Wednesday, June 4, 2008

News - 06/04/08...

Live-Action Beavis & Butt-Head?

In a recent interview on the MTV Movies Blog, Mike Judge revealed that he is considering making a live-action movie based on his this MTV cartoon Beavis & Butt-Head. The catastrophe-creating cartoon duo provide a brief intro to The Animation Show Volume 3, which hits DVD today.

Judge, who also co-created the FOX primetime animated series King of the Hill, told MTV that for years he hated the idea of re-imagining Beavis & Butt-Head with live actors, but is warming to the idea. The concept may hinge on finding two actors who can bring the heavy metal-loving characters to life. Judge noted that Johnny Depp once expressed interest in playing Beavis, since he and Marlon Brando would imitate the characters on the set of Don Juan De Marco. Seann William Scott from the American Pie movies also came up in discussion as a possible Butt-Head.

The 1999 comedy Office Space marked Judge’s live-action directorial debut. He has since made Idiocracy and is currently working on a film titled Extract with Jason Bateman. The workplace comedy will be something of a companion piece to Office Space, with Bateman playing the beleaguered boss of a company that makes vanilla and other types of extracts. Other characters may be played by Gary Cole and Stephen Root from Office Space, which was spawned from Judge’s series of Milton animated shorts.

Kermit and Roger back on the big screen for Elstree Film Festival 3

Elstree Screen Heritage strikes back again this year with Elstree Film Festival 3, another week-long celebration of the movies made at the historic studio just outside London in the UK. Topping the bill is a double feature matinee specifically geared towards a family audience, featuring screenings of Jim Henson’s 1981 directorial debut The Great Muppet Caper and Robert Zemeckis’ groundbreaking Who Framed Roger Rabbit, starring Elstree Screen Heritage patron Bob Hoskins. Other screenings throughout the Festival, which runs from Sunday June 29 until Friday July 4 2008, include The Dam Busters, The Shining and The Empire Strikes Back. Animated Views has more on other titles showing, as well as information on the special guests expected to appear, including Richard Todd (also famous for his trio of 1950s Disney roles including Robin Hood and Rob Roy) himself, and The Shining’s executive producer Jan Harlan.

Animated Views also speaks to lyricist Glenn Slater today, about the proposed but canceled Roger Rabbit sequel, Who Discovered Roger Rabbit, from which a previously unheard song has been recorded as a track on Broadway star Kerry Butler’s new Disney album.

NCircle Brings Henson’s Sid to Vid

NCircle Ent. has signed on as home video distributor of the The Jim Henson Co.’s new animated preschool series Sid the Science Kid. Henson is currently in production on 40 half-hour episodes of the science-readiness show, which is scheduled to debut during the PBS KIDS preschool block on Sep. 1. NCircle will exclusively handle all home video and digital formats in the U.S. and Canada.

Sid the Science Kid (formerly known as What's the Big Idea?) has a sketch-comedy format and features Sid, an inquisitive youngster who tackles the everyday ideas that preschoolers find fascinating. Kids will learn why bananas go bad, why their shoes seem to shrink, how a bird is able to fly without a plane and other facts. The production employs the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a proprietary technology that allows the company's performers to puppeteer and voice digitally animated characters in real time.

The series is produced through a partnership between The Jim Henson Co. and Los Angeles PBS affiliate KCET, and will premiere on the PBS national feed this fall with a two-year on-air commitment. Sid is the latest entry in a string of popular Henson preschool properties that inclues Fraggle Rock, Bear in the Big Blue House and Muppet Babies.

Brian Henson, Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford of The Jim Henson Co., along with Bradley Zweig, serve as exec producers. Joyce Campbell is exec producer for KCET, and Mary Mazur is the exec in charge of production for KCET. For more information on this and other Henson productions, go to

TV-Loonland, CarpeDiem Do Life

TV-Loonland and Canadian company CarpeDiem Film & TV have announced the start of production on a new animated series titled My Life Me. TELETOON Canada and French broadcasters France 2 and Canal J are backing the co-production, which will initially consist of 52 11-minute episodes. TV-Loonland will handle all international distribution rights in all media including licensing and merchandising.

My Life Me is co-created by JC Little, Cindy Filipenko and rising manga star Svetlana Chmakova, who found success with the top-selling Tokyopop comic Dramacon. Tailroed to kids 8-12, the show revolves around four lead characters trying to make sense of tween life. The digital production aims to stay true to manga aesthetics, employing comic book language and visual elements when applicable.

The property’s licensing and marketing program will place a lot of emphasis on publishing, accessories, gifts, stationery and apparel. There will also be a fully interactive website that will allow viewers to create their own manga comics by using tutorials on drawing in the show’s particular style, or by employing actual images from the series to reinvent the stories and share them with friends. Currently in production, the site will also offer a variety of games, including an interactive activity based on social conflict resolution.

In addition to the TV series and the web site, TV-Loonland and CarpeDiem are producing 26 original My Live Me shorts for various platforms such as mobile phones and VOD services. The companies plan to deliver all of these projects by fall of 2009.

Seann William Scott on Live-Action Beavis and Butt-Head

From an aintitcool interview, the actor talks about the supposed Beavis and Butt-head live-action movie...

Capone: Let me ask you about a couple upcoming things you have real quick because I don't know if they're going to kick us off the phone here or not. I read that yesterday on MTV movie blog, Mike Judge is thinking about creating a live-action Beavis and Butt-Head movie. And he said that he envisioned you and Johnny Depp in those roles, with you presumably playing Butt-Head. Had you heard about this?

