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April 2003

First look: Thomas Jane as The Punisher
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2003, 8:49PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Artisan Entertainment has released the first publicity still of Thomas Jane in costume for "The Punisher."

Thomas Jane as The Punisher

The film, based on the Marvel comic book, is scheduled for release in summer 2004.

PR: ADV Films to release 'Evangelion' director's cut
Posted Monday, April 28, 2003, 9:36PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON - ADV Films today announced formally that the firm will release the Director's Cut of the final six episodes of the enormously influential anime series "Neon Genesis Evangelion." These Director's Cut episodes include additional footage, never before released in the U.S. ADV Films expects to release the Director's Cut in two three-episode DVD volumes; each volume will include both the extended Director's Cut versions and the original versions of the episodes.

ADV Films Co-Founder and Senior Producer Matt Greenfield produced ADV Films' original release of "Neon Genesis Evangelion," and he is at the helm of the firm's Director's Cut release as well. "It's very exciting to be working on 'Evangelion' again after so many years," said Greenfield. "The release of the original series was a pivotal moment in the development of the North American anime market, and we're very eager to see how fans will react to the revisions and refinements the creators have made to their original vision.

"By including both the original and revised episodes," continued Greenfield, "we've made it possible for Eva-philes to get an inside look at the directorial decisions that went into the creation of one of anime's most brilliant and original series. If you've ever wondered what Eva's really all about, these new collections will get you closer than you've ever been before."

Release Plans: ADV Films has not yet announced release dates for "Neon Genesis Evangelion: Director's Cut" (note: this is a working title only).

Spider-Man movie in legal web (again)
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2003, 6:47AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Spider-Man's legal problems are back. Cinescape Online reports:

Marvel is suing Sony for more than $50 million dollars in damages including fraud on Sony's part as well as the movie studio trying to downplay and distance Marvel's claims to [Spider-Man]. The company also wants its existing agreement with Sony to be rendered null and void, thereby ending the possibility of a third SPIDER-MAN movie at Sony unless a new deal can be struck. Sony has countered with its own lawsuit, saying that Marvel is smearing the facts and trying to maneouver Sony from making its fair share of revenue from the Marvel character.

Cinescape notes that the suit may make other studios reluctant to enter into movie deals with Marvel.

'Hammer of the Gods' hits Hollywood
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2003, 6:37AM CDT by Franklin Harris
"Hammer of the Gods," the comic book by Michael Oeming and Mark Wheatley, has been optioned by Regency Entertainment, which plans to turn the mythological adventure into a feature film. The movie version, however, seems to be adding a contemporary twist to the tale.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

DreamWorks options 'Master of Kung Fu'
Posted Monday, April 14, 2003, 5:34AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that DreamWorks has optioned "Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu." The studio plans to turn the Marvel comic book into a feature film directed by "Matrix" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" fight choreographer Yuen Woo Ping.

Nick Cage signs up for 'Ghost Rider'
Posted Wednesday, April 9, 2003, 2:36PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Nicolas Cage will finally get to portray a comic-book character. According to Variety, Cage will play the title role in the long-delayed "Ghost Rider" film. Mark Steven Johnson ("Daredevil") will direct from a script by Shane Salerno.

"Ghost Rider" is based on the Marvel Comics character.

PR: U.S. Newtype mag passes 100,000 circ.
Posted Wednesday, April 9, 2003, 6:28AM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON - Newtype USA, the leading anime and manga publication in the English-speaking world, today announced that preorders for the May 2003 issue (only the seventh monthly issue since the magazine began production) have exceeded 100,000 units, an extraordinary figure for a magazine in its first year of publication. Print runs, which began at 30,000 for the sold-out Vol. One, Issue One (a hot item among collectors) have risen steadily to the current six-digit total.

"Obviously, we're very pleased," said John Ledford, President and CEO of Newtype USA, Inc. "We launched Newtype USA at an opportune moment in terms of the growing U.S. market for anime-related content, and it shows. This is an exciting milestone for us as a magazine, and as a company."

Newtype USA has won praise from readers for the breadth and depth of its coverage, the quality of its artwork and design and its unrivaled behind-the-scenes coverage of the anime and manga industries. Readers have also been pleased with the ample extra gear-such as posters, centerfolds, DVDs and more-included with each issue. In a unique touch, Newtype USA even reads from right to left, just like the Japanese original.

