Arthur spotted in Harvey Weinstein’s trash
The Village Voice questionably went through the movie mogul’s trash and found “a letter from French producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam refers to the distribution of a sequel to Arthur and the Invincibles. That partly animated film was directed by Luc Besson and released initially in France in 2006 as Arthur et les Minimoys, but Besson went public with his disappointment with how Weinstein had handled it for its 2007 American release. (Weinstein had hired Madonna, Snoop Dogg, DeNiro, and others to voice the characters, but critics creamed it.) Weinstein responded that Besson was a ‘has-been.’ In the letter, Le Pogam refers to meeting Weinstein at Cannes and discussing a sequel, and offers a 30 million euro guarantee for its distribution. Someone—apparently Weinstein himself—scribbled a note on this letter: ‘Get a response from the French lawyer as well as the American…Watch the tricks.’” Make of it what you will!
Presto on iTunes
Heads-up, Pixar’s latest short Presto is now available on iTunes for $1.99. It’s currently the #1 selling short film download on Apple’s site.
Wall•E and Christianity
Wall•E director Andrew Stanton talks with Christianity Today about some of the Genesis-related themes he incorporated into the film. The interview also offers a good explanation for why all of the film’s humans are depicted as fat babies.
There seem to be some biblical themes in this film. WALL•E is sort of like Adam, the only “guy” on earth, lonely, longing for a companion …
Andrew Stanton: Yes, and that’s certainly why I picked EVE as an appropriate title for the female robot. But “Adam” just didn’t have the underdog ring to it as the main character. WALL•E was a little bit more sad sack—and I could find an acronym that could work for that. But definitely it had that first man, first female theme. But I wasn’t trying to replace man in the bigger story. I just loved the poetic-ness that these two machines held more care for living and loving than humanity had anymore.
There’s also a bit of Noah’s Ark story here, with the humans on the space station, waiting for a chance to repopulate the earth—but having to wait till EVE comes back with plant life to indicate it’s okay.
Stanton: I wasn’t using the Noah’s Ark story as a guide, but through circumstances, I loved the parallels of EVE almost being like this dove, of going down for proof that it’s time to come back. It just worked in that allegory, so I ran with it.
Updates from Sony Pictures Animation
The TAG Blog reports on a recent visit to the Culver City studio. Things look rosier for their January 2010 feature film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, with one artist commenting: “The directors pull it one direction and the execs push it another. Now that we have a new set of people at the top, hopefully that will change …” A half-dozen staffers looking at color setups for the 2009 direct-to-video Open Season 2 which the crew seemed to have a blast working on: “We’ve moved this whole thing through production in 14 months,” said another artist. “What we need are more Open Seasons! Give us more Open Seasons!” TAG Blog reveals that while the sequel, which was animated in New Mexico and India, will be coming to video stores in America, it will be released in theaters overseas next year. On a less positive note, it looks now like there’s a strong possibility that Sony Adelaide’s Sit Down, Shut Up won’t be moving forward. “The writers aren’t budging from their position (We need to be WGA …) and Sony doesn’t appear to be changing its recent attitude (We’re not going to get sued over this; we’re tied to an 839 IATSE contract). The IA made it clear last week that they expect Sony to honor the agreement in place … or else.”
Fly Me To The Moon producer interview
Producer Charlotte Huggins (Journey to the Center of the Earth) spoke to SCI FI Wire about her other film coming to U.S. theaters this summer: Fly Me to the Moon, a 3-D animated family/SF film about bugs that stow away on the first moon mission. “Fly Me to the Moon is great. It’s the first animated feature made for 3-D and released only in 3-D. It’s a great little G-rated movie, pure G, as G as any movie you’ll ever see. Great cast, with Tim Curry and Nicolette Sheridan and Christopher Lloyd and Kelly Ripa [as well as Adrienne Barbeau, Robert Patrick and Ed Begley Jr.].” The movie also features the voice of real-life astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon. “Three little flies go to the moon with [Neil] Armstrong, [Michael] Collins and Aldrin, and they help get the Apollo 11 spaceship back [home safely. It’s fun and has got a lot of good music.” Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man) wrote the score for the film, named after the beloved 1954 song. Fly Me to the Moon opens August 8.
"Twisted Murder" unanimous winner at VICON fest
"Twisted Murder" is the winner of the international VICON Film Festival, sponsor VICON, developer of Oscar-winning motion capture systems and part of the Oxford Metrics Group, announced Tuesday.
