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13 March 2012

Hollywood And AussieWood Movie And Celebrity News, by Greg Tingle - 12th March 2012

Profiles Digital Entertainment George Clooney Movies Hollywood Casinos Wrestling WWE Australia Media Man

Hollywood and AussieWood fans, and all you pro wrestling aka sports entertainment fans out there. It's that time of the week again. Here's your latest fix of entertainment and celebrity news Aussie style, direct from the Media Man agency...

Bwin.Party Says "That's Entertainment"; Movies And Games Collide Online...

Gaming giant digital entertainment has just released a bush tucker bag of new online games via its PartyCasino brand. Check out Knight Rider and more Hollywood blockbusters now, and check out Media Man for all the new game reviews. Not surprisingly old blue eyes, Frank Sinatra, has maintained his popularity with young and old with the Sinatra slot. You can even play for free or for money in USA, AUD, CAN or EURO. Poker fans will also be in luck. Not into games? No problem - check out the movie reviews instead.

Top 10 Hollywood Movie Remakes...

Top 10 Best Remakes...

1. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
2. The Mummy (1999)
3. King Kong (2005)
4. The Italian Job (2003)
5. Cape Fear (1991)
6. The Parent Trap (1998)
7. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
8. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
9. Scarface (1983)
10. Alfie (2004)

Top 10 Worst Remakes

1. Arthur (2011)
2. The Wicker Man (2006)
3. Fame (2009)
4. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
5. Clash of the Titans (2010)
6. Planet of the Apes (2001)
7. Piranha 3-D (2010)
8. House of Wax (2005)
9. Freaky Friday (2003)
10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Hollywood Stars, Paris Hilton Tipped To Party At The Star In Sin City Sydney...

The Aussie casino wars, and the war for the entertainment dollar is alive and well. It's Echo Entertainment - The Star VS Crown Limited - Crown Melbourne and friends...

Give it a month or so... time for The Star casino scandals to cool off a bit more, and a bush tucker bag of Hollywood movie stars and celebs galore will be partying hard at its new nightclub, Marquee.

We hear that the VIP guests including a few casino whales are due to hit the party on March 30.

Dutch producer and DJ Afrojack - real name Nick van de Wall, is confirmed, and now we hear that hunt is on for his babe Paris Hilton (that was quite likely the original sin idea. Get the woman via the man. Talk about bait for fish and whales. Will it lure the right school of fish or not? time will tell, but the odds of success are there with Paris Hilton and friends. The heiress milked the rumours days ago via Twitter with: "Congrats @NoahTepperberg on@MarqueeSydney! @DJAfrojack is gonna kill it at the opening party down there! I love #Australia!"

We all know about the loss of former Star embattled boss Sid Vaikunta and The Star will be looking to get PR back to positive, but will the Australian press let it be?

Marquee is a joint venture with Tao Group, which is behind many of America's biggest nightclubs, including Tao in Las Vegas and New York, and Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub in Vegas.

In Vegas Marquee is able to draw names such as Rihanna, Beyonce, Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow, so let's wish them well shall we.

James Bond studio makes £3.9m loss...

Pinewood Shepperton studios slumped to a £3.9m loss in 2011 after it failed in an attempt to build replicas of Paris, New York and Amsterdam on green belt land.

The studios enjoyed record revenues of £50.7m in 2011, up by 17 per cent after it filmed scenes for movies such as The Hobbit and the next James Bond film, Skyfall. But it took an exceptional charge of £7.1m reflecting five years of costs for its "Project Pinewood" application, which officials turned down in January. This pushed the company, which is majority owned by the property group Peel Holdings, £3.9m into the red, after profits of £5.8m the previous year.

Project Pinewood would have seen the creation of a "purpose-built" film set with 1,400 permanent homes inside the streetscape buildings at Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire. The project would have cost £200m and created almost 1,000 jobs in the next 10 years, with 420 affordable homes offered inside the film sets. But it was fiercely resisted by campaigners.

The Pinewood and Shepperton studios have been home to more than 1,500 films in the last 75 years, while the two studios and the company's Teddington site have hosted more than 600 television shows.

Russell Crowe in Talks to Join Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’...

Russell Crowe has expressed interest in taking on the title role of director Darren Aronofsky‘s new project, “Noah”.

