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January 2001

Millar taking on larger role at Marvel
Posted Monday, January 29, 2001, 4:17PM CST by Franklin Harris
Mark Millar ("The Authority," "Ultimate X-Men") turned down an editorial job at Wildstorm to take on a larger role at Marvel Comics, a move that will involve the writer's moving from Scotland to New York. For more, see Fandom's Comics Newsarama Web site.

'Powerpuff' voices stay
Posted Monday, January 29, 2001, 4:11PM CST by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that Cartoon Network has resigned Tara Strong (Bubbles), Catherine Cavadini (Blossom) and E.G. Daily (Buttercup) as the voices of the Powerpuff Girls. This follows reports last week that CN was unable to reach a deal with the trio and would be recasting the roles. This means that the three will be the voices of the grade-school heroes in the upcoming "Powerpuff Girls" feature film, due out next year.

'Akira' being restored, released in theaters
Posted Friday, January 26, 2001, 5:15PM CST by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that Katsuhiro Otomo's 1988 film "Akira" is undergoing a $1 million restoration, after which the film to be shown theatrically in the United States. Pioneer Entertainment is restoring the film and will also release the restored version on DVD and VHS this fall. The movie will be released in theaters in the spring.

The restoration includes a new sound mix and a new English dub using a new translation of the original Japanese script.

Singh to direct John Constantine movie
Posted Friday, January 26, 2001, 5:10PM CST by Franklin Harris
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Tarsem Singh ("The Cell") will direct the Warner Bros. film "Constantine, based on the "Hellblazer" comics series from Vertigo/DC.

Marvel conference transcript
Posted Friday, January 26, 2001, 7:24AM CST by Franklin Harris
Here is a link to a transcript of Thursday's Marvel Comics conference call.

Marvel to go without words in December
Posted Thursday, January 25, 2001, 1:07PM CST by Franklin Harris
Marvel Comics President Bill Jemas announced today that every monthly book in the Marvel line will be wordless this December. No dialog, no tought bubbles, no narration, just pictures, in the style of the famous wordless issue of "G.I. Joe" from the '80s, although that issue isn't the inspiration for the latest project.

"We think that this is going to be a lot of fun," Jemas said. "We expected a sort of mixed bag from creators, but ... we've yet to speak to an artist or writer who didn't get that glint in their eye, willing to live up to the challenge."

Jemas said the working titles for the project are "Show Time" and "Show Me Something," titles hated by Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada. Quesada said to expect a reader contest of some sort to come up with a name for the event.

"I think it is a wonderful exercise for Marvel and for its artists and writers," Quesada said. "This would be something very, very cool to show off our craft. The beauty of it is this is a company-wide crossover without crossing over. It's just something very, very cool that readers might get a kick out of."

Quesada said he hasn't run into any complaints so far from Marvel creators. "I haven't really heard anybody complain. We've been met with a lot of raised eyebrows, particularly from pencilers saying, 'Hey, that's a lot of work.'"

Quesada also joked that he had told Marvel's letterers to expect a bad month of December.

-- Franklin Harris, Pulp Culture Online

AICN: 'Master of Kung Fu' gets director
Posted Thursday, January 25, 2001, 7:02AM CST by Franklin Harris
Ain't It Cool News is reporting that Steve Norrington ("Blade") will direct "Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu" after he finished directing "Ghost Rider." If true, Norrington is well on his way to becoming to go-to guy when it comes to making movies based on second- and third-tier Marvel Comics characters. "Master of Kung Fu" was published by Marvel in the '70s, and its lead character, Shang Chi, currently appears in "Marvel Knights."

Sci-Fi Channel confirms talks with JMS
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2001, 7:53PM CST by Franklin Harris
From The Sci-Fi Channel: A spokeswoman for The SCI FI Channel told SCI FI Wire that the network has opened discussions with Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski and producer Douglas Netter about possible future TV projects. The spokeswoman did not specify the nature of the projects, except to say that they might include made-for-television movies or a new series. SCI FI executive vice president and general manager Bonnie Hammer is involved in the talks.

