Last week, Spider-Man director Sam Raimi recently talked to SFX magazine during a press tour for The Gift. 

The director commented on the tone he wanted the movie to take. "Batman and Superman are great movies, but they're more fantastic-world movies with these superheroes and outrageously funny villains in them," Raimi said. "Spider-Man I want to make more real world. Peter Parker is real, and something fantastic happens to him."

Raimi also talked about the daunting prospect of casting to please the comic fans. "The audience already has it in their minds who Peter Parker is, who Aunt May is, who Uncle Ben is, and you can get it wrong," Raimi said. "I not only have to meet their expectations, I have to go beyond them. I have to choose so right that they'll think, 'he's the soul of the character.'

"People will say, 'are you crazy, that isn't Uncle Ben.' But what I'm going to be looking for is the soul of the character, whether or not he looks like him, or not. So he's truly the guy that we've come to know in the comics. Of course Uncle Ben's a bad example, because he's only in it for about a page and then I kill him!"

And just this week, the Popcorn.co.uk has posted an audio interview with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi. The audio clip is filled with interesting tidbits:

On star Tobey Maguire's physical work: "He's undergoing a great transformation himself right now. He's working out every day with a martial arts instructor, with a climbing instructor and also, he's got a physical trainer to work on his body motion, to get down the spider-type moves that'll be necessary."

On Maguire in the prototype Spider-Man suit: "He's looking great! He's really buff. He's not going to be a Tobey that anyone recognizes."

On why Maguire is right for the part: "Because he has a good heart and when you look into Tobey's eyes he's really true. And I think the camera knows, when it gets really close, if you've got a Hollywood guy or a true person there. The thing about Stan Lee's creation, Peter Parker, the thing that I think made him so popular...is that Peter Parker is a good person. And Tobey's a good person so I think it's going to work."

The director also commented on John Dykstra special effects work, which he terms groundbreaking. "Our real goal is to bring Stan Lee's great creation to the screen," Raimi said. He went on to say that he wants, "the audience to believe that Spider-Man exists, swinging above the city of New York, sixty stories up, battling the Green Goblin whose flying around on his goblin glider."

Raimi told Popcorn that they are working on the final script revisions. Sets are being built on three different soundstages in the Sony lot. The production team is scouting locations in New York and Los Angeles.

Thanks to Spider-Man Hype for the lead!


[Josie and the Pussycats]A recent article in USA Today reveals that Josie and the Pussycats are the latest comic characters to alter their look for the big screen. "We do not wear catsuits at any point," Rachel Leigh Cook told Susan Wloszczyna of the national paper. However there is a plot point involving cat ears being used to send subliminal messages to consumers.

"We have excellent costumes, very colorful," Cook said. Cook, who plays Josie, had to die her hair red for the part. She's joined by Tara Reid (American Pie) as Melody and Rosario Dawson (Light it Up) as Val.

Cook also described the sound that the band would have in the movie. "It's fast-paced, aggressive pop rock, like Blink 182."

The article also mentions that fans can expect a cat fight between Cook and the villainous record mogul played by Parker Posey.

Thanks to Michael Rhode of the Comics Research Bibliography.


Michael McCullers (Austin Powers) has been put on retainer to rewrite the screenplay for the movie version of Batton Lash's Supernatral Law according to Cinescape (who cites The Hollywood Reporter as their source). According to the report, McCullers will rework the script written by Stephen Mazur and S.S. Wilson.

Harald Zwart is set to direct.


Word from The Hollywood Reporter is that international man of mystery Mike Myers (Austin Powers) is now developing the movie version of fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi's pricey comic The Adventures of Sandee the Supermodel. Myers will likely star as Yvesaac, a Mizrahi-esque designer who discovers the titular super-model.

The article states that no deals are in place yet. Dreamworks, the studio behind the feature, is seeking a writer to adapt the project. Universal Pictures is said to be a potential partner in the movie.


