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JEREMIAH

[Jeremiah]Showtime has announced a debut date for Jeremiah, MGM Television Entertainment and Platinum Studios' new comic-based sci-fi show. The series will be launched with a two-hour movie airing Sunday, March 3, 2002 at 8:00pm (ET/PT).

Jeremiah stars Luke Perry (Oz) and Malcolm-Jamal Warner (Malcolm & Eddie) and was created for television by fan-fave sci-fi and comics creator J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Rising Stars).

Jeremiah is based on the Platinum Studios' award-winning graphic novel series by Belgian author Hermann Huppen. Set in the future, the series focuses on Jeremiah (Perry) who must navigate his way through a world populated by the survivors of a deadly epidemic that spared only those who had not yet reached puberty. Now those same survivors must find their way in a decadent civilization and attempt to create a new world order of hope.

Jeremiah, a loner by nature, is joined by the naive but colorful Kurdy (Warner) on a quest to find the mysterious "Valhalla Sector," which Jeremiah's father may have escaped to. Together they set out on a journey beset by warring, rival social factions and young people who must make decisions without the wisdom of those who lived before them.

Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, Queer as Folk) directs the shows opener.

Jeremiah marks a couple of firsts for comic related projects. It is the first European comic book to be adapted as a live-action, U.S. TV series. It is also the first TV series developed by Platinum's Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, who shepherded Men In Black from indy comic to becoming the highest-grossing comic-to-film adaptation of all time.

After the feature-length debut episode, hourly episodes of the show will air in its weekly time-slot on Friday Nights at 10:45pm (ET/PT). The 20-episode is being produced by Jeremiah Productions, Inc. in association with Lions Gate Television and Platinum Studios and will be distributed by MGM Worldwide Television distribution.

Straczynski will serve as the showrunner and executive producer, alongside Sam Egan (The Outer Limits). Perry, Joe Dante (The Twilight Zone), Michael Finnell (Teaching Mrs. Tingle), Rosenberg (Men In Black) and Ervin Rustemagic are executive producers.

THE MAGDALENA, FATHOM

[Fathom]Last September the Hollywood trades reported that James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment had come on board the feature film version of Top Cow's Fathom as producers. The movie had previously been set up with 20th Century Fox as an animated film. The new development effort repositions it as a live-action movie.

Spike Seldin, President of Production at Top Cow told Comics2Film that work is progressing on the project. Top Cow and Lightstorm are currently meeting with writers and hope to get the script going soon. Fathom features a heroine with water based powers.

Internet rumors that Jude Law (A.I.) and Jessica Alba (Dark Angel) are set to star in the movie are completely false..

Another Top Cow concept that's making its way to the silver screen is The Magdalena. Previous reports indicated that this concept was in development as a TV series, but Seldin tells us that isn't necessarily the case.

"We're developing it probably more as a feature than a TV series," Seldin said.

He also told us that there could be movement on the project soon. "We're about to team-up with another well-known producer to move forward on that one."

The Magdalena character spun out of one of Top Cow's flagship titles, The Darkness. The concept centers on a vampire-slaying agent of the Vatican.

VOLCANIC REVOLVER

[Volcanic Revolver]J. Donald Campbell recently checked in with Comics2Film to give us a quick update on the Volcanic Revolver live-action movie. "The third draft of Volcanic revolver is done and casting has started," Campbell said. He hastened to add, "I name no one, in fear of execution."

Volcanic Revolver is based on Scott Morse's graphic novel of the same name. Morse is set to direct the movie in Montreal some time early this year.

DAREDEVIL, ELEKTRA

Jennifer Garner, the Golden Globe winning star of Alias, is looking like the front runner to play Elektra in the Daredevil movie (and potential Elektra spinoffs as well). Variety reported as much early last week. However no actress has been signed to the part. Garner made comments to that effect at the Globes ceremony on Sunday.

WITCHBLADE SEASON 2

With the encore airing of the Witchblade movie set for tonight and season one encores set to begin airing next Monday, TNT has unveiled some nice updates to its Witchblade website.

