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Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Thomas Haden Church, who was most recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Sideways, has been cast as Spider-Man's new archenemy in Spider-Man 3, it was announced by director Sam Raimi and producers Laura Ziskin and Marvel Studios' Avi Arad.

Spider-Man 3, which is scheduled for release on May 4, 2007, will reunite the team that was responsible for the first two films. The franchise has grossed more than $1.5 billion in worldwide ticket sales and the new film will reteam director Raimi, producers Ziskin and Arad, and actors Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane.

Production on Spider-Man 3 is scheduled to begin early next year.

"In addition to the on-going relationship between Peter Parker and M.J., these films are driven by the great actors who have brought our villains to life," said Raimi. "Thomas Haden Church will be a fantastic and challenging new nemesis and we all look forward to working with him."

The identity of the new villain is being kept secret and while speculation is rampant about which character is being called into action, the studio will not comment on the casting beyond confirming Church.

Church is voicing one of the characters in the upcoming animated film Charlotte's Web, and he recently appeared in Columbia Pictures' Spanglish. Church previously appeared in such films as George of the Jungle, 330 Miles to Graceland and Tombstone. In 2003, he also starred in, co-wrote and directed the comedy Rolling Kansas. From 1990 to 1995, Church played Lowell Mather in the TV series Wings.

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British filmmaker Matthew Vaughn has been tapped as the director of the third X-Men movie, Variety is reporting. Productin is expected to begin in early summer, with a May 26, 2006 release date announced.

According to Variety, Hugh Jackman is set for Wolverine, and Fox is in negotiations with Halle Berry, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart to return. Famke Janssen is also expected to return.

On Saturday at Wizard World, Marvel Studios' Avi Arad said he hopes that James Marsden, who has been cast in Superman Returns, can return as Cyclops.

Arad spoke briefly about the film itself.

"There will be new characters," he said. "I think you will find it more exciting than 1 and 2. It's a tall order, but it's a big idea, a bigger story."

Vaughn directed Layer Cake, a British gangster dramas that will be released in the United States by Sony Classics this spring. According to Variety, he was also a contender to direct the next Harry Potter and James Bond installments.

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Darwyn Cooke, a veteran storyboard artist for Warner Bros. Animation, has written the upcoming "Task Force X" episode of Cartoon Network's Justice League Unlimited.

"I saw the episode three days ago, Bruce Timm showed it to me, and it's great," Cooke said.

The episode features Amanda Waller and her team of Rick Flagg, Deadshot, Plastique and Captain Boomerang. In the episode, a group of incarcerated super-villains are offered suspended sentences if they can steal a weapon from the Justice League's satellite headquarters.

CCH Pounder returns to do the voice of Amanda Waller, and Cooke said that Michael Rosenbaum brings his Kevin Spacey-inspired voice for Deadshot.

"That's the reason, they hired me: I do the really cheap, macho dialogue," Cooke laughed. "One of the most fun parts of writing it was the banter and sort of play between Deadshot and Plastique."

Cooke said the show's creators weren't allowed to use Suicide Squad as the team name. "No, but I'll tell you this: somebody doesn't make it."

"Task Force X" will likely be the next new episode of Justice League Unlimited.

Cooke is also the featured creator in DC Comics' Solo #5, due in June.

"It was great to do a book using whatever DC characters you wanted to," Cooke said.

Cooke said that Batman is featured in the main story and that The Question goes to the Middle East in another story "to straighten a few things out."

The book also features Slam Bradley and King Faraday.

And what's next for Cooke?

"I will be doing a new monthly book for DC that will be announced at San Diego," Cooke said. "Everybody will be kind of surprised when they find out what it is."

Look for more Justice League Unlimited news on Wednesday here in The Continuum.

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Warner Bros. has announced a June 30, 2006 release date for Superman Returns.

In an announcement that principal photography is underway in Sydney, Australia, the cast includes Brandon Routh as Clark Kent/Superman, Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, James Marsden as Richard White, Eva Marie Saint as Martha Kent, Parker Posey as Kitty Kowalski, Kal Penn as Stanford and Sam Huntington as Jimmy Olsen.

A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation of a Peters Entertainment production, in association with Bad Hat Harry Productions, a Bryan Singer film, Superman Returns is produced by Jon Peters, Bryan Singer and Gilbert Adler from a screenplay by Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. The executive producer is Chris Lee.

"We are thrilled to have such a stellar cast starring in this exciting and innovative new chapter in the Superman legend," said Jeff Robinov, president of production for Warner Bros. pictures. "With Bryan Singer at the helm, we look forward to creating a film that electrifies audiences and deepens the rich mythology that continues to make Superman one of the most popular and intriguing superheroes of all time."

