October 27, 2008

Rob's New Show "Spartacus"

Rob is one very busy man lately! The following is from the Hollywood Reporter:

Hollywood Reporter 27 October 2008

Spartacus' unshackled with Starz
Raimi, Tapert, Donen exec producing the hourlong series

By Kimberly Nordyke

Steven S. DeKnight ("Smallville") has signed on as head writer and showrunner of the hourlong series, set in the brutal world of gladiators, said Starz Entertainment executive vp programming Stephan Shelanski.

"Spartacus" marks Starz's second original drama after "Crash" and the first drama to be produced in-house by sibling studio Starz Media, under the supervision of executive vp original production William Hamm, who previously was executive vp television at Raimi's Ghost House Pictures and brought the project to the channel.

The series -- developed by Raimi, Tapert and Donen -- will start production in New Zealand early next year, targeted for a summer debut on Starz and its suite of channels. The network touted the series' production values; it's estimated that the budget will end up north of $2 million an episode.

"Spartacus" was inspired by the real-life slave of the Roman Republic who in 73 B.C. led a slave revolt that grew to more than 120,000 fighters. Starz said the story will be "reimagined" it for what it calls a generation of TV viewers raised on graphic novels and cutting-edge production technology.

"This is not going to be at all like the 1960s Kirk Douglas film," Shelanski said. "We didn't want your typical sword-and-sandals. It's going to be fun, fast-moving, full of action and interesting characters and have a little more depth to it than the 1960s film."

Shelanski added that the show will be produced specifically for a premium cable audience, with "R-rated" action and storytelling. The goal is to accomplish the graphic-novel look and feel of such movies as "300" and "Sin City." As with "300," producers also will be looking to cast "Spartacus" with a group of fresh-faced, unknown actors.

Hamm added that "Spartacus" will be one of the first TV series to use an "almost 100% virtual environment," using live-action actors against virtual sets in the style of "300" and "Sin City."

"It will bring the younger audience who has grown up on graphic novels and video games this heightened reality; it's not going to look like anything you've seen before, especially on TV," said Hamm, who also worked with Raimi and Tapert when he was an exec at Universal TV and they were part of the producing team on "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys."

Starz Media's Anchor Bay Entertainment will hold exclusive worldwide home entertainment distribution rights; the company's Worldwide Distribution group will handle international TV and domestic syndication sales.


October 23, 2008

Rob Interview with SciFi.com - Part 2

Q&A, Part Two: More Legend Secrets

In part two of our Q&A with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, executive producers of the upcoming syndicated television series Legend of the Seeker, they talk about diverging from the books, how the first-run syndication landscape has evolved since they produced Xena: Warrior
Princess and Cleopatra 2525 and how and why Raimi and Tapert work together so often.

Click here to read full story


New Interview with Rob on SciFi.com - Part 1

Scifi.com has the first part of an interview with Rob and Sam about Legend of the Seeker:Q&A: Seeker Producers Spill!Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, executive producers of the upcoming syndicated fantasy show Legend of the Seeker, told reporters it was their goal to capture the essence of and remain true to the spirit of its source material, Wizard's First Rule, the first book in author Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series of books.

Legend of the Seeker follows the adventures of Richard Cypher (Craig Horner), a seemingly average young man who discovers that he is a child of prophecy and possesses magical powers. Helping him harness those powers is a Confessor, the mysterious and gorgeous Kahlan (Bridget Regan), and an old Wizard, Zedd (Bruce Spence). On a weekly basis, amidst action, romance and magic, the trio must face off against Darken Rahl (Craig Parker), an evil emperor who aims to enslave the world.

SCI FI Wire was on the line on Oct. 15 when Raimi and Tapert--who'd previously produced such shows as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Cleopatra 2525 and Xena: Warrior Princess--joined reporters for a conference call. The following is part one of a two-part Q&A featuring edited excerpts of the conversation. A nationally syndicated first-run series, Legend of the Seeker will premiere on Nov. 1.

Read more


October 19, 2008

New Rob Interview at ComicMix

Interview with Rob Tapert at ComicMix - the interview is mainly about the Ghost House Underground DVD release but also touches on Legend of the Seeker, Xena and other Rob projects:

CMix: Haha, me too! Now you are working on a new TV project, is that correct?

RT: Yes, Legend of the Seeker, which is now the title of Wizards First Rule, based on a series of books by Terry Goodkind. The books came from one of my partners, Josh Donen (son of Stanley Donen). I read the books, passed them on to Sam [Raimi] who loved them who said "Rob, this is what we should go back into the television business with!". It was an opportunity to return to TV with Action/Fantasy, which I love, and there really isn't anything on TV like it right now. We then got bankrolled by Disney and ABC, where president Mark Padowitz lead the charge. It's something we are very excited for, starting on November 1 with a big two-hour premiere. We've taken what we like from the books--the romance, fantasy, action and adventure-- and brought it to life with a great cast.

CMix: Now, with you and Sam being pioneers of fantasy television in the 90s, will we be seeing some of the same style as in Hercules and Xena?

