Comics2Film

Wed, May 30th, 2001 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Rob Worley, Columnist

MUTANT X

[Mutant X]Last week the official Mutant X website posted an update indicating that casting had been finalized, including the roles of the show's mutant leader, Adam Xero, and the main antagonist, Eckhardt.

Comics2Film has received a tip that the role of Xero will be played by none other than veteran actor John Shea. Shea's credit's include over 40 movies and TV shows. He may be best known to comic and TV fans for his turn as Lex Luthor on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Shea made his directorial debut with 1998's Southie starring Donnie Wahlberg and Rose McGowan.

The casting sides for the show, which circulated in January, described the character as "the leader, strategist, tactician and all around one-man brain trust of the Mutant X. Adam is simply the smartest man alive-one of the special breed of children genetically engineered within the Human Genome Project - a product of a test-tube baby. He knows everything known to man since the dawn of time and can call upon this information at any time. His extreme intellect is his mutation."

[John Shea]
John Shea
Shea's team of mutant actors includes Forbes March (All My Children), Victoria Pratt (Cleopatra 2525), Lauren Lee Smith (Dark Angel) and Victor Webster (Days of Our Lives). C2F has not yet been able to determine who has been cast in the role of the villainous Eckhardt.

The official site reports that production on the show is set to start on June 4th.

Cast members have been training with wires for two weeks now. The site reports that Victor Webster (Fuse) and Forbes March (Synergy) are already doing backflips.

Meetings have been held with the show's Directors and Directors of Photography to discuss "new and bold looks for the show." Also under discussion was the visual representation of the different mutant powers.

The enormous sets for the show are almost completed.

BALL AND CHAIN

The female lead role in the Ball and Chain TV pilot is to be played by Myndy Crist according to an April installment of the Zentertainment e-mailer. Crist has appeared in movies like Hanging Up and Chain of Fools.

The pilot is based on Scott Lobdell's comic of the same name. Crist and Dan Cortese (Veronica's Closet) play a divorcing couple who become endowed with super powers. Unfortunately those powers only function when the bickering couple is together.

Over a month ago the trades announced that Sasha Alexander had joined the cast. Speculation was that Alexander would play the lead. Zentertainment reports that Alexander instead plays a character named Chloe Jones who is having an affair with Cortese's character.

SMALLVILLE

[Smallville]The WB is giving fans a brief look at the Smallville TV show on the official web page for the show. The site now features a short clip from the show. The scene opens with Moby's "Porcelain" and has Clark visiting Luthor at his Smallville mansion-home.

Thanks to KryptonSite for the lead.

Before he gets typecast like Adam West, Lynda Carter and Dean Cain, Tom Welling wants to make one thing clear. "I'm not Superman," Welling tells TV Guide. "I'm Clark Kent, before he was Superman."

The young actor is slated to play young Clark Kent in series. The actor told TV Guide that he was initially reluctant to appear in the show for fear of being typecast early in his acting career. "But, then I read the script, and there's so much to it that I'm not worried. It's quality stuff," Welling said.

The stakes are high for the young actor on this high-profile TV show. The show was the subject of an intense bidding war between the WB network and Fox TV, the final outcome of which was a record-setting per-episode fee for a first year drama. It's been closely scrutinized by the genre press and is already the ubject of many fan-sites on the internet. Welling, however, seems to be taking it in stride.

"I know that there is a lot of money and a lot of time and concern invested in this by the WB, but I think it's all worthwhile," Welling told TV Guide. "Why should I feel pressure? You only feel pressure if you don't think you can perform. I think this is going to perform."

WITCHBLADE

[Witchblade]Although the Witchblade series is set to begin its run next month, fans who don't have access to the TNT cable channel can see the original movie this month. The WB Network has scheduled an airing of last year's TNT original movie for Tuesday, May 29th at 8pm. Check your local listings for you WB affiliate.

The movie will air again on TNT a week later, June 5th. The first episode of the new series will then air a week after that, June 12th.

Thanks to Jose for the tip!

Be sure to read my review of the Witchblade regular series first episode in yesterday's C2F Extra

STAN LEE MEDIA

Last December Stan Lee Media became just another casualty of the dot-com collapse, announcing that it was suspending operations after failing to obtain bridge financing to keep it afloat. In February the company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization. The trials and tribulations of Stan Lee Media casts doubt on several movie projects, including the relaunch of Conan The Barbarian, a franchise that SLM had just acquired, as well as projects based on their own online comics including The Seventh Portal, The Drifter and The Accuser.

However, the Austin, TX based venture capital firm Interfase Capital, LP may have come to the rescue. Late last month Interfase announced that it is providing debtor-in-possession financing to SLM for operations during reorganization. The deal provides short-term financing to the entertainment firm to keep it afloat long enough to negotiate a more permanent deal with Interfase.

