Driving cars off of bridges and parasailing on weapons of mass destruction
just aren’t exciting enough for Vin Diesel. The actor revealed to The
National Post that he’d also like to surf in space.
While fans have been puzzling over which superhero the muscled thespian would
be perfect for, it seems Diesel aspires to none other than Marvel’s “Silver
The actor said that he sees his own multi-ethnic reflection in the Surfer’s
shiny skin. “The Surfer is an intergalactic superhero,” Diesel told
The Post. He also views the character as being “one step further than all
these regional superheroes.”
At this point, however, such talk is just the actor’s musings. “Silver
Surfer” has long been in development with Twentieth Century Fox, who picked
it up as part of a package deal with “The Fantastic Four.” At one
point Andrew Kevin Walker (“Seven”) had written a script for it.
However, the most recent status is that they appear to be starting over. In a
February interview, Marvel chief Avi Arad said the project was in the early
stages and had no writer. Marvel did list it in recent earnings report as being
Playing big screen heroes is just part of the game plan for Vin Diesel, who
has exploded into stardom in the past few years. The actor will reprise his role
as the Riddick in a “Pitch Black” sequel. Aside from the Surfer, he
also hopes to play Hannibal, the Carthaginian general in a period film, star in
a remake of “Guys & Dolls” and do a romantic comedy as well.
Thanks to Cinescape
for the lead.
The Internet press tipped it early, but yesterday Artisan Pictures and Marvel
Studios officially announced that Thomas Jane (“Dreamcatcher”) will
star as Frank Castle in “The Punisher.”
Although no other parts have been cast, cameras are set to roll on the movie
in July. Plans are to release the movie in summer of 2004. The filmmakers aim to
throw together a teaser trailer that will run with “The Hulk” this
Marvel’s Avi Arad (“Spider-Man”) and producer Gale Anne Hurd
(“The Hulk”) are producing “The Punisher.” Jonathan
Hensleigh is directing from his own screenplay. The announcement does make
mention of Michael Tolkin (“The Player”) who recently did a polish on
Arad commented on the casting of Jane, “Although Frank Castle is a
tough-as-nails vigilante, he is, at his very core, an extremely tortured soul, a
victim of survivor’s guilt. Thomas Jane, being a character actor, is going to
have all the dimension necessary to bring to life the depth of a character who
is both the hero and the victim with the physicality of a Super Hero. By signing
Thomas, we follow the Marvel tradition of bringing art-house actors in to tackle
our complex characters. We are very excited to have him as part of our
Fans who are wondering how the character’s storyline will be tweaked for the
big screen should note this description of the movie:
“‘The Punisher’ tells the story of FBI undercover agent, Frank Castle,
who until now has beat considerable odds. A former Special Forces operative, he
is finally moving out of the field and into a desk job – and a normal life
with his wife and son. Then Castle’s world is shaken to its core by a
nightmare he has longed feared: his family is executed as a repercussion from
his final undercover assignment. With unparalleled intensity, ferocious
intelligence and fearless actions, Castle seeks to punish the murderers – and
finds the one thing he least expected: redemption.”
Hurd agrees, adding, “Thomas is one of our finest actors and comes from
the indie world, as have other actors who’ve assumed Super Hero roles so
successfully such as Tobey Maguire (‘Spider-Man’) and Eric Bana (‘The Hulk’). We
are thrilled that an actor of this caliber will be our Punisher.”
Artisan Entertainment Executive Vice President, Patrick Gunn, who oversees
all Marvel projects at Artisan, and Artisan Pictures Director of Development,
Rachel Murray are shepherding The Punisher at the studio. Marvel Studios’
Executive Vice President, Kevin Feige will oversee “The Punisher” on
behalf of the Company, Vice President of Production, Ari Arad will co-produce.
The announcement also mentions that “Iron Fist” is in active
development with Marvel and Artisan.
THE CROW: WICKED PRAYER
Edward Furlong (“Terminator 2”) is pumping iron and bird watching
in preparation for the role of play James O’Barr’s tortured avenger in “The
Crow: Wicked Prayer” according to SCI
“I’m on this special diet, I’m working out and I’m looking at crows all
the time,” Furlong told SCI FI.
When some actors take on superhero roles, they start talking about Greek
tragedies or hidden-depths, but Furlong will have none of that. “I really
want to be dressed up in leather and go kick the hell out of people with rock
music in the background,” he said. “I think it would be cool.”
Amen, Eddie. Amen.
PAINKILLER JANE, BATTLE CHASERS
Producer Jason Netter dropped C2F/CBR News a line to let us in on a few more
details about the “Painkiller Jane” TV pilot, which was recently
announced for SCI FI Channel.
Netter tells us that the character’s creators Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti
are both acting as associate producers on the show. The pair created the
character under their Event Comics publishing imprint. Fans well know that from
there they moved into the position of editing Marvel’s “Marvel
Knights” imprint, which helped rejuvenate the publisher’s flagging
creativity. Now Quesada is editor-in-chief of the entire Marvel line.
Ken Levin is also a co-producer on “Painkiller Jane”. Netter is
acting as co-executive producer on the project.
Netter also points out in that in our “Battle Chasers” write-up, we
neglected to mention that Gil Netter (“Phone Booth”) is a producer on
Fans are reminded to head over to Dr. Boynton’s lab on Sunday, April 6th and
witness the miracle of Tetsuwan Atom coming to life. Cake and ice cream will be
Tetsuwan Atom is better- known to fans in the west as Astroboy. In the
“Astroboy” storyline, April 6th, 2003 is the date that the artificial
boy is created by the hear-broken scientist.
Fans in Japan will enjoy new cartoons in conjunction with the special date
and a CGI animated movie is in development for U.S. audiences.