Based on the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark, the movie will be Aronofsky’s first since the critically acclaimed “Black Swan”. While following some of the classic plot points of the original tale, “Noah” will approach the story from a new perspective. This modern Noah will be played as a man who has a deep love for earth and it’s inhabitants, but who is heartbroken over the way humans have taken advantage of the planet.

When asked about the film’s religious connotations, Aronofsky responded, "I don’t think it’s a very religious story. I think it’s a great fable that’s part of so many different religions and spiritual practices. I just think it’s a great story that’s never been on film. I want to make a big event film, and I think it can be that."

The director, who arrived on to the scene with 1998′s “Pi”, has made it clear from the start that he wanted Crowe on board. When the “Gladiator” star found out he was being eyed for the film, he coyly tweeted to his fans, “And I’m eyeing him right back…whole lot of eyeing."

Other names that were thrown around for the role included Liam Neeson, Christian Bale, and Michael Fassbender. The project received big buzz even before Crowe’s involvement, after it was announced that its budget would be a substantial $130 million.

Noah is due to start filming this July and will hit the cinema in 2013.

Mel Gibson completes anger management...

Australian Mel Gibson has completed a course of court-ordered anger management therapy as part of his probation.

The movie star pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge, relating to an alleged attack on ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva in 2010, and was sentenced to three years’ probation, 16 hours of community service and 52 weeks of counseling to curb his infamous temper.

He fulfilled the community service requirements last year and has continued to impress Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner with his efforts by completing additional therapy sessions too.

Popular entertainment news website TMZ has reported the actor will finally be off the hook if he stays out of trouble for two more years.

Gibson is understood to be looking to release his movie 'Get The Gringo' via Icon Film Distribution Australia. Icon is planning a traditional theatrical release despite North American plans to launch an exclusive video-on-demand (VOD) offer.

The US deal will result in the action-thriller being distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment from May 1 on DirecTV, which will charge $10.99 per home viewing, according to A wider release on Blu-ray, VOD, and digital download will be rolled out after one month.

In a statement, Fox Home Entertainment president Mike Dunn said: "As digital distribution evolves, we are constantly looking at new ways to bring the consumer greater access than ever before to our movies. Reaching nearly 20 million households on the DirecTV premium platform offers us an opportunity to explore innovative approaches like this one for Get The Gringo."

Icon Film Distribution is set to release the film in Australia on May 12.

Wrestling Legend "Rowdy" Roddy Piper In Fancypants Movie...

Fancypants is a 2011 film directed by Joshua Russell and starring Patrick Gleason, Roddy Piper, and Robert Carradine. Featuring Nick Turturro, Richard Kind, and introducing Jackson Dunn.

It is a comedy/drama about a professional wrestler who is afraid of conflict in real life. He is nearing the end of his career and finds out he has one fan left in an 8-year old boy, who hides a secret that will change Leo's life forever. The film was shot entirely on location in Chicago.

The film won Best Feature at the 2011 Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida, and was an official selection at the 2011 Seattle True Independent Film Festival.

Roddy Piper is also rumoured to be one of the house-mates in upcoming WWE reality TV show, 'Legends House'.

The Four Horsemen Including Ric Flair To Be Inducted Into WWE Hall Of Fame 2012; Jim Ross Tweets ...

Last week...Ross on Ric Flair’s Birthday: Happy Birthday to Ric Flair. Naitch called me this past week to catch up. He’s got a great opportunity with Coca Cola’s energy drink along with his state lottery work. I went on You Tube and checked out Ric’s TV commercials for the lotteries he promotes and they were hilarious.

Some of my fondest memories in the business involve Ric Flair and I’m so blessed to have been able to broadcast not only many Ric Flair bout but @ShawnMichaels bouts over the years, too as they are widely considered the two, best, all around pro wrestlers ever. That’s a debate that will rage on until the end of time but no one can intelligently say that Naitch and HBK aren’t on an abbreviated list of the best ever.

Wrestling Legend Hulk Hogan In Sex Tape With Woman Not Ex-Wife Or Current Wife Jennifer McDaniel...

A sex tape featuring Hulk Hogan has reportedly been shopped to porn producers Vivid Entertainment.

The company's founder Steve Hirsch told website TMZ that they were recently shown intimate footage of the wrestler, actor and TV personality by a third party.

