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Comics to screen and more

By: Quique Colon

Date Posted: 1999-03-02

This week we start off with the latest news on some projects that have been in limbo for a while. In the early days of the cold war, ultra brilliant scientist Reed Richards, his beautiful fiancé Sue Storm, ace pilot Ben Grimm, & Sue's young brother Johnny Storm blast off into space, hoping to beat the Russians to the moon. Only minutes in space, powerful cosmic radiation irradiates the ship & crew. Upon crashing back on earth the four find themselves imbued with powers beyond the scope of normal humans. Reed Richards can stretch his body to incredible lengths, Sue can become invisible at will and create powerful force fields, Johnny can burst into flames, as well as take to the skies, and Ben mutates into the rocky orange skinned but super-powerful "Thing". Now the four must work together to stop the evil genius dictator, Dr. Doom from enslaving the planet.

Thus is the setting for 20th Century Fox's The Fantastic Four based on the Marvel Comic Book series by Stan "The Man" Lee & Jack "King" Kirby. This action/adventure movie had been made as a low budget movie but just before it hit the screens, Steven Spielberg's production company bought the rights to the film with the intent of making a bigger budgeted movie later on. The movie is still in the early stages though the studio is hoping for a summer 2000 release date.

Next up is one woman who can kick the butts of about a hundred Xenas, and still take out an evil monster or four without mussing her hair is none other than Wonder Woman! This Warner Brothers studio production has the ever-sexy Catherine Zeta-Jones (Mask Of Zorro) rumored to be playing the Amazonian warrior princess based on the DC comic book series. But throw out the notion that this gal is all looks and no brains or guts, in her current incarnation she's the most powerful female super-heroine in the DC pantheon, with strength at a level just under Superman & Captain Marvel. Producers are hoping to bring that combination of power, beauty & intelligence to the big screen. Ivan Reitman & Jon Peters may be sharing the production & directing chairs according to inside sources though there is no release date yet as this movie is in the morass of developmental limbo.

In better shape as far as become a reality is The X-Men from Twentieth Century Fox. Based on the popular Marvel Comic Book series, this project has some heavy hitters tied to it. Actors Patrick Stewart, Angela Basset, Russell Crow, Edward Norton, Julianne Moore and the production team of the Donners, (the same who made us believe a man could fly in the Superman Movies) as well as director Bryan Singer. The movie's premise pits the students of a school for gifted (gifted as in born with super powers & abilities) children against the most powerful mutant on the planet…Magneto, the self-proclaimed master of magnetism. The line up includes Cyclops (who can fire force beams from his eyes) Storm (who can control the weather) Rogue (who can absorb the power & memory of any person she touches), Marvel Girl (with the ability to read your mind as well as the power of telekinesis) and Wolverine (born with the uncanny ability to regenerate almost instantly and the feral ability as well as the claws of his namesake). Release date for this picture has been set for Summer 2000.

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