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NEWS ARCHIVE

June 2000

Kevin Smith to write new 'Fletch' film
Posted Thursday, June 29, 2000, 4:42PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The "Fletch" film series, based on the novels by Gregory McDonald, has landed at Miramax, where writer/director Kevin Smith ("Clerks," "Dogma") has been tapped as screenwriter. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Smith said, " 'Fletch Won' is the one we're leaning towards making first because it's the story of how Fletch became Fletch. Off the top of my head, I'm leaning towards Ben Affleck (for the title role). Or Jason Lee. We'll also see if we can get Chevy Chase involved in the film." Chase starred in the first two "Fletch" films.

Source: Cinescape Online

Young Uncle Owen cast for 'Episode II'
Posted Thursday, June 29, 2000, 4:35PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Lucasfilm has officially announced that Joel Edgerton (who?) has won the role of the young Owen Lars (Luke Skywalker's ill-fated uncle in "Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope") in "Star Wars: Episode II."

'Freddy vs. Jason' won't die
Posted Wednesday, June 28, 2000, 5:45PM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to actor Robert Englund, who played horror icon Freddy Krueger in seven films, Freddy is soon going to get the chance to cut Jason from "Friday the 13th" down to size. Englund told the Popcorn.com Web site that "Blade" director Stephen Norrington will be writing and directing the long talked-about (and long-delayed) horror flick "Freddy vs. Jason."

Source: Fandom Daily Buzz

Mark Wahlberg to star in new 'Planet of the Apes'
Posted Wednesday, June 28, 2000, 5:34PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Mark Wahlberg will play the lead human role in Tim Burton's upcoming "Planet of the Apes" remake. Filming is scheduled to start in the fall, and the movie should hit theaters in time for the 4th of July weekend 2001.

Source: Cinescape Online

'Baby Blues' to air on WB -- finally
Posted Wednesday, June 28, 2000, 7:54AM CDT by Franklin Harris
After five years in development, "Baby Blues," based on the comic stripof the same name, will appear this summer on the WB. The first episode of the new animated series will air July 28 at 7 p.m. Central, with a second episode following immediately. Back-to-back episodes will continue every Friday night through the rest of show's four-week run.

Source: Variety

Neill returning to 'Jurassic Park'
Posted Wednesday, June 28, 2000, 7:51AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Sam Neill will reprise his role as Dr. Alan Grant in "Jurassic Park 3," which begins filming in late July or early August. Although Neill starred in the original "Jurassic Park," he did not appear in the 1997 sequel. Joe Johnston will direct the film, which is slated for a July 2001 release.

Source: Variety

Asimov stories heading to big screen
Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2000, 2:26PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Following the trail of this past year's lackluster "Bicentennial Man," several stories by late science fiction author Isaac Asimov are heading to the big screen. A deal closed late last week at Warner Bros. to adapt the Asimov short story "The Ugly Little Boy" into a film. The picture will be produced by Denise DiNovi and Demi Moore as a starring vehicle for Moore.

In other recent deals, Fox has optioned Asimov's most popular novel series, "Foundation," for Shekhar Kapur ("Elizabeth") to direct; Paramount is working on turning "End of Eternity" into a film that Ridley Scott ("Gladiator") will likely direct from a script by "Total Recall" co-writer Gary Goldman; and Sony Pictures Family Entertainment is developing into an animated film series "Norby, the Mixed Up Robot," a series of 10 children's novels that Asimov wrote with his wife Janet, who'll act as creative consultant.

Source: Yahoo! News/Reuters/Variety

More 'Babylon 5' comic books are coming
Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2000, 2:02PM CDT by Franklin Harris
"Babylon 5" creator J. Michael Straczynski told fans during a SciFi.com chat to expect more B5 stories under his own imprint from Top Cow comics. The first comic for the Joe's Comics imprint will be "Midnight Nation." Straczynski already writes "Rising Stars" for Top Cow.

Straczynski added, "In addition to that, we're in the process of selling the 'Rising Stars' film rights, and there are some TV/film related projects that are in the early stages, but not yet nailed down to a point where I can talk about them. But expect some info in the next few weeks."

Straczynski also created "City of Dreams," an anthology of original audio dramas for SciFi.com's "Seeing Ear Theatre," which premieres July 10.

Source: Sci Fi Wire

Do you know where your towel is?
Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2000, 1:55PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The long, arduous, on-again, off-again quest to bring Douglas Adams' novel "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" to the big screen continues. Douglas Adams himself reports on his Web site that things are moving forward again. Adams has finished a new draft of the script. Jay Roach ("Austin Powers") is to direct. Expect a 2002 release date at the earliest.

