Comics2Film

Wed, October 9th, 2002 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Rob Worley, Columnist

X-MEN 2, SMALLVILLE

[X-men 2]Shawn Ashmore has had super powers on two different occasions. He has fought on the side of right as Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman in X-Men and he has fought on the side of wrong as Clark Kent's misguided super powered classmate Eric Summers in the Smallville episode "Leach".

In spring 2003 Shawn returns to the big screen to reprise his role as Iceman in X-Men 2. Comics2Film interviewed Shawn about his roles in X-Men 2 and Smallville.

Comics2Film: What can Audiences expect from X-Men 2?

Shawn Ashmore: X-Men 2 will have all the excitement of the first film with some new and interesting characters added to the mix. I also think that fans can expect some amazing visuals and bigger and better action sequences.

C2F: Will there be more interaction with Iceman and Rogue?

SA: I think that it's safe to say that there will be some continued interaction between Rogue and Bobby.

C2F: What was it like reuniting with the old cast?

SA: It's a pretty amazing feeling to be working with a cast with this much talent and experience. The first time around on X1 I really didn't get all that involved because I was only around for a few weeks, so to be brought back into the cast with a more important role is exciting.

C2F: From what we have heard a team of younger mutants at Xavier's School play a larger role in this film. Does your character get more screen time in this film? What role does he play in this team?

SA: Sorry! Don't want to give the story away.

C2F: There have been reports that X2 will feature cameo appearances by X-Men comic book characters such as Gambit and Colossus. Can you tell us anything about this?

SA: Again you're just going to have to see the movie to find out. I bet the suspense is killing you!!!!

C2F: If X-Men 3 becomes a reality would you do it?

SA: If the experience could be similar to the first 2 films then absolutely.

C2F: What's been the best part of making X-Men 2?

SA: I think the best part of working on X2 is being a superhero for six months.

C2F: What's been the worst part?

SA: Always worrying about letting the cat out of the bag! Sometimes you just want to tell somebody about what you're doing when they ask. Specifically fans who just want to get a little insight into the film.

C2F: You played a very interesting character on Smallville last season, sort of the Anti-Clark. How was it working on that show?

SA: Smallville was a great show to work on. It was a quick shoot. I shot for a week and then was done. In and out, real easy. Everybody on the show seemed really nice.

C2F: Any chance your Smallville character might return? At the end he was taken to S.T.A.R. Labs.

SA: far as I know the Smallville people haven't said that they'd be interested in bringing that character back. I think that the show's concept of having new villains every show keeps it fresh and interesting.

C2F: You have acted in two comic book related projects. Are you a fan of comic books? If so do you read any on a regular basis?

SA: I've always had a casual interest in comics. I wouldn't call myself a collector but I've been known to check out a comic or two.

X-Men 2 opens in theaters nationwide on May 2, 2003.

VOLCANIC REVOLVER

[Volcanic Revolver]A source close to development of the movie version of Scott Morse's Volcanic Revolver told Comics2Film that the movie is shaping up for a spring 2003 production start. Our source offered no word on casting but expects there'll be some news soon.

Morse is set to direct the movie based on his graphic novel. Volcanic Revolver centers around organized crime families in the 1930's and tells the story of one counterfeiter's quest for vengeance.

SOLOMON KANE

Variety reports that Solomon Kane is the latest Robert E. Howard character to be developed for the big screen. New Line Cinema has picked up a feature film pitch for the Conan creator's colonial American fantasy from screenwriters David Jung and Steve Dandois.

Solomon Kane tells the story of a puritan adventurer facing monstrous adversaries. According to Variety, the movie is set in colonial America and incorporates elements from Howard's stories. "Kane's heroic quest pits him against deadly human and occult forces as he seeks revenge on the shape-shifting sorcerer who destroyed his family."

Like Conan, the pulp hero enjoyed a run in various comic books with the bulk of his run being with Marvel. The character made its comic book debut in Marvel's horror mag Monsters Unleashed #1. He went on to face Dracula in Dracula Lives and appeared in numerous other comics. Most recently Wandering Star Press published The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, reprinting the pulp novels with illustrations by Gary Gianni (The Monstermen).

Variety names Don Murphy (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and Gregg Hoffman (Only You) will produce. Paul and Michael Berrow, who control author Howard's estate, are also set to produce.

New Line president of production Toby Emmerich, along with Lynn Harris and David Brewington, will oversee the project for the studio.

