lily-white cast. So [we said], ''Bring in people of every color and every ethnicity for every role. And in some cases, both genders.''
British actor Naveen Andrews was tapped as former Iraqi Republican Guard officer Sayid, a role that was originally female and not Iraqi. Korean film star Yunjin Kim auditioned as Kate.
Abrams The [foreign] couple was going to be German. Then Yunjin came in, and she was so good, we thought, ''What if the couple was Korean?''
Yunjin Kim (Sun) J.J. had this idea that it would be really interesting to be isolated on this deserted island but not speak English.
Daniel Dae Kim nabbed the role of her onscreen husband, Jin.
Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) I'd never acted in Korean before. I was really nervous about pronunciation.
Abrams dialed Alias' Terry O'Quinn and offered him the role of enigmatic man of faith John Locke.
Terry O'Quinn (Locke) It was a very tumultuous time in my life. I wasn't making a lot of money. [J.J.] said, ''There's not going to be a lot in the pilot. But we're hoping to develop the role.'' The fact that I didn't have to do an audition, I just had a role? It was a godsend.
Josh Holloway's Hollywood struggles were about to come to an end as he was asked to audition for the role of con man Sawyer.
Josh Holloway (Sawyer) I was done. I was saying, ''Acting, f--- off!'' Acting had kicked me in the teeth so hard. I had just received my real estate license in the mail four days before. I was going to build my real estate empire. The chance to audition for this came along, and I was like, ''Ahhh, f--- it. One last hurrah.''
After a protracted search for fugitive Kate, the audition tape of Evangeline Lilly — a Canadian actress with ''a blank résumé,'' as she says — caught Abrams' eye, and she ultimately scored the role. Other cast additions included Ian Somerhalder and Maggie Grace as stepsiblings Boone and Shannon, and Emilie de Ravin as pregnant Claire. The search for Dr. Jack Shephard wasn't a priority early on: In a move designed to surprise the audience, our apparent hero died halfway into the original script. (Michael Keaton was briefly considered to guest-star.) Network and studio execs ''really resented'' the twist, recalls Abrams.
Lindelof J.J. and I made the impassioned plea as to how it'd be like killing Janet Leigh off in the middle of Psycho, suddenly switching perspectives, and it was Anthony Perkins' movie. And [then-Touchstone Television president] Stephen McPherson said, ''There's a difference between a movie and a television show. If you get the audience to love this guy over the first hour, killing him will make them feel like they cannot attach themselves to anybody else, because they can be plucked away at any time.'' That was the first time that we fundamentally understood, ''Wow, this guy's right.'' So we went back to J.J.'s office and said, ''All right, what does the show look like if Jack survives?''
Enter ex-Party of Five star Matthew Fox. After Fox auditioned for Sawyer, the producers handed him the revised script and asked him to read it in the other room before trying on Jack.
Matthew Fox (Jack) I was blown away by it. I immediately felt that I wanted to do this very bad. It was such an all-in feeling. The premise. The quality of the writing. The people behind it. Where it was going to be shot.
Lindelof When he came [back] in, he was out of breath, he was sweaty. It was like, ''What was this guy doing before the audition?'' Matthew was the first actor who played it as: I was just in a plane crash an hour ago. He completely sold that reality.
3. ADVENTURES IN PARADISE
While casting and writing, the Lost team was also shopping for a jumbo jet to drop on the North Shore of Oahu. Producers Sarah Caplan and Jean Higgins procured a Lockheed L-1011 from a Mojave Desert boneyard and had it cut into pieces so it could be sent by freighter to Hawaii. (''I've shipped things all over the world all my life,'' recalls Higgins, ''but I've never shipped anything as big as an L-1011.'') That nifty set prop cost a total of $1 million; the pilot's price tag would hit a record-setting $12 million. The network and studio had other concerns besides financial ones, though. This was the era of CSI — serialized shows weren't thriving in the ratings. Nor were sci-fi series, and Lost featured an unseen monster that terrorized the castaways.
Lindelof The network kept coming at us, over and over again, saying, ''Does there have to be a monster?'' And that's where J.J. and I entrenched. The monster is representative of all the unknown forces of the Island, and it has to not just make a noise in the pilot but be an ongoing threat, so that every time they're walking through the jungle, that thing could potentially show up.