Los Angeles animation artist Paulo de Almada was awarded the cash prize of $10,000 after the judges voted unanimously in support of his outstanding entry.
Twisted Murder is about a detective who discovers that his girlfriend has been murdered. As the title suggests, there is a twist at the end as the killer is uncovered.
"With a running time of just under five minutes, Amada has created a film that is technically impressive, entertaining, and packed full of motion capture," the festival said.
"I didn't have a lot of experience with motion capture prior to creating this film, but the freedom and versatility it allows to add, move and position CG characters in a scene is incredible. The quality of the VICON motion capture data is fantastic, and it integrated very easily into my Maya 3D animation pipeline," said de Almada.
"The VICON Film Festival gave me the opportunity to work with motion capture for the first time, and it definitely opens a world of new capabilities for visual storytellers, and is continually becoming more practical and accessible to filmmakers and game creators of all calibers," he added.
"Having reviewed the entries, my choice for first place is Twisted Murder," said festival judge Eric Furie, from the School of Cinematic Arts in California. "I believe that from an artistic, technical and mocap viewpoint, it is the strongest. He really took on a lot and managed a great amount of success."
Second-place winner Ichiro Sato of Japan was awarded a copy of 2d3s matchmoving software boujou for his short The Evening Before the Hangover. Ichiro impressed the judges with his simple yet effective approach to using motion capture, and for his entertaining use of animated characters.
Next year's VICON Film Festival will be soliciting entries primarily from the education sector. More information will be announced at the SIGGRAPH Conference, to be held August 12 to 14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center; VICON will be exhibiting in booth 1101.
Winning entries from this year's festival can be viewed at www.vicon.com/filmfestival.
Knight Shifts Batman Genre
Christopher Nolan, director of the Batman sequel film The Dark Knight, told reporters that his ambition was to make the franchise bigger and smaller at the same time by shifting genres from superhero-origin story to urban crime drama.
"There's a huge advantage being able to jump in having told the origin story, so you can jump in with a fully formed character and then see where that goes," Nolan said in a group interview in Beverly Hills, Calif., over the weekend. "So I think it definitely gives you the opportunity to go new places and to get into the story much faster."
In The Dark Knight, Gotham City has seen crime lowered by the presence of Batman (Christian Bale), who is working with police detective Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), and a new crusading district attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), has been elected. But a sinister new villain, the Joker (the late Heath Ledger), appears, casting doubt on the moral choices made by all and challenging Bruce Wayne to confront his darkest impulses.
"I had very much enjoyed the rhythm and dynamic of the origin story that we got to tell in Batman Begins, so it was a little bit daunting how we were going to replace that, the feeling of scale and size that gave us, just the timespan of that story," Nolan said. "And so what we chose to do is to tell a very immediate, very linear story, but based on a slight genre shift, going a little more into the crime story, a little more into the kind of epic city stories of films like Michael Mann's Heat, things like that, which I think achieve great scale even though they're confined within one city."
In his own interview, Bale said that viewers will find themselves immersed in a Gotham City that feels authentic. "We see an even more realistic-appearing Gotham, the characters, and I think he's really nailed it with his ability to take a certain genre of movie but not have it be constricted by that genre, you know?" Bale said. "And [he] truly has made a superb story, and finely crafted movie, that I think stands up against any movie regardless of genre."
The murky morality of The Dark Knight is particularly relevant now, Bale added. "Clearly that's very relevant to America: the question of what kind of deals do you do with the devil in order to solve a problem quickest," he said. "But are you then setting yourself up for future problems and more dire circumstances and consequences?" The Dark Knight opens July 18
Schlafman Pits Alien vs. Alien
Here’s a teaser for David Schlafman’s latest brainstorm - Alien vs. Alien. It asks the question: What would the WWE look like in space?
UFO Takes Flight For Delcourt
Paris-based Blue Spirit Animation has produced the pilot of a new Flash-animated series Ovni (or UFO in English). The series, which is directed by Jean-Luc Francois, is based on the Delcourt book of the same name, created by Lewis Trondheim and Fabrice Parma. The series is slated for 52 5-minute episodes and aimed at Canal+ Family and Teletoon.
Looking back at 'Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes'
To celebrate the release of Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes on DVD, The Marvel Animation Age managed to catch up with the show's story editor Chris Yost to talk about his experiences on the show.
MAA: How did you get your start in the animation business?
