Another Marvel film is in production. Last week filming began on a low-budget production of Man-Thing in Australia. Brett Leonard (Lawnmower Man) is directing the film, which stars Matthew Le Nevez, Jack Thompson, and Rachel Taylor. Artisan, the studio behind the big-budget Punisher film, is also bankrolling the much more modest Man-Thing -- a film about a scientist who becomes an amorphous swamp creature that feeds off the fear of its victims.
Filming on the Man-Thing movie should be done by the end of March. While several movie sites have a release date of June 7 for Man-Thing, no one is quite sure whether or not this film will go directly to video or enjoy a theatrical run. In contrast to the big budget productions for its major characters, Marvel's experiment with Man-Thing is an attempt to see whether there is much potential in the thousands of minor Marvel minions. The financial potential of home video (DVD) in today's marketplace is such that Marvel may feel that even minor characters in low budget productions have the potential to generate a significant return. The fate of Man-Thing may tell whether Marvel will be able to exploit its thousands of characters a la Blade or whether it will have to rely almost exclusively on the same handful of properties that drive its comic book sales.