Hot Trailer: ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 9:24pm PDT

Don’t let the title fool you: This ain’t no night in white satin with the Moody Blues. (It’s even spelled differently.) But if it’s action you crave, well, it’s got that. Here’s the final trailer for Fox/Marvel’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past, wherein Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine goes back … Read More »

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PILOTS 2014: Early Buzz Edition

By | Saturday April 12, 2014 @ 1:52pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

panic-buttonWith less than a month until the upfronts, we’re kicking off our annual Pilot Buzz series. As usual, the first edition only includes a limited number of projects that have been garnering early attention as many pilots are still filming. So, if a pilot is not mentioned, it probably means it is too early to weigh in or the feedback I’ve received is inconclusive at this time.

ABC_logo_2007Shonda Rhimes. Viola Davis. Need we say more? ABC’s sexy suspense legal thriller How To Get Away With Murder, executive produced by Rhimes and starring Davis, is packing some heat early on. Secret & Lies starring Ryan Phillippe also is getting encouraging early response. It also has a seven-figure penalty and is directed by Charles McDougall, whose strong pilot record includes Desperate Housewives, The Good Wife and most recently, Resurrection last season. Then there is Marvel’s stealth Agent Carter project. Last year, the company went into Fort Knox mode on its Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, which was kept under lock and key. They took that a notch further this year with carterAgent Carter. Because there is a prototype — the project is inspired by a one shot, which was featured on the Blu-ray release of Iron Man 3word has been that it would forgo a pilot and go straight to series. The script was finished more than three months ago (“the script is great,” ABC’s Paul Lee said back in January), the option on one-shot’s star Hayley Atwell came up and was extended, but the green light never came. Now there is talk that a pickup for Agent Carter may come along with a renewal for Marvel’s freshman Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with the new series possibly serving as a bridge between the fall and spring portions of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Also getting various level of early traction at ABC is mystery Sea of Fire and several dark horses, alien drama The Whispers (aka The Visitors), medical drama The Warriors and mystery Clementine. Read More »

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Robert Downey, Jr. Finally Gets His Own Twitter Account, Reflective Of Social Media’s Importance To Film Marketing

Kodak TheatreThe Iron Man himself has finally joined Twitter. With only 4 tweets this morning, he’s dipped his toe into the social media universe. Within hours, Downey has tallied 912K followers. Wow, word travels fast. And why not? Iron Man is a billion dollar franchise for Marvel since they first introduced Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark in 2008. Worldwide the first film grossed $585M, the second one, $623.9M and the third, $1.2B. The next Marvel title for the actor is Avengers: Age of Ultron which will bow May 1, 2015 from Disney. Welcome to the SMU, Mr. Downey, No doubt, Disney and Marvel are thrilled. The actor has long been a strong presence on social media due to his many fans who call him #RDJ. His fans post video bits from the actor from media, on-stage award shows, red carpet appearances, and other media events showcasing the wise-cracking, irreverance. His opening Tweet:

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Marvel & Disney Rights Case For Supreme Court To Decide Says Jack Kirby Estate

By | Wednesday April 2, 2014 @ 7:58pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEJust days before Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens, the heirs of Captain America, The Avengers and X-Men co-creator Jack Kirby are asking thekirby cap america Supreme Court to hand them back the rights to the comic legends from Marvel and Disney. “The Court of Appeals unconstitutionally appropriated Kirby’s valuable copyrights and gave them outright to Marvel, effecting a transfer of wealth on a massive scale,” says the 39-page petition (read it here) filed with the high court on March 21. The petition is the latest legal attempt by Lisa Kirby, Neal Kirby, Susan Kirby and Barbara Kirby to assert that they had the right in 2009 to issue termination notices to Marvel and others on the artist’s characters under the provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act. A response is due from Marvel and Disney on April 28. Read More »

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Joss Whedon’s YouTube Warning To Seoul Citizens: “We Are Going To Mess It Up A Bit” With ‘Age Of Ultron’ Filming

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 6:24pm PDT

The Avengers: Age Of Ultron helmer has launched a pre-emptive strike of sorts. In a subtitled YouTube video, Joss Whedon warns/pre-apologizes to the people of South Korea’s capital about the ruckus he’s likely to cause when the Marvel sequel films there for a few days. “I’m really … Read More »

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Disney Slams “Frivolous” Stan Lee Media In Spider-Man Rights Case

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 6:52pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGENotoriously litigious Stan Lee Media Inc couldn’t have thought that Disney would respond to its latest Marvel character rights grab in a placid manner, so the company shouldn’t be surprised by the legal hit to the … Read More »

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Fox Unveils Dates For ‘Fantastic Four’ & ‘Wolverine’ Sequels, Untitled Marvel Pic

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 10:00pm PDT

20thcent__131112194452-200x107The studio has set aside some real estate three years down the line for a pair of superhero properties and a summer 2018 date for another Marvel pic. Fox said tonight that Fantastic Four 2 — the sequel to … Read More »

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Stan Lee Media Tries Again To Tangle Disney’s Spider-Man Rights In Legal Web

