Monday, March 2, 2009

News - 03/02/09...

Up, up and away: Rare Superman comic for sale

Owner bought the book for 35 cents in 1950 and held onto it for 58 years

A rare copy of the Action comic book that launched Superman (a.k.a. the "holy grail" of comics) as the first superhero is coming up for auction.

Comic book expert Stephen Fishler says bidding for the comic book begins at $1 and is sure to go up, up and away. It originally cost 10 cents in 1938.

He says copies of Action Comics No. 1 in "fine" condition are worth about $126,000, but this one could sell for several times that. About 100 copies of the No. 1 edition are known to exist.

The owner, who was not identified, bought the sale magazine for 35 cents in 1950 and held onto it for 58 years. It will be on auction for two weeks beginning Friday.

Fishler and Vincent Zurzolo, co-owners of Metropolis Collectibles, will offer it on their Web site, http://www.comicconnect.com.





WonderCon: Quint has a brief report on a few tidbits from Disney's 2D animated THE PRINCESS & THE FROG!

Aint It Cool News' Quint files a report from WonderCon on Disney's The Princess and the Frog -

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a small kick-off to my WonderCon coverage. Today was the first day and fairly light on the movie programming. In fact it was pretty light on most things. The exhibitor hall was only 3/4ths full, with a quarter of the hall just vacant. Guess it’s a sign of the times.

The attendance doesn’t seem very high, either, but I’m sure that’ll change tomorrow when we have a day full of big profile movies and celebrities.

So, it was a rather relaxing introduction. I wandered the hall, checked up on some original comic art and found some really nice pieces, but horribly out of my price range. We’ll wait for Sunday when everybody’s in their “Oh, f***… this thing’s over and now I need to pack all this up” sale phase.

The only movie related panel today was a panel on 2D animation which featured some clips from Disney’s upcoming return to classic hand-drawn animation THE PRINCESS & THE FROG.

A guy by the name of Marlon West ran the panel. He has worked at Disney since THE LION KING, working on effects animation… which is basically everything that isn’t the characters and architecture. For instance, he did all the dust clouds in LION KING.














He started essentially telling us that he had to adapt when the decision was made to kill Disney’s feature animation department and learned how to do his job on a computer for films like CHICKEN LITTLE and MEET THE ROBINSONS. He gave us some examples on the screen, befores and afters on both films… water effects, the spaceship from Chicken Little causing clouds and dust storms, lightning, etc.

Then he said about 3 years ago John Lasseter came in and he said he felt like Helen Hunt in
CASTAWAY
when Lasseter wanted to bring back traditional animation. “I thought you were dead… I have a new wife. Her name is Maya.”

The joke, of course, being that Maya is the name of the CG animation program.

Anyway, the footage wasn’t much. It was essentially three shots from the movie at different stages. The scene is the Prince going to visit the villain, a Voodoo priest named Dr. Facilier.

Three shots:

-Prince POV on Facilier behind his desk, doing card tricks with his tarot deck.

- Angle on the Prince as Facilier’s magic is worked, the chair’s arms turning into snakes and his transformation to being a frog begins.

- Prince POV on Facilier as the evil man seems to grow huge (of course, the prince is shrinking as he turns into a frog).

We saw many versions of these shots, from the rough storyboards to the rough, but instantly classic Disney pencils of the characters going through their motions, then the close to final versions.

Of the examples given, the one I liked the most was the Prince’s transformation, which is hidden in a cloud of swirling green smoke. It looked like it had it’s own light source because we could see flashes of the Prince’s silhouette as he fought with the snakes binding him to the chair. It reminded me a little bit of the magic stuff from SLEEPING BEAUTY and SWORD IN THE STONE.

He also mentioned that Disney’s animation plan is to have a digital animation film out every 18 months and a traditional hand-drawn animation film out every 2 ½ years.

I expected a bit more, but that was all there was to it. I guess it’s better than sitting on my thumb all day.

(Thanks AICN)





Preview: IRON MAN: ARMORED ADVENTURES

Marvel.com has unspooled a new clip real from the upcoming 'Iron Man: Armored Adventures' animated series, debuting April 24th on Nicktoons Network. The show looks to be heavy CG with a cool-looking Mandarin and a rockin' theme song. Check it out:







Preview: WONDER WOMAN

The 'Wonder Woman' animated movie hits the DVD shelves next week. Watch for Bob Trate's review (which he summed up recently for us as "awesome") next Tuesday and also be sure to check out our Q & A with Rosario Dawson today!

True Wonder Woman fans will want to enter the sweepstakes that Warner Home Entertainment is running. You can win the movie on DVD or Blu-Ray, and the grand prize winner will have his or her likeness drawn into a Wonder Woman comic!



(Thanks Mania.com)





Michael Jackson Auction Offers Life-Size Batman Costume, Superman & Spider-Man Statues, More…

If you’ve ever wondered what Michael Jackson’s yard sale would look like, there’s an auction at the Beverly Hills Hilton kicking off in April that should answer all of your questions. The King of Pop’s estate has a dumbfoundingly large catalog of geek goodies going up on the auction block — and a few items clearly show that Jackson has a sweet tooth for superheroes.

In addition to life-size statues of Batman, Spider-Man and Superman, the Julien’s Auctions list of items up for bidding includes a signed Alex Ross print, a 1988 print displaying all of Marvel Comics’ characters, and signed polychrome Randy Bowen statues. There’s even a life-size molded rubber Batman costume fitted over a replica of Michael Jackson — a two-for-one deal, perhaps? (We’ve posted a few images from the auction below.)

The site also has stunning rundown of vintage arcade machines owned by the reclusive pop icon, including an original 6-player “X-Men” arcade cabinet and a “Marvel Vs. Capcom” cabinet. That means that for opening bids of 1,000 dollars or so, a few lucky comics fans could have the chance to not only entertain their friends on classic arcade games, but do so with the knowledge that they’re playing on games previously owned by the Moonwalker himself.





























New ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ Promo Shots: Hugh Jackman Goes ‘Snikt!’

A trio of new promo shots for “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” have hit the ‘Net, and all three feature a solitary Hugh Jackman being the best there is at what he does — and apparently, what he does is look like a complete bad-ass.

Last time we saw the “Wolverine” star, he was singing and dancing his way through a musical, comics-themed Oscars introduction that included nods to the night’s big winner on the superhero front, “The Dark Knight,” as well as “Iron Man” and, of course, a big “Wolverine” finale. While the latest images (posted on X-Men movie site XMF) don’t seem to reveal anything new about the much-anticipated solo debut of Marvel’s favorite Canucklehead, they do offer up a few more quality shots of the character Fox hopes to spin off into yet another comics-friendly franchise. (Below, check out two of the images.)















“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” hits theaters May 1, 2009.





Upcoming in Japan

Previews
Fullmetal Alchemist (third trailer for new series)
Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari

Anime
Ghibli World reports that Studio Ghibli's Suzuki Toshio has reveiled that Miyazaki Hayao is currently planning his next movie. Suzuki described that Miyazaki often tells him small details, but does not tell the whole image.



















