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Friday, March 23, 2001


David Goyer, writer of Blade and its in-production sequel, recently returned from a visit to the set in Prague.

Blade 2, which again stars Wesley Snipes as Marvel Comics' vampire hunter, began production earlier this month. The movie, from New Line Cinema, is being directed by Guillermo del Toro.

"Prague was a lot of fun. I'm going back in a few weeks for another round of work/visit," Goyer told The Continuum. "Wesley is definitely at the top of his game. He's never been in better shape and he is totally committed to the film. We're shooting for about 90 days, and the shoot will take place completely in Prague. The film is actually set in Eastern Europe."

In Blade 2, Blade must team up with a group of vampires called the Bloodpack against an even greater threat, the Reapers.

"This movie takes us even deeper into the Vampire sub-culture," Goyer said. "It also pushes the boundaries in terms of what the Vampires are capable of. This film has more action, more humor -- but it also has a whole level of suspense and tragedy that was missing from the first film."

Goyer said that he has clicked with del Toro, who has also been linked to a Hellboy movie.

"Guillermo is a very generous, very gregarious human being," Goyer said. "He is extremely well educated and pulls from a variety of influences. A complete joy to work with. I was genuinely sad that I had to leave Prague in order to begin editing my film, ZigZag."

(Goyer is in post-production on ZigZag, which he wrote and directed. The drama stars Snipes. John Leguizamo, Oliver Platt and Natasha Lyonne.)

In addition to Snipes, the cast of Blade 2 returns Kris Kristofferson as Whistler. The cast also includes Ron Perlman as Rienhardt, Luke Goss as Nomak, Leonor Varela as Nyssa, Matt Schulze as Chupa, Danny John-Jules as Asad, Norman Reedus as Scud, Donny Yen as Snowman and Daz Crawford as Lighthammer.

Goyer said Tcheky Karyo is out as Damaskinos. "Not sure who we got," Goyer said. "We were talking a couple of different names before I left."

For now, the film is simply being called Blade 2. "We were calling it Bloodhunt, but no one liked that name," Goyer said.

Goyer said there could well be a Blade 3.

"I always envisioned Blade as a trilogy, and in fact, pitched that to New Line at my very first meeting," he said. "New Line would like to make a third film, as would Wesley. Assuming this one is successful, I will definitely return for one, final adventure. If there is a fourth Blade film, I doubt that I or Wesley would be involved. We've already been kicking around some ideas, in fact..."

Goyer also has been working with Stephen Norrington, director of the first Blade film, on a Ghost Rider movie.

"Ghost Rider is moving along, but a little slowly due to my shared duties on Blade 2 and ZigZag," Goyer said. "We should have a finished script handed in over the next few weeks."


Kirsten Dunst, who plays Mary Jane in the upcoming Spider-Man movie, is featured in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly talking about the role.

"I've been in the pouring rain in skimpy outfits, night shooting, getting my close-ups at 6:30 a.m. before the sun comes up, and seriously hard stuff," Dunst told the magazine. "This film has really been working me, that's for sure."

Dunst said that even kissing scenes with Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire have been difficult.

"(Tobey) was inside his Spider-Man suit and I had to pull down his mask to his lips," she said. "He was gasping for breath in between kisses because he was hanging upside down (and) we were in the rain. It was not a romantic kind of feeling!"

Look for the story on page 14 of the new Entertainment Weekly.

In other Spider-Man movie news:

* Activision announced on Thursday that it has obtained the exclusive rights to develop and publish interactive entertainment games based on the Spider-Man movie.

Through an agreement with Spider-Man Merchandising L.P., a limited partnership between Marvel Enterprises, Inc. and Sony Pictures Consumer Products Inc., Activision has obtained the worldwide rights to develop games based on the movie for all current and next generation platforms, the PC and hand-held platforms. The license also grants Activision the option to develop and publish products based on a subsequent movie sequel or new television series.

"We are thrilled to create interactive games based on the storyline, characters and action-packed sequences from the upcoming Spider-Man film," said Ron Doornink, President and COO, Activision, Inc. "Activision will bring our own brand of interactive magic and vision to this unique property and continue building on the success we have already had with the Spider-Man franchise."