Source: IGN Sci-Fi

Fox closes animation studio
Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2000, 1:47PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Following underwhelming box-office performance of "Titan A.E.," 20th Century Fox announced Monday that it is closing its Phoenix, Arizona, animation facility. The studio had previously laid off two-thirds of its 320 employees in February. In its six years of existence, the Fox animation unit produced two films, "Anastasia" and "Titan A.E." "Anastasia" earned a mere $58.4 million, while the $80 million "Titan A.E." has earned only $16.9 million after two weeks.

Sources: Fandom Daily Buzz and Reuters

'Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker' DVD is coming
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2000, 10:44PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The release date for Warner Brothers' upcoming animated feature, "Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker," is Oct. 24. The suggested retail price of the 70 min. film is $24.98. The DVD will feature deleted footage, a making-of documentary and a music video. It will be full frame and Region 1 encoded. It features the voice talents of Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill and Will Friedle.

Source: Image Entertainment

Schwarzenegger to return for T3
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2000, 5:41PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The "Terminator 3" rumor mill is in full gear. The latest reports are that Arnold Schwarzenegger is prepared to go ahead with T3 even without director James Cameron. But The Hollywood Reporter now says Cameron may be back if 20th Century Fox, with whom Cameron has a production deal, gets to distribute the film.

Source: Cinescape Online

Jet Li to play Green Hornet's sidekick
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2000, 5:34PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Jet Li has signed to play the Green Hornet's sidekick (no pun intended), Kato, in Universal Pictures' big-screen version of "The Green Hornet," reports Variety. The Hong Kong action star will receive a $5.2 million advance against 5 percent of the movie's gross. Christopher McQuarrie ("The Usual Suspects") is working on the film's screenplay.

And the newest on-screen Dracula is...
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2000, 5:31PM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to Variety, Jerry Butler, who appeared in the Oscar-nominated film "Mrs. Brown," will protray the role of Dracula in "Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000."

'Space: 1999' coming to VHS and DVD
Posted Wednesday, June 21, 2000, 6:44PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The classic 1970s SF television series "Space: 1999" will be released on VHS and DVD video on Jan. 30, 2001. A&E New Media will release re-mastered episodes of the show, starting with two VHS packages of three videos each, priced at $29.95, and two DVD packages with two discs each, priced at $39.95.

Source: Sci Fi Wire

New 'Toonami' line-up
Posted Tuesday, June 20, 2000, 5:12PM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to clicktv.com, here is the new Toonami line-up, which will begin July 3:


  • Sailor Moon - 3:00 Central
  • Reboot - 3:30
  • Dragon Ball Z - 4:00
  • Gundam Wing - 4:30
  • Tenchi Muyo! - 5:00
  • Batman - 5:30

Source: DVD Animania

Mark your calendars for 'Witchblade'
Posted Tuesday, June 20, 2000, 6:24AM CDT by Franklin Harris
The TNT cable network will air "Witchblade" -- an original television movie based on the Top Cow comics series of the same name -- seven times following the TV movie's Aug. 27 premiere. The two-hour film -- the pilot for a possible series -- airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT and repeats at 10 p.m. and midnight; 11 p.m., Aug. 29; 8 p.m., Aug. 30; 10:30 p.m., Sept. 2; and 10 p.m., Sept. 4.

Source: Sci Fi Wire

'There can be only one!'
Posted Tuesday, June 20, 2000, 6:22AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Christopher Lambert ("Highlander's" Connor MacLeod) told fans that the feature film "Highlander: Endgame" will open in the United States on Aug. 25. Trailers for the long-awaited fourth installment of the popular movie franchise will begin appearing in movie theaters on the July 4 weekend, Lambert said during a chat on his official Web site.

Source: Sci Fi Wire

Christopher Lee in 'Episode II?'
Posted Tuesday, June 20, 2000, 6:19AM CDT by Franklin Harris
There is a persistent rumor, now repeated in the British tabloid press, that Christopher Lee ("Horror of Dracula") will appear in "Star Wars: Episode II." More to come (I assume)....

'Suspiria' DVD rights go to Anchor Bay
Posted Friday, June 16, 2000, 5:10PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Anchor Bay Entertainment has acquired the DVD rights to Dario Argento's "Suspiria." It will be released sometime next year.

