Hero for hire "Luke Cage" is the latest Marvel comics character toattract the attention of Columbia Pictures according to today's HollywoodReporter.
Ben Ramsey ("The Big Hit") is set to write the script for themovie, which would feature one of Marvel's most prominent blacksuperheroes.
The description provided by The Reporter closely mirrors the comic bookorigin. "Cage" is about a former gang member who is framed for acrime. In prison, he volunteers for a medical experiment that goes awry, givinghim super strength and bulletproof skin. Using his newfound powers, Cage escapesand becomes a hero for hire.
Neal Moritz's Original Film is producing. Original has rapidly made a namefor itself with modern, youth-oriented franchises like "xXx" and"Fast and the Furious." Avi Arad at Marvel will also produce, natch.
Marvel and Columbia have previously teamed for the "Spider-Man"movie and its currently-filming sequel, and are currently developing "GhostRider" for a late-2003 production start.
ASTERIX 3: ASTERIX IN SPAIN
While fans in the U.S. are still waiting to see the wildly popular moviesbased on the "Asterix" comics, Varietyreports that new developments in France may be thwarting attempts for a thirdinstallment in the franchise.
Although the producers of the previous two movies at Claude Berri's RennProds. and Pathe have announced their intentions to make a third, the rightsholders, which include Creators Albert Uderzo, Anne Goscinny and publisherEditions Albert Rene have publicly stated that they are not interested.
Jacques-Eric Strauss, who handles international sales of Berri's films,talked the project up at the recent Cannes Film Festival. Berri's position isthat they are in negotiations with the rights holders for the sequel.
"There are no negotiations going on with Pathe," a spokesman forEditions Albert Rene told Daily Variety. "If they come to us with a goodproposal, we'll talk. But now, there is nothing."
In the mean time, the rights holders are apparently going forward with ananimated feature based on the character. French network M6 announced in Cannesthe production of "Asterix and the Vikings," a $25.7 million animatedfeature.
The live-action "Asterix" movies were huge hits in France, eachbreaking box office records. Miramax holds the U.S. distribution rights for thefilms, but has not yet scheduled them for a domestic release.
X2 BOX OFFICE
Daily statistic published by BoxOffice Mojo reveal that Marvel and Fox's "X2: X-Men United" topped$200 million on Tuesday.
The mutant sequel collected another cool half-million dollars in its 33rd dayof release, sending it north of the double-century milestone.
Fans wanting a close up look at Captain Nemo's Nautilus can click over to LXGMovie.com.A new, animated segment of the official website for "The League ofExtraordinary Gentlemen" reveals the secret of scientifically advancedwatercraft.
PUNISHER CONTEST X 10!
The publicity folksthere told Comics2Film this week that we can now pass on a total of ten copiesof the super-cool teaser poster for "The Punisher" to you, thereaders.