Small Gods, Superman, Transformers, Batman Begins: August 18 Comic Reel Wrap

Wed, August 18th, 2004 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

SMALL GODS

Movie producer Daniel Alter emailed the Comic Reel to make sure we knew about his new development, working on translating the Image Comics series "Small Gods" to the small screen. "As a comic book fan, I've naturally always been enamored of superpowers," Alter said. "Psychic abilities fascinate me because they're the real word powers we often hear about. Whether or not they really exist, I don't know. But the possibilities of doing a comic book exploring the stories of characters with these 'gifts' seemed as endless to me as Marvel's X-universe. A couple years back, I was even developing a comic book series about a team of super-powered psychics with different abilities such as ESP, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, second sight, astro-projection, etc ... but now Jason's done something even more interesting. He's created a book that depicts a real-world reaction to such a growing phenomenon developing."

Alter continued, "When I first heard about this property, I knew I wanted to be involved in adapting it, but it wasn't until I came to the conclusion I'd want to pursue it as a TV show more than a film, that I approached Jason. The series is a world, a shared universe if you will, and each arc features new and exciting characters. I thought the best medium to service Jason's material was television. The problem was that I didn't want to do an anthology series, as they're both a hard sell, and hard to keep on the air. Then I had a thought ... The first arc, which would be the most readily accessible material to buyers and talent, is a crime story about a precognitive cop. His abilities make him more efficient at doing his job. It's that grittiness, such as the "tel-emp" con-artist in the second arc whose obviously on the opposite side of the law, that made me realize we had the material to develop a TV series in the vein of the hottest trend on network television right now: a procedural show. Albeit one with a 'genre' twist."

SMALLVILLE

The battle of websites continues, as Kryptonsite fires first with an image gallery from the second episode of the upcoming season, called "Gone." Their archenemies at Devoted to Smallville responded by posting new spoilers to their lengthy list covering the season's first five episodes. Kryptonsite responded by posting four sets of screen captures from the season premiere (Clark and Lois, Clark in the shower, Lana in the shower, and Clark in a red towel), but many of them are awfully diminutive. Finally, DTS strikes back with a Quicktime version of one of the clips, two soundless minutes that are spoiler-laden. Whew!

SUPERMAN

Moving on to the later years of the same characters, IESB.net is rumormongering about "Smallville" actor Michael Rosenbaum being involved in the upcoming Bryan Singer-helmed movie. "This morning I received a phone call from one of our 'colleagues' that stayed for the screening and after party of Without A Paddle . Our 'colleague' had the opportunity to talk to Michael after the screening and ask him if he had heard anything about Tom Welling's attachment to the Superman film. According to our 'colleague' Michael became a bit nervous and hesitant about talking about Superman and simply said: 'Sorry, I cant talk about it.' So the follow up question was: ' Are you involved with the movie.' And he responded :' Sorry, I can't talk about it..' with a grin in his face. So what does this mean? Nothing, just more speculation about the 'on again, off again' Superman project."

Meanwhile, the New York Post took a look at the NYC casting call, and considers the results "so-so." "'We have to find someone over 6 feet tall, with good looks, who can act. It's a little on the difficult side,' says Seattle casting agent Patty Kalles, who held the open call. She told The Post there would also be auditions in New York, Chicago, Vancouver, Dallas and Los Angeles. 'Last week was pretty pathetic. I was like, God, is that all there is? I mean, they were nice on the eyes, but ...'"

FInally, according to Superhero Hype, Warner Brothers has pulled the rug out from under special effects house ESCfx, who'd been assigned to work on both "Constantine" and the new "Superman" film. "Such a last minute move has effectively killed the company. Hundreds of people who have killed themselves on Warner films over the last few years out of work. Rumor is that the 'Superman' work will go to Sony, but that's unconfirmed."

TRANSFORMERS

Moving on to more men of steel, more strange visitors from another planet, producer Don Murphy recently posted a note to his official site talking about who he'd like as contenders for helming the big screen Hasbro adaptation. Who are Murphy's two faves to helm the movie? None other than Roland Emmerich ("ID4") and Jonathan Mostow ("Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"). Murphy said that chances of executive producer Steven Spielberg directing "Transformers" is "a long shot -- he is doing his 1972 Olympics film for a year and we need to be shooting by June 05." He also confirmed that Robert Zemeckis passed on the project ages ago.

BATMAN BEGINS

Just for a change of pace, Dark Horizons has a spy report about the Christopher Nolan-helmed film that isn't from Chicago. Reporting in with potential spoilers from England, their source said, "The sequences that they have been shooting in London have been mostly Arkham Asylum scenes for which they are using the awesomely creepy and immense Kings Cross St. Pancras Hospital in London. It's a gothic structure and personally if I was ill and was taken there I'd be pretty sure I wouldn't be getting out alive -- seriously creepy. Anyway, they have just shot the scene where Crane transforms into 'The Scarecrow' and apparently it does involve the traditional sack mask! It's not a 'costume' kind of event in the same way that other super heroes have made or obtained theirs (thinking Spiderman [sic] or Catwoman from 'Batman Returns'), this is linked into the character's madness and as it's happening it's not supposed to register that this is the 'getting the costume' moment of the film, it's meant to be a 'purely terrifying moment.' The shot has Crane (Cillian Murphy) tied up and captured with a sack over his head and exposed to the gas accidentally, as he struggles and screams he frees his arms and in obvious frenzy he tears away at the sack revealing a slit for the mouth and a ripped hole for the eye. A 'concerned criminal' (my mate wouldn't reveal too much on plot) is scared and enquires 'Dr Crane?' We get an extreme close up into the eyehole of the sack, darkness, and then the eye opens and a unfamiliar voice whispers 'Scarecrow.' Concerned criminal is murdered offscreen -- apparently we keep on the eye throughout. Sounds pretty cool and my mate is over the moon at how this scene looks. One other point she let slip, the cinematographer (Wally Pfister) has brought in an antique 1927 Russian camera from his own private collection this week for the Arkham shoots! He says it gives a nice 'feel!'"

Perhaps in a last gasp as Chicago filming winds down, FMFE originally had two and a half minutes of footage from Waukegan, with the Tumbler in glorious action ... but the attention killed their server's bandwidth allotment, and now have only photos to commemorate the event.

THE MORE YOU IGNORE ME, THE CLOSER I GET ...

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).

 
CBR News

Send This Article to a Friend

Separate multiple email address with commas.

You must state your name.

You must enter your email address.