Cool film projects: I’ve got bad news and good news…

May 7th, 2009 by Jarmo Puskala

Let’s star with the good news:

Thanks to Twitter I came across this upcoming web serial called The Mercury Men. It’s not the first pulp scifi series on the internets, but judging by the trailer it’s the most promising. Scary glowing men shooting lightning from their hands, ray guns and scientists, what could go wrong? However what I found most promising was the actor playing the scientist, he has the perfect face for the role.

There have been rumors of Peter Jackson and Nazi zombies and Stephen Fry as a guest on Simon Mayo‘s radio program last weekend claimed the following:

Fran [Walsh], who is PJ’s wife and writes with him, they’ve come up with this idea called The Christ Must Die in which Nazi zombies go back in time to stop Jesus from being born.

Slashfilm has some more info, including official denial from Jackson’s manager. However no-one seems to be certain if it’s a joke or a real project. Let’s keep thumbs up for the latter. Also, to increase the coolness the hosts commented that the film reminds them of this film called Iron Sky.

Peter Jackson is also producing the above South-African feature District 9 that is based on a short film made famous on YouTube. To oversimplify, the idea is “Apartheid with aliens”. The short film was inspiring on it’s own and the feature is pretty much unmissable.

Unfortunately universe has balanced all this awesomeness out with bad news from two other Nazi zombie projects. Both Finnish led WWII zombie film Stone’s War and Dutch nazi zombie flick Worst Case Scenario are in a limbo.

Worst Case Scenario is/was the Dutch flick with the teaser showing ballooning nazi zombies. According to Twitch the film is pretty much dead in the water right now.

due to “productional stalemate” the film is again very much locked in development hell. Apparently there is a Catch-22 in there somewhere, with several parties waiting for each other to proceed and there is no obvious way out in the foreseeable future.

The situation with Stone’s War is even more confusing. Stone’s War is the zombies in WWII movie from the Finnish director Marko Mäkilaakso. The film has been in a literal developement hell for years with the first attempt at filming it being shut down because ofmoney trouble – causing them to loose not only all the filmed material but also the rights to the original title War of the Dead.

We talked to the director last year at Assembly and at that time it seemed the film was almost complete and should come out during 2008. However something went wrong and the film vanished.

According to what little info there has leaked from a blog at Suomen Kuvalehti and Yle news, the film is supposed to be ready. However it seems the film’s Lithuanian producer Ramunas Skikas is sitting on the release. Press hasn’t been able to get a comment from him and the distributors are being told that they’ll get their copies soon. While Hollywood studios sometimes sit on finished films there are very few producers in Europe who could afford to do that for long – if the film has been made and paid for they need the get the investment back.

Nobody seems to know what’s going on, but a safe bet would have it having something to do with money being owed by someone to someone else. Let’s hope the film sees the light of day soon. Meanwhile director Mäkilaakso is apparently working on his next film with Stan Lee.

Not to end with a downer one more bit of good news for Finnish horror:

Skeleton Crew, the horror project by our collegues from the neighboring city of Ylöjärvi will come out on DVD in the US on 21st of June. We saw a short reel last year, but have yet to see the whole film. However there are already some reviews online; one, two, three.

Would love to get a look at the finished film soon. We shot the music video for Hour of Emptiness at the same abandoned mental hospital last year, and actually with a lot of the same crew as the film.

Edit: The great guys from @empiremagazine were awesome enough to ask Peter Jackson about the Nazis vs. Jesus film in a recent interview. Unfortunately it looks like it’s not happening.

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2 Responses to “Cool film projects: I’ve got bad news and good news…”

  1. Chris says:

    Thanks for posting The Mercury Men! Really glad you dig the series. Can’t tell you how excited we are for Iron Sky.

  2. Wow. “District 9″ looks very, very promising. “Alive in Jo’burg” was brilliant, and Neill Blomkamp’s name is getting to be a badge of quality. (I swear those UFO’s have taken a design hint or two from Valérian’s spaceship.) This is like “V” meets “Alien Nation” meets “Cry Freedom”.

    Of course, “Mercury Men” seems filled with potential too. Perhaps it was unfair of us to feature it in the same post with “District”… ^_^