Yost: I had written a couple of screenplays while in graduate school, and was lucky enough to be able to get them in the hands of the right people, specifically Craig Kyle at Marvel. He read them, and I can only assume liked them – he asked me to work on an episode of X-Men: Evolution with him. From there, I worked on a few more ‘Evolution,’ then went on to ‘The Batman,’ ‘TMNT,’ and then to FF.
MAA: What made you take the show in a more comedic route rather than a straight up action show? What was your overall aim with Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes?
Yost: Fantastic Four (the comic) isn’t a straight up action comic. It’s always been a bit lighter in tone than X-Men or Avengers, especially Mark Waid’s recent run. Even Simonson’s was pretty fun. And while we obviously went full out comedy, we do have some pretty big end of the world type action in there.
The show was sold as an adventure/comedy. They heard somewhere that kids like to laugh. And as the show progressed, we really felt the most successful scripts leaned to the more comedic, like the Skrull episodes. So by the end we just went for it.
Our intention was to always tell good stories that focused on the characters, and hopefully we achieved that in a fun way. I personally aimed to have Reed personally save the world at least three times, which I accomplished.
MAA: There was very little romance between Reed and Sue in the show. Was this something you would’ve liked to have done but weren’t able to, or did it never really concern you?
Yost: It never really concerned me. The only reason we considered it was to get Franklin in there, but to have him be any use he’d have to be older, and then Reed and Sue and Johnny become that much older. The thought was that young Reed and Sue were more fun to watch than Parental Reed and Sue.
And we still got some of that tension with Namor, if you look hard enough
MAA: There were obvious influences from the movie in the show. Was this something you would’ve done were it entirely up to you?
Yost: It wasn’t conscious, but sure I would have. Hopefully people who were introduced to the FF via the movie could go to the show and see what they liked so much about the movie. But we were able to do so much more with the series, just given the medium.
MAA: A lot of the show’s better episodes have featured The Skrulls. What was the inspiration to make them a comedic race of intergalactic dumb asses instead of blood-thirsty, planet-conquering little green men?
Yost: They still wanted to conquer the planet! Craig Kyle was the main force in this particular rendition of the Skrulls, and he was right. In the comics today, like ‘Secret Invasion,’ the Skrulls are are serious, scary force to be reckoned with. But this was funner. Can you imagine what the Kree-Skrull War would look like?
MAA: Dr. Doom is a tricky character, because his comic book version is vastly more complicated than most villains. How did you approach his characterization for the show and how well do you think you did with the character?
Yost: The classic take, probably a bit more over the top. I love Doom. Doom is THE Marvel villain. I love him. But given the nature of the show, and the connection to the movie, we didn’t get into the full on psychology of Doom. It was just a bit too heavy for the tone we were trying to establish. Doom wants Richards to suffer. His hate just grows and grows and grows. So we focused more on his quest for power.
Obviously Doom, like Magneto, has a vocal fan base. We tried to make him as Doom as we could. But as everyone who knows Doom knows, Doom does not compromise.
MAA: The show has had various guest spots so far. If given the choice, which would you like to spin off into their own show?
Yost: Elders of the Universe. And Ant-Man. Not necessarily together.
MAA: On a similar fanboy question (apologies), do you see FF: WGH as the start of a new Marvel animated universe or should each show be kept separate in your opinion?
Yost: No, I don’t think it was the right time. Unlike the upcoming Marvel Studios feature films, the cartoons have more than one master which makes it a little trickier. As a fan, it’s neat to see that kind of continuity and crossover, and trust me – I am a fan. But it can be daunting for casual viewers.
MAA: Are there any character in the show that you struggled to get a grasp with initially or any stories that were just too hard to get onto the screen?
Yost: Galactus. There’s nothing really funny about him, and funny was our mandate. So... Terminus, which I greatly enjoyed.
MAA: How has Broadcast Standards and Practices effected the show? Anything you struggled to get past the censors?
Yost: Not at script stage. After that, I really don’t know. But I didn’t see anything massively changed from script for BSP-y reasons.
MAA: The show featured a few arcs over certain episodes, but never really had a central arc or event to build up to. What’s your take on season long arcs, and was there any particular reason Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes didn’t have one?
Yost: The networks at the time really felt like each episode should be self contained, without any huge continuing storylines. I can see both sides of that argument.
MAA: You’re also serving as the story editor for the upcoming Iron Man: Armoured Adventures show. What can we expect from The Golden Avenger this time around?
