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NEWS ARCHIVE

July 2003

PR: Marvel re-ups Quesada as EIC
Posted Thursday, July 31, 2003, 5:54PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: Marvel Comics is very pleased to announce the extension of Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada's contract that will keep him guiding the Marvel Comics line as he has the last three years, in addition to two key promotions within its editorial staff, and the creation of a new office dedicated to freelance talent relations.

Quesada - the Marvel Knights (tm) founder who began his distinguished run as Editor-in-Chief in the summer of 2000 - has overseen the creative and commercial revitalization of such key Marvel franchises as Spider-Man (tm), the Hulk (tm), Daredevil (tm) and the X-Men (tm), as well as the collected editions department, which continues to be one of Marvel's fastest growing publishing initiatives.

Known for straight-talk and bold moves, Quesada's remarkable tenure has also included the creation of important new publishing initiatives, such as the flagship ULTIMATE MARVEL (tm) line and the mature readers Marvel MAX (tm) imprint, and under his stewardship Marvel has ascended to become the industry leader with 41% percent of the comic book market share.

"I'd like to thank everyone at Marvel for the vote of confidence and I also want to thank all of our creators and fans, because without them I could never have achieved what I have," said Quesada.

"I've had nothing but a blast my first three years here at Marvel but what really gets me juiced is the fact that we've only just begun this long amazing journey. There is no greater job in the world and I promise that the next few years are going to be historic! What you've seen the first three years is just kid's stuff compared to what I've got up my sleeve. It only gets better from here."

"Joe is an amazing editor and an amazing human being," said ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (tm), ULTIMATE X-MEN (tm), DAREDEVIL and ALIAS (tm) writer Brian Michael Bendis. "It's an honor and privilege for me to work with him. We can all look forward to a very, very bright future for the entire industry with Joe at the desk he was born to sit behind."

"This is the best news possible," added AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (tm) & SUPREME POWER (tm) writer J. Michael Stracyznski. "I came to Marvel specifically to work with Joe Quesada, based on his reputation and his creative instincts, and I'm happy to see that this relationship will continue. Joe is the best in the biz, willing to take the kinds of chances that other major publishers won't. He's done an exemplary job in turning Marvel around and once again making it a place friendly to creators."

"Joe Quesada is a good man, a good friend and, obviously a great Editor-in-Chief," said Straczynski's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN partner, John Romita Jr.

Quesada will be supported by one of his first hires as Editor-in-Chief - Senior Editor Axel Alonso - who has been promoted to the position as Marvel Executive Editor. Alonso, known as a 'creator's editor' in the comics' community and for his cutting-edge style, has guided the rejuvenation of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK, doubling their sales during his tenure and transforming both into consistent critical and commercial hits.

Alonso will be adding more key titles to his office later this year, including a major relaunch of THE PUNISHER (tm) and a bold, new creative direction for CAPTAIN AMERICA (tm).

"I'm glad to continue my relationship with Marvel," says Alonso. "Editing SPIDER-MAN and HULK has been tremendous fun, and I look forward to the challenges posed by CAP and THE PUNISHER. It's no secret how much I've wanted to edit either of these titles, and now I've got my chance."

In addition, Mike Marts has been promoted to the position of Senior Editor, where he'll continue to oversee the best-selling X-MEN franchise, which will be subject to a series of bold new creative moves in the coming year.

Also integral to the future of Marvel editorial is the establishment of a Talent Relations Office. Under the guidance of Managing Editor David Bogart and headed by editor CB Cebulski, the new office will seek to recruit new talent from all creative disciplines, manage talent to assure complimentary creative teams are matched with projects best suited for their skills, and to address freelancer concerns and issues that arise during the creative process.

"Joe Quesada has brought vision to Marvel's editorial process and has built a world class team to support him," said Marvel Enterprises, Inc. President and CEO Allen Lipson. "We fee we are very fortunate to have him and his entire staff committed to growing our business for the years to come."

