Wednesday, January 28, 2009

News - 01/28/08...

Animated Fare Racks Up Sound Editors’ Nominations

The Motion Picture Sound Editors have announced the nominations for the Golden Reel Awards, honoring the best work in various areas of sound editing in features, television and DVD.

Eight films were nominated for the Golden Reel for best animated film: Bolt, Fear(s) of the Dark, Horton Hears A Who!, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, The Tale of Desperaux, Waltz with Bashir, and WALL•E.

The MPSE also nominated eight programs for the Golden Reel for best sound editing in television animation. The nominated programs are: Avatar: The Last Airbender, “Sozin's Comet Part 4: Avatar Aang”; The Batman, “Lost Heroes: Part Two”; Family Guy, “Road to Germany”; The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, “Kid Nickles”; Mighty B, “Bee Patients”; The Penguins of Madagascar, “Gone in a Flash”; SpongeBob SquarePants, “Suction Cup Symphony”
; and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “Lair of Grievous.”

Animation also was represented in the direct to DVD category, with five films vying for the honor. The animated entries are Batman: Gotham Knight, Futurama: Bender's Game and Justice League: The New Frontier
. The other nominees are Weirdsville and Get Smart's Bruce and Lloyd: Out of Control.

Additionally, the MPSE will bestow a lifetime achievement award on Ben Burtt, whose work extends from designing sounds for the original Star Wars
, to supervising the sound editing and performing the voice of the lead the character in Pixar’s WALL•E

The winners will be announced Feb. 21.

WALL•E Adds PGA Win to Its Awards Roll

WALL•E won the animated feature of the year honor at the Producers Guild of America Awards in a ceremony that seemed to confirm its front-runner status for next month’s Academy Awards.

The award for WALL•E went to producer Jim Morris, with the film beating out Bolt and Kung Fu Panda for the win. The same three films are up for the animated feature Oscar on Feb. 22.

In the feature film category, early favorite Slumdog Millionaire similarly beat out its competition for the PGA honor.

Little Princess Gets a Go for Third Season

Partners TV-Loonland and The Illuminated Film Company have announced production on a third season of the award-winning series for preschoolers Little Princess.

The season was commissioned by Five’s Milkshake in the U.K., and will consist of 35 episodes of 11 minutes each.

The series airs in more than 165 countries, with the third season bringing the total number of produced episodes to 104.

Imagi Halts Production on Astro Boy

Rumors start making their way around the Internet last night, on websites like and the Animation Guild blog, that the LA animation studio Imagi was temporarily shutting down operations. As mentioned on the Brew last month, the studio has been experiencing a multitude of financial problems.

The Anime News Network has now confirmed with the president of Imagi, Erin Corbett, that only the animators of Astro Boy have been asked to stop coming to work, while the rest of the staff continues to develop other projects such as Gatchaman and Tusker. Additionally, nobody is working at Imagi’s Hong Kong facilities this week though they say that was already planned because of Chinese New Year’s holidays. Most of the studio’s animation staff is in Hong Kong so it is unclear how many artists were asked to stop coming to work at its LA branch. The studio expects more funding to come through this week so that everybody can return to work soon. The uncertainty about the studio’s future isn’t helped by the fact that their website has been taken down completely at the time of this writing.

(Thanks cartoonbrew)

UPDATE: Things may have gotten too excited as IO9 got in touch with Imagi U.S. president Erin Corbett who says the production is shutting down, but only for a week. Corbett also says that not only do they have the money to finish making the film but it remains on course to make its October 23rd release date.

At present the film is entirely storyboarded and planned out, animation is about 50 percent rendered and completed at this point. Almost all of the film's vocal talent has already been recorded.

A new round of financing comes through next week which is said to be covering the remaining expenses on the project. Added to this they still very much hope to get a CG "Gatchaman" movie in theaters by November 2010.

(Thanks Dark Horizons)

Five Questions for Emily Hubley

Director and animator Emily Hubley is embarking on a nationwide screening tour of her live-action/animation feature film debut The Toe Tactic. The film starts a six-day run at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this evening. After that, she’ll travel with the film to Rochester, NY, Los Angeles, San Diego, Cambridge, MA, Williamstown, MA, St. Louis, Portland, Seattle, Houston, Ann Arbor, MI, and Austin. A complete schedule can be found at For ticket info on the MoMA screenings, visit the MoMA website, and be sure to check back tonight at 8pm (EST) for a ticket giveaway to this Friday’s screening at MoMA. We’ll be handing out multiple pairs of tickets.

