Comics2Film

Wed, October 23rd, 2002 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Rob Worley, Columnist

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FREEMIND

[Freemind #2]"All he wanted was to be normal."

That's the ad line for Freemind, a modern day superhero book created by veteran comic creators, with a concept strong enough to hook Hollywood interest with just one issue published. Last week Future Comics announced they'd entered into deal with Energy Entertainment to bring their new concept to the big screen. Less than two months after their first title's launch, Future Comics is proving to be anything but normal.

Comics2Film spoke with Future Comics principal Bob Layton and Energy Entertainment's Daniel Alter about the comic company, the Freemind comics and the movie deal.

When Layton and partners Dick Giordano and David Michelinie set out to create Future Comics, they wanted to develop a sound business model for the new company. Employing strong business backgrounds, Layton and Giordano determined that one way for Future to operate in a cost-effective manner is to distribute their titles themselves.

The main thing they hope differentiates their comics from competitors is clear storytelling. Titles published by Future are intended to be accessible to readers who don't want to get bogged down with years of complex continuity.

"We're trying to create a world and characters that, although they are fantastic and have powers and things like that, they're in a very credible environment," Layton explains. "The characters can stand alone and be read by anyone."

First up in that regard is Freemind, the preview (#0) issue of which was published in late August. "We kind of took-off during the middle of the story line...just to give people some kind of idea of what was to come," Layton told us. "With the first issue, which will be out this week, we start from the beginning and we see the origin of the character unfold over a three-issue run."

Layton found inspiration for the story in a real life hero. "One of my childhood idols was Stephen Hawking. I've always admired him and read his books," Layton told us. "So [Freemind is] kind of, 'what if Stephen Hawking could make himself into a super-hero?'"

The Hawking-esque hero of the book McKinsey Flint, is a scientist who develops a method to beam his intellect into an android body. In doing so he gains access to the ninety percent of the human cognitive capacity that theoretically goes untapped.

Alter, a fan of Michelinie and Layton's work from the Iron Man days, was intrigued by the character. "He's trying to achieve a scientific breakthrough in order to allow him to live a normal life," Alter told us, "but he gets 180 degrees away from that with all these extraordinary super powers that are endowed upon him."

Although the concept is very science fiction, Layton told C2F that the key to the book is it's emotional grounding. "Go to the Spider-Man movie and watch that. What really drives it? Is it the fight stuff or is it Peter Parker's character," the comic creator asks. "It's always the characterization that draws people into the world of the fantastic. That's what we're trying to do here."

Alter agrees, citing similar components driving cinematic hits like RoboCop and Terminator 2. "What makes those films really work is the emotion. With RoboCop it's all the flashbacks with his wife and kids. With T2 it's the relationship that the cyborg, Arnold, builds with young John Conner," Alter said. "In Freemind, he's in this android body but he's really human and the emption is there ten times more so."

Flint's yearning to be free of his wheel chair is just one of the interesting character hooks. "It's really kind of a selfish act, at first, to develop this technology and its side-effects," Alter said. "Then the weight is on his shoulders to use his powers responsibly. If the technology were to fall into the wrong hands, it would be very dangerous."

Plans are to have the movie follow the comic story as closely as possible. Layton told C2F that there's been an ongoing exchange of information with Energy, sharing with them story bibles, model sheets and much of the background material that went into creating Freemind.

"Daniel is extremely creative, and helpful. He already had something in the works before we even signed the deal," Layton said.

"We're going to take the concept and hit the ground running with it. The film take will be very much a 'balls-to-the-wall', genre, comic book movie," Alter told us.

The Future Comics crew is currently developing artwork for the movie pitch. Alter sees the concept as a "full-fledged franchise." Word is that the project has already attracted some significant, name talent.

As for the comic book business, Future continues to focus on strong story telling and developing their unique relationship with retailers.

