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Anthology series Metal Hurlant Chronicles to reboot as an arc series

by on Oct.06, 2014, under Comics, Television

Metal Hurlant Chronicles, an anthology series that has had two limited runs and was recently aired on Syfy in the U.S., will get a reboot of sorts as they change format to an arc-based serial series, telling a story over the course of a season.

The first two seasons were of independent stories, loosely (and I mean VERY loosely) tied together with an asteroid called the Metal Hurlant that passed by the planet on which they story was taking place, changing the lives of those that it encountered. It based on the Metal Hurlant anthology comic/magazine series.

The idea behind the format switch is to allow time for the audience and characters to connect, “and where we could explore the mythology of the Métal Hurlant,” according to creator/producer Guillaume Lubrano.

In an anthology series, like with The Outer Limits, there is the very limited time to get the audience interested in what they are seeing. It requires strong stories and actors who can engage with the audience quickly. But there is also the regret that if you do make that connection, the audience might regret that they won’t see those characters again (unless there is the rare sequel story, or even rarer spin-off to a series.) In addition, you have a very limited time to tell the story. By switching to the arc format, recently successful with the American Horror Story series, you have more time to develop depth in the characters and weave a more interesting story.

Jamie Mathieson (Being Human, Doctor Who) will write the script, which will be a co-production between Atlantique Productions and the producers of the original series, WE Productions.


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DC getting movie engine running; to set slate including Justice League, Shazam, Wonder Woman, and a Flash/Green Lantern crossover

by on Jun.12, 2014, under Comics, Movies

DC finally appears to be gearing up to go head to head with Marvel. According to the returning Nikke Finke, DC has set a release plan that explains the delay of Batman vs. Superman – to better launch the upcoming Justice League, DC’s answer to The Avengers. It also includes a few new items, such as Shazam (a.k.a. Captain Marvel), the long-gestating Wonder Woman, and a Flash/Green Lantern crossover that reportedly will NOT feature Ryan Reynolds (honestly, I think it gets a bad rap…I enjoyed it) and not sure how it will deal with the upcoming WB series.

The reported schedule is:

May 2016 – Batman vs. Superman
July 2016 – Shazam
Xmas 2016 – Sandman
May 2017 – Justice League
July 2017 – Wonder Woman
Xmas 2017 – Flash and Green Lantern team-up
May 2018 – Man Of Steel 2

In addition, Justice League will feature cameos that will launch further standalone movies, but those are still being negotiated with potential stars.


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Edgar Wright departs Marvel’s Ant-Man

by on May.23, 2014, under Comics, Movies

It appears that Marvel has decided to part ways with director Edgar Wright and get Ant-Man back on track. In a joint statement they say the split is “amicable”, but word on the street is that the studio and Shaun Of The Dead director Wright have been at odds for a while and it deteriorated recently over creative differences. A replacement has yet to be named, but Marvel says the release date of July 17th, 2015 will be unaffected.


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Superman and Avatar suits end(?) with victories for studios

by on Jan.21, 2014, under Comics, Movies

Lawsuits seem to never end in Hollywood, but these might be on life support…

In the never-ending battle between the estate of Joe Shuster and Warner Bros. over rights to the character of Superman, it may have finally reached a conclusion (barring an escalation to the Supreme Court) after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied petitions by the estate for a rehearing and a rehearing en banc (by the whole court instead of a panel of judges), which essentially marks the end of the road for appeals, and a top court challenge seems unlikely.

While Avatar hasn’t been around nearly as long as Superman, it seems to make up for the long line of people suing James Cameron claiming it lifted their ideas, although one by one they get tossed aside (here is the most recent one we reported on.) Now another one gets tossed aside. Bryant Moore’s $2.5 billion lawsuit against Cameron, 20th Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment was dismissed in summary judgement yesterday. The court said that while “certain limited commonalities” existed between Avatar and Moore’s screenplays he says were submitted to Cameron’s Lightstorm in 1993 and 1994, Cameron provided “a comprehensive declaration that specifically addresses Moore’s allegations and points to past projects and other sources of inspiration from which he drew in writing Avatar.”


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Star Wars comics license returns to Marvel

by on Jan.03, 2014, under Comics, Movies

Now that both Star Wars and Marvel are one under the Mouse, it is no surprise that today Marvel announced that the license for Star Wars comics will return to Marvel, where it began in 1977 and lasted for 9 years. After a break, Dark Horse picked up the license in 1991, and has been publishing Star Wars comics ever since, including some highly acclaimed stories, and most recently, “The Star Wars #1”, based on George Lucas’ original rough draft. Marvel will publish new comics starting in 2015.

From the announcement:

The Walt Disney Company’s Lucasfilm Ltd. and Marvel Entertainment are joining forces to bring new Star Wars adventures to readers across the galaxy, with Marvel granted exclusive rights to create and publish Star Wars comics and graphic novels beginning in 2015.

The agreement marks a homecoming for the Star Wars comic books. Marvel Comics published the first Star Wars comic book, STAR WARS #1, in March 1977, which went on to sell more than 1 million copies. Marvel Comics published its STAR WARS series for nine years. In 1991, Dark Horse Comics took over the license, publishing fan-favorite titles like Dark Empire and Star Wars: Legacy. Last year, Dark Horse released The Star Wars #1, an adaptation of George Lucas’ original rough-draft screenplay for the film, garnering rave reviews and national media attention and ranking among the top-selling Star Wars comics of all time.

“Dark Horse Comics published exceptional Star Wars comics for over 20 years, and we will always be grateful for their enormous contributions to the mythos, and the terrific partnership that we had,” said Carol Roeder, director of Lucasfilm franchise publishing, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “In 2015, the cosmic adventures of Luke, Han, Leia and Chewbacca will make the lightspeed jump back to Marvel, to begin a new age of adventures within the Star Wars universe.

“We here at Marvel could not be more excited to continue the publication of Star Wars comic books and graphic novels,” said Marvel Worldwide Publisher and President, Dan Buckley. “The perennial brand of Star Wars is one of the most iconic in entertainment history and we are honored to have the opportunity to bring our creative talent pool to continue, and expand Star Wars into galaxies far, far away.”

“We’re incredibly excited by this next chapter in the Star Wars saga,” said Andrew B. Sugerman, executive vice president of Disney Publishing Worldwide. “Bringing together the iconic Lucasfilm and Marvel brands to tell new stories will allow us to continue to thrill lovers of the original Star Wars comic books and entertain generations to come.”


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Disney wins yet another round on Marvel character rights

by on Sep.06, 2013, under Comics

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.)


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James Spader to play title villain in Avengers: Age of Ultron

by on Aug.29, 2013, under Comics, Movies

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.


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Peter David recovering from stroke

by on Jan.04, 2013, under Comics, Television

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.


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Profiles in History Internet-only animation auction, tomorrow, December 1st at 11:00PST (2:00PM EST)

by on Nov.30, 2012, under Comics, Television

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.


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JMS teams with Valiant Ent. for Shadowman feature

by on Oct.12, 2012, under Comics, Movies

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.


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