Comics2Film: Issue #100

Wed, December 29th, 1999 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Rob Worley, Columnist

Greetings and welcome to the 100th installment of Comics 2 Film! Woo-hoo! This week we have coverage of the opening of the official X-Men movie website. New rumors have popped up concerning the next Batman movie and it's potential conflict with the Bruce Wayne TV show. Director Chris Columbus talks about Spider-Man. There's much more so, read on.

X-MEN

The official X-Men movie site opened it's doors on Christmas eve. Direct your browsers to http://www.xmenthemovie.com/ for a look. Visitors to the site are greeted with a splash screen that features the same artwork that can be seen on the recent movie poster. However, the site has little content behind that. Clicking on the "enter" button moves you through a Flash animation of a security check at the end of which you may type in your e-mail address to be informed of future updates.

While there's not much to see on the website, a few eagle-eyed fans did write in to tell us about an interesting tidbit we missed when we first viewed it. When visiting the site, don't blink when the animated Flash segment begins to roll. If you do, you'll miss a sneak peek at some concept art depicting Wolverine's adamantium laced skeleton. The image flashes briefly before being washed out in a white light after which the X "doors" slam shut on it. Once we were alerted to the existence of the image, we captured it and enhanced it.

Enlarge

The image features a pair of skeletal X-Ray images of Wolverines arms. Overlaid on the image are the words "Adamantium Laced Skeleton", "Weapon X", "Name: Logan", "Codename: Wolverine", "Homo Superior: Mutant", "Age: Unknown" and "Origin: Unknown".

Thanks to Timberwulf, Spyda Web and Brent Meyers!

The teaser poster can now be seen at your local movie megaplex. If you can't wait to see it there, Corona Coming Attractions has a few images of it on their site. However, the poster doesn't differ much from the artwork now displayed on the official site, which is the best source for a clear view.

Composer John Ottman appears less likely than ever to be the composer who will create the musical score for the X-Men movie. Ottman, a frequent collaborator of X-Men director Bryan Singer, has long been attached as the composer on the comic turned film. However recent rumors surfaced stating that Danny Elfman (Batman) would score the movie. Until recently Ottman had insisted that he would compose the music for X-Men, but admitted that his directing duties on Urban Legend 2 could create interference.

Now, in an interview with Cinescape's Annabelle Villanueva, Ottman admits that odds are slim that he'll complete UL2 in time for X-Men. "My schedule is colliding with X-Men. They moved their release date up to June 30 now, and I'm still going to be finishing my film up probably at the end of April. So it's very crushing for both me and Bryan."

Ottman expressed great disappointment at the prospect of missing out on X-Men and the opportunity to work with Singer again, "We're really going through a lot of emotion about it because we're sort of joined at the hip; we work really well together and we were both looking forward to my doing this for a year and a half. But it looks like the writing on the wall is that it may not happen now. It's going to kill me."

BATMAN/BRUCE WAYNE

Bruce WayneAin't it Cool News reports that there is a tug of war happening between Warner Bros. feature films and Warner Bros. television over the future of Batman. WB production chief Lorenzo DiBonaventura is said to be trying to put the kibosh on the planned Bruce Wayne TV program, which could conceivably compete with the Dark Knight movie franchise.

AICN bigwig Harry Knowles says he's been contacted by unnamed persons at DC Comics asking him to get behind the planned Bruce Wayne TV show. Never having seen scripts for either, Knowles refused to endorse the show or the movie franchise.

JettD60 of the Batman 5 website checked into this story with a source that is said to be very closed to the Bruce Wayne show. According to the source it is quite conceivable that, if WB films was considering a Batman: Year One movie, they would not be too happy about a similarly themed TV program.

JettD60 did learn that the show will focus exclusively on a young, non-Batman, Wayne. Contrary to some rumors, the character will not don the cape and cowl at any point during the run of the show.

In a related story, Ben Affleck has allegedly agreed to play Batman in the next movie, but only under on specific condition: girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow must be cast at Catwoman. This was the story that appeared in a recent NY Post article by Bill Hoffmann. Citing London's Sunday Mirror as the source, the article claims that both actors would receive $15 million to appear.

Paltrow is said to be interested but uncertain if it would be a good career move. Affleck is apparently trying to talk her into it and have her on board by New Year's Day. An unnamed source at Warner Bros. allegedly told the Mirror, "He said that Gwyneth loved Michelle Pfeiffer when she played Catwoman in Batman Returns, and she loved the idea of their own chemistry burning up the screen together."

