Monday, November 9, 2009

News - 11/09/09...

Carrey's 'Christmas Carol' wraps up $31M weekend

Carrey's Scrooge collected holiday donations from movie fans with his new take on "A Christmas Carol," which took in $31 million to open as the weekend's top movie.

The Disney animated version of the Charles Dickens classic knocked the King of Pop out of the No. 1 spot as "Michael Jackson's This Is It" slipped to second place with $14 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Sony's "This Is It," presenting rehearsal performances Jackson shot before his death last June, raised its domestic total to $57.9 million. Worldwide, "This Is It" has taken in $186.5 million.

Featuring Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge and also as the three holiday ghosts that show Scrooge the error of his miserly ways, "A Christmas Carol" came in on the low end of Disney's expectations for opening weekend.

On the other end of the spectrum, Lionsgate's acclaimed drama "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" had a spectacular start, pulling in $1.8 million in just 18 theaters, averaging $100,000 a cinema. That compares with an $8,418 average for "A Christmas Carol" in 3,683 theaters.

"Precious" had a record average for films opening in 10 or more theaters. Others that have averaged $100,000 or more typically debut in only a few cinemas.

The weekend brought a rush of other new movies, led by George Clooney's comedy "The Men Who Stare at Goats," which finished at No. 3 with $13.3 million. The Overture Films release is a satiric look at U.S. military efforts to create "warrior monks" who can predict the future or walk through walls.

Debuting in fourth place with $12.5 million was Universal's "The Fourth Kind," starring Milla Jovovich as a psychologist studying alien abductions in Alaska.

Cameron Diaz and James Marsden's sci-fi tale "The Box" opened at No. 6 with $7.9 million. The Warner Bros. thriller centers on a couple given a mysterious box that can provide them $1 million, but at the cost of a stranger's life.

With nearly two months of playing time through the holidays, Disney is counting on steady business for "A Christmas Carol," particularly over Thanksgiving weekend and in the buildup to Christmas itself.

"You have to play these things for the long term," said Chuck Viane, Disney's head of distribution. "You've got to have the patience and you've got to pick the right weekend. For us, the days when the malls turned to Christmas stores is when we wanted to go."

Director Robert Zemeckis shot the movie using the same performance-capture technology used on his 2004 holiday offering "The Polar Express." Carrey and his co-stars acted on a bare soundstage as digital cameras caught their performances, with computer animators later adding costumes, sets, props and other effects.

"A Christmas Carol" came in ahead of "Polar Express," which had an opening weekend of $23.5 million. But it fell well short of the $55.1 million opening for Carrey's previous holiday tale, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" in 2000.

Gong, but not forgotten

Loose Moose Productions’ Caroline Attia has directed an animated homage to the Gong Man, the iconic trademark of the UK’s Rank Films used as the intro to all their films, to promote Odeon Cinemas’ new initiative of specially scheduled Mother and Baby screenings in England.

A press release for the spot reads:
A common problem faced by parents with young babies is, how can you still to go the pictures without ruining fellow cinema goers experience with your crying tot?

Bepanthen nappy cream has recently teamed up with Odeon Cinemas to help solve this problem by sponsoring specially scheduled Mother and Baby screenings nationwide, and asked Loose Moose’s Caroline Attia to direct an animated homage to the Gong Man, (also known as The-man-with-the-gong) – the iconic trademark of Rank Films used as the intro to all their films.

Loose Moose was contacted by JWT, London to ask if Caroline Attia could explore ways of utilising the Bepanthen baby logo after her painterly illustration and animation style caught their eye.

The brief was simple – keep to one shot with a slow push in, as in the original, and to incorporate the style, line and colour palette in the Bepanthen baby logo and packaging.

The baby crawls on from camera left with determination that babies have when they want to do something – and want to do it before a grown up stops them! A large gong appears centre screen, suspended from a frame and has the familiar ‘hammered’ surface as per the Rank gong. The baby utters a little cry of excitement with the appearance of the gong and breathes heavily as it concentrates.

