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31 July 2011

Marvel Entertainment And Marvel Comics News: Disney - Marvel Victory Over Jack Kirby Estate, by Greg Tingle - 31st July 2011

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Court Rules In Favor of Marvel Over Jack Kirby's Estate...

A nearly two-year legal dispute between the estate of renowned artist Jack Kirby and Marvel Comics came to an end Friday with the court ruling in favor of the comic book giant.

In 2009, Mr. Kirby's heirs sent Marvel and Disney 45 notices of a plan to reclaim copyrights in a series of Marvel comics that were published from 1958 to 1963. The comics included issues of "The Amazing Spider-Man," "The Avengers," "Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos," and others. In her ruling on Thursday, however, Judge McMahon said the notices "did not operate to convey any federally protected copyrights."

Marc Toberoff, the Los Angeles lawyer who represents the Kirbys, said, "We knew when we took this on that it would not be an easy fight given the arcane and contradictory state of 'work for hire' " case law under the 1909 Copyright Act. "We respectfully disagree with the court's ruling and intend to appeal this matter to the Second Circuit. Sometimes you have to lose to win."

Marvel, which always maintained that Kirby had created the characters under a "work for hire" contract, will now enjoy the unfettered benefits from his work for decades to come.

Read another report at The New York Times.


Stan Lee Intros ‘Spider-Man’ Double Feature In Santa Monica...

Stan Lee did Santa Monica yesterday to introduce an American Cinematheque double-feature of the Sam Raimi hit films “Spider-Man” and “Spider-Man 2″ that begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Aero Theatre.

The Marvel Comics icon who is by far the most famous name in comics (if you don’t count the heroes and villains in the stories) also make an appearance across the street at a meet-and-greet at Every Picture Tells a Story, the landmark gallery and shop on Montana Avenue. The store has the exclusive license to commission and create the Marvel ArtWorks series. A signed and numbered Alex Ross piece featuring the Avengers and the Invaders in full heroic gallop made its debut. The piece is giclee on canvas, 31.5 inches by 20.75 inches, limited edition of 100, priced at $1,250).

It's a busy and exciting time for Marvel. Marvel Studios has the No. 1 movie in the United States, a search underway for the director of “Thor 2″ and an all-star cast working away in New Mexico on the 2012 mega-film” The Avengers.” At Comic-Con International in San Diego, which ended Sunday, there was a major scrapbook moment for “The Amazing Spider-Man” as well as cool hints about live-action television plans for Hulk, Mockingbird, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Well fanboys and fangirls, the Marvel - Disney legal fight against Kirby Estate is over. Stay turned to Marvel Entertainment and Media Man for more of the best in the superhero world.

What will be the highest-grossing comic book adaptation of 2011?; Box Office Mojo Poll

39.2% Captain America: The First Avenger
18.3% X-Men: First Class
18.1% Green Lantern
13.2% Thor
10.7% Cowboys & Aliens
0.5% Priest

1,832 users polled. (This poll is now closed.)

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
The Dark Knight Rises Warner Bros 7/20/12
Iron Man 3 Buena Vista 5/3/13
Thor 2 Buena Vista 7/26/13


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 Movie.com 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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PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award

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29 July 2011

Hulk Hogan's Micro Championship Wrestling

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truTV Announces Premiere Dates for Three Compelling New Series
Network Reveals Premieres of New Seasons of Seven Returning Original Series, Plus the Debut of Hit Series Wipeout
truTV – which is coming off another record-setting quarter in reaching young adults – has lined up an extensive programming slate for the end of 2011 that includes three new series, seven returning hits and the network's biggest series acquisition ever.

The new series Bear Swamp Recovery, about a larger-than-life family-owned repo business, is set to debut Aug. 22, followed by the Sept. 14 premiere of Hulk Hogan's MCW, which will take viewers behind the scenes of a new professional wrestling league. truTV's third new series of the fall and winter, the hidden-camera prank series Impractical Jokers, will arrive in December.

On Sept. 2, truTV adds its biggest series acquisition, the popular competition show Wipeout. Seven of truTV's original series are also set to return, including the hits Hardcore Pawn, Lizard Lick Towing, Full Throttle Saloon and Black Gold.

truTV just scored its most-watched second quarter ever in primetime delivery of three key demos: adults 18-49, men 18-34 and men 18-49. The network, which is growing in popularity with younger viewers, increased its delivery of adults 18-34 by 11% and men 18-34 by 7% in the second quarter.

The following is a rundown of truTV's new and returning series for 2011:

New Original Series
Bear Swamp Recovery – New series premiering Monday, Aug. 22, with back-to-back episodes at 10 and 10:30 p.m. (ET/PT)
Bear Swamp, where the business is big but the family is even bigger, follows PJ Vinch, who runs a booming New Jersey repo company with the help of his senior-with-an-attitude father and his teen son. With a repo order in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other, these bulky Sicilians never hesitate to take jobs other companies can't handle, from massive construction equipment to luxury yachts at the Jersey shore to an entire fleet of racecars. They always get the goods, and they never miss a meal. Bear Swamp Recovery comes to truTV from Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment.

Hulk Hogan's MCW – New series premieres Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Hulk Hogan, one of the legendary stars of pro wrestling, believes you need to start small if you want to win big. Now he's lending his expertise to the new Micro Championship Wrestling, where he gives little wrestlers advice on recruiting, training and mentoring. It's all with the goal of getting the MCW off the ground and into the arena. Hulk Hogan's MCW comes to truTV from Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment.

Impractical Jokers – New series coming in December
Since they were kids, Sal, Murr, Q and Joe have dared one another to do the most ridiculous, humiliating public pranks imaginable. Now, to find out who's best under pressure, they'll compete in unbelievably awkward social experiments – all recorded on camera. The loser must do the most mortifying challenge ever. Impractical Jokers comes to truTV from NorthSouth Productions.

New Acquired Series
Wipeout – Acquired series to air Fridays at 8 p.m. (ET/PT), beginning Sept. 2
truTV has acquired exclusive, off-network cable rights to air this exciting series in which contestants face wildly outrageous barriers, from Big Balls to complex contraptions, for the chance at winning a cash prize. Wipeout, which is also shown in numerous international versions around the globe, ranks among the world's top-rated game shows. The series was recently voted by Entertainment Weekly's readers as "Reality TV's Guiltiest Pleasure."

