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LUKE CAGE

[Luke Cage]

Comics2Film did some checking on recent rumors that work on Marvel’s Luke Cage was picking up again. The rumors suggested that New Line was prepping the project as a possible 2001 release.

Not surprisingly, the rumors are just a bit blown out of proportion. A source at New Line told us that they are pursuing Luke Cage, but it’s far from a done deal at this point. However, talks with Marvel are in progress.

The project is currently set up at Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road Pictures. A spokesperson for Weed Road was reluctant to comment on the project, which is still in the very early stages of development. The source did say that a 2001 release was not likely.

The rumor mill has offered up LL Cool J (Deep Blue Sea) as an actor to play the title character and Hype Williams (Belly) as a potential director. However, our source would not comment on any of the talent that is rumored to be attached and could not confirm the above names. He did say that more information may be available later this year.

Thanks to Drew Reiber for the lead.

X-MEN 2

The popcorn.co.uk Web site recently spoke with Anna Paquin and Famke Janssen about their hopes for the X-Men sequel.

“I am gonna put the word out that I want to wear the leather suits and jump around and fight and fly and do all that stuff,” Paquin told the online magazine.

Paquin’s  Rogue character was a key player in the first movie, but had little in the way of super-hero action and dress. “I think it looked like so much fun – everyone else was running around on their harnesses and looking like superheroes but I looked very much more like a civilian,” the actress said.

Paquin is also hoping for romance in the sequel as well. “Rogue’s traditional love interest in the comic book is this very suave guy on a motorbike called Gambit. I’d love to see Gambit in the sequel.”

Janssen on the other hand knows her character’s future may not be so bright. “In the comic book [Jean Grey] does get married to Cyclops and they have a child. But then all this other stuff happens and she turns into Phoenix and then Dark Phoenix, so I don’t know where they’re gonna go with it.”

Thanks to Fandom Shop Daily Buzz for the lead.

In other X-News: in a recent write-up in the Sci Fi News section of Motherhip actor Jon Favreau (Swingers, The Replacements) talked about the rumors that he was favored for the role of The Beast in the recent X-Men movie, and talk that he may appear in that role in a sequel.

The quotes come from a press junket promoting Love and Sex, Favreau’s new movie in which he stars with X-Men’s Famke Janssen. Of the original X-Men Favreau said, “”I read on the Internet and a lot of people ask me about if I was going to be the Beast, which is cool because I love X-Men and I was actually the one. When she [Janssen] was reading the script in her trailer while we were doing [LOVE AND SEX] I said you gotta go on this movie. In high school, I was a full on comic book geek and I was, like, you gotta do this. It was funny ’cause when I found out she was doing X-Men I asked if they have a Beast. She said there’s no Beast in this one.”

The actor also commented on the possibility of taking on the role in the sequel, “I think that would be fun to do because he is a funny guy from what I remember. He’s a smart guy. Plus, also, physically it could be good for me. But who knows what the Hell they are going to do for that. I’ve read about it enough and [Janssen’s] said it in a lot of interviews that I [was considered]. I’m sure a conversation about it will be had at some point. But nobody’s talked to me about it at all. There’s no truth to any of those rumors.”

BLADE 2

Wesley Snipes and David Goyer recently spoke to EW Online about the upcoming Blade sequel.

Snipes enthused about the upcoming production, “All I can say about Blade 2 is that it is bananas. Bananas! The first movie was child’s play, because this time we’re trying things that have never been done before.”

Goyer confirmed that the sequel is part two of a planned trilogy and it will work from concepts set up in the original. “I’ve always had two other stories I wanted to tell. We’re building on the first one,” Goyer said.

Finally Goyer hinted at the return of Whistler, played by Kris Kristofferson. “The clue to how he comes back is in the first movie,” Goyer told EW. “You just have to look for it.”

Thanks to Cinescape for the lead.

SPIDER-MAN

[Spider-Man]

Spider-Man Hype reports that Nicolas Cage (Gone in 60 Seconds) will most likely not be playing the part of the Green Goblin in the upcoming Spider-Man movie. Although it was confirmed that there was interest by both Cage and Sony in having him play the part, it appears that scheduling conflicts will make it impossible for the actor to join the production.

