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THOR

[Thor]He's big. He's blond. He's the Norse God of thunder. He'sHe's big. He's blond. He's the Norse God of thunder. He's Thor! He maysoon be the star of his own animated movie, but let's get one thingstraight: this Thor is not the Marvel Comics superhero. He's based on theclassic mythology...and on Fabio. "The only connection, visually, to theMarvel version is that they both have blond hair," director and co-creatorSeth Kearsley told Comics 2 Film, "But for ours it's because Fabioapproached me and [Henry Gilroy] about how he wanted to be Thor, so he lookslike Fabio."

The blond hair may be the only trait the two versions have in common.Kearsley's Thor, God of Thunder is set in mythological times. Thor isportrayed as a boastful God who only grudgingly protects people. "He'sdefending people, but only if it gets him glory," Kearsley explains.

After getting chastised by Odin, the thunder god is goaded by Loki intostealing the necklace of the Brisings in order to gain great power thatwould earn him Odin's respect. This fool's errand has Thor running afoul ofHela who curses him by transforming him into a kid and banishing him toMidgard (or Earth). "So his powers are stripped and he can use them only tohelp other people," Kearsley tells C2F. "If he starts to brag or strut hisstuff while he's doing that, then he gets popped back into the kid's body inthe middle of the fight. A little Captain Marvel-ish I guess."

[Loki]After getting chastised by Odin, the thunder god is goaded by Loki intoMuch to Loki's chagrin, Odin senses the prince of lies' role in Thor'spredicament." Odin knows Loki had something to do with it so he puts Loki onEarth with Thor...saying that if anything happens to Thor it would happen tohim too." Loki's godly powers are similarly disabled and the shape-shifteris stuck in some undignified forms. "Through most of the thing he's a pig.If they got attacked he might try to transform into a giant bear orsomething so he can at least defend himself, but he'll end up turning into amouse or a chicken or something. Kind of a little for comic relief."

The concept was created by Kearsley and Gilroy. However, various familiarnames have worked on the project as well. "Mike Mignola (Hellboy) designedmost of the characters in the world. He pretty much wanted to do themonsters and things versus the human character," Kearsley told us. "AlexRoss (Kingdom Come) has done some designs on it. " Kearsley also told usthat other fan-favorite animation pros may be doing some work on theproject.

While the project has been developed as a vehicle for the cover-model Fabio,it is expected that several of the star's showbiz pals will provide voicesfor the movie. Although no one has actually been cast yet, Kearsley reportsthat Charlton Heston is a possibility for the part of Odin. Other well-knownstars have also expressed interest in being in the movie. "It's just friendsof Fabio that have agreed to be in it."

Kearsley and Gilroy have been working for almost three years now to bringtheir vision of Thor, God of Thunder to animated life. They, along withtheir Thor Four, LLC partners are currently in talks with a major Hollywoodproducer on the movie. Although the concept had been optioned in the past,Kearsley feels that this new party, with his big-budget connections, mayhave the best shot at actually getting the movie made.

X-MEN

Word spread across the Internet, last week, of a new set of images from the upcoming X-Menmovie. The images were presented by the American Mule Entertainment website. American Mule is a independentcomic publisher that was established in 1997.

The images appear to be costume test photos of almost all the actors in their movie gear. Some of these photos were used onthe publicity materials that Ain't it Cool News published last month. However, these new imagesare much cleaner and provide additional looks at the main characters. Curiously, no images of Anna Paquin as Rogueappear in this set. Rogue has been missing from previously discovered images and from the recently seen trailer as well.

[Cyclops]Speaking of the trailer, many fans have been puzzling over the shortsequence where Cyclops appears to fire his optic blast. The mystery? No blast is seen coming from Cyke's visor. Instead,the scenery is simply bathed a red light. Is this how the effect is to be depicted on the big screen? Apparently not. Ain't it Cool News received word from producer Lauren Shuler Donner aboutthe the lack of an actual beam.

"We do have Cyclops shooting a beam out of his visor, but the MPAA made us take it out of the teaser,"Shuler-Donner told AICN. "They said it didn't qualify for the PG rating all teasers must have. Pretty lame, I know. Also,Storm's eyes are temporary - they will look more natural for the film."

