Friday, November 21, 2008

News - 11/21/08...

Henry Selick & Neil Gaiman's New CORALINE Trailer Has Arrived...

A full trailer for CORALINE is making the rounds. This is from Henry Selick (director of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS) and his based on a novella by Neil Gaiman. Voice talent includes Dakota Fanning, Ian McShane, Teri Hatcher, and Keith David.

Astro Boy Teaser Trailer Revealed!

Summit Entertainment has revealed the first teaser trailer for Imagi Studios' CG animated Astro Boy, coming to theaters on October 23, 2009. Directed by David Bowers from a script by Timothy Harris, the adventure film features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Kristen Bell, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas and Freddie Highmore.

Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist to replace the son he has lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving father's expectations, our hero embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, experiencing betrayal and a netherworld of robot gladiators, before he returns to save Metro City and reconcile with the man who had rejected him.

You can watch the trailer in High Definition QuickTime and Flash Player format here!

or HERE!

Disney Lets Bolt Off the Leash

Disney today unleashes its latest animated feature in theaters nationwide, hoping to snatch family audiences away from DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. While Bolt is sure to draw a crowd, especially for 3-D showings, young girls will be lining up to see the vampire thriller Twilight, which has sold out more than 2,000 midnight shows and is sure to have a huge weekend. Bolt may end up settling for a second-place debut, but is likely to earn more than Twilight over the long haul.

Directed by Chris Williams and Byron Howard, Bolt tells the story of a canine TV star (voiced by John Travolta) that is inadvertently shipped from Hollywood to New York City. During his cross-country journey home to his owner, Penny (Miley Cyrus), he makes the surprising discovery that his TV super powers don’t work in the real world. He his joined in his adventure by a jaded, abandoned housecat named Mittens (Susie Essman) and a TV-obsessed hamster in a plastic ball named Rhino.

The Mouse House has high hopes for the 3-D Bolt, which marks the beginning of a new era for Walt Disney Feature Animation. While John Lasseter has contributed to Meet the Robinsons and Tinkerbell, Bolt is the first film he has overseen from beginning to end since taking over. The reviews for the feature have been quite good—not as stellar as say, a Pixar movie—but critics have been embracing its visuals, the solid 3-D technology and its gentle humor. It’s getting an 84% rating on, which compiles reviews from critics all over the country. (WALL•E rates a 96%.)

Twilight will benefit greatly from a built-in audience. The movie is based on the popular young adult book by Stephenie Meyer and revolves around a love affair between a young girl and a vampire who comes to her high school. Of course, some bad vamps cause trouble for the young couple in this latest attempt to launch a film franchise with literary roots. The vampire pic’s visual effects were provided by CIS Vancouver, Lola VFX, Gentle Giant Studios, Amalgamated Pixels and Rez-Illusion.

Stars Visit Exodus’ Color City

Exodus Film Group, the company behind Igor, has tapped some star power for it upcoming CG-animated family feature, The Hero of Color City. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rosie Perez, Craig Ferguson and Arsenio Hall have signed on to lend their voices to the fantasy flick about Crayons, joining previously announced star Christina Ricci.

Directed by Becky Bristow,
The Hero of Color City introduces a diverse band of crayons who struggle to protect their magical homeland from an evil tyrant who threatens to rid their world of joy and color. All the crayons on the film have personalities that correspond to their color. Red, for instance, is a bit of a hot head while blue is cool and Yellow timid and fearful. The screenplay was written by J.P. McCormick and Rich Raczelowski.

Magnolia Pictures picked up North American distribution rights to the movie in 2006, and had hoped to have it in theaters by the fall of 2007. The pic was put on hold but now appears to be chugging along now that Igor is out of the way. That film was made for roughly $30 million and earned approximately $25.5 million worldwide following its late-summer release.

Exodus has inked a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster, which will publish a line of
Hero of Color City books, including coloring books, aimed at young children. Other licensing deals are expected as the film gets closer to completion. Magnolia now plans to release it sometime in 2010.