In the Media section four season-one clips are now available for viewing. Fans can click on "Aerial Motorcycle Battle", "Black Dragon VR Sequence", "Witchblade Dreams" and "A Walk Through The Fire". The clips are available in RealMedia and Windows Media formats.

The site also includes a new screensaver (Mac or PC version) available for download and the ability to send Witchblade eCards. There are six different eCards to choose from.

Finally, the site provides a "behind the scenes" section which includes set photos and an interview with show runner Ralph Hemecker.

Thanks to Dex for the scoop!

KNIGHTS OF JUSTICE: THE MOVIE

The characters who populate the nostalgic Big Bang Comics are set to appear in an all-new feature film set to lens this summer. Philip R. Cable told Comics2Film that he is currently finishing up a script for Knights of Justice: The Movie.

Fans may recall that Cable wrote, produced and directed a direct-to-video Knights of Justice short film which was released in 2000. The low-budget video featured staple Big Bang characters Ultiman, Thundergirl and The Knight Watchman and also introduced a new character named Masker. Cable also appeared as the villain in that one.

This time the previous heroes will be joined by Big Bang characters Blitz, Mike Merlin, the Beacon, and the Badge. The story focuses on the kidnappings of the world's finest scientists and the heroes individual adventures in rescuing them.

Lorin Taylor, who played Masker in the original is set to reprise the role. Martial Arts star Leo Fong (Cage II) will play a villain.

The new feature-length movie will be a co-production of AAA American Entertainment and Entertainment Consortium Group.

THE ROAD TO PERDITION

[Road to Perdition]The L.A. Times recently presented an in-depth article on The Road To Perdition with extensive quotes from director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) and Tom Hanks (Cast Away).

The movie, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner, casts Hanks as a hitman out to avenge the murders of his wife and son while protecting his remaining son. "When I read the script, I said I'd like to pursue it, but I also wanted someone you would never expect to play [Sullivan]," Mendes told The L.A. Times. "Because it's much more interesting to cast against type."

Fans hoping that the movie will pave the way to a greater appreciation for the comics medium shouldn't look to Mendes. "It's a comic book," Mendes said, laughing. "I can't bring myself to say 'graphic novel.' But it's a serious story. The script is loosely based on it. The film took a swift diversion from the source material the minute I got hold of it."

The original adaptation was written by David Self (Thirteen Days). Mendes said of the original script, "A lot of what I saw in it had the same kind of nonverbal simplicity of art-house pulp movies like Once Upon a Time in America and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. The story isn't just about what's said."

Hanks adds, "The graphic novel was much more pulpy. They call [Sullivan] 'The Angel,' and he strikes fear into everybody. In the movie, he is still an enforcer, but his notoriety is soft-pedaled."

The actor also stated that he appreciates the moral ambiguity that is found in the final film. "At times, movies can be like a standard morality play, a bracing tonic. But there are also times when the audience is dying for another view, about the paradox of being alive."

The Road to Perdition is due in theaters on July 12.

JUSTICE LEAGUE, BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER, X-MEN: EVOLUTION

[Justice League DVD]Last week Warner Home Video announced a slate of new comic related DVD and VHS releases due to hit stores on April 23.

The World's Greatest Super Heroes -- Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter -- join forces for the feature-length VHS and DVD debut of Justice League from Warner. Justice League carries a suggested retail price of $14.95 SRP on VHS and $19.98 on DVD.

Marvel's merry mutants are getting the VHS-only treatment. X-men: Evolution -- X Marks The Spot debuts on the 23rd with a SRP of $12.95. The mutant mania continues, as previously released favorites Xplosive Days and UnXpected Changes are available on VHS for a new, low $12.94 SRP.

Additionally, everyone's favorite Caped Crusader swoops onto shelves with four new DVDs including Batman: The Animated Series -- The Legend Begins, available on DVD for $19.98 SRP and for the first time on VHS for $14.95 SRP. Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero and The Batman Superman Movie chill the competition with their DVD debuts priced at $19.98 SRP and $14.93 SRP on VHS.