All Future comics ship on the same week, a move designed to save retailers postage costs. Of course, fans will have to be extra-diligent in asking their comic store to order the books, because they won't find them in the usual distribution catalog.

Freemind #1 is due in stores this week. Issue #2 is due out at the end of November, along with the first issue of Metallix, featuring artwork by Ron Lim.

STARMAN

[Starman]Hot on the heels of the recent announcement of a Starman TV show Comics2Film checked in with the comic's co-creator, Tony Harris. Harris was very positive about the prospect of a TV series from Tollin/Robbins Productions, the folks who created Smallville and Birds of Prey.

"I understand that Tollin and Robbins and those cats are fans of the book. I would think they would have to be," Harris told C2F. "In my mind I was really surprised to hear that they're developing it because there are a lot of properties out there that I would have thought, personally, were more commercial and popular than Starman, that they would have gotten to first."

On the other hand, Harris admits that Starman shares themes that seem to appeal to Tollin/Robbins' sensibilities. "The whole family line in Starman is even stronger than Smallville."

In the Starman comics, Harris and series writer/co-creator James Robinson (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Comic Book Villains) created a sense of family, or even dynasty, by tightly integrating their Jack Knight character with all the previous comic book incarnations of Starman. The comic book artist admits that it will be difficult to retain all of the comic mythos for the TV show.

"Obviously, with a lot of television viewers who don't know [DC Universe history], you don't want to bog down the series in a lot of crap that they're not going to get," Harris said. However, he remains hopeful that there will be some nods to familiar characters, not unlike what is seen with Birds of Prey. "Obviously if Ted's going to be a character in the series, which he is, you can't have [him] and not have some JSA history there."

As of right now, Harris' comments are mostly speculative. Neither he nor Robinson have had any involvement with the show. However, the creators are looking into the possibility of being involved with the Starman TV series on some level. The pair actually own an equity stake in the character, an unusual arrangement that Harris credits to editor Archie Goodwin.

"That's the one project in my whole 13 year career that is probably closest to my heart. I'll be flat honest with you, I'd be heart-broken if we weren't involved on some level," Harris said.

Harris was involved with the creation of Jack Knight from the inception. He and Robinson have received numerous letters from fans who appreciated the very personal stories. "We touched a lot of people with that series, with the whole father/son relationship," Harris said. "My relationship with my father, when I was young, was not an extremely good one. I think, in a lot of ways, working on that book helped me get a lot closer with my old man."

Fan support on the internet remains strong in spite of the fact that the book ended last year. Harris said that he and Robinson are planning a new comic story with the character.

"We're talking about doing a 'Far East' story," Harris told C2F. The book had previously been planned as a graphic novel but latest talks with DC have shifted towards a mini-series format. The book may be set during the run of the main series, or possibly as a post-Opal adventure. "It'll all take place in Japan and it'll be fully painted."

Harris has a busy schedule in comics. He tells us he's just finished up work on the sequel to JSA: Liberty Files, which he co-wrote and did covers for.

He also reports that he's just been hired to pencil, ink and color a three-issue run of Legends of the Dark Knight, which Tom Peyer (Legion of Super-Heroes) will write.

"It's a great script. It's a 'Year One' story and we're introducing a new villain."

Harris and his studio mates Tom Feister and J.D. Mettler can be found at their official website at JollyRogerStudio.com.

X-MEN 2

[Wolverine - For more visit EW.com]Part 1: This weekend Twentieth Century Fox invited journalists to the set of X-Men 2 for tour of the Vancouver production and Q & A session termed the "Million Dollar Press Conference." Comics2Film was there. Here we present the first of a series of articles detailing the visit:

It is clear from the upcoming trailer to X-Men 2 that this sequel is aiming to be much darker and more intense then the first movie. While Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto engage in the physical and mental game of chess that ended the first movie, scenes of helicopters and masses of military besieging Xavier's School and the subsequent reaction fill the screen. There is a tense, hurried air of urgency throughout this rough cut, and a greater sense of expectation as well. Like The Empire Strikes Back did so well back then, X-Men 2 is striving to surpass the original.

