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New HULK Movie "much more like the original series"!! ALIEN NATION!! BIONIC Then & Now!! STEEL!! Kenneth Johnson Part 3!!

Merrick here...
...with the final installment of our three part interview with Kenneth Johnson. You can find Part 1 HERE, and Part 2 HERE! There's some interesting talk about the new HULK movie about half way down, specifically referring to how similar it'll (apparently) be to Johnson's original Bixby series.
Here's our man David Chase...
[[[[[[]]]]]]

In this 3rd and last installment of my interview with Kenneth Johnson, conducted during the V: The 2nd Generation promotional Q&A, I’ve included all of our discussions about some of Kenny’s other TV accomplishments - and also got his take on some the recent re-makes of television shows and movies that were based on the 1970’s series he originally wrote, produced and directed. I also got some dirt on the future of Alien Nation, and learned some things about the show I never knew…

DAVID CHASE: What I’ve always loved about your work Ken is that you have all these fictional characters and creatures and aliens…but they are dealing with issues that real people face in a real world. More so, something I noticed about your shows, which were heavy in saturated sci-fi, is that I always had girlfriends who would have no qualms whatsoever about curling up next to me while I watched Alien Nation or V and would enjoy it as much as I did… KENNETH JOHNSON: And that’s something I hear a lot of from my fans coincidentally. What’s interesting is that in all of my work, even going back thru The Bionic Woman and The Incredible Hulk and Alien Nation, the largest audience for all of my work has been females! Which is really unusual for someone who has been working in the science fiction area. And it’s so rewarding to know that my largest audience is female, and I think that’s one of the biggest things that people don’t realize. I try to make people understand that the stuff that I do is really based on character and relationship, and not based on special effects and “ooh-aah” and alien stuff. That’s just the surface of it, and it’s honestly just about how everyday people react to extraordinary nightmare circumstances…and how it brings out the worse in some, and for others thrust them into levels of heroism they didn’t even know they had inside of them…
DC: Back in the day, you were involved in the creation, writing, producing and directing of the original Bionic Woman TV series. Obviously there was the recent (and short-lived) Bionic Woman NBC series - which was eagerly anticipated, but quickly lost its audience and the ratings. Did you get to see it, and if so, what are your thoughts?? KJ: Well, I was not involved in it. I saw a good bit of the pilot when it was first made, and I felt very clearly they were going in a much different direction…not my cup of tea would be the polite way of putting it. I just felt it was just so grim and dark and particularly violent that it missed all the humanity and humor that we had originally brought to the Bionic Woman all of those years ago. And I was constrained at the time, I made the original Bionic Woman because I had to follow the similar format that was laid out by the Six Million Dollar Man. But even in that, I tried to make the shows very personal - and had the woman who had become bionic, struggling to understand what she was and continue to be herself in spite of that. She didn’t suddenly become a martial artist…that just doesn’t happen to people. This new version I just found to me that they missed the essence of it, and certainly they didn’t have the great benefit of having Lindsay Wagner…or an actress of that caliber…who was so completely compelling and human and believable and accessible in that role.
