I have a few new pieces of news on the Anton Yelchin front. (We’ll call it the Eastern Front because technically I’m German, Anton’s Russian, and I just read a 500 page book about the siege of Leningrad in World War II not too long ago, and as my previous post points out, books affect me profoundly.)
(I also feel the need to make sequel names into comparative and superlative adjectives. For example: Iron Man, the Sequel, becomes Ironier Old Coot. Evil Dead II becomes Eviler Deader. Boondock Saints II becomes Boondockier Gods. This also goes for trilogies, so that Spiderman III becomes Dead-Thing-On-the-Wall-That-I-Squished-a-Year-Ago-But-Forgot-to-Clean-Up-Carcass. So my way doesn’t also work out, but it makes for an entertaining conversation starter. You know, the one you make with the cop after he pulls you over for speeding after trying to talk to Kate Beckinsale about Digging-to-China-World and then you have to run from her bodyguards.)
This is a good news/bad news situation. I’ll start with the good news first, because the bad news is far, far worser than anything I’ve come into contact with all week, and that includes snobby Tom-Cruise-sized frat boys who yell at me because their cappuccinos are too foamy.
The good news is that Mr. Yelchin is set to star in a production of The Winter Queen. What’s that, you ask, because you’re waiting with baited breath to see what I compare you to next? Only Harry Potter….for Russians. Well, sort of. I mean, there isn’t magic, and granted Harry Potter is more of a world-wide phenomenon than country-specific, but regardless of my horrible analogy, it’s an adaptation of the first of the Erast Fandorin mysteries by the writer Boris Akunin. Fandorin is a fictional 19th century Russian detective who solves crimes, like Columbo, but 100 years ago and more Slavic. These books are wildly popular in Russia and I am excited to see Mr. Yelchin in something that’s rather original, if not entirely out of the perilous zone of “Remake.” I also really like Akunin’s other body of work about Sister Pelegia, a crime-solving nun, who’s kind of like Jessica Fletcher, only 100 years ago, more Slavic, and you know, married to God instead of to a, uh, typewriter.
The bad news is that he’s also set to be the voice of Clumsy Smurf in the live-action/CG adaptation of the 80s cartoon. I just…it’s 10:30, I’ve had maybe four hours of sleep, had a tumultuous dream that underscores my all-too-familiar sense of underachievement and lackadaisical momentum in my life at this moment, I had to drive through tons of traffic for my sister and may have to do so later in the afternoon, so I just can’t process this.
Whatever good non-remake-y karma Mr. Yelchin might have picked up from The Winter Queen has been erased for good from this announcement. This had gone beyond the caption of remake and has passed into the no-man’s-land of anthropomorphic cats rendered in CG that suck the life out of everyone around them, creating uncanny valley zombies.
What? Milla Jovovovovovich is starring in The Winter Queen too? Well, cut off my hand, reveal my bastard-state after having an asthma attack and call me Luke. Okay. You’re even this time, Yelchin. But that doesn’t mean that you can go starring in any more adaptations of cartoons unless we’re talking about Gargoyles or something. And even then, only if Guillermo del Toro directs.
As for the remake of Fright Night, Colin Farrell has been cast as Jerry Dandrige, in a role previously filled by Chris Sarandon, better known as the voice to Jack Skellington. I know, when I found out I almost force-choked my television.