Vin Diesel sent a ripple of excitement through the Marvel fanboys in Hall H just now at the end of his Riddick panel. He was asked about rumors he’s been tapped to join the Marvel universe. “It’s the one thing I’m not supposed to talk about it,” he answered. But then he let loose that “there is some very big news coming at the end of this month. … Poor Marvel.” Diesel recently sent out some cryptic posts that have fueled speculation. One of many rumors is he’s been tapped to play the Vision in The Avengers 2, but nothing has been confirmed. On July 9, he wrote this on his Facebook page, which has 44M likes: “Marvel meeting today. … Only the people in the room can tell you what was discussed. … P.s. Thanks to Our page, for pushing to make it happen… you know I get tunnel vision with my work… and after that meeting today… wow!” Marvel’s Comic-Con panel is tomorrow, but the studio is expected to hold its big reveals for Disney’s own D23 Expo in August.
Opening-day highlights abound, including a 10th anniversary tribute to The Walking Dead comic with writer Robert Kirkman, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone discussing their upcoming video game South Park: The Stick of Truth, and a panel titled Video Games to Movies: Is The Golden Age Upon Us?
There’s lots of TV in the Thursday spotlight, including sessions dedicated to such shows as Dexter, Sherlock — sans stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman — the 35th anniversary of Battlestar Galactica and Annoying Orange. Among the dozens of panels are several geared toward making it in the business, including Marvel: Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way, The Secrets of Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, The Writer’s Journey: Breaking Into Hollywood and Comic Scriptwriting, Breaking Into Comics and Staying In, and Indie Comics Marketing and PR 101. There also are programs on such potentially intriguing topics as Toys 101: An Evolution of the Modern Action Figure, The Legendary Animators of Classic ’60s Cartoons, Video Gaming: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are and Where We’re Going, and – especially — Not Guilty Due to Zombification? Law and Forensic Psychiatry in a Zombie Apocalypse.
See the complete opening-day rundown after the jump:
Eight jurors will decide this fall if Marvel actually owns the copyright to Ghost Rider or not. That was the order (read it here) issued today by a federal judge who set trial for November 4. The decision by District Judge Katherine Forrest in NYC comes just over two weeks after the Second Court of Appeals overturned a 2011 ruling of hers in Marvel’s favor in the legal battle with former freelancer Gary Friedrich over the fiery motorcycle-riding superhero. Marvel’s lawyers indicated today in a courtroom conference meeting on the case that while they will not challenge the Appeals Court decision, they would seek to have the case handled without a jury in a motion to be filed at a later date.
Friedrich first filed his suit against Marvel, Columbia TriStar, Relativity Media and others back in 2007, claiming that he owned the renewal term copyrights on the character and his origin story. The writer came up with the initial comic book idea for the Ghost Rider character 41 years ago, though Marvel claims it was part of a collaborative process. Friedrich filed his suit the very year the first Ghost Rider movie starring Nicolas Cage came out. In late 2011, just as the second Ghost Rider movie was about to be released, Judge Forrest ruled for Marvel and the other defendants.
Uber-secretive Marvel got its comeuppance when it started filming superhero sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier in Cleveland. The 2014 pic has been shooting in the city for a month – and for a month local newspaper The Cleveland Plain Dealer has stalked and live-blogged the film’s public sets, turning the age-old practice of stealing spy pics into a communal cultural event. The paper even put a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist on the case to snap a shot of Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson kissing in character that went viral. With set security this tight, can you blame the looky-loos?
Here’s a new poster for Marvel’s Iron Man 3 promoting the film’s IMAX release. This one doesn’t preview any new characters, but it is packed with all the major players. Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, and Ben Kingsley star in the Shane Black-directed pic …
The Walt Disney Company has called Stan Lee Media’s multibillion-dollar lawsuit “flawed beyond cure.” In a motion to dismiss (read it here) filed last week, the company mocks SLMI’s legal claims that it actually owns rights to all the Marvel characters created by Stan Lee. “There is no conceivable basis on which Plaintiff can state a viable copyright claim against TWDC in this Court, or for that matter, any other,” the Disney motion says. “In sum, against the backdrop of Plaintiff’s six prior unsuccessful litigations on this topic, express judicial displeasure with Plaintiff clogging the courts with a repeated invocation of rights it does not possess, and the fact that TWDC conducts no business activities other than those of a holding company, this lawsuit is completely frivolous and should be dismissed,” Disney added. SLMI wants the profits from the $5.5 billion it says that Disney made from Marvel superhero movies and merchandise based on characters created by Lee, who no longer has anything to do with the company. The November 30 motion to dismiss, like the initial suit by SLMI in October, was filed in Colorado.
Disney announced a slew of tweaks to it film slate today, announcing that Marvel‘s Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World will now be released in 3D, and the comics studio’s Ant-Man will be released November 6, 2015. In addition, two more Marvel titles have official names: The Captain America sequel is titled Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and as expected the untitled August 2014 Marvel pic is Guardians Of The Galaxy. All wide release dates of the Marvel pics remain unchanged, but to refresh: Iron Man 3 is due May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, and Guardians Of The Galaxy on August 1, 2014.
Stan Lee Media, Inc. wants the profits from the $5.5 billion it says the Walt Disney Company has made from superhero movies and merchandise based on characters created by Stan Lee. Those characters include Iron Man, Spider-Man, most of The Avengers, The X-Men and more. “Defendant The Walt Disney Company has represented to the public that it, in fact, owns the copyright to these characters as well as to hundreds of other characters created by Stan Lee. Those representations made to the public by The Walt Disney Company are false,” says the company’s copyright infringement complaint filed today (read it here) in a Colorado court. SLMI, which Lee himself has nothing to do with nowadays, is seeking “the maximum statutory damages allowable” plus full control over Iron Man, Spider-Man and other characters. A failed party to past litigation with Lee himself and Marvel, SLMI also is seeking a jury trial in this case.
LOS ANGELES, CA. – September 27, 2012…. Marking an expanded commitment to some of its most important franchises, Twentieth Century Fox has brought on comics superstar Mark Millar to serve as a creative consultant on the studio’s upcoming projects based on Marvel Comics properties.
Millar wrote several celebrated Marvel books such as The Ultimates, Civil War and Wolverine: Old Man Logan, before moving on to found Millarworld (millarworld.tv), where he continues to develop existing film franchise titles Wanted and Kick-Ass, as well as newer comic properties The Secret Service, Superior, and Nemesis — the latter also in development at Fox. Millar will work with Fox on developing new avenues for its “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” tentpoles.
Marvel proclaimed today that “something massive is smashing into mobile”. That was the mega-secretive company’s way of an announcement on their website in the Games News section. Beyond that, this illustration, and a “stay tuned” message, there are few details. No clue if this is related to the Marvel: War …