DC: Compared to your show, the new one was more action packed…and also darker… KJ: Certainly, yes. The violence level was interesting because in the original Bionic Woman…and also in the Incredible Hulk…neither one of them ever threw a punch at anybody. To me that was just way too easy. It was not clever, it was not fun it was not inventive. If you look at the old Bionic Woman episodes, you see her tipping things over on people, pulling the rug out from people, that sort of thing - but never once did she throw a punch. And to me…that was built out of the nature of how I saw Jamie and how Lindsey, and how I felt she should portray the character. Sure, she certainly went on missions and had to jump up high and jump down low and bash her way into doorways and that sort of thing - but never in a million years would she have picked a fight, it was just too easy. I was also a little surprised in watching this new version that they would introduce what we call in the trade as “the evil twin” in the pilot episode. I mean, that’s the sort of thing you save till Season 3…when you’re getting a little tired and need a shot in the arm.
DC: You’re not involved with the latest incarnation, but as the mastermind behind the original Incredible Hulk TV series, what are your thoughts on the various big screen versions of Hulk? KJ: As far as the new one…and I’ve heard this from just about everybody though who’s been involved with it…including Louie Ferrigno who’s had something to do with it…and several of my production friends…they’ve said that they were going back to a feel much more like the original series. Gee what a concept you know? In fact, I saw something on-line the other day that the French Director (Louis Leterrier) had been a big fan of the original show...and that they even licensed Joe Hartnell’s music so they could use that Lonely Man’s theme. And, recently, someone sent me a photo that was floating around the web - I thought it was from my pilot with Bill Bixby sitting in that big medical chair when he first got his Gamma Ray overdose. But as I looked closer, I realized it wasn’t Bix, but it was Edward Norton! And I said “Holy Shit, that looks exactly like mine!” So that was encouraging, and I have a great deal of respect for Ed not only as an actor, but also as a writer - and I understand he had a big strong hand in the script, and I think that will help bring a certain level of humanism and humanity back to it…I felt they really missed the boat with the first movie. And, obviously, I wasn’t alone; the audience seemed to feel that way too. But I have hopes with this new one that they’ll come closer to the level of humanity that we tried to present through the Banner character in the TV series.
DC: You mentioned Lou Ferrigno, and I’m glad to hear he’s involved with this new Hulk project. Let me ask you, back doing the original TV series, what was it like working with him? Because it seems to me that body-builders and muscle-heads were not as common a sight as they are nowadays, so I’m assuming he carried a Greek god sort of presence on the set…? KJ: Oh, no question about it. Yeah, back then he had 26 inch biceps; he had the biggest arms in the world, literally! He set a record, he was huge, and he had to workout hard because in addition to working out for the show. He had to work out to keep looking like that, and the way we filmed him too…I was very careful in the camera placement and angles and lenses that I picked so he’d look even BIGGER than he really was. It was great fun to do the show. By the way, the Incredible Hulk Season 3, 4 & 5 are coming out in June, just before the new movie does, so I hear.
DC: Speaking of bulked up super-heroes…and I know I’m resurrecting probably a ghost from the past that you might’ve wanted to stay buried…but before our interview I was watching the news about Shaquille O’Neil’s recent trade to the Phoenix Suns, and it triggered a recollection that you actually wrote and directed the movie starring Shaq called Steel. So I thought I’d ask you about your Steel experience… KJ: Gosh, I didn’t even think anyone was aware of it anymore! (laughs) That was a very frustrating experience, because when Quincy Jones asked if I would write and direct Steel, it was not a character I had ever heard of…but I loved the idea of a black hero. There really hadn’t been one up until that point, but I was very, very concerned from the outset that we needed a star to open the movie, and they said they had Shaq attached, and said ‘that’s great’…and he seemed like a really nice guy…and proved to be an absolutely nice guy. But I said Quincy, ‘He’s not going to open the movie’. Why did they put Arnold Schwarzenegger in George Clooney’s Batman? Because, at that time, George Clooney couldn’t open a movie…they needed that extra star power. Unfortunately for Steel, Warners never wanted to step up and do that - in spite of the fact that we made a movie that tested really, really well with family audiences all over the country. I was fearful that that it wasn’t going to bring numbers into the theater, and I hate it when I’m right. But, working with Shaq was great. We had a really good time - we just needed a movie star to open the picture.