Earlier this month, SLM CEO Kenneth Williams told the 'Austin American-Statesman', "Over the next 60 days, we will be negotiating with Interfase to see if we can develop a plan that would allow them to take the substantial equity portion that they expressed a desire to have."

There have been no further announcements following the late-April press-release regarding the status of the Interfase/Stan Lee Media negotiations.

Thanks to James Harvey of World's Finest News for the lead.

FROM HELL

[From Hell]UpcomingMovies.com reports that Trevor Jones will provide the musical score for the adaptation of Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's From Hell. Jones provided the music for such films as The Last of the Mohicans and Dark City.

UM has also confirmed that Marilyn Manson will provide a song for the soundtrack.

MEN IN BLACK 2

Rob Allstetter of the Comics Continuum reports that actor Michael Bailey Smith has been cast in a bit part in the Men In Black sequel. Smith may be best known to fans for his role as Ben Grimm/The Thing in the unreleased Fantastic Four movie. He also has a recurring role on the WB TV show Charmed.

In MIB2, Smith will play a character named Creepy.

SPIDER-MAN

Spider-Man Hype reports that Kirsten Dunst is the cover girl for the latest issue of Detour magazine. In between the covers Dunst talks about her role as Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man movie.

"The shots are just incredible. I just saw a brief clipping of Spider-man and I had tears in my eyes," Dunst is quoted as saying. "It was so beautiful. It really is such a beautiful, human story. It's great. I'm so proud. I'm so happy to be in the film."

The article is accompanied by a photo spread and goes into details about the actress' life and career.

TRANSMETROPOLITAN

Following up on their Transmetropolitan report from last week, Corona Coming Attractions posted an account from a scooper who recently spoke with actor Robin Williams. Corona has previously reported that Williams was interested in playing the part of Royce, should a live-action Transmet movie get made.

The scooper spotted Williams on the streets of Vancouver where he's filming the movie Insomnia. The scoopers asked the actor about the Transmetropolitan rumors. The actor said that he's a big fan of the comic but knows nothing about a movie version and has no plans to perform in such a movie.

SHEENA.COM

[Sheena.com]Galaxy Publishing's Sheena.com is now up and running as a female-oriented destination on the web. The site was launched late last year, but only recently rolled-out a suite of features designed to appeal to girls. The Queen of the Jungle is described on the site as "every girl, ever woman of every race who believes in protecting and nurturing the world's jungles, forests, rivers, oceans, and animals."

The site currently features environment-friendly "Eco-News", the "Jungle Jam" online drum kit, an "Ask Sheena" advice column, "Cool Food" recipes, "Weasel Awards". An area called the Hangout allows registered users to set up a home page for themselves (and their pets too), chat on message boards, keep an online diary and calendar, and more.

Future plans call for an animated web show called Sheena and the Lost River of Gold.

The site frequently refers to the comic character as "The Real Sheena" underlining the fact that the site is not, in any way, related to the Sheena Queen of the Jungle syndicated TV show which stars Gena Lee Nolin.

JUSTICE LEAGUE

Paul Dini has bowed out of writing an episode of The Justice League animated show according to Rob Allstetter of the Comics Continuum. The injured writer told Allstetter, "The Flash/Green Lantern vs. Grodd story Rich Fogel and I worked up has been passed onto Dwayne McDuffie, who no doubt will turn it into a killer script."

McDuffie (Static Shock!) could not comment on the episode.

GHOST WORLD

The release date on Ghost World has changed yet again according to the UpcomingMovies website. The movie is now set to begin its limited release run on July 20th.

X-MEN

According to an AP wire story, Hugh Jackman's not complaining about the success he's enjoyed springing from his turn as Wolverine in X-Men. He just gets uncomfortable when overzealous mutant fans take the notion of pressing the flesh to an extreme.

"I noticed the (restaurant) manager approaching our table, all trembling," Jackman told the Daily News of New York about one encounter. "He suddenly tore off his shirt, and he had a Wolverine tattoo all over high back and chest. He told me that meeting me had made his millennium and I think he meant it, because he was bathed in sweat."

Jackman said he was also approached in a grocery store by a Wolverine-obsessed bodybuilder who put him in a headlock.

"Pressing in my face was an enormous Wolverine tattoo on his enormous biceps," Jackman said. "I did not hang out to purchase my groceries and I just ran for the exit."

GATECRASHER, SCARY GODMOTHER

Variety reports that cg animators Mainframe Entertainment is expanding into consumer products through a strategic alliance with the newly formed Joy Tashjian Marketing Group.

Jill Thompson's Scary Godmother and Black Bull's Gatecrasher are among properties listed as being in development by Mainframe, and part of Tasjian's focus.

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