Animator Pres Romanillos, who has animated for Disney and DreamWorks, has suffered a relapse of leukemia, and is in the hospital awaiting his second bone marrow transplant. His friends are putting together an art auction for his benefit. More info can be found at Pres-Aid.
Your chance to see Last Chance
Animator Sami Nikki’s recently completed short, Last Chance, is now viewable online. In addition the Project Last Chance blog documents some of the creative process that has gone into creating the short’s unique painterly animation.
Trevor Hogg, of the UK’s Flickering Myth website, has just posted his final chapter of a comprehensive four-part profile on animator/director Tim Burton. The first part, with links to the continuation of the series, begins right here.
Cartoon Network, Adult Swim charity auction
The Gamm Theatre, a nonprofit theater company in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, is auctioning off two animation-related packages to raise funds for its artistic and educational work. Products based on programs from Cartoon Network and Adult Swim are open for auction until April 14.
Stick a Sailor on your wall!
Recently released are a new series of officially licensed giant Popeye prints from the wall graphics company LTL Prints. The premium graphics include everything from laptop size up to LTL’s trademark seven foot ‘larger than life’ wall prints. Other characters licensed from King Features Syndicate, including Betty Boop, Flash Gordon, Hagar The Horrible and more, are all linked to from this press release.
Sneak Peak of New TBS Animated Series Neighbors From Hell
A new primetime animated series arrives on TBS on June 7th. Neighbors From Hell is a co-production from Fox TV Animation and DreamWorks Animation SKG, and the lead writer on the project is Pam Brady, a producer/writer of numerous South Park episodes. The series, as you might imagine, is about “the Hellmans, a typical, all-American suburband family… who just happen to be from Hell.” I tend to think adult-animation on TV should try hard to steer away from designs that look like kids shows. It’s all so subjective, but I think The Ricky Gervais Show on HBO got this wrong and so did this show. The reason I think that hurts is that some adults, who still think animation is for kids, don’t need any additional reasons to think that way. Here’s a couple of behind-the-scenes vignettes that feature short glimpses of animatics.
Sailsbery and Cavalli Begin The Adventures of Ginger and Pickles
San Francisco-based stop-motion artists Peter Sailsbery and John Cavalli are prepping a new animated short titled The Adventures of Ginger and Pickles: The Terrible Treasure Trove of Trouble. They recently snuck a few clips up on the web.
ilovedust Laces Up New Nike Spot
Give a look to this recent Nike spot by ilovedust, the UK-based design boutique. The team worked alongside AKQA to produce the piece, which was aimed at the South East Asian market. Here’s their director’s cut:
DVD Shoppers Detect Great Mouse’s Return
Before there was Ariel, Belle and Simba, there was Basil of Baker Street. And he comes back to home video this week with the release of The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery in the Mist Edition (Disney, $19.99).
An early step in the revival of Disney animation, as chronicled in the recent documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty, The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery in the Mist Edition includes the bonus features “So You Think You Can Sleuth?,” an animated humorous look at the history of detective work through the ages; and “The Making of The Great Mouse Detective” and ''The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind'' sing-along song.
Also out this week is everyone’s favorite classic cat and mouse team in Tom and Jerry Tales: The Complete First Season (Warner Bros., $19.98).
Other new animated entries for the kid crowd include Jim Henson’s Song of Cloud Forest (Lionsgate, $12.98), Dora the Explorer: Explore the Earth (Paramount, $16.99) and The Madeline Movie: Lost in Paris (Disney, $14.97).
Anime fans meanwhile will have their choice of Bakugan Battle Brawlers: Chapter 1 (Turner, $19.97), Nana Box Set 4 (VIZ Media, $59.90)
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Pocoyo Coming to Nick Jr. in U.S.
Zinkia and ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s global hit Pocoyo is coming to American viewers on Nick Jr. starting later this spring.
The deal, which covers U.S. broadcast syndication rights to the CG animated preschooler series, was brokered by ITV and Zinkia.
Pocoyo has been broadcast in more than 100 territories worldwide and has earned a number of prestigious awards including a BAFTA award, three Pucinella Prizes at Cartoons on the Bay and the Best TV Series prize at Annecy.
“We’re really excited that American kids, parents and caregivers will get to know Pocoyo and we’re confident that they’ll fall in love with him, just as millions around the globe have already,” says Maria Doolan, managing director of brand and business development at Zinkia. “Nick Jr. is a great home for this prestige series.”
