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Stan Lee Media sues Disney for billions over Marvel copyright et al - 10th October 2012

Pop culture and comic icon Stan Lee fighting Disney re Marvel; Not a Marvel video game!; Stan Lee takes gamble on legal fight with Disney...

Stan Lee Media (SLM) has launched info a multi-billion dollar legal lawsuit VS entertainment and media giant Disney claiming the entertainment king does not own the rights to the Marvel Comics characters depicted in its films. Huge claim, we know.

The company, which Stan Lee himself is no longer associated with, claims that the comic book icon signed over the rights to the superheroes and villains he created to its corporate predecessor in a deal inked back to 1998.

SLM claims that an amended version of that agreement was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in March 2000 - that's almost a decade before Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment, online publisher Deadline reports.

The company is seeking $5.5 billion in damages, an amount calculated based on the profits from movies such as The Avengers, X-Men: First Class and Thor, as well as the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. These are some of the most popular movies of the current Hollywood era.

"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," read SLM's complaint.

"Those representations made to the public by The Walt Disney Company are false."

Disney, which acquired Marvel in a massive financial deal in 2009, is yet to respond to the allegations.

Stay tuned to the Media Man agency for more news as it comes to hand true believers.

 

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Supanova Pop Culture Expo Hits Sydney, Australia - 16th June 2012

The Supanova pop culture expo has returned to Sydney, Australia, and has warmly embraced the pop culture phenom which is taking place at Olympic Park, Homebush, in Sydney's west.

It's a 3 day pop culture mania bringing together fans, actors, game players, information and tons of merchandise and collectibles. Make no mistake - this is big business, but also lots of fun. It brings out the kid lurking inside all of us, no matter what our age.

Witnessing the general public dress up as their favourite hero, heroine or monster was just as much fun as the official exhibitions.

Coming to the expo to join in the fun (and big business) are over 40 international stars from various shows, films, franchises and worlds including Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future’s Doc Brown), Yvonne Craig (the original Batgirl), Natalia Tena (Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter series, Osha in Game Of Thrones) and Verne Troyer (Mini-Me from the Austin Powers films).

Even our favorite real life superheroes of Australian pro wrestling - AWF Wrestling turned up and put on some very solid chain wrestling and brawling to the delight of the crowd. The wrestlers were also a big favorite with the media and the brawlers got somewhat crowd mobbed with famed actor Verne Troyer (Mini-Me) from 'Austin Powers' fame joining in the fun and games.

The Christopher Lloyd question and answer session was very entertaining and educational, and was a much sought after attraction for both news media and fans. Lloyd shared stories from his illustrious acting and show business career, much of which has been pop culture included such as 'Back To The Future' franchise, where he portrayed Dr. Emmett Brown. Lloyd even talked about the cult film fav 'Suburban Commando', which also featured pro wrestling living legend, Hulk Hogan (not known for great acting), but a very entertaining showman, none the less. Lloyd told the crowd of 500 plus that he enjoyed working with Hulk and that he was a really nice guy and didn't pretend to be a great actor. One lucky fan asked Lloyd if he could have a "high five", and the actor obliged, which got a nice reaction from the jam packed crowd.

More news...

Buffy Star also at Supanova Sydney...

Star of Buffy, Mercedes McNab, has come Down Under for Supernova and is loving it.

The blonde is in Sydney for the Supanova Pop Culture Expo at Sydney Showground, Olympic Park.

Best known for playing mean girl Harmony Kendall on 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', McNab has enjoyed a successful career as a modern day scream queen.

From the popular Hatchet horror movie franchise to spooky shows such as Buffy and Angel, the 32-year-old says she has come to feel comfortable within the genre and loves "a good death scene".

"It’s hilarious. I never thought I’d be considered a scream queen, but I guess I’ll take it.

"I think I gravitate more towards comedy and comedy can sometimes be in a darker vein, like sarcasm."

The edgy stuff started early for McNab, with her big screen debut opposite Christina Ricci's Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family movie and its sequel.

At the age of 16 she auditioned for a supporting role on Joss Whedon's Buffy The Vampire Slayer, a move that would change her life.

"We were on a brand new network and the show was based off a B-movie," she says.

"No one expected a spin-off to come of it or such a great fan reaction. No one could anticipate how welcomed and received the show was.

