Criminal Macabre, Transformers, Hulk and Spider-Man: Comics2Film wrap for June 11, 2003

Wed, June 11th, 2003 at 12:00am PDT

TV Film
Rob Worley, Columnist


Steve Niles scored

big last summer when his "30 Days of Nights" was optioned for a big

payday, which also set Niles up as the screenwriter on the project. Today The

Hollywood Reporter bears news that Niles has sold another property. This

time MGM has optioned the film rights to his Dark Horse Comics series

"Criminal Macabre."

The movie deal is worth a mid-six figure sum against low-seven figures if the

movie gets made. As with "30 Days," Niles' deal allows him to pen the

script for the movie.

In the tradition of classic film noir detectives, "Criminal

Macabre" tells the tale of private occult investigator Cal McDonald, whose

investigations lead him into the world of vampires, werewolves, and "things

even weirder."

"Criminal Macabre" is currently in comic stores. It is one of many

titles featuring the Cal McDonald. MGM's deal grants them the film rights to

"Savage Membrane" and "Guns, Drugs and Monsters" as well.

Dark Horse chief Mike Richardson ("Hellboy") is a producer on both

Niles movie ventures.


The Hasbro toy-line-turned-franchise "The Transformers" has seen a

renaissance over the past few years. There's been a hit comic book by Devil's

Due and a new TV show on Cartoon Network. Now The

Hollywood Reporter tells us that they robots in disguise are transforming

once again, this time into live-action movie heroes.

Comic-to-film heavyweight producers Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto are said to be

reconfiguring the robots for feature film treatment. Murphy and his Angryfilms

shingle have been attached to many comic-based properties, including "From

Hell" and the upcoming "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."

DeSanto is well known to fans for bringing "X-Men" and "X2: X-Men

United" to the big screen.

The pair is set to shop the project to studios and have already seen interest

from directors. No writer has been hired for the project yet, but DeSanto is at

work on a story treatment for the film.


While "The Hulk" hasn't even arrived in theaters yet, Video

Store Magazine has an article giving fans a preview of what may be on the


Director Ang Lee told the magazine his sole concern is over the movie and is

leaving decisions about the DVD up to the studio. However, he's agreed to do a

commentary track for the movie. The director also said he hopes that the

home-video presentation will respect the format of the film.

"I don't even want to do pan-and-scan," Lee told Video Store

Magazine. "All I care [about] is the letterbox."

Having seen the movie at a recent press screening, Comics2Film can add that

the pan-and-scan editors would be hard-pressed to convert many of the film's

segments into that format, without seriously damaging the movie.

According to the report, fans can look forward to segments on the special

effects from concept to final product for scenes such as the vicious fight

between Hulk and a the Hulk dogs.

Thanks to Movie City

Geek for the lead on the DVD report.

Some fans can't wait for the DVD, however, or even for the movie to hit

theaters. Instead, copies of a rough cut have been circulating around the

Internet on file-sharing services and that's got Universal Pictures up in arms,

according to a report on E!


Although the Internet piracy of movies is nothing new, with "Finding

Nemo," "The Matrix: Reloaded" and "Spider-Man" hitting

the web ahead of their theatrical release, Uni is particularly upset by this

leak because it represents an unfinished version of the film. Even worse, movie

gossip web sites are reviewing the movie and panning its special effects, even

though they are not looking at the final product.



Insider followed up on their Friday listing of episodes for the new

"Spider-Man" animated show, with a report on the final two episodes of

the season. The show's first season will end with a two-parter called "Mind

Games." Steven Kriozere of "V.I.P." fame is writing the second

leg of that one.

"Spider-Man" debuts on MTV on July 11th at 10:00 p.m.

Thanks to Gogeta for the lead.


Get ready to Hulk out!


good folks at Toy Biz and Comics2Film are teaming up to give you a chance to

bring jade-jaws home. Enter our giveaway and you can win one of three

"Hulk" action figures, based on the upcoming movie.

We're accepting entries from now until June 19 (the day before the big movie

opening). Just fill out the simple entry form on

for your chance to win!



Entertainment loves dishing out the punishment.

The publicity folks there told Comics2Film this week that we can now pass on

a total of ten copies of the super-cool teaser poster for "The

Punisher" to you, the readers.

We'll be taking names from now until June 22 (right around the time that the

official website official

website launches). Just fill out the simple entry form on

for your chance to win!

CBR News