"Rather than being a remake of the original movie," Singer said, "this film explores Superman's influence on our global culture and the impact of his return to Earth after an absence of several years. It's my great pleasure to bring this new chapter of the Superman legacy to the screen with this incredible cast."

Superman Returns' is scheduled to shoot in and around Sydney, Australia through mid-August.

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Aspen Comics has provided The Continuum with a preview of SoulFire #4, including five covers and five inside pages.

The issue is written by J.T. Krul, with pencils by Michael Turner and colors by Peter Steigerwald.

Here's how Aspen describes the issue, due in stores on Wednesday:

"Grace, Malikai, and the group have managed to convince a reluctant Benoist to join them in their journey to the islands of Hawaii. However, their island voyage proves to be less pleasurable than expected when some surprise visitors join in."

The covers are three by Michael Turner/Peter Steigerwald (including the special convention cover), and one eacy by Jim Lee/Alex Sinclari and J.Scott Campbell/Steigerwald.

Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

Look for more Aspen news on Wednesday here in The Continuum.


IDW Publishing has provided The Continuum with a look at six of the covers for its first two issues of Angel: The Curse, a five-issue mini-series by Jeff Mariotte and David Messina that launches in June.

The first issue's variant covers feature work by Igor Kordey, Tim Bradstreet and Ben Templesmith. Lined up for the cover of #2 are John Byrne, ChrisCross, Kelsey Shannon and Roger Robinson.

Here's how IDW describes the series:

"This, the first of many planned Angel outings from IDW, details Angelšs search for the Romanian Gypsy clan that cursed him in the distant past. But hešs thrown into conflict when he finds the clan oppressed by a local warlord in command of a fearsome vampire army. Angel must fight, alone, against this evil while at the same time jeopardizing his chances of altering the curse."

"Fan response to the announced continuation of Angel's story in comics form has been amazing," Mariotte said. "While this miniseries won't answer all the questions remaining from the show's final episode, it will provide plenty of Angel-ic excitement while we all wait together. David Messina's brilliant artwork brings my script to life in a very dramatic way that Angel fans will love.˛

In related news, look for a Spike one-shot written by Peter David later this year.

Click on the thumbnails above for larger images, and for IDW's complete July solicitations, CLICK HERE.

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* Wizard Entertainment announced that it drew 24,500 fans to Wizard World Los Angeles, a 20 percent increase in attendance. Event organizers have revealed plans to relocate the three-day convention to the Los Angeles Convention Center next year.

* Kids' WB! has released its schedule for the week of March 28, which can be seen in its entirety by CLICKING HERE. Saturday, April 2 episodes include "Only Human" for Teen Titans and "The Big Dummy" for The Batman.

* Image Comics' Lions, Tigers and Bears #2 has sold out at the distributors.

"I was overwhelmed and overjoyed at the response we received at WWLA," said series creator Mike Bullock. "Not only was it one of the best conventions I've ever been to in terms of attractions from other publishers and creators, but it was hands down the best reception Lions, Tigers and Bears has received at any one time."

* Coming Wednesday: DC news and much more!!!


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

* For Thursday, March 17, including Image Comics' solicitations for June, CLICK HERE.

* For Wednesday, March 16, including a first look at Victoria's Secret Service from Alias Enterprises CLICK HERE.

* For Tuesday, March 15, including Jessica Alba talking about Sin City, CLICK HERE.

* For Monday, March 14, including DC Comics' solicitations for June news, CLICK HERE.

* For Saturday, March 12, including movie news, CLICK HERE.

* For Friday, March 11, including Fantastic Four movie news, CLICK HERE.

* For Thursday, March 10, including Cartoon Network schedules for April, CLICK HERE.

* For Wednesday, March 9, including Krypto the Superdog animated news, CLICK HERE.

* For Tuesday, March 8, including Dark Horse's solicitaitons for June, CLICK HERE.

* For Monday, March 7, including Fantastic Four movie news, CLICK HERE.

* For Saturday, March 5, including V for Vendetta movie news, CLICK HERE.

* For Friday, March 4, including Catwoman news, CLICK HERE.

* For Thursday, March 3, including a look at Toy Biz's Marvel Legends lines for 2005, CLICK HERE.

* For Wednesday, March 2, including Justice League Unlimited news, CLICK HERE.

* For Tuesday, March 1, including a rundown of Fantastic Four movie toys, CLICK HERE.

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