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02 July 2011

Media Man News Update, by Greg Tingle - 2nd July 2011


Thor X-Men Wolverine Thor Green Lantern Batman Iron-Man Marvel Entertainment Marvel Comics Marvel Studios Marvel Slots DC Comics Warner Bros Paramount Pictures Hollywood WWE Media Man
Captain America The Avengers Spider-Man Fantastic Four The Hulk Comics Movies Poker Casinos James Bond


Thor X-Men Wolverine Thor Green Lantern Batman Iron-Man Marvel Entertainment Marvel Comics Marvel Studios Marvel Slots DC Comics Warner Bros Paramount Pictures Hollywood Movies Media Man
Captain America The Avengers Spider-Man Fantastic Four The Hulk Comics Movies

Maguire Aka Spider-Man: Lost Money On Hollywood Poker Games...

Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire believes he should not have to pay back all his winnings from a series of illegal Hollywood poker games was unaware he was playing an unlicensed game, and had also lost money. Maguire is being sued for $294,800 plus interest, because he won this amount from a conman who is now being bankrupted in a bid to pay back his victims. A bankruptcy trustee is suing the Spiderman actor and 22 other people for their winnings to recoup money for investors who were conned into a Ponzi scheme by Bradley Ruderman. The 'Texas Hold'Em' poker games — which took place at a number of upscale Beverly Hills hotels — have become the centre of a legal fight. Lawyers representing the Ponzi investors claim hundreds and thousands of dollars lost by Ruderman, in poker matches held between 2006 and 2009, should be returned because the games were operated illegally. But Maguire has filed court papers denying any wrongdoing and claiming $157,000 he lost in the poker matches should be deducted from "any liability" that the court may decide he should pay. Maguire denies he was aware the poker games were being run without the necessary licenses and says he knew little about how they were organised or operated. His court filing states: "Tobey Maguire unconditionally denies having engaged in any conduct whatsoever in violation of law and further categorically denies having knowingly or intentionally participated in any fraudulent scheme". A number of other A-list celebrities were allegedly involved in the poker matches, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. They have not been targeted by the court action. The twice-weekly games were held at high-profile celebrity hang-outs including the Viper Room and the Four Seasons Hotel, and included food, alcohol and a masseuse for players.

Marvel Entertainment Looking For Director For Thor 2...

Thor has proven mighty enough at the box office for Marvel Studios to give the green light to a sequel. Set for release July 26, 2013, Thor 2 is in search of a director now that Kenneth Branagh has opted out of returning for the sequel. reports Branagh likely will still be involved in a producing capacity and that the decision for him not to direct was a “mutual and amicable” one with Marvel. In announcing the sequel, Marvel also announced it has hired Don Payne to write it. Payne was one of three credited writers on the screenplay for Thor and also worked on Marvel’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. He also has worked as a producer and writer on The Simpsons. The announcement confirms that Marvel is looking to continue all its franchises. Marvel has Captain America: The First Avenger due out July 22, which will be a part of the same universe as Thor, Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk in building up to next summer’s The Avengers. The studio also has Iron Man 3 set for 2013, with plans to roll out that sequel May 3. Other Marvel films in development at other studios include The Amazing Spider-Man, a reboot for next summer from Sony/Columbia; and a second Wolverine film for star Hugh Jackman that is set to shoot starting for Fox later this year. Thor was created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Larry Lieber and first appeared in the 1962 comic book Journey into Mystery #83.

Thor 2: Director Names Been Thrown Around...

The Thor sequel is on track for a July 2013 release. It's been confirmed that Don Payne is working on the screenplay — he was one of five credited screenwriters on the first film — but Marvel Studios is still staying mum on rumors (originally reported by Deadline) that Kenneth Branagh will not be returning to the director’s chair for Thor 2. It would be a definite loss for the franchise — in his review of Thor, EW’s Owen Gleiberman noted that the film proved Branagh to be an “unexpected maestro of digital effects.” Guillermo could add new energy with Asgard — and the guy has a uniquely great track record with superhero sequels, having made Blade II and Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Branagh's Thor was unexpected and he delivered with welcome thunder.

Tom Brevoort Talks In-Depth About The Relationship Between Marvel's Movies And Comics!...

Marvel SVP of Publishing Tom Brevoort talks The Avengers set visits, how the movies effect the way the characters are portrayed in the comics as well as the chances of an X-Men: First Class inspired Magneto series and more...