Source: Fandom Horror

'The Prisoner' comes to DVD (and VHS) at last!
Posted Friday, June 16, 2000, 6:05AM CDT by Franklin Harris
From The Prisoner Appreciation Society (Six of One):

New Video/A&E Home Video will release (in the USA) videotape 3-pack sets (one episode per tape) and DVD 2-disc boxed sets of "The Prisoner" starting in October! The DVD sets will have two episodes on the first disc and one episode plus supplemental material on the second disc. Working with Six of One, the DVD's should be loaded with rare EXTRAS, which have already been suggested and are currently being reviewed. NO decisions about the "extras" have yet been made....

Sci-Fi Channel anime program status update
Posted Thursday, June 15, 2000, 7:28PM CDT by Franklin Harris
There was a report earlier this week of a commercial on the Sci-Fi Channel that included footage from "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and the "Rurouni Kenshin" OAV series. The commercial has been confirmed as an advertisement for a new Sci-Fi Channel-related anime Web site. Sci-Fi reportedly still holds the rights to the "Slayers" TV series, however, according to the network's online program guide, no new anime TV series are yet scheduled to air.

Source: Anime News Service

Joe's Comics to hit stands in Sept.
Posted Thursday, June 15, 2000, 6:05AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Writer J, Michael Straczynski's debut Joe's Comics title, "Midnight Nation," with pencils by Gary Frank, debuts in September from Image/Top Cow. Issue No. 1 introduces New York homicide Lieutenant David Grey, a cop who begins investigating an execution-style murder and finds himself drawn into a bigger mystery regarding an informant who knows more than he's telling, both about the murder and a menacing, enigmatic group known as "The Men."

Source: Newsarama

'Godzilla 2000' to open in August
Posted Wednesday, June 14, 2000, 5:45PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The U.S. theatrical opening for "Godzilla 2000" has been moved to August 18.

'Jurassic Park' DVDs to go on sale in Oct.
Posted Wednesday, June 14, 2000, 5:41PM CDT by Franklin Harris
On October 10, Universal Studios Home Video will finally release "Jurassic Park" and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" on DVD. The DVDs will be available separately or together in a gift box that will include the CD soundtracks for both films.

While each DVD will contain the standard mix of sneak previews and trailers, "Jurassic Park" will include a 1993 behind-the-scenes documentary that appeared on the previous laserdisc edition. "The Lost World" DVD will feature a previously unreleased making-of documentary. Both DVDs will offer links to online chats and behind-the-scenes features from the set of "Jurassic Park III," which will be released theatrically in 2001.

Source: Variety

Jet Li to team up with Luc Besson
Posted Tuesday, June 13, 2000, 6:07PM CDT by Franklin Harris
French director Luc Besson is developing an action film for Jet Li that will combine elements from Besson's "The Professional" and Li's Hong Kong thriller "Fist of Legend." Besson will write and produce the feature which promises to have plenty of visual tricks and martial arts sequences. Besson will be bringing in Corey Yeun to direct the action scenes. Yeun choreographed the marital arts sequences for "Lethal Weapon 4," "Romeo Must Die," and "X-Men."

Source: Variety

'Mai' director announced
Posted Monday, June 12, 2000, 9:33AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Sony Pictures has signed Kirk ("The Big Hit") Wong to direct the big-screen adaptation of the manga series "Mai, The Psychic Girl."

Source: Variety

'Powerpuff Girls' movie given the green light
Posted Monday, June 12, 2000, 9:31AM CDT by Franklin Harris
The Cartoon Network's "Powerpuff Girls" will soon be fighting schoolyard crime in a $25 million animated feature film from Warner Bros. The film is scheduled to hit theaters summer 2002.

Source: Variety

'Clerks' canned after 2 episodes
Posted Friday, June 9, 2000, 8:30AM CDT by Franklin Harris
After airing just two episodes, ABC has decided to cancel comic book writer/filmmaker Kevin Smith's animated comedy "Clerks." In its first outing, "Clerks" mustered a poor 5.2 rating. This past Tuesday's rating dipped to 4.1, which was almost 2 points off of the lead-in provided by The Drew Carey Show. ABC insiders also claimed that several major sponsors had shied away from the show because of its edgy content. (Of course, the fact the show sucked probably didn't help matters.)

