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G-MEN FROM HELL

[G-Men  From Hell]
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When the house lights go down and the opening credits roll for the G-Men From Hell movie, audiences will be treated to an on-screen comic illustrated by G-Men creator Mike Allred.  The pages, which are colored by Laura Allred, serve as a two minutes and ten second introduction.  They depict how the titular G-Men wound up in Hell, which is where the film begins.

Producer Rick Albert has allowed Comics2Film to display the pictures for the enhanced enjoyment of people who will be seeing the movie at the upcoming Comic-Con International in San Diego. “I think that an audience seeing on the screen will understand the setup, but they won’t see the subtleties of it,” Albert told us.

Albert also told us that actress Kari Wuhrer, who plays Merete Morrisey in the movie, is confirmed to be attending the screening in San Diego.  She joins Albert, Allred and director Christopher Coppola as confirmed guests at the preview.

Albert told us there has been plenty of studio interest in the movie and that the recent success of X-Men probably hasn’t hurt his efforts to find a distributor.

The live-action film, which stars William Forsythe, Tate Donovan, Bobcat Goldthwait, Gary Busey, Vanessa Angel and Robert Goulet will be Sneak Previewed in San Diego during Comic-Con 9:30 AM on July 22, 2000. Free tickets will be available at the Dark Horse Comics booth (#1029) on the convention floor on Friday preceding the screening, and at the theatre at 9:15 AM the day of the screening on a first-come first-served basis.

SHEENA

[Sheena]

[Sheena]

[Sheena]

[Sheena]

The syndicated TV update of Sheena, Queen of the Jungle is set to hit TV outlets this fall. Comics2Film received a press kit describing the show, which is apparently just called Sheena. The show will star Gena Lee Nolin (Baywatch) and be produced by Douglas Schwartz (Baywatch) and Steven L. Sears (Xena: Warrior Princess).

According to the copy the show revolves around the adventures ofa brave and beautiful defender of a tropical African paradise threatened by modern civilization. Orphaned at a young age by tragedy in the jungle, Sheena was raised by the last living member of a native tribe, the Kaya, who possessed the mystical power to “shape shift” into the forms of wild animals by feeding the spirit of their soul. It’s a gift shared by Sheena, who can turn herself into an animal and travel through the jungle unrecognized while battling outside forces that invade La Mistas, her primal home.

Set in a stylized version of Africa, the series focuses on Sheena’s interaction with a range of characters. Among them are Matt Cutter, the rogue American adventurer with a special attraction to Sheena; Cutter’s acerbic sidekick, Mendelsohn; Sheena’s spiritual mentor, Kali, who gave Sheena her mystical ability to unleash the animal spirit with in her; N’Gama, the corrupt “President for Life” of the fictional African nation of Maltaka; and Rashid, a noble Masai ranger in the animal compound.

Producer Douglas Schwartz was eager to update Sheena, who was one of his childhood favorites.  “When I was a kid growing up in L.A.,” Schwartz recalls, “I used to be a big fan of the comic books, and I used to watch the television series with Irish McCalla on Saturday mornings. Sheena was always in the back of mind, but nobody had done a contemporary series  based on it.”

Nolin was less familiar with the character, but studied with an appropriate teacher, “I did my homework as soon as I committed to this. I looked up Irish McCalla, the original Sheena. She sent me her diaries of everything she went through during the two years that she was on the air, and it was incredible. My time spent with her, talking with her, was incredible.” Don’t expect Sheena to be the monosyllabic jungle woman she’s been depicted as in the past. “One of the things we wanted to avoid with the ‘me Tarzan, you Jane’ thing,” producer Steven L. Sears says. “Gena brings the sophistication we were looking for.”

Nolin is likewise enthused about being a positive role model for young girls. “That is what’s so great about the series. It has to do with being proud of where you came from,” Nolin said. “Sheen as very proud of where she comes from and will do anything to protect it, regardless of what takes place in this jungle. I think it is good for kids to see this and to bring that into their own lives.”

