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Introducing the New Marvel Studios Logo - 12th November 2013

Marvel Studios keen to bring female superhero to big screen - 7th September 2013

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Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Studios news: Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America - movies, games and auction - 8th March 2012

Ultimate Spider-Man Premieres at SXSW...

"Ultimate Spider-Man," premiering April 1 on Disney XD as part of the Marvel Universe block, is the super hero show everyone’s talking about--and you can experience the world premiere at South By Southwest Interactive Festival! At the historic Marvel: House of Ideas, panel Sunday, March 11 at 1 p.m. on the IGN stage at the Palmer Events Center, Jeph Loeb (EVP/Head of Marvel Television) will debut the entire first episode of "Ultimate Spider-Man" for fans in attendance. This can’t-miss panel also features the unveiling of Marvel’s bold new multimedia plans that includes the announcement of Marvel's revolutionary new ways to read comics, courtesy of Axel Alonso (Marvel Comics Editor in Chief) and Peter Phillips (SVP & GM, Marvel Digital Media Group). Don’t forget, this event is free and open to the public, so fans of all ages can be in attendance for the first look at the series that will redefine super hero animation--and the announcements that will change how you see comics!

“We’ve heard that Austin has some of the best Marvel fans in the world and we couldn’t imagine a better ‘thank you’ for their support than the world premiere of 'Ultimate Spider-Man' which comes to Disney XD on April 1,” said Loeb. “Working with top writers and talent, we’ve produced an animated series that brings Spider-Man to life like you’ve never seen him before. They say they do it up big in Texas--and we can’t wait for the smiles on the crowd’s faces when they get the first look at Ultimate Spidey in action!”

Once the Marvel: House of Ideas panel concludes, fans in attendance will receive a limited edition Marvel lithograph (while supplies last) and a chance to have it signed by Loeb and Alonso in a special Marvel signing session.

Stay tuned to www.marvel.com and www.sxswscreenburn.com for more details on the Marvel: House of Ideas panel and Marvel’s plans for SXSW.

Marvel Studios presents 'Marvel Avengers Assemble' trailer...

It's one of the most popular movie trailers on YouTube. Thus far it's attracted over 15,377,000 views via Marvel UK YouTube. Marvel's The Avengers Trailer 2 has so far snatched over 666,000 views.

Marvel Studios presents 'Marvel Avengers Assemble' 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, “Marvel Avengers Assemble” 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 Avengers Assemble" hits UK cinemas on April 26 and Australian fans can expect it on the big screen around the same time this year.

In “Marvel Avengers Assemble” superheroes team up to pull the world back from the brink of disaster when an unexpected enemy threatens global security.

You've got themes such as loyalty, hope and tenacity set against a rural England and Europe during the First World War. If you liked 'Captain America: The First Avenger', you are going to love this.

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson


'AVENGERS' MEMORABILIA: Capt. America's Shield, Thor's Hammer ... FOR SALE!!!

Marvel fans rejoice -- 221 of the coolest, awesomest “Captain America”, “Thor” and “Iron Man” props are hitting the auction block ... and they can all be YOURS ... if you got a 6-figure bank account.

The auction -- run by a group called Profiles in History with help from Marvel Studios -- is set to kick off online April 14th ... and in-person at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo.

Among the ridiculously expensive collectibles (with their starting bids) --

-- The full Mark II “Autopsy” Suit from "Iron Man 2" ... $60,000
-- Chris Evans' complete Captain America Suit ... $20,000
-- Steve Rogers’ Hero Motorcycle (Harley Davidson) ... $12,000
-- Thor’s Hammer ... $4,000
-- Captain America Stunt Shield ... $3,000
... And hundreds of other pricey gadgets, props, and costumes from the movies.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE ... your life savings.

Avengers Jewellery Released In Japan; Likely To Get Worldwide Distribution...

While nearly two months remain until Marvel's The Avengers hits theaters, as we approach the anticipated May 4th release date, more marketing and licensing deals unveil. The latest comes via Colantotte, a "top" jeweler brand in Japan, whose known for their upscale magnetic jewelry. Using full promo images from The Avengers, previously seen, on their official site, new character bios, and products developed for the movie, check it out!

