It wouldn’t be the “Spider-Man” movie without a web of courtroom
intrigue. The latest thread in the saga of the web-slinger’s litigation was spun
by 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 in
the L.A. courts. The complaint was filed under seal so the details were not
disclosed, other than a statement from the comic giant that the intent of the
suit was not to interfere with the making of “Spider-Man 2.” Later
that month Sony filed a response, which was also made under seal. Following that
Variety 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 this
record 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 with
Sony after the completion of “Spider-Man 2” and also filed claims
against Sony for “cross-promoting” “Spider-Man” with other
This comes after concerns by Sony last year that Marvel was using voodoo
accounting to deprive Sony of their share of profits gained by the comic house
from exploiting the movie property.
The movie studio also alleges that Marvel has tried to force an “unjustified
renegotiation of the license agreement.” In spite of the fact that Marvel
filed their complaint under seal (as required by contractual agreements), Sony
also alleges that Marvel’s complaint is inflammatory and carries the intent to
reveal sensitive documents to the public.
Variety reports that two such documents Sony is most concerned about are the
license agreement itself and an internal marketing document. The studio claims
that the exposure of these documents would damage their ability to negotiate
licensing 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.
Jill Thompson’s “Scary Godmother” is now the subject of a
prime-time animated special that will screen on Halloween this year, Mainframe
Entertainment announced yesterday.
Godmother Halloween Spooktakular,” scheduled to air on Canada’s YTV network
this coming Halloween, October 31, 2003.
“Being the first animation company to complete a full CGI television
production utilizing SoftImage XSI software, we were able to bring a feature
film quality to television,” explains Mainframe CEO Rick Mischel.
“We’re anticipating that this special Halloween show will not only secure
primetime pick-up in the States, but will also migrate into a successful
television or direct-to-video series.”
Mainframe plans an extensive Halloween promotional push for the special with
tie-ins to Halloween retailers and candy makers.
Based on the popular comics and children’s books by the award-winning artist
and writer Jill Thompson, “Scary Godmother Halloween Spooktakular” is
a whimsical animated story that follows the first trick-or-treating adventure of
Hannah Marie, a young girl who is being babysat by her older, and meaner, cousin
one dark Halloween night. Unhappy to be saddled with Hannah, her cousin cooks up
a scheme to frighten her, but the scheme backfires when Hannah gets help from
her Scary Godmother and her quirky monster friends.
“Respecting the integrity of Jill Thompson’s original illustrations and
stories, we thought no one would be better to art direct the production than
Jill Thompson herself,” states Zeke Norton, Director of the primetime
special. “Her contributions to the overall production were greatly
appreciated and her role as art director ensures that her fans will be pleased
with this extension of the Scary Godmother franchise. We think we’ve created an
evergreen Halloween special!”
Mainframe Entertainment has posted a ‘sneak peek’ trailer for “Scary
Godmother Halloween Spooktakular” log onto Mainframe.ca
and click on Projects/Scary Godmother.
Sources close to the development of the “Ranxerox” movie tell
Comics2Film/CBR News that Gordy Hoffman is now attached to work on the
screenplay for the movie.
Hoffmann, who won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at this year’s Sunance
Film Festival for “Love Liza” (which starred his older brother Philip
Seymour Hoffman) will co-write the script with Chris Cunningham, who is attached
“Ranxerox” is based on the controversial European comic by Stefano
Tamburini. It features a punk, Frankenstein’s monster (made from photocopier
parts) and Lubna his teenage sidekick. Together they form a bizarre beauty and
beast team in a post-apocalyptic world
Fernando Sulichin (“Love Liza,” “Spun”) is the primary
producer on the movie for Blacklist Films. Chris Hanley (“Spun,”
“American Psycho”) is producing for Muse Productions.
Although early weekend estimates indicated that is fell
short, adjusted numbers published by Box
Office Mojo now reveal that “Daredevil” has crossed the $100
million mark. After eight weeks in theaters, the man without fear has raked in a
total of $100,010,380, continuing Marvel’s streak of successful movies.
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