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Comic(s) Relief: Cronenberg’s The Fly Is Getting Comic Book Sequel

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FlyCoverComics have long been a medium to explore further stories of the films, shows, and books we love — sometimes officially, and sometimes in the hazy grey area known as “non-canonical.” IDW Publishing has been in the business of spinning new tales off existing properties for years now, having served up series based on Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, and The X-Files, just to name a few. Now they’re teleporting in a sequel we definitely didn’t see coming: a new miniseries based on David Cronenberg’s ooky cult classic The Fly.

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Fox Unveils Comic-Con Blu-Rays For Alien, RoboCop, Young Frankenstein, And The Fly

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ComicCon2014_Alien_BDOne of the best parts of Comic-Con is all the crazy exclusives that populate the dealer’s room floor, from action figures to posters to shirts and pretty much everything in between. Well, for any Blu-ray aficionados currently hunkering down in San Diego, you might want to swing by the 20th Century Fox booth, as they’ve announced a collection of exclusive Comic-Con Blu-ray editions of four movie classics any GFR reader should own: Alien, the original RoboCop, Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, and the 1958 version of The Fly. The matching artwork should look pretty damn striking all in a row, so you might want to shelve these cover out.

Of course, these are all movies that have been released many, many times over the years, and if you’re a true Alien die-hard, chances are you already own the stellar Alien Anthology. But in addition to the snazzy cover art, each of these three Blu-ray sets is from a limited run of 500, and each comes with a matching numbered lithograph. Here’s what you’ll get on the Alien disc as far as bonus features:

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John Lithgow Turned Down The Lead In Cronenberg’s The Fly Because It Was Gross

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LithgowJohn Lithgow has inhabited some unforgettable science fiction roles over the years. Dr. Lizardo in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. The eccentric alien Dick Solomon in Third Rock from the Sun. Dr. Walter Curnow in one of my favorite movies of all time, 2010: The Year We Make Contact. Hell, he even played William Shatner(’s role) in the Twilight Zone movie! But it turns out there was one major genre role that could have been his…if only he didn’t think it was so darn gross.

Speaking to In Magazine, Lithgow revealed that he could have played the role of obsessive scientist Dr. Seth Brundle, which eventually went to Jeff Goldblum. If you recall, Brundle is working on the secrets of teleportation, but when he decides to test the tech himself, he gets his DNA scrambled with that of a fly. What proceeds then is a goopy, bloppy, slimy tour de force of Cronenberg brilliance. At first it all seems good — he’s stronger, his sex drive is up, and so on. But then his deterioration, both mental and physical, begins. Soon his fingernails are falling out, he’s (literally) climbing the walls, and he’s vomiting digestive enzymes on his food — which, at one point, is one dude’s foot. It’s thoroughly gross, and it’s thoroughly Cronenberg. But it was apparently beyond the pale for Lithgow.

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Mad Science Is The Best Science: Our 14 Favorite Crackpot Geniuses

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WalterDr. Walter Bishop (Fringe)
By most, if not all definitions, Fringe’s Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) is a mad scientist. He experimented with sensory deprivation and LSD, spent decades in a mental institution, and even had pieces of his brain cut out at his own request. Oh, and he managed to tear a hole between two universes and generally disrupt the very fabric of reality as we know it. If that doesn’t earn him a place at the all-star table, I don’t know what does.

Walter has something that sets him apart from many of his mad kin, especially those who fall in the evil camp. Over the five years where Walter, his son Peter (Joshua Jackson), and FBI Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) ran all over the globe, hopping dimensions left and right, saving the world more times than you can count, the elderly scientist formed the emotional core of the series. At times driven, power hungry, and neck-deep in a serious god complex, he is also fragile, sweet, loving, and afraid. The notion that he may be responsible for the end of multiple worlds, that he was once so blinded by ambition that he performed medical experiments on terrified children, absolutely haunts him. How do you cope with the fact that you may be responsible for the end of existence? That’s not an easy one to wrap your mind around, no matter how brilliant or crazy you may be.

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Counter-Programming The Conjuring: Get Your Scary Sci-Fi Fix With Alien, The Thing, And More

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James Wan’s The Conjuring is getting solid reviews and angling to try and conquer the box office this weekend, but let’s face it. After a long week of work, not everybody feels up to braving the madness of opening-weekend crowds at the local multiplex. But fear not, fear junkies — if you’ve got a craving for some goosebumps and don’t want to leave the house, we here at GFR have rounded up seven perfectly creepy flicks that like a little horror mixed in with their science fiction. Switch off the lights, pop some popcorn, and try really hard to convince yourself that you didn’t just see something move out of the corner of your eye…

AlienBurstAlien (1979)
Where else to begin than what is, unquestionably, the best example of sci-fi/horror ever to grace the screen. It’s a testament to the quality and impact of Ridley Scott’s film that it’s still being explored today, 30+ years later. And while other projects have explored the Alien universe over the the years, none have managed to equal the claustrophobic, slow-burn terror of Scott’s masterpiece. (I’d argue that James Cameron’s Aliens is as good, or nearly so, but they are two very different films with very different tones.) It’s damn near a perfect film, and no list of sci-fi/horror would be complete without it.

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David Cronenberg On His Fly Sequel That Could Have Been

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flyAlthough there already is a Fly II starring Eric Stoltz and Daphne Zuniga, David Cronenberg started writing a sequel to his 1986 film remake. After he turned in the script to Twentieth Century Fox, they turned it down and express no interest to pursue or develop the project.

In an interview, David Cronenberg discussed how The Fly screenplay was really close to his heart and was saddened when Fox didn’t want to make the film. Cronenberg revealed…

It wasn’t really a remake, it was more of a sequel or a sidebar. It was a meditation on fly-ness. None of the same characters or anything and, of course, with an understanding of modern technology. It was something I was very pleased with and it was a disappointment not to get it made.

There were some reports that indicated that Cronenberg’s Fly script was a remake of his 1986 film, which in turn was a remake of the original 1958 science fiction horror film. Now it seems it was going to be a sequel or, as Cronenberg put it, “sidebar” or “meditation” on his 1986 version of The Fly.