Comics2Film Wrap for March 14th, 2003

Fri, March 14th, 2003 at 12:00am PST

TV/Film
Rob Worley, Columnist

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CATWOMAN

Back in January Comics2Film was able to report that Oscar winning action star

Halle Berry ("X-Men", "James Bond: Die Another Day") was a

contender to replace Ashley Judd as the lead role in the "Catwoman"

movie. At the time Berry had not signed on and later Nicole Kidman was also said

to be a contender.

Now

Variety

reports that Berry has emerged as the likely star of the "Batman"

spin-off. She hasn't signed on the dotted line yet, but her people met with

Warner Bros. people yesterday and she's expected to sign soon.

Berry is no stranger to the superhero genre, having played Storm in

"X-Men" and the upcoming "X-Men 2." She also played an

American spy named Jinx in "Die Another Day," a role that's led to

talk of a spin-off featuring that character.

French filmmaker Pitof ("Vidocq") will direct "Catwoman"

from a script by John Rogers, Mike Ferris and John Brancato. Denise Di Novi is

producing. Cameras are expected to roll later this year.

SUPERMAN

While casting rumors on the "Superman" movie abound, today's Variety

has narrowed the list by one. "Fast and the Furious" star Paul Walker

has bowed out of the running to play the man of steel on the big screen.

Walker,

along with Brendan Fraser ("The Mummy") and newcomer Matthew Bomer

("Guiding Light") tested for the part last week. However the young

actor was uncomfortable about the seven-year commitment required for the planned

trilogy of "Superman" movies.

Fraser, of course, brings a marquee

name to the movie while Bomer's newcomer status could help trim the budget on

what will be an expensive film.

THE REAL SUPERMAN

The

New York Times provides an update on the fascinating and heroic struggles of

former "Superman" star Christopher Reeve.

On February 28th Reeve underwent an experimental procedure at University Hospitals of

Cleveland, which would allow him to breath without a respirator for the first

time since the tragic accident that left him in a wheel chair.

The operation involved implanting electrodes that stimulate the muscles in

his diaphragm. Now he can breath through his nose, rather than through the respirator

hole in his throat, but only for short periods.

"I actually woke up and smelled the coffee," Reeve told a news conference

yesterday.

For now Reeve can breath without the respirator for 15-minute periods. The

actor continues to work towards rehabilitation.

BULLETPROOF MONK

MGM has given C2F/CBR News a new set of stills from the upcoming comic-based

movie "Bulletproof Monk." The new photos feature Chow Yun-Fat and

Seann William Scott and kung fu bad-girl Jamie King.

Here's how the studio describes the movie:

"The Monk (Chow Yun-Fat) is a Zen-calm martial arts master whose duty

has been to protect a powerful ancient scroll. Faced with finding the scroll's

next guardian, the Monk's quest brings him to New York City where, to his

disbelief, it appears his successor is a smart-mouthed pickpocket named Kar

(Seann William Scott). Kar's a charming, street-tough wild card who enjoys his

life of no responsibility. As the Monk instructs Kar the unlikely duo become

partners in protecting the scroll from a power-monger who's been chasing it for

60 years. Amidst high-flying acrobatics and martial arts action, this comical

odd couple has to work together to keep the scroll -- and mankind -- safe."

"Bulletproof Monk" is due in theaters on April 16th. The movie has

been assigned a PG-13 rating by the MPAA.

MEN IN BLACK III

In spite of the difficulty in bringing the disappointing "Men in Black

II" to the big screen, Columbia pictures has started work on a third

installment to the comic-based franchise, according to today's Variety.

According to the write-up, director and producer Barry Sonnenfeld is on

board, developing a sequel concept from none other than Will Smith. Smith's

pitch includes co-star Tommy Lee Jones of course.

However, the road to the new segment is already proving perilous. The article

says that there are tensions between Sonnenfeld and producer Walter Parkes.

Sonnenfeld recently bailed on the Jim Carrey project "Lemony Snicket"

when Parkes came on board with DreamWorks.

Still Sonnenfeld holds the cards with the "MiB" franchise, with

Smith and Jones standing firm in the director's corner.

 
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