SWS: Ah, man! You know what? I had an interview earlier, and somebody said that, and I thought they were joking. I have to say, to work with Mike Judge, I think that guy is really incredible.

OFFICE SPACE is a really solid comedy, but I don't think Johnny Depp is going to want to work with me. [laughs] Not quite yet. But if Mike Judge asked me to work with Johnny Depp, I'd be all over that, even if it was Beavis and Butt-Head. I haven't seen "Beavis and Butt-Head" in a long time, but that's a pretty huge honor. What do you think about that?

Capone: I don't know what I think about a live-action Beavis and Butt-Head, but I like the casting choices. I wouldn't count out Depp. If you'd told me five years ago, he would be the star of a live-action version of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ride and Disney, I would have done a spit-take in your face. Every once in a while, Depp will do something that you almost can't believe he's doing. I don't think he'd outright dismiss the idea. He'd want to the script to be good. Beavis and Butt-head are iconic.

SWS: You never know. Like I said, I don't think Johnny Depp would want to work with me, but who knows? That could be a really bizarre, funny film.

Also from aintitcoolnews...

That Crazy TERMINATOR 4? Turns Out It Might Be A Crazy Giant Spoiler...

Read on at your own peril...

This was posted on ainticoolnews the other day as a rumor, and is now considered to be an actual spoiler...

I’m not much for the nerdstalgia that has turned every single studio in town into a remake/reboot factory. I think it’s short-sighted and stupid, and in the long run, we’re cannibalizing our business by only indulging this pathetic need to destroy every single franchise we ever cared about. It’s all driven by marketing departments and research groups, and there’s nothing honest or organic about it.

My biggest question to the studios is this: what are you going to be remaking in 20 years? If you refuse to greenlight original visions right now, and all you’re doing is this cinematic grave-robbing over and over and over and over again, then what are you going to do 20 years from now?

At some point, this cycle has to end. Either that, or we’re on our way to being the music industry, and that’s f'g terrifying.

For those of you who feel like there are still unanswered questions about the world of THE TERMINATOR, or who just can’t get enough of seeing James Cameron’s original story expanded way past the breaking point, you’re going to finally get your wish and see the future war in the upcoming TERMINATOR: SALVATION, which is meant to kick off another trilogy of films.

Will it? Well, if the ending that today’s spy sent us is any indication of what to expect, I don’t think a sequel is going to be something anyone needs to worry about. Instead, the filmmakers might want to consider the Witness Protection Program.

Why? Oh, man, just read the following, and keep in mind: this is a rumor. I don’t have the T4 script here, and I’m not saying that this IS the ending. Just that this rumor is so bats#*t crazy I had to share it with you guys, and I’ll start digging to see what I can come up with. If this is how it ends, then the destruction of this franchise is complete, and James Cameron can rest assured that he remains the only person to ever make any TERMINATOR films I give a s#*t about.

Take it away, Dr. Silberman:

"Alright so the main character is a cyborg named Marcus. For some background, Marcus was a criminal who was executed in 2003. He donated his body to Project Angel which was involved with SkyNet. They take his body and make a terminator out of him, so he's a terminator skeleton but has living muscle/skin and a beating heart too. At the end of the movie, John Connor is fighting a T800 model 101 and loses. He dies and the top resistance people come up with a plan to help the resistance keep fighting on. The resistance feels that it's important to keep the image or idea that John Connor is still alive, so the resistance keeps going. So they rip off Marcus' skin and put John Connor's on the skeleton, so now, Marcus is John Connor."

Jackson Publick Spoils The Venture Bros.


When you’re a fan of The Venture Brothers, be warned. Creator Jackson Publick isn’t the slightest bit afraid of telling you what’s going to happen; way, way in advance; and whether you are going to like it or not.

“We’re gonna spoonfeed it to you,” Publick openly admits. “We love explaining things you didn’t ask for. Especially when you are expecting an answer for something else you thought about. Also, you may be asking something about Dr. Girlfriend. Well, we might tell you, but in a way that’s rather oblique. We’re also going to tell you a million other things you didn’t ask for while we’re at it.

“We just think they’re more important than what you asked for,” he concludes. I can almost see the self-satisfied smirk through the phone line.

Then again, one would also have to admit that Publick—along with fellow his whole sick crew of Doc Hammer, James Urbaniak and Christopher McColloch among others—have earned the right to gloat a little. The splendiferous super science series detailing the misadventures, frolics and foibles of Thadeus “Rusty” Venture, his “sons” Hank and Dean, and their reason HGH and steroids should be banned forever, Brock, has been renewed not for one, but two, new seasons. The first episode of Season Three airs this Sunday, June 1 on Adult Swim.

And believe me kids, it’s not what you expected…again.

As has been reported all over the web over the last week, the season opener won’t focus on Team Venture. Instead it’s concentrating on their soon-to-be ex-archnemeses, the Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend. Will they survive the Guild of Calamitous Intent and our enemy’s #2 become Dr. Wife? Well, that you’ll have to see for yourself.

Then there’s the return of Dr. Killinger. You’ll have to wait for June 8 to find out about that one, fans.

In the meantime, Publick took some time off post-production of this season to chat it up with us. There are some things we later had to pull, not because he didn’t want to spoil it for you. Instead it was decided not to draw the ire of the true evil geniuses of the world, Mssrs. Crofford, Lazzo and their cronies at [AS].

