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Supernova chronicles the search and rescue patrol of a deep space medical ship and its six-member crew. When their vessel, the Nightingale 229, answers an emergency distress signal from a comet mining operation in a distant galaxy, the crew soon finds itself in danger from the mysterious young man they rescue, the alien artifact he's smuggled aboard, and the gravitational pull of a giant star about go supernova -- the most massive explosion in the universe.
12 January, 2000
In case you were holding out hope that the movie might actually manage to not suck, give it up. MGM is not holding any press screenings for the movie. This is never a good sign. Generally it means that the studio is hoping that audiences will go to see it before critics have a chance to hammer it. After that word of mouth takes over and they can't hide it anymore.
10 January, 2000
It's been well documented that this movie has been under development for a long time. Cinescape recently interviewed William Malone, who wrote the first draft of the script.
Cinescape: I noticed that you're getting a story credit for Supernova. How did that come about?
Malone: I wrote the original screenplay way back when. It was called Dead Star and that turned into Supernova. I was going to direct. I spent about 10 days working with H. R. Giger on that picture, and then the company that I wrote it for just didn't have the finances to pull it off. It got to be too big of a picture. So apparently they ended up selling it to United Artists, which eventually made it.
Did you have any connection with the project after that?
No, no connection. I lost track of it. It was a big surprise to me when it [turned up again]. They sent me [a later draft for Supernova], but I haven't even had time to read it. I suspect it must be quite different because the script actually went to arbitration with the Writers Guild, which I had nothing to do with. So I would up getting a shared "Story By" credit. But I don't know how much they retained and didn't retain. It went through a zillion writers, that I know.
What was the original concept for Dead Star?
Originally Dead Star was about a space mission to retreive a spaceship that had been lost a year or two earlier and was now sitting on the edge of a black hole, and when they get there they find that there are alien devices that were retrieved from a planet where the aliens had been able to get into contact with the devil. And it had killed everyone and it was now loose on the spaceship. So it was basically meeting the devil in space.
4 January, 1999
Believe it or not this movie is nearly upon us. It has limped along for a number of months but now is getting ready for release on January 14th. MGM is doing its best to make the movie look good. Below are links where you can download 3 different TV spots being prepared.
12 November, 1999
MGM has finally opened a website for the movie. There isn't much there at this point. A whole lot of stills, some of which you can see below, and a brief synopsis of the story.
29 October, 19998.6MB MOV Hi-Res
No real news on this movie but the trailer is now available in new formats. The original was a pretty low quality RealVideo format but now it's available in the standard Quicktime format.
8.2MB MOV Lo-Res
21 October, 1999
Maybe Francis Ford Coppola doesn't make the greatest editor. Coppola was brought in by MGM to try and cut Supernova into something watchable, possibly something entertaining even. Director Walter Hill was apparently going to leave his name on the project if Coppola did a good job. It was confirmed today that Hill will remove his name from the picture. I guess he didn't care for the cut. Hill walked out due to "extreme creative differences." I have to admit I find myself drawn to this movie. Not because I have any reason to believe that it could be good. No it's kind of like driving past a car wreck. You just can't help staring at the wreckage. I get the same kind of feeling from this movie.
Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter.
19 October, 1999
For Sale: 1 Sci-fi/Horror/Comedy Movie, no director, slightly recut. Apparently MGM is looking to unload Supernova. They will be screening the film to potential buyers in the next week in Los Angeles. Presumably MGM has had enough of this turkey and is hoping to get something for their troubles. So if anyone out there is in the area and gets the opportunity, I'd love to hear about the movie.
Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter.
8 October, 1999
After a long wait, we can finally see some footage. The full trailer is available for download. 1.2MB RealVideo Having watched it I can say that this might actually be worse than I had originally thought. The tone of the trailer switches three times. Kind of makes you wonder about the tone of the movie. They couldn't seem to decide whether to advertize it as science fiction, horror or comedy.
