Monday, January 11, 2010

News - 01/11/10...

Avatar still rakes it in, now second only to Titanic

James Cameron's Avatar topped the box office for the fourth straight weekend in a row, taking in an estimated $48.5 million domestically to become the top domestic hit of 2009.

The domestic tally for the sci-fi epic is now $429 million, placing it sixth among domestic hits, the Associated Press reported.

Worldwide, Avatar has now taken in about $1.34 billion, second only to Cameron's Titanic ($1.8 billion).

Daybreakers, meanwhile, opened in fourth place with $15 million for the Jan. 8 weekend.

Art Clokey 1921-2010

Art Clokey, creator of Gumby, died this morning according to San Luis Clokey, who lived in Los Osos, California was 89.

Clokey popularized clay animation with his Gumby cartoons in the 1950s and 60s. His studio thrived for decades doing various Gumby adventures and Davey and Goliath films for television. An excellent illustrated Clokey timeline is at the Premavision website. Gumbasia (1955) is the film that started it all - it’s success led directly to creating the Gumby universe and the Clokey style:

Here are Clokey’s opening titles for Dr. Goldfoot and His Bikini Machine (1965) - with vocals by The Supremes:

Clokey also did a more inventive 3-minute opening title sequence for How To Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965). No one posted that on You Tube, but the whole film is available free (and high quality) on Hulu.

(Thanks cartoon brew)

Last Chance for New Year’s Discount on Game Developers Conference

The Game Developers Conference, the world’s largest professionals-only game industry event, is coming up fast — and time for taking advantage of money-saving early-registration deals is running out.

Presented every spring in San Francisco, it is the essential forum for learning, inspiration, and networking for the creators of computer, console, handheld, mobile, and online games.

This year’s event, set for March 9-13 at the Moscone Center, is expected to attract more 17,000 attendees, and is the primary forum where programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professionals, business decision-makers and others involved in the development of interactive games gather to exchange ideas and shape the future of the industry.

And GDC’s New Year discount ends today! Register by Jan. 8 and receive $100 off All Access or Main Conference Passes with code GDCHOLIDAY100 or $50 off Summits & Tutorials or Audio Passes with code GDCHOLIDAY50.

To take advantage of this special offer, please visit:
For general information on the conference, visit

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Dolphin Director Schuldt Sets Up Verne Project

Eduardo Schuldt, producer and director of The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer, has set up his next animated feature with Televix Enterterainment and Bliss under the joint banner Aronnax Films.

The film, with the working titles of The Verne Project, is set to begin production this month at Bliss’ studio in Lima, Peru. Bliss topper Abraham Vurnbrand wrote the script, and completion is expected in time for a release in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Televix, based in Beverly Hills, is an independent distributor of animated programs.

Dolphin was a box office smash in Peru, setting records and earning distribution from 20th Century Fox as well as a spot in the coveted Autodesk SIGGRAPH best of the best reel.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Jakks Pacific, Dentsu Team for Monsuno Series

Toy maker Jakks Pacific has teamed up with leading Japanese animation producer Dentsu to produce an animated TV series based on the Monsuno property.

Monsuno, a boys action property about monster DNA that finds its way into the hands of adventure seeking boys, is being developed as a 52-episode animated series and toy property set to launch in 2011 in North America, Europe and Asia.

“This new venture is an exciting new direction for Jakks Pacific into owning our own entertainment and leveraging it into the toy line,” said Jakks president and co-CEO Stephen Berman. “We have been scouring the globe and are assembling the Monsuno team, and we believe Dentsu is the perfect partner, given their production expertise and global leadership position in developing children’s television.”

Mitsuharu Inoue will serve as creative director and is the former producer of Bakugan Battle Brawlers.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

French Student Scores With NFL Animation

With the NFL playoffs starting this weekend, fans all around the US are prepping their lucky guacamole dish for the big game. Over in France, fans apparently prepare by animating pint-sized New York Giants and New Enland Patriots kicking eachother’s butts. This CG short, titled Super Twins, was produced by Janvier Arnaud, a 4th year student at Supinfocom Arles.

