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May 2000

'Nausicaa' off Anchor Bay's schedule
Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2000, 9:14PM CDT by Franklin Harris
From Anime on DVD:

Awhile back, most people were surprised when Anchor Bay Entertainment announced their plans to bring Nausicaa to DVD at the end of this year. Personally, we're pretty sure that Disney was surprised by it too. Chris Meadows over on the Miyazaki mailing list got a response from Anchor Bay and posted it to the list. "It is currently being held up due to rights negotiations with another company in order to release the full length original cut. We still do have the right to release WARRIORS OF THE WIND but will not be pursuing that option."

Kudos to Anchor Bay for not releasing a truly hacked up version of this modern classic of anime. What this may entail, for those more familiar with the general studio workings, is that Disney may sublicense the title to Anchor Bay (as they have done with many of their titles in the past with some wonderful results) and Anchor Bay will release the title. This could also help future release of other Ghibli titles that Disney current holds the rights to.

Vincent Price AIP films coming to DVD?
Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2000, 8:01AM CDT by Franklin Harris
From DVD Nightmare:

There was a chat held over at Home Theater Forum tonight (May 30) and one of our readers got to ask a big wig at MGM about the VIncent Price AIP titles and when we might see them. And what was the answer, you might ask? Well this is what he had to say: "Tales of Terror will be anamorphic in September 2000. All of the Vincent Price/AIP films will be released over the next 2 years." Big thanks to Jason for getting in the question.

'Supernova' DVD announced
Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2000, 6:00PM CDT by Franklin Harris
MGM has just released the details on its upcoming release for the sci-fi horror flick "Supernova." The disc will be released on July 22 and will contain a new "R-rated cut," which will have a minute of extra footage. The DVD will also contain 20 minutes of additional cut scenes as well as the trailer and a booklet. Supernova will retail for $26.95 and will be in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio as well as being anamorphically enhanced.

Source: DVD Nightmare

Spidey TV and movie news
Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2000, 5:51PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Marvel Media president and chief executive Avi Arad told the Comics Continuum Web site that a computer-generated Spider-Man animated television series will follow the live-action Spider-Man movie, which is now in development. "We're going to do that at Sony," Arad told the Web site. "We haven't selected a network yet, but that's not going to be a big problem."

The animated television series could start in the spring of 2002. "Because the movie is coming out Thanksgiving 2001, we'll follow the show right after the movie," Arad said.

Arad confirmed that the movie's villains "will be Green Goblin and Doc Ock," he said. In terms of casting, Arad said he expects it to get underway in the next 60 days.

Source: Sci Fi Wire

Verhoeven to direct 'Rasputin'
Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2000, 5:45PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Next year, Paul Verhoeven, director of "Robocop" and "Starship Troopers," will begin shooting the $50 million motion picture "Rasputin." Filmed in eastern Europe, the project will have an international cast.

Source: Variety

'X-Files' news: Scully to get new partner
Posted Friday, May 26, 2000, 7:02PM CDT by Franklin Harris
With David Duchovny (Fox Mulder) paring down his appearances on The X-Files next year, expect co-star Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully) to get a new partner, "X-Files" creator Chris Carter told the Entertainment Weekly Web site. "Certainly Scully's character has evolved to this point now where she is a believer of sorts," Carter said. "I think that the partner would probably be a skeptic. And more likely than not, it will be a man." Also expect more screen time for supporting players Mitch Pileggi (Assistant Director Skinner) and Nicholas Lea (Krycek). "We've got a lot of great players on the bench," "X-Files" executive producer Frank Spotnitz told EW. "It makes sense to use those assets more heavily than we have in the past."

Source: Sci Fi Wire

'Lenore' coming to the big screen
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2000, 7:22AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Sony Family Entertainment has bought the rights to "Lenore," Roman Dirge's cult comic, and plans to turn it into an animated movie, Variety reported. The black comedy fantasy will be written by Caroline Thompson ("A Nightmare Before Christmas") and Larry Wilson("Beetlejuice"). The comic tells the story of Lenore, a 10-year-old girl who returns from the dead because she feels her family needs her, Variety reported.

Source: Sci Fi Wire

'Blue Submarine No. 6' to Cartoon Network
Posted Saturday, May 20, 2000, 6:49PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Details, including the airdate, are still forthcoming, but it has been confirmed that Bandai's "Blue Submarine No. 6" anime, which combines CGI with traditional cel animation, is coming to Cartoon Network.