"In the beginning we never knew whether if we were going to get killed off.

"You’d get the script and skip to the end to make sure you weren’t going to die."

McNab experienced quite a character turn on Buffy when her superficial character was transformed into a vampire and eventually went on to join the spin-off series Angel.

"I was flattered".

"To have Joss call you and have him ask you to be a part of anything he does is pretty awesome."

Now that Whedon has found mainstream and box-office success with the hit of the year - 'The Avengers' - McNab says his loyal friends couldn't be happier.

"He’s such a genius. He's just proved to the industry what he can do."

Supanova Pop Culture Expo is on today and Sunday at Sydney Showground, Olympic Park.


Promo...

Our Hero is no longer Expendable. Eric Roberts is “The Master” of Supanova!

In a career spanning five decades, Eric Roberts has become recognisable to millions of film and TV fans. He has appeared in almost 200 movies and in countless TV shows including Heroes, The Drew Carey Show, Frasier, Oz, Touched By An Angel, Law & Order: SVU and even in a Doctor Who telemovie as the Doctor’s nemesis, The Master.

He has filmed in over 17 countries, including Australia (in The Coca-Cola Kid), and received critical acclaim for his performances in Star 80, It’s My Party and Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. In 2008, Eric joined the cast of Batman: The Dark Knight as Gotham gangster Sal Marone; in 2010 he appeared alongside Stallone, Lundgren, Statham and Li in The Expendables.

Fans of comics and animation know him as the voice of Mongul in the Justice League cartoons. He’s such a familiar face that he has appeared as himself in 63 productions, often making light of his notoriously chequered movie-star lifestyle. Brother to Julia Roberts and father of teen actress Emma Roberts, Eric is a true Hollywood veteran.

He’s therefore also the perfect guest to kick off festivities for Supanova’s TENTH ANNIVERSARY at the Sydney expo, in addition to the Perth expo the following weekend, with an exclusive Q&A and special appearance at each of our Friday evening Preview Nights which are exclusively for full weekend ticket holders (SUPA FAN PASS), in helping us celebrate a decade of successful Supanova Expos; something we couldn’t have done without your wonderful support.

Eric will then spend the weekends meeting fans, signing autographs and posing for studio portraits. (Supernova)


Nintendo Flies High at Supanova with Kid Icarus: Uprising!...

If you’re heading to Supanova this weekend, Nintendo are hosting a Kid Icarus: Uprising Multiplayer Battle Challenge! Bring along your Nintendo 3DS and copy of Kid Icarus as it’s the perfect opportunity to StreetPass with other Nintendo 3DS owners and enjoy some friendly multiplayer fun with the Nintendo community.

Nintendo 3DS consoles and Kid Icarus: Uprising games will also be available to use on the day so everyone is welcome to join in the fun!

Exclusive Kid Icarus: Uprising AR Cards only available at this event will be a special bonus for those who play. These AR cards are very exclusive and availability is strictly limited so please ensure you are there early to ensure you get your hands on one.

Some 25 years after the original Kid Icarus game for NES captured the hearts and imaginations of gamers worldwide, Kid Icarus: Uprising brings the action and adventure of this beloved series to new heights – and new visual dimensions – on the Nintendo 3DS system. The dark goddess Medusa and her Underworld Army have returned, and they’ve got their sights set on the heroic angel Pit. With the aid of Palutena, goddess of light and guardian of the human race, Pit must fend off this malevolent threat. The richly immersive graphics of the Nintendo 3DS system offer incredible depth as Pit battles enemies by air and by land. (Supernova)


Special guests appearing at Supernova Sydney and Perth include:

Jeffrey ‘Chamba’ Cruz
Street Fighter II: Turbo, Udon Comics,

Stanislav Ianevski
Viktor Krum in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

Bevan McGuinness
Slave of Sondelle

Jim Cheung
Scion, New Avengers, Avengers: The Childrens Crusade

Suzie Plakson
Lt. Selar, K'Ehleyr, the Female Q, Tarah, in TNG, Voyager and Enterprise

David Mack
Artist on Kabuki, Daredevil, Avengers

Andrew Constant
Author of Torn.

Wolfgang Bylsma
Gestalt Comics

Juliet Marillier
Author of the 'Seven waters' trilogy.