After some uncertainty, it looks like Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z Hen is a go!

Yasuhiro Imagawa (G Gundam, Giant Robo, Tetsujin 28) will be writing and directing the BEEMEDIA ( New Getter Robo, Shin VS Neo Getter, and the Mazinkaiser OVA) produced update of the Go Nagai created, first piloted mecha.

Other staff includes Shinji Takeuchi (Gintama) on character design and Tsuyoshi Nonaka (DICE) on mecha design.

Rumors on Japanese message board suggested that the anime had been altered or scuttled by a Imagawa departure.

More pictures and translated information can be read here









The original Mazinger Z aired on American TV in the 1985 s as Tranzor Z



If you're excited that this is happening (again), Justice Ace, has a video of virtual singer Miku Hatsune performing the ìMazinkaiserî (an incarnation of Mazinger, released in North America by ADV Films) theme song

In an event marking the 9/22/09 fictional launch of the Super Dimension Space Fortress Macross, the theatrical version of the latest Macross series, Macross Frontier was announced for a tenative fall release.

Photos of the Macross 2009.2.22 Launch Event and the figures showcased.
















Collection DX has more photos of the Bandai Chogokin DX Macross Quarter

Via Anime Nation
The logo from the Dragon Ball Kai remastered anime










Daizenshuu-EX reports that a V-Jump ad is promising the following


The story will be developed speedily!
"Kai" starts from the invasion of the Saiyans. This version will be re-edited to hew more closely to Akira Toriyama's original story, so the story's development will progress all the faster!
The opening and ending songs will be completely renewed!!
The opening and ending songs will together be made anew! Furthermore, in "Kai", the background music will be newly recorded. Let's enjoy "Kai", where even the music has been powered up!!
Through digital processing, the image will be made vibrant!!
All the grime, damage and noise remaining on the "Z" film will be removed! In HD, the image will be even clearer. We've carefully made the ultra-powerful "Kai" world even more impressive!
An all-star voice cast will record the lines anew!!
The original main cast, centered around Masako Nozawa as Son Goku, will reunite, yo. They'll breathe life into the characters again, to support their appeal!!





















via Anime News Network

Monthly Gundam Ace manga magazine has revealed new details about the anime being produced to mark the 30th anniversary of the Gundam franchise. The series will feature the RX-78-7 mobile suit as designed by (Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War). Tatsuya Suzuki (Gaogaigar, The Legend of Reyon, Aniyome wa Ijippari) will design new characters focused on the Phantom Sweep Team, a Earth Federation task force commisioned to hunt the hold-out Zeon forces following the conclusion of the One Year War. Main characters include 32 year old officer Hugues Couraud and 24 year old test pilot Sherry Allison, as well as Zeon officer Eric Blanke.

Kiddy Grade, a scif-fi action anime about a pair of operatives from an economic coalition with be spun off into new anime Kiddy Girl-and. gimmick and Satelight will be producing the anime with Hidefumi Kimura (Kiddy Grade, Generator Gawl) is supervising the scripts. Director Keiji Gotoh (Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula, Uta?Kata) and character designer Megumi Kadonosono (Clannad film, Uta?Kata) also return from the first series in their same production roles.

According to violinist, composer, and producer Masatsugu Shinozaki
(Haibane Renmei, Wolf's Rain)
King Gonta and Yi Hagin's Soten Koro historical manga will be adapted into a television series, scheduled to air on NTV starting in April.

The manga centers around Cao Cao, a warlord and second-to-last Han Dynasty chancellor who is best known through the Romance of the Three Kingdoms literary classic.

Executive Director: Toyoo Ashida (Fist of the North Star, Ultimate Teacher, Vampire Hunter D video)
Director: Tsuneo Tominaga
(They Were 11, Initial D: Fourth Stage, Genma Wars)
Character Designers: Takahiro Umehara
(Claymore), Akira Kano (Initial D: Fourth Stage), Cindy H. Yamauchi, Daisuke Yoshida (Super Kuma-san), Yuichiro Hayashi
Costume Research/Secondary Characters: Akiko Matsushita
Animation Production: Madhouse

Shinji Takamatsu
(Gintama, School Rumble) at Studio Comet will direct an anime adaptation of Mami Kashiwabara's astromony club based romantic comedy manga Sora no Manimani


Cookin' Idol Ai! Mai! Main!, an educational cooking anime for elementary schoolchildren will launch of NHK March 30th. Hiroshi Watanabe (Slayers, Orphen, Video Girl Ai) will direct off the scripts supervised by Miharu Hirami (Kodocha) in the series, which alternates between animated and live action cooking demonstrations.

A Strike Witches 2 anime has been confirmed. The series features anthropomorphizations of military planes.

Kotaku notes that PS3 role-playing-game Tears to Tiara, described as featuring "rope play, suggestive udder spray and touching tentacles," will be adapted into anime from WHITE FOX animation studio and directed by Tomoki Kobayashi (Ichigo 100%). Doko Machida (Lucky Star, Ramen Fighter Miki) is overseeing the scripts. Voice actors Toru Ohkawa, Yuko Goto and Makoto Ishii round out the cast.

Canned Dogs reports that Type-Moon horror The Kara no kyoukai (literally Boundary of Emptiness, also known as The Garden of Sinners) the Kara no kyoukai Remix -Gate of seventh heaven-, remixing the first fix chapters, will hit Japanese theatres on March 14th.

Japanator reports that director Jun'ichi Satou's (Sailor Moon, ARIA, Kaleido Star, Yume no Crayon Oukoku, Fushigiboshi no Futago Hime) will be a magical girl anime spin-off of a popular pachinko game produced by Sanyo called Umimonogatari ("Sea Story").

The rest of the staff includes series director Kouyuu (Zero no Tsukaima 2nd/3rd seasons), original story creator Toshihiko Tsukuji, series composition Yuka Yamada (Hataraki Man, Rental Magica), and character designer Haruka Iizuka (Skygirls), with animation production handled by ZEXCS.





Event News

The New York City, Japan Society will be presenting KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video Games from March 13 through June 14, 2009.

