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Five Sci-Fi Movies Commissioned

By March 28, 2009

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The Phantom
Cover of The Phantom vol. 9, #12 (Moonstone, 2006). Art by Joe Prado.
© Moonstone Books
RHI Entertainment, the prolific film house responsible for such varied fare as Flash Gordon, Tin Man, Lonesome Dove, and Hogfather, has recently received orders for five four-hour sci-fi movie events from two networks, Sci Fi and NBC.

Alice is said to be a "re-imagining" of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.  Set to air in 2009 on Sci Fi, Alice is written and directed by Nick Willing (Tin Man) and is a co-production between Reunion Pictures and Studio Eight with RHI Entertainment. Willing, interestingly, has already worked with the material, having directed a more straightforward adaptation of Alice in Wonderland ten years ago.

Riverworld, based on the novels by science-fiction master Philip Jose Farmer, follows the story of a combat photojournalist who awakes in a mysterious world where all those who once lived on Earth have been reborn; interestingly the producers have decided that famous figures like Napoleon will all be depicted in their twenties. Riverworld is planned as a back door pilot for Sci Fi, and is produced by Reunion Pictures with RHI Entertainment. This is the second time Sci Fi has approached the Riverworld concept; it previously produced a pilot episode for a series in 2001, starring Brad Johnson and Jonathan Cake.

The Phantom is also a backdoor pilot for Sci Fi. It's based on the comic book character who debuted in 1936 as a daily comic strip, making him one of the first costumed superheroes. The Phantom, famously known as the Ghost Who Walks, was previously the subject of a feature film starring Billy Zane (1996) which, while not a first-run success, has done well on DVD and VHS. The script for the RHI version was co-written by Daniel Knauf (Carnivale), and emphasizes Phantom's Batman-like lack of superpowers. Scheduled to air on Sci Fi in 2010, Phantom is from Muse Entertainment with RHI Entertainment.

Meteor, ordered by NBC and scheduled to air this summer, stars Christopher Lloyd and Marla Sokoloff as scientists who discover two massive rocks that have collided in space, and the debris from that collision in on course to crash directly into the Earth. Other cast members include Billy Campbell, Jason Alexander and Stacy Keach. Meteor is produced by RHI Entertainment in association with Larry Levinson Productions.

The Storm will air on July 19 and 26th on NBC, and features Treat Williams, James Van Der Beek, Teri Polo, David James Elliott, John Larroquette and Luke Perry among others. The Storm involves a man-made weather event that goes disastrously wrong. The Storm is from RHI Entertainment in association with Larry Levinson Productions.


March 31, 2009 at 1:26 pm
(1) Jay Johnson says:

Are they kidding!? Maybe the Phantom will do will maybe but the rest sounds incredibly sad and I don’t envision ANY of these doing well…

THE STORM? I hated the idea the first time I saw it done on Scifi Channel and can’t imagine SyFy will do it any better.

METEOR? I enjoyed it as both major blockbuster films that did it well and hated it everytime TNT, USA, and everyone else has done this concept.

April 2, 2009 at 1:54 am
(2) sage says:

Please know that the crew of Mega-Storm is currently striking the production due to lack of labor contract, working hour violations, and deplorable, unsafe conditions on set. Larry Levinson sells these movies to the networks for cheap by exploiting his workers.

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