Source: DVD Animania

More on Ray Bradbury's Alabama visit
Posted Friday, May 19, 2000, 7:57AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Here is a link to a story from Terry Pace of the Florence TimesDaily. The story is mostly about Ray Bradbury's classic novel, "Fahrenheit 451": http://www.timesdaily.com/news/stories/000517n1.html

'Ghost Rider' movie in the works
Posted Thursday, May 18, 2000, 5:42PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Marvel just keeps on licensing its characters. The day after it announced its deal with Artisan, Marvel announced a $75 million film based on "Ghost Rider." Crystal Sky Entertainment will produce the feature and is looking to get Johnny Depp ("Sleepy Hollow") for the role of Johnny Blaze, a.k.a., Ghost Rider. The film will be produced by Avi Arad, Steven Paul and actor Jon Voight, who may also take a role in the film. The film's screenplay was written by David Goyer.

Source: Cinescape Online

York back for 'Omega Code' sequel
Posted Thursday, May 18, 2000, 5:37PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Well, here's news I know you've all been waiting for: There will be a sequel to the Biblical End Times film, "The Omega Code." Michael York will reprise his role as the Anti-Christ. (Hard time getting work, Michael?)

Source: Cinescape Online

Paul Bartel dies at 61
Posted Thursday, May 18, 2000, 10:35AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Paul Bartel, director of the cult-classic films "Eating Raoul" and "Death Race 2000," died Saturday of liver cancer, the Associated Press reported today. He was 61.

Duchovny will be back for 'X-Files' season 8
Posted Thursday, May 18, 2000, 10:33AM CDT by Franklin Harris
David Duchovny, who was wrangling over his contract and a lawsuit he filed in connection with the show, has agreed to return to "The X-Files" for an eighth year. He will appear in 11 of 22 episodes. The deal will bring Duchovny more than $20 million, which includes a lawsuit settlement and $350,000 to $400,000 per episode.

Source: The Associated Press

More Gundam on the way
Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2000, 5:47PM CDT by Franklin Harris
A change from the previous news is that "Gundam 08th MS Team" instead of "Gundam 0080" will be on DVD early next year.

Source: DVD Animania

Voltron coming to home video
Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2000, 5:42PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Trimark Entertainment has signed a distribution deal with World Event Productions that gives Trimark the home-video distribution rights to 12 episodes of the current CG Voltron cartoon, with an option on more episodes, and distribution rights to all 124 episodes of the American version of the original 1980s Voltron anime series. In an effort to broaden their share in the family and children's sell-through video market, Trimark will begin releasing Voltron to stores this winter. Their plan is to focus on the new series and release only a few episodes of the '80s anime series to test the market. Sales results will determine further releases.

Source: AnimeNation

Fox to program more sci-fi and fantasy
Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2000, 5:38PM CDT by Franklin Harris
In addition to the returning "The X-Files," Fox is planning several other science fiction and fantasy series for the 2000-2001 TV season. The newcomers include: "Dark Angel," a futuristic drama from James Cameron and Charles Eglee; "Fearsum," a drama about ghosts from the team behind "The Blair Witch Project"; "Night Visions," an anthology of horror stories; "The Tick," a live-action superhero comedy based on the animated series and comic book by Ben Edlund, and starring Seinfeld's Patrick Warburton; and "The Lone Gunmen," a spinoff of "The X-Files," from Chris Carter. This would be a mid-season replacement.

Source: Sci Fi Wire

Marvel Comics and Artisan ink major film deal
Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2000, 5:27PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Artisan Entertainment, the company behind "The Blair Witch Project," has joined forces with Marvel Enterprises to turn at least 15 Marvel superhero franchises into live-action features, TV series, direct-to-video films and Internet projects. Franchises involved in the deal include Captain America, who's headed for features, and Thor, who'll be developed for a TV series. Characters headed to direct-to-video action films include The Punisher, Man-Thing and Black Widow. Other characters involved include: The Black Panther, Deadpool, Iron Fist, Morbius, Longshot, Power Pack and Ant-Man. The deal will have no impact on Marvel projects already in production at other studios.

Source: Variety

Universal names superhero-film writers
Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2000, 5:20PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Universal has lined up screenwriters for two of its upcoming comic-book-inspired projects, "The Green Hornet" and "The Incredible Hulk." "The Green Hornet," which has Jet Li attached to it in the role of Kato, is now in the hands of Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, best know for "The Usual Suspects" and his work on the upcoming "X-Men" film. Meanwhile, "The Incredible Hulk" is being written by Michael Tolkin, whose credits include "The Player" and "Deep Impact."

Source: Cinescape Online

G vs. E is dead -- real dead
Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2000, 5:17PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The Sci Fi Channel has announced the cancellation of "Good vs. Evil" after a year on the air, which included a stint on Sci Fi's sister network, USA. Although the show developed a cult following, the ratings weren't good enough to save it. The show suffered a 33 percent dropoff from its lead-in, "Farscape." Sci Fi intends to replace the show with a new series, "The Invisible Man," which begins June 9.

Source: Cinescape Online

'The Others' looking for a home
Posted Tuesday, May 16, 2000, 4:48PM CDT by Franklin Harris
"The Others," the DreamWorks-produced paranormal drama that NBC just canceled, is seeking a home on another network, executive producer James Wong told SCI FI Wire. Wong said DreamWorks partner Jeffrey Katzenberg is shopping the series to networks such as The WB, Fox and The SCI FI Channel.

Source: Sci Fi Wire

'X-Files' will be back for Season 8
Posted Tuesday, May 16, 2000, 4:39PM CDT by Franklin Harris
It's official. Fox has renewed "The X-Files" for an eighth season. Series creator Chris Carter will be back as will Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully), as per her contract which obligates her for one more season. As for David Duchovny (Fox Mulder), he may appear in as few as 6 to 9 episodes. His negotiations with Fox are ongoing. In addition, for what is likely to be its final season, "The X-Files" production is likely to move back to Vancouver, Canada.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter and Cinescape Online

'Star Trek: New Frontier' comes to comics
Posted Monday, May 15, 2000, 6:37PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Comic-book writer and "Star Trek" novelist Peter David will bring his popular Trek novel series, "Star Trek: New Frontier," to comics in September with a prestige format one-shot from Wildstorm/DC Comics. The "New Frontier" series follows the adventures of the U.S.S. Excalibur and its captain, Mackenzie Calhoun.

Source: AnotherUniverse.com

'Gladiator' pummels new Travolta film at box office
Posted Sunday, May 14, 2000, 5:10PM CDT by Franklin Harris
"Gladiator" earned $24.3 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period during its second week of release, giving it a total take so far of $73.3 million. That is more than enough to fend off John Travolta's pet project, "Battlefield Earth," which earned $12.3 -- and the worst reviews of any film so far this year -- in its first weekend.

Source: Yahoo! News/Reuters

More 'Dragonball Z' coming to Cartoon Network
Posted Sunday, May 14, 2000, 4:52PM CDT by Franklin Harris
In addition to the "Garlic Jr. Saga" episodes of "Dragonball Z" now showing on Cartoon Network's "Rising Sun" edition of Toonami on Saturday mornings, CN will be showing 75 new episodes (season 4) of the series beginning this fall.

Source: DVD AniMania

Batman artist Dick Sprang, R.I.P.
Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2000, 6:54PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Legendary Batman artist Dick Sprang (1915-2000) passed away in his sleep early this morning, apparently after a months long illness.

Source: AnotherUniverse.com

Dykstra to do 'Spider-Man' SFX
Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2000, 6:52PM CDT by Franklin Harris
John Dykstra has signed to oversee the special effects for Sam Raimi's film version of "Spider-Man."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Slow Coltrane to 'Hell'
Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2000, 6:50PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Robbie Coltrane has signed to appear with Johnny Depp, Heather Graham and Nigel Hawthorne in Fox's big screen adaptation of Alan Moore's "From Hell" comic book series. Albert and Allen Hughes are directing the film, which is based on the Jack the Ripper story.

Source: Reuters/Variety

'Aquaman' deep sixed!
Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2000, 6:48PM CDT by Franklin Harris
DC Comics is cancelling "Aquaman" (yet again!) as of the title's issue No. 75.

'Buffy' DVDs coming soon
Posted Monday, May 8, 2000, 6:28PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The WB's hit vampire series, is headed for DVD, creator Joss Whedon told The Watcher's Web, a U.K. fan Web site. "DVDs are planned," Whedon said. "We are doing the first season first, and they are talking to me about doing interviews and commentaries and stuff. That is just getting off the ground."

