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Comics2Film Wrap for April 8th, 2003

SPIDER-MAN

It wouldn't be the "Spider-Man" movie without a web of courtroomintrigue. The latest thread in the saga of the web-slinger's litigation was spunby L.A. Superior Court Judge Alexander Williams according to today's Variety.

Fans will recall that in early March Marvel filed a complaint against Sony inthe L.A. courts. The complaint was filed under seal so the details were notdisclosed, other than a statement from the comic giant that the intent of thesuit was not to interfere with the making of "Spider-Man 2." Laterthat month Sony filed a response, which was also made under seal. Following thatVariety and the Los Angeles Daily Journal filed a motion to lift the seal.

Today Judge Williams agreed with the motion by the news outlets stating,"I am of the view that this case must be opened to the public," and,having reviewed the complaints stating, "I don't believe anything in thisrecord should be sealed from the public."

So what's at the heart of the complaint?

According to Variety Marvel seeks to terminate its license agreement withSony after the completion of "Spider-Man 2" and also filed claimsagainst Sony for "cross-promoting" "Spider-Man" with otherSony features.

This comes after concerns by Sony last year that Marvel was using voodooaccounting to deprive Sony of their share of profits gained by the comic housefrom exploiting the movie property.

The movie studio also alleges that Marvel has tried to force an "unjustifiedrenegotiation of the license agreement." In spite of the fact that Marvelfiled their complaint under seal (as required by contractual agreements), Sonyalso alleges that Marvel's complaint is inflammatory and carries the intent toreveal sensitive documents to the public.

Variety reports that two such documents Sony is most concerned about are thelicense agreement itself and an internal marketing document. The studio claimsthat the exposure of these documents would damage their ability to negotiatelicensing agreements in the future.

Marvel's attorney has stated that they will not oppose the unsealing of the complaints,while Sony has vowed to fight the judge's decision.

 

SCARY GODMOTHER

Jill Thompson's "Scary Godmother" is now the subject of aprime-time animated special that will screen on Halloween this year, MainframeEntertainment announced yesterday.

"ScaryGodmother Halloween Spooktakular," scheduled to air on Canada's YTV networkthis coming Halloween, October 31, 2003.

"Being the first animation company to complete a full CGI televisionproduction utilizing SoftImage XSI software, we were able to bring a featurefilm quality to television," explains Mainframe CEO Rick Mischel."We're anticipating that this special Halloween show will not only secureprimetime pick-up in the States, but will also migrate into a successfultelevision or direct-to-video series." 

Mainframe plans an extensive Halloween promotional push for the special withtie-ins to Halloween retailers and candy makers.

Based on the popular comics and children's books by the award-winning artistand writer Jill Thompson, "Scary Godmother Halloween Spooktakular" isa whimsical animated story that follows the first trick-or-treating adventure ofHannah Marie, a young girl who is being babysat by her older, and meaner, cousinone dark Halloween night. Unhappy to be saddled with Hannah, her cousin cooks upa scheme to frighten her, but the scheme backfires when Hannah gets help fromher Scary Godmother and her quirky monster friends.

"Respecting the integrity of Jill Thompson's original illustrations andstories, we thought no one would be better to art direct the production thanJill Thompson herself," states Zeke Norton, Director of the primetimespecial. "Her contributions to the overall production were greatlyappreciated and her role as art director ensures that her fans will be pleasedwith this extension of the Scary Godmother franchise. We think we've created anevergreen Halloween special!"

Mainframe Entertainment has posted a 'sneak peek' trailer for "ScaryGodmother Halloween Spooktakular" log onto Mainframe.caand click on Projects/Scary Godmother.

 

RANXEROX

Sources close to the development of the "Ranxerox" movie tellComics2Film/CBR News that Gordy Hoffman is now attached to work on thescreenplay for the movie.

Hoffmann, who won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at this year's SunanceFilm Festival for "Love Liza" (which starred his older brother PhilipSeymour Hoffman) will co-write the script with Chris Cunningham, who is attachedto direct.

"Ranxerox" is based on the controversial European comic by StefanoTamburini. It features a punk, Frankenstein's monster (made from photocopierparts) and Lubna his teenage sidekick. Together they form a bizarre beauty andbeast team in a post-apocalyptic world

Fernando Sulichin ("Love Liza," "Spun") is the primaryproducer on the movie for Blacklist Films. Chris Hanley ("Spun,""American Psycho") is producing for Muse Productions.

 

DAREDEVIL

Although early weekend estimates indicated that is fellshort, adjusted numbers published by BoxOffice Mojo now reveal that "Daredevil" has crossed the $100million mark. After eight weeks in theaters, the man without fear has raked in atotal of $100,010,380, continuing Marvel's streak of successful movies.

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