Source: Variety

'Wallace and Gromit' feature to follow 'Chicken Run'
Posted Thursday, June 8, 2000, 11:00PM CDT by Franklin Harris
It's proving to be a good year for Aardman Animation with the studio's first feature-length film, "Chicken Run," getting great early reviews on the net. It's not surprising therefore that the duo behind the plasticine action, Nick Park and Peter Lord, have been talking about their next projects with equal gusto.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, the pair confirmed rumors that a full-length "Wallace and Gromit" movie is in the offing, and also revealed that they will be working on an updated version of "The Tortoise and the Hare," but only as executive producers.

Source: Empire Magazine

'Ghosts of Mars' casting news
Posted Thursday, June 8, 2000, 10:54PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The cast for John Carpenter's project sci-fi/horror film, "Ghosts of Mars," is taking shape. So far, confirmed castmembers include: Joanna Cassidy, Courtney Love, Ice Cube, Jason Statham, Clea DuVall and Pam Grier.

Source: Fandom Horror

Yet another 'Cat People' remake
Posted Thursday, June 8, 2000, 10:52PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Another remake of "Cat People" is being developed at Universal. The original horror classic from the 1940s was already remade in 1981 as a sex-laden version starring Nastassja Kinski and Malcolm McDowell. According to 4Filmmakers.com, the latest take is being written by Rafael Moreau, who also penned "The Rage: Carrie 2." This time, the film is also going by the name "Cat Eyes."

Source: Fandom Horror

Stan Lee's Web comic goes to the movies
Posted Thursday, June 8, 2000, 10:29PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Stan Lee has signed a deal with producer Mark Canton to develop a big-screen adaptation of Lee's "7th Portal" animated Web comic.
"7th Portal" debuted on StanLeeMedia.com on Feb. 29 and was downloaded 3 million times during its first three weeks.

Source: Reuters/Variety

'Farscape' gets OK for season 3
Posted Thursday, June 8, 2000, 10:24PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Fans of the Sci Fi Channel's hit series "Farscape" can rejoice. The show has been renewed for a third, 22-episode season.

Source: Cinescape Online

'Blue Submarine No. 6' gets CN airdate
Posted Wednesday, June 7, 2000, 5:28PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Zap 2 It TV News is reporting that Cartoon Network will air Bandai Entertainment's release of the 4-part, Studio Gonzo-produced, CG anime OAV "Blue Submarine No. 6" on Saturday mornings in July, starting Saturday, July 8th.

New 'Vampire Hunter D' movie on the way
Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2000, 7:15AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to the Urban Vision Web site, the new "Vampire Hunter D" film is on the way: The new Vampire Hunter D movie is completely finished, and now, as of 6/1/00, we are still working to get the dubbed version (which was completed before the Japanese version) out in theaters. Since we really want to give the new film the kind of backing it deserves, we are currently determining a plan to release it in theaters. All this is strictly hush-hush, so our apologies, but you'll have to wait until we confirm everything before we can post any info on the website!

'Tenchi' commercials start on Cartoon Network
Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2000, 7:11AM CDT by Franklin Harris
The first commercials for "Tenchi Muyo" started running on Cartoon Network Monday. "Tenchi" will join CN's Toonami lineup on July 3. On that day Toonami will expand to 3 hours, 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. Central Time. The "Tenchi" time slot has yet to be confirmed.

Episode II: Jackson is back, but Maul is dead
Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2000, 6:49AM CDT by Franklin Harris
From Dark Horizons:

Star Wars: Episode II: UK Channel 4 show The Big Breakfast just ran a piece on the "Shaft" premiere which took place over the weekend and managed to get a brief chat with Samuel L. Jackson and George Lucas. Jackson is scheduled to begin work on the film on July 6th and seems to be involved in "a big fight" this time around. Lucas also confirmed Ray Park will be back in the second prequel -- but NOT reprising the deceased Darth Maul character, who Lucas confirmed will not return.

Ricci to star in 'Andrenalynn'
Posted Monday, June 5, 2000, 6:57PM CDT by Franklin Harris
From Cinescape Online:

Christina Ricci looks to be making the leap to action star status with a project called "Adrenalynn." According to Variety, Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures picked up the big screen rights to the comic book created by Tony Daniels. The original comic told the story of an orphaned Russian girl who is actually a half-human, half-cyborg that has been programed to destroy the USA. Set in the post Cold War era, the film will be scripted by Alan Sereboff. The eventual flick will be produced by Joel Silver with Ricci and her partner Andrea Sperling.