Source: Sci Fi Wire

Cameron not doing 'Aliens vs. Predator'
Posted Monday, May 8, 2000, 6:22PM CDT by Franklin Harris
A rumor that James Cameron was intereted in doing the stalled "Aliens vs. Predator" film project has turned out to be only a rumor. Cameron is not interested, says Cinescape Online.

James Cameron to do 'Battle Angel Alita'?
Posted Monday, May 8, 2000, 6:18PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Cinescape Online reports that James Cameron ("Aliens," "Titanic") has expressed interest in gaining the rights to the Japanese manga title "Battle Angel Alita" (published in the U.S. by Viz Comics). Back on on April 3rd, Cinescape broke the story that 20th Century Fox had already secured the Web site domain for "Battle Angel Alita," www.battleangelalita.com, which defaults back to the Fox movies Web page.

Joe Simon characters up for all media licensing
Posted Monday, May 8, 2000, 6:11PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Simon Comics and Crestwood/II Publications announced today that they are actively making their library of entertainment properties available for licensing in all media -- this according to CEO Jim Simon, the son of comics legend Joe Simon. According to Simon, SimonComics and Crestwood/II Publications own or represent rights to a large library of entertainment print properties including comic book superheroes such as The Shield, Shieldmaster, The Fly, Fighting American, Sick, Teen-Man!, The Monster Channel, among others.

Source: AnotherUniverse.com

Hayden Christensen is Anakin Skywalker
Posted Saturday, May 6, 2000, 10:48PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Just weeks before shooting begins on "Star Wars: Episode II," E! Online has confirmed that George Lucas has cast 19-year-old Hayden Christensen (Fox Family Channel's "Higher Ground") as Anakin Skywalker, ending months of speculation. An official announcement from the secrecy-minded Lucasfilm folks is forthcoming.

Ayn Rand and Nietzsche in space?
Posted Saturday, May 6, 2000, 6:34PM CDT by Franklin Harris
There is an interesting article on Space.com concerning the upcoming science fiction TV series, "Andromeda," based on an idea by Gene Roddenberry ("Star Trek") and starring Kevin Sorbo ("Hercules").

According to Space.com, "The newly released Andromeda Web site states that Nietzscheans (Homo sapiens invictus) are an offshoot of humanity 'bigger, faster and stronger than normal humans.'

"Nietzscheans originated on Ayn Rand Station, a colony founded by a geneticist and named after the author of 'The Fountainhead' and 'Atlas Shrugged.' In the Andromeda universe, they represent about 8 percent of all humans."

Hopefully, the ideas of Rand and Nietzsche will be treated with some amount of respect, and the "Nietzscheans" won't be used for simplistic, anti-capitalist propaganda purposes the way the Ferengi were on "Star Trek."

The concept behind the Nietzscheans also includes elements of Richard Dawkins' "selfish gene" theory of genetics.

Actor Steve Reeves, who played Greek gods, dies
Posted Friday, May 5, 2000, 10:43PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Actor and bodybuilder Steve Reeves, who made a career out of playing Greek gods in low-budget Italian films, has died at 74, associates said on Wednesday. They said Reeves, best known for his portrayal of Hercules in a series of dubbed imports, died Monday at a hospital in a San Diego suburb of what appears to have been a blood clot after complications resulting from lymphoma, a type of cancer.

Source: Reuters

Oldman joins cast of 'Silence' sequel
Posted Friday, May 5, 2000, 10:39PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Producers have confirmed that Gary Oldman will join Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore in director Ridley Scott's "Hannibal," the sequel to "The Silence of the Lambs" which starts principal photography Monday. Shooting will take place for five weeks in Florence, before shifting to Washington, D.C., Richmond, Va. and North Carolina for eight weeks.

Source: Variety

'Witchblade' TV movie moved up
Posted Friday, May 5, 2000, 6:07AM CDT by Franklin Harris
TNT announced today that it is rescheduling the "Witchblade" two-hour television film to August 27th at 7 p.m. Central. It was originally planned for a mid-October release.

Source: AnotherUniverse.com

'Mai the Psychic Girl' movie news
Posted Wednesday, May 3, 2000, 6:05PM CDT by Franklin Harris
While talking to Comics 2 Film, an unnamed representative at Todd Moyer's No Prisoners production company ("Wing Commander") revealed that "Mai the Psychic Girl" is in active development again. The source revealed that the picture will also be made through Sony Family Entertainment, which is said to be trying to fast track the project. Currently, the film has a script by Larry Wilson. The powers that be are seeking a director for the project and are hoping to start shooting sometime this year.