I did a short e-mail interview with Emily to find out a bit about what she’s been up to lately:

For people who haven’t heard of the film, tell us a little about what The Toe Tactic is about?

Well, there are all kinds of reasons for those times in life when you lose your footing, but in this case it’s a young woman’s revisited grief for her dead father when she learns her childhood home has been sold. Her temporary withdrawal from the action of her life triggers the connection to an animated reality in which four dogs play a game of cards, the object of which is to get her back in step with the world.

As a short filmmaker, how easy or difficult was it transitioning to feature filmmaking? Was there any aspect of the production that took you by surprise or was it fairly similar to the short film process?

Everything was more complicated, took longer, and cost more money. But the business of bringing so many talented people into the process was invigorating and providing cast and crew with what they needed to do their best work without diluting the film’s distinct personality, was a really fun challenge - one I’d never had in the making of my short films.

You’ve mentioned in prior interviews that your parents, John and Faith, were influential in your decision to enter filmmaking. What sort of lessons, filmmaking and beyond, did you learn from your mom Faith, whom you worked with closely for a number of years?

The word is a clichĂ©, but Faith was so contagiously passionate about her work, being disciplined, and the role of the artist … it was hard for anyone to be around her without catching that I some way and I was around her a lot!. (though I wish I was more disciplined.) I think I have an inability to do work I don’t love – and over the years, I’ve been able to find ways to be proud of what I do well without wasting time feeling too ashamed of what I stink at.

Beginning this week, you’re going on a nationwide theatrical tour with Toe Tactic and offering audiences an opportunity to see it on the big screen. Why did you go through the effort of self-organizing a tour like this in a day and age where most indie filmmakers are content to simply release their features onto DVD?

There is something about watching a film with a group that you don’t get at home. It’s my instinct that the movie is learning how to ride a bike and I’m not ready to let go of the back of the seat. Come May, when the tour (at this point anyway) will be about done, I’m sure I’ll be more than ready. We expect to release a DVD in the Fall – keep posted.

What are some other projects that you’re currently working on?

Collaboratively, Jeremiah Dickey and I just completed inserts for two great documentaries — William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe directed by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler, which just showed at Sundance, and What’s On Your Plate? directed by Catherine Gund, which will show at the Berlinale next month. We also made a really fun title sequence for a TV pilot called “Living in Captivity” and may create some inserts for their next cut.

Personally, I’m starting to write new material which I’ll continue to develop while I’m on the tour. It might turn into a movie, but it also might be some kind of written or performed piece with illustrations, It’s very mysterious at this point and secret. I hope to start noodling with these ideas by making a short or two as well. We’ll see!

The Toe Tactic @ MoMA
January 28–February 2, 2009
Tickets $10 (Adult), $8 (Seniors), $6 (Students)

(Thanks cartoonbrew)

The World's Finest Talks To Lauren Montgomery About "Wonder Woman" Animated Feature

The World's Finest recently talked to director Lauren Montgomery concerning the upcoming Wonder Woman animated feature.

To view the new Lauren Montgomery interview, conducted by Matt Hazuda and exclusive to The World's Finest, click HERE.

On a related note, Warner Bros. Animation has recently updated the official Wonder Woman website, along with the respective Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter sites for the upcoming animated feature.

Check out the Wonder Woman subsite here at The World's Finest for further coverage and information on the upcoming Wonder Woman direct-to-video animated feature. The direct-to-video Wonder Woman animated feature hits DVD and Blu-ray on March 3rd, 2009.

Frank Paur Talks with CBR About "Hulk Vs."

Director Frank Paur spoke with Comic Book Resources about Hulk Vs., the new direct-to-video animated movie pitting Marvel Comics' gamma-powered green goliath against the mutant Wolverine and Thor, Norse god of thunder. Among other topics, Paur discusses the freedom the DTV was given in comparison to TV shows or other licensed properties he's worked on, his views on how the DTV stays true to the comics source material, the differences between the two segments of the movie, and on the voice actors selected for the project.

