'Mandrake the Magician' goes to big screen
Posted Thursday, October 31, 2002, 8:32AM CST by Franklin Harris
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the comic-strip hero Mandrake the Magician is getting the big-screen treatment. Writers Josh Oppenheimer and Tom Donnelly will write the screenplay for the live-action film.
?Mandrake the Magician,? created by Lee Falk (?The Phantom?) appears in more than 200 newspapers.
Dreamwave to create merchandise based on ADV anime
Posted Wednesday, October 30, 2002, 7:52AM CST by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON, October 29, 2002 ? ADV Films today announced an agreement with Ontario-based comic-book production company Dreamwave Productions-recently in the news in light of their contract with Hasbro to create the first new TRANSFORMERS comics since the early 90s-under which Dreamwave will produce certain licensed collectible merchandise based on ADV Films titles. The first product on the schedule is a collectible four-color lithograph poster featuring characters and art from the hit ADV title "Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040."
"The greatest challenge with any licensing agreement is in ensuring that the quality of the licensed product reflects the quality of the original," said ADV Films President, CEO and Founder John Ledford. "Our agreement with Dreamwave is an excellent one because of their passion for the medium, and the exquisite quality of their work. I'm very pleased to be beginning our relationship with them."
Dreamwave President Pat Lee is equally enthusiastic. "ADV Films is one of the most-respected anime distribution houses in North America, and the chance to work with them to create outstanding merchandise and collectibles is a great opportunity."
Initial concepts for the "Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040" lithograph are already in progress. When complete, the lithograph poster will be available through the ADV Films website (http://www.advfilms.com) and other channels.
Yeoh to become 'The Masked Crusader'
Posted Wednesday, October 30, 2002, 7:38AM CST by Franklin Harris
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Michelle Yeoh will begin production in January on ?The Masked Crusader.? Jingle Ma, cinematographer on Jackie Chan?s ?Rumble in the Bronx,? will direct.
'Exorcist' prequel begins pre-production
Posted Monday, October 28, 2002, 6:28AM CST by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that "Exorcist: The Beginning" has begun pre-production in Rome. The prequel to "The Exorcist" is being directed by Paul Schrader.
Richard Harris, 72, dies
Posted Monday, October 28, 2002, 6:26AM CST by Franklin Harris
Richard Harris died late last week. The 72-year-old actor, best known as King Arthur in the stage musical "Camelot" and known to a younger generation as Albus Dumbledore in the first two "Harry Potter" films, had been battling cancer.
MST3K DVD box set vol. 1 due Nov. 12
Posted Thursday, October 24, 2002, 8:48PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: Rhino Home Video debuts its first DVD boxed set of this famed cult classic. This new-to-DVD collection includes the top fan-requested episodes, Catalina Caper, The Creeping Terror, Bloodlust, and The Skydivers. The DVD set also includes all four original feature films without MST3K commentary, original trailers from three of the films and interactive packaging.
Starring: Robert Reed, Wilton Graff, and Lylyan Chauvin
The Brady Bunch's Robert Reed stars as John, who, visits an uncharted island with shipmates Pete, Betty, and Jeanie. While ashore, they're captured by Bellow and his disturbed manservant, Jondor. Betty and Jeanie decide to look for an exit but end up at a secret room where Jondor is piling human body parts next to a boiling pot. Bellow then announces open season on Johnny and Pete, and starts hunting them down like wild animals.
Starring: Tommy Kirk, Del Moore, Peter Duryea, and Robert Donner
A couple of happening guys take a trip to California for sun and fun and the chicks dig 'em big time. One's a real party boy and his friend Don falls for some babe named Katrina, but she's got a buffed-out boyfriend. Anyway, this rich Greek named Lacropolis is all set up to buy a stolen scroll, but those darn kids mess everything up.
Starring: Vic Savage, Shannon O'Neil, and William Thourlby
Local police discover a crashed UFO. Meanwhile the alien -- a cross between a giant slug and wall-to-wall carpet -- is eating couples in mid-bliss. It eats a woman hanging around and at one point jumps a convertible and nabs the driver. In the end, the frustrated deputy is seen beating on the spacecraft with the butt of his gun.
