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Oliver Queen talks briefly with Neil Gaiman about upcoming stuff

Hey folks, Harry here. Well, Oliver Queen, that tights wearing bow-plucker, has written in with a description of his talk with Neil Gaiman about his upcoming filmic projects. It's brief... I know. That's why Robogeek went down and spent an Hour and a Half speaking with Gaiman to get the ENTIRE scoop on what's going on with all things Gaiman. That should be running sometime relatively soon (next couple of weeks, Robogeek is very busy on deflecting that asteroid that is en route). But for now... here's a taste that came in on an emerald arrow...

Hey Harry, Oliver Queen here, coming at you from the Netherworld. I'm getting pretty tired of waiting for Kevin Smith to resurrect me, so I decided to get proactive, and tracked down Neil Gaiman in Austin of all places, to see if he could use his influence with Death to get this Emerald Archer back among the living. Alas, no such luck on that front, but he did divulge a couple of tidbits about his other projects.

The Neverwhere feature film project is going great guns. He's finished the script, and Jim Henson Productions is currently searching for a director. Mr. Gaiman seemed quite pleased with the work they've done so far, especially with the Beast of London. "The Henson people are doing it right," he said, in reference to the infamous cow incident the BBC tried to inflict on the original Neverwhere series. It sounds like he's fairly deeply involved with almost all areas of the film, which is as it should be.

He was also quite keen to analyze the goings-on with Princess Mononoke. Harvey Weinstein, Mr. Gaiman said, is convinced Mononoke could do whiz-bang business Stateside, maybe hitting $50 million, if perhaps 15 minutes or so of the ending would be trimmed (this is where people ride around in the forest, with the audience unclear as to the motivation of all this riding around). Miyazaki's people said no to any cuts. Then Mr. Gaiman added some voice-over dialogue, to try to clarify the situation for western audiences. This too, was rejected. Mr. Miyazaki, they were informed, has no interest in box office glory--he only wants a faithful dub of his film show to American audiences.

Mr. Gaiman described it as the "huh?" factor. In Japan, audiences like to leave a movie and go "Huh? I didn't understand that. I must see the film again and pick up on what I missed the first time." In America, if that happens to an audience, the reaction is "Huh? I didn't understand that. It must be a total pile of shit." That Gaiman's a card, I can tell you.

So now Miramax plans to open small, on less than 200 screens, and hope that good word of mouth warrants an expansion onto larger screens after a few weeks. Mr. Gaiman didn't expect an Iron Giant fiasco with Mononoke, because A) The people at Miramax aren't complete morons like Warner Brothers, and B) Miramax only has $1 million invested in this film, so they can afford to give it a good push and not worry about losing their shirts if it bombs. The current thinking is that it could either be a big success or an interesting footnote to cinema history.

Well, that's it for me. Looks like my buddy Hal Jordan's just gotten an E-Ticket ride outta the Dead Lands by hitching up with this "Judgement Day" B.S., so now I'm stuck looking for another racquetball partner. Hey Kevin! Get off the pot, why don'tcha?

Oliver Queen

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