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‘Solomon Kane,’ ‘X2,’ ‘Blake & Mortimer,’ ‘American Splendor’ and ‘Spider-Man 2’: Comics2Film wrap for May 18, 2003

by  in Movie News, TV News Comment
‘Solomon Kane,’ ‘X2,’ ‘Blake & Mortimer,’ ‘American Splendor’ and ‘Spider-Man 2’: Comics2Film wrap for May 18, 2003

SOLOMON KANE

Variety
reports French producer/distributor Samuel Hadida has come on board the previously
announced “Solomon Kane” movie. 

Hadida’s Davis Films is joining Paul and Michael Berrow’s Wandering Star in
the $55 million movie based on “Conan” creator Robert E. Howard’s
early American hero.

Like Conan, the pulp hero enjoyed a run in various comic books with the bulk
of his run being with Marvel. The character made its comic book debut in
Marvel’s horror mag “Monsters Unleashed” #1. He went on to face
Dracula in “Dracula Lives” and appeared in numerous other comics. Most
recently Wandering Star Press published “The Savage Tales of Solomon
Kane,” reprinting the pulp novels with illustrations by Gary Gianni
(“The Monstermen”).

“Conan was a hero of the ’80s and ’90s,” Hadida told Variety.
“Today there is a new dimension because of special effects. Solomon King,
an avenger who fights the forces of evil, fits in with this world.”

David Jung and Steve Dandois are writing the script, set in the 1700s.
“We want to make this a rip roaring, epic story,” the producer said.

Hadida’s distribution company Metropolitan, which circulated “Lord of
the Rings” in France, will also distribute “Kane” in that
country.

The producer is said to be seeking a director for the project and looks to go
into production next year for a 2005 release.

X2 BOX OFFICE

Record numbers of moviegoers re-entered “The Matrix” this weekend,
propelling the sequel to record numbers according to analysis based on weekend
estimates at Box
Office Mojo
.

The highly anticipated “The Matrix: Reloaded” opened on over 8500
screens ringing up over $135 million on the five-day weekend shattering records
set by “Spider-Man” last year. Discounting the massive numbers from
Wednesday and Thursday, “Spider-Man” retains the record for the
three-day weekend opening with its $114 million-plus, with “Reloaded”
coming in second place with $93.26 million.

“X2: X-Men United” dropped to the #3 spot on the charts, losing
another 57% of its audience in its third week of release. That movie now carries
a whopping domestic tally of $174 million. 

Overseas ticket sales on “X2” remain strong.

M, LA MARQUE JAUNE OR THE YELLOW MARK

A Variety
article detailing the expanding efforts of UK studio Spice Factory indicates
that the comic-based “M” or “La Marque Jaune” will go into
production this August.

Sorting through the various titles of the film, and the comics that it’s
based on gets confusing. Edgar Pierre Jacobs created “Blake &
Mortimer” in 1946 as a feature for the “Tintin” weekly magazine.
The movie would be based on the strip’s 1954 storyline “La Marque Jaune”
or, translated to English, “The Yellow Mark.” 

Variety’s write-up simply refers to the movie as “M.” While the
letter M is the yellow mark referred to in the story’s title, it may create
confusion with Fritz Lang’s classic movie.

Whatever the title, “M,” will shoot in August as a
U.K.-Canadian-French co-production. The movie has a $30 million. Gong Li stars
in the movie, with Rufus Sewell and Hugh Bonneville playing Blake & Mortimer.
James Huth is set to direct.

AMERICAN SPLENDOR

Harvey Pekar’s “American Splendor” is set to screen at the sixth
Newport Intl. Film Festival next month according to Variety.
The festival runs June 10-15.

“American Splendor,” a blend of fictional film footage, animation
and videotape of Pekar took, home the Grand Jury Prize for best drama at this
year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Fine Line Films subsequently picked up the HBO production for theatrical
distribution. The movie is due in theaters on August 15th.

SPIDER-MAN 2

Remember when Peter Parker and Johnny Storm teamed up for a monster garage
session way back in “The Amazing Spider-Man” #130? The result was The
Spider-Mobile: a clean-burning, web-shooting, urban dune buggy that Spidey drove
in the comics for almost a year. Then the car went evil and chased him up a
wall.

Now, Sony has developed its own Spider-Mobile for the
“Spider-Man 2” movie and Ain’t-it-Cool-News
has pictures of it!

No, this quirky bit of Spidey technology won’t show up in the
movie. Apparently it’s a suped-up golf cart for whisking Sony execs around the
studio lot when their legs get tired from carrying all the bags of Spidey-money
to the bank.