On Why Some Of Marvel's Comic Book Writers Are Visiting The Set Of The Avengers:

Honestly I don't know all the details, but my guess is that they're down there for some Creative Committee business – not even necessarily related to the "Avengers" film but related to Marvel Studios in general. I think Matt Fraction is along as Brian's "Plus One." [Laughter] And he's welcome and has dealt with the Studio guys before on things like the "Iron Man" video game. So this was an opportunity for them to go down there, see how the shoot is going, hob nob with all the stars, and maybe get some footage for DVD extras. It sounds like a fun excursion except for the fact that it's apparently 120 degrees in New Mexico. Outside of that, though, and some difficulty with the flights, it sounds like a good time.

On The Influence The Movies Have On The Comic Books:

I think especially as the films get ready to come out and after they come out, we see a difference in how those characters get depicted in the books. I think that was definitely true of the X-Men. The most obvious example is that as soon as the X-Men movies opened, the way we visually represented and used Cerebro or Cerebra – while it still did the same thing, all the sudden it looked like a giant domed room with a gangplank in the center, similar to the films. That's not necessarily anything that was mandated. It's just that the artists who drew the books, as they'd seen the films and enjoyed them, tended to be influenced in the way they depicted that in the comics.

Certainly Matt came up with his approach to Iron Man at the same time the "Iron Man" film was being developed. He'd seen clips and previews but hadn't seen the actual film. But still, between his own natural sensibilities and some good guesswork on his part about how they'd be treating the material, the Iron Man he writes every month is really very close to the movie version and to some degree influenced back by it. I think people in general tend to write Tony Stark today with a little more Robert Downey in his inflection and his tone and style than they did before the films. That's an intangible. That's just people having seen and loved those movies and now thinking Downey’s voice in their heads as they're coming up with Iron Man dialogue. So I think it's a fairly natural thing back and forth.

On What He Think About Captain America: The First Avenger:

I've seen no more of "Captain America" than the trailer that just came out, but let me say my God does that look like the best superhero movie of the summer to me, and possibly the best one in years. Every note of that trailer is pitch perfect. And I cannot help but suspect that the way they treat Captain America in this movie – Chris Evans' performance, the physicality of the character and how he interacts, the themes of it – are going to find their way into how people treat Cap moving ahead. It's almost inevitable, particularly if the movie is as good as the trailer makes it seem.

On Whether We'll See An X-Men: First Class Inspired Magneto Series:

I think at this point, everybody in the world has come in to pitch that series. Even before that there was talk of doing a sequel to "Magneto: Testament" that would have essentially been exactly that. And we may still get around to doing that project at some point. Right this moment, Greg Pak is in the midst of doing "Red Skull," which is the sort of counterpoint to "Magneto: Testament," and I think that asking him to do another deeply researched, historically accurate book looking in depth at that dark period and those dark people would put him in the looney bin. That is some serious stuff to have to immerse yourself into to write a comic book. But it's entirely likely we'll see that at some point. The Fassbender material in "X-Men: First Class" was great. Everybody came out of that movie saying "Wow! We want to see that movie. We want to see that guy running around Europe and hunting down old Nazis and magnetically making knives fly at them!" Credit:

Marvel Produces New Short Films for 'Thor' & 'Captain America'...

A while ago Marvel Entertainment expressed interest in getting into the short film game, which sounds ridiculous on one level because outside of film festivals short films have a lower profile than most porn. But for Marvel Studios, which owns the film rights to around 4,000 different characters, the proposal seemed like an excellent way to test the waters of less popular characters, such as - as has been rumored - Luke Cage or Doctor Strange. The idea seemed to be that the short films would play in front of high profile Marvel projects, but when none appeared before the opening credits of this year's Thor (and probably not in front of Captain America either), it seemed like it just wasn't happening. Film School Rejects reports that two such short films have already been shot, with the intention of including them on the upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray releases of Thor and Captain America. Not much is known about the actual content of the shorts, such as whether they'll include new characters or just provide backstory for existing or upcoming projects (a la the post-credits scenes on most Marvel properties), but what Film School Rejects does seem to know is that both shorts will feature S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson, a bit player in most Marvel movies to date played by actor/director Clark Gregg.

Ex-Marvel Boss Producing Angry Birds; Former studio chairman joins Rovio, will exec produce game-to-film...

David Maisel, the former chairman of Marvel Studios who led the studio into self-producing and self-financing its films as well as its sale to Disney, has joined Rovio as a Special Advisor -- a role which will also see him serve as an executive producer on the planned feature film version of its hit video game Angry Birds.