Exhibition Catalogue
KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video Games is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue titled KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art, published by the Vancouver Art Gallery, Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver/Toronto, and University of California Press, Berkeley. The catalogue addresses an international spectrum of writers, illustrators, and programmers in the fields of comics, graphic novels, and art from around the world. With commentary devoted to such illustrators and designers as Art Spiegelman, the creator of Maus, and Will Wright, the creator of The Sims, the volume complements the Japan Society's focus on Japanese practitioners. ($34.95, soft-cover, retail)

Anime Film Screenings
Several anime films featured in KRAZY! will be shown full-length in the recently upgradedówith digital projectors and 5.1 surround soundóauditorium at Japan Society, including Katsuhiro Otomo's classic, Akira (1988); Masaaki Yuasa's Mind Game (2004); Satoshi Kon's Paprika (2006); Patlabor 2: The Movie, by Mamoru Oshii (1993); The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004), by Makoto Shinkai; and Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Episode 9 and 27 (1982-83), designed by Ichiro Itano. Screenings begin Saturday, March 14 and continue until June 14, 2009. Viewing times are Friday: 3:00 to 9:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 to 5:00

Selected Public Programs
Konnichiwa Friends Family Tours of KRAZY!
Saturday, March 14, April 11, May 9 and June 13, 2009 from 2-3 pm
Slated for the second Saturday of every month between March and June, this series of tours engages young children ages 2 to 4 and their families in fun, interactive learning experiences. Using games, puzzles, storytelling, and other techniques for discussing art and culture, tours explore exhibition themes and include Japanese vocabulary-building activities. FREE with adult admission to the exhibition. No reservation required. For more information, the public may call (212) 715-1224.

KRAZY! Cosplay Party
Saturday, March 28, 5:30-8:30 pm
In conjunction with the exhibition KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video, Japan Society holds its first-ever Cosplay Party, inviting local fans to create and showoff costumes of their favorite characters, and share their enthusiasm for anime, manga, and video games. The Cosplay Party includes classic anime film screenings, a costume competition with prizes from Kinokuniya Bookstore and Manga Entertainment, and free admission to the KRAZY! Only costumed individuals are eligible for the competition. Tickets are $10 advance www.japansociety.org/cosplay or $15 at the door.

Art Cart: KRAZY!
Sunday March 29, 2009 2-4 pm
Led by a Japan Society educator, children and their families receive an introduction to KRAZY! by exploring the galleries through sketching, movement, and discussion. Working with an artist and educator, children learn about a range of media in the exhibition, including manga (graphic novels), anime (Japanese animation), and video games in a fine art context and make their own manga pages. Recommended for ages 7-12 years old. $15 per family (up to 5 people)/$10 per family, including at least one Japan Society member. The public may purchase tickets online or call the Box Office at (212) 715-1258, Mon. - Fri. 11 am - 6 pm, Weekends 11 am - 5 pm.





Super Hero Based Projects

Japanator reports that Marvel and Tatsunoko Productions (Speed Racer, Gatchaman, Teknoman) announced plans to produce an anime series with characters from month companies. In the anime is tenatively to debut in 2012.

Tatsunoko parent company Takara Tomy and Marvel will also be working on figures based on Marvel Comics characters, scheduled for release in Japan this fall.

*

The soon-to-be released Wonder Woman direct to DVD animated movie has included a look at an upcoming Green Lantern project. Actor Christopher Meloni will be voicing the titular hero in a project with producer Bruce Timm, director Lauren Montgomery and voice director Andrea Romano. Other actors include Victor Garber ('Alias') as Sinestro, Michael Madsen ('Kill Bill') as Kilowog and Tricia Helfer ('Battlestar Galactica') as Boodikka.

Design illustrations can be seen here.





Star Trek's Abrams makes nice with fans after getting flak














J.J. Abrams, director of the upcoming Star Trek reboot movie, clarified his remarks, reported last week, in which he suggested the movie was not necessarily aimed at longtime fans in a panel at WonderCon in San Francisco on Saturday, proclaiming his and his producers' love for Trek fans and assuring the roomful of convention-goers that the movie will be faithful to canon.

Abrams also unspooled the film's new full trailer, which is slated to be released in theaters on March 6 along with Watchmen. The trailer featured about 50 percent new footage, including more looks at some of the images already seen in earlier teaser trailers, a better look at the film's epic visual effects and battle scenes, a new glimpse of Chris Hemsworth as Kirk's father, George, and even a quick shot of Kirk sitting in the captain's chair on the bridge of the Enterprise.

In response to a fan question, Abrams said: "If we were just to make the movie for fans of Star Trek, then we would be limiting the audience enormously. ... Because we love this, because we are beholden to you, because the fans of Star Trek are what allows us to make a version of Star Trek now at all, I can assure you that we are making this movie for you. In many ways it goes without saying, although it's important that we say it. I've taken some flak for saying in the press we're making this for future fans of Star Trek, as if we don't care about the existing fans. That could not be further from the truth. We love and are beholden to existing fans of Star Trek."

Abrams added that the film will reference all that has come before. "There are a million references, and the story adheres to canon pretty much as well as the original series adheres to canon. I mean, the movie really does," he said, adding: "The truth is that we love it, and as someone who was not a fan to begin with, I've come to appreciate and understand and actually feel jealous that I didn't get hooked earlier, because I can understand how amazing the show was."

Screenwriter Roberto Orci, an avowed longtime Trek fan, added that the film will reward longtime fans. "Everyone here, I think, respects and was inspired by what Trek was," he said. "This movie is in a unique situation in that it is both a prequel but a sequel. All of Trek that preceded this movie is necessary within canon for this movie to have happened, if you're a fan. So if you're a fan, your knowledge of Trek will be rewarded. And if you're not, you're going to learn why we were all inspired by it."

Abrams and Orci were joined on the panel by stars Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto and producer Bryan Burk. Star Trek opens May 8.





Brave & Bold Producer Talks Owl Man, Superman, and a Musical







Newsarama has interviewed James Tucker, producer of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, about the success of the first season of the show and the renewal for another 13 episodes to air on Cartoon Network.

If Producer James Tucker sounds satisfied with himself, he has very good reason for it. The ratings are in for his show Batman: the Brave & the Bold, and it’s become a solid lead for Cartoon Network’s Friday night action block. It’s done so well, that CN has picked up the second half of the show’s first season. That means an additional 13 episodes.

How did Tucker take the news? He now will take Batman into places the Caped Crusader has never gone before, at least in the animation world. This not-so-Dark Knight is going to be pitted against Owl Man of DC’s third universe. While there’s no sign of Ultra Man or Superwoman, and Tucker has his reasons for that, it will kick off an incredible two-part mini-series that’s sure to keep Bat-fans on the edge of their seat. This then goes into overdrive next week when, in true BBB tradition, Batman must team up with another famous, or should we say infamous, DC character.

For those who want to know what we’re talking about immediately, read on. If you want to be truly surprised, wait until 8:00 pm Eastern Time Friday. With that, here’s what Tucker has to say about these two episodes, and a bit more:

NEWSARAMA: A lot of people are going to look at Owl Man and think Watchmen. The thing is, that’s not quite the case, right?

JAMES TUCKER: I hope not. This one is basically from the Crime Syndicate. I based the design on Blue Falcon though. I’m a huge Blue Falcon fan.

NEWSARAMA: I saw you went with episode directors Ben Jones and Michael Chang. Who’s the writer? He’s new to me.

JT: Joe Kuhr. Coincidentally that is his real name. He’s been around for a while. He did a couple of Justice League and Legion
episodes. He’s also been on The Batman. I think his star is rising. He’s been paying his dues for a while now. Joe’s good. My fellow producer Michael Jelenic came to me and said ‘I want to use Joe,” and I said fine.