You may recall when filming was underway in Cleveland, Ohio, which is doubling for New York City in the film, one of the many false storefronts built had a "Colantotte" sign atop it. So it seems, similar to the Dr. Pepper truck being blown to bits, the Colantotte store's inclusion is yet another case of cleaver product placement.

The store's screentime in the film reportedly depicts Japanese store owners running out of the building, and looking up frightened by the mystery aliens' "mothership." Anyhow, check the source link to visit and explore the Colantotte site, and their products!

“Marvel’s The Avengers” Promo

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, & 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 on May 4, 2012. The film is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. 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.

New Marvel Films Boost Popularity Of Marvel Entertainment Themed Online Games

The Australian arm of the Media Man publicity and internet publishing agency is reporting that the new and upcoming Marvel hero themed movies (Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, Ghost Rider and Wolverine) has boosted the popularity of Marvel slot games at world's leading online casino brand, PartyCasino, as seen across the Media Man network. The casino gaming brand is owned and operated by bwin.party digital entertainment, the world's leading igaming company, which is even listed on the London Stock Exchange. Impressive and even Excelsior! The Media Man agency has reviewed the games for the fanboy (or) fangirl in all of us.


'Chronicle's' Josh Trank looks to spit some Venom...

With Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” looking to kick-start a Spidey resurgence this summer, the studio is taking a crack at another character associated with the superhero: Venom.

The studio is negotiating with Josh Trank, the hot director of this winter’s found-footage hit "Chronicle," to take the reins of the Spidey spin-off, said a person familiar with the project who was not authorized to talk about it publicly. Sony was not immediately available for comment.

The film would center on the gooey villain who was a mainstay of the Marvel comics and was a nemesis, incarnated by Topher Grace, in the third “Spider-Man” picture in 2007. (The character attaches himself to a human host and becomes as powerful as the web-slinging superhero.)

A Venom film has been long-gestating at the studio, dating back at least to 2008 and preceding plans for this summer's Marc Webb-Andrew Garfield take on the character. Gary Ross negotiated to direct a Venom film back in 2009 but moved on to other projects, including the upcoming “Hunger Games.”

Jacob Estes (“The Details”) wrote a draft of a “Venom” script several years ago, but producers are seeking a new writer, said the source. (The Ross version was to craft Venom as less a villain than an antihero.) The film also would be seeking a new actor; Grace is not expected to reprise the role.

With "Venom," the 27-year-old Trank would not only return to superhero territory but would also bring a flair for shoe-leather storytelling that resonates with audiences: Despite an absence of stars as well as a modest budget, “Chronicle” has grossed more than $60 million since coming out last month. (Credit: LA Times)


Spider-Man ride reopening at Universal Orlando...

ORLANDO, Fla. - As Universal Orlando theme park prepares to open a new and technologically eye-popping version of its iconic 3-D Spider-Man ride this week, creator Stan Lee says it's sort of a fluke that the costumed web-slinger ever came into existence at all.

Lee was a writer and editor at Marvel Comics in the early 1960s when he went to his publisher with a new idea: A superhero with the abilities of a fly or some other insect to crawl on walls and flit from place to place. Oh, and the character's alter-ego, Peter Parker, would be a shy, orphaned teenager with all sorts of adolescent problems and anxieties.

"My publisher said to me, `Stan, that is the worst idea I have ever heard,"' the 89-year-old Lee recalled in a telephone interview from his Los Angeles home this week. "First of all, people hate spiders so you can't call a hero Spider-Man. Secondly, a hero can't be a teenager.

Teenagers are only sidekicks. And three, superheroes don't have problems -- they're superheroes!"

Lee, who had already dreamed up the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and other popular Marvel beings, worked up a Spider-Man story with artist Steve Ditko -- "just to get it out of my system," he says -- and put the new character on the cover of the last ever issue of a 12-cent magazine called "Amazing Fantasy."

