Here is a promo video just released today for the just-picked-up series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – already looks interesting…
Update: Here is an even longer trailer…
Another pilot pickup, although no surprise here – Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., to be executive produced by the current master of Marvel Joss Whedon, is the first Marvel TV series since Disney took over. ABC picked up the series today during the pilot pickup madness.
Clark Gregg will return as a somehow resurrected Agent Coulson (THAT should be an interesting story) to lead the team, which investigates “the new, the strange, and the unknown across the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary.” Joining him are: Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), highly trained in combat and espionage; Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) expert pilot and martial artist; Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), brilliant engineer; Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) genius bio-chemist; and new recruit and computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet).
Also executive producing are pilot writers Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), Jeffrey Bell (Angel, Alias); and Jeph Loeb (Smallville)
Just announced a short time ago, actress Ming-Na (ER, Stargate Universe) will star in the upcoming Joss Whedon TV pilot Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., based on the secret organization that permeates Marvel’s Avengers universe and featured prominently in the Whedon-directed movie The Avengers.
Ming-Na will play Agent Melinda May, described as “Soulful and slightly damaged by her combat experiences, Melinda is an ace pilot, a weapons expert and a soldier who can — and has — gone beyond the call of duty.” Originally the character was to be named Althea Rice, with the nickname “The Cavalry”, but this was confusing as that is also the name of a team of superheroes.
It was previously announced that Clark Gregg, who has appeared in all the Avenger-related movies as Agent Phil Coulson, will reprise the role in the pilot.
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?
Now we know what the “live action Marvel TV series” is that was reported when Disney struck a deal with Joss Whedon in the wake of his The Avengers juggernaut: S.H.I.E.L.D., a TV series based on the peacekeeping organization that runs throughout the Marvel universe and prominently in The Avengers.
ABC has given the green light for a pilot to be written by Whedon, his brother Jed Whedon, and Jed’s wife, Maurissa Tancharoen – the team responsible for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, and have worked together on various other projects including Dollhouse. Joss Whedon may even direct if his schedule permits.
Speaking of the Man in the Iron Suit, it appears that Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. injured his foot during a stunt on set. According to Disney:
While performing a stunt on the set of Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr. sustained an injury to his foot. There will be a short delay in production while he recuperates.
Nothing else is known at this point. This comes on the heels of actress Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) who suffered injuries to her hand in an automobile collision in New York City yesterday. Fortunately she tweeted yesterday (with her husband typing) that she was “in pain but will keep all my fingers,” and she was back on set today.
Planning way ahead after confirming that Joss Whedon will be on board for the inevitable sequel to the mega-blockbuster The Avengers, Disney and Marvel Studios have already set a release date of May 1st, 2015, just a day short of a year from The Amazing Spider-Man sequel, which is a year-less-a-day after Iron Man 3. It seems that Marvel wants to own the beginning of May…
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced during the company’s regular earnings call that Joss Whedon is on board to direct a sequel to the blockbuster movie The Avengers – big news enough – but then also said that Whedon is also developing a live action series using Marvel characters! More when we get it…
Update: Marvel Studios confirms the deal, along with a targeted 2015 release for the sequel. Whedon also has an exclusive deal for film and television development with Marvel Studios until the end of June 2015.
In two separate suits, both Marvel and NBCU/Syfy are being sued for alleged trademark and copyright infringements.
Marvel (along with Disney corporate sibling Buena Vista Home Entertainment) is being sued by the German luggage manufacturer who made a special luxury briefcase used in the movie. Not because if its use in the movie, however – they had permission – but because Marvel/BVHE planned to distribute a special box set of Avengers movies in a replica attache case, and they haven’t received permission for that – yet.
In the other case, Preston Asevedo, a Louisiana artist, filed suit against NBC Universal/Syfy and the creators of the show Dream Machines over the use of a piece of art that can be seen on the outside sign of the Parker Brothers’ shop in each episode of the recently aired first season of the show, where the brothers and their team build custom futuristic vehicles for celebrities and charities. Check out the images below of the original work and the one seen in the show:
It isn’t just similar – it looks like someone took the original, inverted it and dressed it up. It also appears that Asevedo had contacted the Parkers, who acknowledged that they used a variation of the art for their own logo but were unable to determine who the original artist was, and wanted to work with Asevedo to give him credit and remuneration. But apparently they weren’t able to reach and agreement, and Asevedo filed suit.
Lesson learned – unless the art is provably in the public domain, make sure you get permission or don’t use it…
Disney will pass $1 billion in domestic gross receipts for it’s movies this year faster than any other studio and faster than it’s best previous year – in only 188 days.
The Avengers was a big part of that, grossing over $600 million alone so far, outpacing even The Hunger Games this year. The Avengers come out on Blu-ray and DVD September 25th. We managed to catch The Avengers while on a cruise – it was an extremely fun movie to watch. Sure, there were plot holes, etc. but it was just fun!