Although Sheena is a heroic character, Nolin found herself drawing on her bad-girl chops gained by playing the vixen Neely Capshaw on Baywatch. “Sheena is a good woman, but she can also be very vicious,” Nolin said. “She has animal instincts and will do whatever it takes o protect her family. She will even kill. So, in a way, I can kind of bring a little bit of what I learned on Baywatch to this show, and a little of myself too. I think Sheena is a very innocent girl. She is very real to herself and to the people around her because she hasn’t really been tarnished. She’s sort of untouched.”

Sheena has the ability to transform into any mammal, as long as she can feel a connection with their soul. The jungle-shape-shifter will be brought to life via a variety of means, including CGI, prosthetic makeup and work with actual animals.  Nolin meets with a trainer three days a week to learn special “animal instinct kind of fighting.”

The actress enjoys the opportunity to work with the animals at the Orlando, Florida set. “The chimps are hysterical! They’re like little people, and they will remind you of your toddler. I’m fin with snakes, but spiders are really tough for me, so I have them (production) get tarantulas and other things I’m freaked out about, and I handle them. I’m going to push it, because I just want to get through it. If there’s something on the set or in the script that they want me to do, I want to have that comfort level. But, it’s fun. I can’t believe that I am getting paid to do this sort of adventure.”

Thanks to SheenaFan for the artwork.”

ELFQUEST

[Elfquest #1]

[Elfquest #2]

[Elfquest #3]

Warp Graphics and Living Toyz have provided fans with a first look at the Elfquest figures based on the upcoming animated movie.  The figures, which can be viewed at a temporary site set up by Richard Pini, are are preliminary paintmasters. Corrections are being made to them before the toys will be put into production.

Craig Miller, a producer on the movie told Comics2Film that Elfquest will be well represented at the upcoming Comic-Con International in San Diego.

“Warp Graphics, the publisher of Elfquest, will, of course, have a booth on the main floor of the convention. Right next to the Warp Graphics booth will be Living Toyz, our licensee for action figures. They’ll have the prototypes of the new Elfquest toys on display,” Miller told us. “Also having a booth is Digger, quite possibly the top designer in the toy industry, and his company, Art Asylum. Digger and Art Asylum designed, sculpted, and painted the prototypes and will be overseeing their production and packaging for Living Toyz. Art Asylum will have a bunch of Elfquest material on display as well.”

Toys won’t be the only Elfquest topic at the con. “On Friday, July 21st, at 4:00 pm, there will be a panel where we’ll be talking about Elfquest The Movie,” Miller told C2F. “The panel will include Wendy and Richard Pini, the creators and publishers of the Elfquest comics; Marv Wolfman and me, Craig Miller, the executive producers and writers of the screenplay (along with Wendy); Digger, the designer of the Elfquest toys; and possibly others, pending availability. The film is just at the beginning of production so we don’t have any footage from the film to show but we will be showing a lot of early test animation from a variety of studios, pre-production design paintings, and other ‘behind-the-scenes’ material that, quite possibly, will never be shown again.”

Miller also told us that audience participation will be encouraged. “We’ll take questions from the audience and will discuss casting as well. Since we’re just now starting the casting process, we’ll be taking suggestions from the audience for their dream list of voices.”

THE CROW: SALVATION

[Cros Pass]

The Crow: Salvation will be screening this Thursday (7/20/00) at midnight at the Gaslamp Theatre 15 in San Diego (corner of 5th Ave. & G St.) as part of the Comic-Con International convention. Free passes to the screening will be available at both the Miramax/Dimension Films and the Comic-Con booths, as well as via download. You can also print out the pass image on the right.

The film’s star, Eric Mabius, will be on hand to introduce the screening. He
and Jeff Most, the film’s producer, will be discussing Salvation
at an exclusive Q&A on Friday at 1230 in Room 6A as part of the convention.

The Crow: Salvation is scheduled for theatrical release this fall.

