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Lionsgate has provided The Continuum a first look at the box art -- drawn by Steve McNiven -- for the Doctor Strange animated movie.

Doctor Strange will be released on August 14, marking the first time in the Lionsgate/Marvel animated movies that a film has been released day and date on DVD and Blu-ray.

Here's how Lionsgate describes the film:

"Peel back the layers of reality, and behold a stunning realm hidden beneath. One of magic and wonder. Of sorcery and enchantment. Of ancient spells, secret doors, and remarkable heroes who protect us from evil. Because this is also a world of dark mysticism, malevolent forces, and unspeakable horrors. And within the shadows around us, a supernatural war is waged. But the balance is shifting. Darkness is winning. Yet there is hope...

"Join us as Dr. Stephen Strange embarks on a wondrous journey to the heights of a Tibetan mountain, where he seeks healing at the feet of the mysterious Ancient One. But before his wounds can mend, Strange must first let go of his painful past, and awaken a gift granted to very few. The gift of magic. Empowered as the new Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Strange now tests his limits, rising up against monsters that push at the gates, facing the most terrifying entity humankind has ever known."

The cast includes Bryce Johnson as Doctor Strange, Paul Nakauchi as Wong, Michael Yama as The Ancient One, Kevin Michael Richardson as Baron Mordo and Edmund Gilbert as Dormammu.

The film was written by Greg Johnson, who wrote the three previous Marvel animated films and is now overseeing the upcoming Wolverine and the X-Men animated series. Frank Paur returns from Invincible Iron Man as supervising director.

Special features include:

* Best of Marvel Video Game Cinematics.

* "Who is Doctor Strange?" featurette.

* Doctor Strange Concept Art.

* First Look at Avengers Reborn feature.

* Trailer Gallery.


Lionsgate on Wednesday announced it has acquired domestic and U.K. distribution rights to The Spirit, a live-action film based on Will Eisner's comic-book series.

Frank Miller has written the script and will direct the film. It will mark Miller's first solo directing gig; he shared directing credit with Robert Rodriguez on Sin City.

Miller, the creator of Sin City, is working with Rodriguez on a Sin City sequel, which might impact a production start on The Spirit.

"Will Eisner's The Spirit is a product of passion and dedication for me," Miller said. "Will was a dear friend, a mentor, and translating his vision to the screen will be a labor of love. I look forward to working with the people at Lionsgate, and to add to their lauded reputation for genre films."

The Spirit is the start of a multi-picture deal between Lionsgate and Odd Lot Entertainment, which first announced it had acquired the film rights to The Spirit in August 2004.

Here's how Lionsgate describes the film:

"Adapated from the legendary Will Eisnerıs graphic novels, The Spirit tells the visceral, action-packed story of a man who fakes his own death and fights crime from the shadows of Central City. The Octopus -- who kills anyone unfortunate enough to see his face -- has a different mission: he's going to wipe out the entire city. The Spirit tracks this cold-hearted killer from Central Cityıs rundown warehouses, to the damp catacombs, to the windswept waterfront ... all the while facing a bevy of beautiful women who either want to seduce, love or kill our masked crusader. In the vein of Batman Begins and Sin City, The Spirit takes us on a sinister, gut-wrenching ride of a hero who is born, murdered and born again."

For coverage of the recent Spirit movie panel at New York Comic Con, CLICK HERE.

300 ON DVD

Warner Home Video has announced a July 31 release for 300, the chart-topping movie based on Frank Miller's comic-book series.

The DVD release will include a two-disc Collector's Edition.

The film, starring Gerard Butler, was released in theaters on March 9 and spent two weeks atop the box-office. 300 grossed $208.3 million domestically.

DVD features for 300 will include:

* Audio Commentary: Director Zack Snyder, Writer Kurt Johnstad and Director of Photography Larry Fong.

* Deleted Scenes, with introduction by Zack Snyder.