Returning Series
Lizard Lick Towing – Season 1 returns Monday, Aug. 22, at 9:30 p.m. (ET/PT); Season 2 coming in November
Las Vegas Jailhouse – Season 4 launches Sunday, Sept. 4, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Operation Repo – Season 9 launches Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 9:30 p.m. (ET/PT)
Police POV – Season 2 launches in November
Hardcore Pawn – Season 5 coming in November
Black Gold – Season 4 coming in November
Full Throttle Saloon – Season 3 coming in November

About truTV
truTV is television's destination for real-life stories told from an exciting and dramatic first-person perspective. Currently seen in 93 million U.S. households, the network is enjoying its best deliveries ever in key demographics. truTV features high-stakes, action-packed originals that give viewers access to places and situations they can't normally experience. truTV's primetime fan favorites include the original series Hardcore Pawn, All Worked Up, Lizard Lick Towing, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, Black Gold, Operation Repo and World's Dumbest… During the daytime, the channel features expert trial coverage under the name In Session.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

About truTV
truTV is television's destination for real-life stories told from an exciting and dramatic first-person perspective. Currently seen in 93 million U.S. households, the network is enjoying its best deliveries ever in key demographics. truTV features high-stakes, action-packed originals that give viewers access to places and situations they can't normally experience. truTV's primetime fan favorites include the original series Hardcore Pawn, All Worked Up, Lizard Lick Towing, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, Black Gold, Operation Repo and World's Dumbest… During the daytime, the channel features expert trial coverage under the name In Session.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

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Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Comics And Gaming News, by Greg Tingle

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Hulk Rounds Off Marvel Teaser Week...

Marvel Comics has released the last teaser for its post-Fear Itself project.

The image shows a silhouette that appears to be the Hulk.

The figure contains words including "gamma", "breaker", "calculating", "loner" and "conspiracy".

Previous teasers have included Iron Fist, Red She Hulk, Dr Strange and the Silver Surfer, who all seem to feature as a part of the mysterious group 'The Mighty' which is due to appear in Fear Itself.

All teasers have been accompanied by the words "It's either in you or it's not". No further information has been released about the project beyond the release date of December 2011.

Fans on the Comic Book Resources forums have picked out letters highlighting in distinguishing colors in the teasers to spell out the messages, "Everyone you love dies", "Shut the engines down", "The universe will break" and "Fight to save everything".

Marvel will reveal details of the project at its Fear Itself panel on Sunday, July 24 at San Diego Comic-Con.

‘Thor 2′: Australian Chris Hemsworth Very Sad To See Kenneth Branagh Move Forward...

“Thor” director Kenneth Branagh is walking away from the Thor - Marvel Entertainment franchise, and no one is hit harder by the news that Chris Hemsworth, the star of Thor.

“I’m really disappointed,” Hemsworth said of Branagh’s decision to pass on “Thor 2,” which is aiming for a July 2013 release and may begin filming next May. “Ken built that character, and everything I know about the Thor world I learned while shoulder-to-shoulder with Ken. I learned so much from him.”

By all reports, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige invited Branagh back to follow up his success of “Thor,” the May 6 release that has grossed $447 million in worldwide box office. The 50-year-old filmmaker seemed energized by the prospects of a sequel too, both in private and in public. In the end, though, the focus and time required for a major visual-effects epic and the urgency to get the script process underway were the factors that sent Branagh in an alternative direction. Branagh will be busy as the returning star of the acclaimed British TV series “Wallander” and with his ramping work with a theater group in his native Belfast.

Hemsworth made time to frop in to Comic-Con International in San Diego this last weekend to promote “Snow White and the Huntsman,” said Marvel Studios will decide fairly soon on Branagh’s replacement. The 27-year-old actor has said the Oscar-nominated Branagh was initially intimidating and ultimately inspiring to work with, and that he has left a mark that will carry forward on the franchise.

"As long as he’s happy, that’s the thing,” said Hemsworth, who left San Diego to return to the New Mexico set of ”The Avengers.” “I learned so much from Ken while we built [the first film], so at least I had that time with someone like that. The start of anything creative is the most important period in a way. That’s when the most can go wrong, and Ken made sure we got it right."


The Avengers To Get A Realistic Looking Hulk...

Marvel Studios' President Kevin Feige dropped some details on what fans can expect to see of the big green wrecking machine in next summer's ensemble superhero film, revealing Hulk to be less ripped and more human-like in appearance.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, Marvel’s The Avengers brings together the mightiest super hero characters as they all assemble together on screen for the first time. Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel’s The Avengers is the super hero team up of a lifetime. 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.

Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige confirms that the finished product will closely resemble the promo. Feige also went on to say that the third big screen incarnation of Hulk will be close in scale as the last feature length film version. He did say however that more changes have been made to digitally make the monster appear more human in it's facial structure.

"He'll be about the same size he was in The Incredible Hulk (which was about 9 feet tall) or maybe a little bit smaller. His muscles won't be quite as cut. We figure he's been the Hulk now for a few years and [his physique is changing]. He's not as cut or as ripped as he was in The Incredible Hulk. The most important thing is that face. As you can already see in that concept painting, it is — more than any Hulk that's ever been done in live action — a Hulk that let's you see the actor in there.

"You will be able to see Ruffalo in there. That was a big revelation for us. It's just a concept painting, but in that you can see the (influence of Marvel Comics pioneer and original Hulk artist Jack) Kirby, as people have already pointed out, but also, and equally important in this case, Ruffalo's eyes and his cheek structure. It is him."


‘Captain America’ Harley Davidson Bike Up For Auction...
Harley-Davidson created five custom-made bikes for Captain America and now you have a rare chance to own one – signed by Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Neal McDonough, the director Joe Johnston, and even comic-book legend Stan Lee. And the proceeds will go to help disabled veterans.

The bike, a 2011 Harley-Davidson V-Rod® Muscle VRSCF will be auctioned on eBay starting on July 28th until August 4th and all the proceeds will go to the ‘Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust,’ a non-profit which has helped this nation’s injured heroes since 1920 with things like transport problems and benefit claims, and also educates the public on veterans matters.

“Captain America and Harley-Davidson are great symbols of freedom, but we can never forget the brave men and women who made extraordinary sacrifices to protect our way of life,” Dino Bernacchi, Harley’s Director of Marketing told PRN. “We’re excited about the potential of this auction to strengthen our bond with the DAV and the great work they do.”

And this is not the first time the guys at Harley have helped – in 2006 they donated $1-million to the same group, then another $1-million last year. One result of this is the ‘Harley’s Heroes’ program which has helped tens of thousands of vets with free counseling and other assistance the government can’t or won’t bring.

And they’re not done – If you have a local Harley dealer and you love the movie, give them a call – Some have an exclusive poster of Chris Evans in costume riding a vintage 1942 Harley-Davidson ‘Liberator.’ Harley’s promotional web site also has unseen footage from the film, made in collaboration with Marvel.

You can find the auction right here. It opens on Thursday and they’re expecting a crush, so don’t get left out…

'Captain America' Knocks Harry Potter from No. 1 Spot...
In a battle of summer movie heroes, Captain America topped Harry Potter this weekend at the box office.

