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 12:00 AM, 07-FEBRUARY-07
Terabithia Ads Mislead?

The filmmakers behind Disney's upcoming fantasy film Bridge to Terabithia disavowed any connection with the movie's ad campaign, which they told SCI FI Wire was deliberately misleading. The ads show a boy and girl entering a fantasy world; the scene actually takes place at the end of the movie.

"I believe it's a stretch, and it's a very difficult decision on Disney's part, but we the filmmakers had nothing to do with that promotion," said director Gabor Csupo (The Wild Thornberrys). "We don't really think that it's an appropriate way of selling the movie, but they're convinced that that's the way to get kids interested, and hopefully they will be positively surprised. If they are anticipating a Harry Potter movie, then we are in trouble. It is not a Harry Potter kind of a movie."

The film is based on a book by Katherine Paterson, which tells the story of a friendship of a boy and girl who are bullied at school and escape into their own fantasy world of Terabithia. The book was published 30 years ago, and it took 17 years for Paterson's son, David, to co-write the screenplay and produce the project. Director Csupo said the novelist was happy with his vision: "She was very pleased from the beginning, because we did not want to turn the movie around or do a movie like the ad campaign is suggesting. We didn't want to do a movie like that."

David Paterson, who also serves as one of four producers credited for the film, said: "As a producer I can explain it in simple monetary terms: If you need honey, get a bear. And I can tell you if everyone who read the book brought three friends, then it would still lose money."

David Paterson added: "Although there is a generation that is very familiar with book, if you are over 40, then you probably haven't, and we need to reach them. ... Everyone who read the book and sees the trailer says, 'What is this? This is nothing like the book. What are you doing, Dave?' And I say, 'You know what you're seeing is 15 seconds of a 90-minute film. Give me a little leeway and respect. Go see it, and then tell me what you think.'"

When the younger Paterson first saw the trailer, he wasn't thrilled. "The lights came up, and all these suits were very happy, and I said, 'Well, my mom is going to hate it.' And they said, 'What do you mean?' And I said, 'I don't remember that from the book.'"

Katherine Paterson then accompanied her son to another meeting. "When they brought the lights up after showing me the trailer, I said, 'Well, I'm glad I had a talk with David beforehand,'" she said.

The writers do say they are happy with the outcome of the overall film, starring Josh Hutcherson (Zathura), AnnaSophia Robb (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Zooey Deschanel (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day). It opens nationwide on Feb. 16. —Mike Szymanski


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©2008, SCI FI. All rights reserved.

Spider-Man star Kirsten Dunst has checked into rehab, the high-end Cirque Lodge in Utah, the same place where Lindsay Lohan received treatment, People magazine reported, citing an anonymous source. reported that Rob Zombie has been taking meetings with Lionsgate and Nu Image to direct a proposed Conan movie; reported that other directors in the running include Xavier Gens (Hitman) and Neil Marshall (The Descent).

Robert Zemeckis' computer-animated Beowulf debuts on DVD and HD DVD on Feb. 26 in a director's-cut version with behind-the-scenes material, deleted scenes and more.


Ghost Whisperer 6.2
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 6.2
Medium 6.1
Moonlight 5.1
Smallville 1.8
Supernatural 1.6
Reaper 1.1

Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report, 1/14/08 - 1/20/08. Fewer than 10 listings appear because fewer than 10 different SF&F original series aired on broadcast networks this week.