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Robert Downey Jr. has been cast as Tony Stark and Iron Man in Marvel Studios' Iron Man movie.

"Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most talented and acclaimed actors of this generation," said Kevin Feige, president of production at Marvel Studios. "His versatility sets him apart and makes him an ideal fit to play such a complex character as Iron Man.

"We could not think of another actor better suited to bring one of Marvel's crown jewels to the big screen and be the centerpiece of our first independently produced feature."

Downey, 41, has dozens of film and television credits, including an Academy Award nomination for 1992's Chaplin. Emerging from the 1980's "Brat Pack," he was a cast member of Saturday Night Live for one season, as well as Ally McBeal.

Recent film credits include Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Good Night, and Good Luck, The Shaggy Dog, A Scanner Darkly and Gothika, as well as the upcoming Zodiac and Fur.

Like Tony Stark, Downey has fought substance abuse and was jailed for 180 days in December 1997. Stark's struggles with alcoholism will not be portrayed in the first Iron Man film.

Iron Man will be Downey's first lead action role. In an earlier interview director Jon Favreau told The Continuum that getting the best actor was more important than just the latest action-hero star.

"The nice part is that you don't have to go to the same list of usual suspects for casting that you would had this been a studio movie," he said. "Because this is Marvel, they trust the box-office draw of the hero itself and we don't need a name to define the hero. We need a name that's going to service the hero."

Here's how Marvel describes the film:

"Iron Man tells the story of Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence and ingenuity, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. Upon his return to America, Tony must come to terms with his past. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man."

Filming of Iron Man will take place in Los Angeles and will probably begin in February or March. Iron Man is scheduled for a May 8, 2008 release.

For an interview with Favreau, CLICK HERE.


Rumored for months, to the point of where an announcement would be anti-climatic, Doug Jones will be playing the Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, currently in production in Vancouver.

Jones, who will likely be reprising his role of Abe Sapien in Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, finally broke his studio-induced silence on the role on Friday in a short question-and-answer with The Continuum.

To read the story, CLICK HERE.

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The CW has released a description for "Arrow," the Thursday, Oct. 19 episode of Smallville.

Here's how the network describes the episode:

"While attending a fundraiser, Lois (Erica Durance) witnesses the Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) steal a rare diamond necklace off Martha's (Annette O'Toole) neck and vows to find the man behind the costume. Clark (Tom Welling) does some investigating of his own and discovers Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow and has been stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Meanwhile, Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) enlists Lionel's (John Glover) help in testing Lana's (Kristin Kreuk) loyalty."

The episode was written by Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders and was directed by Michael Rohl.

In other Smallville news, The CW described the ratings for the season-premiere episode, "Zod," as "solid." The opener pulled in 5.0 million viewers, according to the network.

For more images from the "Arrow" episode of Smallville, CLICK HERE.

Click for the Warner Bros. Online


Cartoon Network has released a description of Hellboy: Sword of Storms, an animated movie that will debut on the network on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 9:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

Here's how the network describes the film:

"When a university professor opens a forbidden scroll, he is possessed by the twin demons of thunder and lightning who seek to return to our world to wake their brothers, the dragons.

"Hellboy, along with two researchers and an albino psychic, travels to Japan to investigate. There he finds the sword of storms, the only weapon that can defeat the demons, and is transported to a world where he encounters several creatures of Japanese folklore."

Cartoon Network also announced it would air Ultimate Avengers 2 on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 9:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

For previous coverage of the Hellboy animated films, CLICK HERE.


Avatar Press has provided The Continuum its solicitations for December.

For a rundown, with images, CLICK HERE.


A new episode of Fantastic Four, "My Neighbor Was a Skrull," will debut on Cartoon Network on Saturday at 8 p.m. (ET).

Here's how the episode is described:

"The FF return home from an extra-dimensional adventure to find the Baxter Building, and everyone in it, just a little bit off. Their usually-angry neighbors are suddenly all too happy to chat. They come bearing odd gifts, and oddly enough, seem extremely interested in the FF's powers. Soon it become obvious that the Baxter Building has been invaded by shape-shifting aliens - The Skrulls! But as the FF discover, whenever you deal with Skrulls, there's always more going on than meets the eye!"

Look for more Cartoon Network news on Saturday here in The Continuum.


