Last November comic creators Jade Dodge and Matt Camp announced the upcoming publication of their new title Shadows. That announcement attracted immediate interest from Hollywood. Last week that momentum culminated with the team becoming the latest creators to sign with the Hollywood management-production concern Energy Entertainment.
Comics2Film spoke with both Dodge and Energy's Daniel Alter about the comic and the new management deal.
Shadows follows a four-person team that investigates and documents paranormal occurrences. While it dwells in the world of the unknown, it also focuses on the inner demons of the investigators themselves.
"The title Shadows has two different meanings," Dodge told us "The first would be that it represents the unknown; the things that we don't always see or we might catch a glimpse of, that being the paranormal aspects. It also represents the dark places inside of ourselves; the places where we hide our secrets, our shame, our weaknesses. I like to sum it up by saying Shadows delves into the human psyche while dabbling in the realm of the bizarre."
Alter expressed enthusiasm for the project. "Jade's a great writer. She's created a title thatplays with a lot of the same myths, urban legends, etc...that X-Files covered so well, while injecting it withayoung, hip, and clever sensibility that theScream crowd takes to heart in," Alter said, "and Matt Camps' artwork seems to beautifully illustrate the tone Jade is going for with her story."
The comic, due out this month from Image, has been in development for years. Its announcement last November sparked immediate interest from Hollywood. As Dodge and Camp started to consider representation, they were quickly contacted by Daniel Alter at Energy Entertainment.
"We've been very impressed with their efforts to keep in contact with us. They were very interested in Shadows and just genuinely excited about the project," Dodge said of Energy.
"I was also very impressed by Energy's recognition of the untapped potential in the comic industry, leading them to open a department dedicated solely to comic book properties. There are a lot of very talented people in the comic industry today with a lot of really great ideas."
Of course, Energy sees huge potential for Shadows outside of comics. "It's important to have a high-concept, which this does. It's like having the idea behind a new spec script being pitched to you. Once you start to read it, you want to be grabbed in the first ten pages," Alter said. "In this case, it's all aboutthe characters.And it'swithin the first five pages of issue #1, the groundwork is laid between what will be the ups and downs of this teams members'relationships."
While Dodge and Camp have been focused on the comic, Dodge admits that she easily envisions a live-action take on the material. "In general when I'm writing I have it pictured in my head before I write it down. It's kind of like a movie going on in my mind, just to get an idea of how things are flowing; how the story flows, how the dialog flows," Dodge said. "So, it's always in my mind as a movie. Looking at it from that perspective, I can see it translating well into either film or television."
Should a film or television deal come about, Dodge said she'd like to be involved, just to ensure that the concept is true to the source material.
"I would like to see continuity between what's happening in the comic and the television series or film," Dodge said. "If I were involved it would be to make sure the essence of the comic is still there. I feel that's important."
The first issue of Shadows is due out from Image on February 19th. The title is ongoing and bi-monthly.
Last week Comics2Film broke the news that Daredevil would screen earlier than expected and that a new X-Men 2 trailer would run with the movie. Now Fox fills in some additional details on that news.
Fox tells us that Daredevil is set to be "sneaked" on the 13th, ahead of the scheduled Friday release. The early bow will be at selected theaters. Fans are instructed to consult local theater listings for details.
As we reported, the new X2 trailer is attached to the film. This trailer will not screen on the internet or TV prior to the Daredevil launch, so rabid Marvelites get first crack at it.
Finally, Fox wants to alert fans to stay in theaters as the credits roll. There's a nice little endcap feature that you'll miss if you're one of the folks who bail as soon as the credits come on the screen.
Look for interviews with stars Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck later today in CBR News.
Comics2Film recently got a sneak peak at the brand new X-Men 2 trailer debuting this Friday with the theatrical release of Daredevil. To get a detailed recap of all that happens in the first full trailer, keep reading. However, be warned that what follows contains many spoilers so you may not want to read ahead if you prefer to be surprised when you see the trailer reel.
We'll present the description in white text for your protection. Swipe it with the mouse to reveal the X2 preview.
The many scenes outlined here are only a small sampling of what happens in this exciting new trailer. Your first chance to see it will be with the official release of Daredevil on February 14, though it will screen early in many theatres on February 13.
X2 will be released May 2.
8 OSCAR NODS FOR COMIC FLICKS!
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the nominations for the 75th Annual Academy Awards. Comic-based movies garnered a grand total of eight nominations, quite a jump from the one nomination in 2002.