Here’s what Jackson had to say:

Newsarama: For starters, why kick it off with the Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend?

Jackson Publick:
Because A) that was the only cliffhanger we had left from last season and B) it was completely unexpected to launch a new season without any of the main characters.

NRAMA: Well, you kind of did that last season, too. You started without Dean and Hank. I mean yes, you started with the Venture Brothers, but…

Yes, it’s a little bit of a tradition. It’s also a little bit of trying to mix things up for the people.

NRAMA: So are you trying to say that it’s always the Monarch’s intention to join the Guild of Calamitous Intent or is he joining the Guild to help whack Dr. Venture?

JP: Gosh. It’s a little bit of both. A good question would be which came first, the hate or the evil? Most of the guys in the Guild seem driven by a specific hatred, but they have become soft from old age. We are setting the Monarch up to be one of the last true villains in the world. The rest are completely inept because of their bureaucracy, rules and regulation of their union. There’s something still pure about the Monarch’s hatred for Dr. Venture.

NRAMA: Have you ever really explained why the Monarch really hates Dr. Venture?

That’s still one of the big secrets.

NRAMA: Well, I enjoyed the total circular-ness of your storytelling. I mean, you come to an answer, of sorts.

Exactly. Certainly nobody expected this one, but we did it to you. We’re gonna spoonfeed it to you the way we see fit.

NRAMA: I noticed a familiar character named Rajni running a phone service out of Bombay. Why did you call him Rajni?


NRAMA: Now one thing I have to admit, the fans seem to like the way you give it to them. I wasn’t at this year’s NY Comic Con, but I was at last one, and I certainly remember trying to get into your panel. I had to wait for people to leave before they let me in. Did you anticipate that many people?

No. Even more so this year. It was pretty startling. Last year was the first time I had to speak somewhere and walk past a gigantic line of people.

NRAMA: How did that feel?

Pretty cool…and terrifying at the same time.

NRAMA: One thing I saw last weekend was a girl dressed exactly like Dr. Girlfriend, from her white go go boots to her Jackie-inspired pillbox hat.

There’s always a couple of those. My favorites are when people dress up like the minor characters. This year I actually saw someone as Action Man, who’s like a fourth tier character. Another was someone dressed like Lady Au Pair.

NRAMA: I’d like to see Aetheria.

I’d like to see one up close and personal, too. So far all I’ve seen is photographs. Some even had the body for it. It’s an image you can appreciate even if you don’t know what the Venture Brothers are all about.

NRAMA: Now I’m really glad you brought back Dr. Killinger.

Yeah! Me too. Doc said it couldn’t be done, but I did it.

NRAMA: How did you come up with Killinger? I mean even if he shows up for one episodes a season, it’s usually such a great episode!

As most things, it started with some dumb pun. I was just doodling one day and the name ‘Killinger’ sounded funny to me. Then we started thinking, you know, the Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend are split up. They need a little help getting back together. After all, would the Monarch bump up one of his henchmen to be the new #2? Does he go out and recruit a new #2? So the episodes Killinger premiered in; well it was getting pretty late in the season and we had run out of preconceived stories. So we started looking through my notebook for new ones. One idea was ‘boys maybe crazy mother kidnaps them.’ Another was ‘Brock and Helper’ should team up. Then we saw Killinger and said ‘OK! There’s our episode!’

NRAMA: Is there an agenda with Killinger that we don’t know about?

(Laughs) Maybe! I don’t know. He definitely seems to be this magical force of nature and you don’t quite know. He does seem to be there to do good for bad people. He does help bad people find themselves and be the best bad people they can be. So we put him in the sky in the end. So maybe there is, you know?

NRAMA: So what does Dr. Killinger’s visit to Venture Labs says about our friend Rusty now?

That he’s a horrible person! That is the gag of that episode. We always made him a rotten person. People who do critical analysis of the show always wonder about what’s this thing about him and the Monarch and why do we root for Rusty even though we know he’s terrible. This time, we call him on it, out loud. He is just one costume away from being a supervillain.

So, Dr. Killinger, who’s an expert business manager of sorts, pays a visit and says ‘Yes sir! You have the makings of a great supervillain! Here, I’ll help you do it better.’

NRAMA: So any more David Bowie references?

No. No David Bowie this season. Maybe I shouldn’t say that, but I think it’s better to spoil the things that are NOT going to happen, if only for the people who are waiting for it. I might as well tell you right now. While I’m at it, I might as well tell you no Kim and no Baron Underbheit.

NRAMA: So this season took you a little while to get together, eh?

Every season takes us a while to get together. It took us less time this season than last because we were given the greenlight faster than last time. It still seems like it takes forever though. We’re not particularly running behind with season three. We’re a little behind, but nothing that can’t be caught up in a few weeks or something like that. Putting together this show just takes a really long time.

NRAMA: Well, whatever the reasons, and I say this in all honesty. You guys put together a smart show. I mean if you didn’t know Jonny Quest or David Bowie, the show carries itself.

Well, we never wanted to be on some nostalgia trip, especially after the pilot episode. We felt the show had to stand out on its own.

NRAMA: So you’re not Harvey Birdman, although you got to love that show, too.

Yeah. I loved that show. We always wanted to create our own world. To do that we funneled everything we love and goofed on into it. Luckily we have characters that let us do that. I mean now it’s getting hard to write about everybody. We got what feels like a million different characters. We end up leaving people out with every new season, making a point of writing about them in the next season. This season we will see the original Venture guys. I mean we saw a little bit of Colonel Phantom last season, but otherwise we didn’t see the other guys since season one.

