Hellboy, Fantastic Four, Transformers, Smallville: September 5th Comic Reel Wrap


Creator Mike Mignola got the third degree at last weekend's Canadian Fan Expo, according to Comics Continuum, discussing the role of characters from myth and folklore. "It's some of those characters saying, 'We're not going to go. Let's reclaim this world. It was ours once,'" Mignola said.

While we're there, the Continuum had an update on the animated series, stating that voice actor veteran Jim Cummings is providing the voice of Tom Manning in the second "Hellboy" animated movie. "That was one character we wanted to keep close to the movie, because he brought a lot to that character in the movie," said producer Tad Stones. The second movie, called Hellboy: Blood and Iron, will debut on Cartoon Network in February, Stones said, and will be released on DVD in May.


On fronts both cinematic and animated, there's news from the Baxter Building. First, director Tim Story blogged a bit about the first two days of filming. "Felt like old times," Story wrote. "Everyone's back in the mix and really picking their characters up where we last left off. We also shot Andre Braugher for the first time. He plays General Hager, an old acquaintance of Reed Richards and one of the major additions to the movie. Jessica is looking amazing. Chris has his energetic performance firing on all cylinders. Ioan looks great and Chiklis is funny as ever as the blue-eyed Thing. One of the days was pretty long. Just happened to be one of those locations that we can't come back to and we had a lot of effects shots. Those things always take forever. The background plates, then the actor by himself, then the crowd. Blah blah blah. Wish we could shoot everything practically, but then again, I guess stretching Ioan may not go over too well."

Meanwhile, on the animated front, Toon Zone has an interview with story editor Chris Yost. "There's nothing in FF lore we didn't look at when drumming up episodes for this series," Yost said. "There's a good mix of Lee/Kirby, Byrne and Waid in there, but it's more like elements from their great runs, all thrown together into a new bag. And I desperately wanted to do the Doom/Reed time travel fight from Walt Simonson's run, but it made my head blow up too much ... The episodes are self contained, each one can be understood and enjoyed by everyone. But! There are elements in the episodes that are introduced that will have an impact down the road in several occasions. It's been fun to pepper in aspects of the Marvel Universe throughout, and you never know when one of them is going to cause trouble."


Ain't It Cool News has both a new set visit and an interview with actor Shia Lebeouf. The latter has an interesting point about the synergy between toymakers and filmmakers. "Megatron's crutch now is that he's frozen," Lebeouf said. "But it's modernized. You can't have a toy gun. You've got nine year olds watching this movie and yes, we're creating mythology, but you can't make a toy gun your antihero and then have Hasbro go out and sell toy guns with the little yellow cap on it, you know? It'll look f**kin' ridiculous to have Megatron with a yellow nose, you know what I mean? It'd look retarded. The fact that it's a Razor, a plane that nobody's seen before, that the military is giving us ... that nobody has filmed or seen. I mean, CNN has not seen this plane and we're filming it. It's cool. It gives it that edgy shit. People have seen guns before, but to make Megatron something that nobody's ever seen and make it an edgy presence ... it does, it modernizes it and makes it dangerous again. Guns aren't dangerous. How crazy is that to say? But guns aren't dangerous! You've got guns in movies that aren't dangerous at all, you know? I feel like 'Herbie The Love Bug' could have had a gun and nobody would have questioned it, you know?"

If Magazine also has a slightly dated set report with quotes from some of the people in charge (it doesn't recognize Peter Cullen's casting as Optimus Prime). "We won't be casting voices until post-production," says producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, deflecting questions about rampant speculation that well-known vocal artist Frank Welker had been cast as the voice of Megatron.


The official web site of actor Zak Santiago notes that he plays Deputy Morales in the episode "Subterranean," directed by Rick Rosenthal. Kryptonsite has fresh spoilers about the episode, while this site notes that actor Justin Hartley will be visiting a Seattle-area mall as to promote the show. Finally, Kryptonsite has a look at the Fortress of Solitude as seen in the upcoming Smallville visual guide.


Back at the Continuum, the site has some quotes from supervising producer Geoff Johns about the season finale, "Conclave." "I co-wrote the last episode with (David) Goyer and Dan Truly," Johns said. "It's a story with a lot of big twists and turns. And people get hurt." "Conclave" is scheduled to air on Wednesday, Sept. 13.


Finally, Superhero Hype notes that a new trailer for the Nicolas Cage vehicle will be attached to screenings of "The Grudge 2" on October 13th, and that a new trailer for the web-spinning sequel will be attached to "Casino Royale" on November 17th.


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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