It is unclear when the alleged tape was filmed, as the woman seen in bed with 58-year-old Hogan is said to be neither his ex-wife Linda - to whom he was married for 23 years and is currently suing for defamation - or new spouse Jennifer McDaniel, 35.

In the footage Hogan is understood to say "I started to work out again" while taking off his shirt.

Hogan told TMZ the tape was "secretly filmed" without his permission and called it was an "outrageous invasion of privacy."

It is not yet known whether Vivid or any other parties have attempted to purchase the tape.

Hulk Hogan rocketed to fame in the mid-80s because of his charisma and unique look, and a lot of strong pushing from top notch promoters who knew Hogan was a money maker and a future legend.

In 2005, he and his family appeared in the VH1 reality series "Hogan Knows Best." While the show was still on the air, Linda Hogan filed for divorce from Hogan after it was alleged he had an affair.

In 2010, Hogan married McDaniel, who is widely noted to look similar to his daughter, Brooke.

Media Man wishes Hulk Hogan and his family well with everything, and is hopefully that Hogan will one day return to Vince McMahon's WWE sports entertainment company.

Hogan is in the WWE Hall of Fame and is one of the most famous wrestlers of all time.

WWE Smackdown Did Mohegan Sun Arena In Land Based Casino...

No, the WWE doesn't own a casino anymore, but from time to time it does perform in the gaming and entertainment complexes.

The WWE Smackdown TV cameras returned to Mohegan Sun Arena on Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m and it was all broadcast on Australian TV via FOX on Foxtel.

The Main Event was Randy Orton (son of Cowboy Bon Orton) VS Daniel Bryan VS Sheamus aka "The Great White) in a "Triple Threat Match" for the World Heavyweight championship belt.

Other WWE Superstars included The Big Show, Mark Henry, Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase, Santino Marella and the Diva's (wrestling babes).

Fans, don't forget WWE WrestleMania 28 is just around the corner, and the sports entertainment company also has an Australian tour locked down for August and September of 2012.

Impact Wrestling (formally known as TNA Wrestling), is also set to tour New Zealand (and likely Australia) in about 6 or 12 months, and wrestling legend Jeff Jarrett recently thanked TV host Rove McManus in a very public way via Twitter, so where there's smoke, there's usually fire - even in professional wrestling.

WWE Legends House Will Get At Least One Non Wrestler Celebrity...

In the only confirmed WWE Network show, Legends’ House, looks like it will feature some celebrity involvement as legendary actor Adam West, famous for his roles as Batman and, more recently, lending his voice as “Mayor Adam West” on Family Guy, was pictured with the cast of Legends’ House, appearing with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “Mean” Gene Okerlund, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Howard Finkel, Hillbilly Jim, Tony Atlas, Pat Patterson, and Jimmy Hart. The photo also shows Pussycat Dolls singer, Ashley Roberts, who is slated to be hosting the show, while Adam West will be a guest star on one of the episodes. Comedian Jeff Dye from the MTV show, Money from Strangers, also filmed some footage for the show, but his role is unknown. The Media Man agency tips high ratings will follow the show, but some other commentators are not quite as sure. Don't change your dial wrestling fans. This will be reality TV like never before, and tons of laughs are in store for those of you who stick with it. For a taste, check out the WWE YouTube channel where many other WWE shows are being broadcast, such as the famous 'Long Island Story' by Zack Ryder.

The Rock 'hyped' to star in NZ-shot movie...

Hollywood actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is "hyped" about starring in a blockbuster to be filmed in New Zealand later this year.

The former pro wrestler is heading downunder to star as Hercules in American film director Brett Ratner's upcoming epic by the same name.

Johnson told his 2,226,466 Twitter followers he is looking forward to the new action role.

"Hyped to become HERCULES and bring the mythology to life. #TilDeathOrGlory," he tweeted today.

The man mountain, standing at 6 feet 5 inches (195.58cm), spent a brief period of his childhood in Auckland with his mother's family.

He attended Richmond Road Primary School before returning to the United States with his parents.

Hercules is based on the 2008 Radical Publishing comic Hercules: The Thracian War, written by Steve Moore.

Variety Magazine says filming on the MGM flick is set to start in October.