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 7:11pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEDespite Disney’s best legal efforts, perpetually litigious Stan Lee Media Inc is not going quietly into the Pennsylvania night with its claims to Spider-Man. Today SLMI fired back at the media giant’s attempts to shut it down once and for all last month with assertions of time-barred claims and the fact that it is a dissolved corporation. “It is Disney’s burden to prove Disney’s ownership of the copyrights to Spider‐Man. Prior spider-manlitigation cannot bar [American Music Theater], and concomitantly SLMI, from defending itself by showing Disney’s assertion is wrong,” says the dense and exhibit heavy filing in federal court in the Keystone State (read it here). “No judge has decided that Disney actually owns the Spider‐Man copyrights or, for that matter, that SLMI does not own the copyrights,” adds the opposition to Disney Enterprises’ motion to dismiss SLMI from its copyright case against American Music Theater. AMT also filed paperwork (read it here) in opposition to Disney’s motion to toss its counterclaims and SLMI from the case. This latest kick at the can by the repeatedly defeated SLMI over its claims over various Marvel characters created by Stan Lee — who no longer has anything to do with the company that bears his name — seems certainly to clog up the courts for at least a little while longer.

Related: Disney’s Spider-Man Rights Contested In Court Again By Stan Lee Media

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Hot TV Spot: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 10:25am PST

Just over a month after a new Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer debuted during the Super Bowl, Disney/Marvel today unveiled a new TV spot for the superhero sequel. Some of this we’ve seen before, but the new 1:01-minute spot has a lot more of Anthony Mackie as … Read More »

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Patrick Wilson To Join Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’

By | Thursday February 27, 2014 @ 12:31pm PST
Mike Fleming

patrickwilsonEXCLUSIVE: Patrick Wilson will join the cast of the Edgar Wright-directed Ant-Man for Marvel Studios, I hear. The film stars Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas and Michael Pena. Not sure what role Wilson will play at this point. … Read More »

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Disney To Film Marvel Series For Netflix In New York As Part Of Multimillion-Dollar Incentive Package

By | Wednesday February 26, 2014 @ 8:28am PST

New York was “our first choice” to film four NYC-based Marvel “Defenders” series and a miniseries planned for Netflix beginning in 2015, Disney CEO Bob Iger said today during a press event in NY announcing the deal.disney-logo__130110173452-200x133 But the Empire State’s taxpayers had to help seal the deal for what officials say is the biggest film or TV production commitment ever for New York: The state provided the entertainment giant with undisclosed breaks and incentives estimated at $4M for MarvelNYCthe project that’s projected to create 3,000 jobs including 400 full time ones in the Big Apple. They’ll work on 52 one-hour live action episodes and a miniseries built around Marvel characters Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage in what Disney calls “the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York.” Taxpayers had to sweeten the terms for Disney because there was “a lot of competition from different cities” to land the production, Iger says. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the commitment is “exciting,” and a win for his efforts to broaden the economic base which heavily depends on financial institutions. The economic downturn in 2008 “was a wake-up call for the state of New York…you have to diversify,” he said at announcement with Iger. The Disney chief says that no decision has been made with Netflix about whether the series’ episodes will be released all at once or individually.

Here’s the release from Disney and New York state: Read More »

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Tara Butters & Michele Fazekas Shepherding ‘Agent Carter’ For ABC & Marvel

By | Friday January 17, 2014 @ 7:14am PST
Nellie Andreeva

buttersfazekasI’ve learned that Reaper creators Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas have quietly boarded Agent Carter, Marvel‘s drama project in the works at ABC. Because of the unbelievably high level of … Read More »

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Vin Diesel Confirmed To Play Alien Tree In ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’: Photo

By | Sunday December 22, 2013 @ 11:31am PST

The worst-kept secret of the superhero film universe is now official: Marvel has finally confirmed that Vin Diesel is voicing Groot, the extraterrestrial plant monster of comics lore, in James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy. The Fast & Furious star has been … Read More »

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Is ‘Anchorman’s Paul Rudd Superhero Material? ‘Ant-Man’ In The Offing

By | Wednesday December 18, 2013 @ 6:52pm PST
Mike Fleming

antThe long-rumored crowning of Paul Rudd as Ant-Man is finally happening. He is Marvel‘s choice to star as the title character in the Edgar Wright-directed film. Rudd has proven himself adept at light drama and he is exceptionally good at  comedy, but I never really thought of him as superhero material. Wright, who wrote the Ant-Man script with Joe Cornish, showed at Comic-Con two years ago a demonstration of the technology developed that displayed a speck-sized Ant-Man running down the barrel of a gun and then re-emerging in actual size to put a hurting on a bad guy. It was pruddpretty cool stuff, but Wright put the whole thing down to make The World’s End first. He did that mainly because the film’s producer, Working Title’s Eric Fellner, was diagnosed with cancer. Wright — who felt that Shaun Of The Dead — the first leg of what would become the Cornetto trilogy wouldn’t have gotten made if it wasn’t for Fellner — never would have forgiven himself if he didn’t make the third film in the series quickly, just in case the producer’s condition worsened. Marvel relented, and Kevin Feige agreed to wait. Fellner got his movie and, more important, a clean bill of health.