Spider-Man Hype relayed the info from a report by Deborah Mitchell in The Daily News in New York. According to that report, Cage’s current project, Windtalkers, has hit a pre-production delay. Filming on that movie was set to begin this month and wrap by the end of the year, which might have allowed Cage to transition over to Spider-Man in time. However, the delay extends the wrap up of filming into January, which makes Spidey impossible for Cage.

Cage’s press rep is quoted as saying “There was talk of him playing the Green Goblin, but I don’t think the dates could be worked out.”

Windtalkers is directed by John Woo. Woo also recently directed Mission: Impossible 2, which also experienced delays which prevented Dougray Scott from taking on the role of Wolverine in X-Men.

Speaking of Spidey villains: Corona Coming Attractions provides some insights into the rumors that the character of Doctor Octopus has been written out of the latest draft of the Spider-Man screenplay. CA has two separate corroborating sources that indicate the rumors are true.

However another scooper said that while Doc Ock may not be a villain in the movie, a cameo by Otto Octavius may be in place, setting the character up for a future appearance. Similar rumors have suggested a one-armed scientist may also appear, setting up The Lizard as a future villain.

THE CROW: SALVATION

[The Crow]

Irony Despair of the Crow Web site A Boy and His Bird writes in bearing important news for fans of The Crow movie franchise. Despair’s info comes straight from Miramax and relates the the lost-in-limbo sequel The Crow: Salvation:

“Miramax has decided to test how well The Crow: Salvation will do in theaters. On Friday, September 15th, The Crow: Salvation will be released for a limited engagement in Spokane, Washington. How well it does in Spokane will determine if the movie is given a nationwide release.

“I know of many hardcore fans in the Washington state area, so put September 15th on your calendar and get out and let Miramax know how much support there is for The Crow. This is a great opportunity that Miramax is giving Crow fans to show that there is still major support for The Crow. Anyone that is not from the Washington state area, but knows someone who is, make sure you pass on this information and ask them to help be our voice to get Salvation released nationwide.”

BATMAN BEYOND

[Batman Beyond]

Director Boaz Yakin talked to iFuse: Popculprit about his recently announced Batman Beyond movie.

“It’s a great opportunity, and I love the series,” Yakin said. He also referred to the superhero aesthetic as “really dark in tones but just hopeful and youthful.”

The director also commented about doing a highly-commercial, mainstream movie when he’s better known for dramatic fare like A Price Above Rubies. “Just because the characters are familiar and mainstream doesn’t mean we need to follow a traditional, generic arc with them,” Yakin told Popculprit. “Everything I do I hope is really sophisticated, so this will not stop here.”

Thanks to Cinescape for the lead.

Where there’s news of a comic book movie there’s casting rumors. When word of a Batman Beyond live action movie was recently announced, the casting talk quickly followed. Josh Hartnett (The Faculty, Here on Earth) and Freddie Prinze Jr. (She’s All That, Down To You) were the first names offered up by the rumor-mill.

Now we have word from Frosteey, proprietor of the Pure Batman 5 Rumors about these two casting rumors. Frosteey has done some investigation and got down to the truth.

Frosteey stopped in at the “unofficial, yet reliable” JoshHartnett.com Web site and verified that the actor currently has no connection with the movie. Frosteey was in contact with Hartnett’s personal manager who denied the Bat Beyond talk stating, ” Josh is not even remotely involved in any Batman projects.”

Frosteey also credits the Prinze rumor to some vague comments made by Prinze himself. at one point Prinze apparently said that, while he would not be Spider-Man he would star in a different super-hero movie. Prinze was never specific about what that movie was.

