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Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2000


Kirsten Dunst, 18, will play Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man live-action movie that begins production on Jan. 6.

Dunst's casting, expected to be announced formally on Wednesday, ends months-long speculation over the role that included such actresses as Kate Hudson and Alicia Witt.

Dunst joins a cast that includes Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, James Franco as Harry Osborn, Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben and J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson.

Dunst is coming off the successful box-office of Universal's Bring it On, the cheerleader comedy which was No. 1 both the last week of August and the first week of September. That movie brought in more than $63 million.

Dunst has appeared in more than 30 films and television series, including the feature/cable films Dick, Drop Dead Gorgeous, The Virgin Suicides, The Devil's Arithmetic, Small Soldiers, Jumanji and Interview with the Vampire and TV shows ER and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Dunst told The Continuum that she likes to have variety in her roles.

"I do get into heavy-duty stuff, but then I do comedies," Dunst said. "I had two comedies, but then I did The Devil's Arithmetic and then The Virgin Suicides, which are darker films. I like mixing everything. I want to make sure I don't do one type of film. I have an interest in everything, and I think you grow as an actor by doing more different kinds of roles."

Dunst has been in front of cameras most of her life.

"When I was about three years old, that's when my mom started to bring me in to do commercials," Dunst said. "It all started because I was in grocery stores and people would say, 'Oh, she's really cute! You should take her in and have her model and do commercials.'

"My mom started me in modeling when I was really little. I liked that, but I told her, 'I want to be on TV,' so we started to go onto commercials. And then I did little parts in movies. I did Bonfire of the Vanities, I did New York Stories, all these little parts.

"Then I had to work my way up. I came out to L.A. for pilot season and two years later, I got Interview with the Vampire and that's when my film career took off."

Spider-Man will be Dunst's second comic-book movie, following The Crow: Salvation, which will be released on home video on March 28 after a one-week theatrical run in Spokane, Wash.

In Salvation, the third Crow movie, Dunst played Erin Randall, the sister of the murdered girlfriend of the new Crow.

"I really enjoyed the character," Dunst said. "I had never seen The Crow before, and when I heard the story of The Crow and how the writer (James O'Barr) first came up with this whole idea of The Crow, it really touched me, so I wanted to be part of it."

Dunst impressed both The Crow: Salvation director Bharat Nalluri and producer Jeff Most.

"Kirsten Dunst is probably the most naturally gifted actor I've ever worked with in my life," Nalluri told The Continuum. "Stunning. Boy, can she act. You know her pedigree - and she's a sweetheart."

"She is truly the finest actor of her generation," Most said. "I mean, we roll cameras, the director and I sit behind the monitor and we just look at each other in awe."

Look for more on Dunst's casting and the Spider-Man film very soon here in The Continuum.


Marvel Comics has released its solicitation information for March.

For the complete listings, CLICK HERE.


DC Comics announced on Tuesday that Jack S. Liebowitz, founding co-publisher of DC Comics, died from natural causes on Monday in Great Neck, N.Y. He was 100.

Born on Oct. 10, 1900 in Russia, Liebowitz is survived by his wife Shirley and two daughters, Joan Levy and Linda Stillman.

Along with business partner Harry Donenfeld, Liebowitz invested in the first-ever comic books published by DC Comics founding father Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson. Donenfeld and Liebowitz distributed the comics through their Independent News Company (later to become Warner Publisher Services, one of the country's largest distributors of magazines and paperbacks.) In 1937, they bought out Wheeler-Nicholson and launched Detective Comics, which was the first successful comic book with original stories around a single theme and the one which gave the company the name by which it has been known ever since.

Not only did Liebowitz finance the early days of comics and foster the creation of the world's most beloved super heroes, he established comic-book publishing as a legitimate, viable and profitable business. So fervent in his belief of the future of comics that in 1939, Liebowitz invested in and created another company called All-American Comics with M.C. Gaines, a printing salesman who also was an early pioneer of the comic book industry.

The two companies shared DC's distribution system, and eventually merged in 1946. Liebowitz went on to serve as President of National Periodical Publications, Inc. (the public company that included DC, Independent News, MAD Magazine and Licensing Corporation of America) until it merged into Kinney Services. From 1967-1991, Liebowitz served on the board of directors for Kinney Services and subsequently Warner Communications, which later became Time Warner.

Jenette Kahn, president and editor-in-chief of DC Comics said, "Jack Liebowitz was the best of his generation, one of the extraordinary entrepreneurs who not only helped found DC Comics but the comics industry itself. In addition, he was the most successful of his generation, taking DC public in 1961 under the title of National Periodical Publications. Mr. Liebowitz later pulled off his most foresighted coup, selling DC Comics to Steven J. Ross as one of the building blocks of his fledgling corporation, Warner Communications, Inc. He remained continuously active, coming into his office at Warner Communications every day and serving on the Warner board until he was past 90. We are forever grateful to Mr. Liebowitz for his risk-taking and prescience and will miss his life long commitment to the companies he helped launch."


Jay Stephens returns to familiar territory in April with JetCat Clubhouse, a new, bimonthly series from Oni Press that features Melanie McKay, Tod Johnson, and other characters from The Land of Nod.

"It's exciting to be coming back to do the characters that are such a big part of me," Stephens said. "The last few years have been very interesting for me, what with starting a family, working on some JetCat animation, and doing more freelance work for big comics companies. Nothing could feel more right to me at this moment than going back to my own work and telling stories I love to tell."

Each issue of the series will have 24 pages of story and art, but in every odd numbered issue, eight of those 24 pages will be in color.

"Part of the thinking was that I have done several stories for different magazines that many comics readers have not seen before," Stephens said. "This seemed like the perfect venue to bring them to a wider audience."

In addition to JetCat Clubhouse, Oni Press is planning several other projects with Stephens, including the long out-of-print collection of some of his earliest material, The Land of Nod Treasure in May.

"We couldn't be more excited to be forging a partnership with Jay," said Jamie S. Rich, editor-in-chief of Oni Press. "We love working with people who are true innovators in our field, who have their own vision that they dogmatically followed. Jay is part of a school of cartoonists that got all of us excited about comics again in the '90s, and this new book is going to cement his positions as a creator whose presence in the field is important to comics' continued existence."

"Oni is the natural home for my work," Stephens said. "They have a no-holds-barred commitment to creators and their goals. I look forward to a long and prosperous period under their publishing banner."


Collectible Concepts Group announced Tuesday that it has signed a license agreement with Marvel Enterprises to create a variety of merchandise based on Marvel Universe characters, including Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Dr. Doom, Daredevil and Magneto.

The licensed articles will initially include desktop replicas and wall scrolls. CCGR also plans to release a line of desktop sculptures such as helmets, masks, and weapon replicas featuring Marvel super heroes and villains.

Building on its success with its line of collectible X-Men movie products, CCGR is positioning itself to be the leader in limited-edition collectibles based on comic books.

"The Marvel Universe collection is a terrific way for parents to share their memories of this classic comic book characters with their children," said Paul Lipschutz, CEO of Collectible Concepts Group. "These nostalgic collectibles also appeal to adult collectors. We've had tremendous success this past summer with exclusive X-Men collectibles lines such as our Wolverine Dog Tags, Claw Letter Opener and Magneto Helmet Desktop Paperclip Collector, and we will be offering more nostalgic collectibles in the future."


  • Paramount Pictures has released a new photo of Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider movie, which will be a June release.

  • Coming Thursday: DC news, Static Shock news - and much more!!
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