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Comics2Film Wrap for March 14th, 2003

CATWOMAN

Back in January Comics2Film was able to report that Oscar winning action starHalle Berry ("X-Men", "James Bond: Die Another Day") was acontender to replace Ashley Judd as the lead role in the "Catwoman"movie. At the time Berry had not signed on and later Nicole Kidman was also saidto be a contender. 

NowVarietyreports that Berry has emerged as the likely star of the "Batman"spin-off. She hasn't signed on the dotted line yet, but her people met withWarner Bros. people yesterday and she's expected to sign soon.

Berry is no stranger to the superhero genre, having played Storm in"X-Men" and the upcoming "X-Men 2." She also played anAmerican spy named Jinx in "Die Another Day," a role that's led totalk of a spin-off featuring that character. 

French filmmaker Pitof ("Vidocq") will direct "Catwoman"from a script by John Rogers, Mike Ferris and John Brancato. Denise Di Novi isproducing. Cameras are expected to roll later this year.

 

SUPERMAN

While casting rumors on the "Superman" movie abound, today's Varietyhas narrowed the list by one. "Fast and the Furious" star Paul Walkerhas bowed out of the running to play the man of steel on the big screen.

Walker,along with Brendan Fraser ("The Mummy") and newcomer Matthew Bomer("Guiding Light") tested for the part last week. However the youngactor was uncomfortable about the seven-year commitment required for the plannedtrilogy of "Superman" movies.

Fraser, of course, brings a marqueename to the movie while Bomer's newcomer status could help trim the budget onwhat will be an expensive film.

 

THE REAL SUPERMAN

TheNew York Times provides an update on the fascinating and heroic struggles offormer "Superman" star Christopher Reeve.

On February 28th Reeve underwent an experimental procedure at University Hospitals ofCleveland, which would allow him to breath without a respirator for the firsttime since the tragic accident that left him in a wheel chair. 

The operation involved implanting electrodes that stimulate the muscles inhis diaphragm. Now he can breath through his nose, rather than through the respiratorhole in his throat, but only for short periods.

"I actually woke up and smelled the coffee," Reeve told a news conferenceyesterday.

For now Reeve can breath without the respirator for 15-minute periods. Theactor continues to work towards rehabilitation.

 

BULLETPROOF MONK

MGM has given C2F/CBR News a new set of stills from the upcoming comic-basedmovie "Bulletproof Monk." The new photos feature Chow Yun-Fat andSeann William Scott and kung fu bad-girl Jamie King. 

Here's how the studio describes the movie:

"The Monk (Chow Yun-Fat) is a Zen-calm martial arts master whose dutyhas been to protect a powerful ancient scroll. Faced with finding the scroll'snext guardian, the Monk's quest brings him to New York City where, to hisdisbelief, it appears his successor is a smart-mouthed pickpocket named Kar(Seann William Scott). Kar's a charming, street-tough wild card who enjoys hislife of no responsibility. As the Monk instructs Kar the unlikely duo becomepartners in protecting the scroll from a power-monger who's been chasing it for60 years. Amidst high-flying acrobatics and martial arts action, this comicalodd couple has to work together to keep the scroll -- and mankind -- safe."

"Bulletproof Monk" is due in theaters on April 16th. The movie hasbeen assigned a PG-13 rating by the MPAA.

 

MEN IN BLACK III

In spite of the difficulty in bringing the disappointing "Men in BlackII" to the big screen, Columbia pictures has started work on a thirdinstallment to the comic-based franchise, according to today's Variety.

According to the write-up, director and producer Barry Sonnenfeld is onboard, developing a sequel concept from none other than Will Smith. Smith'spitch includes co-star Tommy Lee Jones of course.

However, the road to the new segment is already proving perilous. The articlesays that there are tensions between Sonnenfeld and producer Walter Parkes.Sonnenfeld recently bailed on the Jim Carrey project "Lemony Snicket"when Parkes came on board with DreamWorks.

Still Sonnenfeld holds the cards with the "MiB" franchise, withSmith and Jones standing firm in the director's corner.

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