When Herbert George Wells, better known as H.G.Wells, the "father of science fiction", crafted The Invisible Man in 1897, he was happy when his story was serialized in Pearson's Weekly and published as a novel that same year. Little did he know that his influential tale would become the most popular film at the box office in 1933 and marked Universal's most successful horror film since Frankenstein, resulted in a spate of sequels, and would spark the imagination of moviegoers in 2020.
Novelist, journalist, social activist, and a pioneer in the world of commercial magazine fiction, John Griffith London, also known as Jack London, was also an innovator in the genre that would later become known as science fiction. He was one of the first writers to become a worldwide celebrity and earn a large fortune from writing and his short adventure novel Call Of The Wild was published in 1903, which was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post in the summer of 1903, published in book form, and the book's great popularity resulted in its film debut in 1923, followed by several more cinematic adaptations, and is now retold on the big screen.
Action stories have been popular before Bond and Fast And Furious, since The Great Train Robbery in 1903, while boxing films have been popular long before Rocky with the 1894 documentary Corbett and Courtney Before the Kinetograph.
When you are writing your story, you are not writing it only for now, but hopefully craft a tale that will be retold until the end of time.
This week's new releases on the big screen showcases The Invisible Man, a terrifying modern tale of obsession inspired by Universal’s classic Monster character; The Call Of The Wild is a cinematic experience of a lifetime, a hybrid of live action and animated filmmaking employing cutting edge visual effects and animation technology; The Informer is an action-packed crime thriller with a strong emotional core; and Knuckle City marks South Africa’s first boxing feature film. These films are showing from 28 February.
The character of H.G. Wells’ ‘Invisible Man” has been in the back writer/director Leigh Whannell's mind since he was a boy skipping school to watch Universal’s Monsters on television.
While Wells’ original character was a scientist who devolved into madness, Whannell was more interested in the objects of the villain’s obsession. For the filmmaker, he let his imagination run wild when fleshing out the narrative of one of Universal’s classic Monsters.
“I didn’t cycle through 10 different versions of this story,” Whannell says. “It almost appeared fully formed in terms of the journey of a victim being stalked by the Invisible Man. It taught me to not feel the need to spend weeks going around the block searching for something better."
For screenwriter Michael Green, “it’s not for nothing that The Call of the Wild became part of the great American canon.”
“It speaks to people on many different levels. It’s a great travel-adventure story in the tradition of Robert Louis Stevenson. It told people about places in North America that they’d heard of, but had only seen pictures of. There had been a mania in America about the Klondike Gold Rush. Newspapers couldn’t print enough stories about it. People weren’t even aware that it was built on the back of dogs. It’s the story of a teenage dog coming of age, becoming a grown man.
Knuckle City – South Africa’s first boxing feature film
Knuckle City is writer-director Jahmil XT Qubeka’s much-anticipated fourth feature film.
“Growing up in Mdantsane in the 80’s and 90’s was an experience that has shaped the entirety of my life,” says Jahmil. “The energy of the landscape, and the visceral fight for survival that is palpable on the streets, has inspired in me a deep yearning to chronicle the lives of its inhabitants through cinema. “
“When I looked at boxers, doing a lot of research about the fighters, it always seemed like the fight at home was always bigger than the actual real fight—the opponent that they were fighting..."
The Informer – An action-packed crime thriller with a strong emotional core
Based on “Tre Sekunder” aka “Three Seconds” a Swedish novel by Roslund & Hellström, the crime writing team of journalist Anders Roslund and the late Börge Hellström, a former criminal turned author, the first drafts of of the screenplay were crafted by Matt Cook (Triple 9) then Rowan Joffe (The American) which relocated the story from Sweden to America.
Italian actor-writer-director Andrea Di Stefano rewrote the screenplay and added a more emotional core to the action story, embracing the family story to drive the thriller aspect,
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