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
CN, twofour54 Team Up for Arabic Projects
Cartoon Network and United Arab Emirates-based company twofour54 have teamed up to create Arabic animation projects.
The deal will see Cartoon Network open development and production offices at the Abu Dhabi location of twofour54, as well as a training academy.
The first phase of the partnership, which includes the academy and development studios, will launch in September. Production studios will open early next year.
"Cartoon Network is planning to revolutionize the creation of Arab animation," said Tony Orsten, chief executive of twofour54, in a statement. "This partnership ... supports our aim to develop a sustainable media and entertainment content industry here in Abu Dhabi."
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Brian Benson Joins Smoke and Mirrors
Smoke and Mirrors has added post-production and visual effects veteran Brian Benson to its New York team.
Benson, who has worked as a freelancer for the past four years, has 16 years of experience in all aspects of the post-production and visual effects pipelines. His experience includes pitching, evaluating and breaking down boards, bidding, beauty retouch, match moving, composting, CG integration, online editing and VFX supervisions.
"Having Brian here gives us a massive technical edge and he compliments the team here perfectly," said Smoke & Mirrors CCO Sean Broughton. "He is well known, well liked and well-respected, working in every genre and with pretty much every agency in town. We're very proud to add him to the roster."
Benson has earned a Clio for work with AT&T, a BDA Gold for his TNT spots, a BDA Gold for his Nickelodeon campaign, and an IMA and BDA for his work with Showtime Networks. Before going freelance, Benson worked at Saucer Attack Inc., PostWorks, NY, Black Logic, Tape House Editorial, and Telezign.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Starlight Runner, Curious Team for Transmedia Properties
Starlight Runner Entertainment and Curious Pictures are teaming up for a strategic partnership to develop and produce multiple animated transmedia properties for platforms including TV, movis, books, online and mobile content.
The deal calls for the two companies to package and produces four properties, with an option to extend the deal. Two projects already have been announced: Curious Pictures’ Dinodozers and Starlight Runner’s Shadow Angels.
“Forming a strategic alliance with Curious Pictures is an integral move for Starlight Runner as we look to develop more of our own original intellectual properties moving forward,” said transmedia producer and CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment, Jeff Gomez. “While our expertise allows for us to create world class franchises and deep immersive story worlds, Curious Pictures’ unique and vivid animation style is ideal for bringing these franchises to life, and we couldn’t be more excited to embark on this journey with them.”
“Since its founding, Curious Pictures has been on the leading edge of design and production across multiple platforms from traditional television to gaming and interactive,” says Curious CEO Jan Korbelin. “The opportunity to work with Jeff and the Starlight team to take our collective expertise to the next level via these properties offers extraordinary potential.”
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Pioneering Hungarian artist Janos Kass dead at 82
Hungarian graphic artist and book illustrator János Kass, the storyboard artist for the first fully digital animated film, died March 29 in Budapest. He was 82.
Released by Halas and Batchelor Cartoon Films in 1981, the 11-minute Dilemma was nominated at that year's Cannes Film Festival for the Golden Palm for Best Short Film.
In Dilemma, the rise and fall of civilizations over the ages is shown in a series of graphic images. Having already been recognized for his illustrations and book designs, he made numerous friends in the British graphic art world while spending several months in London during 1980 working on the film.
Kass was also a background artist for the "So Beautiful and So Dangerous" segment of Ivan Reitman Productions' 1981 animated feature film Heavy Metal.
He was born in Szeged, Hungary on December 26, 1927. Beginning his artistic studies at the Applied Art Academy, Kass finished in 1951 at the Academy of Fine Arts, a student of Gyula Hincz, György Kádár and György Konecsni. From 1956 to 1959 he held the Derkovits scholarship.
From 1961 to 1962, he was assistant professor at the Book-Art Academy in Leipzig, Germany.
Kass regularly took part in every major national exhibition at home and abroad. He had one-man shows in Italy (1963), Australia (1970) and Switzerland (1976). He participated in the Venice Biennial (1960), the Youth Biennial in Paris (1961), and Biennials in Lugano, Tokyo, Ljubljana, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, along with "Intergrafik" exhibitions in Berlin.
His work was awarded the title of best illustrated book at the 1973 Leipzig book fair -- an honor repeated in 1999 at the Frankfurt fair.
