Hellboy, Constantine, Batman Begins: March 24th Comic Reel Wrap

Wed, March 24th, 2004 at 12:00am PST

TV/Film
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

HELLBOY

Faithful reader Ed Kavilanz wrote in after checking out tickets for the early screenings of "Hellboy" that we reported yesterday. The page for the New York show had this note to pique your interest: "Arrive early and meet Guillermo Del Toro, director of Hellboy and Mike Mignola, creator of the acclaimed comic book." Just so LA fans don't feel left out, Ed noted this jewel for the Universal City show: "Arrive early and meet the stars of Hellboy, Ron Perlman and Selma Blair!"

CONSTANTINE

IGN's Filmforce has a sizeable report about their set visit to the Keanu Reeves-led Vertigo adaptation. Director Francis Lawrence said, "I don't really think that the studio understands this movie completely, And to be honest, I sort of feel like we're getting away with something because there's a lot of strange things in this. There are some issues in this that are not [in] your typical studio film. There's John and his lung cancer, not brain cancer, which all the fans think. There's a bunch of suicides that we deal with. There's some sort of religious themes, religious philosophies on how the world works. There are a lot of layers to this movie that I don't really think the studio understands, which is actually fine by me. But what there is, is some comedy. There is horror, there are scares, there's some violence ..."

BATMAN BEGINS

Batman-on-Film has some slightly spoilerish updates on the new movie, including the casting of Rutger Hauer in a cameo role as "Mr. Earl."

Their inside source had a bit to say about The Scarecrow: "Thought I would give you the head's up on some info I've got--a concept drawing of The Scarecrow in FULL costume. [It seems] The Scarecrow will appear in FULL costume during a [fear gas induced] hallucination towards the end -- Arkham perhaps. Also got to see a pic of the actual mask -- let me say this thing is f'ing disturbing; really, this thing will scare the s##t out of you. It's a very dark brown, it had no hat and no hat will be with the sack. The eye holes were scary to look at with no eyes, so what they will look like with eyes is anyone's guess. But rest assured, this mask fits in well with the other costumes I've seen, [as it] doesn't look stupid or comical -- this thing it disturbing." They also say that the honchos at Warner Brothers "have decided on releasing a pic of Bale in the Batman costume -- although the timeframe for that is unknown. Perhaps this summer. Also, the alleged Dent cameo -- if it takes place -- will occur during a scene between Rachel Dobson and D.A. Finch."

Finally, A scooper for Superhero Hype has seen the scripts for both Christopher Nolan's currently filming Bat pic and the beleaguered Aussie Super-production, and shared his thoughts on them: "David Goyer's Batman Begins script gets a big thumbs up, the J.J. Abrams' Superman script doesn't really. Both of the films will be changing the origins of the character, but the Batman origin will be more in line with what was written in the comics before. It is very conscience of staying true to the Batman character. With Superman, it apparently gets too formulaic trying to connect things. For example, the Smallville story keeps you intrigued, but the new Supes film's story does not. With Batman you want to go deeper into his journey to see what's next. Our source says that Goyer makes it feel like a Batman movie at all times through locations, etc. Even scenes where Batman is not present, it still feels like a Batman film. It also has a lot of "Batman: Year One" in it (in a positive way), which probably explains why the studio didn't go for a separate 'Year One' film. 'Enigma' adds that all the characters are excellent in Batman Begins. There's 3 villains (Ra's Al Ghul, Scarecrow, mob boss Falcone) in the movie, but it never feels cluttered. We're told that the Batmobile scene is simply amazing and that it's hard to believe they won't be using CGI for it, considering what all the vehicle does. The source also says that Batman appears in the movie about as much time as the Hulk did in last summer's adaptation, though the time he'll be on-screen will be 'awesome' Some favorite scenes and more details? Turn back now if you're trying to avoid big spoilers!... The Batman vs. Scarecrow confrontation is supposed to be spectacular. And the best scene in Superman, where he rescues Lois Lane from a plane crash, will probably be stunning. Also Ra's Al Ghul, played by Ken Watanabe, doesn't speak a word of English in the script. He instead has a translator who does that for him. And the Batmobile in the film will be referred to as the 'Tumbler,' it is designed by Wayne Enterprises for the military.'"

SMALLVILLE

The team at Kryptonsite has been hard at work. Their first wildly unconfirmed rumor puts a has a real Luke and Leia sort of feel to it, as they offer a potential spoiler on a really huge season finale DCU guest star. Second, the students at the campus of the University of British Columbia were told a new pilot called "A Screwball Homicide" was filming, but when an alert fan spotted this limo some suspicions were raised. Next, actor Wayne Dalgish posted some extremely spoilerish photos from his guest appearance on "Smallville." Finally, Titan Books has slightly altered the cover for the "Smallville Yearbook," and of course the kids at Kryptonsite have the new images for your review. Meanwhile, Kryptonsite archenemies Devoted to Smallville have scans of a Tom Welling article in Pop Star magazine.

THE MARK

Variety reports that the sometime king of summer movies, Will Smith, is moving ahead with Nickelodeon Movies on the big screen adaptation of the Rob Liefeld sci-fi action film. Smith will star as an everyman who discovers a strange mark has transferred to his body from the corpse of a Confederate soldier. The strange glyph grants Smith amazing powers, and he struggles with the decision to do good or evil with them, much like Marvel's New Universe hero Star Brand did.

YOU'LL NEVER WORK IN THIS TOWN AGAIN!

First of all, if anybody can find out what happened to Comics Continuum and Superhero Hype most of Tuesday night, go fix it. Second, we totally appreciate the amazing reader reports we receive, sharing the gift of data with all of fandom. 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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