First 3 Episodes of "Wolverine & the X-Men" Coming to DVD reports that Lionsgate will release the first three episodes of the new Nicktoons Network show Wolverine & the X-Men will be on DVD.

Wolverine & the X-Men - Volume 1: Heroes Return Trilogy features the 3 part episode "Hindsight", in which Wolverine must reunite Xavier's former students to save humanity.

Bonus features include 2 audio commentaries, character profiles, and a Behind the Scenes featurette.

The DVD hits stores on April 21st, 2009.

HULK VS Steve Blum

Voice actor is as bad as he wants to be as the new toon Wolverine

The animated double feature 'Hulk Vs' arrived in stores yesterday. It features an updating of two classic green-giant grudge matches in 'Hulk vs Thor' and 'Hulk vs Wolverine'.

Actor Steve Blum steps into the cross-hairs of Jade Jaws' rage as the voice of the X-Mutant Logan in the film. As we learned in our exclusive interview with Steve, he's no stranger to voice acting, or the character of Wolverine himself.

Rob M. Worley for Mania: I was looking at your IMDB page. You have over 300 acting credits to your name!

Steve Blum:
Lies, all lies!

Mania: And this is the fifth or sixth time you've played Wolverine. You've played him in the 'X-Men Legends', 'X-Men Legends II', 'Marvel Ultimate Alliance' and 'Spider-Man: Web of Shadows' video games. Then you're on the 'Wolverine and the X-Men' show, and now you're fighting the Hulk in 'Hulk vs Wolverine'

Yes, sir.

Mania: Were you a fan of the character before you started doing his voice in animation?

Oh, yeah. I've been a fan of him since I was a kid.

My very first job was at my grandfather's book story sorting comics, for my uncle in the comics department. One of the very first things was a Wolverine comic. I may have been the Hulk vs Wolverine issue [Incredible Hulk #181]. We'd get comics from different estates, he'd buy a bunch of used stuff and we were digging through that. That was one of my very early childhood memories is reading that.

Mania: Did you continue to read Wolverine and X-Men after that?

I did as much as I could. I kind of went in and out for years and the older I got the less time I found I was able to commit to comics. But I kind of check in from time-to-time.

And I've always had Wolverine in the back of my head as one of my favorite characters ever. I just love that he was such an anti-hero; really didn't want to take a leadership position, sort of anti-establishment. That was the way I grew up.

So actually being able to embody a superhero vocally with that kind of stuff is a dream come true for me.

Mania: He's a pretty angry guy. What do you do to get into character?

© Marvel/Lionsgate

Blum: I just take out all the frustration I've got in other places in my life and let it out in there. I remember driving to a session, which is kind of across town for me and just getting through traffic, instead of screaming at traffic and flipping people off, I would save it, bottle it up and let it out in the studio.

It's great. It's like free therapy.

Mania: In the Hulk Vs Wolverine, I think the first 10 minutes or so of the battle is just you and Fred Tatasciore just screaming and grunting at each other.

We do in real life anyway.

Mania: Were you in the studio with him while recording, or do your record on your own? How does that work?

Fortunately I got to work with Fred in the studio. Working with him is really a unique experience. With most other actors it's relatively a safe zone. With Fred and I the arms are flailing and sweat is flying. I think it could actually get dangerous if they put us close enough.

But Fred and I are very, very good friends too, so we were like two little kids in a candy story. Really fun.

Mania: Did you work closely with any of the other actors?

Nolan North [who plays Deadpool in the film], I was I the booth with. I've know him for a while.

He's just a knuckle head. It's really, really hard to get through an entire session without laughing my guts out and spoiling every line we try to read. So much fun.

And Tom Kane [who plays Weapon X mastermind Dr. Abraham Cornelius]. I don't remember if Tom was there for that session or not, but he kind of comes through as the voice of God when he's working from his own studio, at a distance, so he always kind of feels like he's there watching over us anyway.

Mania: How has your portrayal of Wolverine changed and evolved over the years?