The winner of the Munkácsy Prize in 1954 and 1967, he received the Officer's Cross Order of The Republic of Hungary in 1992 and the Kossuth Prize -- Hungary's highest artistic award -- in 1999.
He was an elected member of the Széchenyi academy. There is a permanent exhibition of his works in Szeged, his birthplace.
János Kass's daughter from his first marriage to artist Gabriella Hajnal, Eszter Kass, became an artist as well. His second wife, Vera Bánki, is a translator of English historical studies. He is survived by both.
NFB animation a "Runaway" winner at Genie Awards
"Runaway," Cordell Barker's third cartoon for the National Film Board of Canada, was named best animated film Monday night at the Genie Awards, Canada's equivalent of the Oscars.
Last year, the Winnipeg animator's tale won the Jury's Special Award for Short Films at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, along with the Small Golden Rail at the Cannes Film Festival.
In Runaway, happy passengers are having a great time on a crowded train, oblivious to the unknown fate that awaits them around the bend. The ensuing crisis leads to a class struggle that is as amusing as it is merciless. Naturally, there are victims, but in the end, everyone is equal.
Barker also directed The Cat Came Back and Strange Invaders for the NFB. Set to the music of Ben Charest (composer of The Triplets of Belleville), Runaway takes you on a journey that is both funny and disastrous.
Losing to Runaway (Train en folie) for best animated film were two other NFB shorts: The Spine (L'échine), by Steven Hoban, Chris Landreth and Marcy Page; and Vive la rose, by Michael Fukushima, Bruce Alcock, Annette Clarke and Tina Ouellette.
Denis Villeneuve's Polytechnique, about the 1989 Montreal Massacre, won nine awards at the Genies in Toronto, including best film. Villeneuve was named best director, while screenwriter Jacques Davidts won for best original screenplay.
Monday's televised gala marked the Genies' 30th anniversary. A video tribute was included in a retrospective of the awards.
The Genies were broadcast on the Independent Film Channel and Webcast on CBC.ca. They are scheduled to be reaired May 9 on MFEST and Movie Central.
Music Box with a Secret
Make sure you’re sitting down and buckled up for this one because it’s going to take you for a ride. Music Box with a Secret is an unbelievable creative trip that hails from mid-seventies Russia. Director Valery Ugarov (1941-2007) utilizes a pastiche of sixties and seventies styles and artists as diverse as Heinz Edelmann and Yellow Sub, psychedelia, Seymour Chwast, and Victorian revival, and transforms it into an utterly unique and beautifully animated experience. The synth and electro-soundtrack adds a lot and is an inspired solution to a film about music boxes.
(Thanks, Animatsiya in English)
(Thanks Cartoon Brew)
I posted this music video yesterday on my Cartoon Dump facebook page and since then this funky thing has grown on me. It was directed by Robert Capria and produced at New York’s Actuality Films. Music by Kamikaze Picnic featuring BS.
(Thanks Cartoon Brew)
I love the playful and fun drawing in Lucky Cat (2004). Created by Thomas Hicks, Mark James and Paddy Molloy.
(Thanks Cartoon Brew)
DWA's Other Cash Streams
You ask, "How can DreamWorks Animation spend $160 million advertising a new movie?" Because it's about more than box office grosses.
After 2-1/2 years of work and an investment of about $10 million, DreamWorks Animation has started rolling out its first online virtual world -- a browser-based Web theme park tied to its "Kung Fu Panda" movie franchise.
The marketing push for "Kung Fu Panda World," which comes at a subscription cost of $5.95 per month, but can also be sampled after watching an online ad, kicks off Monday after a soft launch at the end of March ...
Will DreamWorks build more virtual worlds? "The experience of building this will help," said Batter, adding that a "How to Train Your Dragon" world is currently in the works.
It's all about exploiting different media platforms, and pulling down bucks from those platforms. DreamWorks Animation isn't a conglomerate (yet), so it has to generate cash where it can.
But of course, virtual games are far from a sure thing in InternetLand. The Mouse, for instance, has had successful games in the past, but it's also fallen on its large, corporate backside.
(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)
Around and About the House of Mouse
I spent the morning wandering the hall of Disney Feature Animation (Walt Disney Animation Studios to the wider world).
In the front hallway, the long display case no longer holds videos and artwork for The Princess and the Frog. Development art for Tangled has replaced it ...
Upstairs, Tangled's animators are moving briskly along with footage.