Not surprisingly, the critically lauded Road To Perdition is responsible for six of those nominations, including a Best Supporting Actor nod to Paul Newman. But Spider-Man, the blockbuster of all comic book movies has not gone unacknowledged. That movie also picked up two nominations.
Newman's competition in the "Actor in a Supporting Role" category is Chris Cooper for "Adaptation", Ed Harris for "The Hours", John C. Riley for "Chicago" and Christopher Walken for "Catch Me If You Can".
Perdition's Dennis Gassner (Art Direction) and Nancy Haigh (Set Decoration) also picked up nods in the "Art Direction" category. Other movies to get nods here are "Chicago", "Frida", "Gangs of New York" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers."
Conrad L. Hall got a nomination in the "Cinematography" category for his work on Perdition. The competition there includes "Chicago", "Far From Heaven", "Gangs of New York" and "The Pianist".
Thomas Newman's musical work on the movie was nominated in the "Music (Score)" category. Other top picks there are "Catch Me If You Can", "Far From Heaven", "Frida" and "The Hours".
Both Perdition and Spider-Man garnered nods in the "Sound" category. Scott Millan, Bob Beemer and John Patrick Pritchett filled that role on the gangster pic, while Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Ed Novick did the honors for the superhero movie. They'll be competing with sound wizards for "Chicago", "Gangs of New York" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers".
Scott A. Hecker was also acknowledged in the "Sound Editing" category for his work on Perdition. His work will have to top that done on "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "Minority Report" for him to collect the Oscar.
Finally, John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara and John Frazier earned nominations in the "Visual Effects" category for making Spider-Man swing. It'll be some rough sledding here though, with F/X showpieces "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones" also getting nods.
Click over to Oscar.com for the complete list of all nominations.
HULK, DAREDEVIL, THOR DVD
Last week Comics2Film readers got an exclusive first look at Anchor Bay Entertainment's upcoming Incredible Hulk DVD release.
The package features two DVDs, each containing a feature-length movie that spun out of The Incredible Hulk TV series. These movies were also back-door pilots for potential shows featuring other Marvel characters.
Now Anchor Bay is giving C2F readers an updated look at the packaging for this special edition. The cover, which we showed you last time, has been slightly altered from the previous version, mostly to remove the brick texture from the Hulk logo.
The DVD set is due out on May 6th, timed to coincide with the new Hulk feature film. The movies are fully remastered for DVD. In addition, the discs contain new interviews with Hulk co-creator Stan Lee and star Lou Ferrigno.
X-MEN 2, DAREDEVIL, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN
It's better than a box of Cracker Jack! Fans who found their way into select theaters over the the past few weekends got a nifty surprise with their popcorn. Twentieth Century Fox has been attaching an exclusive DVD to bags of buttery goodness, a disc that comic book movie fans will definitely want to seek out.
The "Movie Buzz" video magazine features clips and trailers from five upcoming Fox release.
Most exciting is the first good look fans will get at The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The disc contains the teaser trailer for the movie as well as a behind-the-scenes video. In both you get a good look at that Mr. Hyde character, as well as cool things like the spiffy LXG car, Mina Harker vamping out and more.
The disc also has segments on X-Men 2. In one segment, Designer Guy Dyas gives fans a guided tour of some of the sets, including the oval office and Magneto's plastic cell. A separate segment shows off the Mazda RX8 car. Also included is the previously seen first trailer.
There's plenty of Daredevil footage to be found here as well, including behind-the-scenes footage and one of the previously released trailers.
Also on the disc are materials for Master and Commander and the romantic comedy Down With Love.
The spiffy disc is well-worth seeking out. You can find it stuck on popcorn bags at these North American theater chains: Regal Entertainment (including Regal, Edwards and United Artists Theaters), Cinemark, Clearview, Century, Hoyt's and Famous Players.
The latest information is that you don't have to get your fingers greasy to lay hands on the disc. Fox is also giving them out free with the purchase of X-Men 1.5 at Best Buy stores throughout North America.
Daredevil has sold out! The comic book adaptation of the movie, that is.
Sources at Marvel and Fox inform Comics2Film that supplies of the graphic novels fled the bookshelves in 23 days. Marvel shipped 38,204 copies of the book in mid-January.
The book adapts the movie, which is set to bow in many countries this week.