Johnson has emerged as one of Hollywood's leading action stars with a string of films including Fast Five, G.I Joe: Retaliation and Faster.

'Road Warrior' Animal Says Sting Isn’t An Icon Unless He Passes Through WWE...

WWE Hall Of Famer Road Warrior Animal, who hosts Extreme Pro Wrestling Radio on 100.3 KFAN in Minneapolis, Minnesota, broadcast during a recent show that he doesn’t think Sting is a wrestling icon until he passes through WWE.

“Sting is not in the same league as guys like Triple H, Stone Cold, The Rock. Sting will never be considered a legend or icon until he lets his pride go and joins WWE. He needs to bury his personal issues and just get into the WWE. Sting has to come over to the WWE to be that guy, it’s a bigger stage. Impact is one thing, the WWE is a way bigger thing,” Animal said.

Animal also takes credit for Sting’s arrival to the National Wrestling Alliance in 1987.

“The NWA was looking for a spot for Sting and I said make him a brother in paint and then Sting joined us (Road Warriors) in our six-man matches,” he said.

On the best singles worker of all time, Animal said, “Easily, (Ric) Flair!”

The Rock Dwayne Johnson To Star In Pain and Gain (2013)

A pair of bodybuilders in Florida get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong.

Director: Michael Bay
Writers: Scott Rosenberg (screenplay), Christopher Markus (screenplay)

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg and Ed Harris

Johnson is also set to appear in the following:

Ciudad (pre-production)
2013 Snitch (post-production)
2012 G.I. Joe: Retaliation (post-production)
Arabian Nights (pre-production)
Sinbad (rumored)
2013 Empire State (pre-production)
2013 The Fast and the Furious 6 (pre-production)

Maybe WWE megastar John Cena is right when he implies Rocky has gone Hollywood. Aw well, its all entertainment.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire Help Launch Mobli 2.0...

Keeping up-to-date with technology, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire were spotted at the Mobli 2.0 Launch Party in Austin, Texas on Saturday night (March 10).

Hiding most of his face, the "Inception" actor wore a Raiders hat with a dark suit jacket and jeans while posing for pictures alongside the "Spider-Man" star, who covered his slender frame in a blue button up and jacket.

With other stars such as Kevin Connelly Jared Leto and Lukas Haas alkso on hand, the blokes were there to help launch the updated app, Mobli, which gives iPhone users a fun way to share photos.

Maguire and DiCaprio believe in the company so much that they’ve invested in the new version of the app that many say will appeal to the hipster crowds. DiCaprio has reportedly shelled out nearly $4 million.

“Mobli [is] a brand new site where users can share moments and see the world through other people's eyes, is a real-time, visual social media platform, made up of subject-based channels such as people, places and topics.” a spokesperson for the mobile app company said.

During the event, DiCaprio who came in from a film shoot in New Orleans, munched on sushi while he spoke with the Mobli team.

Maguire posed for photos with fans. During the event Tobey shared his first social media post ever with the app.

The outing comes as Leo and Tobey will soon hit the big screen together - as they just wrapped up filming "The Great Gatsby" in Sydney, Australia - most of which took place at White Bay, Rozelle.

The movie follows Nick Carraway (Maguire), a Midwesterner living on Long Island who finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio), while being drawn into Gatsby's circle and becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy.

Also starring Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton and Isla Fisher, the Baz Luhrmann directed motion picture is set to hit theaters on December 25, 2012.

James Packer donates $250,000 to Katter political party...

Australian based billionaire James Packer will not have any political influence over Katter's Australian Party, despite making a $250,000 donation, a spokesman says.

Party spokesman Scott Barrett told media Mr Packer's donation was the result of a long-standing friendship between the Packer family and party founder Bob Katter.

'James' grandfather was very good friends and business partners with Ted Theodore, who is one of Bob Katter's greatest heroes,' he said.

'There's a very good, close relationship between them (Mr Packer and Mr Katter) and they have very similar sort of goals.

'It's not surprising to see people like James Packer, who have a lot invested in Australia's future, to get behind us.

'We are the only party really that is getting behind Australia's future in backing Australian industry and Australian agriculture.'

Mr Packer's donation is one of the biggest recorded from a single donor in Queensland.

But Mr Barrett said that did not mean the casino mogul would be pulling the party's strings.

