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  1. #1
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    Sam Raimi Talks Batman Vs. Superman
    Sunday, November 3, 2002 12:32 CST

    Here's an interesting one for Batman, Superman & Spider-Man fans alike. What does Spider-Man director Sam Raimi thinks about the now in development hell Batman Vs. Superman? Here's an interview from Variety...

    And in August, Warner Bros. unplugged -- for the foreseeable future -- "Batman vs. Superman," a pic that had been greenlit for Wolfgang Petersen to direct, but didn't survive the departure of its champion, Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

    Warner Bros. topper Alan Horn found the story too dark and decided to proceed with a lighter, non-vs. "Superman" instead.

    Moreover, as "Spider-Man" helmer Sam Raimi points out, any reinvented Batman or Superman would lack a history with an actor to humanize the character with whom audiences are familiar -- critical for the want-to-see factor.

    I think you do need a relationship not just with the suit, but the man in the suit, because I really want to have expectations: Who is he? And, why is it so interesting that these two characters meet, vs. just the icons of heroes," Raimi says.

    The thinking at Warner with respect to "vs." was to reintroduce familiar icons and then push ahead with new individual movies.

    The fact that Warner prexy Alan Horn selected the more feel-good Superman trilogy, helmed by Brett Ratner and penned by "Alias" creator Jeffrey Abrams, may not be just because Abrams' trilogy could sell more DVDs and licensed lunchboxes.

    Neither Fox nor Warner Bros. would comment for this story, with reps for both citing the barely formed structures of their "vs." pictures. Fox execs say they have not received a script yet, while Warner insiders say the studio is years away from deciding on how or whether to proceed on "Superman vs. Batman."

    That may not be so bad, says Raimi, who thinks superhero movies -- even in the postmodern age -- should stick to the Good vs. Evil paradigm.

    "Personally, I'd like to see "Jason vs. Batman," Raimi laughs. "I think New Line should swap with Warner Bros., and they should each give the other a villain for a hero. Call me old fashioned, but I don't want to see 'Sherlock Holmes vs. Watson.' I want to see the Good Guy vs. the Bad Guy, like a wrestling match, and think, 'I wonder if he can take him?' "

    Superhero Hype!

    [ November 08, 2002, 03:50 AM: Message edited by: FH ]

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    Joel Silver on Wonder Woman Status
    Saturday, November 2, 2002 4:19 CST

    The Continuum reports that producer Joel Silver talked to E! News Daily yesterday about the Wonder Woman movie.

    "We're going to make Wonder Woman at some point," Silver said, but Sandra Bullock won't be starring. "No, no, at one point we talked to her about it and she was intrigued with it. It's come a long way since then."

    Superhero Hype!

    Silver added that they had not decided on an actress for the role yet.

    [ November 04, 2002, 03:53 AM: Message edited by: FH ]

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    Here's a look at Daredevil, Elektra, Bullseye, and Kingpin....









    Check out more at Comics Continuum!

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    AUDIOSLAVE'S CORNELL, MORELLO Speak Out On Band Chemistry - Nov. 3, 2002

    Former SOUNDGARDEN and current AUDIOSLAVE frontman Chris Cornell is confident that fans of his previous group will find plenty on AUDIOSLAVE's self-titled debut to keep them happy.

    "I don't think that fans of RAGE [AGAINST THE MACHINE] or SOUNDGARDEN will be disappointed," Cornell told Kerrang! magazine recently. "The album was written in the first three weeks that we met each other, and it's definitely a song-oriented, hard rock album — something that seems to be a rarity these days. It's almost like a throwback to a classic rock album in the way that it was put together."

    "AUDIOSLAVE is four strong personalities with a strong work ethic and I think the music reflects that," the singer added. "It's great to be back in that band environment after doing solo records, just having that feeling of being a garage band again."

    In a recent interview with Guitar World magazine, former RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and current AUDIOSLAVE guitarist Tom Morello addressed the issues surrounding AUDIOSLAVE's brief split earlier in the year and the decision to regroup and continue work on the aforementioned debut.

    "There was never actually a name change or a falling out, although there was a great deal of drama caused by our managerial situation," Morello said. "Chris did leave for a brief while, so we fired the managers and things have been working blissfully ever since.

