Transformers, Watchmen, Conan, Global Frequency: Comic Reel Wrap for July 26


As promised, this weekend Hasbro announced that DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures would team up with the toymaker to develop a live-action, motion picture based on the globally popular Transformers franchise. Steven Spielberg will executive produce. The film is slated for release in the summer of 2006. Lorenzo di Bonaventura ("Constantine"), Don Murphy ("The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen") and Tom DeSanto ("X-Men" and "X2: X-Men United") are attached to produce. Superhero Hype has the whole press release.


According to the Hollywood Reporter, director Darren Aronofsky has shaken off losing out on his "Batman: Year One" project by agreeing to develop and direct the Alan Moore adaptation for Paramount Pictures.


The gang at Kryptonsite picked up the phone and heard, "Jenni Baird, You Are On The Global Frequency." The actress has been cast as Dr. Katrina Finch, according to producer John Rogers. The series is slated for thirteen episodes with a tentative March 2005 launch date, and confirmed writers include David Slack ("Teen Titans"), Diego Gutierrez ("Buffy"), and Ben Edlund ("Angel")


According to Variety, another of producer Don Murphy's cryptic predictions came true. The graphic novel "Death: The High Cost of Living" has landed at New Line Cinema in turnaround from Warner Bros. Pictures, and its creator Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is in negotiations to make his debut as a film director on the project.


Visimag has posted a set visit report from the franchise-melding film. For what it lacks on detail, it makes up in quotes by the filmmaker. "I timed Predator and the first two Alien films and it's amazing how long it takes for the creatures to appear on the screen," said director Paul Anderson. "The monster in 'Predator' doesn't fully appear until about an hour into that film and it's the same for 'Alien' and 'Aliens.' In 'Alien,' the face-hugger didn't appear until the 45 minute mark in the film and in 'Aliens,' the action doesn't really begin, in the director's cut, until an hour into the film. In studying those films, I think the reason those films were the best -- and the other films like 'Predator 2' and 'Alien 3' weren't as good -- was the fact that the audience had to wait. The creatures are scarier when you're waiting to see them. You make the audience wait and the terror just builds and builds and that's one of the reasons Alien and Predator were so effective. The scene with Tom Skerritt and the flame-thrower in 'Alien' is excruciating because you don't know when the Alien will attack. This is the strategy I've adopted with 'Alien vs. Predator.'"


Superhero Hype has a photo of the poster for the Keanu Reeves-fueled Vertigo adaptation.


With expanded quotes on what we reported on the Christopher Nolan-helmed Bat flick, Superhero Hype is on hand with a blow-by-blow report on what happened at this weekend's Comicon panel. They also feature a pre-villain photo of Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane.


According to Comics Continuum, "the new Conan the Barbarian live-action movie is being targeted for a 2006 release, Fred Malmberg, executive director of Conan Properties International, said. 'The movie is moving forward and is actively in development at Warner Bros.'" The company's vice president of publishing Jeff Conner, said they will only serve an advisory role. "It's not our $200 million," he said. "Once Warner Bros. picks the director, it's going to be the director's film."


Kryptonsite, despite being at Nerd Spring Break with the rest of the comics media, has some details about season four of the hit WB series, with spoilers aplenty. First they have a Entertainment Weekly's preview, which discusses how much Lois will be seeing of Clark. They also have a great photo from the 'con, with Erica Durance, Jeph Loeb, John Glover, Miles Millar, Alfred Gough, and Allison Mack. Finally, they've updated their spoilers page with more than we dare reveal.


ICv2 reports that "'Electric Girl,' by creator Michael Brennan, is being developed by Cartoon Network to become an animated television series.  Adam Beechen is currently working on the series "bible," with the number of episodes still to be determined." AiT/PlanetLar head honcho Larry Young pointed out the series is the biggest seller for the publisher.


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 the frosty Omni hotel lobby in San Diego (with sore feet, tired legs and a 'con exclusive VF-1J), this is your humble scribe Hannibal Tabu saying thanks for your time and indulgence, and (insert pithy sign-off here, once it gets out of development hell).

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