Pop Culture Roundup April 27, 2007

A big screen film tracing the origins of X-Men villain Magneto is in the works.

David Goyer will direct "Magneto," an "X-Men" spinoff film from 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios that's drawn from the villain played in the original trilogy by Ian McKellen.

...McKellen's participation in "Magneto" will likely be limited, since the film is an origin story. In a storyline hinted at by the original "X-Men" films, Magneto comes to grips with his mutant ability to manipulate metal objects as he and his parents try to survive in Auschwitz. Magneto meets Professor Xavier (played as the wheelchair-bound mutant leader by Patrick Stewart) when Xavier is a soldier liberating the concentration camp.


Here's the first production shot of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in the upcoming "Iron Man" movie.


The Sci Fi Channel's new "Flash Gordon" series debuts Aug. 10. The network also starts airing the third season of "Doctor Who" this summer, with the first ep set for July 6.


Tarzan toys!


Dial B for Burbank looks at a book Shadow creator Walter B. Gibson and his wife wrote about psychic phenomena.


Musician Bobby Pickett of "Monster Mash" fame has died.

Mr. Pickett’s multimillion-selling single — with the indelible chorus “He did the monster mash, it was a graveyard smash” — hit the charts three times: on its original release in 1962, when it reached No. 1, and in 1970 and 1973. Mr. Pickett’s Karloff impression was forged in Somerville, Mass., where as a 9-year-old he watched horror films in a theater managed by his father. He later made it part of his act when he began performing in Hollywood nightclubs in 1959.

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