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November 2003

Michael Caine joins new 'Batman' cast
Posted Tuesday, November 25, 2003, 8:55AM CST by Franklin Harris
Michael Caine has joined the cast of Christopher Nolan's upcoming "Batman" movie, which starts filming early next year. Caine will play Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred. Christian Bale is already signed to play Wayne/Batman. Meanwhile, Daniel Day-Lewis is rumored to be under consideration to play Batman's nemesis, Ra's Al-Ghul.

Source: Dark Horizons

'Farscape' to return as miniseries
Posted Monday, November 24, 2003, 9:40PM CST by Franklin Harris
Numerous sources are reporting that "Farscape," the recently canceled Sci-Fi Channel series, will return for a miniseries that will tie up loose plot threads left over from the show's untimely end. No other details are known at this time.

'Family Guy' may return to Fox
Posted Monday, November 24, 2003, 9:35PM CST by Franklin Harris
Executives at Fox must have noticed the brisk sales of the "Family Guy" DVD sets. The network is considering reviving the animated series for a fourth season. As many as 35 new episodes could begin airing in January 2005, marking the first time that a canceled series has been revived based on strong DVD demand and ratings in syndication.

Source: USA Today

PR: ADV to release remastered 'Robotech'
Posted Monday, November 24, 2003, 9:20PM CST by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON -- ADV Films today announced the release of Robotech Remastered: Extended Edition, a complete remastering of all three acts of Harmony Gold's classic Robotech, the series that introduced generations of Americans to the art form and cultural phenomenon that is anime. The first DVD volume, which will include the first twelve episodes on two discs with a handsome art box fitting both discs, will go on sale everywhere January 27, 2004.

Often compared to Star Trek and Star Wars, Robotech is a uniquely addictive and complex intergalactic drama drawn across generations, spinning together hard-hitting mecha action and richly developed characters over the course of three acts: The Macross Saga; Robotech Masters; and New Generation. Robotech has become a major merchandising force, with movies, graphic novels, books, and toys incorporating and elaborating on the story.

This newest release from ADV Films features a fresh, clean digital transfer of Robotech from the original film stock, returning the series to a lovely and near-pristine state without compromising the character of the original animation. New footage featuring scenes cut from the original broadcast version of Robotech has been added and also featuring new opening and closing credits and eye catches, creating a never-before-seen version of this seminal adventure series.

Additionally, the audio has been restored and remixed to create the highest-quality sound experience available. Robotech Remastered: Extended Edition ($29.98 SRP) will feature two new audio tracks: the original, classic English-language dub in glorious digital 5.1 sound and a Spanish-language digital 5.1 track. In addition to the upgraded audio, the release is also subtitled in English.

The Story:
1999: A massive alien battlecruiser crash-lands on Earth in the midst of a bloody global war. With the possibility of a more perilous threat looming, the human race puts aside their differences and collectively undertakes the arduous task of rebuilding the spacecraft, redubbed the SDF-1, to defend the Earth should its extraterrestrial masters come to reclaim it. Eventually, the alien Zentraedi invade Earth to collect the SDF-1 and the technology it contains, forcing the inexperienced crew, including hotshot pilot Rick Hunter and his war hero mentor Roy Fokker, to launch the battlecruiser into war--a war that will cross generations, stretch across the farthest reaches of the universe and turn ordinary soldiers into extraordinary heroes.

Running Time: 300 minutes; Age Rating: 13+
Pre-Book Date: 12/30/03
Street Date: 1/27/04
Format DVD
SRP $29.98

Powerhouse to animate 'Clerks' feature
Posted Monday, November 24, 2003, 9:06PM CST by Franklin Harris
Powerhouse Animation will animate a feature film based on writer/director Kevin Smith's "Clerks."

Source: Toon Zone

Marvel movie update: Fall 2004
Posted Monday, November 24, 2003, 8:58PM CST by Franklin Harris
Marvel Studios President Avi Arad recently updated investors on the status of Marvel's various film and television projects. Here are some of the highlights as reported by ICv2.com:

1. The "Fantastic Four" feature film's release has been delayed until summer 2005.
2. Mark Steven Johnson ("Daredevil") will direct Nicholas Cage in "Ghost Rider." Shooting will start in January 2004 for a 2005 release.
3. Films based on "Iron Man" and "Elektra" are also due in 2005, with "Daredevil 2" to follow "Elektra" at some point in the future.
4. Marvel's slate of films for 2006 tentatively includes "X-Men 3," "Hulk 2," "Namor," "Captain America," "Nick Fury" and "Iron Fist."
5. Other undated Marvel films in development include "Mort the Dead Teenager," "Gargoyle," "Werewolf by Night" and "Tales of the Zombie."
6. The animated "Spider-Man" TV series last seen on MTV will move to a new channel.

WotC to publish 'G.I. Joe' card game
Posted Monday, November 24, 2003, 8:47PM CST by Franklin Harris
Wizards of the Coast will publish a collectable card game based on "G.I. Joe." The game, to debut in fall 2004, will revolve around the 1980s cartoon series and comic books, which were based on Hasbro's line of action figures and toys.

Source: ICv2.com

Sci-Fi orders 'Stargate' spin-off
Posted Monday, November 24, 2003, 8:40PM CST by Franklin Harris
According to Variety, the Sci-Fi Channel has ordered 20 hours of "Stargate: Atlantis," a spin-off of the sci-fi TV series "Stargate: SG-1."

Jonathan Brandis found dead at 27
Posted Monday, November 24, 2003, 8:31PM CST by Franklin Harris
Actor Jonathan Brandis, 27, was found dead last week of an apparent suicide. Brandis was best known for his portrayal of child prodigy Lucas Wolenczek on the sci-fi TV series "SeaQuest DSV."

Source: E! Online

'Astro City' movie rights optioned
Posted Monday, November 24, 2003, 8:24PM CST by Franklin Harris
Producer Ben Barenholtz and screenwriter Jonathan Alpers have entered into a deal with comic book writer Kurt Busiek to turn Busiek's series "Astro City" into a feature film. The three have formed a production company, Panama Leo Productions, to shop the project around Hollywood.

Source: Variety

PR: First 'Evangelion' special edition arrives Jan. 13
Posted Thursday, November 6, 2003, 7:47PM CST by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON -- ADV Films today announced a January 13, 2004 release date for Resurrection, the first of two Directors' Cut volumes of the enormously influential anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. The Directors' Cut is not just a remaster, but a revised and re-edited special edition produced under the careful supervision of creators Hideaki Anno and Gainax to include amazing new footage never before available outside of Japan. The first volume contains Evangelion episodes 21-23 in both the extended Directors' Cut versions and the original broadcast versions, allowing fans to see the creative progression of this seminal title's final moments.

In addition to the Directors' Cut episodes, ADV has obtained special DVD extras that are sure to fuel the excitement for this highly anticipated release. Resurrection will include an exclusive 25-minute interview with Richard Taylor, co-founder and head of Effects and Creatures at Weta Workshop, the multiple Academy Award-winning (for The Lord of the Rings trilogy) special effects studio currently working on the Neon Genesis Evangelion live-action feature. Also included are numerous never-before-seen production images from the theatrical release.

Neon Genesis Evangelion is the story of a reluctant young hero, called upon to pilot an immense robotic weapon in battle against alien invaders in the year 2015. As the remnants of the human race cower in subterranean cities, a deadly war is being waged on what is left of the planet. On one side are the mysterious beings known as Angels; on the other, the special agency NERV and mankind's last hope, the awe-inspiring Evangelions. Piloted by a special team of teenage warriors, these giant bio-mechanical humanoids are the only thing that can withstand the force of the Angels' defense fields long enough for the pilots to tackle the invaders themselves in hand to hand combat! With the lives of every soul on the planet at stake, these few youngsters must reach down deep inside themselves to find the strength and courage necessary to meet the Angels head on in a desperate attempt to save mankind.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Directors' Cut-Resurrection ($29.98 SRP) includes episodes 21-23 in both director's cut and original broadcast versions. In both English 2.0-languange and Japanese 2.0-language versions, with English subtitles. Includes ADV previews.

PR: 'Invader Zim' coming to DVD in Spring 2004
Posted Thursday, November 6, 2003, 7:02PM CST by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: NEW YORK CITY -- AnimeWorks is ready to rain down Zim's doom upon the heads of animation fans everywhere with its release of Jhonen Vasquez's "Invader Zim." Anime fans have been screaming for this DVD release since Zim first aired on Nickelodeon in 2001, and now it's finally here. Coming Spring 2004 will be the first of three double disc sets and a limited edition boxed set which promises to send fans' blood racing through their veins like giant radioactive rubber pants. The pants command them! "Invader Zim" currently airs on Nicktoons, Nickelodeon's digital home for animated hits.

"We at Media Blasters are thrilled to add 'Invader Zim' to our powerful line-up, and expect it to be one of our flagship titles in 2004," said John Sirabella, CEO of Media Blasters. " 'Zim' has created quite a fan buzz in the anime community and we know that it will be a huge sensation!"


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