Gamespot reports the following about personnel changes at Origin. They're right in their assumptions, as far as I know, and this is just the usual re-structuring after the completion of a major project.
Leith Wyndham reports that the Wing Commander Movie will be out on September 16th in theaters in Australia. It's worth the wait...
Since the beginning of the year, 33 people have left Origin, including 17 who have been laid off. Spokesperson David Swofford said that this is nothing unusual--just the continuing process of evaluating the company's business and personnel needs. In fact, he mentioned that Origin is bigger now than it was this time last year, with approximately 210 employees. Additionally, Origin is actively trying to fill 10 positions.
What's going on? It probably represents Origin's shift to online gaming, which is really all it has planned once Ultima Ascension and A-10 ship. Moreover, the Jane's brand is being moved from Origin's management to EA's control once A-10 is complete. The next Origin game will likely be an online Wing Commander title that would be headed up by famed flight sim guru Andy Hollis.
How strong is the Wing Commander franchise? It's hard to say. Wing Commander IV made back its $10 million development, but barely. Then Wing Commander: Prophecy didn't sell as well as Wing Commander III or IV. Still, Swofford claims that Prophecy was still "very successful" and that "Wing Commander is very much alive and well at Origin." One other interesting note: Ultima Online has now grown to 125,000 active accounts. Origin thinks it can push this figure quite a bit higher, too. Mutha!
That Entertainment Asylum chat with Freddie Prinze Jr. has been posted, and you can grab the whole thing here. Here's what he said about Wing Commander...
Q: How did you enjoy working with scream king Matt Lillard?
Dan reports an unusual reference to Wing Commander over at the official page for Denis Miller Live. Check out the entry for 'Muppet' in his glossary...
FreddiPrnz: Matthew is my friend. And when you work with somebody who you already have a relationship with and who you trust, you can't help but do great work with that person. As an actor Matthew brings so much to the table that he's an absolute delight to work with. I'd make a movie with him anyday.
Q: What was it like working with the WC director?
FreddiPrnz: Most of the directors I've worked with are first time directors. So I have experience with first time directors and I respect their passion and that they haven't been corroded by Hollywood yet.
Q: Freddie what was it like to work with Jennifer Love Hewitt in both "I Know What You Did Last Summer" movies?
FreddiPrnz: Jennifer is a very sweet girl. In the first one, we got to spend a lot more time together. I was still up and coming and young at that point. For the second one I was making Wing Commander so they rewrote it to shorten my role so I wouldn't have to be in the whole movie and so I didn't get to see her much. But she's just how you'd think she is, very nice loving and sweet.
Q: Will you see the Wing Commander movie in theaters?
FreddiPrnz: I'll go see the trailer, but it could get crazy if people see you going to see your own movie.
The ultra-cool Tommy of Escondido's Alien Fonts Page has added a Kilrathi font, based on the alien script from the movie! The font was done by Mike H. Lee, and can be grabbed here. Letters A-P are canon.
TCNPhil was kind enough to send me instructions on how to make a cross for my Blair-in-flight-suit action figure... I think everybody out there might be able to benefit from these instructions, so check 'em out!
Go to your local hardware store and ask them for a product called epoxy putty. It's a long strip of blue and yellow putty, probably rolled up in clear plastic and sells for about $4.00 bucks (this will last you several sculpting projects, or Blair pilgrim crosses, whichever comes first). You knead the yellow and blue together to make green. A small piece should do. Then, you can use the painted on cross as a guide for sculpting a real 3D cross right onto the figure. For the sculpting you can use anything that's handy: a pencil point dipped into nail polish and allowed to dry, any kind of pointed tool should do, even a paper clip. Something a little broader, but still small, to smooth some areas down like the flat tip of a fountain pen, you get the point. It's really not hard. Give it a try on some scrap at first, then try in on a spare shelf display figure rather than your collector figure. When I find a figure, I'll show you. Oh, and don't put oil paint directly onto the dried and hardened putty (about a couple hours), you should use a barrier first.
Ever wonder what sort of cool stuff FOX released to promote Wing Commander? Here's all that I've been able to find...
Dan's WC Movie Site reports that Wing Commander now sports a trailer for Aliens vs Predator, an upcoming computer game. How unusual...
- Electronic Press Kit - VHS casette. 37 minutes long, including clips from the movie.
- Postcards - 3 5x7 cards of Blair, Angel and Maniac.
- Poster - Theatrical poster, available as either single or double sided.
- Press Kit - Includes a 12 page booklet and 3 to 7 pictures. One variant includes a set of slides.
- Shirt - T-shirt featuring various logos, available in Large and Extra Large.
Below are the weekend earnings for the Wing Commander Movie... it's ranked at #11, and I'm still betting it makes up its budget plus when it hits native Europe...
Weekend Box Office (March 18-21)
#1 Forces of Nature $13.5M
#2 Analyze This $11.7M
#3 True Crime $5.2M
#4 Baby Geniuses $4.3M
#5 Cruel Intentions $4.0M
#6 The King and I $4.0M
#7 The Rage: Carrie 2 $3.7M
#8 The Corruptor $3.1M
#9 Shakespeare in Love $2.9M
#10 The Deep End of The Ocean $2.5M
#11 Wing Commander $2.2M
Is it just me, or is FOX REALLY pushing this movie? I'm still seeing commercials for it... which is rather odd for a movie which has been out for so long.
The official Matthew Lillard site reports that Lillard was on Hollywood One On One on Starz!, talking about Wing Commander. You can grab a clip here, also thanks to Matthew Lillard's site.
We at the CIC would like to say goodbye for now to the Killer Bees, whose site has been closed until the squadron can regroup. The Killer Bees were the first online Wing Commander squadron, who had originaly intended to play Prophecy multiplayer. I have confidence that they will return for the next Wing Commander game...
InfoBurst-er Evan "Hadrian" Adnams is currently performing post-editing on an audio interview with Chris Roberts! It should be available soon, so check back often.
Remember that Kilrathi mask that Cinema Secrets was working on? Well, it's available now! The guys over at CinemaSecrets are kindly snail-mailing me a catalogue, and as soon as I get it I'll post ordering instructions. Until then, check out these pictures of their two Wing Commander products... very cool, I can't wait to get mine.
Looking for those cool Wing Commander movie posters of Matthew Lillard (#342) and Freddie Prinze Jr.(#341) from Scorpio? Celebrity Corner is offering both for sale, as well as the theatrical poster for $30.
Reports from all over the United States are surfacing, apparently the Wing Commander toys are beggining to appear in Software Etc.'s, EBX's and Toys R Us-es. I'm going on a mission to find those last two today...
Raving Toy Maniac notes that the Wing Commander figures were ordered too late by Walmart and will not be stocked there.
I've gotten a LOT of email regarding how to get the Pilgrim Cross replicas... so I've decided to post what I've found out here -- if you don't know your local knife dealer (or, like myself, don't want to deal local knifes) you can order the cross from Smoky Mountain Knife Works at 1-800-251-9306. I haven't tried this yet, but will let you know when I do...
A bit more information on the Pilgrim Cross Knife replica: it's 8 11/16ths inches long in its extended position, and 4 7/8ths inches with the blade hidden. It comes with a black wall plaque for display purposes, as well as a stainless steel chain for wearing on your neck. And here's a picture...
A correction to the update about the Pilgrim Cross -- the Cross will be available starting May 15th, not May 5th. If you order it quick enough, maybe you can get it in time to wear to that first showing of The Phantom Menace... at least it'll get here in time for me to wear to graduation.
Here's a work in progress: I'm collecting links to the various professional Wing Commander Movie reviews. If you know of any more, please send 'em in!