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FAUST

[Faust]

Filmax has opened their official website promoting the movie Faust: Love of the Damned at faust.filmax.com. The studio has put together a moody, Flash-based site that is in keeping with the tone of the movie. However, the site is a Spanish-language site, which may frustrate monolingual fans.

An updated and more revealing trailer for the film can be found on the site. The QuickTime clip features some new imagery including a glimpse at Jasper’s transformation and some nice shots of the full costume. As with the rest of the site, the soundtrack for the trailer is also in Spanish. The trailer can be found under the menu option “el poder.”

[Spawn]

The site also features a complete cast and crew listing, production design sketches, an image gallery, and downloadable wallpaper and screen savers. You can also join Jasper Johns in drawing red pentagrams in his padded cell.

Thanks to M. Terry Jackson, Faust fan and editor TBL Magazine, for the tip.

MS. TREE

[Ms. Tree]

Comics2Film has obtained the casting breakdowns for the currently in-development Ms. Tree TV series based on Max Allan Collins’ and Terry Beatty’s comic book. The casting call went out last month for the title character in the show.

Here’s how the breakdown describes Ms. Tree:

“Mike (Friday) Tree: She is ‘trim, sexy and smart,” a consummate professional with a stinging wit. Mike worked as a Psychological Warfare Consultant for Intel during the Gulf War, which is where she met her future husband, Michael Tree. After falling madly in love with the roughish P.I., they wed. All seems perfect in her world, until a late night call sends Mr. Tree out on a fateful drive. Although devastated by the news that her husband’s car was fished out of the ocean, and the windows riddled with bullet holes, Mike delays her mourning, determined to solve the mystery of his death.”

The breakdown also indicates that the producers are seeking a Laura Leighton (Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210)/Jamie Luner (Beverly Hills 90210, The Profiler) type.

The show is executive produced by Kevin Beggs, Adam Kline and Clifton Campbell. Campbell also wrote the pilot script.

C2F also heard from Terry Beatty who tells us that he hasn’t read Campbell’s script. However, Beatty reports that Collins has read the script and is pleased with it.

TOO MUCH COFFEE MAN

Comics2Film touched base with Shannon Wheeler for an update on the cartoon version of his comic Too Much Coffee Man.

[Jeremy Hotz]
Jeremy Hotz

“Things have been bopping along,” Wheeler said. “Right now we’re negotiating the final contract (after having a deal memo for a year and a half). So things are volatile. But Comedy Central seems interested (they’ve thrown some money at the project) so who knows. I’m trying to keep my special ability of sitting down as I go through this Hollywood experience.”

The cartoon concept was optioned last year by Nelvana. Comedy Central has ordered up a pilot script for the show which has been completed at this time. Canadian stand-up comic Jeremy Hotz is attached to do the main voice work. Hotz has appeared in the movies Speed 2: Cruise Control and My Favorite Martian.

Still, Wheeler warns readers, “It’s still a very long way from actually being a cartoon so don’t hold your breath.”

THE ROAD TO PERDITION

Comics2Film has confirmed that newcomer Tyler Hoechlin will play the part of Tom Hanks’ older son in the now in-production The Road to Perdition. Liam Aiken (Stepmom) is set to play Hanks’ younger son. The movie is based on the graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner.

Richard D. Zanuck (Driving Miss Daisy) and Dean Zanuck are producing the movie with Joan Bradshaw (Cast Away) serving as executive producer. Sam Mendes is directing the film from a screenplay by David Self, based on the serialized graphic novels written by Max Allan Collins and illustrated by Richard. Sam Mendes (American Beauty) is directing.

Director of photography is Conrad Hall, who earned his most recent Oscar for American Beauty. The veteran creative team also includes Oscar-winning production designer Dennis Gassner (Bugsy, Truman Show), and two-time Oscar-winning costume designer Albert Wolsky (Bugsy, All That Jazz) who have created the Depression-era sets and wardrobe. The editor is three-time BAFTA nominee Jill Bilcock (Elizabeth, Romeo + Juliet, Strickly Ballroom).

The second week of principal photography on the movie wrapped up last Friday. Fans interested in getting a look at the set should check out the Dreamworks SKG Fansite’s reporting on the movie. The site has posted six images from the movie’s sets and locations this week.

The site also features a number of eyewitness reports from fans.

Not to be outdone, Corona Coming Attractions has also started publishing set reports this week.