'The Packers have known Bob Katter for many years, so they know what they're getting,' he said.

'They know that he's not easily swayed.

'Just because he's contributed in this way doesn't mean he's going to pull the reins.

'Bob Katter knows what he wants and hasn't shifted on that for 40 years, so this isn't going to change the course of what were out to achieve.'

The party is holding its official campaign launch in Townsville on Sunday.

James Bond and Batman help rescue London developers...

Hollywood is helping London developers weather the financial crisis by turning empty offices into film sets, providing cash and publicity for landlords struggling to fill buildings with tenants because of the uncertain economic outlook.

In addition to films and television shows, a growing number of developers are also opening their doors to events like London Fashion Week or temporary retail sites for online companies such as Amazon, eBay and Google.

Others are planning to cash in on short-term demand from film crews seeking rooftops with panoramic views during the Olympic Games and celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.

"There has been a sea change in the way landlords deal with empty space since the financial crisis," said Mark Hughes-Webb, managing director of SPACE-2 Consulting, which finds buildings for shoots and events. "They are more focused on cashflow as shareholders want to know they are working their assets." Developers have struggled to fill a series of striking new buildings meant to attract a wave of tenants: five skyscrapers in central London at varying stages of build have signed one office deal between them. The office vacancy rate in London's main financial district was 7 per cent in January, double where it stood at the end of 2007, its last low point, data from property consultancy CBRE show. SPACE-2's turnover has almost doubled over the same period.


Two neighboring office blocks near the Bank of England in the main financial district have the equivalent of eleven soccer pitches of empty space between them.

One is Cannon Place and though reportedly close to signing its first tenants, Hughes-Webb said it was the venue for a new BBC spy drama, the type of shoot that can raise 1,500-7,000 pounds ($2,400-$11,100) per day. SPACE-2 takes about a quarter of any fee. "We choose the right events to keep Cannon Place in the public eye and associated with quality brands," said Mark Swetman, project director for Cannon Place developer Hines, saying good publicity was a bigger consideration than money.

The other block is the Walbrook building, which was used to shoot the latest film in the spoof spy series Johnny English. In the real world, it has been empty for two years and wealth manager Schroders pulled out of a move there in December.

Film shoots raise similar amounts to TV productions and it is not only buildings in the best locations that benefit. New Batman film The Dark Knight Rises includes a stunt sequence shot at an office block in the south London suburb of Croydon, with the area's dour 1960s architecture doubling up as Gotham City. Not all landlords are opening their doors. Western Europe's tallest skyscraper, the 1,016-feet Shard nearing completion next to London Bridge train station, turned down makers of the new James Bond film Skyfall, which has been filming near the Tower of London, even though it has not yet signed an office tenant.

"It is disruptive. We do not need those kind of gimmicks," a spokesman for developer Sellar Property Group said.

Conferences and events can raise even more. London Fashion Week netted landlord Land Securities more than 10,000 pounds when it set up one of the longest catwalks ever seen in London at the One New Change retail and office scheme next to St Paul's Cathedral this month.

One of the fastest growing sources of new revenue is internet retailers like eBay setting up temporary stores to build trust with shoppers wary of buying goods online. Landlords can fill space for between one week and six months and demand for space far outstrips supply, Hughes-Webb said.

Australian developer Lend Lease did 20 temporary lettings across three British shopping centers last year to plug gaps left by failing retailers, something that would not have occurred to developers five years ago, said Simon Donaldson, head of retail operations.

"Not only did it bring in several hundred thousand pounds extra in rent, it saved more than a million pounds in empty rate liabilities," he said. Owners of buildings with panoramic rooftop views plan to cash in on demand from camera crews looking for sites during this year's Olympic Games and Diamond Jubilee events. Fees will likely double from their norm to 300 pounds per hour, Hughes-Webb said. "It should not have taken the recession for developers to get more creative and work out there is cash to be made," he said, citing a small patch of roof on a building north of London Bridge that is frequently used to film crowds of commuters.

"That square meter is probably the most valuable piece of real estate in London."

Marvel Announces Two All-New, All-Ages Titles...

Check out The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Adventures and Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures this April...

