'Y' optioned, 'Punisher' and 'Fantastic Four' talk: Comics2Film wrap for May 16, 2003

Fri, May 16th, 2003 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Rob Worley, Columnist

Y: THE LAST MAN

Coming

Attractions at Cinescape reports that writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Pia

Guerra's Vertigo comic "Y: The Last Man" has been optioned for the big

screen by New Line Cinema.

J.C. Spink and Chris Bender, Mason Novick of Benderspink and David Goyer are

said to be producing the movie.

The information from the report appears to be largely derived from the

project's listing 4Filmmakers tracking

site, which sometimes presents bleeding edge information that turns out to be

erroneous. However, as that site is run by Benderspink, odds are, in this case,

the information is accurate.

Further corroborating the story, Coming Attractions also discovered that New

Line has purchased the domains ythelastman.com and ythelastmanmovie.com.

"Y: The Last man" tells the story of Yorick Brown, who finds

himself the sole male survivor of a global plague. For more on "Y: The Last Man," read CBR News' interview with artist Pia Guerra from September, 2002.

PUNISHER

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Ryan Downey of MTV.com

caught up with Marvel's Avi Arad to talk about casting on "The

Punisher."

Back in April, Artisan officially announced that Thomas Jane ("Dreamcatcher")

would step up to the lead role in the production. Arad commented on the choice

of casting a character actor over a Hollywood action hero.

"You don't want to

just get a man of steel - you want a man of steel with a bleeding heart. You

want someone who cares and therefore you're going to care for him. Thomas Jane,

he has soulful eyes," Arad said. "I see him as a cross between Steve McQueen and Clint

Eastwood. And he has that thing about him - when he is sad, you feel like

crying with him. And when he is mad? Watch out."

Just this week it was announced that John Travolta was on board to play the

villain in the film, Howard Saint, a crime-lord gone straight, who is pulled

back into his violent lifestyle when is own son is killed.

"We didn't want to do a cliché villain," Arad said of Travolta.

"We are going for a dignified businessman [who is] cold but almost

charming. And we are going to see his world fall apart like he made Frank's

world fall apart. ... There is a lot of pain to what happens to Saint in this

movie. And we needed an actor who can carry a real emotional journey."

In spite of the comics' violent tale of vengeance, Arad said the movie will

look beneath the surface to the humanity of the characters.

"We'd like to take the Punisher saga and turn it into a real

interesting film about emotions, about punishment, and deal both with the hero

and the villain evenhandedly as people first and see what happens when the shoe

is on the other foot. And you really need great actors to pull it off."

For more of Arad's thoughts about the movie check out the

complete interview.

In other "Punisher" news a write up in The

Saint Petersburg Times talk's about the movie's Tampa location. Cameras will

roll in the Florida city starting in July. According to the article, it will be

the first movie to film principal photography there in over a decade.

Tampa film commissioner Edie Emerald was also happy that the city would be

playing itself in the movie, and not merely standing in for a different or

generic city.

"So often I'm showing clients around, looking for places that can double

for New Orleans or Charlotte or Texas," Emerald told the Times. "This is the

first time when a director felt (Tampa) was perfect."

The article credits Michael France, who penned the script before

writer/director Jonathan Hensleigh came on board, as moving the character from

New York City to Tampa. France is said to be a resident of St. Pete Beach.

Tampa's downtown, Ybor City and the

Columbia Restaurant in Ybor have already been selected for locations in the

shoot. Tampa Theatre, the Florida Aquarium and

the University of Tampa campus are also being considered.

Thanks to Peter S. for the lead.

FANTASTIC FOUR

Latino

Review is the latest site to chat it up with "Fantastic Four"

director Peyton Reed. Reed confirmed much of the recent talk, including the fact

that Mark Frost ("Twin Peaks") is on board to rewrite the script.

"I like the Fantastic Four really because they're daytime

superheroes in a way and they don't have secret identities. They're very

much a part of New York City, they're part of a community. You can run into

them on the street and there is that kind of thing, trying to get at the reality

of what it would be like to have actual superheroes in the city and setting them

up in a pretty realistic environment," Reed said of his attraction to the

characters.

For more of the director's comments check out the

complete interview.

Thanks to IGN FilmForce for the lead.

CBR News

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