Former talk-show host Hall re-teams with Exodus after playing a role in
Igor. Current late-night gabber Ferguson hosts CBS’ The Late, Late Show and played a part in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Perez most recently appeared in the Seth Rogan/James Franco comedy Pineapple Express

Terminator Salvation Game Details

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Equity Games Production and Halcyon Games released details on Terminator Salvation—The Videogame. The third-person shooter will be released in conjunction with the highly anticipated prequel from Warner Bros. Pictures and Sony Pictures, which opens nationwide on May 22, 2009.

“Building on the incredibly strong franchise, Terminator Salvation – The Videogame will be a cinematic gaming experience that complements the upcoming film,” says John Quinn, exec VP of worldwide operations for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “Working with Halcyon and Equity Games, we will expand on the Terminator universe on next generation consoles with action packed gameplay and detailed environments.”

Gamers will play as John Connor, a soldier in the resistance, battling for survival against the far superior forces of Skynet. The title boasts a fluid and realistic control set that will aid players in armed combat against all of the Skynet enemies from the film, while encountering new enemies specifically designed for the game. The game was developed by GRIN Studios and will be published by Equity Games, co-published by Evolved Games and distributed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Disney Cinemagic Goes HD on U.K.’s Sky

Disney Cinemagic, a premium family movie channel, has signed a multi-year deal with Sky to be the first Disney-branded channel broadcast in high definition (HD) format in the U.K. The channel will launch on Sky+HD in December, bringing viewers the latest Disney and Disney/Pixar animated films, as well as classic Disney movies and series. The Christmas schedule includes the British television premieres of Ratatouille and Tinkerbell, and New Year highlights include Sleeping Beauty and The Incredibles.

“Sky+HD continues to go from strength to strength with more customers joining the service than at any time since launch,: says Hilary Perchard, head of advanced TV products at BSkyB. “The addition of Disney, one of the world’s most recognizable and valued entertainment brands, only adds to the real and growing momentum behind HD. With Sky’s commitment to offering quality HD content right across the schedule, there has never been a better time to join the high definition age.”

Disney Cinemagic launched in the U.K. in March of 2006 on the Sky premium package. Sky+HD debuted in May of 2006 and, with the addition of Disney Cinemagic, will have 29 dedicated channels boasting more than 10,000 hours of HD content. The HD outlet is Sky’s fastest growing additional TV product, reaching more than a half a million Sky homes. Disney Cinemagic HD will be available to Sky+HD customers with a Sky Movies subscription.

Posters for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Waltz with Bashir

IMPAWARDS shares new posters for the upcoming animated films Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Waltz with Bashir.

Robert Burden’s Voltron

Artist Robert Burden set a time lapse camera on his canvas as he painted his tribute to Voltron:

(Thanks cartoonbrew)

Former Fox Exec Jeff Katz Says ‘Wolverine’ Most Violent Of X-Men Films; Hints At ‘Deadpool’ Spin-Off

“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” isn’t out in theaters until May 1, 2009, but there’s already been plenty of talk about a potential spin-off film focusing on Marvel’s “Merc with a Mouth,” Deadpool. (In this case, a “spin-off of a spin-off” is more accurate, given the move from team-oriented “X-Men” movies to “Wolverine” solo — but you get the idea.)

BoldDuring a recent
“Comic Book Club” chat session between comedians and comics creators in Manhattan, former 20th Century Fox Studio Exec Jeff Katz (who had returned from the set of “Wolverine” just a few months ago) offered up his own thoughts about the potential for a “Deadpool”
movie — as well as what you can expect to see in “Wolverine,” bub.

“The film nicely tees [Deadpool] off for his own spin-off film,” said Katz, who raved about Ryan Reynolds‘ portrayal of the wise-cracking mercenary. In Marvel’s comic book universe, Wade Wilson (a.k.a. Deadpool) is a product of the same “Weapon X” experiments that Wolverine was subjected to by the Canadian government, but the experiments left him disfigured and mentally unstable.

Katz’ comments seemed to reiterate those of Fox Chairman Tom Rothman, who previously addressed the possibility of a
“Deadpool” spin-off and commented on the tone of “Wolverine.” According to Katz, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” is “certainly the most violent” of the X-Men movies thus far, with a darker tone and significantly more action than its predecessors.