Moviegoers can stop speculating about who director Brett Ratner will cast to play Superman. Why? The director has already cast himself. At least that was his holiday wish according to the most recent issue of Premiere Magazine.
According to Premiere, the director sent out special holiday cards trumpeting his prime gig as the director of steel. The card, a photograph of which appeared in the mag, had Ratner soaring as Superman.
Looks like Supes could use a shave.
Getting into the real casting talk: a few weeks back, actor Victor Webster's name entered the mix of casting rumors for the Superman movie. Loyal readers recognize Webster as a regular on the cast of the Mutant X TV show.
Word of the actor's involvement initially came from the 4Filmmakers.com online database. While that tracking site oftentimes offers cutting-edge information, it also has a track record for attaching actors to projects long before it's a done-deal, placing the Webster talk squarely in the realm of rumor.
However, today's Variety lends credence to the rumor, with a report on Webster's bid to become the next man of steel.
According to the Hollywood trade, the 30-year-old actor has tested for the part and Warner Bros. liked what they saw. They hungry, young TV actor also has one edge over bigger-named contenders. He's very willing to sign a three-picture commitment.
Webster's far from a done-deal though. The studio is still testing other actors and, reportedly would like to find a bigger name.
In addition to Mutant X, movie fans will find Webster on the big-screen in the upcoming Bringing Down The House, starring Steve Martin and Queen Latifah.
SOUND EDITORS LOVE COMICS-TO-FILM!
The Motion Picture Sound Editors have announced the nominees for the 50th Anniversary Golden Reel Awards, saluting excellence in sound editing. Several comic-based projects garnered nominees.
Spider-Man and Road To Perdition got nods in the "Best Sound Editing in Domestic Features: Sound Effects/Foley" category. The two comic pics square off against The Bourne Identity, Gangs of New York, Minority Report, Panic Room, Attack of the Clones, We Were Soldiers and xXx.
Those two also made the list for "Best Sound Editing in Domestic Features: Dialogue/ADR". Other contenders include Antwone Fisher, The Bourne Identity, Catch Me If You Can, Chicago, Gangs of New York and Minority Report.
Road To Perdition also took a nomination in the "Best Sound Editing in a Feature: Music" category. Other nominees include Adaptation, Catch Me If You Can, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Gangs of New York and Unfaithful.
Switching to television, Smallville and Witchblade II got nods for "Best Sound Editing in Television Episodic: Sound Effects/Foley" list. The superhero shows face down CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, ER, Fastlane, John Doe, Third Watch and The X-Files.
Comic-based fare Justice League, Static Shock: "The Big Leagues" and X-Men: Evolution made the list for "Best Sound Editing in Television Animation". Other nominees were Courage The Cowardly Dog, The Fairly Odd Parents, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Robbie The Reindeer and Spongebob Squarepants.
The complete list of nominees in all categories can be found at the MPSE website.
Variety reports that, after making a big splash as the Sundance Film Festival, the comic-based American Splendor has been picked up for a theatrical release in the U.S. HBO Films and Fine Line Features will distribute the movie domestically.
American Splendor, based on Harvey Pekar's comics, won the Grand Jury Prize at the recent festival. The movie is written and directed by documentary directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. It features a blend of documentary and dramatization, with Paul Giamatti playing Pekar and Hope Davis playing Pekar's wife, Joyce Brabner.
IS THERE NO END TO THE DAREDEVIL?
Here's a grab-bag of fun, Daredevil related happenings.
Fox lit up the first ever flaming billboard in L.A. last week. The Kingpin of crime, Michael Clarke Duncan was on hand say chat with fans and press. Fox has distributed a nice pic of the lit up highway sign. Click the thumbnail for a better look.
There are a slew of new goodies to be had at the official Daredevil movie site as well. Fans can now enter "Dare To Win" sweepstakes and snag a copy of the new GameBoy Advance game. DD enthusiasts can also drop their name in a hat to win a pair of the Ray-Ban Predator shades that blind Ben Affleck wears in the movie.
Fox has also launched the official auction for the film. Props both big and small are up for grabs to the highest bidder. Pony up for the Daredevil mask and start your own war on crime.
Finally, fans who worry that Daredevil looks cheesy are advised to steer clear of the grocery store. Otherwise you may run into a box of Kraft Daredevil Cheese Nips. That's right, the man without fear graces the box of this snack food, which comes with a magic motion card. In the hands of Bullseye, the nips also make deadly throwing stars. Thanks to Eli McElmurray of The DC Live Action Universe site for sending that one in.