Maggie Grace (Shannon) We didn't know if we were shooting Godzilla or Lord of the Flies.
Production began on March 11, 2004, on an L.A. soundstage and included a close call in which Lilly almost had to be replaced — her work visa didn't clear until the night before her first scene was shot. Soon after, cameras rolled in Hawaii. The first things shot: Jack, Kate, and Charlie trekking into the rainy jungle to find the plane's cockpit and running from the monster, which slaughtered the Oceanic Flight 815 pilot (Abrams' old pal Grunberg).
Evangeline Lilly (Kate) It was intense, it was treacherous, it was insane. We were shooting in the jungle, with cameras tied to zip lines, running full tilt through mud up to our knees, screaming and yelling..... I got some sort of spore in my eye and it swelled to twice the size. It was baptism by fire.
Shooting the show's iconic opening scenes — in which Jack wakes up disoriented in the jungle and stumbles out to the beach to find chaos and carnage everywhere — was an elaborate and overwhelming experience.
Fox There's people screaming and smoke and s--- happening. At that time, that was the biggest stuff that I'd ever been involved in. I couldn't f--- it up. I remember feeling really exhilarated by it, challenged by it, excited by it, awed by it.
Jorge Garcia (Hurley) I was a little scared. I remember talking to Matthew, saying, ''Hey, so when the plane blows up behind us, are we supposed to jump out like they do in the movies? Does that really happen?'' And he's like, ''I dunno, we should probably at least drop down to our knees or something.'' And immediately after that, J.J. gets on his megaphone: ''Okay, and when you hear the explosion, dive out into the sand!'' We were so excited about getting to do that, we started high-fiving.
Emilie de Ravin (Claire) I've got this whole pregnancy outfit on. I was so concerned that it would look like I hurt the child while falling that I was trying to fall gently, yet make it look realistic.
Things got awfully realistic while filming the moment in which a fiery plane chunk plummets to the ground, narrowly missing Charlie.
Abrams We had this crane lift it up on this wire and we lit the thing on fire. The heat of the fire snapped the wire. This two-ton piece of metal could've killed people. It was horrifying.
Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) I do remember when they yelled ''Cut!'' that everyone was like, ''Whoa!'' We didn't get a second try at it. It seemed to work out well.
O'Quinn When Locke was running around, trying to help Jack pull somebody out from under the plane, I wasn't aware that I had just gotten up from the ground after years in a wheelchair. I thought, ''Wow, he's pretty spry for somebody who was just in a plane crash.''
Abrams We didn't know in the pilot that Locke had been in a wheelchair. When we were working on the [series] scripts, Damon pitched me the idea.
Back in the jungle, Sawyer was to gun down a charging polar bear. Alas, the stuffed animal was hardly threatening. They tried tricks like putting visual-effects guru Kevin Blank in polar-bear chaps. And even better...
Holloway I'm firing away at this thing rushing through the forest at me, and J.J. throws a furry pillow at me — and it's supposed to be a polar bear. I was like, ''Are you serious? J.J. Abrams just hit me with a pillow?''
Lindelof We launched it off this hydraulic platform. It was like, ''Everybody stand back, we don't know how high this thing is gonna go!'' They fired it, it went up a foot, and just flopped down. Everybody burst into laughter. And I said, ''This is like Bela Lugosi wrestling the octopus in Ed Wood. What are we going to do?'' And J.J. kept saying, ''Hey, man, Jaws worked. And the less you saw of the shark, the better it worked.''
The less-is-more philosophy also applied to the heard-but-not-seen beast, which was later revealed as the Smoke Monster/Man in Black.
Harold Perrineau (Michael) Is it a dinosaur? Is this Land of the Lost? We sat around for the longest time trying to figure out: What could that thing even be?
Lindelof When we wrote the pilot, people were constantly asking us, ''What's the monster?'' And J.J. and I did have a conversation where one of us said, ''Wouldn't it be interesting if the question wasn't 'What is the monster?' but 'Who is the monster?'''... And that was the catalyzing idea that started defining all future conversations about Smokey.
But it wasn't just sci-fi curiosity that the producers wanted to cultivate. There were also character-based mysteries, like Sawyer's letter.
