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KNIGHTS OF JUSTICE

[Big Bang]

The Knights of Justice video is due to hit comic-store shelves in August and the heroes are heading for the San Diego Comic-con this month. Producer Philip Cable told Comics2Film that he and other members of the crew and cast for the film will be on hand to sign autographs.

Lorin Taylor, who appears in the movie as a new super heroine called Masker, will be on hand for the signing, as will people from Big Bang Comics (on which the film is based). Also on hand will be Dan Lane, who appears in the movie, Charles Dichiera a producer on the movie and Jim Willis who did many of the fight stunts and was recently inducted into the Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame. The other actors who play superheroes in the movie have expressed interest in attending but haven’t confirmed yet.

Cable gave us the following schedule for the autograph sessions:

  • Friday, July 21st from 11:30am-4pm (or closing) at tables 11 & 12
  • Saturday, July 22nd from Noon-3pm at tables 3 & 4
  • Sunday, July 23rd from 11:30-4pm (or closing) at tables 9 & 10

Copies of the tape will be available, but Cable emphasized that this is mostly an opportunity to meet the fans.  “If they just want to come on by with a comic or come on by and get an autograph we’ll be more than happy to sign anything for people,” Cable told Comics2Film.

There may be some other surprises as well. “We expect the people from Big Bang Comics will have a special issue that’s coming out just before the convention that they’re sending down to us,” Cable said. “There’ll be a seven page layout in the magazine devoted just to the movie.”

That’s not all. Cable also hopes to have trading cards based on the movie on display at the autograph sessions.  “They’re inspired by the old, original Adventures of Superman trading cards that came out in the late 50’s/early 60’s. Some of the cards, if you turn them over you’ll see the covers of the comics on the back of them. On certain ones you’ll see little sections, if you form them all together they form a puzzle, the form a picture from the movie as well.”

Cable hopes to do more with the Big Bang characters under his AAA America with partner Lisa Todd. “We’re talking very seriously about doing a feature film based on Knights of Justice, that’s one thing. We’re also talking about doing a series of little short films based upon individual adventures or teams within the Knights of Justice. For example, I’d like myself, since I created the character, to do a short Masker film. At this point we’ve actually written up the better part of 20 or so episodes for a kids’ show should it go into production.”

Cable reports there has been some interest in such a show with the U.S. networks, but even stringer interest in foreign markets. It seems likely that a Knights of Justice TV show would be developed, primarily targeting foreign outlets. American distribution would follow later, either through the networks, the video marketplace, or even through Internet distribution.

BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER

The animated feature Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker isn’t due in video stories until Halloween of this year.  However, online vendors have already begun taking pre-orders for the DVD. Bruce Timm recently told Comicology magazine that the DVD would be packed with the kinds of features aficionados have come to expect, like commentary tracks, wide-screen presentation and even a “deleted scene.”

In a related story, Rob Allstetter of the Comics Continuum reports that the Batman Beyond crew will be attending the upcoming San Diego show. Producers Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm and Glen Murakami will be on hand as will Mark Hamill who voices the Joker and Will Friedle who plays the heroic Terry McGinnis.

SHI

[Shi]

In an interview appearing in this month’s Diamond Comics Previews catalog, Billy Tucci talks about progress on bringing his creation Shi to film. “I have been out in Los Angeles a lot working on two major projects that I’m really excited about,” Tucci told Previews. “One is Shi: The Motion Picture in which Kevin Bernhardt (Wesley Snipes’ Art of War) and myself are finishing up the final polish. Franchise Pictures plans to have the director and cast secured by the end of July and is set to start filming after Christmas, for a July 2001 release.”

Tucci continued, “The second is a new video and comic book series we affectionately call Shi.G.I. 2001. It’ll be a collection of three, 30-minute animated videos. I’ve already written the scripts and will direct the videos. I am also creating the CGI characters; it’sincredible actually building and painting Shi in the computer. A monthly comic book series will launch with the videos in April 2001, so fans will be getting a tremendous amount of Shi next year!”

During the interview Tucci also discusses current and upcoming publishing plans for Crusade Entertainment.