Under a separate agreement, Activision expanded its broad-based association with Marvel Entertainment and obtained the long-term exclusive rights to the classic Spider-Man comic book character. Under the terms of the agreement, Activision will develop and publish an unlimited number of games for all platforms based on the Spider-Man franchise.

"We are excited to expand our partnership with Marvel and to have Activision be the long-term home for Spider-Man," Doornink said. "We believe that its compelling characters and locales, extensive history and intriguing storylines make Spider-Man one of the entertainment industry's richest properties and most enduring heroes."

Bill Jemas, president, publishing, licensing and new media at Marvel Enterprises said, "Activision has done a tremendous job of translating Spider-Man for the interactive arena as evidenced by both the strong reviews and sales success that the initial PlayStation game console title has received. One of our main goals at Marvel is to continue to attract new fans to our super-hero franchises through innovative publishing, entertainment and licensed products. We see this expanded agreement with Activision as one of the key partnerships to help increase the appeal of the legendary web-slinger to a younger audience."


OnStar will continue its series of live-action Batman commercials on Sunday with a new spot during ABC's telecast of the Academy Awards.

The commercial is called "Hot Date" and highlights OnStar's new service, Personal Calling.

In the spot, Batman is on the road in Gotham City when the Penguin suddenly swoops down in a helicopter and attacks the Batmobile. While Batman fights off the advance, he places a hands-free call to longtime girlfriend Vicki Vale to warn her that he may be late for their dinner date.

The commercial is fourth in the series; three aired last year, with Bruce Thomas playing Batman. The creators of the commercials have featured several Batman alumni, including movie producer Peter MacGregor-Scott.

ABC's Oscar broadcast starts at 8 p.m. (ET).


The Friday, April 6 episode of WB's Sabrina, The Teenage Witch will introduce elements for a possible spin-off show, Witchright Hall.

The episode guest-stars Emily Hart, the younger sister of Sabrina star Melissa Joan Hart, as Amanda, Sabrina's trouble-making cousin.

In the episode, Amanda is sent to live with Hilda and Zelda, and Sabrina tries to convince Amanda to enroll at Witchright Hall, a school where rebellious and magically challenged young witches control their impulses and use their powers appropriately.

In addition to playing Amanda, Emily Hart also provides the voice of Sabrina in Sabrina, the Animated Series.


Oni Press will be releasing Andi Watson's Breakfast After Noon series in a 200-page trade paperback collection in July.

Breakfast After Noon is the story of a British working-class couple and their struggles to maintain their relationship following losing their jobs.

"Sometimes, when reading a mini-series as it comes out in its various installments, it becomes clear that as good as the story works as a serial, it's going to be a much better when read in one sitting," said Oni Press editor-in-chief Jamie S. Rich. "Breakfast After Noon is the best of both worlds. I imagine that the anxiousness we all felt between issues was something akin to what people felt during the serialization of a Dickens novel back in the old days. Each piece was exciting and gave us a better idea of the overall picture. But having the whole story complete will allow readers to savor the amazing subtlety of Andi's work, to see how well-constructed the tale is."

"I knew going into Breakfast that I would be asking a lot of my readers," Watson said. "I would be expecting people to really invest their time in something that would take several issues to pay off. I learned that one should never underestimate their fans, as everyone who came on board stayed on board and really seemed to understand where I was taking it."

"Oni Press' readers have been extremely enthusiastic about this series," said Joe Nozemack, Oni Press publisher. "This isn't a flashy comic book about guys in bright costumes with outrageous powers. It doesn't have a blockbuster hook that is easily boiled down to a couple of sentences. It's a story about real human beings, and that seems to resonate with people who are looking for something with a little more meaning. And even before we got halfway through the book, we were already receiving requests to collect it."

The trade paperback will ship on July 6 and will cost $19.95.


Following are Claypool Comics' solicitations for July, with information coming from the company.