Yost: I’m really excited about IM:AA. The scripts turned out great. Dramatic, fun, action packed... and with ongoing storylines. And the animation I’ve seen looks amazing. Young Tony has a full plate ahead of him. And villains galore.
MAA: Looking back now, is there anything you would’ve liked to have included in the show but never got a chance to? What would you have done with the show in season two if given the opportunity?
Yost: We accomplished quite a bit, if you break it down. Doom, Mole Man, Ronan, Kree, Supreme Intelligence, Sentries, Negative Zone, Annihilus, Frightful Four, Namor, Puppet Master, Hulk, Ant-Man, Frankie Raye, Skrulls, Super-Skrull, Atlantis, Attuma, Giganto, Impossible Man, Grandmaster, Diablo, the Baxter Building getting shot into space, She-Hulk, Lava Men, Squirrel Girl (!), Super-Adaptoid, Iron Man and Terminus.
Not bad, really. If there’s ever another season, I’d like to see the Inhumans. Kree-Skrull War. Magic Doom. More guest stars, and hopefully a way to do the Silver Surfer and Galactus.
MAA: How would you have ended the show if you’d have known you were going to write the last episode?
Yost: Well, I knew there was always a chance that ep. 26 could be the last one, so I wrote it as such. It was big time end of the world stuff, and really carried through the themes of the FF as a team, and as a family. And of course, I focused on Reed. :) He’s the anchor that holds the team – and FAMILY – together.
MAA: What’s your overall opinion on Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes? What was the experience like for you?
Yost: It was a great experience, and I’d happily do another 26. Moonscoop and Marvel were phenomenal to work with and the designs, animation and support I received was amazing. And hey, it’s the Fantastic Four. The FF are great enduring characters that are fun, heroic, with amazing powers and almost 50 years of amazing adventures and stories to tell. What’s not to love? (Unless you really, really, really, REALLY focus on on-screen punching.)
The Marvel Animation Age would like to thank Mr. Yost for taking the time to talk to us, and for his stellar work on the show. Cheers Chris!
Box-Office Fireworks for Hancock?
Casting the world's box-office champ as a reluctant superhero should pay off big for Sony Pictures as the Will Smith action-comedy Hancock opens in theaters today. The Tuesday night screenings of the film (which started at 7 p.m.) brought in a very impressive $6.8 million, and Sony is projecting $100 million to $115 million for the 5 1/2 day July 4th weekend opening. The only other new major release going wide over the Fourth of July holiday period is Picturehouse's family film Kit Kitteridge: An American Girl.
Directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights), Hancock stars Smith as a conflicted and misunderstood superhero whose well-intentioned heroics usually turn out to be as destructive as they are helpful. Facing major backlash from the people of Los Angeles, the unconventional crimefighter agrees to change his public image with the help of a PR exec played by Jason Bateman (Arrested Development). Sony Pictures Imageworks handeld the lion's share of the vfx work under the supervision of effects designer John Dykstra, who has won Academy Awards for Star Wars and Spider-Man 2. Ken Kee-Suk Hahn, the digital effects supervisor for Imageworks, most recently served as the digital effects supervisor on Spider-Man 3. Other shops contributing to the show include X1 FX, Furious FX, Eden FX and Luma Pictures.
Smith solidified his position as Hollywood's most bankable star last year when his horror movie I Am Legend opened to an impressive $71 million in December. The part-time recording artist has also become an Independence Day weekend fixture. Independence Day and the two Men in Black Films are among the top ten films to open during the holiday period. Smith will next appear in the Sony/Columbia drama Seven Pounds, slated for release in December, and DreamWorks' Steven Spielberg-directed The Trial of the Chicago 7 in 2009.
Despite the tough competition from Hancock and weekend barbecues, Disney/Pixar's WALL•E will contunue to sparkle in theaters. The CG-animated film from Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton managed an impressive weekday draw of $9 million on Monday, an indication that the rest of the week will yeild healthy receipts. WALL•E has grossed around $75 million worldwide, but still has a way to go to recoup its $180 million production price tag.
Warner Bros. Picks Up Hiding in Time Comic
As he works to bring George Miller's Justice League movie to the big screen, producer Dan Lin has boarded another comic-book adaptation for Warner Bros. Daily Variety reports that the studio has tapped him to produce a filmed version of Christopher Long's Hiding in Time, a comic series published by Image Shadowline. The screenplay is being written by Beau Thorne, who most recently adapted video game Max Pane for 20th Century Fox.
