The Mutant X Official Site 3/19/01
HOWARD CHAYKIN NAMED EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT AND HEAD WRITER OF "Mutant X"
LOS ANGELES, March 19, 2001 - Howard Chaykin has been named executive consultant and head writer of "Mutant X," the highly anticipated new weekly action hour program scheduled to launch in national syndication this fall.
The "Mutant X" series will encompass Marvel Entertainment's popular franchise of human mutant characters, who are bound together by a powerful bond of genetically engineered powers of an extraordinary nature. Fireworks Entertainment will produce the program in association with Tribune Entertainment and Marvel Entertainment. "Mutant X" will begin production in June in Toronto. The series is being sold on a barter basis with an eight national/six local split and to date has been cleared in 86% of the U.S.
Said Mr. Askin, "Howard has been a preeminent force, working on some of the world's most successful comics. We are delighted to have him join our team as we prepare to begin production on 'Mutant X.' His extensive background and talent as a writer, illustrator and producer in the comic book field and television is unparalleled, making him the ideal choice to bring a fresh view in adapting 'Mutant X' for television."
"Howard is a master in the Action and Fantasy genres and is a great compliment to the team," said Jay Firestone, Executive Producer and CEO of CanWest Entertainment.
Chaykin, who has worked in every facet of the comic book field for 20 years, has written and/or illustrated many of the major hits of the comic book industry, including Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Conan and Indiana Jones. Among his original comic book creations are DC Comics' The Iron Wolf, The Scorpion for Atlas Comics, Marvel Comics' Midnight Men and Dominic Fortune, Vertigo's Pulp Fantastic, and Cody Starbuck and Gideon Faust for Heavy Metal.
Additionally, Chaykin has served as a writer and/or producer on a number of television series, including Tribune Entertainment's weekly action hour "Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict," currently in its fourth season, "The Flash" and "Viper." A few of his upcoming comic book and novel projects include, Vertigo's American Century, Barnum, Angel & The Ape and DC Comics' The Life & Times of Forever Maelstrom and Legend. Chaykin received Nebula and Hugo Award nominations for his series, American Flagg! and Time (Squared).
Tribune Entertainment Company, a subsidiary of Tribune Broadcasting Company, is involved in the production and distribution of an extensive slate of programming, including the weekly action/adventure hours "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda," starring Kevin Sorbo and also produced in association with Fireworks Entertainment, "Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict," "BeastMaster;" the weekly "Soul Train" series, as well as numerous telefilms and television specials. Currently, Tribune Entertainment is set to launch its new weekly action hour "Mutant X" and reality relationship strip "Talk Or Walk" in fall 2001. For more information on Tribune Entertainment, please visit the company's web site at www.tribtv.com.
Tribune Broadcasting owns and operates 22 major market television stations, including national superstation WGN. Tribune reaches more than 75 percent of U.S. television households, including cable and satellite coverage, and owns minority interests in The WB Television Network and the TV Food Network. Tribune also owns and operates four radio stations, including three stations in Denver and WGN-AM in Chicago. In addition, the company owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
CanWest Global Communications Corp. (NYSE: CWG; TSE: CGS.S and CGS.A; www.canwestglobal.com) is an international media company. CanWest, Canada's largest publisher of daily newspapers, owns, operates and/or holds substantial interests in newspapers, conventional television, out-of-home advertising, specialty cable channels, and radio networks in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The Company's program production and distribution division and interactive media division operate in several countries throughout the world.
Mutant X Official Site 3/30/01
Development Update 3/30/01
3/30/01 -- Things are moving at a rapid pace at MX Central.
We have cast three of our five lead roles...we can't release names yet but at least one of the three will be familiar to fans. Only two more to go!
Preliminary designs are in, and our Production designer has blown us away. You're going to love this.
The scripts keep coming in and the material is fantastic.
We've got a Stunt Coordinator from Hong Kong.
Laurie Drew, our Costume Designer, is working on designs with Howard Chaykin overseeing.
And you may have already seen the Press Release we sent out about Howard Chaykin.