Alex Poyas to direct 'Enoch's Portal'
Posted Saturday, June 3, 2000, 2:50PM CDT by Franklin Harris
From The Cabinet of Dr. Casey:

Director Alex Proyas ("The Crow," "Dark City") has signed on to develop and shoot "Enoch's Portal." The supernatural thriller will be based on a book of the same name written by A. W. Hill, due out this fall from Champion Press. The story tells the tale of an American hired to retrieve a mogul's young wife from an Eastern European cult, which has obtained a powerful medieval secret of alchemy. He has three days to rescue the woman before the cult, by means of a contraption using 14th century science, reduces her flesh to immaterial spirit.

Perez leaves 'The Avengers'
Posted Friday, June 2, 2000, 12:38PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Citing health problems, artist George Perez is leaving Marvel Comics' "The Avengers" following issue No. 34.

Source: The Comic Wire

The Rock may star in 'The Mummy' prequel
Posted Friday, June 2, 2000, 12:33PM CDT by Franklin Harris
World Westling Federation superstar The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) is in talks with Universal to star in a prequel to "The Mummy." The movie would focus on the character of the Scorpion King, who Johnson portrays in "The Mummy 2." Though his screen time is limited in "The Mummy 2," studio executives were reportedly impressed enough with his work that they started talking to Johnson about a deal. The prequel is slated to be produced by Jim Jacks, Sean Daniel, and Stephen Sommers, who were all involved involved in the first two entries.

Johnson is also in talks to star in an untitled sci-fi film that will be written and directed by Glen Morgan and James Wong ("Final Destination").

Source: The Cabinet of Dr. Casey

Dr. Who movie in the works?
Posted Friday, June 2, 2000, 6:32AM CDT by Franklin Harris
These rumors have been floating around for more than a week now about a "Doctor Who" feature film. As such rumors have never panned out in the past (and lucky that, considering how awful some of the proposed movie ideas were), I've kept quite, but here is a link to the most recent Ain't It Cool News story, for what it's worth. (This time, the rumors don't sound so bad.)

Image Entertainment announces new DVDs
Posted Friday, June 2, 2000, 6:26AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Image Entertainment has announced a host of new DVDs, including classic horror and animation titles: "Black Sabbath" (1963), dir: Mario Bava, starring Boris Karloff, due Aug. 1; "Complete Superman Cartoons: Diamond Anniversary Edition," all 17 episodes of the Fleischer series, due Aug. 1; "Fantasy Film Worlds Of George Pal," due Aug. 29; "Female Vampire" aka "Erotikill," dir: Jess Franco, starring Lina Romay, due Aug. 8; "Space Thing" (Special Edition), producer: David F. Friedman, due Aug. 22. See the Image link above for more.

Clooney to remake 'The Thing' for live TV
Posted Thursday, June 1, 2000, 6:26AM CDT by Franklin Harris
From The Cabinet of Dr. Casey:

Fresh off the success of "Fail Safe," actor/producer George Clooney has announced that he will be involved in another live TV movie. This time around, he will be tackling "The Thing" for The Ford Playhouse. Set in the vein of Howard Hawk's 1951 classic, about an Antarctic base that encounters a strange visitor, Clooney says that the story is a perfect fit because "suspense coupled with live really works."

New horror DVDs coming for Halloween
Posted Thursday, June 1, 2000, 6:12AM CDT by Franklin Harris
From dvdfile.com:

Looks like Fox is really going all out this Halloween, adding two FLY double features for 9/5 along with THE OMEN set due the same day as well. Each double feature will be presented on a dual-layer disc and retail for $34.95, with the first containing the original THE FLY and RETURN OF THE FLY, and the second featuring the 1986 Cronenberg remake of THE FLY and the Eric Stoltz starrer THE FLY II. The first two are 2.35:1 while the latter two are 1.85:1, and all are anamorphic. All feature trailers, and the original THE FLY features the 1.0 mono track and a 5.1 remix, while the 80's FLYs are 2.0 surround and includes a making-of featurette.

Those 4 new Universal CLASSIC MONSTER titles, THE INVISIBLE MAN, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, all have been given a go date of 8/29. Each $29.95 dual-layer disc features a transfer in the original 1.37:1 aspect ratio and English 1.0 mono soundtrack with English and French subtitle options, and the usual cast & crew bios and production notes. Look for an audio commentary and Documentarian David J. Skal back on board to deliver a new documentary on each film (except on ABBOTT & COSTELLO) and a still gallery. The 8-pack with all the CLASSIC MONSTER titles will also be available the same day for $199.95.



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