GHOST WORLD

It's about time SteveBuscemi, one of our favorite actors, landed in a comic bookproject. The HollywoodReporter reports that Buscemi (Armageddon, BigDaddy) and Brad Renfro (Apt Pupil) have bothsigned to appear in the adaptation of Daniel Clowes' GhostWorld. The actors join Thora Birch (AmericanBeauty) and Scarlett Johansson (The Horse Whisperer)who were signed late last year to star in the movie. Thearticle states "Buscemi plays a pathetic loser without a datesince high school who is befriended by Birch. Renfro will portray anobnoxious slacker whom the girls have a crush on."

The screenplay for Ghost World is written by Clowes andTerry Zwigoff, who will also direct the movie. Zwigoff is best knownfor directing Crumb, the documentary about undergroundcartoonist Robert Crumb.

The movie is set to begin filming in March. John Malkovich,Lianne Halfon and Russell Smith are named as producers on the film.

DAREDEVIL

Both the Hollywood Reporter and Daily Varietyhave reported what we all read on Ain't it Cool News last week: Mark Steven Johnson (Simon Birch)is in negotiations with Columbia Pictures to direct the Daredevil movie. According to The Reporter, the movie is to be producedby Gary Foster and Marvel Enterprises' Avi Arad. The article also states that Johnson will write the movie.

DOCTOR STRANGE

Writer-Director Chuck Russell is now officially on board the Doctor Strange movie according to the HollywoodReporter. Russell has directed comic book fare like The Mask as well as horror movies like Nightmare on Elm Street 3. Previous comments from producer Don Murphy indicate the good Doctor willbe squaring off against Baron Mordo in the movie.

SUPERMAN

Ain't it Cool News reports that production scouts for the Supermanmovie have recently been spotted in Houston, TX. According to the report the scouts were sizing up the Republic National Bank building,which sports some very modern architecture.

AICN reports that Pittsburgh, which was set to provide location filming when the movie went into pre-production a fewyears back, has likely been abandoned by the filmmakers. The reason stated is that the same Pittsburgh locations that appealed to the Supermanteam have since been used in Inspector Gadget.

A week ago, the trades reported that the latest script for the movie had been turned in and was greeted favorably by the studio.

Meanwhile, Director Oliver Stone (Any Given Sunday) is said to be interested in directing the long-anticipated and much-troubled Supermanmovie. According to a recent article in the Hollywood Reporter, the director has taken an interest after seeing the latestscript by Bill Wisher. The article also claims that producer Jon Peters is looking to lose the hero's tights andmake the movie more "Matrix"-like. Let the complaining begin! 

FANTASTIC FOUR

Daily Variety ran a feature article on Chris Columbus' move from Twentieth Century Fox toSony. Columbus' 1492 Pictures has had a first-look deal with Fox for six years, which expires this spring.

Buried at the end of the article is a mention that 1492 will continue to work on The Fantastic Four for Fox. The article also states that Roger Donaldson was recently signed as the director of the movie. Donaldson has recently helmed such movies as Dante'sPeak, Species and No Way Out.

However, it turns out the the Variety report is incorrect. The esteemed Corona Coming Attractions website checked in with Chris Columbus' 1492 Productions, the producer on the film, to verify the story. CCAlearned that Raja Gosnell (Mrs. Doubtfire) is still attached to Fantastic Four and Roger Donaldson is not.

BITCHY BITCH

For those that missed it, Roberta Gregory's permanently PO'd and PMS'd heroine Bitchy Bitch made her cable debut this month. Midge McCracken's adventures, which originally appeared in Gregory's Naughty Bits, now air weekly on cable's newly launched OxygenNetwork. The character appears in Bitchy Bits, a three-minute segment which is part of the half-hour X-Chromosome anthology. X-Chromosome can be seen Saturday and Sunday nights at 10:30pm EST. Fifteen Bitchy Bits episodes are on tap for the first season.

Thanks to Andy Mangels, of Hollywood Heroes fame, for the scoop!

