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Friday, October 24, 2003

MAN-THING MOVIE UPDATE

Artisan Entertainment announced on Friday it will bring Man-Thing, a collaboration between Marvel Studios and Fierce Entertainment, based on the Marvel Comics character, to theatres nationwide on Aug. 27.

The announcement, made by Marvel Studios CEO Avi Arad, Artisan Pictures' President of Production Richard Saperstein, Artisan Entertainment Executive Vice President Patrick Gunn and Fierce Entertainment's CEO Christopher Petzel, comes as the project wraps production ahead of schedule following an eight-week shoot.

Man-Thing is one of three Marvel films to wrap production this month. The Punisher, another Artisan film, wrapped last week, and Sony's Spider-Man 2 is expected to wrap by next Wednesday.

Adapted to the screen by Hans Rodionoff from the original 1970's Marvel comic book character and directed by Brett Leonard, Man-Thing was produced by Marvel Studios and Fierce Entertainment in association with German equity fund Screenland Movieworld.

Here's how the film is described:

"Marvel's terrifying creature of the swamp, Man-Thing screams onto our screens in the new horror motion picture that presents a very different kind of character to the usual Marvel superhero. Based on the cult comic book series that was first published in 1971, the Man-Thing is a vengeful creature born from the evil and injustices perpetrated against both man and nature."

"Man-Thing has been an unbelievably exciting project for us. We have always felt that this character's story would translate incredibly well to the big screen as it mixes horrifying action with a truly mesmerizing and frightful anti-hero," Arad said.

"Brett is seen as one of the true pioneers in the creation of revolutionary computer-generated and mechanical effects and we now seen first-hand why. His powerful creative vision has helped bring this character to life in a thoroughly compelling manner -- so much that we have decided to fast track it for release next summer, fully confident in its worldwide appeal."

Said Gunn, "Uncharacteristic of the typical Marvel characters brought to life on the big screen, Man-Thing brings a chilling component not previously showcased in Marvel comic based films. We feel this film impressively introduces Man-Thing in a manner that will really thrill the viewing public."

Leonard is well-verse in horror and sci-fi, with credits including The Lawnmower Man and Virtuosity. He also directed one of the most successful Imax projects ever, the 3-D T-Rex Back to the Cretaceous, which grossed more than $100 million worldwide.

The film was shot by Director of Photography Steve Arnold (Terra Nova, La Spagnola). Production design was handled by Peter Pound (storyboards for Babe and Alex Proyas' Dark City) and Tim Ferrier (Farscape), while the visual effects work is being performed by Omnilab and Rising Sun (The Core, Queen of The Damned). Special effects and prosthetics work was provided by The Make-Up Effects Group (The Matrix and Babe).

The ensemble cast include Australian icon Jack Thompson (Original Sin, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Broken Arrow), whose breakout role in the feature film Breaker Morant directed by Bruce Beresford earned him numerous accolades including Best Supporting Actor at the Cannes Film Festival and an AFI Award for Best Actor, and acclaimed New Zealand actor Rawiri Paratene who excited critics around the world with his performance in the recent independent hit Whale Rider.

The cast also features newcomers Matt Le Nevez (Garage Days), Rachel Taylor (Natalie Wood -- Hollywood's Last Child), and Steve Bastoni (The Matrix Reloaded, Enter The Matrix).

Man-Thing was shot completely on location in Sydney, Australia. Specific locations included Wiseman's Ferry, Serenity Cove Studios at Kurnell for exterior swamp scenes and Homebush Bay where an elaborate supernatural swamp environment was created on a sound stage.



X-MEN: EVOLUTION FINALE

The Continuum has obtained model-sheet images from "Ascension," the two-part season finale of X-Men: Evolution that airs on Kids' WB! on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. (ET).

The images show Apocalypse and his possessed Four Horsemen: Professor Xavier, Magneto, Mystique and Storm. The X-Men must try to stop them and Apocalypse's plans.

The other image is one of the energy horses.

"This is the culmination of the Apocalypse saga that we've been building to for the last couple of seasons," producer Boyd Kirkland told The Continuum. "And what a finale it is!"

Producers didn't reveal how the episode impacts X-Men: Evolution, but hinted that it will be one of the series' big moments.

The network has yet to announce whether there will be a fifth season of the show.

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IMAGE COMICS FIRST LOOKS

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

Titles include Voltron: Defender of the Universe #5 and Age of Bronze #18.



IMAGE'S THE BLACK FOREST

The Black Forest, an original graphic novel by writers Robert Tinnell and Todd Livingston and artist Neil Vokes, is targeted for a spring relase from Image Comics.

Here's how the book is described:

"The First World War, which introduced trench warfare and chemical weapons and involved some of history's bloodiest battles, was frightening enough. But imagine a WWI where soldiers must face not only enemy artillery and mustard gas, but vampires, werewolves, an army of the living dead, and the Frankenstein Monster himself."