SUB-MARINER, PRIME

Yesterday afternoon Marvel Studios announced finalized agreements on two motion picture deals with Universal Pictures. The deals were for Sub-Mariner and Prime. These deals come as post-production continues on the first project being jointly developed by Marvel and Universal - the highly-anticipated June release of The Hulk starring Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly and directed by Ang Lee.

"With the masterful job currently being done on The Hulk, Universal Pictures has proven to us that it has the vision and creativity to bring our super heroes to the big screen in grand fashion," said Avi Arad, CEO, Marvel Studios. "Sub-Mariner and Prime are two characters that have incredible stories. Sub-Mariner will be an epic underwater tale of majestic fantasy. Prime is a complete departure from the standard super hero story. With this film we are developing what we think will be Marvel's first super hero action-comedy."

Development of the feature film based on Sub-Mariner is underway. According to the press release the movie will follow the adventures of Prince Namor, a half-man/half-amphibian creature from Atlantis. A troubled rebel with a short temper, he has helped the human race and fought against it when humankind polluted his underwater kingdom with waste.

As previously announced, David Self, the critically acclaimed screenwriter of Road To Perdition -- a graphic novel interpretation in its own right - is bringing Marvel's amphibious hero to the screen. Arad and Kevin Misher are producing the film, with Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, and David Self serving as executive producers. Ari Arad will take part as co-producer.

The Sub-Mariner made his first appearance in Marvel Comics #1 and Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 in 1939, however his more modern depiction came in Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four (Vol.1) #4 in 1962.

The creative team of Don Calame and Chris Conroy will pair up to script the tongue-in-cheek story of Prime - the tale of a teenage boy who as a result of a government-backed experiment gains the ability to transform into an adult super hero. Prime will be produced by Avi Arad and Chuck Gordon. The executive producers for the picture are Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, and Scott Rosenberg with Ari Arad co-producing.

These agreements further broaden an already strong relationship between Marvel and Universal. Recently, Marvel and Universal's interactive games division -- Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) -- forged a partnership to create massive multi-player subscription-based online games. Like Sony's Everquest and Electronic Arts Ultima, the Marvel multi-player online games will enable millions of people around the world to play against one another simultaneously in a virtual, persistent universe. Additionally, VU Games will be developing next generation video games based on several Marvel franchises beginning with a line of titles inspired by The Hulk.

Marvel and Universal are also currently benefiting from their association in the theme park arena. Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida ranks as the park's most popular destination highlighted by its incredibly popular attractions, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk Coaster and Doctor Doom's Fearfall.

SOME TROUBLE OF A SERRIOUS NATURE, SHI

[Shi]Comic creator and filmmaker Billy Tucci launched an all new web-presence yesterday at CrusadeFineArts.com. The site is dedicated to Tucci's various works in comics and film, the centerpiece of which is Shi.

Designed by veteran web pioneers MaidaNet the multi-layered website will afford browsers everything from regular up to date news items, previews of yet to be published artwork and a complete library and store of all Crusade products past and present.

Of course Comics2Film readers will want to check out the film area where Tucci gives the scoop on his independent short movie Some Trouble of a SeRRious Nature as well as the newly in-development feature film Shi. You'll even find a teaser poster for the Shi movie there.

Tucci signed a new development deal with Mimi Polk Gitlin's Mandolin Entertainment for the Shi feature film this summer.

TEEN TITANS ANIMATED SHOW

[The Teen Titans]On his his own website, comic scribe, novelist and columnist Peter David recently revealed his involvement with the recently announced Teen Titans animated show. David writes a number of titles for Marvel and DC, including the popular teen team book Young Justice.

David's work on Young Justice led DC's Paul Levitz to invite David to work on the development of the show. Although the character roster for the program would be reflective of Marv Wolfman's and George Perez's highly successful New Teen Titans, David points out that those characters "were far more 'Titans' than 'Teens.'

David re-read Wolfman's Titans and developed the series bible and wrote the pilot for the show.

"I hewed to DC continuity where I could, but also made a variety of changes for assorted reasons," David writes. "I won't go into detail as to what because I don't RECALL [emphasis his] signing a confidentiality agreement, but if I did and just forgot about it, I wouldn't want to violate it. Anyway, my initial work on the project was strong enough to help get the series green lit."

David admits that his work was done months ago and he'd seen little of it between then and the recent announcement. "I've no idea how much of what I contributed remains. For instance, I didn't have them set in some future period as implied by the press release. That wasn't part of the mandate I was given," David wrote on his site.

