[Julie]Fans interested in seeing the long-awaited sequel to the Heavy Metal animated feature won't have to wait much longer. FAKK2 creator Kevin Eastman tell Comics 2 Film that the movie is scheduled to debut on the cable's Encore network on July 10th of this year.

Although the movie retains the title Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2, it is currently promoted as Heavy Metal 2000. Eastman tells us the name change was prompted by the studio. "Columbia doesn't think anybody will understand what Fakk2 is, even though we've been promoting it for three years, or more, so they changed it to Heavy Metal 2000." The title change only applies to the marketing of the movie. "The title on-screen, the video game, most of the toys, and all the other things that were called Fakk2 before will stay Fakk2."

FAKK2 tells the story of Julie, a vengeance-seeking warrior woman out to get even with the villainous Tyler, who wiped out her people. Julie takes on the alias of Fakk2, the federation designate for a planetary environment that is lethal to all life forms. She chases the power-mad Tyler across the galaxy to exact her revenge before the villain attains ultimate power.

[Germain]It's well known, by now, that Julie/Fakk2 is modeled after and voiced by B-movie queen Julie Strain (billed here as Julie Strain Eastman). Fans may be surprised to learn that Julie's reluctant sidekick, Germain St. Germain is modeled after Kevin Eastman, Strain's husband and publisher Heavy Metal. "The Germain St. Germain character was based on me, and at one point looked a lot morelike me. Somewhere along the line they thought they should make it lookless like me, and made some changes. It is also based on an old pal of mine,Judd Nelson, who did the original voices for the character." Unfortunately, due to a contractual concern, Nelson's voice will not appear inthe final cut of the movie.

In addition to Strain, the cast for the film includes Michael Ironside (The Perfect Storm) asTyler, rock-star Billy Idol (The Wedding Singer) as Odin, Pierre Kohl as St. Germain, Sonja Ball as Julie's sister Kerrie, Rick Jones (Anastasia)as Odin's all-rock-but-still-cuddly sidekick Zeek. Other cast members include Brady Moffatt, Arthur Holden, Alan Fawcett, Jane Woods and ElizabethRobertson. The movie was written by Robert Payne Cabeen from the graphic novel by Eastman, Simon Bisley and Eric Talbot. Michel Lemire and MichaelColdewey directed the movie.

The film features a score by Frederic Talgorn (The Devil's Arithmetic). However, the movie also features a selection of 14 heavy metal songs. The track listing for the film consists of:

  1. F.A.K.K. U
  2. Silver Future (Monster Magnet)
  3. Missing Time (MDFMK)
  4. Immortally Insane (Pantera)
  5. Inside the Pervert Mound (Zilch)
  6. Dirtball (Insane Clown Posse and Twiztid)
  7. Storaged (System of a Down)
  8. Rough Day (Day's of the New)
  9. Alcoholocaust (Machine Head)
  10. Buried Alive(Billy Idol)
  11. Wishes (Coal Chamber)
  12. Triale (Puya)
  13. You Don't Know (Econoline Crush)
  14. The Dog's a Vapor (Bauhaus)

The soundtrack will be released by Restless Recordsand will feature four separate cover designs by Bisley. Restless will also release a limited edition, double CD that includes a CD-ROM containing additional movie paintings, a comic book version of the movie, PC gamedemos and a movie trailer.

For an in-depth preview of FAKK2 visit the Heavy Metal website at www.heavymetal.com.


During a recent online chat at the Mage web site, Mage creator Matt Wagner revealed thatthe first draft of screenplay had been turned in and "it ROCKS!". Comics 2 Film talked to Wagner to find out more about the script.

Screenwriter John Rogers turned the first draft in to Wagner and producers at Critical Mass Entertainment and Spyglass Entertainmentseveral weeks ago. "I got it e-mailed to me like at 10:30 in the morning one morning and, of course, that was the end of that day," Wagner told us. "I had to just sit there and download and read."

