Comics2Film

Wed, March 1st, 2000 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Rob Worley, Columnist

THOR

[Thor]He's big. He's blond. He's the Norse God of thunder. He's

He's big. He's blond. He's the Norse God of thunder. He's Thor! He may

soon be the star of his own animated movie, but let's get one thing

straight: this Thor is not the Marvel Comics superhero. He's based on the

classic mythology...and on Fabio. "The only connection, visually, to the

Marvel version is that they both have blond hair," director and co-creator

Seth Kearsley told Comics 2 Film, "But for ours it's because Fabio

approached me and [Henry Gilroy] about how he wanted to be Thor, so he looks

like Fabio."

The blond hair may be the only trait the two versions have in common.

Kearsley's Thor, God of Thunder is set in mythological times. Thor is

portrayed as a boastful God who only grudgingly protects people. "He's

defending people, but only if it gets him glory," Kearsley explains.

After getting chastised by Odin, the thunder god is goaded by Loki into

stealing the necklace of the Brisings in order to gain great power that

would earn him Odin's respect. This fool's errand has Thor running afoul of

Hela who curses him by transforming him into a kid and banishing him to

Midgard (or Earth). "So his powers are stripped and he can use them only to

help other people," Kearsley tells C2F. "If he starts to brag or strut his

stuff while he's doing that, then he gets popped back into the kid's body in

the middle of the fight. A little Captain Marvel-ish I guess."

[Loki]After getting chastised by Odin, the thunder god is goaded by Loki into

Much to Loki's chagrin, Odin senses the prince of lies' role in Thor's

predicament." Odin knows Loki had something to do with it so he puts Loki on

Earth with Thor...saying that if anything happens to Thor it would happen to

him too." Loki's godly powers are similarly disabled and the shape-shifter

is stuck in some undignified forms. "Through most of the thing he's a pig.

If they got attacked he might try to transform into a giant bear or

something so he can at least defend himself, but he'll end up turning into a

mouse or a chicken or something. Kind of a little for comic relief."

The concept was created by Kearsley and Gilroy. However, various familiar

names have worked on the project as well. "Mike Mignola (Hellboy) designed

most of the characters in the world. He pretty much wanted to do the

monsters and things versus the human character," Kearsley told us. "Alex

Ross (Kingdom Come) has done some designs on it. " Kearsley also told us

that other fan-favorite animation pros may be doing some work on the

project.

While the project has been developed as a vehicle for the cover-model Fabio,

it is expected that several of the star's showbiz pals will provide voices

for the movie. Although no one has actually been cast yet, Kearsley reports

that Charlton Heston is a possibility for the part of Odin. Other well-known

stars have also expressed interest in being in the movie. "It's just friends

of Fabio that have agreed to be in it."

Kearsley and Gilroy have been working for almost three years now to bring

their vision of Thor, God of Thunder to animated life. They, along with

their Thor Four, LLC partners are currently in talks with a major Hollywood

producer on the movie. Although the concept had been optioned in the past,

Kearsley feels that this new party, with his big-budget connections, may

have the best shot at actually getting the movie made.

X-MEN

Word spread across the Internet, last week, of a new set of images from the upcoming X-Men

movie. The images were presented by the American Mule Entertainment website. American Mule is a independent

comic publisher that was established in 1997.

The images appear to be costume test photos of almost all the actors in their movie gear. Some of these photos were used on

the publicity materials that Ain't it Cool News published last month. However, these new images

are much cleaner and provide additional looks at the main characters. Curiously, no images of Anna Paquin as Rogue

appear in this set. Rogue has been missing from previously discovered images and from the recently seen trailer as well.

[Cyclops]Speaking of the trailer, many fans have been puzzling over the short

sequence where Cyclops appears to fire his optic blast. The mystery? No blast is seen coming from Cyke's visor. Instead,

the scenery is simply bathed a red light. Is this how the effect is to be depicted on the big screen? Apparently not. Ain't it Cool News received word from producer Lauren Shuler Donner about

the the lack of an actual beam.

"We do have Cyclops shooting a beam out of his visor, but the MPAA made us take it out of the teaser,"

Shuler-Donner told AICN. "They said it didn't qualify for the PG rating all teasers must have. Pretty lame, I know. Also,

Storm's eyes are temporary - they will look more natural for the film."

