WEREWOLF BY NIGHT
Screenwriter Hans Rodionoff has been hired to write several comic scripts in the past year. Comics2Film recently learned that the longtime comic fan is now working on a project he may be uniquely qualified for: Marvel’s Werewolf By Night.
“He may be a werewolf,” Marvel’s Kevin Feige said of the writer.
Rodionoff told C2F that, as a child, his obsession with the Marvel character had him searching for black magic tomes at the library for spells that would transform him into a lycanthrope. Exploring those childhood dreams has helped shape a script that delivers a new kind of werewolf movie.
Werewolf by Night has been described as an epic love-story with plenty of horror and action. The story started as a concept developed by Marvel chief Avi Arad along with Feige and Marvel V.P. of production Ari Arad. John Fasano wrote several drafts of a script based on that.
“Now Hans has come in and added his very unique style and combination of tone and atmosphere and flavor and texture, while at the same time building up this relationship,” Feige said.
“Avi, Kevin and Ari have came up with this storyline that is really cool,” Rodionoff told C2F. “It’s giving me a chance to branch into all kinds of writing that I haven’t done before.
“It’s about a guy trying to figure out who he is and what his place is. It’s kind of an inter-racial love story, almost. The characters are so dense and so well worked out,” Rodionoff said. He credits Marvel with constantly pushing for a fantasy movies that have substance.
“Marvel has this mandate for their movies where you should be able to strip away the costumes and the crazy super-villains and everything else, and have a really cool human story underneath it all,” Rodionoff told C2F. “That’s very much what we have with Werewolf By Night. If you took the werewolf out you’d still have a really cool movie.”
Ari Arad sees Rodionoff as having the ideal combination of skills for writing such a script. “I think he’s a very stylish genre writer. He writes very sensitive characters,” Arad said. “He’s always been especially interested in the horror element of Marvel and he’s very passionate about this character.”
While this may sound like the makings of a romance novel, Feige tells fans that there’s be plenty of genre action to look forward to. “Hans has done an excellent job of giving us the kind of werewolf action that we’ve never seen but if you’re a fan of werewolves it’s the kind of action you’ve always wanted to see,” Feige said.
“It’s definitely not your average werewolf movie,” Rodionoff adds.
Ari Arad said he’s hopeful that the strong script will spark more movement on the project in the coming months. “Obviously we are pretty passionate about it. We’ve had this one clear in our brain for a long time so we do want to see it get made,” Arad said.
Werewolf by Night is set up at Dimension Films with Crystal Sky Entertainment.
Comics2Film’s animation source gave us a mini-update on the planned Teen Titans animated show. This source provided us with plenty of good info on the Spider-Man animated show last summer.
Our insider tells us that the show is still not officially greenlit, although may be soon. Glen Murakami, producer of Justice League and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (among others) will be the main creative voice on the show. Our source said Bruce Timm will be an executive producer and the show will sport the Timm look, consistent with previous DC animated shows.
Finally our inside source said the current line-up for the team is Changeling, Raven, Cyborg, Starfire and Robin. Robin will be the younger, Tim Drake version seen in the latter episodes of the Batman animated shows. However, our source cautions that the show is still in development and plans may change.
Finally, a source at Weed Road Pictures told C2F that the animated show is not related to their planned live-action Teen Titans feature and one project does not effect the other. Currently Weed Road is seeking a writer for the project.
Last week MTV Movie House ran a segment covering the movie. Despite pouring over the footage, we overlooked a flashy but non-descript concept image. Yet, thanks to C2F scooper Eli McElmurray, we’ve finally discovered the image that appears to feature Daredevil’s primary adversary.
Certainly the iridescent blue color is reminiscent of the comics, much else is different. Instead of the skintight outfit like Daredevil’s, the costume is more reminiscent of The Matrix, and does not include a mask. However, the assassin does sport a bullseye on his forehead, in the form of a large carved-out scar. Though the image we have isn’t clear or well-lit enough to confirm those details, it does seem to support them.
In other news, word of a Daredevil teaser trailer in theaters this month and has fans pondering the question: where is the Daredevil website?
We’re not sure if or when the DD website will open, but if Fox does put one out there Comics2Film has some guesses as to where fans might find it. We sent Bleeko, the C2F web monkey out to search for Daredevil-related domain name acquisitions. Here’s what he found.
As we previously reported New Regency grabbed the domain name DaredevilMovie.com way back in July of 2000, and still holds it today.