Paramount Pictures' "Captain America: The First Avenger" opened at No. 1 with $65.8 million, according to Sunday studio estimates. The Marvel Comics superhero adventure sets up next summer's all-star blockbuster "The Avengers."

Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," the eighth and final installment in the boy-wizard franchise, dropped to the second spot. It made just over $48 million in its second weekend for a domestic total of $274.1 million.

Don Harris, head of distribution for Paramount, said "Captain America" exceeded expectations. He figured it would do the same sort of business as "X-Men: First Class," which opened with $55.1 million in June.

"It looked to me, when I saw the marketing on the movie and then saw 'Captain America,' like a throwback movie. It reminded me a little bit of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.' It had a little bit of a 'Raiders' feel to it, which is one of the best movies of all time," Harris said. "People embrace the look of the character. The character is a little bit like Iron Man — he didn't have a lot of special weapons to himself, he just was a pretty interesting character.

"For it to be the fifth of five superhero movies for the summer, it looks like we got to save the best for last," he said.

Internationally, "Captain America: The First Avenger" opened only in Italy with $2.8 million. It will begin playing in 23 international markets next weekend, including the United Kingdom, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and Korea.

"Harry Potter" dropped 72 percent from its record-setting opening of $169.2 million last weekend. That was expected, though: Even Warner Bros. executives acknowledged that these movies are front-loaded in terms of audience turn-out.

And as box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com pointed out, this final "Potter" picture made $43 million in its first midnight showings alone.

"'Harry Potter' did what it's going to do," Dergarabedian said. "Even trying to keep up with that pace, that level, is really tough."

The strong showing of "Captain America" made sense, he said. Every superhero movie that's come out this year has opened at No. 1.

"The general consensus was that it was a pretty good movie," Dergarabedian said of "Captain America," which scored 73 percent positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. "Being the week of Comic-Con, I don't know, maybe that many fan-boys in one place affected the box office. Maybe people had comic books on the brain, superheroes on the brain."

The week's other big release, "Friends With Benefits" from Sony Screen Gems, opened at No. 3 with $18.5 million. The romantic comedy stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis as friends who try to maintain a strictly physical relationship. The extremely similar "No Strings Attached," starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman, debuted in January with $19.7 million.

Opening in limited release, "Another Earth" made $78,413 on four screens in New York and Los Angeles. The Fox Searchlight sci-fi romance stars William Mapother and Brit Marling as strangers whose lives intersect after a deadly car crash.

Meanwhile, the 3-D "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" became the highest-grossing movie ever distributed by Paramount Pictures International. It crossed the half-billion-dollar mark with $62 million from 60 worldwide markets this weekend. Its cumulative overseas gross now stands at $556.6 million.

Domestically, the third "Transformers" movie made $12 million this weekend for a domestic total of $325.8 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. "Captain America: The First Avenger," $65.8 million ($2.8 million international).

2. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," $48 million ($121.3 million international).

3. "Friends With Benefits," $18.5 million.

4. "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," $12 million ($62 million international).

5. "Horrible Bosses," $11.7 million.

6. "Zookeeper," $8.7 million.

7. "Cars 2," $5.7 million ($17.7 million international).

8. "Winnie the Pooh," $5.1 million.

9. "Bad Teacher," $2.6 million.

10. "Midnight in Paris," $1.9 million.

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corp.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.


Thousands Line Up for 'Avengers' Casting Call...

CLEVELAND — One of Hollywood's biggest films, "The Avengers," is coming to town.

Now, thousands of locals are lining up for a taste of stardom.

"I want to be a part of this movie," said Cincinnati resident, Dhin Soriano. "It's one of the biggest movies coming out next year."

Based on the popular comic book series, The Avengers, will start filming in Cleveland in August.

"I knew the crowd was going to be kind of big, so I made sure I got him up kind of early," said Daryl Burge, of Garfield.

Burge and his cousin, James, were of two of more than 3,000 people who attended Friday's casting call for the Marvel Studio flick.

About 2,000 extras are needed to work alongside stars like Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson.

The movie has generated buzz across the country, attracting many people who hope to be a part of their favorite childhood past time.

"Marvel Comics. Oh, I still got some from the 60's," said Columbus resident, Carolyn Parkman.

Parkman traveled to Cleveland the day before to beat the crowd.

"I've got my magazines, but I love my comics," she said. "I can stand here. That's all I'm thinking about is the fact that this is the chance of a lifetime."

The movie will have another casting call from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, at the Holiday Inn, 6001 Rockside Road, Independence, Ohio.

Extras casting directors say if you do plan to apply, come dressed in business attire. Also, be sure to bring an umbrella, pen, food, water and entertainment. You may have to wait in line for hours. Only those who have flexible schedules should apply.

What will be the highest-grossing comic book adaptation of 2011?; Box Office Mojo Poll

39.2% Captain America: The First Avenger
18.3% X-Men: First Class
18.1% Green Lantern
13.2% Thor
10.7% Cowboys & Aliens
0.5% Priest

1,832 users polled. (This poll is now closed.)

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
The Dark Knight Rises Warner Bros 7/20/12
Iron Man 3 Buena Vista 5/3/13
Thor 2 Buena Vista 7/26/13


Evans Says Captain America's 'Avengers' Storyline Is 'Multifaceted'

Yet more movie excitement with the the impending release of "Captain America: The First Avenger,". And, how about next year's highly anticipated, superhero-filled "The Avengers."

Chris Evans aka "Captain America" was interviewed by our friends at MTV. Learn about his thoughts on working with fan-favorite "Avengers" director Joss Whedon...

"He's unbelievable," Evans said. "He's so clever. He lives in the world of comic books, so he has in his head an amazing story already mapped out."

"When it comes to directing actors and understanding dialogue, he's an incredibly talented writer. If something isn't working for you as an actor within the words, he can walk away for 10 minutes and come back with seven options that are all fantastic and clever and witty and it's got a pace and a banter," he explained. "He's a great guy to be quarterbacking this thing."

With regard to Captain America's storyline in "The Avengers," the details of which Evans couldn't fully elaborate on but are briefly teased at the conclusion of "Captain America," he said his character is basically a fish out of water trying to understand the modern world around him.

"It's really multifaceted. The guy has to accept the fact that everyone he knew and loved is gone," Evans said of his character's new arc. "Not only is he alone, [but] the world has changed so much, and I think a big part of what makes Cap Cap was his connection to the way things used to be, this kind of pro-American morality and good-ol'-boy sense of life and the way of doing things," he added. "In the modern era, there's a bit of a disconnect. There's not as much human interaction. I think there's more cynicism than there was back then, so it's him trying to come to terms with the way things are."


