Mutant X Forges Ahead: Shooting Starts Next Week
May 30, 2001
In spite of a lawsuit from Fox (see "Fox Sues Marvel Over Mutant X"), Tribune Entertainment, which licensed the property from Marvel, is forging ahead with production of the syndicated Mutant X television series. The sets have been built and dressed, the casting is complete, and filming starts next Monday, June 4th in Toronto, Canada. Avi Arad, CEO of Marvel Studios is the executive producer, while two of the key figures behind the La Femme Nikita TV series--producer Jamie Paul Rock and production designer Rocco Matteo--will be performing the same functions for Mutant X.
Veteran comic writer (and artist) Howard Chaykin heads the writing staff, which also includes Mark Lisson (Viper, MacGyver), David Newman (Superman I, II, III) and Elizabeth Keyishian (Queen of Swords). David Tischman (JLA, Son of Superman) will take care of the online writing chores. The basic plot of Mutant X involves characters who resulted from super-secret genetic research during the 1960s that are now being hunted by the secret agency that created them. But one mutant has created a safehouse, where others of his ilk can find refuge. He is going to show them how to take advantage of their special abilities and forge them into a team that will allow them to control their own destiny (sound familiar? Fox thought so). He is "Adam Zero" and according to the Comics 2 Film website, he will be played by John Shea, who, as the dashing Lex Luthor, tormented both Lois & Clark in a previous television incarnation.
Although the market for syndicated television dramas is not nearly as robust as it was five years ago, Mutant X is already scheduled to air in every major U.S. market. Tribune Entertainment has done an excellent job of creating interest in Mutant X, and the series itself could eventually provide retailers with some excellent merchandising opportunities. Certainly the writing and production staffs that Tribune Entertainment has assembled hold out the hope that this series could be something special.
Comics Continuum 7/25/01
MUTANT X TV UPDATE
Tribune Entertainment announced on Tuesday that it has cleared the weekly hour-long series Mutant X in 146 United States markets, including 95 of the top 100 markets, representing 93 percent of the country.
Mutant X is scheduled to begin in syndication the week of Oct. 1.
Here's the official show description:
"Filled with action, suspense and state-of-the-art visual effects, Mutant X is set in contemporary America and opens with the revelation that a covert branch of U.S. intelligence has been secretly sponsoring a human genetics program for years. The front for this operation is Genomex, a biotech firm that serves as a cover for the Genetic Security Agency. A few hundred men and women have been the unwitting subjects of the program's experiments and they are discovering that genetic mutation has given them astonishing, and sometimes deadly, powers.
"As the extraordinary abilities genetically implanted in these Children of Genomex begin to surface, they find themselves caught between two opposing forces. On one side is Mutant X, a core group of powerful mutants led by the brilliant and mysterious multi-millionaire Adam (John Shea), who strive to help other new mutants master their abilities and protect them from those who would exploit or harm them. On the other is the Genetic Security Agency, the secret intelligence service under the command of Genomex security chief Mason Eckhart (Tom McCamus, whose mandate is to keep the existence of these anomalies and the research that produced them hidden from the public. The GSA's mission is to hunt down the new mutants and remove them from society."
Shea's Adam is the strategist, tactician and moral center of Mutant X and the only member of the team who is not a new mutant. Formerly the chief biogeneticist at Genomex, Adam was an unwitting participant in its human genetics program who believed his research was being applied to agricultural science studies and only in the abstract, to the possibility of human genetic enhancement. It was only when he confounded an attempt at industrial espionage that he learned the dark truths behind Genomex. Horrified by the knowledge of his complicity, as innocent as it might have been, he rolled his substantial fortune into a blind trust to finance the mountain stronghold called Sanctuary - the headquarters of Mutant X. Adam is a visionary genius, a supremely charismatic and confident leader who has thoroughly prepared himself physically, mentally and emotionally for the arduous mission that lies ahead.
Also starring as members of the Mutant X team are Victoria Pratt as Shalimar Fox, a fiery and feral beauty with both human and animal DNA, giving her the strength, speed and cunning of the animal kingdom; Victor Webster as Brennan Mulwray, a tough street-wise rebel with irresistible charm whose body can generate enough electricity to power a small city; Forbes March as Jesse Kilmartin, the cocky and idealistic son of a corrupt multi-millionaire, who can alter the density of his body at will to become solid as a stone wall one minute, and able to walk through a stone wall the next; and Lauren Lee Smith as Emma deLauro, a beautiful and mischievous "telempath," who can transmit and receive feelings telepathically and affect the behavior of those around her.
The creative team includes executive producers Avi Arad, Rick Ungar, Jay Firestone and Adam Haight; executive consultant and head writer Howard Chaykin; producer Jamie Paul Rock; production designer Rocco Matteo; costume designer Laurie Drew; stunt coordinator Marco Bianco; and stunt/fight coordinator Paul Rapovski. The series' visual effects are produced by Spin Entertainment.
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