Starring: Kevin Casey, Eric Tomlin, Tony Cardoza, and Marcia Knight
Our hero, Harry, owns a skydiving facility. He's messin' around with Suzie (who's totally hooked on him) but her young lover, Frankie (who used to be Harry's plane mechanic) is ticked. If that's not confusing enough, when Harry decides to dump Suzie and rekindle his romance with his wife Beth (who's contemplating a move on Harry's best bud, Joe), Suzie and Frankie devise a plan to knock off Harry. Whew!
DVDS AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 12, 2002
Released by Rhino Home Video
Selection #R2 970104
SRP $59.95, approximately 675 min.
'Young Indy' comes to DVD
Posted Thursday, October 24, 2002, 8:14PM CDT by Franklin Harris
While you wait for the Indiana Jones trilogy to come to DVD, get ready for ?The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.? DVD File reports that the entire series will be released on DVD with tons of special features. Details are to be announced.
New 'Phantom' movie is planned
Posted Thursday, October 24, 2002, 7:48PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that the Phantom, Lee Falk?s classic comic-strip hero, will appear in a new feature film to be written by Steven De Souza (?Die Hard?). This version of ?The Phantom? will be set in the present day and feature ?Matrix?-style special effects, according to the trade publication. In 1996, Billy Zane portrayed the Phantom in a movie set in the 1930s.
Marvel's 'Night Thrasher' to bow on UPN
Posted Thursday, October 24, 2002, 7:42PM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to The Hollywood Reporter and Comics2Film, the Marvel Comics character Night Thrasher, who appeared in "New Warriors" comics, will be getting his own live-action TV series on UPN. No airdate was reported.
Adult Swim moving to weeknights
Posted Tuesday, October 22, 2002, 7:13PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Cartoon Network is expanding its Adult Swim programming block, which currently airs on Saturday and Sunday nights. Beginning Jan. 12, Adult Swim will air from 10 p.m. until 12 a.m. CT, Sunday through Thursday. Comedy programming will air during the first hour, while action programming will air during the second hour. The change eliminates the Saturday block.
Source: Toon Zone
Hopkins confirmed as Jor-El; Ratner denies script rumors
Posted Tuesday, October 22, 2002, 6:59PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Anthony Hopkins has confirmed that he will play Superman's father, Jor-El, in director Brett Ratner's upcoming "Superman" movie. Meanwhile, Ratner has denied many of the more disturbing rumors surrounding the film's script, including that Lex Luthor would be an alien and Krypton would not be destroyed.
Source: Dark Horizons
Manga Ent. responds re: defective 'Eva' DVDs
Posted Friday, October 18, 2002, 9:40AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Manga Entertainment has issued a press release regarding the defective "End of Evangelion" DVDs reported by numerous online sources. Those who have purchased defective discs are likely not to be pleased by Manga's response:
October 14, 2002
Dear Manga customers,
Over the past 2 weeks we have received some e-mails in regard to our latest
DVD release, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION "The End of Evangelion." There have
been isolated reports of the disc not performing well on certain DVD
players. We have spent a great deal of time investigating these reported
technical issues with some of the country's leading DVD authoring,
replication and QC facilities.
As a standard procedure with all Manga DVDs, the NEON GENESIS EVANGELION
"The End of Evangelion" DVD was tested on over 50 different brand DVD
players at a leading professional DVD lab and passed all performance and
functionality tests before it was released. Through our new research we have
found that the product for sale in the marketplace meets all performance,
quality and playback standards.
If you have experienced difficulties playing your disc, we recommend the
1.If you have purchased a possible problematic disc, please return it to
your store for an exchange. It is highly likely that the replacement disc
will perform correctly.
2.If this procedure does not work for you, please send us your disc
including the packaging to:
P.O. Box 482
Lincolnshire, Il 60069-0482
After our manufacturer tests and confirms your returned disc to be
problematic, we will send you a replacement disc (allow 2 weeks delivery.)
If your returned disc tests not to be problematic, it will be returned to
you as is.