DC: In recent years…with shows like Family Guy, Jericho, and Futurama that were been cancelled but had a strong enough cry from fans that they were brought back to the air…I could only wish that your Alien Nation series would have been so lucky. KJ: Boy, as do I. You know, we did one season of the show, then Barry Diller cancelled it because he thought he could get bigger numbers with comedies and boy he was wrong! (laughs) A year after they cancelled it, Peter Chernin over at FOX got in front of the Television Critics Association and publicly apologized, saying that canceling Alien Nation was the biggest mistake we ever made. Of course, I was on the phone 5 minutes later saying ‘Soooo Peter?” It took me a couple years of beating my head against the wall, but finally they let me do a movie that picked up the story and carried it on. It was called Alien Nation: Dark Horizon and it became the highest rated movie FOX had ever done.
DC: But it didn’t end there… KJ: It did NOT end there, you’re right. They were inspired to buy 4 more, and for all of us who did the show it was like a gift from the gods. It was the most fun any of us ever had, on any project, EVER! One of the things I did for the upcoming Alien Nation: Ultimate Collection DVD release as a matter of fact, is I got the whole cast together in my living room a few months ago, we had 4 video cameras rolling and we all just talked about it. And you know a lot of actors would have no interest in even knowing the actors they worked with 10 years ago, let alone getting back together to chew the fat. But this was like a family from the get go.
DC: As I recall, these 2 hour specials broke some ratings records - and were just as exciting, if not more to watch, than the TV series itself… KJ: Oh yeah. The movies were all wonderful, and all critically acclaimed and received, and we never got a bad review. It was so cool, and the critics sort of adopted us as their darling. It was great, and the audience loved it too. But more important was how much we enjoyed doing the show. Again, it was not Lethal Weapon with Aliens” - which was how the original feature film was pitched. It was more like In the Heat of the Night because it was about intolerance, and about prejudice, and discrimination, and culture clash. That, to me, was what made Alien Nation so extraordinarily fun to do, but also worthwhile to do - and it was great. We got awards from almost every minority group you can imagine, from Asian Americans to Hispanic Americans, the Jewish Community, the Black community, the Gay & Lesbian community…everyone thought it was about them because it was about how a minority tries to blend in with the majority.
DC: So Alien Nation: The Ultimate Collection comes out on DVD in April. What can fans look forward to seeing on it? KJ: It’s going to be great because I put together a lot of special features, and behind the scenes features, gag reels and photo galleries. It’s a really, really good set that I’m proud of. Last year they put out the original TV pilot, and another DVD with all the TV episodes. But what this is the 5 new movies done after the series was cancelled, that continued the story and allowed us to do some really interesting work…partly because we had bigger budgets on the movies than we did on the TV series. But, ultimately, it came down to character and the largest audience for the show was female!!! Our demographics were so perfect: we had 18-49 women 1st , and then same age of men, then teenagers and then kids. People just really got it, and the fan mail I still get is so rewarding. People say it wasn’t just entertainment, which it clearly was. But there was something else going on beyond that, and that made it so much fun and interesting for us to do.

