Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Lowdown On Comic-Con

Comic-Con’s four day extravaganza in San Diego wrapped up Sunday before more than 100,000 attendees and the following are a few of the notable movie tidbits revealed at the event:

Open House
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez were on hand to present the first public footage of the upcoming “Grind House,” which will feature two separate movies directed by the pair, complete with faux film trailers in between their respective stories. Intended as a homage to 1970s-era cult movies the two film fanatics love, the double-feature promises to be bloody good fun. Rodriguez’ story is nearing the end of filming, while Tarantino’s is yet to begin. But “Grind House” is expected to splatter its way into theaters in April 2007.

Spidey Sense Tingling
Naturally, the eagerly anticipated “Spider-Man 3” got a lot of attention at the convention, with a group appearance by stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Topher Grace, Thomas Haden Church, Bryce Dallas Howard and director Sam Raimi. The teaser trailer for the film was recently released, indicating a bit of a darker direction for the franchise. For the record, Grace is playing Venom, Church is portraying Sandman and Howard will be featured as new Peter Parker flame Gwen Stacy. The web slinger will swing into theaters May 4, 2007.

Sequel Redux
“Superman Returns” director Bryan Singer said at the convention that discussions for a follow-up to this summer’s movie are ongoing. He said a target release in 2009 would be likely, but the film’s somewhat disappointing box office performance doesn’t make it a forgone conclusion.

However, one definite good piece of Superman news emerged as director Richard Donner, who helmed the 1978 “Superman” film, revealed that a DVD is being prepped that will give viewers a first official look at his vision of “Superman II.” Donner was fired from that film by its producers after principal photography had completed over more than half of it. A fair amount of that footage was reportedly scrapped and refilmed by director Richard Lester.

So this might prove to be a chance to see “Superman II” all over again, which is actually a really good movie in its current incarnation. The release date for the DVD is scheduled for Nov. 28.

It’s Not Easy Being Green
After the 2003 big screen version of “Hulk” largely failed with viewers and critics, it appeared that film franchise might be dead in the water. Well, think again. “The Incredible Hulk” is to be directed by Louis Leterrier (“The Transporter”), with a cast yet to be announced, although no one associated with the first film is expected to return. It sounds as if all parties involved are looking to distance themselves from the much-maligned (and a bit unfairly, I might add) Ang Lee-directed movie. No release dates were mentioned, but certainly don’t be looking for any action from the big green machine before 2008.

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