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'Bastard Samurai' to big screen, 'X2' box office, 'Hulk' DVD: Comics2Film wrap for May 5th, 2003

BASTARD SAMURAI

Just a few weeks ago it wasannounced that Michael Avon Oeming's "Hammer of the Gods" has beenset up as a feature film at Regency Enterprises, the mini-major who also brought"Daredevil" to the big screen. Now Circle or Confusion producer DavidEngel tells Comics2Film/CBR News that the next priority is getting Oeming's"Bastard Samurai" set up.

Tony Jaswinskihas been hired to draft the script based on the comic.

"We're as excited about 'Bastard Samurai' as we are about 'Hammer of theGods.'" Engel told C2F. "Tony Jaswinski is a very talentedscreenwriter."

The comic tells the story of Jiro, a student at KoZu Sword School inmodern-day New York. The Yakuza-run school takes in orphans and twists andtransforms them into Bushido warriors. These warriors are then forced to engagein rooftop death matches as gambling entertainment for Japanese businessmen.

"It'll be a very unique project. A really cool hybrid between present day'Fast and the Furious' sensibilities and samurai," Engel said. "As afan of martial arts, Mike is very concerned that in the movie we keep all the kung fu and martialarts very cutting edge and fun. With Mike watching my back we'll keep them cool."

Jaswinski won critical praise at the 2002 Sundance film festival when hismovie "Killing Time," which he wrote and directed, was nominated forthe Grand Jury prize. The scribe has also written a script for"Westward" which is in development at New Line.

"Bastard Samurai" was published last year by Image Comics. Oemingco-wrote the book with Miles Gunter. Kelsey Shannon provided the artwork.

 

X2, BULLETPROOF MONK BOX OFFICE

Once again Marvel has flexed its muscle at the box office.

With a loyal fan base, years of anticipation and a flood of positive reviewsbehind it, "X2: X-Men United" kicked off the summer movie season witha bang.

According to early weekend estimates provided by BoxOffice Mojo the mutant sequel from Marvel and Fox took in $85.9 milliondomestically in its opening weekend. Add to that the fact that Fox is opening themovie on a record number of screens worldwide, and "X2" is an unqualifiedhit.

The "summer" movie season actually begins in spring these days,with movies like "The Mummy Returns" and "Spider-Man"proving that the first weekend of May is a viable kick-off event. "X2"becomes the second best opener for this weekend landing behind the web-slingerbut ahead of the Brendon Fraser actioner. Overall, "X2" takes theprize for the fourth biggest weekend opening of all time, behind"Spider-Man" and the two "Harry Potter" movies.

According to Box Office Mojo, "X2's" Friday opener, took in anestimated $31.2 million making it the third biggest opening day of all time,again following Marvel's web-spinner and the first "HarryPotter."

Fans are reminded that "X2" isn't the only comic-based fare intheaters right now. "Bulletproof Monk," based on the indie comicpublished by Flypaper Press, is still a top 10 movie in its third weekend. Thatone's performance isn't quite as spectacular though. The movie landed at #10this week, losing another %67 of its audience. The film's total domestic grossnow stands at $21.6 million.

Varietyadds that the worldwide take on "X2" rings up at $155.2 million.

 

HULK DVD

The first of the new wave of Hulk DVDs hits the shelf this week. Anchor Bay's"The Incredible Hulk Collection" is a two disc set showcasing two ofthe TV movies based on the "Incredible Hulk" TV show. "The Returnof the Incredible Hulk" guest stars the mighty Thor while "The Trialof the Incredible Hulk" features Daredevil and the Kingpin.

The collection also has the requisite extras, including video interviews withStan Lee and Lou Ferrigno. The set also contains Ferrigno's inspiringdocumentary "Stand Tall."

If you're in New York City on Tuesday you can stop by and meet Ferrigno,who'll be promoting the release at the Best Buy store in Chelsea. The bodybuilder-turned-actor will be on hand for the DVD launch at 7:00pm. The store islocated at 60 W. 23rd Street.

Ferrigno played the green goliath in "The Incredible Hulk" TVseries and three follow-up TV movies. He later returned to the role, voicing thecharacter on the animated TV series, which ran in the early-mid 1990s. He'll nextbe seen in a cameo appearance in Universal's big-budget "Hulk" movie,hitting screens next month.

Universal is releasing the series premiere movie of "The IncredibleHulk" TV show on DVD next month. Fox Home Video is also getting in on theact, pushing out "The Death of the Incredible Hulk" movie, which endedthe TV run on DVD. Also in June, animation fans can look for "TheIncredible Hulk" cartoon, with selected episodes collected on DVD and VHS.

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