"It sold like crazy," Lee says of the August 1962 comic. Spider-Man was well on his way to becoming the flagship of the Marvel Comics universe, star of TV shows, major motion pictures and more lately, a famously elaborate Broadway musical. Spidey's general appearance has changed little through the years, although Peter Parker has been allowed to grow up into a young man.
That brings us to the updated version of the Universal 3-D dark ride, "The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man," which reopens Thursday. It quickly gained popularity among theme park fans after debuting in 1999 but has only had minor tweaks since. Lately it had slipped into the also-ran category of Universal rides with the 2010 opening of the immensely popular Harry Potter attraction in another corner of Islands of Adventure.

The ride, which combines motion vehicles, a towering screen and special effects, was reanimated in digital high-definition 3-D and got updated sets, sound system, lighting and music. Universal says the clearer, brighter animation allowed the addition of loads of new details and high-tech gimmicks to the ride, in which the wise-cracking web-slinger battles villains Doctor Octopus, Scream, Electro, Hydro-Man and the Hobgoblin.

"We saw an opportunity to make it ready for a whole new generation of fans, and this was a perfect time to do so," said Mark Woodbury, president for Universal Creative, the park's design and development group. "The technology was available to us, (and) we saw the opportunity to create something really unique -- more immersive, more detailed, more visual."

As Lee has done in some of the movies based on his characters, he steps into the ride for a cameo. He said he's not surprised at the enduring draw of his most famous creation, but he's quick to distribute the credit for Spidey's longevity.

"The people who are doing the stories after I stopped, and the people who are doing the cartoons and the rides and the motion pictures are doing such a fantastically wonderful job that the public seems to have a renewed interest in Spider-Man every time (something new) comes out," he said.

Interestingly enough, Universal rival Disney bought the Marvel empire in 2009 for more than $4 billion, but a licensing agreement keeps the Spider-Man ride firmly in Universal's clutches at the Florida theme park.

Universal opens another 3-D ride, based on the animated "Despicable Me" movie, this summer featuring similar 3-D technology. It will be on the other property at the Orlando park, called Universal Studios, which requires a separate admission. (Credit: AP)

Why Paramount Studios Gets 'Avengers' Credit; Not Disney!...

Knowing Disney wanted to turn 'The Avengers' into a franchise and bank on the success of 'Iron Man' after buying Marvel for $4 billion dollars, Paramount's top brass negotiated a deal in which it continues to collect 8% of the B.O. as part of fees it would have earned for distribbing the picture, as it did with the two 'Iron Man' pics, 'Thor' and 'Captain America.'" To a point: Whenever 'The Avengers' is discussed, it's Disney that's managing the superheroes, with the studio bringing the pic's thesps to its D23 Expo, in Anaheim, California.


'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' is in the money...

Movie website portal Box Office Mojo reports Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance earned at least $9.7 million this weekend, though data remains somewhat incomplete at this moment. Based on the information that is available, the movie has earned a total of $58 million overseas so far.


The Wolverine (2013)