NRAMA: Will we learn more about old Jonas?

Yeah, we do. I mean we learn more about him in the second episode. We will do a whole episode about the world opening up a museum dedicated to him. That one has a whole bunch of flashbacks, including old Team Venture in it. There will be a few more flashbacks here and there showing that Jonas wasn’t necessarily the greatest guy he’s made out to be. I mean he didn’t know he was hurting his boy. Actually, there’s about four episodes that involve flashbacks and two of them will definitely take the shimmer off of the old man.

NRAMA: So is there an over-reaching arc to this season?

It’s the same kind of mix we’ve gotten used to. It’s sort of half and half. But even the sort of standalone ones could have another piece of someone’s back story in it or you will get another piece of the overall arc. We don’t plan it like this. The way it usually works out is like the Monarch is in half of them. The other half are either standalone or explore some other part of the story.

NRAMA: I can tell just from these first two episodes you’re setting up for something. You can’t deny it.

You think? (Laughs). Well, what we’re setting up is Dr. Venture is going to need a new arch enemy. The Monarch has quit. If there’s an arc to this season, that’s part of it. It’s Monarch adjusting to his new lifestyle. You know that can’t last forever. That’s probably the biggest arc.

But with this season we take a lot of detours into other side characters. There are a few episodes where the Ventures are hardly there or at least not the whole family. For instance, there is an episode that concentrates on Billy Quizboy. It reveals all his secrets.

NRAMA: What about Mr. White?

I should have said him. The heart of it is Billy’s story, which does include Peter White of course. By the end, you will see how Billy is really connected to all this.

NRAMA: How’s a fourth season shaping up?

That’s a big thing. When we signed this time, we signed for two seasons. Both seasons were green lit at the same time. We’re writing season four now. We’ve never overlapped seasons like this before, but it’s cool. We’re halfway through post production of three, but we’re already writing season four. We will start pre-production in about three weeks.

Interview: Jack Black for "Kung Fu Panda"

That zany Jack Black gets animated as he takes on a reluctantly heroic panda in the new animated feature, Kung Fu Panda. From his hilarious stint on American Idol, to a slew of successive films, Black is as busy as ever, fitting in fatherhood and a perpetually frenetic career, as he explained to Paul Fischer.

Question: Was this your way to live out your kung fu fantasies?

Black: In a way it was my way of living out my kung fu fantasies. When I was a child, I took the obligatory one year of karate. I believe I got a yellow belt. I graduated to yellow belt. And then I quit. I don't know why I quit. I got my colored belt and I was on my merry way. And then I also did some judo. I believe I made it to a green belt. But never kung fu. I'd always wanted to do kung fu and I'd seen the movies, all the Bruce Lee and the great television series that Mr. Carradine was in. I'd always been really interested in the mystical art of kung fu. It seemed like the most wise of all martial arts. So this was my chance to explore that world a bit.

Question: Could you break a board?

Black: With my mind. I don't even have to use my hands. It's the highest level of kung fu.

Question: Do you do a movie like this to bring out the child in you?

Yeah, doing this movie definitely was a way to get back in touch with my inner child. That's the only reason I did it was just for therapy.

Question: Did it work?

It did. I'm back in touch.

Question: Was doing American Idol also a fantasy?

American Idol was a blast, yeah. That was just a crazy Ben Stiller idea that I was all aboard for. Anything he comes up with is usually worthwhile. He's got a great mind for the comedy.

Question: How much were you allowed to improv?

Well, I was allowed to go crazy. I would do what was on the page as written and then they always allowed me and encouraged me to go crazy and have fun and explore all the different things which I did. I don't know how much they used of it but they did use skadoosh so I'm gonna take some credit. Writing credit. It won't say written by me.

Question: Do you have some panda-esque qualities?

Yeah, I feel like I'm panda-esque. We are both rolly polly. Rolly polly's the main one. Cuddly. Yeah, I'm furry and my beard has black and white in it now that I'm gettin' older. So I'm kinda like a panda in that way.

Question: Did you record a big bank of grunts and screams?

We just did a little bit at a time. It's not like one of those things where I just came in and in one day cranked out the whole movie. I would come in and do a few scenes, and then a month later I'd come back and do a few other scenes and then go back and redo the scenes that I already did but with slightly different dialogue tweaks. Yeah, every time I would do three or four groans and screams and kee-yahs. For years I've been grunting and groaning and screaming for this movie. It was not all done in one sitting, no.

Question: They also left the tape running.

It's a lot like Miles Davis used to work. When he entered the music studio, the recording studio, they were rolling tape all the time just in case some magical genius happened. Same with me. Like if I come in, I'm just taking a sip of water, they're rolling tape just in case.

Question: You're the Miles Davis of animated movies?

Yeah, it's not for me to say, but thank you for saying that I am the Miles Davis of animated feature films. Vocal performing.

Question: Were you fighting verbally without your whole body like Nacho Libre?

I did use my body an awful lot actually. I mean, you don't know it but they're filming us while we're doing our vocal recordings and they used it for reference. To get the proper sounds, I would really do the things that I was supposed to be doing. Like if I was supposed to be tired from running, I would run around. It was very method acting in that way.

Question: What's father's day like in your house?