This April, Marvel is pleased to announce the launch of THE AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES ADVENTURES #1 and ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN ADVENTURES #1, two all-new ongoing comic book titles for comic fans of all-ages! These titles connect with TV's highly anticipated animation destination, Marvel Universe on Disney XD, debuting Sunday, April 1, the only place to catch "Ultimate Spider-Man" and season two of "The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!" With two action-packed animated series and compelling comics, fans will have the chance to further immerse themselves in the adventures of Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and the rest of the Avengers--including special guest stars!

“I couldn’t be more excited for Marvel Universe,” said Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Axel Alonso. “There is something special about the Avengers and Spider-Man that speaks to fans of all ages, and with the launch of Marvel Universe on Disney XD this April, what better way to connect the two experiences than these new ongoing series?”

In THE AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES ADVENTURES #1, the creative team of Chris Yost and Adam Dekraker, present not one, but TWO new action-packed Avengers stories to catch you up on the adventures of Earth’s Mightiest through the eyes of Agent Coulson.

Then in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN ADVENTURES #1, from Man Of Action ("Ben 10"), Dan Slott, Ty Templeton & Nuno Plati, Peter Parker must balance battling super villains and the drama of high school! But fear not True Believer, there is no menace too diabolical and no test too challenging for Spider-Man!

No fan of the Avengers or Spider-Man can miss out on these new action-packed series, sure to excite fans of all ages! So make sure you’re the first one in line this Spring to catch THE AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES ADVENTURES #1 and ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN ADVENTURES #1 as the heroes make their big TV debut!

Written by CHRIS YOST
All Ages …$2.99

All Ages …$2.99
ON SALE THIS APRIL! (Credit: Marvel Entertainment)

Colleagues mourn comic book 'master' Moebius...

Moebius, the French comic book artist whose spectacular science fantasy-based work wrought its magic on Hollywood classics such as Alien and Tron, has died after a long illness aged 73.

Moebius - or Jean Henri Gaston Giraud - won a devoted following as far afield as Japan and the United States, countries working in radically different comic-book traditions.

"The whole profession is in shock, totally devastated, even if we knew that he was seriously ill," said Gilles Ratier, head of France's Association of Comic-Book Critics.

Colleagues paid tribute to the artist and writer generally acknowledged as having been one of the most daring and innovative in his field.

Giraud, who grew up drawing cowboys and indians, published his first drawings in 1957 and found fame with the western character Lieutenant Blueberry in 1963.

The lean, mean gunslinger was to become one of the most iconic figures in French comic-book history.

Giraud adopted the pseudonym Moebius for his illustrations in science fiction books and magazines.

But he also worked under other pseudonyms, including Gir, Giraud and Moeb.

But as Moebius, he said, he operated on a whole different level.

"When I am in the skin of Moebius, I draw in a state of trance, I try to escape from my 'ego'," he said in 2010.

'Master of realist drawing'
In 1975, Moebius was one of the co-founders of Metal Hurlant (Heavy Metal), a spectacular blend of visually arresting comic-book art that was heavily inspired by the counter-culture from across the Atlantic.

The magazine's blend of science fiction, epic fantasy and politically incorrect humour - which featured in a 1981 animated film of the same name - provided the perfect platform for Moebius' far-out creations.

As his reputation grew, he collaborated with US comic-books legend Stan Lee on an adventure featuring the enigmatic The Silver Surfer character.

And in another style entirely, he tackled the story of Icarus with Jiro Taniguchi, a master in the Japanese manga tradition.

His influence also spread into cinema, as he put his visual stamp on the first Alien film and the science fiction adventure Tron.

In 2010-11 France's Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art acknowledged his stature, staging a major retrospective of his work.

Tributes were quick to come in as news of his death spread.

Fellow artist Boucq said his friend had been a "master of realist drawing" with "a real talent for humour, which he was still demonstrating with the nurses when I saw him in his hospital bed a fortnight ago".

Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, whose best-selling 1995 novel The Alchemist was illustrated by Moebius, paid tribute to his collaborator on Twitter.

"The great Moebius died today, but the great Moebius is still alive," he tweeted.

"Your body died today, your work is more alive than ever."

French culture minister Frederic Mitterrand said France had lost "two great artists", referring to Giraud and his alias.

In 2007 one of his drawings sold for 58,242 euros ($76,433) at an auction. (AFP)

Keep checking Street Corner and the Media Man blog network for more on these developing news stories and more.


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