© Mutant X Official Site
Canoe Jam! TV: 4/27/01
Canuck actors star in Mutant X
By CLAIRE BICKLEY
The new X-Men -- and women -- have been chosen and The Sun has exclusive news of their casting.
Canadian-born actors Victor Webster, Victoria Pratt, Lauren Lee Smith and Forbes March will star as genetically altered superheroes in Mutant X, the TV-series spinoff of the popular Marvel comic book concept.
It begins shooting in Toronto in June for a fall debut.
Hundreds of actors were considered for each role in casting calls in Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, London and in Australia. The characters are being created for the series and are not direct lifts from the comic or from last year's X-Men feature film.
Brennan (to be played by Victor Webster), who can conduct electricity.
Emma (Lauren Lee Smith), a telepath who can influence other's emotions and behaviour.
Shalimar (Victoria Pratt), whose DNA is half human-half animal.
Jessie (Forbes March), who can alter his body density.
Although the characters were developed with mutant aliases -- Shadowfox for Shalimar, Fuse for Brennan, Rapport for Emma and Synergy for Jessie -- it has been decided that the aliases will be played down or not referred to at all, said producer Jamie Paul Rock, who previously produced La Femme Nikita.
"I guess we're trying to avoid the silliness," he said. "It still is based on a comic book idea, but these aren't going to be people running around in latex suits."
Similarly, the show's setting is slightly futuristic, but "it is definitely set in the real world. We're not doing Gotham City."
The premise is that the world is filled with genetically altered people, mutant offshoots of medical experiments meant to create "designer babies." Some have super powers, some simply odd abilities (one supporting player can exfoliate trees). The public is not yet aware of the mutants in their midst and a covert agency called the Genetic Security Agency (GSA) is hunting them down. Mutant X's main four live and work together in a sanctuary run by their brilliant, slightly older leader Adam Xero.
Major roles still to be cast include Adam Xero and the villainous head of the GSA.
Calgary native Webster, 28, is best known for playing Nicholas Alamain on Days Of Our Lives and starred in the TV movie The Chippendales Murder, filmed in Toronto last summer. His other credits include the Aaron Spelling series Sunset Beach, the U.S. cable series The Lot, martial arts movie Gangland and made-for-video action fantasy Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled.
March, 27, hails from Halifax but has been based in New York where he played Scott Parker Chandler on soap opera All My Children. He was also on the CBC teen series Northwood.
Pratt, 29, who grew up in small town Chesley, Ont., co-starred as Sarge on the syndicated action sci-fi series Cleopatra 2525 and also had a recurring role on Xena: Warrior Princess.
Smith, 20 and from Vancouver, starred in the TV movie version of the story of Appalachian teacher Christy. She also played Erin Evans on the boy band series 2gether, was on the TV series Dark Angel and had a small part in the feature Get Carter.
The four will go into three weeks of intense high-wire and fight training with Hong Kong-trained fight co-ordinator Paul Rapovski before shooting begins.
The show, which has a two-season, 44-episode order, is being made by Toronto's Fireworks Entertainment, in association with Tribune Entertainment and Marvel Entertainment. Its budget is just under $2 million per episode. The show has been cleared to air in 86% of the U.S. this fall. Fireworks is owned by Canwest Global Communications Corp., but there is expected to be a bidding war to determine which Canadian broadcaster will air the show. Canadians Jon Cassar and T.J. Scott will direct.
Twelve scripts have been completed and all four of the leads are ACTRA members, making the series safe from interruption by potential U.S. writers and actors strikes.
© Canoe Jam!TV
MUTANT X CAST FINALISED
Dateline: Sunday, May 27, 2001 By: ERIC J. MOREELS, Editor Source: MutantXTV.com
According to a report at the official Mutant X Web site, the final members of the cast for the syndicated live-action television series have signed on, including actors for the villainous Eckhart and the heroic Adam Xero. Casting sessions have also taken place for the guest-star roles in the first episode of the series.
Pre-production of the show is well underway, with locations being scouted for the exteriors of both the GSA building and the Mutant X sanctuary. Several of the actors are also undergoing intensive traning, including wirework.
The show`s theme music is also being composed, and animation and effects for the show`s opening credits are being designed. The huge sets - featuring many levels for various action scenes and camera angles - have almost been completed.
Mutant X is set to premiere in September from Tribune Entertainment.
Canoe Jam! tv: 6/2/01
Tom McCamus brings villainy to new role in Mutant X
By CLAIRE BICKLEY
TV's next superheroes have their leader -- and their nemesis.
The upcoming Mutant X TV series has cast Canadian film and stage star Tom McCamus as its villain. He'll play Marcus Eckhardt, the mutant-hunting head of the Genetic Security Agency.
American actor John Shea will play the young mutants' leader Adam.
Eleven months of shooting of the show's 22-episode first season begins here Monday, using a studio on the old Downsview airbase.
The show has a two season, 44-episode order and is being made by Toronto's Fireworks Entertainment, in association with Tribune Entertainment and Marvel Entertainment.
The show has been pre-sold to the majority of markets in the United States, but a Canadian broadcaster has not been announced.
Winnipeg-born McCamus won a Genie award for Best Actor in 1993 for I Love A Man In Uniform and was also nominated for his roles in Long Day's Journey Into Night and The Sweet Hereafter. He was also an acclaimed performer at the Stratford Festival.
The 45-year-old's angular good looks have also earned him some fan drooling on the Internet. One American Web site billboards his name in flaming letters and describes him as "star of stage and screen and of my heart.
"Tom McCamus is Canada's best actor and most handsome hunk. With his devilish smile and charming wit, he is most captivating! His talent is beyond compare!"
Shea, 52, has experience at bringing comic book characters to life. He played Lex Luthor on TV's Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
Mutant X is a spinoff of the popular Marvel comicbook X-Men, although it will feature original characters. Starring as the show's four young mutants are Canadian-born actors Victor Webster, Victoria Pratt, Lauren Lee Smith and Forbes March.
© Canoe Jam!TV
Comics Continuum 5/31/01
MUTANT X CASTING
Official casting for the Mutant X television could be announced as early as Thursday - and that casting might include John Shea.
Tribune Entertainment is readying a press release, pending the confirmation of the lead role, which, according to Continuum sources, might be Shea, who is best known to comics fans as Lex Luthor from Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Shea's possible character is named Adam, although the previously reported Xero surname might not stick.
Fireworks Entertainment, a Toronto-based production partner for Mutant X, has released casting information about several of the roles. Victor Webster will play Brennan, who can conduct electricity; Lauren Lee Smith will play Emma, a telepath; Victoria Pratt will play Shalimar, whose DNA is half human-half animal; and Forbes March will play Jessie, who can alter his body density.
While Marvel and Fox are in litigation over Mutant X and its alleged ties to the X-Men world, it appears production of the show will begin in Toronto within two weeks. Marvel officials are not commenting on the litigation.
Look for much more on Mutant X soon here in The Continuum.
© Comics Continuum
Official Site 6/4/01
JOHN SHEA CAST AS LEAD CHARACTER IN "Mutant X"
Forbes March, Victoria Pratt, Lauren Lee Smith and Victor Webster Round Out Weekly Action Hour's Cast
LOS ANGELES/TORONTO, June 4, 2001 - John Shea has been cast as the lead character Adam, the strategist, tactician and moral center of "Mutant X," the new weekly action hour premiering this fall that details the exploits of human mutants who are the products of genetic experimentation gone wrong. The series is produced by Fireworks Entertainment in association with Marvel Studios and Tribune Entertainment Company. The announcement was made today by Philip Segal, senior vice president, scripted programming and development at Tribune Entertainment and Adam Haight, president and chief operating officer at Fireworks Entertainment.