RT: Not quite, and it's been a learning curve for us because we knew we couldn't do the same thing. Hercules and Xena were often very post modern and it wasn't really necessary to be self-referential. I can't exactly say the Seeker takes itself more seriously because we're only on episode nine at this point, so the series is still finding itself. They are both certainly different and a learning curve, not just for us, but even the department heads finding the right props to make the world come to life. But it has been interesting, but I'd say they feel like something unique unto themselves.

Read the full interview


October 16, 2008

411 Movies Interview: Producer Rob Tapert

411's Tony Farinella sits down with Hollywood producer Rob Tapert for an exclusive interview! Topics discussed: Sam Raimi, Evil Dead, the Saw franchise, remakes, sequels, and more!

Rob Tapert has produced some of the biggest horror films in Hollywood over the past 20 years. He has produced Evil Dead, The Grudge, 30 Days of Night, Army of Darkness, and a whole lot more. He has also produced a number of television shows, including Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. In my interview with Rob Tapert, we talked about his company Ghost House Pictures, which he runs with Sam Raimi, and their latest DVD box set that includes eight horror films. I hope you enjoy my interview with Rob Tapert.

Read more


October 15, 2008

Rob Talks About A Xena Movie....

The following is from SciFi.com about our long awaited for Xena Movie...

Creators Would Love A Xena Reunion

Rob Tapert, former producer of TV's Xena: Warrior Princess, told SCI FI Wire that pretty much everyone involved in the old show would love to see Xena (Lucy Lawless) pick up her chakram once again for a TV movie or some other kind of reunion project.

Tapert said he even had an idea in mind, but that matters are entirely out of his hands.

"That's a Universal question," Tapert said in an interview, adding: "Meaning [NBC] Universal ... Television [Group]. I don't control the strings."

Xena ran from 1995-2001 and starred Lawless--aka Mrs. Rob Tapert--as the title heroine and Renee O'Connor as her plucky sidekick, Gabrielle. The show was both a mainstream and cult success during its time on the air, and to this day its stars and makers attend conventions worldwide.

Unfortunately, fans' hopes for a reunion movie have yet to be realized. "We've said long ago that we'd love to do something," Tapert said. "We have a fun, 300-style idea for it. ... I can't answer [why nothing's happening]." (NBC Universal Television is owned by NBC Universal, which also owns SCIFI.COM.) --Ian Spelling


Rob Interview with SciFi.Com - Ghost House Pictures

The following is from SciFi.com

Tapert Unspools Ghost DVDs

It's eight times the terror, eight times the fun, eight times the ... oh, you get the idea.

It is Ghost House Underground, an eight-disk set of horror DVDs selected by the frightmeister tandem of Sam Raimi (director of Spider-Man) and Rob Tapert (producer of The Grudge). The titles include Dance of the Dead, No Man's Land: The Rise of the Reeker, The Substitute, Dark Floors, Trackman, Room 205, Last House in the Woods and Brotherhood of Blood.

The films, which range in rating from R to unrated, are directed by the likes of Gregg Bishop, Pete Riski and Ole Bornedal and feature such familiar genre actors as Desmond Askew, Sid Haig, Ken Foree and Victoria Pratt.

Dance of the Dead unfolds during a high-school prom, as the dead return to eat the living ... and the dancing. And it's up to the dateless losers to save the day. Meanwhile, in The Substitute, a bunch of sixth-graders take matters into their own hands when no one believes that their new sub is an alien. In Brotherhood of Blood, Haig and Foree are vampire hunters who join forces to save a lovely fellow slayer (Pratt).

SCI FI Wire spoke exclusively with Tapert about Ghost House Underground, which was released by Lionsgate this week as both an eight-pack set and as individual titles. The following are excerpts from the conversation with Tapert.

Read more


New Rob Interviews!

Rob has been interviewed by several sites regarding the new Ghost House Underground DVD release and of course his current projects which include Legend of the Seeker:

Ugo Movie Blog - 15 October 2008
Horror King Rob Tapert on Ghost House Box Set

Firefox News - 14 October 2008
Rob Tapert Talks Horror with Firefox News

For more news, pics and multimedia on Legend of the Seeker go to the Australian Legend of the Seeker AUSXIP site!


Rob Talks About Drag Me To Hell...

Raimi Back To Horror In Hell

Rob Tapert, who is producing director Sam Raimi's upcoming Drag Me to Hell, told SCI FI Wire that the film marks a return to Raimi's horror roots.

"It's Sam Raimi doing what Sam Raimi does best, which is going out of his way and using every trick in the book and every talent that he has to entertain the audience," Tapert said in an interview while promoting Ghost House Underground, a DVD set of horror movies. "So it's a throwback to Sam Raimi somewhere between Darkman and Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness. So it's a movie that's a roller coaster ride in the dark."

In Drag Me to Hell, Alison Lohman plays Christine, a young loan officer who denies a mortgage extension to an elderly lady (Lorna Raver) and pays the ultimate price: She's cursed by the old woman.

"Part of the beauty of Drag Me to Hell was Sam pretty much had absolute, total creative control and yet really not the enormous pressures you have when you're dealing with a hundreds-of-millions-of-dollar franchise like Spider-Man," Tapert said. "So he was able to do a lot of things that he'd been dying to do."

