Friday, February 27, 2004
LIONS GATE/MARVEL DEAL
A Punisher sequel and films based on Iron Fist and Black Widow were part of a deal announced by Lions Gate and Marvel on Thursday.
The new agreements expand the pre-existing relationship between Marvel and Artisan Entertainment, acquired by Lions Gate in December, which allowed Artisan to produce and distribute feature films based upon The Punisher character. Marvel and Lions Gate will share equally in certain revenues derived from the properties, with Lions Gate funding development, production and distribution. Marvel will be handling all merchandising in connection with the films.
The new pact comes as both companies prepare for the theatrical debut of The Punisher, the first release stemming from the original alliance. Starring Thomas Jane, John Travolta and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, the film will be released nationwide on April 16. Plans for a sequel have already been finalized and development has begun.
Gale Anne Hurd, producer of The Punisher, told The Continuum that the film leaves the doors open for a sequel. "It's definitely a franchise," Hurd said.
"Working with Lions Gate on `The Punisher' was a great experience and we feel very comfortable expanding this relationship to include two more exciting franchises," said Marvel's Avi Arad. "We are already starting on The Punisher II, which will become the fifth Marvel property to become a sequel."
"We like to create alliances with companies that have powerful brands, and Marvel has one of the most popular, exciting and recognized brands in the world," said Lions Gate CEO Jon Feltheimer. "We believe that the nationwide launch of `The Punisher' and access to two more cutting-edge Marvel characters will kick off a long-term relationship between Lions Gate and Marvel that is rich with opportunity across all of our core businesses."
BRYAN SINGER ON ULTIMATE X-MEN
Bryan Singer, director of the two X-Men movies, has signed with Marvel to work on the monthly Ultimate X-Men comic book
Teaming with Singer is the X2 writing team of Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. The trio is slated to produce scripts for a year's worth of stories for the title.
Singer is also in talks to direct a third X-Men movie.
According to Marvel, details of the 12-issue story arc will be announced in the next few months.
Marvel Studios CEO Avi Arad said, "Bryan's vision for the X-Men franchise has already changed the way the world looks at these amazing characters. It's an absolute joy to have him now take his vision from the big screen and adapt it to the comic-book format. It will be interesting to see how Bryan approaches the X-Men within this no-holds-barred medium. No matter what, he's sure to entertain."
Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley said, "We couldn't be happier to have Bryan and his team on board. Between the vision they have for these characters, the story they have to tell, and the creative freedom the comics medium provides, this is sure to be a stunning epic."
Click here to buy the latest movie posters!
DREAMWAVE PRODUCTIONS FOR MAY
Dreamwave Productions has released its solicitation information for May.
For a complete rundown, with cover images, CLICK HERE.
The WB has released seven more images from "Shells," the new episode of Angel airing on Wednesday.
Here's how the network describes the episode:
"Angel (David Boreanaz) and Spike (James Marsters) return from England defeated, knowing that the ancient demon Illyria has completely taken over Fred's (Amy Acker) body and soul. Upon learning that Knox (guest star Jonathan Woodward) and Gunn (J. August Richards) have each contributed to her demise, Wesley (Alexis Denisof) goes for revenge and Angel tries everything to restore Fred, including calling on an old friend from Sunnydale. Meanwhile, Illyria tries to locate an ancient temple where she believes she will find an army ready to help her destroy mankind."
The episode was written and directed by Steven S. DeKnight.
Click on the thumbnails for larger and fuller images.
DC COMICS/VERTIGO FIRST LOOKS
For covers and four-page previews of DC Comics' Vertigo titles arriving in stores on Wednesday, CLICK HERE.
Titles include and My Faith in Frankie #3, The Sandman Presents: Thessaly, Witch for Hire #2 and Y: The Last Man #20.
Horror writer Steve Niles and artist Kieron Dwyer harvest a whole new crop of zombie terror with Remains, a new horror series from IDW Publishing.
Here's how IDW describes the book:
"Reno, Nevada is an unlucky town for a blackjack dealer and an exotic dancer who find themselves trapped in a casino, surrounded by zombies trying to cash their chips in for good.
"Are these two unlucky players a modern day Adam and Eve? Will they make it out of this city of madness? Only Steve Niles knows, and heıs not telling..."
"This isn't so much a love/horror story," said Niles, "as it's a story of waking up next to someone you wished you hadn't slept with... oh, and the world has been overrun by flesh-eating living dead, too."
³Zombies arenıt the newest monster on the block,² IDW editor-in-chief Jeff Mariotte said. ³But they may be the coolest, especially the way Niles and Dwyer bring them to...well, not-life. Fans of the flesh-eaters are going to want to get in on the ground floor of this new classic.²
Remains #1 will be 32 pages and will cost $3.99.
DB PRO'S IMPERIAL DRAGONS
Dabel Brothers Production will launch Imperial Dragons, a six-issue mini-series, in May through Devil's Due Publishing.
Created by writer Sean J. Jordan and Les and Ernst Dabel, Imperial Dragons is described as "a tale of intrigue, deception, and theft set in an Asian-styled fantasy world." The book features art by Brazilian illustrators Vitor Ishimura and Flavio Hoffe.