SPIDER-MAN

[Spider-Man]

Sony has issued the following press release regarding the March 23rd launch of the official website for the Spider-Man movie:

Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment will launch the state-of-the-art Web site www.spiderman.com for its eagerly anticipated action-adventure Spider-Man with the tagline “the experience begins on the web.”

The Web site’s March launch also coincides with the 38th anniversary of the web-slinging superhero’s first appearance in his very own comic book and will be kicked off with a nationwide sweepstakes tied to the search for this debut “Spider-Man” comic.

The movie Web site, www.spiderman.com, will feature a wide-screen format and a cinematic feel. The site will contain the first official look at Spider-Man, exclusive content, weekly updates on the latest news from the Spider-Man set and a link to www.Marvel.com. The site’s three-dimensional navigation, along with its strong community features, also set it apart from the rest.

“This technologically exceptional Web site will allow millions of people to experience Spider-Man like never before,” said Yair Landau, president of Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment. “What better project than this exciting film to showcase Sony’s world-class digital entertainment.”

The Web site boasts an array of interactive features, links and other innovations designed to build audience excitement for the film’s May 3, 2002 release:

  • Interactive Intro: An eerie spider web is your gateway to the experience. Your cursor gets stuck as a spider moves toward it. Prepare to be transformed…
  • Behind the Web: Sam Raimi, Spider-Man’s director, talks about the movie, cut with amazing never-before-seen art, and exclusive and early footage.
  • Press Conference Package: The entire January 4 press conference held on a Spider-Man soundstage at Sony Studios is available for viewing on a user-friendly database searchable by topics and speakers, including stars Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco, director Sam Raimi, producers Laura Ziskin and Ian Bryce, executive producer Avi Arad and senior visual effects supervisor John Dykstra.
  • Spider-Man Costume: Review early sketches of the costume and watch an interview with costume designer James Acheson, who explains what it took to get the final suit just right.
  • Movie News: In addition to the standard cast and crew listing, check out 360-degree images from the set, all the official press releases related to the movie and frequent updates from the set.
  • Spider-Man Network: Register for Spidey news and get to see exclusives such as early visual effects tests conducted by Sony Pictures Imageworks.

“We plan to embrace fans in a way that has never been done on a motion picture Web site,” said Josh Goldstine, senior executive vice president of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group. “Visitors to the site will be invited to become members of a fan network that has a voice in shaping the online experience.”

The launch of the Web site will be kicked off with a nationwide sweepstakes tied to the search for the first Spider-Man comic book. Entrants who submit the full title of the coveted debut comic and the month and year that it was first issued will get 50 bonus chances to win Spider-Man-themed prizes, including a trip to Los Angeles for an advance screening and electric gadgetry and gear inspired by the film. The sweepstakes runs through July 2001. Travel is provided by Travelscape.com.

The original creation of Marvel Comics executives Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Marvel character designer Steve Ditko, Spider-Man first appeared in 1962 in the last issue of the failing Amazing Fantasy comic book. It was such a hit that Amazing Fantasy was renamed the Amazing Spider-Man, and it reappeared in March 1963. Since then, Spider-Man has gained worldwide fame, growing into one of the most popular superheroes of all time.

In other Spidey news: Popcorn.co.uk recently interviewed Spider-Man producer Ian Bryce. Bryce commented on various aspects of the production, including Tobey Maguire and the costume, as well as fan interest in the movie.

Bryce said of the Spidey suit, “it’s a body-enhancing costume. [Maguire] worked out for a good deal of months before we did the picture, so he’s actually in great shape himself, so the costume does nothing but make it look better.”

Bryce also seemed positive about fan scrutiny of the project saying that it’s “actually very exciting. We get a lot of internet attention so it’s nice to know the fans are out there waiting. They’re vested in some of the creative components in the script. It makes you pay attention. You can’t take shortcuts.”

In regards to how fans will react to Sam Raimi’s vision of the character Bryce said, “I don’t think they’re going to be disappointed at all, he’s creating the right world for Spider-Man.”

Visit the Pocorn.co.uk website to see a RealVideo clip of Bryce’s interview.

Another Spider-Man report comes from the Forrest Hills Ledger, a local New York paper. According to the Ledger, the Spider-Man production is set to shoot in Forrest Hills, NY next month. The production tentatively has dates set for  April 25 and May 4 according to Gina Cascino, the movie’s location manager.

For Forrest Hills locals: the shoot will be using a location on 69th road between Metropolitan and Sybilla Street. The report indicates that local extras will be needed for the filming, although no contact info is given for interested parties.

Thanks to Cinescape for the lead.