... "I'm doing five or six feet a week. We saw the reels of the picture last week, and the color that's in it looks great. And it's the first time CG characters are singing songs the way they do in the old Disney features." ...
The walls in animators' offices are decorated with Glen Keane's drawings for Tangled's lead characters. As I look at the CG versions on various computer screens, I can see Glen's input and influence on all of them.
Everybody I talked to think the picture is shaping up nicely. The schedule is tight, but sometimes that's a good thing. (Worked well for How to Train Your Dragon, so it could concentrate minds in a good way here.)
(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)
Cover Artwork, Synopsis For "DC Kids Mega Sampler – Free Comic Book Day" Title
DC Comics has provided details on the upcoming DC Kids Mega Sampler – Free Comic Book Day release, scheduled for release next month.
Excerpts from the acclaimed Batman: The Brave and The Bold comic series, based on the Cartoon network animated series of the same name, will be included in the upcoming DC Kids Mega Sampler – Free Comic Book Day release from DC Comics. The upcoming DC Kids Mega Sampler – Free Comic Book Day release is part of the Free Comic Book Day promotion for the publisher. Countless other comic publishers will also be offering free titles on Free Comic Book Day, scheduled for Saturday, May 1st, 2010. Cover art and the official description for DC Kids Mega Sampler – Free Comic Book Day are available below.
DC KIDS MEGA-SAMPLER FCBD 2010 EDITION
Written By: Landry Walker, Art Baltazar, Franco, Sholly Fisch
Artwork By: Eric Jones, Art Baltazar, Mike Norton, Dario Brizuela
Cover by: Art Baltazar
Synopsis: This sampler is the perfect place to check out the sensational line of titles aimed at readers of all ages! It includes exciting, all-new stories starring Batman: The Brave & The Bold, Tiny Titans, Billy Batson & the Magic of Shazam! and Super Friends!
DC Kids Mega Sampler – Free Comic Book Day will be available for free on Free Comic Book Day – Saturday, May 1st, 2010.
Package Art From Recent "Wonder Woman" Animated Feature Soundtrack Release
The World's Finest has a look at the package artwork for the recent Wonder Woman – Soundtrack From the DC Universe Animated Original Movie compact disc release from La-La Land Records.
To view images from the recent Wonder Woman – Soundtrack From the DC Universe Animated Original Movie compact disc soundtrack release from La-La Land Records, currently available to order at lalalandrecords.com and other online soundtrack specialty sites, please click on the thumbnails below. Only 1200 copies of this Limited Edition CD release are available. The Wonder Woman – Soundtrack From the DC Universe Animated Original Movie score release features music composed by Christopher Drake.
Continue to the Wonder Woman subsite here at The World's Finest for further coverage on the 2009 direct-to-video animated feature. The Wonder Woman – Soundtrack From the DC Universe Animated Original Movie special limited edition compact disc release from La-La Land Records is now available to order through the official La-La Land Records website and other online supporting soundtrack specialty stores. WaterTower Music also has the Wonder Woman – Soundtrack From the DC Universe Animated Original Movie score available to own as a digital download through iTunes and other digital music outlets.
"Heavenly Appeals" a short film by David Lisbe
After many millennia of being tortured in Hell, Raymond K. Hessle has finally earned a chance to appeal his sentence of Eternal Damnation. Upon arriving at the "appeals" gate of Heaven he is greeted by the angel who will preside over his case. ...
Cool T-Shirt Design: Cartoon Wigs Museum
I love this T-shirt design by Rodrigo Leonardo Batista Ferreira (aka rodrigobhz). Ferreira submitted this to Threadless.com and won their weekly contest. Now you can purchase it as a limited edition tee here. How many characters can you name?
(Thanks, Tara O’Neil)
(Thanks Cartoon Brew)
Sign up now for the Animation Golf Invitational!
Attention Golfers! The 2010 Animation Golf Invitational (formerly the Screen Cartoonists' Golf Classic) is teeing off on Saturday, May 8, 2010. All those affiliated with the animation industry, as well as family and friends are invited to attend.
This year, to keep costs down and get you acquainted with our tournament, we are holding it at the DeBell Golf Club in Burbank. In past years, we have traveled to Palm Springs, San Diego, Santa Barbara and even further north to hold the tournament.
Trophies and prizes are given in various categories both for Low Gross and Low Net scores. Our team trophy is given to a studio team and they not only get to display it proudly at the studio for the year, but also get to decorate it with a studio or show logo.