NEWSARAMA: Did you always have an idea of doing a team-up between Batman and Red Hood/Joker?

JT:
I always knew I was going to do one with Joker. That was pretty much a decision from early on. There were a couple of issues of The Brave & the Bold where Batman teamed up with the Joker. We didn’t know exactly how at first but it coincided with the Crime Syndicate story we wanted to do.

Originally, it was going to be the original Crime Syndicate, but the only rights we were able to clear were Owl Man. So that’s why we came up with alternative universe versions of the heroes in Batman’s universe. That’s also why we decided to call them the Injustice Syndicate as opposed to the Crime Syndicate.

Alternate universe stories are great because you can show the underbelly of the main characters. No one’s perfect and heroes are all twisted a little bit. The line is very slim between a hero and a villain. It’s mainly just circumstances.

NEWSARAMA: Did you also draw from Grant Morrison with the Batman protocols?

JT:
That’s become kind of a standard since the “Tower of Babel” story arc. Inside it’s kind of become standard that Batman has a way to take out everyone in the universe. It’s nothing person, but he just likes to be prepared for anything. So having that in there seemed a no brainer. I’m surprised no one thought of it before.

NEWSARAMA: Now why did you pick Jeff Bennett for the voice of the Joker/Red Hood?

JT:
I know Jeff Bennett is a versatile actor. He had done The Creeper in the Batman: The New Adventures series. I liked the voice he did for that. Now that’s not what he ended up doing for us. In fact, I like what he did doing for us even better.

I wanted to go back to real old school Joker. I think Cesar Romero’s version was pretty true to the late 40s and 50s Joker. I liked that he was closer to that. He’s a bit more debonair, has a little more flair, and has a slight lilt of an accent. Jeff could do that.

I had a little temptation to stunt cast, but I usually prefer to go with people I know can hit it out the box. In Justice League we stunt casted a lot, and frankly some of the results were hit or miss. With this show, we have such a huge rotating cast, Diedrich (Bader, the voice of Batman) is the only constant, and we tend to require a lot of voices. So you might notice we tend to recruit people who can do multiple voices. Jeff Bennett definitely fits that bill. He’s one of the elite. In fact, I think this voice cast stands right up there with the best of any of the past. They are all very talented people.

NEWSARAMA: Did you have Bader read his Batman/Owl Man lines as they came up in the script or did you have him do them in separate takes?

JT:
Being it was a two-parter, the first part he did in sequence and then in the second part he did the Owl Man part separately. He really got it right out of the gate. Of course, you can adjust and fix during post. We now have very little of that with Diedrich. With this one, he knew exactly what to do. I’m very pleased.

Like anything, it takes a little time to flesh out the series. None of us knew exactly what the right tone was going to be going in. You do have to set your boundaries, but you really only do that after you start the show.

NEWSARAMA: So do you feel you have everything going smoothly?

JT:
Oh yeah. Right now we’re going into the latter half of the first season and it’s really a well-oiled machine. For a first season, that’s very rare when you can say that.

NEWSARAMA: Reaction has been very positive. How does that make you feel?

JT:
Validated. I’m glad people are getting the tone and are not really too up in arms about it. I give full credit to The Dark Knight for that. If that hadn’t been such a pitch black version of Batman, I wouldn’t have been able to get away with my lighthearted version. So I’m really thankful to Nolan and Bale, all those guys who made that movie for what they did. With my version, people can finally realize that Batman doesn’t have to be so dark and brooding all the time.

NEWSARAMA: Speaking of lighthearted, any chance of a certain kid companion ever showing up?

JT:
Anything can happen with this show. I’ve learned to never say never.

NEWSARAMA: I was also informed Bat-Mite is coming in the future.

JT:
Definitely. You know what? It’s going to be terrific. It’s going to be a fan favorite. I predict that already. It’s a great looking episode. I don’t know if I can talk about who’s voicing the Bat-Mite just yet. It will definitely be a surprise. Then again, when you hear him, everyone will go, ‘of course!’

NEWSARAMA: And a Batman musical?

JT:
Yeah. When I was on Justice League with Bruce Timm, we were always toying around with doing a musical special, especially after we saw the Buffy musical. On Legion I had hoped we had gotten a third season because I knew a musical for that would have been perfect.

So, finally, me and Michael Jelenic, who likes musicals too, decided this was the show we were going to do it on. So we’ve done it. I’ll let you know how it turned out when it comes back from overseas. But the music alone is a lot of fun.

NEWSARAMA: Who wrote the music?

JT:
Michael and I actually did the lyrics. Then the dynamic music partners, Kris Carter, Michael McQuistion, and Lolita Ritmanis did the music. These guys have done a lot of scoring for our shows and they are just terrific.

NEWSARAMA: Andy Sturmer?

JT:
No. Andy just did the title music. He doesn’t do the scoring for the show. It’s all top notch. It’s not corny. It’s really full-out, serious music.

NEWSARAMA: So Batman finally does something besides “Am I Blue?”

JT:
Well, he also sang in the episode we did of Batman Beyond. It was called “Out of the Past.”

NEWSARAMA: That was a while ago...

JT:
Yeah, I know because I directed that episode. I’ve always wanted to do musicals. This episode though is wall-to-wall musical. It has five full songs in it. It’s almost completely sung. Ben Jones is the director. He did one for Teen Titans and that was just awesome.

NEWSARAMA: When I interviewed Mike Jelenic, he hinted at an appearance of the big blue schoolboy later on in the season.

JT:
Superman? He was mistaken about Superman.

NEWSARAMA: I figured being he’s the story man, if anyone would know, he would.

JT:
Let’s look at it this way. Superman is not someone I’m dying to use. I would leak it if it was happening, but it’s not happening.

NEWSARAMA: Well, one of my favorite scenes from Justice League was just a sequence of Batman and Superman sitting in the Batmobile drinking coffee until it was time for them to get to work. When it’s time, the two look at each other, kind of nod, and then Superman flies out the roof while Batman revs up the engine

JT:
That’s from the second season of Justice League. I think that’s when we really hit our stride on that show. That episode was more about their relationship than the big world shattering crisis of the episode of the day. In that, we made them actual friends. They had an actual relationship like real people do. We were saying it’s not about the spectacle all the time. We started putting more of that into the plots.

NEWSARAMA: Would you say you’ve carried that on with Brave and Bold?

JT:
Brave and the Bold is all about relationships. If anything, it’s more so than in Justice League. Here we don’t focus as much on the crime. It’s more about the personalities involved. We always try to bring that out in the heroes. Who is going to contrast with Batman? Who is going to bring something out of him that we haven’t really seen or wouldn’t show to another character.

Like I would look that he’s primarily working with B and C-list characters as opposed to the usual Justice League, A-list characters as an opportunity to show a different side of him. When he’s with who he considers his peers, like Superman, Wonder Woman or Hal Jordan, he acts differently than when he’s with Blue Beetle or Booster Gold.

NEWSARAMA: I noticed that even when you do Green Lantern, you shied away from Hal Jordan and concentrate on Guy Gardner.

