Saturday 1 April 2000
Steven Spielberg has announced plans to combine projects AI and Harry Potter into a single film depicting a young wizard/robot struggling with adolescence in a future Earth drowned by melting polar ice caps. The film, which Spielberg is now scripting, will also involve a kindly father-figure named Geppetto. Jude Law, Haley Joel Osment, and Ian McKellen are slated to star.
Director Peter Jackson, filming The Lord of the Rings in New Zealand, has arranged for several prominent fantasy and SF writers and editors to appear as extras in crowd scenes, according to Hollywood Variety and Daily Reporter. Sharp-eyed fans can look forward to spotting Geoff Ryman and Lucius Shepard as ents; Ben Bova, Ursula Le Guin, Terry Pratchett, and Jack Dann as elves; and Patrick Lo Brutto, Charles Brown (and several writers who asked not to be named) as citizens of the Shire. A number of others will play orcs in fight scenes: Steve Barnes, Tim Powers, Robert Jordan, Neil Gaiman, Forrest J Ackerman, S.P. Somtow, and Storm Constantine. Careful viewers may spot Peter Nicholls, serving as a body-double for Sauron. And behind the scenes will be Brian Aldiss, fulfilling a life-long dream to direct, choreographing a musical number featuring the Nazgul.