Wolverine busts loose in a scene from HULK VS WOLVERINE
© Lionsgate

Blum: I think the biggest difference is that I get a lot more backstory and a lot more direction and a lot more time to flesh out the raw emotion of Wolverine by being in the studio and working on the series and on the movie.

The emotion of Craig Kyle, who is the executive producer on the film. He pretty much acts out all of the raw emotion of these characters and is a huge, huge fan. He always has been. He throws a lot of F-bombs around and really inspires us as a group, and individually to get the most raw, feral performances we can.

Throughout the years I've had a chance to really dig into the characters and get every little bit of emotion that's ever been written into Wolverine to be fleshed out on the screen one way or another.

The games are kind of fast food. We just need to crank through those as quickly as possible and get in as many lines as possible. Sometimes we don't have time to dip into the backstory and get that emotion across.

I'm hoping that really plays in the film and on TV, that we've explored even quiet moments of these characters.

Mania: How does the Wolverine from the movie compare to the one that you're playing on the ongoing show? Do you play them the same?

© Marvel/Lionsgate

Blum: I think he's the same guy. Certainly the same guy. He's got all the same angst.

I think the difference is that the movie condenses all that feral anger into forty minutes. It was probably the most ferocious sessions we had, certainly physically and possibly emotionally, just because we had to get so much out in such a short period of time.

And that it really grabbed a big chunk of the Weapon X torture scenes and stuff.

I'd say the biggest distinction for me is that I got to go as feral as I possibly can do in the film.

The film does seem like it was more painful. To me that's the victory.

Mania: On the animated show, Wolverine becomes the leader of the team, which isn't a role that he's commonly seen in. Does that make him more or less fun or interesting to play?

I think that makes him a lot more interesting.

One of the biggest attractions I had in playing Wolverine was just the dichotomy of this guy who has these all of these incredible abilities and he has these leadership qualities but he really doesn't fancy himself a leader. He's very, very uncomfortable in that position. He'd rather just get the hell out of there most of the time.

I really enjoy playing with that. To me it's fascinating. And to put a character in a position where he's completely uncomfortable. I think it's the way to really get a character to evolve, whether its in real life or in a cartoon.

It really allows for some honesty and some depth.

Hulk shows up on WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN
© Marvel Entertainment

Mania: Is there any Marvel character that you haven't had a chance to play that you'd like to play?

Oh, man. They've been so good to me I would hate to even say anything. I get to really play around with a lot of different things. In the games I have had a chance to play some of the other ones too.

I don't know. I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Wolverine is the pinnacle for me. Right now I'm a pretty happy boy.

Mania: Would you say he's your favorite character of all the ones that you've voiced?

Yeah, I'd definitely say he's my favorite character of pretty much everything I've done. He just has a little bit of every element that I love to play. He's so complicated and so extreme. He's definitely one of the most therapeutic characters that I've ever played. Certainly my favorite. I love so many things about him.

Mania: You make it seem like it was very easy to play him in this movie. Was there anything that was hard to accomplish or challenging for you?

The only thing that's really demanding for me is the physicality of it. Just because after we do one of those scenes, particularly a scene with Fred, I am just completely worn out.

We scream at a level that I just don't do in real life. I tense up muscles that I never knew I had. I literally feel like I've been through that battle when it's over. It took me two or three days to recuperate in some cases.

It's very, very taxing on the body. Just that hardcore emotion, the physical tensing. I throw punches. I kick. I grit the teeth. I flex the chest. All of what you're seeing on screen is happening in the booth for me, whether it's internally or I'm missing Fred's head by inches. We're actually going through that.

Fred has expressed that too. It's literally like going through a battle. That to me is really the hardest part. Mostly the recuperation, because while we're at it, it's a lot of fun.

It's like having a bar fight without the consequences.

Mania: Any mishaps? Any thrown punches that connected with something it shouldn't have?

[laughs] So far, no.

© Marvel Entertainment

We'll see what happens. We have a lot to go still.

Mania: How many episodes of the show have you done?

I think we've done twenty-six and we're all praying for a season two. I don't what's down the pipeline but I'm pretty sure that's gonna happen.

Mania: Has there been any talk of a Wolverine feature film on DVD?

From your mouth to God's ears. I'm happy with whatever comes along. They really don't give us very much information about that sort of thing, and even if they did, if I told you I'd have to kill you.

