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Monday, July 25, 2005

SPIDER-MAN 3 UPDATE

Costume designer James Acheson said he is preparing more Spider-Man suits for Spider-Man 3 than he did in the previous two films in the franchise.

"The first movie we had 28, somebody stole 4 of them, and on the second movie 35. This present movie will be 40 ... and it's growing all the time," Acheson said at a Comic-Con International panel recently.

Acheson is tweaking the Spider-Man suit, similarly to what he did between Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, and designing the villain -- or maybe villains.

Acheson said only three Spidey suits survived the second film.

"Most of them have to be shredded in the various battle sequences," Acheson said. "The trouble is that most of these battle sequences are often shot out of sequence, so we have to choreograph where the rips are, when they happen and how many different units are shooting the difference sequences. Sometimes we might have as many as six suits involved in a sequence."

The costumes currently cost $22,000 to make.

Acheson said that Spider-Man 3 will continue the marriage of practical costuming on characters and computer-generated images.

"We have very new techniques, working with UCLA, where are very unique to Spider-Man," he said. "We are now able to create not just the costume, but the actual actor, so you really cannot tell the difference.

"And I think when we get to Spider-Man 3, you'll see a lot of that. And you will not know whether you're watching flesh or pixels moving."

Acheson said he has enjoyed working with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi.

"He encourages your collaboration; in fact, he insists on it," Acheson said. "He shows loyalties to his crew and this is reciprocated tenfold."

In other Spider-Man 3 news:

* Bruce Campbell, who appeared in the first two films, said he'll be returning for the third.

"In the first one, you'll recall, I named the character," Campbell said, eliciting laughs during his panel at Comic-Con. "This billion-dollar franchise would have been called the Human Spider if it wasn't for me. And in the second one, I was the only character I believe who has ever defeated Spider-Man. I guess I'll have to be Spider-Man in the third one. (pantomimes web-shooting)

"I'm going to be in it, but they won't tell me. It's too secret. I'm sure I will annoy Spider-Man in some way."

* Thomas Haden Church, who will play a villain in Spider-Man 3, will be a guest on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

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FANTASTIC FOUR MOVIE UPDATE

Fantastic Four edged out the debut effort of The Island to place third at the box office over the weekend.

The film brought in estimated $12.3 million to push its total to $122.6 million.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory placed first at $28.3 million, followed by Wedding Crashers at $26.2 million, Fantastic Four at $12.3 million, The Island at $12.1 million and Bad News Bears at $11.5 million.

Batman Begins placed ninth at $4.7 million, pushing its total to $191.1 million. The film has a good chance to go over $200 million in the next 10 days.

In other Fantastic Four news:

* Julian McMahon, who plays Doctor Doom, will be a guest on NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly on Monday.

* For an interview with Fantastic Four director Tim Story and producer Avi Arad, CLICK HERE.



ELEKTRA: DIRECTOR'S CUT DVD

Fox Home Entertainment has released details for the Elektra: Director's Cut DVD. The unrated, two-disc set will be in stores on Oct. 18.

The first disc will contain:

* Widescreen feature.

* Commenary with Rob Bowman and Kevin Stitt.

* Theatrical teaser.

* Theatrical trailer.

The second disc will contain:

* Relentless: The Making of Elektra -- Part 1: Production.

* Relentless: The Making of Elektra -- Part 2: Post-Production.

* Showdown at the Well: Multi-angle Dailies: Take 3, Take 5, Take 7 and Take 9.

* Deleted Scenes (with optional commentary by Bowman and Stitt): Sai Approach, Come Back to Me, Rounding Up the Troops.

* Alternate/Extended Scenes, Alternate Opening (with optional commentary by Bowman and Still): Young Elektra Throws Coin into Wishing Well; Young Elektra Buries Sais; Sais Out of Ground; Alternate Elektra and Abby; Go Game.

* Galleries: Costumes, Production Desing, Weapons, Unit Photography.

* Storyboards: Elektra in Pool; Mark's House; Alley/Hawk; Abby in the Woods; In the Maze; Kirigi's Death; Natchios Eastate.

The DVD will carry a suggested price of $26.98.

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THE BATMAN UPDATE

The addition of Batgirl to Kids' WB!'s The Batman animated series is welcomed by those involved in the creation of the show.

"All of us got together and talked about the show, and it's a new character that kids can relate to and is fun and exciting," producer Jeff Matsuda told The Continuum.

"I like opening it up and bringing new characters in," Sander Schwartz, president of Warner Bros. Animation and executive producer of The Batman, told The Continuum. "To bring in a character, you have to service it, so you're limited by the number of characters you can service in any show."

Matsuda said he based Batgirl's color scheme on that of the 1960's Batman television series, with the purple and yellow, "but still keep in with our Batman themes as well."

Matsuda said Batgirl was not difficult to design.

"It was a lot of pitching our ideas together, so it didn't take too long."

