Thursday, September 13, 2012

News from the Kingdom: September 13, 2012

Hoo-whee!  I've got about an hour to write this column; let's see if it's possible to do it that quickly!

Know who that is?  That's Darcy Anderson.  By which I mean it's Joan Allen, who has been signed to play Darcy in the upcoming film adaptation of A Good Marriage.

This is terrific casting.  There was never much doubt that if the film actually got made, it would attract a top-notch actress to the role of Darcy, but having Allen land it is genuinely great news.  She's one of the best in the biz.  The first time I really took note of her was in the awesome film version of The Crucible, but she'd already had great roles in Nixon and in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (both underrated movies, in my opinion).

Since then, she's been great in The Ice Storm (a personal favorite), Pleasantville, The Contender, The Notebook, The Upside of Anger, and the past few movies in the Jason Bourne series.  I can't wait to see what she does in A Good Marriage.  Let's hope somebody equally great gets signed to play Bob.  My choice: Bryan Cranston.  My second choice: Jeff Bridges.

In grimmer news from the land of awesome King-movie actors, news broke yesterday that Oscar-winner Kathy Bates had undergone a double mastectomy as a means of combating breast cancer.

We here at The Truth Inside The Lie wish her a speedy recovery, and while that only consists of me and five cats, it's better than nothing.  Maybe you readers can add your well-wishes into the mix to sweeten the deal a bit.

Moving on, here's a bit of Cemetery Dance-flavored King news.  First up, the new issue of the magazine will include a reprint of Neil Gaiman's excellent recent interview with King.  It first appeared this past April in the Sunday Times, but for those who want to have it a magazine form, here's your chance.  It'll only set you back six bucks, and at a guess, I'd say the rest of the magazine will make it well worth a measly six bucks.

Yesterday, Cemetery Dance also announced that a forthcoming anthology -- the seventh volume in its Shivers series -- would include the first-ever book reprint of the 1976 King short story "Weeds."  This is the story that served as the basis for the "Jordy Verrill" segment of Creepshow, and has never been included in any of King's collections, or any other anthology, for that matter.  

It's a solid story, and well worth reading.  The trade paperback edition of Shivers VII clocks in at an affordable $20; if you're inclined, go pre-order one.

Speaking of rare King tales, did you know the entirety of The Plant can be downloaded from King's website?  Well, it can; here's the proof.  So if you've never read it, and don't mind the disappointment of its never having been completed, go check it out; it's well worth reading.

yes, please

In other movie-casting news, the roster for the Alexandre Aja adaptation of Joe Hill's Horns continues to fill out admirably.  Four actors have been chosen to join Daniel Radcliffe: Juno Temple (above, who will play Merrin); Max Minghella will play Lee Tourneau; Joe Anderson and Kelli Garner (who presumably will be Terry and Glenna, respectively) are also onboard, or close to it.

I like Juno Temple a lot, so this makes me happy.  She's an excellent actor, and until I did some research on her moments ago, I had no idea she was from the UK.  So her American accent abilities really aren't in question.

Looking forward to this one!

Speaking of Joe Hill, here is a fun blog post wherein he ranks his favorite episodes of Doctor Who.  Hill is a major Whovian.  And why wouldn't he be?  I am, and so should you be, too.

I don't agree with all of his picks ("The Next Doctor" is one of my least favorite episodes of the current series), but mostly, it's like he's reading my mind.  His thoughts on "The Eleventh Hour" are superb.

Not particularly King-related, this next bit: here is a rave review for the new Ben Affleck-directed movie ArgoArgo has nada to do with Stephen King, but as you might recall, Affleck is still loosely connected to the two-picture adaptation of The Stand Warner Bros. wants to make.  Affleck is a genuinely gifted director who only seems to be getting better each time behind the camera; if this early review of Argo is any indication, it is going to be in the thick of the Oscar hunt this season, and director Affleck along with it.

Time to start hoping for Affleck's The Stand on a daily basis, methinks.  Cross them fingers!

The rock band I Was Totally Destroying It (pictured above) has cited Stephen King's Dark Tower series as a major influence upon their newest album, "Vexations."  The one song I've heard from it didn't seem to betray that influence all that much, but it was a pretty good tune, and another song on the album is called "The Prisoner."

Plus, their L.V. is hot, and is holding a deer skull in that photo.  What's not to like?

Pictured above, in a fairly adorable photo, are authors Emma Straub and Peter Straub, her father.  I was intrigued when I found out that, like the Kings, the Straub family has produced a second generation writer.  I read the book Emma is holding above (a story collection, Other People We Married); and she's not just holding it, of course, she also wrote it, and it is terrific.  I've been debatig whether I want to review it here; it's a little bit outside the purview of the type of stuff I tend to wrote about, but I may go ahead and do it soon anyways, just 'cause.

Emma also has a novel that came out recently: Laura Lamont's Life In Pictures.  It's been receiving rave reviews.  I've got a copy, and it's going to get read soon.  Not sure I'll do a full review (though I might); if not, I'll at least pop my opinion into one of these news-roundup pieces.

The Daily Beast recently published a joint interview with the Straubs; you can read it here.  Peter talks about a new novel he has just started working on that sounds VERY promising.

Finally, here's a completely non-King related bit.  Did you know Troma -- the purveyor of such fine cinematic entertainment as Terror Firmer, Tromeo and Juliet, Cannibal: The Musical, and Poultrygeist -- has a YouTube channel?

The vast majority of their catalog is available to watch for free, although watching the Toxic Avenger quadrilogy will set you back a couple of bucks.  My recommendation: check out Cannibal: The Musical, which is a hilarious early effort from writer/director/star/composer Trey Parker, better known as one half of the two guys who created South Park.  It's a great low-budget horror-comedy.

After that, browse, but do so at your own risk.  There is some seriously bad taste in evidence in these movies.  There are things in Terror Firmer I could never, ever unsee, even if I wanted to.

And I kinda do ... but only kinda.


Well, it ended up being ninety minutes rather than an hour, but the post is complete.  Ain't even gonna proofread it, so if there are mistaken, fuck 'em.


  1. All good news! I'll have to keep an eye out for both stuff by Emma Straub and that Cemetery Dance.

    I've never looked at the Plant. I've never read Edwin Drood by Dickens or Last Tycoon by Fitzgerald, either. One of these days, I'll do a sweep of all these unfinished-tales.

    And just so long as Ben Affleck never attempts a Bostonian accent on-screen, I'm fine with him doing whatever he likes. (I'm sure he is breathing a sigh of relief at hearing this...) I really liked Gone Baby Gone. The Town I wasn't as into, but it was still very well-made and I do hope he's the man to get The Stand off the ground.

    Geez, if The Stand and It both come out as 2-picture-adaptations, and the Dark Tower movies start getting made, we could be looking at a full-on King cinema Golden Era.

    (Oh, and Nixon is a TOTALLY underrated film. I'm always puzzled why that one is so overlooked, though Stone was his own worst enemy during that period, from everything I've read. Probably pissed off the people who would have otherwise championed it. Great, great film, though - possibly even his best.)

    1. Agreed about "Nixon." I'm not a massive Stone fan, but he's made his fair share of great films, and that's one of them. Terrific music by John Williams, too. It's a shame their collaboration didn't continue; the films they did together are awfully strong.

  2. I would disagree with all of you about Stone's "Nixon." I am a dedicated student of the American presidency and have read about half a dozen biographies of Mr. Nixon. Stone took many liberties with history. I absolutely hate that!

    1. Fair point.

      I always assume that pretty much any biopic takes massive liberties with history; I try to view them as mythmaking films, rather than from a standpoint of historical accuracy.