Captain America: The First Avenger; Could Be The Best And Highest Grossing Comic Movie This Year...

The next big Marvel flick on the back of this year’s critically acclaimed X-Men: First Class, and the more divisive, mighty Thor.

Captain America: The First Avenger pretty much rocks. The Captain was the first Marvel pinup boy to progress from the comic book page to the projector back in 1944.

Starring Chris Evans as the Captain – and with an impressive support cast including Hugo Weaving and Tommy Lee Jones – Marvel films have usually attracted top actors and talent in the business.

Let's have a look at a few Marvel flicks from over the years, to determine if their oldest hero will be profitable, and critically well-received nearly 70 years after its birth.

The Captain’s silver screen début way back then – when Marvel was called Timely Comics – wasn’t followed up with another motion picture from the same house until 1986, some 42 years later. Are'nt you glad that finally decided to start pumping them out.

That film was Howard the Duck, credibly cited in the worst film of all time lists with actors receiving Raspberry awards for their performances. Howard – produced by George Lucas – was a box office flop, barely breaking even and putting off the film arm of Marvel having another crack for three years. Then they teamed up with Dolph Lundgren and did The Punisher - fortunately the quality generally improved as the years moved forward.

Marvel went through quite a rough patch in the 1980s: an area of film that seemed tailor made for their intellectual property. CGI effects, bigger budgets, but the films were still not being very warmly embraced by casual movie fans, hardcores or critics.

The trend for Marvel films – give or take – continued into the 1990s when comic adaptations’ performances generally were not great. Batman and Robin and Steel limped didn't do the genre many favours either.

Blade got a mixed response for Marvel. High performing, taking $131m; near four times its budget, and critically sound, the film spawned the investigation into an X-Men movie franchise and the Spiderman series.

X-Men – already a successful franchise in its own right with computer games, figurines, solid backstory, animations and art – followed up where Blade left off and set the bar higher.

Costing $75 million to attract highly credible stars, solid staple actors, and some young talent – Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, Bruce Davison, James Marsden, Halle Berry, Rebecca Romijn, Ray Park Tyler Mane – the film was a decent-sized investment at best, and a gamble at worst. It movied forward to snatch a $300m return.

X-Men to date has spawned around $1.6bn and, although a mixed critical reception is synonymous with the franchise, that figure was enhanced with the latest X-Men: First Class, which has been a big box office win.

The Spiderman series has been a real win for Marvel and their respective teams. The fourth in the series is due next year and given the last – 2007′s Spiderman 3 – took almost a billion dollars to cap a highly profitable franchise to date.

Marvel is on the rise, their stock is attractive and it’s sweet timing for Captain America. The UK – mostly unaware of this hero compared to other Marvel winners – has an appetite for Marvel icons on the big screen along with the rest of the world. If these enjoy success in line with Blade, X-Men and Wolverine, the firm will continue to power ahead, unless there's a torpedo on the horizen that Marvel or the industry doesn't know about.

Films in the Marvel series have been all the rage in regions such as America, Europe, the far east and Australia. Marvel flicks at the movies continue to be excelsior!


Comic-Con 2011 Preview...

(CBS) Comic-Con starts next week in San Diego, Calif., on Thursday, July 21, and runs through the weekend (and there's a "Preview Night," Wednesday, July 20).

The event is a big deal (to paraphrase Vice President Joe Biden) and now draws more than 100,000 people a year. Here's a sampling of what you can expect.

Pictures: Comic-Con 2010

For a complete list of the events, go to comic-con.org.

Wednesday, July 20

Special Sneak Peek Pilot Screenings - 6:00-9:00 p.m. - The night before Comic-Con kicks off, Warner Bros. and Comic-Con screen pilot episodes of upcoming TV series. This year's offerings are "Alcatraz," "The Secret Circle," "Person of Interest" and "Supernatural: The Anime Series."

Thursday, July 21

Planet of the Apes in Comics Present and Past - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - With the new movie, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" coming, this is a perfect time to see what's going on with "Planet of the Apes" comics editor Ian Brill and writer Daryl Gregory.

TheOneRing.net: Hobbit Talk - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - This isn't an official Peter Jackson event but TheOneRing.net is an influential fan site and there's bound to be lots of good inside information on the upcoming "Hobbit" films.

Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - "Burn Notice" and Bruce Campbell fans rejoice! Now you can see what happened to Same Axe (Campbell) before he joined Fiona and Michael Weston on the USA series. This made-for-TV movie debuts on DVD at Comic-Con.

Comic-Con How-To: Creating a Character-Driven Story with Maxwell Alexander Drake - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - This is just what it says it is: A how-to on creating great characters and stories.

Kinect "Star Wars" Panel - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - Jorg Neumann of Kinect Publishing and Craig Derrick of LucasArts discuss the upcoming Kinect "Star Wars" game with USA Today's Mike Snider.

Comic-Con Film School 101: Preproduction and Screenwriting - 10:00-11:00 a.m. This is the first day of a four-day class on how to make low-budget movies using desktop postproduction software and available video technology.

Spotlight on Joyce Brabner - 10:30-11:30 a.m. - Brabner will talk about her current projects and the work of her lates husband, Harvey Pekar.

X-Play Live - 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - A live panel with G4's Blair Herter, Adam Sessler, Morgan Webb, Kristin Adams, hosts of the long-running X-Play.

Covert Affairs - 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - Piper Perabo from USA's "Covert Affairs" will take part in a panel discussion with her co-stars Christopher Gorham, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Kari Matchett, Anne Dudek, Peter Gallagher and executive producers Chris Ord, Doug Liman, Matt Corman, and Dave Bartis. Moderated of Oded Fehr.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - Sneak peak! And a filmmaker and cast Q&A!

Focus on Rick Baker - 12:15-1:00 p.m. - The Oscar-winning make-up effects artist will talk about his career, emphasizing his work on the "Men in Black" series.

Stan Lee, Yoshiki, and Todd McFarlane - 1:00-2:00 p.m. - Comic creator and legend Stan Lee and Todd McFarlane sit on a panel with Yoshiki to talk about "Blood Red Dragon." Writer Jon Goff joins them.

"Game of Thrones" Panel and Q&A session - 3:00-4:00 p.m. - Members of the HBO series cast join the panel discussion, including Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage. Moderated by "A Song of Fire and Ice" creator George R. R. Martin.

Robert Rodriguez's Quick Draw Productions - 4:45-5:45 p.m. - Filmmaker Rodriguez will present Quick Draw's latest. He'll also have exclusive footage of latest project.

Beavis & Butthead - 5:00-6:00 p.m. - Mike Judge, creator of "Beavis & Butthead," talks about the duo's return to MTV. He'll show footage from the upcoming series.