Hiding in Time is set in the near future and involves a witness protection program that relocates high-profile witnesses by transporting theme through time. When hired assassins begin finding and killing the witnesses, Nathan Crew, a simple technician in the program's now-defunct Time Portal Division, is forced to travel back in time to try and stop the murders.
Lin Pictures is set to produce the sci-fi thriller. In addition to overseeing Justice League, Lin is exec producing the fourth Terminator movie, Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, director Robert Rodriguez's Shorts and Richard Kelly's The Box, a thriller starring Cameron Diaz.
Nick Nabs Ratings Milestone
Citing Nielsen Media Research data, popular kids' cable network Nickelodeon has claimed its 53rd consecutive quarter as basic cable's top total-day performer with kids and all viewers. The 14-year run is the longest run of its kind and was aided by the new hit series The Mighty B!, an animated comedy co-created by and starring Amy Poehler from Saturday Night Live and the feature film Baby Mama. Other programs that contributed to the net's strong second quarter include the specials SpongeBob SquarePants Pest of the West, iCarly Saves TV and Chasing Zoey.
For the quarter, Nickelodeon claims a 46% share of the kids 2-11 viewing audience among the three major kid nets in total day delivery. Also, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group's television properties (Nickelodeon, Noggin, The N, Nicktoons Network and Nick at Nite) reached an average of 24.2 million viewers in the 2-11 demographic each week in during the quarter, more than any other kids' brand.
In The Mighty B!, Poehler lends her voice to the character Bessie Higgenbottom, the world's most ambitious and lovably unhinged 9-and-3/4-year-old Honeybee troop member. The show launched on April 26 and has quickly become one of cable's top three shows with kids 2-11. Following top-ranked SpongeBob SquarePants and Back at the Barnyard, the wacky comedy averaged 1.9 million viewers this quarter.
SpongeBob SquarePants Pest of the West aired on April 11 and shot to the top of basic cable among total viewers and ranked No.1 on broadcast and cable television with kids and tweens for week. Approximately 6.1 million viewers tuned in to see the latest adventure from the most-watched animated program with kids 2-11 for more than six consecutive years.
S4 Studios Unleashes Fraidy Cat
Hollywood-based S4 Studios has completed Fraidy Cat, a Flash-animated short written by Larry Le Francis and directed by Geoffrey Kater. The first in a series of “horror” shorts produced by the studio, the short is part of the relaunch of the S4 Studio website (www.s4studios.com) and its “Theatre S4” showcase.
The short centers on a seemingly serene elderly woman, who goes under a surprising transformation after being tormented by her bullying landlord. Le Francis who produced the original SpongeBob SquarePants and CatDog pilots for Nickelodeon, says he was inspired by the works of fantasy/horror masters Richard Matheson and Stephen King and EC’s Tales of the Crypt comic-book series. “The idea of a seemingly normal situation that isn’t really normal at all is what appealed to me,” says Le Francis. “This landlord just messed with the wrong sweet old lady.”
S4 Studios embarked on the project, encouraged by the huge viral success the studio enjoyed with the series of graphic horror Flash webisodes it created and animated for Sony Playstation’s Twisted Metal: Black game. “We knew the fan interest was out there, and we were looking to become a bit of a cartoon studio again,” says Le Francis.
WGA Scribes Support Sit Down, Shut Up Writers
A number of animation writers/producers who are members of the Writers' Guild of America (WGA) have come out in support of fellow scribes who walked off of FOX's new animated series, Sit Down, Shut Up. In a letter sent to fellow WGA members, The Simpsons producer Al Jean, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, Futurama co-creator David X. Cohen and a host of other top TV toon figures applaud the Sit Down, Shut Up writing staff's decision to put down their pencils until Sony grants them a WGA contract. Thanks to Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood website for the notice.
Sit Down, Shut Up was scheduled to join FOX's Sunday-night Animation Domination block this fall. The comedy is based on a live-action Australian sitcom and is being spearheaded by Mitch Hurwitz (Arrested Development), and written and produced by former Simpsons scribes Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein.The voice cast includes Arrested Development alumni Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Henry Wrinkler.
The letter reads:
To Our Fellow Writers:
We are writing to you regarding a new Fox primetime animated show called Sit Down, Shut Up, produced by Sony. We, the udersigned, are all members of the WGA who have written for animation, and created and run animated shows. And we'e done it under a WGA contract. Sony is refusing to give the writers a WGA contract for their work on the show and the writers are refusing to accept employment without one.