David also hints that his work on Teen Titans has led work developing another animated show for another DC Comics hero. Which one? David isn't saying until the show is greenlit. Check out PeterDavid.net for more on all things PAD.

X-MEN: EVOLUTION

Boyd Kirkland was able to provide Comics2Film with a quick look at the new new episode of X-Men: Evolution, slated to air on October 19th at 12:30pm (ET) on Kids' WB!.

"The next new episode to air...will be 'Blind Alley,' story by Greg Johnson, Boyd Kirkland, & Craig Kyle, written by Doug Molitor and directed by Curt Geda" said Boyd Kirkland. "It involves Mystique seeking revenge against Scott for leaving her trapped at Area 51. The show looks great - more fine artistry from Mook Animation!"

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN

Filming continues on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in Prague. Sources tell Comics2Film that this week the production is filming the capture of Mr. Hyde.

The movie, based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's comic series, is due out in theaters June of 2003. Stephen Norrington (Blade) is directing from a script James Robinson (Comic Book Villains).

SUPERMAN

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly provides some speculation about who will don the red cape and boots in the upcoming Superman movie. An article in that magazine suggests that Josh Hartnett (Black Hawk Down) may be a contender.

EW says Hartnett was a rumored contender to play the part in Batman Vs. Superman and was recently spotted at the premiere of Superman director Brett Ratner's Red Dragon. Neither Hartnett's reps nor Ranter himself offered any comment.

However, Ratner did comment on the recent furor over a review of an early script by J.J. Abarams. "The script I'm shooting has none of that stuff," the director said.

That script review may be the last of the leaks on this project. Ratner promises tight security on the Superman project saying that visitors will need eye scans to enter the set.

Thanks to John Bauman for the lead.

Meanwhile, Anderson Jones wrote in his latest Movie Scoop column for E! Online that he ran into Ratner at the premier of the The Tuxedo. Jones shared the info he got from the director.

Jones refers to Superman as having the title of Superman: The Last Son of Krypton. Ratner told Jones that he wants an unknown actor to play the title role. He said, "I don't know; I could surround an unknown with the best actors in the world."

The columnist then tried to get some casting confirmation from Ratner by playing a little game. Jones named off actors and Ratner would give them a number between one and ten. The higher the number the more likely they would be playing Superman. Jones gave Ratner three names. Tom Welling and Billy Campbell each got a zero. In a chilling turn of events, Keanu Reeves, the only name to score points, actually scored a five.

JEREMIAH

Variety reports that hobbit Sean Astin is joining the cast of Showtime's hit comic based series Jeremiah. As Comics2Film reported two weeks ago, the cable premium channel has renewed the show for a second season.

Fifteen new episodes will go into production this month. Variety reports that the new segments will be produced and aired in high-definition TV.

Astin may be most familiar to fans as Frodo Baggins' staunch companion Sam in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In Jeremiah he'll play Mr. Smith, staunch companion to Luke Perry's Jeremiah and Malcolm-Jamal Warner's Kurdy.

NEXUS

Things are moving on Steve Rude's pilot short for the Nexus animated show.

In his recent announcement via SteveRude.com the comic creator tells fans, "The Nexus animated project is underway and hopefully will be completed before the end of next year. Once done, we may make it available to fans with a copy of the show's bible included in the package."

Rude held an auction this summer to help finance the pilot. He currently has additional original sketches up for auction to help fill in the budget. Click here to see all of Rude's current auction items, but note that only two are earmarked specifically for the animation fundraiser. The auction runs through October 13th.

The comic creator also said that he and co-creator Mike Baron are looking for a good publisher so they can bring Nexus back to comics. He also hopes to start some work on his own creation The Moth (a character previously seen in the pages of Mike Allred's Madman comics).

X-MEN 2

If you're looking for some insights into the X-Men 2 movie direct your browser to Corona Coming Attractions. That site posted a set report from an anonymous scooper. The scooper gives his account of what he claims was a visit to the Weapon X set. Beware: the report contains potential spoilers!

If you prefer you set reports straight from the cast, check out Magneto's Lair on Sir Ian McKellen's website. The actor posted a journal entry today regarding his experiences on the set. There's no spoilers there, but there are a few nice photos of the actor with screenwriters Michael Dougherty and Daniel Harris.

