PRESIDENTIAL PRICES: Everyone knows that President-elect Barack Obama is showing up on the pages of Spider-Man comics, but Troy Brownfield has a look at the resulting collectible stir: “Surveying the scene today, we see that there are presently approximately 1,117 listings for ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ No. 583. After you get past some of the insanely inflated Buy It Now listings, which includes a $10,000 listing for SpidermanObama dropped domains, you’ll see that bidding seems to be topping out at around $86 for a single, ungraded, unsigned, variant copy. One can find signed copies fetching over $125, or cleverly pre-sold packages of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd variant printings together for more. It seems that while the number of high-priced Buy It Nows have grown, they aren’t moving for, say, $500 a pop. At this point, the $80 to $90 seems to be the top end. The top sales prices will probably cool off by next week, as people who just want any copy as a ‘historical document’ of sorts will likely just be happy to own a 2nd or 3rd printing. The speculators have already been in, and, based on Buy It Nows, a number of them will seemingly just be holding the bag. Let’s hope they won’t need a bailout.” [Newsarama]
GEEK GIFT ALERT: OK, here’s what I want as a gift for my 40th birthday later this year, will someone tell my wife? And also tell her to stop laughing when you mention that it costs $315. This from a website called Red Hot Phones: In the Batman TV show, when Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson were in the library in stately Wayne Manor and needed to go into the Batcave, Bruce would tilt back the head of a bust of William Shakespeare. Hidden under the head was a remote control switch that would cause book shelves to move aside, revealing the Batpoles that Bruce and Dick would use to slide down into the Batcave. Once in the cave, they’d change into their Batman and Robin gear, climb into the Batmobile and speed away to save Gotham City. Now every Batfan can have a full-size working replica of the Shakespeare statuette that Bruce used on the show. One of these was used as a prop in the TV movie ‘Return to the Batcave.’ It was also featured in WIRED Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Gifts.’ The hidden switch can be used to control a door, lights, music — anything that works on electricity. An industrial-style pilot light shows when power is being fed to the remote power outlet. 16 Gauge wire, 1625 watts maximum, indoor use only. Components are UL approved. The antique bronze-color ‘Bard of Avon’ is about 20 inches tall and about 12 inches wide at the shoulders.” [Red Hot PHones]
SAM ROCKWELL AND “IRON MAN 2″: Filming could start as soon as April on “Iron Man 2” and casting is firming up now. Here’s the story by Brian Warmoth on actor Sam Rockwell’s addition to the Marvel Studios project and the actor mentions that at one point a few years ago he was in contention to be the title character in the franchise: “‘We had a phone conversation about it, and then I didn’t hear anything and that was it,’ Rockwell told MTV of early conversations regarding the part that eventually went to Robert Downey Jr. One blockbuster film later, the phone conversation was accompanied by an offer to play Hammer, and Rockwell accepted. ‘They were like, we don’t have a script but this is the deal and this is the character,’ the actor told MTV. Rockwell had plenty of reason to follow the events in Favreau’s film, even if he wasn’t cast the first time around. ‘I was a fan of the movie,’ he explained. ‘My girlfriend was in the first ‘Iron Man,’ Leslie Bibb.’ (Bibb played reporter and Tony Stark’s quick fling Christine Everheart.) Mixed signals flew around about Rockwell’s place in the new script when his involvement was first announced, but he acknowledged that he will be playing the part of straight-from-the-comics businessman and all-around bad guy Justin Hammer. ‘Yeah, he’s a rival,’ Rockwell nodded. ‘He takes over all the weapons stuff after Tony’s left.’ However, the ‘Choke’ and ‘Frost/Nixon’ actor shied when pressed for any more story details. ‘I don’t know if he takes over Stark Industries,’ he said. ‘I’m not really sure yet. He’s a money dude. That’s about all I can say.’ [MTV]
“BATTLESTAR” MEMORIES: Fire up the FTL, it’s almost time to jump away from “Battlestar Galactica.” Check back here this evening as the credits roll on tonight’s episode, which resumes the series and brings us into the final 10 epsiodes. We’ll have a big story right here at 11: 05 p.m. West Coast (UPDATED TIME) time but I have to warn you it will be a MAJOR SPOILER. Also, Variety has a big package of reflections on the series with the thoughts of people from various walks of life, among them an astronaut, a U.S Marine, a rabbi and an archaeologist. (And no, they didn’t get a toaster repairman.) You can read it here.
JUST ONE MORE “THING”: Remember John Carpenter’s “The Thing”? There may be a prequel coming: “Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. is in talks to direct ‘The Thing’ prequel for Strike and Universal Pictures, although we don’t have official confirmation. Heijningen has already been attached to direct ‘Army of the Dead’ for Zack Snyder’s Strike Entertainment. Something else we found interesting is that we’re told that Van Heijningen is pushing to make the lead character none other than R.J. Macready’s brother! As you all know, R.J. Macready was played by the awesome Kurt Russell in John Carpenter’s remake from 1982. As of right now this should be taken as rumor as nothing is set in stone. Just some food for thought … Here’s the synopsis: ‘In the screenplay by Ronald D. Moore, the prequel takes place from the Norwegian camps point of view. An American scientific expedition to the frozen wastes of the Antarctic is interrupted by a group of seemingly mad Norwegians pursuing and shooting a dog. The helicopter pursuing the dog crashes leaving no explanation for the chase. During the night, the dog mutates and attacks other dogs in the cage and members of the team that investigate. The team soon realize that an alien life-form with the ability to take over bodies is on the loose and they don’t know who may already have been taken over.’” [Bloody Disgusting] Want to read about other Hollywood sci-fi remakes and revivals? Check out this list.
ON THIS DATE: Best wishes today to gifted comics writer Garth Ennis who is celebrating his 39th birthday. Ennis, born in Holywood, Northern Ireland, is hoping to make a stir in the other Hollywood with the oft-discussed adaptation of “The Preacher,“ his hell-kissed epic about religion and violence. To celebrate his birthday, let’s all engage in some blood-drenched blasphemy today.
CREDIT: Sam Rockwell photo by Louis Lanzano / Associated Press