Sony should know that we applaud the actions of these writers. We would not work on this show and we will dissuade all other writers from taking these jobs if they are offered. We are all part of this fight, and we must stick together. We support the writers of Sit Down, Shut Up who stood up and spoke out.
Rich Appel, co-creator.showrunner, The Cleveland Show
Jonathan Aibel, former showrunner, King of the Hill
John Altschuler, creator/showrunner, The Goode Family
Mike Barker, executive producer, American Dad
Glenn Berger, former showrunner, King of the Hill
David X. Cohen, showrunner, Futurama
Jim Dauterive, co-showrunner, King of the Hill
David A. Goodman, showrunner, Family Guy
Al Jean, producer, The Simpsons
Dave Krinsky, creator/showrunner, The Goode Family
Seth MacFarlane, creator, Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show
David Mirkin, former showrunner, The Simpsons
Mike Reiss, former showrunner, The Simpsons
Mike Scully, producer, The Simpsons
Chris Sheridan, showrunner, Family Guy
Sam Simon, executive producer, The Simpsons
Garland Marie Testa, co-showrunner, King of the Hill
Matt Weitzman, co-creator, American Dad
David Zuckerman, former showrunner, Family Guy
Venezuela cows TV station for airing The Simpsons
Venezuelan regulators are forcing a TV station to air public service announcements as atonement for the crime of airing The Simpsons in a daytime slot.
Caracas-based channel Televen must include short announcements, including "cultural and educational messages," in its lineup every day for the next 30 days, the National Telecommunications Commission announed Monday.
Televen officials removed The Simpsons from its 11 a.m. time slot, which had been reserved for children's programs, in early April after viewers complained to the broadcast regulator.
Showing the animated cartoon series at that hour could violate national regulations banning "messages that go against the whole education of boys, girls and adolescents," the commission said.
The network used the daytime slot to replace The Simpsons with Baywatch Hawaii, a spinoff of the original American series about scantily clad lifeguards patrolling beaches.
The Simpsons returned to Televen two weeks later, but at a 7 p.m. time slot.
Re-runs of old American series and Latin American soap operas often fill Venezuela's TV schedules.
Also on the air in the South American country is a talk show hosted by President Hugo Chavez.
Tezuka Shorts on iTunes
While browsing iTunes yesterday, I noticed that they’ve licensed many of the independent shorts produced by Japanese cartooning legend and Astro Boy creator Osamu Tezuka. These include some difficult-to-find efforts such as Tales of the Street Corner (1962) and Pictures At an Exhibition (1966, image above), both of which are more notable for their rarity than their quality as shorts, though they do each offer some cool design work. The films can be purchased on the Tezuka Productions page (link goes to iTunes) while more info about the shorts can be found on this website.
Harald Siepermann Designs Galore
Character designer Harald Siepermann has posted a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of his artwork onto this blog entry. These include designs from Disney features like Tarzan, Treasure Planet, Mulan, The Emperor’s New Groove and Brother Bear.
'The Goon' Optioned by David Fincher
On the official website for the most kick-ass horror/humor comic being published today, Eric Powell has announced that 'The Goon' has been optioned for film by acclaimed director and producer David Fincher and Academy-Award nominated Blur Studio to develop as a CG animated feature film.
The book tells the story of a brutish muscle man for the a local mobster who battles rival gangs of monsters, zombies and other creeps. Ultimately it turns out that the gangleader The Goon is fronting for has long since died, and The Goon has kept of the charade so as to keep order in his village.
Powell provides these links for recent Blur Studio efforts that can currently be purchased from iTunes:
A Gentleman’s Duel
In The Rough
Christian Bale Wants Nolan's BATMAN to Remain Robin-Free?
"If Robin crops up in one of the new Batman films, I'll be chaining myself up somewhere and refusing to go to work." - Christian Bale
Not much wiggle room there, right? Normally, I'd agree, but there's one problem: the source is World Entertainment News Network aka WENN aka the highly unreliable gossip mongers who supply the IMDb with their steady stream of oft-debunked "scoops". The quote is getting a bit of traction because it was picked up by NEW YORK MAGAZINE's "Vulture" blog; I like those guys, but this is 100% dubious until we get confirmation from Bale's camp. (Though the introduction of Robin into Nolan's Gotham City does seem highly unlikely at this point.)