So which films and TV shows got the biggest bump to their social-media accounts during Comic-Con? The Deadline Team already has delivered its verdict on Comic-Con’s big winners (and yawners) overall. And it’s a challenge to be definitive with social media given the dozens of participating properties and connected stars, behind-the-camera notables, superfans and the like.
That said, social-media consulting firm RelishMIX spotted five entertainment properties that hit social-media home runs over the long weekend, led by massively popular Comic-Con videos for Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Mad Max: Fury Road. The Simpsons and Family Guy jointly scored well too, according to RelishMIX’s compilation of who added the most followers/likes/views across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to their official and related accounts (see chart below).
HBO’s Thrones, already a social-media monster, commanded a truly royal 8.3 million views of its Comic-Con YouTube videos, led by a Season 4 blooper reel that RelishMIX CEO Marc Karzen called a “super video,” with nearly 7.4 million views since it posted just four days ago.
Read More »
The fanboy Super Bowl is over. Who made the most of San Diego Comic-Con and who spit the bit? Here’s the view from Deadline staffers who endured endless movie and TV show presentations. We’ll start with features:
WARNER BROS: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Mad Max: Fury Road, Jupiter Ascending, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
The best Comic-Con panels show fans things they’ve never seen before. From that standpoint, Warner Bros changed the game by making the Hall H experience seem larger. It turned the dark curtains covering 450 feet down the sides of the auditorium into a wraparound multimedia visual experience that left jaded geeks looking left and right in wonder at images that complemented the onstage presentation. Expect others to rip this off. For star power: Zack Snyder introduced his Batman v Superman stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and Gal Gadot and offered glimpses of the film. Warner Bros also wowed with explosive footage from Mad Max: Fury Road, a film that looks like it could be the answer someday to this Trivial Pursuit question: What movie transformed Tom Hardy from a great actor into a big fucking movie star? Warner Bros also brought Middle Earth excitement to Hall H with a lengthy Hobbit: The Five Armies panel and footage that had LOTR fans aflutter.
Related: Q&A: Peter Jackson On His Middle Earth Exit And A Disguise That Let Him Haunt Comic-Con
MARVEL: Ant-Man, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Marvel is always the must-see panel; not so much this year. Maybe it was DC Comics’ turn to shine, and maybe being a sequel factory imposes limits on the surprise front. They trotted out the superstar Avengers lineup — been there, done that! — with additions Josh Brolin, Aaron Johnson, and Elizabeth Olsen. No Black Widow Scarlett Johansson, who was busy bitch-slapping Hercules at the box office in the Luc Besson film Lucy. Footage was OK, but Kevin Feige set a high bar for himself in past Cons, and this year he couldn’t clear it. Ant-Man brought Corey Stoll and Evangeline Lilly (already knew they were in the movie), and plans for a Guardians Of The Galaxy sequel were greeted by a collective “Duh!’ Feige could have told us what movies will fill all those release dates he recently staked out. He didn’t. Better luck next year, Marvel Man.
Related: Marvel Sets ‘Guardians 2′ For 2017; ‘Avengers 2’ Footage Draws Standing O
Read More »
The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus shot some video from his perch on the dais today during the hit AMC zombie series’ panel in cavernous Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center. He then tweeted it out to his 2.1 million-plus followers, all of whom appear to have shown up and been crammed into the room. It makes being chased by the flesh-eating undead seem refined by comparison. Check it out for yourself:
The Walking Dead is heading to Washington D.C. for Season 5 to find a cure for the zombie apocalypse. That was made very clear by an intense 5-minute sneak peek that Comic-Con fans saw today in the massive Hall H (see it below). “This is a season that is going to be pretty close to the comics,” said Robert Kirkman. The comic co-creator and series executive producer’s point was emphasized by fellow EP Gale Anne Hurd, who hinted before the video was shown at some suburban locations, and “you’ll see us take some big leaps with the characters and the set pieces.” AMC announced the new season debuts October 12 at 9 PM.