Batman's most notorious nemesis has another trick up his sleeve as Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker -- The Original, Uncut Version allows fans to see the film like never before on DVD for $19.98 SRP.

The Joker gets the last laugh as WHV re-prices the original version of Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker (winner of the 2001 Annie Award for outstanding achievement in an animated home video production) to a new, low $14.94 SRP on VHS and $19.98 SRP on DVD.

Fans will enjoy extra savings with a $5 rebate for consumers who purchase Justice League and any two new Batman or X-men videos.

ASTERIX AND OBELIX: MISSION CLEOPATRA, ASTERIX AND OBELIX VS. CAESAR

Just a week before its release in France, Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra has hit a speed bump in the form of rapper Joey Starr. According to Variety there is a legal flap over the use of Starr's hit single "Gazelle".

Filmmaker Gilles de Maistre claims he purchased the rights to use the song in his low-budget film Ferocious. The filmmaker is seeking damages of $134,000. De Maistre claims that he had a contract to use the music in his movie but the record producer turned the rights over to the bigger-budgeted Asterix when those filmmakers showed an interest in it.

Ferocious was completed in 2000 and will finally see release in France on April 17. The Paris High Court will hear the case later this week, according to Variety.

Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra is the sequel to Asterix and Obelix Vs. Caesar, one of the most expensive and successful French movies ever made. The movie will open on 900 screens in France next week.

Last summer Miramax announced it would be releasing both pictures in the United States. While note dates were set, the studio did say that they will likely release Cleopatra first, in order to capitalize on the popularity of that film's director Alain Chabat.

BLADE 2

[Blade 2]This spring, Blade returns to the big screen and he's got more trouble to contend with than ever before. In Blade 2, Blade is forced to team-up with a group a vampire assasins called the Bloodpack in order to stop the Reavers, a new species of mutated vampires.

Fans of Blade are now being treated to an official preview of the new film, including peeks at production sketches and cast photos, as well as screensaver and wallpaper downloads. The preview can be found at www.blade2.com/preview. When prompted, enter "BLADE2" as your username and "NOMAK" as your password. The content featured inside is more than enough to whet a fan's appetite while waiting for the film's theatre release.

In other daywalker news, Immortal Records, a division of Virgin/EMI, has announced the release of the Blade 2 soundtrack, the star-studded companion album to the upcoming New Line Cinema feature film release. Blade 2 will be released in U.S. theaters on March 29th. The film will be heralded by the March 26th release of the soundtrack.

Immortal Records has assembled a diverse lineup uniquely pairing hip-hop and electronica artists on each track. The Blade 2 soundtrack boasts critically acclaimed, multi-platinum artists in duos such as Mystikal and Moby, Eve and Basement Jaxx, Bubba Sparxxx and The Crystal Method, Redman and Gorillaz, Busta Rhymes, Silkk The Shocker and The Dub Pistols, Cypress Hill and Roni Size, Ice Cube and Paul Oakenfold, Mos Def and Massive Attack, Jadakiss, Fabolous and Danny Saber, and Trina, Rah-Digga and Groove Armada.

The release of Blade 2 follows such successful Immortal Records soundtrack compliations as Judgement Night (1994) and Spawn (1998). Happy Walters, Immortal Entertainment founder and CEO, said "We have taken an aggressive approach in combining these two types of music on this soundtrack," says Walters. "The process of putting this together was both artistically challenging and fulfilling."

"The soundtrack is a tour de force. A fusion of genres featuring some of the mightiest talents in hip-hop and electronica duking it out," comments Ashley Newton, Virgin Records America Co-President and Virgin Music Group Worldwide Senior Vice President, A&R. "There's a huge buzz at Virgin about the music and just how successful this project could be."

THE HULK

According to Dark Horizons filmmakers have begun scouting locations for The Hulk. Unnamed sources tell that website that the labs at Caltech were photographed last week for set design purposes.

