On Friday, October 19 at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, CA, Spike TV held its second annual Scream Awards, celebrating the horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres in film, television and comic books. The star-studded event was attended by all manner of luminaries from the entertainment world, and CBR News was on hand to talk to the stars as they made their way down the red carpet.
Honorary Scream Awards were bestowed upon original “Star Trek” cast members William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols, commemorating the 25 th anniversary of the release of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” Khan himself, Ricardo Montalban, could not make it to the awards ceremony, and Shatner solicited a riotous “Khan” from the crowd in his honor.
TV phenom J.J. Abrams is helming a new Star Trek film scheduled for release in 2008, chronicling the adventures of Captain Kirk and company during their time at Starfleet Academy. Walter Koenig admitted he was not familiar with actors cast in the roles of the young Enterprise crew, but he wishes Anton Yelchin (who will be portraying Koenig’s Chekov) and the rest of the cast the best. “I’m sure he’ll be terrific,” Koenig told CBR News. “I’m sure he’ll make it his own and not have to answer to anybody.”
|Walter Koenig, George Takei – All photos by CBR Staff Photographer Pinguino Kolb|
“Star Trek” isn’t the only sci-fi franchise on which Koenig had a recurring role. He also played Psi Cop Alfred Bester in J. Michael Straczynski’s “Babylon 5.” Though the series has been off the air for many years, the first of several planned direct to DVD “Babylon 5: The Lost Tales” films hit stores a few months ago, and Koenig spoke to the chances of him reprising his role as “B5’s” most recognizable telepath. “I know that Joe [Straczynski] has expressed an interest in having Bester back in one of the DVD films,” Koenig said. But the actor acknowledged that Straczynski’s burgeoning feature film career could mean future “Lost Tales” are a ways off.
Several of Koenig’s former “Star Trek” cast members have already made appearances on NBC’s “Heroes.” As to the possibility of him garnering a role on the hit show, Koenig said, “I consider that a rhetorical question, because I have no idea.”
|Nichelle Nichols, Brandon Routh|
Speaking of “Heroes,” Nichelle Nichols couldn’t be happier with the show and her role on it. “To me, ‘Heroes’ is the next evolutionary step from Gene’s legacy of ‘Star Trek,’ going forth in peaceful exploration, to exploring the mind further, where we can go mentally and what we can achieve as beings,” Nichols told CBR News. “Because we’re only using 10% of our minds now, so imagine what that other 90% would be, right?”
Nichols’ involvement in Abrams’ “Star Trek” prequel has been a little more hands on than Koenig’s, having sat down and talked with Abrams about the project. “And I was just delighted that this young woman, Zoe Saldana, has been chosen for the young Uhura, and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Nichols.
Subsequent to the second season of “Heroes,” fans can look forward to six one-shot episodes in a spin-off called “Heroes: Origins.” Each episode will feature a new hero, and the showrunners are lining up top Hollywood talent to helm the new project, including the likes of Kevin Smith and Eli Roth. Roth’s “Hostel II” was up for several Scream awards this year, and the director said he was excited to be working on “Origins.” “It’s really cool, they’re letting me do whatever I want,” Roth told us. “And it doesn’t have to match the style of the show. I don’t want to make it too different from that, but I’m really going to kind of get to do my thing. So I’m writing it right now. It doesn’t have to tie into the continuity of the ‘Heroes’ story directly, but it has to be set in that universe of someone discovering their powers.”
“Heroes” fans will also be happy to learn the hit NBC drama took home this year’s Best TV Show Award at the Screams, and “Heroes” star Hayden Panettiere won for Breakout Performance.
CBR News also caught up with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” vet Anthony Stewart Head, who was at the awards with Paris Hilton and Bill Moseley promoting their horror musical “Repo! The Genetic Opera!” “I get to rip people’s body parts out and sing about it,” Head remarked. “It’s very cool.”
At Comic-Con International this year, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” creator Joss Whedon told fans the long-rumored Giles project, named “Ripper” after the watcher’s one-time nickname, may finally come to fruition. Head confirmed that Whedon was in talks with the BBC. “It would be a one-off, and it would probably be a two hour movie, or a 90 minute movie for TV,” Head explained. “We’re looking at maybe something in the summer, just kind of depends on the availability of rights and things.”
Head admitted his exposure to Dark Horse’s comic book continuation of the series, “Buffy: Season 8,” was limited to what little Whedon had shared with him. “But by all accounts everyone’s raving about it, it’s great stuff,” the actor said.
Lou Ferigno, the Hulk to Bill Bixby’s Bruce Banner in the 1970s “Incredible Hulk” TV series, confirmed he’ll be making a cameo appearance in next year’s “Hulk” sequel of the same name. “I can’t really talk about the roll, but it’s a great thing,” Ferigno said. “You won’t be disappointed.”