10 September, 1999
Apparently the first trailer for the movie will appear this weekend in front of copies of Stigmata. This will be our first real look at the movie and provide some indication of the quality. But why wait until then? You can hear about it now. This description of the trailer appeared today on AICN:
It's starts off with a few seconds of zippy distorted electrical pulses and bolts with a searing electronic rushing sound..then the MGM studio logo. Okay that was an attention grabbing bit of editing since we're so used to footage following studio or production company logo. But then immediately the incongruous sounds of Counting Crows (I think) layers in during a voice over explaining this is a medical rescue ship, Nightingale 9 and the team are about to go into some sort of time transportation leap, okay "Dimension Jump" And boy are they excited since it increases sex drive and lets all screw and party, and what happens on the ship stays on the ship. What is this American Pie is space? Then a distress signal is received and they pickup a naked guy who evidently benefited from some sort of intergalactic augmentation since one of the more enlightened babettes on board gasps in delight staring somewhere south his navel.... then again he's just beaming showing it off undoubtedly from pride of ownership. Hmm maybe they should have titled the movie Deep Space 9....oh but he is not what he appears and chaos ensues as he morphs into all kinds of alien looks, causing death and destruction. Hey who changed the music? It's now the classic "Momma told me not to come"... very clever since, you see, they are dying horrible and painful deaths they probably wished they were not there, get it?. More destruction (wait that ship has already blown up) explosions and the standard snide, cutesy banter between crew members that one usually engages while fighting for your lives and seeing your friends crushed or tossed into the oblivions of space without benefit of a helmet never mind a Met-RX bar for the road. More death and destruction continues caused by Cosmoshlong cackling now editorial comments as total annihilation nears. Whoosh enter title SUPERNOVA Jan 1800. end of teaser...... end of Cinefantastique coverstory.....But is it an honest appraisal of the film??????????? I am afraid so.
23 August, 1999
Long stuck in limbo, Supernova seems to be slowly creaking back to life. A week ago it was announced that Francis Ford Coppola was going to try and cut a watchable version of the movie. Today we have the first pictures seen from the project in many months. I'm not really sure what the pictures are about but they make it seem like it might be more of a horror movie than a sci-fi one. Click the pictures to check them out.
10 August, 1999
This movie has been in serious trouble for awhile. But now apparently Francis Ford Coppola has decided to take a whack at cutting the movie into something presentable. With MGM vice-chairman Chris McGurk he working on it at his American Zoetrope facility in Northern California. If the cut is good, director David Hill may be willing to have his name put on the movie. Hill walked out on the project after it finished shooting last July.
Thanks to Variety
11 June, 1999
This is a larger look at the Supernova poster. I have had a copy of the poster for some time now, but this is a much larger and clearer image. Things have been awfully quiet on this movie for awhile now. Has anybody heard anything about how the editing is shaping up without the director? As always, click on the image for the larger version.
Thanks to Dark Horizons.
The release date has been pushed back again, this time to December 17th. MGM is apparently trying to make a deal with another studio to split the costs on the movie. They are offering the international distribution rights and a 50/50 split on the profits. They would keep the domestic distribution rights. Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
The news on Supernova keeps getting worse. First director Walter Hill walked out and now there is this report from Dark Horizons.
"Guy Incognito here with another hot scoop, this time about the Walter Hill directed SUPERNOVA starring James Spader and Angela Basset. As you may have heard, Digital Domain are doing the majority of the FX for this film (if not all) and seeing that I have a number of friends at DD working on this flick, I thought I might pump them for info (not literally of course). Whatever their thoughts on various other issues, they all seemed to agree on one thing: the movie is TERRIBLE! They had a screening a while back and apparantly morale has been quite low since then. They said that alter Hill wanted to do extensive reshoots to try and patch things up. While this isn't anything out of the ordinary for films these days, the studio's reaction IS. The studio's take on the whole thing is that the film is SO bad that they'd just rather cut their losses now and finish it as is to avoid spending any more money on this stinker. Having his name attatched to the project as it stands must have frightened Mr. Hill quite a bit because he has now left the project. As of now, the studio is looking for a new director. This struck me kind of funny, though. Why would they need a new director if all the footage they'll be needing is already shot? Would it be to oversee the final editing and FX work of the project? I thought in a case like this, the producer would step in and finish things up seeing as they like to oversee things anyways. Strange. The DD guys also said there is a character in the film named Flyboy who is the assistant medical droid or something. One of the guys physcially acted out the way Flyboy walks and moves and I swear I almost peed myself. Think Johnny Depp's character in Fear and Loathing after they sniff ether and you'll get the picture. None of them had ANY idea why a medical droid would move like that and they said that the producer was very unhappy with that character as well, but I guess since it's already been shot....Well looks like this one'll be a stinker, which is a shame considering the strong cast. Oh well."
Despite the fact that he had completed principal photography, director Walter Hill has walked out on the film. Apparently Hill wanted to do more shooting but United Artists wanted to test the movie before approving extra shoots. Hill refused to have the film tested first and quit. His name will probably still be on the movie when it is released in the fall. You know there's nothing that improves a movie quite like letting the studio assemble it without the director's input.
Visual effects will be by Mark Stetson (The Fifth Element).
Ain't It Cool News got this script review.
Here are a few images from the movie: