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March 2002

Pollack to direct 'Kavalier & Clay'?
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2002, 1:09PM CST by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that director Sydney Pollack is close to a deal to direct a film adaptation of Michael Chabon's Pulizer Prize-winning novel "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" for Paramount Pictures. The novel centers on two young comic-book artists based loosely on the creators of Superman.

Del Toro to film Lovecraft's 'At the Mountains of Madness'
Posted Tuesday, March 26, 2002, 8:41PM CST by Franklin Harris
Ain't It Cool News and Variety are reporting that "Blade II" director Guillermo Del Toro is working on an adaptation of H.P. Lovescraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" for DreamWorks SKG. Del Toro will write and direct the film.

Gangway for Marvel movie sequels
Posted Monday, March 25, 2002, 8:12PM CST by Franklin Harris
According to Comics2Film, Marvel is already preparing for sequels to its upcoming comic-book-based, live-action movies. "Spider-Man" won't hit theaters until May, but production on "Spider-Man 2" is tentatively set to begin in January 2003, with director Sam Raimi on board. Meanwhile, director Ang Lee's "Hulk" film isn't scheduled to arrive on the big screen until next year, but "Hulk 2" is already in development for a May 2005 release. "Blade 3" is also in the works, with Wesley Snipes set to star. (Snipes is also attached to a "Black Panther" movie, probably after "Blade 3.")

Also, "X-Men 2" starts shooting in June, and "Elektra" is in development as a possible spin-off to the upcoming "Daredevil" movie.

As for non-sequels, films based on "Iron Man," "The Fantastic Four," "Namor," "Doctor Strange" and "Deathlok" are in the earliest stages of production.

2002 Oscar Autopsy Report
Posted Monday, March 25, 2002, 7:59AM CST by Franklin Harris
Another Academy Award ceremony has come and gone, and one thing remains unchanged: The Academy's penchant for rewarding the hopelessly average (with a few exceptions, of course).

That said, I did a fair job of predicting who would win on Oscar night (not to be confused with who should have won; most of those folks weren't even nominated). I finished in the 98th percentile in the Yahoo! Movies Oscar Pool, and I was mostly a flop in the documentary and short-film categories, where I hadn't seen any of the nominees and made my picks almost at random. My only miss in the major categories was Best Actor, where I foolishly stuck with Russell Crowe even though the Academy is loath to allow repeats. (Fact it, Crowe deserved to win this year, not for last year's overrated mess, "Gladiator.")

Anyway, congratulations especially to Jennifer Connelly and Jim Broadbent, who both won and deservedly so (even if Broadbent was nominated for the wrong film). To Peter Jackson and Ian McKellen, cheer up; there are still two movies to go.

Hasselhoff to produce 'Knight Rider' feature film
Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2002, 8:52PM CST by Franklin Harris
David Hasselhoff is executive producing and may appear in a big screen version of the '80s TV series, "Knight Rider." TV series creator Glen A. Larson had written a script for the project.

Source: Variety

New 'Transformers,' 'He-Man' toons to Cartoon Network
Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2002, 8:45PM CST by Franklin Harris
Toon Zone is reporting that Cartoon Network will have two new series this fall. And they will be Toonami's first first-run cartoons.

"Transformers: Armada" and "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" will both be updates of the popular '80s cartoons, both of which were based on equally popular toy lines. ("Transformers: Armada" has already been anounced as a comic book series.)

Also, this fall Cartoon Network's Toonami action block will expand to three hours in order to make room for the two new shows.

Is a 'Teen Titans' cartoon in the works?
Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2002, 8:37PM CST by Franklin Harris
Toon Zone is reporting that a "Teen Titans" cartoon series, based on the DC comic book, may be in the works. The series, from the creative team behind Cartoon Network's "Justice League," would begin production after JL's second season.

'Ninja Scroll' live-action movie/multimedia rights purchased
Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2002, 7:19PM CST by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Threshold Entertainment today announced its acquisition of "Ninja Scroll" from leading Japanese anime studio Madhouse. The producers of the $4 billion Mortal Kombat feature film franchise have tagged the property as its next blockbuster martial arts franchise. Threshold plans to produce "Ninja Scroll" in all media including television, live stage tours, video games, music and more. The Multimedia and Intellectual Property Management giant, is currently developing the $60 million effects laden live-action samurai feature film based on the 1994 blockbuster Anime movie. This acquisition marks one of many properties that Threshold plans to acquire over the next six months and turn into global mainstream entertainment as part of its overall buying strategy.

Created by award-winning action director Kawajiri Yoshiaki (Vampire Hunter D, Demon City), "Ninja Scroll" is considered to be the yardstick by which all other martial arts sword-fighting action anime is measured.

Fox buys rights to live-action 'Dragonball'
Posted Tuesday, March 12, 2002, 8:12PM CST by Franklin Harris
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Twentieth Century Fox has purchased the right to make a live-action feature film version of the popular anime and manga series "Dragonball."

Disney to release 'Spirited Away' in America
Posted Saturday, March 9, 2002, 3:31PM CST by Franklin Harris
According to ScreenDaily.com, Disney has purchased the North American distribution rights to Hayao Miyazaki's new animated film "Spirited Away," which broke box office records in Japan. According to the story: "Learning from Miramax's long-delayed and much-criticised North American release of Miyazaki's previous hit, 'Princess Mononoke,' Disney is moving quickly to get 'Spirited Away' released, possibly as early as July. The studio has already engaged Pixar creative chief John Lasseter to serve as creative consultant on the dubbed version of 'Spirited Away,' though no voice casting choices have yet been announced."

PR: Cartoon Network announces 2002 plans, 100 new episodes including DBZ, 'Justice League' and 'Powerpuff Girls'
Posted Thursday, March 7, 2002, 10:35AM CST by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: ATLANTA--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--March 7, 2002--Cartoon Network announced several major programming initiatives for 2002 today at a press conference in New York.
Speakers at the event included Cartoon Network executive vice president and general manager Jim Samples, senior vice president of programming and production Mike Lazzo, and series creators Tom Warburton (Codename: Kids Next Door) and Michael Ouweleen and Erik Richter (Harvey Birdman, Attorney-at-Law).
Major announcements included:

Animated Television Programming:

-- Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?, a new Cartoon Cartoon original series that will launch in July 2002.
-- Codename: Kids Next Door, a new Cartoon Cartoon original series, which will premiere in November 2002.
-- More than 100 new episodes of original programs are currently in production for 2002-2003, including 26 episodes each of Courage the Cowardly Dog and Ed, Edd n Eddy.
-- Eight new series pilots scheduled will premiere throughout Summer 2002.
-- The tenth June Bugs marathon will air May 31-June 2, 2002, featuring more than 175 Bugs Bunny cartoons. Cartoon Network is the exclusive television home of Looney Tunes.
-- "The 1st 13th Annual Fancy Anvil Award Show Program Live!... In Stereo," an animated awards show parody, will air Saturday, March 23.


-- Cartoon Network presents the U.S. television debut of Hamtaro. 52 episodes of the Japanese sensation will premiere in July 2002.
-- 54 new episodes of Dragon Ball Z starting in September 2002. Dragon Ball Z airs exclusively on Toonami, Cartoon Network's action-adventure franchise.
-- 38 new episodes of Dragonball will air on Toonami this year.

All New Episodes of Top-Rated Originals:

-- 20 new half-hours of The Powerpuff Girls, including a Christmas special.
-- 26 new half-hour episodes of Samurai Jack.
-- 26 new half-hour episodes of Justice League.
-- 13 new episodes of Grim & Evil.
-- A Johnny Bravo Valentine's Day special is in production and is scheduled for a 2003 premiere.

Adult Swim:

-- 13 brand new half-hour episodes of Home Movies, created for Cartoon Network, will debut in Fall 2002.
-- 20 new episodes of Harvey Birdman, Attorney-at-Law will debut starting in July 2002.
-- 13 new episodes each of current series Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021 and The Brak Show.
-- 13 half-hour episodes of Mission Hill will premiere in May 2002.
-- 13 episodes of The Oblongs, a half-hour series that will premiere in July 2002.
-- The launch of the new Saturday night action edition of Adult Swim with premieres of anime series Yu Yu Hakusho, Gundam 0083 and Pilot Candidate.
-- New half-hour specials including Saddle Rash, Finkel Files, Penguins Behind Bars and Party Wagon.

'Duck Dogers' launches onto small screen
Posted Thursday, March 7, 2002, 5:34AM CST by Franklin Harris
According to Cartoon Research, Warner Bros. is producing an animated TV series based on Chuck Jones' classic Daffy Duck short, "Duck Dogers in the 24th and 1/2 Century." The new "Duck Dogers" series will be overseen by Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone and Paul Dini ("Batman: The Animated Series").

'Lone Ranger' movie on the way
Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2002, 8:21PM CST by Franklin Harris
Only weeks after The WB announced its plans for a new "Lone Ranger" TV series to air this fall (and featuring younger versions of the classic characters), Variety reports that Columbia Pictures is looking to produce a new "Lone Ranger" film. (Hopefully it will be better than the dreadful "Legend of the Lone Ranger." But an early rumor is that Tonto could find himself reimagined as a "sexy woman." Be afraid.)

Mike Myers to play Cat in the Hat
Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2002, 8:13PM CST by Franklin Harris
According to Entertainment Weekly, Mike Myers has finally agreed to take on the title role in a live action "Cat in the Hat" film, based on the Dr. Seuss character.


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