Thanks to Aint It Cool and Amy Currie with Phenix Literary Publicists. And a very special thanks to Kenneth Johnson, for taking the time to sit down and catch us up on his past, present and future projects. His new book; V: The Second Generation is available in bookstores now. He also has a website where you can check out pictures from his various projects, and keep tabs on developments in his career: http://kennethjohnson.us/ For those fans of Kenny who live on the West Coast, he’ll be attending the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention on Sunday, February 17, 2008 where he’ll be signing copies of V: The Second Generation between 12-2:00pm. Ken will also be speaking and signing at the Barnes and Noble in Encino California on March 5th at 7:30pm. All the Best, David Chase

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 15, 2008, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Awesome. So awesome.

    by SkidMarkedUndies

    Great job.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 9:39 a.m. CST

    AND FIRSTIES!!

    by SkidMarkedUndies

    Four for four in attempts. Very well done.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Hulk smash HD-DVD

    by TheBloop

    Hulk like blu-ray.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Really great interview.

    by brokentusk

    Thanks Dave, one of the better interviews I've read in a while. I'm not even familiar with most of Johnson's work (I've heard of everything he's been involved with, but I've never seen a single episode of V, or ALIEN NATION), but this was fascinating none-the-less. Good job!

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 10:12 a.m. CST

    is following the tv show really a good idea for the movie???

    by ampersand110

    from what i remember about the tv show im not so sure. Hulk goes into a new town, meets single mom or women who is down on her luck, hulk fights some construction workers, hulk helps lady, hulk fights more construction workers or bikers, hulk leaves town. Actauly just reading that kinda makes me excited for the movie, BRING IT THE FUCK ON!

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 10:15 a.m. CST

    He acts like the TV show is the original incarnation of Hulk

    by messi

    "gee what a concept?" huh? Doesn't it make more sense to do something like take influence from Peter David's run? The Tv show wasn't that good, Peter David's Hulk is the ultimate Hulk.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 10:29 a.m. CST

    ampersand110 & messi: Exactly

    by Blanket-Man

    I'm tired of people treating that barely-mediocre HULK TV show like it was the end-all/be-all adaptation of the Hulk comic series. It reminded me much more of THE FUGITIVE, except David Janssen's character turned green at the end of each episode. It barely resembled the comic at all. I surely don't want to see that in this second movie.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Fucq Shaq and fuck Steel

    by BrowncoatJedi

    Most annoying NBA player and worst superhero ever.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 10:35 a.m. CST

    That sucks for Hulk

    by Mr. Moe

    This is very disappointing to learn.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Wow...

    by The Great One

    In reference to the Hulk, the humanity aspect of the Ang Lee film was what I liked as we got into Banner's psyche a bit. It was the parts of his father becoming the absorbing man, with gamma ray poodles that |I couldn't stand, not to mention the Hulk basically fights a bunch of talking jello before being bombed with a 'poof' in the big finale. *sigh* Like someone else wrote above, Peter David's Hulk witings have become the definitive works of the character and it'd be nice if someone said 'hmmmm... having actual writers with comic knowledge seems to be working for Iron Man, let's try it here." As for Steel, star power wasn't the problem, it was the freaking script! Let's take a chracter inspired by Superman and not have him be inspired by Superman anymore like he originally was... and... ai ai ai... never mind.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 10:42 a.m. CST

    it seems we are in agreement

    by r3vc0

    Bionic Woman never threw a punch? Ya and all of the ammo spilled on the A-Team never drew any blood. Ever heard of a 70's era TV censor? HULK MUST SMASH!!!!!!! Leave the "lonely Man" music for stewie's Bixby impression. I want bones turned to powder and rampaging HULK!

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Fuck this hack,,,,

    by TheBloop

    When can I get my remake of "The Boogens"? That's right, the mother fucking Boogens. Google that Ron Paul fans in their tin foil hats.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 10:46 a.m. CST

    BOOGENS REMAKE NOW!!!!

    by TheBloop

    The world deserves the terror they will UNLEASH!

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 11:38 a.m. CST

    i can sum up this guy's interviews in one sentence...

    by TheBaxter

    if it wasn't done the way i would have done it, or the way i originally did it, or the way i wanted to do it, then it SUCKS!!!

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 11:44 a.m. CST

    The Ang Lee Hulk wasn't that bad...

    by superduper3000

    You know, the Ang Lee Hulk wasn't all that bad, it was just sloooooooow. It doesn't surprise me a bit that Lee's best work has always been slower, stylized romance with a touch of flash. <BR> <BR> Then again, can you imagine the possibilities of an Incredible Hulk sequel at this point? Hulk and Abomination 'forbidden romance'? <BR> <BR> Abomination: "Why can't I quit you?" <BR> Hulk: "Rrraaaaaagghhhhhhhh!!!" <BR> <BR> http://tinyurl.com/2v99tb

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Alien Nation finally sees the light of day.

