PopCult Media Moment (01/24/20)

Last weekend, I reviewed Disney’s The Black Hole, a terribly flawed science fiction horror flick with some great ideas embedded within. I did a little internet sleuthing and found out a sequel was in the works starting back in 2009. Director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) was set to helm the film with Jon Spaights (Prometheus, Doctor Strange) writing. While the film was in the scriptwriting stage, Disney bought Lucasfilm and decided to drop the remake. It was said at the time Spaihts’ script was “too dark for Disney.” Since then, Disney has been busy with many other projects.

I can’t imagine a scenario where The Black Hole remake comes back as the Star Wars franchise scratches that itch, sort of. Also, Disney was a weird place for The Black Hole to have come from in the first place. It’s best moments, when it goes dark, are in total contrast with the type of fare Disney was known for. The company was trying to tap into some unlikely audiences due to the popularity of darker films. The Black Hole was definitely in the vein of Alien and 2001. The following year they would release Watcher in the Woods, a haunted house movie that executives claimed would be “Disney’s answer to The Exorcist.”

I still think The Black Hole has a beautiful framework of a story, especially the gothic haunted house ship floating on the edge of a black hole. The mad scientist transforming the crew of his ship into ghoulish robotic slaves is a great touch, and the ambiguity about how much autonomy they retain brings up all sorts of interesting story angles. I really wish Spaihts’ screenplay was available to read because I’m extremely interested to see how dark he went and how he remixed these elements into something contemporary and new.

After a gap of over a decade, writer-director Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) is returning to Sundance with his next feature, The Nest. It also sounds like he has another film in the pipelines coming not too long after. Durkin is currently working on a featuring about the seemingly cursed Von Erich professional wrestling family. The Von Erich’s had great success in pre-WWE days, with one son, Kerry making his way to the “big leagues.” Fritz Von Erich, the patriarch, lived to see five of his six sons die: three via suicide. Durkin said he was drawn to the profound tragedy of this family and wants to explore the effect these losses had on the brothers as the years went by.

Here are a couple awesome trailers I came across this week:

Kip & the Age of the Wonderbeasts – This Netflix original looks impressive and is getting great buzz as a fantastic follow-up to the generation-defining Adventure Time.

Jesse Eisenberg & Imogen Poots reunite after 2019’s The Art of Self-Defense for this bizarre and funny-looking science fiction film, Vivarium.

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