Two more join the cast of 'Red'. Plus: Goyer talks 'Ghost Rider 2' plans. Ellis comments on 'Black Summer' deal. EC licenses 'Tales from the Crypt' et al. More! What's the frequency, Kenneth? It's Comics2Film 9.11.5!
The Associated Press has reported that comics legend Shel Dort has died at age 76.
Dorf was a freelance artist and letterer. His biggest claim to fame may have been founding San Diego Comic-Con in 1970.
Dorf reportedly had diabetes and had been hospitalized for about a year. He passed from kidney failure on Tuesday.
Mania cross-link: We just posted the summary for episode 9 of season 9 of 'Smallville' called "Pandora". Check it out!
MTV Splash Page got the inside scoop on the 'Ghost Rider 2' movie from filmmaker David Goyer, who says the movie isn't going back to square one, but definitely repositions the character on the big screen.
"It's not exactly a reboot," Goyer told MTV. "I hate to say it's more realistic, because he's got a flaming skull for a head, but it's a bit more stripped down and darker. It's definitely changing tone. What 'Casino Royale' was to the Bond movies, hopefully this will be to 'Ghost Rider.'"
He said the new movie is largely based on his previous 'Ghost Rider' script, although it won't carry the R rating that the old story would have required.
"This story picks up eight years after the first film," said Goyer. "You don't have to have seen the first film. It doesn't contradict anything that happened in the first film, but we're pretending that our audience hasn't seen the first film. It's as if you took that same character where things ended in the first film and then picked it up eight years later—he's just in a much darker, existential place."
According to MTV, cameras could roll on 'GR2' next year, with Nicolas Cage returning to the spiked leather.
Through his Bad Signal emailer, comics creator Warren Ellis offered up some commentary on Monday's news that his comic 'Black Summer had been optioned for film by Vigilante Entertainment.
"I think Vigilante were actually the third group to express interest in 'Black Summer', and they went after it aggressively enough that I was persuaded that they didn't just want to put it on the shelf and look at it every now and then," Ellis told his readers. "I've been so busy that I lost track of time, and didn't think the announcement was due for a few weeks."
Ellis also has some kind of animation project in the works. He believes word is going to leak on that any second now, although he hasn't written an episode yet.
Finally, Ellis reacted to Mark Millar's announcement of a movie deal.
"Amused to note over the weekend that Mark Millar's intending to independently finance and direct a superhero film. Best of luck to him," Eliis said, adding, "Mind you, Mark on the loose with a budget and a camera... they may have to bring back the old X certificate for this. THIS FILM IS RATED X FOR PNEUMATIC DRILL RAPE."
From a Press Release
Joel Eisenberg and Timothy Owens' EMO Films has formed a specialty division, EC Film, Radio and Television, Ltd., in association with rights-holder William M. Gaines Agent, Inc., to exploit the notorious EC comics library in all related media platforms. Titles included in the deal are "Tales From the Crypt" (based on the original works, as opposed to the HBO intellectual property version), "Vault of Horror," "Haunt of Fear," "Weird Fantasy," "Shock SuspenStories," "Two-Fisted Tales" and the remaining horror, science fiction, crime, humor and dramatic library, with the exception of "Mad Magazine," presently owned by Time-Warner.
Deal was brokered by Eisenberg and Cathy Gaines-Mifsud, the daughter of EC publisher William M. Gaines, representing William M. Gaines Agent, Inc. Corey Mifsud, Cathy's son, has been assigned VP of Development for the new company.
William Maxwell Gaines is widely considered one of the most influential figures in comic book history. Gaines' father, M.C. (Max) Gaines, was the publisher of Educational Comics (EC), offering such parent-friendly fare as "Picture Stories From The Bible." When the elder Gaines died in 1947 as a result of a freak boating accident, the younger Gaines, who was studying to become a chemistry teacher, unwillingly took over the family business. Losing most of the old guard and hiring an anti-establishment band of writers and artists, Bill canned the educational titles, changed the E in EC to Entertaining, and focused his efforts on maintaining a primary line of horror, crime and science fiction books. The new EC was an immediate though short-lived smash.
By 1955 a festering backlash against comics, spearheaded by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, had picked up steam. Though Wertham argued that comic book violence led to juvenile delinquency, the EC brand was not all blood and guts. Stories about racism, substance abuse and war crimes were glossed over, however, by the lurid imagery of the line's most successful titles. A Senate investigation followed, which led to the end of the classic EC era.
"This is a phenomenal opportunity for EMO Films," says Eisenberg. "The amount of source product here is staggering, and we look forward to both developing projects in-house and setting up the material with outside entities."
EMO Films' recent release, the Columbine-themed "April Showers," has set sales records on its digital release platforms.
The filmed adaption of the comic 'Red' continues to assemble it's puzzling and eclectic cast. THR's Heat Vision blog reports that John C. Reilly and Mary-Louise Parker have joined cast members Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren. The movie is based on Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner's Wildstorm/DC Comics mini series.
Reilly would play a retired CIA agent who is paranoid that everyone is out to kill him (as opposed to WIllis, who plays a retired agent who people actually are trying to kill). Parker plays the love interest who becomes entangled in the Willis character's plight for survival.
Yet to be cast is the "high-tech assassin" looking to end the main character's life.