With The Fantastic Four movie hitting theatres July 8th, Marvel CEO Avi Arad talked about other Marvel Comics being turned into films. X-Men 3 starts production in August and Arad said, "Dark Phoenix should not be the centerpiece of the movie." He also mentioned that there are two spin-off movies in the works; Wolverine, going into production almost as soon as X3 wraps and a young Magneto film is being developed.
Arad says of Magneto: "It's being written. It's going to be a smaller movie, very true to the origin". The Magneto film will star an actor much younger than Ian McKellen, but that doesn't mean that he is on the outs. "There's no way for me to think of not walking into the story through him — through something happening now, and then going back there. Ian is an ambassador for this, and he needs to be there."
Big budget Ghost Rider staring Nicolas Cage comes out August 2006, and Arad talked about its PG-13 rating and a Southern Rock soundtrack.
Spider-Man 3 is set for a May 2007 release and everything seems to be in place for it. Arad said that films 3 and 4 will not be shot at the same time, but Dylan Baker will return as Dr. Curt Connors for the third film.
Announcements on Iron Man and Silver Surfer are expected soon. On Silver Surfer Arad dropped a hint about the director saying he’s “mentally committed to it… incredible with visuals ” and currently shooting another film, and “a spiritual guy, a Zen Buddhist."
Other projects named were The Punisher, an R rated sequel to the 2004 film, Cloak & Dagger, Iron Fist, Hulk for 2007, a darker Daredevil sequel but no more Elektra, Nick Furry, Thor and finally Namor to be directed by David Hayter as his directorial debut.
Production is moving forwards on a movie version of American McGee’s Alice. Based on the Electronic Arts computer game developed by McGee, the film follows a grownup Alice; yes as in Alice in Wonderland as she has become a disturbed young woman. She now returns to Wonderland, a dark and threatening place, to confront her fears and the wicked Queen of Hearts. Sarah Michelle Gellar will play Alice under the direction of Marcus Nispel, director of 2003’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are together for two movies this year. Late September brings an animated Corpse Bride in the style of Nightmare Before Christmas, but before that Depp plays Willy Wonka in Burton’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, opening July 15th. Warner Bros. have, of course, set up a site for the movie at chocolatefactorymovie.com, but now they also added mini sites for each of the supporting characters.
UPN starts the 2005 fall season without a science-fiction series of any kind, let alone Star Trek. For the first time the young network will focus on its ethnic diversity programming, and a little fake violence, WWE style.
Tuesdays at 9pm brings SEX, LIES & SECRETS, a fresh, edgy new drama that explores the intimate and often complex relationships of a tight-knit group of friends set in a small, hip neighborhood on the outskirts of Hollywood. As these twenty-somethings try to discover who they are and what they want in life. They have become a family sharing everything, but as in any family, the need to protect each other can often compel these friends to keep secrets that sometimes do more harm than good. Denise Richards, Eric Balfour, Lauren German, Omar Miller, Tamara Taylor, and James Stevenson star.
Thursdays at 8pm starts the second comedy-night of the week, as EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS. From the mind of Chris Rock, who narrates the hilarious, touching story of a teenager growing up as the eldest of three children in Brooklyn, during the early 1980's. Uprooted to a new neighborhood and bused to a predominantly white middle school two-hours away by his strict, hard-working parents, Chris struggles to find his place while keeping his siblings in line at home and surmounting the challenges of junior high. This responsible, resilient adolescent brings a distinct, funny spin to his everyday trials and traumas.
The last comedy on Thursday nights is LOVE, INC. Denise Johnson is an energetic, pragmatic young woman who takes pride in her success as a full-service dating consultant. As the female version of Hitch this savvy matchmaker and her quirky co-workers help lovelorn single men, and even women, present the best image possible to just the right prospects. Skilled at helping her clients find their seemingly unattainable soul mates, Denise continues to grapple with her inability to find one herself. The series stars Holly Robinson Peete.
Over at the FOX network, animation is king on Sunday nights. Seth McFarland’s American Dad and Family Guy join the old favorites King of the Hill and The Simpsons. Moving out of the Sunday lineup, Malcolm in the Middle finds a new spot on Fridays and taking its place is The War at Home. This witty, irreverent show from Rob Lotterstein (“Will & Grace,” “Ellen,” “Dream On”) goes inside the heads of a modern family through the use of a confessional space where the characters reveal everything they could never actually say to one another.
On Mondays right after Arrested Development, we’ll be treated to some Kitchen Confidential. Based on renowned chef Anthony Bourdain’s best-selling autobiography, Kitchen Confidential explores the deliciously crazy world of upscale restaurants. The show exposes the secrets of the restaurant business through the delectable story of a talented chef who’s determined to climb back to the top of the food game.