Comics2Film

Wed, October 30th, 2002 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Rob Worley, Columnist

For our massive report on X-Men 2 click here.

UNDEADLY

[Undeadly]Horror comic creator Dan Brereton told fans at last weekend's Motor City Comic Con that he is developing a new concept, called Undeadly, as both a screenplay and a comic book.

Undeadly tells the story of the undead heroine, Lily, a sword-wielding, ass-kicking, femme fatale demon-hunter. "It's monster kung-fu set in a necropolis infested with zombies, vampires, demons and all manner of monsters," Brereton told C2F, "kind of like Universal Studios meets The Warriors with some Night of The Living Dead-laced action."

Circle of Confusion producer David Engel is developing the project with Brereton. As we reported last summer Engel is also looking to set up The Psycho, which Brereton co-created with writer James Hudnall.

Jonathan Bresman is working on the screenplay for the movie. Brereton tells us, "We have co-plotted the outline based on my existing comic book story outline and plot."

[Undeadly - Lily]The comic creator will have plenty of input on the script and is happy working with Bresman so far. "As he's chosen to tackle this project with such ferocity, I'm comfortable with him taking point on writing chores," Brereton said. "And I'm always here to consult as the creator of Undeadly."

Bresman previously worked at LucasFilm, providing character designs for The Phantom Menace. He also authored the book, The Art of Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace and wrote the web-toon Cosmic Soda Pop.

Engel was responsible for bringing Bresman to the project. Engel told C2F. "Our goal is to harness his amazing intelligence."

Brereton is also developing the concept as a comic book. However, the current focus is on the screenplay.

BLADE III

Filmmaker David Goyer tells Comics2Film that Marvel has approved the story ideas pitched for the Blade III movie. As we reported in August, a few obscure Marvel characters are planned for the franchise finale.

"[It] looks like Hannibal King and Frank Drake (a.k.a. the Nightstalkers) from the Tomb of Dracula comic will be making an appearance in the third film," Goyer told us.

Could that mean the biggest vampire of them all is far behind? Fans will just have to wait and see. Goyer is writing and producing the sequel.

In other news, Goyer tells us that his Darksiders movie for New Line Cinema is now in the preliminary casting stages. The movie tells of vampires recruited as special ops for the FBI. The filmmaker is set to direct that one from a script by Tom Parker and Jim Jennewein.

ROBUR

Hollywood Comics chief Jean-Marc Lofficier recently closed a new deal to bring his and illustrator Gil Formosa's comic book creation Robur to cinematic life.

Producer Jeff Krelitz is now shepherding the project under his Contraband Films shingle. Lofficier told Comics2Film that screenwriter C. Fernandez will be developing the script. Fernandez has written a number of spec scripts and was also hired to do a pass at the screenplay for S.W.A.T.

Robur tells the story of a 1930's earth that has been overrun by evil aliens called Selenites. The mysterious scientist-adventurer Robur leads the resistance against the alien invaders and their human allies.

Robur had been in development last year with a different producer. At that time James Robinson (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) was attached to write. Lofficier tells us that no parties from the previous development effort are involved with the new deal.

JON SABLE: FREELANCE, MAGGIE THE CAT

Comic creator Mike Grell spoke to fans at last weekend's Motor City Comic Con about comics projects past (Green Arrow) and present (Iron Man). Comics2Film was there and we asked him for an update on the movie version of his Jon Sable character.

Regular readers know that the comic concept was optioned last year by rocker/producer Gene Simmons and Pacifica Entertainment. Grell told fans that he wrote the screenplay for Jon Sable shortly after finishing a novel based on the character. Simmons, a fan, snatched up the screenplay and the movie seemed to move along nicely.

Steven De Souza (Die Hard, The Phantom) was then brought on board to do a new script and as of early 2001 the movie seemed to be shaping up nicely. The SAG strike of that year delayed things a bit but the events of September 11 derailed the project altogether.

The main action of the movie was set in New York City. The script contained plenty of action with things blowing up and people shooting at each other in the streets. In post-9/11 Hollywood, the project was doomed.

Grell did say that Sable is still "in play" although Simmons and Pacifica are no longer attached. He also told fans that his Maggie the Cat is also "in play" as a Hollywood property. Maggie tells of a world class cat burglar who gets lured into the service of the British Government.

NIGHT THRASHER

While Marvel has dominated the big, screen, DC has seen its best successes on the TV tube. Now The Hollywood Reporter reports that Marvel is making inroads into the TV arena with word of a Night Thrasher TV show for UPN.

