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August 2006 Archives

August 7, 2006

Marvel Movie Update

The following was originally posted on ComicBookResources.com:

With its second quarter report on Monday, Marvel Entertainment listed its movie schedule with no significant updates -- unless you listened to the webcast.

David Maisel, vice president of Marvel Studios, said that Marvel will have two independently produced films for 2008.

According to Maisel, one will be Iron Man, with a scheduled May 2 release. "We haven't said what the second film will be," he said.

Likely candidates for that position are Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man or Captain America.

Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige previously told The Continuum that Hulk could go into production as early as April, which would make it a strong candidate for 2008.

In addition to its two self-financed films, 2008 also could see a Wolverine film from Fox and a Punisher sequel from Lionsgate.

Maisel declined to list a budget for Iron Man and it was noted that Marvel gets $5 million from Sony when it options a Spider-Man sequel and another $5 million when the film goes into production.

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Marvel Studios' Upcoming Slate

The following was originally posted on Superherohype.com:

Marvel Entertainment has releases its Q2 2006 Earnings which includes an updated list of upcoming projects for Marvel Studios. We've left off the projects that have already been released:

Licensed Marvel Character Feature Film Line-Up For 2007
Ghost Rider, Sony - In post-production, February 16, 2007 release
Spider-Man 3, Sony - In production, May 4, 2007 release
Fantastic Four 2, Fox - In early pre-production, June 15, 2007 release

Film Projects Being Developed by Marvel (Partial List)
The first two films are anticipated for release in 2008.
Ant-Man, Marvel - Writer and director engaged
Captain America, Marvel - Writer engaged
The Incredible Hulk, Marvel - Writer and director engaged
Iron Man, Marvel - Writer and director engaged, slated for May 2, 2008
Nick Fury, Marvel - Writer engaged
Thor, Marvel - Writer engaged

The Avengers, Black Panther, Cloak & Dagger, Doctor Strange, Hawkeye,
Power Pack and Shang-Chi are also projects to be developed by Marvel.

Licensed Marvel Character Film Development Pipeline (Partial List)
Deathlok, Paramount - TBD
Gargoyle, Sony - TBD
Luke Cage, Sony - TBD
Magneto, Fox - TBD
Namor, Universal - TBD
The Punisher 2, Lionsgate - TBD
Wolverine, Fox - TBD

Marvel Character Animated TV Projects in Development
Fantastic Four, Moonscoop SAS (France) - 26, 30 minute episodes airing in 2006; U.S. distribution expected on Cartoon Network
Wolverine, First Serve Toonz (India) - 26, 30 minute episodes in development
Iron Man, Method Films (France) - 26, 30 minute episodes in development

Marvel Character Animated Direct-to-Video Projects in Development
Partnership with Lionsgate to develop, produce and distribute original animated DVD features. Titles include: Ultimate Avengers 2 (scheduled for August 8, 2006), Iron Man and Doctor Strange.

Marvel Character Live Action TV Projects (Partial List)
Alter Ego and Skrull Kill Krew in development.

2006 Video Game Releases
Activision, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance - To be released Q4 2006

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August 10, 2006

Marvel Struts Its Stuff

The following was originally posted on Variety.com:

Marvel Enterprises will pay Paramount, or any other studio, a 10% distribution fee as it sets out to make its own pics.

Company disclosed the maximum fee allowable under its loan structure during a conference call with Wall Streeters. Briefing was designed to introduce the studio's new management team sans Avi Arad and detail its upcoming slate.

The absence of Arad, who shocked many by stepping down from his post as chairman of Marvel Studios in May, was somewhat surprising as he is still producing several Marvel pics and is drawing his full salary until the end of the year as a "creative adviser."

Asked about Arad's absence, a Marvel spokesman noted that "Avi has his own production company now, and these are the Marvel executives putting forth the long-term strategy."

Investors and the press had become used to the boisterous exec as the public face of the company; Thursday call was the first major Marvel Studios event with prexy Michael Helfant and production topper Kevin Feige out front.

Marvel will use the $525 million Merrill Lynch debt facility to fund its slate, which will kick off with "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk" in 2008. Par is set to release most of the Marvel pics, although Universal will distribute "Iron Man."

Responding to an analyst's question, studio execs said they aren't worried about saturating the marketplace by turning out two pics a year. They said there continues to be a "large appetite" for such pics.

Films are expected to cost $130 million or less.

Marvel execs also tried to allay concerns over New Line putting "Iron Man" into turnaround and U giving back the rights for the "Hulk" sequel. They said these are common practices in Hollywood.

Asked about potential sequels, studio said there would probably be a gap of 18-30 months between installments.

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August 11, 2006

Zak Penn Assemble!

The following was originally posted on CHUD.com:

The word got out this week – Marvel is planning an Avengers movie, and Zak Penn, one half of the writing team on X-Men: The Last Stand and the writer of the upcoming Incredible Hulk, will be doing the screenwriting chores. I contacted Zak to ask him for some more info about what his vision of The Avengers would be. First I wanted to know where he would be getting his inspiration: the normal Marvel Universe Avengers or The Ultimates, Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s widescreen re-envisioning of the team?

“No question the thing that it inspired me was the Ultimates run,” Zak told me. “I thought it was brilliant, cinematic, and made me realize that a super hero team didn't have to be goofy. There has been a lot of discussion about whether it will be live action or a next-gen big budget CGI thing, but we've tabled it for awhile while I write the Hulk. I imagine we will make all these decisions next year.”

One of the things that has fans excited about The Avengers movie is the possibility of scale. While there’s a long time between now and real work getting done on this project, Zak does have his eye on making this a real Marvel U movie – a real Marvel Film U movie, that is. “One thing I can tell you is that when I was a kid, I loved Marvel Team Up, Marvel Two in One, anything where you got a sense of the whole Marvel universe. The more we can draw from the other Marvel movies the better.”

It’ll be interesting to see where that goes – will whoever gets hired to play Iron Man also be contracted for The Avengers? Or at least for his voice, if the film does go CGI? And with Marvel having so many of its characters home under one roof again, we could be seeing a massive showing of Marvel characters.

And we may not have to wait for The Avengers movie for that. “By the way, I'm hoping you'll see some other Marvel characters in the Hulk,” Zak teased.

Look for more from Zak Penn in the coming weeks as Dave Davis and I recount our massive and epic Las Vegas adventure on the set of his improv poker movie, The Grand. And it won’t just be Zak – we’ll have on set interviews from Werner Herzog, David Cross, Avi Arad and more.

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August 18, 2006

Kevin Feige Interview

The following was originally posted on MTV.com:

After Spidey, Marvel To Focus On Hulk's Relaunch, Captain America's Big-Screen Debut

Meet the new president of production for Marvel Studios, a surprisingly fresh-faced exec with big plans for the comic book blockbusters you'll be lining up for over the next decade.

"We always stay true to what we feel is the right story to tell," Feige added, referring to Marvel's relationship with its Web-savvy fans. "But they can have more of an impact than they know."

If you live by the sword, you die by the sword, however, and those very same fans have voiced skepticism over Marvel's decision to rebirth the Hulk, a character whose 2003 movie was widely seen as a disappointment.

"[It's going to be] a little more Marvel," Feige explained. "[We want] to make it a little more true to the comics."

Feige wouldn't discuss the future of Eric Bana, who has said that he'd like to return for another shot as the big guy.

"It's much too early for specifics," Feige said. "But Hulk remains one of our biggest characters, second only to Spider-Man in terms of popularity, so we're going to bring it back to the screen in a big way."

For the complete article, click here.

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