In recognition of any confirmed problematic DVD and to cover the
inconvenience of shipping costs and delay to you, we will also send you a
courtesy advance DVD of our upcoming November release Virus, from acclaimed
anime director Masami Obari (Fatal Fury-The Motion Picture). This offer is
valid only through November 26, 2002.
We have also been receiving many e-mails in appreciation of the excellent
quality and production of the NEON GENESIS EVANGELION DVDs and we thank you
for your feedback and support.
Isolated DVD performance and functionality issues are industry wide due to
the nature of DVD technology, players and replication. Manga Entertainment
takes pride and has given every effort to bring you the highest quality DVD
productions on both of our NEON GENESIS EVANGELION DVD releases.
'Roger Rabbit' comes to DVD in March
Posted Friday, October 18, 2002, 5:33AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Disney will release a 2-disc, "Vista Series" edition DVD of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" on March 25, reports Toon Zone. The set will include both the theatrical and "family friendly" edits of the film.
Marvel to tone down content of comics for 'Wal-Mart'
Posted Thursday, October 17, 2002, 9:03AM CDT by Franklin Harris
The comic books you see at Wal-Mart are not necessarily the same ones sold everywhere else.
Marvel Comics President Bill Jemas said during a conference call Wednesday that some comics the publisher is supplying to Wal-Mart are edited to tone down language and mature content. The edited books are from Marvel?s Ultimate line.
Mark Millar, writer of ?The Ultimates,? ?Ultimate X-Men? and the upcoming, four-issue ?Ultimate War? miniseries, said the editorial changes were ?not intrusive.?
The revelation comes after months of online criticism directed at the Ultimate titles, which critics say contain content inappropriate for supposedly all-ages titles.
Jemas and Millar responded to their critics by saying that the language in the Ultimate titles is toned down from what readers find in mainline Marvel and DC Comics titles.
Jemas announced other developments involving Wal-Mart. He said Marvel will provide 5 million copies of the ?Spider-Man? movie adaptation, which Wal-Mart will distribute as part of a promotional tie-in with the release of the ?Spider-Man? DVD. Also, Marvel plans to ship a ?significant quantity? of ?Ultimate Spider-Man? comics to Wal-Mart and other DVD retailers.
In other news:
- ?The Ultimates? No. 24 will be the final issue for the creative team of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch.
- Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon has expressed interest in working on a project with Marvel, but nothing is in the planning stage.
- Bill Jemas? satire, ?Marville,? will continue beyond issue No. 6, but with someone other than Jemas writing the book. One candidate is online comic-book gossip columnist Rich Johnston.
- Jemas expressed his displeasure at a column by Comics Buyers Guide columnist Heidi MacDonald, in which MacDonald mentioned widespread retailer displeasure at Marvel?s ?no overprint? policy. Jemas said Marvel formulated the policy in consultation with more than 300 major retailers.
By Franklin Harris
Spielberg to offer two versions of 'E.T.'
Posted Tuesday, October 15, 2002, 12:22PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The Associated Press is reporting that Steven Spielberg has talked Universal Pictures into including both the original version and the new "special edition" version of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" in its $30, 2-disc DVD set due Oct. 22.
PR: 'Robotech: The New Generation' due in Jan.
Posted Monday, October 14, 2002, 7:09PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON, October 14, 2002-ADV Films has set a street date of January 7, 2003 for the long-awaited DVD release of Harmony Gold's ROBOTECH: New Generation Complete Collection, assembling for the first time all four of the episode discs (26 episodes total) from the third and final act of ROBOTECH-one of the most critically acclaimed animated science fiction television series of all time. Often compared to STAR TREK and STAR WARS, ROBOTECH is a uniquely addictive, multi-generational animated serial that introduced generations of Americans to the art form and cultural phenomenon that is anime.
