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ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE, R.I.P.D.

[Astronauts in Trouble: Live from the Moon]

Producer/screenwriter/comic creator Peter Lenkov (Tracker) told Comics2Film that he’s got several projects in the realm of comics and movies in the works. First up Lenkov tells us that Larry Young’s indie graphic novel Astronauts In Trouble was recently optioned and is currently in development as feature film. Lenkov is developing the screenplay.

Ian Unterreiner of Arsenal Entertainment is attached to develop/produce the project in association with Larry Young, the creator of AiT and publisher of AiT/Planet Lar, and attorney Kenneth F. Levin.

Arsenal Entertainment is a newly formed production company, focused on developing comic-related projects into both live-action and animated films and television programs. Ian Unterreiner, formerly a film executive at Digital Domain, is a founding member of the the company. Arsenal is represented by David Boxerbaum at Metropolitan Agency.

Lenkov told us he plans to combine elements of the various AiT graphic novels. “In my mind it’s The Right Stuff meets Armageddon,” Lenkov said. “In the 1960s a rocket is stolen, [there’s a] hostage situation on the moon [and the] space race is put on hold. USA and RUSSIA team up to thwart the situation that threatens earth.”

The desperate situation is followed by a conspiracy of silence. “When we were all glued to our TV sets, watching man step foot on the moon for the first time,” Lenkov explains. “If the camera had only panned right we would have seen a scarred battlefield, the remnants of a struggle that took place one year earlier.”

The project is still in the early stages, but Lenkov tells us they hope to begin pitching it to studios soon.

[R.I.P.D.]

Lenkov has also finished the latest rewrite on the screenplay based on his R.I.P.D. comic. The comic tells the story of afterworld cops who keep the earth safe from supernatural threats. “[Producers] Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin have given the script to an actor we all think would be great for the part,” Lenkov told C2F, “so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

Also in development is an animated series based on Dark Horse’s Spy Boy for Nelvana. “I think the project took a bit of a stumble when Spy Kids came out, although they are very different,” Lenkov said. “I’m hoping Nelvana can still get it going. There’s still a good chance we’ll see it soon.”

In the arena of comics, Dark Horse is currently soliciting orders for Lenkov’s upcoming Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained, based on the real-life exploits of a late 19th century paranormal investigator.

[Fort]

“Charles Fort was such a fascinating character — investigating unexplained phenomena in New York circa 1900,” Lenkov said. “The comic is a fun ride…with history happening in the background: Governor Teddy Roosevelt plays a big role, as well as a young street urchin who helps Fort, a kid who inspired by his Fortean adventures turns out to be a fiction writer later in life. His name — H.P. Lovecraft.

“Must say this has been so much fun to write.”

Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained features artwork by Frazer Irving. It’s due in comic stores in June.

NOSE DIVE

Dave Elliott revealed yesterday that one of his upcoming Atomeka titles will be a “Based On a True Story” mini-series, Nose Dive.

“‘Nose Dive is based on a screenplay of the same name,” announced Elliott. “It deals with the true story of a comic-book editor who committed suicide after being fired from his dream job. The art is being done by Cary Polkovitz, a great artist with great experience of the subject matter.”

While refusing to name the editor concerned, Elliott pointed out that the names in this story have been changed “to protect both the innocent and the guilty.”

“As the story is more about trying to see inside someone’s head and their thought processes as to how they could reach such a decision, the story needed a little more freedom than the actual events would let it take.” Elliott added, “The story is not one of redemption. Real life is very rarely like that. We’re going to see how someone was driven by both internal and external events to completely change character.”

The script has attracted much interest, including 80% of its funding. Elliott revealed that the script has reached a stage where Diana Williams, the films producer, is able to take it out to attach a Director. “They’re talking about making pay or plays for director and lead,” hinted Elliott. “I was gobsmacked when Diana told me the actor she had in mind for the lead. His people had already approached her. I’d have never thought of him, but he’s so perfect.” Infuriatingly, Dave refused to be drawn on the identities of either the director or actor, but said he would let us know as soon as he could.