The network has picked up Night Thrasher as a one hour drama. Michael Elliot (Brown Sugar) will pen the script for the pilot and also serve as executive producer on the show. Ben Silverman, chief of the Universal-based production house, Reville, is also executive producing as are Marvel's Avi Arad and Rick Ungar. Reveille's Matt Edelman is producing.

Marvel Characters President Ungar told The Reporter that the series "is the first of a push on our part to move into the (live-action TV) area."

Night Thrasher made his first appearance with the team The New Warriors in the pages of The Mighty Thor. This guest-shot quickly lead to their own title, The New Warriors, which told the story of how Thrasher pulled together a super-team of disparate young Marvel heroes. In the comics, the African American, no-nonsense and high-tech character sports a suit of battle armor whose most improbable weapon was a skate-board (an element that was thankfully underplayed in the popular comic book).

Elliot, an African-American writer, was drawn to the project by the hero's ethnicity. He described Night Thrasher as "a hip-hop version of James Bond." He went on to say that Night Thrasher is "an opportunity to create a superhero for today's generation -- one like looks like them, talks like them, likes the same kind of music."

THE PHANTOM

The Ghost Who Walks will soon walk in theaters again according to today's Variety. Crusader Entertainment and Hyde Park are planning a new feature film based on Lee Falk's classic comic strip hero The Phantom.

Steven De Souza (Die Hard, 48 Hours) is working up the script, which will be present a modern-day version of the character. The hope is to present a gritty and high-tech take on the character, in contrast with the 1996 period piece that starred Billy Zane.

Hyde Park CEO Ashok Armitraj, a long-time fan of the comic strip, talked to Variety about the previous film. "I was among the fans who went to see the movie a few years ago and came away disappointed," he said. "We wanted to let enough time pass to try it again and I don't think the other movie will hurt this one's prospects overseas. The major thing is to put him in a contemporary setting with the weapons and gizmos and Matrix-style stuff which wasn't done in the previous film."

Crusader Entertainment CEO Howard Baldwin is also a fan of the strip.

CHI-CHIAN

Comics' goth, futuristic Cinderella story Chi-Chian may be set for the big-screen treatment according to today's Hollywood Reporter. Lonetree Entertainment picked up the exclusive film, television, publishing and game rights to the comic book and animated series from the character's creator Voltaire.

Voltaire originally published Chi-Chian in comic book form with indie publisher Sirius Comics. His website describes the concept as a "Cinderella story for the year 3000, a young, innocent girl battles mammoth worm trains, giant insects, a samurai robot and her own twisted family to save a dark, future New York from its imminent destruction."

The character was then rendered in stop-motion animation for a 10 second promo spot on the SCI FI network. This led to an ongoing series of web-toons for the SCI FI website. Bai Ling (Wild, Wild West, The Crow) provides the voice for the Flash animated episodes.

Lonetree producers Tony Eldridge and Michele Barbera aim to develop Chi-Chian as a live-action feature. The Reporter states that is unclear as to whether or not Ling will be involved in the feature.

WAY OF THE RAT, THE, DOC SAVAGE

The feature film version of CrossGen's Way of the Rat has found a home at DreamWorks according to today's Variety. The movie will be produced by Frank Darabont's Darkwoods Productions and Castle Rock Productions. As previously reported, frequent Darabont collaborator Chuck Russell (The Scorpion King) is on board to direct.

The article also mentions that Darkwoods is committed to a big-screen version of Doc Savage. Darabont told Variety that it now appears unlikely that Russell would direct this one. A "devoted action helmer" is being sought for the pulp piece.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

C2F reader surpremo Gary Mann popped in on a book reading/signing by Michael Chabon Monday night. Chabon is touring to support his new all-ages book, Summerland. The author is also the screenwriter on the upcoming sequel The Amazing Spider-Man.

Mann writes, "Asked if winning the Pulitzer has changed his life in any way, he responded affirmatively, saying that the biggest impact of it was being given the opportunity to script Spider-Man 2, adding that he thought it probably gave Raimi the added argument he needed in bringing Chabon into the project. He said that while winning the Pulitzer was not necessarily a credential for scripting a Spider-Man movie, it was the only credential he had."

Chabon is also an avid art collector and told Mann that he owns two original Kirby pages from Captain America 200.

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN

Jason Isaacs has become a prolific actor. He has acted in some high profile movies in recent years like The Patriot, Black Hawk Down, and most recently Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. Isaacs told Latino Review that press is giving him too much credit.

