www.cbr.com

Issue #106

FAUST

Welcome back for round two of our 'Faust' preview.  This time we have a few behind the scenes shots the share with you.  The image at left is a shot of actor Andrew Divoff during a make up session.  We're told that that's Screaming Mad George ('The Abyss') applying the facial deformations.  Divoff apparently went right to the source in studying for the role of M in the film.Screenwriter and co-creator David Quinn told readers on his message board that Divoff asked him supply copies of the 'Faust' comics before heading to Barcelona for the filming.

Quinn also talked about Screaming Mad George on his message board.  He told readers that George and his crew,"have all the comics, and they have a wealth of experience working FX that live where hard rock, sex, surrealism, and theoccult collide."

The image at right shows Spanish make up artist Poli Cantero applying working with anunidentified actor.  Sources at Filmax could not tell us who was under the latex in this one.  Likewise Quinn told us itcould be one of several characters whose face gets messed up in the course of the story.

Again, we have an image of Jeff Combs which Quinn describes as "Margolies trying in vain to make his Faustian mind wreck into a cop movie."

Directing your attention to the right we have a shady looking Monica Van Campen playing Claire, the Femme Fatale of the movie.  Quinn seems particularly excited about her involvement in the movie.

The writer described his first meeting with the actress.  "Director Brian Yuzna introduced me to Monica at a classic icon of old Hollywood, the Roosevelt Hotel. I told her that I had been living with Claire in my mind for years, so I wouldn't pretend to hide my excitement as I finally reached out and touched her. (I know, I'm a bit dramatic, but you don't meet your personal obsessions made flesh every day.)

"Monica told me, in English, that she loved the role, because it was like the usual (sexy) roles she is offered, but so much more 'full.'"

Finally we have two images from the bridge scene.  This is apparently a key scene in the movie where several characters cometogether for the first time.

WITCHBLADE

A source for TNT Networks has informed Comics 2 Film that sci-fi babe Yancy Butler has been cast in the lead role of the 'Witchblade' TV movie.  Butler will play Sara Pezzini, a NY City homicide detective who wields an ancient weapon called the Witchblade.  The actress is just one of many actors cast in the movie which is scheduled to begin filming in just a few weeks in Ontario.  An official announcement will be made soon by the publicity department of TNT.

Butler is a C2F fave, appearing in such TV fare as 'Mann & Machine,' 'Perversions of Science,' 'Brooklyn South' and 'South Beach.'  She can also seen throwing Wesley Snipes out of an airplane (and then catching him) in 'Drop Zone' and has appeared in other action movies like 'Hard Target' and 'Ravager.'

MAGE CHAT

Fans eager to find out about the Mage movie, or anything else Matt Wagner has been working on, will have their chance next week. Wagner will attend a chat next week on Kevin Hawkins outstanding Mage website. Hawkins provides the following announcement:

"The creator of the ground-breaking comics Mage and Grendel fields your questions in on-line chat session on Feb. 9th, 2000 at 9:30 PM EST/6:30 PST."

Attendees are encouraged to show up early and familiarize themselves with the chat room protocol and instructions.

X-MEN

Shoppers on the eBay Auction site got a glimpse at the fight sequence between Wolverine andSabretooth from the 'X-Men' movie.  Four pages of storyboards depicting the sequence were listed, with photos, on theauction site.

A trusted source verified that the boards were authentic, but our source also told us that Twentieth Century Fox wasaware of the auction and was taking steps to put a stop to it.  Sure enough, while we were double checking the auction tonight, it disappearedbefore our eyes.  Searching eBay for "X-Men Storyboard" will fetch you a link to the sale, but clicking the link leads to adead-end.

Fortunately we were able to salvage the images before the auction was shut down.  Clicking the links below will reveal thefight sequence.  Be warned: these should be considered SPOILERS:

Thanks to Brent for the scoop!

Meanwhile, Bulent Hasan is up to his old tricks again. You may recallthat last July we alerted you to a home-made trailer for the X-Menmovie that Hasan had put together and posted on his website. Well,he's done it again. This time using many of the images that haveappeared online, Hasan has put together a new trailer for the movie.It's not the preview fans hoped for at Super Bowl, but it's pretty darncool.

For those of you who aren't satisfied with a fan trailer, Corona ComingAttractions reports that the actual trailer is now looking like it'll debut Friday, February 18th. Major releases for that weekend are saidto be Pitch Black, The Whole Nine Yards, The Boiler Room, and Hanging Up. CCA also warns us to keep our eyes peeled for an X-Men standee in theater lobbies.

