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By Devin D. O'Leary

AUGUST 17, 1998:  I don't know why, but I'm in a superhero kind of mood this week. Maybe it's the fact that summer is in full swing, conjuring up pleasant childhood memories of hanging out at 7-11 sucking Slurpies and reading Captain America comic books. So, in honor of those bygone days of youth, I'd like to spent this week's column dropping news about upcoming superhero movies. First up comes word that William H. Macy (Fargo, "ER") will be adding his considerable talents to Mystery Men--based on the comic book by Bob Burden (of "Flaming Carrot" fame). This offbeat story of some rather nonsuperpowered superheroes (Macy will be playing "The Shoveler"--a guy with a shovel) sounds decidedly unfit for mainstream consumption. But with Macy on board and Geoffrey Rush (Shine) already inked to play supervillain Casanova Frankenstein the Oscar caliber of this comic book flick is already soaring. ... Mexican horror helmer Guillermo del Toro (Cronos, Mimic) has agreed to direct the feature film version of Hellboy, based on the Dark Horse Comic by Mike Mignola. The comic concerns a demonic-looking (but well-tempered) detective who escapes from Hell to solve supernatural crimes. No word yet on casting. ... And finally, the rumor mill just won't die on Superman Lives. In a recent "Entertainment Tonight" interview, Nicolas Cage said he's still committed to seeing Supes reach the big screen again. Überproducer Jon Peters (The Witches of Eastwick, Rain Man, Caddyshack 2) has allegedly stepped up to the plate over at Warner Brothers to take control of the crumbling project.

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