Danielle Judovits is providing the voice of Batgirl, and Piera Coppola is providing the voice of Poison Ivy. Both are relative newcowers to voiceover acting.

The final episode of the current season will introduce Commissioner Gordon, voiced by Mitch Pileggi. Supervising producer Duane Capizzi said it was a "logical bridge" to bring in Batgirl next.

"Batgirl's pretty cool," Capizzi said, adding that the two-parter introducing Batgirl is among his favorite upcoming episodes.

Batgirl will be among Mattel's toys in its new The Batman lineup. Click on the thumbnail above for a closer look.

In other The Batman news:

* This Saturday's episode on Kids' WB! will be "Fire & Ice." For the complete Kids' WB! schedule for the week, CLICK HERE.

* Look for more on The Batman on Tuesday here in The Continuum.

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HELLBOY SEQUEL UPDATE

Hellboy creator Mike Mignola said there might be some movement soon on the Hellboy sequel, again written and directed by Guillermo del Toro.

"In two weeks, he will be completely finished with the screenplay," Mignola said at his Hellboy panel at Comic-Con International last week in San Diego. "Then, hopefully, we can get start the ball rolling.

"He's shooting a film in Spain right now. Everyone's hoping that when he finishes shooting that in film in Spain, we can start on Hellboy 2. So we could be in preproduction as early as the end of the year."

Mignola also announced he is writing three Hellboy mini-series to be drawn by Lee Bermejo. "They will be trade-paperback length stories, six issues," Mignola said.

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TEEN TITANS TOYS

Bandai Entertainment has provided The Continuum a look at upcoming toys from its line based on the Teen Titans animated series.

For a table of the toys, with release dates and descriptions, CLICK HERE.

Click on the thumbnails for larger images and look for more toy news on Tuesday here in The Continuum.



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IDW UNVEILS TRANSFORMERS ROLLOUT

IDW Publishing has revealed details regarding its October launch of Transformers with a specially priced 99-cent #0 issue.

Serving as a prelude to IDW's ongoing monthly Transformers series, the 24-page issue is the first six-part storyline, "Infiltration."

The 16-page introductory story features a young runaway named Verity Carlo who "acquires" a mini-computer that just might hold bigger secrets than she's prepared to handle. And when she's made aware of a larger conspiracy that involves gigantic alien robots, well, the skeptic in her refuses to believe what she's been told. Until she has no choice but to believe if she wants to survive at all.

"Itıs a daunting, and even more exciting, prospect, taking on one of the premiere properties in all of comics," said IDW editor-in-chief Chris Ryall. "But what we have planned will surely please old fans and new. And all it takes to see if we deliver on that promise is a buck. October's going to be a pretty exciting time for Transformer fans."

Transformers #0 also includes eight pages of behind-the-scenes bonus material featuring Q&As with the creative team, writer Simon Furman and artist E.J. Su. The issue will also feature variant covers by Su, Milx, James Raiz, and Ed McGuinness.

IDW will debut The Transformers #0 at the Bot-Con convention in Frisco, Texas. A special Bot-Con edition will feature a cover designed by Hasbro's Aaron Archer.

The ongoing series will launch in January.

For all of IDW's October solicitations, CLICK HERE.

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ONI PRESS FOR OCTOBER

Oni Press has released its soliciations for October.

For a rundown, CLICK HERE.

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BRIEFLY

* Here's a first look at the cover to Necromancer #2, from Top Cow. Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

* Eagle One Media will premiere itslatest digital comic DVD, Micronauts: Revolution, at Wizard World: Chicago next week. The DVD uses art and story from the Devil's Due comics.

* Coming Tuesday: Movie news -- and much more!!!

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COMICS CONTINUUM BACK ISSUES

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

* For Tuesday, July 19, including part one of an interview with Ghost Rider director Mark Steven Johnson and actress Eva Mendes, CLICK HERE.

* For Monday, July 18, including DC Comics' solicitations for October, CLICK HERE.

* For Sunday, July 17, including Superman Returns director Bryan Singer's press conference from Comic-Con International news, CLICK HERE.

* For Saturday, July 16, including Justice League Unlimited, The Batman and Superman news Comic-Con International news, CLICK HERE.

* For Thursday, July 14, including Comic-Con International Preview Night news, CLICK HERE.

* For Wednesday, July 13, including Transformers movie news, CLICK HERE.

* For Tuesday, July 12, including X-Men movie news, CLICK HERE.

* For Monday, July 11, including Dark Horse Comics' solicitations for October, CLICK HERE.

* For Sunday, July 10, including Fantastic Four box office news, CLICK HERE.

* For Friday, July 8, including an interview with Fantastic Four director Tim Story and producer Avi Arad, CLICK HERE.

* For Thursday, July 7, including coverage of the Fantastic Four premiere event at Liberty Island, CLICK HERE.

* For Wednesday, July 6, including a press conference with the cast of Fantastic Four, CLICK HERE.




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