Fantastic Four, Hellboy 2, Punisher: April 7th Comic Reel Wrap

Wed, April 7th, 2004 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

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FANTASTIC FOUR

Now being reported in the Hollywood Reporter and other official sources, everybody knows about Tim Story being the director for "Fantastic Four." Latino Review disputes the intent of the film being a comedy, and talks about Emmy-winner Michael Chiklis being discussed for the role of Ben Grimm and Oscar-winner Tim Robbins in the running for the armored role of Victor von Doom.

Variety (subscription required) talked to Story and Marvel's movie guru Avi Arad. "What attracted me was that they are a family," said Story, reached while scouting locations in Vancouver. "They might want to wring each others necks. They might storm out and disappear for three days, but you also know they'll be back. They don't always get along." "Many times, you need a star to define the movie," Arad said. "That's not the case here. We can focus on getting the actors that are totally right for the roles."

Additionally, UGO's Screenwriter's Voice has an interview with Michael France, who discusses his draft of "FF" as well as working on "Punisher" and "Hulk." "The Fantastic Four is completely different. It's a sunny, bright, four-color adventure with characters who are mostly very funny, as they fight and squabble the way real families do. Again, even though the science and events are pretty far out there, I tried to treat them as real people. I kept the family dynamic from the original Stan Lee and Jack Kirby comics, which are very funny and wildly imaginative, down the to smallest detail -- but I tried to keep the characters' problems resulting from their changes as accessible as possible. Ben Grimm is the best character -- he's the funniest one because he enjoys being a monster and scaring the hell out of people. That's his public face -- but when he's alone or in private, he's the most dramatically interesting character. He's miserable because he'll never be human again. I had a great time working with both sides of that character. It's very easy to get too silly with this stuff -- it's kind of a delicate balance -- and I hope they keep that balance when the movie is finally made."

Don't miss CBR's own interview with Michael France from March 23rd.

HELLBOY 2

You read right -- Ron Perlman confirmed to The Best Damned Sports Show Period (Windows Media only) that the sequel is a go. "We got the news this morning," Perlman said, "and God willing, [Guillermo del Toro] writes a decent script, BOOM."

PUNISHER

Comingsoon.net has a positive review of the new Thomas Jane-fueled action film.

AMAZING SCREW-ON HEAD

Comics Continuum reports that the Sci Fi Network is developing Mike Mignola's "Amazing Screw-On Head" as an animated series. The network described the show as follows: "Adapted from the critically acclaimed, Eisner Award winning comic book by Mike Mignola ("Hellboy"), Amazing Screw-On Head is a half-hour animated comedy based on the exploits of one of history's unsung heroes. A secret agent who never made the history books, Screw-On Head is in the employ of the U.S. Government. A robot that screws his head onto a wide variety of bodies, Screw On Head battles those who threaten our civilization." Bryan Fuller and Jason Netter will executive produce. Fuller will be writing and Netter, of Kickstart Productions, will oversee animation.

ALIEN VS. PREDATOR

The official site has posted a new featurette about the making of the creature effects in the film.

CATWOMAN

Halle Berry talked to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about her feline fatale film, saying that you shouldn't expect too garish a take on costumed adventurism. "It's very much based in reality," Berry said. "It was a full character I got to create here. Her emotional life, her life when she's not Catwoman, when she is Catwoman. It was a lot to play, and I really like that part of this one."

ELEKTRA

Speaking of ladies who kick butt, Jennifer Garner told Sci Fi Wire how excited she was to be working on the movie. "Elektra has a rich, rich story in the comic books, particularly in Frank Miller's saga for her," Garner said. "We definitely mine the hell out of it. Elektra is a very dark character, so this will not be a sunshine movie. I've been training for Elektra for a couple of months. I've added Pilates in because I'm trying to make sure that everything is flexible and mobile and ready to go. Remarkably, my trainer for the last three years, Valerie Waters, has kept me pretty amazingly flexible through all this stuff that we've done. So I am in training and we start shooting in the beginning of May, right after we finish on Alias for the season."

BETTIE PAGE

Not content to stay in the pages and maquettes of Dark Horse Comics, the pin-up queen is coming to the silver screen. Ain't It Cool News reports that "Killer Films and HBO will team on THE BALLAD OF BETTIE PAGE, starring Gretchen Mol, about the 1950s pinup girl, with Mary Harron directing. Lili Taylor and David Strathairn also star, with Jonathan M. Woodward, Cara Seymour, Tara Subkoff and Kevin Carroll. The most successful pinup model of the 1950s, Page's kinky bondage pics made her the target of a Senate pornography investigation."

SMALLVILLE

Kryptonsite has spoilers and details on the season finale and upcoming episodes. Speaking of spoilers, Devoted to Smallville has some details about the John Schneider-directed episode "Talisman."

I HAVE TO TAKE THIS CALL

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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