Ghost Rider, Superman, X-Men 3, Smallville: The Comic Reel Wrap for March 14th

Mon, March 14th, 2005 at 12:00am PST

TV/Film
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

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GHOST RIDER

Superhero Hype continues their overwhelming coverage from the Australian sets of the Nicolas Cage vehicle. One scooper writes, "I was at the treasury house set after work tonight to see the new set for a scene in 'Ghost Rider,' yet all I saw were 4 cranes with flood lights on them. Also, about 4 crewmen working on them. Word is Peter Fonda, Wes Bentley, a slew of guys in long black trench-coats were there the night before, as well as Donal Logue. They'll be shooting quite late tonight and seeing as that seems to be a good 4 hours away, I opted to not stick around."

Another writes about how filmmakers brought some Texan heat to the outback. "What we did see were a lot of cars flipped on their roofs, on both sides of the street. As well as a sheriff's motorcycle, Texas State policecars, and I believe some news report vans. We saw a female news reporter, yet it wasn't Eva Mendes. I spotted Nicolas Cage's stunt double, and my brother saw the stuntcycle, so obviously there was something going on with Nic in that scene. We saw a lot of Texas State police officers and Texas State fire fighters walking around, and they were obviously extras. Before we moved along we saw the crew put up all the lighting boards and position the cameras and what-have-you. I must say the security staff have been fantastic on this site. Instead of moving us along, they advised us the best spot to watch the scene without getting in the way, which we did. We had to move aside once the filming begun of course, but we got to be very close to the fire fighter extras as long as we 'switched our mobiles off, kept the cameras away, and didn't make a sound.' I respected them on that because they're still there now and they must be sweating up a storm. It'll definitely look like Texas, because it's at least 35 degrees Celsius outside today, with not a cloud in the sky. I feel sorry for the news reporters we saw in full suits, and one fire fighter in particular who we overheard commenting to a security staff, 'I'm sweating my [expletive] off!' Brilliant!"

Their final spy talks about a near-brush with celebrity. "About 2 weeks ago now I was driving past the Melb. [sic] Cemetery at about 10pm and there was MASSIVE lights in the centre, so I went to check it out. Anyway, they were filming for Ghost Rider -- they had a fake moon set up and it looked absolutely AWESOME. Apparently they had built a small hut in the centre as well which I couldnt see but there was lots of movement and cameras and all. ALSO EVEN BETTER!!! Yesterday (Sat 12th March) my dad and I went to the Queen Vic Markets, and they had a huge set up of vans, marquees, and trucks in the carpark. We asked a guy there if it was for ghost rider and he said yes-they were filming tomorrow morning (Sunday 13th). So today (sunday) at 8am my dad and I went into Lt. Lonsdale Street and checked it all out. We arrived at 8am to find the area was blocked off so we walked around until we could find a good spot. There was a building which had been done for the movie, painted black with lamp posts etc, lots of cars on their roofs, Texan numberplates, American police cars, fire trucks and a LOT of people. The rubber strip mentioned in one of the other stories was there still. I asked a guy who I think was pretty important what was goin on in the story and he told me they had filmed at this location a couple of nights ago and the strip was made to look like the road had been torn up by the speed of the motorbike. The scene will show the motorbike speeding down the street burning up the road with fire coming out behind him. However, today they were filming a new part of the story. It's the day after this incident and the fire brigade and police are looking at the damage of the road and surrounds, as well as news reports and people taking photos. My dad and I finally found an AWESOME spot in a little laneway, which opened right into the middle of all the action! We watched the stunt double practice riding the bike a few times. The bike is a huge old-school style, purple with yellow flames. We were only about 1 1/2 metres from him. We had heard earlier that Nic Cage was meant to be there at 730am, but it was now 9am and still no sign. We had also heard where he was going to be arriving, but we couldn't get near to that spot, so we stayed where we were. Soon after, a black 4wd drove up, parked right in front of where we were standing out who gets out? None other than the man himself -- Nic Cage! I was gobsmacked at just how close we were to such a big star -- no more than 2metres!! We saw them shooting the scene with him riding down the road -- they did about 5 takes of it. It was funny how white his hands were and how dark his face was because of all the makeup. He also looked a lot like Ben Stiller in the movie 'Zoolander' -- as if he was finding it hard to move his face because of the makeup. I found it quite amusing ..."

Meanwhile, co-star Eva Mendes talked to the Daily Record about getting ready for the role. "I love Nicolas Cage," she said. "He's one of our best actors. But I also love the fact that he is so obsessed with 'Ghost Rider' that he has a 'Ghost Rider' tattoo. That means I'm a part of somebody's dream."