While you're there enter McKellen.com's contest offering fans the opportunity of winning an signed comic book. In celebration of the filming of X-Men 2, the site is giving away an autographed copy of Magneto #1, autographed by the actor.

Other prizes will also be awarded with announcements of those prizes forthcoming. The winners will be selected by drawing on November 19, 2002. Visit McKellen.com to enroll!

DILBERT

The world's most put-upon comic-strip office drone is set to return to TV. Variety reports that Comedy Central has purchased reruns of the short-lived animated show Dilbert, based on Scott Adams' immensely popular strip of the same name.

Dilbert originally ran on the UPN network. There are 30 half-hour episodes to run on Comedy Central. The show features the exploits of a pudgy engineer working in the soul-sucking cubicle hell of a big American corporation.

The purchase was part of a scoop up of five defunct shows that the comedy channel purchased. Other shows include Kevin Smith's animated Clerks (six half-hours), the lamented The Ben Stiller Show (13 half-hours), Gary & Mike (13 half-hours) and Undergrads (13 half-hours).

Plans are to start running the shows on Sundays at midnight starting with Gary & Mike and Undergrads on November 3. Dilbert and Clerks will then take that timeslot starting Feb. 3. Clerks will also air as a six-episode marathon on Sunday, December 22 at 9am. The Ben Stiller Show will run twice a day for five straight days starting Dec. 21 as part of the network's "Holiday Relief" programming.

BIRDS OF PREY

Emmy award winning composer Mark Snow is providing music for the Birds of Prey TV series according to Gotham Clock Tower. Snow may be best known for scoring shows like The X-Files and Smallville.

That site also reveals that the opening theme song for the show is called "Revolution" by Aimee Allen.

In other news, GCT reports that fans now have an opportunity to win a trip for two to Los Angeles to visit the set of the show. Fans can enter on the special promo page found on TheWB.com. 600 runners up will receive exclusive Birds of Prey posters.

SMALLVILLE

Is Smallville the focal point of a vast government conspiracy regarding alien visitors from other worlds? If not, then why is the Smoking Man the mayor?

That's right. KryptonSite reports that William B. Davis will appear as the mayor of Smallville in an upcoming episode of that show. Davis is best known to fans as the Cigarette Smoking Man on The X-Files. He also appears in the upcoming SCI FI original movie Saint Sinner.

KryptonSite speculates that Davis's role on Smallville may be a recurring one.

Debating about whether or not to purchase the brand new set of premium Smallville trading cards? Then head over to the Smallville News site for a sneak peek at the new site.

The site recently posted images of the cards along with links where to buy. According to Smallville News the card set will contain chase cards including 6 autographed cards as well as foil cards.

SPIDER-MAN, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

Want to visit the set of Spider-Man 2? Visit the Cingular website for your chance.

In a promotion of the Spider-Man DVD (to be released early next month) Cingular is holding a sweepstakes with the grand prize being a trip to the set of The Amazing Spider-Man, filming early next year. No purchase is necessary to enter.

If you're looking for a peek at the DVD menus for the upcoming release direct your web-browser to R2 Project. The site, which offers news about region 2 DVD releases, just posted four screen shots of the menus for the upcoming release.

WITCHBLADE SEASON 2

The Witchblade TV show is on the ropes, but it's fans are still a formidable force. This week it was announced that a Witchblade themed auction raised over $10,000 in proceeds for various charitable causes.

Actors Anthony Cistaro (Kenneth Irons on the show), Eric Etebari (Ian Nottingham) and John Hensley (Gabriel Bowman) ­ stars of TNT's original drama Witchblade ­ raised $10,113 from 124 autographed items in the Champions of Charity Auction.

Auction organizers Jessie Smith of the EtebarIAN Fan Club, Tamara and Heather Tsang of The Anthony Cistaro Page and Tricia Harris of JohnHensley.net announced the results after the four-week auction ended.

"This was a tremendous show of support from fans of Witchblade and the individual actors," Smith said. "We are extremely thankful to everyone who participated in the online auction."

Cistaro's charity was Habitat for Humanity ­ Los Angeles, CA. Etebari selected Hollygrove in Los Angeles, CA. Hensley chose Beacon House in Louisville, KY. When a bidder won an item with an actor's signature on it, the donation was made to that actor's charity. In cases where more than one signature appeared, the donation was split evenly.

The auction drew 108 registered bidders, with 48 unduplicated winners overall.

