The Batman, The Spirit, Fantastic Four 2: July 10th Comic Reel Wrap


According to Comics Continuum, Evan Sabara is providing the voice of Robin in the upcoming season of the Kids' WB!'s animated series. As previously reported, The Batman's version of Robin will be Dick Grayson.


There's a lengthy interview with Eisner confidante Denis Kitchen at A Spirited Life where the film is discussed. "I can only tell you I have seen the first provisional script," Kitchen said. "I am not allowed to talk about it, so I canÕt say." Kitchen means, of course, the Jeph Loeb script that's been reported numerous times before. Kitchen also said, however, "the producers are about to announce the new writer/director, as I indicated earlier, in San Diego. IÕd love to shock your readers but mum is the word till then."


IGN's FilmForce has a rumor claiming that Vince Vaughn is still attached to the adaptation, angling for the role of Racer X. "Sources also advised IGN that the Wachowskis are starting work on the screenplay but that the project isn't expected to go before cameras anytime soon."


Director Tim Story has updated his MySpace blog with some data about the preparations for the film. "Just got back from Vancouver, which is of course where we will be filming the movie, and things are shaping up. It's the hard part of the phase where I have to make the numbers work. Even with $100+ mil, there's never enough money. Looking at the plan for the new Baxter Building interior and it's going to be hot. We're going more high tech and we're giving Reed Richards and the gang more gadgets this time around. The '4' logo will be everywhere as we are used to seeing it. They are a corporation now. I'm going to use some looks that have been inspired from more recent comics, like in 'The Ultimate Extinction' [sic] and a little from the "Ultimate Fan Four" series. I know what you're thinking 'Kirby, Kirby, Kirby!' There will be much props given to Kirby throughout the movie. What I'm really excited about is the Fantasticar. It's coming guys in all it's glory. Wait until you see it. It's going to split in pieces and all that. Johnny and Ben fight over who should fly it. All the fun you expect."

Meanwhile, IGN's FilmForce alleges that "Canadian actor-model Bruce James may be the frontrunner to play the part" "to perform the role [SIlver Surfer] on-set (a la Andy Serkis as Gollum in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy) so that the performance could be digitally animated over later."


Actor Michael Clarke Duncan talked to BlackFilm with a heavy heart. "I hate to tell you this, but I am not in 'Transformers.' I am so mad that I have to tell you that, but something happened and we didn't get the deal done and I was really hurt about that, because my friend Michael Bay is directing and he's like to me, one of the top action directors ever. I love working on his movies. I did two movies with him, 'Armageddon' and 'The Island,' and he has a certain way of directing but it was something that we did not get done that I felt bad about because I watched "Transformers". I was supposed to be the Navy Seal guy taking my team in against the Transformers. Man, that is like heaven! To dream that you head up a SEAL team to go against the Transformers? Oh my God, I said, 'Michael, we got to do something,' but we just didn't. It didn't work out and I told him that I will be in there (the theater) that day, the second that movie opens, I will be in there because I'm an action freak like that. It blew my mind that I could have been a Navy SEAL leader going against the Transformers. That in itself blows me away. I just want to see how the movie turns out and I will pay my money at least twice that weekend to see it, but I hate to you that I'm not doing it."

He also talked about what he'd do if there were a sequel to his film with Ben Affleck. "If there's a sequel, I don't want to gain the weight back. I'm at 279. I've lost like 90 pounds since we last spoke and I feel good at this weight. This weight is comfortable for me. I'm into yoga now and all that crazy stuff. I feel good. My body feels good at this weight. This is a comfortable weight for me, so I wouldn't want to get back into the 300 range because you work so hard in a year and a half to lose the weight; to go on a diet, to run in the morning and everything and to stop all that and get the glazed donuts back out, get those burgers going again, and for me, it's a mental thing. Now, 20 million dollars can erase all that. For 20 million dollars, you will see a big 350 pound me again."

There's also comments about "Sin City" and how he'd handle a crossover with the "Spider-Man" franchise.


Superhero Hype has some quotes from actor Paul Giamatti about voicing the historical-minded Mike Mignola character. "It was so strange to me," Giamatti said, "because I'm not a comic book guy, but I was aware of its existence, I'd read it and really loved it. They came to me with it, expecting that I'd have no idea what it was, and I actually know what this thing is. It's kind of obscure, I know, but the animation is really beautiful, and it's very much the animation that it is in the comic book. David Hyde Pierce did Emperor Zombie, the villain in it. It's obviously fleshed out a lot and given a lot more humor. Now they're going to come up with original stories, and I don't know who does that."

The aforementioned page at Comics Continuum has a number of images from the show and the network description. The show previews online this Thursday and airs July 27th.


Sir Michael Caine was interviewed by Turner Classic Movies where he flatly stated one familiar face that Christian Bale would confront in the sequel.