Dimension Films to remake 'Suspiria'
Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2003, 12:43PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Coming Soon reports that Dimension Films plans to remake "Suspiria," the 1977 horror classic directed by Italian horror master Dario Argento. Stephen Katz ("Shadow of the Vampire") will write the screenplay.

Editorial comment: What the hell? This is crazier than trying to remake "Psycho"!

Simon West to direct 'Jurassic Park 4'
Posted Monday, April 7, 2003, 1:01PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that "Con Air" director Simon West will direct "Jurassic Park 4."

Two superhero movies not based on comic books
Posted Monday, April 7, 2003, 12:49PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Two superhero movie projects are in the works, and neither of them involves an existing comic-book hero.

First, Michael Mann ("Manhunter") is directing "Tonight, He Comes" for Artisan Pictures. According to Cinescape, this film is being produced by "Batman and Robin" screenwriter Akiva Goldsman with a script by Vincent Ngo.

Second, according to Dark Horizons, "Cube" Director Vincenzo Natali is working on a film that will deconstruct the myths of superheroes, much as Alan Moore's comic book "Watchmen" did in the 1980s.

'xXx' director to helm live-action 'Kite'
Posted Monday, April 7, 2003, 12:37PM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Rob Cohen ("xXx," "The Fast and The Furious") will helm a live-action remake of the 1998 anime feature "Kite." Cohen says this version will lack the anime's explicit sexual content.

Leslie Cheung commits suicide
Posted Friday, April 4, 2003, 6:45AM CST by Franklin Harris
Hong Kong movie and pop star Leslie Cheung committed suicide earlier this week. Reports indicate that the singer and actor, best known in the United States for his roles in "A Better Tomorrow" and "The Bride with White Hair," jumped from the 24th floor of a hotel in Hong Kong's financial district. He was 46.

Source: Channel NewsAsia

Bruce Campbell makes movie for Sci-Fi
Posted Friday, April 4, 2003, 6:32AM CST by Franklin Harris
Bruce Campbell ("Army of Darkness") will write, produce, direct and star in "The Man with the Screaming Brain," a TV movie for the Sci-Fi Channel. Production begins this summer in Florida.

Source: Sci-Fi Wire

Thomas Jane is The Punisher
Posted Thursday, April 3, 2003, 12:59PM CST by Franklin Harris
Thomas Jane ("Dreamcatcher") officially has signed on to play the title role in "The Punisher," Marvel Comics announced today. The film, produced by Artisan Entertainment, is an adaptation of the Marvel comic book.

'Daredevil' director's next may be 'Midnight Nation'
Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2003, 8:22PM CST by Franklin Harris
Superhero Hype! reports that director Mark Steven Johnson ("Daredevil") may have another comic-book project as his next film. "Babylon 5" creator J. Michael Straczynski reportedly said that Johnson is considering directing a movie version of Straczynski's "Midnight Nation."

Sci-Fi announces 2004-2005 TV projects
Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2003, 6:28AM CST by Franklin Harris
The Sci-Fi Channel has announced new projects for the 2004-2005 TV season. The projects include new series, TV movies and miniseries:

  • "Stargate: Atlantis" -- a spin-off of "Stargate: SG-1"
  • "Dead Lawyers" -- a series in which dead lawyers come back to defend those they wronged in life; get your lawyer jokes ready
  • "The Divide" -- a disc jockey, his dead sister and a coroner fight crime
  • "Legion" -- a man sells his soul to the devil then kills demons to atone for it
  • "Clive Barker's The Evil One" -- anthology series
  • "Painkiller Jane" -- two-hour pilot movie based on the comic book of the same name
  • "Total Eclipse" -- a college is home to strange happenings
  • "Suture Girl" -- two-hour pilot based on a Todd McFarlane ("Spawn") character
  • "The Thing" -- miniseries remake of a story that's already been put on film twice
  • "6 Days 'Til Sunday" -- six-night miniseries about a man who knows he will be murdered in six days
  • "Life on Mars" -- a "Survivor"-like reality show set inside a simulated Marian base
  • "Battlestar Galactica" -- miniseries remake of the '70s TV series

Source: Cinescape

'Scooby Doo' sequel is a go
Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2003, 6:13AM CST by Franklin Harris
Production will start April 14 on "Scooby Doo 2," the sequel to last year's live-action hit. Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini are all on board again. Warner Bros. has set a release date of March 26, 2004.


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