Meanwhile, Dark Horizons reports that singer Macy Gray performed during the “World Unity Festival” scene. The scene filmed last week in California. It’s one of the many scenes that have been recently publicized as needing numerous extras to fill the outdoor setting.

Finally, a scooper for Spider-Man Hype has seen the Green Goblin costume and thinks it’s “awesome!” The scooper reports that the costume is a kind of armor (as has previously been reported) and may have some glowing elements. The scooper believes he may have seen the Goblin’s eyes glowing.

The scooper also reports seeing the Goblin’s bat glider which is said to look the same as the one in the comics except bigger.

A big glider is bad news for poor Aunt May though. An Associated Press wire piece on Rosemary Harris reports that Aunt May is set to lock horns with Gobby in the movie. “My excitement is I get flown into,” the 70 actress told The Associated Press.

BALL & CHAIN

Variety reports that Dan Cortese has been cast in the pilot for the super-hero sitcom Ball & Chain. The half-hour show, based on Scott Lobdell’s comic book, features a superhero couple in the throes of marital discord. Unfortunately, the couples’ powers only work when they are together.

Cortese was a cast member on Veronica’s Closet as well as the host of MTV Sports. He may be best remembered as “Dan Dan the Burger King man.”

MEN IN BLACK

In June Rosario Dawson may turn in her cat ears and bass guitar for some black Ray-Bans and a noisy cricket. The Hollywood Reporter tells us the Dawson, who stars in April’s Josie and the Pussycats is now in negotiations to appear in Men In Black 2. She’s angling to play female lead named opposite the returning Will Smith.

Dawson is also in talks to talks to appear in The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest which films in April. She’s currently filming on Ed Burns’ latest effort Ash Wednesday and stars with Eddie Murphy in Pluto Nash.

With all this talk of a Dawson negotiating the female lead and Patrick Warburton being offered the part of Smith’s partner, we’re beginning to wonder if Linda Fiorentino is in the Men In Black sequel.

DOMAIN NAME GRAB BAG

Internet domain names: are they indicators of future projects or just investments in cyber-real estate? As we do on a regular basis Comics2Film has done some checking for likely comic book movie domains. Here’s what we found.

Warner Bros. has grabbed up SmallvilleTV.com. Quite obviously this would make a good home for a website promoting the Smallville TV show. The show recently completed casting and is set to go into production soon for a fall start.

We also found that GhostRiderMovie.com has been purchased by Miramax. Ghost Rider is currently in development with Crystal Sky Productions. In August of last year, Crystal Sky struck a deal with Dimension Films, the genre arm of Miramax to share in the development effort. The domain name was registered about the same time.

Meanwhile, Artisan has purchased a number of interesting domain names. We found IronFist-TheMovie.com registered to them. That movie is currently in development with Ray Park set to star.

The company has also registered ThePunisher-TheMovie.com and Punisher-TheMovie.com. These two are somewhat intriguing as The Punisher has previously been announced as a direct-to-video effort.

Similarly, Artisan owns Thor-TheMovie.com, Thor-Movie.com and ThorMovie.com. These are also somewhat puzzling. Thor was announced, and so far has only been talked about as a potential TV show. So one wonder’s what the significance is, if any, of the movie themed domains. Does it signify a new direction for the Thor project or were these domains simply purchased early on to protect Artisan’s options?

Although all of the aforementioned domains have been purchased, none of them are currently active. As fans may know, domain names are often purchased long before any websites are activated in order to protect the studios from domain squatters.

Thanks to Greg Dean Schmitz of Upcomingmovies.com for sending us down this road.

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE

[Superman DVD]

A number of interesting reports are have sprung up regarding the re-release of Superman. The movie has been restored and remastered for a new release on DVD with a special theatrical screening scheduled this week in San Antonio, TX.

IGN FilmForce unveiled the trailers for the remastered cut. The 1 minute and 25 second trailer can be downloaded in MPEG format from that site.

The Superman Cinema site provides details about the Texas screening. If you’re in San Antonio you’ll be able to see the movie including some footage that has never before been seen on the big screen. The screenings will take place on Friday, the 23rd and Saturday, the 24th. Here’s a list of theaters provided by Superman Cinema:

Regal Embassy 14 (210-333-3456)

Regal Galaxy 10 (210-333-3456)

Regal Northwest 10 (210-333-3456)

Regal Century Plaza 8 (210-333-3456)

Regal Northwoods 14 (210-333-3456)

Regal Alamo Quarry 14 (210-333-3456)

Regal Cielo Vista 18 (210-680-7469)

Regal Live Oak 18 (210-657-4480)

AMC Huebner Oaks 24 (210-558-9988)

AMC RiverCenter 9 (210-558-9988)

Cinemark New Braunfels Walnut 6 (830-629-6400)

Finally, Dark Horizons has come up with the box art for the movie’s DVD release. The DVD is set to hit video stores on May 1st.

