Comics2Film Wrap for April 8th, 2003

Tue, April 8th, 2003 at 12:00am PDT

TV Film
Rob Worley, Columnist


It wouldn't be the "Spider-Man" movie without a web of courtroom

intrigue. The latest thread in the saga of the web-slinger's litigation was spun

by L.A. Superior Court Judge Alexander Williams according to today's Variety.

Fans will recall that in early March Marvel filed a complaint against Sony in

the L.A. courts. The complaint was filed under seal so the details were not

disclosed, other than a statement from the comic giant that the intent of the

suit was not to interfere with the making of "Spider-Man 2." Later

that month Sony filed a response, which was also made under seal. Following that

Variety and the Los Angeles Daily Journal filed a motion to lift the seal.

Today Judge Williams agreed with the motion by the news outlets stating,

"I am of the view that this case must be opened to the public," and,

having reviewed the complaints stating, "I don't believe anything in this

record should be sealed from the public."

So what's at the heart of the complaint?

According to Variety Marvel seeks to terminate its license agreement with

Sony after the completion of "Spider-Man 2" and also filed claims

against Sony for "cross-promoting" "Spider-Man" with other

Sony features.

This comes after concerns by Sony last year that Marvel was using voodoo

accounting to deprive Sony of their share of profits gained by the comic house

from exploiting the movie property.

The movie studio also alleges that Marvel has tried to force an "unjustified

renegotiation of the license agreement." In spite of the fact that Marvel

filed their complaint under seal (as required by contractual agreements), Sony

also alleges that Marvel's complaint is inflammatory and carries the intent to

reveal sensitive documents to the public.

Variety reports that two such documents Sony is most concerned about are the

license agreement itself and an internal marketing document. The studio claims

that the exposure of these documents would damage their ability to negotiate

licensing agreements in the future.

Marvel's attorney has stated that they will not oppose the unsealing of the complaints,

while Sony has vowed to fight the judge's decision.


Jill Thompson's "Scary Godmother" is now the subject of a

prime-time animated special that will screen on Halloween this year, Mainframe

Entertainment announced yesterday.


Godmother Halloween Spooktakular," scheduled to air on Canada's YTV network

this coming Halloween, October 31, 2003.

"Being the first animation company to complete a full CGI television

production utilizing SoftImage XSI software, we were able to bring a feature

film quality to television," explains Mainframe CEO Rick Mischel.

"We're anticipating that this special Halloween show will not only secure

primetime pick-up in the States, but will also migrate into a successful

television or direct-to-video series."

Mainframe plans an extensive Halloween promotional push for the special with

tie-ins to Halloween retailers and candy makers.

Based on the popular comics and children's books by the award-winning artist

and writer Jill Thompson, "Scary Godmother Halloween Spooktakular" is

a whimsical animated story that follows the first trick-or-treating adventure of

Hannah Marie, a young girl who is being babysat by her older, and meaner, cousin

one dark Halloween night. Unhappy to be saddled with Hannah, her cousin cooks up

a scheme to frighten her, but the scheme backfires when Hannah gets help from

her Scary Godmother and her quirky monster friends.

"Respecting the integrity of Jill Thompson's original illustrations and

stories, we thought no one would be better to art direct the production than

Jill Thompson herself," states Zeke Norton, Director of the primetime

special. "Her contributions to the overall production were greatly

appreciated and her role as art director ensures that her fans will be pleased

with this extension of the Scary Godmother franchise. We think we've created an

evergreen Halloween special!"

Mainframe Entertainment has posted a 'sneak peek' trailer for "Scary

Godmother Halloween Spooktakular" log onto

and click on Projects/Scary Godmother.


Sources close to the development of the "Ranxerox" movie tell

Comics2Film/CBR News that Gordy Hoffman is now attached to work on the

screenplay for the movie.

Hoffmann, who won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at this year's Sunance

Film Festival for "Love Liza" (which starred his older brother Philip

Seymour Hoffman) will co-write the script with Chris Cunningham, who is attached

to direct.

"Ranxerox" is based on the controversial European comic by Stefano

Tamburini. It features a punk, Frankenstein's monster (made from photocopier

parts) and Lubna his teenage sidekick. Together they form a bizarre beauty and

beast team in a post-apocalyptic world

Fernando Sulichin ("Love Liza," "Spun") is the primary

producer on the movie for Blacklist Films. Chris Hanley ("Spun,"

"American Psycho") is producing for Muse Productions.


Although early weekend estimates indicated that is fell

short, adjusted numbers published by Box

Office Mojo now reveal that "Daredevil" has crossed the $100

million mark. After eight weeks in theaters, the man without fear has raked in a

total of $100,010,380, continuing Marvel's streak of successful movies.

CBR News