I won’t lie to you, I have been talking to writers… I’m a big fan of the Japanese saga in the comic book. Hugh Jackman. In September 2009, Gavin Hood speculated that there will be a sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which will be set in Japan. During one of the post credits scenes Logan is seen drinking at a bar in Japan. Such a location was the subject of Claremont and Miller's series, which was not in the first film as Jackman felt "what we need to do is establish who [Logan] is and find out how he became Wolverine". Jackman stated the Claremont-Miller series is his favorite Wolverine story. Of the Japanese arc, Jackman also stated that:“..there are so many areas of that Japanese story, I love the idea of this kind of anarchic character, the outsider, being in this world – I can see it aesthetically, too – full of honor and tradition and customs and someone who’s really anti-all of that, and trying to negotiate his way. The idea of the samurai, too – and the tradition there. It’s really great. In the comic book he gets his ass kicked by a couple of samurai – not even mutants. He’s shocked by that at first.” Jackman added that another Wolverine film would be a follow-up rather than continuing on from X-Men: The Last Stand. The inclusion of Deadpool and Gambit also leads to the possibilities of their own spin-offs. Before Wolverine's release, Lauren Shuler Donner approached Simon Beaufoy to write the script, but he did not feel confident enough to commit. On May 5, 2009, just four days after its initial weekend run, the sequel was officially confirmed. A Deadpool spin-off has also been confirmed with Ryan Reynolds attached to reprise the role of Wade Wilson, but producer Shuler Donner stated that she wants to "ignore the version of Deadpool that we saw in Wolverine and just start over again. Reboot it." Christopher McQuarrie, who went uncredited for his work on X-Men, was hired to write the screenplay for the Wolverine sequel in August 2009. According to Lauren Shuler-Donner, the sequel will focus on the relationship between Wolverine and Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord, and what happens to him in Japan. Wolverine will have a different fighting style due to Mariko's father having "this stick-like weapon. There'll be samurai, ninja, katana blades, different forms of martial arts – mano-a-mano, extreme fighting." She continued: "We want to make it authentic so I think it's very likely we'll be shooting in Japan. I think it's likely the characters will speak English rather than Japanese with subtitles." In January 2010, at the People's Choice Awards, Jackman stated that the film will start shooting sometime in 2011, and in March 2010 McQuarrie declared that the screenplay was finished for production to start in January the following year. In October 2010, it was confirmed that Darren Aronofsky would direct the film. Jackman commented that with Darren Aronofsky directing that Wolverine 2 will not be "usual" stating, "This is, hopefully for me, going to be out of the box. It’s going to be the best one, I hope... Well, I would say that, but I really do feel that, and I feel this is going to be very different. This is Wolverine. This is not Popeye. He’s kind of dark... But, you know, this is a change of pace. Chris McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects, has written the script, so that’ll give you a good clue. [Aronofsky’s] going to make it fantastic. There’s going to be some meat on the bones. There will be something to think about as you leave the theater, for sure”. Bryan Singer was invited by Shuler Donner to direct, but declined. In November 2010, Aronofsky stated that the title of the film will be The Wolverine and described the film as a "one-off" rather than a sequel. Also in November, Fox Filmed Entertainment sent out a press release stating that they have signed Darren Aronofsky and his production company Protozoa Pictures to a new two-year, overall deal. Under the deal, Protozoa will develop and produce films for both 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight Pictures. Aronofsky’s debut picture under the pact will be The Wolverine. It had been reported that the film would begin principal photography in March 2011 in New York City before the production moves to Japan for the bulk of shooting. In March 2011, Darren Aronofsky bowed out of directing the film, saying the project would keep him out of the country for too long. In a joint statement with Fox, Aronofsky stated, "As I talked more about the film with my collaborators at Fox, it became clear that the production of The Wolverine would keep me out of the country for almost a year... I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time. I am sad that I won't be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again". Fox also decided to be "in no rush" to start the production due to the damage incurred in Japan by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. In June 16, 2011 James Mangold was chosen to direct the film, having previously been on a shortlist which included directors José Padilha, Doug Liman, Antoine Fuqua, Mark Romanek, Justin Lin, and Gavin O'Connor. On June 27, Jackman said in an interview that filming for The Wolverine would start in October. Silver Samurai will be the film's villain. In September 2011, filming was postponed to Spring 2012 so Jackman can work on Les Misérables. Location include both Vancouver and Tokyo, with Mark Bomback working on a rewrite of McQuarrie's script. A July 26, 2013 release date has been set.

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!

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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!

 

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Marvel Entertainment's The Avengers: New Mexico Connection...

Marvel Entertainment's biggest film project of all time is is now New Mexico’s biggest film production ever as 'The Avengers' confirms its 2011 shooting locations.

Thor not only hits off the summer movie season of 2011, but it sets up events that will culminate in the Marvel superhero team-up epic, The Avengers, the following year. With story elements of Thor taking place in New Mexico, and the production shooting in Santa Fe and Galisteo, it’s of little surprise to see Marvel Studios returning once again for their biggest project ever.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Marvel Studios officially announced the agreement making The Avengers the single largest film production in the state’s history. The current schedule has Joss Whedon’s The Avengers shooting in New Mexico between April and September of next year, using both Albuquerque Studios and of course, the beautiful and vast surrounding locations that so many other major Hollywood flicks have used.