The baby stands slightly unsteadily and picks up the striker that is hanging down from the frame. Bepanthen Baby then bangs the gong twice, making a huge noise. The baby stands there smiling proudly as the caption appears.

Caroline explains: “The two main challenges for me on this ident where design and animation. In term of design I had to find a way to both be faithful in someway to the already existing logo but at the same time to make it my own. I changed the design of the baby slightly in term of proportions but kept the colours and a line work similar. As for animation, I had never animated a baby before, and found it quite challenging. Babies have a special way of moving. I didn’t wanted to be ultra realistic in the animation, but wanted to convey the feeling of erratic movement and lack of balance that babies have. I watched a lot of references to help me with that.”

Caroline produced a draft animation using Flash and then imported the frames into Photoshop. Caroline then used layers to gain freedom in the line work, finally compositing everything in After Effects.

Gong Baby joins a long line of Gong Man parodies from Carry On…Up The Khyber, where Kenneth Williams’ character refers to an over-enthusiastic gong man’s attitude as “rank stupidity”, to the final seconds of the video to Queen’s BBoldohemian Rhapsody showing percussionist Roger Taylor mimicking it by hitting a Tam Tam while stripped down to the waist, to The Mickey Mouse Club’s title sequence featuring Donald Duck, with varying humourous results.

Agency Credits
Agency: JWT, London.
Creative Director: Chips Hardy
Producers: Jack Bayley / Panos Loucas

Production Credits
Production Company: Loose Moose Productions Ltd
Director: Caroline Attia
Producer: Glenn Holberton
Post Production: Bruce Hancock, Seizmic, London

Yogi Bear casting

Variety reports that on several actors that are in negotiations to join the cast of the live-action/CG animated Yogi Bear. Dan Aykroyd is reportedly up for the voice of Yogi with Justin Timberlake voicing Boo-Boo. Anna Faris would play a documentary filmmaker.

"Superjail!" Coming to DVD

The 11-minute animated comedy series Superjail!, which aired on Adult Swim, comes to DVD with its first season DVD set on 2/23/10. The price is $19.97. It will include the ten episodes from season one, as well as special features:

* "Bunny Love" pilot
* "Comin' Home" music video by Cheeseburger
* Animatics of "Bunny Love", "Superbar", "Time Police Parts 1 and 2"

Man arrested for murder of Texas animation student

Dallas police have arrested 26-year-old Daniel Willyam for murder in the fatal stabbing of an animation student.

Samantha "Shelley" Nance, 20, was found September 11 slain in her bedroom in her Lake Highlands apartment in northeast Dallas. She was an eighth-quarter Media Arts and Animation student at Art Institute of Dallas.

Police indicated Wednesday that more arrests may follow.

Willyam is also an AI Dallas student, according to his Linkedin profile. He was a roommate of Nance's boyfriend.

He is accused of killing Nance by stabbing her 40 times.

Dallas police said in a Wednesday press conference that Willyam was infatuated with his roommate. They theorize that he killed Nance in order to get closer to his roommate.

However, Willyam apparently was not part of the initial murder investigation.

"There was a tryst of sorts, between the suspect ultimately involved in this case and his roommate, who was the boyfriend of Miss Nance. It is because of this relationship and jealousy that we feel this offense was committed," said police spokesman Craig Miller.

Willyam said earlier Wednesday that he know nothing about her murder: "She's my roommate's girlfriend. That's all I know."

Nance's family said that they had never met her boyfriend nor his roommate.

"She was working hard. Now that's taken away from her. I hope he gets what he deserves," Samantha's mother Cynthia said.

Antonio Banderas Backs The Lady and The Reaper

The Lady and The Reaper is a new CG short from Kandor Moon, the Spain-based studio created by Antonio Banderas’ company Green Moon and Kandor Graphics. It’s the same studio that’s behind the CG-feature The Missing Linx, and in 2011 they’re planning to release another feature titled Goleor, the Spade and the Sword. The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y La Muerte) was directed by Javier Recio Garcia, and below you can see a 1:30 minute teaser.