CROW 4

Corona Coming Attractions presents a report from an unnamed source who corroborates what we’ve heard
in the past about the planned fourth Crow movie. 
According to the scooper, the movie will feature a rap artist named
Lazarus. Lazarus and his girlfriend are gunned down, leaving the rapper to
return under the guidance of the Crow.

This scooper alleges that the working title is The Crow:Revelations. Video director Martin Weisz is said to be under consideration to direct and the name of RZA of The Wu-Tang Clan is being thrown around as a possible lead for the movie. Jim Gibson is also said to be writing.

CA cautions that this is all unconfirmed and should be considered rumor until it can be verified.

THRAVE.COM

Scott Morse’s new online entertainment startup Thrave.com is set to unveil a preview of their goods at the upcoming Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Morse informed fans via Thrave’s discussion boards last Tuesday, with the following message:

“Alright, everyone, we’re on schedule to debut the trailers for Volcanic Revolver, Jinx, Seat of Life, Cupids and Pain and Envy/Abject Puberty at San Diego Comic Con beginning next Thursday, July 20th. We’ll have the trailers running on two G4 computers continuously, and will show them on a bigger screen during a panel on Saturday afternoon. Upon our return from San Diego, we’ll get the trailers up online.

“Unfortunately, we’re unable to announce who our financial backing is
coming from at this point, but we’ll let you know who has a stake in what
at some point in the future. The staff sizes vary from project to project,
but rest assured, each and every creator is on board and retains final cut
to his or her projects.

As for future creators we’re lining up, I promise you won’t be disappointed…watch out for announcements to hit in the coming months.”

KNIGHTS OF JUSTICE

As previously reported, there will be several autograph sessions at the San Diego Comic-Con supporting the video movie Knights of Justice which is based on the nostalgic Big Bang Comics currently published by Image. Producer Philip Cable has provided the following schedule for the convention:

Signing on Friday:

  • Actress Lorin Taylor (Masker)
  • Artist Mark Lewis, redesigned the Masker costume for the comic book
  • Artist Jerry Acerno, created the Shadow Lady character (2-4pm).
  • Actor, Dan Lane
  • Actor/Stuntman/Martial Arts Expert, James Willis
  • Executive Producer, Charles Dichiera
  • Producer, Philip Cable


Signing on Saturday:

  • Actress Sandra Kuhn (Thunder Girl)
  • Actress Lorin Taylor (Masker)
  • Writer Mike W. Barr, author of The Verdict for Big Bang and too many other comic books to list (2-3pm)
  • Producer, Philip Cable

Signing on Sunday:

  • Actress Lorin Taylor (Masker)
  • Actor, Dan Lane
  • Producer, Philip Cable

MONKEYBONE

This week, Corona Coming Attractions
presented readers with a couple of first looks at actual images from the
upcoming Monkeybone movie.  One of the image (presented here)
shows a carnival like scene populated by a number of bizarre creatures. Also
available on the CA site is an image of the Monkeybone
comic strip drawn by Stu Miley, the character played by Brendan Fraser.

The movie also stars Whoopi Goldberg  as Death, Bridgette Fonda Stu’s
Girlfriend, Chris Kattan as O.D. Stu, Rose McGowan as Kitty and Paul Reubens as
the voice of Monkeybone.

X-MEN

The Box Office Guru website
reports that the X-Men movie opened this weekend to record
box office numbers.  BOG reports the movie took in
$57.5million in ticket sales over the weekend, according to studio estimates. 

If this number holds up in the final analysis, the X-Men will hold the #4 spot in terms of movie openings and the #1 spot for non-sequel openings. This would also represent the best July opening for a movie, knocking down the most financially successful comic to film conversion: Men In Black, which had a $51.1 million opening in 1997.

Thanks to Mike Oeming for the tip.

Of course, a hit movie needs a DVD package that is worth of it.  X-Fan reports that such a package is on the way. According to their write-up, the X-Men DVD will rival Fight Club in terms of extras.  Many extras will presumably be culled from the Senator Kelly promos.

