Fantastic Four, Batman Begins, Ghost Rider, Smallville: September 20 Comic Reel Wrap


An anonymous scooper emailed the Comics Reel to inform us that actress Kerry Washington ("Against The Ropes," "She Hate Me") will be portraying blind sculptress Alicia Masters in the Tim Story-directed Marvel adaptation.

Meanwhile, Hollywood North Report has a better photo of Michael Chiklis in costume as The Thing.

Finally, Superhero Hype reports that "Fantastic Four will be filming at GM Place in Vancouver on September 22. They need extras for the filming." Superhero Hype also notes that Hamish Linklater has also joined the cast, and that composer John Ottman will be handling scoring duties.


Faithful reader Nick Marino wrote in to point out an interview with actress Katie Holmes about her experience as a Gotham City resident: "Like every day I was on set, I was e-mailing my friends, 'I just rode in the Batmobile. Ha ha, what are you doing?' It is so cool. I saw the mobile take off and get on the street, and I was like, 'Okay, I get it. I get why guys love cars. I am in love right now and all I want is that car.'"

In other news, The Hollywood Reporter notes that "James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer, two of the film industry's most prominent composers, are in discussions to collaborate on Warner Brothers' upcoming movie 'Batman Begins.'"


Mmm, QuickTime. There's new digital goodness for both the Jennifer Garner-fueled action film and the blood-soaked sequel in the QuickTime format.


Comics Continuum has images and screen captures from this past Saturday's episode, "Call of the Cobblepot," featuring a much more spry Penguin. Producer Duane Capizzi described the character: "Penguin is the 'anti Bruce Wayne' -- Bruce has everything 'Ozzy' Cobblepot doesn't -- i.e., good looks and a fortune," Capizzi said. "The 'old money' Cobblepot fortune has long been squandered -- Penguin is obsessed with regaining his wealth, albeit by criminal means. Our Penguin will prove to be a bit more spry and physically adept than we're accustomed to, despite his bizarre anatomy."


Actor and avowed comics geek Nicolas Cage talked to Empire magazine about taking on the leather and flames. "What I love about this idea for a comic book is that, if you think about it, it's really complex," Cage said. "Obviously the movie should be fun and it has to have humor but if you think about a superhero who's using the powers of hell for good ... I mean, that is a very profound, complicated concept for a superhero." He even takes a shot at Guillermo del Toro's newborn franchise. "Hellboy is a later character," he said. "Ghost Rider's been cursed by the devil but he's not going to let the devil win. He sold his soul out of love, he was trying to save his father's life, and then he got tricked by the trickster. But because he did it out of love the devil can't get him. He can outfox the devil and use his powers for love and good, which is interesting." No comment from Spawn just yet.

Meanwhile, Superhero Hype has a scooper's report from someone who talked to director Mark Steven Jackson. "MSJ revealed the look of Ghost Rider and its villains. He said on GR's appearance 'Don't worry about the look of G.R. He's hard core classic, just like Tex drew him.' And for the villains 'The only truth to any of these rumors is that you can expect Blackheart and Mephistopheles to appear.'"


Kryptonsite has the official network description for the episode "Facade." Meanwhile, their arch-enemies at Devoted to Smallville have transcribed an interview with Courier & Press, saying, "[Lana Lang will] be a very different character once she gets back from Paris," Kreuk says. "She's finally growing up, and I'm happy about that."


According to Video Business, "Fans can send in audition tapes for voices of Marvel characters Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and others that will be featured in the movie. The Avengers represents the first of a planned series of original DVD features to be produced by Marvel in collaboration with Lions Gate Home Entertainment. Marvel won't guarantee that a fan will be cast as voice talent, but audition tapes are likely to be included as DVD extras when the film is released in 2006."


We completely appreciate the emails and tidbits of readers just like you to keep the flow of news going! 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, 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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