Comics2Film

Wed, March 8th, 2000 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Rob Worley, Columnist

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THE TICK

[Patrick Warburton/The Tick]Ben Edlund's teleplay for the Tick pilot is finished and Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld) has been cast in the title role. Barry Sonnenfeld (Wild Wild West) is set to direct and the cameras are slated to start rolling in April. Now, a tipster who wishes to be identified under the dubious name of The Shyster has dropped by to fill in the details.

Shyster is an aspiring actor who actually read for a part in the pilot film. Based on the script pages he saw during his reading he is able to provide the following details about the production.

A nationwide casting call has been issued for the parts of Arthur, American Maid, and Die Fledermaus. These characters are definitely in the pilot. Given the nature of the casting call, these parts would likely be filled by unknowns.

The pilot involves the villainous Red Scare who is scheming to kill former President Jimmy Carter.

Included in the script pages Shyster saw were several scenes right out of the comics. One scene involves the Tick's destructive confusion over Arthur's lack of superhero trappings. Another scene has the Tick and Arthur trying to chase down the Red Scare after the Tick has clobbered him over several city blocks.

Shyster reports other plot details which we'll save for the show.However, the tipster does say that the script is "damned, damned funny and retains the spirit and humor of both the cartoon and the comic."

G-MEN FROM HELL

The movie version of Mike Allred's G-Men From Hell has wrapped principal photography and is being readied for the festival circuit. "It's all done. They're editing it right now," Allred told Comics 2 Film this week. "They're planning to premiere it at the Cannes film festival in May. Last time they checked in with me...they just had a few special effects shots that they had to finish and the soundtrack."

The comic creator tried to stay out the the filmmakers' way but did visit the set during the last week of production. While on the set Allred was lured in front of the cameras for a cameo. "William Forsythe came up with this cool idea for the very last shot of the film and he came up with this interesting little cameo for me at the very, very end," Allred told us.Forsythe plays G-Man Dean Crept in the movie.

"I was just trying to stay out of everybody's way. I was off to the side over by craft services. Christopher [Coppola] always has the bullhorn with him and he goes 'MIKE!' in the bullhorn. I thought 'On no. I'm in the shot.' I started scurrying and he goes 'COME HERE.' I go over there and he says 'let me tell you about this great idea.' and I was like 'oh, whew!'"

Allred was also encouraged by the footage he saw during his visit. "I saw some dailies. The guy who edited the first Toy Story film is editing it. I sat in the editing suite for a while and got to watch a few scenes and what I saw looks pretty cool. The photography looks wonderful." Allred described the movie as a black and white film in color, with dark shadows and intense colors.

Although the Allred is fully focused on the business of making snappy comics, he is optimistic about the movie. "[The producer Richard Albert] and the director Christopher Coppola have been real excited about it, so that makes me excited about it. I just think it has all of the elements for a really cool little cult film at the very least. It's just too weird and strange not to develop some kind of weird little cult."

Following its debut at Cannes, G-Men From Hell will likely move on to other film festivals before the studio arrives at a distribution plan. The cast of the movie includes such familiar names as Tate Donovan, Paul Rodriguez, Robert Goulet, Bobcat Goldthwait, Kari Wuhrer, Krista Allen-Moritt, Vanessa Angel and Gary Busey.

While Hollywood adapts Allred's various creation, he and his wife and collaborator, Laura Allred are enjoying their success at self-publishing under the AAA Pop Comics label. "We're in heaven as far as that goes," Allred enthused.

Sales on their first title, The Atomics have been much better than expected. "We got our first reorders on #1 the day after it hit the shelves. I overprinted on it. I said 'it might take us a year or two years but we're going to sell this print run.' We sold out in less then two weeks, so we immediately went to a second printing."

Allred also reports that he's finished the first issue of a four-issue Madman arc, which will be published by Dark Horse starting in August.

X-MEN

[Anna Paquin as Rogue]Corona Coming Attractions unveiled the first look at Anna Paquin, in character as Rogue, from the upcoming X-Men movie. The production still features Paquin standing in a train station, just prior to a big action sequence involving Magneto. The costume worn by Paquin matches up with previous reports made by CCA. She's seen wearing a dark, hooded cloak which covers most of her skin, preventing unwanted contact with bystanders. Although it's not completely clear from the picture, CCA also reports that we should not expect to see the trademark skunk stripe in the character's hair on the big screen.

SPAWN ANIMATED

Reports from the Spawn.com indicate that fans should not expect to see a fourth season of the Spawn animated program on HBO. According to the postings, which have been confirmed by sources a Todd McFarlane Entertainment, new venues are being sought for the show.

