The Producers Showcase Award was presented to Lauren Shuler Donner, who produced the super-successful X-Men franchise. The next installment, X-Men: First Class, is shooting this fall. When Shuler Donner accepted her honor, she gave credit to her husband Director Richard Donner for helping to give genre films “the respect that they are due.” Schuler Donner also had more big news: She is pushing Warner Bros. to give the okay for a Wonder Woman movie that she wants to produce.
“Lost,” this season’s most talked-about TV series, got the Best Television Series trophy, which was accepted by Executive Producer Carlton Cuse. Back in the press room, Cuse told everyone how pleased he was with “Lost” fans’ reaction to the finale: “We feel like we answered what we wanted for the show.” Taking a bow with him was Actor Mark Pellegrino (who played Jacob) and Co-Executive Producer/Writer Adam Horowitz, who also wrote the screenplay for the upcoming film TRON: Legacy.
The writing-producing team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman received the prestigious George Pal Memorial Award for their dedication to creating genre blockbusters in TV and film. Among their many accomplishments are Transformers, the TV series “Fringe” and the latest big-screen Star Trek incarnation. Special awards were also presented throughout the evening. With this year marking the 30th anniversary of the film Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Director Irvin Kershner was honored with a Life Career Award. Actor Billy Dee Williams read a letter from George Lucas and presented the award to Kershner’s son David, who accepted on his father’s behalf.
Drag Me to Hell won Best Horror Movie, and Filmmaker Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) was more than happy to pick up his trophy. “We wanted to make a horror film that entertained, shocked and scared the audience, and this award is a great validation,” he said, adding that the Saturn Awards are very special to him. “This group gathers great filmmakers like Zack Snyder, [who won Best Fantasy Film for Watchmen], Richard Donner, Guillermo del Toro and others, plus great actors like Leonard Nimoy. And to be honored among your highly respected peers is incredible. It’s a very humbling experience. It really makes you want to improve your game and be worthy of something like this.”
The Saturn event was presented by Executive Producer Robert L. Holguin, who took over the leadership role for the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror after Founder Dr. Donald A. Reed passed away almost a decade ago. Reed would have been proud of the stellar ceremony, which was held in the ballroom of the Castaway Restaurant in Burbank, Calif. It was a great event in which sci-fi stars, filmmakers, makeup artists and other craftsmen took a bow for their creative contributions to films and television shows that haunt our fantasies and nightmares.