Where things stand on 5 stalled superheroes

An update on pix in development

While the X-Men made their “Last Stand” onscreen in May, other superheroes are still waiting to make their first. Never fear, we’ve got an update on the top superhero pics in development around town.


Filmmaker Jon Favreau is handling helming duties for the film, which centers on the heavy-fisted former weapons-manufacturer Tony Stark. Shooting is scheduled to start in early 2007 with Marvel Entertainment producing and Paramount Pictures distributing. Pic is the first project to be produced by Marvel under its output deal with Par, and the “Man” (who has yet to be cast) already has his name stamped on the release sked: May 2, 2008.


This fan-favorite character will ride his way onto celluloid accompanied by the Fantastic Four, the way he was in the Marvel comic. That means “Fantastic Four” director Tim Story will again guide the troops in Fox’s “Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer,” set to begin production at summer’s end with a release date pegged for June 15, 2007. By doing so, the “Surfer” will build momentum with an eye to splash his way out in his own project down the road.


Here lies the most famous nonsuperpowered Marvel character. And lying with him is screenwriter Andrew Marlowe (“Air Force One,” “Hollow Man”), who is at work on the screenplay. Insiders say the plan is to produce an epic spy movie with all the Marvel underpinnings so the superspy can get his due. Stay tuned.


This patriotically correct superhero is also one of Marvel’s most popular. Scribe David Self (“Road to Perdition”) is at the keyboard crafting the story surrounding the alter ego of Steve Rogers. Paramount is again onboard to distribute as part of Marvel’s independent slate arrangement with the studio. Meanwhile, the producers are zeroing in on a filmmaker to guide “America” to the theaters.


Thanks to the hot, evil-foe-fighting superwoman at the center of this popular DC franchise, there has been a spotlight on the casting choice on the project for some time. However, helmer Joss Whedon has said that writing the character the right way is first at hand, and that finding a name to play her will come later. Actresses who’ve had their names bandied about to don the Wonder Woman gear include Sandra Bullock, Catherine Zeta Jones, Kate Beckinsale, Lindsay Lohan and Charisma Carpenter.

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