Father's Day? When is that comin' up? Hmm, did anything happen special last year? I can't remember. No, I don't know.

Question: Is he old enough to make homemade cards for you?

No, no. Well, actually, I think that I did get something like that but you know, it's guided. Like my wife will put down a piece of paper and he'll just kinda scribble. He doesn't know what he's doing yet. He's only one. He's almost two but these are magical days because he's only one for another two weeks, so I'm documenting really closely everything he does in the next two weeks, because I'll be able to say, "He did that when he was one. He's a genius." If he did it when he was two, not such a big deal, but when he's one.

Question: How is fatherhood?

Fatherhood is good, very good indeed.

Question: You were a shark, now a panda, what's next?

I was a shark, yeah, now a panda. I'd like to be a winged creature, like an eagle. Although I kind of was an eagle in Nacho Libre. I had the eagle powers so maybe next I'd like to be a cheetah. That's always been my favorite animal because of his speed. The fastest of all creatures. Also my favorite superhero was The Flash because he was the fastest. He ran the speed of light. I don't know why I like the fastest of all things because I certainly am not the fastest.

Question: That was my next question.

Am I the fastest? At some things. Not running. That's all I can say.

Question: How are you at being dragon warrior?

How am I dragon warrior-esque? Well, you know, I wouldn't call myself a master, but Po becomes a dragon warrior when he realizes that he doesn't have to imitate his heroes, the furious five. He just has to be himself. If he can be himself completely and be the best that he can be, then that would make him a master of his craft. It wasn't until I started, for me, Jack Black, I didn't really have a real career going on until I found my own voice because for many years, I just imitated other actors and comedians that I loved and then it wasn't until I started writing my own music and scenes and finding my own voice that I became "a master of my craft." Didn't want to go down that road but then I did, I guess.

Question: Food is Po's motivation. What is yours?

I'm gonna say for me, it is also food. Food is my motivation. I love food. I love my babies. And yeah.

Question: Favorite food?

I love pizza. Pizza's the first thing that came to mind. Pizza, cheeseburgers. Cheeseburger is the perfect food because I love good sauce and I love meat. I don't know why. Melted cheese? I don't know, it's just the perfect sandwich. It never ceases to deliver the mouth watering satisfaction.

Question: Any other artistic aspirations besides acting?

Well, I'm a fan of all of the arts. I like drawing and painting and working with arts and crafts like that. No one will ever by my art but I like to do it. It's fun to do and I like to go and see other people's work.

Question: What is the secret to Dreamworks animation?

You can't tell people the real reason why, the special thing because it's like the colonel's secret herbs and spices. The techniques that make the Dreamworks animations different.

Question: Are there any stories you like to tell your son and any characters you'd like him to see you play?

Well, he loves books and stories. I love to read him stories. I love to read him Dr. Seuss. It's always my favorite but the other day I was reading him One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. That book is too long. It's like 63 pages long. Why did he have to do that? It's a trilogy. Break it into three books. It takes 20 minutes to make it through. Besides that, I would say Dr. Seuss, there'll be more of that and slowly graduate to more complex children's stories.

Question: And characters for your kids?

Well, right now, my son really likes to pretend like he has the super power of breath power, that he can blow and that it'll blow me across the room. It's kind of an exhausting game because he blows at me and then I go, "Arghh" and I fall and flip away. But it's a lot of exercise to get blown around. And then when I blow back at him, he doesn't fall down. Sammy, you've got to understand the concept. We both have the power of blow power.

Question: Did you ever do any dirty takes for fun?

Did I drop any foul language? It was more just to get sometimes motivated. If I have to be really angry or something in my character, I would actually accidentally say some bad words, but just get me into the zone. Then I'd substitute bad words with family friendly words.

Question: What's next?

Yeah, I've got a movie with Ben Stiller called Tropic Thunder.

Question: The most expensive comedy ever?

Dude, it is worth every penny. I saw it and it's funny as hell.

Question: How was that experience?

It was difficult. Even though it's a parody of war films, we were making war film level action sequences in the jungle. Well, it's Hawaii. We did it in Kuai so immediately nobody has any sympathy for me. They're like, "What do you mean, you're in paradise?" There are parts of Hawaii that are like a jungle.

Question: Are you done with Year One?

Year One is done, yeah. Had a great time on that one as well. That one was Harold Ramis at the helm directing and young Michael Cera who is very brilliant. I highly recommend doing a movie with Michael Cera if you get a chance.

Question: The director was influenced by Tenacious' D's Cosmic Shame for the film's theme?

Yeah, that's what he said to me too and it's very flattering. I suspect he just said that to get me to do the movie. There's some bad language in that but the idea in the song is that it's about following your heart. Sometimes you'll follow your heart and it won't lead to anything but you have to try. You have to try because if you don't, you'll always regret it and you're following, chasing your dreams. It's a theme that I've been exploring before this movie ever came about.

Question: Are you signed for anything else?

Not yet, no. There's an impending strike and I don't want to mess around until, yeah, you know.

Question: Think it'll happen?

I hope not. I hope it's all resolved.

Question: How did you get into biblical mode for Year One?

We just played, me and Michael Cera just played two dudes wandering around in biblical times. We are not famous characters in the bible.

Question: But you meet them?

Yeah, along the road. It's kind of like the Wizard of Oz in the bible.

Question: You don't have to talk like thee and thou?

No, there was a tiny bit actually though. Ye and thee and thou and lo. Lo is my favorite one.