In a weird turn of events, an animation company from Japan had read the script and are trying to raise the funding to make “Nose Dive” a fully animated Anime film. “The script does call for some animation and the company in Japan we approached contacted us wanting to fully animate it. The list of names they gave us of who is lined up to work on it would be a who’s who of anime, including talents from Akira, Ghost In The Shell, Princess Mononoke, and Metropolis.”

Which would Elliott prefer to see made? “In an ideal world, I would love for both of them to be made. They would both be different as there are different things that can be achieved in these very different mediums. I’m just happy that there are so many people wanting to see this film made.”

Diana Williams other credits include the critically acclaimed Our Song, the mock documentary The Love Machine, Nice guys Sleep Alone, and Chutney Popcorn.

PRIMATE

Comics2Film caught up with Beau Smith about the progress of the big-screen version of his Primate comic.

“Kevin Bernhardt and I are writing the screenplay for Primate right now,” Smith told us. “He’s got some new agents and they want to pitch it. They want to have the screenplay with it.”

Primate features an ordinary gorilla who attains a heightened state of intelligence and pursues a mission of vengeance against the killers of his human friend. The comic was published last year by Image and IDW with an eye towards development as a feature film.

CLOAK AND DAGGER

Comics2Film followed up on recent reports on the status of Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger project. Less than a year ago the concept was announced as a live-action feature set up at Dimension films. David Tischman (American Century, Cable) was set up to pen the script for the movie.

Marvel’s Kevin Feige, an executive producer on the film, confirmed for C2F that Dimension has placed the project in turnaround. Feige gave no other details about the future of the project.

Tischman also offered this brief statement. “I am no longer attached to the Cloak & Dagger project, but I wish everyone still involved the best of luck.”

Recent reports quoting Marvel chief Avi Arad indicated that the project is being reworked as a television show.

SAINTLY

Cool Beans Productions has announced plans to develop a CGI feature film based on it’s twisted on-line toon, Saintly. Saintly, which is being published as a graphic novel, tells the sinister tale of a small town locked in an action packed battle with the forces of evil. According to the the announcement, the movie created quite a stir at the recent Berlin Movie Forum.

“The response to Saintly has been incredible”, said Nick Percival, creative director of Cool Beans Productions, “We always knew that we had something special in Saintly, but the intense interest we’ve received from the major film studios has been fantastic. We’re following that interest up and expect to advance some of the discussions shortly.”

Saintly tells the story of Abby Sterling, a young schoolteacher who finds her first day in a new job going from bad to worse when Jediah T. Kane and his carnival from Hell invade the town. The demonic Jediah has an old score to settle with the town of Saintly, and the events of seventy years ago may hold the key to unlock the mystery. The only thing that stands between Saintly and infernal destruction is Abby’s motley band of kids and survivors – including Gimpy, the town drunk who faced Jediah as child, and Dr Krieger, the mysterious and demented town medic. As good faces off against evil for the fate of the town, action and dark humor combine to create a unique and unforgettable experience.

Saintly represents a crucial shift in the way CGI animation is applied to feature films. “Up until now, CGI films have been geared towards the children’s market”, explained Nick Percival, “And companies like Pixar and PDI are brilliant at creating crisp and colorful worlds for that market. Cool Beans Productions is approaching feature animation for the early teens and above, using established comic book artists to create a gritty, detailed world of characters, previously unseen in the medium. Following the conversations we had at Cartoon Movie, we’re more confident than ever that the time is right for a different kind of CGI movie.”

Saintly is co-written by the creator of Marshal Law, Pat Mills, directed by Nick Percival and is currently in production at Cool Beans Productions, Sheffield, UK.

DANGER DIABOLIK

According to Dark Horizons, Brotherhood of the Wolf director Christophe Gans is up for directing chores on a remake of the 1968 spy flick Danger Diabolik. The website does not give an indication of where the information comes from.

