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Thursday, February 20, 2003


Alfred Molina will play Doc Ock in the Spider-Man sequel, Columbia Pictures announced on Wednesday.

The sequel will reunite the cast and filmmakers from the original blockbuster, including Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco along with director Sam Raimi, and producers Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad. Columbia Pictures co-president of production Matt Tolmach is overseeing development of the project for the studio.

Raimi will begin principal photography in April.

"Alfred Molina has a remarkable facility for everything from classic drama to mainstream comedy and he is the ideal choice for Doc Ock," said Amy Pascal, chairman of Columbia Pictures. "We wanted an actor that would bring irresistible depth and dimension to this role and we are all tremendously excited to be working with Alfred."

Molina recently earned a SAG nomination for his portrayal of Mexican artist Diego Rivera in Julie Taymor's film Frida. Featured in Columbia Pictures' upcoming psychological thriller Identity, Molina has appeared in more than 50 film and television productions, as well as enjoying an extensive theatrical career.

Born in London, he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His stage work includes two major Royal National Theatre productions Speed The Plow and Night of the Iguana. He made his Broadway debut in 1998 in the Tony Award-winning play Art opposite Victor Garber and Alan Alda. In addition to a Best Actor Tony nomination, Molina received a Drama Desk Award for his performance. Other theatrical performances of note include a starring role in the off-Broadway production of Molly Sweeney, for which Molina garnered a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Debut Performance.

Molina made his movie debut with Raiders of The Lost Ark and had a notable role as a Soviet sailor in Letter To Brezhnev. His breakthrough movie role came in 1987 when he played the role of Kenneth Halliwell, the tragic lover of Joe Orton in Stephen Frears' Prick Up Your Ears.

In 1998, Molina won accolades for his performance in Paul Thomas Anderson's film Boogie Nights, which won the SAG Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a theatrical motion picture. He also appeared in Anderson's Magnolia. Other film credits include The Imposters, Anna Karenina, Species, The Perez Family, Maverick, Enchanted April, Not Without My Daughter, Dudley Do-Right, Texas Rangers and Chocolat. He will next be seen in the film drama Luther.


X²: HBO First Look, a behind-the-scenes special on the X-Men sequel, will premiere on the cable network on Thursday, April 24 at 10:45 p.m.

Additional air dates include Sunday, April 27 at 6 p.m. and Tuesday, April 29 at 4:30 p.m. There will be more air dates in May, but they have not been announced yet by the network.

The special lasts 15 minutes.

In other X² news:

* The first toys from Toy Biz have reached shelves, including 13-inch versions of Wolverine and Nightcrawler. Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

* A source told The Continuum there will be "at least" one more trailer before the film's May 2 release. A new trailer debuted with Daredevil on Friday and is now also available online through the official web site.

Click on the thumbnails below for images from the trailer.

* Look for more X² news soon here in The Continuum.


For covers and four-page previews of DC Comics titles arriving in stores on Wednesday, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Batman #612, JLA #78, JLA/The Spectre: Soul War #2, Superman #190, Wonder Woman #189, Green Arrow #21 and Global Frequency #5.


For covers and four-page previews of Image Comics titles arriving in stores on Wednesday, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Micronauts #5, Athena Inc. #5, Kore #1, Karza #1, Tomb Raider #27, Rising Stars: Bright #1, Witchblade #62, Battle of the Planets #7 and G.I. Joe Frontline #4.


Hasbro will be releasing one of the Devil's Due-designed G.I. Joe characters, Kamakura, as a toy this year.

Kamakura was introduced in the Image Comics series as the protégé student of Snake-Eyes. The ninja was designed by Joshua Blaylock, president and creative director of Devil's Due.

"This is one of the coolest things to happen since we started working on G.I. Joe," Blaylock said. "The comic book was a dream come true, but seeing your character brought to life in an action figure is something altogether different."

Hasbro brand manager Andrew Frankel said, "We are excited about the ongoing success of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toy line and its supporting media. We are charged with keeping what was great about the '80's storyline and adding new elements to make the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra story truly epic."

The Kamakura action figure will be released thein summer as part of the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra line, accompanied by a file card co-written by Blaylock and Larry Hama.


Carla Speed McNeil, creator of the series Finder, will join writer/creator Greg Rucka on the new five-issue story arc for Oni Press' Queen & Country, which begins in May with #16.

"I admit it. I'm an awards show geek," series editor James Lucas Jones said. "I love Oscar and Golden Globe pools and trying to guess who's going to take what home. In comics we have the Eisners and they're even more fun because I have a vested interest in the outcome. When last year's nominations were revealed I couldn't help but notice the number of nods that went to both Greg and Carla. They had five nominations each! No one else had more. I was already a fan of Carla's work but seeing her and Greg together in that exclusive little group is what gave me the idea to approach her for Queen & Country."

The fifth story arc of Queen & Country sees a shift in the department's ranks as a name from Paul Crocker's past forces the director to dispatch his Minders on a mission of personal importance. That name is Lasha Karpin, son of Declassified's Valery, and his abduction sends the agents to the former-U.S.S.R. to repay a 16-year-old debt.

"I knew when I sat down to write Declassified that the events depicted there would have a ripple effect on the regular series and this is really just the beginning," Rucka said. "Readers of the mini-series know why Crocker might feel a certain loyalty to the Karpin family. The question is, does he know what that allegiance will cost him?"

Collaborating on Queen & Country is a change of pace for the writer-artist who for the last several years has concentrated purely on her own material, the science fiction series, Finder.

"It's good to change things up occasionally," said Speed McNeil. "Working with Greg and in such a different genre will be a nice change of pace. Plus, it's an opportunity to expose a whole new audience to my work! There's no downside."

"Because of both structure and circumstance, we often catch Q&C artists early in their career arc," Jones said. "With Carla we get the rare opportunity to work with a creator already at the top of her game. She brings talent and experience that will surely serve to compliment Rucka's own."

Queen & Country #16, 32 black-and-white pages, will arrive in stors on May 28.


  • "A League of Their Own," a two-part episode of Static Shock guest-starring the Justice League, will air on Kids' WB! on Saturday, March 1 and Saturday, March 8.

  • Oni Press announced that the first two issues of the Ted Naifeh mini-series, Courtney Crumrin & The Coven of Mystics, have sold out.

    "Ted and Courtney cast a glamour on everyone they come in contact with. People can't help but love her with a passion usually reserved for another spell-casting student," said Oni Press publisher Joe Nozemack. "Comic stores quickly gobbled up the first two issues' overprint, and when national retail chain Hot Topic placed an order for almost half the initial print run of each issue, we had no choice but to go back to press to meet the tremendous demand both inside and outside the direct market."

  • Coming after Thursday: Solicitations, first looks -- and much more!!!

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