"The best way to describe Imperial Dragons is to say it's a spy story set in medieval Asia," said Jordan, "where the emperors of three neighboring kingdoms are constantly trying to gain the advantage over each other. In the first issue, 'The Eternal,' an agent of the northern kingdom, is sent to sabotage the authority of the southern emperor by stealing a sacred sword and sneaking back across the border. Eventually, he stops in the neutral city of Qi Akuto, where he learns that while help is on the way, agents from the other empires are trying to trap him while he waits.
"And then there are the Imperial Dragons -- a faction of powerful martial artists who work to protect the balance of power between the three kingdoms. Unfortunately, most of the Dragons are also incredibly corrupt, and some are secretly on the payroll of one, two, or three emperors at any given time. As the Dragons descend upon Qi Akuto to search for the Eternal, their captain, Fashi 'the Immaculate,' is secretly working to root out the corruption in his own ranks and return the Imperial Dragons to their former glory.
"On the surface, I know, it seems like a really complicated story and that's not even everything that happens in the first issue. It's not long before the Eternal realizes that almost everyone is lying about something -- and some of the characters are lying about everything. But part of the fun is guessing, along with the Eternal, who can be trusted... and who's really working for a different emperor.²
"The cool thing about Imperial Dragons is that it's really, really smart writing," said Les Dabel, new business director and vice president of DB Pro. "I think there are more double-crosses and red herrings in the first three issues than you'll find in most detective novels. It's kind of funny, because the original idea for the story was a pretty straightforward martial arts adventure. When we handed it over to Sean, he went wild and created something totally new and different -- and the end result is a book that grabs ahold of you and doesn't let go until you hit the last page of the final issue."
* For all of Devil's Due solicitations for May, CLICK HERE.
VIPER FOR MAY
Viper Comics has released its solicitation information for May.
For a complete rundown, with cover images, CLICK HERE.
Editor Scott Allie said that a second printing will feature a new variant cover by J. Scott Campbell. The expected reprint date for Conan #1 is March 24.
Through the RED Comics & Anime department and at AOL Keyword: IDW Comics, teens will have access to exclusive sneak previews of upcoming comic books, unpublished artwork and artist interviews. The first offering will be an exclusive weekly comic strip based on the comic book CVO: Covert Vampiric Operations, which is about a group of vampire secret agents who work for a branch of the CIA. CVO: Covert Vampiric Operations is in development as a major video game by Konami.
Ted Adams, president of IDW Publishing, said, "Partnering with AOL's RED service is a tremendous opportunity for IDW Publishing to reach the teen audience. Teens know what they want, and their preferred entertainment sources are likely to be nontraditional and cutting edge. Our publishing line is the same, so our challenge has been letting them know we're out here. By partnering with AOL, a leading online destination for teens, we can raise our visibility with this important audience."
The second volume contains Evangelion episodes 24-26 in both the extended Directors' Cut versions and the original broadcast versions. It will cost $29.98.
COMICS CONTINUUM BACK ISSUES
In case you missed The Continuum's recent coverage, here are some links:
* For Saturday, Feb. 21, including Static Shock news, CLICK HERE.
* For Friday, Feb. 20, including an interview with Kevin Nash from The Punisher movie, CLICK HERE.
* For Thursday, Feb. 19, including Devil's Due solicitations for May, CLICK HERE.
* For Wednesday, Feb. 18, including CrossGen solicitations for May, CLICK HERE.
* For Tuesday, Feb. 17, including DC solicitations for May, CLICK HERE.
* For Monday, Feb. 16, including Mutant X news, CLICK HERE.
* For Saturday, Feb. 14, including Smallville news, CLICK HERE.
* For Friday, Feb. 13, including Punisher movie news, CLICK HERE.
* For Thursday, Feb. 12, including Superman news, CLICK HERE.
* For Wednesday, Feb. 11, including news on The Batman, CLICK HERE.
* For Tuesday, Feb. 10, including an interview with Smallville executive producer Al Gough, CLICK HERE.
* For Monday, Feb. 9, including Batman animated news, CLICK HERE.
* For Saturday, Feb. 7, including Hellboy movie news, CLICK HERE.
* For Friday, Feb. 6, including Simpsons news, CLICK HERE.
* For Thursday, Feb. 5, including Hellboy movie news, CLICK HERE.
* For Wednesday, Feb. 4, including DC Comics news, CLICK HERE.
* For Tuesday, Feb. 3, including Daredevil news, CLICK HERE.
* For Monday, Feb. 2, including CrossGen news, CLICK HERE.
* For Saturday, Jan. 31, including X-Men: Evolution news, CLICK HERE.
* For Friday, Jan. 30, including Punisher movie news, CLICK HERE.
* For Thursday, Jan. 29, including Justice League animated news, CLICK HERE.
* For Wednesday, Jan. 28, including Marvel solicitations for April, CLICK HERE.
* For Tuesday, Jan. 27, including Kevin Nash talking about The Punisher movie, CLICK HERE.
* For Monday, Jan. 26, including movie news, CLICK HERE.
* For Saturday, Jan. 24, including IDW Publishing's solicitations for April, CLICK HERE.
* For Friday, Jan. 23, including Blade: Trinity and Hulk movie news, CLICK HERE.
* For Thursday, Jan. 22, including Daredevil movie news, CLICK HERE.
E-mail the Continuum at RobAlls@aol.com
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