SPIDER-MAN

Ain't it Cool News reports that Sam Raimi is courting John Dykstra to takeon visual effects supervision for the Spider-Man movie. This word comes from an unnamed source who is said to be "high placed."

Dykstra rose to prominence for his effects work on Star Wars. He's been a factor in big budget effects movies eversince, including the recent box office hit Stuart Little.

A related report on the Sci-Fi Wire states that Brendan Fehr (Roswell, Disturbing Behavior) isthe latest actor rumored to be up for the title role in Spider-Man. Fehr is said to have shown up at a Roswell fan party wearing a Spidey T-shirt. He also is alleged to have said that he's received thescript and is "reading it with an eye to the lead role."

WONDER WOMAN

The Coming Soon website reports that there is a new candidate for the role of Wonder Womanin the Silver Pictures production. According to "anonymous sources" Warner Bros. wants Madonna to playthe Amazon princess. The same source also claims that Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) is up to direct the movie.

We placed a call to Silver Pictures to try to corroborate the story and were greeted with a firm "no comment."

For those of us who love monitoring the Internet domain name game, Corona Coming Attractions reports the following acquisitions for Warner Bros. The studio picked up www.wonderwomanmovie.comand www.wonderwomanthemovie.com last August.

The domains are not yet active. As readers know, the Wonder Woman movie is still in the early stages. In most cases,studios don't launch a website until about six months prior to the movie's release.

She didn't need a golden lasso to get Jason Biggs to dance for her in American Pie, but CCA reports that Shannon Elizabeth is the latest actressrumored to be up for the part of Wonder Woman. The same scooper also tells CCA that former Amazon Lynda Carter is beingconsidered for the role of the goddess Hippolyta. We're not sure what to make of these rumors, but its fun to think about!

BATMAN 5

Fabio2's Batman 5 website has posteda pair of reports this week in regards to possible writers and directors for the next Batman movie.  

First up Fabio2 reports that an "inside source" has claimed that Scott Rosenberg (Con Air) may have been asked to write a Year One screenplay.

Later, Fabio2 reported that he'd heard rumors that Andrew Davis (The Fugitive) is under consideration for directing chores. Fabio2 did admit that Davis is reportedly the director of the recent OnStar commercials featuring the caped crusader, so it's possible there may be some crossed wires on this story.

Finally, a "very reliable source" tells Fabio2 that Warner Bros. is in discussions with Larry Fessenden (Habit) as a possible YearOne director. The same source claims that mystery novelist Ralph McInerny may be co-writing a script with Rosenberg.

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS

According to a recent report on the PageSix gossip column of the New York Post, there may have been some recentadditions to the cast of the Josie and the Pussycats movie. The column claims that Julia Stiles (Down To You) and Tara Reid (American Pie) have signed on as pussycats. It was announced earlier thismonth that Rachel Leigh Cook (She's All That) had signed as Josie.

THE CROW: SALVATION

Universal's HorrorOnline site is reporting a new tentative release date for The Crow: Salvation. According to sources at Dimension Films, the movie will not open March 31st as was previously announced. The movie is slated to open ""sometime in May."

Thanks to As The Crow Flies and Cinescape.

Certainly, news of the release date change comes as a disappointment to Crow. However, it's Irony Despair of the A Boy and His Bird Site to the rescue. ID sent in these images of the artwork from the soundtrack to the movie. According the ID, the soundtrack should appear in record stores on March 28.

HELLBOY

Corona Coming Attractions touched base with Lloyd Levin to get an update onthe Hellboy movie. According to the report, the movie is no longer set up with Universal Pictures. The producersare now on the hunt for a new studio. Levin told CCA "We're really, really trying to make it work. [Director Guillermo del Toro has]done a new script and remains excited about making the film."

Mike Allred

MATT WAGNER CHAT

Fans who missed out on the online chat with Matt Wagner chat last month, Kevin Hawkins tells us that another is scheduled. The next chat will take place at the Mage web site on March 8th at 6:30 PST, 9:30 EST. Show up and quiz Matt about the Mage movie! Fans can attend using IRC software or the sites browser-based, java software. See the Mage site for more details.

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