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    Glad to see the entire show will rear its head in a nice DVD collection. I loved that show and still found it to be one of the more well-developed sci-fi series, especally in the realm of creating a mythos for the newcomers. The only thing that always gave me a headache was seeing David Faustino doing a tiny cameo in one of the movies with that newcomer head makeup and his slacker goatee. I thought newcomers couldn't grow facial hair!

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 11:58 a.m. CST

    I don't want to read about Hulk

    by random dude

    I want to see Hulk. Or how are they going to sell the movie? With a two-minute video interview of a geezer telling how cool it's going to be instead of a trailer?

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Alien Nation Title Music?

    by Squashua

    What are they singing during the title? I always wanted to know. <br><br> Bargoosh... ba-neer-bah...<br> Bargoosh (barnoosh-banay)... ba-neer-bah!<br> Aaaaa-aaaa-aaa-aaaa<br> AH AH AH, AH AH AH! *slams head on steering wheel in frustration*<br> Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!<br>

  • Duh-nuh-nuh-nuuh! Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuuh... (baby Stewie walks away with backpack on shoulder, thumbing a ride)

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 12:19 p.m. CST

    KJ gets the ladies,

    by Diagnostic

    and the ladies get KJ. <Br>I thought the lonely man music is what they ended the Incredible Huld TV show with. The should also use the theme from the '80s cartoon(all drums and percussion).

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 12:33 p.m. CST

    The Boogens

    by dopepope

    I saw that in the movies when I was a kid. Loved it. Got ahold of it 25 years later, wow... what garbage. But AWESOME garbage.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST

    he disses ang lee's 'hulk', but thinks 'steel' was good?!!

    by RustyStardust

    riiiiiight.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Yeah, his defense of Steel is undefendable.

    by rbatty024

    Hulk was a quality picture, even if it wasn't what people expected. I have low hopes for this new Hulk film. <p> I loved how in Robot Chicken they tried to make fun of Ang Lee for making Hulk, having him say "in no way will it be a big bomb that will destroy my career," and then he went on to win best director with Brokeback Mountain. Yeah, fuck you Seth Green, last time I saw you get an actual acting role you were in That 70's Show where they just made fun of how short you are over and over again.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Hey wait, The Hulk didn't punch anyone in the first movie either

    by Diagnostic

    So much for that.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Thanks for your support dopepope

    by TheBloop

    Boogens is a lost gem. As is "Deadly Eyes" giant rats in Canada. They used Terriers in rat suits. No shitty CGI suits back then.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 2:21 p.m. CST

    I got a name-check!

    by Ray Gamma

    Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Actually, the Lonely Man theme was used everywhere

    by JasonPratt

    in the TV series. It was the main theme on which the soundtrack was based, and variations of it were used for lots of different situations including action sequences. (Though there was also a kind of creepy intense beep-beep-beep-boop-boop-boop theme that almost sounded John Carpenterish, for when they were either doing a Hulk action scene or coming up on a hulk-out.) Other music was woven around these two main pieces on an episodic basis, but Lonely Man was definitely on track several times (in different ways) every ep from opening to ending credits. I'd dearly love a soundtrack featuring a lot of the artist variations on it from the series. *** Things worth keeping from the main series that would translate well enough into a movie: the now iconic "Mr. McGee, don't make me angry; you wouldn't like me when I'm angry" (used by Peter David, too, and with a couple of variations in the Ang Lee movie). The Lonely Man theme as a soundtrack base. (Heck, the "Frantic Science" theme that opens the credit sequence works pretty good, too.) The attitude of David Banner's character. Wordless Hulk. The white eyes. (Both used in the movie, btw, notwithstanding a brief "puny human" growl.) Actually, the notion that he became the Hulk (accidentally) while trying to atone for having lost his wife and being unable to save her, was a powerful theme, used well in the series. (It even kinda works into the Lady-of-the-Week notion, in a backhanded sorta way. {g}) Betty and her father are important from the comics, but a clever writer could have both. (On the other hand, what's the point of having a Rick Jones character being saved if he isn't used in the film?!--a minor annoyance in the movie.) Banner wandered around a lot in the comics, too, doing hobo things, looking for a cure, when he wasn't involved with the military. (Though that picked up substantially once the TV-movie/series was made.) The Fugitive-ish 'murder he didn't commit' idea is kind of good though at a military level I doubt it would fly that they think he's dead (and he has to let them think so.) *** So there's iconic stuff from the series that can be profitably used in the film (and even was in the Ang Lee version.) I'm intrigued by KJ's report of the Gamma Overdose setup shot, too: a strong visual element to the opening credits every week on the series.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 3:24 p.m. CST

