Planet Buzz 05-01-02


At Last The Saga Comes To An End…Or Does It?

Marvel has announced a release date for the final issue of Wolverine's origin, known as Origin #6. On May 22nd (a scant three weeks away) we will finally be able to close the book on such hard-hitting questions as: What is the relationship between Wolverine and Sabretooth? Who is Logan's father, and did he have mutant powers, too? Why does Rose look so much like Jean Grey? Why does Wolverine wear a red suit? And how long will it be before Marvel announces Origin 2, in which they really answer those questions?

Meanwhile, the real question bugging the heck out of me involves The Dark Knight Strikes Again #3. Has anyone heard a peep out of DC as to when this bad boy will see release?

Ennis Still Has More War

Vertigo will be returning to Garth Ennis' War Stories one-shots this fall. Each stand alone issue will be 56 pages, and feature Ennis collaborating with top quality artists.

While the previous run of War Stories all took place during World War II, Ennis will be reaching a little further back for War Stories: Condors, which takes place during the Spanish Civil War. Four soldiers of different nationalities hunker down in a foxhole and, to pass the time, swap stories that reveal their loyalties, their courage, their fears, and their hatred for one another.

And in not one of these specials will anyone become an over-sized human testicle, so they've got that going for them.

Polygonal Justice

Midway Games just bought themselves the rights to develop both JLA the comic and Justice League the animated series into videogames. No word yet on what sort of scenarios will be used, only that they plan to develop for all the advanced platforms and Game Boy Advanced.

With all the attention being turned to developing properties into videogames, can that Ambush Bug for PS2 be far behind?


Spider-Man In Hong Kong

I've got no justification to run this, other than this is promotion. Forget about going to movie studios and seeing Spider-Man running around. I want to see him at a local BART station.

Stronger Than A Whale, He Can Swim Anywhere…

Universal Studios has announced that they have hired David Self (Thirteen Days, Road To Perdition) to take a whack at The Sub-Mariner. As usual, Marvel Studios President Avi Arad is attached as producer, and comments that they'll be "…going for a hard sci-fi feel" to the project.

While this might make a cool movie, please bear in mind that this is at least the third time that Namor has been bandied about as the subject of a movie. Over a decade ago there was a lot of talk that Fox would make a Namor film in order to use the filming tank James Cameron built for The Abyss. (That talk re-surfaced when Cameron built an even bigger one for Titanic.)

Too bad Craig Kilborn doesn't want to play Namor, because this is far more likely to be made than an Aquaman film. (And it kills me to have to admit that.)

The Curse of Cage Strikes Again

Poor, poor Nicolas Cage. Last week the road to Hellblazer got a little windier. Warner Brothers sued director Tarsem (The Cell) for breach of contract, as after some time trying to develop Constantine, Tarsem walked off the project.

The visually inventive director claims that they had irreconcilable differences over budgetary issues. He had been initially hired with a clear understanding of what he wanted to do with the film, then Warner Brothers cut the budget from under him. Later the studio complained that Tarsem was not willing to deliver the work he had promised them.

I think it's also safe to say that Namor The Sub-Mariner will get made before Constantine as well, provided Nicolas Cage does not get attached.

Funny Tales From Astonish

Looking to steal some of that Monsters, Inc. style and vibe, Universal Studios has picked up the rights to Mike Kunkel's Herobear & The Kid, with the intent of developing a franchise. The critically lauded book from Astonish Comics tells the story of young Tyler and his magical superpowered teddy bear. It will be an animated feature, not an area Universal has tried much in recent years.

From the Monsters, Inc. comparison, one might assume that Universal plans to render Herobear with computer graphics, but no reports have been specific. It would be a bit ironic, as creator Kunkel's style easily lends itself to traditional ink and paint. Before creating Herobear & The Kid, Kunkel had worked as an animator for Disney.

Kunkel will adapt his comic to screenplay, with the aid of Jeph Loeb. No stranger to Hollywood, Loeb will also serve as executive producer on the film. Will this affect the development of Buffy: The Animated Series? With Joss Whedon's overcommitment to Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Ripper on television, Loeb seems rather wise to find something else to do for a while.

And odds are, this will get made before Aquaman, Constantine, or even the next Batman film.

Get Ready For Hudson Hawkman!

Bruce Willis and MGM have teamed up with the most unlikely co-star of all: Stan Lee.

Actually, it's Stan Lee's new production company, POW! Entertainment. And it's Bruce Willis' company, Cheyenne Enterprises, which already has three superhero movies in development, all new properties from the mind of the original True Believer. (Among them: The Femizons. Don't tell Marvel that their Universe already has some.)

"I've never felt more creatively excited or motivated," said the 79-year-old Lee. "There are dozens of high-concept plots and colorful new heroes and villains germinating in my mind, and I can't wait to bring them to life in the biggest arenas of all -- motion pictures and TV."

Started in November, POW! Entertainment has shaken off the specter of Stan Lee Media, the internet company that produced the on-line comic The 7th Portal and little else besides tons of cyberdebt. In addition to the three projects lined up with MGM, Lee's new company has a deal with Pamela Anderson to produce an animated series for TNT sometime in 2003.

MGM really wants this deal to work, as the company is desperate to launch something with franchise potential. Aside from the hit-and-miss James Bond series, MGM doesn't have much in the way of brands, though they're counting on the upcoming Crocodile Hunter to spawn a series.

As much as I respect Lee, and am really happy that he keeps bouncing back in Hollywood, it's hard to shake the image of him as that slightly out of it guy who wouldn't leave The Android's Dungeon on last week's episode of The Simpsons.

If it works, I'll be the first to say "Excelsior!"

Derek McCaw


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