Question: Did you and Downey flip a coin to be the black faced one?

Oh man, he is amazing. His performance is transcendent. I am just a clown but he is a real actor. You'll see. He's awfully good.

New Hancock Clip Revealed

Will Smith appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and showed this new Hancock clip that gives away a spoiler about his character in the film, opening in theaters on July 2nd.

Grayskull: Masters of the Universe Script Review

He reformed VOLTRON, put the Green Arrow in SUPERMAX, and now Justin Marks has the power of GRAYSKULL: THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE! ...continue reading

Green Arrow, Shazam, Jonny Quest Updates And More!

The boys over at have received lots of info on Warner Brother’s upcoming movie slate and it’s a mouth full! As reported HERE before, the script for Supermax: Green Arrow is pretty damn amazing, and looks like we’ll see the other green guy on theater screens soon.

Iron Man seems to have opened up a Pandora’s Box for Marvel, as Warner Bros. is now in a rush to bring more of its library of DC Comic book characters to the big screen. Plans are in motion to try and bring The Flash, Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern and Justice League of America to theaters sometime within the next 3 years.

Now although
Shazam doesn’t seem to have the same popularity as Batman, Spider-Man
, or now Iron Man, it seems Warner Bros. can smell a winner here as this super hero flick seems to be the one everybody at WB is talking about. The only thing that could slow it down looks to be the SAG strike as of this writing.

Jonny Quest is another film WB is drooling over. Jonny Quest written by Dan Mazeau is the highly popular Hanna-Barbera cartoon that original aired 1964 to 1965. While talking exclusively to Peter Segal the guys over at IESB learned that a few years back Segal had been attached to Jonny Quest.

IESB also reports about the possibility that WB may explore releasing Zack Snyder's
WATCHMEN during the summer instead of its March 6th, 2009 release date, should be interesting to see what happens there.

In conclusion, with the
Harry Potter films, the Nightmare on Elm Street remake and now the new Hobbit franchise, it looks like WB is going to have a few good summers ahead them.

There’s nothing better than some good old fashioned competition for the other studios to battle against.

Jennifer Coyle Discusses Debut of the Sinister Six in "Spectacular Spider-Man"


Jennifer Coyle has literally worn her love of Spider-Man for much of her adolescent and adult life – she went so far as to paint a huge Spidey on the back of her motorcycle jacket in her days growing up in Rolling Hills and at Cal State Long Beach.

Today, she paints the web-slinger on a much broader canvas – as one of the directors on "The Spectacular Spider-Man," CW4Kids' hit Saturday morning television series. Coyle's second episode of the series' first season -- "Group Therapy" – premiered on Saturday, May 31 at 10:00 a.m. ET/PT.

Coyle got her start in the animation industry as a storyboard artist on on television series like "Men in Black," "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" "Tom and Jerry Tales," "As Told By Ginger," "King of the Hill" and on both "The Wild Thornberries" series and film. She also storyboarded on the "Hellboy" animated films, which brought her to the attention of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" producer/supervising director Victor Cook.

She moved up to the director's chair on "Slacker Cats" and the direct-to-DVD "Scooby-Doo, Pirates Ahoy!" before taking the helm on Spider-Man episodes. She is also directing on "The Good Family" this summer.

Coyle stole a few moments from the busy Spider-Man production schedule – she's completing her fourth episode for season two – to discuss this weekend's unveiling of The Sinister Six in the all-new episode, "Group Therapy."

It's hard enough bringing one villain to full-blown animated life in an episode. How did you approach positioning six on-screen?

Jennifer Coyle
Well, all things being equal, six is tougher than one – but it does make it interesting. When you're doing fight scenes with that many characters, you really need to focus on the choreography. You have to make sure the action stays clear, quick and interesting, and you have to focus on moments to highlight each of the characters.

Without offering any crucial spoilers, is there a scene or moment in the episode that you're particularly proud of?

Jennifer Coyle
I thought our big action sequences really utilized the environments well – in both Times Square and in Central Park. Those two environments gave us plenty of room to work, and allowed us to get very cinematic in the direction. We were able to incorporate a lot of iconic looks, like the big screen in Times Square and a bridge in Central Park – and really use them within the action.

All six of those villains are really spectacular in their own way – and using those locations gave us enough room to show what they do best. Vulture can fly, Doc Ock can move freely with those great arms, Rhino can use his full strength -- he actually punches a hole in the bridge. Every villain gets to do something that they do best, and Spider-Man has the space to do his thing and turn it on them.

With Spider-Man, it's a constant struggle to keep raising the bar on his action sequences – he has to be honest to his character, and you can't have him just talking and making jokes. The action has to top what you've done before. But with those locations and all six of the villains, we were able to amp it up.

All of these villains have appeared in previous episodes. Did the lack of normally-required exposition allow more freedom for a fairly action-packed episode?

Jennifer Coyle answers:

We didn't have to spend any time at all – you know who they are and what they want, and that they're going to cause trouble. It was exciting on a number of levels – because it's the first time they're all together, and because it sets the groundwork for a lot of the episodes in the future.

In directing "Reactions," you introduced Doc Ock to the series – and now you set the tone for many future episodes by revealing Doc Ock as the leader of The Sinister Six. What attracts you to Doc Ock?

Jennifer Coyle answers:

Oh how I love him. Every director is only as good as their artists – we don't do these shows by ourselves – and I had some stellar board talent on the "Group Therapy" episode in Kevin Altieri and Joaquim Dos Santos. They deserve a lot of the credit for bringing Doc Ock to life.

