The Dark Knight, Hulk 2, The Spirit: February 26th Comic Reel Wrap


Actor Aaron Eckhart talked to MTV about getting cast as Gotham's most troubled district attorney. "Well, I'm Harvey Dent ... then I go into Harvey Two-Face." When asked about whether Heath Ledger's Joker does the deed that changes the character, Eckhart said, "I think I'll be killed [if I comment on that] - I'm not even sure I can say as much as I have. There are snipers looking at me right now!"


The next gamma-powered flick from the House of Ideas will set up shop in Toronto, according to the Associated Press. The four month shoot is planned for this summer, and the film is slated for a June 13, 2008 debut.


Entertainment Weekly focused on multi-hyphenate creative Frank Miller, who talked a great deal about the Will Eisner adaptation at last weekend's New York Comic-Con. "I've written a first draft of the screenplay," Miller told the magazine. "I'm working on the second draft, and it's shaping up really good. It's taken a while to get over the initial jitters, but it always does. The main focus I have is to write and direct a Spirit that captures a lot of the flavor of [creator Will] Eisner... but that doesn't feel like nostalgia at all. 'Spirit' fans often develop a rather cloudy memory of it, and think of it as this happy-go-lucky strip. The character has a terrifying side to him. This is a man who's died and come back to life. So it twists into fantasy. And of course there are tons of women in it. There have to be -- it's The Spirit. They're all in love with him, and he's in love with all of them. You might say he's a bit of a slut." But what about sidekick and negative stereotype Ebony White? "Ebony's gone," Miller said. "Ebony was simply a bad idea. Will Eisner was a genius, but even geniuses have their bad days."

We also had a long writeup of Miller's panel here at CBR, which the man himself could not attend. "Sometimes life really sucks," an email from Miller, read by producer F.J. DeSanto, said. "I slipped on a patch of black ice on a Manhattan sidewalk, smashed my left hip to bits and have spent the last bunch of weeks undergoing medical procedures and losing out on all these chances to tell everybody how much fun I'm having writing 'Will Eisner's The Spirit.' Don't go expecting a nostalgic tongue-in-cheek romp here. Remember, remember how scary Eisner got whenever he chose to. Remember how he broke your heart with the story of San Serif, so expect some hair-pin turns, some dead end back alley madness, the wet kind. Get set, we're on our way to some dark places."


According to Variety, New York-based Submarine Entertainment will be developing the popular 70s comics properties for TV and film. "We're basically looking at this as a re-launching of the brand," said Dan Braun, co-topper of Submarine with brother Josh.


Toon Zone has an interview with producer Frank Paur about the (SPOILER ALERT) detail that went into the direct-to-DVD feature. "The feature format also allows you to be more expressive in style and substance," Paur said. "You're able to put more thought into the overall production. If you take a good look at the paintings in the film you'll find a lot of subliminal aspects to the shot, things put there to affect the viewers' perception of what is going on. Here is an example; it's no coincidence that much of the time we see Lei-Mei, she is shown amidst moving water. These are some very beautifully rendered sequences, and in a very soft way the viewer identifies the water with purity. It is a reflection of the condition of her soul. Toward the end of the movie, the climax takes place in a tomb filled with dark and murky sludge. Since the earlier scenes, Lei-Mei has murdered people and lied, her soul has been corrupted; the action takes place in surroundings that mirror her inside. It is only after she saves Tony and destroys the Mandarin that we see her with once more bathed in light and cradled in Tony's arms. The scene is restful and serene, her soul clean, she has purged the evil from herself. Here's a more obvious one: the design in the boardroom is very deliberate. The image in the stained glass is of Prometheus, the Titan who was punished by the gods for giving fire to humanity. Understanding the symbolism is important; when we see Tony Stark framed within the stained glass the similarities in their stories should be obvious. It foretells Tony's future. Tony gives mankind new technology that changes the world, and he is punished for it. His heart is seriously damaged, he is never able to sustain a relationship, and he becomes an alcoholic and eventually isolates himself more and more into his armor. This is all very film 101 stuff, and some would say pretentious as hell, but darn if it isn't a kick to come up with these things. This movie is loaded with that type of imagery, and anyone who wants to put their brain to work and figure them out ... good luck."


Sneak Peek has some words from producer Michael Uslan about changes for the big red cheese. At NYCC, Uslan said that Peter Segal ("Anger Management") will direct from a screenplay by Bryan Goluboff and William Goldman.


This week's NYCC was a bevy of entertainment news, and that included Marvel's first family. F4Movies.com's Flickr page has some new images including Jessica Alba, a shot of the whole team and Ben Grimm aggressively negotiating with Dr. Doom.


Toon Zone also caught the panel with producer Tad Stones and creator Mike Mignola, where it was revealed that a third animated film had the green light and that fan favorite character Lobster Johnson would be in the third animated feature (but Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman would not).


IESB has some new photos from the web-spinning sequel.


Also here at CBR we've got video previews for tonight's episode, "Company Man."


Finally, we've got news about an innovative partnership between Sci Fi Channel and Sir Richard Branson's fledgling comics initiative.


We can't do this without you. The rumors, the scoops, the set photos -- they're all fueled by passionate fans emailing in the goods. The ones who ask, "What do you mean your sister's dating somebody who works for Miles Millar?" The ones who know the code names of movie projects and scour city permit filings for them. The devoted, the involved. Fans, just like you. Whatever you know, we wanna know, and whether you want your name shouted to the web's rafters or kept closer than a classified report, we've got you covered like a comforter. Broadcasting live from Los Angeles, this is your humble scribe Hannibal Tabu (web site, MySpace blog) saying thank you for your time and indulgence, and "enough talk -- let's go make with the 'biff' and the 'pow' already."

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