JT:
But if you notice, at the end he’s sitting with Hal in the cafeteria like a peer. When he walks by Guy Gardner, it’s ‘hey, you!’ He has a pecking order. That’s a subtle thing we like to do. We feel we get more bang for our buck because you can do more with the B- and C-listers. You can have fun with them. You can push their personalities more than you can with Wonder Woman.

NEWSARAMA: So it’s possible you might do the Doom Patrol?

JT:
They’re on our list. I love the Doom Patrol.





Monsters Inc. 2 In The Works At Pixar

I knew it was gonna happen. Once Disney bought up Pixar they would start to look at their properties as possible sequels and it looks like the trend is continuing after the announcement of Cars 2.

Our good buddy Honor had this to say over at Blue Sky Disney:

It appears that Pete Docter has settled on his next directing gig and the film project is a familiar one. While he likely won't be talking about it until his press junkets are through for "Up," the feature that he'll be working on(and has been for a while) is the sequel to "Monsters Inc." with tentative plans for it being Pixar's 2013 release.

Click HERE to read the rest and to just check out his badass website in general.

Don't know about you, but I thought Pixar was a company that took pride in the fact that it didn't need sequels? Besides the excellent
Toy Story movies, was a Cars 2 necessary? Or was it done just to have a movie to tie into the Cars Land being built at Disney's California Adventure?

And is a
Monsters Inc. sequel necessary? I think theses characters would best be served as shorts to be shown in front of Pixar's new, original movies, but that's just me. And don't be surprised if we don't hear an announcement soon for Incredibles 2
.







"Waltz With Bashir" wins Cesar for foreign film

Ari Folman's Israeli animated documentary
"Waltz With Bashir"
-- or, as it's known in French, Valse avec Bachir -- was named best foreign film Friday night at the Cesar Awards, France's equivalent of the Oscars.

The 34th annual Cesar Awards ceremony took place at Paris' Theatre du Chatelet, hosted by actor Antoine de Caunes.

Waltz With Bashir
won over heavy competition; instead of the customary five films, seven competed in the best foreign film category. Other nominees were the live-action Gomorrah (directed by Matteo Garrone), Lorna's Silence (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne), Eldorado (Bouli Lanners), Two Lovers (James Gray), There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson) and Into the Wild (Sean Penn).

There are no separate Cesar Awards for animated feature or short film.

Martin Provost's
Seraphine won seven awards, including best film. Other honors included a best actress statue for star Yolande Moreau, along with wins for original screenplay, costumes, sound, photography and decor.

Vincent Cassel was named best actor for his role as "Public Enemy Number One" in Jean-Francois Richet's
Mesrine, a two-part biography of France's most famous criminal. Richet was named best director for the film.





Seth Green joins Disney's "Mars Needs Moms" cast

Seth Green has been signed to play Milo, the star of Walt Disney Pictures' performance-capture movie Mars Needs Moms
.

Adapted from Berkeley Breathed's children's novel, the movie centers on Milo, a boy stowaway on a spaceship. Milo's aboard to rescue his mom after she's kidnapped by aliens.

Simon Wells is directing the film, scheduled for 2010 release. Simon and Wendy Wells adapted cartoonist-writer Breathed's book for the big screen.

Green called the motion-capture process
"performing in a black box theater with no costumes, no sets, just actors looking into each other's eyes trying to make it real."

Co-produced by Disney and filmmaker Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers, the project reunites Green with his mom in
Austin Powers
, Mindy Sterling, who will play the terrifying alien leader of Mars. Dan Fogler (Fanboys) plays Milo's friend Gribble, while Joan Cusack (Confessions of a Shopaholic) plays his mom.

Green continues to co-direct and write
Robot Chicken
, the Emmy-winning stop-motion series he co-created with Matthew Senreich.

His next role is in the comedy film
Old Dogs with Robin Williams and John Travolta.

Also starring, according to Variety, is Elisabeth Harnois (
Pretty Persuasion). Harnois, whose credits include Strangers With Candy, recently starred in independent release Keith .





Alice’s Birthday released in Russia

This cute looking 2D animated feature, which I posted about last October, opened theatrically this week in Russia. An interview with director Sergei Seryogin and producer Alexander Gerasimov is posted here. Apparently it isn’t doing too well on it’s home turf. I hope we get a chance to see it on our shores.





(Thanks cartoonbrew)








Banjo, the Woodpile Cat









The 2D animation renaissance of the 1990s began in the 1980s. Did any one movie or TV show begin it - or was it the combination of the popularity of Mighty Mouse the New Adventures (1987), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), The Little Mermaid (1989), and the introduction of The Simpsons (1987)? Some might credit the Don Bluth/Steven Spielberg An American Tail (1986) as the catalyst.

Certainly the 1979 exodus of Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, John Pomeroy and eleven others from Disney, in protest of the then-deteriorating animation department, could be considered the beginning-of-the-beginning. During the 1970s, Bluth and company - while still employed at Disney - tinkered away at nights and on weekends in a little garage in Culver City on a personal film. The goal was to learn how to make a classically animated film from scratch, and do it all by themselves without studio support.

Banjo The Woodpile Cat was that film - and it emboldened the group to break free of Disney and start making new films on their own. How successful they were, creatively, is a matter of opinion - and as for Banjo itself, no one considers it a classic but it’s always been a sweet little picture. Now Bluth has re-released Banjo on a two-disc DVD that is actually worth owning by any serious student of animation or Disney history.

In addition to a newly remastered version of the film, there is a great audio commentary track by Bluth, Goldman and Pomeroy recounting the making of the short. On the second disc is a 13-part documentary, The Story Behind Banjo, with the trio detailing their time at Disney, how they made on Banjo at night while animating The Rescuers, Pete’s Dragon and The Small One during business hours, what they learned and how it led to their departure from Disney. It’s a fascinating story. There is also a vintage TV newscast from 1980 with behind the scenes footage at Bluth’s newly independent studio, a separate on-camera “conversation” with Don and a collection of trailers for every feature and video game the Bluth studio ever worked on.

It’s a great package of material - and you can buy the DVD from Don himself off Amazon.com. Below is a excerpt from the middle of the short:



(Thanks cartoonbrew)





Green Lantern DVD movie details announced

Hal Jordan takes on his first mission in the animated straight-to-DVD movie Green Lantern: First Flight, the fifth entry in the popular DVD series of DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 Movies, which was announced Friday at WonderCon in San Francisco.

A co-production of Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Brothers Animation, the hero's first-ever full-length animated film is set for release by Warner Home Video on July 28.

Green Lantern: First Flight will be available as a special edition two-disc version on DVD at a suggested retail price of $29.98 and on Blu-Ray disc at $34.99, as well as single disc DVD for $19.98.

Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) voices Hal Jordan, aka Green Lantern. Victor Garber is the villainous Sinestro, Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) is Boodikka, and Michael Madsen is Kilowog.