Abrams Josh was like, ''Well? What is it?'' I was like, ''It's just insanely important to you, and it's very painful.'' It was more important that we allude to the character's pain than to wait until we've figured it out. As much as the monster and polar bear are the obvious go-to ''Oooh, what's that?'' [mysteries], the far more important hooks that we were hoping the audience would bite on were things like: What's that pain that he has? What does that letter mean?
While Lindelof and Abrams were mapping out the episode's final scenes, they received a request from the network: Can you shoot a closure-providing ending in case the pilot becomes a TV movie instead of a series?
Lindelof In the wake of ''What's the series going to be?'' which was the pervasive question in the development process, we tried to design the show [with] enough mysteries to make people have to watch the second episode. So, to write a five-minute scene at the end that answered all of those mysteries, it's like telling somebody to design the fastest car in the world, and they do that, and five minutes before they start up the assembly line you say, ''Can it also be a boat?''
Abrams I said, ''You tell me what you want me to shoot, and I will do it.'' I think they realized there was nothing really that would have been a satisfactory ending.
The producers proceeded with their ending, in which our castaways hike up a mountain to send out a distress signal, only to detect a 16-year-old looped SOS in French. The pilot concluded on a wonderfully eerie note, punctuated by Charlie's now-legendary question: ''Guys, where are we?''
Iam Somerhalder (Boone) I remember those scenes because every actor was so f---ing committed.
Naveen Andrews (Sayid) It had a kind of otherworldly energy. It set the whole thing up beautifully. That's when we knew we were onto something.
Monahan After I said it, Bryan Burk came over to me and he said, ''I don't know what you just did, but that was amazing.'' I said, ''Oh. All right.'' I thought he was being a smart-ass. It didn't feel like a big deal to me. Then over the course of the pilot, the crew started saying it. People would come over to me and go, ''Where are we?'' I'd be like, ''Whoa. Are you doing me?''
4. LOST IS FOUND (BY AN AUDIENCE)
Following a swift editing session, the pilot was submitted to ABC, and the waiting game commenced. The producers were nervous: Braun, their champion, was dismissed by ABC in an executive shakeout during the pilot shoot, and his replacement, Stephen McPherson (whose studio produced Lost), had voiced some early concerns, as did higher-ups in the company.
Abrams I didn't really feel optimistic. I kept hearing that it wasn't for sure. And then the testing came back.
When ABC showed its pilots to test audiences, Lost scored high and was ultimately given the green light.
Stephen McPherson (president, ABC Entertainment) I can remember saying to Damon, ''Aren't there GPS systems in this world? Wouldn't these people be found pretty quickly?'' The premise was a reservation from the get-go.... [But] once it was shot, it was a pretty phenomenal piece of work. I don't see how anyone could have looked at it and said, ''Let's debate this one.''
Lost buzz built over the summer — the pilot thrilled thousands of fans at Comic-Con — and when the show premiered on Sept. 22, 2004, it drew 18.7 million viewers, which was ABC's best drama-series debut in nine years. (Another new show, Desperate Housewives, would top that mark 11 days later.) Lost won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama in 2005, and Abrams scored the directing Emmy for the pilot. (After Abrams stepped away during season 1 to co-write and direct Mission: Impossible III, Nash Bridges creator Carlton Cuse assumed executive-producer/showrunner duties alongside Lindelof.) Although ratings tailed off in later seasons, Lost continued to cement its status as one of the most beloved cult hits in TV history.
Fox I just never dreamed that it would be as globally accepted as it has been.
Abrams Without the work that Damon and Carlton have done since, the pilot would be a cool but forgotten couple hours of TV. But because of what they've done, it feels like what it's become, which is the beginning of an epic story. Granted, it was an epic beginning — but that's all it was.
Lindelof We didn't dare to be different. We ended up being different because it was the only way we could figure out how to make it work. I would love to rewrite history and say we were innovators and revolting against the system. But what it really was, and this is how the show is written to this day: Every conversation started with the phrase ''Wouldn't it be cool if...'' and if the answer was ''Yes,'' we did it. (Additional reporting by Jeff Jensen)
You remember Michael Emerson on Lost as Ben, the creepy dude. But Michael Emerson is more than just a talented actor, he’s also a charitable guy!
Find out what Lost was all about from Ben Linus himself!
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