About ROBOTECH: New Generation
The final act of the original Robotech series begins as an advance rescue mission mounted by the "Mars Base" Division of the Robotech Expeditionary Forces is wiped out by the Invid-a powerful and mysterious alien race. Scott Bernard, one of the few survivors of the battle, leads a colorful band of freedom fighters in a campaign to seek out and destroy Reflex Point, the Invid Stronghold. Along the way, Scott and the others are forced to look inside themselves to discover hidden strength and the determination to carry on in the face of overwhelming odds. Throughout this final chapter, many of the mysteries of Protoculture are revealed, including the role the Invid play in this complex, dramatic intergalactic saga.
ROBOTECH: New Generation Complete Collection ($44.98 SRP) is a slip-covered four-disc DVD-only collection featuring all 26 episodes of the third and final act of the ROBOTECH epic. In English.
Running Time: 600 minutes; Age Rating: All Ages
Pre-Book Date: 12/10/02
Street Date: 1/7/03
PR: ADV Films announces 'Devil Lady'
Posted Monday, October 14, 2002, 7:00PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON, October 14, 2002-ADV Films has set a street date of January 7, 2003 for the first-ever DVD release of The Devil Lady: The Awakening, the first volume of legendary director Go Nagai's classic horror series.
Nagai, an elder statesman in the world of anime and manga, is the renowned creator of such anime touchstones as Getter Robo, Mazinger Z and Grandizer, and the Devilman series, from which The Devil Lady sprung. The Devil Lady was adapted by Toshihiro Hirano (director of Vampire Princess Miyu) and writer Chiako Konaka.
Jun has always been different from everyone else-the life of a fashion model is unlike anything else in the world. But she has no idea how different she is...until a mysterious stalker throws her head-first into a brutal confrontation with the supernatural! From Go Nagai, the master of animated horror, comes a harrowing odyssey through the twisted maze that is Jun's new life. By day a beautiful, shy fashion plate. By night a terrifying vision of demonic power. It's full-tilt gothic horror as Jun, as the Devil Lady, does battle with a demonic army threatening to destroy mankind!
The Devil Lady: The Awakening ($29.98 SRP) is a DVD-only release., including the first five episodes of the series. DVD extras include original cover art, clean credit animation, the original Japanese trailer for the series, and ADV Previews.
Running Time: 125 minutes; Age Rating: 17+
Pre-Book Date: 12/10/02
Street Date: 1/7/03
'Extraordinary Gentlemen' writer, director re-team for 'Akira'
Posted Monday, October 14, 2002, 4:47PM CDT by Franklin Harris
The writer (James Robinson) and director (Stephen Norrington) of the movie version of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" will reunite to write and direct a live-action version of "Akira," based on the Japanese manga and anime, reports Variety (via ICv2.com). Jon Peters will produce.
DC's 'Starman' is coming to ABC television
Posted Monday, October 14, 2002, 4:40PM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to The Hollywood Reporter (via Comics2Film), ABC has ordered a pilot script for a TV series based on DC Comics' "Starman." The series, based on the version of Starman created by James Robinson, would be produced by Tollin/Robbins Productions, which produces "Smallville" and "Birds of Prey."
Keanu Reeves to star in 'Constantine'?
Posted Monday, October 14, 2002, 4:27PM CDT by Franklin Harris
I have avoided reporting this in the hope that it isn't true, but sources like The Hollywood Reporter keep claiming Keanu Reeves is up to star in "Constantine," the feature film based on DC Comics' series "Hellblazer." If true, this is, like, the worst casting news ever, dude!
Nicolas Cage sells comics for $1.6 million
Posted Monday, October 14, 2002, 4:23PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Actor and comic-book geek Nicolas Cage sold his comic-book collection at auction for $1.6 million. Among the books sold were a copy of "Action Comics" No. 1 (the first appearance of Superman), "Detective Comics" No. 38 (the first Robin) and "All-Star Comics" No. 3 (the first Justice Society of America).
Devil?s Due to publish 'Voltron' comics
Posted Wednesday, October 9, 2002, 8:32PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Devil's Due Studios tells Newsarama that it has obtained the license to publish comic books based on the '80s anime series "Voltron."
"We'll start out with 'Go-Lion,' and I'd like to tackle Vehicle Voltron down the line," Devil's Due head Josh Blaylock said. "Rest assured it will retain what made the old stories still loved by fans 18 years later."