More interesting, however, is the fact that Fox registered DaredevilTheFilm.com and DaredevilTheMovie.com back in March of this year. Bleeko also discovered that Fox made two more acquisitions a few weeks later. On March 14th they also grabbed up DaredevilManWithoutFear.com and DaredevilManWithoutFearMovie.com.
Currently all these web addresses lead to dead-ends. It could be that Fox will activate one or more of them when the site goes online. Or they may just hang it as a sub-domain of foxmovies.com, much like Sony did with their Spider-Man site.
SOME TROUBLE OF A SERRIOUS NATURE
Crusade Fine Arts, Ltd. has announced that Some Trouble of A SeRRious Nature, the directorial debut of comics creator and publisher Billy Tucci, has been selected as the winner of the prestigious Long Island Film/TV Foundation Finishing Fund Grant.
The film, presently in post-production, is a comedy based on the legendary 1947 hoax letter written to Chance Vought Aviation detailing the disposition of one unfortunate Vought F4U Corsair fighter plane and the hillbillies who were determined to fly it. Thousands of copies of the letter have been distributed throughout aviation circles in the years since, but Some Trouble of A SeRRious Nature represents its first filmic incarnation and stars Brian Finney (The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle).
“I¹m really honored to receive this Finishing Fund Grant from the Foundation. Their efforts to bolster the film community in this part of New York played a significant role in our ability to make this film a reality,” Tucci said. “In addition to the prestige of winning this award, it¹s contributions like this that really make independent filmmaking the positive adventure that it is.”
The Long Island Film & TV Foundation is established to stimulate and encourage film and TV production on Long Island, New York. Since film and activities on the Island account for over 40 million dollars in revenues per year, the foundation invites future projects to the area by working closely with industry executives, financiers, film producers, TV/Cable operators and government officials.
“We are proud to present Billy Tucci and Crusade Fine Arts with the 2002 Long Island Film/TV Foundation and the Nassau County Film Commission Finishing Fund Grant.” L.I. Film/TV Director Debra Markowitz continued, “Billy’s first film, Some Trouble of a SeRRious Nature, shows that he has a brilliant career ahead of him in the movie industry.”
Watch Comics2Film for more updates on Some Trouble of a SeRRious Nature.
Comics2Film heard from producer Rupert Harvey about recent casting buzz on the Preacher movie.
Harvey confirmed that, while he hasn’t signed yet, James Marsden will very likely star in the title role. Marsden is well-known to C2F readers for playing Scott Summers/Cyclops in X-Men.
Marsden will be busy with X-Men 2 starting this month, which means Preacher will have to wait. Harvey expects the movie will go into production later this year.
David Koepp, who penned the screenplay for the blockbuster adaptation Spider-Man is going to write the first draft for the sequel according to yesterday’s Variety.
Although it was previously announced that Alfred Gough and Miles Millar of Shanghai Noon and Smallville fame would write the script, apparently Koepp had some hot concepts for the sequel and was eager to take a pass at at.
“David had an idea and agreed to take some time off from the other project to write the first draft,” Sony’s Amy Pascal told Variety. “Gough and Millar will then take his first draft and start working from there.”
Comics2Film checked in with Steve Rude for a report on the status of his Nexus animated TV project.
“I will be personally financing a 1-minute promo pilot to be completed sometime by the end of the summer,” Rude told us. “At that time, though, it will be used as a promotional selling tool for interested investors and may be considered as a CD package to be offered to fans.”
The Nexus team includes top animators from Disney and DreamWorks according to Rude. “Local digital camera outfits and editing houses as well as an extremely talented local composer are slotted to see this pilot brought to it’s finished form,” the comic creator said.
For more info on the show and the works of Steve Rude visit SteveRude.com.
Tuesday’s Variety reports that Pathe Distribution and FilmFour have picked up U.K. rights to Bulletproof Monk from Stewart Till’s Signpost Films.
Signpost is also selling the international rights to the movie.
BIRDS OF PREY
For those Birds of Prey fans eagerly awaiting the new WB series starting in the Fall, Gotham Clock Tower has come across something that may be of interest.
The site has reported that a five minute promotional video is now online. Visit Gotham Clock Tower to see the video.
It was announced last week that comic book writer Jeph Loeb has come on board the team behind Smallville as a consulting producer and writer.
KryptonSite has conducted an interview with Loeb. In it, he discusses everything from how he got the job to how he views the differences and similarities between the comic book version of Clark Kent and the version in the hit TV series.
Visit KryptonSite for the interview.