The disk may also include interviews, featurettes and deleted scenes which will be completed before being pressed onto disks.

The big box office generated by X-Men this weekend prompted Marvel Enterprises to issue a press release discussing their Hollywood plans.

According to the release Marvel views the X-Men: The Movie opening as the launch of the “new Marvel,” an entertainment company focused on exploiting its characters in various media over the long term.

F. Peter Cuneo, Marvel’s CEO, commented, “Twentieth Century Fox, led by Bryan Singer and an incredible cast and crew, have brought Marvel’s X-Men to life on the big screen, and in so doing have demonstrated the tremendous commercial potential of X-Men and the entire Marvel Character Universe. Marvel’s core strength is great story telling, and over the past 60 years we have developed a collection of over 4700 characters, each with distinct personality traits, challenges, allies and nemeses. Even before the release of X-Men: The Movie, the project’s visibility served to highlight our company and character brands and contributed to accelerated deal flow at our Marvel Studios division. Under Avi Arad’s leadership, Marvel Studios has contracted for an unprecedented slate of 23 Marvel properties to appear in major motion pictures, television shows or direct-to-video features in the coming years.”

Avi Arad, Marvel Studios CEO, commented, “With the significant advances that have been made in special effects and computer graphics over the past several years, our characters and their unique attributes can now be realistically portrayed in live-action, as was clearly demonstrated in X-Men: The Movie. The immensely strong initial showing for X-Men augers well for future sequels, as well as our slate of films in production or pre production, including Spider-Man (Sony), The (Universal), Fantastic Four (Fox), Blade II (New Line), Ghost Rider (Crystal Sky), and Captain America, Thor, and Deadpool, among others in a 15-character agreement with Artisan.”

A recent article in Daily Variety stated that two sequels to X-Men are already in development.

DAREDEVIL

Marvel’s Avi Arad has been hinting at it for a month or so, but  Daily Variety confirmed it this week.  Daredevil is now set up at New Regency Productions.  According the article New Regency acquired the rights to the character and has signed Mark Steven Johnson (Grumpy Old Men) to write the screenplay.

Johnson has been pursuing the character for over two years.  He was attached to write and direct the movie earlier this year when it was briefly set up at Sony/Columbia.  The new deal has Johnson firmly on board as writer “with an eye toward directing” according to Variety. “It’s Mark’s dream project,” Arad told the trade.

The write-up also states that Daredevil staple characters Elektra and Kingpin are part of the package deal.

New Regency’s Arnon Milchan will produce along with Arad. 20th Century Fox is set to distribute the movie.

HULK

[Hulk]

Corona Coming Attractions has been digging up some great dirt on the Hulk movie, which is supposedly picking up steam again. Their latest find relates to the movie project when it was under the guidance of writer/director Jonathan Hensleigh. CA is displaying a number of make-up and effects photos that were taken during that time.  The photos originated in  Make-Up Artist Magazine.

The photos include shots of a man with enlarged body-parts, most likely a result of exposure to gammarays.  Another photo shows make-up artist and designer Steve Johnston standing in between two massive robotic hands.  The hands are purely a metal skeletal structure, but they give you an idea of the scale that the creature might have been if this project had taken off.

No word is given in the write-up as to whether these works have been abandoned or are still a part of the newly refocused production effort. Marvel big shot Avi Arad has said recently that a Hulk movie could hit the theaters by Thanksgiving 2001 or summer 2002.

PLATINUM STUDIOS

Platinum Studios, Hollywood’s premier company for comic book to film adaptation, has been tapped by Microsoft to serve as the first animation content provider for its just-released Windows Media Player 7, it was announced by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, CEO of Platinum.

As a result of the content agreement, Platinum Studios will premiere select “webisodes” from PlatinumStudios.com, the upcoming official online home for the company’s comic book characters. Produced entirely by Platinum Studios, the original television-quality streaming animated series feature such Platinum-controlled titles as Storm & Ember, based on the multi-national hit graphic album Storm; the best-selling horror comic in the world Dylan Dog; the cult hit U.S. comic book The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius; and the best-selling Italian comic book Legs Weaver.

