Painkiller Jane, Ghost Rider, Transformers, Smallville: October 26th Comic Reel Wrap


According to Variety, Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti's action heroine is headed to the small screen. The Sci Fi Channel has greenlighted a two-hour pilot for "Painkiller Jane," produced by NBC Universal TV Studios in association with MGM< TV. The pilot is slated for a summer 2005 premiere. John Harrison ("Dune," "Children of Dune"), Don Opper and Greg Gold wrote and will executive produce. Casting is under way, and production is expected to begin before the end of the year.


The Herald Sun talked to Ghost Rider writer/director Mark Steven Johnson who revealed where the production will be filming starting January 31st. "He said half the film would be shot in Melbourne streets. The rest will be shot in the Central City Studios at Docklands, with a small portion in Broken Hill. Melbourne won over Sydney and Brisbane because of its versatility, Johnson said. 'I just thought it was such a cooler town,' he said. 'This film is really going to be a showcase for Melbourne.' He pinpointed Little Collins St, some the city lanes and Telstra Dome as key locations. 'There's a huge set-piece on the river downtown near an abandoned railway line, where we're having a big police chase with helicopters,' he said."


According to producer Don Murphy, "There are NO voice actors yet. There may be soon. I will personally make sure that our director considers (Frank Welker) and the gang. I think celebrity voices for a film like this is moronic." Murphy also said of rumors that there will be no movie tie-in toys from Hasbro, "dream on. That's the very reason they [Hasbro] WANT a film from Steven Spielberg." As for details, Murphy said, "1: I do not see mass shifting happening. 2: I do not see a giant robot turning into a cassette player. 3: Hasbro will not have a toy that turns into a pistol. 4: I just saw the robots in 'Sky Captain' at Comic-Con -- we want ours to be the opposite of those. Personalities! [We] are NOT doing anything to do with Beasts and Dinos and (expletive). ... The next few weeks will have us, ala X-Men, decide on 7 core members of each team. DeSanto will be there to make sure we stay true."


The team at Kryptonsite has fresh spoilers about the season's eleventh episode, now known to be called "Unsafe," which features the return of an exciting character from last season.


On one hand, there will be an "AvP2." On the other hand, Paul W.S. Anderson will not be involved, or so the director said to Empire Online. "I'm not attached to any sequel. I never really made the movie with the intention of making a sequel. I wanted to do it as a stand-alone film that could hopefully succeed in its own terms, but also re-energize both franchises. So that Fox could go: 'Well, that made a lot of money! If you want to see Predators and Aliens again let's make a Predator 3, let's make an Alien 5.'"


Superhero Hype has three recently released photos (one of which we've seen before) from the upcoming Christopher Nolan-helmed Bat-film.


Ain't It Cool News stops crowing about how they beat Mark Millar out of a grand long enough to fire up a new rumor about Shawn Ashmore (also known as Iceman in the "X-Men" movies and a power-swapping teen on "Smallville") grabbing a camera and reporting for duty as Jimmy Olsen.


Comics Continuum has some quotes from associate producer David Gorder, discussing the much-contested humor element of the Tim Story-helmed film. "This is a difficult comic to bring to the screen," Gorder said. "If you do the story wrong, it could end up being campy. We wanted to focus in bringing out the humor and the pathos and the bittersweet moments that we all can relate to as human beings. Ben's sort of the big brother character, maybe the guy that's not so good looking, but he's the protector. Johnny being the good-looking hot-shot who's annoying. So we want to bring those elements out in the characters so that with the demographic we hit the movie, everybody will be able to identify with somebody on the screen. We bring out Sue's smarts and her matronly qualities. Reed's like the professor and he's got all the advice. He feels very guilty that Ben has transformed and is disfigured."


How about a trio of tidbits about animated DC properties? First creator Paul Dini wrote to his weblog, "I saw the first five or six completed 'KRYPTO' episodes and they are looking pretty cute. Imagine a Hanna-Barbera cartoon series produced circa the time of 'Atom Ant' (1966 or thereabouts) but with more lush animation. Props to Director/Producer Scott Jeralds for capturing the look of that era. He's made the perfect animation fusion of Silver Age DC comics and Little Golden Books."

Meanwhile, Jim Harvey wrote in to spotlight announcements from voice actor Kevin Conroy, spotlighted on Toon Zone. "According to Conroy, widely considered the voice of Batman, more direct-to-video features starring the classic 'Bruce Timm'-styled Caped Crusader are in the works. A direct-to-video feature based on the new 'The Batman' series is also currently underway, while any direct-to-video features based on 'Justice League Unlimited' are currently on hold. When asked about possible new features based on Batman Beyond, Conroy said that there's little to no chance. However, this does not rule out future DVDs collecting episodes from the sci-fi series. Batman Beyond recently appeared in Static Shock, and will be making an appearance this season in Justice League Unlimited. Conroy also mentioned that Cartoon Network has greenlighted a third season of Justice League Unlimited. Expect an official announcement from the network soon."


If you have the scoop on anything related to comic book movies, TV adaptations or just want to give us a truck full of cash, no questions asked, drop us a line and let's coordinate. You can choose an alias if you'd like, or be mentioned by name -- we honor requests for anonymity. Broadcasting live from Los Angeles, this is your humble scribe Hannibal Tabu saying thanks for your time and indulgence, and "don't blame me, I'm drunk too!"

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