'Wonder Woman' screenwriter chosen
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2001, 7:39PM CST by Franklin Harris
According to Variety, "Antz" co-writer Todd Alcott has been chosen to write the script for the film version of DC Comics' "Wonder Woman." Joel Silver is the movie's producer.

New 'Powerpuff' voices?
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2001, 7:34PM CST by Franklin Harris
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Cartoon Network has been unable to hammer out a new deal with the Powerpuff Girls' current voice actresses: Catherine Cavadini (Blossom), Tara Strong (Bubbles) and E.G. Daily (Buttercup). Cartoon Network is now seeking sound-alikes to take over the roles, but network officials say they still hope to work out a deal with Strong, Cavadini and Daily.

CN orders 26 episodes of JLA
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2001, 7:28PM CST by Franklin Harris
Cartoon Network has ordered 26 episodes of Bruce Timm's ("Batman: The Animated Series) "Justice League of America" cartoon for inclusion in its Toonami programming block as early as fall 2001. Confirmed JLA members are Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter.

Source: Cinescape Online

Marvel announces 2001 TPBs
Posted Friday, January 19, 2001, 10:53PM CST by Franklin Harris
Your Man @ Marvel Comics has a list of upcoming Marvel trade-paperback collections: www.marvelcomics.com/news/yourman/archives/011501_trades.html. It appears Marvel is making good on its promise to expand its line of reprint collections.

Poe born 192 years ago today
Posted Friday, January 19, 2001, 8:35AM CST by Franklin Harris
Today marks the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, who was born on Jan. 19, 1809, in Boston. (He later renounced Boston and claimed he was born in Baltimore, where an NFL football team, the Ravens, is named for one of his most famous poems.) The author of such works as "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Telltale Heart" died in Baltimore at the age of 40.

Anne Rice to get pilot for TV series
Posted Thursday, January 18, 2001, 7:56PM CST by Franklin Harris
NBC has ordered a pilot for "Angels," an hour-long series from horror novelist Anne Rice, according to Variety. There are no other details as yet.

X-Files future pondered
Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2001, 8:12PM CST by Franklin Harris
"X-Files" head honchos Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz told the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press that we can expect the season finale of "The X-Files" to also be the series finale for the first eight seasons. If there is a ninth season, it "will be a whole new ballgame," Spotnitz said. Tentative plans for the ninth season include the return of Robert Patrick as Special Agent John Doggett and Annabeth Gish as a new FBI agent, to be introduced later this season. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are not under contract to return.

'Blair Witch 3' for 2002
Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2001, 8:04PM CST by Franklin Harris
Despite the critical and commercial disappointment of "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2," Artisan Entertainment is readying a prequel, "Blair Witch 3," for a 2002 release, USA Today reports.

Shatner and Full Moon pitching new series
Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2001, 8:00PM CST by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that William Shatner will host a syndicated television series featuring sci-fi and horror films produced by Full Moon, the direct-to-video movie distributor run by Charles Band. The series, "William Shatner's Full Moon Frightshow," will reportedly feature films from Full Moon's library, including "Trancers" and "Puppet Master." Shatner recently completed directing and starring in Full Moon's upcoming SF thriller "Groom Lake," which the studio plans to shop around to cable networks.

Fincher rendezvous with 'Rama'
Posted Monday, January 15, 2001, 6:32AM CST by Franklin Harris
From Garth at Dark Horizons: Its official, David Fincher's next movie is the film adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama" (that is once he is finished the currently shooting "Panic Room").

New 'Tecnhi' OAV series in works
Posted Sunday, January 14, 2001, 8:22AM CST by Franklin Harris
From Anime News Service: AIC has posted an English translation here of an interview with "Tenchi Muyo" co-creator Masaki Kajishima, who was a director of the series in the past. According to the piece, he has plans to work on two future Tenchi-related OVA series in the future, with the 3rd series already in production. The story focuses on a battle with a "hazy guy" named Z and the motive of the 3 highest level goddesses. "Galaxy Police" and "Saint Pilot" themed series are also coming soon from the director.

First look at Spider-Man
Posted Friday, January 12, 2001, 7:23AM CST by Franklin Harris
Coming Attractions has your first look at Toby Maguire in the Spider-Man costume.