MONKEYBONE

[Monkey Bone Statue]
[Monkey Bone Watch]
Monkeybone

Statue

Monkeybone

Watch

Recent offerings in the Diamond Comics Previews catalog included merchandise relating to the live-action and animated movie Monkeybone.  Dark Horse Comics is offering an 8″ statue featuring the titular character.  The Monkeybone statue is fully painted and comes in a collector’s box.

Also offered is a limited-edition Monkeybone wrist watch. The watch features an outer-face, which pops open when the stem is pressed, causing the mischievous Monkeybone to pop out towards your unguarded eye!  The watch comics in a “handsome box that is sculpted as a bas-relief version of the detailed ‘exit pass’ that is a key plot element of the film.”

Monkeybone is based on a graphic novel called Dark Town by Kaja Blackley, originally published by Mad Monkey Press. The 20th Century Fox production tells the story of a cartoonist (Brendan Fraser) who falls into a coma, which sends his psyche in the Dark Town. There he must escape Death (Whoopi Goldberg) and return to the land of the living. Unfortunately, his cartoon creation Monkeybone (voiced by Paul Reubens) may have gotten there first.

The movie is a combination of live-action and stop-motion animation directed by Henry Selick (James and the Giant Peach). Bridgette Fonda (A Simple Plan), Chris Kattan (Saturday Night Live), Rose McGowan (Jawbreaker) and Dave Foley (News Radio) also star.

The Fox website indicates that Monkeybone will be released this Fall.

GEN13

The guys at the CHUD website have returned from Dragon*Con with the scoop on the live-action Gen13 movie.  CHUD talked to Courtney Solomon, the director and producer of the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons: The Movie.

Solomon told CHUD that He is is the producer on the Gen13 movie and that is is very close to being greenlit by Disney. Obviously no real casting has been done on a movie at these early stages, but Solomon did mention that he likes Tyra Banks for Rainmaker.

CHUD also mentioned that they will have extended reporting on D&D later in the week.

Now…if someone could just tell us when the animated version will be released…

X-MEN

Does Professor X know something we don’t?  Maybe so. This week Comics2Film received the following e-mail from the good professor:

Dear Prospective Student,

Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters is now accepting
online applications for the Fall 2000 academic year. Enrollment is
extremely limited so please submit your applications early.

To apply online, visit http://www.x-men-the-movie.com/theexperience.html and complete the genetic enhancement assessment in full. Eligibility will be based solely upon the results of your assessment. You will be notified of your admission status shortly after completion.

Please do not attach written recommendations or outside
medical evaluations, as they will not be considered in the
selection process.

Thank your for your interest in Xavier’s School for Gifted youngsters.

Sincerely,

Professor Charles Francis Xavier

Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters

Well, we were admitted to the school.  Once there we could visit an online simulation of the school, exercising our mutant abilities to explore the school grounds. It also appears that our mutant student self will have it’s own X-Men costume and profile some day!

[X]

In other X-Men news, fans wanting a piece of the X-Men movie have a chance to win a Magneto comic signed by the big-screen master of Magnetism himself, Sir Ian McKellen.  Stop by  McKellen’s website and fill out the enrollment for to win. The contest ends July 17, 2000.

Meanwhile, the Maxim Online website has launched an X-Men section in conjunction with their recent cover story on the women of the movie. This section of the men’s magazine site includes several subsections. Attack of the 2-D Bombshells looks at a number of female comic book characters. The X-Men Trivia Quiz tests your knowledge about Marvel’s Mutants. The Mutant Maker program lets you generate new mutants like Colon Monkey who generates fighting monkeys from her….well, you figure it out. Of course, the site also includes the recent X-Mania photo spread featuring Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Halle Berry and Famke Janssen.

Also found on the Maxim site is the Bad-Ass Face Off. This doesn’t really relate to X-Men, but comic fans may want to visit this 32-villain battle royale soon. One of the contenders is comics’ own The Joker who is currently going head-to-head with Vincenzo Coccotti (Christopher Walken’s “anti-Christ” gangster from True Romance). Fans can vote to put Coccotti down and advance The Joker to the next round. Thanks to Sarah for the tip.

