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July 2000

'Thor' coming to television
Posted Monday, July 31, 2000, 3:40PM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Comics and Artisan Entertainment have cut a deal for Artisan to produce a syndicated or cable TV series based on Marvel's comic book, "The Mighty Thor."

AICN: Spider-Man has been cast!
Posted Saturday, July 29, 2000, 7:47PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News reports -- and he seems sure enough to actually believe this time -- that Tobey Maguire ("Pleasantville," "Ride With the Devil") has been selected to play Peter parker/Spider-Man in Sam Raimi's upcoming "Spider-Man" feature film. Raimi has already confimed that the villains in the film will be Dr. Octopus and the Green Goblin.

Henstridge in 'Ghosts of Mars?'
Posted Saturday, July 29, 2000, 8:09AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Natasha Henstridge, who wowed audiences more with her nudity than with her acting abilities in "Species" and "Species 2," will play the lead character in John Carpenter's horror/SF film, "Ghosts of Mars," says Ain't It Cool News. If true, Henstridge would replace Courtney Love, who pulled out of the project after injuring her ankle. "Ghosts" will also star Ice Cube and Jason Statham.

Roth joins Burton's PotA remake
Posted Saturday, July 29, 2000, 8:01AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tim Roth ("Rob Roy") and Michael Clarke Duncan have signed to play bad guys -- er, bad apes? -- in Tim Burton's remake of "Planet of the Apes." Additionally, IGN Movies reports that Helena Bonham Carter is in negotiations to play an ape, too (what a waste!), and that she will be a love interest for human star Mark Wahlberg (no comment).

'In Search Of...' to return
Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2000, 8:31PM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to Variety, Studios USA and Fox have teamed with "The Blair Witch Project" producers to revive "In Search Of ..." as a weekly prime-time series on both Fox and the USA Network. Fox has committed to at least eight hour-long episodes, which will use dramatic re-creations to explore tales of the supernatural and paranormal.

The show could air as soon as November. USA will run episodes eight days after they appear on Fox. "Blair Witch" creators Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez will join Michael Monello and Robin Cowie as executive producers.

The original series, which ran in the late '70s, was hosted by Leonard Nimoy.

Ian Holm joins 'From Hell'
Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2000, 8:22PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Ian Holm will replace Nigel Hawthorne in the film version of Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s graphic novel, "From Hell." Hawthorne, who was to portray a Scotland Yard investigator, left the production due to illness.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Anderson signs for a 9th 'X-Files' season
Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2000, 8:17PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Coming on the heels of the announcement that Robert Patrick ("Terminator 2") is joining the "X-Files" as Agent Dana Scully's partner for season 8 is word that Scully herself, Gillian Anderson, has signed for a ninth season. With Anderson staying on for at least one more year and Patrick standing ready to replace David Duchovny (Agent Fox Mulder), it seems that a ninth season of "The X-Files" is likely.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Lugosi's likeness licensed
Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2000, 8:09PM CDT by Franklin Harris
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (PRNewswire/NEWSdesk) -- Universal Studios Consumer Products Group (USCPG) and Bela G. Lugosi, son of Bela Lugosi, today announced a joint licensing agreement to develop merchandise using Bela Lugosi's likeness as "Dracula," from the 1931 horror classic from Universal Pictures for which Lugosi is best-remembered.

Under the agreement, both Universal Studios and Bela G. Lugosi may solicit prospective joint licenses on behalf of both parties and license the respective rights together as mutually agreed upon. This agreement covers not only Bela Lugosi as "Dracula," but also as he appeared as other monster characters from Universal films. This agreement also includes the use of the Universal Studios Monsters name and logo in connection with those characters.

Categories available for license include collectibles, costumes, food, gifts, home decor items and toys.

G-Day is August 18
Posted Monday, July 24, 2000, 3:26PM CDT by Franklin Harris
"Godzilla 2000," which marks the return of the original, Japanese, man-in-a-rubber-suit Godzilla, is scheduled to open in the U.S. on Aug. 18.

'Star Trek' gets special edition treatment
Posted Monday, July 24, 2000, 3:05PM CDT by Franklin Harris
From The Sci Fi Wire: Paramount will enhance and re-edit "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" for its upcoming release on DVD, according to the official Star Trek Web site. Filmmakers will also overhaul the 1979 movie's visual effects.

Director Robert Wise will re-edit the film and include scenes that were cut out of the theatrical release. The DVD will appear in 2001 and will be the last Star Trek movie to be released on DVD.