Evidently this cut of the trailer is similar to the one shown at Comic-Con, but with added special effects, a glimpse of Nightcrawler, and a shot of Jean Grey and Wolverine locked in an embrace. Fans can see the finished trailer on November 27, when it is shown with Solaris. It will also be seen with the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings films.

On a visit to the X-Men 2 set in Vancouver, British Columbia, we were allowed to visit several sets on the Mammoth Studio Lot and the Vancouver Film Studio lot. Mammoth is the largest sound stage in North America, having been converted from a vacant Sears Department Store. The sets there comprised the Villain's lair, and were constructed to interconnect throughout the large volume of space, enabling Director Bryan Singer more breadth of camera range, and an opportunity for more fluent continuity in the shots. Production Designer Guy Dyas escorted us through each set, and explained the intricacies of each one.

Easily the most impressive set available was the Weapon X laboratory. Amazingly realistic to the vision presented by Barry Windsor-Smith in Marvel Comics Presents #72-84, the torture chamber vibe was taken to the nth degree. In the center of the set was an isolation tank filled with greenish fluid, with tubes running to a component which injects liquid adamantium into the mix. All around the approximately 45' high set were medical rooms filled with surgical tools that had a decidedly medieval feel. From the creepiest looking forceps, to jars filled with mysterious parts, every item had been painstakingly recreated. Another eerie sight was a wall of X-rays, which included a hand that looked decidedly like Lady Deathstrike's and an arm with a wing attached. In the autopsy room, morgue drawers had names of characters in X-Men lore attached to them, including John Proudstar. According to Dyas, the Weapon X complex is where some of the most extreme and gruesome events of the film take place.

The Weapon X Lair is just one of thirteen sets being used in the film. We we re not able to see all of them, as some had already been striked, and some had not been used yet. The striking realism was probably the most startling aspect of being there. Dyas uses a number of tricks to keep the budget down and enhance the emotional vibe Singer is looking to project. He shared that he focused on making every nook of each set look as true as possible, as Singer uses more innovative, free-flowing techniques in his production work then most directors.

Part 2: We were next shown and detailed extensively on the set of the film's villain, Stryker's, lair. Production Designer Guy Dyas took the press through a guided tour of the sets and gave sometimes vague, sometimes detailed descriptions of the areas utilized. From the scope of the sets Dyas devised, it is evident that several crucial scenes of the movie take place here.

The first set we saw was the secret entrance to the lair, which Dyas has built to resemble a Dam spillway. With it's decaying and corroded metal look, the set has been done to give the appearance of having been abandoned for a long period of time. In this entrance way, there is a major fight scene that occurs with one of the main characters, presumably Wolverine. At the end of the spillway is a set of three way doors, the first being steel, the middle being concrete, and the inner again being steel. Production had to make the doors work for unnamed scenes that occur, which was quite a challenge for Dyas and his team.

Directly behind the doorway entrance is the Villain's weapon "garage". A military jeep fills the doorway, and there is room for immeasurable amounts of weaponry to be stored. Directly beyond this are several interconnecting tunnels that were made specifically so that Director Bryan Singer could follow the action for longer periods of time in film shots.

Dyas pointed out that Singer and he were going for a claustrophobic feel in this set, to keep filmgoers on their toes. There is much more "mind blowing action" in the sequel then in the first, and part of that is based on how the set works for the sequences planned. Dyas used an old bunker feel for the tunnels and holding cells.

The holding cell we were shown were designed to be shot from the top down and from the outside in. There was tiling on the walls, and faux tiling on the floor, giving the cell a septic, impersonal feel. The particular holding cell we looked at is where a major conversational part of the film takes place. The top of the cell can rotate, and when lit, the cell itself exudes a greenish, eerie tint.