When can you find out more? How's Saturday, July 22nd? That's when Comic-Con 2006 will have a presentation on the Spartan War film. Their description reads, "10:30-11:30 Warner Bros. Presents '300'Ñ Appearing in person: Creator Frank Miller, director Zach Snyder ('Dawn of the Dead'), and actors David Wenham (Faramir in 'Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' and 'The Return of the King') and Gerard Butler ('Phantom of the Opera;' 'Lara Croft: Cradle of Life'). Based on the epic graphic novel by Miller, '300' is a ferocious retelling of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. Facing insurmountable odds, the SpartansÕ valor and sacrifice inspire all of Greece to unite against their Persian enemy, drawing a line in the sand for democracy. The film brings MillerÕs ('Sin City') acclaimed Dark Horse graphic novel to life by combining live action with virtual backgrounds that capture his distinct vision of this ancient historic tale. Hall H."


Will anybody else be there? How about this Thursday action, holmes? "2:00-3:30 Warner Bros. Presents a Trio of Animated FeaturesÑ First up is 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:' Director Kevin Munroe appears in person to preview this shell-raising return to the big screen of Laird and Eastman's classic quartet in a fully animated CGI feature film."


Yeah, you can see the pilot for the NBC series on Friday in San Diego as well. "12:30-2:00 NBC: 'Heroes' Pilot Screening and Q&A with Cast and ProducersÑ Debuting on NBC this fall, the highly anticipated series Heroes chronicles the lives of ordinary people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities. Be the first to watch an exclusive 72-minute cut of the pilot episode, created specifically for Comic-Con. Join cast members Ali Larter ('Final Destination'), Greg Grunberg ('Alias'), Milo Ventimiglia ('Gilmore Girls'), Hayden Panettiere ('Ice Princess'), Sendhil Ramamurthy ('Blind Guy Driving'), and Masi Oka ('Scrubs'); creator/executive producer Tim Kring; executive producer Dennis Hammer; co-executive producer/comic book writer Jeph Loeb ('Lost,' 'Superman for All Seasons'); and legendary comic book artist Tim Sale ('Batman: The Long Halloween') for a Q&A session. Room 6CDEF."


Even more Friday fun in at SDCC: "11:00-12:30 ... Bryan Singer Returns! Please welcome long-time friend of Comic-Con director Bryan Singer to answer your questions about 'Superman Returns' and give you an idea of what's next. Hall H."


Him too, on Saturday. "5:00-6:30 Sony PresentsÑ Sony Pictures proudly presents a pair of Marvels: The classic Marvel comic 'Ghost Rider' comes to the big screen with Academy AwardÐwinning Nicolas Cage playing Johnny Blaze. Appearing in person to answer your questions and show some previews will be the film's stars Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes and director Mark Steven Johnson. Oh, and did we mention 'Spidey 3?' Come find out why we don't have to say anything else ... besides Sam Raimi! Hall H."

Yahoo! Movies has posted some production stills from the Marvel adaptation as well.


While we're on the subject of Marvel movies, you can catch some shots of Stan "The Man" Lee doing his cameo over at this image gallery.


Comics Continuum was busy this weekend, posting a slew of photos from the Uma-fueled superhero comedy, alongside this studio description of the movie: "Breaking up is hard to do, but sometimes it can be downright dangerous. Matt broke Jenny's heart. Now she's about to break everything. Matt Saunders (Wilson) thinks he's finally found the perfect girlfriend, the beautiful Jenny Johnson (Thurman) -- who just happens to be the superhero, G-Girl. When Jenny/G-Girl becomes overly possessive, Matt wants to call it quits ... but how do you break up with a woman who can fly, lift cars and burn holes through walls with her thermal vision? A scarred woman, Jenny/G-Girl unleashes the full fury of her super-powered wrath as she tries to bust up Matt's new romance with his co-worker Hannah Lewis (Anne Farris)."


Comics Continuum has a run down of titles, guest-cast lists and descriptions of episodes through No. 11. They also have a gang of photos from the show.


Michael R. Grabois wrote in to let us know much more about the upcoming animated series. Apparently, Shawn Harrison is providing the voice of Timber Wolf (which you can also note on SDCC programming pages listed above). Yuri Lowenthal also has been cast as the voice of "Superman", whereas he had previously been listed as the voice of "Superboy". We've already seen the press release updated to say "the young Superman, before he moved to Metropolis" rather than "Superboy", and there has been at least one unconfirmed report that they're re-dubbing voices to say "Superman." "No doubt fallout from the Siegel lawsuit," Grabois wrote.

You'll find a quick Flash based preview of the show at the network's website and he noted finally that the voice of Saturn Girl will be Kari Wahlgren.

Finally, we're not sure if you can find images from the show anywhere else, but they're surely on that last page we mentioned at Comics Continuum.


CBR's own Arune "The Real Steel Deal" Singh has posted a breakdown of what ticket sales numbers for the season's biggest films mean.


Here's where you get in on the action. Did you see a link we didn't catch? Have you snuck into a closed movie set, and have inside data? Maybe your cousin is dating somebody who knows something, and they had to tell you? Whatever it is, we wanna know it all -- fire off an email and let us know whether you want your name used or your contributions to geekdom to go down anonymously. Broadcasting live from Los Angeles, this is novelist/karaoke host/all-around lunatic Hannibal Tabu saying thanks for your time and indulgence, and [tagline sent back to development hell until something hipper can be dreamed up].

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