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GREEN ARROW

[Green Arrow]

Comics2Film spoke with producer Bill Todman, Jr. about progress on the planned Green Arrow movie. Todman was a co-producer X-Men.

“We are getting it ready to start preparing a screenplay. It’s still very, very nascent a stage.” The producer is looking for a writer to develop it.

We asked if Kevin Smith, who is currently writing the comics, is being considered for the screenwriting chores. “There’s always a possibility. I don’t know yet,” Todman said.

Smith’s Green Arrow comics are a hit with readers, with the first issue in March selling out and prompting a second printing. Word on the internet was that the hot sales on the comic prompted renewed interest in the movie. However, Todman tells us that current movement on the film is completely independent of what’s happening with Smith’s comic.

WEREWOLF BY NIGHT

Comics2Film has learned that Marvel is planning a big-screen adaptation of their Werewolf By Night comic. The project is set up at Dimension Films with Crystal Sky Entertainment and Marvel producing (similar to the Ghost Rider deal). Jesse Berdinka is overseeing the project for Dimension.

Marvel approached David Goyer for the job but the busy writer/director passed on it. Sources tell C2F that the project is currently up for grabs.

TOO MUCH COFFEE MAN

Shannon Wheeler updated his fans on the status of his Too Much Coffee Man cartoon via his e-mail newsletter this week. Wheeler writes:

“What’s going on with the Comedy Central Too Much Coffee Man cartoon? Hurry up, finish that script. Wait. These things take time. Hurry up. Wait. It looks like we have a green light. It looks dead. It looks good. The worst part about doing something with Hollywood is having everyone ask about the things I’m doing with Hollywood.”

Fans who need their caffeine fix can look for it in this month’s Diamond Distribution Catalog. Wheeler has a Too Much Coffee Man magazine headed for comic stores in July.

“What’s in the magazine? Lot’s of stuff. The theme is ‘Arrested Development’. David Walker, the film critic editor of the Willamette Weekly, wrote the lead story. He claims that there’s a trend of men to avoiding marriage, staying away from ‘career jobs’, and indulging their desires to read comics and watch bad movies. Men are extending their 20’s well in to their 30’s. It’s an interesting read.

“We also have a piece on little girls dressing like 18 year olds. And another article about 40 year old women who dress like 18 year olds.

“There’s a Starbuck’s Lawsuit story and one on coffee enemas too. They’re both scary.

“And there are lots and lots of comics.”

THE ELTINGVILLE CLUB

Work on the pilot for the animated Eltingville Club show proceeds apace according to creator and show-runner Evan Dorkin. Dorkin has been developing the pilot for Cartoon Network with partner Sarah Dyer, who is an Executive Producer on the project, for over a year.

“We’re several weeks away from shipping the pilot to the animation studio in Japan,” Dorkin told Comics2Film. “Things are pretty hectic, the pilot calls for a lot of characters, environments and background detail, so there’s a lot of last minute drawing, coloring and revising going on — but we’re largely set on our character models, backgrounds, etc.”

“Sarah’s working on the color modeling for the characters and props. I’m doing revisions on designs as they come back to me and am working on several background clean-ups,” Dorkin said.

The crew is hard at work on the title sequence and music. “Stephen DeStefano, Sarah and I designed a short show opening sequence last week that Stephen is boarding. If that goes well we’re planning to contact a band that’s a favorite of mine to provide opening and closing themes,” Dorkin reports.

So far the network’s response to the work done on the show has been positive.

MUTANT X

The Toronto Sun (via Jam Showbiz!) has revealed the four Canadian actors cast in the Mutant X TV show.

[Victoria Pratt]
[Victor Webster]
Victoria Pratt Victor Webster
[Lauren Lee Smith]
[Forbes March]
Lauren Lee Smith Forbes March

Victoria Pratt plays Shalimar Fox (a.k.a. ShadowFox), a half human-half animal mutant. Fans may remember Pratt as the terminally tough Sarge on Cleopatra 2525.