* Featurettes: The 300- Fact or Fiction? (running time of 24:31, historians, authors and filmmakers reveal how much of the film was based on fact); Who Were The Spartans: The Warriors of 300 (RT: 4:24, touches on the customs and ways of life of the Spartan that werent explicitly shown in 300 but were used by the actors and filmmakers to help build their characters.); Frank Miller Tapes (RT: 13:00, how Miller continued to push his limits to realize his epic graphic novel in the world of film

* Webisodes: Behind the scenes peeks on the set of 300 (RT 20:00).

* Photo gallery: RT 3:39, stills from the first day of production to the last.

Click for the Warner Bros. Online


For covers and four-page previews of Dark Horse Comics titles arriving in stores on May 23, CLICK HERE.

Titles include B.P.R.D.: Garden of Souls #3 and Outer Orbit #4.

WebUndies - It's not just underwear!


For covers and four- to five-page previews of Top Cow Productions titles arriving in stores on May 30, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Witchblade #106 and The Darkness: Level 4.

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For covers and six- to nine-page previews of Marvel Comics titles arriving in stores on June 6, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Avengers: The Initiative #3, The Loners #3 and Daredevil: Battlin' Jack Murdock #1.


* DC Comics has announced that Bill Sienkiewicz has provided a varaint cover for The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #14. The variant cover will be in an approximate 50/50 mix with Joshua Middleton's regular cover for the issue, which arrives in stores on July 18.


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

* Friday, May 11: Witchblade, Marvel First Looks and HBO in July.

* Thursday, May 10: Image First Looks, Marvel First Looks, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Heroes and Family Guy.

* Wednesday, May 9: Dark Horse Comics for August, Spider-Man 3, DC First Looks and Top Cow First Looks.

* Tuesday, May 8: Marvel Movies, First Looks and Desperado Pubishing for August.

* Monday, May 7: Spider-Man 3, Painkiller Jane, First Looks, Mirage Studios for August and World War Hulk.

* Sunday, May 6: Spider-Man 3 and Heroes. Save up to 75% off your new comics!

* Saturday, May 5: Spider-Man 3, The Batman, The Simpsons and Heroic Publishing for August.

* Friday, May 4: Spider-Man 3's James Franco, Liv Tyler cast in Incredible Hulk, Marvel First Looks and Archie First Looks.

* Thursday, May 3: Spider-Man 3's Thomas Haden Church, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Marvel First Looks and Superman Returns on Cinemax.

* Wednesday, May 2: Spider-Man 3, Iron Man movie, Marvel First Looks, DC First Looks, Spawn Animated DVD, TwoMorrows Publishing for August, IDW's The Claws Come Out.

* Tuesday, May 1: Spider-Man 3's Sam Raimi, Moonstone Books for August, First Looks, Painkiller Jane and Jonah Hex.

* Monday, April 30: Spider-Man 3, The Batman, Marvel Comics First Looks, Image Comics First Looks and Family Guy.

* Sunday, April 29: The Simpsons, Spider-Man 3, Image Comics First Looks and IDW's Scarface: Devil in Disguise.

* Saturday, April 28: Spider-Man 3's Tobey Maguire, Heroes and Smallville.

* Friday, April 27: Spider-Man 3, Iron Man, BlueWater Productions for August and First Looks.

* Thursday, April 26: Spider-Man 3's Topher Grace, Smallville, Marvel First Looks, Peter Tomasi exclusive writer for DC Comics and Heroes.

* Wednesday, April 25: Marvel First Looks, Spider-Man 3, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Family Guy.

* Tuesday, April 24: Spider-Man 3, First Looks, Top Cow's Unholy Union and Heroes.

* Monday, April 23: Spider-Man 3's Bryce Howard, The Batman, Painkiller Jane, Desperado Publishing for July, Dark Horse First Looks, Image First Looks and Marvel First Looks.

* Sunday, April 22: Legion of Super Heroes, Spider-Man 3, Dark Horse First Looks.

* Saturday, April 21: Spider-Man 3, Smallville and Marvel First Looks.

* Friday, April 20: Spider-Man 3, Smallville, Painkiller Jane and Image First Looks.

* Thursday, April 19: Spider-Man 3, Smallville, Painkiller Jane, Devil's Due Publishing for July, Avatar Press for July and Teen Titans.

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