Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Adventures Dark and Deep Kickstarter Update

Thanks to everyone who has pledged to support the Adventures Dark and Deep Players Manual Kickstarter so far!

As of now, roughly 48 hours after launch, the project is 50% funded. Thanks especially to James over at Grognardia, Morrus at ENWorld, and Erik at Tenkar's Tavern, whom Kickstarter tells me have been responsible for a number of pledges. (And of course everyone else who has spread the word, too!)

I realize that the next couple of days are going to be slow in terms of pledges because of the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., but I really want to make sure we maintain some momentum and hit the 100% mark sooner rather than later. The sooner that happens, the sooner I can tell the artists to get cracking-- and that means I can get the book into print all the sooner.

Thanks again, and if you haven't done so already, please consider supporting the campaign. If you have, thanks again, and please consider letting your friends who might be interested about it.

Star Wars Film News Roundup

By now, everyone has probably heard the news that Disney bought Lucasfilm for a cool $4 billion. Also that they immediately announced that a Star Wars Episode VII was in the works with an estimated release date of 2015.

The opportunities for merchandising are obvious and are certain to make Disney many more times their investment, and I'm certain we'll start to see some Star Wars themed attractions popping up in the various Disney theme parks in short order. More recently, however, the media powerhouse announced that there would be additional Star Wars films coming out every two to three years.

Most recently, we got some names to start hanging on the new films; the writers.

Episode VII is to be penned by Michael Arndt. He wrote the script for Little Miss Sunshine (which I had no idea grossed more than $100 million worldwide), Toy Story 3 and for the next Hunger Games film, Catching Fire.

Episode VIII, if sources are to be believed, looks like it'll be written by Lawrence Kasdan. If that name sounds familiar to you Star Wars fans, it should. He wrote the screenplay for Empire Strikes Back. Oh, and also for Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Return of the Jedi. And the story for the video game Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. So he's definitely got some genre chops. He also wrote the screenplay for Silverado, which is one of the few westerns I actually like, so that brings him up a peg for me, too.

For Episode IX, the same source tells us, Simon Kinberg is being lined up. This is the one I'm not so keen on, as he wrote the screenplays for X-Men: Last Stand and Sherlock Holmes, neither of which I particularly liked. But he's also doing the screenplay for the next X-Men film, Days of Future Past, and I have high hopes for that. Sometimes you can't blame the screen writer for problems with the story.

Now, the fact that they're already laying out the next three films, which should span from 2015 through 2020 or so, is telling. They could-- and this is just my speculation here-- be setting up an Avengers-like thing where multiple parallel stories are going on and will come together in a meta-blockbuster film later on. It could, of course, be simpler than that; Lucas has had the notes for what happens after Jedi since before Star Wars came out (no, I will not call it "A New Hope", and yes, Han will always shoot first in my mind). They could just be getting the writing out of the way early to concentrate on the other aspects of the films.

Still, interesting stuff for those of us who are Star Wars fans and who were disappointed (mildly or moreso) by Episodes I-III. With Lucas out of the writing picture, hopefully we'll get some better films for VII and beyond.

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Please, if you haven't done so already, consider supporting my Kickstarter for the Adventures Dark and Deep Players Manual, going on now through December 19th. I need your help to make it a reality!