Meanwhile the website for Soundtrack Magazine reported on February 1that Michael Kamen (The Iron Giant, What Dreams May Come) has signed on to score the movie.

MAGE CHAT

Fans eager to find out about the Mage movie, or anything else Matt Wagner has been working on, will have their chance next week. Wagner will attend a chat next week on Kevin Hawkins outstanding Mage website. Hawkins provides the following announcement:

"The creator of the ground-breaking comics Mage and Grendel fields your questions in on-line chat session on Feb. 9th, 2000 at 9:30 PM EST/6:30 PST."

Attendees are encouraged to show up early and familiarize themselves with the chat room protocol and instructions.

SPIDER-MAN

The Spider-Man movie continues to be a hot-topic for the internet rumormill. A host of new casting buzz cropped up this week. While theprevious rumors soundly more plausible to us, this week's set readslike retreads of old gossip and some brand-new unlikelihoods.First up is the report from Entertainment Weekly Online. Sourcesdeemed to be highly placed at Sony allegedly told EW that LeonardoDiCaprio (The Beach), Freddie Prinze Jr. ('Down to You'), and Jude Law('The Talented Mr. Ripley') are all hot to don the webs and are underconsideration.

DiCaprio's people told EW, ''He's obviously approached all the timeabout great-sounding ideas, but he's [got to] see the script.'' Law'srep told the magazine, ''There have been some overtures about it. Judehas been a Spider-Man fanatic since he was a kid.'' Prinze's handlersmade no comment, although the actor did publicly express his enthusiasmfor the role last March.

An anonymous source at Spider-Man Hype claims that LiamNeeson (The Haunting) has actually been cast to play Green Goblin inthe movie. Supposedly the actor is set to collect $6 million for therole. Neeson and probably Spidey director Sam Raimi paired in 1990 forthe movie Darkman. However, if screenwriter David Koepp is adheringclosely to James Cameron's scriptment, the Goblin isn't even in themovie. Spider-Man Hype points out that this could be an indicationthat there's more to Koepp's script than we've been led to believe.

Later, the Spider-Man Hype website offered a debunking of a recentrumor regarding the Spider-Man movie. Last month one of their scoopersreported that Sony had already dropped $20 million at Digital Domainfor test effects for the movie. SMH talked to a representative forDigital Domain and they said that the story was untrue. Supposedly therumor grew out of the work the effects house did for those awesomecommercials promoting Universal Studios Florida's Spider-Manattraction. At this point Digital Domain has done no work on themovie.

The Fandom website conducted an interview with Spidey screenscribe David Koepp. Talked at length about Stir of Echoes, hisdirecting bow which was recently released on video. Koepp also commented on writing Spider-Man and on the prospect of working with Sam Raimi.

"I'm writing Spider-Man at the moment for Sam Raimi, who's going todirect it. It should be fun. Sam's a great director for it," Koepp toldFandom. "That's been going on for a while. They were meeting a lot ofdirectors in the last year. We were just down in Georgia, where Raimi'sworking, to meet with him. It just became final a week ago, so that'swhere it's at."

Koepp also commented on the source material. "There really is only onetreatment; Jim Cameron wrote a treatment. There are no previous drafts.But you get thirty-five years worth of comic books and ten-years worthof animated TV, so you know there's lots-an abundance of material. Thenyou try to figure it out, and you go down different directions. You trythis villain; you try that villain; you try this storyline and thatone, and you see what works. It's an on-going process, and it takes along time. There's a million ways to do it."

ASTERIX

During a January 31 interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica,Gerard Depardieu talked about the planned sequel the the French madeAsterix and Obelix Versus Caesar. Depardieu, who plays the burlyObelix in the movies, claimed that the planned sequel will be based onAsterix and Cleopatra, and not on Asterix Legionnaire as previouslyreported.

The actor went on to say that the movie is still being scripted andthey are considering a particular actress to play the part ofCleopatra. Depardieu also hopes to see Roberto Benigni (Life isBeautiful) return in the role of Detritus.

Asterix and Cleopatra was filmed once before as an animated feature.Asterix and Obelix Versus Caesar has not yet been screened in theUnited States.

Thanks to Antonello for the scoop and translation!

ALIEN LEGION

Carl Potts told subscribers to the Alien Legion mailing list that hehas a new website up supporting the comic book concept. The AlienLegion website contains information about the comics as well as newsabout the planned Alien Legion movie.

A news blurb from the site reads, "Carl Potts is pursuing opportunitiesto turn Alien Legion into a major motion picture. Current plans callfor pitching the project to major studios early next year with a teamconsisting of a Sony-based production company and a popularscreenwriter."