Dr. Tran Fires Off Nail to the Gut

Sure it’s a new year, but Dr. Tran is getting screwed with like he has for years now. In this new episode, titled Nail to the Gut, poor Dr. Tran puts on more costumes than a contestant at the Lil’ Miss Cutesy Pie beauty pageant. As usual, the episode was created by Breehn Burns and Jason Johnson, and animated by Mark Salisbury.

Upcoming in North America (and other English Speaking Territories)

Summer Wars, the highly praised new movie from The Girl Who Leapt Through Time director Mamoru Hosoda, has been licensed by Manga Entertainment UK. The UK director will also be releasing the live action adaptation of ninja manga Kamui Gaiden.

Bryan Konietzko (W/A), Michael Dante DiMartino (W/A), and Various (A)
On sale June 2
FC, 184 pages
HC, 9" x 12"
An unprecedented look at the concept, design, and production art behind this smash-hit series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Art of the Animated Series chronicles the show's development—from the very first sketch through to the series finale and beyond!—along with behind-the-scenes commentary from series creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino.

FUNimation has announced a number of new licenses.

Live action includes
15 Shaw Brothers kung fu movies from Celestial Filmed Entertainment, formerly licensed by the shuttered BCI Eclipse division of FUNimation's parent company Navarre.

The film were digitally restored by Celestial Pictures from their original negatives in 2002

Titles include “Sword of Swords”, “The Duel”, “The Lady Hermit” , “The 14 Amazons”, “Shaolin Hand Lock”, “Invincible Shaolin”, “Soul of the Sword”, “Life Gamble”, “Shaolin Rescuers”, “Shaolin Prince”, “Bastard Swordsman”, “Opium and The Kung Fu Master”, “The Supreme Swordsman”, “Return of Bastard Swordsman” and “Hong Kong Godfather”.

Releases are planned for 2010 and 2011.

Anime includes

Six OVA sci-fi comedy anime series FLCL from Production I.G, from Production I.G. (“The Ghosts in the Shell,” “Tsubasa”), Gainax (“Evangelion” series), and Starchild (“The Slayers” movies), directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki.

Bored with his mundane middle school life, Naota longed for a change from his daily grind. However his life completely changes after a pink haired stranger on a Vespa runs him over. Weird things happen when he is around the mysterious girl known as Haruko. Now not only must Naota deal with regular teenage troubles, but also with this new enigmatic woman.

FUNimation Entertainment will release all six OVA’S on one DVD set and on Blu-ray disc in late 2010.

FUNimation has also indicated plans to release FLCL with the Synch-Point dub

Shout Factory
The four disc Transformers Season Two, Volume Two set will be released on January 12th.

Episodes include “The Secret of Omega Supreme,” “The Search For Alpha Trion,” “Hoist Goes Hollywood” and the thrilling two-part “The Key to Vector Sigma”, and features include The Combiner: Forming The Transformers Animated Series Featurette, PSAs, Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials and Concept Art.

The Business

Astro Boy animators Imagi recently saw a bump in their stock, on news of new investment in the company.


Sega Sammy Holdings founded CG animation production subsidiary Sega Sammy Visual Entertainment was founded with 10 million yen (about US$110,000)

According to its parent company, "Sega Sammy Visual Entertainment will strive to become the number one family-oriented animation studio in the Asia-Pacific region within five years." The subsidiary currently has 90 employees.


Square Enix has announced plans to ramp up its digital Entertainment unit

As 2010 begins, Square Enix's “lead Chocobo,” Yoichi Wada, announced the company's goal for the rest of the year is to “take root.” While this may not clear things up much, the statement in which the goal is explained may do the opposite. “In the near future, the rate of convergence between video games and other digital entertainment content will only continue to accelerate,” Wada stated.


Gonzo has brought back laid off animators for a new opening movie to The Tower of Druaga –The Recovery of BABYLIM– a fantasy massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG).

Digital Distribution News

Ahead of its January 30th Japanese DVD release, the first episode of the anime adaptation of political satire/mahjong manga "The Legend of Koizumi" is now available online

Worth Checking Out...

Southern Cross and Mospeda design work

A preview of Dark Horse's release of Torajirou Kishi's Devil

Ronnie DelCarmen's and Kazu Kibuishi's Hayao Miyazaki, who recently turned 69 years old

10 Great Independent Animes of The Year 2009

The full scale Gundam statue will be displayed again in Shizuoka this coming summer

The production blog for Ghibli's Borrowers film

Yamato Bikes with Wave Motion Guns (starts about 8 seconds in - )

'The Venture Bros.' Journeys to Toyland

Team Venture Toys Coming Soon

For red-eyed insomniacs whose glut of interest in has-been scientist-inventors and their oft-idiotic kin, North Hollywood, California-based collectibles producer Bif Bang Pow! will certainly appear as some sort of savior. Team Venture seems ripe for a line of collectible figurines, what with so many unforgettable characters at its leisure. The Venture Bros., an Adult Swim animated series whose comedy and action are equally raunchy and athletic, was recently licensed by Bif Bang Pow! for the development and manufacture of action figures and bobble head dolls.

Announced by Cartoon Network's licensing division this week, the animated television series will make its way to an assortment of widely available action figures, bobble head figures, and more. Regardless of how ill fit Dr. Venture or arch nemesis, The Monarch, may appear as models for "action" figures, CN Enterprises is nevertheless eager for spring and summer 2010 to arrive, offering Adult Swim-faithful viewers fully-articulating commodities.

Bif Bang Pow! has agreed to produce various action figures and vehicles based on the Jackson Publick-created cartoon. First up for release will be toys from series of 7-inch, scale resin bobble heads, targeted for spring 2010 availability.

"We've been courting The Venture Bros. for quite some time now, and we're beyond excited to finally bring fans what they want: a range of fully articulated action figures and bobble heads," Jason Lenzi, CEO of Bif Bang Pow!, commented. "With the ever-expanding cast of characters in the Venture universe, the possibilities are endless."

The action figures, it should be mentioned, will arrive a little later in the year: summer 2010. Brock Samson, Monarch, Hank and Dean -- these characters and others will get the full action figure treatment from Bif Bang Pow! Cartoon Network Enterprises aptly notes that both an articulate and collectible toy line based on The Venture Bros. has been "a long time coming," and continues by vouching for their new business partner as an industry contributor with a similar flair for the witty action and comedy of which the cartoon is known for. Bif Bang Pow! also creates figures for television brands such as The Twilight Zone, Lost, and Dexter.

on Bif Bang Pow: Founded by Jason Lenzi in 2005, Bif Bang Pow!'s (official website) mission is to provide high-quality action figures, toys, and collectibles to the massive cult audience (and kids of all ages) that wishes these toys were already in their collection. Bif Bang Pow! is a unit of JLA Direct, LLC.

Art Directors Guild Reveals Nominees

The Art Directors Guild unveiled nominations for the best in art direction in nine categories, covering movies, TV, commercials and music videos. The ADG will hold its 14th annual Excellence in Production Design Awards on Feb. 13 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Only one animated show or series made the list.

In the TV or miniseries list, the nominees are the Cartoon Network's "Ben 10: Alien Force," HBO's "Grey Gardens" and AMC's "The Prisoner."

Willem Dafoe on Being a Thark for "John Carter of Mars" has spoken with actor Willem Dafoe on his role in Disney's John Carter of Mars, to be directed by Pixar's Andrew Stanton and based on the novel A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Dafoe will play the Martian Thark warrior Tars Tarkas, and his comments to io9 detail why the material appeals to him and teases some information (but withholds more) on how he will be transformed into a 10-foot tall four-armed Martian for the movie.

