For those who don’t know yet, acclaimed director Ridley Scott is currently working on two prequels to his sci-fi classic, Alien. Scott has expressed disappointment with the path that was taken with the Alien series after the second film, which was directed by James Cameron. While both Cameron and Scott have spoken about the urge to revisit the Alien universe, ultimately, it was Scott who made the first move. Scott has stated in the past that he felt that any sequels should experiment more with the evolution of the physical form of the alien xenomorphs in order to keep the mystery and suspense of the creature from the original film. Scott has also mentioned that he felt the story of the Space Jockey, the fossilized body and apparent victim of a chestburster that the doomed crew of the Nostromo discovered before their fateful encounter with the deadly xenomorphs, would be the proper story to tell in a sequel. According to all reports, this is the story Scott intends to tell with Prometheus, his Alien prequel which currently includes Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender in its still-forming cast.
As some may already know, the Alien series was my bread and butter as a child. As other boys in my elementary school became obsessed with football or video games or even the fairer sex, my young mind was deeply entrenched in acid blood, secreted resin, and gloriously gory chestbursters. It wasn’t long before I was known as that slightly creepy kid who spent his time drawing the disturbing creatures from a ‘70s sci-fi/horror film and managed to find a way to work the alien xenomorphs into almost every school lesson, despite many teachers’ resistance and confusion.
For the past several months, my life has been a whirlwind of work. Writing, editing, studying, organizing, emailing, and trying to stay ahead of my various tasks while staying decidedly a day or two behind. All this, while also managing a day job and attempting to maintain an acting career on the side. Suffice it to say, I feel a bit like crawling into bed, closing the blinds, turning on a looped playlist of Richard Hawley, Elizabeth Cotten, Jens Lekman, and Nina Simone and waiting for summer. Not that all of this work isn’t incredibly exciting and fulfilling, but it certainly takes a lot out of you. I constantly feel the need to recharge my batteries, yet, when I sit down to watch a movie, I either fall asleep in the first few minutes or I am distracted by guilt throughout, considering all the work I could have completed if I’d only not fallen victim to my own sloth. I have also recently completed a trilogy of books, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, (if you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry, you’ll be hearing a lot in the next year). This young adult series was a fabulous look at a future American dystopia and offered gritty action, insightful social commentary, and marvelously strong, yet flawed, characters, all of whom come together to create a powerful story that will have you by turns laughing, crying, cowering in fear, erupting in anger, and hoping with every part of your being these people, whom you will come to love, will survive and, eventually, find happiness. All of this to say that, as much as I enjoyed this series, I felt a bit like I was put through the ringer. It’s a quick read for sure, but not exactly light.
I haven’t always been a nerd. Even now, I have reservations about labeling myself as such, not because I don’t want to be labeled a nerd; quite the opposite, actually. I’m not entirely sure that I’ve jumped all the way into the geek pool. I sometimes feel like I’m simply wading in the shallow end, and I fear being dismissed as a poser by the geek community while swimming confidently in the deep end. I read mostly trade paperbacks, and I don’t have a pull-list at my local comic shop. I love Star Wars, but I’ve seen the originals only a handful of times each. I can’t say that I’ve seen more than a few episodes of any Star Trek series, and the only Star Trek movie that I remember anything about was the J.J. Abrams one. I’m not entirely tech-stupid; I can hook up a receiver and know my way around A/V components. I can manipulate, move, and locate computer files; I have been learning Final Cut recently, but my abilities on a computer seem to hit a wall when things start to go wrong.
There’s been a lot of internet jabber recently about the impending doom of the single issue comic book thanks largely to the iPad. They say that digital comics sales are up over 1000%, and graphic novel sales are plummeting! They express fear, despair, and anger at the thought of their consumers, their friends, withdrawing into portable, electronic hermitages where comics are downloadable at the touch of a finger. They say surely we are witnessing the end of an era, where your local comic shop will go the way of the dodo, and everyone will be buying, reading, and sharing their comics digitally. And, to them I say, “Calm yourselves, fools!”
“Holy celluloid, Batman! There’s so much pressure on these upcoming comic book-to-movie-adaptations! If they fail, could it spell the end of comic movies?” The short answer? No, you’re stupid.
Sure, there are a ton of comic movies coming out in the next two years: in 2011, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, Thor, Priest, Captain America: The First Avenger, Cowboys and Aliens, and then, hopefully, The Adventures of Tintin and Dredd by the end of the year. In 2012 we’ll see Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Superman, and possibly, The Wolverine, The Flash, and Runaways. It all adds up to a big couple of years for nerds. The pressure IS ON!!!! Oh wait, no it isn’t.