GHOST WORLD

It's about time Steve

Buscemi, one of our favorite actors, landed in a comic book

project. The Hollywood

Reporter reports that Buscemi (Armageddon, Big

Daddy) and Brad Renfro (Apt Pupil) have both

signed to appear in the adaptation of Daniel Clowes' Ghost

World. The actors join Thora Birch (American

Beauty) and Scarlett Johansson (The Horse Whisperer)

who were signed late last year to star in the movie. The

article states "Buscemi plays a pathetic loser without a date

since high school who is befriended by Birch. Renfro will portray an

obnoxious slacker whom the girls have a crush on."

The screenplay for Ghost World is written by Clowes and

Terry Zwigoff, who will also direct the movie. Zwigoff is best known

for directing Crumb, the documentary about underground

cartoonist Robert Crumb.

The movie is set to begin filming in March. John Malkovich,

Lianne Halfon and Russell Smith are named as producers on the film.

DAREDEVIL

Both the Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety

have reported what we all read on Ain't it Cool News last week: Mark Steven Johnson (Simon Birch)

is in negotiations with Columbia Pictures to direct the Daredevil movie. According to The Reporter, the movie is to be produced

by Gary Foster and Marvel Enterprises' Avi Arad. The article also states that Johnson will write the movie.

DOCTOR STRANGE

Writer-Director Chuck Russell is now officially on board the Doctor Strange movie according to the Hollywood

Reporter. Russell has directed comic book fare like The Mask as well as horror movies like Nightmare on Elm Street 3. Previous comments from producer Don Murphy indicate the good Doctor will

be squaring off against Baron Mordo in the movie.

SUPERMAN

Ain't it Cool News reports that production scouts for the Superman

movie have recently been spotted in Houston, TX. According to the report the scouts were sizing up the Republic National Bank building,

which sports some very modern architecture.

AICN reports that Pittsburgh, which was set to provide location filming when the movie went into pre-production a few

years back, has likely been abandoned by the filmmakers. The reason stated is that the same Pittsburgh locations that appealed to the Superman

team have since been used in Inspector Gadget.

A week ago, the trades reported that the latest script for the movie had been turned in and was greeted favorably by the studio.

Meanwhile, Director Oliver Stone (Any Given Sunday) is said to be interested in directing the long-anticipated and much-troubled Superman

movie. According to a recent article in the Hollywood Reporter, the director has taken an interest after seeing the latest

script by Bill Wisher. The article also claims that producer Jon Peters is looking to lose the hero's tights and

make the movie more "Matrix"-like. Let the complaining begin! 

FANTASTIC FOUR

Daily Variety ran a feature article on Chris Columbus' move from Twentieth Century Fox to

Sony. Columbus' 1492 Pictures has had a first-look deal with Fox for six years, which expires this spring.

Buried at the end of the article is a mention that 1492 will continue to work on The Fantastic Four for Fox

The article also states that Roger Donaldson was recently signed as the director of the movie. Donaldson has recently helmed such movies as Dante's

Peak, Species and No Way Out.

However, it turns out the the Variety report is incorrect. The esteemed Corona Coming Attractions website checked in with Chris Columbus' 1492 Productions, the producer on the film, to verify the story. CCA

learned that Raja Gosnell (Mrs. Doubtfire) is still attached to Fantastic Four and Roger Donaldson is not.

BITCHY BITCH

For those that missed it, Roberta Gregory's permanently PO'd and PMS'd heroine Bitchy Bitch made her cable debut this month. Midge McCracken's adventures, which originally appeared in Gregory's Naughty Bits, now air weekly on cable's newly launched Oxygen

Network. The character appears in Bitchy Bits, a three-minute segment which is part of the half-hour X-Chromosome anthology. X-Chromosome can be seen Saturday and Sunday nights at 10:30pm EST. Fifteen Bitchy Bits episodes are on tap for the first season.

Thanks to Andy Mangels, of Hollywood Heroes fame, for the scoop!

