Iron Fist, American Splendor, Blood, X2 and Casper: Comics2Film wrap for August 13, 2003

Wed, August 13th, 2003 at 12:00am PDT

TV Film
Rob Worley, Columnist


When Marvel closed their fifteen-character deal with Artisan Entertainment,

"Iron Fist" looked as if it would be the first out of the gate. Like

the comics, the movie would tell the story of Danny Rand, who was orphaned in

Tibet as a child, but was found and taken to the hidden city of K'un-L'un. Here,

he was trained for years in mystic martial arts and eventually gained the power

of 'Iron Fist', with which he could channel superhuman energy into his hands.

Director Kirk Wong ("The Big Hit") was attached to helm the film

but eventually dropped out and the project ran aground.

However, on board from the near start to play the lead was actor and martial artist

Ray Park, most famous for his roles as Darth Maul in "The Phantom

Menace" and Toad in "X-Men."

Special Comics2Film/CBR News correspondent Zac Pensol sat down with Park at

last weekend's WizardWorld show in Chicago to talk about his upcoming projects.

Zac Pensol and Ray Park give CBR two thumbs up!

Zac Pensol (ZP): You've signed on for "Iron Fist," you did

Toad, are you a big comic fan?

Ray Park (RP): Yes, so-so, you know, I like watching the cartoons. I

never really read the comics; I was more into the martial arts genres and

things. But right now I am a fan of "Batman" and "Superman."

I like "Batman" and "Superman" and "X-Men" of


ZP: You already mentioned that you're still signed on for Iron Fist,

so what's the hold-up?

RP: I don't know, I just think they're developing the script, want to

make sure it's right, they want to make sure the quality is great. You know, for

it just to be a great movie. So I think they'll have a director for it pretty


ZP: Have you been reading any of the "Iron Fist" comics?

RP: I've actually started to collect; I've spent quite a bit of money on

the "Iron Fist" comics.

ZP: "Iron Fist" will be your first starring role, is that

making you nervous?

RP: No, I have quite a lot of experience, so I'm not nervous, I'm

really very excited about doing it. I think it would be more nerve-wracking to

see the response when you get the finished product from the fans. But I really

want to do a great job of it, since it's the first time for me to play a good

guy, because I always portray the bad, sort-of evil people. I'm more excited as

well. It's a big step for me.

ZP: At this point, can you reveal anything on "Iron Fist"?

RP: Weeeeeell… no. Just that I'm doing it.

ZP: What aside from the martial arts background drew you to "Iron


RP: I was asked 2 or 3 years ago, and the producer thought I'd be

great for the part. But just the comic and the background, all of the characters

as well, and playing another Marvel character, plus he's a good guy and it's a

chance for me to really show what I can do as a martial artist and as an actor

as well.

ZP: So what drew you to Toad?

RP: I got asked to do the job, and it was just a second job, so really

I was in a position where I really wanted to have a successful career. So the

fact that they asked me to play this character, it's in the superhero genre,

that whole thing, you know, I get to play a superhero, you know, but a bad guy

again, so really just a progressive step for me.

ZP: That concludes the interview, thank you for your time. It's been a

real pleasure.

RP: Nice meeting you.

Note: Marvel's Q2

2003 financial statement does not include mention of the "Iron

Fist" movie as a project in development, which may indicate that it is

further off than a 2005 release.



Ain't It Cool scored a couple of nice interviews with the

cast and crew of "American Splendor."

First up is their talk with Paul

Giamatti, who plays Harvey Pekar in the movie.

"The whole thing with him appealed to me. I guess there's just

something about him. He epitomizes this kind of angry outsider thing that sort

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of appeals to me, and… there's a certain romance I have about things like

that," Giamatti said of Pekar. " There's a great tradition of the

angry outsider scourging the world… but there's a lot more to Harvey than

that. But, at the basic level, *that* kind of thing (appeals to me). I mean,

there's a fine line between a genius and a lunatic walking around with an 'end

is nigh' sign, and that kind of thing is interesting."

The gossip site also chatted with comic creator Joyce

Brabner, Pekar's wife, who appears in the movie. She's also played by

actress Hope Davis in the film. Brabner reveals that she and Davis did not have

a lot of interaction on the set.

