Ultimate Avengers, The Batman, TMNT, Heroes: July 26th Comic Reel Wrap


Are you atingle with excitement, waiting for the next direct-to-DVD animated feature? Well today (Wednesday), you can sate your desires a little bit -- ten minutes of the film will be available today at Habbo after 4PM PST. According to the press release, "A virtual red-carpet premiere event will be held at the Habbo Theaterdome on July 26th at 4:00pm PST, where a host of "special guests" will be in attendance, including the human personas of Captain America (Steve Rogers), Iron Man (Tony Stark), The Hulk (Bruce Banner) and Black Panther (T'Challa). This will be a 'black tie' affair -- and all Habbos in attendance will be required to dress in black." Not too sure what all that means, but there you have it.


Apparently, some visions of new villains and characters were shown last weekend, and you can see them at the Legions of Gotham message board. Of particular interest is that this "young Batman" series will have a Nightwing and an Oracle, as well as a young Robin and red-haired Batgirl -- continuity freaks beware. More interesting is some of the voice casting, including "Superman" star Brandon Routh as "Everywhere Man." Again, no idea what that means, but there it is.


IGN has some video interviews they snagged with producer Thomas Gray and director Kevin Monroe.

Speaking of the shelled siblings, Superhero Hype has a press release stating that "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward" will premiere on Fox's 4Kids TV Saturday morning block this weekend at 10AM EST. The network describes the show as follows: "The year is 2105. The place -- New York City. Super architecture, gravity cars and jump shuttle taxis are part of a world where humans and aliens live together in peace and harmony. And now, thanks to a strange twist of fate, this futuristic society will be visited by the four Ninja Turtles - Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael and Donatello. Conflict and comedy, adventure and humor, fast and fun!"


9thWonders.com has an interview with writer Jeph Loeb, who discussed some of his involvement with the new NBC series, and about the difference in writing for this series in contrast to "Smallville." "Different muscles, same task," Loeb said. "It's still storytelling. I liked that we were referencing the Superman mythos in 'Smallville,' but those stories had to still be as unique as they could be on their own. They weren't comic book stories. And on Heroes it's not about the powers or the villain of the week. These are people whose lives have been turned inside-out because of... AH! You nearly tricked me into giving away one of the big secrets in the show ..."

They also have an interview with director Greg Beeman, whose worked on "Nash Bridges" and "The Wonder Years," and he talked about the challenge of working with all-new characters. "It's harder," Beeman said. "Right now I'm scared. I don't know what compelled me to take a job where I'd be nervous again, just as I was at the beginning of 'Smallville.' When a pilot is fantastic -- as 'Smallville' was, as 'Heroes' is -- there's an obligation. We've got to do a great job, to respect the original material. And that's a scary thing. To live up to those expectations. To exceed them."


Staying in the interview vein, Comics Continuum spoke with producer Jon Kroll about some things we can see in upcoming episodes. "We're introducing some really interesting new characters. The character of Charlotte is unique to television," Kroll said, "a 200-year-old pureblood in the body of a 13-year-old girl who does the most horrific things imaginable. The actress' name is Emily Hurst. She actually had a role on Smallville at one point and has done some TV movies. She's incredibly accomplished. Her arc starts with this coming episode. I think it is really a unique role. This is a character television has never seen before. People will be talking about her. The Entertainment Weekly review calls her Eddie Munster meets Tony Soprano, that says it all."


Almost missed this one -- CBR's own Rich Johnston has a rumor about who might be sliding into the invisible plane. "Natasha Henstridge has the first 50 pages of script," said one message board poster. "I saw the first 30 pages of the script in her gym bag and 2 days before she signed and fedexed a 4 page confidentiality agreement."


The official site for the Neil Gaiman-penned film is now online.


According to Yahoo! News, "Aquaman" is a hit -- and this time iTunes, not Vincent Chase, can take credit. The TV pilot based on the all-wet DC Comics superhero was one of the iTunes Music Store's most-played clips Tuesday, the same day the rejected series became available for download on the online music/video purveyor. At one point Tuesday, the 41-minute Aquaman pilot was in fifth place -- and rising -- on iTunes' rankings of its top TV shows.


Actor-turned-director Jon Favreau was the subject of an apparently exclusive interview talking about his Stark new vision. "'Iron Man' has always been the flipside of 'Captain America,'" Favreau said, "representing maybe more pragmatic, darker aspects of America. When we first talked about the notion of doing "Iron Man," I felt excited because it lends itself, very easily, to the technology that is available today. Where as an organic superhero, you know anybody who is a guy in tights is a little scary in CGI, but a robot-based guy is really a marriage made in heaven, so I'm exploring what the technology has to offer. To me, with the political climate what it is now, it's such a complex character and these times are so complex, mirroring in a lot of ways, his inception in the 60's when on the cusp of Vietnam, it was just as unpopular to have an arms manufacturer as your hero. I really wanted to explore that so it's very exciting to me in that way. It's also exciting because it's Marvel's first movie on its own."


Actor Doug Jones talked about his involvement with the still-unfinanced sequel in a note at Sci Fi Wire. "The role of Abe Sapien will be beefed up quite a bit for part two," Jones said. "The relationship with Hellboy is going to be more fleshed out. ... The buddy thing ... and conflicts that arise with him are going to be more explored, which I'm very excited about. Abe gets more interaction with bad guys ... [and] has another little sub-storyline that I think is going to be delicious. I don't want to give anything way, but it's going to be a very, very exciting movie to make."


"With great power comes great fun," or so believes actor Topher Grace, quoted at Sci Fi Wire. "He's a great character to play," Grace said, speaking of his well-reported villainous turn. "Unlike most bad guys, he truly loves being evil. So, I mean, he really comes to grips with it and enjoys it. So it was fun to play someone that ... finds their way to that place. It's a fun thing to play as an actor. That's what I liked about the character most. It's kind of a case study in if someone ... had the same job and ... the same taste in women and got the same powers, but had a really bad upbringing."


Superhero Hype also interviewed director Edgar Wright about the "diminutive" project. "The thing is that what we want to do, the idea that we have for the adaptation is to actually involve both," Wright said. "Is to have a film that basically is about Henry Pym and Scott Lang, so you actually do a prologue where you see Pym as Ant-Man in action in the 60's, in sort of 'Tales to Astonish' mode basically, and then the contemporary, sort of flash-forward, is Scott Lang's story, and how he comes to acquire the suit, how he crosses paths with Henry Pym, and then, in an interesting sort of Machiavellian way, teams up with him. So it's like an interesting thing, like the 'Marvel Premiere' one that I read which is Scott Lang's origin, it's very brief like a lot of those origin comics are, and in a way, the details that are skipped through in the panels and the kind of thing we'd spend half an hour on."


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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