Segal and Haight further announced that Forbes March ("All My Children"), Victoria Pratt ("Cleopatra 2525," "Xena: Warrior Princess"), Lauren Lee Smith ("Get Carter") and Victor Webster ("Days of Our Lives") have also been cast in the program. March will portray Jesse Kilmartin, a sweetly naïve and good-natured man with the ability to alter his body's density, while Pratt assumes the role of Shalimar Fox, the fiery, feral and stunning woman whose body possesses both human and animal DNA giving her the strength, speed and cunning of the animal kingdom. Smith has been cast as Emma deLauro, a mischievous knockout able to communicate and receive feelings with others, and Webster rounds out the ensemble as Brennan Mulwray, a tough yet vulnerable street-smart wiseguy with the astonishing capacity to generate extraordinary amounts of electricity within his own being.
A secret government agency, having spent fifty years meddling with mankind's genetic code, discovers its test subjects eventually develop extraordinary-sometimes deadly-powers. Now wanting to control these New Mutants for their own purposes, the only hope for a future without fear is Mutant X-a powerful band of young mutants led by a mysterious leader.
Regarding the announcement, Segal noted, "This cast represents a unique collection of actors who will provide 'Mutant X' with the specific skills and presence required to portray these five diverse characters. We strongly feel that John, Forbes, Victoria, Lauren and Victor will embody the spirit of 'Mutant X,' which will showcase their talents with the exciting story arcs we have developed for the program."
"We are thrilled to have cast an actor with such leading capabilities as John to anchor the series, he will bring a strong presence to the show and will compliment the talents of Forbes, Victoria, Lauren and Victor nicely. Together 'Mutant X' has a cast that will make the series an exciting action hour," added Haight.
The production also includes the talents of producer Jamie Paul Rock ("La Femme Nikita," "TEK War"), production designer Rocco Matteo ("La Femme Nikita") and head writer Howard Chaykin ("The Flash," "Viper" and the comics "Son of Superman," "American Flagg," "Black Kiss" and "The Secret Society of Superheroes").
John Shea is a veteran film, television and stage actor, who most recently starred in the feature film "Bombshell," featuring Charles Durning, John Savage and Jerry Stiller. He regularly appeared as the villain character Lex Luthor in ABC's popular television series "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," has guest starred in HBO's comedy "Sex and the City" and starred in the drama miniseries "A Will of Their Own," with Lea Thompson, Faye Dunaway and Ellen Burstyn. Shea also starred in the feature films "Lost and Found," with David Spade and Martin Sheen; the comedy "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid," featuring Rick Moranis and Kerri Russell; "Freejack," with Emilio Estevez and Rene Russo; and the drama "Stealing Home," starring opposite Mark Harmon. In addition, Shea wrote and directed the 1998 drama feature "Southie," which starred Donnie Wahlberg, Rose McGowan and Amanda Peet.
March, originally from England and raised in Nova Scotia, most recently starred as Scott Chandler in ABC's venerable daytime program "All My Children." His resume also includes the independent feature films "Off Broadway" and "Campfire Stories." March began his career as a model, appearing in numerous advertising campaigns for such major companies as Tommy Hilfiger, Armani and Marlboro Clothing.
Last year Pratt starred as Sarge in the weekly syndicated sci-fi program "Cleopatra 2525." The former fitness trainer whose television debut was as an on-air trainer for the Discovery Channel's program "Go for It," also had a recurring role as Cyane in the highly popular action hour "Xena: Warrior Princess." Pratt, who graduated summa cum laude from York University in Toronto, also starred opposite Kristin Davis and Meat Loaf in the HBO original movie "Blacktop" and in the television series "Once a Thief" from director John Woo.
Smith's resume includes the title role in "Christy: Return to Cutter Gap," a three part mini-series for the PAX TV network, a featured role in Sylvester Stallone's recent action film "Get Carter" and director James Cameron's popular Fox sci-fi program "Dark Angel." The Vancouver native also appeared in MTV's boy band parody "2Gether."
