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SPIDER-MAN

[Spider-Man]

In his latest column for E! Online Anderson Jones discusses the Spider-Man organic web shooter issue. As most fans know, the current movie calls for Spidey to spin webs from organic shooters that grow from his wrists and not from the mechanical spinners that Parker invents in the comics. This was an idea that originated in James Cameron’s original treatment for the character. Sam Raimi has defended the choice saying that it enhances the feelings of alienation that are part of the Peter Parker character.

However Jones reports that there is a compromise that may please fans. The compromise could be considered a MINOR SPOILER, so we’re printing it here in invisible ink. Swipe the next paragraph with your mouse if you want to make it readable:

Spider-Man, it turns out, will be wearing web spinners of Parker’s invention after all. While the webs still come from organic orifices in Parker’s wrists, the lad can’t control the flow of the sticky fluid. So he has to invent the mechanical devices which help him control the spinners. Jones also reports that the testing of the mechanical web shooters will feature a product placement in which Parker uses his now-controlled webs to snatch a Pepsi can from a distance.

End of Spoiler.

Although we’ve all seen the picture of Maguire in the Spider-Man costume, Jones reports that other people will wear the suit during the filming as well. Stunt doubles will don the webs, as will a taller stand-in. The stand-in is said to look better during some of the slinging sequences.

Sony was surprisingly forthcoming with photos of the costume but is holding the Green Goblin designs closer to the vest in order to maintain some surprises. Nevertheless, an anonymous scooper for Corona Coming Attractions claims to have seen designs for the Goblin costume, and offers his observations.

“They’re amazing,” the scooper raved. The designs apparently have a close resemblance to the Steve Ditko and John Romita’s takes on the character. The character’s eyes are said to be “bulbous beyond belief” causing the scooper to speculate that actor Willem Dafoe’s eyes will not be visible, but that prosthetics or CGI will be used. Naturally, the character has pointed ears too. The costume’s hood will obscure the top of the face at times.

The costume itself is said to be the classic purple and green colors, although with darker hues. The costume will resemble a sort of medieval, leather armor. According to the scooper, the goblin glider is said to be “more menacing and bat-like” and “painted like and old, rusted metal thing.”

As far as other villains go, this same scooper claims that Ted Raimi is definitely playing Dr. Curt Connors in the film. The scooper has seen design illustrations of Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, but confirms that the character does not appear in the script for the first movie. It’s possible we may see The Lizard in a sequel.

The scooper has also spied design sketches for Doctor Octopus, who was in earlier drafts of the script. Although Ock is said to be out of the first film, the scooper does claim that there is a lab scene featuring a device that has four mechanical arms (for handling hazardous materials). This may still provide viewers with an Ock cameo, or at least foreshadowing of the character.

Corona’s not the only ones with spies lurking around. Earlier this week the Spider-Man Hype website published an interesting report from a spy who recently stumbled upon a set from the Spider-Man movie. The spy was visiting the Museum of Natural History with his family. On the day of his visit the spy reports that a set for the film had been constructed in the rotunda of the museum. The spy overheard other onlookers saying that this would be the lab where the famous radioactive spider does his work. Here’s an excerpt from the report:

“There in the old rotunda of the museum sits all this great looking lab stuff, very current and hip looking, and real! The images of spiders from science books tacked to bulletin boards all around me clinches it, as does the guy watching the set! This is it!! The bronze statues of three women have been covered by a cool looking huge silver tube thing, that has to be some kind of reactor or particle accelerator or maybe just a juicer. In any case it dominates the space and looks cool as hell.”

Finally, our friends at Metropolis Comics in California have announced a second extras round-up for the Spider-Man. Here’s their announcement:

“We have the new dates now confirmed for Spider-Man movie scenes shooting in March.  The new scenes will be shot on March 15, 16, 19, 20 and 26.  The biggest two days are set to be the first two, and the most of you will be needed for them.

What’s really cool for us is that these scenes are being shot right here in Downey, just a few blocks from Metropolis.   We’ll get scene descriptions for you as soon as they are available.  Right now, we’d like to start doing the actual signup, so all those of you who did this last time, you know the drill.  For the rest of you, please e-mail or call the store at METROPOLIS@METROHERO.COM or (562) 869-1492 from noon until 8:00pm. You can also check for details at our website www.metrohero.com.