'Jon Sable' movie in the works
Posted Monday, July 24, 2000, 2:48PM CDT by Franklin Harris
KISS bassist Gene Simmons, who recently announced his plans to produce a feature film based on the "Evil Ernie" comic book, is now looking to also produce a film based on the comic "Jon Sable, Freelance," created by Mike Grell and originally published by the dearly departed First Comics.

Source: Cinescape Online

Box office: 'X-Men' falls to No. 2
Posted Monday, July 24, 2000, 2:44PM CDT by Franklin Harris
In its second week of release, "X-Men" fell to No. 2 at the box office, taking in about $23.7 million. In first place, despite mostly poor reviews, was the new suspense film, "What Lies Beneath," which earned $30.1 million. In the No. 3 position was "Pokemon 2000" with $21.5 million. "X-Men" was still expected to break the $100 million mark today.

Cartoon Network schedules 'Endless Waltz,' 'Blue Sub'
Posted Saturday, July 22, 2000, 8:58PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Cartoon Network has scheduled its airing of "Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz," the three-episode sequel to "Mobile Suit Gundam Wing," for Oct. 20. Meanwhile, "Blue Submarine No. 6" will air the week of Oct. 9. The 30-minute "Blue Sub" episodes will air Mon.-Thurs., and all four will air that Friday, Oct. Oct. 13.

Source: Anime On DVD

'Robotech 3000' not dead yet
Posted Friday, July 21, 2000, 4:34PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Carl Macek and Harmony Gold teamed up in the '80s to bring "Robotech," the Americanized anime series that created an entire generation of anime fans, to U.S. television screens. A proposed sequel series -- to be animated in Japan for broadcast in the U.S. -- called "Robotech II: The Sentenels" started production but was scrapped after a few partially-completed episodes. Later, a second sequel series, "Robotech 3000," was to be computer animated by Netter Digital, but that deal fell through as well.

Now Macek and Harmony Gold are back, promoting "Robotech 3000" -- which will be set about 800 years after the first series -- as a traditionally animated (in Japan) series scheduled for U.S. broadcast in 2002 (at the earliest), reports IGN Sci-Fi.

The announcement comes weeks after Harmony Gold announced a deal to bring the original "Robotech" to VHS and DVD via ADV Films.

'Dark Angel' lands in October
Posted Friday, July 21, 2000, 4:18PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that Oct. 3 will be the premier date for James Cameron's new SF TV series for Fox, "Dark Angel."

A.I. set for June 2001 release
Posted Friday, July 21, 2000, 4:17PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that Warner Bros. has set a June 29, 2001, release date for Steven Spielberg's upcoming science-fiction film, "A.I.," which originally was to have been produced and directed by the late Stanley Kubrick. Other summer 2001 releases include John Woo's World War II drama "Windtalkers," "Pearl Harbor," "The Mummy Returns" and "Tomb Raider" starring Angelina Jolie.

'Digimon: The Movie' opens Oct. 6
Posted Friday, July 21, 2000, 4:05PM CDT by Franklin Harris
First it was "Pokemon," now it's "Digimon." The Fox Kids' anime hit is heading to theaters. "Digimon: The Movie" opens on Oct. 6.

'ReBoot' coming to home video
Posted Thursday, July 20, 2000, 9:17PM CDT by Franklin Harris
HOUSTON (PRNewswire/NEWSdesk) -- In November, ADV Films will release the 3-D, computer-animated series "ReBoot," begining with Season 3's first four-episode volume. The entire video collection will consist of the original 16 episodes from the third season and will be available on both VHS and DVD.

"ReBoot," which was recently acquired from Mainframe Inc., originally aired on ABC and is now running five nights a week on Cartoon Network.

More Bond... James Bond... in October
Posted Thursday, July 20, 2000, 7:45PM CDT by Franklin Harris
A host of James Bond "special edition" DVDs are scheduled for release on Oct. 17: "Diamonds Are Forever," "From Russia With Love," "The Living Daylights," "Never Say Never Again," "Octopussy," "View To A Kill," "You Only Live Twice."

Source: Image Entertainment

Busiek and Larsen team for new 'Defenders'
Posted Thursday, July 20, 2000, 7:24PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Kurt Busiek ("Avengers," "Astro City") and Erik Larsen ("Savage Dragon") will co-write a revival (sort-of) of "The Defenders" for Marvel Comics.