KING CONAN: CROWN OF IRON
FilmForce says that according to a source close to the production, the report is “ludicrous.” He goes on to say that Schwarzenegger has “never looked better.”
The article says that the new Conan film is on the fast track on Warner Brothers. Previous reports indicate that Vin Diesel may also be in the film.
With filming scheduled to begin this week in Vancouver, news about X2 has drastically increased of late.
The sequel to X-Men appears to have a new cast member, according to The Vancouver Sun. The paper reports that seventeen year-old actress Katie Stuart has been cast in the role of a young mutant. Additionally, her contract also includes sequels in the Fox film franchise. Nothing in the report mentions which character Stuart will be playing. However, the Katie Stuart website has reported that she will be playing Kitty Pryde. In the comics, Pryde was also known as Shadowcat and Ariel.
The report In The Vancouver Sun also mentions that Hugh Jackman who plays Wolverine in the films, has grown a beard for a select number of scenes in X2.
The film is slated to hit theaters May 2, 2003.
Thanks to Corona Coming Attractions for pointing the way.
WITCHBLADE SEASON 2
According to yesterday’s Variety Yancy Butler has returned to the set of Witchblade and cameras are once again rolling on the second season of that TV series. The production was halted last month as Butler entered a rehab center for alcohol treatment.
The season makes its debut on Sunday with two back-to-back episodes airing from 8-10p.m. on TNT.
MEN IN BLACK 2
Do you want to get an advance look at what adventures await MiB agents J and K in their next cinematic adventure? Then visit Phantastik. It’s a German web site that has a plethora of pictures from Men in Black II.
Comics2Film has learned that the photos are the work of photographer Melinda Sue Gordon, a fact revealed by Brad Munson, author of the recently published book Inside Men In Black II.
Munson said that Gordon was “on the set virtually every day; she snapped over 15,000 [emphasis his] stills, and Sony developed ’em all,” the author said. “I should know: I looked at EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM as I was choosing the shots for Inside MiB2, the ‘making of …’ book that I wrote for Random House/Ballantine/Del Rey (with the full cooperation of Sony/Columbia).”
Better quality versions of he same shots that appear on the Phantastik site also appear in the book, which is available now. There are also photos of one thing that you can’t find online. “As far as I’m concerned, they’re missing the single *coolest* thing in the movie: the Mercedes 500e that converts into a flying car,” the author told us.
Munson is referring only to the action photos that you see at the top of the Phantastik page, and not to the alien portraits that appear further down. While the book doesn’t contain the portraits, it does contain plenty of photos of the MiB2 aliens.
WONDER TWINS, THE
With Marvel characters ruling Hollywood right now, fans are waiting to see the response from Warner Bros. However, according to the Hollywood Reporter, WB’s next superhero movie will shock the fan community: The Wonder Twins is now in development as a live action film. Warner Bros. has optioned the property for development by Gaylord Films.
Yes, many Comics2Film readers will no doubt recall with nostalgia and/or loathing of the two characters, which distracted viewers from real superheroes like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman in the Superfriends cartoons of the ’70s and ’80s. Though the show was a watered-down Justice League cartoon, the Wonder Twins were creations of Hanna Barbara, inserted into the show for “humor.”
The Wonder Twins were aliens Zan and Jayna, from the planet Exxor. They had the power to transform in a burst of energy when they struck each other’s fist. While that might sound cool, the Twins could only transform into lame things – one could become animals, the other could become different forms of water. The Twins were generally looked down upon by the fanboy community, but in a quirk of pop culture, the Twins’ signature cries during transformation – “Wonder Twin Powers – Activate!” became an iconic phrase.
BATMAN: YEAR ONE, DAREDEVIL
In a recent posting on his View Askew message boards, filmmaker Kevin Smith addressed a couple of topics that are sure to be on the minds of comic book movie fans.
First up Smith talked about recent rumors that he was up for directing chores on the next Batman movie. “For the record, I am NOT in talks with Warner Brothers about the Batman franchise (though after being on the DD set that handful of times, I wish I was),” Smith told his readers. “I don’t know where people get this stuff.”
Speaking of Daredevil, Smith also talked about the upcoming trailer, which will screen with the soon-to-be released Minority Report. “It’s just flat-out tremendous. Lots of footage (in quick cuts, of course), including Ben in costume, Elektra Garner spinning her sais, and Bullseye in action,” Smith wrote. “This oughta quiet anybody who’s running around cyber-space bitching about the flick.”
