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Friday, April 5, 2002

SPIDER-MAN MOVIE UPDATE

The Spider-Man sequel could be in theaters as early as 2004, with production possibly starting early next year.

Spider-Man director Sam Raimi announced earlier this week in Australia that he will be returning for a second installment. Stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst will also return.

"Sam has made his exciting announcement and things are moving forward," Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige told The Continuum. "We're in good shape."

In addition, producers Laura Ziskin and Ian Bryce will be returning. Marvel Studios' Avi Arad, an executive producer on Spider-Man, will be a producer on Spider-Man 2.

"All of this because of our complete belief in the movie," Columbia executive vice-president Matt Tolmach told Variety.

As previously reported by The Continuum, Smallville's Alfred Gough and Miles Millar are writing the sequel. In addition to developing and executive producing Smallville, the pair wrote Shanghai Noon and the recent Showtime.

There's no word yet on an actual timetable, villains or storylines for the sequel.

"There are many ideas and an abundance of possibilities," Feige said.

In other Spider-Man news:

* Spider-Man's premiere will take place on Monday, April 29 in Los Angeles. E! will be providing live coverage.

* Commercials for Cingular's campaign involving Spider-Man have begun.

* The Spider-Man promotional tour is hitting Japan on Friday.

* Dunst and Maguire trade compliments in the May issue of Vanity Fair.

"Tobey can cry just like that," Dunst said "Whenever I have a crying scene, I have to listen to sad music, put my headphones on and kind of zone out."

"She's very, very talented," Maguire said. "She's very appealing and beautiful. She has a womanly quality, but also a very fun girl quality, an innocence.

"There's no vanity in her acting. She just commits and goes for it."

* Diamond Distributors has announced the Spider-Man Collector's Program, which will offer products exclusively at select specialty and comic book outlets and on the web at www.sony.com/Spider-Man and www.diamondcomics.com.

Merchandise from the Collector's Program will features pencil sketches from artist Bernie Wrightson that helped inspire the feature film, will include apparel (t-shirts from Changes), art (two lithographs from Dynamic Forces) with a limited number of each design autographed by Wrightson, shot glasses (from National Entertainment Collectibles Association) and a poster (from Funky Posters).

The Collector's Program will kick off with an online voting contest and feature four original sketches that were created by Wrightson as "inspiration" for the feature film. Starting Friday and running through April 12, fans can log onto the official Spider-Man web site and vote for their favorite Wrightson design. Final results will be announced on April 19. The two winning designs will then be used to create two collectors edition t-shirts.

* Target chains have started carrying Spider-Man displays, include Spider-Man water cannons and motion detector Spider-Man gloves.

X-MEN: EVOLUTION UPDATE

The Scarlet Witch will be introduced in "The HeX Factor," a new episode of X-Men: Evolution that is scheduled to air on Kids' WB! on Saturday, April 20.

In the episode, the Scarlet Witch will be Wanda Maximoff, the sister of Pietro, aka Quicksilver.

The Scarlet Witch appeared in one episode of Fox Kids' X-Men series. She was also a regular character on Fox Kids' Avengers and a semi-regular in the syndicated Iron Man.

"The HeX Factor" will air at 10:30 a.m. on April 20. The 8 a.m. episode that day will be "Shadowed Past."

Episodes on Saturday, April 27 will be "Survival of the Fittest" at 8 a.m. and "Walk On The Wild Side" at 10:30 a.m.

MARVEL, DC FIRST LOOKS

Cover and four-page first looks for Marvel Comics and DC Comics titles arriving in stores on Wednesday are now available.

For Marvel first looks, CLICK HERE. For DC first looks, CLICK HERE.

Marvel titles include X-Treme X-Men #12, X-Factor #1, Cable #104, Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #15, Taskmaster #3, Thor #48, Iron Man #53, Fantastic Four #54 and Black Panther #43.

DC titles include Lab Rats #1, Green Lantern #149, Impulse #85, Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset #5, The Power Company #3, Nightwing #68, Transmetropolitan #55 and Sandman Presents: The Thessaliad #4.