Mania: Of course. With a movie like this, do you record the voices before the animation? Or does it come afterwards?

We do the voices before the animation.

Mania: That's different from a lot of the anime work you've done, where the entire thing is completely animated, and for a foreign language no less.

That's a different technical animal. I was raised in anime. I started out in anime and did that for fifteen years before I really dug into original animation.

The biggest difference for me is really just the technicality of it. Being able to match up the mouth flaps and to honor what has done before and to put something that's believable into an existing picture.

In something like 'Wolverine' or 'Hulk Vs' we're able to kind of go balls out and they animate to us. So there's a certain freedom in that.

But for me the performance is about the same. I'll deliver the same performance level, within the confines of anime that I would I original animation. We're just restricted by what we have to match on screen.

Mania: Have you ever had an English script that didn't match the mouth-flaps and was just impossible to enact?

Many, many times. I wrote for anime. I did a lot of adaptations for anime for many years. So fortunately that was something I brought to the party when I would go into the studio.

So I would rewrite lines. In fact, I still continue to do that on anime shows I work on now. I'll go into studio and even if it does match up and I think of something better I'll throw it in.

But yeah, very, very often they don't have time to tweak the scripts enough or somebody will make changes at the last minute, and the person that's making changes isn't an ADR writer. So there wil be lots of open spaces and things that don't match up.

That's part of what keeps the busy guys working is being able to rewrite stuff on the fly.

Mania: Are you doing any writing on the Wolverine show?

No, no, no. I'm out of that business. The guys are so great on the show that I couldn't even hope to be able to do that. For anime it's a little bit different cause we're working from a Japanese translation. My skill was really at adapting the original translation to a usable American product.

On Wolverine they're doing it from scratch. The guys that are doing it are also scholars of the Marvel legacy and it would take me a lot of years to catch up and be able to do something like that.

Mania: OK. Last question. Call this fight: Steve Blum vs. Hugh Jackman!

[laughs] Well, it depends on how dirty I can fight.

Mania: Fair enough. Anything else you think fans need to know?

Just watch it, watch it, watch it. And enjoy it as much as we enjoyed ourselves making it.

Check out 'Hulk Vs' on DVD and Blu-Ray, in stores now. Then toon in to Nicktoons Network every Friday night at 8pm for 'Wolverine and the X-Men'.

Cast, Screenwriters and Full Title Revealed for Spielberg’s ‘Tintin’

Fanboys are drooling...

Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment issued a press release today announcing the start of principal production in Los Angeles on the 3D Motion Capture Film The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn which will be directed by Steven Spielberg and will star Jamie Bell as Tintin, the intrepid young reporter whose relentless pursuit of a good story thrusts him into a world of high adventure, and Daniel Craig as the nefarious Red Rackham.

Bell and Craig are joined by an international cast that includes Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones and Mackenzie Crook.

Perhaps the more interesting part of the story for the fanboys that seem to be gushing over this picture is that the film was written by Steven Moffat (”Doctor Who”), Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and Joe Cornish penned the screenplay.

This film will be the first in a series of 3D motion capture films based on the iconic character created by Georges Remi, better known to the world by his pen name “Herge” and is due for release in 2011. The second feature in the series is scheduled to be directed by Jackson, with a potential for a third film as well. Any assumptions that Edgar Wright may be in line for that one?

Eighty years ago, Herge introduced the world to a unique cast of characters who have been embraced by readers of all ages. The Adventures of Tintin - a series of 24 books, the final unfinished adventure was published after Herge’s - death became Herge’s life’s work. The first adventure was published in 1929. Over 200 million copies have been sold worldwide. The popular series has been translated into 70 languages and still attracts thousands of new fans each year.

Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson will bring Herge’s stories to life employing state-of-the-art performance capture technology developed by Jackson’s Weta Digital.

The real reason Oscar voters hate The Dark Knight

Todd Gilchrist from SCI FI Wire's theory on if The Dark Knight was "robbed" of Oscar nominations -

In the wake of the recent Oscar nominations, the hand-wringing has begun over The Dark Knight, which was shut out of most major categories (with the notable exception of Heath Ledger's posthumous supporting-actor nod).