Before the Season 5 video was shown the panel started off with a fake sitcom-like clip from Episode 15 of the upcoming season that showed an aged Rick Grimes and the other characters with long long beards playing cards in the train car they were trapped in at the end of Season 4. “Sort of like Cheers at Terminus,” joked showrunner Scott Gimple. Read More »
Comic-Con doesn’t officially open until tomorrow, but the soon-to-be packed San Diego confab will be buzzing with this news. The Walking Dead EP Gale Anne Hurd, one of the queens of the geekfest, is partnering with Warren Ellis, one of the biggest names in comics, for the latter’s first leap into the world of TV. In a deal signed with Universal Cable Productions, the as-yet-untitled Ellis project will be produced with Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment. “I’ve been strongly drawn to television over the last few years, and working with brilliant and determined collaborators like Gale and the UCP team, I’m delighted at the opportunity to add my voice to the new, novelistic TV form that’s evolved so dramatically,” said the Iron Man: Extremis, Gun Machine and Red author today. Added Hurd: “There are very few writers who have been able to so completely influence a medium as Warren has with comic books.”
Although Ellis won’t be at Comic-Con this year, Hurd will appear again in the cavernous Hall H for the always-packed Walking Dead panel featuring AMC’s zombie apocalypse blockbuster. This year’s panel is set for Friday at 12:20 PM and will feature co-creator Robert Kirkman, cast members Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus and others. Read More »
The 66th Primetime Emmy Nominations Unveiled
Deadline's Pete Hammond and Dominic Patten look at who came out on top on Emmy nom day.
Emmy Noms Analysis
The correspondence pugilism between CAA and AMC over the agency’s lawsuit with former The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont against the entertainment company over unpaid fees, self-dealing, gross receipts and other claims just put its brass knuckles on again. “AMC’s document requests clearly exceed the bounds of legitimate discovery, as they go far beyond any issues relevant to the instant litigation. Worse, they are manifestly so burdensome and overbroad that compliance would be all but impossible,” said the agency’s lawyer Jerry Bernstein in letter sent this week to Justice Eileen Bransten of the Supreme Court of New York. The correspondence seeking a conference to find resolution in the matter is in response to a letter AMC sent two weeks ago to Her Honor seeking a wide swath of confidential documents from the agency for the case.
“Such a wholesale disclosure of the confidential information of potentially thousands of clients would be devastating to CAA’s reputation and business, would greatly damage CAA’s relationship with its clients, and would have a chilling effect on its competitive position in the marketplace,” the dense July 1 letter says (read it here). “Although prominent, CAA is certainly not the only talent agency in the entertainment industry. CAA’s clients would be outraged at the disclosure of their private information in litigation they are not parties to,” the Blank Rome attorney added. “Moreover, they would not be satisfied that even a ‘highly confidential’ designation of their documents would protect their privacy and their business interests.”
Related: AMC Slams “Ill-Conceived” ‘Walking Dead’ Lawsuit From Frank Darabont & CAA
Read More »
AMC wants CAA to open up its files on a wide range of clients in the latest salvo in the legal battle between the entertainment company and former The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont and the agency over unpaid fees, self-dealing, gross receipts and other claims. Actually on this occasion Darabont is not really a player as it is his co-plaintiff that AMC is taking a hefty swipe at in a letter sent to this week to NY Supreme Court Judge Eileen Bransten (read it here). “Plaintiffs cannot have it both ways – to allege that Defendants breached industry custom and practice,but then refuse to produce the documents in their possession that speak directly to and disprove these allegations,” says the June 16 correspondence that asks the judge to order CAA to deliver the docs. AMC claims that CAA are ” insisting that the documents are confidential and the burdens associated with producing them are too high.”
