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Art Show Imagines Blade Runner 2054 And Other Sequels That Never Were

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Science fiction film history is filled with fascinating projects that never quite came together, a steady stream of “what if?” projects in a genre fixated and propelled along by that very question. We’re talking about Steven Spielberg’s Night Skies, the batshit-crazy project that evolved into E.T.; or Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune, or a William Gibson-scripted Alien 3. Those daydream speculations about movies we wish were real is at the heart of Los Angeles art gallery iam8bit’s new show “Sequel.” Described as “part tribute and part cultural commentary,” the show opens this week at the gallery on Sunset Boulevard, and features a ton of artists creating poster art for films that never were, such as Blade Runner 2054 (art by Cory Schmitz).

BladeRunner2054

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Sci-Fi Happy Meals That Are Too Good To Be True

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BladeRunnerWhy don’t adults get meals that come with prizes? Some of my favorite rituals from childhood involved being elbow-deep in a box of cereal, feeling around for the prize, or dumping all the food out of my Happy Meal just so I could get to the toy. So how come we don’t get a grown-up equivalent? After-dinner mints and fortune cookies don’t count, damn it. I want to be able to finish my snazzy, five-star meal, and then have the waiter bring me out a Rocket Raccoon action figure on a silver platter. Sadly, I will probably never live in such a world, but at least pretending is a little bit easier thanks to these faux Happy Meals that were ripped right out of my Happy Place.

These awesome fake Happy Meals are the work of Los Angeles digital artist Newt Clements. (He mostly comes out at night. Mostly.) His Pinterest is full of a wide variety of crazy projects, but his Happy Meals collection is one of the most extensive. He’s got over 100 of the things by my count, and they’re all incredibly well done. Designing Happy Meal boxes to tie into Doctor Who, Aliens, or Escape from New York would have been worthy of a story in and of itself, but Clements goes the extra mile by imagining what toys might be included with each meal as well. And I don’t care what bounty McDonald’s has on offer, there’s no way it’s cooler than an action figure of Firefly’s River standing atop a pile of Reaver corpses.

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Barbarella Behind-The-Scenes Photos Show Off The Flick’s Costumes (And Jane Fonda)

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Barbarella1It’s no secret around here that I am no fan of Barbarella, the 1968 science fiction flick starring Jane Fonda and based on the French comic-book heroine created by Jean-Claude Forest. Forcing myself to sit all the way through Barbarella was a harrowing experience, one on par with my viewing of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, but with better costuming. Indeed, that’s the one area where I have to give it to Barbarella: the costume design is bonkers in the best possible way. And in spite of what passes for the film’s storyline, by far the most impressive sci-fi element is whatever anti-grav technology they used to keep Jane Fonda’s outfits from falling off. In fact, if there’s an ideal way to watch Barbarella, it’s in the form of still photographs. And wouldn’t you know it? We’ve got a bunch of Barbarella stills for you right here!

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Barbarella TV Series Finds A Home At Amazon Studios

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BarbarellaThe Barbarella remake has been in the works since 2009, when early reports suggested that director Robert Rodriguez would helm the remake of the kooky science fiction film. After Rodriguez dropped out to make the exploitation movie Machete, Martha De Laurentiis, the widow of iconic genre producer Dino De Laurentiis, turned to Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn to adapt Barbarella into a TV series instead. After more than a year and a half in development, Barbarella might see the light of day in an atypical way.

According to Deadline, Barbarella, based on the French comic book series, is looking to be set up at Amazon Studios, as part of the online retailer’s move into producing original content. Screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade wrote the pilot episode’s screenplay, while Refn will direct it and serve as executive producer with Martha De Laurentiis for Gaumont International Television (GIT). Purvis and Wade wrote the James Bond film Skyfall in 2012, so the pair has the chops to write high action and intriguing espionage. As for Refn, his films such as Drive, Only God Forgives, and Bronson are certainly packed with loads of neon color and style, which should work well for a Barbarella series.

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Drive Director’s Barbarella TV Series Is Still Happening, But Logan’s Run Remake Is Dead As Dead Can Be

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Barbarella2Director Nicolas Winding Refn won me over in a serious way with 2011’s Drive, a movie that bore almost no resemblance whatsoever to its advertising campaign, but in a good way. (For the inverse of that, watch Branded.) And while his continued man-crush on Ryan Gosling with Only God Forgives mainly just left me drowsy, I’m still intrigued to see anything the guy puts together. Now the director has provided an update on the two science fiction projects he’s been attached to in recent years, and it’s definitely a good news, bad news situation.

Actually, it’s a bad news, bad news situation if you ask me, but that’s only because I’m still recovering from the lingering psychic damage I suffered from forcing myself to watch Barbarella the last time I wrote about this whole thing. See, I’d never seen Barbarella, but when it was announced last summer that Refn was turning the cult classic into a TV show, I did the good journalistic thing and gave it a spin in the old Blu-ray player. It…did not go well. But my disdain for and occasional involuntary twitches caused by Barbarella are beside the point. Even I have to concede that, if the universe absolutely has to have a Barbarella show, I’m more interested to see one overseen by Refn (and written by the Bond guys) than I would be with many other creative teams.

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Barbarella TV Series Gains James Bond Writers

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Barbarella

The news came pretty much out of left field this past summer: Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn was making a TV series version of Barbarella. The fact that somebody was making a Barbarella show wasn’t that surprising, since any pre-existing property with name recognition and some form of a fan base is bound to get revisted at some point. Refn, however, who’s made a name for himself with edgy, violent fare such as Drive, Valhalla Rising, and Bronson wasn’t a name I would ever have guessed to be at the wheel. Now the series has lined up two more names, with Skyfall’s Neal Purvis and Robert Wade set to pen Barbarella’s voyage to the small screen.

Purvis and Wade are Bond veterans, having worked on 007’s film adventures dating back to 1999. That means their resume includes such questionable entries as The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, and Quantum of Solace. But they also co-wrote Casino Royale and Skyfall. So…their involvement could be a good thing or a bad thing. At the very least, Casino Royale and Skyfall earn the Barbarella show a more prominent place on my radar than it occupied before.

Of course, I’m not exactly a Barbarella fan, so I don’t have much at stake in this one. Refn’s involvement definitely has me curious, but I can — and have — come up with plenty of other science fiction properties I’d rather see get the series treatment than Barbarella. But I try not to root for any new genre project to fail, so I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that Refn, Purvis, and Wade will be able to scorch the memory of the godawful Jane Fonda movie from my brain.