Was The Dark Knight robbed?

The Dark Knight was not entirely snubbed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: It received eight Oscar nominations, most in technical categories, including cinematography and visual effects. (Although we recall that even 2007's critically reviled Norbit was nominated for an Oscar for best makeup.)

But contrary to high expectations,
The Dark Knight got no major nominations: none for best picture, no nod for best director for Christopher Nolan, and no nod for its screenplay, by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, from a story by David Goyer.

This despite a best-picture nod from the Producers Guild of America—considered a reliable predictor for best-picture nominees—and despite the movie's mammoth box office and almost universal critical acclaim. Of the 263 reviews posted on Rotten Tomatoes, only 16 are negative, qualifying the film as 94 percent fresh, and the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times are among the publications that have printed raves about the movie.

Which brings us back to the question: Why was
The Dark Knight snubbed in major categories?

It's easy to chalk such decision-making up to critical elitism or to fall back on the familiar complaint that science fiction and fantasy films are almost always overlooked when the time comes to hand out the hardware.

But that's not really true. We've seen in recent years that film groups have become more willing to embrace fantastical adventures. The reasons are easy to see: More
"serious" filmmakers are tackling this sort of material, and they're making better movies out of it. Bryan Singer's X-Men and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man demonstrated that comic-book movies could be serious and meaningful.

The academy has also demonstrated its increasing willingness to give its highest honor to films that were once considered outre: Peter Jackson won best director, and
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King took home the prize for best picture. Even the academy couldn't ignore the scale of Jackson's vision and the magnitude of his accomplishment by the time the final film in his epic trilogy was released.

The greatest evidence of this shift is this year's slew of nominations for the fantasy drama
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which not only earned a shot at best picture but also collected a total of 13 nominations, the most of any film nominated in 2008.

There remains one likely reason that the academy didn't nominate
The Dark Knight for major Oscars. A movie about a guy dressed up like a bat gives members the heebie-jeebies. I mean, it's one thing to single out a performance as brilliant as Heath Ledger's without celebrating it as a "Batman" role. But maybe the academy just feels it would be going too far to give its highest award to a movie about Batman, no matter how brilliant Nolan's movie.

After all, we all have our prejudices and are reluctant to let go of them, whether they involve Eddie Murphy fat-suit movies, Carrot Top, Jerry Lewis or angry guys in batsuits. There's a lot of residual distaste for the Caped Crusader left over from Joel Schumacher's Batman movies, and many academy members are probably old enough to recall Adam West's campy 1960s TV series. Give a best-picture Oscar to the latest installment in that franchise? Unlikely.

Of course, it's possible there are other reasons. The academy tends to favor certain kinds of "prestige" movies, feel-good movies, movies with certain actors (Meryl Streep), movies promoted heavily by certain producers (hello, The Reader's Harvey Weinstein), movies by certain directors (Clint Eastwood, though even his
Gran Torino
got snubbed this year). There's hardly room for the out-of-the-box nomination The Dark Knight represents.

Or maybe
The Dark Knight's own success has led to a backlash. The Dark Knight has reached the level of "cultural phenomenon," which often equals "overrated" among some critics. Popularity gives critics an excuse to dismiss a movie: It's already earned its (mainly financial) reward.

There is this consolation: The fact that
The Dark Knight
was snubbed for major Oscar nominations puts it in good company. Other benchmark science fiction or fantasy films not nominated for best picture include 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, Blade Runner, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Matrix and Spider-Man 2. All of these are considered to be among the best movies of any genre in the respective years in which they were released.

Like these beloved films,
The Dark Knight
can look forward to ultimate vindication in the form of a cinematic legacy that will far outlast the momentary glory of Oscar night, no matter how many statuettes actually end up on its makers' mantels.

Marvel Sued for $750 Million

Lets hope they were counting their "Iron Man" dough as they're going to need it.

According to The Associated Press, shareholders of an ill-fated Stan Lee venture are seeking more than $750 million in profits from films based on Marvel comic characters such as "Spider-Man," "X-Men" and "Iron Man."