SPIDER-MAN

Ain't it Cool News reports that Sam Raimi is courting John Dykstra to take

on visual effects supervision for the Spider-Man movie. This word comes from an unnamed source who is said to be "high placed."

Dykstra rose to prominence for his effects work on Star Wars. He's been a factor in big budget effects movies ever

since, including the recent box office hit Stuart Little.

A related report on the Sci-Fi Wire states that Brendan Fehr (Roswell, Disturbing Behavior) is

the latest actor rumored to be up for the title role in Spider-Man. Fehr is said to have shown up at a Roswell fan party wearing a Spidey T-shirt. He also is alleged to have said that he's received the

script and is "reading it with an eye to the lead role."

WONDER WOMAN

The Coming Soon website reports that there is a new candidate for the role of Wonder Woman

in the Silver Pictures production. According to "anonymous sources" Warner Bros. wants Madonna to play

the Amazon princess. The same source also claims that Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) is up to direct the movie.

We placed a call to Silver Pictures to try to corroborate the story and were greeted with a firm "no comment."

For those of us who love monitoring the Internet domain name game, Corona Coming Attractions reports the following acquisitions for Warner Bros. The studio picked up www.wonderwomanmovie.com

and www.wonderwomanthemovie.com last August.

The domains are not yet active. As readers know, the Wonder Woman movie is still in the early stages. In most cases,

studios don't launch a website until about six months prior to the movie's release.

She didn't need a golden lasso to get Jason Biggs to dance for her in American Pie, but CCA reports that Shannon Elizabeth is the latest actress

rumored to be up for the part of Wonder Woman. The same scooper also tells CCA that former Amazon Lynda Carter is being

considered for the role of the goddess Hippolyta. We're not sure what to make of these rumors, but its fun to think about!

BATMAN 5

Fabio2's Batman 5 website has posted

a pair of reports this week in regards to possible writers and directors for the next Batman movie.  

First up Fabio2 reports that an "inside source" has claimed that Scott Rosenberg (Con Air) may have been asked to write a Year One screenplay.

Later, Fabio2 reported that he'd heard rumors that Andrew Davis (The Fugitive) is under consideration for directing chores. Fabio2 did admit that Davis is reportedly the director of the recent OnStar commercials featuring the caped crusader, so it's possible there may be some crossed wires on this story.

Finally, a "very reliable source" tells Fabio2 that Warner Bros. is in discussions with Larry Fessenden (Habit) as a possible Year

One director. The same source claims that mystery novelist Ralph McInerny may be co-writing a script with Rosenberg.

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS

According to a recent report on the PageSix gossip column of the New York Post, there may have been some recent

additions to the cast of the Josie and the Pussycats movie. The column claims that Julia Stiles (Down To You) and Tara Reid (American Pie) have signed on as pussycats. It was announced earlier this

month that Rachel Leigh Cook (She's All That) had signed as Josie.

THE CROW: SALVATION

[The Crow: Salvation]

[The Crow: Salvation]

Universal's HorrorOnline site is reporting a new tentative release date for The Crow: Salvation. According to sources at Dimension Films, the movie will not open March 31st as was previously announced. The movie is slated to open ""sometime in May."

Thanks to As The Crow Flies and Cinescape.

Certainly, news of the release date change comes as a disappointment to Crow. However, it's Irony Despair of the A Boy and His Bird Site to the rescue. ID sent in these images of the artwork from the soundtrack to the movie. According the ID, the soundtrack should appear in record stores on March 28.

HELLBOY

Corona Coming Attractions touched base with Lloyd Levin to get an update on

the Hellboy movie. According to the report, the movie is no longer set up with Universal Pictures. The producers

are now on the hunt for a new studio. Levin told CCA "We're really, really trying to make it work. [Director Guillermo del Toro has]

done a new script and remains excited about making the film."

[Matt Wagner and Mike Allred]
Matt Wagner &
Mike Allred
MATT WAGNER CHAT

Fans who missed out on the online chat with Matt Wagner chat last month, Kevin Hawkins tells us that another is scheduled. The next chat will take place at the Mage web site on March 8th at 6:30 PST, 9:30 EST. Show up and quiz Matt about the Mage movie! Fans can attend using IRC software or the sites browser-based, java software. See the Mage site for more details.

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