Doc Ock is so much fun. The character design is so good, and I enjoy drawing him on a very basic level. I think everybody identifies with him on some level – he's a good guy who has worked hard his whole life, and he's been pushed to the point that he's not coming back. You can easily understand the pathos … and now he's really become a bad guy. You can do just about anything with that character – those arms are amazing, and the timing has been really good for this show, so much so that I think you feel the impact of those arms.

I think I've had him in almost every episode I've directed – so now he's like an old friend. I think I've got a bad boyfriend thing going on here. He's caused me so much pain, I think I might actually like him.

You've directed two episodes in the opening season of "The Spectacular Spider-Man," and you're working on your fourth for the second season. What is that makes directing Spider-Man enjoyable for you?

Jennifer Coyle answers:

Spider-Man offer me the best of all worlds – it's comedy and cartoony and zany, there's great acting and amazing action. We push him in a squash and stretch way, and yet there's plenty of room for acting goodness – with all the high school intrigue – and there's obviously enough scope for quite a lot of action. So I get everything I like right here in one show.

You are the only female director on this series thus far – and one of the few females directing super hero/action-oriented animation. Do you see growing opportunities for female directors in the animated world and, particularly, in the fanboy arena?

Jennifer Coyle answers:

I just had those sentiments confirmed a few weeks ago – I met a woman director at Disney, and she said she didn't know of another female directing action adventure. I know of Lauren Montgomery (Superman Doomsday), but that's about it.

When you take a look around, it is kind of a man's world, and I think it speaks highly of Mr. Victor Cook that he'd give me an opportunity to do this. I work with a lot of amazing, talented people who have always overlooked the fact that I'm a girl, so it's nice. I don't feel oppressed.

I know that being a woman, I do bring some different perspectives – I think the big difference comes in the acting, because I know that's where I tend to make a lot of notes. I love the nuances of animation acting. Just today, we were posing a sequence where we're knocking the cheerleaders down a few notches. I don't think a lot of men pay as much attention to the politics of relationships when they're posing out these high school scenes, but that was what honestly attracted me to the Spider-Man comics in the first place. I read a lot of comics in high school and college, and I always liked Spider-Man because of all the angst – it wasn't just a straight up fight.

I think this series has a lot of heart. They've really pushed that aspect of the series and made it accessible for girls – and the ratings have reflected that. Here's this oppressed kid, dealing with everything regular high school kids do, all the while having to take care of his Aunt May, and the having the burden of being who he is when he pulls on the mask. That's always been a factor in how readable the Spider-Man stories have been for girls. It's not like we girls don't appreciate a good ass-kicking from time to time, but the thing that attracts me to the story is that it's got heart as well.

Who or what inspired you to direct animation ... and was working with super heroes always part of your goal?

Jennifer Coyle answers:

I always wanted to do comic books, but I had the classic, clich├ęd lecture from a teacher that I'd never make a living working in comics. Back then, I didn't realize that my love of comics could transition to animation, and that I could actually make a living in animation.

Polar Express Producer Helps Build Robot Taekwon V

Transformers 2 will get some home-grown competition in South Korea when Shin Cine unleashes Robot Taekwon V. According to The Hollywood Reporter, producer William Teitler (Zathrua: A Space Adventure, The Polar Express, Jumanji) has come on board to exec produce the live-action sequel to South Korea’s first animated feature. The original Robot Taekwon V debuted in 1976 and was released in the U.S. as Voltar the Invincible.

Like Michael Bay’s Transformers, Robot Taekwon V will combine live actors with CG-animation and effects provided by a consortium of Korean VFX companies, including macrograph, mofac, Insight Visual, DTI (Digital Tetra Inc.) and EON Digital Films. But unlike the Hollywood blockbuster, this giant robot flick is being made for a mere $20 million. Won Shin-yeon (A Bloody Aria) is directing and Shin Chul and Robot Taekwon V Co. are producing.

Set 32 years after the events of the first film, Robot Taekewon V revisits the boy character Kim Hoon, who is now a down-trodden businessman in a bad marriage. Things begin to turn around for him when he is reunited with a 184-foot-tall fighting robot. The story is based on a five-volume comic book series published in April.

The film is slated for release in the summer of 2010. Though the Korean-language production is being financed entirely in Korea, the producers are making the flick with the international market in mind. The filmmakers are no doubt inspired by the global reach of such recent Korean genre hits as The Host, which has been successful on DVD in North America, and Dragon Wars, which enjoyed a wide U.S. theatrical release.

Total Drama Island Sold to Cartoon Network

Cake Distribution’s animated reality show Total Drama Island has been acquired by Cartoon Network channels in the U.S., Latin America, Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The U.S. premiere will air this Thursday in primetime at 9 p.m., with further launches following later in the year.

“After the spectacular performance in it’s home territory it was only a question of time before the right partners would be found to take Total Drama Island into the world,” says Edward Galton, managing director of Cake Distribution. “This week’s premier will mark the start of a great demonstration that animation can still secure broad audiences.”

Total Drama Island is a Fresh TV Inc. production for TELETOON Canada. The interactive, animated reality sitcom has a sequential elimination competition among 22 youths running over 26 episodes, leaving the audience with only one winner in the end. A dedicated website offers 26 episode-specific games and has attracted impressive traffic, according to Cake.