The lawsuit was filed Monday in a Manhattan federal court on behalf of four shareholders of Stan Lee Media, Inc. who live in Florida, California and Canada. Their lawyer, Martin Garbus, said the suit is aimed at reclaiming money for all Stan Lee Media Inc. shareholders. Defendants include Lee, his wife, New York-based Marvel Entertainment, Inc., and former Marvel CEO Avi Arad.

The lawsuit claims profits from Lee's comic creations belong to the company, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2006. The suit claims Lee and others ignored the company and shareholder's interests. Lee could not immediately be reached for comment. Marvel said through a spokesman that the lawsuit is filled with "ridiculous claims."

Lee's attorney, Mark W. Williams, said: "We look forward to a positive resolution for Stan Lee and his family."

Marvel also claimed the lawsuit features claims that have been pursued in previous cases.

Garbus said Monday's suit differs in that it names Lee, Arad and Perlmutter. "It's a very different lawsuit," Garbus said. "It's different money."

He said he suspects that Lee, who once sued Marvel over profits from his creations, entered into an agreement that deprived Stan Lee Media of the windfall from blockbuster movies such as the "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" trilogies.

"He made a deal," Garbus said of Lee's confidential settlement that led to his reconciliation with Marvel. "That money should have gone to the corporation."

Battlestar Galactica in LEGO: world's largest gathering of Viper models, ever

Who says Star Wars gets to have all the LEGO-fun? At BrickCon (a gathering for adults who still play with LEGO) in Seattle last October, LEGO maven Ryan Wood organized the first Battlestar Galactica (BSG) Viper fly-in, and look at the awesome result at SCI FI Wire's sister site DVICE.

ABC orders pilot for a reboot of V, the 1980s alien-invasion series

ABC has given a pilot order to V, a re-imagining of the 1980s miniseries about an alien invasion, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Written on spec by The 4400 co-creator/executive producer Scott Peters, the new V will center on a female Homeland Security agent.

Peters is executive-producing the pilot with HDFilms principal Jason Hall.

This is the second ABC pilot picked up so far based on a 1980s property; the first was The Witches of Eastwick. Both are being produced by Warner Brothers TV.

It's unclear whether this proposed series is a proposed spinoff series by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski.

James O’Ehley, editor of, wrote to original V creator Kenneth Johnson to ask if he was involved in the TV remake and how ABC's efforts would affect Johnson's planned big-screen version of "V." Johnson's response:

“My involvement is zero […] but Jason and Scott are talented, nice guys and I wish them good luck. Their series does not prevent my ongoing efforts to remake my original V as a major motion picture. Hold good thoughts.”

Find all of's story on the matter here.

New Images And Video Clips From Upcoming “Batman: The Brave And The Bold” Episode

The World’s Finest has new clips and images from the upcoming Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode "Journey to the Center of the Bat!"

Cartoon Network has passed along the episode synopsis, video clips, and over a dozen new images for the upcoming Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode "Journey to the Center of the Bat!." To get a closer look at the images, click on the thumbnails below.

For More Images & Details Click Here

Cartoon Network has also provided a clip from the episode, which is available to view here at our Batman: The Brave and The Bold subsite. The all-new Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode “Journey to the Center of the Bat!”, scheduled to air at 8pm (ET) this Friday, January 30th, 2009, is described as follows.

This week Batman’s life hangs in the balance when he is poisoned by Chemo, who is under the control of the evil Brain. The Atom races to the rescue with Aquaman by shrinking down and entering Batman’s bloodstream. While Aquaman and the Atom battle the infection deep inside Batman’s body, Batman struggles to end Chemo’s rampage and defeat the Brain! This week’s teaser features Elongated Man and Plastic Man teaming up to derail a bank heist and capture the criminal Baby Face.

Further information on the episode, including a detailed cast list, is available at our our Batman: The Brave and The Bold subsite. For information on other episodes of Batman: The Brave and The Bold scheduled for January 2009, click here.

5 new posters for GI JOE hit the nets!

Here's the latest GI JOE posters. I'm not really sure what they're really selling here other than how fit the actors are - and how well the costumes look in shadowy cool they look. But tonally it doesn't really tell us anything about the movie. I think that'll change this Sunday when we see what they show us during the SUPER BOWL. Till then, here's your latest glimpse, publicity fashion...

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