From the sound of things, Disney’s adaptation of the nearly hundred-year-old sci-fi series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, “John Carter of Mars,” is going to start shooting as early as January of next year. The start had previously been pushed back from November. Pre-production continues to move steadily forward nonetheless on the hybrid live action/CGI film.
Few alternative rock musicians have challenged themselves quite like the Flaming Lips. Over the past five years they have created “Parking Lot Experiment,” a symphony performed with dozens of car stereo tape decks each playing different music, Zaireeka, a box set of four different CDs meant to be played simultaneously, and the beautifully atmospheric pop album The Soft Bulletin. Now the Lips are back in the studio working on their next full-length record, tentatively due in May. As mind-blowing as the group’s next record promises to be, the project that’s really twisting Coyne’s synapses is a full-length motion picture he and his bandmates are writing, directing, scoring and acting in called “Xmas on Mars.” “Xmas on Mars” is tentatively scheduled for release next Christmas and is about people on an isolated colony on Mars who are suffering from depression and becoming suicidal. To ease his comrades’ suffering, one resident, played by Lips drummer Steven Drozd, decides to put on a Christmas pageant to celebrate the birth of one of the colonist’s babies.