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SPIDER-MAN

Things turned tragic on the set of the Spider-Man movie yesterday. This report comes from the Reuters news service: 

A construction worker building an office building set for Sony Pictures’ upcoming movie, Spider-Man, was killed Tuesday in a collision of two cranes, fire officials said.

The accident occurred about 9 a.m. PST (noon EST) in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey, where crew members were using several cranes to prepare the movie set.

A larger crane tipped over and slammed into a smaller crane upon which the victim was working, Downey fire officials said.

The victim was not immediately identified. Investigators were traveling to the lot to determine the cause of the accident.

The Hollywood Reporter provided additional details in the Spider-Man set tragedy today. The victim has been identified as Tim Holcombe A 45-year-old welder of Monrovia, CA.

Cranes were lifting a 15′ x 25′ metal sign to the top of a building facade when one of the cranes toppled. The crane arm hit a suspended basked carrying Holcombe and another welder. Holcombe was struck in the head and died instantly. Work on the set was shut down immediately.

In other Spider-Man news, the Spider-Man Hype website brings us various bits of information about the movie.

[Spider-Man Web site]

First up, one of their readers has uncovered the current home to the yet-to-be-launched Spider-Man movie website. The address for the site is http://www.spe.sony.com/movies/spiderman/. Currently you can only leave your e-mail address and registered to be notified when the site is officially opened. Sony owns the domain name spider-man-movie.com which they would presumably use when the site is launched.

Finally, actor J. K. Simmons talked to fans during an AOL chat over the weekend. Simmons made a few brief comments about his role as J. Jonah Jameson in the movie. When asked if he’ll be made to look like the comic book character Simmons said, “We have a wig that makes me look frighteningly like him. The astute observer might also notice some dental work. Other than that, just brilliant acting.” 

Simmons is best-known for his role on the HBO series Oz, but has also appeared opposite Spidey-star Tobey Maguire in The Cider House Rules and in Spidey-director Sam Raimi’s The Gift.

Updated 3-7-01 8:00 PM PST

BLOODSHOT, SHADOWMAN, CHASTITY AND MORE

Comics2Film spoke with Dave Elliot, VP of Development at Brigade Entertainment about the various comic book movie projects in the works with that production house.

Elliot tells us that a certain acclaimed comic book writer is currently working on the movie version of Acclaim Comics’ Bloodshot. “We’re moving ahead with Bloodshot. Brian Azzarello, the writer of 100 Bullets, is writing a treatment for that now.” The movie is being developed as a starring vehicle for WWF wrestler Triple H.

Also looking good is another Acclaim project: Shadowman. Elliot reports that the latest draft of that script is in good shape, but the movie could not go into production until after the Hollywood is clear of the dreaded strikes.

Elliot tells us that there’s been a lot of interest in the Chaos! Comics character Chastity as a TV show. However, at this point there’s been no movement beyond the talking stages.

Elliot also told C2F about some of his own projects. He returns to comics with the upcoming Heavy Metal Summer Special in May. The magazine features Elliot’s Alien Arena story which teams his creation Sharky with actress Julie Strain and comic painter Simon Bisley. Elliot told C2F that plans are still afoot to develop Alien Arena in other media as well.

However, Elliot’s top priority is a movie that he’s writing and producing. “It’s a screenplay called Nose Dive,” Elliot told us. “It’s set in the comics industry and based on a real event.” Elliot is currently working to raise funds to make the low-budget movie.

MS. TREE

[Ms. Tree #1]

The KJB at IGN FilmForce has gotten a hold of the script for the Ms. Tree TV show in development by Lions Gate Television for USA Network. As FilmForce focuses on movies and not TV, KJB thought readers here might be interested in the scoop. The show is set to be a one hour drama based on Max Allan Collins’ comic.

“The copy of the script I got didn’t have the title page on it so I don’t know if Max Collins wrote the script or not (but it’s got his fingerprints all over it),” KJB told us. “Not quite as hard boiled as the Mike [female detective Michael Tree] I’m used to reading but it’s not bad, either. With the current trend towards female leads, this one could do pretty well on broadcast or cable.”

The KJB also said that casting on the show is currently underway. Producers seeing the female lead first with other casting to follow shortly.

THE ROAD TO PERDITION

Patrick Sauriol, reporting from Universal’s new entertainment portal 13th Street indicates there’s been some new casting on the Road To Perdition movie. According to Sauriol’s report, Stanley Tucci (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Big Trouble) has been spotted on the set of the movie sporting a period costume.

AMERICAN SPLENDOR

Comics2Film has learned that the movie version of Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor is still in development. However, director Chris Smith (American Movie) is no longer attached to direct (and hasn’t been for some time).

In May of 1999 the trades reported that Smith was signed on to direct the adaptation. However Smith told C2F that he had to leave the project shortly after that due to scheduling conflicts. According to Smith, the producers at Good Machine wanted him to get started on the film quickly but he was committed to a three month press tour to support his award-winning documentary American Movie.

Sources at Good Machine would not comment on the status of the movie other than to say that it’s “in development.”

WITCHBLADE

The Witchblade TV series begins it’s run in June on TNT according to a write up in Variety. TNT aims to use repeat episodes of the highly rated Law & Order to provide a launch pad of the new show.

No night has been selected for the block as yet. Current scheduling plans call for an episode of Law & Order to air at 8pm, Witchblade to air at 9pm and another episode of Law & Order to air at 10pm.