In other Hulk news, Corona Coming Attractions has published what is purported to be the first-ever review of David Hayter's script for the film. The site notes that the script is dated November 21, 2001 and carries only Hayter's name.

Fans are reminded that James Schamus, a producer on the film and long-time collaborator of director Ang Lee, has been rewriting the screenplay. Presumably the script reviewed is not necessarily indicative of the final product.

The review contains spoilers and is negative.

SMALLVILLE

Inkworks Trading Cards has announced that they've been granted the license to produce the officially licensed trading cards for the new hit television show, Smallville. The premium trading cards will be released in 2002 (date to be determined).

THE HULK (1980's TV SERIES)

March will see the UK release of two The Incredible Hulk TV-movies on DVD. Cinema Club is set to release a Region 2-encoded DVD containing two of the television movies starring Lou Ferigno and the late Bill Bixby. The scheduled UK released date is March 11, 2002.

Jody and Brenden, both writing from Canada, tell us the films are already available to our neighbors to the north. The DVDs were released by Top Ten New Media late last year and can be found in stores like Wal-Mart for $9.98 Canadian.

Apparently both disks, which are not region-specific, are easily purchased by U.S. fans via online auction houses.

The Incredible Hulk Returns guest-starred a lame, live-action version of Marvel's Thor, while The Trial of the Incredible Hulk introduced mainstream TV viewers to Daredevil and The Kingpin (both substantially altered for the show).

SPIDER-MAN ANIMATED SHOW

Daily Variety reports that the animated Spider-Man TV show is indeed on MTV's 2002 programming slate. Comics2Film first reported that the music net would air the show last August.

Variety provides this description: Spider-Man will revolve around college student Peter Parker, a Web designer for the Daily Bugle and furtive crime-fighting superhero.

If the "web designer for the Daily Bugle" angle sounds like it was ripped from the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man, that may be because comic scribe Brian Michael Bendis.

Sony Pictures Family Entertainment will produce the prime-time series. Marian Davis and John Priemer are the MTV executives in charge. Grace Benn serves as creative executive for Sony. Marvel's Avi Arad and Rick Ungar are executive producers.

GARFIELD

Late last week The Hollywood Reporter scooped fans of lasagna-eating fat cats that none other than Garfield will be the subject of a live-action movie. 20th Century Fox has optioned the film rights to the Jim Davis' long-running comic strip. John Davis (Dr. Dolittle - no relation) will produce.

The film is expected to be a mix of live-action and CGI (with the computer generated effects reserved for the chubby tabby and his addled puppy friend Odie, no doubt).

Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow (Toy Story) are set to pen the screenplay. According to the write-up the story will focus on the sibling rivalry between Garfield and Odie.

Davis Entertainment senior vp Brian Manis will executive produce with the company's president, Wyck Godfrey.

Thanks to Michael Rhode of the Comics Research Bibliography for the lead.

SPIDER-MAN

There are new goodies for Spider-Man fans on the movie's official website.

First up, fans who can't get enough of those swell Spidey desktop wallpapers can download an all new image. The new graphic brings the web-slinger up close and personal.

Also new on the site is a video interview with Jason Mahakian, who built models for the Spider-Man art department.

The keepers of the Spider-Man movie site promise that there's more to come, so stay tuned. Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire told the Associated Press that the time is right for the web-slinger's big-screen debut.

"I think people will be ready this summer to watch a good guy in New York who has fun and goes around and beats up the bad guys. Do superheroes still fit in? Yeah, I think so," he said.

Maguire also tells fans to look for a multi-dimensional villain in the film. "The Green Goblin is still considered the bad guy, the evil guy, but there are redeeming qualities about him and things that you want to care about him for,"' Maguire said.

According to the write-up the World Trade Center towers will appear in the city skyline, in spite of post 9/11 actions that resulted in the removal of the building from publicity materials.

Licensees continue to come on board the Spider-Man movie train.

The Topps Company, Inc. announced that they would be publishing trading cards based on the movie in spring. The news comes from their recently published quarterly report. Topps has been marketing trading cards since 1951 and most recently rolled out cards based on The Lord of the Rings, Monsters, Inc. as well as a war themed set called "Enduring Freedom."