SPAWN 2

A write-up appearing on Spawn.com last week discusses the the premise for the planned Spawn sequel. Columbia Pictures has approved a pitch from Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and writer Steve Niles (Spawn: The Dark Ages, Hellspawn). The new movie will be R-Rated and much darker than the superhero oriented original.

“Columbia essentially bought into the franchise,” McFarlane is quoted as saying, “based on the first film and the Spawn name. However, they’re fully behind the fact that I envision this to be a very different movie.”

Spawn will be portrayed as a shadowy boogey man while other characters will come to the forefront. “Sam and Twitch as the lead characters, will be much like (Richard) Dreyfuss and (Roy) Scheider were in Jaws. Although the movie was called Jaws and featured a shark, the story was really about those two guys hunting Jaws,” McFarlane is quoted as saying. 

“Ours is similar: It’s called Spawn, but it’s really about people chasing shadows. It’s a story about the people in Spawn’s world, and you’ll find that Spawn had an influence on these people’s lives. It’s not an action movie in the truest sense; it’s more of a psychological thriller.”

McFarlane also said that imagines the new concept as thematically being a cross between Silence of the Lambs and L.A. Confidential.

THE CROW: SALVATION

With The Crow: Salvation and the Crow DVD Box Set arriving in video stores on yesterday, CrowFans.com presents an online chat with producer Jeff Most. Most has been a producer on all three Crow movies.

The moderated chat will be held Wednesday, March 21 at 8:30pm ET. It’ll be 90 minutes long. Fans will be able to email their questions in advance in case they are unable to make it, and there will be transcript posted on the website after the chat is completed. Fans are encouraged to visit http://chat.crowfans.com/ for details.

SPY VS. SPY

An article in the The Hollywood Reporter detailing a new pact between 20th Century Fox and hot comedic director Jay Roach indicate that the director is still attached to the movie version of Mad Magazine’s long running strip Spy Vs. Spy. Roach has helmed a string of hit laughers including the Austin Powers movies as well as last year’s Meet The Parents.

However, before Roach goes to work with Fox, he has several outstanding commitments with other studios including Spy Vs. Spy for Warner Bros. Roach has been attached to the project since 1997. We’ve heard very little about the development since then.

Last year screenwriter James Gunn (The Specials) told Comics2Film that the studio seemed “real happy” with his Spy Vs. Spy script. In fact, it was on the strength of the script that the studio put him to work on the upcoming Scooby Doo movie.

According to The Reporter, other outstanding projects for Roach that would likely precede work wit fox include 50 First Kisses for Columbia, another Austin Powers sequel for New Line, Meet The Fockers (a sequel to Meet The Parents) for Universal/Dreamworks, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for Disney.

Roach commented on the deal for The Reporter saying, “the people at Fox actually inspire me when I sit and talk about stories with them; I leave with great ideas. Fox is kind of a creative campus and will be like a great big think tank for me. It will be a great place to work.”

Meet The Parents was released on video last week and set new rental records. Variety reports that the title collected $4.36 million in DVD rental fees, the most ever for a DVD release.

MUTANT X

A progress report for the Mutant X TV show was posted on the official website yesterday. According to the report, the producers of the show are down to a short list of actors and screen tests are underway.

Rocco Matteo (La Femme Nikita) is working on set designs which include vehicles used by the Mutant X team and the group’s “Sanctuary.”

Howard Chaykin and the writing team are developing a variety of mutant characters. Chaykin is also overseeing the costume designs for the mutants as well as the government’s shadowy Genetic Security Agency.

BATMAN DVD

James Harvey of World’s Finest News wrote to tell us that the previously reported Batman special edition DVDs are probably not happening. Subsequent to last week’s report about a winter re-release of all four Batman movies, a source at Warner Bros. contacted Harvey to tell him the story is erroneous.

This source writes, “Your ‘inside sources’ are wrong about a Batman re-release this fall.”

Confusion may have arisen as Warner Bros. did announce a price drop on those DVD’s Monday. Starting in May, the DVD versions of all four movies will be priced at $9.94.

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