Wagner seemed quite enthusiastic about the work, which adapts the Hero Discovered story arc of the comic. "One of the things I love about it is, it's not crazyfaithful." Wagner told us. "It knows it has to adapt and so it changes things. For instance there's a whole other character in this that isn't in Hero Discovered at all."

Wagner went on to say, "He explains the magic real well. He takes stuff that I had written when I was 20 years old and writes from a 30 year old standpointso it's a little more eloquent. It's great."

Fans needn't worry about changes made during the adaptationprocess. "[Rogers] manages to lift huge sections,straight from the book, that will ring very familiar and true to almosteverybody. And yet he still brings his own sense of humor toit. [Rogers provides] each of the main four characters with a realdistinct voice and a real distinct relationship with each of the othercharacters in the group."

The strength Rogers showed in his Jesse James screenplay isalso said to be evident in Mage. "John's really good at defining character in moments of action withquick, quippy dialog, and not in a dumb action movie sense." However, the script does contain plenty of action. It also hasopportunities for special effects with the prevalence of monsters andmagic in the story.

Although all parties involved agree that the screenplay is terrific, Rogers has gone to work on the second draft.


Comics 2 Film recently heard from Michael Fry who gave us astatus report on the Over The Hedge movie. Fry createdthe Over The Hedge comic strip with illustrator T Lewis. Fry told us that the movie is set up at Fox Family Films, which is where it's been for almost three years. He and Lewis wrote the first script for the movie, which was eventually shelved.

However, the movie is now in the hands of executive producer Kevin Bannerman. A new script is being written by Steve Hibbert (Saturday Night Live) based on a pitch from Fry and Lewis.

Over The Hedge features a mischievous raccoon named R.J.and his best-friend, a philosophical turtle named Verne. The websitedescribe the pair as "a couple of boisterous 'Boyz in the Wood' whodon't take the encroachment of their habitat sitting down."

Although the development of Hedge has been moving slowly,Fry also reports that his other strip, Committed,is also in the works as an animated TV series.The irreverentstrip about family life is in production at Nelvana. The Fox Family Channel has committed to 13 episodes. SCTV alumniCatherine O'Hara (Home Alone), Eugene Levy (AmericanPie) and Andrea Martin (Wag the Dog).

Thanks to Michael Rhode of the Comics Research Bibliography.


[Rat Bastard]Crucial Comicshas announced that animation director Kevin Altieri (Gen13and Pearl Jam's Do The Evolution) is on board to direct the RatBastard animated show. The first order of business forthe director is a three-minute, music video style presentation for UPN,the network that plans to air the show next fall. The short is setto be completed by the end of April.

The announcement also states that the characters designs are very close to their comic book counterparts. Backgrounds are said to be "as intricate as the original book, with a more painterly quality."

Finally, the article mentions that Altieri's long-awaited Gen13 animated feature will be released soon.


[From Hell]Johnny Depp (The Ninth Gate) is said to be in negotiations to take on the role of Scotland Yard Detective Frederick Abberline in the upcoming adaptation of Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's From Hell.  

The Hollywood Reporter states that Depp is currently busy with New Line Cinema's Blow.  Following that he is set to work on Chocolat for Miramax and from there movie into Hell for 20th Century Fox. According to the article, the movie is set to start filming in July in Prague.

A few days later Ain't it Cool News reported that Depp has officially signed on to the production. The report comes from a spy who spoke with Allen and Albert Hughes at the SXSW film festival.

According to the report, the Hughes brothers told the spy that Depp was on board and that Nigel Hawthorne (The Winslow Boy, Amistad) had been cast as the killer. The report also states that Terrance Stamp may appear in the movie, but the rest of the cast will likely be filled by unknowns.


[Men In Black]Ain't it Cool News reports that Sony was promoting a sequel to Men In Black at the recent ShoWest trade show. 