The Avengers also is set to shoot action in Michigan and New York but production will primarily take place in New Mexico’s largest city Albuquerque.

Governor Richardson talks to local economic benefits to New Mexico: "In addition to being our biggest production to date, The Avengers will be the most technologically advanced and will provide cutting-edge training opportunities for our crew… I’m announcing this as a Christmas present of sorts to the people of New Mexico. This is a perfect example of the incredible job creation, economic impact and global visibility this industry has brought our state over the past eight years, and of the need to keep it moving forward."

So Marvel heroes fans, be looking out for Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gregg and Samuel L. Jackson.

Thor opens May 5, 2011; The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.

 

Spider-Man: Broadway No Match For Movie; Spidy Fans Disappointed; Would Rather Play Spider-Man Games And Play Dress Up...

The new and much talked about Spider-Man musical has another problem stuck in its web. Sick to death of waiting for the problematic Broadway show to officially open, critics for two mainstream news companies released early and negative reviews of the $65 million musical, which won't officially open until February 7.

Writing for Bloomberg News, the influential financial news wire service, veteran critic John Simon slammed the show as "an unfocused hodge-podge of story-telling, myth-making and spectacle that comes up short in every department. A few good songs would help, in which department the show is sorely lacking," Simon wrote in the review late Sunday night. Like most rock stars, Bono and The Edge haven’t a clue about writing for the theatre."

The U2 legends wrote the score for the show, which was directed by Lion King helmer Julie Taymor.

Both Simon and Newsday's Linda Winer defended their premature reviews on the grounds that the show was charging full ticket prices in some cases more than $200 a seat for the performances, and that the opening date had been pushed back twice.

Winer called the show's infamous high-flying acrobatics "exciting and scary, in a circus way" but dismissed the second act as "weak."

Simon was also impressed with the flying scenes: "An hour of anticipation for about 90 seconds of exhilaration," he wrote.

Would you believe four actors have been injured during the show's rehearsals, including a horrible injury to lead aerialist Chris Tierney last week.

Critics almost never publish their reviews of productions before the official opening night. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has pushed back its debut twice.

The New York Times said in a posting to its arts blog that it would not review the show until the official opening.

Media Man loves Marvel Entertainment, Spider-Man and U2, but this project does not sound good. Sorry guys.

 

News

Djimon Hounsou Continues Campaign For 'Black Panther' Movie - 4th December 2010
(Credit: MTV)

As Marvel Studios prepares for "Thor," "Captain America" and "The Avengers," the successful comic book movie studio is undoubtedly exploring future films starring some of their other popular superheroes.

Could Black Panther be one of them? That's certainly the hope, according to "Gladiator" actor Djimon Hounsou. The Oscar-nominated actor previously lent his voice to an animated "Black Panther" series, and in a recent interview with io9, Hounsou said that his work on that show was an attempt to generate interest in a big screen "Black Panther" film.

"That was the idea: using it as a leverage to tell a feature story," he said — and his hopes for a "Black Panther" movie are far from over.

"He's a king, he's a man of the people, and he's very powerful — he challenges himself throughout his kingdom, and I think that's rare when the king puts his own life [on the line] and challenges [people] to beat him, in order to see [who's] the best out there," the actor enthused. "He's really cool. He comes from a world in Africa that is cool, and has all those minerals and it's very exciting. It's just a matter of time for that to be realized."

We agree that it's just a matter of time before a "Black Panther" movie gets off the ground, but will Hounsou be in the title role? He's certainly got competition, as "Lost" actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje previously told MTV News that he was working with Marvel on bringing the character to theaters. (Credit: MTV)

 


Profile

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) is an American entertainment company formed from the merger of Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. and Toy Biz, Inc.
A corporate predecessor traces its origins to the May 1933 publication of Western Supernovel Magazine. That magazine was only published for one issue before the title was changed to Complete Western Book Magazine in July 1933.