Box Office Mojo has reported that the wall-crawling record-breaker earned a total of $358,505,354 Wednesday, pushing it into the #5 all-time domestic grosses list. The film edged out Jurassic Park, who had remained in the top five since its run in 1993. So what does it mean to be among the top five all-time domestic grosses? First of all, it means the film is now in the ranks of such legends as Star Wars, Titanic, and E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial. However, the all-time domestic list does not take worldwide earnings or inflation into account.
Spider-Man’s worldwide status is difficult to measure, as it is just now opening in many overseas markets, including the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. Additionally, the film’s patriotic themes can hurt it elsewhere around the world. Still, it has already reached the #27 spot worldwide.
When ticket price inflation is accounted for, Spidey is a distant #45, having just passed the 1989 Batman film. (Yes, this means Spider-Man is the best comic-book adaptation of all-time, even after adjusting for inflation.) This too, however, is a difficult measure, as ticket price adjustment does not take other factors, such as market saturation and economic climate, into account.
Forecasters expect Spider-Man to earn $420 million over the course of its run. This is nearly double what they had expected before the film’s release, but is unfortunately not enough to climb the all-time list any further. Still, this reporter remains hopeful that Spidey can muster an additional ten million and “force” Phantom Menace ($431,088,297) out of the #4 spot. Thus, I encourage you to do as the new TV spot asks: Go for a second spin!
Variety’s Claude Brodesser reported this week on a project that does not involve a comic-book adaptation, but will interest comic book fans and Comics2Film fans alike. Brodesser writes that DreamWorks has acquired a pitch written by writer Grant Morrison (New X-Men, The Invisibles) entitled Sleepless Knights. Guillermo Del Toro (Blade 2, Hellboy) has signed on to direct the project.
About the film, Brodesser wrote: “[The] story is designed as a family adventure about a time machine experiment that goes horribly wrong, leaving the planet permanently stuck on Halloween eve. Soon, ghosts and spirits realize they have free reign and run unchecked — until a young boy is recruited to an elite ghostbusting squadron called the Sleepless Knights.”
The film is being produced by frequent comic-book adapter Don Murphy under his Angry Films banner. Susan Montford, credited for getting del Toro involved, is co-producing the film with Murphy.
Colombia Pictures wishes to further exploit its superhero-film success, and its newest attempt involves Jennifer Lopez, Rob Liefeld, and… a couch?
This according to Variety: Jennifer Lopez has signed to star in Shrink, the film adaptation of Rob Liefeld’s comic of the same name. In the film, Lopez will play a shrink whose primary clients are superheroes. According to the report, “The protagonist, who was once a superhero herself until a traumatic incident prompted her to shield that power. She finds herself in a love triangle between a villain and virtuous superbeings.”
The movie is a co-production between Lopez’s new production shingle Nuyorican and Handprint. Lopez, Benny Medina, David Guillod, Liefeld and Kevin Messick are all named as producers on the project.
Although Liefeld bashers may be set to attck the film, with its Powers-meets-Analyze This plot, Colombia’s reasoning can be easily explained. This film will attempt to combine the fantasy of Spider-Man with the humor of Men in Black, the studio’s two best-performing films of all time.
HAVE DINNER WITH STAN LEE!
Want to have dinner with the co-creator of the world’s greatest Superheroes? Columbia TriStar Home Video is offer an special sweepstakes that could have you breaking bread with none other than Stan Lee. It’s all part of their promotion of the recently released Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters & Marvels.
Visit the official website for the recently released video and sign up to win a trip to L.A. to have dinner with Lee. Runners up will get a Sony DVD player or autographed copies of Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters & Marvels.
Enter now and win!
THIS WEEK ON JEREMIAH
This week’s Jeremiah explores racial politics in “Moon in Gemini”, a thought-provoking episode written by executive producer Sam Egan.
A message from Erin’s wayward twin sister, Lauren (Monique Kavelaars), sends her and Jeremiah (Luke Perry) on a mission of personal discovery while Kurdy (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) and Elizabeth (Kandyse McClure) meet with Shadow of the Crescent, a group of Black separatists. This episode is written by Same Egan and directed by Brad Turner.
“Moon in Gemini” airs Friday, June 14th at 10:45 P.M. on Showtime. There will also an encore on Sunday, June 16th on Showtime Beyond East at 10:45 PM (ET & PT).
Preview clips of the show are available online at Showtime’s Jeremiah site. Click “Episode Preview” from the site’s nav.
