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Monday, July 8, 2002


Over the weekend at Wizard World Chicago, one of the panels included a filmed segment looking ahead at X-Men 2, which has just started production.

In addition to comments from the actors and filmmakers, the segment also showed designs of Nightcrawler and the Danger Room.

Here's a rundown of some of the comments:

* Lauren Shuler Donner (producer): "It was always our goal to continue. There are so many terrific characters to mine and to use and so many great stories."

* Ralph Winter (producer): "With the first movie we were able to lay a foundation about who the characters are and what their basic powers are. So now we have the opportunity to take that further and have a little more fun."

* James Marsden (Cyclops): "X-Men, to me, was this comic book that was always, here's this saga, here's this adventure. The first one was the tip of the iceberg. I think we were just opening up the doors to really go nuts in the second one."

* Bryan Singer (director): "The stakes can be higher, the threat can be higher, we can introduce more characters and there are so many more places to go. I'm not as shackled as I was the first time. I'm happy to say that pretty much everybody's back."


* Hugh Jackman (Wolverine): "One of the terrific things about X-Men getting a sequel is that we all get to fight together again. Because we all had such a blast together."

* Avi Arad (executive producer): "We're bringing in new characters in order to drive the story in a different direction."

* Winter: We're doing Nightcrawler, which is very interesting. He looks like a demon, but he's very religious.

* Donner: "We will include what we call the junior X-Men - Kitty Pryde, Bobby as Iceman and Pyro."

* Singer: "I can guarantee there will be some interesting revelations. We'll learn a little bit more about certain characters and their origins."

* Winter: "We kind of update a lot of elements. The uniforms will be a little more sleeker and a little more muscular - more heroic. More stuff takes place inside the X-Jet, so that will be redesigned."

* Michael Fink (visual effects supervisor): "Technology has changed hugely in the last five years, and in this movie I'll be able to use technology that I wanted to use in the last movie, but was not ready."

* Singer: "Seeing these characters, new characters, a new adventures, is what makes these kinds of movies fun to go back and visit."

* Jackman: "We all have a kind of sense of confidence about this sequel."


During its X-Men/Marvel Heroes panel at Wizard World Chicago on Sunday, Marvel Comics announced its artist lineup for New X-Men and that the X-Men Unlimited title will be going monthly.

The New X-Men art lineup includes John Paul Leon on #130, Phil Jimenez on #131-132, Ethan Van Sciver on #133-134 and Frank Quitely on #135-138 or -139.

Assistant editor Mike Raicht said that the plan is to have artists take on an entire story arc, which will add more consistency to trade paperbacks. He also said that Marvel hopes to have Quitely draw all of the series' covers.

New X-Men #133 will introduce Dust, an Afghan Muslim mutant.

"It can only happen at Marvel," New X-Men writer Grant Morrison said in a statement read at at the panel. "As Wolverine comes closer to unlocking the dark secrets of his past, an Afghan Muslim mutant joins the X-Men. You want daring? You want different? Then meet Dust as New X-Men challenges the rules again."

X-Men Unlimited editor C.B. Cebulski said he wants to change the perception of the book not having impact or meaning in the X-Men Universe.

X-Men Unlimited #39 in November will be the start as the book as 48-page monthly.

"We're going to make the book more consistent with what's going one in the mainstream X-continuity," Cebulski said. "The book's been a bit of a throwaway - you could take it or leave it. But we're going to change that with some fantastic talent."

X-Men Unlimited #38 will be a single-story issue focusing on Kitty Pryde, by Greg Rucka and Darick Robertson. "It's her coming to terms with all the death that has surrounded her," Cebulski said. "Not just Colossus, but Ilyanna and her father. You might think, 'Oh, we've read this before in Uncanny.' But this is something different. The script came in, and it's just phenomenal.

In other news from the panel:

* Fashion artist Celia Calle is providing covers for Mekanix, the Kitty Pryde limited series by Chris Claremont and Juan Bobillo.

* New Wolverine editor Axel Alonso said that Tom Palmer will be inking Sean Chen's pencils. Writer Frank Tieri will take a more "real-world" slant on the stories, according to Alonso.

* Longshot will appear in two issues of Exiles.

* Marvel showed part of the cover to Black Panther #50 by Andy Kubert, which shows a figure in an overcoat bearing guns. Dan Fraga is the new artist of the book.

New Avengers writer Geoff Johns said that Black Panther will play a key role in the next year.

* Cebulski said that December will be a major month for the Ultimate line.

* Weapon X artist Georges Jeanty said that the new series will have "a black-ops" feel.

* Alan Davis' Killraven book is scheduled for an Oct. 9 release.

* Andrew Lis is the new editor of Thunderbolts and is working toward putting together a new creative team.

* An Incredible Hulk hardcover is scheduled for November, collecting the first two arcs written by Bruce Jones (with art by John Romita Jr. and Lee Weeks), as well as the Startling Stories: Banner mini-series by Brian Azzarello and Richard Corben.


James O'Barr, creator of The Crow, told The Continuum he is working with Kevin Eastman in bringing the character to animation.

Eastman is the co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who recently produced the Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 movie.

"I've been talking to Kevin about doing original animation involving The Crow," O'Barr told The Continuum at Wizard World Chicago. "These would be R-rated things. The plan is to do three 45-minute videos that can be cut together like one film.

"He's definitely interested. I spoke to him just last week at Madison Square Garden and he's definitely interested in doing it and getting together the finances. It's definitely on the table, and everyone's excited."

According to O'Barr, Pressman Films, which has produced The Crow movies and the Stairway to Heaven television series, has right of first refusal for any Crow animated properties. O'Barr said that his relationship with Pressman is strained, and that it's unlikely the studio would be involved with any Crow animation.

And who would O'Barr like to see involved with The Crow in animation?

"If you see Bruce Timm or Glen Murakami, have them give me a call," O'Barr said, referring to the Warner Bros. Animation creators currently involved with Justice League.

Although the last Crow film, The Crow: Salvation, essentially went straight-to-video, O'Barr said the film franchise will likely continue - although it will be without rapper DMX as once conceived.

"From what I understand, after the Steven Seagal movie he was in, his price shot up to $6 million, which was way too much, so they scrapped the whole idea," O'Barr said. "They are working on one story involving Native American Indians, which is something I tried to get them involved with six years ago."

O'Barr said the current script in development is based on a novel by Norman Partridge.


  • In case you missed previous reports from Wizard World, you can CLICK HERE for Marvel Knights/MAX news or CLICK HERE for DC/Vertigo news.

  • Coming Tuesday: Still more coverage from Wizard World Chicago!!!
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