Devil's Due already publishes comics based on "G.I. Joe" and "Micronauts."
Aquaman cartoon in development for 2004
Posted Wednesday, October 9, 2002, 5:27AM CDT by Franklin Harris
An animated series based on the DC Comics character Aquaman is in development for the 2004-2005 TV season, reports Toon Zone. The cartoon will feature a younger version of the character, who is just learning to use his powers.
Marvel and Universal ink movie deals
Posted Friday, October 4, 2002, 6:29AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Marvel Comics and Universal Studios have reached agreements to produce feature films based on Namor, The Sub-Mariner and Prime. David Self ("Road to Perdition") is scripting "The Sub-Mariner," while Don Calame and Chris Conroy are scripting "Prime."
Gaiman vs. McFarlane Round 1 goes to Gaiman
Posted Thursday, October 3, 2002, 8:56PM CDT by Franklin Harris
After over a day of deliberations, at around 4:15 Thursday the jury came back with a verdict in Phase I of Gaiman vs. McFarlane, awarding a complete victory to writer Neil Gaiman in his court battle with toy and comic magnate Todd McFarlane. The jury held that:
1.Gaiman has a copyright interest in Medieval Spawn, Cagliostro, and Angela, the three characters he created in his script for Spawn #9.
2.A reasonable person would not have deduced from the copyright notices in the books that McFarlane was claiming copyright ownership in the characters and the scripts (meaning that the statue of limitations had not expired on the copyright claims).
3.There was a contract in 1992 (when McFarlane promised that he would treat Gaiman "better than the big guys").
4.McFarlane breached the 1992 contract.
5.There was a contract in 1997 (this was the rights swap of Gaiman's interests in Medieval Spawn and Cagliostro for McFarlane's interest in Miracleman, plus setting royalty percentages for all uses of Angela and allowing "one-off" projects using the characters).
6.Image's failure to identify Gaiman as a writer on some of the books in question caused damage.
7.Image had no right to use Gaiman's name and biography without his permission on its recent reprint of the Angela series in trade paperback format.
In other words, the jury ruled for Gaiman on all counts. For more, see ICv2.com.
PR: 'Hello Kitty' DVD arrives Nov. 26
Posted Thursday, October 3, 2002, 8:11PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON, October 3, 2002-ADV Films today announced a street date of November 26, 2002 for Hello Kitty's Paradise: Pretty Kitty, the first of four volumes of the animated children's series Hello Kitty's Paradise. The title is available on VHS, and on child-friendly plug-and-play DVD.
Hello Kitty's Paradise is another successful part of the Sanrio Company's wildly popular Hello Kitty(r) franchise, built around the adorable, instantly recognizable kitten character. The title centers around the adventures of legendary Sanrio character Hello Kitty(r), her best friend Mimmy(tm) and their friends from school. Hello Kitty's Paradise is a joyful take on childhood adventures, with a healthy smattering of educational content about such important skills as sharing, having good table manners, writing letters and being polite.
Episodes in Volume 1:
"A Blooming Good Morning"
Mama gives Kitty morning glory seeds to plant so she has an incentive to wake up early in the morning.
"A Storybook Adventure"
Kitty and Mimmy use their imagination to have an adventure inside Mimmy's book.
"Kitty's Clean Cuisine"
Kitty learns important table manners such as washing your hands before you eat and pacing yourself when you eat, especially when you feel hungry.
"A Day Out With Dad"
Papa takes the girls on a walk downtown where they visit various stores and find out what they sell.
Kitty and Mimmy go underground to visit their friend Moley who tells them about living underground.
"Watch the Birdie"
Kitty and Mimmy nurse a sick bird back to health.
Kitty learns the right way to use her fork and how to be polite at the dinner table.
Mama takes Kitty and Mimmy downtown. On the way, she teaches the girls important lessons on staying alert and safe.
