Friday Link-a-Mania

Lex Leaves Smallville
The CW had confirmed that Michael Rosenbaum, who plays slaphead supervillain Lex, will be leaving Smallville at the end of season seven, reports Sci Fi Wire . Doomsday will be replacing Lex as the show's main villain, and the producers are also hinting at a new villain. The network has confirmed that Lex’s departure will leave the door open for him to retrun for possible guest spots in the future (anybody want to qquote odds on him being back for season eight's finale?). This is the latest in a number of major changes for season eight of Smallville, which will go ahead without the show’s long-term showrunners, Miles Millar and Alfred Gough – who have moved on to pastures new – and will feature a lot less of Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang. So, it’s not all bad news, then.

Abrams on Trek
In a brief but tantalising syndicated interview on Yahoo News JJ Abrams promises that his Trek movie is going to have some striking different special FX: "I feel like this is so unlike what you expect, so unlike the Star Trek you've seen. At the same time, it's being true to what's come before, honouring it. I can say the FX for Star Trek have never, ever been done like this. ... I can only tell you the idea of the universe of Star Trek has never been given this kind of treatment."

NBC's Announces Schedules For the Next Year
Okay, so the scheduling plans for a US network shouldn't really by of interest to a UK-based website but we know some of you find this kind of information useful. Can't think why...? Anyway, the network's full plans are on The Futon Critic but the telefantasy highlights are:

* A double whammy of Chuck and Heroes on Monday nights starting in Autumn 2008
* Knight Rider on Wednesdays from Autumn 2008
* Merlin on Sundays from Winter 2009
* Medium on Sundays from Winter 2009
* Kings on Sundays from Winter 2009
* The Listener on Thursdays from Summer 2009

In case you haven't been following the new show announcements: Merlin is an Arthurian drama being jointly produced by the BBC and starring Anthony Stewart Head (but not in the title role - this is a "young Merlin and Arthur" take on the legend); Kings is an alternate universe modern-day retelling of the Biblical story of King David; The Listener is about a telepathic paramedic; and Knight Rider is a sleazy sexual romp about a time travelling porn star who likes to shag men in armour. We're lying about one of those.

James Patterson Book Heading Screenwards
James Patterson – current King of the airport novelists – has sold the movies rights to his next book, The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, which is due out in July. Production company New Regency (who recently made Jumper) has snapped up the rights, says Variety to the novel about "the adventures of a conflicted yet extraordinary teen who yearns to discover secrets about himself and his family as he battles alien outlaws who threaten life on Earth." The film will simply be called Daniel X. A couple of Patterson’s non-SF books have previously been made into films (Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls) but his previous SF books, the Maximum Ride series about winged superteens, remains in print only.

Vampire Flick Wins Festival Prize
A Swedish vampire film about a young boy falling in love with the vampire next door has won the Tribeca Film Festival, reports Variety . Lat den ratte komma in (Let the Right One In) is directed by Tomas Alfredson.

New Hancock Trailer
The full-length Hancock trailer in now on-line. And while the Will Smith-starring slacker superhero looks promising, you can’t help but get the feeling the trailer tells you a little bit too much about the plot. Let’s hope there are some surprises left in the movie.