This is the info we’ll need when you call or email, so get it ready and then call or email it in:

  1. Your name
  2. Number of people in your party, including yourself
  3. The age of the youngest in your group (16 is minimum allowed; 16 or 17 must be accompanied by parent or guardian over 18)
  4. Your phone number (or where we will be most likely to reach you)
  5. Your email contact address Send it in ASAP — you will remember last time we had to close our signups early because it was filled up!
  6. Which day(s) you will attend

This time, as we understand it, there will probably be some access for handicapped or disabled extras to participate.  Please contact me directly for details on this, and I will be happy to provide these special instructions for those of you who need them. This is going to be loads of fun, probably even better than last time!

OVER THE HEDGE

[Over The Hedge]

The Boyz ‘N The Wood are taking another run at big screen glory. Of course we’re referring to R.J. and Verne, the raccoon and turtle heroes of Michael Fry and T. Lewis’ comic strip Over The Hedge. Fry recently told Comics2Film that the concept has been picked up by Jeffrey Katzenberg at Dreamworks to be developed by Pacific Data Images (PDI). Over The Hedge would be an all-CGI movie like PDI’s Antz and the soon-to-be-released Shrek.

“Jim Cox (FernGully) is still producing, but now with his wife Penney Finkelman Cox (Antz, Prince of Egypt) on board as well,” Fry told C2F. “We’re in a race against the strike to get a writer putting a script together based on an original story by myself, T Lewis and Jim Cox.”

The movie had originally been set up at Fox Family Films. However, that studio put the movie into turnaround. “Things look much more promising at Dreamworks,” Fry said.

Fry also has a strip called Committed in the works as an animated TV show for the Fox Family Channel. “Nelvana has delivered three finished Committeds to Fox Family with ten more on the way,” Fry told us. “We have no set air date yet, but FFC is talking about March or maybe April or maybe early Summer. CTV in Canada is set to begin airing Committed March 10, at 7:00 PM Eastern.”

That’s not all Fry has in the works. “An older strip of mine, When I Was Short, was made into a pilot for WBTV animation,” Fry said. “We’re on a short list for midseason replacement for WB Kids! Saturday morning. We should know by March 15.”

G-MEN FROM HELL

[G-Men From Hell]

The movie version of Mike Allred’s G-Men From Hell is set to screen as part of the “Emerging Mavericks: New Visions” program at the upcoming Cinequest 11 film festival in San Jose, CA.

The Cinequest site provides this description for the program: “Cinequest’s Emerging Mavericks: New Visions program is as eclectic and energetic as they come. It is also the set of films that you will here people talking about, over and over again, around the festival as it includes some of the most daring, innovative and original work offered this year.”

The film’s producer, Rick Albert told Comics2Film that the movie will screen on Thursday, March 1 at and Saturday, March 3. Director Christopher Coppola will attend the festival along with Albert. The festival runs from February 22nd to March 4th.

Albert is currently negotiating with domestic distributors for the film’s release. He’s also looking forward to the American Film Market where he’ll consider what his next picture will be.

THE CROW: LAZARUS

Most fans have yet to see last year’s Crow movie, The Crow: Salvation. In spite of this, Pressman Films is pressing forward with a forth installment for the franchise. IGN FilmForce got their hands on a copy of the script for the new movie, which is called The Crow: Lazarus (or possibly Lazarus: A Tale of the Crow).

IGN reports that casting is underway on the new movie, which has long had actor/rapper DMX (Exit Wounds) attached for the lead role. Music video director Joseph Kahn is said to be attached as director of the sequel.

As has been widely reported, the script tells the story of Lazarus, a red-hot rap star who gets gunned down (along with his pregnant girlfriend and record-mogul friend) in a drive-by shooting. Lazarus, of course, returns from the grave as the latest incarnation of The Crow.

The IGN reviewer characterizes the screenplay as being formulaic, and presenting viewers with a rehash of what’s been seen in the previous films and in the Stairway to Heaven TV series. The movie does give Lazarus an anti-crow nemesis, borrowing for the TV show mythology. It also features the return of Detective Albrecht, who was played by Ernie Hudson in the first Crow movie. The reviewer also takes exception with the script’s unrealistic portrayal of the world of rap music.

For complete details visit IGN FilmForce.

THE CROW: DVD BOXED SET

CrowFans.com reports that work is wrapping up on The Crow DVD boxed set, which is slated to ship in a month or so. DVD’s for the sequels City of Angels and Salvation are completed. Finishing touches are still being added to the disc for the original film starring Brandon Lee. Features on that disk will include a deleted scene montage and commentary from producer Jeff Most and writer John Shirley.

According to the report, The DVD’s will have DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and improved video transfer. They will be available both separately and in the boxed set.