Danger Diabolik is based on the morally ambiguous comic book character who was also the subject of a recent animated TV show.

HULK

Universal Pictures announced last week that it has begun principal photography on The Hulk, the feature film based upon one of Marvel Comics’ most memorable and popular superhero series and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Ang Lee (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) from a screenplay by James Schamus. The film’s producers are Gale Anne Hurd, Marvel Studios Chief Executive Officer Avi Arad, James Schamus and Larry Franco. Marvel Comics founder Stan Lee and Kevin Feige are the executive producers.

Eric Bana (Black Hawk Down) stars as scientist Bruce Banner, whose inner demons transform him into The Hulk in the aftermath of a catastrophic experiment. Bana plays both the human Banner and — through groundbreaking visual effects technology provided by the Oscar-winning Industrial Light + Magic (ILM) — the superhuman Hulk.

Jennifer Connelly, who just received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Alicia Nash in the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind and won rave reviews for her performance as a hapless Coney Island resident in Requiem For A Dream, portrays Betty Ross, whose scientific genius unwittingly helps unleash The Hulk, and whose love for Banner finds its impossible resolution in the film’s denouement.

Sam Elliott, who recently starred opposite Mel Gibson as the no-nonsense Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley in Randall Wallace’s We Were Soldiers, plays Betty’s father, General Ross. Josh Lucas, who appeared opposite Connelly in A Beautiful Mind as Professor Martin Hansen, plays Glenn Talbot, a romantic and professional rival of Bruce Banner’s. Academy Award nominee Nick Nolte, whose recent credits include Affliction and The Thin Red Line, plays a sinister figure who returns from Banner’s past to haunt him.

Lee’s behind-the-camera team includes cinematographer Fred Elmes (The Ice Storm, Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet), Academy Award winning production designer Rick Heinrichs (Planet of the Apes, Sleepy Hollow, The Big Lebowski, Fargo), costume designer Marit Allen (Ride with the Devil, Eyes Wide Shut, Smilla’s Sense of Snow) and editor Tim Squyres (all of Ang Lee’s films and Robert Altman’s Gosford Park). ILM’s Dennis Muren, an eight-time Academy Award winner for films including E. T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, The Abyss and Jurassic Park, will supervise visual effects.

Ang Lee’s concept for the film combines all the elements of a blockbuster visual effects-intensive superhero movie with the brooding romance and tragedy of Universal’s classic horror films — for The Hulk is at once a superhero and a monster, a wish fulfillment and a nightmare. Lee and his team have gone back to the moving, early incarnations of the character created in May 1962 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, staying true to the subversive spirit of the early Marvel years, while completely updating and projecting The Hulk into the dangers and aspirations of contemporary times.

In Hulk casting: IGN Film Force reports that Brooke Langton is the latest actress to join the cast of The Hulk. The site states they’ve confirmed the info, although they’ve been unable to ascertain what role Langton will be filling.

The actress recently starred in The Replacements opposite Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman.

In other news, yesterday’s Daily Californian confirms that The Hulk will be filming at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for four days starting April 19. As previously reported by the student newspaper, the filmmakers are attracted to the dome-shaped Advanced Light Source lab building.

“(The studio) is almost exclusively using the advanced light source, which is the big dome building you see on the top of the hill,” said Ron Kolb, manager of communications at the lab.

BIRDS OF PREY

For a first look at the Birds of Prey cast suited up and ready for action, direct your browser to the Gotham Clock Tower website. The site scanned in a photo that appeared in the March 25 issue of Electronic Media magazine. It’s not a great pic, but it should satisfy the curious.

The ever-resourceful website also reports that Mark Hamill will once again provide the voice of The Joker, but this time in live-action. The former Jedi hero will voice the clown prince of crime for the pilot.

