Comics rock!

Tarantino to Executive Produce New Marvel Film

As “Spider-Man” swings into movie theaters this weekend, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino plans to bring another comic book adaptation to the silver screen.

Tarantino will serve as executive producer of a film based on the Marvel comic series, “Mort: the Dead Teenager,” Tarantino’s publicist Bumble Ward said on Friday. Madonna’s Maverick Films will co-produce the movie.

In a departure from other Marvel comics, the movie’s main character, Mort, is not a superhero, but a teenager who is beheaded in a train accident at the start of the film.

Mort descends in the Netherworld and meets Teen Death, the son of the Grim Reaper, and “the two of them get into all sorts of trouble,” said Zachary Feurer, a producer at Maverick Films. “Mort convinces Teen Death to return to high school with him so he can win back the girl of his dreams, even though he’sdead.”

“The film is a completely unique look at adolescence as seen through the eyes of a fantasy. It speaks to teen-agers everywhere,” Feurer said. “It’s a teen comedy with a ‘Beetlejuice’ sensibility.”

Actress Dominique Swain, who starred in “Lolita,” and Elijah Wood, who recently appeared as the young hobbit Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” are being considered for the lead roles, Feurer said.

Director Ang Lee is currently working on “The Hulk” a film based on the Marvel comic, starring Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Connelly and Eric Bana from “Black Hawk Down.” “The Hulk” started filming near San Francisco in April and is expected to be released in June 2003.