Hellboy 2, Blade, Smallville, Spider-Man 2: August 4th Comic Reel Wrap


According to Variety (subscription required), "Universal Pictures will fully finance and distribute 'Hellboy 2,' the Guillermo del Toro-directed sequel to the 2004 Dark Horse Comic-spawned film. Studio picks up a project orphaned by Revolution Studios, which made the original and distributed through its deal at Columbia Pictures."


Comics Continuum has production stills from this week's episode, called "Sacrifice." The network describes the episode as follows: "While investigating the virus that had been implanted in Vanessa, Blade learns about the murder of Flannigan, a cop who helped care for him when he was a child. In a flashback. Blade's back story reveals that the former Eric Brooks ended up in the hands of Whistler when his father, and a kind nurse named Viola, were no longer able to control Eric's need to feed. Krista takes drastic measures to save her mother. Marcus sends Chase to Vegas on a business errand. When someone from Blade's childhood is murdered, Blade has to stop the assailant before he can harm Viola."


Kryptonsite has a first look at actor Aaron Ashmore as Jimmy Olsen. The site also has fresh spoilers on the new season's fourth episode, "Arrow."


Thomas Haden Church is quoted in detail at Comics Continuum talking about working with director Sam Raimi. "He's very specific, demanding but in a very positive, very collaborative way. I've said in other interviews that Sam pushes you to deliver what he knows ultimately and he will be the happiest with. Not just him. It's not about what the director demands. He pushed me hard, particularly in the emotional stuff, but it's because he knows once it's in the camera, it's there forever and you just can't, on a movie like this, go back and redo a bunch of stuff. It's just too gigantic, with all the special effects stuff that goes. And that's where I think he's absolutely masterful at nailing the emotional content, each moment. He's unrelenting in his pursuit of that. But every single day I worked with him, I ended the day by hugging him and thanking him for pushing me as hard as he did. A lot of directors just kind of leave it up to you. It's not that they're lazy. They just think that a lot of the job is how the camera helps tell the story and all the of the pre-production stuff and post-production stuff and the people they've hired to execute the vision. A lot of directors think that the actor has to bring most of the game and then he's just there to tweak it. Where Sam is really in there and he's collaborative."


Director Zack Snyder talked to Superhero Hype about taking on the works of Frank Miller and Alan Moore. "The thing that's cool about '300' to me is that though it's a Frank Miller work, as an event in history, it's one of the seminal events. Everyone knows about it. I mean, any historian will tell you about Thermopylae, a famous crossroads in history. And so for that matter, it is a worthwhile story to tell, and I think that Frank, like myself, is inspired by that same story. I think and my hope is that in some ways it has accessibility in a broader world than 'Sin City.' Though I'm a huge fan of 'Sin City,' I feel like my father can go see '300' and go like, 'That's awesome!' and see a fight for democracy, and I can go see it and go 'Oh yeah, there's girls kissing!'"

With "Watchmen," he said, "working on the script and if it's awesome, I'll do it ... It is challenging, and I have to say that if I can crack 'Watchmen' it would be awesome for everybody. I just don't think that Hollywood, in general, has any idea what 'Watchmen' is. They think it's a superhero movie. They think it's 'Fantastic Four,' and guys, it really isn't. Basically, they thought they were making 'The Champ' and they got frickin' 'Fight Club,' you know what I mean? That's the difference. That's how hard it is. The problem is that if everyone thinks they're getting a superhero movie, what they're going to get is like something that really makes them examine the entire genre. I always say that if we nail 'Watchmen,' if it's awesome, everyone [making superhero movies] is going to be like, 'Man, you've made it hard for the rest of us.' Which is what you want, I mean, that's how it should be."


A rumor at Moviehole claims that Katie Holmes will be back in the District Attorney's office for the Batman's return.


Let's keep it in Gotham for a moment, shall we? Somehow we missed the bit at Comics Continuum about Batgirl's reaction to Robin in the show. "Oh, she's definitely jealous," said Danielle Judovits, who provides the voice of Batgirl for a second season. "They're like brother and sister," said Rino Romano, who provides the voice of Batman. They also warned that Scarecrow and Two Face are probably off limits due to the film franchise (but not Ra's Al Ghul?) and that fans can expect to see the Martian Manhunter this season.


Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and screenwriter Jane Goldman were interviewed by IESB, as was creator Neil Gaiman.


Here's where you get in on the action. Did you see a link we didn't catch? Have you snuck into a closed movie set, and have inside data? Maybe your cousin is dating somebody who knows something, and they had to tell you? Whatever it is, we wanna know it all -- fire off an email and let us know whether you want your name used or your contributions to geekdom to go down anonymously. Broadcasting live from Los Angeles, this is novelist/karaoke host/all-around lunatic Hannibal Tabu saying thanks for your time and indulgence, and [tagline sent back to development hell until something hipper can be dreamed up].

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