    "There was a lot of miscommunication that went on. But at no time, even when Chris left the band, did we ever stop caring for each other or stop being good friends. And it was crystal clear after a couple of months that the only thing we all wanted to do was play with each other. So we got back together, and we've been back on track ever since."

    Morello also talked about the unenviable task of finding a suitable singer for the then-unnamed group following the departure of RATM frontman Zack De La Rocha in October 2000.

    "After Zack left, Tim, Brad and I were confident that we all wanted to remain together and be a band," Morello revealed. "There is an irreplaceable chemistry between us. The hard part was to see what would happen when we plugged in another element. And Chris is basically the only singer we played with. He's always been one of our favorite singers and I think he's one of the greatest rock singers of all time. [Producer] Rick Rubin and I drove up to his house one day and we talked about what he was doing and what we were doing. We made it clear to Chris that we wanted this to be a real band. It's not just a project."

    "Chris has a very penetrating and unique artistic vision that, when melded with ours, makes for a unique band chemistry," the guitarist explained. "It's such a different vibe than any of us has ever experienced before. There's a great deal of camaraderie."

    "It wasn't just about grafting SOUNDGARDEN into RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE," Morello said of the group's early days. "And we've never wanted to settle for being a 'supergroup.' We wanted to be a band that would have a life and vitality of its own, and that was apparent instantly."

    "We certainly weren't going to ask Chris to rap," laughed Morello when asked how veterans of two very different bands were able to find a common musical ground. "Nor was he going to ask us to play in funny time signatures. That could have been a disaster on both ends. From the day we started playing with Chris, it was crystal clear that this was a brand-new band. It was neither SOUNDGARDEN nor RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, although it was 'two great tastes that taste great together.'"

    AUDIOSLAVE's self-titled debut, due Nov. 19 through Epic Records, "is unapologetically hard rockin'," Morello believes. "It is without compromise or apology. At the same time, we've woven into it what I think are the very unique voices of the musicians. Tim, Brad and I never had the opportunity to play with someone who incorporates melody into the vocals. And in Chris Cornell you have one of the best guys ever to do that. And Chris, in his previous bands, never had the opportunity to play with musicians who can throw down a groove like we do. So it opened up brand-new musical horizons. The first day we got together, we just jammed and the next day we started writing songs. And they became, I believe, 'Light My Way', 'Bring 'Em Back Alive' and 'Exploder'. So we started by writing some riff rockers, then we melded with influences that were almost PORTISHEAD-like. Rhythmically, we took a good hard look at bands like the CHEMICAL BROTHERS and PORTISHEAD, which led to songs like 'The Last Remaining Light' and 'Hypnotize'. And by day six or seven we were writing songs like 'I Am The Highway' or 'Like A Stone', which are completely different than anything that appears in any of our catalogs."
    Blabbermouth!

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    Columbia Ready to Take Off in RV
    Sunday, November 3, 2002 11:42 CST

    Columbia Pictures has picked up the family comedy pitch tentatively titled RV from writer Geoff Rodkey, which studio-based Red Wagon will produce.

    The Hollywood Reporter says the project, which Rodkey will write, is in the tradition of National Lampoon's Vacation and is about an average, dysfunctional American family who is about to set off on the most dangerous, high-stakes, life-threatening and traumatizing adventure of their lives: two weeks together in an RV.

    The film is being designed as a starring vehicle for an A-level comedian.

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    RUSH: European Tour Off The Table! - Nov. 4, 2002

    It's official: RUSH will not be touring Europe in support of their latest CD, "Vapor Trails".

    "[The European tour] is off the table," guitarist Alex Lifeson recently confirmed. "To be honest, we know we have fans there but the album sales and interest in promoters is seriously lacking in Europe. A lot of that is our own doing but financially it just does not make sense to bring our show over there when we could play nine or ten different venues in North America and reach more people and make a profit. We did have it scheduled to begin in January for three weeks but we could not get backing over there and we decided to scrap it. We are aware of the interest, but I am sorry to say, as of right now, it would actually hurt to tour there than help in a monetary sense. This is a big show, ya know? We would not want to just show up over there and have to cut corners and short the fans over there from the same concert experience the audience is getting over here. We hope things improve but not this tour."