FANTASTIC FOUR, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, SILVER SURFER
"That's it. We are done," is what Marvel Comics studio chief Avi Arad told Sci Fi Wire about the script for the The Amazing Spider-Man, the sequel to last summer's smash comic adaptation.
This refutes recent rumors on the net that Spidey comic scribe J. Michael Straczynski is coming on board to polish the script. To further squash that rumor, IGN FilmForce went right to the Babylon 5 scribe himself.
"No one's said anything to me about it, though I think it'd be an altogether spiffy idea," Straczynski told FilmForce.
Spider-Man is due out on May 7th, 2004.
SCI FI also asked Arad about recent buzz regarding The Fantastic Four. The producer said the movie is in script stage. "It's going to happen very soon," says Arad without revealing who's writing the screenplay. "Silver Surfer is just starting with Fox, no writer yet."
MORTADELO & FILEMON
A comic book movie that we've never reported on before is apparently burning up the box office according to a write-up in today's Variety.
Like Spider-Man last year, the comic-based Mortadelo & Filemon (The Big Adventure) is shattering box-office records. We're talking Spanish box-office, where the movie opened with a three-day gross of €5,029,487 ($5.5 million) off 313 prints.
The movie is based on Francisco Ibáñez's comic strip about a pair of incompetent secret agents.
The big box office gives Mortadelo the biggest opening for Spanish movie. It's the countries biggest opening since Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which topped $6.1 million on a larger run last November.
Javier Fesser (P. Tinto's Miracle) directed the movie. Fesser's Peliculas Pendelton, co-produced along with Sogecable prodco Sogecine and Producciones del Escorpion.
The movie has already picked up distribution deals in other territories. No word is given on whether an English language version of the film will be headed for the U.S.
MORE AWARDS: MEN IN BLACK II
We've been reporting on the various awards garnered by comic book movies and TV shows this years. It would be remiss not to also give coverage of the just-announced Golden Raspberry (or Razzie) awards. The Razzies give dubious distinction to the worst Hollywood has to offer.
Fortunately, comic book movies were of sufficiently high-quality to almost be passed over entirely. Almost.
The sole exception is Lara Flynn Boyle's turn in Men In Black II, which garnered the actress unwanted attention in the category of "Worst Supporting Actress." Boyle's competition in this category includes Bo Derek for Master of Disguise, Madonna for Die Another Day, Natalie Portman for Attack of the Clones and some-time mutant Rebecca Ramijn-Stamos for Rollerball.
Look for the Razzies to be handed out on March 22, the day before the Oscars.
After being trapped by the hellish machinations of studio lawyers for months, Hellboy is back on the web. Sony has re-opened HellboyMovie.com. Check it out for info about the movie, some video clips from last summer's Comic-Con and scads of downloads for your computer.
Counting Down has the latest scoop on the Hellboy movie, straight from Director Guillermo del Toro. The crew is now in Prague working towards the start of production on the movie.
Del Toro reports there have been a few casting adjustments to the movie. Funny man Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate About You) and femme fatale Victoria Smurfit (Bulletproof Monk) have dropped out of the picture due to scheduling conflicts.
Replacing them are Jeffrey "hey now" Tambor (The Larry Sanders Show, There's Something About Mary) and British actress Biddy Hodson (The Mists of Avalon).
Another addition to the cast is James Babson in the bit role of B.P.R.D. Agent Moss. Babson has other credits in bit parts in movies like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and xXx.
Also dropping out is Marco Beltrami, who composed the brassy score for del Toro's Blade II, again due to scheduling difficulties. He has not yet been replaced.
"As far as replacements go. I'm looking for someone really exciting. I want the music to be orchestral, epic, eerie, romantic when needed. But it's a big sweeping score. No techno crap," the director told Counting Down.
Del Toro also told the website that fans can look for official cast pictures on Hellsite.com in March.
Smallville is flying high during the February ratings sweeps according to today's Hollywood Reporter.
The young Superman show set an all-time for any program on the WB network in the key 18-34 demographic. Nielsen Media Research reports that the teen of steel garnered a 6.1/15 share. The show also topped the 18-49 demo in its time slot.
The Reporter also points out that The WB is available in far fewer markets than the competing networks.
Last month, Comics2Film was able to report that the producers of the Catwoman movie were looking to replace star Ashley Judd in the lead role. Additionally, rumored contender Halle Berry was far from a done deal.
