Comics2Film Wrap for April 9th, 2003

Wed, April 9th, 2003 at 12:00am PDT

TV Film
Rob Worley, Columnist


After shepherding the hit comic book movie "Daredevil" to theaters

this year, director Mark Steven Johnson is going back to the Marvel library to

direct "Ghost Rider." That's the word from today's Variety.

Nicolas Cage is still attached to star in the flaming vehicle, which is

greenlit to roll cameras late this year or early next year. Johnson will first

rewrite Shane Salerno's draft of the script about a motorcyclist who pacts with

a demon of vengeance in order to save the woman he loves.

The movie is set up at Columbia Pictures and Crystal Sky.

"Daredevil" producers Gary Foster (Johnson's partner at Horseshoe

Bay Productions) and Avi Arad (Marvel chief) will produce "Ghost

Rider" along with Crystal Sky's Steven Paul.


Discovery Kids will make an announcement concerning it's new cartoon lineup

on NBC soon according to The announcement will make specific mention of Jay Stephens' patchwork

mummy-boy "Tutenstein" as well as another new series called

"Kenny the Shark."

MediaWeek provided this description for "Tutenstein": The story of a

megalomaniacal 10-year-old mummy who is awakened and tries to reclaim his status

as ruler of the world. Authentic Egyptian lore permeates the show's details, but

not in a heavy-handed way.

"It's unfunny if you take time out to load in

Egyptian content," says Marjorie

Kaplan, senior vice president/general manager of Discovery Kids, "but it's funny that Tutenstein's

stomach is growling in its canopic jar."

The new series will debut on the NBC Saturday morning segment and then re-run

on the Discovery Kids cable channel a week later.


He may be bulletproof but he's not germ-proof. Because of that, the Hollywood

Reporter reports that big-screen superhero Chow Yun-Fat will not be heading

to Hollywood for the premier 'Bulletproof Monk' today.

Chow lives in Hong Kong, a city recently stricken by the outbreak of the

deadly Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (a.k.a. SARS). The article does not

indicate that Chow actually has the disease, but is merely heeding travel

warnings issued by the World Health Organization as well as warnings issued by

his wife.

Readers who caught Friday's

Q & A with the actor know that when Chow's wife Jasmine gives an order,

the actor follows it.


From a press release: Marvel Enterprises, Inc. and Universal Studios Consumer

Products Group, have built a massive worldwide licensing program for the June 20 release

of one of the summer's most anticipated movie events - Universal Pictures'


Hulk." With a roster of more than 300 licensees worldwide consisting of industry

leaders including Toy Biz Worldwide, Harper Collins, Upper Deck Entertainment

and Vivendi Universal Games, unique products based on this larger-than-life

production will be breaking onto retail shelves around the world this summer.

"'The Hulk' is one of the most highly anticipated movies for this summer

and certainly one of the most high-profile Marvel movies ever to be released.

The merchandising program already established for 'The Hulk' is larger than the

licensing program that was in place for 'Spider-Man' last year, making it our

largest licensing program for a theatrical release to date," said Russ

Brown, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products, Promotions & Media

Sales. "The potential success of this program has already started to be

realized with the overwhelming sales of Toy Biz Worldwide's Hulk toy line, which

continues to track as well or better than last year's top-selling Spider-Man

merchandise. We are optimistic that all of the Hulk-based merchandise will have

similar success."

Tim Rothwell, SVP, Universal Studios Consumer Products Group added,

"From a retail perspective, The Hulk has dominant positioning at every

major retailer worldwide kicking off this summer and moving through Holiday

2003. Not often does a brand have such an unprecedented global appeal and

worldwide acceptance as The Hulk does, from licensing to promotions to


Leading The Hulk merchandise barrage is master toy licensee, Toy Biz

Worldwide, which is producing the complete, highly-articulated action figure

line as well as several must-have accessories including the already top-selling

Electronic Hulk Hands. The Hulk products have already started hitting retail

shelves. A complete licensee list is available upon request.

The Hulk licensing program is one of the biggest campaigns in Marvel's

history and follows on the heels of a banner year for the Company's licensing

division in 2002 as net sales increased 99% to $79.6 million from $40 million in

2001 (as recently reported in Marvel's fourth quarter and year-end December 31,

2002 report).

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