Through more tunnels, one comes to an antechamber that is secured by a thick steel door. Behind the demolished door is a control center filled with tons of old style gauges and gears. The technology of the center echoes the antique feel of the rest of the lair. Here is the nerve center of Stryker's operations, so this particular set should get a lot of play in the film.

Beyond that are more tunnels that take us to the Weapon X set, discussed earlier. Amazing in it's detail, it is the jewel of the Villain's Lair set. One of the most key things to see there is the staggering amount of detail and respect given to X-Men comic lore.

Seeing the detail work and attention given these sets definitely helps build excitement to see the end product in the film. It is apparent from speaking with Dyas that a great deal of research and thought were put into the design work done.

Part 3: What followed was access to character designs and ideas in the conference room of the Production offices at Vancouver Film Studio. Production Designer Guy Dyas led us through inspirations and ideas that did and did not make the current production.

The first thing discussed was the character Beast and his subsequent exclusion from this sequel. "Beast did have a small part in the film, at certain points in the script ... and that was enlarged upon in this film, but at a certain point just got dropped," according to Dyas. The character sketches beckoned to Jim Lee's take on the character at the point that the second X-Men series started back in 1991.

Colossus, on the other hand, will have a role in the sequel. The sketch Dyas had on the wall was an interesting cross structure of how a doctor's office picture of muscle would look, and very similar to how a cut body builders arm and shoulder would appear if constituted of metal.

Lady Deathstrike (Kelly Hu's role) had a number of sketches, from her appearance in X-Men comic lore to a more modern X-Men One movie feel. Dyas had the biggest challenge in making her hands appear talon-like as it had in the comic. Depending on the scene, she would wear either steel or rubberized talons, as did Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). The sexy aspect of the Lady Deathstrike character was subdued, and a more military bent is the focus.

Likewise, the General Stryker character was outfitted in grays and khakis as befitting his age and military stature. His military personnel were also in khakis and darker tones.

Perhaps Dyas' biggest character challenge was Nightcrawler, the blue-skinned, part elf, part demon X-Man. Dyas used classic images of the comic character, especially those drawn by Adam Kubert, a good friend and popular comic artist. The various make-up applications in the film are based on the circus lore aspect of the character, and his attempts to disguise his appearance, since he can't automatically change and blend in like the Mystique character.

Dyas also "upgraded" Cyclops visor, reducing the amount of material on each side, to make it less "Princess Leia" and more sleek. Dyas said actor James Marsden was pleased with the reduced bulk, as it enabled him to be more expressive with areas of his face that were covered up before.

Other designs that were not talked about, but were displayed were new costumes for some of the established characters. Jean Grey's outfit remains very similar to the first, but with more of a jacket and pants combination rather then a body suit. Rogue also had an interesting costume design reminiscent of her appearance in the current X-Treme X-Men comic series. It was a two piece outfit, with a cut out shirt and tight black leather pants. Other characters had variations on their current outfits, but what will be used isn't certain yet.

A neural inhibitor design for Professor Xavier was also on display. What part this will play in the film has yet to be determined, but there were two different designs. Both were metal and clamped to Professor X's head, but in different ways. Dyas said it was a bit difficult to figure out which to use as he didn't have unlimited access to Actor Patrick Stewart, so there was a bit of improvisation as to which would fit better. Dyas was able to use a head scan of Stewart and put it in the computer so that he could be as accurate as possible without access to the real thing.

The X-Man outfits were still very much the black leather of the first movie. The concept was brought forward because of the fan's positive response, and the ease of movement provided by the simple design. Dyas did redesign the uniforms a bit so that each character had a different color of piping, i.e. Wolverine's was gold, etc.

CLIVE BARKER PRESENTS SAINT SINNER

When a morally ambiguous nineteenth century monk commits a fatal error he unleashes a pair of deadly demons on modern-day L.A. in the SCI FI original movie Clive Barker Presents Saint Sinner.