Victor Webster has been cast as the show’s electricity wielding Brennan Mulwray (a.k.a. Fuse). Webster is best known for his role on the daytime soap Days of Our Lives.

Lauren Lee Smith plays the telepathic and empathic Emma Desalvo (a.k.a. Rapport). Smith has appeared on an episode of Dark Angel.

Finally we have Forbes March as Jesse Kilmartin (a.k.a. Synergy). Synergy can split his body in to triplicates, each representing an aspect of his personality. He can also take on the appearances of others. March has appeared on All My Children.

The write up states that the role of mutant leader Adam Xero has yet to be cast. Also open is the role of Albion Magnus, head of the evil Genetic Security Agency (GSA).

According the the official Mutant X website the foursome will undergo extensive training next month. The blurb on the site states, “we will be harnessing them up with both our Stunt and Fight Coordinators for some real training in wirework. The results should literally blow you away!”

There’s been no new news on the lawsuits surround the show. Fox contends that Mutant X is a thinly disguised spin-off of it’s movie franchise X-Men. Marvel contends that the show is original and unrelated.

Regardless, current plans are to start production in June. According to The Sun, the show’s per-episode budget is just under $2 million. By casting Canadian actors who are under the ACTRA contract, the producers of the show have made it impervious to the possible SAG actors strike.

Other news for the official site:

  • Set designer Rocco Matteo and his crew are busy building the Mutant X Sanctuary and the GSA headquarters on a Toronto sound stage.
  • The Directors of Photography are developing “new and innovative looks” for the series
  • Howard Chaykin and the writing team are cranking out new scripts.

GHOST RIDER

David Goyer talked to Rob Allstetter of The Comics Continuum about progress on the Ghost Rider movie. The writer/producer did shed new light on how the character would look and behave in the movie. Here are some interesting quotes from the write-up.

  • “As the Ghost Rider, he can flip over a truck with one hand. He can fire flames and things like that. He’s kind of like a fire elemental. There’s a scene where there’s this huge fire, and he goes like this (waves hand) and the fire parts like the Red Sea.”
  • “Even as Johnny Blaze, if Johnny Blaze walks into a room with candles, the flames will bend toward him.”
  • “He also does have the penance stare. He’ll grab you and force you to relive tenfold all the sins you have perpetuated in your life. On the balance scale, if there are too many sins, you’ll burn up and incinerate. If you’re largely a good person, you’ll be spared.”
  • “He does have a cycle, but if he’s the Ghost Rider and he touches any motorcycle, it transforms into the same motorcycle, the same demonic entity. It happens with any motorcycle, whether it’s a Kawasaki or a Harley Davidson. It will transform into this kind of hellcycle.”

Thanks to Neilalien for the lead.

Later, Avi Arad told The Continuum that locations are currently being scouted for the Ghost Rider movie.

SPIDER-MAN

Reports for the New York City set of Spider-Man continue to flood the internet. In contrast to the filming of X-Men where filmmakers tried to keep a lid on things, the Spider-Man shoot is enjoying open coverage from various parties on the internet and in other media.

[Spider-Man holding the baby]
[Spider-man's Webs]
[Oscorp]

Spider-Man Hype is definitely the front-runner having posted scads of images this weekend. The images depict a sequence in which Spider-Man swings (or jumps) from a building, saving a bundled child. The site also landed a high-quality shot of Spidey holding the baby.

Earlier the site had published a nifty shot of Spidey’s webbing props. These weblines will be combined with CGI to complete the effect of Spidey’s sticky substance in the movie.

They’ve also had cool exterior shots of the “Oscorp” building, where Norman Osborn runs his empire.

Corona Coming Attractions has also come through with set reports and images. That site has posted its own series of reports and a few action shots of a sequence in which Peter Parker becomes aware of his new-found Spidey powers. The shots feature Tobey Maguire chasing after his missed school bus; a chase that eventually reveals strange new abilities to the youngster.

In the mean time, Rob Allstetter of The Comics Continuum spoke with Marvel’s Avi Arad about the film. Arad told Allstetter that fans can look for the first Spidey trailer in theaters in July. The trailer may include images from the web slinger’s melee with the Green Goblin. Attendees of this Comic-Con International in San Diego will also be treated to a preview.

