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Tuesday, June 21, 2005


As current promotional spots reveal more and more about the Fantastic Four movie, some of the more interesting effects have involved Johnny Storm as the Human Torch.

Kurt Williams, special effects supervisor, said that creating the Torch's look took some ingenuity.

"There's not a lot of man on fire references out there - at least that are very impressive right now -- and that's part of the reason we're very nervous about this work," Williams said. "But at the same time we're creating him in such a way -- we're using real fire elements, and that's important."

Williams said it's critical for the Torch to be "photo real."

"He's got to generate fire from within his body, so you're going to see the skin on his body change as he's generating that fire," he said. "And that's going to create an organic feel that will make the audience believe that hešs really on fire.

"The other thing that we're very cognizant of, and we're going to be dealing with in this movie, is that a lot of time, a great deal takes place in exterior. And doing day exterior fire is really hard because you don't see people. And a lot of times, the mistake that people make is that they don't stay true to the actual environment. They make the fire a little more saturated than it actually would be, if we were shooting flames.

"We've gone to great lengths to stay true to what actual fire would look like if we were shooting in those scenarios."

In other FF news:

* Members of the cast of the will be hitting the talk-show circuit en masse in the next two weeks to promote the film.

Recent additions include Julian McMahon (Doctor Doom) and Michael Chiklis (The Thing) on CBS' Late Show with David Letterman on Tuesday, June 28 and Friday, July 1, respectively.

* Look for the FF movie toys to be hitting some Burger King franchises this week.


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

Titles include The Gift #12, Girls #2, The Iron Ghost #2, Noble Causes #11 and Savage Dragon: God War #3.


Warner Bros. Pictures announced on Tuesday that Batman Begins had a five-day worldwide opening of $112.8 million, with domestic totals estimated at $71.1 million and international receipts estimated at $41.7 million.

The five-day domestic gross is the highest of all such openings in the Batman series. Additionally, Batman Begins has played strongly overseas, especially throughout the UK, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

"It is tremendously gratifying to share this movie with our audiences around the world and have it received so warmly," said producer Emma Thomas. "Chris Nolan and David Goyer have breathed new life into the story, which was beautifully interpreted by our talented cast. Warner Bros. has supported us throughout the entire process, and wešre thrilled with the results, both on the screen and at the boxoffice.˛

In related news, Batman Begins: The IMAX Experience debuted with record-breaking results.

The digitally re-mastered IMAX release of Batman Begins set the record for IMAX's biggest five-day opening, with estimated domestic grosses of $3.16 million, as well as the highest grossing opening day for a Hollywood simultaneous release, at approximately $754,000.

The film opened in 55 North American IMAX theatres, registering a per screen average of more than $57,500 over the five-day period from Wednesday to Sunday.

Batman Begins: The IMAX Experience also opened strong in several key international territories, with IMAX theatres in the UK, Mexico, The Netherlands and France reporting sold out shows, high occupancy rates and strong results. The total box office grosses from the 16 international IMAX theatres that opened the film this weekend are estimated to be $487,000.

The two new AMC IMAX theatres located in Phoenix and Kansas City -- which signed just six weeks ago and debuted with Batman Begins: The IMAX Experience -- sold out almost all of their showings during their opening weekend.

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Marvel Comics has released a six-page preview of Iron Man: House of M #1, by Greg Pak and Pat Lee.

Here's how Marvel describes the book:

"Tony Stark is the smartest, most successful Sapien on the planet -- the best and brightest of a dying species. Does it bother him that the House of M uses the technology produced by Tony's multi-billion-dollar company to keep Sapiens down? That must be the reason he keeps his most powerful creation a secret -- a familiar-looking suit of armor!"

To the left is conceptual art provided by Marvel to The Continuum.

Iron Man: House of M #1 will be arrive in stores on July 6. It will be 32 pages and will cost $2.99.

Look for more on House of M soon here in The Continuum.

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Claypool Comics has released its solicitations for October.

For a rundown, with images, CLICK HERE.

Look for more solicitations this week here in The Continuum.

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* Above is a first look at the covers to Amazing Fantasy #10, Exiles #66, Fantastic Four: House of M #1, Incredible Hulk #83, Marvel Team-Up #10, Ororo: Before the Storm #2, Spider-Man Unlimited #10 and Ultimate Spider-Man #79. Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

* Arcana Studio is launching Jova's Harvest, a three-issue mini-series by Steve Uy, in November with a 40-page issue.

Here's how the book is described:

"Jova is a Harvester, a servant of heaven charged with the task of preserving the mortal world by preventing Armageddon. Stuck in the mortal world below, he maintains Heaven's dominance over Hell by facilitating the deaths of good people and collecting their souls.

"Once every century, the gates to Hell open and Jova is charged the task of sealing them by vanquishing the devil himself, his own beloved brother, Luci, in a debilitating war of attrition.

"For millennia Jova has accomplished his mission, but this century, things are about to change. His sister, an angel of Heaven, has secretly sold her soul to Luci so that she may live in the mortal world with her estranged brother."

* Dylan Baker will return as Doctor Connors for Spider-Man 3, sources have confirmed for The Continuum.

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

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

* For Wednesday, June 15, including Batman Begins news, CLICK HERE.

* For Tuesday, June 14, including Batman Begins news, CLICK HERE.

* For Monday, June 13, including an interview with Batman Begins director Christopher Nolan, CLICK HERE.

* For Friday, June 10, including Dark Horse Comics' solicitations for September, CLICK HERE.

* For Thursday, June 9, including Marvel news, CLICK HERE.

* For Wednesday, June 9, including DC news, CLICK HERE.

* For Monday, June 6, including Wizard World Philadelphia news, CLICK HERE.

* For Sunday, June 5, including Marvel/Ultimate news, CLICK HERE.

* For Saturday, June 4, including Batman Begins news, CLICK HERE.

* For Friday, June 3, including Batman Begins news, CLICK HERE.

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