According to Comics Newsarama, the two are promising a take on Marvel's so-called non-team that respects the series' history while not being bound to it. The core members of the new team will be Doctor Strange, the Hulk, Namor and the Silver Surfer, who were, of course, the core of the old "non-team." Busiek says the four will have good reason to form a new team even though none of them like the idea. The reluctant core members will be joined by more enthusiastic second-stringers like Hellcat, the Valkyrie and Nighthawk.

And Scully's new partner is...
Posted Thursday, July 20, 2000, 7:03PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Robert Patrick ("Terminator 2: Judgement Day") has been chosen by "X-Files" creator Chris Carter to serve as Special Agent Dana Scully's (Gillian Anderson) partner in the upcoming season of "The X-Files."

Sources: Cinescape Online and The Hollywood Reporter

'Transformers: The Movie' DVD news
Posted Wednesday, July 19, 2000, 8:38PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Image Entertainment's Web site now has a listing for Rhino's DVD edition of "Transformers: The Movie." There is no word on features yet.

Gene Simmons to produce 'Evil Ernie'
Posted Wednesday, July 19, 2000, 8:15PM CDT by Franklin Harris
KISS bassman Gene Simmons will produce a movie adaptation of Chaos! Comics' "Evil Ernie," Chaos! founder Brian Pulido told Comic-Con Expo attendees today.

Source: Fandom Daily Buzz

Ridley Scott to direct T3?
Posted Wednesday, July 19, 2000, 8:06PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Jeffrey Wells, writing on Reel.com, says that Ridley Scott, currently directing "Hannibal," is in line to direct "Terminator 3."

'Shazam!' on TV Land this Sunday
Posted Tuesday, July 18, 2000, 8:21PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The 1970s live-action Saturday-morning TV favorite, "Shazam!" will be broadcast on the TV Land cable channel on Sunday, July 23, at 10 p.m. CDT.

'Mononoke' DVD to have Japanese track!
Posted Tuesday, July 18, 2000, 7:46PM CDT by Franklin Harris
DVD Talk reports that the online petition efforts have worked and Disney has relented on the subject of the "Princess Mononoke" DVD release. According to DVD Talk, the August DVD release of "Princess Mononoke" has been cancelled. A new, later release date will be set to allow for Disney to add a Japanese-language track with English-language subtitles and other extras to the DVD release. The English-only VHS release (priced for rental, not for sale) is still scheduled for Aug. 29.

'Vampire Hunter D' DVD coming in Oct.
Posted Monday, July 17, 2000, 5:51PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Oct. 3 is the street date for Urban Vision's special edition DVD release of the classic anime "Vampire Hunter D." (Pre-orders will begin Aug. 23.) The DVD will feature a new stereo soundtrack, both English- and Japanese-language versions, a making-of feature and trailers for the original video release and of the upcoming, new "Vampire Hunter D" feature film.

Source: Anime On DVD

Who will be Scully's new partner?
Posted Monday, July 17, 2000, 10:29AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to The Hollywood Reporter, "X-Files" executive producer Chris Carter has a short list of candidates to serve as Agent Scully's partner in the upcoming eighth season. This past Friday, Bruce Campbell, Lou Diamond Phillips, Hart Bochner, and Robert Patrick tested with Fox to fill the role opposite series star Gillian Anderson.

'X-Men' weekend box-office estimate
Posted Sunday, July 16, 2000, 1:47PM CDT by Franklin Harris
"X-Men" should gross an estimated opening weekend total of about $57.5 million, according to Yahoo! Movies.

'X-Men' opens in 1st place
Posted Saturday, July 15, 2000, 9:54PM CDT by Franklin Harris
"X-Men" opened in 1st place on Friday, taking the No. 1 box-office position away from "Scary Movie." "X-Men" took in $21,384,953 on its opening day, or more than $7,000 per screen.

Source: ShowBiz Data

Plissken snakes to television
Posted Friday, July 14, 2000, 5:19PM CDT by Franklin Harris
From The Hollywood Reporter, by way of The Sci Fi Wire: Director John Carpenter will develop a syndicated television series based on Snake Plissken, Kurt Russell's character from Carpenter's "Escape from New York" and "Escape From L.A." movies, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Carpenter, Russell and Carpenter's longtime producing partner, Debra Hill, will executive produce the series for Tribune Entertainment for the 2001 season, the trade reported.