This latest letter to the judge follows a June 5 ruling by the Judge to allow Darabont and CAA’s lawyers to look at licensing agreements AMC had with Sony over Breaking Bad and with Lionsgate over Mad Men, something the plaintiffs had desired and the broadcaster had resisted. Also, among other things, the judge ordered AMC to hand over all pertinent documents related to The Walking Dead’s finances to determine what came in and based on that what Darabont may be owed. With that in mind, this most recent letter follows the dug-in approach that both sides have adopted in the case first filed by Darabont and CAA in a December 17 complaint. The plaintiffs allege that they were tricked out of contractually assured profits from the blockbuster series and that AMC played a “self-dealing” artificially low license-fee shell game with the show based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels. AMC says that’s not true. Earlier
in the case, when it was resisting handing over documents itself, AMC revealed that Darabont had been paid out nearly $3 million for his work on the first two seasons of WD before the producer was kicked off the show in late July 2011.In the letter of this week they say that both sides referred to additional compensation for Darabont as “Modified Adjusted Gross Receipts” in their agreements and documents – which is why they want these requested documents for their discovery process.
Read More »
Like the Tiber River after Caligula’s been on a weekend bender, television today is flooded with blood. What was once the sole sphere of slasher flicks now has become a common spattering on the small screen, and not just with cable shows such as AMC’s The Walking Dead, HBO’s Game of Thrones and the recently launched Showtime drama Penny Dreadful. Now the networks are in the gore game with Fox’s The Following and Sleepy Hollow and NBC’s Hannibal and Grimm. The proliferation of blood and guts on TV in this era of the explicit proves that the appetite for death and destruction hasn’t jumped the shark so much as stabbed the beast, torn into its flesh, cooked it up and swam among the remains. Read More »
MyNetworkTV has unveiled its fall lineup, including new additions AMC’s The Walking Dead and CBS’ The Mentalist. The network announced in March it had acquired off-network rights to the blockbuster zombie drama. The Walking Dead will air on Wednesday nights and The Mentalist on Thursday nights. In addition, Law & Order: SVU returns with back-to-back episodes on Monday nights, Law & Order: CI is back on Tuesday nights, while the two-hour block of Fox series Bones shifts to Friday nights. Check out the complete 2014-15 schedule here: Read More »
It’s not quite the blood and gore of the zombie apocalypse, but today the legal battle between AMC and original The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont and CAA got more a lot more biting. “Doubling down on their ill-conceived theory of the case, Plaintiffs now seek to use discovery to conduct a fishing expedition through the files of Defendants, a television network, two television studios, and a parent company, to obtain access to highly sensitive proprietary and confidential information that bears no relevance to Plaintiffs’ claims, including highly confidential and proprietary information relating to television shows other than the one at issue, The Walking Dead,” said AMC today in a scathing letter (read it here) to a NY Supreme Court judge. The letter is the latest salvo in the on-going case first filed by Darabont and CAA in a December 17 complaint. The plaintiffs allege that they were scammed out of contractually assured profits from the blockbuster series and that AMC played a “self-dealing” artificially low license-fee shell game with the show based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels. AMC, of course, says that’s not the case.
Related: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5: First-Look Photo
Of course, all that could become irrelevant or at least secondary very soon. “Contracts are not screenplays,” said AMC’s attorney Marc E. Kasowitz with some rhetorical flourish in this most recent letter. “The law does not permit them to be unilaterally rewritten simply because one party dislikes the ending. Yet, that is precisely what Plaintiffs seek in this action.” Once again rejecting Darabont and CAA’s contentions of self-dealing and low license fees in their original complaint last year, the cable station also revealed to no great surprise that they plan to file a motion for summary judgment for liability soon. AMC also let slip that they paid Darabont “close to $3 million” for his work on WD Seasons 1 & 2 before canning him from the show he developed back in late July 2011.
Related: AMC Greenlights Three Unscripted Series, Including Chris Hardwick’s ‘Celebrity Bowling’
Read More »
Check out this first-look photo from The Walking Dead Season 5 released today by AMC, featuring a cautious-looking and bloody sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). The zombie drama hit another season finale ratings record last month, delivering 15.7 million viewers and 10.2 million Adults 18-49. It returns this October on AMC.