Greg Serano (Legally Blonde) plays Brother Tomas, a care-free monk living in a California monastery in 1815. Tomas' curiosity leads him to discover that the cellar for the mission is actually a repository for some of the most dangerous religious artifacts in the world. In a careless move Tomas accidentally frees Munkar and Nakir, two succubae who had been imprisoned in a mystical sphere. The pair escape to modern-day L.A. Brother Tomas' faith is pushed to its limits as he embarks on a quest to undo the damage he's caused and recapture the evil spirits.

Fans who haven't caught the TV ads airing on SCI FI or related networks can tune their web browser to CliveBarker.com. The official website for the TV movie's creator is now showing the trailer for the show.

Clive Barker Presents Saint Sinner debuts Saturday, October 26, at 9PM ET/PT on SCI FI.

MEN IN BLACK 2, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

A Variety article describing the promotion of Lia Vollack to president of worldwide music for Columbia Pictures reveals that the exec in on board The Amazing Spider-Man as the music supervisor.

Vollack filled that role for Spider-Man and Men in Black II, as well as numerous other Sony releases.

In her new position she'll be reporting to Columbia chairman Amy Pascal and will oversee music on all the studios releases as well as those of Revolution Studios, Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Animation.

According to the write-up, her compilation discs for Spider-Man and Charlie's Angels were platinum sellers.

SPIDER-MAN

The release of the Spider-Man DVD just over a week away now. Sony is promoting the November 1 launch by posting bits of the DVD extras online. Check out these links below for a look at some of the fun stuff that will be found on the massive DVD compilation!

Blooper clip of Willem Dafoe getting into character as the Green Goblin
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Composer Danny Elfman talking about creating the two themes to accompany Peter Parker and Spider-Man
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Candid moments with both Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire as they are transformed during their costume tests.
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A piece from the Nickel Back music video "Hero", which is shown fully in the DVD, combined with scenes from the movie.
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This clip features the comic book illustrations of the women who stole Spider-Man's heart.
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That's not the only promotion Sony is giving the movie.

Last week they launched the "Spin To Hollywood" sweepstakes on the official website. The grand prize winner gets a trip for two to a Hollywood movie premiere, a hometown screening of Spider-Man with 50 friends, a Spidey lithograph signed by Bernie Wrightson, and more. Five weekly prize winners will get a Sony PlayStation with Naki Spider-Man controllers. Thirty-five first place winners get the Naki controller.

[Spider-Man DVD]If you really want a piece of Spidey, check out Sony's Spider-Man auction. Starting October 31, Sony will be auctioning off props and wardrobe from the movie, including pieces of Spidey's super suit!

Fans in other countries tell us that the DVD is already on the shelves there. Ricardo in Brazil and Salvador (of Thora Birch News) in Mexico have written in to tell us the region 4 DVDs are already on the shelves! Salvador was particularly excited writing "It's just a great DVD experience!"

X-MEN

The X-Men return in February! No, we're not talking about the X-Men 2 sequel. We're talking about the expanded re-release of the original X-Men movie on DVD.

According to DVDFILE.COM the disc set (dubbed "1.5 Collector's Edition") will be released on February 11th. This is a two-disc set.

DVDFILE says the disc will be presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen only with Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround tracks. Disc one contains a new introduction by Bryan Singer, 24 deleted scenes and an audio commentary by Singer and actors Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan and Hugh Jackman.

Disc two features another intro from Singer, the featurettes "The Making Of X-Men: Part 1 (Origin Of The X-Men)", "Part 2 (The Uncanny Suspects)", "Part 3 (X-Factor)", "Part 4 (Shooting X-Men)" and "Part 5 (Remembering The X-Men)," and a gaggle of promo items including 3 trailers, 13 TV spots, 11 Internet interstitials, an "X-Men 2" teaser trailer and a short "Behind the Scenes of X-Men 2" special.

The suggested price for the package is $26.95.

SMALLVILLE

A red-K-charged young Superman helped The WB network set new ratings records again Tuesday night according to a write-up in today's Variety.