    I WANT A GAMMMA BOMB

    by Rufferto

    You want to remake the Hulk AGAIN? FINE! But I want to see a gamma bomb. No excuses. Ah screw it obviously he'll get his power from adrenaline or some crap like in the tv show.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 3:32 p.m. CST

    THE MOST HORRIBLE RUMOUR

    by Ray Gamma

    I don't know where to type this on here, but I just heard the most horrible rumour from a contact here in London who works for TMPC. And, please, please, let this be a joke. </P> <P> Wait for this... </P> <P> Apparently Universal are scouting for the cast for a remake, I repeat, A REMAKE, of "BACK TO THE FUTURE". And the worst part is, they're apparently looking for a 14-year-old actor to play Marty McFly. </P> <P> What the fucking fuck?

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 4:06 p.m. CST

    BTTF remake

    by Sherman_Lives

    not to continue the threadjack, but I was hoping they'd at least wait until 2015 where we see Marlene McFly (a new actress--hey, if they can insert Elisabeth Shue, they can replace Fox) has to go back to 1985 to see the cause of why everything isn't so futuristic anymore (and to explain the staggering dearth of JAWS movies in the interim). It's only 7 years to go now...where's our flying cars and hoverboards?

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Flying cars, we already have

    by Pipple

    Good luck affording one. Hoverboards are going to take a while though... As for all the other cool stuff, self drying clothing, auto-lacing sneakers, videogames without hand-use, are going to happen soon, yes. Scary how sci-fi in general has a penchant for predicting the futre...

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 4:36 p.m. CST

    "Gee what a concept you know?"

    by oisin5199

    The guy does know that the Hulk is a comic book character with a 40+ year history, not just a cheesy 70s show, right? (I loved it as a kid, but come on!) Though I'm happy with Norton as Banner, I still say Lee got it right and was a good way to get the green guy into the theatres for the first flick.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Ang Lee's Hulk Was Actually Pretty Good, Just Boring

    by LaserPants

    All Ang Lee's HULK needed was some kind of big deal city destroying monster fight at the end. Some kind of 30 minute long slugfest extravaganza. Unfortunately, Lee went for some kind of weird, abstract, mood monster in the clouds and most people couldn't understand what the hell was going on. its too bad too, cause its actually a movie much smarter, and much more emotionally resonant then it needed to be, and not nearly HULK SMASH enough. I hope the new movie is good, but something is telling me its going to suck ass.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 4:50 p.m. CST

    People didn't want a smart hulk movie, that's all

    by Pipple

    They wanted fantastic four, elektra, batman and robin. And that's what we're getting now. Good job guys.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 6:08 p.m. CST

    The original Hulk show sucked

    by hst666

    It worked for me at 7, but come on. It was just a rehash of the Fugitive.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 6:08 p.m. CST

    The original Hulk movie was 10X better than the show.

    by hst666

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Alien Nation movie was much better than the show...

    by genro

    Sorry, dude. Can't beat Mandy and Caan.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 7:34 p.m. CST

    TV Hulk?

