Batman, Hellboy, Astro City, Shazam, more: Comic Reel Wrap for November 25th

Tue, November 25th, 2003 at 12:00am PST

TV/Film
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

BATMAN: INTIMIDATION GAME

[Michael Caine]Our dear friends at Batman-on-Film report that the name "Daniel Day Lewis" is being batted around for the role of Ra's Al Ghul. Meanwhile, Variety reports that Michael Caine is signed on to play the role of Alfred, quashing rumors from last week about Michael Gough's return.

BATMAN VERSUS SUPERMAN

UGO got their hands on a copy of the now-defunct script, and their review is not forgiving. "'Batman Vs. Superman' had the right idea in mind. The idea of Batman seeking revenge, blinded by rage, and Superman trying to stop him from self-destructing, is a great premise. But this is the pallid, PG-rated version of that story. It sounds good, but the words don't live up to the promise. Despite the terrific opening, with Bruce and Clark letting us in on a more human level, the writers soon leave the characters behind and instead of exploiting this singular opportunity to bring these guys together for something special, they keep them apart and give up on them for some standard action. Batman Vs. Superman takes its characters for granted."

HELLBOY

Everybody's favorite director Guillermo del Toro was interviewed over at Suicidegirls.com, and of course he talked about "Hellboy," specifically about translating the art of Mike Mignola. "I issued a style guide on the colors and shapes in the movie. But the main thing with it is that you have to realize that Mignola cheats a lot. He cheats shadows and light where there shouldn't be any. He himself is the first one to admit it; he says if I don't like something I make it black. From the moment you realize it's impossible to make a literal translation you stop worrying about it and enjoy it. The movie is not the comic but it is the best movie I could make out of that comic. The comic is fantastic but it's totally dependent on comic book storytelling. You can juxtapose, freeze frame a whole page. It's a completely different ball of wax. The comic is a masterpiece and the movie is definitely reverential of that."

ASTRO CITY

Down in Texas, Kurt Busiek discussed some of why he finally agreed to option his baby, and Comics Continuum was there to get the scoop. "The movie guys have come to me and I have said I'm not interested, and they go away," Busiek said. "These guys (Barenholtz and Alpers) wouldn't go away. They seemed to understand the property. It needs action, but the characters' story is paramount. So here we are."

THE POWER OF SHAZAM

Holy moley! Producer Michael Uslan, often associated with those fine folks down in Tampa, talked to The Marvel Family Web about development on cinematic adventures of Billy Batson. "Scripting is on-going," Uslan said. "Everybody is excited. Fans have to sit tight and wait for official word from New Line on news."

CATWOMAN/SPIDER-MAN 2

The men on the gridiron won't be the only ones clad in spandex this February, it seems. At least three super-hero related movies promise commercials for the big game. Filmjerk talks about the Cat and the Spider, and the Comic Reel was there when Guillermo del Toro told us to make room for Hellboy (reiterated by Superherohype), so keep your eyes on the screen, true believers! In other Spider-related news, Stan Lee chatted with Hollywood North Report about his spectacular Spider-cameo, and Ain't It Cool News has a spy report on the still-in-production teaser trailer.

BLADE: TRINITY

Uber-geek Patton Oswalt has posted some photos of himself, Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds on the set of the Wesley Snipes-fueled sequel.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

They're baaaaack! ICv2 has the scoop on those grarly green dudes and their Cartoon Network debut.

YOU'RE GETTING VERY SLEEPY ...

Neither unusual cold weather in LA or a shiny new copy of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City will stay our rounds, getting you the latest comic book movie news! If you have the scoop on anything related to comic book movies, TV adaptations 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 if you care at all, you can find the Comic Reel's author singing in the 2003 Hollywood Karaoke Contest tonight, at Highland Grounds in Hollywood, starting at 8PM. God help us all ...

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