Lee, Azzarello to shake up 'Superman'
Posted Monday, July 28, 2003, 7:13PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Artist Jim Lee confirms that he and writer Brian Azzarello will take over DC Comics' "Superman" in March 2004. Lee's statement comes a week after DC announced that it had signed several major comic-book writers and artists to exclusive contracts.

Also, Greg Rucka and Chuck Austen will write "Adventures of Superman" and "Action Comics," respectively, while Grant Morrison, Art Adams, Matthew Clark and Bill Willgham are attached to other Superman projects.

Source: Newsarama

Peyton Reed drops 'Fantastic Four' flick
Posted Monday, July 28, 2003, 6:58PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Director Peyton Reed has dropped out of the "Fantastic Four" movie, but Producer Avi Arad says the film is still on track for a late 2004 release.

Source: Ain't It Cool News

'Blake's 7' to return as mini-series
Posted Monday, July 28, 2003, 6:30PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Actor Paul Darrow has purchased the rights to the classic British sci-fi series "Blake's 7" and plans to make a sequel mini-series to be set 25 years after the original's cliffhanger finale, which implied the deaths of the major cast members. Only Darrow's character, Avon, is set to return.

"Blake's 7" was created by the late Terry Nation, who also created the Daleks for "Doctor Who."

Source: BBC

Straczynski to leave Showtime's 'Jeremiah'
Posted Monday, July 28, 2003, 6:17PM CDT by Franklin Harris
If Showtime's original sci-fi series "Jeremiah" is renewed for a third season, it will be without executive producer J. Michael Straczynski. Straczynski cites creative difficulties with MGM, which produces the series for Showtime. "Showtime was great, no mistake, but MGM has overall been the most heinous, difficult and intrusive studio I've ever worked for," he said. "I've worked for, and had great relations with, Viacom, Universal, Warner Brothers and a bunch more. But I will never, ever, work for the present administration at MGM."

Source: The Sci-Fi Wire

'Stargate: SG-1' confirmed for season 8
Posted Monday, July 21, 2003, 11:26PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The Sci-Fi Channel confirms that its hit series "Stargate: SG-1" will return for an eighth season, making it, after "The X-Files," the longest-running sci-fi series on American television.

DC signs Morrison, others to exclusive contracts
Posted Monday, July 21, 2003, 9:43PM CDT by Franklin Harris
At the San Diego Comic Con this past weekend, DC Comics announced that it has signed several high-profile writers and artists to exclusive contracts. DC's top catch is Grant Morrison, currently the writer of Marvel's "New X-Men" and widely credited with breathing new life into the moribund X-franchise. Because of Morrison's two-year DC deal, he will leave "New X-Men" with issue No. 154.

Greg Rucka also signed an exclusive deal with DC (it exempts his creator-owned book for Oni Press, "Queen and Country"). His three-year deal means he will leave "Wolverine" with issue No. 18 (the book is only on its third issue).

Also among those signing exclusive contracts with DC are Mark Waid ("Fantastic Four"), Jeph Loeb ("Batman") and Tim Sale ("Spider-Man: Blue").

Source: ICv2.com

DreamWorks abandons 2D animation
Posted Monday, July 21, 2003, 9:32PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Following the box-office disappointment of its animated "Sinbad," DreamWorks SKG announced that it will abandon traditional two-dimensional cell animation in favor of 3-D computer-animated films like "Shrek 2."

Source: The Tuscaloosa News

Del Rey to publish manga
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 7:05AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Del Rey, a Random House imprint known mostly for publishing science fiction, will launch a line of manga in spring 2004, reports Newsarama. The line stems from Random House's deal with Kodansha, Japan's leading publisher of manga.

Disney calls for 'Pirates' sequel
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 6:43AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney has begun development of a sequel to "Pirates of the Caribbean." Director Gore Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and cast members Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are all signed to return.