    by Graphite

    the TV show sucked.... that was WAY more boring than Ang Lee's take on it. Im getting a bit scared for the new movie now.... I really hope Ed Norton does have a hand in the script on this one so it doesn't get too dumbed down.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Ang Lee Hulk

    by MangoKid

    I also enjoyed the Ang's Hulk movie. just that i never got the whole changing size when angry thing. Kinda put a limit on how strong he could get in my eyes. Back to the Future remake? no way, you can't redo a classic. What will the use for the time machine? perhaps a stainless steel mustang or some sort of wacky new concept because transformers and KITT are so in right now.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Ray Gamma

    by messi

    Never happen. Too recent. too stupid an idea. too classic a movie.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Nerds are so full of shit...

    by drompter

    They slammed movies like the Star Wars Prequels because of "lack" of character development, "wooden" acting and "shitty" script and more emphasis on eye candy; and yet they get a movie like Ang Lee's Hulk or Superman Returns, character driven pieces, and they still cry because they wanted to see mayhem. Go suck your own cocks nerds.

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 11:50 p.m. CST

    he did Sherlock Holmes Returns

    by lynxpro

    I wonder if Mr. Johnson ever thought about the similarities between his "Sherlock Holmes Returns" pilot for CBS from 1994 and the later BBC/Fox/Universal "Doctor Who" tv movie/pilot from 1996. Both adventures were set in San Francisco, yet shot in Vancouver BC. Both had their lead characters in Victorian attire, returning to face off with their classic nemesis (The Doctor vs. The Master, Holmes vs. the Grandson of Moriarty), and becoming rather romantic with their female companions in an attempt to modernize both characters. Then you add the fact that the unofficial name of the "Doctor Who" flick was "The Enemy Within" which was also the name of one of Johnson's "Alien Nation" sequel tv movies also on Fox. I'd definitely love to hear his thoughts.

  • Feb. 16, 2008, 3:58 a.m. CST

    drompter

    by messi

    it's the balance we want. and superman returns had terrible characterization, if you're going to have that at least make it fun.

  • Feb. 16, 2008, 7:16 a.m. CST

    I agree Drompter, everyone was whining before...

    by rbatty024

    those movies came out that they wanted the directors to take the character seriously, and then when they came out and, gasp, it wasn't wall to wall action then they said the movies were too serious and not fun enough. I remember when people tried to come up with all sorts of reasons, other than not enough fighting, that they didn't like those movies just so they didn't sound dumb. Thankfully, as their reasoning has been shot down they finally admit they just wanted more fighting. A movie shouldn't be the same as playing with action figures when you were a kid.

  • Feb. 16, 2008, 9:14 a.m. CST

    I'm all for a BTTF remake in 2015

    by Chewtoy

    I think every generation should get to experience it from both sides... as the kids and then as the parents. But definitely wait the full 30 years between takes. As for the Superman Returns/Hulk stuff, it's not that people wanted wall to wall action, it's that the action scenes were the only times those two movies had any pulse whatsoever. The scenes focusing on characterization were completely lacking in life and chemistry, with the entire cast apparently on valium. Spider-man and Batman Begins filled their non-action scenes with interaction that engaged you. All the Bruce/Alfred scenes, for instance, were hugely entertaining. And Sam Raimi sold more tickets to the first flick with a love story and an upside down kiss than any goblin fights.

  • Feb. 16, 2008, 9:16 a.m. CST

    The Hulk Live Action TV series SUCKED

    by brobdingnag

    No one who lived through having that shit and stuff like the Spiderman live action show would want the movie to be more like the TV series

  • Feb. 16, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Another Great Interview, Thanks AICN

    by ElectricDreams

    It was a real treat to read Kenneth's interviews this week, from the new book, the V series and his take on new vs old hero franchises in TV & on Film. I wasnt aware the new "V: 2nd Generation" book was out, but I'm off to Barnes and Noble now to buy it...good luck Ken in getting it made into a movie or TV mini-series! -ED

