Batman Begin, Ghost Rider, Punisher, more: March 31st Comic Reel Wrap


Christian Bale got out from under the cowl to give the dirt on his work to Empire Online. "I believe that there's an opportunity with that character to do things that I, personally, have never seen done," Bale said. "There are choices you can make with such a character. You can go very camp with it, like the TV series, but that's been done. You can't outdo Adam West with that kind of deal. So what else do you do? There's a really interesting character there, and that's what I'm aiming for."

Meanwhile, actor Rutger Hauer got verbose on his own site about his cameo on Christopher Nolan's set. "The cameo has a good solid structure but lacks character and I was able to drift to a horizon I saw in the back of my head because the director pushed me to explore and go there. Which is always exciting & scary. Exciting because you are allowd to go there and scary because your are not that secure. I found the 'key' to my position/part at the end of the second day. That is so great as well. It's one of the things I enjoy with vigour. 'The key' is all you need, after that it is about balance and refinement. Big,sensational grand sets. Moody, art deco, impressive. Art department worked miracles for the great visual richness. Had some smirkyness going with Christian Bale. We have one big problem that occurs. Noise. It interferes. It seems to be coming from a natural cause and I'm not talking about rain/hail/or broken limbs. We are inside. On the studio sound stage in Shepperton. It's a beautiful day outside. About to become spring here. That's what it is. We'd try shooting with the noise but the sound department has problems. It's too loud. Seems to come from high up somewhere. Stage-hands climb up to the ceiling, between cables, lights and set-pieces. I turns out that way above us, under the same roof, pigeons are having a little foreplay. This can stretch into days as thousands of dollars keep 'flying' away. One of the boys figures that a blast of the loud heaters may bring a momentary halt in 'loverslane.' At least long enough to get a few takes! We try and finally we get what we need in the can. The pigeons may have heard the producers prayers."

Finally, eagle-eyed reader "Cyber E." was the first to point out that the official site has a look at the new Batmobile ... and it's big.


UGO.com (where this writer does comic book reviews) has an interview with Shane Salerno, who's penning the screenplay for the Nicolas Cage fueled Marvel adaptation. "Ghost Rider has had a long and tortured development history. If 'Ghost Rider' is executed at its full potential, it could take special effects to another level as 'T2' did. Almost no film has had to use character based CGI on the level that 'Ghost Rider' would require. It's thrilling to consider the sheer 'look' of 'Ghost Rider.' It could really be amazing and I am sure that it will be because the folks at Marvel (Avi, Kevin and Ari) are so meticulous in every detail in the making of their films that they will not settle until it's absolutely right. Avi Arad really doesn't get the credit he deserves. He produces these movies and is really the man behind so many of Marvel's films working so well. People forget how bad some early incarnations of Marvel movies were in say the Eighties before Avi took over. He's a master showman and also a terrific storyteller. Honestly, I think that he is a more valuable Marvel asset than Spider-Man, and the people that have worked with him know this."


Comics Continuum has an update from Eric Canete, the storyboard artist for the new animated series. "We have just finished off the first season," Canete said. "There are two concurrent seasons going on at the same time, 26 episodes. And we have finished off the first 13." The first episode was sent overseas for animation earlier this month. He described the work in some detail, saying, "It's based off of Jeff Matsuda's artwork, and he's basing a lot of the designs, I would hazard to guess, on the (David) Mazzuchelli Year One stuff. This is Batman Year Three, to a certain degree. In my opinion, it looks great. The only thing I'm worried about is the fact that we have the old legend Bruce Timm Batman stuff that we're competing against. We have to do something visually exciting, but also separate enough to have its own identity. We're working against that ghost."