Last Airbender TV spot confirmed for the Super Bowl

Fans of the hit Nickelodeon animated TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender will be happy to know that a brand new TV spot for the live-action film based on it is set to air during the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 7th. Other confirmed TV spots for the game include the Martin Scorsese thriller Shutter Island and the hotly anticipated Iron Man 2. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, The Last Airbender will soar into theaters next summer.

Four animated features up for Spain's Goya Awards

"Planet 51" and three other movies have been nominated for best animated feature for this year's Goya Awards, Spain's equivalent of the Oscars.

The films are Planet 51, produced by Antena 3 Films, S.L., Chuck & Lem, S.L., HandMade Films Limited and Ilion Studios, S.L.; Animal Channel (Extremadura de Audiovisuales, S.A.); Cher ami (Acció, Digital Dreams, S.L., Euroview, Mes Films Inversions, S.L. and Televisió de Catalunya, S.A.); and Pérez, el ratoncito de tus sueños 2 (Castelao Productions and Patagonik Film Group).

In addition, "Stick to the Man," from the soundtrack of Planet 51, is one of four candidates for best original song.

Nominations for the 2010 Goya Awards were announced Saturday by Alex de la Iglesia, president of Spain's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,

In the category of best animated short, the nominees are Alma (directed by Rodrigo Blaas), La Dama y la Muerte (Javier Recio Gracia), Margarita (Álex Cervantes) and Tachaaan (Carlos del Olmo, Miguel Ángel Bellot and Rafael Cano).

Daniel Monzon's live-action prison thriller Cell 211 received 16 Goya nominations, more than any other film.

This year's Goya Awards have been moved back to Valentine's Day from late January in order to increase the nominees' box office potential.

Stop-Mo Explosion: Jackboots on Whitehall and Project Chopin

Hot of the heels of the recent spate stop-motion features - Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline, Mary and Max, $9.99 and A Town Called Panic - comes word of production of even more! A new UK feature called Jackboots on Whitehall is an epic World War Two satire, animated with what look like “Ken” dolls. Ewan McGregor, Tom Wilkinson and Alan Cumming are among the voice cast. Written and directed by newcomers Edward and Rory McHenry, the film is scheduled for a release later this year. Twitch Film has posted a dozen stills which display the scope of the production. For more information, join the film’s Facebook page here.

Then there is a Polish film about Chopin on a flying piano! The Flying Machine (aka Project Chopin) seems to be a combo of CG and stop motion, and of course it’s in 3D! Animators Martin Clapp, Marek Skrobecki and Adam Wyrwas (of Susie Templeton’s Peter and The Wolf, 2006) are teaming with famed Chinese composer/pianist Lang Lang to create this feature. Here’s a behind-the-scenes promo:

(Thanks cartoon brew)

The Stormy Petrel (2004) by Alexei Turkus

Here’s a film I hadn’t seen before, and I want thank Brew reader Michael Lanigan for bringing it to my attention. It’s a great example of current Russian animation, much of which is still unseen by the Western world. The Stormy Petrel (2004) is by Alexei Turkus (full credits here), and was produced at Russia’s leading animation studio Argus International. It satirizes the poem Song of the Stormy Petrel by Maxim Gorky and serves as a commentary on the Russian educational system. It’s nine minutes and definitely worth watching - it gets crazier and crazier as it goes on.

(Thanks cartoon brew)

Alice in Wonderland Special Un-Anniversary Edition DVD in March

Disney has announced a 2-disc Special Un-Anniversary Edition DVD of Alice in Wonderland for release on March 30, 2010, reports UltimateDisney. New bonus features on this release will include the deleted scene “Pig and Pepper” considered in the 1930s, and the featurette “Reflections on Alice.” The site also suggests that The Great Mouse Detective, previously scheduled for re-release on the same day, might be delayed.