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    How's this sound as an opening sequence? Adoring groupies cram New York's Fifth Avenue, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic, played by Charlize Theron and "Angel"'s Alexis Denisof. The Thing, voiced by John C. Reilly, rips the top off an armored car and yanks out two would-be robbers. Paul Walker shouts, "flame on!" as his Johnny Storm character ignites into the Human Torch, saving a female fan from another thief's rocket launcher.

    Two hours later, just before the credits role on "The Fantastic Four," New York's favorite superheroes buzz away in their Fantastic Car, with Johnny dropping 8x10 photos to fans in a scene shamelessly lifted from the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night."

    That's what audiences will see if all goes according to plan for "Fantastic Four" screenwriter Doug Petrie, who together with director Peyton Reed ("Bring It On") is bringing one of Marvel Comics' most beloved properties to the big screen.

    "The big debate between everybody was giant monster or no giant monster," Petrie said of the flick's proposed opening scene. "I wanted the poster for the movie to be the cover for the first issue, where basically you do a live-action version of a giant monster ripping through Fifth Avenue and Fantastic Four kicking its ass. For budget reasons, it went to something else, but it's still a giant opening scene. It's 'A Hard Days Night.' It's everybody going to watch the Beatles.

    "The big reason I got hired was that the scripts that were done before, by pretty big-name guys, were origin stories," explained Petrie, whose credits include several episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

    "[The other scripts] were very big on 'these are astronauts that go to space' for the first, like, half-hour," he said. "It was something like 'Armageddon.' I just kept saying it's got to be like 'A Hard Day's Night.' "

    In the established Marvel Comics mythos, the Fantastic Four — Dr. Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), wife Susan Storm (the Invisible Woman), her brother Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) and Benjamin Grimm (the Thing) — gained superpowers after an experimental rocketship ride bombarded them with radiation. Together as the Fantastic Four, they live together in the Baxter Building and battle supervillains like the Mole Man and their arch-nemesis, the metal-masked Dr. Victor Von Doom.

    Casting hasn't begun on "The Fantastic Four," and Petrie of course is no casting director, but in addition to his hopes of grabbing Reilly, Denisof, Theron and Walker, he'd love to see Jude Law as Dr. Doom.

    "We had a huge, huge series of discussions on the look of Dr. Doom," Petrie said. "We really had to focus on the Fantastic Four, and Victor's origin had to be tied into their origin. We played him as the Pete Best of the Fantastic Four. He gets screwed out of the superpowers, so he made himself who he is. ... The Marvel guys were very high on showing the actor's face. ... I hope I'm not spilling too many secrets. But I got caught up with how to show his face but keep the scariness of a guy in a mask.

    "I wanted the big reveal to be [that] the mask is a high-tech thing that can separate and retract off his face when he wants it to," he continued. "You see that he's unbelievably handsome. ... But it doesn't end there. When he's handsome, he's lying. When his real character comes out, his face starts to sag and melt and scarify in this horrible way. And what you learn is that his face got so smashed upon his re-entry — he was one of the original astronauts — he's literally falling apart. And the mask is the only thing keeping him together."

    "The Fantastic Four" movie will mostly skip the back-story and begin in a New York where the team already exists — in a world where, unlike "X-Men," they are anything but antiheroes.

    "They're the biggest celebrities in New York City," Petrie explained. "To the world outside, they are the world's coolest superheroes. [But] when they get home, they just fight with each other about everything. They order pizzas and argue about who gets the better costumes and stuff like that. It's a family comedy when they get behind closed doors."

    With Mr. Fantastic's elastic ability, the Thing's rocky orange hide and the Human Torch's fiery body, budget constraints have kept a decent "Fantastic Four" movie from theaters (most fans cringe at the widely bootlegged but never officially released 1994 "Fantastic Four"). But now, thanks to the success of "Spider-Man," the big-budget "Fantastic Four" is going ahead at 20th Century Fox.

    "There's a tremendous amount of pressure to get this movie made," Petrie said, "and to get it right and to cash in on the mania that obviously exists out there and the need for superhero stories."