Nielsen reports indicate that this week's Smallville delivered the network's highest-ever ratings for adults 18-34 and second highest in the 18-49 demographic. The second half-hour of the program was the top rated show in that slot with the 18-49 crowd.

Paired with its 8:00 lead-in, Gilmore Girls, the shows propelled The WB network to a first place standing with adults 18-34 and persons 12-34. The frog net's Tuesday excelled in many other categories as well.

Fans can now visit Smallville snoop Chloe Sullivan's "Wall of Weird" online. The WB issued this press release yesterday announcing the new web attraction:

As the second record-breaking season of the hit action series Smallville goes into full swing, the show's Promax Award-winning Web site will launch a fascinating new on-line feature, the Wall of Weird, on October 22, 2002. In the series, the Wall of Weird is a collection of news stories and research materials about the fictional town's bizarre happenings, maintained by Chloe Sullivan (series star Allison Mack), Clark Kent's (series star Tom Welling) friend and the editor of the student newspaper, the Smallville High Torch.

Fans of the series will have the opportunity to view the Wall of Weird on line for the first time by mimicking Chloe's actions in the new 64-page DC comic book, Smallville: The Comic, featuring the story "Raptor," which will be available in stores nationwide on October 23. "Raptor" was penned by series supervising producer Mark Verheiden (The Mask, Timecop). Further installments in the Smallville: The Comic series will be released periodically.

In order to browse the Wall of Weird, fans will log on to the Smallville High Torch, find the secret access point for Chloe's desktop (revealed in the comic book), enter Chloe's secret password (also only available in the comic) and open a black folder marked "WOW," which will allow them access to the new site and its chilling collection of the uncanny events in Smallville. Chloe's personal notes, bullet points, backup documentation and full-blown essays can be perused, along with the numerous other elements stored in her computer. Like the rest of the constantly evolving Smallville site, the Wall of Weird affords sharp-eyed viewers exclusive inside information on upcoming story lines and lots of extra details on past and continuing plots.

The overall show site changes weekly with each broadcast and takes the form of the fictional town's newspaper, the Smallville Ledger, which is often referred to in the show. The Ledger links to the Torch, and both sites faithfully remain within the fictional world of the television series and expand upon life in the strange town of Smallville through news stories, editorials and background on Lex Luthor (series star Michael Rosenbaum), Clark, Lana Lang (series star Kristin Kreuk), classmate Pete Ross (series star Sam Jones III), Clark's parents (Annette O'Toole and John Schneider) and all the other characters seen on the show.

There's also a high-security homepage for the nefarious Lionel Luthor's (series star John Glover) company, LuthorCorp, to which committed fans have gained access by following clues in the television episodes. This area contains corporate documents, confidential e-mails, three Web-exclusive videos of Lionel Luthor delivering the annual LuthorCorp company report and other information available nowhere else.

In addition to browsing the site--which will continue to grow dramatically throughout the season--devotees of the show can actively participate by e-mailing letters to the Ledger and Torch editors and receiving on-line responses as if they were citizens of Smallville. There are also dozens of topics under active discussion in two separate message boards. And to top it all off, visitors may purchase official Smallville High School merchandise at the school store's Web page, an actual working e-commerce site.

Smallville blends realism and adventure as it takes the classic characters of the enduring Superman franchise back to high school, where a teenage Clark discovers his powers and deals with his strong feelings for Lana. Developed for television by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar, Smallville is from Warner Bros. Television and Tollin/Robbins Productions and airs Tuesdays (9:00 - 10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on The WB Network.

BIRDS OF PREY

The latest TV ratings published by Zap2It indicates that Birds of Prey suffered a drop-off in its second week on TV. The tallied an overall score of 4.6/7, making it the #4 rated show in the 9pm slot Wednesday night.

NBC drama The West Wing reasserted its dominance and was the #1 show for that timeslot, followed by reality skeins The Bachelor on ABC and The Amazing Race on CBS.