The Hollywood Reporter reports that Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox have reached an agreement to co-finance and co-produce a new Barbarella feature. John August (Go, Charlie's Angels) is set to write the screenplay. Laura Ziskin (Spider-Man), Drew Barrymore (Charlie's Angels) and Nancy Juvonen (Charlie's Angels) are named as producers on the movie, with Barrymore likely to star. The article also states that Jib Polhemus of Wychwood Prods. is expected to receive producing credit.

The modern Barbarella will be based on Jean Claude Forest's Barbarella comics Le Semble Lune (The Moon Like) and Le Miroir au Tempetes (The Mirror of Storms). According to the write-up, The filmmakers hope to combine sci-fi elements with the sensibilities of Woody Allen's comedies of the 1970's.


[Sheena]According to the Fall Preview issue of TV Guide, Sheena fans can start checking their local listings for the show's debut the week of October 8. The syndicated show stars Gena Lee Nolin as the titular queen of the jungle. The article tells us her sidekick is a mischief-making chimp.

Also of minor interest is the fact that the SheenaTV.com domain is now open for business. Currently there's nothing there but a big image of Nolin.


Scoopers for Corona Coming Attractions recently attended a screening for the newly released Remember the Titans directed by Boaz Yakin. Yakin was in attendance at the NYU screening and answered questions, including a few about his Batman Beyond movie. Yakin told attendees that he would be co-writing the script for the movie. Plans are for the movie to be more "intense and less kid-oriented" that the recent Batman movies.


[The Crow: Salvation]Producer Ed Pressman spoke with USA Today about the poor reception for The Crow: Salvation during its recent Spokane, WA test run. The poor box office in Spokane was followed by an announcement from Miramax that they would not release the movie theatrically, but would instead shop it around to cable networks.

"There was no television or radio backing. All we got was the smallest newspaper ad," Pressman told USA Today. Pressman also pointed out the illogic behind failing to exploit the presence of co-star Kirsten Dunst, who is red-hot after her high-grossing Bring it On.

Instead, Pressman believes that Miramax is making a sacrificial lamb of the movie in the wake of the Federal Trade Commission's report on marketing violence to children. "The Crow could be the first film to be a victim of this new climate," Pressman is quoted as saying.

Mark Gill, an executive at Miramax disagrees. "There is utterly no basis for that. This decision was made nine months ago," Gill is quoted as saying. The exec points to the upcoming Dracula 2000, as an R-rated Miramax release with violent themes that will make it to theaters later this year. Gill also claims that the promotion for the Spokane screenings was appropriate.

As reported last week, Crow fans on the internet are organizing in protest over Miramax's decision. A website has been created to organize the protest.

Meanwhile, Pressman and Salvation producers Jeff Most state that The Crow: Lazarus is still on track. That movie will star rapper/actor DMX and is scheduled to lens early next year.

Thanks to Michael Rhode of the Comics Research Bibliography.


According to Corona Coming Attractions the martial arts actor of choice by today's genre fans may be up for the lead role in the Iron Fist movie. That's right! Unnamed sources tell CA that Ray Park is in preliminary talks to play Danny Rand in the Artisan production of the Marvel comic.

Park is no stranger to comic book movies, having played the villainous Toad in this year's smash X-Men. Park's fancy footwork also wowed fans when he played Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace and when he gave the Headless Horseman his chops in Sleepy Hollow.

According to the anonymous scooper, the actor met with Artisan. However, the studio has neither a screenplay nor a screenwriter and therefore isn't ready to begin casting.


The latest word on From Hell comics from Eddie Campbell's website. Campbell tells readers that the Prague location shoot on the movie has concluded. The production team is now filming interior scenes at Pinewood Studios in England.

The site also features a small handful of set photos from the Prague shoot.

Thanks to Dark Horizons for the lead.