CASPER’S HAUNTED CHRISTMAS

The all-CGI Casper’s Haunted Christmas is due in video stores on October 31. The Video Business Web site provides this description for the movie:

“In this 80-minute widescreen/full-screen computer-animated comedy movie, Casper can’t bring himself to follow an order to scare at least one person before Christmas day, so the Ghostly Trio secretly hire Casper’s look-alike cousin Spooky to do the job”

Here’s the cast and crew:

Cast
Brendon Ryan Barrett (Casper: A Spirited Beginning ….. Casper
Kathleen Barr (Beast Machines: Transformers)
Ian James Corlett (Beast Machines: Transformers)
David Kaye (X-Men: Evolution) ….. narrator
Graeme Kingston (Mummies Alive!) ….. Fatso
Terry Klassen (Mummies Alive!) ….. Stinky
Scott McNeil (X-Men: Evolution) ….. Stretch
Tegan Moss (War Planets)
Colin Murdoch (Beast Machines: Transformers)
Crew
Owen Hurley (Beast Wars: Transformers) ….. Director
Ian Boothby ….. Writer
Roger Fredericks ….. Writer
Randy Travis ….. Songs
Byron Vaughns ….. Producer
Kim Dent Wilder ….. Co-producer

Thanks to Phibes for the lead.

BOONDOCKS

In an interview for The Onion’s A.V. Club, cartoonist Aaron McGruder hinted at the possibility of an animated version of his Boondocks comic strip. The strip features a group of youngsters, two of which are inner-city kids from Chicago who are moved to the suburbs where they live with their grandfather.

In the interview by Keith Phipps of The Onion’s A.V. Club, McGruder talked about his drawing style, which is influenced by anime. “It’s a better type of art for animation,” McGruder told Phipps. “I designed the characters that way because I wanted it to be animated one day, and I knew that was the direction I wanted to go way back then.”

Beyond that, any work on an animated show is in the early stages. “Right now we’re in talks with a bunch of different studios and trying to figure out the direction we want to take with it,” McGruder said. “whether we want to do television or feature films.”

The strip gained wide-spread attention not only for its quality writing and artwork, but also for McGruder’s willingness to take on sensitive racial issues and other political material. The strip is often run on a newspaper’s editorial page.  McGruder names Garry Trudeau (Doonsbury), Berke Breathed (Bloom County), Bill Watterson (Calvin And Hobbes) and Charles Schulz (Peanuts) as his influence.

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS

According to the most recent Zentertainment e-mailer, Josie and the Pussycats will have a boy band to contend with in the now-filming movie. Citing the Hollywood Reporter as its source Zentertainment reports that Seth Green (Austin Powers, Buffy), Breckin Meyer (Road Trip), Donald Faison (Clueless), and Alexander Martin (Can’t Hardly Wait) are set to play the male minstrels.

STATIC SHOCK!

[Static]

The Hollywood Reporter ran the premiere dates for the Kids’ WB! fall season. On the announced schedule is Static Shock!. The show is set to debut September 23 at 10 am.

Also announced were: 

  • A Monday-Thursday slate with Pokemon, Histeria! and The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries all bowing on September 4
  • Jackie Chan Adventure starts September 9
  • Pokemon: The Johto Journeys starts September 23
  • Men In Black, Batman Beyond and Max Steel all return September 16.

FANTASTIC FOUR

Corona Coming Attractions reports confirmation that Alex Ross is negotiating to do character designs for the Spider-Man movie. Furthermore, the popular comic book painter is said to be in talks to come aboard the Fantastic Four movie as well. The scoop comes from Nathan Alderman, a journalist who recently interviewed Ross.

X-MEN EVOLUTION

Rob Allstetter of the Comics Continuum has published the voice cast list for the upcoming X-Men: Evolution animated show for Kids’ WB! According to the report, the show is tentatively scheduled to debut on November 4.

Cast
Scott McNeil ….. Wolverine
Kirby Morrow ….. Cyclops
Venus Terzo ….. Jean Grey
Brad Swaile ….. Nightcrawler
Megan Black ….. Rogue
Kristen Williamson ….. Storm
David Kaye ….. Professor X
Richard Cox ….. Quicksilver
Michael Dobson ….. Blob
Michael Donovan ….. Sabretooth
Noel Fisher ….. Toad
Colleen Wheeler ….. Mystique
Christopher Judge ….. Magneto
Neil Denis ….. Spyke
Christopher Grey ….. Avalanche

CORRECTION

Correction: Last week we referred to Neal Stephenson as the author of Necromonicon, which is incorrect. Stephenson instead wrote Cryptomonicon. Thanks to Rustem Ulagay for setting us straight.

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