Catwoman, AvP, Spider-Man 2, X-Men 3, more: Comic Reel Wrap for December 24th, 2003

Wed, December 24th, 2003 at 12:00am PST

TV/Film
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

CATWOMAN

Ain't It Cool News had a spy report from the set of "Catwoman" and there's allegedly trouble with the production. "Got some pretty scary news regarding the surprisingly 'troubled' Catwoman project,I say surprisingly because everyone involved seemed to think that this was the correct direction for the project to go. That was until they realized it sucks. It seems from what I'm hearing even long term producer Denise De Novi is having second thoughts on everything from the script to director. Evidently the bad blood started about 4 weeks ago in Vancouver, Arguments were being made over the reaction the film has gotten so far from the Internet and other bad press, the initial Catwoman costume picture had a lot to do with this. The critical lambasting worried Warner a lot, So much they started to fear that this film could hurt the upcoming Batman film if it had bad word of mouth at this early in the game (Before people had even seen it) Will people still flock to the theaters to see Batman if Catwoman bitters their taste?" The report goes on to detail internal workings at Warner Brothers and implies that fan responses (to the initial costume photos, et cetera) scared the bigwigs.

ALIENS VS. PREDATOR

Lance Henriksen talked to Sci Fi Wire that he enjoyed his experience with the production. "I was the first one cast in the movie," Henriksen said from the Prague set. "Paul was gracious enough to literally, for two hours, tell me every scene in the movie. And I was stunned, because he has this incredible enthusiasm for what he's doing and what his vision is that he had the energy to do that. So I was really welcomed." Henriksen talked about the "prequel" nature of the film: "It's like going through the looking glass backwards here, because now we're going back in time to before Aliens , before Alien even. The way [Anderson has] structured this script, there's such logic to it all, such sense, because we know those movies before, and we're not denying you know them, so when you see this movie you're going to see something completely different, but it's got those genres in it." Meanwhile, Ain't It Cool News is casting an unfavorable light on this project as well, with a spy report from the Prague set which says it "looks like its going to be a real train wreck," that "the Predator suits are so big and so heavy, and that the actors cannot perform in them, and are getting tired out very quickly ... Apparently, Amalgamated Dynamics (the company who made the creatures for the film) wanted to approach making the suits differently than what had been done previously at Stan Winston's. All of the armor was made separately, and is added on once the actor is in the already incredibly bulky, ridiculous looking suit."

SPIDER-MAN 2

Comics Continuum has quotes from Alfred Molina, who says he "surrendered" to the experience of playing Otto Octavius in "Spider-Man 2." "It's not like anything most of us do in the course of our work," Molina said. "It's such a strange ... and clearly, it's its own world and has its own rules, its own conventions. The one thing you never hear from actors who are in a movie like this, whether you're playing a villain or a super-hero, is 'Well, I don't know anybody who could do this.' Because, the thing is, it's a whole different universe. And you have to embrace that. And be as authentic as you can. I'm having the time of my life. Playing villains is the perfect job, really because you get to be outrageous as you want to be. All bets are off." Also, toys from the new film are already showing up on eBay. Finally, Stan Lee talked to IGN.com about his cameo (and line) in the sequel, and noted he hopes to get some screen time in "X-Men 3" as well.

X-MEN 3

Speaking of the mutant-themed sequel, Lauren-Shuler Donner talked to Dark Horizons about plans for "X3." When asked what if she's getting grilled with questions, she replied, "Mostly which character would you want to see in X3? [From others] I'm getting Beast, I'm getting Gambit -- I have a great idea for Gambit but I can't say what it is." She also noted that the Dark Phoenix storyline is a go.

SUPERMAN

The spies at Ain't It Cool News read People magazine, and Natalie Portman talked about possibly getting her journalism on. "No more than a rumor at this stage. But who wouldn't want to play Lois Lane?" Plus, last night on "Last Call with Carson Daly," "Smallville" star Tom Welling spoke briefly about his interaction with Brett Ratner. "I went out to his house," Welling said, "and as always, scheduling was a concern. For me to do the movie, the show would have to go away." Welling did enjoy some of the benefits of the role, including being introduced to Shaquille O'Neal's children as Superman.

PUNISHER

The aforementioned page at Comics Continuum also has comments from producer Gail Anne Hurd about the Thomas Jane-fueled action film. Ninety percent of the action in that ["Hulk"] was CGI, or interacting with a CGI character," Hurd said. "Where with this film, it's all in the screen. That's why Thomas Jane (who stars in the title role) trained for so long. He started in February. He trained with a number of Navy SEALS, both hand-to-hand combat, all kinds of techniques, as well as all the guns and the other weapons. The NAVY Seals, the people in special forces, have a lot of tricks up there sleeves. Knives, claymore mines and grenades. It is a little different than the Hulk. It is nice that the character isn't CGI." Avi Arad chimed in with a kind of admiration. "The thing with the Punisher is that he could go toe-to-toe with all those guys and he did it without super powers," Arad said. "Sort of with his rage and his resolve. The weird thing is he's the guy with no powers, and you never question it when you read it."

TEEN TITANS UPDATE

Comics Continuum stayed busy today: they also note that Ashley Johnson ("Growing Pains," "Recess") will be voicing the character Terra in the January 24th episode.

... AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT

The Comic Reel will be winding down for some obscure holidays, two Thursdays in a row. We'll be here every other day, so 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).

 
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