Reel News

Tim Ryan

Chuck Norris action series
to film in isles

The Chuck Norris Hawaii-based action series to be produced by Norris Brothers Entertainment is "good to go," with Chuck and his brother Aaron telling some production folks here they have the money from Tribune Entertainment to film 44 one-hour shows over two seasons (22 per season), beginning with preproduction in March or April and about six months of filming through September or October. The series will employ 65-70 local crew from a total of about 90.

Norris starred in the long-running CBS series "Walker, Texas Ranger." This upcoming series will feature the same kind of crime-doesn't-pay action that established Norris as a star. Chuck and Aaron Norris will be executive producers.

"A number of opportunities have come up for Aaron and me and our production company since we decided to end 'Walker' ... and this partnership with Tribune Entertainment is definitely the most exciting," Norris said. "It presents some new challenges, as well as the opportunity to build upon our experience in delivering a weekly series that incorporates action, social concerns and a sense of morality."

The show is slated to air on the Fox network ...

Just when you thought you'd heard the end of "Lilo & Stitch," the DVD version of the film, which has grossed $239 million since June, is being released Tuesday, containing some special Hawaii chapters, thanks to the partnership between Disney and the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau. The DVD features include "DisneyPedia: Hawaii" a lavish history of traditions like surfing, volcanoes, luaus and visits to six of the islands, with narration by Tia Carrere, who plays Nani in the film; "The Young Faces of Hawaii," a behind-the-scenes look at the music used in the movie, featuring the Kamehameha Children's Chorus and director Lynell Bright; and a culturally-correct hula lesson with kumu hula Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu, who also wrote and sang the Hawaiian songs in the film ...

Other Reel News notes:

>> "Tsunami," a Japanese low budget feature ($1.2 million), will film on Oahu in January for about three weeks.

>> "The Big Bounce" continues to provide big bucks for Hawaii's production crew, hiring about 65 people a day during the eight-week filming here and as many as 105 this week for the Waialua Ranch shoot that includes actors Morgan Freeman and Charlie Sheen.

>> An untitled John Hamberg movie project starring Ben Stiller is preliminarily set to film on Oahu in February. Hamberg is known for his script work on Stiller's "Meet the Parents" and "Zoolander."

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