"I went down to watch it (being shot). And, you know, they have you sit

in a room and watch. And by the end of the (day's) shoot, Ted Hope, the

producer, came up to me and said, 'Hope Davis is having a terrible time doing

this. She just feels as if your eyes are boring into the back of your

head,'" Brabner said. "She couldn't even see me from where she was;

it was all her imagination. But I did stay off set when she was shooting, or

'can we hide you in the bushes while she's shooting?'"

For more from both interviews click the links above.




chatted up "Freddy Vs. Jason" director Ronny Yu who revealed that he

hopes to direct the Japanese comic "Blood: The Last Vampire."


says he's seen the animated version and is trying to secure the rights and

develop a script for a live-action, English-language version.




has the scoop on the "X2: X-Men United" DVD and VHS release.

The 2-disc DVD set will boast the following special features for all Regions:

Disc 1:

  • Audio Commentary by director Bryan Singer, editor/composer John Ottman and

    cinematographer Tom Sigel

  • Audio Commentary by producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter and

    screenwriters Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, and David Hayter

Disc 2:

  • History of The X-Men Featurette: The Secret Origin of X-Men
  • History of The X-Men Featurette: Nightcrawler Reborn
  • Pre-Production Featurette: 4 Multi-Angel Fight Sequences – Nightcrawler


  • Pre-Production Featurette: Evolution in the Details – Designing X-Men 2
  • Pre-Production Featurette: United Colors of X
  • Production Featurette: Wolverine/Deathstrike Fight Rehearsal
  • Production Featurette: The Second Uncanny Issue of X-Men: Making X-Men 2
  • Production Featurette: Introducing the Incredible Nightcrawler
  • Production Featurette: Nightcrawler Stunt Rehearsal
  • Production Featurette: Nightcrawler Timelapse
  • Production Featurette: FX2-Visual Effects
  • Post-Production Featurette: Requiem For Mutants - The Score of X-Men 2
  • Post-Production Featurette: X-Men 2 Webcast Highlights
  • Deleted Scene: Extended Wolverine/Deathstrike Fight (Approx. 2:30)
  • Deleted Scene: Wolverine Kills The Intruder (Approx. 0:22)
  • Deleted Scene: Mystique in Stryker's Files (Approx. 2:53)
  • Deleted Scene: Nightcrawler Bamfs To Save The Students (Approx. 0:30)
  • Deleted Scene: Jean And Storm In The X-Jet (Approx. 1:09)
  • Deleted Scene: Jubilee At The Museum (Approx. 1:15)
  • Deleted Scene: Pyro Starts The Campfire (Approx. 0:20)
  • Deleted Scene: One Of The Children Is Sick After Bamfing (Approx. 0:13)
  • Deleted Scene: Rogue Helps The Children Escape Approx. 0:30)
  • Deleted Scene: Professor X And Cyclops Escape (Approx. 1:37)
  • Deleted Scene: Arriving To An Empty School (Approx. 0:41)
  • Static Image Gallery: Graphics Gallery
  • Static Image Gallery: Museum Stills
  • Static Image Gallery: Production Design
  • Static Image Gallery: Character
  • Static Image Gallery: Graphics
  • Static Image Gallery: Nightcrawler
  • Static Image Gallery: Gus Dyas Gallery
  • Static Image Gallery: Promotional Artwork
  • X-Men 2 Theatrical Trailers


It's the home video release fans have been clamoring for: the 'Casper Special

Edition' DVD. The hit family film, based on the Harvey Comics character, will

make its debut on DVD on September 23, 2003. The disc will carry a $19.98 MSRP.

Extras include "Casper's Haunted House of Halloween Fun" featuring

interactive Halloween activities for kids; new footage of cast and crew;

director's commentary; fun interactive games; a deleted scene; and a unique

"Casper" documentary entitled "Revealing Casper" which gives

audiences a look into how this one-of-a-kind special effects extravaganza was


Additionally, as a bonus, audiences will be (trick-or)-treated to a FREE

episode of the original "Casper" animated series.



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