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The Great unmade? Gladiator 2: A Life Lived To The Maximus

  Ridley Scott’s rejuvenation of the toga / swords and sandals epics of yore with Gladiator had everything – epic scale, brilliant battles, fully realised worlds, political backstabbing, madness, grief and vengeance. Russell Crowe fully convinced as the General betrayed and sold into slavery, doomed to fight for the plebs amusement, and determined to revenge […]

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Before Miller, Before Moore, Before Burton, there was Tom Mankiewicz’s The Batman

In the early 80s, DC comics and Warner Bros were riding high off the one-two punches of Superman and Superman 2, both of which had been massive hits at the box office. Much can and has been said elsewhere about how that franchise quickly derailed, but it led the publisher/studio duo to finally sit down […]

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The Great Unmade: Return of the Thing, Part 2

(CONTINUED FROM PART 1) Act 5 Several times throughout, we’ve briefly run across a utility man named Rafferty. As he’s out checking connections, he finds himself face-to-face with the coyote. Soon after, Little Bear follows the animal tracks to Rafferty’s truck where the man is lacing up his boots. Their conversation is terse, their looks […]

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The Great Unmade? Star Wars: Splinter Of The Mind’s Eye

Imagine if you will, Star Wars hasn’t taken off quite as well as we now know. George Lucas had a contingency plan. He approached writer Alan Dean Foster, who ghost wrote the novelization of Star Wars, to come up with a story that could be knocked out as a quickie screen sequel. That story became the first Star Wars spin-off novel, […]

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dan dare space fleet

The Great Unmade? Dan Dare

Dan Dare, Pilot Of The Future, has seemingly had more revamps than the line up of The Sugababes. But did you know that the erstwhile Eagle comic strip nearly made it to the small screen in a live action spectacular show in 1981? An ATV production under the auspices of legend Lew Grade would have seen […]

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The Great Unmade? The Wind In The Willows

In the 1990’s, director Steven Barron intended to create a live-action film version of Kenneth Grahame’s anthropomorphic English pastoral classic, The Wind In The Willows. He was beaten to it by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame. Barron collaborated with artist Brendan McCarthy, famous for his work on landmark British weekly comic 2000AD  (they previously […]

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The Great Unmade? Not Tonight, Josephine: Kubrick’s Napoleon

Kubrick. Napoleon. Two outstanding generals in their own fields, a marriage of subject and auteur that director Stanley Kubrick believed would be “the greatest film (n)ever made.” But endless preparation, research and writing would, not for the last time, leave him behind the  competition. In Dino De Laurentiis’ rival picture, he met his own Waterloo. The idea of a […]

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The Great Unmade? Charley’s War

  Charley’s War, the brilliant WWI comic strip from author Pat Mills and artist Joe Colquhoun that featured in the pages of Battle Picture Weekly, has been beautifully reprinted in hardback volumes for several years. The final volume is expected around November this year. This is a modest and timely appreciation of that monumental work: as […]

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The Great Unmade? The Early Drafts of Star Wars, Part 2

Following part one of my read-thru, with his second draft, dated January 1975, George Lucas began stripping down his massive manuscript of ideas and refocusing them into something much more budget conscious and achievable for the time. The Skywalker is a prophetic figure, a man who learned how to manipulate the spiritual fabric of reality […]

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The Great Unmade? The Early Drafts of Star Wars, Part 1

Discussion of the origins of Star Wars must begin with Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, the tale of a bearded General and a young Princess, both in the guise of peasants, trying to sneak across enemy lines while pursued by the clan who overthrew their kingdom, and having to work with a bumbling pair of […]

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