Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big  Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

'Fringe' Writers Monica Owusu-Breen & Alison Schapker Rewriting Secret J.J. Abrams Project 'Zanbato'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com April 19, 2011 at 1:06AM

Have you been watching Fox's J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi drama "Fringe?" The show's position in the so-called "Friday night death slot," and its subsequent ratings plunge (ratings which were not that high to begin with), suggest that you're not. But if you're any kind of a fan of genre TV you really should be -- after a shaky first season, the show's gone from strength to strength, featuring two genuinely Emmy-worthy central performances from Anna Torv and John Noble, and some of the boldest ideas on television at the moment.
4


Have you been watching Fox's J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi drama "Fringe?" The show's position in the so-called "Friday night death slot," and its subsequent ratings plunge (ratings which were not that high to begin with), suggest that you're not. But if you're any kind of a fan of genre TV you really should be -- after a shaky first season, the show's gone from strength to strength, featuring two genuinely Emmy-worthy central performances from Anna Torv and John Noble, and some of the boldest ideas on television at the moment.

As you might expect from a show from Abrams' stable, and created by "Star Trek" writers Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman, it's had some impressive behind-the-scenes talent passing through -- Brad Anderson's directed a number of episodes, while Akiva Goldsman surprised virtually everyone by not stinking up the place as he has with virtually all of his feature scripts. Now, according to Deadline, two of the main writers of the show are teaming with Abrams again for their big-screen debut.

Monica Owusu-Breen and Alison Schapker, who are currently executive producers and writers on the show (and just signed a big money deal to continue in those roles for Season 4 of the series), as well as having credits on the likes of "Brothers and Sisters," "Alias" and "Lost," have come on board to write yet another secret project of Abrams, and his company Bad Robot, set up at Paramount. The script is currently going under the working title of "Zanbato," and, as ever, plot details are being kept under wraps, but it's said to involve "swashbuckling robots with swords," and ties into Japanese history in some degree -- the title refers to a particularly long kind of Japanese sword, with a ricasso (the part of the sword between the blade and handle) usually between 12 and 18 inches long.

The project bears something of a resemblance to another Bad Robot project announced last year, an adaptation of the graphic novel "Boilerplate," about a "Zelig"-style steampunk robot, but they appear to be two distinct scripts. Deadline reveal that at one stage, "I Am Legend" and "Water for Elephants" director Francis Lawrence was attached to helm the project, but that no longer seems to be the case: the director's currently circling a number of other projects, including WW2 tale "Unbroken," a Harry Houdini-related film, and the kung-fu fairy tale "Snow and the Seven."

As Nikki Finke points out (for all her faults, she is at least a consistent supporter of women in the industry), it's rare for female writers to achieve success in the genre world, so it can only be a good thing that Owusu-Breen and Schapker (who are also developing another TV series for Bad Robot, as well as potentially turning their "heightened reality" crime pilot "Pulp," which wasn't produced, into a graphic novel for D.C. Comics) are doing so well, and we look forward to seeing more movement on "Zanbato" down the road.

This article is related to: Films In Development, Monica Owusu-Breen & Alison Schapker, Zanbato


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates