& William Forsythe as Dean Crept
& Morrisey and Forsyth
G-MEN FROM HELL Rick Albert, producer of Michael Allred's G-Men From Hell recently sent Comics 2 Film a number of images from the upcoming release. The movie, currently in post-production, stars William Forsythe and Tate Donovan as Dean Crept and Mike Mattress, a pair of G-Men who escape from hell and seek redemption by helping others as private investigators.
The good news for comic fans is that the movie may enjoy a preview screening at the Comic-Con International in San Diego this July. Albert is considering screening the movie in its entirety in conjunction with the convention. "The people at Comic-Con have expressed their complete support of this and are enthusiastic about it," Albert told us. "I would like to know how many fans would be interested in seeing it."
Albert would like to hear from fans who would be interested in seeing the movie at San Diego. Readers wishing to express interest in the preview should write to Albert at Gmenfromhell@aol.com and let him know you support the screening.
The movie will not be distributed by Artisan Entertainment as we had reported last year. Albert is in the process of shopping the property to domestic distributors. Other than the images presented here, no one will see the any of the movie until it's ready to be screened. "I think I would rather show it to the fans before I show it to the studios," Albert explained. "It's a really unique situation. If we decide to show it at San Diego, which I lean very strongly to, that going to put the fans ahead of the studios. It's kind of fun."
Albert also told us that the opening title sequence features a series of comic book pages by Allred that lead into the story of the film. These images will be displayed online at some point in the future. A G-Men From Hell website is planned to support the film.
RAT BASTARD A three minute test animation has been completed for the Rat Bastard TV show, which is in development for UPN. Comics 2 Film talked Cliff Galbraith, who co-created the comic with partner Tim Bird, about the current state of the development effort on the show. The test animation was directed by Kevin Altieri (Batman, Gen13) and written by Ed Neumeier (RoboCop).
"Kevin Altieri did an amazing job on animating the characters. If the show is going to look anything like this, be prepared to see something that you've never seen before on television," Galbraith told us. "For prime time this is just incredible!"
Images © Imagine Televison
Galbraith went on the provide some specific praise for the look of the show, "Some of the look is a little bit like Batman, because Kevin did work on Batman, but the backgrounds look like Blade Runner. The backgrounds are just absolutely incredible. They were done by some people who worked on Prince of Egypt."
Over a dozen of Altieri's design drawings were posted on the Crucial Comics website last month. The show is rendered primarily in traditional animation. Like most modern cartoons however, computer animation is utilized as well, "They used computers for a few technology-type effects. Like if they were showing something rotating and leaping and flipping and like like that."
Initial response to the short has been positive. "UPN loves it," Galbraith told us. Executives at a recent screening, "actually applauded in the meeting, which is virtually unheard of." However, the suits at UPN need more reassurance before moving forward. "The fate of the show will actually be decided by a focus group."
The Huja Brothers actually were able to test the show on their own unfocused group, "We showed it in the local bar where we hang out, the response was really, really good. They're a critical crowd too," Galbraith said. "A lot of bands come through there...everyone's got an optionion. So, when they all liked it I was quite relieved."
But there was another, even tougher critic who saw the short as well. Galbraith showed the tape to his father, "who hates comics and cartoons. Absolutely detests them. He laughed through the whole thing and said 'Play it again.'" The Huja Brothers are also involved with doing album cover art for various rock bands including The Go-Gos, Man Scouts ofAmerica, The Unband and Buzzkill. Examples of their work can be seen on the Huja website.
Spinning out of that work is the possibility of the Cliff and Tim directing a music video. They've done work for bands at TVT Records. Now that label is interested in having the Hujas create an animated video for one of their bands. Galbraith is eager for the opportunity, "I'd like to direct something soon."
The Hujas will soon relocate to L.A. to continue to develop their concepts for film and television.
A story on the Reuters wire service states the the live-action TV version of Ben Edlund's The Tick is set to make a late start on Fox's upcoming Fall schedule.
An anonymous source in the know sent us further details of the upcoming announcement. According to our source, the cast of the show is heading to NY for a Thursday announcement. Fox is said to be committing to 13 episodes for a mid-season start. The show may air directly after The Simpsons.
Our source adds that, in addition to radio controlled antennae, the big guy has bright blue contact lenses. Finally Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future) appears as Arthur's boss in the pilot film.
Comics 2 Film recently received an e-mail from Christina Carr and Martin Hunger of JJAMB Productions. They inform us that they were recently a part of the production effort on the X-Men movie.
"While shooting here in Toronto, X-Men used outside prop shops to make many of the props and miniatures. One of those shops was JJAMB Productions and one of their workers is Martin Hunger. If you'd like to see some of JJAMB's and Martin's contributions to this movie you can drop by: http://www.pathcom.com/~infinity."
The site includes images from many genre productions. There are currently nine images from X-Men with more on the way.
In related X-Men news, Corona Coming Attractions looked into recent rumors that the movie was undergoing an eleventh hour re-shoot in L.A. However, a Fox representative was able to clear up the matter. The shooting that is being done in the near-future in L.A. are scheduled "special-effects pickup shots" according to the rep. The work was planned and should not be viewed as a sign the movie is in trouble.
MEN IN BLACK 2
Daily Variety reports that, in spite of recent public remarks by the actor, Will Smith has not yet signed on for the sequel to Men In Black. Smith has signed to play boxing great Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann's biopic. They actor has already begun training for the role.
However, the article reports that sources close to Smith deny that he's signed for Men In Black 2. However, those sources did say that talks were underway. MIB co-star Tommy Lee Jones and and Director Barry Sonnenfeld are also in discussions.
A recent write up of the WB networks new fall line-up appearing on E! Online indicates that an animated version of Jerry Scott and Rick Kirkman's Baby Blues is tentatively scheduled to begin airing in July. Kirkman had told Comics 2 Film the same thing earlier this month, but put emphasis on the word "tentative".
BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER
Promotional artwork for the direct-to-video feature Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker was recently spotted by attendees of the E3 video-game expo in Los Angeles. The Dark Horizons website currently has a snapshot of the poster on display. The movie is due out October of this year.
An upcoming episode of In Production, which airs on the Sundance Channel spotlight's the big screen version of Dan Clowes' Ghost World. The show was originally scheduled to air on May 12, but was rescheduled. No air date has been given, but it is expected to show later this month.
BULLETPROOF MONK According to an article in Daily Variety MGM has purchased the film rights for Bulletproof Monk, a comic published last year by Image and Flypaper Press. The comic, written by Gotham Chopra and Brett Lewis with art by Michael Avon Oeming and Jason Baumgartner, tells the story of a Chinese refugee name Kar who travels to America seeking an enigmatic hero who can save his family from an oppressive Chinese government.
Hong Kong action director John Woo (Face/Off) is set to produce the movie with his partner Terence Chang, both of Lion Rock Prods. Chow Yun-Fat (Anna and the King), a frequent leading man in Woo's Asian movies, is set to star.
The movie is to be written by Cy Voris and Ethan Reiff, who have collaborated in the past on movies like Demon Knight: Tales From the Crypt and the as-yet-unproduced Camelot 3000. Voris and Reiff pitched the project to MGM along with Flypaper publisher Michael Yanover. Yanover will also serve as Executive producer on the movie.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, John Dykstra is officially on board as the visual effects supervisor for the Spider-Man movie. Dykstra first garnered acclaim for his groundbreaking effects work in Star Wars. Most recently he was the VFX supervisor on Stuart Little.
"We're still sorting the character out. It's going to come down to what the character we've come to know on the printed page requires to bring him to life," Dykstra told The Reporter. "It certainly won't be in any way pedestrian."
Karen Goulekas, who's work include special effects for Godzilla and The Fifth Element has also signed on.
Robbie Coltrane (The World Is Not Enough) is the latest actor to be cast in the movie version of From Hell. Daily Variety reports that Coltrane has signed on as an unspecified character.
Our old buddy Stax devoted a recent installment of his Stax Report column to yet another comic book based movie. This time Stax goes to Texas for a review of Garth Ennis' screenplay for Preacher. Check it out for a peek at this indie movie in development Hell.
Rob Allstetter of the Comics Continuum reports that Hellboy creator Mike Mignola may join the production of Blade 2: Bloodhunt as a designer. This information comes from Blade 2 writer and producer David Goyer. Mignola has a previous association with Blade 2 director Guillermo del Toro, who is also the director on the troubled Hellboy movie.
"Del Toro would like to bring him on as a conceptual designer, but nothing's been arranged yet," Goyer told Allstetter.