Webster, who has a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, has appeared in such television shows as NBC's "Sunset Beach," and as Nicholas Alamain on NBC's daytime soap opera "Days of Our Lives," "Baywatch" and The WB's drama series "7th Heaven." He can also been seen in the USA television movie "The Chippendale Murders" and had a starring role the AMC series "The Lot." Moreover, Webster has modeled for Dolce Gabbana, Coca-Cola, Secret, Scope, Vidal Sassoon and Levi's.
"Mutant X," which will begin production in Toronto this month, is being produced in association with Fireworks Entertainment, Tribune Entertainment and Marvel Studios. To date, Tribune Entertainment has cleared the weekly action hour in 146 U.S. markets, including 95 of the top 100 markets, representing 93% of the country. Fireworks Entertainment represents the program internationally.
You may be aware that Marvel, Fireworks and Tribune are named in a dispute with Twentieth Century Fox, with Fox claiming that there may be some confusion about a relationship between "X-Men" and our "Mutant X." We have made it clear that the only relationship between "X-Men" and our "Mutant X" television series is that each originated with Marvel, the publisher of "Spider Man," "The Incredible Hulk" and a whole host of other successful properties featuring superheroes. As you already know, "Mutant X" is not based on the "X-Men" property and is in no way related to, licensed or approved by, or associated with the motion picture "X-Men" or Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
© Mutant X Official Site
Comics Continuum 6/5/01
Mutant X Casting
Tribune Entertainment on Monday confirmed the casting of John Shea as Adam, along with four other leads, for the Mutant X television series.
Philip Segal, senior vice-president, scripted programming and development at Tribune Entertainment, made the announcement.
"This cast represents a unique collection of actors who will provide Mutant X with the specific skills and presence required to portray these five diverse characters," Segal said.
Shea will play Adam, the strategist, tactician and moral center of the series, which details the exploits of human mutants who are the products of genetic experimentation gone wrong. The five Mutant X characters find themselves on the run from a secret agency which carried out a tightly concealed operation to alter humans genetically. Now, the agency has set out to retrieve its experiments, whose whereabouts are unknown.
Shea is best known to comics fans from playing Lex Luthor in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He recently starred in the feature film Bombshell featuring Charles Durning, John Savage and Jerry Stiller. Shea wrote and directed the 1998 drama feature Southie, which starred Donnie Wahlberg, Rose McGowan and Amanda Peet
In addition to Shea, Mutant X's cast will include:
* Forbes March as Jesse Kilmartin, a sweetly naïve and good-nature man with the ability to alter his body's density.
March, originally from England and raised in Nova Scotia, most recently starred as Scott Chandler in the ABC soap opera All My Children. His credits also include the independent feature films Off Broadway and Campfire Stories. March began his career as a model, appearing in numerous advertising campaigns for such companies as Tommy Hilfiger, Armani and Marlboro Clothing.
* Victoria Pratt as Shalimar Fox, a fiery, feral and stunning woman whose body possesses both human and animal DNA giving her the strength, speed and cunning of the animal kingdom.
A former fitness trainer, Pratt last year starred as Sarge in the weekly syndicated sci-fi program Cleopatra 2525. Her television debut was as an on-air trainer for the Discovery Channel's program Go for It, and she also had a recurring role as Cyane in Xena: Warrior Princess. Pratt, who graduated summa cum laude from York University in Toronto, also starred opposite Kristin Davis and Meat Loaf in the HBO original movie Blacktop and in the television series Once a Thief from director John Woo.
* Lauren Lee Smith as Emma DeSalvo, a mischievous knockout able to communicate and receive feelings with others.
Smith's credits include the title role in Christy: Return to Cutter Gap, a three part mini-series for the PAX TV network; a featured role in Sylvester Stallone's recent action film Get Carter and in Fox's Dark Angel series. A native of Vancouver, she also appeared in MTV's boy band parody 2Gether.
* Victor Webster as Brennan Mulwray, a tough yet vulnerable street-smart wise guy with the capacity to generate extraordinatry amounts of electricity within his own being.
