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Merlin's Manifesto - Movie News last updated 12/05/99
Next update is on 12-12:The Bookshelf is now open, holy huge update!

Greetings and welcome to the latest update from Merlin's Manifesto, your home for the latest and greatest information on upcoming horror and fantasy projects. In this update we take a look at Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, as well as Stephen King's Green Mile, X-Men, and many more. I have been really busy this week trying to update as much of the site as possible, if you find any bugs please let me know. We have updated the art gallery with a new exhibit by his darkness, Brom, master of the skimpily dressed, I'll kill you in two seconds type chicks. Also check out the story of Tim Burton in our special biography section. The message board has been updated with a new look and you no longer have to register to post, so stop in and let us know what's going on.

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An In-depth Look: Lord of the Rings
This long-awaited screen presentation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy will be shot exclusively in New Zealand over a period of 18 months, with post-production adding the same length of time again. At three years in the making, this will be the largest production ever to be mounted in the Southern Hemisphere. Written by Oscar-nominated screenwriters Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh, with Philippa Boyens and Stephen Sinclair, this technically challenging production will assemble an international cast, utilize over 20,000 extras' days, employ a full crew of over 300 (including award-winning high profile technicians from both within and outside of New Zealand), and will feature 1200 state-of-the-art computer generated effects shots. Peter Jackson's Wellington-based production company, Wingnut Films Limited, together with the special effects company WETA Limited, have been involved in developing and designing this realization of the Tolkien classic for more than two years. During this time a stunning array of miniatures, creatures, prosthetic effects and armor have been created to bring the grandeur and spectacle of Tolkien‚s richly evocative Middle-earth to life on the screen. - The official site

New Line Cinema will unveil an upgraded, multimedia-heavy Lord of the Rings Web site in mid-December that will allow fans a glimpse at the production of the movie trilogy. The new Web site will feature video commentary by director Peter Jackson, images from the New Zealand shooting location, and interviews with cast and crew members, New Line spokeswoman Wendy Rutherford told SCI FI Wire. The studio also plans to release a Lord of the Rings-themed Web browser that will allow fans to access special features of the site. "It`ll be better than the Star Wars: Episode I Web site," Rutherford said.

"I do read the websites. People post up opinions about the actors and the story and I sometimes sit there for hours and hours and read the comments. It must be very frustrating to feel your favorite book is going to be filmed and think, 'How are they going to stuff it up this time?'" -- Director Peter Jackson


Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins)

Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf)

Sean Astin (Sam Gangee)

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)

John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)

Orlando Bloom (Legolas)

Liv Tyler (Arwen)

Uma Therman (Eowyn)

The Bookshelf:
Our Price: $25.00
A veteran of more than thirty films, Wes Craven has become a household name synonymous with inventive genius, wit, and inspired, shocking thriller cult classics. Now he brings his wicked talents to bear on the novel of suspense with a spine-chilling tale that will leave readers breathless, a story of breakthrough medical technology run amok, a terrifying government conspiracy, and a life-after-death romance. At the center of the novel is a sinister plot to confer immortality on a select, elite group of government scientists - a plot of such cold brutality and evil that it has been kept secret from everybody, even those who might one day benefit from it. For more great books visit our bookshelf today!

Rumors and Gossip
People looking for a sneak peak at the upcoming X-Men movie are encouraged to go see Bicentennial man, which apparently will have a trailer for the movie attached. Also opening that day is Fox's Anna and the King, which may also include a teaser for the film. We should also expect to see a cardboard standup promoting the film in movie theaters some time in the next few weeks.

The lineup for the Sundance Film Festival has just been announced, take a look here to see the full list of 112 entries that will be this year's contenders for major distribution deals and bragging rights..

The adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimanís hugely popular novel GOOD OMENS , is apparently in it's early stages. This project has huge potential and I hope that it is made properly, but let's wait and see.

The long-rumored production of Hellraiser 5 - Inferno appears to be getting underway. The film, which is to be directed by Scott Derrickson, will star the previous Pinhead, Doug Bradley, as well as Craig Sheffer (Nightbreed) and James Remar (The Surgeon). Early reports are stating that the film will involve the cenobites fighting a legion of angels at the start of the new millennium. Inferno will hit theaters in late-2000. - The Diabolical Dominion

Stephen King's Green Mile has been drawing attention since it's release as a serial novel in early 1996. The plot is told as a flashback from a retired prison guard, who over the years walked many convicts down the 'Green Mile' , a stretch of green linoleum that inmates walk on their way to execution. Through his career, Edgecomb (the guard) never quite met anyone quite like John Coffey, a massive black man who was convicted for brutally murdering a pair of nine year old girls. Coffey certainly had the size and strength to kill anyone, but his demeanor starkly contrasted with his appearance. Beyond his simple, naive nature and a deathly fear of the dark, Coffey seemed to possess a prodigious, supernatural gift. Edgecomb began to question whether Coffey was truly guilty of murdering the two girls. Catch the Green Mile at a theatre near you.

DVD Audio has been delayed, not surprising considering the commotion over MP3's, CD burning, and DVD ripping going on in the industry right now. Apparently the new format does not provide any new protection features, which would make most studios reluctant to sign on.

Someone at Dark Horizons got a hold of two drafts for the upcoming "Resident Evil" movie. Here's what that person had to say.

"I was able to get a look at 2 drafts of the scripts for the highly anticipated Resident Evil movie. One was the George A. Romero dropped draft, and the other was their draft for the movie. Here are my reviews of both:

George A. Romero's Draft: This script was okay. It was not wonderful and had a sort of unsatisfactory ending, but It was tense and had some good characters. Contrary to the game, the lead character Chris Redfield is a guy from around town, and not a member of the elite S.T.A.R.S. And Jill Valentine is the leader of the S.T.A.R.S. team. What happens is that through the night one by one, the alpha and bravo team are attacked and killed by the zombies lurking inside the house. There's one twist though. The zombies are invincible and can only be killed by total dismemberment. This brings up the idea, to blow up the boiler and kill all of them.

2nd Draft: This one follows the game almost exactly. The zombies can only be killed by a shot through the head. All of the characters seem like the same person. There are continuos scenes were Jill and Chris wonder into rooms filled with corpses. Which makes you wonder why there were so many people in one mansion. The film relies on the story of the Umbrella company using the corpses for some genetic disease. By the end of the movie everyone, but Chris and Jill are dead. With no explanation,(except for a letter from a deceased person) Chris and Jill must fight a big evil monster. Of course once they kill the monster all the zombie's die. Weren't they dead to begin with. They couldn't go around the house and kill every zombie, because then the movie would be too long. This draft is horrible at best. It never really takes off, and becomes scary. It always has an unsuspecting someone being grabbed by a zombie and being chewed up in front of your very own eyes. They really should have stayed with the George A. Romero draft and worked on making it better."

Fox has announced that they will be releasing the entire first season episodes of the X-Files in a special box set. It will contain 23 episodes in all, including the pilot and it will be released on May 16 of next year. The set is priced at $149.95.

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