Cake Distribution is a London-based boutique distributor of animation and family entertainment properties for television and other platforms. The company handles distribution rights for such popular kids’ shows as Skunk Fu!, Eliot Kid, Aesop’s Theater, King Arthur’s Disasters, Edgar & Ellen, Loopdidoo and Tiny Planets, as well as Scholastic catalogue for Europe. More information can be found at

DECODE, mememe Dig Up dirtgirlworld

DECODE Ent., a subsidiary of DHX Media Ltd., has teamed with Australia’s mememe prods. to co-produce an new animated preschool series titled dirtgirlworld. Commissioned by ABC (Australia), CBeebies and CBC, the show is DECODE’s first Canadian/Australian co-production. It will be packaged as a series of 52 11-minute episodes or 26 22-minute adventures. DECODE Enterprises will handle worldwide distribution, as well as merchandising and licensing rights outside of the U.K. and Australia, where the show will be represented by BBC Worldwide and mememe prods., respectively.

dirtgirlworld is created by mememe’s Cate McQuillen and Hewey Eustace, who, with Jenny Lalor, will exec produce the series alongside DECODE’s Steven DeNure. Beth Stevenson is producing the series, which will boast a distinctive animation style pioneered by Hackett Films in Australia.

Aimed at older preschoolers, the series is being made with a blend of animation, photomontage and illustration that takes the audience to a world where the real and unreal collide. The music-centric and environmentally conscious show explores the natural world and invites the audience to “go get grubby” with Dirtgirl, a gumboot-wearing girl who grows awesome tomatoes, knows cloud names and drives a big orange tractor. Her friends include junk whiz Scrap Boy, a worm named Grubby, Ken the Weevil, Roger the Rooster, Hayman the monosyllabic scarecrow, and the Green Thumbs—real kids having fun in real gardens.

TeamTO Spreads Wings with Hareport

Paris-based animation studio TeamTO has joined forces with Folimage, La Poudriere and L’Equipe to launch a new production entity called La Cartoucherie, based in Bourg-Les-Valence, in the Drome region of France’s Rhone-Alpes region. This new animation studio will begin working on TeamTO’s promising new CG-animated series International Hareport in September 2008.

Founded by husband and wife team of Guillaume Hellouine and Corinne Kouper, TeamTo will be looking to beef up its team at the Annecy festival and MIFA market in France next week.

Hellouine tells Animation Magazine that he will hire about 30 animators for fall to work on both International Hareport, a 26x13 series ( a co-production with Vivi Films, with the participation of TF1, to be distributed by Cake) and How to Drive Everybody Crazy (a co-pro with France 3 and Cake Entertainment). Both series were pitched at the popular European TV event Cartoon Forum in previous years.

International Hareport was created by Jan Bultheel and Antoine Barraud and targets children, six to 10. The 26 x 12 series centers on two young hares (Fred and Ned) who haven’t learned how to fly like all the animals around them. One day, their life becomes more complicated when their beautifully mown lawn turns out to be the hottest new landing runway.

Hellouine and Kouper are also developing a stunning CG-animated feature titled Occho Kochoi, which tells the story of an outcast bird who suddenly finds himself acting as the guide for his flock on their annual migration to Africa. Produced by Kouper, the movie was penned by Antoine Barraud, with character design by Benjamin Renner. To learn more about TeamTO’s many projects, visit

5th TV Spot for The Incredible Hulk!

A fifth TV spot for The Incredible Hulk is now online and can be watched using the player below or in better-quality here.

Opening June 13, the Louis Leterrier-directed action-thriller stars Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, Tim Blake Nelson, Ty Burrell and William Hurt.

Spirit's Miller Denies Sin Link

Frank Miller, the graphic novelist-turned-filmmaker who is helming The Spirit, wrote on his production blog that the adaptation of Will Eisner's seminal comic strip won't be a retread of Miller's own Sin City.

"Much has been the fuss in the comics' blogosphere about my Spirit movie--much justified, much hoped for and, much to my delight, that there has been a fuss at all," Miller wrote. "Some comics readers are terrified that The Spirit will be a retread of my Sin City. Others quarrel over the change of the Spirit'S traditional blue hat, mask and jacket to black. These are understandable concerns for any lover of Will Eisner's masterpiece. I take this opportunity to address these concerns."

Miller described the film as "an extension of what I know to have been Eisner's central intent: to create something new, witty and exploratory. That's what he did. That's what I'm doing."

Viewers of the early teaser trailer of The Spirit may have been led to believe it will mimic Sin City's black-and-white aesthetic. Not so, Miller said: "It only resembles Sin City in that I am its director, and, well, yes, I have my ways and my proclivities." He added: "The Spirit, despite any accidental impression left by that kickass teaser trailer, is a full-color movie. Sin City--and I hope to make of it a movie trilogy all its own, come hell and high water--is, visually, a playhouse for black and white."

As for the blue suit? The Spirit's original blue costume resulted from the limitations of pre-digital printing on newsprint, he said. "Going to black brings back his essential mystery, his Zorro-like sexiness," Miller said. "It also makes that red tie of his look very, very cool. So I made the call, with all respect to Eisner's creation and, most importantly, to what I perceived as his underlying intention. It was an easy call for me to make. The Spirit dresses in black and looks much the better for it. As I said, my desire was never to slavishly follow the rules of '40s printing into campy oblivion, but to reintroduce Eisner's creation, via modern technology, to our brave new world."

The Spirit is slated for release on Christmas Day.

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