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Hollywood prepares for first black superhero

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Los Angeles (dpa) - Director John Singleton is in advanced negotiations to develop and direct "Luke Cage", a superhero drama based on Marvel Comics' first black crimefighter, according to the Hollywood Reporter Wednesday.

The movie will centre on Cage - a former gang member who is framed for a crime he didn't commit. In prison, he volunteers for a medical experiment that goes awry, giving him superstrength and bullet-proof skin. Using his newfound powers, Luke Cage escapes and becomes a hero for hire.

The comic book was initially titled "Luke Cage, Hero for Hire". It debuted in the 1970s and ran until the mid-1980s.

Singleton is the director the Oscar-nominated 1991 "Boyz N the Hood", the "Shaft" remake and 2003's "2 Fast 2 Furious".


The return of the "Return of the King"

Los Angeles (dpa) - After its record-tying Oscars sweep, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" is to return to more than 2,000 U.S. cinemas over the weekend to give audiences another chance to see the record-setting fantasy.

The film, which fell out of the top 10 for the first time last weekend, has now grossed 364.1 million dollars in the United States, and distribution chief David Tuckerman told the Los Angeles Daily News that he believes the film has not yet realized its potential.

"There are groups of people that haven't seen it yet because of the length or there are probably some who are afraid to see it because they haven't seen the first two," he said. "But this film stands out on its own, so we have to reach these people and tell them, 'It's OK; you can see it.'"


OutKast's Andre 3000 wants to study classical music

New York (dpa) - Grammy-winning rapper Andre 3000 of the duo OutKast is hoping to broaden his musical range by studying classical music at Juilliard, one of the most prestigious music schools in the world, according to an interview in Rolling Stone.

"I want to go to Juilliard to study classical music," he said. "I've been thinking about it for about a year, but things got kinda busy. This record took off. I can't be in school right now. But I'm taking saxophone and clarinet lessons. I'd study classical composition and music theory."


Walt Disney eyes Viking pirates

Los Angeles (dpa) - Walt Disney Pictures has paid almost a million dollars for a script that crosses the adventures of the ancient Vikings with the action themes of its recent hit "The Pirates of the Caribbean", according to Wednesday's Hollywood Reporter.

The Viking story centres on a washed-up seafaring legend and his ragtag team of marauders who are forced to go on an epic quest to save the world from evil.

The tale, described as having the tone of "Pirates of the Caribbean", comes with characters normally associated with Norse lore, such as sea monsters, giants, Valkyries and berserkers.


"Spider-Man 2" ready; work starts on "Spider-Man 3"

Los Angeles (dpa) - Sony Pictures has completed work on the 200- million-dollar "Spider-Man 2", which is slated for release on July 2, and the studio is now preparing "Spider-Man 3", which could hit screens as early as 2006, according to Variety on Wednesday.

The report quoted rumours that director Sam Raimi has committed to making the movie, and agents and managers for "Spider-Man" star Tobey Maguire have been working around a tentative "Spider-Man 3" schedule when booking the actor for other projects.

Copyright 2004 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH


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