Showtime - 5:30-7:30 p.m. - The premium cable station will have a host of stars and creative people from its shows "Dexter," (including an appearance by star Michael C. Hall), "Shameless" stars William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum and more.

Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries: A discussion with Jon Favreau and Guillermo del Toro on the Future of Pop Culture - 6:00-7:00 p.m. - Entertainment Weekly moderates a conversation with director Jon Favreau (his "Cowboys & Aliens" comes out July 29) and Guillermo del Toro, who co-wrote the upcoming "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" remake.

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit - 7:00-8:00 p.m. - Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, stars of "The State," "Reno 911!" and writers of the "Night at the Museum" films, talk about how to write movies that will make billions at the box office.

Friday, July 22

Conversations with Sid and Marty Krofft: A Look at the Past, Present and Future - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - Sid and Marty Krofft talk about their creations H.R. Pufnstuf and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.

Comic-Con Film School 102: Production - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - This is Day two of the four-day course on making movies on super low budgets.

Panelists include Valerie Perez, Vera Vanguard, Edward G. Negron, Sean Rourke and Jack Conway.

Epix Pictures: The Captains - 10:15-11:15 a.m. - Kevin Smith moderates a panel with William Shatner and Avery Brooks, captains of "Star Trek." Shatner has produced and directed a documentary about all the actors who have played "Star Trek" captains. This should be amazing.

Page One - 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - This panel, about the first page of a comic, is moderated by Douglas Wolk and features Carla Speed McNeil, Jen Van Meter and Greg Rucka.

AMC's "The Walking Dead" - 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - Stars and creators of the AMC show talk about the first season of the series and what's in store for season two. Panelists include creator Frank Darabont, executive producer Gale Ann Hurd and stars Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies and Laurie Holden.

Publishing Queer: Producing LGBT Comics and Graphic Novels - 1:00-2:00 p.m. - Moderator Justin Hall leads a panel featuring Bob Schreck, Brian Andersen, Charles "Zan" Christensen Jacquelene Cohen and Shannon O'Leary in which they discuss the challenges and rewards of publicizing and marketing LGBT-themed comics.

Adult Swim: Childrens Hospital - 1:30-2:30 p.m. - Check out a never-before-screened episode of "Childrens Hospital." Rob Corddry, Jon Stern, Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel and Megan Mullally sit in on a panel to talk about the show.

DreamWorks: Fright Night - 2:45-3:45 p.m. - Actors Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Imogen Poots, Dave Franco, director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Marti Noxon talk about their remake of the 1980s horror film.

"True Blood" Panel and Q&A session - 5:30-6:30 p.m. - Series regulars Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Ryan Kwanten and more sit on a panel to talk about the HBO series.

Magic: The Gathering Panel - 5:30-6:30 p.m. - Yep. The panel is moderated be head designer Mark Rosewater and includes director of R&D Aaron Forsythe, senior creative Magic art director Matt Cavotta and brand manager Mark Purvis.

Dungeons & Dragons: How to Be a Dungeon Master: The Art of the DM - 6:30-7:30 p.m. - You can learn to be a Dungeon Master! Attend this panel and you'll be on your way.

World Premiere: Batman: Year One - 8:00-10:00 - This is the world premiere of "Batman: Year One" followed by a panel with voice actors Bryan Cranston, Eliza Dushku, Ben McKenzie, Katee Sackhoff and executive producer Bruce Timm, directors Lauren Montgomery, Sam Liu and dialogue director Andrea Romano. Moderated by Gary Miereanu.

Saturday, July 23

Activision - 10:00-11:30 a.m. - Comics legend Stan Lee talks about upcoming Activision Marvel games "X-Men Destiny" and "Spider-Man: Edge of Time." Editorial director of Marvel.com Ryan Penagos moderates. The panel includes Peter David, TQ Jefferson, Dee Brown and Jullian Spillane.

"Chuck" Screening and Q&A - 10:00-10:45 a.m. - Consider this a farewell panel as co-creator Chris Fedak and cast members Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Ryan McPartlin, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky, Sarah Lancaster and Adam Baldwin have a Q&A with fans.

An Early Evening with Kevin Smith - 5:45-7:30 p.m. - Kevin Smith takes the stage for what has become an annual Q&A. Hear the creator of "Clerks," "Mallrats" and many other cool things talk and talk and talk.

The Art of the Hollywood Movie Poster - 7:30-8:30 p.m. - Leslie Combemale moderates a panel that includes artists who have worked on posters you've grown up looking at and admiring. The artists are Andrea Alvin ("Batman Returns"), Matthew Peak "Nightmare on Elm Street"), James Goodridge ("Harry Potter"), Steve Chorney ("Who Framed Roger Rabbit?") and Lawrence Noble ("The Empire Strikes Back" 10th Anniversary).

MythBusters - 7:45-8:45 p.m. - Like "Mythbusters" needs an introduction. The gang's all here!

HBO's "True Blood" Presents the Comic-Con International Masquerade - 8:30-11:30 p.m.

FX Pilot Sneak Peek Screening - 9:30-10:30 p.m. - FX hasn't released the details - meaning which pilot - but the network has some great shows on its roster. Probably worth taking a peak.

Sunday, July 24

"Glee" - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - Creator and executive producer of "Glee," Ryan Murphy, creator/executive producer Brad Falchuk and stars of the show give the audience a peek at "Glee The 3D Concert Movie." There's also a Q&A session.

Comic-Con Film School 104: Post Production and Distribution - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - The final day of the four-day filmmaking course tells you how to get your movie seen by lots of eyeballs (or at least more than yours and your friends and family).

Watchmen: 25 Years Later - 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Artist Dave Gibbons, editor Len Wein and colorist John Higgins talk about the "Watchmen" legacy. Moderated by Douglas Wolk.

One-on-One with Castle Star Nathan Fillion - 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. - The "Firefly" star, Nathan Fillion, and the cast of "Castle" talk about the crime series in a panel discussion.

BBC America's "Doctor Who" - 12:30-1:30 p.m. - Stars Karen Gillan and Matt Smith, with the help of producers and writers, make their first appearance at Comic-Con for a Q&A and panel. You'll get to see new footage before the show comes back to BBC America later this summer.

Sons of Anarchy - 3:30-4:00 p.m.

Buffy the Musical - 4:00-5:00 p.m. - The weekend closes with a screening of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" musical episode, "Once More with Feeling."


'Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty' Game Hits the iPhone and iPad...

Following in the footsteps of Thor: Son of Asgard, Marvel Entertainment has released a new iOS videogame tie-in for Captain America: The First Avenger. Arriving on the iPhone/iPad in the form of one convenient app this week, Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty puts players in control of Cap in a $4.99 platformer filled with 24 levels of running, leaping, punching and shield-slinging. Check out video and images of the title in action after the jump.

