'Mirror Mask,' 'Evangelion' and 'Spider-Man' Lawsuit: Comics2Film wrap for May 15, 2003


This image actually has nothing to do with

"Mirror Mask." It is Dave McKean's cover art for the "Sandman:

Brief Lives" graphic novel of which Neil Gaiman is the author.

Back in January Comics2Film/CBR News was able to exclusively report that

"Mirror Mask," a film collaboration between Dave McKean and  Neil Gaiman,

was set to go into production this year. The movie, being produced by Jim Henson

Pictures for Sony, would be directed by McKean from a script by Gaiman.

Kevin Kelly at Henson gave us an update on the project. Storyboards have been

completed and casting is underway on the film.

"As soon as casting is done cameras will roll," Kelly told C2F.

"It's going to be a brief shoot. 

"Dave's done a lot of experimental

films. He has his own method of filming. A lot of it is going to be against blue

screen and then he is going to create the sets and everything virtually. It

should work really well. Neil's writing and his art go together well."

Kelly tells us that attendees of this summer's Comic-Con International in San

Diego will likely get a preview of the movie. Gaiman is the guest of honor at

this year's show.

Although the movie is targeted for a direct-to-video release under the Sony

Screen Gems label, Henson is hoping it'll get a theatrical release once the film

is completed.



Straight from the Cannes Film Festival comes this edited press release from

ADV Films:

In a Monday announcement sure to make waves in the entertainment industry,

ADV Films President and CEO John Ledford publicly confirmed industry rumors that

the firm has acquired the rights to produce, and has already begun development

of, a live-action feature-film based on the Japanese animated television series

"Neon Genesis Evangelion," a multi-million dollar worldwide franchise

and perhaps the most influential anime title in the history of the art form. The

project is a collaboration between ADV Films, Gainax and Weta Workshop, Ltd.

ADV Films is the leading producer-distributor of Japanese animation in North

America. The Japanese anime and game studio Gainax Network Systems was one of

the original production studios responsible for "Neon Genesis

Evangelion," and Weta Workshop, Ltd. is the New Zealand-based special

effects studio that created the effects for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the

Rings" trilogy.

"The three main players here represent something of a 'dream-team' for a

project like this one," said Ledford. "Between the quality and

significance of the Gainax title, Weta's industry-leading skill in the

creation of special visual effects, and our expertise in the marketing and

promotion of anime and anime-related content, this project is truly a

once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

"Neon Genesis Evangelion" is the story of a reluctant young hero,

called upon to pilot an immense robotic weapon in battle against alien invaders.

Including both a 26-episode television series and at least two animated motion

pictures, "Neon Genesis Evangelion" has long been both a fan favorite

and an extraordinary critical and commercial success, with the worldwide

franchise producing many millions of dollars in revenue.

The "Neon Genesis Evangelion" live-action motion picture is in the

earliest stages of development. Ledford confirmed, however, that the timetable

is an aggressive one, and that more information on the project is forthcoming.



From a press release:

Marvel Enterprises, Inc. announced yesterday that Judge Alexander Williams

III of Los Angeles Superior Court had referred the lawsuit brought by Marvel

Characters, Inc., a subsidiary of Marvel Enterprises, Inc., against Sony

Pictures Entertainment, Inc. to an open special judge or referee forum within

the court system. The lawsuit, filed by Marvel on April 22, 2003, centers on

Sony's treatment of Marvel's premier asset, Spider-Man, and alleges that Sony

exceeded the rights granted to it under a 1999 limited license agreement.

Carole Handler, a Marvel attorney, said, "Today's ruling determines the

forum for pursuing our litigation against Sony. We are confident in the strength

of all of our claims and look forward to pursuing this case vigorously in the

venue the Court deems appropriate."

Marvel's complaint alleges that Sony misrepresented its intent and

"hijacked" the Spider-Man character by, among other actions, holding

itself out as the sole licensor of Spider-Man merchandise. The complaint further

alleges that Sony also promised to use its affiliated consumer products

divisions to merchandise Spider-Man but failed to deliver. Marvel seeks

rescission of the license agreement, dissolution of a merchandising joint

venture, and monetary damages. Sony has counterclaimed, alleging various

breaches by Marvel of the license. In April, Judge Williams had ruled that all

proceedings in this matter, whether before a referee or in court, would be open

to the public.

Marvel's legal representation in this case is led by Carole E. Handler and

Pierce O'Donnell, O'Donnell & Shaeffer LLP, Los Angeles, California.

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