'Solomon Kane,' 'X2,' 'Blake & Mortimer,' 'American Splendor' and 'Spider-Man 2': Comics2Film wrap for May 18, 2003

Mon, May 19th, 2003 at 12:00am PDT

TV Film
Rob Worley, Columnist



reports French producer/distributor Samuel Hadida has come on board the previously

announced "Solomon Kane" movie.

Hadida's Davis Films is joining Paul and Michael Berrow's Wandering Star in

the $55 million movie based on "Conan" creator Robert E. Howard's

early American hero.

Like Conan, the pulp hero enjoyed a run in various comic books with the bulk

of his run being with Marvel. The character made its comic book debut in

Marvel's horror mag "Monsters Unleashed" #1. He went on to face

Dracula in "Dracula Lives" and appeared in numerous other comics. Most

recently Wandering Star Press published "The Savage Tales of Solomon

Kane," reprinting the pulp novels with illustrations by Gary Gianni

("The Monstermen").

"Conan was a hero of the '80s and '90s," Hadida told Variety.

"Today there is a new dimension because of special effects. Solomon King,

an avenger who fights the forces of evil, fits in with this world."

David Jung and Steve Dandois are writing the script, set in the 1700s.

"We want to make this a rip roaring, epic story," the producer said.

Hadida's distribution company Metropolitan, which circulated "Lord of

the Rings" in France, will also distribute "Kane" in that


The producer is said to be seeking a director for the project and looks to go

into production next year for a 2005 release.


Record numbers of moviegoers re-entered "The Matrix" this weekend,

propelling the sequel to record numbers according to analysis based on weekend

estimates at Box

Office Mojo.

The highly anticipated "The Matrix: Reloaded" opened on over 8500

screens ringing up over $135 million on the five-day weekend shattering records

set by "Spider-Man" last year. Discounting the massive numbers from

Wednesday and Thursday, "Spider-Man" retains the record for the

three-day weekend opening with its $114 million-plus, with "Reloaded"

coming in second place with $93.26 million.

"X2: X-Men United" dropped to the #3 spot on the charts, losing

another 57% of its audience in its third week of release. That movie now carries

a whopping domestic tally of $174 million.

Overseas ticket sales on "X2" remain strong.


A Variety

article detailing the expanding efforts of UK studio Spice Factory indicates

that the comic-based "M" or "La Marque Jaune" will go into

production this August.

Sorting through the various titles of the film, and the comics that it's

based on gets confusing. Edgar Pierre Jacobs created "Blake &

Mortimer" in 1946 as a feature for the "Tintin" weekly magazine.

The movie would be based on the strip's 1954 storyline "La Marque Jaune"

or, translated to English, "The Yellow Mark."

Variety's write-up simply refers to the movie as "M." While the

letter M is the yellow mark referred to in the story's title, it may create

confusion with Fritz Lang's classic movie.

Whatever the title, "M," will shoot in August as a

U.K.-Canadian-French co-production. The movie has a $30 million. Gong Li stars

in the movie, with Rufus Sewell and Hugh Bonneville playing Blake & Mortimer.

James Huth is set to direct.


Harvey Pekar's "American Splendor" is set to screen at the sixth

Newport Intl. Film Festival next month according to Variety.

The festival runs June 10-15.

"American Splendor," a blend of fictional film footage, animation

and videotape of Pekar took, home the Grand Jury Prize for best drama at this

year's Sundance Film Festival.

Fine Line Films subsequently picked up the HBO production for theatrical

distribution. The movie is due in theaters on August 15th.


Remember when Peter Parker and Johnny Storm teamed up for a monster garage

session way back in "The Amazing Spider-Man" #130? The result was The

Spider-Mobile: a clean-burning, web-shooting, urban dune buggy that Spidey drove

in the comics for almost a year. Then the car went evil and chased him up a


Now, Sony has developed its own Spider-Mobile for the

"Spider-Man 2" movie and Ain't-it-Cool-News

has pictures of it!

No, this quirky bit of Spidey technology won't show up in the

movie. Apparently it's a suped-up golf cart for whisking Sony execs around the

studio lot when their legs get tired from carrying all the bags of Spidey-money

to the bank.

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