Geiger Joins Star Wars Uncut Federation

Mike Geiger (County Ghost and Cuddle Sticks) has offered his rendition of a key plot point from Star Wars: A New Hope. Below is a 15-second clip from the 1977 film in which Luke accidentally discovers Princess Leah’s call for help. It’s all part of Star Wars Uncut, a new crowdsourcing project by Casey Pugh.

Shepherd Second at 11 Second Club

Flash animator Matt Shepherd continues to outperform the majority of the field in the 11 Second Club competition. In October, this submission below placed second out of a record 207 submissions (BTW – the November competition is underway).

At Starz Media

This is Thursday, so it's Starz day on TAG's unending studio tour.

The Simpsons crew is pared down now, with lots of empty cubes in the layout department now that the show's budget has been ... ah ... constrained. Do it faster, better, cheaper. Those are the watch words.

"We've all adjusted to the higher demands. The artists just stay at their desks and get the work done. There's no time for complaining ..."

The question I got over and over: So what's going on in the rest of the animation biz? Who's working?"

I've given the answer so many times I have it down pat. "Less traditional, hand-drawn employment happening, but more c.g. work. Warners has come back from hibernation, but Disney TVA's Sonora studio is mostly empty, with two shows coming into production ..." Etcetera.

One Simpsons staffer mentioned:

The writers are doing a retreat to get rolling on another thirteen episodes. And I've heard Al Jean say he'd be happy to do The Simpsons for another twenty years ... [pause] I'd be okay with working on the show another twenty years."

Al Jean (one of the show's topkicks, if you don't know) had this to say about the Yellow Family.

Working with brainy guests like Stephen Hawking and Thomas Pynchon is truly priceless

But the nub of the matter:

The Simpsons is the sixth highest earner on television. "We're still vital."

Which is, after all the poker chips get counted and hauled off to the cashier's cage, why The Simpsons' diminished artistic staff could be working on the show for some years to come. Simpsons = Number Six.

"Only thirteen new episodes being written? For next season? I wonder how many hold-over half hours we've got? I bet that's how they plan on rounding out the order. With episodes they didn't use this year."

Did I mention that Fox is ... ah ... cost conscious?

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Layoffs and Hirings

Warners employees called today to explain:

"The series Laff Riot is laying off most of its artists. They told us today that the show is retooling, going in a different direction, and won't be carrying staff while it takes eight or ten weeks to revamp. They expect to ramp back up mid to late January. How many of us will be coming back, they didn't say."

I know this is a big disappointment to designers and board artists who were anticipating a year or more of steady work on the twenty-six half-hours of Laff Riot. "Wanted you to know what's going on over here," a production board artist said to me on the phone. "This caught us all by surprise. It's only been four months. Nothing to do now but go look for another job."

I was at Warners earlier this week and had no inkling of this ...

Down the freeway at Disney TVA Sonora, crews on two show are slowly returning to work.

And at the Walt Disney Animation Studio, they have laid off all but two of the cleanup artists who came aboard for The Princess and the Frog. At the same time, animators are being hired for Rapunzel and sequences are being put in work. (They kind of have to jump into action. The picture has a release date that's only a year away.)

The rest of the cartoon business? It's like the pistons in a 12-cylinder engine: one is going up while another's moving down, which is nerve-wracking for a whole lot of people.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)


Sometimes I think the most creative place in TV animation is in pre-school programming. Here’s a preview of Flipos from the Chile-based PunkRobot studio. Director Antonia Herrera says the project is “a labor of love, made with little money and a small, talented team”. A production blog features concept art and storyboards, and the trailer is candy-cane sweet:

(Thanks cartoon brew)

New release dates for Rapunzel and Alvin has updated their release schedule with new release dates for two upcoming movies. Disney’s Rapunzel, the studio’s first computer-animated fairy tale, is set to come out on November 24, 2010, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Meanwhile, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel has been bumped up slightly with a December 23, 2009 release date. The sequel to the 2007 surprise hit was previously set to come out on Christmas day.