DAREDEVIL MOVIE UPDATE

Twentieth Century Fox has provided The Continuum with two photos from Kevin Smith's one-day cameo shoot on the Daredevil movie on Tuesday.

Smith, who wrote the initial arc the Marvel Knights relaunch of the Daredevil comics series, appeared on location at Crenshaw Hospital in Los Angeles. Smith plays Jack Kirby, a morgue attendant in a scene with Joe Pantoliano, who plays reporter Ben Urich. The character's name is an homage to the comics artist.

"Kevin is the reason I'm back into Daredevil," said Daredevil director/writer Mark Steven Johnson. "I'd been a fan of Daredevil my whole life, but at some point I lost interest until Kevin's 'Guardian Angel' storyline came out. Then I got back into it in full force."

Fox provided a brief on-set interview with Smith.

Question: What is it like to be in a Daredevil movie?

Smith: Pretty awesome! It's sort of like playing Daredevil himself - which I'm not in the shape for. It was really generous of Mark to put me in the film.

Question: Who do you play?

Smith: I play a forensics assistant who is willing to take some cash to give Urich the inside dope.

Question: What are your thoughts on what you've seen from the film?

Smith: When I did a costume fitting, they let me take a peek at the Daredevil costume and it is flat-out phenomenal! It's as close as you can get to the comic book page without looking ridiculous. These guys know what they're doing.

Question: What do you think of Mark Steven Johnson as director?

Smith: Mark is as passionate - if not more so - than anyone can be about making a Daredevil movie. He's done heavy-duty research. He's read all the important Daredevil work, and the not-so-important Daredevil work - like my own - and he's certainly not going to let any Daredevil fans down from what I've seen.

Question: What do you think of Ben Affleck as Daredevil?

Smith: As long as Affleck leaves his ham-fisted theatrics - the ones he lends to my pictures - in the trailer, he'll be awesome. He's always been a big fan, long before the film was a twinkle in anyone's mind. Ben has always said that the only movie he would ever put a costume on for would be a Daredevil flick. This is probably a dream come true for him.

Question: What do you think of the rest of the cast?

Smith: I think Mark got incredibly lucky to surround himself with a cast so willing to put on funny outfits - in addition to the fact that they're pretty intelligent, believable, strong performers.

Question: What's it like doing your scene with Joe Pantoliano?

Smith: I was delighted when I saw his name on the call sheet. I mean, "Guido the Killer Pimp!" [from Risky Business]. You can throw a rock and you hit a stellar performance from Joe Pantoliano: Goonies, The Matrix, The Sopranos, The Fugitive. He's incredibly well-cast in this role.

In other Daredevil news, Ellen Pompeo has been cast as Karen Page.

ASHLEY JUDD TALKS CATWOMAN

Ashley Judd said she's become very possessive about the character of Catwoman.

Judd has been attached to the title role in the film, which is in development at Warner Bros.

Asked if she's going to be Catwoman during E!'s Revealed, Judd said "Catwoman is very good. Well, I certainly hope so. That's the intention. Absolutely.

"I'm extremely possessive of that part now. I'm just like a dog hiking my leg all around that script. I'm like, 'You people back off. It's mine!'"

GEN13 RELAUNCH STARTS WITH 13-CENT ISSUE

DC Comics and WildStorm Productions will relaunch Gen13 in July with a #0 issue that will cost just 13 cents.

The 32-page preview issue includes a new 12-page story that lays the foundation for Gen13's dramatic rebirth, courtesy of the creative team of the upcoming series: writer Chris Claremont and artist Ale Garza. The issue introduces a new threat to the WildStorm Universe, one that DC says "will change the concept of Gen13 forever."

The series will featuring new characters, locales and villains.

"Chris and Ale have really put their all into the all-new, all-different Gen13, and I've been blown away by the results," said Jim Lee, WildStorm's editorial director and original Gen13 artist. "Now that the price will be a mere 13 cents, everyone will have a chance to check it out and weigh in with their vote on this summer's hottest launch!"