BLADE 2

IGN FilmForce reports that Norman Reedus is the latest actor to join the cast of Blade 2: Bloodhunt. This site could not definitely determine the role Reedus will play, but speculates that he may be Scud, a new ally of the vampire hunter. Reedus has previously appeared in many movies including Gossip, 8mm and Mimic which, like Blade 2, was also directed by Guillermo del Toro.

THE ROAD TO PERDITION

Corona Coming Attractions confirms that Jude Law is set to appear in soon-to-film The Road To perdition. Law will reportedly play a rival to Tom Hanks’ hitman character. Paul Newman is said to be playing a cop who tries to use Hanks to get to Al Capone.

THE HULK

[Hulk]

Rob Allstetter of The Comic Continuum reports that director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) is set to get to work on The Hulk very shortly. “He comes into town the first week of March and is going to dive into Hulk,” Kevin Feige or Marvel Studios told Allstetter.

Feige also refutes reports that Lee will be ditching David Hayter’s screenplay. “That was blown up a little bit on the Internet,” Feige told Allstetter. “Whenever any director comes on a project, changes are made. Ang will have a specific vision and we’ll adapt the script to fulfill that.”

Reports of a rewrite arose when Lee made an appearance at the Golden Globe awards. The director was quoted as saying, “I’m just beginning on the script and [will] probably be changing it entirely.”

However, Feige points out there is not enough time for Lee to completely revamp things. The movie is slated for a summer of 2003 release.

In other Hulk news, Anderson Jones of E! Online spoke with Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) at the Golden Globe awards. Lee told Jones that he chose to do The Hulk over an opportunity to helm Terminator 3. Lee thinks Hulk will have, “more depth, more feeling.”

Lee also told Jones that he’s leaning towards using a CGI creature rather than casting a live actor in the role.

BATMAN: YEAR ONE

Dark Horizons reports that Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream) has plans to set his Batman: Year One movie in the 1970’s. The writer/director supposedly revealed this in an interview with Cinefantastique magazine. Apparently Aronofsky wants to give the film a feel similar to The French Connection.

SMALLVILLE

Director David Nutter recently spoke with Edward Gross of RetroVision about directing the pilot episode of the upcoming Smallville TV series. Nutter has worked on shows like The X-Files and Millennium and his credentials also include The Adventures of Superboy.

Nutter told Gross fans can expect Smallville to be fun and also surprising. “What I want to do with Smallville is do it in a way that’s hip; in a way that’s smart, in a way that’sfun and also do it in a way that is compelling storytelling,” Nutter is quoted as saying. “The script is fantastic and I think it’skick-ass, very smart, a lot of fun and very involving for the audience.”

Nutter also described a quirky quality that  the show might have. “I think it’s a situation where, suffice to say, when themeteor shower hit Smallville, Clark Kent was not the only thingthat landed,” Nutter told Gross. “I don’t mean other people or other characters, butI think the meteor shower definitely made some odd thingshappen. Many odd and different things will blossom throughoutthe series.”

Nutter said that the trademark Superman costume will not make an appearance in the pilot. It sounds as if there are no specific plans to use the costume in series, although it could always be introduced later. “Remember thereare a lot of dramatic situations to explore,” Nutter said. “Back in Smallville, Clark Kent was in love with Lana Langand it was an unrequited love. There’s lots of those situations in the show that definitely involve theaudience, as well as the relationship between Clark and Lex Luthor, who’s a bit older in this show.”

Check out the complete interview for more of Nutter’s remarks on the show.

Thanks to Dark Horizons for the lead.

MONKEYBONE

[Monkeybone]

Comics2Film reader Ktkb3 writes in to alert fans that the official Monkeybone movie website is now open for business at Monkeybone.com. This site directly promotes the movie and should not be confused with the BiteMyMonkey.com spin-off site which features self-contained entertainment.

A look at the new website reveals that John Turturro (O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Barton Fink) is set to play the titular silly simian in the Monkeybone movie. Although it was reported over a year ago that Paul Reubens (Pee Wee’s Big Adventure) would voice the monkey, apparently Turturro replaced him at some point. The cast list as give by the website is:

Brendan Fraser

(The Mummy)

Stu Miley
Bridget Fonda

(Lake Placid)

Julie McElroy
Chris Kattan

(Saturday Night Live)

O.D. Stu
Giancarlo Esposito

(The $treet)

Hypnos
Rose McGowen

(Ready To Rumble)

Kitty
Dave Foley

(Dick)

Herb
Whoopi Goldberg

(Deep End of the Ocean)

Death
John Turturro

(O Brother, Where Art Thou?)

Monkeybone

Monkeybone opens in theaters February 23rd.

Thanks again to Ktkb3 for the lead.

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