Maisel's hiring, announced via a Rovio press release, signals the game company's intent on broadening the scope of their properties into other avenues of entertainment, namely films. During his tenure with Marvel, Maisel exec produced Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.

"I'm very honored and excited to join Rovio, and my goal is to help unleash its great potential," Maisel said in a statement. "Rovio has already had amazing success and established a great brand with Angry Birds. The business model, intellectual properties, and the franchise potential of Angry Birds give Rovio the most exciting prospects I have seen in the entertainment business since Marvel in 2003."

Variety spoke with Maisel about his appointment and the prospect of an Angry Birds film, with the exec telling them, "There has been so much chatter about an 'Angry Birds' movie, but it's now real. ... The process is starting now."

The trade says Maisel has already met with interested writers and directors on the project. Forbes goes further, saying writers are already working on a script that "will that would develop the game's backstory." Forbes adds that Rovio has been chatting with interested studios.

"We are working on the mythology with the movie script and we don't want to shape the mythology too far until we have that one nail in place," Rovio CEO Mikael Hed told Forbes. "We've seen too many movies based on games that have not performed well."

"People are interacting with these characters six inches from them each time they play and that creates an emotional connection," Maisel told Variety. "This is not an American thing. It's not even a Finnish thing. It's a global thing that's something I've never seen before. This is the most exciting intellectual property to come from outside Hollywood in years and it will be exciting to expand it within Hollywood and take it to a whole new level."

Rovio is said to want to be another Pixar, and if Maisel's track record of helping Marvel turn its properties into successful movies while maintaining independence and creative control is any indication then that playbook should serve as a good template for Rovio to emulate.

Yes flock, Angry Birds to become a movie, and that's nothing to be angry about at all.

Rachel Weisz, Secret Marriage With James Bond 007's Daniel Craig...

Rachel Weisz, 41 and Daniel Craig, 43 have become husband and wife during a secret ceremony last week, in New York State. The guest list was extremely short: 18-year-old daughter Ella, Rachel's son Henry, four, and two families of close friends.

The News of the World quoted by Daily Mail reports a source as declaring after the discreet event: 'Daniel and Rachel insisted on having a small, quiet wedding. They are madly in love and couldn't wait to be husband and wife - but they wanted minimum fuss.'

Newly weds have been friends for several years and, when the first rumors of their possible relationship were speculated, they denied it and managed to keep out their couple from the public’s eyes. The actor from the last James Bond movie and the Oscar-winning actress began dating last year when they played husband and wife in the upcoming horror film “Dream House”.

Rachel Weisz ended last year her nine year relationship with “Black Swan” director, Darren Aronofsky. They have a son and they are committed to raise him together, as they announced when their breakup was made official. Before starting a relationship with Rachel Weisz, Daniel Craig was married with actress Fiona Loudon and dated film producer Satsuku Mitchell for six years.

Weisz filmography includes “The Mummy”, “About A Boy”,“ The Fountain”, this last one directed by her ex-fiancĂ©, Darren Aronofsky. She received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2005 for her role in “The Constant Gardener” directed by Fernando Meirelles and co-starring Ralph Fiennes. Rachel Weisz newest film “Whistleblower” is to be released in August 5.

Although his Daniel Craig’s career is internationally associated with the role from James Bond which he played for three times, he is one of British theatre's most famous faces. His last performance of the Bond spy will hit the theaters in October 2012, after being postponed due to the financial problems of MGM. Daniel Craig is preparing for the release of the remake “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” starring Rooney Mara and directed by David Fincher. Craig Cowboys & Aliens’ will be also launched at the end of July.

Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig are both born in UK. She has an Austrian psychoanalyst mother and a Hungarian inventor father. A former model, she is Cambridge-educated.

Daniel Craig is the first blonde actor to play Bond and also the first to be born after the start of the film series. His film debut was in 1992, after years of theatre experience.

Movie Sequel News For 2012...

Any new "Star Trek," "James Bond" and "Superman" movies in the future?

Yes. The 23rd official Bond film has long been delayed, however it is now reportedly being prepared - with Daniel Craig returning as Bond. Director J.J. Abrams has also dropped hints about a sequel to his 2009 "Star Trek." And "Man of Steel," the latest Superman movie (with Henry Cavill in the title role and Zack Snyder directing), is in the works. This could make for a busy holiday season in 2012, since the movies are set for November and December of next year.

Crown Casino Get's Stuck Into Melbourne's Taxis...

