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Comics2Film Wrap for April 9th, 2003

by  in Movie News, TV News Comment

GHOST RIDER

After shepherding the hit comic book movie “Daredevil” to theaters
this year, director Mark Steven Johnson is going back to the Marvel library to
direct “Ghost Rider.” That’s the word from today’s Variety

Nicolas Cage is still attached to star in the flaming vehicle, which is
greenlit to roll cameras late this year or early next year. Johnson will first
rewrite Shane Salerno’s draft of the script about a motorcyclist who pacts with
a demon of vengeance in order to save the woman he loves.

The movie is set up at Columbia Pictures and Crystal Sky.

“Daredevil” producers Gary Foster (Johnson’s partner at Horseshoe
Bay Productions) and Avi Arad (Marvel chief) will produce “Ghost
Rider” along with Crystal Sky’s Steven Paul.

 

TUTENSTEIN

Discovery Kids will make an announcement concerning it’s new cartoon lineup
on NBC soon according to MediaWeek.com. The announcement will make specific mention of Jay Stephens’ patchwork
mummy-boy “Tutenstein” as well as another new series called
“Kenny the Shark.”

MediaWeek provided this description for “Tutenstein”: The story of a
megalomaniacal 10-year-old mummy who is awakened and tries to reclaim his status
as ruler of the world. Authentic Egyptian lore permeates the show’s details, but
not in a heavy-handed way. 

“It’s unfunny if you take time out to load in
Egyptian content,” says Marjorie
Kaplan, senior vice president/general manager of Discovery Kids, “but it’s funny that Tutenstein’s
stomach is growling in its canopic jar.”

The new series will debut on the NBC Saturday morning segment and then re-run
on the Discovery Kids cable channel a week later.

 

BULLETPROOF MONK

He may be bulletproof but he’s not germ-proof. Because of that, the Hollywood
Reporter
reports that big-screen superhero Chow Yun-Fat will not be heading
to Hollywood for the premier ‘Bulletproof Monk’ today.

Chow lives in Hong Kong, a city recently stricken by the outbreak of the
deadly Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (a.k.a. SARS). The article does not
indicate that Chow actually has the disease, but is merely heeding travel
warnings issued by the World Health Organization as well as warnings issued by
his wife.

Readers who caught Friday’s
Q & A
with the actor know that when Chow’s wife Jasmine gives an order,
the actor follows it.

 

HULK

From a press release: Marvel Enterprises, Inc. and Universal Studios Consumer
Products Group, have built a massive worldwide licensing program for the June 20 release
of one of the summer’s most anticipated movie events – Universal Pictures’
“The
Hulk.” With a roster of more than 300 licensees worldwide consisting of industry
leaders including Toy Biz Worldwide, Harper Collins, Upper Deck Entertainment
and Vivendi Universal Games, unique products based on this larger-than-life
production will be breaking onto retail shelves around the world this summer.

“‘The Hulk’ is one of the most highly anticipated movies for this summer
and certainly one of the most high-profile Marvel movies ever to be released.
The merchandising program already established for ‘The Hulk’ is larger than the
licensing program that was in place for ‘Spider-Man’ last year, making it our
largest licensing program for a theatrical release to date,” said Russ
Brown, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products, Promotions & Media
Sales. “The potential success of this program has already started to be
realized with the overwhelming sales of Toy Biz Worldwide’s Hulk toy line, which
continues to track as well or better than last year’s top-selling Spider-Man
merchandise. We are optimistic that all of the Hulk-based merchandise will have
similar success.”

Tim Rothwell, SVP, Universal Studios Consumer Products Group added,
“From a retail perspective, The Hulk has dominant positioning at every
major retailer worldwide kicking off this summer and moving through Holiday
2003. Not often does a brand have such an unprecedented global appeal and
worldwide acceptance as The Hulk does, from licensing to promotions to
retail.”

Leading The Hulk merchandise barrage is master toy licensee, Toy Biz
Worldwide, which is producing the complete, highly-articulated action figure
line as well as several must-have accessories including the already top-selling
Electronic Hulk Hands. The Hulk products have already started hitting retail
shelves. A complete licensee list is available upon request.

The Hulk licensing program is one of the biggest campaigns in Marvel’s
history and follows on the heels of a banner year for the Company’s licensing
division in 2002 as net sales increased 99% to $79.6 million from $40 million in
2001 (as recently reported in Marvel’s fourth quarter and year-end December 31,
2002 report).