The same page at Comics Continuum has some great quotes from director Jonathan Hensleigh about the philosophy of the performance. "[Thomas Jane] and I decided to play a great deal of the character's emotion silently, or with very little dialogue," he said. "Most of the pictures that we loved from our youth were anti-hero pictures with stars like Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson. They're not verbal roles. Those stars consistently played men who were so broken-down that they were unable to articulate what was really going on with them emotionally." In other bullet-riddled news, Dark Horizons has three "exclusive" still photos from the new movie (one, two, three), and CHUD has a mess of new photos as well.


Ready for a somewhat disturbing look at the Jim Carrey-free sequel's look? Superhero Hype has a scan from the Daily Telegraph Australia, showing the car driven by the protagonist and Jamie Kennedy wearing the Mask of Loki.


Comingsoon.net continues its series of conversations with the pivotal parties in the new Mike Mignola adaptation, with an Selma Blair interview, where she discusses his experience working on the film. They had an amazing computer effects department. They told me what the flames would look like. I got to pick the color of the flames, what I wanted. I just trusted Guillermo that they would figure it out. There was nothing difficult about this movie. I don't have a good story about it." She likewise had good things to say about director Guillermo del Toro. "He is the most educated, involved, kindest man. His imagination is intense. Being on his set is like walking into his mind. It was so realized, even the sets, that it wasn't difficult. There was no blank, you never thought of anything as a soundstage. Everything was right there. He had been working on this for so many years and had it all sketched out and had everything and was so precise with his vision that he didn't leave anything to anyone else. It was there and everyone really worked to make his dream come true. He didn't take anything for granted and you felt that on set and trusted him completely." Her interview with Ain't It Cool News is a bit racier. For example: "There was tongue! I tongued Hellboy! It's so gross looking back. We didn't know, we didn't know! And Guillermo was like, 'What are you two doing!?!?' We're like, 'We're making out.' And he's like, 'Ew!!!' It was so horrible ... His tongue was all Ron. All Ron, all the time. It was amazing. I don't know. We did a couple of takes with a little bit (of tongue), a bit more MTV style, but then Guillermo was just like, 'You can just chill. It's not necessary.' And we were like, 'Thanks, 'cause it's awfully awkward.' But he's sexy. I think Hellboy is incredibly sexy."


Variety reports that former "Karen Sisco" star Carla Gugino has joined the cast of Robert Rodriguez' noir thriller, playing a lesbian parole officer. She starts work in Austin, Texas next week in a story arc expected to include Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke.


Kryptonsite has an interview with Jeph Loeb, who discusses his script for the April 14th episode "Legacy," guest starring Christopher Reeve. "Given that we left Crisis with Lionel holding a gun in his mouth," Loeb said, "we might want pick up..say... RIGHT THERE?!" Loeb also hinted at a Christopher Reeve/Annette O'Toole reunion, as they worked together on the original "Superman" movie.


According to Variety, "'2 FAST 2 FURIOUS' scribes Derek Haas and Michael Brandt are in negotiations to turn Mark Millar's 'WANTED' comic book into a feature-length screenplay for Universal. The writing duo have worked closely with Universal for the FURIOUS sequel as well as on 'SPY HUNTER,' the studio's summer 2005 tentpole release. The rights for 'WANTED' were picked up by Marc Platt earlier this month."


Faithful reader (and CBR head honcho) Jonah Weiland pointed us to a Craigslist posting for a "superhero show" where "MTV and Stan Lee challenge you to jump into the fray and present your heroic alter-ego to the world! Contestants will vie for the chance to be part of a show designed to develop their superhero characters and test their mettle as defenders of justice, AND have his or her idea developed and expanded by Stan Lee's team, possibly for a comic book spin-off, AND maybe a television show."


We couldn't do it without you -- if you have the scoop on anything related to comic book movies, TV adaptations or just want to give us a truck full of cash, no questions asked, drop us a line and let's coordinate. You can choose an alias if you'd like, or be mentioned by name -- we honor requests for anonymity. Broadcasting live from Los Angeles, this is your humble scribe Hannibal Tabu saying thanks for your time and indulgence, and (insert pithy sign-off here, once it gets out of development hell).

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