By Frank Strom, Dan Day, Louis Lachance, Jo Duffy, Richard Howell and Kim DeMulder.

Elvira's substitute-teaching at an all-girls' school, and it puts her in the hot seat when one student develops a deadly, sorcerous crush on a local bad-boy rock star. It's all in "One Fright Stand!" Also, a furry rodent kicks off an ancient Egyptian terror, in "Seeing a Large Bat On a Hot Tin Roof Sundae."

32 pages, black and white, $2.50.


By Peter David, Richard Howell, Al Bigley and Kim DeMuler, cover by Amanda Conner and Steve Leialoha.

A ditzy angel named Nadine comes to earth to help stabilize the balance of power -- but will that be enough for the Soulsearchers, when they're being plucked one by one from their earthly lives by the hellish forces that want to destroy Baraka? "And Then There Was ... One !"

32 pages, black and white, $2.50.


Uncanny X-Men #392 will arrive in stores on Wednesday from Marvel Comics. The issue is written by Scott Lobdell, with art by Salvador Larroca and Tim Townsend and a cover by Ian Churchill.

Here's how Marvel describes the issue, which is part one of the "Eve of Destruction" story line:

"The X-Men square off against Magneto in a war that will restructure the X-world. Magneto has proclaimed his intended dominance over mankind-and Genosha is on the cusp of starting World War III. His rallying point? The battered body of Charles Xavier bound in the center of Hammer Bay. Meanwhile, beneath the streets of the capital city, Wolverine and a mystery partner work together to stop the Master of Magnetism from unleashing an entire nation of mutates upon the rest of the world. But can Logan trust the decidedly edgier ally? And, while that unlikely duo faces overwhelming odds, Jean Grey must do everything in her power to locate a handful of new mutants to enlist their aid in the battle against Genosha. The action continues in X-Men #112."

Uncanny X-Men #392 will be 32 pages and will cost $2.25.

32 pages, $2.25.



Amazing Spider-Man 2001 will arrive in stores on Wednesday from Marvel Comics. The issue is written by Howard Mackie, with art by Joe Bennett and Sandu Florea.

Here's how Marvel describes the issue:

"The future of Peter Parker is decided here. Spider-Man faces his future and his past head-on when a surprise turns his life upside down. But what does fate hold for the wall-crawler? Life? Love? Happiness?"

Amazing Spider-Man 2001 will be 48 pages and will cost $2.99.



Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #2 will arrive in stores on Wednesday from Marvel Comics. The issue is written by Brian Michael Bendis and art by Phil Hester.

Here's how Marvel describes the issue:

"The spanking new Spider-Man has already encountered one green menace (of the Goblin kind) -- but nothing could prepare him for the car-throwing, street-smashing jade giant. It's mass mayhem as the fledgling hero desperately attempts to stop the city-wide rampage of the gamma-spawned beast. The U.S. Army is on the man-monster's case, too."

Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #2 will be 32 pages and will cost $2.25.



Wolverine #162 will arrive in stores on Wednesday from Marvel Comics. The issue is written by Frank Tieri, with art by Sean Chen and Norm Rapmund and a cover by Chen.

Here's how Marvel describes the issue:

"Logan becomes Public Enemy #1 when he sees his face plastered across every TV screen in the nation-as an accused murderer. Plus: Sabretooth receives an ominous offer from an acquaintance both he and Wolverine hoped they'd never see again."

Wolverine #162 will be 32 pages and will cost $2.25.



  • Hugh Jackman, who played Wolverine in the X-Men movie, will be a guest on NBC's Today on Tuesday.

  • X-Men: Evolution continues to be a strong ratings performer for Kids' WB!. Last Saturday's episode beat all time-period (9:30 a.m. ET) competition, including cable, in Boys 6-11 (6.7/23), and ranked No. 1 among broadcast competition in Boys 2-11 (4.8/18). At 11:30 a.m. Batman Beyond led the time period broadcast competition in Boys 2-11 (2.2/11) and Boys 6-11 (2.4/13).

  • Coming Monday: Batman news, X-Men news - and much more!!!
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