Lionsgate has entered a new and expanded multi-year output deal with longstanding partner Nordisk Film in Scandinavia. The agreement covers upcoming Lionsgate and Summit titles including the next two Hunger Games franchise installments; the next three films in the recently-launched Divergent franchise; sequel Now You See Me 2; crime thriller Child 44 and Alex Proyas’ Gods Of Egypt. “Lionsgate and Summit have enjoyed a tremendous relationship with Nordisk over the years, partnering on nearly 200 films, including the launch of the Twilight, Hunger Games and Divergent franchises,” say Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman. “We’re delighted to celebrate the renewal of our output deal with our strongest and most diverse slate ever, and we look forward to expanding our partnership with Nordisk on the production front as well.”
Picturehouse Entertainment will stream the BBC Radio 2 D-Day concert at The Royal Albert Hall live to UK cinemas on June 6. The concert is part of BBC Radio 2′s D-Day activity which culminates in the D-Day 70 Years On special at the Royal Albert. The live cinema broadcast is a means for elderly veterans and others who are unable to travel to London or France to mark the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings. Hosts Jeremy Vine, Dermot O’Leary and Louise Minchin will re-tell the story of key moments of D-Day alongside a cast of actors led by Patrick Stewart as Winston Churchill. The show will go out through Cineworld, Picturehouse, Vue and independent cinemas across the UK and proceeds will be donated to charities including The Royal British Legion. Stewart says, “I am delighted and proud to be part of this anniversary commemoration. Churchill wrote English to be spoken and I have always loved quoting his remark that ‘The greatest virtue is courage, because it makes all the other virtues possible’.” Read More »
With the body count on The Walking Dead consistently high, the AMC zombie drama is always in need of reinforcements. Enter The Wire alum Seth Gilliam, who has joined Walking Dead as a new series regular for Season 5. He will play a character listed on the breakdown as Michael Todd, though his real name is being kept under wraps. (Maybe fans could recognize a character from the graphic novel in the description – Father Gabriel?) Michael is described as having two sides, displaying a friendly, puckish humor but also having a haunted side stemming from a dark secret. Gilliam, repped by Gersh and Bob McGowan of McGowan Management, first got on AMC’s radar with a recurring role on the 2012 untitled Lagravenese/Goldwyn pilot, which was subsequently picked up to series by sister channel WEtv. He has been recurring on another series, MTV’s Teen Wolf, which he is expected to continue to do while co-starring on Walking Dead.
EXCLUSIVE: The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus will spend his hiatus from the AMC show in the stellar ensemble cast of Triple Nine, the John Hillcoat-directed heist film that begins production this summer. Open Road Films pre-bought domestic distribution rights just prior to Berlin and will release the film wide next year. Reedus, who just completed his fourth season playing Daryl Dixon, joins Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Teresa Palmer, and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman in the Batman Vs. Superman film). Matt Cook scripted the thriller, in which a crew of dirty cops is blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist. The only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for “officer down.” Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie they set up to die foils the attack, triggering a breakneck, action-packed finale filled with double-crosses, greed and revenge. Read More »
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of last night’s Season 4 finale of The Walking Dead.
Don’t let anyone tell you that AMC’s The Walking Dead doesn’t pack a hell of a lot more than zombies into the series — as last night’s bloody and emotionally charged Season 4 finale proved. Besides the ever-present undead, the fourth season saw a big change in leadership among Sheriff Rick Grimes and the survivors, the outbreak of a raging influenza virus in their converted prison home, the exile of one major character, the graphic decapitation of another, the death of a major foe, some revealing backstories, and the scattering of the remaining members of the series in search of a new home and new hope. It also saw Walking Dead shattering cable ratings records again, and a couple of times it beat the usually unbeatable Sunday Night Football on NBC and topped that network’s Winter Olympics coverage three weeks in a row in the key adults 18-49 demo. There’s a good chance that when last night’s ratings come in later today, we’ll see another record. Walking Dead executive producer Scott Gimple, who just completed his first full season as showrunner, talked with me about last night’s finale as well as what fans can expect in Season 5 this fall and some changes behind the scenes.
Related: ‘Walking Dead’ Season Debut Smashes Records; 16.1M Watch
Read More »