Townsend replaced in Marvel Comics tale `Thor'

Stuart Townsend has departed Marvel Comics' movie adaptation of "Thor" because of creative differences, according to sources close to the production.

Townsend had been cast as Fandral, an ally of Norse god Thor. He was replaced by Joshua Dallas, according to the two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

The cast change came as production was about to begin. Shooting starts Monday on the movie directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Irish actor Townsend, 37, best known as the boyfriend of Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, starred in "Queen of the Damned." He had been cast as Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy but was replaced at the last minute by Viggo Mortensen.

Dallas, an American actor who is a relative newcomer, appears in George Lucas' upcoming Tuskagee Airmen drama "Red Tails."

"Thor" stars Chris Hemsworth in the title role, a warrior cast down to Earth to live among mortals as punishment for his reckless actions, which rekindled an ancient war in the realm of Asgard. Thor's troubles continue after dark forces of Asgard are dispatched to invade Earth.

The movie co-stars Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Renee Russo and Tom Hiddleston. Kenneth Branagh is directing.

"Thor" had been scheduled for release May 20, 2011, but Marvel has just moved it up to May 6, 2011.

And via Ain't It Cool -

.. Just got dropped the rumor du jour... According to a source wishing to be known as Avatom Rothman, Stuart Townsend has been fired from "Thor" due to showing up 6 hours late for a screen test. If this does come to be true, this would be the second high profile fantasy role he's lost after having been announced as landing the part. The first being the role of ARAGORN, which the public reason for losing the role was that they decided "he was too young" for the role.

Marvel sues to keep rights to Spidey, X-Men from Jack Kirby's heirs

This could be Spider-Man's biggest battle yet: Not against the Green Goblin, but against the family of the guy who co-created him.

Seems Marvel is suing to keep the rights to Spider-Man—not to mention the Fantastic Four and X-Men—from the heirs of artist Jack Kirby.

A federal lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan asks a judge to invalidate notices sent by the heirs to terminate Marvel's copyrights.

Below is Marvel's complete announcement of its legal action. The Kirby heirs have yet to comment on the suit.

Sounds like Marvel isn't going to wait for something like the Superman case to rob it of the rights to some of its golden geese.

Needless to say, there's a pile of money at stake, not to mention proceeds from film versions of the characters. As they say in the comics, to be continued ...

Marvel Seeks Judicial Declaration that Kirby Heirs' Copyright Claims are Invalid

NEW YORK, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Subsidiaries of Marvel Entertainment, LLC today filed suit in federal court in Manhattan seeking a declaration that notices of termination of copyright assignments served by the heirs of long-time Marvel artist Jack Kirby are invalid.

Last September, attorneys acting for the Kirby heirs sent 45 notices to Marvel seeking to terminate purported assignments by Kirby of copyright interests in Marvel Super Hero characters such as X-Men and Fantastic Four. Kirby's heirs are claiming that from 2014 to 2019 various rights supposedly transferred to Marvel will revert to them. The Marvel lawsuit asserts that those claims are baseless because all of Kirby's contributions to Marvel's publications, like those of other comic book writers and artists of the same period, were works made for hire, making Marvel the sole owner of the copyrights.

"The notices filed by the heirs are an attempt to rewrite the history of Kirby's relationship with Marvel," said John Turitzin, Marvel's General Counsel. "Everything about Kirby's relationship with Marvel shows that his contributions were works made for hire and that all the copyright interests in them belong to Marvel."

Under federal copyright law, works that were created at the "instance and expense" of a publisher during the time Kirby was a creator for Marvel were "works made for hire" and owned by that publisher. If, for example, Marvel gave a writer or artist an assignment to create a comic book story populated with new characters or to illustrate a comic book story with depictions of its characters - and paid the writer or artist for carrying out the assignment - the publisher, not the writer or artist, would own the copyright. All of Kirby's contributions to Marvel comic books the heirs are claiming for themselves fall into this category.