James Packer owned Crown Casino has issued a damning report card of Melbourne's taxis, describing them as an international embarrassment. It blasted driver hygiene, manners, street knowledge and language skills. In its submission to the Allan Fels taxi inquiry, Crown said the quality of taxi services had declined in recent years. Crown said its customers and employees believed some taxi drivers:

WERE discourteous when asked to accept a short fare, and trawled nearby streets searching for longer trips.

Lacked appropriate training and knowledge of even common city destinations.

Did not have sufficient English language skills.

Had poor standards of personal hygiene and grooming.

Drove cabs that were poorly cleaned and maintained.

The submission, by Crown deputy chief executive Greg Hawkins, said Melbourne's taxi services fell well short of international standards.

"The lack of consistent quality in the taxi service in Melbourne is exposed when comparisons are made by our international guests and even interstate guests," Hawkins said.

A shortage of cabs in peak periods increased the risk of antisocial behaviour among people in taxi queues, he said.

"This issue creates significant hardship for our customers and impacts negatively on the customer experience for those leaving Crown after a function or a night's entertainment," Hawkins said.

In its submission, the Victorian Taxi Association rejected the notion that the industry had failed.

For every 9000 passengers carried, only one complaint was made.

"There appears to be anecdotal evidence that certain undesirable driver practices are currently affecting the level of service," the VTA said.

But the association said the expectations of some people were unrealistic.

"To simply expect a taxi to be waiting and ready to go whenever and wherever someone wants it is simply unachievable," it said.

The services offered by public transport had not kept pace with the number of people in central Melbourne outside business hours, unlike other similar-sized world cities, the association claimed.

WWE Boss Vince McMahon Punked?...

The wrestling world has been abuzz this week over an incident that happened at the end of the latest edition of World Wrestling Entertainment's flagship show, WWE Monday Night RAW. C.M. Punk, a top WWE performer for the past few years, came out on the ramp to cut what people might have initially expected to be a "standard" heel wrestling "promo" the colorful mic work pro wrestlers are known for. Instead, though, he started ripping on the politics of the company, owner Vince McMahon's conception of what wrestling should be, the (lack of) leadership his daughter and son-in-law would provide if something happened to Vince, and the head of talent relations backstage at WWE, who he called "a douchebag." And so on, until the audio to his microphone was cut and the show just went off the air. Work or angle? We think perhaps the best promo and angle ever.

Transformers Movie Taking Over Box Office...

Transformers has grossed $66 million overseas and is on track to score a $325 million-$350 million worldwide.

Paramount’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon grossed roughly $21.5 million at the domestic box office on Thursday, raising its total take to an impressive $64.7 million in its first 48 hours.

'Transformers' Star Shia LaBeouf Won't Return for Another Sequel...

Dark of the Moon is on track to gross $165 million through July 4th, by far the biggest debut of the year at the domestic box office. Worldwide, it's looking at a worldwide opening of $325 million to $350 million. So far, the flick has grossed $66 million overseas for a total $130.7 million.

It isn’t as big as the launch of sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which debuted to $200 million in its first six days, but it’s still a huge number and ahead of the $155.4 million earned by the original Transformers.

In North America, Dark of the Moon is earning the majority of its gross—or 60% from 3D theaters, including 146 Imax locations, which have ponied up a strong $5 million. That’s great news for Hollywood, considering the recent downturn in 3D attendance, and comes after Paramount aggressively marketed the 3D element.

Celebrity Home Report: Regis Philbin And Hulk Hogan...

Regis Philbin has relisted his Greenwich, Conn., home for $3.8 million. Situated on more than six acres, the 6,000-square-foot Colonial- and French-style home has four bedrooms and eight bathrooms. The home also has a tennis court, a swimming pool and a gazebo. The television host, 79, and his wife, Joy, purchased the home 20 years ago from a friend, sports broadcaster Warner Wolf. "I've grown very attached to this place over the years and hate to even sell it, but it's time," says Mr. Philbin. It originally came on the market in 2008 for $5.9 million. Because of the slow real-estate market, Mr. Philbin says he then decided to rent the home for a couple of years, instead of selling it. The couple purchased another house nearby about three years ago, though they spend most of their time living in New York. Michele Klosson with Sotheby's International Realty has the listing.

Hulk Hogan's Florida Home Tackles The Market For $9.2 Million...