Produced by animation legend Bruce Timm,
Green Lantern: First Flight is helmed by Lauren Montgomery (Wonder Woman, Superman Doomsday) from a script by Alan Burnett (The Batman)
.

In the film, Jordan is recruited to join the Green Lantern Corps and placed under the supervision of respected senior Lantern Sinestro. The Earthling soon discovers his mentor is actually the central figure in a secret conspiracy that threatens the philosophies, traditions and hierarchy of the entire Green Lantern Corps. Hal must quickly hone his newfound powers and combat the treasonous Lanterns within the ranks to maintain order in the universe.





"Transformers Animated" Season 3 to Premiere on March 14, 2009

Tformers.com is reporting that the third season of Transformers Animated will premiere on Cartoon Network on Saturday, March 14, 2009, at 8:00 PM (Eastern/Pacific) in a 90-minute movie special event that will combine three new episodes: "TransWarped," "Where Is Thy Sting?", and "Five Servos of Doom."





CNN Interviews Matt Groening on "Futurama" Future

CNN has interviewed Matt Groening about the fourth and final Futurama direct-to-video movie, Into the Wild Green Yonder, and about the potential for more Futurama in the future. Groening stated with a laugh, "We're having discussions and there is some enthusiasm but I can't tell if it's just me." He also discusses why he moved from comic strips run by alternative newspapers to animated TV, how the plots of the Futurama DTVs came together, what it was like to work with Seth MacFarlane in Into the Wild Green Yonder, how he feels about shows Family Guy and South Park, the long-running success of The Simpsons, and his feelings about the poor treatment of comics in newspapers.





Image Re-releases Animated "Kong" and "Highlander" DVDs

Tvshowsondvd.com reports that Image Entertainment is re-releasing Kong: The Animated Series and Highlander: The Animated Series on DVD.

Both show were released by Genius Entertainment, but the licensed agreement with Genius and BKN International has expired.

Kong: The Animated Series is a 5 disc set containing all 40 episodes, and the CGI animated movie Kong: Return to the Jungle. Suggested Retail Price: $24.98 USD. The set will be out on June 30th, 2009.

Highlander: The Animated Series is a 4 disc set containing all 40 episodes of the show based on the popular film and TV series. Suggested retail price: $19.98 USD. The set will be released on June 2nd, 2009.





PULSE News Talks with Greg Weisman on "Spectacular Spider-Man"

Comicon.com's PULSE News has interviewed Greg Weisman about his work on The Spectacular Spider-Man, which will debut on the Disney XD network in March. Among other topics, Weisman discusses how he landed the job as Supervising Producer/Story Editor/Writer/Voice Actor for the show, why he thinks Peter Parker is such a sympathetic character, where he was drawing his primary inspiration for the first two seasons of the show, and which Marvel characters we will get to see in the upcoming season of the show.

Weisman also discusses the potential for a third season of The Spectacular Spider-Man, stating that characters like the Scorpion and the Hobgoblin are very tentatively slated for a proposed third season, but stating openly that, "We don't have a pick-up for that," adding that the current economic climate has hit the animation industry very hard: "'s honestly pretty darn grim. Lots of lay-offs. Lots of empty desks, offices, cubicles at many a tv animation studio. Less production taking place then I've ever seen in 22 years in the animation business... including after 9/11."

Weisman also briefly discusses some of his other projects in progress at the moment, including his Gargoyles comic books and that he will be writing "at least one episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold," and also has several other projects in the works that are too early to talk about.





Rosario Dawson on Being Artemis for "Wonder Woman" Animated Movie

Warner Bros. Animation has released an interview with actor Rosario Dawson, who provides the voice for Artemis in the Wonder Woman direct-to-video animated movie. The outgoing Dawson speaks at length about the inspirations for her character and what she loves the most about Artemis, the joys and challenges of the role, her favorite moments of the script and of the movie as a whole, what she thinks of Wonder Woman as a character in comparison to Superman and Batman, her love for comic books and the works of Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, how she wants to play Harley Quinn on screen, and more.

The full press release/interview follows, along with three new high-definition screenshots from the movie. Click on any of the images to enlarge to full-size.

FANBOY FAVORITE ROSARIO DAWSON DISCUSSES “WONDER WOMAN,” THE NEXT DC UNIVERSE ANIMATED ORIGINAL MOVIE ARRIVING MARCH 3











Artemis, the Amazons’ lead warrior, prepares for battle in Wonder Woman, an all-new DC Universe animated original movie to be distributed March 3, 2009 by Warner Home Video. Rosario Dawson supplies the voice of Artemis.

Actress and fanboy favorite Rosario Dawson delivers a knockout punch as the voice of strong-willed Amazonian warrior Artemis in Wonder Woman, the next entry in the popular series of DC Universe animated original PG-13 movies due from Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation on March 3, 2009. Warner Home Video will distribute the all-new film, which will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View as well as available for download day and date, March 3, 2009.

Dawson, whose voiceover experience was previously limited to a single episode of Robot Chicken, completely immersed herself in the warrior mindset to bring Artemis to animated life. Dawson’s resonating take on the focused, powerful tones and dry, no-nonsense (and thus, unintentional humor) approach of Artemis perfectly complements the work done by the rest of the stellar voice cast, which includes Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Virginia Madsen and Alfred Molina.

Fans in the San Francisco Bay Area will have a chance to see the West Coast Premiere of Wonder Woman at WonderCon on Friday, February 27 at 6:00 p.m. in the Esplanade Ballroom of The Moscone Center. The premiere will be followed by a panel discussion of the film led by Virginia Madsen (the voice of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons), producer Bruce Timm, director Lauren Montgomery, writer Michael Jelenic and moderated by DC Comics Senior Vice President of Creative Affairs Gregory Noveck.

In a career spanning just over a dozen years, Dawson has managed to seamlessly glide between fanboy features, big-time Hollywood epics, charming independent and “smaller” films, and even a musical. She is constantly in demand by the hippest of today’s filmmakers from Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez to Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee and Kevin Smith., Her on-screen resume includes Sin City (and its upcoming sequel), Eagle Eye, Grindhouse, Clerks II and Men in Black II, as well Rent, Alexander, 25th Hour, He Got Game and the recent Seven Pounds.

Dawson is every fanboy’s fantasy: a stunning beauty with a greater love and knowledge of comic books than your average Wednesday-at-Golden-Apple geek. She has her own comic book series (“Occult Crimes Taskforce”), she hosted Saturday Night Live just a few weeks ago, and she once spoke Klingon as a guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

An interview with Dawson is only challenging for your tape recorder – because she has the capacity to answer a question for three minutes without taking a breath. She is more impressive and endearing than you’d ever hope to find, and she offered a significant stretch of time to discuss her role in Wonder Woman, the intrinsic attributes of a great super hero, an absolute adoration of Neil Gaiman, some deleted The Devil’s Rejects scenes, a hankering to play the live-action version of Harley Quinn, and her love for anything in the comics realm.