Although it has seemed unlikely that the key players from the first movie would work on the sequel, the studio still had a trailer to display at the show. AICN was unimpressed by the trailer which featured footage from the first movie with new dialog. The tagline here is "They're Back In Black. Men In Black II"

According to a report from Dark Horizons,Will Smith (Wild, Wild West) may be interested in doing a sequel to Men In Black. Although the actor hasdownplayed the possibility in the past, he was reportedly singing a different tune on London's Capitol Radio this week. Smith toldlisteners that he would be reading the script for the planned sequel in the next few weeks. "If it is hot I will do it, if it's not,then I won't," Smith reportedly said.


A recent report appearing in the news section of the Fandomwebsite provides some answers as to whether or not Scott MichaelRosenberg (Con Air) will be penning a screenplay forthe next Batman movie. When asked about therecent rumors Rosenberg told Fandom, "We talkedabout it, but unfortunately, I'm not available right now. Ihave so many other things to do that I can't do it. They asked, but I'mpretty booked up for the next year."

Fandom also asked Rosenberg the rumor that he would co-write such a screenplay with mystery novelist Ralph McInerny. The writer responded to this in the negative as well.

The Rosenberg/McInerny team-up rumor grew out of Comics 2 Film's own bungled reporting of the recent smattering of Batman 5 screenwriter rumors. While we had picked up the two rumors at the same time, from the same source, it was our misinterpretation that the two writers were collaborating. So let this correction, along with Rosenberg's statement to the Fandom be the end of talk that Rosenberg and McInerny are collaborating.

Fabio2's Batcave website also posted a report which corroborates Fandom's findings. According to Fabio2's inside sources, Rosenberg had written a treatment last year with an eye toward turning in a finished screenplay. Warner Bros. was reportedly pleased with Rosenberg's work. However, as the Fandom write-up indicates, Rosenberg is no longer available to write the script. According to Fabio2, WB is looking at other writers to develop a script from Rosenberg's treatment.

In a related story, JettD60's Batman 5 site has a summary of an alleged Dark Knight Returns/Batman Beyond treatment. The summary is posted from an anonymous source who claims the treatment has made the rounds at WB.  The source refused to tell the Jett Man the author of the treatment.  In spite of the alleged treatment, Jett tells us that his sources and information all point the the next Batman movie being a Year One adaptation.


Fans dying for another peek at the X-Men movie need look no further than the Coming Soon! website. This week CS posted 10 images from the production of the movie. Four of the images are computer generated animatics which depict some of the action that takes place atop the statue of liberty. In addition, the site has 6 penciled storyboards outlining a fight sequence between Storm and Toad. Needless to say, these images contain minor spoilers so fans may wish to proceed with caution.

In a related matter, we'll take this opportunity to correct an earlier X-Men report. As part of the write-up on the recently uncovered image of Anna Paquin as Rogue, we stated that fans should not expect to see the character's trademark skunk-stripe in the movie. This is not correct. Corona Coming Attractions, who originally ran the image, stated that the character does not have the hair stripe in the scene pictured.  However, their sources do say that Rogue's hair becomes discolored later, as part of the story of the film. Thanks to Aaron Hayden for pointing out our mistake.


Ain't it Cool Newsraved about the exciting Spider-Man teaser trailer that Sony Pictures unveiled at the recentShoWest trade show. According to the write up, the trailer depicts strands of webbing shooting out againsta black backdrop. As spider web forms a narrative voice tells theaudience, "There is a thin line between a normal man and ahero, a line that one young man is about to cross."  Either the trailer or other presentation materials also sported thetagline, "In the summer of 2001, let Sony take you for the ultimatespin."


Paul Dini, one of the masterminds behind all of the recent and much-adored Batman animated shows, has been tapped to write Million Dollar Heroes for New Line and Scott Rosenberg's Platinum Studios. Daily Variety reports that Dini will write the movie which will be based on Platinum's as-yet-unpublished comic book.

The concept, created by Rosenberg, was previously described as he world's first 'deconstructionist' superhero movie. The film's titular characters don't possess any real super powers. Instead, two former best friends and comic book artists now bitter rivals, adopt the personas of the comic book heroes they created – and wager one million dollars to see who's the best hero on a real-life crime-fighting crusade for truth, justice and the American Way.

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