Source: Cinescape Online

Lucas relents (sort of) on Episode I DVD
Posted Wednesday, May 3, 2000, 1:33PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Wired News is giving three DVD Web sites, The Digital Bits, DVDFile and Digital Man Interactive, the credit for a campaign that has forced George Lucas to start work on a DVD version of "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" years ahead of his original plan. Lucasfilm reports that it has begun work on DVDs for the "Star Wars" films, but still says that none will be released in 2000. Of course, when the DVDs will be released is still a mystery, and I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see them in 2001, either.

Tenchi comes to Cartoon Network July 3
Posted Wednesday, May 3, 2000, 11:30AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Cartoon Network will add the popular anime series "Tenchi Muyo!" to its Toonami line-up on July 3 at 3:30 p.m. Central. The cable network wil also air ten original series pilots over the summer, three of which will become regular series. The pilots will begin airing Fridays at 8 p.m. starting June 9. Viewers will get a chance to vote on which pilot they liked best during the August 25-27 "Voice Your Choice Weekend."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

'Ninth Gate' DVD release moved to July 28
Posted Wednesday, May 3, 2000, 6:17AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Originally announced as having a July 18 release date, according to DVDFILE.com, Roman Polanski's "The Ninth Gate" is now scheduled for a July 28 release on DVD.

'Spider-Man' movie in fall 2001
Posted Wednesday, May 3, 2000, 6:10AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to The Hollywood Reporter, we can expect Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" feature film to be in theaters in autumn 2001.

'Star Trek II: TWOK' hits DVD in July
Posted Wednesday, May 3, 2000, 6:05AM CDT by Franklin Harris
The "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" DVD finally has a confirmed release date of July 11. While it is a movie-only release, it does have a new 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer, 5.1 surround mix and a trailer.

Source: DVDFILE.com

Ben Folds, Lisa Loeb join William Shatner for commercials
Posted Monday, May 1, 2000, 7:27PM CDT by Franklin Harris
If you haven't had your fill of Priceline.com's "William Shatner Plays the Hits" commercials, get set for the next onslaught of pitches from the online discount store. Shatner will again front an all-star band, this one featuring Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher, Ben Folds (keyboards), Lisa Loeb (guitar) and Louise Post from Veruca Salt.

Source: Rolling Stone

'Deep Red Sea'???
Posted Monday, May 1, 2000, 7:20PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Warner Bros. may be working on a sequel to 1999's super-shark thriller "Deep Blue Sea," according to a fan Web site. Citing a "mail room" source at the studio, Upcoming Horror Movies.com reported that the sequel would be called "Deep Red Sea."

Source: The Sci-Fi Wire

Comedy Central keeps 'South Park'
Posted Monday, May 1, 2000, 7:12PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are expected to re-up with Comedy Central. The new agreement between the creators of "South Park" and the cable network will include a long-term production and development deal, which means we can expect to see a new Parker-Stone creation in the future.

Source: AnotherUniverse.com and The Hollywood Reporter

Matrix Prequel Cartoon?
Posted Monday, May 1, 2000, 7:09PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The Wachowski brothers, creators of "The Matrix," are said to be creating an anime-style cartoon prequel to their hit movie. The plot is said to revolve around how A.I. comes to rule the world and humanity’s ill-fated struggle to avoid enslavement.

Source: TheMatrixemail.com and AnotherUniverse.com

Plummer to take on modern-day Dracula
Posted Monday, May 1, 2000, 6:58PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Christopher Plummer ("The Insider") has signed on to "Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000." According to Variety, Plummer will take on the role of a London antique dealer named Abraham Van Helsing. This modern day version of the Bram Stoker novel takes Van Helsing to America to save his daughter, Mary, from the evil Count Dracula, his long time nemesis.

Source: Variety and Cinescape Online

The next Japanese Godzilla
Posted Monday, May 1, 2000, 6:56PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Fans are still waiting for the release of "Godzilla: 2000," the latest in the Japanese "Godzilla" series, but already Toho has announced its next film featuring the Big G. "Godzilla Vs. Megaguiras," in which Godzilla faces a huge, dragonfly-like insect monster. The film should wrap production in October.

Source: Cinescape Online


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