Although the voice role is only listed in the script as “voice from shadows”, his dialog ties into the career-ending injury dealt to Batgirl. According to the Clock Tower, the character will be shown in action scenes and is is described as having “cadaverous white hands, green hair, and a huge smile.” In those segments a stunt-double will fill the part.

Gotham Clock Tower does not name the source of this information, but the site is known to have impeccable contacts with connections to the show.

In other BoP news, Gotham Clock Tower directs readers to a write-up appearing on The Futon Critic. The article states that ABC, FOX and The WB Network have been soliciting the opinions of media buyers while formulating their new schedules. According to their round up of information, it looks as if The WB is eyeing Thursday nights as a resting place for Birds of Prey.

The WB is expected to announce their fall schedule on Tuesday, May 13.

DAREDEVIL

The tables have turned: Kevin Smith, who is still raking in cash for his crazy, cameo-filled Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, has landed a cameo of his own. The film? You guessed it: Daredevil!

In a post on View Askew message board, Smith tells, “[Director] Mark Steven Johnson was goodly enough to offer a brother a cameo in the Daredevil movie. Don’t want to give away any spoilers about it, but suffice it to say I don’t play either DD, Bullseye, Elektra, or the King Pin (though, size-wise, I thought I was a shoe-in for that role).”

This information may coincide with recent reviews mentioning that Smith and Marvel EIC Joe Quesada are playing defendants in a court scene with Matt Murdock.

It’s no surprise to see Kevin Smith involved in the film in some way. Johnson credits Smith’s “Guardian Devil” trade paperback for rejuvenating his own interest, and (in case you’ve been livin g under a rock) Smith and star Ben Affleck are good friends and long-time collaborators. On the cameo, Smith adds, “Many thanks to Mark for his kind words regarding me and Daredevil, and his even kinder offer to potentially ruin his picture with my ham-handed theatrics.”

Smith will be shooting his cameo on April 3rd.

IGN Film Force‘s Stax reports that Frankie J. Allison has joined the cast of Daredevil. Allison has appeared in Ocean’s 11 and Casino. Stax tells us that the actor plays a minor role as an “abusive father” who incurs the man without fear’s wrath.

SPIDER-MAN

[Spider-Man]

“He’s amazing!” That’s the reaction to the hot new trailer for the Spider-Man movie. The trailer debuted on the Web at Noon ET (9 a.m. PT) as announced.

The new trailer is a mix of clips we’ve seen before with some dramatic new footage of Spider-Man and the Green Goblin. Its titles invite the viewer to “Turn Your World Upside Down” this summer. While the past trailers were punctuated with the “you’re not Superman” gag, the new clip reel is capped with a smitten Mary Jane telling Spidey, “you are AMAZING!”

If you’re not able to make the download, we present you with a sampling of screen captures from the clip.

The trailer also began its runs in movie theaters last weekend running with David Fincher’s new movie The Panic Room.

In other news, a rundown of the Spider-Man soundtrack can be found in an issue of USA Today from last week. Much of the bands and songs mentioned were already covered in Sonicnet.com‘s recent reporting on the subject. However, the USA Today write-up provides a few new insights. According to that article, here are some of the artists and the songs they will contribute:

  • Sum 41 provides What We Are All About (The Original Version) – Due out as a single in April
  • Chad Kroeger of Nickelback and Josey Scott of Saliva collaborate on Hero – Due out as a single in April
  • Alien Ant Farm -Bug Bites
  • Pete Yorn – Undercover
  • Jerry Cantrell – She Was My Girl
  • Slipknot’s Corey Taylor – Bother
  • Macy Gray – My Nutmeg Phantasy – Remix by Tom Morello. Performed onscreen.
  • Danny Elfman – score selections.
  • The Strokes – When It Started
  • Default – Blind
  • The original Spider-Man Theme Song.

No mention is made of Aerosmith or the newly formed Planet Us who also submitted songs for the soundtrack. The CD is due in stores on April 30. The first 500,000 copies will boast a 3-D cover.