[Rising Stars]Corona Coming Attractions provides this quote from J. Michael Straczynski regarding the Rising Stars movie. The comment was made by Straczynski on the Babylon 5 newsgroup. "After writing my first pass on the outline for the Rising Stars feature film (tentatively entitled Born in Fire), MGM read the outline, loved it, had a couple of very smart suggestions...and as of Wednesday, I've been put to script."


Corona Coming Attractions reports that director Guillermo del Toro has written a part for fellow director David Cronenberg in the upcoming Blade 2 movie. The report originated in a Spanish movie magazine called Imagenes de actualidad. Based on del Toro's comments, Cronenberg has not yet committed. Cronenberg has acted in many films including Clive Barker's Nightbreed and his own The Fly.


[Batman Beyond]Online vendors have started listing the release date on the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker DVD as December 12, 2000: pushed back from the originally scheduled October 24.

Rob Allstetter of the Comics Continuum verified with representatives for the movie that the delay was for real. According to a spokesperson, new features are being added to the disk, which is now positioned as a holiday release.


According to Frosteey over at the Pure Batman5 Rumors website, director Darren Aronofsky may have long-term plans for Batman. While it was recently announced that Aronofsky would direct and co-write Batman: Year One, an unnamed source tells Frosteey that the director is hoping to do a trilogy of movies. The source claims that the cycle will start with Year One and end with The Dark Knight Returns. The source did not know what the second part of the series would be.

This is the first we've heard of this rumor, however stories have circulated in the past the Aronofsky is keen on doing The Dark Knight Returns.


[X-Men DVD]Fox has officially announced the release of the X-Men DVD, being slated an 11/21/2000 release. The movie can now be preordered from most online vendors. The announcement also came with good news for VHS viewers: the tapes will come with some of the extras that are usually reserved for the DVD crowd. The movie carries a suggested priced of $22.98 ($26.98 Canada) on VHS and $29.98 ($41.98 Canada) on DVD. Several online vendors are listing the DVD for less than $18.00 (US).

The press release provides these descriptions for both packages: 

"VHS: Spectacularly packaged in a collectible foil video sleeve, X-Men VHS is presented in pan & scan format. It includes 10 minutes of never-before-seen footage, including and exciting 'animatic' animated storyboard, created to demonstrate Bryan Singer's vision for one of the movie's action sequences, as well as a fascinating interview with director Bryan Singer from PBS' Charlie Rose Show.

"DVD: In addition to the elements included on the VHS release, the X-Men DVD also features many more extras, including hot actor Hugh Jackman's screen test for the role of Logan/Wolverine and is presented in a special 'Extended Branching Version' to preserve the integrity of the film in its original theatrical form while allowing consumers to view six never-before-seen sequences. The X-Men DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen format (aspect ratio: 2.35:1) with a spectacular 'reference quality' video transfer and English 5.1 Surround, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround and English and Spanish subtitles.

"A complete list of DVD contents:

  • Never-before-seen footage comprised of six movie sequences (available as part of 'Extended Branching' or to be viewed one after another in a special section). They are:
    • Storm character development
    • TeachingClass.
    • Logan Notices Jean and Scott/Rogue, Scott and Storm in the classroom.
    • An extended bedroom sequence between Logan, Jean and Scott.
    • Relationship development as Bobby walks Rogue to her Dorm and Professor Xavier and Jean are in the Cerebro.
    • Development of relationship between Professor Xavier and Jean in his office.
    • Ready Room.


    A posting on the official website for Christopher Parr's as-yet-unpublished Last Men informs us that the super-hero concept may be headed for the big screen. According to the news posting from Parr, his screenplay for the concept has been optioned by Rushlight Entertainment.

    "The goal is a feature film and eventually a TV series," Parr tells his readers. "Will it ever be a comic series? I dunno. Little did I know when I created this that the bottom had dropped out of the comic book industry. We'll see!"

    EXCLUSIVE: Detective Comics #1006 Welcomes the Spectre Back to Gotham City

More in CBR Exclusives