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Monday, August 1, 2005

SUPERMAN RETURNS UPDATE

Superman Returns director Bryan Singer explained his choices for the costume that Brandon Routh is wearing, including his preference for a smaller 'S' shield than recent live-action Superman characters have worn.

"You don't want to be playing with these colors too much, you don't want to be playing with these patterns too much," Singer said during his recent visit to Comic-Con International in San Diego. "It would be like giving Wolverine two claws instead of three. In terms of raising the 'S' I felt that the silk-screen felt a bit dated when filmed now. There's also some factoring into how the suit is made, with Kryptonian technology, although that's not a big part of our story.

"It was also the suit that the fit man. First we made the suit. But after we cast Brandon, we started modifying things so it looked right. I went back and looked at the other suits. If the 'S' was too large or silk-screened, I must tell you it would have looked, at this point, like a billboard or something. It had to be just the right proportions for his head and chest and things like that."

Routh, perhaps best known for a short stint on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, was chosen among thousands of "unknown" actors Singer processed.

"When you're casting Superman, he has to appear as if he stepped out of a comic book or your collective memory of who Superman is supposed to be," Singer said. "Casting a star or a celebrity was never really an option for me. Brandon very much inhabits that character. If he were to be standing here in the suit, it would be like you're standing in a room with Superman."

In other Superman Returns news:

* Singer said the film will likely be PG-13, but will the appeal will be for an all-ages audience. He said the running time will likely be slightly more than two hours.

* Singer visted with Smallville executive producers Al Millar and Miles Gough in Los Angeles and then had them visit the Superman Returns set in Australia.

"We talked about their storylines and got an advance look at their material," Singer said. "And likewise, we share a lot of our material with them. Even though they're separate universes, we still try not to tread over each other's territories and respect the TV show that has carried the torch of Superman. And we're all friends now. So far, that's been a really great experience, and I think one will serve the other even if it's not a movie version of Smallville."

* Singer on the shaven Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor: "He looks great. I almost didn't recognize him."

* Look for the first trailer for the film this fall, likely during the early holiday season.

* To read Singer's press conference from Comic-Con, CLICK HERE.

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THE BATMAN'S DRACULA

Peter Stormare, who played Satan in Constantine, is providing the voice of Dracula in the animated movie The Batman vs. Dracula.

Stormare, 51, and a native of Sweden, has dozens of roles to his credit. His other films include The Brothers Grimm, Bad Boys II, Minority Report, 8MM and Armageddon. Television credits include Joey and Seinfeld.

The Batman vs. Dracula will be released on DVD on Oct. 18. In the film, Gotham City is terrorized not only by recent escapees Joker and Penguin, but by the original creature of the night, Dracula.

The film was written by Duane Capizzi, who is supervising producer of The Batman.

The first act of the movie was shown at the recent Comic-Con International, including an apparently deadly confrontation between Batman and The Joker and Penguin's unwitting resurrection of Dracula.

Rino Romano (Batman), Kevin Michael Richardson (Joker) and Tom Kenny (Penguin) are all reprising their roles from the TV series.

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V FOR VENDETTA'S NATALIE PORTMAN

Natalie Portman, star of V for Vendetta, talked to the press during Comic-Con International in San Diego recently.

For an edited transcription of the roundtable interview, CLICK HERE.

In other V for Vendetta news, Warner Bros. has released an image of Hugo Weaving as V.

Click on the thumbnail for a large image.

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DC GOES BACK TO PRESS ON "SACRIFICE" ISSUES

Wonder Woman #219, featuring the finale of the four-part "Sacrifice" storyline, is now sold out at DC Comics, joining the sold-out Superman #219 and Action Comics #829 as well as the nearly sold out Adventures of Superman #642.

Now, DC is rushing all four parts of thie story back to press for second printings, starting with Wonder Woman #219 Second Printing. Along with the story written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Rags Morales, David Lopez, Tom Derenick, Georges Jeanty, Karl Kerschl and others, this printing features a new cover by Ladrönn, plus two pages summarizing the events of the first three chapters with art from those issues.

DC also offers the Superman #219 Second Printing, Action Comics #829 Second Printing and Adventures of Superman #642 Second Printing. DC will confirm in-store dates and cover information on these new printings soon.

"I'm overjoyed that DC is going back to press so quickly not only on Wonder Woman #219 but on the other 'Sacrifice' chapters as well," Rucka said. "We knew from the start that this was going to be a crucial story in the build-up to Infinite Crisis, and it's really nice to see that our belief was valid."

The Wonder Woman #219 Second Printing is scheduled to arrive in stores on Aug. 17 with a cover price of $2.50.

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IMAGE COMICS FIRST LOOKS

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

Titles include Season of the Witch #0, Common Foe #2, Stupid Comics #3 and PvP #0.

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ALIAS COMICS FIRST LOOKS

For covers and four- or five-page previews of upcoming Alias Comics titles, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Tenth Muse #5 and Legend of Isis #4.



AVATAR PRESS FOR OCTOBER

Avatar Press has released its solicitations for October.

For a rundown of new titles CLICK HERE.

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BRIEFLY

* Warner Bros. has released two images from The Fountain, starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

* Fantastic Four placed sixth at the box office over the weekend with an estimated $6.8 million, pushing its total to $136.1 million. Batman Begins placed with 13th with an estimated $2.4 million, pushing its total to $195.8 million.

* Marvel Comics is going back to press on four House of M tie-ins that have sold out. Limited second edition printings of Iron Man: House of M #1, Fantastic Four: House of M #1, Mutopia X #1 and Incredible Hulk #83 will all reach stores on Aug. 10.

"We're overwhelmed by the reaction the comics community has had to the House of M event as a whole,² said publisher Dan Buckley. "This is the biggest thing Marvel has done in 10 years, and knowing where the story is going, I¹m sure people will be talking about it for at least the next 10 years!"

* Despite overprinting by a large margin over initial orders, FC9's HELL, Michigan #1 has sold out at both the publisher and distributor levels. The issue is headed back to press, with a new cover by Luke Ellison.

* Artist Scott Kolins has extended his exclusive deal with Marvel Comics. "I had a really good time working with them for the last 2 years; why not keep that going?" Kolins said. "In fact, I think we've only just begun to figure out the best books for me to work on, so it's wonderful to stay here at Marvel and build on top of what we've already done. I am really looking forward to the next few years!"

* Activision has extended its license with Marvel to expand and solidified their long-term, broad-based strategic alliance through an additional license agreement for non-persistent role playing game (RPG.) Under the terms of the deal Activision is granted the exclusive rights to develop and publish cross property non-persistent role playing games (RPG) that utilize a broad, "ensemble cast" of characters from the Marvel Universe. The first game under the new agreement is expected to be released in fiscal 2007.

* The Saturday, July 23 episodes of Teen Titans and Justice League Unlimited both ranked No. 1 in their time periods with Boys 9-14, according to numbers released by Cartoon Network.

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COMICS CONTINUUM BACK ISSUES

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

* For Monday, July 25, including Elektra DVD news, CLICK HERE.

* For Saturday, July 23, including Smallville news, CLICK HERE.

* For Friday, July 22, including Marvel Comics' soliciations for October, CLICK HERE.

* For Thursday, July 21, including Image Comics' solicitations for October, CLICK HERE.

* For Wednesday, July 20, including Devil's Due Publishing's solicitations for October and part two of an interview with Ghost Rider director Mark Steven Johnson and actress Eva Mendes, CLICK HERE.

* 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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