Now The Hollywood Reporter breaks the news that Nicole Kidman (The Hours) has been offered the part of the Batman villain-turned-hero. According to the report, Kidman has not accepted and is waiting for the latest draft of the script.
Fans are painfully aware that judicious changes are being made to position the feline fatale for the big-screen. Here's the description of the movie's premise that appeared in The Reporter: "Catwoman is about a cat-loving gymnast who runs an animal-grooming business. While she is a vulnerable woman, her alter ego, Catwoman, is superconfident and fights evil."
The report confirms that French helmer Pitoff will sit behind the camera.
Of course, this wouldn't be Kidman's first foray into Bat-filmmaking. She also played the love-interest to Val Kilmer's Bruce Wayne in Batman Forever.
THIS WEEK ON JUSTICE LEAGUE
It's more Justice League reruns this month on Cartoon Network.
This week, Wonder Woman finds her homeland in ruins in a repeat airing of "Paradise Lost".
"Paradise Lost - Part 1" airs Saturday February 15th at 12pm. "Part 2" immediately follows at 12:30pm. Both episodes air again at 9:00pm the same night.
THIS WEEK ON SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH
Sabrina's social life is out of control in "Cirque Du Sabrina," this week's installment of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.
Sabrina's (Melissa Joan Hart) bedroom is transformed into a circus, complete with a Russian Ringmaster sent to help her balance her out-of-control social life. Sabrina must walk the tightrope until she can find a way to juggle her time between her friends, her ex-boyfriend Harvey (guest-star Nate Richert) and her new boyfriend Aaron (guest-star Dylan Neal). In a surprise twist, Sabrina discovers that Harvey is still in love with her. Soleil Moon Frye, Elisa Donovan and Nick Bakay also star. Anson Williams directed the episode written by Suzane Gangursky.
"Cirque Du Sabrina" airs Friday, February 14th at 8:30pm on The WB.
NEXT WEEK ON SMALLVILLE
In case you missed it Tuesday night, The WB is going to rebroadcast the Smallville episodes "Prodigal", in which Lex finds his long-lost brother Lucas.
Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) finds Lucas (guest star Paul Wasilewski), the son Lionel (John Glover) gave up for adoption, and brings him home in the hope that the two of them can unite against Lionel. When Lionel's machinations end up putting all three of them in a dangerous situation, Lex is left to wonder whom he can really trust. Meanwhile, Clark (Tom Welling) decides to take a job at the Talon. Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack, Sam Jones III, Annette O'Toole and John Schneider also star. Greg Beeman directed the episode written by Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders.
"Prodigal" re-airs Sunday, February 16th at 5:00pm ET on The WB.
Then, in the show's regular timeslot, Martha Kent's secret is revealed in an all-new episode called "Fever".
Clark (Tom Welling) rushes to find an antidote after Martha (Annette O'Toole) is infected with a toxic virus and falls into a coma, but when Clark also falls ill, it is up to Jonathan to find a cure in time. To further complicate things, Dr. Bryce (guest star Emmanuelle Vaugier) demands an explanation from Jonathan when he refuses to let her treat Clark. Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack, Sam Jones III and John Glover also star. Bill Gereghty directed the episode written by Matthew Okumura.
"Fever" airs Tuesday, February 18th at 9:00pm on The WB.
CORRECTION: RED SKY DIARY
Tim Bradstreet followed-up last week's Red Sky Diary article to clarify a few items about his concept that appeared there.
We incorrectly stated that the legacy line of Mudir hunters started in Feudal Japan.
"It should be Ancient Mongolia around the reign of Kublai Khan (1281AD)," Bradstreet explained, continuing, "Gallows' ancestor and a few of his men where the only survivors of the second doomed invasion of Japan. Gallows' real name is Kerulan Ulan-Bataar. Ulan-Bataar is the [Mongol] family name."
Also the screenwriter's name who is developing the script with Bradstreet should correctly appear as David J. Schow. More information about Schow can be found at his official website.
ENOUGH WITH THE DAREDEVIL...GEEZ!
Talk about spoilers!
IGN FilmForce has given its readers exclusive access to ten minutes worth of clips from this week's hot release Daredevil. The site rolled out five clips from the movie on Friday and promises five more this week.
Ten minutes is a pretty big chunk of movie. Add that to the clips, trailers and highlights already seen and we start to wonder what will be left at the theater?
Click over to IGN FilmForce for the first leg of the preview.