Animated New Frontier/Spirit?
Artist/writer of the new Will Eisner’s The Spirit series, Darwyn Cooke, recently reported that work has wrapped on the “New Frontier” animated direct-to-DVD movie. This leaves him completely committed to the Spirit series.
Following the adventures of a police detective that comes back from the dead only to continue his work wearing only a small domino mask, blue business suit, fedora hat and gloves for a costume. Billed as the first middle-class crime-fighter, the Spirit comic strip by Eisner was famous for establishing some of the most loved aesthetics and sequential art styles used today (as seen in Frank Miller’s Sin City).
Cooke’s series was announced as an attempt to re-launch the character. This is not the first shot at the idea, as Alan Moore, Rick Veitch and Paul Pope among many others worked on an anthology series a few years back published by Kitchen Sink Press from 1997-98.
Coming up on its 6th issue, the new Spirit series has been a hit for DC and brought a new group of readers to the character. As anyone who has read his work (Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score, Batman: Ego, and The New Frontier) Cooke is obviously a fan of the character and definitely of the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality.
Those nervous that the animated film version of DC: The New Frontier will disappoint should rest easy, as Cooke assure the film will be “… a winner.”
“For its budget and category, not to mention its running time, it still captured the epic feel of the book and managed to tell a clear and exciting story.” The animated New Frontier film was created with many familiar names to the DC Animated Universe of Batman – The Animated Series, Superman – The Animated Series, Justice League and Batman Beyond. With the rewrite and polishing credits of the Stan Berkowitz script done by Cooke along with character designs, the film is sure to retain the feel and look that made the original so enjoyable.
Of course, this leads to the obvious project to follow, an animated Spirit film. “I heard they’re planning a Spirit animated project. I hope they get in touch with me to be involved. That would be a fantastic opportunity,” said Cooke.
Remember that Shazam project I mentioned a while back? Well, the rumor is that the ‘Rock’ wants to play the title character. Looking at the picture comparison, I can see why.
The Rock brings with him a strong and devoted fan following that will surely add to the projects success if he’s placed in the lead. Also, he’s a former compatriot of the film’s director, Peter Segal.
The excitable wrestler recently said “John August is writing the script and he’s a tremendous writer… I’ll just wait for the script to come in. But I’d love to work with Pete again, and certainly would want to work with John August. So there’s a strong possibility.” Apparently the former wrestler has spoken to Segal already, lobbying for the role.
From Monkey Boy to Green Monster
Veteran character actor of such fantastic heights as Alan Clarke’s Made in Britain and lows such as the forgettable ‘Dark Water’ and I-will-never-forget Tim Burton’s ‘Planet of the Apes,’ Tim Roth, has just been announced as the actor behind the guttural sounds of the villainous Abomination in the Marvel Studios and Universal Studios’ film ‘Incredible Hulk.’
The film is directed by Louis Leterrier ( “The Transporter,” “The Transporter 2,” “Unleashed”) and written by Zak Penn (“X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Elektra”)
Roth’s character Emil Blonsky is a KGB agent who deliberately exposes himself to the same gamma radiation that transformed Bruce Banner into the Hulk. Unlike Banner, Blonsky is unable to return to human form due to the greater quantity of gamma radiation to which he was exposed. Definitely one of the ‘heavy hitters’ of the Hulk‘s rogue’s gallery, the character was recently seen as the main villain of the Incredible Hulk 2: Ultimate Destruction video game as well as playing a key role on several issues of the comic book series, including the incredible run by John Romita Jr.
Roth joins Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/the Hulk and Liv Tyler as Betty Ross in next summer’s blockbuster. Not a bad cast, I must admit.
Spider-Man 4, 5, 6, 4,000…
There are already rumor abound-ing about the continuation of the hot money-making franchise that is Spider-Man. Apparently Kirsten Dunst is out of the project and Mandy Moore is stepping in. Ordinarily I’d be upset about this kind of news, but seeing how inferior the third film was to the other two, anything goes… except for the musical numbers. No more musical numbers, I beg of you.
Tobey Maguire is also in talks to re-negotiate his contract, ensuring that more money than can be believed for portraying a comic book character would be his if he’s to continue his portrayal of Peter Parker.
The jury is still out on Raimi directing as he is in the running to work on the Lord of the Rings ‘prequel,’ ‘The Hobbit.’
The villains are said to be The Lizard (seen up until now as the humble background character, Peter’s teacher Dr. Curt Connors) and Venom-like Carnage, but I also heard a rumor of the more recent villain created by Babylon 5′s J.Michael Straczynski, Morlun, which could be interesting.
Seen in Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2: Revelations, Morlun is a centuries-old supernatural character set on destroying Spider-Man by devouring his essence. This character would set the movie down a mystical and fantasy-oriented path, something the fans of the comics are still upset about.
But would it make a good movie?
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