Webster, who owns a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, has appeared in such television shows as NBC's Sunset Beach, as Nicholas Alamain on NBC's Days of Our Lives, Baywatch and 7th Heaven. He can also been seen in the USA television movie The Chippendale Murders and had a starring role in the AMC series The Lot. Webster has modeled for Dolce Gabbana, Coca-Cola, Secret, Scope, Vidal Sassoon and Levi's.
In addition, The Toronto Sun has reported that Tom McCamus will play Marcus Eckhardt, the mutant-hunting head of the Genetic Security Agency. A Tribune representative on Monday could not confirm McCamus' involvement in the show.
To date, Tribune Entertainment has cleared Mutant X in 146 U.S. markets, including 95 of the top 100 markets, representing 93 percent of the country. Filming of the series begins this month in Toronto.
© Comics Continuum
John Shea and Tom McCamus have been confirmed as the final two cast members for Tribune Entertainment`s syndicated Mutant X TV series, a representative for production company Fireworks Entertainment told X-Fan on Tuesday.
Shea, 52, will play the heroic Adam, described in the original casting call for the show as `30`s, handsome, charming and at ease with everyone. He is the leader, strategist, tactician and all around one-man brain trust of the Mutant X.`
Shea is best known for his portrayal of Lex Luthor in the TV series Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Shea also recently starred in Bombshell by director William Dear.
Canadian-born Tom McCamus will play the villainous Marcus Eckhart, leader of the Genetic Security Agency (GSA), a completely covert intelligence service that seeks out mutants to bring them into the government`s custody, employing their own team of mutants to recruit others.
McCamus, 45, won a Genie award for Best Actor in 1993 for I Love A Man In Uniform and was also nominated for his roles in Long Day`s Journey Into Night and The Sweet Hereafter. McCamus was also an acclaimed performer at the Stratford Festival.
Shea and McCamus will join previously-announced cast members Forbes March (Synergy/Jesse Kilmartin), Victoria Pratt (Shadowfox/Shalimar Fox), Lauren Lee Smith (Rapport/Emma Desalvo), and Victor Webster (Fuse/Brennan Mulwray).
Eleven months of shooting of the show`s 22-episode first season began this week in Toronto, using a studio on the old Downsview airbase. The show has a two season 44-episode order, and is being created by Toronto`s Fireworks Entertainment in association with Tribune Entertainment and Marvel Entertainment.
In other Mutant X news, a disclaimer has been placed on the show`s Official Web site as a response to the Twentieth Century Fox lawsuit claiming that the show is a spin-off from Fox`s X-Men property.
The disclaimer reads as follows:
``You may be aware that Marvel Entertainment, Fireworks Entertainment and Tribune Entertainment are named in a dispute with Twentieth Century Fox, with Fox claiming that there may be some confusion about a relationship between X-Men and our Mutant X. We have made it clear that the only relationship between X-Men and our Mutant X television series is that each originates with Marvel, the publisher of Spider Man, The Incredible Hulk and a whole host of other successful properties featuring superheroes. We want you to know that Mutant X is not based on the X-Men property and is not in any way related to, licensed or approved by, or associated with the motion picture X-Men or Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation."
FIRST LOOK @ ASSEMBLED MUTANT X CAST
Dateline: Thursday, July 26, 2001 By: ERIC J. MOREELS, Editor Source: X-Fan
Tribune Entertainment released the first photo of the assembled cast from the upcoming live-action Mutant X TV series this past weekend at the San Diego International Comic-Con.
Featured in the above photo, which you should click to view the full-sized version, are (from left to right): Victoria Pratt (Shalimar Fox), Victor Webster (Brennan Mulwray), John Shea (Adam), Lauren Lee Smith (Emma deLauro), and Forbes March (Jesse Kilmartin). Not pictured is actor Tom McCamus, who will play the villainous Marcus Eckhart in the series.
The weekly action hour series, which is produced by Fireworks Entertainment in association with Marvel Studios and Tribune Entertainment, is set to premiere in syndication the week of October 1st. The tie-in comic book by writers Howard Chaykin and David Tischman, with art by newcomer Lee Ferguson, is set to debut on October 10th from Marvel Comics.