The Witchblade original movie, which aired on TNT last August. Although some see the shows as a mismatch, TNT is said to be looking for new ways to launch an original series, having failed with The New Adventures of Robin Hood and Babylon 5 and struggled with the returning Wall Street drama Bull.

THE CROW: LAZARUS

Michael Fleming of Variety reports that rapper and Grammy winner Eminem may appear in the upcoming The Crow: Lazarus. The performer has reportedly been offered more than $4 million to appear opposite rapper/actor DMX (Exit Wounds). Eminem would reportedly play the villain of the piece. Like DMX’s Lazarus, Eminem’s character is killed and returns from the grave, but pursues evil instead of justice.

Fleming reports that Lazarus has been written by James Gibson and recently rewritten by Joe Ide.

Eminem is also being courted by Imagine and Universal to play himself in an autobiographical movie.

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS

Last week the music video for Josie and the Pussycats appeared on Launch.com. This week the Movie-List website has the full trailer for the film. The trailer is currently available in an 11 meg QuickTime download.

In other Josie news the MPAA has assigned the movie a PG-13 rating “for language and mild sensuality.”

SMALLVILLE

[Michael Rosenbaum]
Michael Rosenbaum

Steve Younis of the Fandom: Superman website reports that two more roles have been cast in the upcoming Smallville TV series. According to the report Michael Rosenbaum has been cast in the role of young Lex Luthor. Rosenbaum has appeared in the feature film Urban Legends and also had a lead role in the TV series Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane. Comic movie fans may also recognize his voice as Ghoul in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and Agent West in The Zeta Project.

Also said to be cast in the show is John Schneider of Dukes of Hazzard fame. Schneider is said to be playing the Johnathan Kent.

Both casting scoops are attributed to “an inside source.”

Younis also reports that shooting is set to begin March 8th in Vancouver. The towns of Merritt and Cloverdale are said to be stand-ins for Smallville.

CONAN

IGN Filmforce reveals that work has begun on the new Conan sequel. According IGN’s report the movie is titled King Conan: Crown of Iron. Sources close to John Milius tell IGN that the writer/director has begun work on the script for the movie. Milius also wrote the 1982 original which helped cement Arnold Schwarzenegger’s status as a bankable star.

Milius reportedly would like for Schwarzenegger to return to the role, but the actor has been noncommittal so far. Ralph Moeller, who played Conan on the small screen and appeared in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, has also been mentioned as a possible barbarian king.

ADRENALYNN, F5

[Adrenalynn]

According to a posting on the F5 Entertainment website, the movie version of Tony Daniel’s Adrenalynn is currently without a screenwriter. Alan Sereboff had originally been drafted to write the script for the film, but he apparently left the project some time in January. “Alan Sereboff who was initially enlisted to do the screenplay on the Joel Silver, Christina Ricci picture is now off the project,” Daniel told fans in a January 30th posting on his website. “Reportedly, other obligations have kept him from meeting the schedule that Joel Silver and Warner Bros. would like to keep.”

Daniel also told his readers that a new writer should be on board soon and the movie is targeted for a 2002 shoot.

Daniel also gave a brief update on the F5 movie. “David and Tim Douglas are well underway with the screenplay,” Daniel said. “These guys are amazing and will do the characters justice. I hope to work with them again on something.”

It was reported last December that the Douglas brothers had sold the pitch for F5 to Paramount for a low six-figure sum.

GEN13 ANIMATED

[Gen 13]

Fritz Saalfeld of Popcorn Comics fame tells Comics2Film that German fans will be able to enjoy the Gen13 animated movie this week. The movie hits the shelves of German video stores on March 8th.

The VHS cassette will include both the English version, as well as the German language track. Both versions are uncut and rated FSK-16, which means not suitable for anyone under 16. Fritz also sent a scan of the ad for the video that was printed in the latest issue of Graphic Attack (which is the German equivalent to America’s “Previews”).

BATMAN: YEAR TWO?

It’s never too early to start talking about a sequel. Fans are still puzzling over which  Batman movie we’ll see next: Darren Aronofsky and Frank Miller’s Year One restart of the franchise or Boaz Yakin and Paul Dini’s Beyond revamp. Nevertheless, the 4Filmmakers database is listing a new Batman movie as being in development.

The new listing is for Batman: Year Two (aka Batman 6). The website also provides these notes: “Fifth sequel to the 1989 original but sequel to the 2002 release. Based on the Batman: Year One graphic novel.”

4Filmmakers is strictly presented as a database, so no indication is given as to the source of this info. It’s probable that the studio would want to continue the franchise if Year One does well, although talk of Year Two at this point seems very premature. Also, the 2002 release date for Year One seems awfully ambitious, especially in light of the much discussed Hollywood writers and actors strikes.

ELTINGVILLE CLUB CORRECTION

Last week Comics2Film reported that fans interested in getting caught up on the Eltingville Club comic strips would have a chance to do so in the upcoming Dork collection called Who’s Laughing Now?

However, Evan Dorkin informs us that, although there were Eltingville strips in the early issues of the Dork comic book, they will not be included in the collection. Dorkin tells us that the Eltingville Club strips were always intended to be finite and, when the story is finished, all the strips will appear in one collection. Plans for such a collection predate plans for the Cartoon Network show.

“The Who’s Laughing Now?” collection is set to be in comic book stores in June.

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