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NEWS ARCHIVE

May 2003

'Space Ghost: Coast to Coast' comes to DVD
Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2003, 8:28PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Toon Zone reports that one of Cartoon Network's longest-running programs, "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast," will bow on DVD this fall. As yet, however, Cartoon Network has released no details about the disc.

Tim Burton to make 'Charley and the Chocolate Factory'
Posted Thursday, May 22, 2003, 2:26PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Dark Horizons passes along a Variety report that says Tim Burton will direct a live-action version of the Roald Dahl novel "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" for Warner Brothers as soon as he finishes his animated project, "The Corpse Bride." Dahl's book was previously adapted for film (by Dahl himself) as "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" starring Gene Wilder.

More Miyazaki anime DVDs for Christmas?
Posted Thursday, May 22, 2003, 2:19PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Ain't It Cool News reports that Disney will release at least two more Hayao Miyazaki animated films in time for the holidays. The films are "Porco Rosso" and "Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind." A heavily edited version of the latter has already been released in North America as "Warriors of the Wind." Ain't It Cool News also claims that a third, as yet unknown title is also being prepped for release late this year.

'Sixth Sense' director enters 'The Woods'
Posted Wednesday, May 21, 2003, 8:05PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan ("Signs," "The Sixth Sense") has signed a two-picture deal with Disney. His first film under the agreement will be "The Woods," a supernatural period drama set in 1897 and starring Ashton Kutcher, Joaquin Phoenix and Kirsten Dunst. The film is set for release in summer 2004.

Source: Sci-Fi Wire

UPDATE 05/29/03: Cinescape reports that Dunst has dropped out of the project. Ron Howard's daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, who has acted on stage, will replace her.

PR: ADV Films to produce live-action 'Evangelion'
Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 6:43PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: CANNES, FRANCE-In an announcement sure to make waves in the entertainment industry, ADV Films President and CEO John Ledford today publicly confirmed industry rumors that the firm has acquired the rights to produce, and has already begun development of, a live-action feature-film based on the Japanese animated television series "Neon Genesis Evangelion," a multi-million dollar worldwide franchise and perhaps the most influential anime title in the history of the art form. The project is a collaboration between ADV Films, Gainax and Weta Workshop, Ltd.

The Participants
ADV Films is the leading producer-distributor of Japanese animation in North America. The Japanese anime and game studio Gainax Network Systems was one of the original production studios responsible for "Neon Genesis Evangelion," and Weta Workshop, Ltd. is the New Zealand-based special effects studio that created the effects for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
"The three main players here represent something of a 'dream-team' for a project like this one," said Ledford. "Between the quality and significance of the Gainax title, Weta's industry-leading skill in the creation of special visual effects, and our expertise in the marketing and promotion of anime and anime-related content, this project is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

The Story
"Neon Genesis Evangelion" is the story of a reluctant young hero, called upon to pilot an immense robotic weapon in battle against alien invaders. Including both a 26-episode television series and at least two animated motion pictures, "Neon Genesis Evangelion" has long been both a fan favorite and an extraordinary critical and commercial success, with the worldwide franchise producing many millions of dollars in revenue.

Timetable
The "Neon Genesis Evangelion" live-action motion picture is in the earliest stages of development. Ledford confirmed, however, that the timetable is an aggressive one, and that more information on the project is forthcoming.

Neil Gaiman's '1602' arrives in August
Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 6:30PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Neil Gaiman's long-awaited project for Marvel Comics, "1602," will arrive in comic book shops in August. Late today, Marvel released, without comment, teaser art for the series:







New Line options 'Y: The Last Man'
Posted Friday, May 16, 2003, 9:18AM CDT by Franklin Harris
New Line Cinema has optioned the DC/Vertigo comic book "Y: The Last Man" with the intent of turning it into a feature film, reports Cinescape Online. The film's producers are J.C. Spink, Chris Bender, Mason Novick and David Goyer.

The comic was created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra.

Thomas Harris writing 'Hannibal' prequel film
Posted Thursday, May 15, 2003, 6:31AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Thomas Harris, whose novels introduced the world to Hannibal Lecter, is thought to be writing the screenplay for a film that will explore the infamous serial killer's youth.

Dino de Laurentiis, producer of "Hannibal," "Red Dragon" and "Manhunter," told reporters in Cannes that another film is in the pipeline. He said four actors will be needed to play Hannibal at the ages of 12, 16, 20 and 25.

The film's working title is "The Lecter Variation."

Source: Ananova

Dark Horse to reprint classic Marvel 'Conan'
Posted Wednesday, May 14, 2003, 8:44PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Dark Horse Comics will reprint the classic "Conan" comic book series originally published by Marvel Comics in the 1970s and '80s. These comics, starring the barbarian hero created by Robert E. Howard, featured stories by Roy Thomas and art by Barry Windsor-Smith. Dark Horse will release the first reprint volume (144 pages, full color) in September. Dark Horse will also launch a new, monthly "Conan" comic book in mid 2003.

Source: Conan.com

'Angel,' 'Smallville' set for WB on Wednesdays
Posted Wednesday, May 14, 2003, 5:41AM CDT by Franklin Harris
The WB is setting up a fantasy one-two punch on Wednesdays this fall. In addition to renewing "Angel," The WB is moving "Smallville" to Wednesday nights, where it will serve as a lead-in for "Angel."

Source: ICv2.com

Travolta joins 'Punisher' cast
Posted Wednesday, May 14, 2003, 5:31AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that John Travolta has joined the cast of Artisan's "Punisher" movie. Travolta will portray the bad guy, Howard Saint, opposite Thomas Jane's Frank Castle/Punisher.

"The Punisher" is based on the Marvel comic book.

Viz Comics abandons 32-page format
Posted Friday, May 9, 2003, 5:18AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Viz Comics has discontinued all of its monthly, 32-page comic books. The company joins the other major American manga publisher, Tokyopop, in publishing exclusively in the graphic-novel format. According to ICv2.com, "All the storylines will continue in graphic novel releases, but it will take a while for the graphic novel program to catch up. ... Among the major manga publishers in the U.S., only Dark Horse is still publishing monthly 32-page comics...."

'Smallville' scribe gets 'Wonder Woman' gig
Posted Thursday, May 8, 2003, 5:34AM CDT by Franklin Harris
The on-again, off-again "Wonder Woman" movie has a new screenwriter, Philip Levens, a staff writer for the "Smallville" TV series.

Source: Cinescape

Zombie gets OK for 'House of 1000 Corpses' sequel
Posted Thursday, May 8, 2003, 5:29AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Cinescape Online reports that writer/director Rob Zombie has received the go-ahead for a sequel to "House of 1,000 Corpses." Lion's Gate Entertainment plans to release the sequel in 2004. Cast members Sid Haig, Bill Mosley, Karen Black and Sherri Moon will return. So far, the first film has grossed $11 million.

Indiana Jones swings onto DVD on Nov. 4
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2003, 5:17AM CDT by Franklin Harris
It's official. The "Indiana Jones" trilogy is coming to DVD on Nov. 4. All three movies will arrive as a four-disc set, including a bonus disc with more than four hours of extra material.

Source: Cinescape Online



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