Related: Disney Moves Up ‘Ant-Man’ Release To Summer 2015
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Melissa Rosenberg To Shepherd Marvel’s Jessica Jones Series For Netflix

By | Tuesday November 12, 2013 @ 6:42pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg first was tapped to create a drama series based on Marvel‘s Jessica Jones character three years ago, when the project was set at ABC. In typical Marvel fashion, no one is … Read More »

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AFM: Schlock Still Rocks In Santa Monica

By | Monday November 11, 2013 @ 9:12am PST

Last week, Mike Fleming talked about the premium on star-driven films at AFM and noted that schlock is in short supply. He’s too busy focusing on the high-end films. I’m here in the corridors of the Loews in Santa Monica, and I am a schlock connoisseur. While he might be right in labeling this AFM a cut below the Surf Nazis Must Die heyday of the ’90s, allow me to butcher a Mark Twain quote and say that rumors of schlock’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. While I might be bashful to ask him this directly, has Mike pondered the tantalizing cinematic possibilities of Kama Sutra 3D? And how about All Cheerleaders Die: Revenge Is A Bitch or Dead Sea: It’s Feeding Time or even Bigfoot Wars: The Battle For Boggy Creek?

And what about the mutant electric eels running rampant in Shock Attack? Or the time-traveling Army Of Frankensteins, where a neck bolt brigade shows up to fight in the Civil War? There’s the promising Bikini Model Academy with Gary Busey and Morgan Fairchild. Hungry? The cannibal tale Bone Boys is on the menu here. 

Hands down, the schlock title to beat is FDR American Badass, with Barry Bostwick battling werewolves in a pimped-out wheelchair. It might be easy to dismiss what’s billed as a “kick-werewolf-ass movie for history buffs (or not),” but I am not here to judge. After all, did we not learn from Timur Bekmambetov that Abe Lincoln was a vampire killer and didn’t Quentin Tarantino fill us in on how Hitler and his cohorts were blown up in a theater during the premiere of the Nazi propaganda film Nation’s Pride? Here, FDR takes out Nazis as well as werewolves. MutliVisionaire Pictures seems to be getting a good response. And based on this trailer, can anyone be surprised?

Related: Domestic Box Office: ‘Thor 2’ Eyeing $86M to $87.7M Weekend

And while Thor crushed all comers at the box office this weekend, how about the D-level version of that, which Halcyon International has in God Of Thunder. Now, there’s a long history of satirical takes on movies (and the litigation that follows), but give Halcyon points for good timing.Both based on Norse mythology, as far as I can tell, the only difference between the Disney/Marvel franchise and this one is the main character’s tresses: This hero’s hair is shorter than Chris Hemsworth’s blond mane, and it looks like Supercuts was involved. It seems there wasn’t enough money in the budget for a suicide blond dye job, but Loki, Asgard and Thor are also here in a movie we’re told is “based on the Fox Comics Super Hero.” In postproduction, God Of Thunder will be in a theater, or a courtroom, near you in 2014. Read More »

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‘Thor: The Dark World’ Scores Superhuman $109M Overseas, Boosts Disney To Another All-Time Int’l Record

By | Sunday November 3, 2013 @ 11:02am PST
Mike Fleming

Disney scored a Marvelous haul opening Thor: The Dark World overseas early Wednesday to $109.4M in 36 territories. The film opens stateside next Friday and is already making history. Thor 2‘s early … Read More »

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Aaron Johnson Set For ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Role

By | Wednesday October 30, 2013 @ 4:00pm PDT

Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson is set to join Marvel‘s The Avengers: Age Of Ultron in the role of Quicksilver AKA Pietro Maximoff. Earlier this month Elizabeth Olsen closed in on the role of Scarlet Witch, sister to Quicksilver. Both characters … Read More »

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Jack Kirby Estate Denied Rehearing In Marvel/Disney Superhero Rights Case

By | Tuesday October 22, 2013 @ 2:58pm PDT

They tried again, but they did not succeed. Today the heirs of Captain America, The Avengers and X-Men co-creator Jack Kirby were denied their recent petition to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals for a rehearing or a full rehearing en banc on whether the estate had the right to issue termination notices to Marvel on his characters back in 2009. The brief order (read it here) from the panel at the NYC-based federal court comes just more than two and a half months after the appeals court shut down the heirs’ claims against Marvel and Disney by reaffirming a 2011 lower court ruling that the comic legend was under a work-for-hire deal and hence had no rights to terminate. Four years ago, Lisa Kirby, Susan Kirby, Barbara Kirby and Neal Kirby sent 45 notices terminating copyright to publishers Marvel and Disney, as well as film studios including Sony, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures that have made movies and TV shows based on boatloads of characters Jack Kirby created or co-created with Stan Lee and others. Jack Kirby died in 1994. Read More »

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