Blade 4, Opus, Samurai Girl, X-Men 3: The Comic Reel Wrap for October 1

Fri, October 1st, 2004 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

BLADE 4

For reasons we're not too sure of, Los Angeles Times writer Lorenza Munoz has an article on the Houston Chronicle website outlining the issues in Wesley Snipes' career and touching on some of the drama around the Blade franchise. "On the set of 'Blade: Trinity' the actor's relationship with writer-director David Goyer was so contentious that in January, after the film had wrapped, Snipes wrote a five-page letter to New Line Cinema's co-chairman and founder, Bob Shaye, complaining about his treatment on the film. The letter, on stationery labeled 'From the Desk of Dr. Wesley T. Snipes,' outlined Snipes' concern that his character, Blade, had been sidelined in favor of 'two new 'younger' characters,' played by Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds. 'As I recall, the movies are titled Blade and Wesley Snipes is the actor/artist that brought the comic book character to life,' read the letter, whose contents were confirmed by two sources. New Line executives declined comment. Goyer, who also wrote the first two Blade films, now shrugs it off. 'There has always been a little bit of drama on the Blade sets,' Goyer said. 'They are all edgy characters, they have a certain amount of darkness in them. . . . That is why we cast Wesley in the lead. . . . It became clear to me that Wesley is a very Method actor. When he is doing a Blade movie he is Blade and he acts like Blade. Blade is edgy and bristly.' New Line has a contractual option to make another Blade movie with Biel and Reynolds, and if Dec. 10's 'Blade: Trinity' is a success, a fourth movie could star the young actors and not Snipes."

OPUS

According to Cinescape, "A big step forward in the making of that proposed 'OPUS' animated film has taken place. Dimension Films, Miramax and Wild Brain, a computer animation house, have made a multi-year pact to co-finance and co-produce CGI feature films. That means that Wild Brain will be the firm that produces the OPUS animated film that Miramax has in development ... As yet there's no targeted release date for the OPUS movie. Mazin's script should be in to the studio sometime next week while character designs and animatronic tests have already taken place."

HELLBOY 2

Actress Selma Blar was interviewed at JoBlo.com, where she discussed preparations for the sequel, again confirming her involvement but letting slip no details. "I will be back, thank God, because I love him more than I love diet coke. And I really love diet coke. Aspartame will kill you, by the way. I love the flavor but I won't touch it anymore. I love Mike Mignola's work. I think the comics are amazing and so gorgeous. I've rummaged through a bunch of Ahmet's and I think Hellboy is one of the strongest comics for sure."

SAMURAI GIRL

There's a story at Superhero Hype discussing Tokyopop's pledge to "take manga to the big screen and beyond." The leading North American graphic novel publisher has inked actress Melissa Joan Hart ("Sabrina, the Teenage Witch") and screenwriter Dan Gordon ("Wyatt Earp," "The Hurricane") for a live-action feature film development project inspired by Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School, one of its top manga and anime properties. "The storyboard aspect of manga is already custom-built for film," said Steve Galloway, TOKYOPOP's Executive Director of Film/Television. "And with Hart and Gordon attached to this story's fast-moving adventures, we have all the makings of a terrific cinematic package for teens." TOKYOPOP and Hartbreak Films are now in conversations with potential studio partners for the project.

X-MEN 3

According to the Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios are moving forward with 'X-Men 3,' hiring screenwriter Simon Kinberg to write the script. Despite yesterday's news about Lauren Shuler Donner confirming the plot, Kinberg told the trade that the storyline is still being hammered out. "I'm a religious reader of the ('X-Men') comics, and I loved the first two movies," Kinberg said. "I had a great experience with Fox and Marvel on the other projects, and when they came to me and asked me if I had any interest in 'X3,' I was ecstatic. I grew up on them, and I love these comics, and it's exciting to take a whack at making the third the biggest and best in the trilogy; it's our 'Return of the King."'

THAT'S A WRAP

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, I'm hosting a new Friday night karaoke show in Torrance, and (insert pithy sign-off here, once it gets out of development hell).

 
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