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TUTENSTEIN

[Tutenstein]

Jay Stephens told Comics2Film that there’s good news and bad news regarding the planned Tutenstein animated show for Discovery Channel.

The bad new is that the show, most recently slated for October of this year, has been pushed back again.

The good news is, “Discovery Kids is so enthusiastic that we’re now developing the show as a series of 26 half-hours instead of just a Halloween special/pilot,” Stephens says.

Fans may be frustrated by the slowness of the project, which has been over two years in the making so far. But Stephens assures us that it’s all good. “They see so much potential in the project that they’re being super cautious about how it’s developed,” Stephens told C2F. “Hard to complain, though! They love Tutenstein and want the show done right.”

Character designs and a springboard comic can be seen a JayStephens.com. The kid mummy co-star’s in Stephens’ Jetcat Clubhouse comic, currently available from Oni Press.

Speaking of Jetcat, Stephens tells us that the eight-year-old superhero who flies like a jet and fights like a cat (hence the name) may soon return to the small screen. Stephens is currently working on an international co-production deal that will make it so.

IRON FIST

A source in the know tells Comics2Film that Marvel and Artisan have a first draft of the screenplay for the Iron Fist movie. According to our source, the script got an enthusiastic response from both houses. Writer John Turman is expected to turn in a polish on the script this month. The studio will likely seek a directory shortly thereafter.

FROM HELL

[From Hell]

Fans can look for the film version of Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell in October. Producer Don Murphy told Comics2Film that the movie is slated for an October 19 release. The movie stars Johnny Depp (Blow) as Scotland Yard Detective Frederick Abberline and is directed by Allen and Albert Hughes (Menace II Society).

LIGHT AND DARKNESS WAR

Comics2Film checked in with Jean-Marc Lofficier, head-honcho at the Hollywood Comics agency, for an update on the big-screen version of The Light and Darkness War. The movie, based on Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s comic, was in development with Contraband Films last year. However, Lofficier tells us that the option on the property has expired and the rights have reverted back to Veitch and Kennedy.

The comic was originally published by Marvel’s Epic imprint. It told the story of Lazarus Jones, a disabled and depressed Viet Nam vet who finds himself reunited with his war buddies in an afterlife dimension. Jones and company take part in a ten thousand-year war against the hellish legions of the Outer Darkness.

BLACK PEARL

It’s been a couple of years since fans heard anything about a movie based on Mark Hamill’s comic The Black Pearl. Rehme Productions had taken an option on the property back in 1997 and Hamill had written a screenplay for it.

This week a source at Rehme told Comics2Film that they are no longer developing the property. The option has expired and the rights have reverted back to Hamill.

The Black Pearl was published as a limited series by Dark Horse Comics in 1997. It told the story of a troubled man-turned-vigilante who is thrust into the role of costumed hero by our media-driven society.

SPIDER-MAN

Sources at Corona Coming Attractions have gotten a hold of what is purported to be a trailer of sorts for the Spider-Man movie. CCA believes that the footage was prepared primarily for the studio’s own use in presenting their vision of the webslinger to investors and licensees. Part of the reel, which shows Spidey climbing up the side of a building, can currently be viewed on the official website.

A Spider-Man trailer is expected to appear in theaters in July. However, CCA does not believe that this preview reel is that trailer.

[Web Shooters]

Never-the-less, CCA’s scooper came up with over 30 image captures from the footage. Included in the captures are several sequences of Spider-Man swinging through the city, as well as a look at his mechanical webshooter. 

Because you can never see too many pictures from the set of the movie here are a few more sources:

The official website has rolled out a small set of images from the New York shoot. The images aren’t terribly interesting; mostly just shots of various sets. There is one shot that depicts some stunt work, but no costume or other effects.

The French site FilmDeCulte published a large set of images recently. Some of these pictures show various cast and crew members including Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior  Princess) who has a cameo in the film.

In other Spidey news, Rob Allstetter of The Comics Continuum recently spoke with Spider-Man producer Ian Bryce. Bryce reports that the filming is ahead of schedule. “It’s been 16 weeks, an extremely long schedule,” Bryce told Allstetter. “We have two units shooting. The second unit has been on and off and they’re probably going to shoot about 10 weeks total by the time we get done.”

The movie is set to hit theaters a year from now. It’ll screen the same weekend as The Mummy Returns did this year. That movie set box office records which Spidey is sure to break.

[Black Cat?]

The Spider-Man Hype website continues to bring in the set reports and photos from the New York City filming. Their latest scoop includes a photo of a character that may be intended as a nod towards the Felicia Hardy/Black Cat character. According to the report, this minor character was only listed on the call sheets as one of two cat burglars. But the actress playing the part is a close visual match to Spidey’s sometime love interest.

The reports also describe a shot where Spidey bundles up bad guy in a web hammock for the police to collect.

Finally, Dark Horizons reports that the Spider-Man crew will be filming in Times Square over Memorial Day weekend.

MAGE

[Mage]

Will the movie version of Matt Wagner’s Mage hit the big screen in December of 2002? That’s the target date according the the movie’s web page at the Spyglass Entertainment website.