RIPLEY'S BIGRAPHICAL FEATURE

A recent press release from Signatures Network (formerly SonySignatures) runs down the company's plans to exploit the Ripley'sBelieve it or Not! brand name. Hot from the success of the TBSSuperstation TV series, hosted by Dean Cain, Signatures has enteredinto several licensing agreements around the concept.

One of them includes the previously announced feature film based on theexploits of Robert Ripley, the cartoonist who created Believe it orNot! The current press release gives no new details about the movie.A release from over a year ago stated, "The feature film will be acombination of Indiana Jones meets Citizen Kane meets the X-Files andwill reflect the insatiable curiosity of Ripley as manifested throughthe odd, the exotic and the wildly bizarre."

[Lethargic Lad]LETHARGIC LAD

A news item appearing on the Lethargic Web Page states that a LETHARGiC LAD animated show may be in the works. According to the write up GregHyland, the character's creator, has been in negotiations Studio Frog, a new Toronto based animation studio. The report claims that Hylandwill provide 100% of the artwork for the show. Apparently they've already completed one minutes worth of animation. Original music isalso being recorded at this time.

BATMAN 5

While recent reports indicate that Warner Bros. is talking to DarrenAronofsky (Pi) about directing the next Batman movie, Ain't it CoolNews has added a new wrinkle to the story. A spy, whom AICN vouchesfor, claims to have overheard a conversation between Aronofsky andanother party.

According to the spy, Aronofsky is looking to direct Batman, but is not too keen on the concept of following the Year One storyline. Allegedlythe director feels the concept of Wayne whipping himself into crime-fighting shape leans heavily on Rocky-esque clichés. The scooperclaims that the filmmaker let drop that he would rather adapt FrankMiller's Dark Knight Returns story instead. Aronofsky and Miller arealso collaborating on a big-screen version of Miller's Ronin.

When the trades reported that Aronofsky was in talks with WB, they also reported that the Bruce Wayne TV show was on hold. However, JettD60 of the Batman 5 website checked in with us to share his insights. Jetttold us, "A source very close to the [Bruce Wayne TV show] contacted me after the story ran that the TV series has been put on hold. He didacknowledge that they are waiting for WB to make a decision on the movie series, but was adamant that [Bruce Wayne] has in no way been killed.

"He goes on further saying that the 'bat-war,' between WB Film and TV, has been exaggerated," Jett told us. However the source does concedethat while "WB big-wig Lorenzo DiBonaventura may be against the TV series, he may not have the final say-so towards it being greenlit."Other sources for JettD60 tell him that if the next Batman feature is a Year One story, then chances for the TV show will be greatly diminished.

Fabio2 of the Batcave website wrote to Comics 2 Film recently to respond to recent rumors about various Batman projects.

First up, in spite of rumors that Darren Aronofsky has said he would rather adapt The Dark Knight Returns than Year One for a Batman sequel,Fabio2 insists it is not happening. Just to keep it in perspective, the report on Dark Knight did say that the director only mentioned itin a casual conversation. No claims were made that the notion had gone further than that.

Fabio2 also insists that Year One is the only project Lorenzo DiBonaventura is considering. Should Aronofsky get the directing job,that's the movie he'll have to make. However Aronofsky hasn't signed and he is just one of many directors being considered for helming duties.

Steadfast that Year One will be the next Batman movie, Fabio2 also claims that the Bruce Wayne TV show is "D.O.A." Fabio2 states, "There's no way both [Year One] and [Bruce Wayne] will co-exist, despite what others may say. As for waiting until Warner's Batman 5 plans become more concrete...plans aren't expected to properly solidify for another year. Tollin-Robbins Productions, obviously, won't wait that long."

DR. STRANGE

Rob Allstetter of the Comics Continuum reports that Chuck Russell (TheMask) "could be" attached to write and direct the Doctor Strange movie. The movie has been on the fast track ever since landing in the hands ofproducer Don Murphy. The source of the information is not named in the article.

SHI

Billy Tucci recently spoke with Matt Brady of the Mania website aboutthe development of this Shi motion picture. Tucci reports that themovie is now slated to lens in June for Warner Bros. The creator isheaded to Hollywood this month for meetings about the production.At the same time Tucci is working on a CGI movie of his heroine.

"Right now, we're working on putting together a 30 second trailer forthe film," Tucci told Brady. "I've met with a number of investors whowant to get on board and really see it take off. Right now, we'rethinking of producing a 70 minute film."

Star Wars: The Millennium Falcon Finally Gets the Perfect New Captain

More in CBR Exclusives