WITCHBLADE

The TNT cable network has published its June schedule and Witchblade is on it. The new series kicks off with a showing of last year’s two-hour movie on Tuesday, June 5 at 9pm. If you get in late you can catch an encore presentation of the movie that same night at 11pm. The movie will air a third time on Monday, June 11 at 10pm.

The new episodes start on the 12th. The show airs in 9pm slot with encore showings of each episode airing 11pm the same night. This first episode is called “Parallax”. It brings Sara Pezzini into conflict with a experimentally bred super-soldier called a “Black Dragon.” This episode also has a special encore showing at 11pm on Saturday, the 30th.

Airing on the 19th is “Conundrum.” No description is given for this episode.

On the 26th we have “Diplopia.” This episode has Pezzini investigating a suspect who always seems to have air-tight alibis. The episode introduces the Madame Boucher character from the comics, as well as the recurring character Gabriel Bowman.

All air times are EST. Check your local cable listings.

WONDER WOMAN

Producer Leonard Goldberg told Michael Fleming of Variety that Sandra Bullock is still a contender to star in the Wonder Woman movie. “Sandy’s interested, and we’ve met with her,” Goldberg told Variety. “It all depends on the script and director, of course, but she hasn’t done anything this physical in a long time, and she’d like to. We’d love to have her.”

Goldberg was also a producer on Charlie’s Angels. In the same write-up he reports that he hopes to have cameras rolling on a sequel to that film spring of next year.

Thanks to clark_kent1997 for the lead.

MAGE

Spyglass Entertainment has renewed its option on the Mage movie according to a recent report by the The Comics Continuum. Matt Wagner, the comic’s creator told The Continuum, “That says something. Right in the middle of the strike getting ready to happen, they re-up. The people involved at Spyglass, they’ve all been actively involved with the script. I know they feel proprietary about it now – and that’s a good thing.”

DR. STRANGE

Filmmaker David Goyer (Blade 2, Ghost Rider) told Rob Allstetter of The Comics Continuum that he is in talks about writing the Doctor Strange movie for Columbia.

As an interesting side note, Goyer recently told Comics2Film that he thought Ghost Rider or Black Panther would be his last outing working as a screenwriter for other directors. Goyer recently made his debut as a director when he filmed ZigZag earlier this year. C2F wonders if a Doctor Strange deal would have Goyer wearing two hats?

Thanks to Neilalien for the lead.

FAUST

[Faust]

The Creature Corner website recently spoke to actor Andrew Divoff about his work in the upcoming Faust movie. Divoff plays “M” (or Mephistopheles) in the adaptation of the David Quinn and Tim Vigil’s comic.

Divoff calls the movie is “trippy” and talked about the experience of filming the horror flick in Barcelona. “Once we got into shooting we were in gothic land,” Divoff said. “I mean, Barcelona even has a quarter called The Gothic Quarter. So, as far as having locations and backdrops that were perfectly suited to the movie, Barcelona is the place. M’s mansion is an amazing location in and of itself. Natural fog, the mist was really cool. We didn’t have to have a smoke machine there. It was doing it all on it’s own.”

Divoff also talked about his preparation for the part. “I can read a script, but until I have the make-up and until I’m in the skin, as it were, I don’t really start. Also it’s defining the character, picking his wardrobe and seeing where he lived, that all helped. I already knew all the lines, I knew the story, but it’s weird with me.”

The actor also said he got familiar with the comic books before the cameras rolled. He feels the movie captures the violent and sexual essence of the comics. “It’s graphic. Absolutely, it does,” Divoff said. “Especially the character, Claire, played by Monica Van Campbell. She’s so sexually coy and playful with her role which is who Claire is. She’s wonderful. She really, really plays it off. She’s statuesque.”

Faust is due out on video late this summer.