Set to launch 4th quarter 2000, PlatinumStudios.com will serve as home to the company’s universe of characters and series, which will also be broadly distributed to both online and offline media. PlatinumStudios.com’s original animated webisodes and online comics are based on works by many of the world’s most celebrated comic book artists and creators.

“We are delighted to have been chosen by Microsoft as a content provider for its highly anticipated Windows Media Player 7,” said Rosenberg. “We are excited by this significant opportunity to showcase Platinum Studios’ original animation to the millions of Windows users worldwide, as we prepare for our launch of PlatinumStudios.com.”

“We were immediately impressed by the outstanding quality of Platinum Studios’ original animated comic book series and we are pleased to be able to offer this breakthrough work on Windows Media Player 7. With its state of the art streaming animation and CD-quality soundtracks by major acts, Platinum Studios’ animation content provides users with the ability to enjoy the full spectrum of the Windows Media Player 7,” said Curtis Beck, Business Development Manager for Microsoft Corporation.

Platinum Studios is a developer and creator of content for film, television and New Media and has earned a reputation as a diversified, producer-based provider of outstanding online/offline content in the global marketplace. In addition to developing original entertainment properties, Platinum Studios cultivates an extensive and growing library of over 1,000 comic book characters to create global franchise properties encompassing the full range of film, television, multimedia, licensing and merchandising on a worldwide basis.

The Studio has assembled an exciting slate of high-profile feature films set for production including Cowboys & Aliens, based on Rosenberg’s original upcoming comic book; Nathan Never, an inventive futuristic buddy-action film for DreamWorks SKG based on the successful Italian comic title; Dead of Night For Miramax/Dimension Films, based on the top-selling action horror comic book Dylan Dog; Ghosting, a suspense tale set on a college campus, also for Miramax/Dimension Films; Million Dollar Heroes, an original property created by Rosenberg for New Line Cinema; and Trace of Chalk and Teen Witch, two feature films produced in association with Miramax/Dimension Films under their international local language banner.

BLOODQUEST

[Bloodquest]

The Exile Films website now has another short piece of animation from their BloodQuest movie.  This QuickTime clip features a Land Raider firing its cannons as it tanks across desert terrain.

Exile apparently intends to let fans influence the look of certain effects. The site contains a page of images of the Land Raider, each image displaying a potentially different look for the laser cannons.  It appears that, at some point, Exile will add a voting mechanism so the fans can decide which cannon fire looks best.

The film will be set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe created by Games Workshop. The story is based upon the popular characters and settings of BloodQuest, a tale of Blood Angel Space Marines striving to redeem their honor.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

With Marvel and Artisan set to make a big-screen version of Captain America, who does Marvel’s Avi Arad favor for the part of the star-spangled Avenger? None other than Tom Cruise. Arad admitted as much will talking to Cinescape Online Cin City columnist Cindy Pearlman.

“We don’t want to go with an unknown,” Arad told Pearlman. “Captain America is too visible a character. It’s definitely going to be someone high profile.”

Of course, this is just Arad’s leanings. No casting is done, no negotiations are underway and the movie is still in the early stages of development. “First, we have to do the script, and then we will send it to him.”

SPIDER-MAN

Although Freddie Prinze Jr. (Down To You) is a big Spider-Man fan and has been lobbying hard for the part in the upcoming movie, he’ll never get the part according to Ted Casablanca’s The Awful Truth column at E! Online.

Insiders told Casablanca that Prinze showed up at Sam Raimi’s office in an attempt to land the part. These same insiders claim that Raimi is completely opposed to the casting and has allegedly said “If I have anything to do with it, Freddie won’t even be allowed to go see it, let alone be cast.”

Thanks to Spider-Man Hype for showing the way!

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