Ang Lee to direct 'Incredible Hulk'???
Posted Friday, January 12, 2001, 7:21AM CST by Franklin Harris
Dark Horizons had this tidbit this morning: The Hollywood Reporter has announced that "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" director Ang Lee is set to come aboard Universal's long-in-development film version of "The Incredible Hulk" comic. "X-Men" scribe David Hayter was picked to write the script last summer, and apparently his latest draft is what has "clinched Lee's decision to direct." This version of the Hulk is set in Berkley, California, has the superhero warding off evil forces as the army pursues him and contains a romance subplot with a female scientist. If this is true, I'm gonna faint.

More Gundam on the way
Posted Thursday, January 11, 2001, 8:06PM CST by Franklin Harris
Bandai's Anime Village Web site has announced release dates for upcoming Gundam DVDs:

  • Gundam Wing: The Movie (Endless Waltz) - SPECIAL DVD - February
  • Gundam MS08th - DVD 1 - July
  • Mobile Suit Gundam (TV dub)- DVD 1 - August
  • Gundam 0083 - DVD 1 - September
  • Gundam 0080 - DVD 1 - October

Suit up!

'Battle of the Planets'/'Gatchaman' on DVD
Posted Thursday, January 11, 2001, 8:01PM CST by Franklin Harris
Anime on DVD is reporting some long-awaited news regarding Rhino's rumored video/DVD release of "Battle of the Planets": Rhino has acquired the rights to the classic Gatchaman series, ... "...they'll release it as Battle of the Planets but I've been told that the extras on the DVD will include Japanese Gatchaman episodes subbed in English. They cannot release stand-alone Gatchaman releases due to contractual reasons with Tatsunoko." Now, is that cool, or what?

New X-Men teams announced
Posted Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 12:21PM CST by Franklin Harris
Marvel Comics officially announced the creative lineups for the company's two core X-Men titles today.

On "X-Men" will be writer Grant Morrison ("JLA") and artist Frank Quitely ("The Authority"), while on "Uncanny X-Men" will be writer Joe Casey ("Wildcats") and artist Ian Churchill ("The Coven").

None of the creators would reveal story ideas, but Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada did say, "In Grant's second issue, in one page, he will kill more mutants than probably ever before in the history of Marvel Comics."

Quesada also said that there will be little overlap among the titles of the revaped X-Men line. "All of these books are seperate. There is little character sharing," he said.

He added that 90 percent of the new X-title teams will debut with Marvel's May comics. That means we'll see the first glipses of what Morrison, Casey and company have in store with next month's solicitations.

'Close Encounters,' 'Superman' DVD news
Posted Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 7:20AM CST by Franklin Harris
The two-disc, restored edition of "Superman" (1978), featuring deleted scenes, an isolated music track and other goodies, is due in stores in May. And, according to DVD File, May looks like a good date for the long-awaited release of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" on DVD. We can only hope....

'X-Files' a go for season nine?
Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2001, 6:43PM CST by Franklin Harris
Chris Carter isn't saying much, but clearly he thinks a ninth season is a possibility for "The X-Files," so much so that he's adding a new female FBI agent to the mix. The character, played by Annabeth Gish, will debut as a recurring character this season and may be a regular if the series continues for a ninth year. Meanwhile, Carter says that he still plans to use the classic team of Mulder and Scully in any future X-Files movie projects.

Source: Fandom Daily Buzz

'Thor' on UPN? By Odin's missing eye!
Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2001, 6:35PM CST by Franklin Harris
Marvel Comics and Artisan Entertainment are developing a television series based on "The Mighty Thor." Now it looks like UPN is interested in airing the proposed series. "Thor" could be part of the UPN lineup as early as this fall, according to Comics Continuum. But no deal has been reached yet.

Jolie on board for 'Tomb Raider' sequels
Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2001, 6:31PM CST by Franklin Harris
If the first "Tomb Raider" movie is a hit, expect more. Angelina Jolie told Empire Online that she has signed to play Lara Croft in two sequels.

2001: Arthur C. Clarke speaks
Posted Monday, January 1, 2001, 11:00AM CST by Franklin Harris
The Washington Post has an excellent article on Arthur C. Clarke. It covers everything from his ideas on the future to why he lives in Sri Lanka. You can read it here.


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