Professional wrestler and TV personality Hulk Hogan's Belleair, Fla., home has attacked the market for $9.2 million. Located about 35 minutes outside of Tampa on a bluff overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and Clearwater Harbor, the 17,125-square-foot home has five bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. There's a gym and recreation room with its own kitchen, bath and tanning room. There's also a separate guest apartment, a pool with waterfalls and two docks. Mr. Hogan listed the home about five years ago for about $25 million, then took it off the market. Last summer it was listed for $10.9 million. Martha Thorn of Coldwell Banker in Belleair has the listing.

Sir Richard Branson To Open Creating Climate Wealth Summit In Sydney Next Week...

Why not attend the Climate Wealth Summit next week. It's To be held at the Shangri-la Hotel, Sydney on July 7-8, the summit is a joint production of Richard Branson’s Climate War Room and Janine Cahill’s Future Journeys.

There’s a strong line-up...and the event is limited to a small number of executives, investors, entrepreneurs, and leaders from the private sector. You’ll be there with GE’s Commercial Director for Australia and New Zealand and head of the GE ecomagination initiative Ben Waters, former Premier of Western Australia Geoff Gallop and Charlie Finnie, Managing Partner Greener Capital. There are two days of workshops and the event will be opened by Richard Branson, as you would hope for given the multi-thousand dollar price tag to attend.

Bondi Beach Hosts Ice Rink...

World's first ice skating venue on the famou beach aimed at boosting business and tourism during winter months. Check out the ice rink in the middle of one of the world's most famous beaches.

The 900 sq-metre rink has been built on Bondi's famous sands as part of the area's winter festival, and is believed to be the first ice skating venue on a beach anywhere in the world.

"It's been quite a logistical feat," said festival organiser Martin Kratky.

Bulldozers had to level the beach before wood and metal foundations were built. Aluminium pipes were laid to house cooling liquid. Generators burning biodiesel made from soya beans will power two giant refrigeration units. They will turn the water on top of the aluminium pipes into ice.

The weather – a sunny 18C (64F) – will apparently not be a problem. "We can make ice right up to 30C," Kratky said.

Cleaning equipment and covers will be used to keep the elements out, but sand is likely to get in, whatever the circumstances.

The rink will be part of Bondi's annual winter festival and is aimed at boosting business along the beach's famous retail and restaurant strip.

50,000 people regularly fill the beach on a summer's day. But in the winter it can be a ghost town, apart from a hardy dozen or so surfers.

"It's hard for our businesses to be able to operate only half of the year," said mayor Sally Betts.

"We hope the festival will help them."

The rink has cost A$200,000 (£130,000) and will be on the beach until 17 July.

Surf's up at Bondi Beach, and so is the ice rink. Get skating.

Marvel Movies Upcoming...

Movie Studio Date

Captain America: The First Avenger Paramount Pictures 7/22/11
Ghost Rider 2 (3D) Sony 2/17/12
The Avengers (2012) Buena Vista 5/4/12
The Amazing Spider-Man Sony 7/3/12
Iron Man 3 Buena Vista 5/3/13

Thor And X-Men First Class Tipped To Hammer Home Results...

Thor and X-Men: First Class got great reviews and we're awesome, and Captain America: The First Avenger seems set to hit the spot to, but big questions remain about Green Lantern, and the vibe is not particularly good. Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively is getting very reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has a 23% approval among movie critics, according to the 153 reviews counters. But 72% of the 62,000 plus user reviewers say that they "liked it" with it just premiering in the U.S theaters Friday after a midnight release on late Thursday/early Friday. Comic Book indicates are pretty negative on the flick. One reviewer called the movie "inert, artificial and dead on arrival." During the midnight release on Thursday, the film drew $3.35 million 0 the same region that alike movies that were recently released did; X-Men: First Class brought in $3.37 million on June 2nd, and Thor did $3.25 million on May 5th. X-Men: First Class and Thor both had a budget significantly less than Green Lantern; the former had a budget of $160 million while Thor had exactly half the budget of Green Lantern — $150 million. While the flick will likely end up eventually surpassing its budget, the fact the other comic book movies had much less budget isn’t a great result. Ultimately, X-Men: First Class raked in $55.1 million in its opening weekend while Thor did $65.7 million. With this being the third comic book-based movie released in a month-and-a-half and mixed reviews, will Green Lantern under perform this weekend, or will the hardcore - fanboy type audience that has been largely ripping on it, check it out at the cinema?

Our top picks: Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger looks like a safe bet.

Be it movies, comics or games, we think that Marvel Entertainment leads the pack, followed by DC Comics, with Dark Horse Comics getting a third, based on the positive news leaks and insider tip offs we've been getting.

As Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say, Excelsior!

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