Picked up from a conference by an eager ATR-ite, we present an article alleging to be Fox’s pitch for the Fantastic Four movie:
Based on the Marvel comic book series, Fantastic Four is a sci-fi action adventure set in the near future. As a result of a space lab accident, four ordinary people gain extraordinary powers…powers based on their own psyche.
Mr. Fantastic, always spread too thin, has the ability to make himself into an ever-expanding blob. Ben, who always put up barricades to his emotions, becomes The Thing, a man of chrome and steel. Sue, whose efforts always go unnoticed, becomes Invisible Woman and Johnny, hot-tempered, is powered by fire to become the Human Torch. Together they form the Fantastic Four, poised to save the world.
dir: raja gosnell
st: chris columbus, michael france, sam hamm, philip morton
I guess rocks are too expensive to do on computer, eh?
This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 out Of 10
Harry Knowles has some insight into the above story. He writes on Ain’t It Cool.
“Well… That’s some scary shit there. I mean… Reed Richards with Harry Knowles powers? Ben Grimm looking like the Silver Surfer. Well… This is the exact sort of CRAP that I don’t need to be hearing. And given Hollywood’s INSANE history with codpieces and nipples…. no Punisher skull… costume changes… etc… I began to actually panic that something hidieous like this could pan out to be true…. so without sparing a single moment I began to investigate…. contacting a top secret mole upon the FANTASTIC FOUR team at Fox… and heard the following…. All work that has been done in the Art Department had the THING looking like the ever-loving blue-eyed lug that we all love. And that Reed Richards will have the same ol regular ol Mr Fantastic powers. The belief of… Agent Annihilus was that some PR putz most likely was handed an issue of MARVELS and mistook the SILVER SURFER as THE THING… after all… they both love the lovely Alicia Masters… GEESH… hehehe… PATHETIC MONKEYS!”
“My source is rock solid on this film and this. However, the bad news is the film is sort of just sitting at FOX at the moment, and it does not look to get the greenlight prior to the anticipated strikes next year. So just chill and know… it’s not coming soon…. but when and if it does come… there won’t be no damn chrome Ben Grimm!”
However we’ve been forwarded the scan from the document in question. Those wacky Fox guys!
I also hear that Fox, the multi-media conglomerate owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International has itself bought a majority stake in Dark Horse Comics.
Dark Horse already publish a number of Fox-related titles, from the Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel and Fray to Starship Troopers, Star Wars, and Titan A.E. A closer financial tie might make very good business sense, in the same way that Eidos owns a chunk of Top Cow.
Any Dark Horse or Fox employees willing to spill the beans?
This Has A Rumour Value Of 4 out Of 10
Randy Stradley of Dark Horse Comics writes “No truth to the rumor. And, don’t you think that if it was true that Dark Horse (at least) would be crowing about it?”
“Also, just for the record: Starship Troopers is a Sony motion picture, and while Star Wars was released to theaters by Fox, it is owned by Lucasfilm (with whom we have our license).”
“This Has A Rumor Value of 0 out of 10”
Twitchy Reflex Action
Brian Michael Bendis, writer of AKA Goldfish, Jinx, Torso, Fortune And Glory, Ultimate Spider-Man, Hellspawn, and Sam And Twitch is set to drop the last two. We hear reports that Bendis does not work for McFarlane Productions anymore. Internal rumours suggest that Bendis’ heavy workload saw him drop the Hellspawn book and subsequently had the Sam And Twitch book taken away. It is not known if the Sam And Twitch book will be cancelled or not.
I contacted Bendis but did not receive a reply. I’ve been snubbed, I tell you. Snubbed!
This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10
As just about every other news site has now picked up on, including Silver Bulletins, Bendis confirmed much of the above story in a post to his message boards at http://www.wfcomics.com/boards/bendis. It reads “I am no longer working on Hellspawn or Sam and twitch. My last issues will be Sam and twitch 19 and Hellspawn 7. My work on these scripts is completed. I genuinely feel the work I did on the TMP books was up there with some of my best and I hope you all continue to support my work on those titles as they ship over the coming months.”