The company's oldest character is Ka-Zar introduced in 1936. In 1939, the company began publishing comic books as Timely Publications with Marvel Comics #1

History

Ronald Perelman's MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings group of companies bought the Marvel Entertainment Group, the parent company of Marvel Comics, from New World Entertainment for $82.5 million.

"It is a mini-Disney in terms of intellectual property," said Perelman. "Disney's got much more highly recognized characters and softer characters, whereas our characters are termed action heroes. But at Marvel we are now in the business of the creation and marketing of characters."

Boosted by a massive merchandising effort, an increase in Marvel comic prices, and an overall boom in the comic book industry, Marvel's profits spiked. Perelman later added the baseball card and basketball card companies Fleer Corporation and SkyBox International, Italian sticker manufacturer Panini Group, and comic book publishers Welsh Publishing and Malibu Comics to Marvel's holdings for a combined total of $700 million. Investors around the world recognized his efforts and generated $80 million for Perelman when he issued Marvel's initial public offering. He later added a significant stake in Toy Biz to Marvel's holdings. His luck was not to last. Marvel's attempt to distribute its products directly led to a decrease in sales and aggravated the losses which Marvel suffered when the comic book bubble popped, the 1994 Major League Baseball strike massacred the profits of the Fleer division,and Panini was hobbled by poor showings at the box office by Disney (Licensing Disney characters provided a major source of revenue for Panini, so when the movies performed poorly Panini performed poorly). A major bondholder, Carl Icahn, fought to take control of the company from Perelman. Both men failed as Toy Biz owners Ike Perlmutter and Avi Arad snatched Marvel from Perelman and Icahn in order to protect their own financial interests. Estimates of his profit on the deal vary widely. Chuck Rozanski estimates that Perelman made $200-400 million off Marvel; Forbes thinks he made nothing;and the judge in the Marvel bankruptcy trial estimated he made $280 million plus various tax advantages. In December 2003, Marvel Entertainment acquired Cover Concepts from Hearst Communications, Inc. On March 15, 2007, Stan Lee Media filed a lawsuit against Marvel Entertainment for $5 billion, claiming that the company is co-owner of the characters that Lee created for Marvel. Additional, a lawsuit over the Ghost Rider Character ownership was file On March 30, 2007 by Gary Friedrich and Gary Friedrich Enterprises, Inc

Units

The company's operating units include:
Marvel Characters, Inc.: intellectual property holding company;
Marvel Publishing, Inc.: publisher of Marvel Comics;
Marvel Studios: a film and television production company;
Marvel Toys (formerly Toy Biz): a toy company owned by Isaac Perlmutter since the 1990s.
Spider-Man Merchandising, L.P.: A joint venture of Marvel and Sony Pictures Consumer Products Inc. that owns the rights to Spider-Man movie related licensed products.
MVL Film Finance LLC: holder of Marvel's Movie debt and theatrical film rights to the ten characters as collateral.
Marvel Animation: Subsidiary charge with oversight of Marvel's animation productions.
Marvel Characters B.V. (The Netherlands)
MVL International C.V. (The Netherlands)
Marvel International Character Holdings LLC (Delaware)
Marvel Entertainment International Limited (United Kingdom)
Marvel Property, Inc. (Delaware)
Marvel Internet Productions LLC (Delaware)
Marvel Toys Limited (Hong Kong)
MRV, Inc. (Delaware)
MVL Development LLC (Delaware)
Marvel Film Productions LLC (Delaware)
Film Slate Subsidiaries”
MVL Rights, LLC: subsidiary holding movie rights of all Marvel Characters with some on contract with MVL Film Finance
Iron Works Productions LLC: subsidiary holding debt to finance the Iron Man movie.
MVL Productions LLC: an indirect wholly owned a film development subsidiary
Incredible Productions LLC (Delaware): subsidiary holding debt to finance the Incredible Hulk film
MVL Iron Works Productions Canada, Inc. (Province of Ontario)
MVL Incredible Productions Canada, Inc. (Province of Ontario)
Asgard Productions LLC (Delaware)
Green Guy Toons LLC (Delaware)
Squad Productions LLC (Delaware) (Credit: Wikipedia)

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