THIS WEEK ON JEREMIAH

This week Jeremiah and Kurdy relive their strangest adventure yet, as they're forced into a boxing match where they have to fight for a woman's freedom, and find themselves looking for an elephant. It's a rebroadcast of "Ring of Truth", a fun episode of Jeremiah written by Executive Producer Sam Egan.

An encounter with a lost elephant and a fist fight for a woman's freedom involve Jeremiah and Kurdy in a circus and in helping the woman re-connect with her estranged daughter. The episode is written by Sam Egan and directed by Ken Girotti.

"Ring of Truth" airs Friday, October 25th at 10:45 P.M. on Showtime. There will also be an encore on Sunday, October 27th on Showtime Beyond East at 10:45 PM (ET & PT).

Preview clips of the show are available online at Showtime'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).

THIS WEEK ON JUSTICE LEAGUE

The JLA returns to paradise in yet another repeat airing of "Paradise Lost - Part 2", this week's episode of Justice League.

The episode airs Friday October 25th at 7pm. Encores follow on Saturday, October 26th at 9:30pm (widescreen) and Sunday, October 27th at 7pm.

Also, look for a repeat airing of "Metamorphosis" Parts 1 and 2 on Saturday, October 26th starting at 12:00pm. This episode guest stars Metamorpho: the element man!

NEXT WEEK ON SMALLVILLE

In case you missed it last night, The WB is going to rebroadcast the Smallville episode "Nocturne", in which a brooding stranger comes between Clark and Lana .

Clark (Tom Welling) is concerned when he discovers someone has been leaving love notes for Lana (Kristin Kreuk) at her parents' grave and warns her to stay away from the mysterious poet. Fed up with Clark's over-protectiveness, Lana (Kristin Kreuk) follows the dark and handsome stranger to his home and discovers his parents keep him locked in chains. Unable to leave him like that, Clark and Lana break into the house to save the boy, but soon realize why he was locked up in the first place. Michael Rosenbaum, Sam Jones III, Allison Mack, John Glover, Annette O'Toole and John Schneider also star. Rick Wallace directed the episode written by Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders.

"Nocturne" re-airs Sunday, October 27 at 9:00pm ET on The WB.

Then, in the show's regular timeslot, Clark meets his grandfather and Lana discovers that her father may be alive in an episode titled "Redux"

After realizing the farm is in financial trouble, Martha (Annette O'Toole) goes to her estranged father (guest star George Coe) for help. Clark (Tom Welling) is thrilled at the prospect of meeting his grandfather but Jonathan's (John Schneider) refusal to see the man prompts Clark to force a reunion that doesn't go exactly as planned. Meanwhile, Lana (Kristin Kreuk) discovers an old photograph that suggests her father may still be alive. Michael Rosenbaum, Sam Jones III and Allison Mack also star. Chris Long directed the episode written by Russel Friend & Garrett Lerner.

"Redux" airs Tuesday, October 29 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

The Birds of Prey's tap into their maternal instincts on "Three Birds and a Baby," this week's episode of Birds of Prey.

When Helena (Ashley Scott) rescues an abandoned baby boy and brings him back to the Clocktower, Barbara (Dina Meyer) and Dinah (Rachel Skarsten) try to help, but to everyone's surprise, the baby, Elliott, is only happy when Helena is holding him. Even more surprising is the fact that Elliott wakes up from his nap as a walking, talking 5-year-old and is soon a teenager (guest star Riley Smith). Now in a race against time, the Birds of Prey discover that Elliot is programmed to live his entire life in three days, and to kill the first person he attaches to, putting Helena in grave danger. Shemar Moore, Ian Abercrombie and Mia Sara also star. Craig Zisk directed the episode written by David H. Goodman & Julie Hess.

"Three Birds and a Baby" airs Wednesday, October 30th at 9:00pm on the WB.

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

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