Just as Son of Asgard tapped comic book talent for its story and cutscenes, Sentinel of Liberty features a story by Christos Gage with art by Ron Lim and Christopher Sotomayor.

From the official iTunes listing:
Sentinel of Liberty features stunning HD graphics optimized for Retina Displays! Play as the Super Soldier Captain America in this epic action game. As WW2 rages, Red Skull is leading HYDRA as they build super weapons that will turn the tide of the war. To make matters worse, Falsworth, Dum Dum Dugan and Bucky have been captured. Go behind enemy lines to rescue them and put an end to the sinister plot. Use your unbreakable shield to battle, block, and maneuver your way on what seems like a suicide mission.


Kevin Sutherland speaks about the Stan Lee Excelsior Award...

The noted comic artist (Beano and Dr Who Adventures amongst other titles, and gifted Falsetto Socks Company creator) Kev Sutherland was the keynote speaker at the Stan Lee Excelsior Awards. This is what he had to say:

‘I was honoured and delighted to be part of the Stan Lee Excelsior Awards in Sheffield yesterday.

Organised by Paul Register, the Learning Resource Centre Manager (that’s Librarian in old money) at Ecclesfield School, this splendid award involved a number of local schools (10 I believe, Paul will correct me), whose pupils were given the opportunity to read, review and vote on a shortlist of 8 graphic novels and their votes would find a winner. A few hundred pupils, drawn from each of the participating schools, were in attendance at the presentation.

I did my small Comic Art Masterclass keynote speech, which kept them entertained for half an hour, then we had a presentation from the most marvellous special guest – Theodore “Ted” Adams from the Stan Lee Foundation, who had come all the way over from the States just to be here and give Stan’s seal of approval to the event. We watched some highly entertaining video by and about Stan, and the whole hall posed for a video clip of us shouting “Excelsior” which should wind up on Stan’s website.
Then the awards were presented. In 3rd place was the manga version of Twilight, in 2nd place was Bryan Talbot’s Grandville Mon Amour – Bryan was there to accept the award – and the winner, quitenoverwhelmingly if the students’ applause was anything to go by, was Black Butler by Yana Toboso.

Bryan and Ben Heggarty, author of shortlisted title Mezolith, signed books, the guys from Sheffield Space Centre sold books, the whole event was filmed and should end up online, and I did drawings and signed comics for kids.

This was an absolutely excellent event, reaching precisely the sort of audience that I always wanted my Comic Festival events to reach. The school hall was full of kids who now read comics, some of whom did before but all of whom will do now.

Thanks Paul & congratulations.’

We have permission to print this straight from the website (in case you were wondering), which is here. Kev is an excellent visitor to have in your schools, as he will give comic masterclasses and enthuse your students, turning them on to the joy of graphic novels. (Credit: Heart Of The School)


A Green Lantern Sequel?!...

Warner Bros. is apparently planning a sequel to Green Lantern despite that film's box-office and critical underperformance. The Hollywood Reporter has the word from the studio, noting that that it "won't walk away from the superhero franchise, despite the film's soft box office performance. ... Sources say Warners still believes in the franchise, even if the studio is 'somewhat disappointed' with Green Lantern's result." The film dropped some 66% domestically in its second weekend, meaning it's only made about $89.3 million as of last night. That's not a lot considering the reported costs of the picture ($300 million at least including marketing), and internationally it is not performing either. So why announce a sequel now? As THR notes, with Harry Potter coming to an end, the studio needs big franchises big time. And there's always the chance that Lantern will make a ton of money on DVD and Blu-ray and digital download. Plus, God only knows how the balance sheet looks for these things in terms of toys and all the other merchandising. Movies are also made for games these days, so don't you forget that. Of course, maybe Warner Bros. is just saying there's going to be a Green Lantern sequel since it wasn't very good. Maybe Warner Bros thinks their green monster will create more green cash, and they would know that answer better than most. As they say at Media Man and Marvel Entertainment, "Don't just read the comics and watch the movies, Play the games!"


‘Captain America’ star Chris Evans: It’s not about the flag, it’s about the hero - Los Angeles Times...

Square-jawed superhero Steve Rogers lays strangely immobile in the bowels of an enormous “suborbital bomber” — a contraption that looks like Howard Hughes’ legendary Spruce Goose if it were pimped out for Darth Vader. His eyes closed, the hero might be lost in deep contemplation or possibly praying for help to foil an evil plot, in this case the impending launch of a missile targeted at a major American city.

But from a certain vantage point, his face pressed against the glass encasing the weapon, it sure looks as though Captain America’s snoozing. Even if Chris Evans, who plays the weakling soldier wannabe turned strapping superhero in the new film “Captain America: The First Avenger,” were catching a few winks, it would be tough to blame him. The actor, 30, had to bulk up at the gym to better embody Rogers, who becomes a hulking good guy determined to fight for classic American ideals.

Specifically, Rogers is tasked with thwarting the nefarious designs of the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) in the World War II-era comic book adaptation, which opens in theaters July 22. In addition to the physical demands of the role, though, Evans has had to spend time wrestling with Rogers’ inner demons.

“He’s given this amazing blessing, all of the ability that he has always wanted,” said Evans on the sidelines of a frigid soundstage at Pinewood Studios outside of London late last year. “That can easily corrupt. If you give anyone this power, it is easy to become a bully and let human emotion take over.”

That notion — essentially that with great power comes great responsibility — is, of course, central to the ethos of more than one star character from the Marvel Comics universe, so it’s perhaps not surprising to find that same message at the core of “Captain America.”

What is perhaps more notable is the movie’s retro-futuristic aesthetic, which production designer Rick Heinrichs said is unique in its representation of slick and oversized World War II-era cars, tanks and aircraft; the sets and props combine elegant prewar industrial styles with the organic plantlike visions of the 20th century Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, who is famous for Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia.

“We’re not doing a historic war movie but a stylized and exaggerated war movie,” Heinrichs said. “It is the future as seen from the past.”

The approach extends too to Rogers’ costume — which includes a distressed leather coat that he wears over his familiar red, white and blue garb. Speaking with Hero Complex months later, director Joe Johnston (“The Rocketeer”) said he used “Raiders of the Lost Ark” as a template for developing the story.

“This is futurism in the 1940s; if you went to 1942 and thought of what the future would be, that’s what the approach was,” Johnston said. “The villain has a much more futuristic style and his science and his apparatus — he has a whole design motif that is beyond 1942 but it’s what you might have perceived as futuristic from a 1942 vantage point.”

Of course, setting “Captain America” in the storied past helps avoid some of the more charged political questions that accompany releasing a patriotically themed production around the world at a time when the U.S. is perceived in certain places as somewhat less than heroic.