Universal Pictures will release Drag Me to Hell, which also stars Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield), Justin Long (Idiocracy) and David Paymer, on May 29, 2009. (Universal Pictures is owned by NBC Universal, which also owns SCIFI.COM.) --Ian Spelling



October 14, 2008

Rob Interview on SciFi.com

Tapert Updates Evil Dead Projects

Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead may eventually return in some way, shape or form, but the project's been a total pain in the Ash for years, producer Rob Tapert told SCI FI Wire.

Tapert--who produced director Raimi's seminal horror film and its sequels, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness--said that the possibilities include a musical, another sequel or a remake.

"There's a guy [producer Don Carmody] who wants to make a musical out of it, a 3-D musical based on the one [Evil Dead: The Musical] that ran off-Broadway," Tapert said in an interview. "And I still think that that's the one I'd like to see greatly. Sam promises he's going to do Evil Dead IV, with Bruce Campbell starring in it [as Ash], at some point in time. I just hope Bruce is still alive."

Read more


October 7, 2008

IGN Interviews Rob Tapert

The following interview has been posted to the IGN site where Rob talks about Ghost House Pictures (no mention of Legend of the Seeker)

IGN in the Ghost House

We talk horror with Sam Raimi's partner in crime, Rob Tapert.

by Christopher Monfette

US, October 7, 2008 - Fans of the horror genre will certainly know the name Rob Tapert – cohort to director Sam Raimi on films such as 30 Days of Night, Spiderman and The Grudge. Not to mention the horror classic, Evil Dead. And now their company, Ghost House Underground, is releasing a handful of new and exciting horror films to DVD, including: Dance of the Dead, No Man's Land: The Rise of the Reeker, The Substitute, Dark Floors, Trackman, Room 205, Last House in the Woods and Brotherhood of Blood. The titles have been hand-picked by Raimi and Tapert, and IGN recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tapert to discuss Ghost House's place in the current pantheon of horror.

Click here to read the interview


Contest to Win Ghost House Underground DVD Collection

Ghost House Pictures has released a DVD collection called the Ghost House Underground DVD Collection:

The following is from the Official Ghost House Pictures site

As part of its focus on the next generation of horror audiences, Ghost House Pictures partnered with Grindstone Entertainment Group, the largest distributor of direct-to-video films, to extend the successful “Ghost House” brand to a series of titles made for the home entertainment market.

Ghost House Pictures and Grindstone Entertainment Group have extended the successful “Ghost House” brand to the home entertainment market. The new film acquisitions company teams Grindstone, the largest distributor of direct-to-video films, with the successful horror genre company led by filmmaker Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, the Spider-Man franchise), Rob Tapert (30 Days of Night, The Grudge films), and Mandate Pictures’ president Nathan Kahane. Ghost House Underground has lined up a slate of eight provocative, independent horror films that will launch the brand, with a focus on groundbreaking product from cutting edge young talent. Ghost House will primarily partner with Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, to distribute many of its planned 12 to 20 genre films annually through Lionsgate’s nearly $600 million a year worldwide home entertainment business.

Some of the films on Ghost House Underground’s slate include Dark Floors from Eurovision Award-winning rock group Lordi and director Pete Riski, which had its international premiere at the European Film Market in Berlin in February; director Gregg Bishop’s Dance of the Dead; director Dave Payne’s No Man’s Land: Rise of the Reeker; director Martin Barnewitz’s Room 205; director Ole Bornedal’s The Substitute; director Igor Shavlak’s Trackman; writer/director Gabriele Albanesi’s Last House in the Woods; and writer/directors Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer The Brotherhood of Blood, which Lionsgate will distribute in North America.

You can now win a copy from the Quiet Earth Site:

This is it folks, your chance to win a copy of Lionsgate's amazing Ghost House Underground Collection! What's the Ghost House Underground Collection you ask? Only the single greatest collection of underground horror films from around the globe coming out this year, all hand picked by legendary director Sam Raimi and his right hand man producer Rob Tapert. The set, which runs 8 films in all, includes many Quiet Earth favorites like Dance of the Dead, Trackman, Dark Floors, Room 205, and many more.

Read more on how to enter


Evil Dead Returning To The Big Screen
Big Burst & 30 Days of Night Sequel Updates
Rob and Sam Launching Spooky Pictures
How TV's New Spartacus Will 'Bend' History
IESB Interview with Lucy, Rob, Peter, Steven and S...
Rob at TCA Spartacus Panel
Rob at Spartacus Comic Con Panel - Video
Comic-Con, Day 3: Don't Mess With Spartacus
Spartacus Panel Photos Now Online

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  AUSXIP Interviews Rob

Support Marissa Members of the AUSXIP Talking Xena message forum submitted questions for Rob and they were sent to him. Rob graciously agreed to answer the majority of the questions which were fantastic and very informative, humorous and very enlightening. It's not often you get such an indepth interview from a Holllywood producer. Sit back and enjoy one of the best interviews with Rob Tapert.

» Full Interview