Yvonne Craig
Batgirl in the 60's Batman Series, Orion Slave girl 'Marta' in Star trek

John Viener
Family Guy, The Cleveland Show.

Garth Nix
Author of Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen.


Artists Alley promo...

Supanova is all about supporting the local industry and providing a spotlight for the local comic creators. That spotlight is Artists Alley; the place where the fans can meet the creators and explore worlds they may never have known existed before. Whether its a 25 page self-printed black and white comic, or a full color, fully bound graphic novel, or even stunning computer art prints, you’ll find something to astonish in Artists Alley.

The artists are approachable and always willing to give constructive feedback on artwork. As such, Artists Alley can be a fantastic tool for the emerging artist to improve their skills or make new connections and possibly take their first leap into the professional industry! (Supernova)

Special thanks...

Thank you to all involved in the promotion and success of Supernova. We look forward to seeing you all out there again tomorrow. As Marvel Comics living legend Stan Lee says, Excelsior!

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Marvel Entertainment Movies: Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, The Wolverine and Ghost Rider - February 2012


Hollywood is continuing its lover affair with superhero themes, movie revamps and the like, and Australian fans are lapping it up with the superhero jackpot bonanza.

This year we're looking at a bush tucker bag of sequels, prequels, remakes... you name it. The Hollywood studios will be pumping out their best efforts in order to make as much money as they can muster, and who can blame them.

Entertainment kingpin Marvel Entertainment are going to be spinning out their “The Amazing Spider-Man”, hitting us hard with "The Avengers", "Ghost Rider" is about to ride into "Sin City" Sydney, Australia, and then there's Australia's favorite son, Hugh Jackman back in "The Wolverine".

The Warner Bros. - DC Comics tag-team is going to attempt to combat that Marvel onslaught with the next instalment of Batman - "The Dark Knight Rises", but most tipsters are picking Marvel to win the movie superhero fight over DC Comics this year, but time will tell.

Here’s a peek at some of this year’s coming attractions...(US dates)

Nicolas Cage provides a winter warm-up with “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” (Feb. 17), returning as the bounty hunter from hell on a mission to rescue a child from the devil.

“The Avengers” (May 4), teaming Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye.

Next is “The Amazing Spider-Man” (July 3), with Andrew Garfield taking over as Peter Parker in director Marc Webb’s new take on how a mutant spider bite turns a teen into a web-slinging hero.

Christian Bale returns as Batman in “The Dark Knight Rises” (July 20), director Christopher Nolan’s third and final tale of the well to do vigilante with all the cool gadgets. Anne Hathaway joins the cast as Catwoman.

After the late Heath Ledger’s Academy Award-winning performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight,” Nolan went with a lesser-known villain: This time, it’s Bane (Tom Hardy), known to comic-book fans as the brute who breaks Batman’s back and puts him in a wheelchair.

The Avengers are assembling...

Disney released more stills from its superhero superteam movie reving up fans who are eagerly awaiting the answers to the age-old question, who would win in a fight between The Incredible Hulk and The Mighty Thor.

The first image shows Captain America (Chris Evans) in full updated costume and shield, flanked by Avengers teammates Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Joahnsson), the three heroes walking as if they mean business. The second still is slightly less dramatic, simply showing Thor (Chris Hemsworth) gripping a conference room chair, pondering heavy thoughts next to S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg).

"When you walk out of your trailer and you bump into Chris Hemsworth with the cape on and you see Downey in the Iron Man suit and that’s when you really get excited and you start geeking out a bit,” Evans told The News last year from the film's New Mexico set.

Fans are already starting to geek out, more than two months before the film's May 4 (U.S) release date.

The Marvel Studios movie, which is directed by fanboy favorite Joss Whedon, unites three franchises (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Hulk) within an even bigger franchise that’s expected to be one of the biggest box office hits of all time.

Avengers News cont...

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”--the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon from a screenplay by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012.

Marvel Release Dates Updated (U.S)

In addition to "Marvel's The Avengers," Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Iron Man 3" on May 3, 2013; and "Thor 2" on November 15, 2013.


Andrew Garfield as Spiderman Featured in an Avengers (English, 2012) Cameo...