Enjoy the thoughts of Rosario Dawson …




QUESTION: Would you describe the challenges of bringing this character to life with this particular voice?

ROSARIO DAWSON:
I haven’t done that much voiceover work., so it was interesting to prepare for a character like Artemis who’s so strong and so powerful. Then you have the language, the pronunciations, the Greek mythology involved, the kind of accent they want. She’s from a different land and such a different time. I’m a New Yorker, so there are some aspects of being a tough woman that I thought I could bring to the role – but it’s such a different world as a woman who’s like a warrior. This medium is very dependent on understanding what the filmmakers want – so, ironically, listening is really important part to doing voiceover work.

QUESTION: Did you have preconceptions about doing this role versus how you ended up doing it?

ROSARIO DAWSON:
I think it was her deadpan humor that I didn’t anticipate. She’s definitely not one-dimensional. She’s very one-track-minded about her strength, and about her opinion. She’s very okay with the fact that the Amazons have cut themselves off from the rest of the world – she’s happy and secure in the way they live, and she takes a lot of pride and honor in being an Amazon and being Hippolyta’s right hand woman. But she’s so steadfast in her ways all the time that it does lend itself to moments of humor. That’s always an interesting thing to kind of play with, especially for a character like Artemis – she doesn’t have a funny bone in her body, so it’s actually funnier just to play those lines straight. I like the consistency of that.

QUESTION: What are the joys and the challenges of playing a role like this?

ROSARIO DAWSON:
Again, I’m a New Yorker, so I have this sort of tough vein that’s naturally bred into me. In general, I’m a nice person, and that seems to surprise people sometimes. I’ll be at Comic-Con and people will say, “I’ve been watching you for three days and you seem really nice – but you were really scary in Sin City. How did you do that?” And I’m like, “Acting!” (she laughs) I’ve played so many different roles that are very strong minded women, and I think ultimately the key to that is (A) because I come at it from such a different outside perspective that I’m able to kind of appreciate exactly what that looks like, and I savor the opportunities of being able to play that in a character;; and (B) I think ultimately that the key to it is not just playing strong, but to understand the reasons that she’s strong, and the situations in the world she lives. It’s about knowing why she adopts that kind of behavior or personality. For someone like Artemis, it’s very different from someone like Gail (in Sin City). A different background lends itself to different nuances. It’s kind of interesting to play someone who is so strong, but also very feminine. These Amazons are women are very proud to be women. Artemis is strong, but she’s not trying to be masculine. If anything, she just really fully believes she is superior because she IS a woman. So I tried to keep my voice very strong and sometimes very gravelly, but still have a little bit of warmth. It’s not like she hates men. It’s just that she believes ultimately that the choices they’ve made as women in protecting themselves are the best choices that could possibly made. I like that it’s embracing womanhood, and the strength that a woman has – as opposed to maybe feeling like she’s lesser than men, and that’s why she tries so hard to be strong.










Artemis wields her mighty sword in leading the Amazons against the forces of Ares in Wonder Woman.

QUESTION: Did you have a favorite moment or line?

ROSARIO DAWSON:
Artemis has a few really great lines because she plays everything – even the humor – very straight. The one that made me laugh out loud when I read it was when she tells Hippolyta that they shouldn’t have let Diana go out into the outside world. Hippolyta asks, “What could we have done to have stopped her?” And Artemis says, “Well I could have shot her in the leg with an arrow. Not in an artery, of course.” It’s just so deadpan – she wouldn’t kill her, but she would’ve shot her. It’s so dry, and it’s so honest. And I love that.

QUESTION: What are your overall impressions of the character of Wonder Woman in perspective with this script?

ROSARIO DAWSON:
I really liked the change to present day, with nuclear missiles and all that kind of stuff. I think it really ups the ante, bringing real discussions of what it would be like to have a super hero in our world right now. We’re really delving into so many stories that are comic book based, so I like that we have a woman as part of that production. We haven’t really explored that too much. Wonder Woman has had so many different connotations over the years because she’s so beloved as a character, and it’s been interesting to see how she’s evolved – to see how her outfits have changed, and going from having her invisible plane to starting to fly herself, and sort of be on par with the physical attributes of Superman. She is like the female Superman. She has represented so much for women and everything women were not traditionally allowed to do, like embracing your sensuality and being strong at the same time. They’re supposed to be in contradiction, but she holds it with dignity and with class. She didn’t look like princesses that you normally saw, but she was a princess. There were so many great things about her, and I’m very excited to see that all of that is maintained.

Wonder Woman has really evolved, and her character has been unique in many ways. She was raised with this backwards perspective about men, and she learned to kind of evolve her mind past that. She’s able to separate and unite concepts – that these are my lessons as a child, but these are my experiences as a woman, and I can put the two together and make sense of it all. She’s a great balance to Superman and Batman. She has a very clear understanding of everything, so she’s not afraid to maybe take it as far as Batman would, which is very different than Superman. She does understand that sometimes war is necessary, and to that end she is like an angel with a flaming sword. That’s an amazing character, and it makes sense that we keep going back to her because she really does resonate with each generation.

QUESTION: Were you modeling your present character on any of your past performances?

ROSARIO DAWSON:
No, partly because I’ve never played a character like this before. Plus, I’m used to using my body a lot more, Even with Sin City, as we were doing everything with green screen, at least we still had costumes and certain markings, and other people to work with. So being in an environment where there’s just a script in front of you, and you’re not really working off of someone, you try to milk it for the mike. It’s a different kind of experience. Mostly I was pulling from thinking of the warriors in my life. My mom is six feet tall, and she was raised with four brothers, so she’s the toughest woman I know. She was in gangs when she was younger; she used to be a plumber; she’s a singer and a great cook. It’s like that song says, she’s a Brick House. It was an interesting thing as a young girl growing up, to know that song and think of that as your mother. So when I told her I was doing this film, she was really excited because she’s our Amazon. We’ve even gotten her a Wonder Woman mug in the past. It’s nice because I know my mom will always be taller than me – so when I have a bad day, she always envelops me in a great warm hug. I always feel like my mom’s there. Even as she gets older, she’s always gonna feel like a warrior woman who can handle anything. She can take care of me. She can protect me. That’s a wonderful thing. Ultimately, that’s what I wanted to bring to the character.

QUESTION: Have you always been a fan of comic books, and what characters or writers/artists do you gravitate toward?

ROSARIO DAWSON:
To some degree, peripherally if not always 100 percent, I’ve always had comic books as part of my life. My uncle Gus (Gustavo Vazquez) is a comic book artist who dabbled with DC and Marvel, and he’s been a tremendous influence in my life – he was an actor and a singer, and he’s still doing all of that. I looked up to him as an artist, and a performer. He was always into comics – I think he’s been drawing since he was 4-years-old – and he always took his comics very seriously. I couldn’t even breathe on his comics. I could never touch his comics. I read his comics, but only over his shoulder, and I would nod to him so he could flip the page when I was done reading. He gave me the feeling that comics were sacred texts, and my grubby little fingers weren’t allowed to touch them. So I’ve always had this really strong love and respect for comics, and the way that the storytelling comes across. The kind of characters that are developed, the issues that are addressed, and the great stories. In the same way that we can look at wonderful films and the journeys they take us on, I’ve always really believed and trusted in the same concepts with comics.