The Westerner has an article with a slight spoiler about Sam Elliot's involvement with the movie.

SUPERMAN

Director Bryan Singer has launched a set of reports from the set of "Superman," which he's handing over to BlueTights.net. There's an introductory video there now (QuickTime) and the promise of new updates every two to three weeks.

X-MEN 3

Ain't It Cool News is reporting that "Layer Cake" director Matthew Vaughn will direct the third installment of Marvel's mutant movies. Despite the fact that both Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn wrote drafts of the script, rumored to be focused on Dark Phoenix, the studio plans to use Penn's draft.

In related news, Halle Berry is quoted at XMenFilms.net as being less rigid about her opposition to returning as Storm. "I have not read the script. All I have asked, is that if I come back as Storm, she need to be closer to the comic book. So, if they have in fact written her closer to the comic book character, then I'm in. If not, I'm out. I hope I'm in though. I love Storm, and really want to be part of the last film."

SMALLVILLE

Kryptonsite brings the heat with a trio of tidbits about the hit WB series. First, they have highlights from a Smallville Magazine interview with executive producer Ken Horton, who talks about when it works and when it doesn't. "There are certain episodes where you swear that everything about them is great... until you try to finish them and they just don't come together. It's not that they're bad: you had a good script, a good director, it was shot well and the actors were good, but somehow the internal pace of the show just never got to a place of emotion. When it works, like the final episode of last year, 'Covenant,' which had a good script and was well directed, then it's like butter -- it just got better and better as we added elements to it. The visual effects complemented the story; they weren't just there as eye candy. 'Crusade' this year was also like that. It just felt good. If the Clark element of our show lacks emotion, then it just doesn't work. Every now and again you just get one where all the elements build on each other -- effects, sound, Mark Snow's score, they all back each other up. 'Shattered' was another - it all came together, and all of the resources at our disposal enhanced each other and those are the ones where you just feel the show getting good at a certain point."

They also have highlights from an interview in the magazine with creative team Al Gough and Miles Millar, where Gough teases an upcoming development. "She's [Martha] taken over the Talon and gotten out of the house. When Lionel came out [of prison] a changed man, obviously the first person he's gonna try and convince he's changed is Martha, because she's always had a soft spot for him."

Finaly, Kryptonsite has a minor spoiler in cracking Lex Luthor's latest email. But they aren't able to totally dominate, as their arch-enemies at Devoted to Smallville have voluminous spoilers about the season's probably penultimate episode, "Forever."

FANTASTIC FOUR

Superhero Hype has a first look at the official poster for the upcoming summer blockbuster.

THE BATMAN

Riddle me this: why will Canadian viewers get their first look at an allegedly very different Edward Nigma on Sunday in an episode called "Riddled" (according to World's Finest)? The episode hasn't been scheduled for US audiences yet.

ULTIMATE AVENGERS

Toon Zone caught an item in the latest issue of Wizard Magazine about the proposed straight-to-DVD animated project. Marvel's Craig Kyle said, "It's the print of the film before it's animated. It's the storyboard cut together with the voice-over to give you the timing of the scenes and the flow of the movie. When you look at this version, you're basically watching the film. It's a huge piece of the puzzle." With the exception of Mark Hamill, the already-chosen voice talents have yet to be announced. Already there are plans for a sequel and an "Iron Man" direct-to-DVD animated project as well.

JUSTICE LEAGUE

World's Finest also has the scoop on the rest of the season's episodes, including episode titles and brief descriptions.

SPIDER-MAN 3

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Oscar-winning visual effects master John Dykstra will be jumping ship for the third tale of Peter Parker to work on McG's "Hot Wheels" movie. "I will miss all the terrific people I worked with on 'Spider-Man,' " Dykstra told the trade. "But this is a great opportunity. I'm an adrenaline junkie; it's an avocation. And what's cool about 'Hot Wheels' is it allows us to explore the language of cars -- from NASA Formula One, to tuners, hot rods, classics, dinosaur cars, monster trucks and so on."

MIRRORMASK

Ain't It Cool News' Moriarity has a very positive review of the Gaiman/McKean cinematic collaboration. "This isn't a broad, obvious movie. There's a real delicacy to the film, an ethereal quality, and it feels very personal. The film lulls you, like a painting that only gradually shifts from one lush landscape to the next ... If you loved 'LABYRINTH' or, even more so, 'THE STORYTELLER,' then it's fair to assume that you'll feel the same way about this special film."

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

I had a great weekend, how about you? Well, if you have the scoop on anything related to comic book movies, TV adaptations or just want to give us a briefcase 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 "don't blame me, I'm drunk too!"

 
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