Swimming Lesson nominated for European Film Award

"Swimming Lesson," directed and written by Germany's Danny de Vent, is the sole animated contender among the 13 nominees in the Short Film category of the European Film Awards.

Originally titled Zwemles, the 10-minute film depicts a four-year-old boy who is having his first swimming lesson. He undertakes an adventurous trip to the other side of the very deep swimming pool and overcomes his fear.

Europe's equivalent of the Oscars, the European Film Awards are supported by the European Film Academy.

Topping the nominations for this year's awards is French prison thriller A Prophet, which has received six nods, including one for best picture. Directed by Jacques Audiard, it won the Cannes film festival's Grand Prix in May and is France's entry in the Academy Awards.

Slumdog Millionaire received five nominations, including best picture, directing, actor (Dev Patel), screenwriter (Simon Beaufoy) and cinematography (Anthony Dod Mantle).

The 22th European Film Awards ceremony will be held December 12 in Bochum, Germany.

Upcoming Anime in North America

Ponyo is scheduled to be released on video March 2nd in a Standard Edition ($29.99), a 2-disc Special Edition that comes with a plush Ponyo figure ($34.99), and a Blu-ray ($39.99)


Release details have been announced for the Halo Legends anime anthology.
Produced by 343 Industries, a part of Microsoft Game Studios, the exciting tales-beyond-the-games will be distributed February 9, 2010 by Warner Home Video as a Special Edition 2-disc version on DVD and Blu-Ray™ for $29.98 (SRP) and $34.99 (SRP), respectively, as well as single disc DVD for $19.98 (SRP)
The chapters will also be available On Demand and Digital Download. Shorts runs between 10 and 17 minutes

The Shorts include work from studios range from Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell, Batman Gotham Knight), Bones (Cowboy Bebop, Fell Metal Alchemist) and Toei Animation (Dragonball Z, Digimon) to Studio 4oC (The Animatrix, Batman Gotham Knight) and Casio Entertainment.

Creator supervisors includecreative supervisors Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) and Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) with directors directors Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed), Hideki Futamura (The Animatrix), Daisuke Nishio (Dragonball Z), Hiroshi Yamazaki (Karas), Toshiyuki Kanno (Black Lagoon), Koichi Mashimo (Blade of the Immortal) and Koji Sawai (Patlabor); directors/action designers Tomoki Kyoda (Eureka Seven, Evangelion 1.0) and Yasushi Muraki (Macross Plus, Vampire Hunter D); and writer Dai Sato (Cowboy Bebop).

Halo Legends - 2 Disc Special Edition version will have several hours of incredible bonus features, including:

* The Making of Halo Legends – An introduction to Halo Legends followed by a making-of segment for each episode.
* Halo: Gaming Evolved – Explaining the Halo phenomenon from its inception as an Xbox video game to a present day entertainment franchise.
* Audio Commentary with directors Frank O’Connor and Joseph Chou
* Widescreen (1.78:1)

Halo Legends Blu-Ray will also include Halo: The Story so Far, an overview of the Halo universe up until the end of Halo 3


- Single Disc
Street Date: February 9, 2010
Languages: English and Spanish
Audio: Dolby Surround Stereo
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: Estimated 119 min.
Price: $19.98 SRP / No MAP

HALO LEGENDS – 2 Disc Special Edition
Street Date: February 9, 2010
Languages: English and Spanish
Audio: Dolby Surround Stereo
Rating: PG-13
Runtimes: Disc 1 – Estimated 119 min.
Disc 2 – Estimated 89 minutes
Price: $29.98 SRP / No MAP

HALO LEGENDS – Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def
Street Date: February 9, 2010
Languages: English and Spanish
Audio: Dolby Surround Stereo
Rating: PG-13
Runtimes: Estimated 223 min.
Price: $34.99 SRP / No MAP

SXaniMedia notes that Seraphim Digital Studios (formerly known as ADV Studios and Amusement Park Media) has been tapped by Microsoft's 343 Industries and Warner Brothers to handle English co-production, adaptation and voice direction.