Getting back to X-Men, the MPAA website reveals that the X-Men movie has been given a PG-13 rating. Thanks to Irina Fridman for this tip.

Fans in the U.S. know that X-Men will hit the big screens here on the 14th of this month.  Fans in other contries may want to consult the international release schedule which has been posted on the Stan Lee Media website.

X-Fan strikes again, this time providing fans with the TV commercial for the upcoming Mutant Watch special.  The commercial makes the special look like a conventional behind-the-scenes promotion, downplaying the Senator Kelly mock-campaign feel that the fans love.  Check out X-Fan for the 4 meg download.

Can’t wait for Mutant Watch to let you behind the scenes? Then head over to the MovieHeadlines website. That site has posted behind the scenes photographs from the production. These photos are scanned in from the July 2000 issue of American Cinematographer.

Finally, many of the X-Men actors have revealed that they signed multi-picture deals to appear in what is anticipated to be a studio franchise. An article at E! Online indicates that Janssen has signed on to appear as Jean Grey in a sequel. Thanks to Artemisboy for the lead.

MEN IN BLACK 2

Corona Coming Attractions reports that director Barry Sonnefeld has stated that Men In Black 2 will likely be his next project following his movie Big Trouble. These remarks were originally reported in a Variety write up of the break up of Sonnenfeld’s production partnership with Barry Josephson.

FANTASTIC FOUR AND HULK

In the latest issue of Wizard magazine, Marvel’s Avi Arad talks about various movie projects in the works.

About Fantastic Four, Arad told Wizard, “We’re aiming for a release date of July 4, 2001. We’ve got a script and a director in place, and we’ll be casting very soon.” Previous reports indicate that the director is Raja Gosnell (Mrs. Doubtfire).

Arad also talked about the Hulk movie, which now sports Michael Tolkin (Deep Impact) as a writer. “Slated by Universal for a Thanksgiving 2001 or summer 2002 release. Big announcements on this one are coming very soon.”

Thanks to Drew Reiber for the lead.

MAGE

IGN Movies has posted a review of the screenplay for the movie version of Matt Wagner’s Mage. The draft by John Rogers is dated 5/30/2000. IGN sums up their review by saying, “We like it a lot.”

THE CROW: SALVATION

Our goth buddy Irony Despair of the A Boy and His Bird Crow site wrote to tell us that a second official website for the Crow: Salvation movie has opened. French fans of the franchise can direct their browsers to http://www.thecrow3-lefilm.com/ for the official French site for the film.

SUPERMAN

Superman came back from death at the hands of Doomsday, so did anyone really think Hollywood could kill the man of steel? According to a recent write-up on E! Online, Warner Bros. claims it is still intent on making a Superman movie.

In spite of the fact that the studio is going through screenwriters like Supes goes through capes and in spite of the fact that director Tim Burton and, more recently, star Nicolas Cage have walked, work continues on the movie. The article states that the studio is happy with William Wisher’s (Terminator 2) latest script and mentions the recent report that Ralph Zondag (Dinosaur) has been offered the directing job.

Thanks to Michael Rhode of the Comics Research Bibliography.

FATHOM

Corona Coming Attractions reports that the animated feature version of Top Cow’s Fathom is still in the works.  A recent report found in the The Hollywood Reporter indicated that Fox was closing down it’s Phoenix-based Arizona facility.  However, the same report indicated that some projects, like Fathom would be moved to the Blue Sky Studio facility in New York.

BLADE 2

David Goyer gave Rob Allstetter of the Comics Continuum a progress report on the upcoming Blade sequel.

“Blade 2 is just finishing up being budgeted,” Goyer told The Continuum. “If all goes well, we will begin pre-production in August.”

The movie is to be directed by Guillermo del Toro (Mimic). Wesley Snipes is set to return as the day-walker. 

PREACHER

Tom Mayo of SFX Magazine wrote in to offer us a clarification on the image of Arse-face which is circulating on the web.  We had reported on the image, which features make-up tests for the tragic-comedic character which was to be featured in the Preacher movie.

According to Mayo, the image originated with SFX, which is published in the UK. Mayo told us the picture was “taken from an exclusive feature we did in issue 66.”

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