This year’s Comic-Con Icon Award, awarded annually to an individual or group who has been instrumental in creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms, went to comic book legend Neil Gaiman. The venerable “The Sandman” author was honored to receive the award, but admitted to a certain level of reticence. “I always worry, whenever I’m given anything remotely resembling a lifetime achievement award, you’re meant to die now and stop,” Gaiman said. “And I have to keep reminding myself, this isn’t a, ‘Okay, I’ve got this, now I can stop.’ It’s much more of a, ‘Well, you’ve got this, and now you have to keep going and make it cooler and better and more interesting.'”
A few months ago in CBR’s Lying in the Gutters, Rich Johnston reported that a new Neil Gaiman “Sandman” miniseries, originally planned to commemorate the 25 th anniversary of the ground-breaking title, fell apart when publisher DC Comics and Gaiman couldn’t come to a suitable arrangement. “Basically, there were people at DC who wanted to make it happen, and there were people at DC who were not prepared to do very much to make it happen,” Gaiman told CBR News. “They were perfectly happy for me to write it as long as we wrote it on the same terms that I started writing ‘Sandman’ on in 1987, but nothing better than that. And they wouldn’t move on it.”
|Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino|
Gaiman said the aborted series would have been a prequel to his “The Sandman” epic. “In ‘Sandman’ #1, [Dream] is captured and we learn a little bit later on that he had been doing something halfway across the galaxy, and had come back in a state of a complete exhaustion,” Gaiman said. “And [the new series] would have been the story of what he’d been doing there and what had happened.”
The writer said that whether or not the story ever sees the light of day depends primarily on his schedule and DC Comics’ willingness to negotiate a more equitable deal.
Though Scream 2007 did feature a Best Cameo award, Bruce Campbell’s turn as the variously helpful maitre d’ in “Spider-Man 3” was conspicuously absent from the nominations. “I was robbed, that’s fair to say,” Campbell said when CBR News caught up with him on the red carpet. “I’ve been robbed before.”
The fate of the film version “Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash” has been sealed for years, the match-up fans have been waiting for is finally coming to fruition this November in the pages of Dynamite Entertainment’s comic book series of the same name. But Campbell, for his part, does not endorse the book.
“It’s a dumb idea, it’s a 12-year-old idea,” the actor remarked. “It’s a derivative, bad idea. Because who would win? That’s my only question. And if you say Ash, you’re very confused. I don’t support any of that derivate bullshit, I don’t sign any of that stuff. If it ain’t Ash, it ain’t Ash.”
Campbell is promoting a film he directed and starred in called “My Name is Bruce.” “It’s about a small town that’s having problems with a monster, and they kidnap Bruce Campbell to help them out,” Campbell explained. “And it turns out to be a really bad idea.” “My Name is Bruce” is due out sometime next year.
|Steve Niles and Sara Wilkinson|
Writer Steve Niles described last week’s “30 Days of Night” premiere as one of the best nights of his life. “Masters of Horror’s” Mick Garris was overheard saying that Niles was slated to write an upcoming episode of the horror anthology TV series, which Niles confirmed. “Actually we just sealed it yesterday,” Niles told CBR News. “I’m going to be working with somebody else’s story on that, they’re going to actually give me a story to work with. You know, just because right now we’re just racing because of the strike and all that stuff. But yeah, I’m in.”
Niles’ “30 Days of Night” took home the Best Comic Book Award this year, and co-creator Ben Templesmith was honored to accept the honor. “But it’s a bit weird, because it’s a five-year-old book,” the artist admitted. “It was some of my first work.” Templesmith said that it was “very cool” to see his artwork realized on screen, but that seeing it on set in person was even better. “It looked as good on set in real life as it does in the movie. Although they made the colors look even better. [Director] David Slade did a great job. More than expected.”
|IDW Publishing Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall and Ben Templesmith|
Scream Queen Christa Campbell, one of the stars of the “2001 Maniacs” film franchise, was also on hand at Scream 2007. The coming year will see both the “2001 Maniacs” sequel and Avatar’s comic book spin-off, and Campbell is excited about both. “The comic is amazing, it’s beautiful,” the actress said. “And I can’t wait to see the sequel.” “2001 Maniacs: Beverly Hellbillys” is scheduled to begin filming early in 2008.
Neil Gaiman and the cast of “Star Trek II” weren’t the only ones to win honorary Scream Awards this year: Harrison Ford and Alice Cooper each took one home as well. Cooper closed out the proceedings with a live performance of “School’s Out For Summer” featuring guest performances by Rob Zombie and Slash.
The remaining comics-related categories broke down thusly:
“300” took the Ultimate Scream Award and was voted the Best Comic-To-Screen Adaptation.
|Zachary Quinto, Thomas Jane|
Tobey Maguire and Jessica Alba were named this year’s Best and Sexiest Superhero respectively (Alba for the second year running).
Frank Miller was named Best Comic Book Writer of the past year for his work on “All-Star: Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder” and “Frank Miller’s Robocop.”
John Cassaday’s work on “Astonishing X-Men” won him the award for Best Comic Book Artist.
“28 Days Later: The Aftermath” was named Best Screen-to-Comic Adaptation.
Steve Rogers’ death in the pages of “Captain America” was named this year’s Most Shocking Comic Book Twist.
CBR News will post later today an enormous gallery of even more photos from Spike TV’s Scream Awards 2007.
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