Marvel is not blind to the potentially alienating title and is planning to open the film simply as “The First Avenger” in South Korea, Russia and Ukraine, where the comic book is not already well known, according to the film’s producer and Marvel Studios’ president Kevin Feige.

But he and Evans, who will reprise his role in next year’s “The Avengers,” point out that the movie highlights the universal elements that have made Steve Rogers an enduring presence in the seven decades since his debut.

“Right now in America how we handle ourselves in political and global issues is up for questioning,” Evans said. “I still think Captain America is timeless. He might wear the red, white and blue, but I don’t think this is all about America. It is what America stands for. It could be called ‘Captain Good.’” (Credit: Los Angeles Times)


Spider-Man To Save Chicago Comics From Doom In Upcoming Issue...

Chicago comic readers looking for a little local edge in the Amazing Spider-Man series should love what’s coming up in the next issue. Hallowed comic book supplier Chicago Comics will be featured on the front cover of about 500 copies of the limited edition of Issue 666.

This is the first time that Marvel Comics has offered the option of personalization to comic book retailers, and Eric Kirsammer, owner of Chicago Comics, wanted to take advantage of the opportunity, in the hopes that the issue will become collectible and the store can become a part of comic history.

The comic, to be released on July 27, will showcase Spider-Man on a mission to save comic book stores across the country, in a small show of appreciation for these institutions helping him become so famous over the years. Fans who might not be prepared for the meta-ness of the event and the collision of reality and fiction into one mind-bending experience should probably stay away and prevent their delicate world-views from being shattered. Further info be releases via the store’s blog
http://www.chicagocomics.com/blog/category/store_info/newthisweek


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 Movie.com 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!

Official Websites

Marvel Entertainment Marvel Entertainment YouTube.com

DC Comics Warner Bros. Online YouTube.com

Website Network

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28 July 2011

Gotti movie starring Travolta slated to shoot in January - 28th July 2011

Profiles

Hollywood Mafia Casinos Las Vegas Television Movies

Preproduction begins in September.

The movie stars John Travolta, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Kelly Preston. Barry Levinson is directing.

Producers expect to announce the casting of John Gotti Jr. within the next few weeks.

Producer Marc Fiore has said in the past that he signed a two-picture deal with Lindsay Lohan, but Lohan and producers have not completed an agreement for "Gotti."

Fiore Films acquired the life rights from John Gotti Jr. -- son of the late head of the Gambino crime family. The movie is the first motion picture that has the cooperation of a member of the Gotti family.

According to Fiore Films, the movie "reveals the relationship of a father who lived and died by the mob code and a son who chose to leave that world behind and redeem himself."

The film will reveal the relationship of a father who lived and died by the mob code and a son who, while brought up to lead a life of crime, chose to leave that world behind and redeem himself and the Gotti name. Never before has there been such an inside look at the Gotti family and their world of danger, betrayal and redemption. John Gotti was head of the Gambino crime family, which in its time was the largest and most powerful crime organization in the country. Known as the "Dapper Don," John Gotti's flamboyant style and outspoken personality made him one of the most famous mobsters of the 20th century and he ruled the underworld until he died from cancer in 2002 while serving a life sentence. In 1988, at the age of 24, Gotti Jr. became a "made man," and was officially inducted into the Mafia, making him the heir-apparent to head the Gambino crime family and follow in his father's footsteps...

Cast...

Al Pacino: Aniello Dellacroce

John Travolta: John Gotti Sr.

Lindsay Lohan: Kim Gotti

Joe Pesci: Angelo Ruggiero

Kelly Preston: Victoria Gotti

Ella Bleu Travolta: Angel Gotti

Alicia Vikander: Kim Gotti


Joe Pesci suing makers of John Gotti biopic for $3 million...

Actor Joe Pesci is suing Fiore Films, the production company behind the John Gotti biopic Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father, for $3 million, reports the Associated Press. The suit alleges that the company used Pesci’s name to drum up interest in the project, only to rescind an offer for Pesci to play Gotti enforcer and childhood friend Angelo Ruggiero. The 68-year-old actor also claims he gained 30 pounds for the role. John Travolta is attached to play the title role of the notorious New York mobster in the film, which is set to start production in January with director Barry Levinson. Other confirmed stars include Al Pacino, Lindsay Lohan, and Kelly Preston. Levinson and James Toback (who penned Levinson’s 1991 gangster film Bugsy) are writing the screenplay. UPDATE: When reached by the AP, Mike Fiore, CEO of Fiore Films, claimed it was Pesci who had pulled out of the project, when the original director, Nick Cassavetes, left the film in April. Pesci, contends Fiore, said he would not return until Cassavetes was replaced, and then rebuffed attempts by Levinson to reach out to him. “Before we had a deal, Mr. Pesci walked away,” says Fiore, who also contends he’s considering countersuing Pesci. “He’s wasting his time and everybody else’s time. I might be a newbie in town. This newbie is not going to get bulled around.”

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Underbelly Razor And Friends Mixes With Hilton Hotel Extreme Cabaret In Sydney - 28th July 2011

Profiles

Underbelly Hilton Hotels Sydney Australia Television Movies

Zeta Bar Extreme Cabaret Launch...

Guests include: - Conrad Coleby (Underbelly Razor, Sea Patrol), Gigi Edgley (Underbelly Razor), Jack Campbell (Underbelly Razor), Aimee Pedersen (Crownies), Hayden Quinn (Masterchef), Jeremy Lindsay Taylor (Underbelly Razor), Natalie Gruzlewski (Farmer Wants A Wife), Aaron Jeffery (McLeod’s Daughters, X-Men Origins), Wes Carr (Musician), Charlotte Gregg (Home and Away)

About Extreme Cabaret...

Roll up, roll up ladies and gentlemen and be amazed and astounded by the award winning Zeta Bars new Extreme! Cabaret night. Live acts including extreme burlesque, contortionists and fire-eaters as well as drinks with a prohibition twist created by the night’s mastermind Grant Collins.

Witness the spectacular the raunchy and provocative that is Extreme! @ Zeta each & every Friday from 1 August till end of September (free event).

When you mix together some of the creme of Australian acting talent, Underbelly, A-list celebs and the Hilton Hotel's Zeta Bar with extreme cabaret themes, something big is likely to happen, and that's whats on the cards in just a few short hours.

Afterparty - not sure, but I have my own plans sorted out - how about you sly devils?


Underbelly News Scoop...

Watch out lads and lassies...Jessica Mauboy is to make her virgin debut on the TV smash hit Underbelly: Razor.

After scoring her big-screen debut in last year's Bran Nue Dae, the Northern Territory ultra talented lass has scored a cameo in the upcoming Underbelly: Razor, playing a sexy and gorgeous nightclub singer. Shouldn't be too much of a stretch for her.

