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Tag Archive: Roberto Orci


We’re at the beginning of something potentially exciting for moviegoers.  The release of the new Universal Pictures movie The Mummy is just the beginning.  Instead of rebooting or adding another sequel to the trilogy of movies from the most recent Universal series titled The Mummy beginning back in 1999, Universal is taking the lead of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and creating a new franchise of interconnected movies.  Beginning this year with The Mummy co-starring Star Trek Beyond’s Sofia Boutella, Tom Cruise, and Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll, the classic “Universal Monsters” will be resurrected (literally and figuratively), including Frankenstein’s monster, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, and Bride of Frankenstein.  Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll represents the first step in that crossover networking of characters across movies that Marvel does so well.

Cruise and Crowe are bringing the star power to ignite this franchise, with Boutella, the latest and greatest kickass action heroine actress, playing a role that evokes for us the power and energy of the DC Comics character Enchantress (who appeared as the villain in last year’s Suicide Squad).   In the latest trailer for the film, released this week, Cruise is clearly in his signature Mission Impossible mode, and the entire trailer has a Raiders of the Lost Ark vibe.  The movie has received buzz for Cruise continuing to rack up performances doing his own stunts, this time in an actual Zero G environment for the airplane attack scenes.

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, known for rebooting and remaking anything and everything they can get theirs hands on, are part of the team putting this new universe together.  Kurtzman will direct The Mummy.  Speaking of the Marvel universe, the music for the film will be created by Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: The Dark World, and Iron Man 3 composer Brian Tyler, also known for music in several franchises including The Expendables, Now You See Me, Fast and the Furious, and Final Destination series, plus Rambo, Sleepy Hollow, Aliens v. Predator, and Star Trek Enterprise. 

Check out the new trailer for The Mummy:

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mummy-boutella

The release of Universal Pictures new movie The Mummy is already off to a bumpy start, with its release date already bumped a few times.  Instead of a reboot or sequel to the trilogy of movies from the most recent Universal series titled The Mummy beginning in 1999, Universal is branching out to have a go at something like Marvel Comics and DC Comics franchises of sprawling films.  The classic “Universal Monsters” will be resurrected (literally and figuratively), including Frankenstein’s monster, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, and Bride of Frankenstein.  The go-to producer team for every genre remake these days–Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, is being tapped to put this new universe together.  Kurtzman will direct The Mummy.

Tom Cruise headlines the new film in his next Mission Impossible-style action role, along with Russell Crowe, whose role sounds even more interesting.  He will play Dr. Jekyll.  Star Trek Beyond star Sofia Boutella is the mummy of the title.  The movie co-stars Annabelle Wallis (X-Men: First Class), Jake Johnson (New Girl, Jurassic World), and Courtney B. Vance (The Hunt for Red October, Terminator Genisys).

the-mummy-reboot-poster

Sean Daniel, who produced the most recent Mummy trilogy, is also a producer on the reboot movie.

Check out the above poster released this week, and this first teaser for The Mummy:

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Orphan Black Tatiana Maslany as everyone

Well it’s been one long year, with plenty to do and see, plenty of good and not-so-good to read and watch, and we’re certain we read more and reviewed more content this year than ever before.  And that in no less way was true for TV watching.  At the same time we waded through all that Hollywood had to offer and honed in on the genre films we thought were worth examining.  We went back and looked at it all and pulled together our 25 picks for our annual Best of the Best list.  Today we reveal the best content focusing on the moving image, and tomorrow we’ll run through our picks for the best in print and other media.  We hope you agree with many of these great creations of the entertainment industries, and wish everyone a great 2014!

Year’s Best Fantasy Fix — The Wizard of Oz in Theaters.  It’s a film that has been viewed on TV so many times you might take it for granted.  It’s historically been on many movie reviewers’ Top 20 movies of all time.  But when you watch The Wizard of Oz on the big screen in the middle of a year of modern blockbusters you realize how it can stand up against anything Hollywood has to offer today, even after 70 years.  Remastering the print for a new generation to see it in theaters was a highlight for movie watchers this year.

