PANDA Sifu lifting HEAVY METAL (

By:Rob M. Worley
Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Source: Various

'Kung Fu Panda' Sifu Mark Osborne lifting some 'Heavy Metal'. PLUS: New 'Conan' director rumors. 'Green Lantern' script rewrites. 'Preacher' progress and more! Painting a Van Dyke on its Legolas action figure, it's your Comics2Film 9.5.12!



Mark Osborne joins HEAVY METAL update

Comics2Film at chatted exclusively with Kevin Eastman, owner and publisher of 'Heavy Metal' magazine, about plans for a new movie based on the sci fi franchise.

"It's really getting to be quite an exciting beast," Eastman told us. "We've done 99% of our development and are just waiting for the final stamp of approval. I expect in the next 30 days we'll have a nice big announcement."

The film, produced by Eastman and David Fincher, would be the third to bear the name of the long-running sci fi and fantasy magazine. Regular readers of this column know that Eastman and Fincher plan to go back to what made the the magazine, and the 1981 film, great: and adopt an anthology format. The movie will be comprised of all-new stories, although it may draw from concepts seen in the book.

Further, each segment of the movie will be directed by a top-tier director, the list of which already includes Fincher, Gore Verbinski ('Pirates of the Carribean'), Zack Snyder ('Watchmen') and more.

"Creatively we've had Gore Verbinski, Zack Snyder and other people have joined the roster of people directing some of the shorts," Eastman told us.

One new name he added to the list is that of 'Kung Fu Panda' co-director Mark Osborne. Eastman also promises there'll be more names coming.

"We have a number of others who are not 100% committed," Eastman teased. "The names I can't tell you are just going to make people who are geeks like me go 'Whoa!'".

Eastman says many big names are attracted to the project not only because of the 'Heavy Metal' name, but also because the work will be done in Los Angeles at Blur Animation Studios, and the time commitment to doing a short film is managable.

Look for more news from Eastman about 'Heavy Metal' right here on!



PREACHER feature progress

Director Sam Mendes is making the rounds on his new movie 'Away We Go', but he's also fielding questions about the planned film adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's controversial comic 'Preacher'.

In a conversation with MTV Splash Page, the director said screenwriter John August is in the middle of his first draft of the script.

"He’s doing pretty well," Mendes told MTV News, "He’s about halfway through. There’s a long way to go yet, but I’m very, very hopeful. I think it could be amazing."

Although Mendes is opening to doing a series of 'Preacher' films, his primary goal is to make a good movie that stands on its own.

Meanwhile, also caught up with Mendes and quizzed him about the movie. Here's their video interview...

Thanks to Antonello Blueberry for the submission.



DEAD OF NIGHT behind the scenes

The latest 'Dead of Night' update comes from an actor, who recounts his experiences as an extra on the set of the film via his MySpace blog.

Thanks to Antonello Blueberry for the submission.



B. Clay Moore likes BILLY SMOKE casting

Comics scribe B. Clay Moore told MTV Splash Page that he's very happy with actor Matthew Fox's preemptive attachment to the lead role in the film version of his upcoming comic 'Billy Smoke'.

'Fox matches up quite well with the character Eric Kim and I created, so from the moment his name came up, we’ve both been excited about his involvement," said Moore. "In some ways it helped Eric visualize the character, although he’s not just drawing [Fox] into the book."

Thanks to Antonello Blueberry for the submission.




Screenwriter Michael Green, one third of the team working on the 'Green Lantern' film script, confirmed for Newsarama that the screenplay continues to be a work in progress.

"We're doing, basically, the production pass," Green said. "It's a really fun process because you're taking the things that were still abstract and making it practical and real. We're thinking about it in terms of, 'how will we actually affect this?' as opposed to making it something we were trying to convince the studio to do. It's a nice part of the process because it's no longer a sales document; it's a production script."

Writing collaborator Marc Guggenheim said that he, Green and Greg Berlanti are meeting with Campbell and producer Donald De Line regularly. "We're constantly working on the script and making revisions per our collective discussions and things that are reflected by the other departments in the movie," he said. "It's actually going to be filmed. So that's what's fun and challenging. So we're just working away on it."

None of the screenwriters could comment on the various and sundry casting rumors that are circling the web daily.

Thanks to Antonello Blueberry for the submission.



Marshall and Gans up for CONAN job?

Now that Brett Ratner has bailed out of directing the new 'Conan' movie, it's time for the internet to start offering up the replacments. has heard that Christophe Gans and Neil Marshall are the favorites of Lionsgate to take on the film.

Gans is well known to fans for his period action flick 'Brotherhood of the Wolf', whereas Neil Marshall has been earning kudos for films like 'Dog Soldiers', 'The Descent' and 'Doomsday'.

Meanwhile CHUD's sources at Nu-Image/Millenium are lobbying for James McTeigue of 'V for Vendetta' fame to take the helm.

Interestingly, in the very same article CHUD reveals that also-trusted sources say all that information is wrong and that Marcus Nispel ('Friday the 13th') is the one to beat.

What do you think, Maniacs? What director names would you throw at the wall for CONAN? Post your comments below...

Series: Green Lantern, The, Conan The Barbarian (2011), Preacher, Green Lantern, Heavy Metal Animated, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, Billy Smoke