The Comics Continuum reports that Sum 41’s music video for “What We’re All About” from the Spider-Man movie sound track will be featured on MTV’s “Making of the Video” show. Watch for it on Wednesday, April 10.

SPIDER-MAN PRODUCTS

Want to fight osteoporosis and get free Spider-Man movie game for your PC? Then stop by the whymilk – Kids Club. According to that site your can get a free CD-ROM with a PC Game on it by purchasing two gallons of mile and two boxes of Kellogg’s cereal. Check out the site for complete details.

Thanks to CREED3 for the scoop.

The latest Spider-Man movie clips to appear on line look pretty cheesy. That’s because they’re the TV-commercials promoting Hardee’s new cheeseburger. Aint-It-Cool-Ne ws posted the first of what will surely be many Spider-Man merchandising promos to be seen this summer.

Speaking of the fast-food chain, fans who are thirsty for Spider-Man action can head down to their local Hardee’s restaurants this month. Among the many promo items to be found there are three different collector’s cups. Hardee’s has given C2F readers a a peek at the swell dinnerware awaiting fans

Finally, the Hershey’s Spider-Man site is now open for business. Check it out for a look at the Spider-Man candy products coming from that company as well as details for claiming your three Spider-Man posters!

THE FABULOUS FURRY FREAK BROTHERS

The Slush Factory recently posted an extensive interview with underground comix creator Gilbert Shelton. Of interest to comic book movie fans is this update on the once-planned animated feature version of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. The film had been in development with Film Roman and Simpsons director Mike B. Anderson.

“Mike Anderson wrote a screenplay, and the Film Roman artists made a few trial drawings of the Freak Brothers,” Shelton told Slush Factory, “but the project has been dead for a couple of years now.”

Check out the complete, two-page interview for the latest goings on with Shelton.

Thanks to Michael Rhode of the Comics Research Bibliography.

JUSTICE LEAGUE

Super friends who make their way into Subway Restaurants this summer will be able to grab up Kids’ Paks featuring Cartoon Network’s Justice League. The toy premium promotion, put together by the Subway, Cartoon Network and DC Comics features Superman, Batman, the Flash, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. The collectible toys will be available at participating restaurants May 20 through July 7, 2002.

The Kids’ Pak meal consists of a deli-style sandwich, small drink and a cookie. Additionally, one of the following toys will be available in each meal:

  • Batman and Superman figurines are formed from a translucent material that is painted from the inside. These two classic heroes are rich in color and come with detachable bases featuring their individual emblems.
  • The Flash and Wonder Woman are detachable figurines featured on crazy straws that twist to form the special shield icon of each character. Each toy also includes the character’s emblem.
  • Hawkgirl, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter are classic articulated action. This superhero trio is ready for adventure. A detachable Justice League base in also included.

The promotion will be supported with nationally produced point-of-purchase materials.

MEN IN BLACK 2

In a recent interview with The Calgary Sun (via Jam! Showbiz) Men In Black 2 director Barry Sonnenfeld talked about the upcoming sequel, including pop-meister Michael Jackson’s cameo appearance.

“Michael really wanted to be in the movie so he called me up. I knew Michael from when I was casting for Addams Family Values,” Sonnenfeld told The Sun. “Michael came in and I showed him where to stand in front of the blue screen. We spent a lot of time talking about his character in our pizzeria set and then shot for about five hours.”

Sonnenfeld also discussed Tommy Lee Jones’ return to the franchise. “We bring Tommy Lee back because something that happened 25 years earlier is threatening Earth. Will (Smith) has to get Tommy’s memory back,” Sonnenfeld said. “When he finally does, you have the dynamic of two people who both think they’re in charge because it’s five years later and Will has advanced.”

