Stan Lee Media has lost yet again.
Back in October 2012 the company (no longer associated with the real Stan Lee) filed a $5.5 billion lawsuit against Disney, stating that Stan Lee had signed over the rights to his characters to the predecessor company of Stan Lee Media, and therefore Disney does not own any of the rights when they purchased Marvel in 2009. They have sued in other courts before, notably in New York and California, and been dismissed. This time it was in Colorado, but U.S. District Judge William J. Martinez agreed with the previous rulings, even noting them in his own, an adding that those decisions preclude it from litigating the matter further, and dismissed the case with prejudice (in other words, cannot be refiled.)
Marvel announced today that actor James Spader (Boston Legal, Stargate) will take on the role of Ultron in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron movie to be directed by Joss Whedon and expected to be released on May 1st, 2015.
Spader, who’s most recent feature credit was as W. N. Bilbo in Lincoln, has a lot of television experience as well – he has three Emmys for his role as Alan Shore in The Practice and Boston Legal, recurred on The Office and is starring in the upcoming NBC series The Blacklist.
Ultron is a robotic supervillain with an adamantium shell, making him nearly indestructible, and an Oedipus complex. In the overall Marvel universe, he was created by Hank Pym (Ant-Man) by duplicating his own brain waves, resulting in an unstable robotic intelligence, obsessed with constant upgrading.
Author Peter David, well known for his works in comics and the Star Trek universe, suffered a stroke several days ago and is in the process of recovering.
Peter David has been prolific in the comics and SF genres, writing for several comic titles including an incredible 12 year run on The Incredible Hulk. He’s written episodes for several TV series including Babylon 5 and Crusade, and co created the kids show Space Cases with Babylon 5 and Lost In Space star Bill Mumy – which in the first season starred a young girl with rainbow colored hair, played by Jewel Staite, more familiar to fans as Kaylee in Firefly and Dr. Keller in Stargate Atlantis. He also did a number of Star Trek comics and novels.
Profiles in History Internet-only animation auction, tomorrow, December 1st at 11:00PST (2:00PM EST)
Profiles in History, the auction house featured on Syfy’s Hollywood Treasure and responsible for some of the biggest genre-related auctions, has a special online-only auction tomorrow at 2PM ET/11AM PT.
From the announcement: “Welcome to our first Internet-only online animation auction! The 500 animation cels presented in this auction are from 1990s Marvel animated series broadcast on Fox. One of the most popular animated series of the ’90s, the X-Men series, was the longest-running Marvel Comics-based TV show. Keeping in the tradition of the original comic book story lines, these cels were based on Jim Lee’s character designs. Each is an original hand-painted cel with an original hand-painted background. These cels were acquired in 2010 directly from Marvel Entertainment and were hand picked to represent the strongest and most memorable images of the archive. In the past few years, similar cels have sold publicly at auction for up to $1,500, with the average sales being in the $500 to $600 range. In addition to X-Men are cels from Fantastic Four (1994), Iron Man (1994) and The Incredible Hulk (1996) animated series. We hope you enjoy this auction. The plan is to have similar online-only auctions throughout the year!”
You can download the PDF catalog here.
It was announced at NY Comic-Con that Valiant Entertainment and Sean Daniel (The Mummy) will team with J. Michael Straczynski to adapt Valiant Comics’ Shadowman into a feature film, with JMS writing the script.
Shadowman has sold millions of comics and was adapted as “Shadow Man” for Acclaim’s video game franchise which likewise sold millions of copies, and follows (in the original story) the character who is one day attacked and barely escapes, but then discovers that at night he has supernatural abilities and a desire to rid the world of demons that stalk the night.
Stan Lee Media, Inc. (which isn’t really related to Stan Lee himself, since the company filed for bankruptcy back in 2001), is swinging for the fences. The company filed a $5.5 BILLION lawsuit against Disney, claiming that Disney does not actually own the rights to Stan Lee’s creations, and therefore want all the profits from the massive movie hits that Marvel, and now Disney since they acquired Marvel in 2009, plus a declaration of full control over the characters. This directly affects the Spider-Man, Iron Man and X-Men franchises, and several characters in The Avengers.
This appears to be a continuation of lawsuits that started back in 2007. SLMI claims that when the company was formed, Stan Lee assigned all rights to his characters to the company. But later on, Lee assigned the rights to Marvel, the company he originally created and published all those characters. It all hinges on what Lee actually gave to SLMI – was SLMI created to work on new properties, or to administer the old ones?
No need to watch commercial-laden TV to catch the latest 30-second spot for DREDD 3D starring Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby – you can watch it right here! DREDD 3D opens September 21st.
Yesterday Neil Gaiman announced on twitter that he is going to finally write a story about how Morpheus became imprisoned, which leads in to his original Sandman graphic novel story that was first published in 1988.
The mini-series will start publishing in November 2013, and will be released digitally at the same time.
See his video announcement below:
The Avengers might wipe out some of the bad memories of John Carter for Disney, as it is likely to surpass $185 million by the end of the weekend after scoring over $80 million just on Friday. This would put it past Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 for the weekend box office record.
Update:: It smashed the record, breaking the $200 million barrier and besting the previous record holder by more than $30 million. There were reports from IMAX that they had to turn people away due to lack of seats.
TNT and Dark Horse Digital have already made their digital comic for the second season of Falling Skies available at the official web site, and follows what happens to to the 2nd Mass in between seasons 1 and 2, while they are holed up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Check out a couple of the images below!
TNT’s epic drama Falling Skies, basic cable’s number-one new series of last year, chronicles the chaotic aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. Season two will premiere with back-to-back episodes on Sunday, June 17, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).