  • Feb. 16, 2008, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Steel and HULK were awful

    by maroon

    Steel could have been a good movie. The comic, if you don't remember Steel was one of four super heroes to try and replace superman after he died, wasn't bad. But it was poorly designed, poorly written, poorly directed and way under-budgeted. You could have cast Nicholson, Pacino, De Niro, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Ed Norton in that flick and it still would have sucked. Ang Lee's Hulk was also god awful. Need I remind anyone of the "hulk dogs"? Or Nolte's, worthy of consideration for the most overacted role in cinema, work as Banner's dad. Oh, there was also the laugh out loud, and people really did laugh out loud, Josh Lucas death scene. Ang Lee's filmmaking and story telling decisions communicated, at least to me, that he was embarrassed to be making a comic book movie. He inserted all his psychological subtext that didn't need to be there. It's a story about a guy that tries to beat nature and that comes back to bite him in the ass. It is about struggling with your own limits and emotions. The last thing you need to add to that is a daddy killed mommy story line. Um and did I mention the "Hulk Dogs?" I'm stoked for Norton's version, because he doesn't seem worried about having fun, even if he isn't doing Hamlet every time out.

  • Feb. 16, 2008, 8:03 p.m. CST

    For once, I'd like to hear the words "HULK SMASH!", not "ARRRRR"

    by MrMysteryGuest

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 1:03 a.m. CST

    Ed norton is still choosing HD-DVD heres why.

    by JimboTHC

    The first rule is you don't do these anymore.

  • Feb. 17, 2008, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Kenneth Johnson

    by KirbyJ

    Will you please stop blowing smoke up this guy's stack. He was all about formula and hated comic book heroes. He boiler plated everything he did. Bionic Woman (new show) was canceled because they had to conform the show to some show runner's idea about how to do it. It should be dark and violent think about what they are doing. Don't be nice to some guy just because he can produce a beginning, middle and end week after week.

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Well that clinches it!...

    by Kid Z

    ...I guess we can all agree that the new Hulk movie will suck even worse than Ang Lee's then!

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Hulk Suck!!

    by ericinwisconsin

    The TV series was "The Fugitive" as others have noted. I used to drive my fellow comic book fans nuts by telling them that it was "The Fugitive". But it was....

  • Feb. 18, 2008, 6:21 p.m. CST

    That BTTF remake thing has been around for ages

    by half vader

    Wasn't it like a coupla years ago when he was still pretty good healthwise Michael J. Fox said he'd agree to be a part of it ONLY if he could be the Doc Brown character? Not Doc Brown literally but Marty's experiences having made him an old crackpot who ostensibly plays the Doc Brown role in the story. I love that idea and think it's the only way to go. If they do it. <p> But please God don't do it. I love how suits magically forget theatrical rereleases can do well when it suits them! Fuckers. We live in a time bomb town...

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 3:09 a.m. CST

    Thanks For This

    by Colier Rannd

    I liked this series quite a bit. Thanks to David Chase and AICN for it.

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 3:48 a.m. CST

    steel failed because of lack of stars???

    by cloudrider`

    riiight... because it was so well written and directed. the guy cant even admit that he did a lousy ass movie, and he dare criticize ang lee's hulk? in the 70's bionic woman may do well just jumping around in slo-mo week in and wekk out, and for hulk to be a bodybuilder smashing furniture. try doing that now and see what happens. this guy is so full of it, it makes me want to vomit!

  • Feb. 19, 2008, 11:06 p.m. CST

    'Hulk' Sucked So Bad...

    by skoobyx

    -Ang Lee looked into legally chaning his name to Uwe Boll to avoid criticism. <p> -There were Vietnam vets in the audience with me saying 'This is the worst thing I've ever seen.' <p> -Toshiba dropped HD-DVD when they realized 'Hulk' was one of the titles. <p> -Doctors told me they could give me an experimental serum which would cure my Mother's cancer instantly for free if I would only watch the opening credit sequence of 'Hulk' one time. I hugged her and said 'Nice knowing you Mom, thanks for all the cookies.' And to this day I still feel I did the right thing.