Russell won't reprise his role in the series, which will also be called "Escape from New York." The series will mark Carpenter's first television series. It will take place in the 21st century, after natural disasters have devastated the world. The U.S. president will hire Plissken as a roving agent for the United Nations, traveling to the Earth's surviving cities to help restore normality.

If the series succeeds, Hill told the Reporter that the team might consider a third movie based on the character. The feature would be titled "Escape From Earth," she said.

Jimmy Smits in 'Star Wars: Episode II'
Posted Thursday, July 13, 2000, 6:16AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Jimmy Smits, best known for his roles on "L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue," is joining the cast of "Star Wars: Episode II," says the official "Star Wars" Web site. Smits will portray Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan, the character who will go on to become Princess Leia's adopted father.

'Flint the Time Detective' coming to VHS
Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2000, 4:53PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The Right Stuf International Inc. (distributed by ADV Films) has announced its acquisition and upcoming release of the Fox Kids TV hit, "Flint the Time Detective." The series, by the creators of the popular "Hello Kitty" franchise, is currently dominating its time slot. Flint runs on the Fox Kids Saturday Anime Invasion block, which also includes "Digimon" and "Monster Rancher."

The Right Stuf plans to debut the title on VHS at $14.98 each in October. Total running time per volume will be about 90 minutes.

SCI FI to air B5 in widescreen
Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2000, 4:42PM CDT by Franklin Harris
From The Sci Fi Channel Web site: "When The SCI FI Channel begins airing 'Babylon 5' this fall, it will show the series in a never-before-seen letterbox format. B5 begins its SCI FI run on Sept. 25 and will run Monday through Friday at 7 p.m."

'Daredevil' movie still a go
Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2000, 4:31PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Marvel Enterprises and New Regency Productions have signed a deal to produce the stalled "Daredevil" feature film. Also, Variety reports that the deal also includes the right to use the characters of Elektra and Kingpin.

Cameron will not direct T3
Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2000, 4:28PM CDT by Franklin Harris
While "Terminator 3" seems to be going forward with Arnold Schwarzenegger aboard, Variety reports that James Cameron will not be directing the film.

'Black Scorpion' coming to Sci Fi
Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2000, 4:26PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that Roger Corman's "Black Scorpion" TV series starring Michelle Lintel, based on two Showtime movies starring Joan Severance, will finally find a home on The Sci Fi Channel. Corman produced an entire 22-episode season of the campy superhero series before shopping it around to networks and syndicators. The show features a host of campy villans played by the Likes of Adam "Batman" West, Soupy Sales, Scott Valentine, Charles Fleischer, Frank Gorshin and David Lander.

'Planet of the Apes' remake casting
Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2000, 4:20PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The Hollywood Reporter says that model turned actress Estella Warren is ready to join the cast of Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes" remake, which is going under the title of the original novel, "The Visitor." Mark Wahlberg is already slated to play the lead role.

It's official: Christopher Lee in 'Episode II'
Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2000, 8:24PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The official "Star Wars" Web site has confirmed the rumor that Christopher Lee will appear in "Star Wars: Episode II." He will portray a "charismatic separatist."

Lovecraft story in production as film
Posted Monday, July 10, 2000, 4:41PM CDT by Franklin Harris
A German film production of the H.P. Lovecraft short story "The Haunter of the Dark" is currently underway, directed by Alexander Weimer from a script by Tirsten Nowicki. The film's official Web site is www.haunterofthedark.de.

Source: Cinescape Online

Beltran blasts 'Star Trek: Voyager'
Posted Monday, July 10, 2000, 4:36PM CDT by Franklin Harris
"Star Trek: Voyager" may have no more harsh a critic than Robert Beltran, "Voyager's" Commander Chakotay. In an interview posted on Beltran's official Web site, the actor criticizes "Voyager's" writers, gimmick episodes (like the recent one guest-starring the WWF's The Rock) and his own diminished role on the series. He also speculates that his character will meet an untimely end in order to boost the show's sagging ratings. Here is one choice quote: "I think our writers are that far from brain damaged. I don't get them."

New 'Tenchi' TV series to be produced?
Posted Saturday, July 8, 2000, 8:07AM CDT by Franklin Harris
All the reports were that the third feature film, "Tenchi Forever" (aka, "Tenchi Muyo In Love II" in Japan) would be the last we'd see of Tenchi and the gang. But now as the Tenchi TV and OAV series hit Cartoon Network, there comes a report that a new Tenchi TV series is in the works.

Everything about the rumor is unconfirmed, and it might simply be wishful thinking, but it might also be that Pioneer Entertainment is getting ready to take advantage of an opening American market.

