Artisan, Marvel's 'Man-Thing' shows the nature of fear

Fri, October 24th, 2003 at 12:00am PDT

TV Film
Rob Worley, Columnist


Entertainment, Marvel Studios and Fierce Entertainment announced today that the

movie version of 'Man-Thing' is due, as a theatrical release, on August 27,

2004. This differs from previous rumors that pegged the movie for a

direct-to-video release. The studio also released the teaser poster for the

film. Click the image at right for the full-size view.

Here is the official press release:

Artisan Entertainment will bring "Man-Thing", a collaboration

between Marvel Studios and Fierce Entertainment, based on the popular Marvel

Comics' character, to theatres nationwide on August 27, 2004. The announcement

made by Marvel Studios CEO Avi Arad, Artisan Pictures' President of Production

Richard Saperstein, Artisan Entertainment Executive Vice President Patrick Gunn

and Fierce Entertainment's CEO Christopher Petzel comes as the project wraps

production ahead of schedule following an incredibly successful eight-week


Adapted to the screen by Hans Rodionoff from the original 1970's Marvel comic

book character and directed by Brett Leonard, "Man-Thing" was produced

by Marvel Studios and Fierce Entertainment in association with German equity

fund Screenland Movieworld.

Marvel's terrifying creature of the swamp, "Man-Thing" screams onto

our screens in the new horror motion picture that presents a very different kind

of character to the usual Marvel superhero. Based on the cult comic book series

that was first published in 1971, the "Man-Thing" is a vengeful

creature born from the evil and injustices perpetrated against both man and


"'Man-Thing' has been an unbelievably exciting project for us. We have

always felt that this character's story would translate incredibly well to the

big screen as it mixes horrifying action with a truly mesmerizing and frightful

anti-hero," said Mr. Arad. "Brett is seen as one of the true pioneers

in the creation of revolutionary computer-generated and mechanical effects and

we now seen first-hand why. His powerful creative vision has helped bring this

character to life in a thoroughly compelling manner - so much that we have

decided to fast track it for release next summer, fully confident in its

worldwide appeal."

Commented Mr. Gunn, "Uncharacteristic of the typical Marvel characters

brought to life on the big screen, 'Man-Thing' brings a chilling component not

previously showcased in Marvel comic based films. We feel this film impressively

introduces 'Man-Thing' in a manner that will really thrill the viewing public


"Man-Thing" is directed by effects pioneer Brett Leonard, whose

talents in the horror Sci-Fi genre have been proven by motion pictures such as

groundbreaking visual effects thriller "The Lawnmower Man" and

"Virtuosity" starring Academy-Award winners Russell Crowe and Denzel

Washington. He also directed one of the most successful Imax projects ever, the

3-D "T-Rex Back to the Cretaceous," which grossed over US$100 million


Director Brett Leonard, Fierce Entertainment and Marvel Studios assembled a

truly outstanding team of professionals in bringing "Man-Thing" to

life. The film was shot by award-winning Director of Photography Steve Arnold

("Terra Nova", "La Spagnola"). Production design was handled

by Peter Pound (storyboards for "Babe" and Alex Proyas' "Dark

City") and Tim Ferrier ("Farscape"), while the substantial visual

effects work is being performed by Omnilab and Rising Sun ("The Core",

"Queen of The Damned"). Special effects and prosthetics work was

provided by The Make-Up Effects Group ("The Matrix" and


The ensemble cast include Australian icon Jack Thompson ("Original

Sin", "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", "Broken

Arrow"), whose breakout role in the feature film "Breaker Morant"

directed by Bruce Beresford earned him numerous accolades including Best

Supporting Actor at the Cannes Film Festival and an AFI Award for Best Actor,

and acclaimed New Zealand actor Rawiri Paratene who excited critics around the

world with his performance in the recent independent hit "Whale


The cast also features newcomers Matt Le Nevez ("Garage Days"

diected by Alex Proyas), Rachel Taylor ("Natalie Wood - Hollywood's Last

Child" by Peter Bogdanavich), and Steve Bastoni ("The Matrix

Reloaded", "Enter The Matrix").

Producer Avi Arad is President and CEO of Marvel Studios. Following the

record-breaking success of the box office smash hit, "Spider-Man"

(Columbia Pictures), and the establishment of two more proven franchises in his

first Marvel features - "Blade" (New Line) and X-Men: The Movie

(Twentieth Century Fox) - Arad has numerous film projects based on Marvel super

heroes in various stages of development. He has aligned Marvel with several

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prominent studios to produce full-feature films including: Twentieth Century Fox

("X-Men 2", "The Silver Surfer", "Fantastic Four",

"Daredevil," and "Elektra"), Sony Pictures ("Spider-Man

2", "Ghost Rider"), Universal Studios ("The Hulk",

"Namor"), New Line ("Iron Man"), Dimension ("Werewolf

By Night", "Dr. Strange"), Artisan Entertainment ("The

Punisher") and Paramount ("Deathlok"). His reputation has

attracted some of Hollywood's most prestigious directors (i.e. Sam Raimi, Ang

Lee and Bryan Singer) and writers who are helping translate the ever-popular

Marvel super heroes for the big screen.

"Man-Thing" was shot completely on location in Sydney, Australia.

Specific locations included Wiseman's Ferry, Serenity Cove Studios at Kurnell

for exterior swamp scenes and Homebush Bay where an elaborate supernatural swamp

environment was created on a sound stage.

Artisan Entertainment Inc. is the leading independent producer and

distributor of theatrical, television and home entertainment product. The

company coordinates its business activities through two wholly owned operating

divisions, Artisan Pictures and Artisan Home Entertainment. The Artisan Pictures

division is responsible for the development, production, marketing and

distribution of the company's annual slate of theatrical films. The Artisan Home

Entertainment division has an extensive library of over 7,000 titles, which

includes its own properties, as well as a wide spectrum of films from Academy

Award winning classics to blockbusters and cult favorites.

Fierce Entertainment, LLC is an entertainment financing and production

company formed in early 2001 by Christopher Petzel. The company has executive

produced a number of feature films and provided transaction advisory services to

leading entertainment companies around the world. Fierce Entertainment has

arranged over US$40 million of production financing and advised on over US$100

million of corporate entertainment transactions. For additional information


Marvel Enterprises, Inc. is a leading global character-based entertainment

company that has developed and owns a library of more than 4,700 characters,

which have entertained generations around the world for over 60 years. Marvel's

operations are focused in entertainment and consumer product licensing and comic

book publishing. Marvel Studios supports the development of feature films,

DVD/video products and TV series. Marvel's creative team also supports the

creation of video games and toy lines based on its characters as well as for a

broad and growing range of consumer products and services including apparel,

collectibles, foods and promotions. Marvel's comic book division is a leading

publisher in the global marketplace while also serving as an invaluable source

of intellectual property. Marvel's Toy Biz division is a recognized creative

force and leader in toy design, sales and marketing, developing and overseeing

both licensee and in-house toy lines. For additional information visit

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