Almost Human partners

Year’s Best Sci-Fi Fix — Almost Human, Fox.  Like Continuum last year, the new series Almost Human created a future world that is believable and full of extraordinary technologies based in today’s science and touching on social issues of any day.  And even putting aside its buddy cop and police procedural brilliance, every episode plunged us into future police grappling with incredible technologies–DNA bombs criminals use to contaminate a crime scene, identity masking technology to avoid facial recognition video monitors–it was the best dose of sci-fi in 2013.

Best TV Series — Orphan Black, BBC America.  What rose above everything on TV or film this year was BBC America’s new series, the almost indescribable Orphan Black From its initial trailers that piqued our interest, to the surprise series consisting of one actress playing multiple roles that dazzled from out of nowhere, magical special effects, and a unique story of clones and X-Files-inspired intrigue propelled Orphan Black to be our clear winner for Best TV Series of 2013.

Sleepy Hollow

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By Elizabeth C. Bunce

It’s no secret that we at borg.com are big fans of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.  The longtime writing partners have found success reimagining classic stories from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys to Star Trek.  It looks like the two have brought us another hit in a similar vein with Fox’s new spooky drama Sleepy Hollow, which premiered last night.

Featuring a cast of familiar favorites like Clancy Brown (Starship Troopers, The Shawshank Redemption), Orlando Jones (Drumline, Office Space), and John Cho (Star Trek 2009, Hawaii 5-0), along with relative newcomers Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, Sleepy Hollow brings back to life (ahem) Washington Irving’s classic characters of Ichabod Crane and the headless Hessian horseman, now terrorizing modern day Sleepy Hollow, New York (Salisbury, North Carolina).  Mison plays Crane, and in Kurtzman’s and Orci’s hands, Irving’s awkward schoolteacher has become a history professor turned Revolutionary War soldier who shoots and beheads the faceless mercenary in battle, before falling himself.  As the show opens, Crane awakes in a cave, claws his way out of his grave, and finds himself dodging traffic on a 2013 highway. It’s a well done nod to the eerie roadway traversed by Crane in the classic story.

Sleepy Hollow cast photo

Over the next hour, we follow Crane and Sleepy Hollow cop Abbie Mills (Beharie) as they unravel a mystery that begins with the beheading of Mills’s partner, Sheriff August Corbin (Brown, alas) and grows into a centuries-spanning supernatural conspiracy.  Beharie shines as the ambitious lieutenant eager to graduate to the big leagues of the FBI, willing to take risks and defy orders to get to the bottom of a mystery that’s plagued her since childhood.  But the standout performance is undoubtedly Mison’s.  With his worn frock coat and disheveled hair, he just looks the part of a slightly mad time traveler desperately trying to find his feet in an altogether too strange–and ultimately too familiar–new world.

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Countdown to Darkness Issue 4 cover

If you haven’t read IDW Publishing’s Star Trek Countdown–the comic book prequel to the 2009 reboot movie Star Trek–you’re missing out on a fun book. We argued here earlier that it was a better ride than the actual film, incorporating post-Star Trek Nemesis Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Data into the backstory leading up to the movie.  And there were even some elements that helped explain some of the time travel elements of the film that didn’t make as much sense without reference to the backstory in the comic book prequel.

Tomorrow IDW Publishing wraps the next prequel to the Star Trek reboot franchise with Issue #4 and the trade paperback release of Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness.  As with Star Trek Countdown, readers can expect an interesting story preparing us for next month’s movie release.  Although we hope to see Klingons in Star Trek Into Darkness without their helmets as first seen in deleted scenes from the 2009 Star Trek, they return in this new four-part series.  We also get to meet for the first time Captain Robert April–known to fans of the Star Trek novels and the Animated Series as the first captain of the starship Enterprise, but not necessarily to followers of the modern Star Trek film universe.  Below we are posting previews to both the trade edition of Countdown to Darkness and the fourth issue of Countdown to Darkness, both slated for release Wednesday, April 10, 2013, provided to borg.com readers courtesy of IDW Publishing.

