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Merlin's Manifesto - Movie News last updated 11/08/99

Greetings and welcome to the latest update from Merlin's Manifesto, a premiere site for horror and fantasy movie news. In this issue we cover everything from the DVD DeCSS utility, and it's effect on the industry, to the latest movies coming to the big screen. We've even got some screen shots from upcoming films: Dungeons and Dragons, and the X-men. Scroll down to read the latest, or click on a topic from the menu for one of our special sections. We are currently accepting submissions for our next update on 11-13, please send all tips, rumors, and submissions to bagman@concentric.net

An In-depth Look at upcoming movies: Dungeons and Dragons
Horror preview 1 Horror preview 2 Horror preview 3
Click on thumbs for larger images

Tentative release date: October 2000
Cast: Zoe McLellan; Justin Whalin (Ridley); Marlon Wayans (Snails); Lee Arenberg; Kristen Wilson; Robert Miano; Bruce Payne (Damodar); Jeremy Irons (Profion). Directed by: Courtney Solomon.


Based on the classic paper and dice game, Dungeons and Dragons has been on the drawing boards for over nine years. Director/Producer Courtney Solomon has passed up many smaller studios offers to make sure that his pet project was done right, and With a 35 million dollar budget, Dungeons and Dragons promises a mesh of costumed actors and digital effects by Station X Studios. The plot is based closely on the original D&D rules, and will feature many monsters and spells that most gaming fans will easily recognize.

We should expect to see a trailer in early 2000, and many subtle clues within the movie will hint to sequels based on the first movies sucsess. Informants say that the filming of the movie is complete, and post-production work is now well under way, expect many more screen shots to come. A supposed official movie site is also due out anytime to begin building anticipation for the upcoming film. Until then be sure to visit dndmovie.com to satisfy your need to see little kobalds and goblins bleed, and to soak up all the latest dirt on this hack and slash epic.

Hackers crack DVD code
In a recent report by Wired magazine, "the worst fear of movie studios has been realized," and Wired says it may shake up the industry a bit. Apparently hackers are now using a utility known as DeCSS, to crack the encryption that prevents DVD's from being copied onto your computer. This means that movies would illegally circulate across the internet, causing many companies to rethink their strategies concerning further investment levels in the new technology. The utility available on many free download sites across the internet, allows a decoded .VOB file to be stored on a local harddrive. A one gigabyte .VOB file can apparently be processed and stored in about 10 minutes on a 500mhz machine.

Read the Wired article that broke the story on the DeCSS utility.
Another Good article on emedia about DVD piracy and it's roots.
Download DeCSS and make all your friends jealous.

Rumors and Gossip
What can you expect from this season of the X-Files, well rumor has it that we will finnaly see a full fledged smooch between the two leading characters David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Carter revealed that the personal relationships and subsequent romantic tension between the series' two leads will also be explored throughout the season. Carter says, "And there are a lot of great stories left to tell." According to Carter the finish of the sixth season cliffhanger "reinvests and redefines Mulder with a new spirit in his quest."

Horror preview 6Could it really be? Yes it is, Dark Horizons recently grabbed on to this picture of what appears to be cyclops ruby quartz visor, worn by actor James Marsden, for the upcoming movie the X-Men. To see a larger version and some other shots click here to visit Dark Horizons website.


LOTR News- An anonymous tipster to Joram’s RingBearer website, has brought to light information apparently taken from an icelandic newspaper's interview with George Lucas. "In short he said he was quite curious to see how Peter Jackson and crew would pull it off. Further on he said he was doubtful if it was possible to put this epic story on the big screen at all and was very concerned about technical matters. He also said that ILM was possibly the only company proficient to make the computer graphics required for a movie of this scale - doubting the talents of PJ´s computer wizards."

Don't expect to see any more chance meeting by charcters in the next star wars, apparently many fans feel that the meeting of so many of the future main characters in the Phantom Menace made the Star Wars universe seem like a small world afterall. An insider has reported that aside from a return to Tattoine, we wont see the chance and coincidence displayed in the first film.

Destination Films just purchased the rights to a modern remake of the classic 1977 Italian horror flick "Suspiria". The original film told the story of an American student who comes to Europe to attend a ballet school - only to find it's actually a witch's coven. The buzz is the original film's writer/director Dario Argento was against the idea of a remake, but when a nice sum of money was offered he supposedly agreed to it. Jessica Alba (Idle Hands) and Heather Donahue (The Blair Witch Project) are two names being thrown around as potential stars in this $17 million budgeted flick. -The Diabolical Dominion

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