They are reporting him as a cast member for a movie he has not worked on. Isaacs said that he is not in the film version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. He said, "It's a very weird thing with Extraordinary Gentlemen actually, and its all over the internet and it's all over the press that I'm playing this part [Campion Bond] and I hope the checks arrive soon cause I NEVER read the script and I've never been offered the part and I'm not doing it.

"Some Isaacs somewhere is playing Campion Bond, it must be really pissing him off. Because every time he opens the newspaper it talks about how much fun I'm having on the set and how I've been flooded off from PRAGUE. Very odd, I don't know where it started. I'm mean I'm sorry but I don't mean to embarrass you in anyway."

Isaacs told a somewhat different story to UK's Empire Magazine last month. That mag quotes the actor as saying, "I was asked if I was available to play Campion Bond. I wasn't and I was very bitter about because Bond has this great scene with Connery, who's playing Allan Quatermain, comes up and says, 'Who the hell are you?', and I get to say, 'My name's Bond, Campion Bond,' It's a cracking scene but I couldn't do it, which was a terrible shame."

Thanks to Pirate King for the tip!

In other League news, fans eager for a sneak peek will want to read this next tip sent in by Brian at ComicBookConventions.com.

"Next Friday night at 10:30 on AMC (American Movie Classics), on their AMC Access show, they are going to have a story on "The Making of a Monster." The footage on the commercial showed Sean Connery and what was obviously Mr. Hyde from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."

MORE X-MEN 2

[X2]The official X-Men 2 website is open for business.

The new multi-lingual portal to mutant movie mayhem requires an 800x600 display, the Flash plug-in (version 6) and, when trailers become available, the QuickTime plug-in (version 5).

The site still has room to grow, but currently you'll find lots of production stills, a few bits of production artwork and some nifty downloads including a wallpaper, a countdown clock and more.

You can access the site via the Flashy Cerebro interface, or simply by using the "Quick Links" menu.

Click over to X-Men-The-Movie.com for all the X-Site-Ment!

In other news, it appears this summer that the X-Men will have to contend with the might of a rogue U.S. general in X-Men 2. It is not clear what forces the X-Men's foe General Stryker has at his disposal The Toronto Sun's Jim Slotek printed a very cryptic quote from Patrick Stewart on the array of villains aligned against the X-Men this time.

Slotek said Stewart told him there are four sentinels in X2. Stewart then said, "The peril is a good deal higher in this movie. (Stryker) is a really really bad guy. He makes Magneto look like one of us. You'll see the four cyborgs, three characters from the comic book, and another character who only has a number, who has an impact on Xavier's story because he's an ex-pupil."

Stewart's quote leads to a lot of fun questions. Will there be four cyborg characters called Sentinels? We already know the identity of one of the cyborgs, Yuriko Oyama who is better known in the comics as Lady Deathstrike. Could the other cyborgs be frequent X-Men foes like Donald Pierce and his cyborg group The Reavers? We have got awhile to wait to find out the answers to these questions, but X-Men 2 is shaping up to be a movie that could be more than worth the wait.

Thanks to Jam!Showbiz for the lead.

STARMAN

Our good friends at 4ColorReview.com were hob-knobbing with cosmic-powered types recently and uncovered some interesting rumors about the upcoming Starman TV show.

According to their sources, the show will follow the mythology of the comics as closely as possible. This would include some semblance of a JSA, although characters may be substituted in and out as licensing issues dictate. The Shade and The Mist will likely be included. Sources also claim that they are looking at ways to include the "Talking With David" segments, annual issues from the comics that broke from comic storytelling conventions and largely represented other-world conversations between Jack and his murdered brother.

4CR cautions that this is purely "word-of-mouth" information. Furthermore, as the show is still in the early stages it's not certain what form it'll eventually take.

SPIDER-MAN, MEN IN BLACK II DVDs

Fans are counting the days to the release of the Spider-Man DVD. With the November 1 tomorrow Sony is 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!

Director Sam Raimi talks about the impact of reading the Spider-Man comics and how it resulted in his desire to create the movie. There are also some cool comic book illustrations.
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DVD extras menu - also some cool special effects.
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Editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, Joe Quesada and President of Marvel Comics, Bill Jemas discuss adapting the 1960's comic book Spider-Man into the current movie.
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Audio commentary from Stan Lee talking about how he came up with the idea of a spider super-hero, and also the other super-hero ideas that might have been.
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On the alien front: ChubbChubbs are invading the Earth and the Men In Black are helping them! At least that's the story The Hollywood Reporter is telling.

According to the trade publication the computer-animated short The ChubbChubbs will appear as bonus material on the upcoming release of Men In Black II on DVD. The film is director Eric Armstrong's tale of the inhabitants of the planet Glorf and the goings on at their "intergalactic watering hole."