The official response posted on the message boards reads, "We have decided to cease production of the Spawn animated series on HBO for several reasons. This does not mean the series is completed however. We are in early discussions with another network to take the show there, and/or might simply produce our own animation as a direct to video feature and cut out the middle man all together. Stay tuned in the coming months for news regarding this."

Thanks to Kevin L. Knoles for the tip!

PURSUERS

[The Pursuers]Freight Films recently announced that production of a feature film version of the MonsterPants Comics concept The Pursuers is set to begin mid-2000. The Pursuers are a group of 60's-style super-agents which first appeared in a back-up feature in MonsterPants Comics' Psychonaut #3.

"I like to describe The Pursuers as a sort of a combination of the original Avengers comic books and The Avengers British TV series" says creator James Felix McKenney. The press release for the film reports that it will feature colorful characters, non-stop action and a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor.

According to the announcement, the movie will feature several actors who are well know to comic book movie fans. Adam West and Frank Gorshin, who may be best known for playing Batman and the Riddler on TV will appear in the movie. West plays FBI Director Tarrell while Gorshin portrays Doctor Morton, The Butcher. John Levene, who appeared in Doctor Who and starred in the Who spin-off movie Wartime, also appears.

Also starring are Beto Simas as The Lutheran and Diana Lee Inosanto as The Pink Lady. Simas is said to be a Brazilian superstar and martial artist. Inosanto is an actress, stunt woman and also a martial arts expert. She's done stunt work for Mystery Men and Blade and had an acting role in Barb Wire.

The film will be directed by David Hale and produced by Andreas Scholtz, both of Freight Films. Pursuers creator James Felix McKenney is the screenwriter. This will be the first full-length feature from Freight, who are best known for their award-winning documentaries as well as music videos for artists such as Wu Tang, Ben Fold's Five and Bracket. Freight Films is currently in Brazil filming a documentary on capoeira, the martial art that is featured prominently in The Pursuers.

Additional information on The Pursuers is available at the MonsterPants web site.

BATMAN 5

Although word on the internet earlier this week was that mystery novelist Ralph McInerny may be co-writing a screenplay with Scott Michael Rosenberg, we received word last night that McInerny is not involved. "Manic" Mark Douglas of the super-slick Dark Justice website told us that the story about McInerny is most likely untrue.

"I know this," Douglas explained, "because I have a friend...who knows Ralph McInerny. When I told him, he freaked and asked Ralph, who said he didn't even know [Warner Bros. was] considering a Batman 5..."

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS

According to a recent report from Corona Coming Attractions, Josie and the Pussycats is set to go before the cameras in June of this year. The news apparently comes directly from Josie herself. Rachel Leigh Cook, who's set to play the title role, apparently let the production details slip during a recent MTV appearance.

X-MEN AND MAGE CHATS

An announcement on the official X-Men movie site states that fans will be treated to a live chat with the cast of the film. Anna Paquin, Tyler Mane, Famke Jansen, Bruce Davison, James Marsden and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos are set to attend. The chat will take place on Thursday, March 9th from 3pm-4:30pm PST, 6pm-7:30pm EST. The site reports that you will have to be a registered Yahoo! user to attend.

On the same day, the site will also also launch a sweepstakes giving fans the opportunity to take home an autographed poster from the film.

Another chat takes place tomorrow night. Fans of Matt Wagner can talk to the Mage and Grendel at the Mage web site on March 8th at 6:30 PST, 9:30 EST. See the Mage site for more details.

HELLBLAZER

[Hellblazer]Stax, proprietor of the ultra-cool Flixburg, USA website has posted a review for Constantine, the movie version of DC/Vertigo's John Constantine, Hellblazer. The screenplay is by Kevin Brodbin (The Glimmer Man) and is dated June 1997. Stax tells us that the review is positive, but it does contain spoilers.

Things have been pretty quite on the Hellblazer front. It was over a year ago that we told you that music video director Paul Hunter was attached to this project. At that time Mark Bomback had been brought on board to work on the screenplay. Little word has been heard about the movie since then, but that may be due to the producers being occupied with a quiet little production called X-MEN.

GORILLA WORLD

Daily Variety reports that Todd McFarlane's intriguing talking gorilla concept, which had been widely referred to as Gorilla World will not be on UPN's schedule this fall. The show, which was announced last month, has raised the ire of 20th Century Fox who have been working to revive their similar Planet of the Apes franchise. Fox issued a cease-and-desist letter. However, UPN claims that the scrapping of the show is not related to Fox's letter. The network still plans to develop something with McFarlane for the next midseason.

``It's always amazing when the thieves call the other thieves thieves,'' McFarlane is quoted as saying. ``There are no big original ideas.''

The article also mentions that McFarlane will create animated segments for the feature film The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys in development with Egg Pictures.

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