Channel 9, home of the hit Underbelly franchise continues to be secretive about the air date for Underbelly: Razor, but we feel anticipation has just gone up another bar.

Is she 100% confirmed for the Hilton Hotel Zeta bash tonight? We don't know, but stranger things have happened.

Websites

Hilton Hotel Sydney
http://www.hiltonsydney.com.au

Zeta Bar
http://www.zetabar.com.au

Underbelly
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bwin.party digital entertainment Directorate Change

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15 July 2011

bwin.party digital entertainment plc

("bwin.party" or the "Company")

Directorate Change

The Board of bwin.party announces the appointment of Geoff Baldwin as a non-executive director of the Company with immediate effect. Mr Baldwin replaces Rami Lerner who is stepping down from the Board today as a non-executive director.

Geoff Baldwin's appointment is made following a nomination under the terms of a relationship agreement entered into by amongst others, bwin.party, Emerald Bay Limited and Stinson Ridge Limited that was approved by shareholders on 28 January 2011.

Geoff Baldwin, aged 46, is an investment banking professional with more than 24 years of experience, including serving as a M&A generalist in New York for five years and a technology M&A specialist for the last 19 years, primarily in Silicon Valley, California. He is a founder of GCA Savvian, a global investment bank that is publicly listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange with dual headquarters in Tokyo and San Francisco. In the United States, GCA Savvian specialises in technology investment banking and is recognised as having a leading franchise in digital media, including social and mobile gaming, internet advertising and ecommerce. Mr Baldwin currently serves on the board of directors of GCA Savvian's listed parent company (GCA Savvian Group Corp.) and its European subsidiary, is a member of the firm's global executive committee and is head of the firm's M&A advisory practice in the United States. Prior to founding GCA Savvian, Mr Baldwin was a Managing Director in Morgan Stanley's mergers and acquisitions group.

Commenting on today's announcement, Simon Duffy, Chairman of bwin.party said:

"We are delighted to welcome Geoff to the Board. Given the pace of change in our marketplace and his wealth of experience of working with high technology and social media companies, Geoff will be well-placed to contribute to the next phase of our corporate development. I would like to thank Rami for his contribution to the Board over the last two years and wish him well for the future."

There are no other disclosures to be made under Listing Rule 9.6.13.

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27 July 2011

Casino News Media: PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award, by Greg Tingle

PartyCasino.com has been awarded the Media Man and Casino News Media "Online Casino Of The Month".

PartyGaming's igaming suite has grown a custom to winning awards since they first opened for business in 1997.

The competition for the coveted award was intense again this month with massive bids from both WPT Casino Captain Cooks Casino, Virgin Casino, Betfair, PKR and Noble Casino however there can only be one winner... ladies and gentlemen, that's PartyCasino.com

The award follows PartyPoker's EGR Poker Operator Of The Year and PartyGaming also made the shortlist for EGR Operator Of The Year. Recently PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com also won the Casino News Media "Online Poker Website Of The Month".

The Media Man - Casino News Media accolade is based on a combination of elements including user experience, innovation, trustworthiness, customer service, gameplay, affiliate program offerings, newsworthiness and company values.

PartyCasino.com is one of a number of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Heist, Circus, Rambo, Palladium Slot, The Godfather, Sinatra, Slotbox, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Monopoly, Resident Evil, Melon Madness, Wheel Of Fortune and Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $2 million mark. Players can also compete for The Big One and Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include Shaaark! SuperBet, Crocodopolis, Alice's Wonderland, Glamour Puss, Super Cubes, Heist, Palladium Slot and Circus Slot.

PartyGaming CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasino will soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 1 month. PartyCasino has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino exclusive "Cash Machine" that is being championed as one of the greatest online casino promos ever.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming, igaming, media and entertainment industry.

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PartyCasino VS Virgin Casino gaming and igaming war continues, by Greg Tingle

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PartyCasino.com - Accepts Canadian, Australian and New Zealand players. PartyCasino new players get up to $3000 sign up bonus. Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment is the world's largest and most succesful igaming company.

VirginCasino.com - No US, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand players. £100 sign up bonus. Virgin Games is part of Richard Branson's Virgin Enterprises Limited.

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Fun Fearless Females Award gig tonight in Sydney - 27th July 2011

Cosmopolitan Magazine's Fun Fearless Female Awards are on tonight at Rose Bay, Sydney.

They are celebrating women from all walks of life including Asher Keddie, Jessica Marais, property developer Carly Crutchfield, Jessica Mauboy and foodie blog entrepreneur Katie Quinn Davies as some of the lucky finalists.

It's the 5th year of the awards and tonight is expected to be one of the best efforts to date, with plenty of stiff competition.

Not surprising a few media types have thrown their hat in the ring. We've got Natalie G, Rachael Finch, Fifi Box representing 2DAY FM, Havana Brown - the Austero DJ, Zan Roe from Triple J, and many more danes. Even Kate Ellis, the popular and switched on MP is having a go.

So ladies, keep having fun, be fearless and make sure you show your female side.

Well done to the Roxy Jacenko and team at Sweaty Betty PR who have worked tirelessly to ensure a great time is had by all tonight.

So, just who will take out the prestigious awards? Stay tuned to the Cosmopolitan official website to find out.

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Garrett faces pokie restrictions fire - 26th July 2011

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Club owners and punters gathered in the Sydney electorate of Education Minister Peter Garrett last night to voice their anger over proposed restrictions on poker machines.

More than 200 people turned up to the South Sydney Juniors Rugby League Club at Kingsford last night to protest against mandatory pre-set betting limits for pokies.

Mr Garrett was given a cool reception as he spoke to the crowd in his electorate of Kingsford Smith, but he was not deterred from defending the changes.

"There's nothing un-Australian about thinking about the problems that people face who are problem gamblers, and trying to do something to address that problem," Mr Garrett said.

"I don't think anyone can take away from the legitimacy of the goal, which is to make sure that something which does fall upon your and my fellow Australians and cause them great grief, and their families great grief and suffering, is dealt with."

Peter Newell from Clubs Australia hit back, saying there are already many restrictions on poker machines.

"Clubs Australia does not want one dollar from problem gamblers, and we are completely open to continuing reform that actually helps problem gamblers. But this current proposal is totally misguided in this regard," Mr Newell said.

"Voluntary pre-commitment has already been put in place by quite a number of clubs without having a noose put around their neck."

National Rugby League chief executive David Gallop told the crowd problem gambling is a terrible issue, but the Government is not offering a solution.

"We do however challenge a policy that will not stop problem gamblers, but will simply make it too complicated for the average person to have an occasional punt," Mr Gallop said.

"If Clubs Australia is even half right, this policy will have a devastating affect on many communities, many grassroots rugby league clubs."

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