Of course, before
“Deadpool” gets the go-ahead, there’s still another X-Men character likely to take a solo turn on the big screens: Magneto. With yesterday’s report of an official plot synopsis for “Magneto”
hitting the ‘Net, it looks like “The Merc with a Mouth”
will have to get in line behind “The Master of Magnetism.”

Josh Brolin Declares ‘Jonah Hex’ Script ‘Awful…I Love It,’ As Directors Leave Project

Sure, the years worth of behind-the-scenes drama surrounding “Watchmen” is an epic story in itself, but lately it seems as though an adaptation of DC Comics’ “Jonah Hex” is starting to give it a run for its money.

This morning, Variety broke the news that due to “creative differences,” Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have officially dropped out as directors for the in-early-development, big screen adaptation of “Jonah Hex” — DC’s resident post-apocalyptic, anti-hero cowboy. And while we could speculate all day as to what those “differences” were, the writing was on the wall when we spoke to Josh Brolin a few days ago, the actor who’s had an on-again, off-again attachment to the lead role of Hex.

“When I first read it I thought, oh my God it’s awful!” Brolin exclaimed to MTV News. “And then I had a moment a week later and I thought why is it awful? Maybe the thing to do is to do the most awful movie I can find.”

The idea of doing “Hex” grew on Brolin, the actor told us, proclaiming that in the hands of the right director and cast it could be a winner. When asked if the “Crank” helmers were still on board, Brolin replied, “It’s all up in the air,” an early indication of today’s announcement that the duo were leaving the project.

According to Brolin, it’s the zaniness of the story that attracts him to the project. “[I love] the absurdity of it,” he said. “It almost allows you to create a new genre. I love going back into the spaghetti western idea and completely turning it around.”

When pressed further if and when he plans on making an official announcement regarding taking the role, Brolin replied, “Soon. In the last couple months I’ve been going back and forth about it. I went back to my gut. Is it a sell out? What is it I like about this movie? … It’s so tongue in cheek. It’s so ridiculous. But once I started putting people in my mind and saying what if I put Malkovich in this role then what does this movie become? Now let’s put this producer and director on it and think about how it plays out. Then it becomes fun. Now I love that movie. If you have a great filmmaker come in then suddenly these gags and characters become interesting.”

Ink and paint artist Lillian D. Fitts dies at 73

Lillian D. "Joni" Fitts, head ink and painter in Los Angeles on the long-delayed feature film The Thief And The Cobbler (1995), died Sunday. She was 73.

A resident of Van Nuys, California, Fitts worked on animated motion picture features, Saturday morning TV and special interest videos for children. She was involved in more than 300 productions, family members said.

Born Lillian Yeckel on August 9, 1935, she graduated from North High School in Phoenix, Arizona in 1954. She was crowned Miss Phoenix, serving from 1955 to 1956.

Fitts provided ink and paint special effects on the 1987 Filmation Associates theatrical feature
Pinocchio And The Emperor Of The Night.

She was a cel painter on the partly-animated The Pagemaster (1994) and a Xerox checker on Ralph Bakshi's Cool World (1992), also a partly-animated feature film. Fitts was also an ink artist on Disney's TRON (1982).

Other works included An American Tail (1986) and Space Jam (1996), family members said.

Lillian D. Fitts is survived by daughters "Ronna" Jones and Joyce Loretta "Lore" Jones-Cline; sons James Bradley Jones and Jeffrey "Rusty" Milnes; brothers Roger and Halley Yeckel; and four grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 22 at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Encino, California. Interment will follow immediately at San Fernando Mission Cemetery. Arrangements are by Lorenzen Mortuary Reseda Directors, (818) 343-4677.

Visit to express condolences and sign a guest book.

School officials see red over Kick A Ginger Day

Concerned that the joke may turn violent, officials with a Newfoundland school board are warning students that taking a South Park gag too far will cause them to be disciplined.

Influenced by the 2005 episode Ginger Kids, fans of the irreverent TV series mark November 20 as Kick A Ginger Day, derived from the show's calling red-haired children "born with a disease" and "nasty." Numerous groups -- both supporting and opposing the "event" -- have sprung up on the social networking site Facebook.

