Batman Begins, Spider-Man 2, Fantastic 4: May 24th Comic Reel Wrap

Mon, May 24th, 2004 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

BATMAN BEGINS

Batman-On-Film has some news about the currently-filming Chris Nolan Bat-flick. First of all, it seems like there's some flapping about the Windy City: "Today by my office on Lake Sreet, there were two very large construction cranes set 6 blocks apart. They had a cable system running between the two for either a camera rig or stuntman or both. The cabling ran from Fulton and Des Plaines to Fulton and the river ... pretty impressive span about 7 stories high! Word on the street was it was part of BATMAN production." They also caught issue #75 of Cinescape magazine, where David Goyer talked extensively about his fixation on flying rodents. "My whole life, all I wanted to do was write a Batman movie," said Goyer. "It was excruciating for me because here I was being offered to work with an amazing director, but time-wise there was no way I could do it. But his agent called back and said, 'You have to do it.'" Goyer negotiated to doing a first draft and letting Nolan do all the polish. "It's the most faithful to the comic books and it certainly darker than the Schumacher films. It treats the story seriously and it's also quite romantic. We were determined to create a new classic and we treated the subject matter seriously." On the topic of villains, Goyer said, "We weren't sure what villains we wanted to use, but we knew it should be villains that hadn't been used in the films. At the same time we didn't want to make any up. If you look at the rogues gallery, the ones that hadn't been used were Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring those characters in. We knew we were going to do an original story, but if we do this right, we can then reintroduce the rogues gallery the audience has met before in the movies, but in a new way."

The site also notes some locations where extras are being cast, and that British actor/magician/mime Allin Kempthorne has a unspecified role in the production.

Meanwhile, Strange Interlude has photos from the set scattered amongst its bloggy pages.

SPIDER-MAN 2

Can't wait for adaptations? If you go here, you can hear five minutes worth of audiobook excerpt from Peter A. David's novelization.

CATWOMAN

Hollywood.com has a photo gallery of images from the upcoming Halle Berry-fueled action film. Also Berry is slated to appear on Tuesday's "Oprah" and Thursday's syndicated "Ellen Degeneres Show." There was some footage at X3movie.net, but the bandwidth demands seem to have knocked the site offline.

FANTASTIC FOUR

According to Hollywood North Report, "The 'Fantastic Four' Vancouver production office is now officially open and filming dates of August 9th 2004 thru February 2nd 2005 have been set. The six month shoot is right up there alongside 'X-Men 2,' 'Riddick' and 'I, Robot' as the longest feature film shoot in Vancouver history. The production company name is FF Productions Ltd., with offices at Vancouver Film Studios. Stewart Bethune ('X2,' 'Catwoman,' 'Best in Show') is the Production Manager and Ross Fanger ('X-Men' 1 & 2) is also being listed as an Executive Producer."

BLADE: TRINITY/ELEKTRA

Speaking of Vancouver, the same site reports that "'Blade: Trinity' (or is it 'Blade 3' again? as we've heard) will be back in town from June 17th thru June 21st for reshoots with David Goyer at the helm. We've heard that these reshoots are needed to allow for a third Blade sequel where as the originally shot footage left little room for a third sequel and was more geared toward a Nightstalkers spin-off - seems like Wesley Snipes doesn't want to hang up the fangs just yet. The wrap date for 'Elektra' has been moved up to July 9th, filming started on May 3rd 2004."

SMALLVILLE

Kryptonsite has a couple of pieces of new material, including a special set of interview excerpts with Tom Welling from this week's "Smallville Yearbook." They also note that "Buffy"/"Angel" writer Steve DeKnight will join the show next season, while series writers Ken Biller ("Shattered") and Drew Greenberg leave to join "North Shore" and "The OC" respectively. On the other side of the world, Devoted to Smallville has a gallery of screen captures from the season finale, "Covenant."

HELLBOY

The Winnipeg Sun has a new article about Mike Mignola's masterwork, discussing that the creators expect the sequel to also be in the $65 million range, budget wise. "Our model really is Blade and Blade 2. The sequel actually did better than the original and it was Gullermo who directed the sequel," said producer Lawrence Gordon. "There's a huge Hellboy mythology to draw from, so we wouldn't run out of material if there was a demand for several sequels," said producer Lloyd Levin. "We brought Hellboy in on a modest budget ($65 million) and we intend sequels to be in the same ballpark."

NOT A MATH MAJOR

Due to faulty records keeping, I erroneously believed that I began this endeavor as a CBR staff member and reader on November 24th. Scrolling back, we discovered that we began on October 6th. An ill-conceived plan to share an anniversary with Rich Johnston (whose 100th "Lying in the Gutters" goes up today) was scuttled, stillborn, by pesky facts. In any case, we'd like to thank all of you (like, say, Ricardo D. Martins, who peppers us with more email than anyone outside of spammers, much of it good, though) who make doing the Comic Reel a true joy, and that's important enough to not wait for some silly anniversary.

In the mean time, 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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