IGN FilmForce published some nice images of the Spider-Man LEGO MovieMaker playsets. The write-up represents the site's early reporting of this February's 99th Annual American International Toy Fair in New York.

There will be two Spider-Man playsets available in April of this year. They are designed to be used with LEGO's award-winning Steven Spielberg MovieMaker set, which allows budding filmmakers create animated flicks with their LEGO sets.

Included in the playsets are the film characters, a CD of sound effects and special pieces that allow Spider-Man to perform stunts. The pieces are said to combine to "construct the key scene from the film."

FilmForce's photo spread included pictures of Spidey, The Green Goblin, Mary Jane and various props that LEGO filmmakers can use to create their own Spider-Man movie.

BLADE TV

Last week Cinescape magazine confirmed what Comics2Film reported last spring, New Line and Marvel Studios are considering a Blade TV show to follow on the heels of the successful Blade movie franchise.

Avi Arad told Cinescape that a weekly series could emerge after the third Blade movie hits the big screen.

Last April Blade guru David Goyer told Comics2Film that New Line was very interested in developing such a show.

SPIDER-MAN, BLADE 2, X-MEN 2, THE HULK, DAREDEVIL

COMICON.com reports that the movies studios producing Spiderman and Daredevil will be sharing 1-10% of studio revenue with Marvel Studios.

This comes as very good news to Marvel, whose stocks have been dwindling since the company's bankruptcy in 1998, even despite X-Men's blockbuster success in 2000. "Marvel may have learned to fight for a bigger cut after X-Men," Dow Jones reported to COMICON. Though the movie brought in over $400 million for 20th Century Fox, Marvel received what Dow Jones calls "a pittance".

Unfortunately, Marvel's other film prospects do not looks so bright. The Hulk is only expected to send a "decent" amount of profits Marvel's way, according to Marvel Studios big cheese Avi Arad, and X2 and Blade 2 will only bring Marvel profits comparable to those of the original films.

GHOST RIDER

FilmForce and 13th Street report that Dimension Films' big-screen version of Marvel Comics' Ghost Rider may not be as dead as previously thought. You may recall that the project slowed down considerably after director Stephen Norrington left it to make Tick Tock. That move caused star Nicolas Cage to ankle the pic. Ironically enough, Tick Tock then became delayed due to script rewrites. Norrington has now turned his attention towards directing the big-screen adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which may begin filming this year.

13th Street was advised by two separate sources that "Marvel Films President Avi Arad has been sighted in Toronto accompanied with Ghost Rider producers, scouting for possible locations and negotiating to book studio space." Apparently, Arad and company are eager "to open production offices and start pre-production on the film come March or April."

Whether or not Nic Cage's interest in Ghost Rider can be resurrected is unknown. Regardless, it seems that Ghost Rider still has a big chance to make it to the silver screen.

CONSTANTINE

According to Hollywood Reporter, director Tarsem Singh has dropped out of Warner Bros' Constantine, the film based on the Vertigo comic series Hellblazer. The trade states budgetary concerns as the reason for the director's departure. It is unclear now what course the film will continue upon and whether the controversial star of Constantine, Nicolas Cage will remain on board.

VIDEO GAMES

Encore Software has announced that they have struck a five-year, worldwide contract with Marvel Enterprises, Inc. to bring classic character Daredevil to next-generation consoles everywhere. Planned to coincide with the planned 2002 release of the Daredevil film, Encore, Inc. plans to publish exciting action-adventure games starring Marvel's Daredevil, Elektra, Bullseye and Kingpin.

"Marvel's Daredevil is an enormously popular character with a huge fan base who are eagerly awaiting this videogame," said Michael Bell, chairman and CEO of Encore. "The debut of the console game and the live-action film, will not only dramatically expand that fan base, but also propel Daredevil into mainstream popular culture."