John Ledford, founder of ADV Films is involved as co-Executive Producer, with Joey Goubeaud and Eiichi Takahashi - the former an ADV production manager and Producer, the latter Executive co-Producer of Sentai Filmworks (Clannad / Clannad After Story) - and finally, long-time ADV Films Director, Steven Foster (Appleseed Ex Machina, Le Chevalier D'Eon, Gilgamesh, Kiba) is involved in the adaptation, casting and voice direction.



FUNimation has posted a number of trailers including Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne (an especially good one, well worth watching)

Warner Home Video

Superjail! Season one will be released on DVD February 23rd for $19.97


Drawing Manga Animals, Chibis, and Other Adorable Creatures by J.C. Amberlyn will be released Nov 17, 2009

It starts with the basics of creating manga-style characters—everything from drawing heads and faces to eyes and expressions, to creating incredibly cute chibis. Part two features a valuable reference section on the mythological and real animals that have shaped Japanese artwork and stories. The final section has step-by-step demonstrations on using computer programs such as Photoshop and Corel Painter to create manga art and comics.

The Manga Artist’s Workbook by Christopher Hart has recently been released

Upcoming in Japan

Promos and Previews

Madhouse's Mai Mia Miracle

Loups-Garou - Production I.G's adaptation of Natsuhiko Kyogoku's “virtual reality werewolf” novel, featuring Jpop act Scandal - the novel is scheduled to be released in North America by Viz

Production I.G's English language profile

Kiddy Girl - follow-up to girls with guns sci-fi Kiddy Grade

stills of Oshii's Assault Girls

The documentary looking at the work of horror manga luminarie Kazuo Umezu

Eden of the East movie trailer

Precure Allstars DX2

Not really anime/manga related, but of note, Kazuaki Kiriya and Gary Shore's Cup of Tears

The Cup of Tears film trailer. Dir. Gary Shore from Gary Shore on Vimeo.

For Kaiju fans

reports that the next Ghibli Museum short will be "Cyu (Mouse Squeak) Zumou", scheduled to start January 3.

Runtime: 13 minutes
Source: Japanese folktale
Project origin, scenario: Hayao Miyazaki
Director, storyboards: Akihiko Yamashita
Music: Manto Watanebe (Ghiblies episode 2)

20th Anniversary Sailor Moon re-issues will hit on December 11, 2009. A special event titled "GO! GO! 20th ANNIVERSARY" is to be held, attended by the voice actresses of the five Sailor Senshi(Sailor Scouts).


The Blu-ray release of new Universal Century (time line of the original Gundam) Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn anime series will have a simultaneous overseas release on March 12 with Japanese and English dubbing, as well as Japanese, English, French, Spanish, and Chinese subtitles. The first of six DVD volumes will ship on the same day with Japanese dubbing as well as Japanese and English subtitles.


Kazuya Minekura's bishonen adaptation of Saiyuki, the Journey to the West/Monkey King epic will get another anime adaptation, this time based on her Saiyuki Gaiden


Clive Barker and Ryuhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train) have plans to adapt Barker's “In the Hills, the Cities” into anime


Exercise anime seems to be the new thing. As such, the DVD release of Spice and Wolf II will be packaged with short "Wacchi to Sutorecchi"(lit. Stretch with Wacchi; Holo's characteristic pronoun "Wacchi" sort of rhymes with "stretch" in Japanese)


The Time of Eve (Eve no Jikan) will be edited, with new footage, into a compilation movie, scheduled to hit Japanese theatres next spring.