For covers and four-page previews of titles arriving in stores on Oct. 25, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Apocalypse Nerd #4 from Dark Horse Comics and Captain America #23 from Marvel Comics.

For Marvel First Looks for titles arriving in stores on Oct. 4, CLICK HERE.


* Spike TV has confirmed for The Continuum that Blade: The Series has been canceled by the network.

Jill Wagner, who played Krista Starr, said on her MySpace page late Thursday that she was informed of the show ending.

According to the network, there will still be a DVD release of the series from New Line.

* Dwayne McDuffie is the new writer of Fantastic Four.

Look for more Fantastic Four news on Saturday here in The Continuum.

eBay has the hard to find item


In case you missed The Continuum's recent coverage, here are some links. Click on the date to get the day's full report.

* Friday, September 22: Heroes, Image's The Nightly News and Casper on Cartoon Network.

* Thursday, September 21: Smallville, Legion of Super Heroes, Arcana Studio for December, Marvel First Looks and Archie First Looks.

* Wednesday, September 20: Image Comics for December, Devil's Due for September, DC First Looks, Marvel First Looks, Image First Looks and Ron Marz's Russian Sunset.

* Tuesday, September 19: Marvel Comics for December, Heroes, Supergirl and X-Men: Phoenix -- Warsong.

* Monday, September 18: Smallville, DC Comics for December, IDW Publishing for December, Archie Comics for December, Legion of Super Heroes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, First Looks and August sales.

* Sunday, September 17: IDW's 24: Nightfall, Smallville and Josh Howard's Viper titles.

* Saturday, September 16: Heroes, First Looks and solicitations.

* Friday, September 15: X-Men's Hugh Jackman, Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, Image First Looks and Devil's Due First Looks.

* Thursday, September 14: Aspen Comics for December, Hellboy 2, Anita Blake, Archie First Looks and Spider-Girl press conference.

* Wednesday, September 13: Smallville, Marvel First Looks, DC First Looks and Supergirl DVD.

* Tuesday, September 12: Blade: The Series, Heroes, Transformers and DC First Looks.

* Monday, September 11: Legion of Super Heroes' Yuri Lowenthal, Hellboy animated, Marvel announcements, Dark Horse First Looks, Image First Looks, Ion's Kalman Andrasofszky, Moonstone Books for January and Claypool Comics for December.

* Sunday, September 10: The Simpsons, Painkiller Jane and First Looks.

* Saturday, September 9: Dark Horse Comics for December, Boom! Studios for December and Smallville Season 6 opener.

* Friday, September 8: The Batman Strikes!, Spider-Man animated, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer's Michael Chiklis, Oni Press' Wasteland, Devil's Due First Looks and Marvel's First Looks.

* Thursday, September 7: Family Guy, Civil War: Choosing Sides, DC First Looks, Archie First Looks and Marvel First Looks.

* Wednesday, September 6: Fantastic Four ratings, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, Blade: The Series, Heroes, Image First Looks, DC First Looks and Marvel First Looks.

* Tuesday, September 5: The Batman and Legion of Super Heroes episodes, Battlestar Galactica, First Looks and Runaways creators leave.

* Monday, September 4: Hellboy animated and First Looks.

* Sunday, September 3: From Canadian Fan Expo -- DC Comics' Big Guns, Mike Mignola and Geoff Johns.

* Saturday, September 2: Blade: The Series, X-Men: Evolution's Brad Swaile and Marvel's Civil War.

* Friday, September 1: Jim Lee at Canadian Fan Expo, The Batman, Legion of Super Heroes, Superman serials on DVD and First Looks.

* Thursday, August 31: Blade: The Series, Diamond Select/Marvel products for November, Smallville Season 5 DVD, Robert Kirkman press conference and Marvel First Looks.

* Wednesday, August 30: Fantastic Four animated, DC First Looks, Marvel First Looks, Image First Looks, Blue Water First Looks and Archie First Looks.

* Tuesday, August 29: The Punisher DVD, The Batman season opener, Fantastic Four press conference, Smallville and Marvel First Looks.

* Monday, August 28: Virgin Comics for November, Viper Comics for November, The Batman and First Looks.

* Sunday, August 27: Spawn Series 30 action figures, Fantastic Four animated and First Looks.

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