The Chicago Sun-Times caught up with producer Lauren Shuler Donner about her cinematic forays into comic book properties. On "Constantine," she said, "Basically, Keanu sends demons to hell in this one, The twist is that he goes there too to make sure the job is done." Donner told Sci Fi Wire that this won't be an origin story, but Garth Ennis' "Dangerous Habits" storyline from the Vertigo series.
On the purported "X-Men" sequel, Donner told the Chicago Sun-Times, "Oh, there will definitely be 'X 3' We're looking for a great story. We're lucky with this series because there is 40 years of great stories in the comics." When asked about Halle Berry's reluctance to return as Storm (which we reported last week), Donner said, ""I hope Halle comes back, we just have to give her something great to do." Donner is aiming for May 2005 release, staring into the maw of the Lucasfilm juggernaut that year. Also, Hugh Jackman talked "X3" on the British morning show GMTV, according to Superherohype, and said, "Well it will be a few years off, but I am tied to the character of Wolverine, and really do want to know how his story progresses. Y'know, I owe a lot to Wolverine, and I love working with Bryan Singer, and Pat Stewart and Ian McKellan and the guys so I'd be silly to throw it all away. So yes, when they are ready, I'm there." On a somewhat related note, Jackman is itching to get started on "The Bill Bixby Story," which prompted Brit telepersonality Fiona Philips to say, "Hugh Jackman, you wont like him when he's angry." Right.
Comics Continuum has an interview with Jonathan Hensleigh, director of the Thomas Jane-fueled flick. "I read every single Punisher comic I could get. There might have been a couple that slipped through, but I went all the way back," Hensleigh said. "I had to cull certain aspects from some of the comics, but then had to whole scale all the rest of it with the plot. I took the character Frank Castle, the Punisher, and all that from the comic series, but I invented a great deal." Check the link for a lot more, plus new photos from the movie.
Lawsuit notwithstanding, Comics Continuum also has spoilers and images from this week's syndicated episode, "Hand of God," written by Rick Drew and directed by Terry Ingram.
Over on the Hellboy Message Boards, director Guillermo del Toro revealed that the character Abe Sapien, played by Doug Jones, will be voiced by "Frasier" star David Hyde Pierce in a sort of Darth Vader, David Prowse/James Earl Jones deal. As well, we're happy to present the teaser poster for your entertainment.
Another one bites the dust -- "Timeline" star Paul Walker talked to Superherohype about why he turned down the blue and red tights after talking to Richard Donner, director of the original "Superman" movie. "We had conversations and by the end of it, the closing thing I said, 'Do you think I need it, should I do it?' He said, 'For what sake?' I said, 'Financially.' He said, 'No kid, you do it if you want to do it.' I said, 'Well I don't think I want to die as Superman.' And he said, 'Well there's your answer, don't do it.' And that was it." On Donner, Walker continued, "He's like a father figure to me. His opinion means a lot to me. You won't find anyone who tells it straighter than Richard Donner in the industry anyhow, I'll tell you that." In the end, it may just be a matter of taste. Walker said, "Putting on my underoos, I had Superman ones. Talking about pillows and mats to fall on for stuntwork. I was Superman from time to time but Aquaman was the coolest. I loved Aquaman. That guy could stay underwater." Right.
In other Kryptonian news, AOL has a RealMedia preview clip of Wednesday night's episode, Magnetic (thanks to Kryptonsite for that link).
MORT THE DEAD TEENAGER
We've now gotten two emails (thanks Ethan Switch and Hugh Z) saying that Wizard and Dark Horizons have both noted Jessica Simpson as being attached to -- and I can't believe I'm typing this -- a "Mort the Dead Teenager" project. A quick Google search turned up no fewer than three links (including Yahoo Movies and a list of links longer than the lines to see Matrix Revolutions last week over at our dear friend Rob Worley's Comics2Film site) referring to her involvement with it. Right.
WORDS FAIL ME ...
If you have the scoop on anything related to comic book movies and TV adaptations (no matter how bizarre ... "Mort the Dead Teenager?") or just want to give us a truck full of cash, no questions asked, drop us a line and let's coordinate. You can choose an alias if you'd like, or be mentioned by name -- we honor requests for anonymity. Broadcasting live from Los Angeles, this is your humble scribe Hannibal Tabu saying thanks for your time and indulgence, and (insert pithy sign-off here, once it gets out of development hell). Oh, and I'd like to wish a happy birthday today to Yewande Akinrele, so there you have it, all laid out flush.