The Business

Hollywood Report is describing Imagi's Astro Boy as a bomb in Japan, but a success in China

After opening on more than 200 screens on the weekend of Oct. 10-12, "Astro Boy" pulled in a disappointing $328,457 in its first week, an average of just over $1,500 per screen, to put it at the bottom of the week's rankings. For comparison, the same week's top film, NTV's "Kaiji," took over $4 million from just over 300 screens at an average of over $13,200.

If distributor Kadokawa was hoping for a slow burner, it was to be disappointed as
"Atom," as it was titled locally, dropped out of the top 10 and out of sight the following week. The latest overseas adaptation of a much-loved manga and TV series, it looks to have gone the way of other recent attempts such as the live-action versions of "Speed Racer" and "Dragonball Evolution," which both failed to ignite the boxoffice in the land of their origin.

However, in China,
"Astro Boy" set an opening weekend boxoffice record in China for a CG-animated movie, taking 40 million yuan ($5.9 million) on about 1,100 screens, Imagi said in a statement. It broke the mark set previously by "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," which opened with 30 million yuan.

The adaptation of manga Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji took the top spot in Japan's box office during Astro Boy's run

In the US release, Astro Boy dropped 54% in its box office take, falling to 8th on the chart at $3 million in ticket sales.

The Animation Guild blog on Astro Boy's lack of success in the US and Japan

Cartoon Brew's post mortem

In the wake of the Astro Boy release, Imagi announced Ting Chuk Kwan has resigned as an Executive Director and the Acting CEO with effect from 1 November 2009; and Mr. Phoon Chiong Kit, an Executive Director, has assumed the role of CEO with effect from 1 November 2009.


A consortium of Japanese media companies including Toho, Ghilbi and Sunrise have formed Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA) to fight domestic and overseas Internet piracy. The initiative will start with the monitoring of 10 to 15 works, such as Ponyo and Mobile Suit Gundam 00, on major video-sharing websites in China in the middle of November. Thereafter, the system will expand the number of sites it monitors to those outside China.


Toei has signed Latin American broadcast deals for Digimon Data Squad, Saint Seiya and Dragon Ball.

Buena Vista in Argentina picked up 48 half-hour episodes of Digimon Data Squad to begin airing in December or January. Medcom in Panama went for 114 half-hour episodes of Japanese manga series Saint Seiya and 153 half-hours of Dragon Ball.

In addition to broadcast deals, Toei secured a DVD agreement with Brazil’s Playarte, for Dragon Ball and Saint Seiya: The Hades Sanctuary. Playarte will release a DVD box set featuring 28 Dragon Ball episodes this December. The company has already debuted Saint Seiya: The Hades Sanctuary on DVD, featuring 13 episodes from the series.


Borders announced the closing of approximately 200 Waldenbooks stores - leaving 130 mall locations open. The closings will result in the termination of some 1,500 jobs, the majority of which are part-time positions.


Movie Gallery, which owns the Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery video store chains, is in the process of closing 400 to 450 stores

Going Hollywood

Astro Boy - director David Bowers on his work "reinventing Astro Boy"

Eugene Levy's professional, not so enthuiastic thoughts on Astro Boy voice work

Expert/translator Frederik L. Schodt responds to the New York Time review - also Schodt's Astro Boy piece for LA's Japan Foundation

A look at developing Astro Boy for 3D CG

Popular Mechanics on Astro Boy

An adaptation of 80's rock girl cartoon Jem and the Holograms might be in the works. Either way, it looks like Peter Barsocchini, who wrote the High School Musical films, will be on board, either as writer or producer.

The Wall Street Journal suggests that the trend in toy to movie adaptations might see a J.J. Abrams directed Micronauts


Anime News Network and Nikkei news source report that a work by the late manga and anime creator Shotaro Ishinomori will be adapted into a live-action and computer-graphics film in Hollywood in 2012. Ishinomori conceived of several popular classics, including Kamen Rider, Cyborg 009, Harmagedon, and The Skull Man.