A ChubbChubbs feature is apparently due out next year. It represents the first all-CG project to come out of Sony Pictures Imageworks.

In related news The Hollywood Reporter reports that Sony has posted strong second quarter earnings yesterday. The studio enjoyed a record setting summer fueled by comic book adaptations like Spider-Man and Men in Black II.

The studio is said to be anticipating strong sales on the home video versions of those two movies. Spider-Man, due out this week, will ship a record-setting 25 million copies to retailers.

SON OF THE MASK, BLADE III

Dark Horizon's printed a list that originally appeared in Screen International magazine. The list contains the names of movies that New Line Cinema has in production and what year they will be released. According to the list Blade 3 and The Mask 2: Son of the Mask will be released in 2004.

THIS WEEK ON SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH

Scooby Doo, where are you? Making a special appearance in "Sabrina Unplugged", this week's episode of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.

When Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) is caught by the office webcam using her powers, she magically enters Leonard's (John Ducey) computer to destroy the evidence and meets up with the animated characters Shaggy and Scooby Doo. While in the computer, Leonard alters what he believes is a photo of Sabrina and she reemerges looking like voluptuous cartoon siren. Soleil Moon Frye, Elisa Donovan, Nick Bakay, Andrew Walker, Diana-Maria Riva and Bumper Robinson also star. Mark Cendrowski directed the episode written by Jennifer Glickman.

"Sabrina Unplugged" airs Friday, November 1st at 8:30pm on The WB.

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

THIS WEEK ON JUSTICE LEAGUE

Superman gets thrown into Mongul's gladiator arena in a repeat airing of "War World - Part 1", this week's episode of Justice League.

The episode airs Friday November 1st at 7pm. Encores follow on Saturday, November 2nd at 9:30pm (widescreen) and Sunday, November 3rd at 7pm.

Also, look for a repeat airing of "In Blackest Night" Parts 1 and 2 on Saturday, November 2nd starting at 12:00pm. This episode finds the Green Lantern on trial for the destruction of an entire planet. The rest of the League scrambles to learn the truth before it's too late. Kanjar Ro and The Manhunters guest star.

THIS WEEK ON JEREMIAH

This week's repeat of Jeremiah explores racial politics in "Moon in Gemini", a thought-provoking episode written by executive producer Sam Egan.

A message from Erin's wayward twin sister, Lauren (Monique Kavelaars), sends her and Jeremiah (Luke Perry) on a mission of personal discovery while Kurdy (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) and Elizabeth (Kandyse McClure) meet with Shadow of the Crescent, a group of Black separatists. This episode is written by Same Egan and directed by Brad Turner.

"Moon in Gemini" airs Friday, November 1st at 10:50 P.M. on Showtime. There will also an encore on Sunday, November 3rd on Showtime Beyond East at 10:55 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).

NEXT WEEK ON SMALLVILLE

In case you missed it last night, The WB is going to rebroadcast the Smallville episode "Redux," in which Clark meets his grandfather and Lana discovers that her father may be alive.

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" re-airs Sunday, November 3 at 9:00pm ET on The WB.

Then, in the show's regular timeslot, Blair Brown guest stars in a stunning flashback episode called "Lineage".

A mysterious woman (Brown) shows up claiming to be Clark's (Tom Welling) mother, prompting the Kents (John Schneider, Annette O'Toole) to tell Clark what happened after they discovered him in the cornfield that fateful day. Clark discovers why his father hates the Luthors (John Glover, Michael Rosenbaum), how his adoption was fixed, and who really rescued Lex from the edge of death. Kristin Kreuk, Sam Jones III, Allison Mack also star. Greg Beeman directed the episode written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar with teleplay by Kenneth Biller.

"Lineage" airs Tuesday, November 5 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

Lori Loughlin guest stars as The Black Canary in "Sins of the mother," next week's episode of Birds of Prey.

Barbara (Dina Meyer) and Helena (Ashley Scott) learn the truth about Dinah and Dinah learns the truth about her own past when her mother, Carolyn Lance (guest star Loughlin), comes to New Gotham in search of the daughter she abandoned years before. Dinah is shocked to learn that Carolyn was once Batman's protg, Black Canary. Meanwhile, Helena learns that Detective Reese (Shemar Morre) has family issues of his own when he becomes secretive about a ruthless gangster. Jeff Woolnough directed the episode written by Melissa Rosenberg and Hans Tobeason.

"Sins of the Mother" airs Wednesday, November 6th at 9:00pm on the WB.

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

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