Gamespot has reported that Universal Interactive is set to announce its agreement with Marvel to bring its classic Hulk characters to interactive gaming. No information has yet been released concerning gaming features or possible platforms, but it can be expected that the release of the games will also coincide with The Hulk's big-screen feature, set to debut in 2003.

"The Incredible Hulk is a classic entertainment franchise that provides innumerable creative possibilities to explore," said Jim Wilson, president of Universal Interactive. "UI is looking forward to creating video games that convey all the excitement of The Incredible Hulk and push the envelope on gameplay mechanics."

A new game based on the Spider-Man movie is already scheduled to be released for the Gamecube, X Box and Playstation.

THE TICK

[The Tick]Fox has pulled the plug on our favorite comic show of 2001/2002: The Tick. The official word came down a few weeks back. Fans wondering how to express their displeasure over the move are encouraged to write to Fox at:

Sandy Grushow

Chairman of Fox TV Entertainment Group

10201 W. Pico Blvd.

Building 100, Room 5110

Los Angeles, CA  90035

January 24 will see the final new episode of the show. The episode, airing in its usual 8:30 timeslot, guest stars Dave Foley of News Radio and Kids in the Hall fame. Fox provides this description of the episode:

"Arthur is excited to reveal to his mother and sister that he has become a superhero, but after meeting the socially inept Tick they decide to hire 'superhero deprogrammer.'"

GHOST WORLD

The Fantagraphics e-mailer reports that Ghost World creator Daniel Clowes has designed a poster for the newly renovated Sunshine Cinema in New York City. The artwork depicts Ghost World's Enid going to see Ghost World the movie. We don't have a copy of the poster to show you, but apparently it can be spotted in ads running in "The New York Times" and "The Village Voice"

The e-mailer also reminds us that the movie debuts on DVD and rental VHS on February 5, 2002. The MGM Home Entertainment DVD release carries a suggested price of $26.98. The disc has deleted and alternate scenes, the rare musical clip from Gumnaam (the Indian musical Enid dances to in the opening credits) and a "Making-Of" featurette, which includes interviews from the cast and crew.

BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN ON TOONAMI

Monday, January 21 through Saturday, January 26, the world's finest superheroes face off to see which is the most powerful during Cartoon Network's Toonami: Batman vs. Superman. Every night, Monday-Friday, Toonami will air back-to-back episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and Superman from 6-7 p.m. (ET, PT). Viewers can then log on to CartoonNetwork.com to view the site's first "gomic," an exclusive interactive hybrid joining a game and a comic, to cast their vote for the superhero of their choice.

On Saturday, January 26, the superheroes will return for a six-hour marathon from 1-7 p.m. (ET, PT). At 5 p.m., the winner of the online vote will be revealed and the final two hours of Toonami: Batman vs. Superman will be dedicated to the victorious superhero.

Beginning Monday, January 21 and throughout the week, fans will be able to go to CartoonNetwork.com to play "The World's Finest: The Gauntlet of Doom," an exclusive comic and online game and to vote for their favorite superhero. Each day, one of five comic book covers will become active with each day's comic coming to a close by positioning both Batman and Superman in a competitive challenge against an enemy. The player can select the superhero that they think is best equipped to beat that enemy and that choice will cast one vote in favor of either Batman or Superman.

Online, fans can also obtain an Orbit Code that they can redeem on Cartoon Orbit, CartoonNetwork.com's online digital trading community, for a limited edition Batman vs. Superman cToon (the site's online trading cards).

THE CROW 4

The Crow franchise lives on in the form of collectible merchandise according to Patrick Sauriol at the 13thstreet.com website.

Comic-related merchandising outlet Dynamic Forces has reportedly inked a licensing deal with Pressman Films to generate new goodies for Crow fans. Pressman was responsible for three Crow feature films and a syndicated TV show based on the character.

The first offering from the deal is said to be a limited edition 6-inch bust of Brandon Lee's character from the original film priced at $49.99. A trading card series called "The Legacy" will also be produced featuring the many incarnations of The Crow in comics, film and TV.

Lithographs and wall scrolls are also on the way.

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