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April 5, 2000

According to Variety scoopster, Mike Fleming, Sony/Columbia Studios have opted to pass on two of Marvel Comics high-profile superhero franchises -- "Daredevil" and "Dr. Strange."

Sam Raimi's adaptation of "Spider-Man" is perhaps the highest profile project in the Columbia arsenal but had both "DD" and "DS" on the fast track. Talks between the studio and Marvel hit the wall after six months of dealmaking making the status of these two projects very uncertain. Though "DD" and "DS" still have a good chance of being made, they will be floating in Hollywood limbo until they can find a new studio. According to Harry's AICN site, there was some "talk" that Marvel head man, Avi Arad, wished to do a 30 minute internet original program (one for each character). The films were set to go (established budgets, talent, etc.) but then Sony decided they wanted to go forward with a 10 minute original internet streaming product instead. The debate caused friction between the two companies and lead to this parting of the ways.

Daredevil has writer/director Mark Steven Johnson and his producing partner Gary Foster attached. Dr. Strange, likely scripted by Mike France, has helmers Chuck Russell and "Blade" director Steve Norrington both showing signs of interest, though no one has officially signed on. This news only goes to prove, once again, that a done deal in Hollywood isn't a done deal until it's well...a done deal.

Meanwhile the X-Men film has finished principal photography and a second trailer is set to be released on-line tonight at 11pm EST. I just saw the full 2 1/2 minute trailer on Access Hollywood and it looks good! The trailer's visuals aren't grainy, like the first, plus we get much greater doses of all the characters in action. The character's name flash on the screen and then a clip of each is shown in action. First the good mutants, then the bad mutants. Rogue uses her power-draining abilities, Summers uses his lasers and Storm displays her electrifying powers. If you didn't get to see it, then check out this URL for the on-line version.

* * * You'll need QuickTime to view the trailer but if you don't, you can easily download it after you click on the link * * *

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