THIS WEEK ON JUSTICE LEAGUE

Metamorpho, the element man completes his Cartoon Network debut in "Metamorphosis - Part 2", this week's episode of Justice League.

The episode airs Friday October 11th at 7pm. Encores air Saturday, October 12 at 9:30pm. Another Encore airs Sunday, October 13th at 7pm.

Also, look for a repeat airing of "Injustice For All" Parts 1 and 2 or Saturday, October 12th starting at 12:00pm. This episode has Lex Luthor assembling a squadron of bad guys to take on the league. Guest villains include The Joker, Cheetah, Solomon Grundy, Star Sapphire, The Shade and Copperhead.

THIS WEEK ON SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH

It's Sabrina the Hip-Hop Diva in "Shift Happens", this week's episode of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.

Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) is scared stiff to interview a hip-hop diva (guest star hip-hop artist DaBrat, "Unrestricted") with a nasty reputation, but her spell to make the superstar more harmonious backfires and the girls end up swapping personalities. Jeff Melman directed the episode written by Torian Hughes.

"Shift Happens" airs Friday, October 11 at 8:30pm on The WB.

Thanks to author and comic book movie journalist Andy Mangels for the info.

THIS WEEK ON JEREMIAH

Jeremiah's past comes back to haunt him again as a former lover reenters his life in the encore presentation of "Mother of Invention," this week's episode of Jeremiah.

Looking for Steve, the leader of a group Marcus may want an alliance with, Jeremiah finds Michelle, who had been his lover, and her son. He and Kurdy must find out if Michelle is rebuilding a world or just piling up a private treasure. The episode is written by Alan Katz from a story by Sara Barnes. It's directed by Neill Fearnley.

"Mother of Invention" airs Friday, October 11th at 10:50 P.M. on Showtime. There will also be an encore on Sunday, October 13th on Showtime Beyond East at 10:45 PM (ET & PT).

Preview clips of the show are available online at Showtimes's Jeremiah site.

Check out Showtime's Behind the Scenes feature -- a virtual tour of Thunder Mountain -- go to sho.com/jeremiah and click "Behind the Scenes" (you'll need to have a Java and Flash-enabled browser to play the virtual tour).

NEXT WEEK ON SMALLVILLE

In case you missed it last night, The WB is going to rebroadcast the Smallville episode "Duplicity", in which one of Clark's friends discovers the spaceship in the cornfield.

After one of Clark's (Tom Welling) friends discover the spaceship in the cornfield, Clark goes against his parents' (John Schneider, Annette O'Toole) wishes and reveals his secret, but is shocked when the reaction he gets makes him question his friend's loyalty. Steve Miner directed the episode written by Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer.

"Duplicity" re-airs Sunday, October 13 at 5:00pm ET on The WB.

Then, in the show's regular timeslot, Clark discovers Red Kryptonite. It's an episode simply titled "Red".

The school unknowingly uses red kryptonite in the class rings and its effect on Clark (Tom Welling) stuns his friends and family as he turns into a rebellious and dangerous teenager who decides to use his powers for evil instead of good. Jonathan (John Schneider) and Martha (Annette O'Toole) scramble to find the truth behind Clark's behavior before he exposes his true identity, while Lana (Kristin Kreuk) finds herself drawn to the "new" Clark who declares his love for her. Michael Rosenbaum, Sam Jones III, Allison Mack and John Glover also star. Jeff Woolnough directed the episode written by Jeph Loeb.

"Red" airs Tuesday, October 15 at 9:00pm on The WB.

Thanks to author and comic book movie journalist Andy Mangels for the info.

NEXT WEEK ON BIRDS OF PREY

Some things are thicker than water on "Slick" next week's episode of Birds of Prey.

Slick (guest star Silas Weir Mitchell), an evil meta-human who can turn from solid to liquid, is hired by Dr. Quinn (Mia Sara) to kill the honest cops who stand in her way. When Reese (Shemar Moore) is the next intended victim, Helena (Ashley Scott) comes to his aid and their mutual attraction continues to grow. Meanwhile, Barbara (Dina Meyer) believes Dinah's (Rachel Skarsten) story that she's just a runaway, but Helena remains suspicious. Michael Katelman directed the episode written by Laeta Kalogridis and Melissa Rosenberg.

"Slick" airs Wednesday, October 16 at 9:00pm on the WB.

Thanks to author and comic book movie journalist Andy Mangels for the info.

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