Comics Win Big At Spike TV’s Scream Awards

On Saturday, October 18 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, Spike TV presented its third annual Scream Awards, celebrating the comic books and other fiction in the horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres. CBR News was on hand to speak to the cavalcade of stars on the red carpet.

Spectacle seemed to be the order of the day at the Scream Awards ceremony, where director Tim Burton was lowered to the stage on a hot air balloon to accept this year’s Scream Immortal Award. The Scream Mastermind award went to horror legend Wes Craven, and actor Anthony Hopkins was honored with the Scream Legend award. Finally, George Lucas made a surprise appearance to accept this year’s Comic-Con Icon award. Flanked by a unit of Stormtroopers, the legendary filmmaker took the stage to thunderous applause.

The event also boasted performances from Smashing Pumpkins and newcomers Kerli, and debuted for the audience some exclusive, never-before-seen footage from the upcoming big screen adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ graphic novel, “Watchmen.”

Comic book movies dominated at this year’s Scream Awards “The Dark Knight” lead the pack with 12 wins, including the show’s most prestigious award, The Ultimate Scream. Christian Bale nabbed the award for Best Superhero, and Gary Olman won Best Supporting Actor. The late, great Heath Ledger won Best Villain and Best Fantasy Actor for his portrayal of The Joker, and Oldman accepted both awards on Ledger’s behalf. The Joker’s “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stranger” was named the year’s Best Line. Christopher Nolan won Best Director, and shared the Best Screamplay award with his “Dark Knight” co-writers Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer. “The Dark Knight” also took home awards for Best Sequel, Best F/X, Best Comic Book movie and the Holy S***! Scene of the Year for the sequence in which the big rig flips over.

The big screen adaptation of Marvel’s Iron Man took home two awards: Best Science Fiction Movie, and star Robert Downey Jr. accepted the award for Best Actor in a Science Fiction Movie or TV Show for his role as Tony Stark. Downey spoke to the crowd via a pre-recorded video from the set of Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes.”

“Hellboy II: The Golden Army” took home the award for Best Fantasy Movie. Even though the second installment in the Hellboy film franchise sets up a third and final chapter, Doug Jones (Abe Sapien) told CBR News the status of “Hellboy III” is still up in the air. “[Director] Guillermo [del Toro’s] got ‘The Hobbit’ until 2012, then he’s got a five-year picture deal with Universal after that that takes him to 2017,” Jones said. “If he’s too busy, would he hand it to one of his director friends, if he produces and writes still? That would be a situation I would still be very happy to be involved in. ‘Hellboy II’ begs for a ‘Hellboy III,’ I think, and we all want to make it. It’s been a trilogy up here in Guillermo’s mind all along anyway, so we’re ever hopeful.”

Jones also portrayed Galactus’ most famous herald in “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” and CBR News asked about the status of the rumored Silver Surfer solo film. “You know as much as I do, unfortunately,” Jones said. “As is standard with any franchise potential role, I did sign a three-picture deal, so they have two more films with me if they want to use me. As far as I know, they have been sitting on a script for a little over a year now, and I’m not sure what the studio’s doing with it. I hope something, I would love to revisit that character again, he’s beautiful.”

“Hellboy” star Ron Perlman, who has been profoundly grateful to be involved with the franchise from day one, said the fans’ widespread acceptance has been the icing on the Hellboy cake. “I have inordinate good faith in the genius of Guillermo del Toro and his ability to resonate in the hearts of filmmakers, no matter what he’s doing,” Perlman said. “When I read ‘Hellboy’ the first time, which was back in the late ‘90s, I knew that there was something really special about the heart of the character, the wit of the character. To do a movie like ‘Hellboy,’ not once but twice, you know, that’s enough. Then for people to want to honor you for it, that is profoundly appreciated.”

Hellboy creator Mike Mignola talked a bit about upcoming comics projects. “Right now, we do have two other series that we’re going to start,” Mignola said. “One’s ‘Victorian Occult Detective,’ that’s going to be drawn by a guy named Ben Stenbeck. And we’re going to be doing a Lobster Johnson series with another artist that we haven’t announced yet.” When asked how Mignola would feel about Bruce Campbell playing Lobster Johnson in a future Hellboy film, the writer-artist remarked, “That’d be fine by me, that’d be great.”

Hellboy has become such a sprawling comics franchise that Mignola has had little opportunity in recent years to illustrate the books himself, but he did recently pick up his pencil again to draw “Hellboy: In the Chapel of Moloch,” a one-shot scheduled to hit stands October 29, just in time for Halloween. “It’s the first one I’ve drawn in a couple years, and that felt great,” Mignola said. “I didn’t blow my brains out, so I thought, ‘Well, maybe I can do this again.’ But for now, I’m in the middle of a giant story that Duncan Fegredo’s drawing, so I’m just going to keep writing. I do have a couple Hellboy-related projects that I’m planning to draw, I just have to get my head above water with the writing.”

Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s “The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite” was up for a number of awards at this year’s Scream Awards, and the My Chemical Romance lead singer told CBR News about his upcoming comics projects. “We’re doing ‘Umbrella Academy’ series 2 right now, that comes out in November,” Way said. “There’s going to be something next year I put out from Dark Horse that’s totally different from ‘Umbrella,’ I’m very excited about it. I’m working on it with another writer, I’m very excited about it.” Way hopes artist Gabriel Ba will provide art for the upcoming mystery project, which would necessitate a hiatus from “Umbrella Academy.” Also known for his work on “Cassanova” with Matt Fraction, Ba won the Best Comic Book Artist Award for his work on the “Umbrella Academy.”

Vertigo’s “Y: The Last Man” won the Best Comic Book award, and CBR News caught up with the creative team behind the book, Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra to talk about their upcoming comics projects. Vaughan said only 10 issues remain on “Ex Machina,” his Wildstorm series with artist Tony Harris. “Including issue #40, which is going to be a crazy issue where Tony Harris and I guest star in the comic, and there are a lot of other weird guest stars,” Vaughan said. “It’s either the worst thing I’ve ever written or the best, but it looks great.” After “Ex Machina,” Vaughan will be writing a new original graphic novel that he’s not ready to announce yet.

Pia Guerra is finishing up a run on IDW Publishing’s “Doctor Who,” after which she plans to take a year off to spend some quality time with her husband.

Dark Horse’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight” took home the Best Scream to Comic Adaptation. After penning an arc early in the book’s run, Vaughan was of course asked about returning to the comic book Buffy-verse? “If [Buffy creator] Joss [Whedon] invites me, I can’t say no to Joss,” Vaughan remarked. “But for right now, I’m really happiest doing creator-owned work.” Guerra, for her part, said she’d love to draw an arc of “Buffy,” although it would be a matter of finding the time.

There is a great deal of precedent for film and TV alums making the leap from live action to comics, but many fewer instances of it happening the other way around. Vaughan parlayed a successful career in comics into a writing job on ABC’s “Lost,” and though he says he’s first and foremost “a comic,” he hopes some of his fellow comics scribes will make the same leap. “Guys who write comic books write on average 1000 pages of original material every year, that puts film and TV guys to shame,” Vaughan said. “They deserve to be here [in television]. I think guys like Frank Miller definitely blazed a trail for guys like me.”

Speaking of Frank Miller, the “Sin City” creator and “The Spirit” writer/director made an appearance on the red carpet with his girlfriend, Kimberly Cox. Sporting a one-of-a-kind “All-Star Batman and Robin” t-shit that is going to be auctioned off to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Cox was playfully hit on by comic book legend Stan Lee.

“The Spirit” hits theaters on Christmas Day, and Miller said the film turned out to be everything he wanted it to be. “It was an unforgettable experience to put together, and I don’t think it’s like any of the other heroic movies out there,” Miller said. “This guy’s got a fedora and a tie and a trench coat, and he’s also got about as many beautiful women as you can stand.” Miller said he’s finished the script for “Sin City 2,” and that he’s working on another Persian War graphic novel as a follow-up to “300.”

Married to “Fanboys” director Kyle Newman, “Sin City” and “The Spirit” star Jaime King is a self-professed “sci-fi geek. “I love ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ that’s my favorite,” she said. “I love ‘The Clone Wars.’ I’m going to play a character on ‘Clone Wars’ the animated series, which I’m so excited about.” In addition to “The Spirit,” look for King in the upcoming “My Bloody Valentine 3-D” and CBS’ “Gary Unmarried.” In her spare time, King says she’s been trying her hand at writing books and graphic novels.

CBR News caught up with “Dexter” star Julie Benz to talk about her role in “Punisher: War Zone,” in theaters December 5. “I play Angela Donatelli,” Benz said. “I’m a wife of a cop, I have a young daughter. She’s pretty much of a mama bear, she does whatever it takes to protect her young daughter, and she’s kind of angry at everyone.”

Other comics-related awards included:

“The Incredible Hulk” star Liv Tyler took home the award for Best Actress in A Horror Movie or TV show for her role in “The Strangers.”

“Wanted” star Angelina Jolie won the Best Actress in a Fantasy Movie or TV show award for her role as Fox.

Grant Morrison won Best Comic Book Writer for “Batman” and “Final Crisis.”

The Most Shocking Comic Book Plot Twist went to the X-Men, for disbanding after Professor X was shot in the head by Bishop.

The Scream Awards 2008 telecast will air Tuesday, October 21 on Spike TV.

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