UK's Guardian on Hollywood's approach to Ghost in the Shell

The guys behind the ANIPAC podcast has a fun feature on who should be cast as Motoko Kusanagi in a live action Ghost in the Shell

Bryan Singer's Battlestar movie allegedly under way

Has director Bryan Singer begun preproduction on his proposed new Battlestar Galactica movie?

That's the hint in a post on, which otherwise rehashes what we already know about the movie, which will have nothing to do with Syfy's re-imagined series from Ronald Moore and David Eick.

Singer is reportedly working with Glen Larson, the producer behind the original 1970s Battlestar series:

Now that pre-production has started, any rumors that Singer's next project was going to be "X" related (as in X-Men) has been put to rest, along with any shot he had of helming another Superman flick. There's been no word if Moore will be involved in the re-reboot, yet given the rumored "rocky" relationship between Larson and Moore, it seems unlikely.

Stay tuned for more ...

AICN Exclusive: Wolfman poster!!! It's very Film Noir...

Hey folks, Harry here with the debut of the killer film noir-esque 1 sheet of the Wolfman!!! Now earlier today the good folks at Cinematical were given the Emily Blunt poster - and now we have the Benicio as the Wolfman poster. If you read my interview with Joe Johnston - you'll see that part of what Joe was going for with this Wolfman is a film noir aspect. Now the film is of course color, but it does play with dark shadows and stark lighting in spots. So - what do you think of the two posters thus far? Oh and if you click below - you'll get the big version for your desktop!

(Thanks Aint It Cool)

New 'Kick-Ass' Posters Hit The 'Net

A quartet of new posters from "Kick-Ass," Matthew Vaughn's big-screen adaptation of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.'s ultra-violent comic book series, have arrived online.

The four posters feature images of the film's costumed vigilantes: The Red Mist (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Kick-Ass (Aaron Johnson), Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage). Each character is poised on a rooftop, facing away from the camera, and the four posters form a skyline view when aligned.

Click on the image below to see a gallery of the four new "Kick-ass" movie posters.

Previously, we heard from Mintz-Plasse and co-star Clark Duke about the research (or lack thereof) they had to do for their roles in the much-anticipated film. Now that the project has received distribution from Lionsgate and has a release date set (April 16, 2010), fans who have been eagerly awaiting the film can finally look forward to seeing it—and its wild cast of characters—in theaters.

For those who haven't been following along at home, "Kick-Ass" tells the story of high-school geek Dave Lizewski, who decides to take his superhero worship to the next level and become a real-life costumed vigilante. After a shaky start (he's almost beaten to death by a gang of thugs), Lizewski finds Internet fame and a superhero name ("Kick-Ass")—but a whole new level of troubles in the form of copycat vigilantes like the The Red Mist and a father-daughter team of brutal vigilantes who take a different approach to cleaning up the streets.

EXCLUSIVE: Green Arrow 'Super Max' Movie Isn't Threatened By 'Supermax' Horror, Says David Goyer

Earlier in the year, David Goyer provided a much-needed update on "Super Max"—the Green Arrow-centric movie that would feature DC's Emerald Archer wrongfully imprisoned in a maximum security jail for supervillains—by saying that a new writer would be coming aboard the project.

Shortly thereafter, however, a potential game-changer came in the form of "Supermax," an almost identically titled horror project with a very similar premise to Goyer's planned film. Given that news, we recently explained why "Super Max" should be a priority for the newly formed DC Entertainment..

But according to Goyer, the arrival of "Supermax" isn't necessarily the end for Oliver Queen's prison sentence.

"Not necessarily," Goyer told MTV News when asked if "Supermax" was a threat to his own similarly titled project. "I don't think they're mutually exclusive."

While Goyer hasn't given up hope on "Super Max," the filmmaker did say that movement on the project has slowed down, largely due to the recent formation of DC Entertainment.

"Right now, there's not much to report," said Goyer. "Warner Brothers is moving very slowly in terms of what they're intending to do with their DC Projects. They just recently brought on [DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson] and once they've figured that out, they're going to get back to us on that one."

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