“Let me clearly say that this turn of events in no way impacts my relationship with Image Central. It was Jim Valentino who brought me into Image many years ago. Way before I was courted by tmp, and I am happy to say my relationship with image remains as strong and positive as it ever has. Powers, along with my assorted collected works and future projects, will continue unabated.”
“I had a great time at TMP. It was a fun couple of years and it certainly helped to open up many other doors for me.”
And in a following message, about this column and concerns some of his fans had, he wrote “rich is an old time fan from way back and i ain’t sore that he posted the info he thought he had. i find his column entertaining. for the record, this is the first bendis rumor he was even in the ball park of..:) “
Oh har de har har, Bendis.
Your Man Not At Marvel
There’s been speculation as to whether Chris Claremont will leave both X-books or remain on one. Certainly, the original rumour I printed said he’d stay on one, and other sources since have backed that up. No longer, Bill Rosemann at Your Man At Marvel slipped into a reply about Claremont’s position at Marvel the news “Chris Claremont will indeed be stepping aside from writing both X-MEN and UNCANNY X-MEN.”
Well, considering Bill Rosemann told me that the rumours I first reported about Chris’ departure were ridiculous, it’s good to see he’s finally come round.
This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10
I hear rumour of a new imprint from Top Cow called Minotaur. Publishing creator-owned concepts, this will include Warren Ellis’ Down and Gary Frank’s Kin… amongst others.
I contacted Top Cow for comment ? but received no response. I’m starting to feel a pattern here.
This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10
Millar’s Busy Time
Mark Millar is a busy boy! Currently moving offices, he sent an industry-wide e-mail out, that included a few details about his writing current projects. He’s finished writing his TV series Sikeside nice and early, reckons the script for Jenny Sparks: The Secret History Of The Authority #5 will be ready early this week, that Frank Quitely has the beginnings of a new script ready when he’s finished the current Authority issue, he’s finished plotting X-Men 2, will have a finished script ready next week well in time for Andy Kubert’s schedule, he’s getting a lot of stuff ready for Mike Macca (anyone know what this is?) and he’s giving Andy Diggle of 2000AD the run around for an old royalty cheque.
No wonder he’s rumoured to have turned down so many other projects! Go Marky!
This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10
Diamond In The Rough
I was forwarded an e-mail that Diamond UK sent out to comics retailers. It goes “Over the past six months, we have been reviewing the movement in the currency exchange rate between the Pound and the US Dollar and this has forced us to look at the prices that we have to charge in respect of all our US imported items.”
“In addition, we have also suffered this year from higher freight costs as a result of world wide fuel price increases.”
“It is for these reasons that we are taking this opportunity to announce our new prices set out on the attached schedule, which will be applied with effect from 1 October 2000 in relation to all products. May we take this opportunity to thank you for your on-going custom which we greatly value and we look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.”
Basically, the prices seem to have gone up by about 20%. Which is one hell of a hike, especially on product that’s already been ordered before the price hike.
A lot of UK comic shops have gone into headless chicken mode, trying to find money to pay the new higher bills they’ll be getting. Watch for a lot of Autumn Sales going on in the next few weeks.
Bigger shops might not feel the pinch as much, as they already get better discounts from Diamond and this won’t affect them as much. One shop employee in London I talked to told me that they might just add 5 pence to the price of everything and eat the rest of the increase. But this won’t be a viable option for everyone.
The thing is, the pound/dollar ratio for the last few years has been very heavily weighted towards the pound, but I don’t recall any reduction in the price of comics when that was happening…
This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10
Next Week’s Column:
It’ll be a big one. Joe Illidge will be talking about his time at DC Comics on the editorial staff of the Batbooks and the circumstances that led to his demotion and resignation. Attendance is compulsory, folks!
This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10