    "The Fantastic Four" is scheduled for a 2004 release.
    —Ryan J. Downey

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    Aside from a new Best Of DOKKEN DVD coming out in early 2003, frontman Don Dokken told BW&BK that there is a live concert in Japan, filmed in 1995 in the can. It features "the original members (guitarist George Lynch, bassist Jeff Pilson, drummer Mick Brown) and songs mostly from Dysfunctional and a few of the other hits. It's almost two hours long with about 15 songs. It will be in Dolby 5.1 surround.

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    Birds of Prey fans are concerned The WB hasn't yet picked up the show for the full season. The only show left that has yet to receive a full season order, Birds of Prey has also suffered a significant drop in ratings since it's premiere. Birds of Prey Online, (formerly The Clocktower), has launched a fan driven campaign to save the show.

    The comic-based show debuted with record ratings for a new series this year. However, the Nielsen numbers have declined each subsequent week, with last week's ratings coming in at half of the debut numbers.

    Birds of Prey has not yet been picked up for a full season and the declining Nielsens have led industry analysts like MediaWeek.com to call the show "increasingly vulnerable." Insiders are cautioning fans to act now, before the axe falls. Petitions and letter writing campaigns have little impact on network decisions. Ratings do.

    To that end, Birds of Prey Online is launching their official campaign, 'Start a Revolution - Save the Birds of Prey'. It's designed to provide concrete actions fans can take now to help the show avoid cancellation. This includes plans for spreading the word and increasing viewer awareness of the show, so that there'll be eyeballs on the screen when the Nielsen tallies the numbers over the next few weeks. Visiting the campaign's home page for complete details.

    With exciting guests like Black Canary and Lady Shiva on the horizon, Birds of Prey may yet soar to new heights.

    Click here to help!

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    R.I.P. Jonathan Harris: 81-year-old actor Jonathan Harris, best known as Dr. Zachary Smith in the 1965 CBS series "Lost in Space", has passed away. Our sincerest condolensces go out to his family and friends.

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    The Return of "Bishop"?
    Aliens vs. Predator: Lance(Terminator/Millenium/Aliens) Henriksen has apparently signed on for the teamup film according to Total Film

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    Batman: The Frightening: ZENtertainment reports that "From Hell" writers Rafael Yglesias and Terry Hayes have been tapped to do a draft for a new Batman film which involves 'The Scarecrow' as the villain.
    [b] This movie will not be the proposed Batman: Year One Prequel[/b

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    Evil Dead 4: At the Chiller Theatre convention last week in New Jersey, the female stars of the series "commented that they are in talks with Sam Raimi & Bruce Campbell about a possible Evil Dead 4".

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    Pac-Man Headed for the Big Screen?
    Tuesday, November 5, 2002 1:33 CST

    When you think you've heard it all, along comes word from The Hollywood Reporter that Pac-Man, the quintessential '80s video game, might find its way to the big screen.

    International production and distribution outfit Crystal Sky has struck a deal with "Pac-Man" developer Namco and Japanese distributor Gaga for feature film rights to the legendary arcade game.

    Crystal Sky is developing the video game into a live-action fantasy adventure. No writer or director is on board.

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    Pierce Brosnan Accepts 5th 007 Film
    Tuesday, November 5, 2002 1:12 CST

    Variety's Army Archerd talked to Pierce Brosnan who revealed that he has accepted a fifth mission...

    "The invitation has been accepted," a very polite Pierce Brosnan tells me of "the invitation" from producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson to do a fifth James Bond movie -- just as his contract expires with the completion of "Die Another Day." The untitled -- and as yet unscripted -- Bond pic probably will not start filming until early 2005.

    Since his first three outings have grossed more that a billion-$, I asked Brosnan if the new negotiations would include a raise for him. "I would like to think that fair play will be involved," he smiled. "I have the highest expectation of fairness and good spirit." And, he added, "I have all of CAA behind me!" Beyond this fifth Bond film, Brosnan predicts, "I think it has mileage to go another 20 years." Not with him, he assures -- he survived the fourth Bond with "a bit of a knee injury. That was it"

 

 

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