One part of the rumor, that the next TV series will follow the OAV continuity, certainly *does* sound like just wishful thinking. But you never know.

So far, there are three Tenchi series: "Tenchi Muyo," the original, direct-to-video series; "Tenchi Universe" (aka, "Tenchi TV" in Japan); and "Tenchi in Tokyo" ("Tenchi TV II" in Japan). Each series is set in a different "alternate" universe; so there are many continuity differences between them. Also, there are three feature films, "Tenchi Forever" and the earlier films "Tenchi Muyo In Love" and "Tenchi 2: Daughter of Darkness" (aka, "Tenchi Midsummer's Eve" in Japan).

Source: DVD Animania

'Star Trek 10' production news
Posted Friday, July 7, 2000, 4:00PM CDT by Franklin Harris
IGN Movies reports that screenwriter John Logan ("Bats") will not only be writing the 10th "Star Trek" feature film (as has been confirmed), he'll be directing it, too. (Trek is in the hands of the guy who did "Bats?" What the hell???)

'Star Wars' casting continues
Posted Friday, July 7, 2000, 3:51PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Lucasfilm Ltd. is casting more supporting roles for "Star Wars: Episode II." According to the official Web site, www.starwars.com, Bonnie Piesse will play the young Beru, Luke's aunt from "A New Hope"; Aletha McGrath will portray a jedi academic; Matt Doran will play "an unsavory troublemaker"; and Susie Porter will be a waitress. (Boy, this sure sounds exciting!)

'X-Men' sequel talk
Posted Friday, July 7, 2000, 3:44PM CDT by Franklin Harris
To no one's surprise, the producers of the "X-Men" movie, which is coming to theaters on July 14, are already talking about the possibility of sequels if the first film is a hit.

During an online chat Thursday, producer Shuler Donner said, "In all honesty, yes, our plan was always to make this a franchise, which is why some characters were included and some are to be introduced in the sequels. But, of course, economics dictate that the first movie must do well to spend money on another."

Sources: Fandom Daily Buzz and Comic Book Continuum

AnimEigo to go DVD only
Posted Thursday, July 6, 2000, 7:37PM CDT by Franklin Harris
AnimEigo has announced that it will be abandoning VHS and releasing only DVDs, starting with "Urusei Yatsura" TV Vol. 26. This means that the upcoming "Macross" release from AnimEigo (set for a Christmas 2000 release) will be available only on DVD. AnimEigo cites the dying market for subtitled VHS anime tapes as the reason for abandoning the format. Increasingly, major video retailers like Suncoast and Best Buy are refusing to stock subtitled VHS anime releases because they don't sell. Meanwhile DVD has destroyed the market for laserdiscs and is making fast inroads into the VHS market.

Source: DVD Animania

Wahlberg to be new Green Hornet
Posted Thursday, July 6, 2000, 7:27PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Mark Wahlberg says he will play the title character in the upcoming "Green Hornet" feature film. Jet Li has already signed to play GH's sidekick, Kato. (Li a sidekick to Wahlberg? What the hell???)

Source: IGN Movies

Anime news in brief
Posted Sunday, July 2, 2000, 5:13AM CDT by Franklin Harris
DVD Animania posted a lot of news this morning on upcoming North American anime releases. You should go there for the full details, but here is a brief summary of things I found interesting/exciting:

  • "Gundam Wing Endless Waltz" will be shown on Cartoon Network (in August) and released to home video in four(!) formats: Cartoon Network VHS Dub $14.98, Uncut VHS Dub $19.98, Cartoon Network DVD Dub $29.98 and a Collectors Edition Sub/Dub DVD with BOTH the 3 OAVs *and* the EW (Endless Waltz) Movie for $34.98. This will be the only place the "Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz Movie" will be available.
  • Gundam 0080 & 0083 will be on DVD in 2001
  • The next Gundam series released in the States (after the previously announced "08th MS Team") will be the original 43 episode TV series.
  • "Lain" will be re-released in a box set.
  • A.D. Vision has picked up "Robotech" (85 episodes), and it has hired Carl Macek to produce the video and DVD release. A.D.V. is planning many extras: promotional materials that were produced to sell the show, voice actor interviews, historical stuff, etc.
    Unfortunately since the sub rights to "Macross" were sold in the middle of all of this, they won't be able to do the "perfect collection" treatment that they wanted to do, at least on "Macross." (AnimEigo is subbing "Macross.")


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