New spins

David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, Boston Legal) is making a US version of Life on Mars, and the pilot episode will be directed by Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing, Studio 60). My instinctive reaction to this idea is to grab a couple of candlesticks and hide behind Peter Cushing, but actually the chances are that a US version of the show would be different enough to be worthwhile. US cop history is more than rich enough to provide a subtly different seam of influences, and the nostalgic imagery would be very different. It depends on whether they’re adapting the UK scripts or taking the premise and spinning it into new stories. The latter would be a much better idea.

I’ve been meaning to mention this for ages, so by now most people have probably seen this really disturbing promo image of Heath Ledger as the Joker from the upcoming Batman Begins sequel The Dark Knight. It’s an impressively pared down interpretation and one that bodes well for how gritty and risk-taking the movie version could be compared to the rather camp Jack Nicholson performance. If anything it’s almost too far gone, but there’s another low quality image here that gives more of an overview of how the character will look, showing that the green hair and purple jacket are intact after a fashion. I like this look for the character overall. My wife is much less convinced. I think she’s still hoping that they’ll cast Mark Hamill.

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