Gen13 #0 will also contain two four-page vignettes from two other upcoming WildStorm series, 21 Down and The Resistance.

21 Down, a series that's linked to events in Gen13, is written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, with art by Jesus Saiz and Palmiotti.

The Resistance is also by writers Palmiotti and Gray, with art by Juan Romano Cano.

Gen13 #0 hits stores on July 3. Copies of the issue also will be given away to attendees at the DC booth at the Wizard World: Chicago and Comic-Con International: San Diego conventions.

SPIDER-MAN: BLUE PREVIEW

Marvel Comics has released the first three covers and solicitation information for Spider-Man: Blue, the Marvel Knights mini-series by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale.

"The title's not blue like the color -- it's blue as in sad, as in jazz music, as blue in love," Loeb said. "See, particularly at this time in his life, Peter had the best problem a guy could have. He had two beautiful girls in his life and he had to figure out which one was the right one -- (and) there will definitely be the villains of that period. I can promise Green Goblin. I also want to see Tim draw the Rhino. It wouldn't surprise me if Vulture and Kraven show up too."

Spider-Man: Blue #1 goes on sale May 8.

Here's how Marvel describes it:

"Take a bittersweet look at Peter Parker's college career, his first days on the job at the Daily Bugle, and his lethal battles with the Green Goblin. Feast your eyes on Loeb and Sale's interpretations of Harry Osborn, J. Jonah Jameson, Robbie Robertson, Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy and more."

Spider-Man: Blue #2 goes on sale on June 12.

Here's how Marvel describes it:

"With the Green Goblin out of Spider-Man's way, Peter Parker grows closer to Harry Osborn - and to Harry's friend Gwen Stacy! Sometimes it seems as if Peter's biggest problem is how to get his boss, J. Jonah Jameson of the Daily Bugle, to pay him enough money to afford to take Gwen out on a date. And other times, it seems as if avoiding the hoofs of the Rhino might be more pressing."

Spider-Man: Blue #3 goes on sale on July 17.

Here's how Marvel describes it:

"Saving Penn Station from the Lizard is a piece of cake, but Peter Parker doesn't know what to do when Mary Jane Watson meets Gwen Stacy. Could things possibly get more complicated? Well, sure! Especially when Harry Osborn asks Peter to be his roommate -- and then asks if he can date Mary Jane!"

NEW STATIC SHOCK EPISODE

A new episode of Static Shock, "Attack Of The Living Brain Puppets," is scheduled to air on Saturday on Kids' WB!.

"Attack Of The Living Brain Puppets' is our homage to the movie Election, but with the customary Static Shock twist," Static Shock story editor Chris Simmons told The Continuum. "Madelyn Spaulding, a classmate of Virgil's, is running for freshman class president, but like Election character Tracy Flick, Madelyn Spaulding is lacking in the popularity department. And it's just then when her metahuman powers kick in -- she has the ability to control the minds of others, hence making them 'Brain Puppets.' Further complications ensue when Madelyn discovers Virgil's secret identity after reading Richie's mind.

"This is a wild, comic episode. Really a lot of fun!"

The episode was written by Len Uhley and directed by Dave Chylstek.

In other Static Shock news, the April 20 episode will be "Bent Out of Shape" and the April 27 episode will be "Duped." AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys guest-stars in "Duped."

BRIEFLY

  • The Spectrum jury has selected two pieces submitted by CrossGen Comics for inclusion in Spectrum 9: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art being published in October 2002 by Underwood Books.

    Spectrum is the internationally distributed, annual collection of the best in science fiction, fantasy, and comic illustration selected from book covers, comics, art galleries, and more.

    The chosen pieces are the cover of Meridian #14 by Steven McNiven, Tom Simmons and Morry Hollowell, and Sojourn #4, page 14 by Greg Land, Drew Geraci and Caesar Rodriguez.

  • Coming Saturday: TV news - and much more!!!
    E-mail the Continuum at roballs@aol.com



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