Marvel editors determined which publications Kirby would work on, just as they did with all the other artists and writers engaged to work on the publications, and always retained full editorial control. In addition, Kirby was paid for his contributions. As a result, all of Kirby's contributions were solely owned by Marvel, which was standard practice in the comic book publishing industry.

Kirby's situation at Marvel is completely different from the facts that gave rise to the Superman litigation. The initial Superman story was written and illustrated by its creators well before they had any business relationship with its ultimate publisher.

"The purpose of the lawsuit filed today is simply to set the record straight and obtain a judicial declaration that the Kirby termination notices have no effect," said Mr. Turitzin.

Star Trek 2 Has A Stardate!

Quick news blurb from Comingsoon:

It looks like Paramount Pictures has decided at least on a tentative release date for J. J. Abrams' anticipated Untitled Star Trek Sequel as it stakes claim to the coveted pre-4th of July weekend of June 29, 2012.

Good news, right? Now we all know that the sequel is locked and good to go. Only two more years before we can watch more adventures with Kirk and crew aboard the U.S.S. IKEA. Can't wait! Hopefully J.J. goes easy with the lens flare this time. If he does the sequel in 3D with that much shine, we'll all go blind within 10 minutes.

(Thanks Latino Review)

Tobey Maguire Says 'Spider-Man 4' Delays Are Part Of 'The Process'

While the villains of "Spider-Man 4" have yet to be determined, there's no shortage of adversaries in the way of Peter Parker's big screen return, including a production delay due to script troubles and the new competitive release date for "Thor." Luckily, Parker still has one friendly neighbor he can rely on — none other than Tobey Maguire.

Maguire recently participated in a webcam chat with The Envelope (transcribed by Superhero Hype), during which the "Spider-Man" actor downplayed the mounting reports about the film's delay.

"Like anything, it's a process," said Maguire. "We're just in the midst of the process. We have a lot of great stuff in terms of story and script. We're just trying to dial it in and get it ready as quickly as possible. Of course, these movies are a very big undertaking and take a lot more time than a drama or something more straightforward."

Maguire's comments are a marked departure from recent buzz that story conflicts have interrupted the film's production. But the actor insists that there are great ideas coming from the "Spider-Man" creative team, including himself.

"Not only do I have specific ideas, but the ideas are evolving on the page," he said. "It's all happening right now. It's all sort of coming together. It's very exciting to me. I think the evolution of the character is really exciting, to be rooted in the history of what we've done already and to have a continuity, yet have a progression or evolution."

Check Out Iron Man's New Armor!

Marvel Comics debuted a new look for Iron Man today, and unsurprisingly, the sleek new look for Tony Stark's alter ego finds inspiration in the Marvel movie universe.

According to, the Iron Man new armor in the comics was conceived by "Invincible Iron Man" writer Matt Fraction and Ryan Meinerding, designer on the "Iron Man" and "Thor" films. The armor is set to debut in April's "Invincible Iron Man" #25.

"The inspiration for the new design came from thinking about a sleeker, leaner, tougher Iron Man," explained Fraction. "If technology is increasingly getting smaller and lighter it seems like the Iron Man should do the same: ergonomic and aerodynamic. We were looking for something that felt as sleek and glossy as a sports car Tony Stark would covet. I love what we've come up with. It feels like the next evolutionary step in the Iron Man's design."

EXCLUSIVE: 'Incredible Hulk' Director 'Would Love A Crack At' Making 'Avengers' Movie

"Clash of the Titans" and "Incredible Hulk" director Louis Leterrier has made no secret of the fact that he'd love to be behind the camera when "The Avengers" kicks off production, so when we recently caught up with him to discuss his 2010 plans, we had to get a bit more info about how likely he is to helm Marvel's superhero team-up blockbuster.

"I hope they don't find a director before I'm available, because I'd love to take a crack at ['Avengers']," Leterrier told MTV News. "It's just an amazing universe, and to have everybody involved..."