Mumbai, Feb 13, 2012 - A few days ago we reported the rampant Internet rumor that Andrew Garfield’s Spiderman would be featured in an Avengers cameo. All of this was built off a statement made by actress Jenny Agutter who has a small role in the Whedon production. Well, we’ve stumbled across another source who confirms Spider mans cameo in Avengers.

“This will be similar to how Wolverine made a quick cameo in X-Men: First Class and Sony’s going to make sure to promote their new Spiderman movie any way they can. Andrew (Garfield) isn’t a widely known actor so they want to get his face on everything, including The Avengers even if it’s for a couple seconds.”

This is an absolute multiple bonanza for the superhero fans.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson, and written and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since.

“Marvel’s The Avengers” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures. The film is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Patricia Whitcher, Victoria Alonso and Jeremy Latcham. The film is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

The movie is to release in India on 27th April, 2011.


The Wolverine Gets Release Date...

It is official, a sequel to that 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie will be coming to a theatre near you on or around July 26th 2013 (depends if your in the U.S, Australia or elsewhere). After months of production delays, including replacing Darren Aranofsky as director, that cigar smoking, 'bub' saying, furry Canadian Logan will once again rip things up. The film sequel is running with the title: The Wolverine and will take Logan to Japan where he finds a forbidden romance and the Silver Samurai to deal with. Hugh Jackman has already praised the script as being "one of the best we've ever had." This is good news for those fans and critics who felt the first Wolverine movie offering could have been better. We trust that director James Mangold and Hugh Jackman deliver on this to keep both Marvel hardcore and casual fans happy. What the critics will think is anyone's guess, but as a few stars have noted - movies are made for fans (not critics).


'Ghost Rider' movie controversy; Red hot back story...

The new "Ghost Rider" movie's ticket sales are not very strong, but the controversy raging in the comic-book community is like a mega fireball.

The story begins back in 1972, when the flaming motercyclist was created at Marvel Comics by writer Mike Friedrich, editor Roy Thomas and artist Mike Ploog. Comics creators in those days - and often today - don't own anything they create for the major publishing houses, because of a contract called "work for hire." But when the first "Ghost Rider" movie came out in 2007, Friedrich sued Marvel for partial ownership of the character on a technicality - which would result in a windfall from the movie.

He desperately needed the money. Friedrich, now 69, is unemployed, broke and suffering from liver problems. He has been getting through the days by selling autographed "Ghost Rider" items at conventions as a paid guest, which according to documents amounted to a total of $17,000.

But ownership of trademark and copyright isn't something that comics publishers take lightly. Both of the major comic publishers (ala Marvel and DC Comics) make more income from licensing their library of characters than they do selling comic books. Here's the thing: According to U.S. law, failure to defend a trademark can lead to losing it.

So Marvel - and parent company Disney - went after the lawsuit, including a countersuit demanding the $17,000. They were victorious. In December, the court threw out Friedrich's suit and ordered him to pay Marvel. Also, his future income was constrained, in that he can sign and sell only "Ghost Rider" material that he buys retail.

The creative and fan community responded with fury. Blogs across the Internet excoriated Marvel, or started petitions for the $17,000 to be forgiven. Steve Niles, creator of "30 Days of Night," led a charge on Twitter and set up a Facebook page for contributions (www.steveniles.com/gary.html). Creators such as Gail Simone ("Batgirl") and Jill Thompson ("Scary Godmother") tweeted encouragement. Longtime creators'-rights champion Neal Adams was one of many who auctioned original art, with proceeds going to Friedrich.

As you might expect, there were calls to boycott the new film, "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance." That might have contributed to the film's disappointing third-place finish on its opening weekend in the U.S, with $22 million at the U.S box office.

If the movie did well, it would still be overshadowed by the back story - comics creators and fans rising up like a tidal wave to help one of their own.

What a red hot and real superhero story.

Check out the "Support Gary Friedrich" Facebook page (www.facebook.com/supportgaryfriedrich) for more.


Marvel Comics and Movies Alive And Well At Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment...

Marvel superhero fans - great news... more superhero themed online games rumoured to be soon hitting PartyCasino. Stay tuned to the Media Man network for more on that.

If it sounds like 2012 is going to be a pretty good year for superhero movies, both on an entertainment front (for fans) and business angle (for studios etc), that's because it is. Enjoy brigadiers, and as Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say - Excelsior!