Hello Kitty's Paradise: Pretty Kitty (DVD $14.98 SRP; VHS $9.98 SRP) contains four episodes, two segments each, of the beloved children's series. In English. VHS and DVD versions include ADV Previews, and feature loads of Fun & Games throughout, including such diversions as "Nutty Numbers" and "Animals! Animals! The DVD edition also includes a free poster insert.
Running Time: 90 minutes; Age Rating: All
Pre-Book Date: 10/29/02
Street Date: 11/26/02
'Lady Death' gets new life at CrossGen
Posted Thursday, October 3, 2002, 8:54AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Last week, Newsarama broke a story about CrossGen Comics' having purchased the rights to "Lady Death" prior to Chaos! Comics filing for bankruptcy. Now comes news that CrossGen will publish new "Lady Death" comics under its Code 6 imprint. Brian Pulido, Lady Death creator and Chaos! founder, will write the new monthly series on a freelance basis. Ivan Reis will pencil the series.
Hopkins confirmed as Jor-El
Posted Tuesday, October 1, 2002, 12:50PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Various online sources are reporting that Sir Anthony Hopkins has agreed to portray Jor-El in director Brett Ratner's upcoming "Superman" film. Hopkins confirmed the story on Howard Stren's radio program.
PR: New 'Farscape' season 2 DVD announced
Posted Tuesday, October 1, 2002, 12:01PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON, October 1, 2002 - ADV Films has set a street date of December 3, 2002 for the release of Farscape: Season Two Volume 2.4, the fourth of five home video releases collecting the second season of Jim Henson Television and Hallmark Entertainment's award-winning series. TV Guide hailed the series as "The Best Sci-Fi on TV," and USA Today called Farscape "TV's Best Space Series."
SCI FI's controversial decision to cancel Farscape after wrapping production on its fourth season has left the series' large and devoted fan base in an uproar. That fan base, nurtured by airings in countries around the world-including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Sweden, France and Australia-has also made Farscape a successful merchandising franchise, with popular action figures, video games, comic books, novels, apparel and other items currently being manufactured by top licensees.
ADV Films' DVD and VHS releases of first season episodes stood on Billboard's Top 10 sales charts for over four months. Farscape: Season Two Volume 2.4 will be released on DVD and VHS in two-disc or two-cassette sets, for fans hungry to add the series to their collections.
Farscape: Season Two Volume 2.4 episodes:
"Beware of Dog"
A hostile beast on Moya attacks and poisons D'Argo. The crew must hunt down and capture the beast alive if Zhaan is to find the anti-venom and save D'Argo's life.
"Won't Get Fooled Again"
Crichton relives the launch of Farscape One, but instead of entering a wormhole, he blacks out and wakes up in a hospital bed on Earth. To his surprise, Aeryn appears as his doctor and Zhaan shows up as his psychiatrist! Crichton knows someone must be manipulating his mind. But who?
When her Transport Pod returns from investigating a strange mist, Aeryn emerges as an old woman. She insists she has aged 160 cycles since leaving Moya - she's had a husband, even a granddaughter. When Crichton follows Aeryn back to her planet, he also becomes trapped in time and unable to return to Moya.
"The Ugly Truth"
Crais invites Moya's crew onboard Talyn to discuss disarming the young gunship - replacing his weapons with a non-lethal, Plokavian "Dampening Net." But as the Plokavian ship approaches, Talyn surprises everyone by destroying it. Crais and Talyn starburst away as angry Plokavians capture Moya's crew to execute the guilty party.
Farscape: Season Two Volume 2.4 ($39.98 SRP DVD, $19.98 SRP VHS) contains 2 discs or two tapes with 2 episodes each. Languages: English 5.1 & English 2.0. DVD-only extras include: Alien Encounters; Alien Races Part 1; Conceptual Drawings; Farscape Dictionary: Terms of the Uncharted Territories; Character Backstory: Ka D'Argo; Actor Biography: Anthony Simcoe; Deleted Scenes; Commentary for "Won't Get fooled Again;" and ADV Previews.
FARSCAPE: SEASON TWO VOLUME 2.4
Running Time: 210 minutes (DVD), 200 minutes (VHS)
Pre-Book Date: 11/5/02
Street Date: 12/3/02