BULLETPROOF MONK

Although filming has been underway for weeks now, MGM has sent out the start of production press release on Bulletproof Monk. The movie is directed by Paul Hunter and stars Chow Yun-Fat (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Seann William Scott (Dude, Where’s My Car?). Here’s the description of the film’s storyline:

“Chow Yun-Fat plays a mysterious monk with no name zigzagging the globe to protect an ancient scroll — a scroll that holds the key to unlimited power. Now the monk must find a protégé, the next guardian of the Scroll of the Ultimate. Kar (Seann William Scott) is an unlikely candidate, a streetwise young man whose only interest is himself, but when he saves the Bulletproof Monk from capture, the two become partners in a scheme to save the world from the scroll’s most avid pursuer. Together, with the help of a sexy Russian mafia princess called Bad Girl (James King), they seek out, find and face the ultimate enemy in a final spectacular battle packed with dazzling effects and action.”

Terence Chang (The Replacement Killers), Charles Roven (Three Kings) and John Woo (The Replacement Killers) are producing. Gotham Chopra, Caroline Macauley, Michael Yanover, Doug Segal and Kelly Smith-Waite are executive producers.

Heading the production team are cinematographer Stefan Czapsky, production designer Deborah Evans, editor Robert Lambert and costume designer Delphine White.

Filming began March 9 and will continue through June.

Want a peek at the set of the movie? Direct your browsers to Hypepaul – the Hype Williams, Paul Hunter fan site. They’ve got some exclusive pics from the movie, directed by Hunter and currently filming in Toronto.

Thanks to Corona Coming Attractions for the lead.

BLADE II

After a strong opening last week, the competition has cut down Blade II busting the daywalker down to the #4 spot at the box office.

Blade II took in $13.2 million this weekend for an overall total of $54.9 million. The fall calculates to a 59% drop in gross.

Coming in at #1 was David Fincher’s much-anticipated turn in Panic Room. The popular animated flick Ice Age hung in at #2 while Dennis Quaid’s family pic The Rookie took the #3 spot.

X-MEN 2

The official website for the Greater Victoria Film Commission states that portions of the feature X-Men 2 will be filming at Royal Roads University for approximately two weeks sometime between May and July, 2002.

WONDER WOMAN

IMDb.com reports that Sandra Bullock is still looking at the Wonder Woman franchise, but so far isn’t happy with what she sees. The actress has asked the producers to go back to the drawing board with the script. Producer Len Goldberg is quoted as saying, “We’re awaiting a new story outline, and once that’s approved, a writer should have the script completed in two months.”

Comics2Film reported that back in January, the filmmakers hired a new writer to take a pass at the screenplay.

Thanks to SlowX for the scoop.

SPAWN 2

Steve Niles recently sat down and chatted with CBR big-shot Jonah Weiland about comics movies and things in between. Weiland managed to get on the subject of the Spawn 2 screenplay, which Niles co-wrote with creator Todd McFarlane.

“What Spawn 2 is about is here’s this guy who’s been dead and gone for over 10 years. It was five years from [the time he died up till the first movie] and then add another five or six years to that,” Niles said. “He’s been dead and sitting in an alley for a long time! He’s been forgotten. He’s a supernatural force.

“What we’re doing in Spawn 2 is we’re telling three or four separate stories; Sam and Twitch and a case they’re on about a ritual murder, a criminal conspiracy with the Police that involves the area around Rat City and basically all these story lines intersect at Spawn and he affects each one of them.”

As has been clear from the start, Spawn 2 won’t be a retread of the original. “The only thing Todd said is he didn’t want to repeat the same thing he did before. The first Spawn movie represented Spawn at the time. Now, we’re all older and he wanted to do something a little different,” Niles told Weiland.

“This movie isn’t going to be guided by special effects. This will be a story-driven movie.”

Niles reports that the script has been turned in to the studio and they are waiting for notes or further word. “It’s just like anything [in Hollywood.] Step-by-step. I’m not going to say too much because if I say, ‘Yeah, it’s a go,’ it’ll be cancelled by the time I get home.”

