Izzard replaces Piven in the 'Igor' lab


NEW YORK -- There's a lot of action in and around the Weinstein Co.'s CG-animated monster movie "Igor." Eddie Izzard has replaced Jeremy Piven as the insane Schadenfreude, and producer Exodus Film Group has inked a deal for a series of comic books based on the film with IDW Publishing.

Izzard might not take any shameful joy in replacing Piven, but his character delights in being the nemesis to Igor, a hunch-backed lab assistant in a world of evil scientists who plots to win the annual Evil Science Fair. A rep for Piven did not return calls by press time to explain his departure, but the switch is all in the family: Both actors are repped by CAA.

IDW will create serial comic adaptations of the film's story, plus prequels and sequels, followed by a full-color paperback collection of each miniseries. The publisher already has translated such hot properties as Hasbro's "Transformers," Fox's "24" and CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" to the comic pages.

The prequel series is tentatively set for May or June, followed by the film and sequel series, so the three collected sets can be published in book form in time for the film's October 2008 release.

"Igor" features the voices of John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Jennifer Coolidge, Arsenio Hall, Jay Leno, Molly Shannon, Sean Hayes and others.

No illustrator has been assigned, but IDW will create a look that duplicates the film's imagery as it has done with two other CGI film adaptations, Sony Pictures' "Monster House" and Warner Bros. Pictures/Paramount Pictures' upcoming "Beowulf."

It's just the latest promotional tie-in Exodus has made for "Igor," including a master licensing deal for toys and collectibles with Corgi International and a book publishing deal with Simon & Schuster.

IDW also has launched comics based on Paramount's "Star Trek" films and Fox's "Angel" series. It created the eponymous comic behind Sony Pictures' upcoming feature "30 Days of Night." The company was purchased by IDT Internet Mobile on Tuesday, with plans to sell original IDW properties to film and TV distributors.

Other upcoming CG-animated films on Exodus' slate include "Bunyan & Babe" and "The Hero of Color City," which is in preproduction and set for North American distribution by Magnolia Pictures.

Izzard is repped by CAA, manager Jeff Golenberg at the Collective and attorney Kevin Morris at Barnes Morris Klein Mark Yorn Barnes & Levine.