Arts and Entertainment A Superman and Batman film is in the pipeline

Studio pushes release date back by ten months

Film: Box-office charts

Top 10 UK (23-27 July) Total gross to 27 July

Top 10 movies

TOP 10 GROSSERS

Dark Knight of the soul-destroying

CINEMA; The evil of innuendo stalks Gotham City as Joel Schumacher delivers the latest, pun-plagued version of 'Batman and Robin'

Cod-piece psychology

Batman & Robin Joel Schumacher (PG)

THEATRE Poor Superman Royal Exchange, Manchester

"I used to be an axe-murderer - thank God for Prozac." Canadian Brad Fraser's Poor Superman is all about changes, but the one smart-bitch Kryla lays claim to here is among the easier to achieve. What Fraser is most interested in is change across gender divisions and the pain and difficulties involved in deviating from institutionalised definitions of masculine and feminine.

Obituary: Alexander Salkind

"You'll believe a man can fly!" was the slogan dreamed up by the genius publicist Gordon Arnell for the film that could be said to have been the apogee of Alexander Salkind's career as a producer. For not only was Superman: the movie (1978) immensely popular with the public, it also swiftly became the most profitable film in the history of Warner Bros, spawning three sequels, creating a film star out of Christopher Reeve, and totally justifying Salkind's faith in developing a mere idea expounded to him by his own son Ilya, who loved the comic strips as a boy.

Seriously comic

Charles Shaar Murray explores a graphic dream world; The Sandman: the wake by Neil Gaiman, Titan Books, pounds 19.99

`Superman' shakes up Hutchison Whampoa

Li Ka-shing, the most important player in Hong Kong's stock market, yesterday took investors by surprise with a major restructuring of his four listed companies in the colony. He said the move would make his Hutchison Whampoa group "one of the leading companies in the world for diversified infrastructure business".

From Moses to Superman: the Jewish Hot 100

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's that famous Jewish guy, Superman, writes Catherine Pepinster.

Is it a Boardman, is it a plane..?

CYCLING: Britain's free-wheeler starts his title pursuit at the World Track Championships in Manchester today. Guy Hodgson reports

Even if I was Batman, I wouldn't be cool all the time, says the writer of `Father Ted'

I was travelling back to central London from Heathrow, my suitcases in the back of the taxi (I hadn't been flying, I just sometimes like to go to the airport with lots of suitcases), when I looked to my left and saw something that actually made me do a real double-take. Just like in a movie - I performed the full "Whu-whu-what-the" triple double-take. Driving alongside us, effortlessly drawing level with the taxi, was a silver BMW driven by two ... what looked to me like ... well, two 12-year- old children. And it was two 12-year-old children. Two boys. All right, maybe in their teens but only just. Their little necks straining so they could see over the dash. One pair of hands white-knuckled on the wheel.

Letter: Krypton mystery

Sir: Mystery rock baffles experts? (Report, 19 March.) Judging from your excellent colour photograph, I am pretty sure the rock is a large chunk of kryptonite, from Superman's home planet of Krypton. Numerous comics and films will bear me out.

He came from Krypton, and earned a million

The Ohio schoolboy Joe Shuster drew the first pictures of his muscle-bound superhero on the back of some discarded wallpaper in the early 1930s. With his collaborator Jerry Siegel, he touted the idea around the new-born American comic book companies for several years. Eventually, they persuaded DC Comics to launch their creation in a new publication called Action Comics in 1938.

OH, SUPERMAN

His creator died in penury this week; the man who played him in the movies lies paralysed. There are other victims, too, of what might be called the curse of Superman. By John Lyttle

Bluebird nets Batman

Batman and Spiderman are to join Mickey Mouse and Polly Pocket in the miniature world of Bluebird Toys. The company has acquired the rights to use the Batman characters from DC Comics, a division of the US entertainment group Time Warner, and Spiderman from Toy Biz, part of Marvel Entertainment of the US.
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