I know what a collaborative effort it is between writers and artists to create a comic. I’ve always had a true respect and admiration for it. I love Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman -- I freaked out when I got to hear Gaiman speak for 15 minutes at Comic-Con, just because it’s like real literature when he writes for comics. It’ll sound silly, but I take such pride in the fact that I even know to read them, and I’m so grateful that I have that as an influence. It’s so interesting to me that there’s a huge world of comic book fans, but it’s also still very small. But it’s definitely reaching out and touching a wider population today, especially with all the comics being made into films. The influences of people like Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller are reaching new audiences, and that’s exciting.

Honestly, any success that I ever have in doing anything with a comic means more to me most of the time than anything else, because I know if people in comics are approving, then it’s actually really approved. There’s a fine toothcomb that goes through any work in the comic book industry. Because people within this world, if they don’t like you or what you’ve done, they really have no problem telling you that you suck. (she laughs) I don’t mean they’ll say they weren’t interested or they didn’t like it, I mean they will stand in front of you and tell you, “You suck!”

I’ve been co-writing this comic book for a while, and it’s been going really well. And it makes me feel really excited because it was a big risk for me. I think that was probably one of the scarier things that I’ve ever done, co-writing on the Occult Crimes Taskforce. You don’t do that very often, especially as an actor. You act in this sort of vacuum, then it gets edited and put into the theaters, and maybe you hear how it does. But doing a comic resonates with people.

QUESTION: As active as you are in fantasy films, do you actively seek out roles in that genre?

ROSARIO DAWSON:
It’s funny – I was at a producer meeting for this really big movie and the guy was saying, “I’m working on all these projects, and … I did Rob Zombie’s first movie and I’m gonna do a second one.” He said it like he was apologizing, like he just automatically assumed it wouldn’t be something I’d be interested in. And I’m saying, “Oh my God, Rob Zombie! I love him! House of Thousand Corpses – I love that movie! Are there any parts in (the new film) for me?” So while we were filming Sin City, I ended up doing a day of work on The Devil’s Rejects. I ended up being one of the rejects of The Devil’s Rejects, because I only made it to the DVD deleted scenes, but I got my throat torn up by Dr. Satan and it was really awesome.

I think it’s great to have very varied experiences, because that makes me who I am. I grew up listening to Bowie and Queen, but also Billie Holiday and Joni Mitchell and Jim Croce. But people don’t know that. They watch one of my films, and think I am that character. Most of the time they’re going to be surprised that that’s not me. I’ve had some really interesting experiences in my life, and luckily it’s been able to be reflected in my work. Big budget or small budget films, Spike Lee to Robert Rodriguez to Frank Miller, and I’m excited to continue doing that, The fanboy stuff will always be prevalent – it really has added to my life. I can appreciate it in pop culture in a deep way. It’s a cool thing to be a part of.










Artemis is pinned between two swords in the heat of battle during Wonder Woman.

QUESTION: Do you realize what a hit you are in the sci-fi comic book fanboy arena?

ROSARIO DAWSON:
That’s only because I spoke Klingon on Conan O’Brien! (she laughs very hard) I love Star Trek. I just bought my brother all the series, every single disk, full of Star Trek: The Next Generation. We will sit there and go over all of that stuff, and my brother remembers everything right down to the code that Data says in episode 114. It’s bad. So it’s great when I get to kind of do anything in that fanboy/fangirl world. The fans are totally passionate about it, and I get to let my inner geek out.


QUESTION: If you could play one comic book character on screen, who would it be and why?

ROSARIO DAWSON:
Harley Quinn. Now THAT would be fun. I’d have to really transform myself, which could be really, really fun. You don’t see too many female villains that aren’t like Poison Ivy, where they’re just really sexy but not much otherwise. Harley is such an off-base kind of girl, she is in that same sort of Batman/Joker insanity.

I love playing women who are strong, and characters that have these great convictions and do the right thing. I’m always 100 percent behind that. But I also like to challenge myself to kind of go in the other direction and really explore what the opposite sort of incarnation would be, to look at a situation and think, “What’s the way I can reap the most harm.” You hit the most conflict when you’re approaching a situation trying to be good, and it would be really interesting and I think really freeing and liberating in some ways. The physicality of doing it would be an interesting exploration because you really can’t be too big or too full or too expressive when you’re creating mayhem and embracing chaos. There’s a flow that evil characters seem to get into sometimes that would be fun to play with, like when you’re playing a video game and you choose to be the character that’s most destructive. I wouldn’t want to be that in real life, I don’t want that legacy, I don’t want that reality, but it would be interesting to explore it in a manner like that, to see what it would feel like when that inner voice shuts off and you just kind of go with it. That would be a safe environment to explore the darker sides of myself.

QUESTION: How do you think fans will react to the final film?

ROSARIO DAWSON:
I was really excited when I was reading Wonder Woman. Michael Jelenic wrote these long paragraphs every once in a while in the middle of the action sequences, things about Wonder Woman beating up a villain in the mall and her destroying the mall being a metaphor for women who are only supposed to just look cute and kind of parade themselves around but actually feeling like being superior to it and showing their strength and femininity at the same time. And then he’d write, “Okay, I’ve said my peace, back to the story.” There were all these little moments where he kind of spoke out to the people who were reading it about just how serious he was taking it, not just the origin stories but really getting the characters across and really setting up Wonder Woman for the next projects. That was cool and it’s a great set-up. The whole story has a strong resonance, the dialogue is very strong, the violence is very real, there’s great strength in the characters and the issues that they’re facing, and there’s all this Greek mythology and the parallels in the two worlds. It’s a very strong script and I really liked it. It’s very respectful to the legacy of the character. I want to see these characters again, I want to see where they’re going to take this next.

Please visit the film’s official website at www.wonderwomanmovie.com

Trademark information for the images:
"Wonder Woman" (c) Warner Bros. Ent Inc. "Wonder Woman" and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and (c) DC Comics. All Rights Reserved.






Angry Looking Wolfman Concept Art.

While The Wolfman may be shrouded in mystery as to why it keeps getting shuffled around the Universal slate (i.e., it's not good, they need time to finish effects, blah blah blah) one thing that should be concrete is how cool The Wolfman should actually look.

Or at least we hope. Hopefully the actual transformation from hairy Benicio into hairy Wolfman will be as badass as any transformation we've ever seen on the big screen. And if these concept art images are any indication, then at least the finished product will look pretty decent.

What I like about these images is how old school they're making this version of the Wolfman look. He's not some roided up looking doggie or super wolf. He actually looks like the old school Wolfman. At least I hope he will when it's all said and done.

Enough of my babbling, check out the images below. Click HERE to go to the ZBrush Central forums.

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