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Spoilers!

If you saw Star Trek, the 2009 reboot of the Star Trek universe with a new cast (except for Leonard Nimoy returning as Spock from a different timeline) you probably either liked it or hated it.  Those who liked it credited it with being another fun summer action flick.  Die hard Star Trek fans argued about where it stood with respect to the past series and movies, and took turns poking holes in the movie’s plot.

But imagine for a second a movie that bridged the Next Generation cast’s appearance in Star Trek Nemesis with this new slingshot back to the time before the original series.  Imagine a movie that brought Data back to life, that included the further adventures of Captain Picard, Worf, and Lt. LaForge, and what transpired for Ambassador Spock after the events of the Star Trek: The Next Generation two-part “Unification” story arc.  Now imagine this movie was written by the same guys that wrote the 2009 movie that was released.  The fact is, this story was written and it was released in comic book form as a prequel to the actual movie’s release.  And that prequel, called Star Trek: Countdown, is a far better story than what made it to the screen, and it explains a lot that went unexplained in the reboot movie.  In fact, it is difficult to understand how anyone understood what happened in Star Trek 2009 without having first read the comic book prequel.

To be sure, the 2009 flick was fun, and pretty good, if you could overlook the blinding lens flare camera pans that seem to typify director JJ Abrams’ recent shooting style.  The cast was a lot of fun, especially with Simon Pegg as Scotty.  The ships looked great, and the changes to the original history timeline at least were explained to fit where the story was going.

But several things were not explained.  Except for a brief flashback, why was Spock so engaged with the Romulans?  What happened to the Remans after Star Trek Nemesis?  Why did the Romulans in this new movie look nothing like the Romulans we’d seen in numerous series over the past 40 years?  Why were the Romulans wearing Klingon clothing?  Answers to these questions were answered in Star Trek: Countdown and a follow-on series called Star Trek: Nero.  And more than that we got to see what happened to the crew of the Enterprise-E after Data died in Star Trek Nemesis.

Star Trek: Countdown begins with Spock as the Vulcan Ambassador to Romulus, a few years after the events of “Unification” in Next Generation.  A star is going supernova and Spock has a plan to prevent the star from destroying Romulus but Spock can get no support.  Spock befriends a leader of a mining group named Nero who can help Spock move along with his plans.  We learn Nero begins as a good guy whose life falls apart through decisions and lack of decisions of others.  How can all the anger create the character we see in the film?  The answers are made clear here.

Both Spock and Nero meet up with the Enterprise, now captained by Data. They also meet up with Picard, now an ambassador. Geordi LaForge, now a private ship builder, is enlisted to help Spock with his project involving red matter, the project that ultimately sends him back to the time before Spock met Jim Kirk.  And by the end of the story Nero confronts the Klingons, including one General Worf.

The story is the story fans of Next Generation wanted to see, even more than Star Trek Nemesis. For those wanting to know more about Nero including why Nero’s crew shaved their heads and got tattoos and why they were wearing Klingon clothing including cloven toed boots, Star Trek: Nero fills in some gaps.

Whereas the plot originated from film writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, self-professed Next Generation fans, Mike Johnson and Tim Jones scripted this complex prequel.  David Messina’s art is solid, covering the old Trek and new Trek equally well and giving superb new uniforms to the Starfleet crew post Star Trek Nemesis.  Check out that painting of Spot in Capt. Data’s quarters above!  Credit for much of the look of this book goes to the great color work by Giovanna Niro.

Ultimately two years after its release, you can’t help but wish the production had made this movie first as an appropriate bridge to the new cast, and that the movie we’re waiting for in 2013 would be the 2009 version.  At least with this written version we got a peek at a good story that would have tied everything together, and Roberto Orci hinted at Star Trek: Countdown as being considered Star Trek canon, at least until someone changes any of its story elements on film down the road.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg