When Marvel closed their fifteen-character deal with Artisan Entertainment,"Iron Fist" looked as if it would be the first out of the gate. Likethe comics, the movie would tell the story of Danny Rand, who was orphaned inTibet as a child, but was found and taken to the hidden city of K'un-L'un. Here,he was trained for years in mystic martial arts and eventually gained the powerof 'Iron Fist', with which he could channel superhuman energy into his hands.
Director Kirk Wong ("The Big Hit") was attached to helm the filmbut eventually dropped out and the project ran aground.
However, on board from the near start to play the lead was actor and martial artistRay Park, most famous for his roles as Darth Maul in "The PhantomMenace" and Toad in "X-Men."
Special Comics2Film/CBR News correspondent Zac Pensol sat down with Park atlast weekend's WizardWorld show in Chicago to talk about his upcoming projects.
Zac Pensol and Ray Park give CBR two thumbs up!
Zac Pensol (ZP): You've signed on for "Iron Fist," you didToad, are you a big comic fan?
Ray Park (RP): Yes, so-so, you know, I like watching the cartoons. Inever really read the comics; I was more into the martial arts genres andthings. But right now I am a fan of "Batman" and "Superman."I like "Batman" and "Superman" and "X-Men" ofcourse.
ZP: You already mentioned that you're still signed on for Iron Fist,so what's the hold-up?
RP: I don't know, I just think they're developing the script, want tomake sure it's right, they want to make sure the quality is great. You know, forit just to be a great movie. So I think they'll have a director for it prettysoon.
ZP: Have you been reading any of the "Iron Fist" comics?
RP: I've actually started to collect; I've spent quite a bit of money onthe "Iron Fist" comics.
ZP: "Iron Fist" will be your first starring role, is thatmaking you nervous?
RP: No, I have quite a lot of experience, so I'm not nervous, I'mreally very excited about doing it. I think it would be more nerve-wracking tosee the response when you get the finished product from the fans. But I reallywant to do a great job of it, since it's the first time for me to play a goodguy, because I always portray the bad, sort-of evil people. I'm more excited aswell. It's a big step for me.
ZP: At this point, can you reveal anything on "Iron Fist"?
RP: Weeeeeell… no. Just that I'm doing it.
ZP: What aside from the martial arts background drew you to "IronFist?"
RP: I was asked 2 or 3 years ago, and the producer thought I'd begreat for the part. But just the comic and the background, all of the charactersas well, and playing another Marvel character, plus he's a good guy and it's achance for me to really show what I can do as a martial artist and as an actoras well.
ZP: So what drew you to Toad?
RP: I got asked to do the job, and it was just a second job, so reallyI was in a position where I really wanted to have a successful career. So thefact that they asked me to play this character, it's in the superhero genre,that whole thing, you know, I get to play a superhero, you know, but a bad guyagain, so really just a progressive step for me.
ZP: That concludes the interview, thank you for your time. It's been areal pleasure.
RP: Nice meeting you.
Note: Marvel's Q22003 financial statement does not include mention of the "IronFist" movie as a project in development, which may indicate that it isfurther off than a 2005 release.
Ain't It Cool scored a couple of nice interviews with thecast and crew of "American Splendor."
First up is their talk with PaulGiamatti, who plays Harvey Pekar in the movie.
"The whole thing with him appealed to me. I guess there's justsomething about him. He epitomizes this kind of angry outsider thing that sortof appeals to me, and… there's a certain romance I have about things likethat," Giamatti said of Pekar. " There's a great tradition of theangry outsider scourging the world… but there's a lot more to Harvey thanthat. But, at the basic level, *that* kind of thing (appeals to me). I mean,there's a fine line between a genius and a lunatic walking around with an 'endis nigh' sign, and that kind of thing is interesting."
The gossip site also chatted with comic creator JoyceBrabner, Pekar's wife, who appears in the movie. She's also played byactress Hope Davis in the film. Brabner reveals that she and Davis did not havea lot of interaction on the set.
"I went down to watch it (being shot). And, you know, they have you sitin a room and watch. And by the end of the (day's) shoot, Ted Hope, theproducer, came up to me and said, 'Hope Davis is having a terrible time doingthis. She just feels as if your eyes are boring into the back of yourhead,'" Brabner said. "She couldn't even see me from where she was;it was all her imagination. But I did stay off set when she was shooting, or'can we hide you in the bushes while she's shooting?'"
For more from both interviews click the links above.
BLOOD:THE LAST VAMPIRE
Aint-it-cool-newschatted up "Freddy Vs. Jason" director Ronny Yu who revealed that hehopes to direct the Japanese comic "Blood: The Last Vampire."
Yusays he's seen the animated version and is trying to secure the rights anddevelop a script for a live-action, English-language version.
X2: X-MENUNITED DVD
ComiX-Fanhas the scoop on the "X2: X-Men United" DVD and VHS release.
The 2-disc DVD set will boast the following special features for all Regions:
- Audio Commentary by director Bryan Singer, editor/composer John Ottman and cinematographer Tom Sigel
- Audio Commentary by producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter and screenwriters Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, and David Hayter
- History of The X-Men Featurette: The Secret Origin of X-Men
- History of The X-Men Featurette: Nightcrawler Reborn
- Pre-Production Featurette: 4 Multi-Angel Fight Sequences – Nightcrawler Attack
- Pre-Production Featurette: Evolution in the Details – Designing X-Men 2
- Pre-Production Featurette: United Colors of X
- Production Featurette: Wolverine/Deathstrike Fight Rehearsal
- Production Featurette: The Second Uncanny Issue of X-Men: Making X-Men 2
- Production Featurette: Introducing the Incredible Nightcrawler
- Production Featurette: Nightcrawler Stunt Rehearsal
- Production Featurette: Nightcrawler Timelapse
- Production Featurette: FX2-Visual Effects
- Post-Production Featurette: Requiem For Mutants - The Score of X-Men 2
- Post-Production Featurette: X-Men 2 Webcast Highlights
- Deleted Scene: Extended Wolverine/Deathstrike Fight (Approx. 2:30)
- Deleted Scene: Wolverine Kills The Intruder (Approx. 0:22)
- Deleted Scene: Mystique in Stryker's Files (Approx. 2:53)
- Deleted Scene: Nightcrawler Bamfs To Save The Students (Approx. 0:30)
- Deleted Scene: Jean And Storm In The X-Jet (Approx. 1:09)
- Deleted Scene: Jubilee At The Museum (Approx. 1:15)
- Deleted Scene: Pyro Starts The Campfire (Approx. 0:20)
- Deleted Scene: One Of The Children Is Sick After Bamfing (Approx. 0:13)
- Deleted Scene: Rogue Helps The Children Escape Approx. 0:30)
- Deleted Scene: Professor X And Cyclops Escape (Approx. 1:37)
- Deleted Scene: Arriving To An Empty School (Approx. 0:41)
- Static Image Gallery: Graphics Gallery
- Static Image Gallery: Museum Stills
- Static Image Gallery: Production Design
- Static Image Gallery: Character
- Static Image Gallery: Graphics
- Static Image Gallery: Nightcrawler
- Static Image Gallery: Gus Dyas Gallery
- Static Image Gallery: Promotional Artwork
- X-Men 2 Theatrical Trailers
It's the home video release fans have been clamoring for: the 'Casper SpecialEdition' DVD. The hit family film, based on the Harvey Comics character, willmake its debut on DVD on September 23, 2003. The disc will carry a $19.98 MSRP.
Extras include "Casper's Haunted House of Halloween Fun" featuringinteractive Halloween activities for kids; new footage of cast and crew;director's commentary; fun interactive games; a deleted scene; and a unique"Casper" documentary entitled "Revealing Casper" which givesaudiences a look into how this one-of-a-kind special effects extravaganza wascreated.
Additionally, as a bonus, audiences will be (trick-or)-treated to a FREEepisode of the original "Casper" animated series.