SPIDER-MAN

Hollywood gossip columnists Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith recently spoke to director Chris Columbus about the upcoming Spider-Man movie. Although the columnists still haven't figured out the correct spelling of Spidey's name (it's hyphenated ladies), they did get commentary from Columbus about his negotiations with Columbia/Sony for the helming job on the movie.

Columbus is quoted as saying, "Nothing is final yet. They haven't signed me, and I haven't decided whether I want to make the movie. It all depends on the direction they intend to take -- and that will be determined at the meeting we're having. I have to see if we're on the same wavelength."

Columbus, also talked about his passion for the character, "I was a Marvel Comics freak as a kid, and dreamed of coming to New York and helping Stan Lee with Spider-Man. Finally, I realized I didn't want to simply sit in a room and draw, but my respect for the character has never waned. I want Spider-Man fans to know that, and to be assured I wouldn't want to make the movie unless the script was perfect and historically accurate. The one thing I know about is Spider-Man, which is probably not something to brag about."

And lest fans be concerned that the director would be out of touch in the casting department, he told the columnists that he would never cast frequent collaborator Robin Williams in the title role. He elaborated, "Spider-Man is a teenager. I know Jim Carrey was talked up as having the part at one time, but in the drafts of the script I've seen, the title character has always been a high-school student. And that would be marvelous with me, because there are so many young people deserving of a big break. Lets face it, in this case, Spider-Man would be the star."

HEAVY METAL TV

The January/February issue of Cinescape features a mention of the Heavy Metal TV series. HM publisher Kevin Eastman told the magazine, "It's a really bizarre concept. Heavy Metal is the name of a bar at the ass-end of the universe, and it's sort of like techno-Alamo/Star Wars cantina meets Cheers meets Wings meets our own [screwed-up] sense of humor."

As previously reported wrestler turned actress Rena Mero (formerly known as Sable) may be a regular on the show. Julie Strain, who stars in the upcoming Heavy Metal movie F.A.K.K.2 may also star. Sets are being designed by HM artist Luis Royo.

The show is still being pitched, but it could air in the Fall of 2000.

DAREDEVIL

Steve Norrington, who helmed last year's hit comic book movie Blade, is now rumored to be the top contender for directing chores on the Daredevil movie. According to a recent report appearing on Corona Coming Attractions Norrington has recently been in talks with Marvel Films about the project and the discussions have proceeded positively. The source of the above information is not named. However, CCA vouches for his credibility citing a long-standing relationship with the online magazine and a near flawless track record.

Earlier in the month CCA also heard from a different (also anonymous) scooper that an unknown writer named Carl Baker had been hired to write the screenplay for Daredevil. Baker had allegedly written a spec script called Sail Away which was acquired by Sony. However, none of the information regarding Baker, his agency or a Daredevil screenplay could be corroborated by the good folks at CCA.

THE TICK TV

An article in the NY Post indicates that Ben Edlund, creator of The Tick is pulling his hair out over adapting his creation as a live action sitcom for Fox. The article claims that Edlund and his co-writers are "freaking out" due to the limitations of the medium. The special effects needed to bring outrageous characters from the comic and cartoon to life may be too expensive for a live-action TV show.

An unnamed source claims that they are looking for ways to keep effects to a minimum. The spy claims they've developed a new character who refuses to uses his superpowers except when he's drunk. The mystery source is quoted as saying, "It's a cop who thinks superheroes are too Hollywood. But whenever he gets drunk he starts flying around arresting people."

THE MASK 2

The Mask

A recent article on MSNBC indicates that, although a sequel to 1994's The Mask is in the works, Jim Carrey (Man On The Moon) will likely not be a part of it. Citing inside sources, Carrey is said to be pursuing 'meatier, more complex' roles. Likewise, his $20 million salary is significantly higher than the $450,000 that we was paid for the original (and also greater than the originals $18 million budget).

A spokeswoman for Carrey confirmed that the actor would not appear. However, New Line is moving forward. According to the article Victoria "Posh Spice" Adams Beckman may up for a part in the flick. However, the same article speculates that his may just be a rumor spun to allow Posh to save face after being turned down for Charlie's Angels.

X-MEN ANIMATED

Rob Allstetter of the Comics Continuum now reports that a new animated X-Men program may air on Kids' WB! next fall. The story could not be confirmed through official channels, and no official announcements have been made.

Although there were rumors of an all computer-generated X-Men show (a la Beast Machines or Starship Troopers), The Continuum reports that the new show will likely utilize traditional animation.

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