BATMAN: YEAR ONE, CATWOMAN

Comics2Film has heard from FkFrankie, who attended a Tulane University screening of Pi with Batman: Year One director Darren Aronofsky. Clint Mansell, who scored Pi and Aronofsky’s more recent Requiem for a Dream was also on hand at the screening. Word is that Mansell will score the Year One movie if it gets made.

According to the Dark Horizons website, director Darren Aronofsky was in Texas last week and confirmed that “today was the actual signing day” for Batman: Year One. The DH report is that vague, but we assume that means he’s actually signed on for the project at this point.

Meanwhile, Fabio2 of the Superheroes At The Movies site has done some checking on recent Catwoman rumors. His sources tell him that Ashley Judd will be playing Selina Kyle in the movie. Last week we reported from the Batman On Film site that the character was to be the goofy Patience Price character from previous takes on the movie concept. However, SHATM’s sources tell them that Judd hated the previous concept and screenwriter John Rogers is being charged to bring the story back in line with the original character.

SHATM also refutes reports that Batman: Year One will be any kind of sequel to the previous Bat-movies.

THE MAGDALENA, MIDNIGHT NATION

The recent issue of Wizard magazine spotlights a variety of projects based on Top Cow comic books.

Top Cow is said to be planning a TV series based on the Magdalena comics by Joe Benitez and Marcia Chen. Unlike the Witchblade TV show, plans are for the Magdalena series to be closer to the comic books.

J. Michael Straczynski reports that his Midnight Nation is garnering attention from Hollywood. The comic tells the story of a cop who finds himself in an eerie ghost world populated by forgotten people and objects. The report indicates there’s been interest on both the movie and TV front.

MAN-THING

Ever mindful of the Internet domain name game, Comics2Film has dug up Artisan’s domains for the Man-Thing movie. Earlier this month the studio purchased manthing-movie.com, manthing-themovie.com and manthingonline.com. As is usually the case with new domain registrations, none of these Internet addresses are currently active.

MEN IN BLACK 2

A recent write-up on IGN FilmForce indicates Tommy Lee Jones may be no longer be among the cast of the Men In Black 2 movie. The rumor originates from a New York Post article which claims Jones is asking for a whopping $40 million to appear in the film. This would top even Will Smith’s salary. According to the post, the producers of the film are not playing ball and have let Jones walk.

Comics2Film contacted a source at the MIB2 production office in New York in hopes of getting to the bottom of the issue. Strangely, the representative from director/producer Barry Sonnenfeld’s production team said that she hadn’t heard anything about the rumor. She didn’t deny it. She just said she didn’t know anything about it.

With the movie set to lens in June we would assume that the production offices would know if one of their top billed stars was out of the picture. Unfortunately, the vague response leaves the question of Jones’ involvement unanswered.

THE ROAD TO PERDITION

Corona Coming Attractions has come up with a new set of images from the second most open movie set: The Road To Perdition. The movie is based the graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner.

Corona’s latest report and pictures comes from the set at Chicago’s Bronzeville Armory. The array of photos show interiors that recreate the depression-era setting. The Armory can accommodate sets up to five stories tall.

X-MEN

The accolades for X-Men just keep coming. E! Online has presented the list of nominees for the MTV Movie Awards. Everyone’s favorite Mutant movie is up for three of them.

The film is up for Best Movie, squaring off with the likes of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Erin Brockovich, Gladiator and Hannibal.

Halle Berry/Hugh Jackman/James Marsden/Anna Paquin also have a nom for Best On-Screen Team. Other nominees include Tom Hanks/Wilson (the volleyball) in Cast Away, Drew Barrymore/Cameron Diaz/Lucy Liu in Charlie’s Angels, Robert De Niro/Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents and George Clooney/Tim Blake Nelson/John Turturro in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Finally, Hugh Jackman gets a nod for Breakthrough Male Performance. Wolverine seems a shoe-in against collectively weak competition from Jack Black in High Fidelity, Patrick Fugit in Almost Famous, Tom Green in Road Trip, and Ashton Kutcher in Dude, Where’s My Car? and Sean Patrick Thomas in Save the Last Dance.

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