“My Submarine’s In Turnaround”

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Cinemaspy is reporting that the long-rumored “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” reboot is in development hell, and it’s increasingly unlikely it’ll see the light of day anytime soon. Though largely forgotten today, “Voyage” was a long-running and popular Science Fiction series in the 1960s, and at 110 episodes and one movie, it’s arguably the most popular submarine-based ever. It was kinda’ stupid, though. Didn’t start out that way, of course, but it was amazingly dumb at the end, with Werewolves and Leprechauns and Ghost Pirates and Aliens, Aliens, Aliens attacking the Submarine Seaview every week for pretty much no damn reason. Despite it’s rather negative reputation, however, the first season was a pretty serious and well-made SF/Espionage/Exploration show that suffered from the “Irwin Curse” of setting up a successful show, then turning it over to a bunch of inbred hillbillies to run after the first season so he could go off to develop yet another new show, which he’d then abandon…and so on. That’s not to say the show was ever perfect, or even particularly smart, but it did try real hard for a short period, and it was choc full of the elements that made it endlessly cool to ten year old boys. Since the whims of Ten Year Old Boys are pretty much driving Hollywood these days, it was only a matter of time until someone hit on the idea of reviving it. There’ve been a few “IMDb phantoms” over the years, posting ‘in development’ rumors, release dates, and casting information, but none of these seem to have ever been legitimate. Several years ago, however 20th Century Fox expressed some real interest and started developing a real movie. The plot? Cinemaspy reports: >>>the plot itself deals with cataclysmic themes, not unlike the first Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea feature film of 1960, in which the Van Allen radiation belt encircling the Earth ignites and begins to fry the planet. In the new story, however, events are set in motion with a more plausible, topical catalyst, though with jeopardy instantly recognizable to those familiar with Irwin Allen's style of adventure. "It's basically envisioned in the near-future, much as the original was," Burns says. "There has been a Middle Eastern war that involved nuclear weapons, and the oil fields have been contaminated. The world is plunged into a situation where there is a critical shortage of energy. Amongst every nation it's become a free-for-all in terms of plowing the Earth for energy resources." Burns continues: "[Lee] Crane is a government man who is involved in a phenomenon that happens when a drill site goes too deep and unleashes a creature that has probably been hibernating for millions of years.<<< Oh really? Balrog or Gammera? I’ll admit that’s pretty goofy, but it’s goofy in the traditional vein of Voyage, so, you know, I can’t complain too much. Nothing too out of the ordinary there. Alas, what comes next is really, really disappointing: >>>you have this combination of an energy shortage, an unstable Earth, and now this creature. And one of the elements that enters all of this is the [submarine] Seaview, which is not a government vessel, but a sort of covert, extra-government vessel…more along the lines of the Captain Nemo idea."<<< Oh, Lord. That’s really bad. That’s like SeaQuest bad, but still probably better than “Man From Atlantis.” Much as I’m excited about seen a submarine with a manta-nose and Cadillac tailfins again http://www.cinemaspy.com/img/user/Seaview-Surfaces_650.jpg and as admittedly cool as the preproduction art for the Flying Sub looks, http://www.cinemaspy.com/img/user/flying-sub-painting_650.jpg (Which is now my desktop), the story sounds lamer than hell, and evidently Fox felt so too. It seems unlikely that the most successful of Irwin Allen’s properties will ever see new life on the big screen, unless it’s in a “Thunderbirds” kind of way, where it lumbers on in half-life for decades before someone finally makes it just to get it the hell out of the way and reclaim some office space at the studio. By that point, no one cares if it’s a bomb or not. (And again, I cite The Thunderbirds movie). And with a story like the one outlined above, I can’t say as I’m too disappointed in that. Full article online here http://www.cinemaspy.com/article.php?id=3832

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