THIS WEEK ON SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH
A kiss is just a kiss on the encore presentation of “Sabrina and the Kiss,” this week’s episode of “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch”.
When Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) gets an unexpected visit and a planted kiss from her old boyfriend Derek (guest star Bryan Kirkwood, “One World”), she comes clean with Josh (David Lascher) about what happened. Josh’s nonchalant reaction sends Sabrina into a tailspin and to visit the Other Realm’s top romance novelist (guest star Kathleen Noone, “All My Children”) for advice on how to rewrite Josh into more of a passionate boyfriend. Jeff Melman directed the episode written by Suzanne Gangursky.
“Sabrina and the Kiss” airs Friday, June 14th at 8:00 p.m. on The WB Network.
Thanks to author and comic book movie journalist Andy Mangels for the info.
THIS WEEK ON JUSTICE LEAGUE IN THE U.K.
Fans in the U.K. will get a chance to see the modern day exploits of “Justice League” this month. The hit animated show has been running on Cartoon Network in the U.S. since November. Now it’s set to make its debut in Cartoon Network U.K. on Saturday June 15th.
The show opens with the feature-length 90-minute episode “Secret Origins”. That airs at 1 p.m. on the 15th.
U.K. fans can catch the show on weekends after that at 10:30am starting June 22nd and weekdays at 5:30pm starting July 1st.
NEXT WEEK ON WITCHBLADE
The second season of Witchblade begins this Sunday with a two-hour block of episodes.
Fans can tune in June 16th at 8 p.m. (ET) for “Emergence”, the debut episode.
In the season premiere, it’s a case of deja vu when Sara Pezzini is once again chosen to wield the Witchblade. But when the sinister Kenneth Irons vows to take the powerful weapon from her, can she master its powers in time to defend her destiny?
The show is followed by another episode, “Destiny”, follows at 9 p.m.
Using the powers of the Witchblade, Sara saves the life of her partner, Danny Woo. But when Irons procures an ancient weapon, can she save herself as the battle for the Witchblade turns into a fight to the death?
Encores for the season openers air at 10 and 11 p.m. the same night.
The debut is followed by another new episode in the show’s regular time slot on Monday, June 17th at 9p.m. (ET). Episode three is called “Agape”:
As Sara and Danny investigate a series of bizarre drug-related murders, rookie detective Jake is pulled into a sting with a questionable cop. Now Sara must learn to use the Witchblade to solve the crime and save Jake before it’s too late.
An encore airs on Tuesday, June 18th at 11p.m. (ET).
Thanks to Dex and Ron for the scoop!
NEXT WEEK ON JUSTICE LEAGUE
Next Sunday night brings an encore airing of “Legends Part II,” on Justice League on Cartoon Network.
During a fight with Lex Luthor, the Justice League is blasted into an alternate reality where they meet the Justice Guild of America, a group of old-fashioned comic book heroes whose exploits the Green Lantern remembers reading about when he was a kid.
“Legends Part II” airs Sunday, June 16th at 7:00 p.m. on Cartoon Network. Additional showings are 7:00pm on Friday, June 21st and 10:30 a.m. on Saturday June 22nd.
Also, Cartoon Network is scheduling a repeat of “Paradise Lost Part II” on Friday, June 15th at 10:00p.m.
NEXT WEEK ON SMALLVILLE
Clark loses his powers to another and Lex turns on him on the encore presentation of “Leech”, next week’s episode of Smallville.
When Clark (Tom Welling) rescues his classmate Eric (guest star Shawn Ashmore of X-Men fame) from harm during an electrical storm, they are both struck by lightening, resulting in all of Clark’s superpowers transferring to Eric. While Eric relishes his new life as “Superboy,” Clark is torn between his happiness at finally being normal and his growing concern for the town’s safety as Eric starts to abuse his powers. Meanwhile, Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) believes he finally has undeniable proof of Clark’s superpowers and confronts him. Greg Beeman directed the episode written by Tim Schlattmann.
“Leech” airs Tuesday, June 18th at 9:00 p.m. ET on The WB network
Thanks to author and comic book movie journalist Andy Mangels for the info.
CORRECTION: JOHNNY DYNAMITE
Comics2Film has learned that last week’s Johnny Dynamite story was partially in error.
As we reported, John Ridley (Cold Around The Heart) is attached to the project as director. However, the project is based on a script by Max Allan Collins himself, and on Collins’ Johnny Dynamite comics.
Furthermore, Ken F. Levin and Jason Netter are attached as producers on the project. Ian Unterreiner is producing for Arsenal Entertainment.