For more about Niles work, including commentary on Fused and 30 Days of Night, presented in text and audio, check out the complete interview.

WITCHBLADE SEASON 2

TNT has announced the start date for Season 2 of Witchblade. Tune in to the cable net on June 10, 2002 for the first episode of the new skein.

THIS WEEK ON JEREMIAH

Jake Busey (Starship Troopers, Contact) guest star’s on “The Bag,” this week’s episode of Jeremiah.

Medical secrets are revealed when Jeremiah (Luke Perry) and Kurdy (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) expose a fake doctor and discover that someone named Farralon has been trying to find a vaccine to cure the Big Death virus, exposing a dying youth named Jimmy to experimental therapy. The episode is written by Emmy-award nominated Sam Egan (executive producer of The Outer Limits_ and directed by Michael Robison (Tracker, Andromeda).

“The Bag” airs Friday, April 5th at 10:45 P.M. on Showtime. There will also an encore on Sunday, April 7th on Showtime Beyond East at 10:45 PM (ET & PT).

Preview clips of the show are available online at Showtime’s Jeremiah site. Click “Episode Preview” from the site’s nav.

Stop by MGM’s Jeremiah site for a video interview with Straczynski. While you’re there, enter to win an autographed script of the premiere movie.

THIS WEEK ON SABRINA

Tennis superstar Andy Roddick guest stars on “The Competition,” this week’s episode of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.

Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) gets offended when Josh (David Lascher) says that women can’t play tennis as well as men, so she enlists tennis superstar Andy Roddick for lessons and juices up with a witch’s potion that sends her competitive streak out of control. Meanwhile, Hilda (Caroline Rhea) and Zelda (Beth Brodrick) reluctantly coach Sabrina’s mischievous cousin Amanda (guest star Emily Hart) for her witch’s license test.Ken Koch directed the episode written by Ruth Bennett.

“The Competiton” airs Friday, April 5 at 8:00 p.m. on The WB Network.

Thanks to author and comic book movie journalist Andy Mangels for the info.

NEXT WEEK ON JUSTICE LEAGUE

Next Sunday night brings “Fury,” an all-new episode of Justice League on Cartoon Network.

When a renegade Amazon named Aresia takes over Lex Luthor’s old gang. Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl must team up to stop her from destroying Man’s world.

“Fury Part I” airs Sunday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m. on Cartoon Network. Encore showings are 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. The widescreen presentation airs the same day at 10:00 p.m.

NEXT WEEK ON WITCHBLADE

Next week on Witchblade, TNT’s re-airing of season 1 concludes with episode #11: “Transcendence”.

Sara’s (Yancy Butler) unlikely protector surfaces with a life-threatening passion to watch over her that leads to irrevocable consequences. Sara has no choice but to accept the destiny that comes with wielding the gauntlet and use it to regain what she has lost. But every gain has it’s price. True to the words of the Witchblade’s past wielders, “Nothing is as it seems.”

“Transcendence” airs Monday, April 8th at 9pm ET on TNT. An encore airing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9th at 11pm ET. The encore showing is presented in widescreen format.

NEXT WEEK ON SMALLVILLE

Iceman swipes Clark’s powers in the repeat airing of “Leech”, the April 9th episode of Smallville.

When Clark (Tom Welling) rescues his classmate Eric (guest star Shawn Ashmore of X-Men) from harm during an electrical storm, they are both struck by lightening, resulting in all of Clark’s superpowers transferring to Eric. While Eric relishes his new life as “Superboy,” Clark is torn between his happiness at finally being normal and his growing concern for the town’s safety as Eric starts to abuse his powers. Meanwhile, Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) believes he finally has undeniable proof of Clark’s superpowers and confronts him. Greg Beeman directed the episode written by Tim Schlattmann.

“Leech” airs Tuesday, April 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET on The WB network.

Thanks to author and comic book movie journalist Andy Mangels for the info.

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