Vokes is best known from his work on Superman Adventures, Untold Tales of Spider-Man and for his Image Comics one-shot, Parliament of Justice. Tinnell, a director/screenwriter whose credits include Believe and Frankenstein and Me, crossed over to the world of comics for The Black Forest, and brought with him Livingston, the writer/director of the indie comedy So, You've Downloaded a Demon.

Michael Avon Oeming contributes the cover art, which will be colored by Tom Smith.

Vokes has realized Tinnell and Livingstonšs story in inkwashed black-and-white, reminiscent of the classic Universal Studios horror films that inspired The Black Forest.

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ADV'S GUNSLINGER GIRL

ADV Manga has announced a Nov. 18 release for Gunslinger Girl, a science-fiction/action manga created by Yu Aida.

Gunslinger Girl, originally published in MediaWorks' Gekkan Comic Dengeki Daioh, arrives in America as online buzz about the anime series, currently airing on Japanese television, begins to build.

Here's how ADV describes the story:

"Henrietta barely survived a brutal attack that killed her family. 'Rescued' by the Social Welfare Agency, her injuries were repaired with robotic components and she was brainwashed-lost with the memory of her family's death was almost every trace of her own humanity. Today she is an extraordinarily lethal cyborg assassin, obediently working with her handler Giuseppe to carry out her deadly tasks.

"Despite her conditioning and programming, Henrietta still has the heart of a young girl; she has not completely forgotten how to love. Yet the very emotion is contrary to her training and programming. Can the Gunslinger Girl survive? Can she find peace in a struggle against her very nature?"

The book will be 184 black-and-white pages and will cost $9.99.

Anime DVD and VHS at shop.Hitmenow.com


BRIEFLY

  • MTV's Spider-Man animated series will be released on DVD early next year, The Continuum has learned. Look for more details soon.

  • The WB's Wednesday lineup of Smallville and Angel combined to give the network its best ratings of the season in several demographics with last Wednesday's episodes.

    The shows posted season bests in women 18-34 (3.5 rating/9 share), women 12-34 (3.5/10), teens (3.7/13) and female teens (3.8/14). The two shows also teamed up to score signigicant gains over the parallel Wednesday last year in persons 12-34 (3.3/10, +32%), adults 18-34 (3.2/9, +19%), women 18-34 (3.5/9, +9%), men 18-34 (2.9/9, +32%), women 12-34 (3.5/10 +17%), men 12-34 (3.1/10, +55%), adults 18-49 (2.6/7, +24%), women 18-49 (2.6/7, +8%), women 18-49 (2.6/7, +53%), teens (3.7/13, +106%), female teens (3.8/14, +58%) and male teens (3.6/12, +177%).

    Smallville placed #1 in its time period among persons 12-34 (4.0/13) and #1 for the night in teens (5.1/18), female teens (5.4/19) and male teens (4.8/17). Smallville was also #2 in women 18-34 (4.0/12), men 18-34 (3.2/11), women 12-34 (4.4/13) and men 12-34 (3.6/12) and #3 among adults 18-34 (3.6/11), adults 18-49 (2.9/8) and men 18-49 (2.9/8).

  • Mutant X cast members Victoria Pratt and Victor Webster are appearing on the syndicated Pyramid game show on Friday.

  • Coming Saturday: TV news -- and much more!!!



    COMICS CONTINUUM BACK ISSUES

    In case you missed The Continuum's recent coverage, here are some links:

    * For Saturday, Oct. 18, including Punisher movie news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Friday, Oct. 17, including X-Men: Evolution news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Thursday, Oct. 16, including Punisher movie news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Wednesday, Oct. 15, including Punisher movie news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Monday, Oct. 13, including Hulk and Punisher movie news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Saturday, Oct. 11, including Angel news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Friday, Oct. 10, including Dark Horse's solicitations, CLICK HERE.

    * For Thursday, Oct. 9, including Avengers news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Wednesday, Oct. 8, including X-Men: Evolution news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Tuesday, Oct. 7, CLICK HERE.

    * For Monday, Oct. 6, CLICK HERE.

    * For Saturday, Oct. 4, including Star Wars news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Friday, Oct. 3, including Smallville news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Thursday, Oct. 2, including Spider-Man news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Wednesday, Oct. 1, including Jutice League news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Tuesday, Sept. 30, including Jutice League news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Monday, Sept. 29, including Catwoman movie news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Saturday, Sept. 27, including Batman news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Friday, Sept. 26, including Smallville news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Thursday, Sept. 25, including Smallville news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Wednesday, Sept. 24, including X-Men: Evolution news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Tuesday, Sept. 23, including Angel news and images, CLICK HERE.

    * For Monday, Sept. 22, including Marvel's solicitations for December, CLICK HERE.

    * For Saturday, Sept. 20, including Smallville news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Friday, Sept. 19, including details on the Mutant X season premiere, CLICK HERE.

    * For Thursday, Sept. 18, including CrossGen news, CLICK HERE.

    * For Wednesday, Sept. 17, including Image Comics' solicitations for December, CLICK HERE.

    * For Tuesday, Sept. 16, including DC Comics' solicitations for December, CLICK HERE.

    * For Monday, Sept. 15, including an Underworld interview, CLICK HERE.


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