That date seems a bit ambitious. The movie currently does not have a director attached and the Hollywood strikes continue to loom as a possible monkey wrench on many projects. However, if the strike situation clears up quickly then the positive momentum on Mage could get things rolling in time to make a December 2002 release.

Thanks to UpcomingMovies.com for the lead.

MEN IN BLACK 2

Dark Horizons reports that Tommy Lee Jones is definitely on board for the soon-to-lens Men In Black 2. A little over a week ago the New York Post ran reports that indicated that the star was iffy due to a salary dispute. However The Post is now reporting that those rumors are false.

X-MEN 2

Counting Down has published what is purported to be the inside word on plot details for the upcoming X-Men sequel. The site has published a report from a scooper who claims to be a Fox employee who has overheard “certain things” about the movie and seen some pages from the treatment for the film. Counting Down does caution that this person’s report is unverified and should be considered rumor.

According to the report, the mutant hunting robots known as The Sentinels are in the movie. Also, the Beast will appear. The scooper claims that the Beast may be an “escapee from somewhere” or else a past acquaintance of Professor X’s. Notes on the treatment indicated that the screenplay could go either way with the Beast’s story.

Again, this is just rumor and has not been verified by the Counting Down staff.

BLADE 2

According to the Internet Movie Database Rey-Phillip Santos is among the cast members of Blade 2. Santos will play a character called Red Eye. The actor has appeared on Dark Angel and the upcoming TV series Spyder Games.

Thanks to Zameeka for the tip!

BATMAN: YEAR ONE

There have been plenty of rumors swirling around the Batman: Year One development effort of late. A recent appearance by Darren Aronofsky at Tulane University sparked a number of conflicting reports about what is going on with the film.

Now, IGN FilmForce has taken steps to clear the air around the Year One rumor mill. FilmForce’s report comes, not from anonymous sources or things overheard, but from a spokesperson for Aronofsky himself. The spokesperson stated that there’s nothing new with the writer/director’s status on the movie at this point. “Darren has signed on to write a script for Year One, with Frank Miller, but that’s not new news.”

But the rumors keep on coming. This next bit of Batman: Year One info comes from long-time reader Adam Hughes (not to be confused with the comic book artist of the same name). While thumbing through the latest issue of J-14 Hughes came across an article on teen heartthrob Freddie Prinze Jr. According to that magazine the Scooby Doo star may be in line to play young Batman in the gritty relaunch.

Quoting directly from the magazine, “Art house film director Darren Aronofky (sic) is on the prowl for a young star to play the caped crusader in Batman: Year One and Freddie’s name is at the top of his list.”

We’re pretty sure this is one of the seven signs of the apocalypse. Of course, the movie is a long way from the casting stages, so expect more of these kinds of rumors before the true Batman emerges.

DEATHLOK, HULK

Rob Allstetter of The Comics Continuum caught up with Avi Arad who talked about many of the future Marvel movies we’ll be seeing.

Arad is enthused about the work being done on the Deathlok movie. “Deathlok is going to be one of the greatest movies we ever make because the movie is so amazing,” Arad told Allstetter. “It’s fantastic, really an amazing story.”

The movie and comic mogul didn’t comment on on the creative talent attached, but last November Comics2Film was able to report that Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner (Nosebleed) are writing the script. Deathlok is set up at Paramount Pictures (see domain name article below).

Arad also mentions the big screen version of The Hulk which has Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s Ang Lee attached to direct. Arad told The Continuum that a 2003 release looks likely. “Ang Lee is having the time of his life getting into the technology,” Arad is quoted as saying.

AKIRA

[Akira Tin]

The DVD release of the anime classic Akira is set for July 24 of this year. The film will be released in a standard DVD and a Deluxe Collector’s Edition. The ICv2 website has published a photograph of what the Deluxe edition’s tin will looks like.

According to ICv2, the Collector’s Edition includes a documentary on the making of the film, another documentary on the creation of the soundtrack, a feature on the restoration of the film, and more.

In addition to the release of the DVD, fans can look forward to new Akira comics from Dark Horse Comics, action figures from McFarlane Toys and even an Akira video game.

FUN WITH DOMAIN NAMES

Every once in a while we here at Comics2Film like to scour the domain name registry in an attempt to anticipate where the movie studios will be posting their comic-to-film website. We unearthed a few interesting domain registrations this week.

Does the fact that a studio registers a domain tell us anything about the status of a movie? Not necessarily. Oftentimes a studio will just grab up a name or group of names in anticipation of future use and to prevent squatters from taking them.

Case in point is Dreamworks purchase of domain names related to The Road to Perdition. In order to cover all the bases, the studio purchased 21 domain names (that we found). Obviously only one will be promoted as the official site for the movie. Here’s the list:

Ironically, the studio was unable to nab theroadtoperdition.com or roadtoperdition.com which had already been taken.

In other domain news, Paramount Pictures purchased deathlokmovie.com last February, the usage of which is obvious.

As is usually the cast, the above domain names do not currently connect to an active website.

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