MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN
Screenwriters Josh Oppenheimer and Tom Donnelly ("A Sound of
Thunder") have turned in a draft of the script for the big-screen update of
Lee Falk's "Mandrake The Magician." Comics2Film/CBR News followed up
with the producers at Crusader Entertainment to see how the project was shaping
A spokesperson for Crusader told us they are thrilled with the first draft.
"It is an incredibly unique action film."
in 1934, Falk's Mandrake strip featured a stage magician who used his powers of
hypnotism and illusion to fight crime. Crusader tells us that the movie
will update the character for the 21st century.
"The Mandrake in the film will not be the 'classic' Mandrake, clad in
top hat and tux," our source said. "He will be a contemporary magician
in the high concept, David Blaine mold. His skills range from simple illusions
to elaborate escapes."
Plans are for Oppenheimer and Donnelly to do a polish on the script before
going out to actors and directors. Crusader tells us they've had interest from
several parties on the talent front, but so far nobody is attached. However our
source tells us the ideal lead for the movie would be, "someone like Colin
Farrell, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp or Leonardo DiCaprio."
Crusader Entertainment and Hyde Park Entertainment announced that they'd
picked up the film rights to the classic comic strip last fall. Around the same
timeframe, they also purchased the feature rights to Falk's classic costumed
hero "The Phantom."
Warning: This "Spider-Man" update contains potential, but minor
spoilers about the new movie.
A New Zealand news outlet called Stuff
details the work of Kiwi F/X man Mark Sagar on the upcoming
"Spider-Man" sequel. Sagar will be working as part of the Sony
Imageworks team on the digital effects for the animating character and his foe
The new movie will provide some unique challenges over the first one, which
will require Sagar to model not just the web-slinger, but star Tobey Maguire as
"During the first movie, virtually all the action shots involved
Spider-Man with his mask on," Sagar told Stuff. "But this time there
will be extended computer-generated sequences in which Spider-Man has his mask
Since the limits of motion capture would make it impractical to try to
capture all potential expressions made by Maguire, Sagar, who holds a doctorate
engineering, has developed a new method for generating realistic facial
movements based on "geometrical expression changes."
"The techniques I'm using are the most realistic yet, but require data
acquisition from the subject," Sagar said. "However, there are quite
complicated ways to modify this data to make it look like someone else."
Sagar has already used his Lightstage software, which he co-created, to
create animated models of President George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden. Those
were just for fun.
Thanks to Mark for the lead.
X2: X-MEN UNITED
What lurks on channel X? Only Rob Zombie knows, but if you want to know what lurks in the new X-Men movie tune in to "The Making of
X2" on HBO starting this week.
For behind-the-scenes revelations about those dashing mutants, tune in to the
cable premium channel on Thursday at 10:45 p.m. If you miss it, don't worry.
Many encores are planned through May.
Here are the schedule airdates: