Newsbites: The comics and cartoons edition!

Newsbites: The comics and cartoons edition! November 19, 2008

Time to catch up on a handful of items, here.

1. Disney has definitely caught the 3-D bug. Not only are they releasing eight brand-new films in that format over the next two years, and not only are they converting the first two Toy Story movies to the third dimension, they have now announced plans to give the hand-drawn Beauty and the Beast (1991) a 3-D makeover within that same timeframe. The film, which to this day remains the only animated movie to have been nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, was previously extended and spiffed up for an IMAX release in 2002. — Variety (x2), Hollywood Reporter (x2)

2. Documentaries like Chicago 10 and Waltz with Bashir have begun to make use of animation. In doing so, they have won raves from some critics, but not so much at the box office. — Variety

3. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who wrote The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) and the first two Chronicles of Narnia (2005-2008), have now been hired to write The First Avenger: Captain America for Marvel Studios. — Variety, Hollywood Reporter

4. The X-Men are going back to school! Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz is going to write X-Men: First Class, a movie that focuses on the students at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning more than the teachers. It is unclear whether this would be another sequel, or a prequel like the upcoming movies about Wolverine and Magneto, or a reboot altogether. — Variety

5. Magdalena co-star Luke Goss — who also played the evil Prince Nuada in Hellboy II: The Golden Army and the Persian monarch Xerxes in One Night with the King (2006) — thinks the new movie’s religious elements will make it “pretty sexy . . . For me, it’s almost like ‘Da Vinci Code’ with substance, and more action.” — MTV Splash Page

6. Too many composers. That is the reason the Academy has given for declaring that the score for The Dark Knight, credited to Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard among others, is ineligible for an Oscar nomination. — Variety

7. Guillermo del Toro and the Jim Henson Co. are teaming up to produce “a dark, twisted retelling” of Pinocchio, to be rendered in stop-motion animation by director Gris Grimly. — Hollywood Reporter

8. John Lasseter says a new actor has been found for the part of Slinky Dog in Toy Story 3; the character was previously voiced by Jim Varney, who died in 2000. Lasseter also says it is not yet clear whether a new actor will be hired to take the late Paul Newman’s place as the voice of Doc Hudson in Cars 2. — MTV News, The Pixar Blog

9. The sequel to Happy Feet (2006) will be made in Sydney, Australia. — The Age

10. This news is a year-and-a-half old, but I just stumbled across it the other day: Apparently, at one point, a movie version of Doug TenNapel‘s computer game The Neverhood (1996) was in the works. I wonder if that is still the case? The game had music by Terry Scott Taylor, who is one of my favorite singer-songwriters, so it would be cool if the movie did too. — Bill Robinson

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