Officials with the Eastern School District fear that real-life red-haired children, not just the cartoon variety, will be the victims of someone's kicks. After receiving complaints, they warned all schools in its jurisdiction about the potential for violence.

After hearing about the prank, Tony Stack, principal of St. Peter's Junior High School in Mount Pearl, sent an e-mail to parents.

"These types of things can occur in a school-age population," Stack told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. "But when you constantly reinforce it through positive means, then it goes a long way towards preventing that type of behaviour from occurring."

Const. Kevin Foley runs anti-bullying workshops for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, the province's police force. Police will investigate schoolyard incidents if they think that a crime has been committed, he said.

No student should accept behavior that could hurt him or her, he added.

"First of all, you do have the right to be there without fear of being the victim of youth violence. If you do see somebody who is causing a problem, notify the school administration so that the problem can be looked after."

Shazam Movie Still Alive. Moved From New Line Over To WB

From the trades:

Warner Bros. has staked "Get Smart" director Peter Segal and his Callahan Filmworks partner Michael Ewing to a three-year first-look deal.

Segal and Ewing kick off the pact with
"Liam McBain: International Tennis Star and Proper English Geezer," a Chip Hall-scripted spec. Segal will develop to direct a film that follows the rise, fall and ultimate redemption of a fictional British tennis star of the '80s.

As part of the deal, WB has also acquired the John August-scripted
"Captain Marvel"; Segal will direct the DC Comics adaptation. He and Ewing began working on the film two years ago at New Line, but the property has moved over to WB. Pic tells the story of teenaged Billy Batson, who transforms into the superhero when he says the word "Shazam!"

Segal and Ewing met on "Naked Gun 33 1/3" and formed a company named after the auto parts company in the Segal-directed 1995 Chris Farley comedy "Tommy Boy." Their last deal was at Paramount, where Segal directed "The Longest Yard" remake.

Deal comes as Segal prepares to direct a sequel to
"Get Smart"
for WB and Village Roadshow Pictures. Ewing was a producer of the original pic, along with Chuck Roven, Alex Gartner and Andrew Lazar. Segal was an executive producer.

Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember returned to write the sequel script, and the film is expected to shoot next year, depending upon the availability of Steve Carell, who'll return with Anne Hathaway and Alan Arkin.

No mention of Dwayne Johnson (Jesus dude, will you just go back to being The Rock? So much cooler) as still being a part of Shazam. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

New Images for "Hulk Vs." and "Thor" DTV On-line

The Marvel Animation Age has posted several new images from the upcoming Hulk Vs. direct-to-video movie, featuring Marvel's iconic gamma-irradiated superhero battling Wolverine and Thor.

The direct-to-video Hulk Versus animated feature, which comprises of the two short films Hulk Versus Thor and Hulk Versus Wolverine, will hit DVD and Blu-ray on January 27th, 2009. Click here to check out the press release for the upcoming title.

First Look: BATMAN: B & B Episode 1.3 "Evil under the Sea"

Mania has your first look at new images from 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold', season 1, episode 3 entitled "Evil under the Sea". The episode is set to air Friday, December 5th at 8pm (following a Thanksgiving holiday break the week before).

The show features Aquaman as the primary guest star in an underwater struggle against Felix Faust, Black Manta and Ocean Master. The image gallery below also reveals a secondary guest hero. Check 'em out:

Black Manta with clenched fists on the Evil Under the Sea episode of BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD

Batman Swimming with Atlantean Guard Sharks on the Evil Under the Sea episode of BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD

Ocean Master on the Evil Under the Sea episode of BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD

Aquaman on the Evil Under the Sea episode of BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD

Black Manta Battles Batman on the Evil Under the Sea episode of BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD

Black Manta announces his attack on Atlantis on the Evil Under the Sea episode of BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD

Aquaman on the Evil Under the Sea episode of BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD

Faust with Magic Hands on the Evil Under the Sea episode of BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD

Batman and Aquaman on the Evil Under the Sea episode of BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD

Felix Faust on the Evil Under the Sea episode of BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD

Atom and Batman on the Evil Under the Sea episode of BATMAN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD

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