Tarantino's 'Kill Bill' split into two films
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 6:38AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Miramax confirms that Quentin Tarantino's next movie, "Kill Bill," will be released in two 90-minute parts. The first part will be in theaters Oct. 10, with the second part to be released two to six months later.

Source: Comingsoon.net

'Farscape' to return as miniseries?
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 6:32AM CDT by Franklin Harris
IGN Filmforce reports that "Farscape" may soon return as a four-hour TV mini-series.

Hallmark to air 'Frankenstein', 'King Solomon's Mines'
Posted Monday, July 14, 2003, 2:11PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The Hallmark Channel has greenlit two four-hour mini-series, one based on Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and the other based on H. Rider Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines," reports Variety. According to the trade publication, "Frankenstein" will star Alec Newman and Julie Delpy, with Luke Goss as the monster, while "King Solomon's Mines" will feature Patrick Swayze as Allan Quatermain, currently seen as played by Sean Connery in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."

Dark Horse to publish Chabon's 'Escapist'
Posted Friday, July 11, 2003, 9:43AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon ("The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay") is overseeing an 80-page, quarterly anthology comic book for Dark Horse Comics, reports ICv2.com. "The Escapist" debuts in December and will feature original stories by Chabon and other writers.

The Escapist is the fictional comic-book hero featured in Chabon's prize-winning novel.

Funimation brings 'Detective Conan' to U.S.
Posted Monday, July 7, 2003, 9:36AM CDT by Franklin Harris
ICv2.com reports that Funimation has acquired the North American distribution rights to "Detective Conan," currently the most popular anime series in Japan.

ADV to publish manga; Tokyopop expands
Posted Monday, July 7, 2003, 9:29AM CDT by Franklin Harris
The manga explosion continued this past weekend at the Anime Expo in Anaheim, Calif. ADV Films, of the largest North American distributors of anime and the publisher of Newtype magazine, announced that it is entering the manga market in a big way.

ADV's plans call for publishing at least 18 manga graphic novel titles: "Gunslinger Girl," "To Heart," "Figure 17," "Happy Lesson," "Full Metal Panic!", "Azumanga Daioh," "Cat Girl Nuku Nuku," "Cat Shit One," "Dark Side Blues," "Demon City Hunter," "Demon City Shinjuku," "Demon Palace Babylon," "Kimera," "RahXephon BIBLE," "Seven of Seven," "Steel Angel Kurumi," "Those Who Hunt Elves" and "Najica."

Also, Tokyopop, already one of the leading publishers of Japanese comics in the United States, announced its own expansion plan. Tokyopop will launch an American manga line, starting with three titles ("@ Large," "World of Hartz" and "Shutterbox"); publish manga based on Cartoon Network's anime programming; and launch a line of vintage manga, starting with "Cyborg 009."

Sources: ICv2.com, The Pulse

'Battlestar Galactica' series comes to DVD
Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2003, 9:08PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Universal will release all of the original "Battlestar Galactica" on DVD on Oct. 21, in advance of the Sci-Fi Channel's updated miniseries, which airs Dec. 7, reports Sci-Fi Wire. The 24 episodes will be spread over six discs and will include newly produced and never-before-seen bonus features. It will not include episodes of "Galactica: 1980."

Christian Slater is 'Alone In the Dark'
Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2003, 8:58PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Dark Horizons reports that Christian Slater has won the lead role of Edward Carnby in the video game adaptation "Alone in the Dark." Shooting starts July 14th in Vancouver.

Herzog searches for Loch Ness Monster
Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2003, 8:51PM CDT by Franklin Harris
German filmmaker Werner Herzog ("Nosferatu") is working on a documentary feature about the Loch Ness Monster, reports Scotsman.com: "Herzog, 60, intends to investigate the origins of the legend and take to the water himself to see what he might find. He has also ordered the building of the back end of a sunken boat for one sequence, and may require extras for dramatic sequences."



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