While our chat with Leterrier was focused on the big year he's primed for in 2010, with a larger feature hitting the site soon, the director couldn't help but praise one of his fellow Marvel movie directors — and confess that he's probably the second-best man for the "Avengers" job.

"Jon Favreau would've been the best director to do this thing, but now that he's a producing, I'd love to be able to work with him and continue what I started with 'Hulk' and what he started with 'Iron Man' and we do it together and continue that universe," he said.

As for how likely that is to happen, Leterrier said he's still contracted for a second film and has been chatting with Marvel whenever the opportunity arises.

"It's like an option," he said of his Marvel movie deal. "I was optioned for two movies with Marvel. So every time I do a movie, like 'Clash of the Titans' for example, I say, 'Guys, I'm about to do 'Clash' — so can I do it?' And they say, 'Yeah, we have nothing for you, so go ahead.'"

While Leterrier said he hasn't sent anyone at Marvel a pitch for his "Avengers" vision at this point, the film isn't far from his mind.

"I love the Marvel universe," he laughed. "I love those guys."

A New 'Kick-Ass' Trailer Has Arrived!

The premiere of "Kick-Ass" is mere months away, and today brings us yet another trailer for Matthew Vaughn's much-anticipated adaptation of John Romita Jr. and Mark Millar's comic book series. And sweet mother of comedic ultraviolence, is it awesome.

The trailer debuted over at Yahoo Movies, and features a great collections of scenes from the film — including a nice bit that addresses the similarities between the costume of Big Daddy (played by Nicolas Cage) and the uniform of Gotham's favorite Dark Knight.

We also get a few great scenes with Hit Girl (played by Chloe Moretz), who's rumored to be the film's breakout star, as well as The Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Kick-Ass cruising the streets.

"Kick-Ass" hits theaters April 16.

'Gossip Girl' Blake Lively Cast As 'Green Lantern' Female Lead, Carol Ferris

It looks like Hal Jordan has found his Carol Ferris, and the "Green Lantern" movie has its female lead in "Gossip Girl" star Blake Lively.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lively will play the female lead in "Green Lantern" opposite star Ryan Reynolds, ending an "intense" competition for the role. Previously, a rumor had pegged Lively as one of the candidates for the role alongside Keri Russell and Jennifer Garner, among others.

The report seems to indicate that Lively's character will be faithful to her comics counterpart, describing Carol Ferris as a character who "runs her father's aerospace company and hires cocky test pilot Hal Jordan, who later becomes the intergalactic policeman Green Lantern."

Interestingly, the report notes that the part called for an older actress, but Lively impressed the studio with her audition and her work in the the more adult-themed drama "The Town." However, the selection of Lively as the female lead opened the door for the next pair of casting decisions: the villains Hector Hammond and Sinestro.

While "Watchmen" star Jackie Earle Haley was rumored as a contender for Sinestro, he denied any connection with the role in October. We offered our own picks for Sinestro actors in August.

"Green Lantern" is currently scheduled for a June 2011 release.

NBC leaves door open for more Heroes

Is Heroes doomed?

The once-flagship series' ratings have dropped, and its fans have slammed the show's meandery plots and confusing character arcs in recent seasons. But NBC executive Angela Bromstad said no decision has been made on the show's fifth season and added that the network will hear a pitch from creator Tim Kring before making one.

It's standard practice for show runners to pitch for a season renewal, Bromstad added: "They always do," she said.

Should this season be Heroes' last, the season finale will serve as the series finale, but since the show has already wrapped production on its current fourth season, there won't be time to add anything. "No, they're out of production," Bromstad said. "They've wrapped production."

Of course, Bromstand couldn't say where the season finale would leave the heroes in any event. "I can't give anything away on the Heroes finale."

She did confirm that if she renews Heroes, the show can continue to operate on its current budget without any more cuts. "Actually, Heroes has already been very responsible in having a good budget, so I don't think that we'd be looking at cutting it further," she said.

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