Courtney Crumin, Batman Begins, The Spirit: The Comic Reel Wrap for July 27


Variety reports that Fox 2000 Pictures has optioned Ted Naifeh's "Courtney Crumrin" series of Oni Press comic books to develop as a potential fantasy franchise. Makeup and creature f/x maven Stan Winston will produce the film with Brian Gilbert. Sheryl Longin, who wrote Columbia's 1999 Nixon-themed teen comedy "Dick," has been hired to write the script. The individual comics included in the deal are "Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things," "Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics" and "Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom."


Superhero Hype reports that "Thunderbirds" actress Sophia Myles has allegedly been cast in the Daniel Clowes adaptation, alongside John Malkovich and Anjelica Huston.


Superhero Hype also has information about filming of the Chris Nolan-helmed action film. "t looks like Batman is headed to Lower Wacker Drive (vehicle sequence?). I work in downtown Chicago, and we just got this email: 'If you are a patron of the parking garage here at One South Wacker, please be aware that Lower Wacker Drive will be closed for a Warner Brothers movie filming on the following dates and times: Tuesday, July 27, 1:00am - 4:00am, Monday, August 2, 7:00pm - Tuesday, August 3, 5:00am, Tuesday, August 3, 7:00pm - Wednesday, August 4, 5:00am. The first date is for preparatory operations, while the last two dates are for the actual filming.' Personally I was surprised that they didn't just say "A movie will be filming" (like they did when they shot some of the 'Spidey 2' El Train sequences a couple blocks from here). Sure, it COULD be for another Warner shoot, but the timing seems right for when they said they'd be in Chicago." They also have other shooting locations, from an internal memo, listed as: Beginning July 31st at 5:00 am to 11:00 pm: "South side of Illinois from Wabash to Lower Wacker, Both sides of Rush Street from Chicago to Hubbard from Wabash to Lower Michigan Avenue, Both Sides Lower Michigan Avenue from Grand to Lower Wacker, Both sides of North Water Street from State to St. Clair, Both sides of Wabash from Chicago River to Hubbard Street."


New photos from the vampire-themed action film? Latino Review has them here and here.


TV Guide Channel's "What's Next" talked to "Passion of the Christ" actor Jim Caviezel, who concluded the interview by saying he hopes his next role involves a lot of working out, blue tights, and a red cape.


Sci Fi Wire caught up to actor Michael Chiklis at last weekend's San Diego Comic-Con, who talked about why he's perfect for the role of Ben Grimm: "I'm a thug that you want to hug," he said. "[Ben] is a guy who can be very scary and also be really likable and downright cuddly. So, yeah, there's kind of through line in that way. But his problems ... are a lot different than Vic Mackey or other characters I've played. So there are broad-stroke similarities and some specific differences."


Sci Fi Wire also caught up with actor Keanu Reeves, who said of the character, "He's fighting for his life. Constantine committed suicide to get out of here. He can see things and has knowledge about how the world works that is distressing to him. He committed suicide. Now he's trying to find his way into heaven and the Lord's grace, and I think that's symbolic of him trying to find ... a better life. It's a struggle with his own nature, because he's not the nicest guy all the time, which is fun. I really love the guy. I love his anger, and I loved his wry sense of humor about the awfulness of the world and having to deal with [it] day in and day out, and what that's kind of turned him into. [Co-star] Djimon [Hounsou's] playing Midnite [a witch doctor], and we're like warriors in this world of s--t, just trying to deal with it. And I like that."


Variety reports that film rights to the Will Eisner property "The Spirit" have been purchased by financier Odd Lot Entertainment, which is planning a live-action feature adaptation.  Odd Lot's Gigi Pritzker and Deborah Del Prete will produce along with Batfilm's Michael Uslan, who is an exec producer on "Batman Begins" and "Constantine" and a veteran of CrossGen Comics. Benjamin Melniker and Steve Maier are exec producing. Pic will be an Odd Lot/Batfilm co-production. F.J. DeSanto and Linda McDonough are co-producers.


Kryptonsite chimes in with spoilers on the third episode of the upcoming season, called "Facade." They also have photos of the cast from Comic-Con, taken by none other than John Glover himself.


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 with aching feet but happy about the new "Star Wars" title, 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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