Golf and Lunch, including prizes is only $100!
For more information, contact Lyn Mantta (firstname.lastname@example.org) at (818) 845-7500 ext. 105.
(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)
The Mid-Week Festival of Links
Animated news that may or may not interest you (but interested me) ....
The New York Times recounts comic book icon Jack Kirby's time in AnimationLand:
... Mr. Kirby started working for California’s animation studios in the late 1970s after becoming disillusioned with comic-book companies in New York that he said he felt did not give him fair payment or credit for his creations. After a stint with Hanna-Barbera, he was hired by Ruby-Spears in 1980, first to design characters and backgrounds for its Saturday morning action series “Thundarr the Barbarian,” then to draw presentation boards for new projects.
“Many times, he didn’t have enough to do, or there weren’t enough assignments,” Mr. Spears said. “He was such a prolific guy that he would, on his own, just start sketching out some thoughts.” ...
And while we're on the subject of super heroes, DisneyMarvel (like the way that bounces off your eye-balls?) rolled out this:
... Marvel Entertainment announced that an "Ultimate Spider-Man" animated series will debut on The Disney XD Channel in the Fall of 2011. The series focuses on Peter Parker as he grows from a reckless teenager into the hero he was meant to become, all while contending with super-villains and typical teenage curve balls. ...
Singapore -- if you hadn't heard -- is making a major push to rope in more international cartoon biz:
Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) has announced a major fund of up to S$5 million for every new animation programme made with foreign companies.
It is part of efforts to extend Singapore's reach in the global content market.
MIPTV is one of the world's most important trade markets for the television industry.
Held in the French city of Cannes, it is also where Singapore showcases the programmes it produces, and convinces international partners why they should do business with the country ...
James Barrie's Neverland characters aren't the wholly-owned property of the Mouse. Other corporate entities are working up product featuring Mr. Pan and Co.:
India's DQ Entertainment has signed a deal with France Television for a $12.5 million 3D CGI animation series, "The New Adventures of Peter Pan," to be developed by French production companies Method Animation and Story Board Animation, it was announced Tuesday.
DQ Entertainment, the Mumbai-based animation, live action and gaming, producer/distributor said the 26x30 fantasy adventure series would remain faithful to the original series but would bring the story to a new generation of children.
Seth McFarlane circles his first animated feature (well, animated hybrid feature).
... The Family Guy creator is working out a deal with Universal Pictures and financiers Media Rights Capital about ... a movie, titled "Ted." MacFarlane, who pulls triple duty on American Dad, Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, would direct the film, his first feature, by year’s end if the deal can be sealed. He would also provide the voice for the CG-animated teddy bear, who comes between the guy and his girlfriend ...
Disney withholds Song of the South. Time-Warner withholds eleven questionable shorts:
[The Censored Eleven] ... [A]s Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts often reflected the era at the time of it being inked, they sometimes touched upon sensitive issues with an arguably insensitive approach. Although a sparked stick of dynamite and a giant mallet over the head could easily be laughed off by most, shorts centered around harsh African American stereotypes will do more than just raise an eyebrow.
In 1968, United Artists selected 11 Warner Bros. cartoons that the studio determined to be overtly insensitive to African Americans. As owners to Associated Artists Productions and the cartoon library therein, United Artists pulled the cartoons -- dubbed the "Censored 11" -- from distribution and withheld them from being officially aired on television or released on video. According to GoldenAgeCartoons.com, Ted Turner upheld this policy after retaining rights to the pre-1948 cartoons and it's been maintained under their current ownership.
Well, the 'toons are pretty insensitive. Whether they should be completely swept under the rug or not, I donno. Like it or not, they are a part of cartoon history.
We wish you a successful hike over the mid-week hump.
(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)
Think tank warns against banning animated kid porn
A move to ban animated child pornography in Denmark may face legal hurdles, warns a leading think tank in the Scandinavian country.
The opposition Social Democrats have submitted a proposal to ban animated child porn. With support from the Danish People's Party and the Socialist People's Party, the legislation was to be debated Tuesday by the parliamentary judicial committee.
Denmark is the only country in Scandinavia where animated child pornography is legal.
However, the Cepos think tank says that a change in legislation may impede the right to freedom of expression.
Jacob Mchangama, Cepos' director of legal affairs, warned that a change may be difficult, since the proposal states that animated child pornography can spur pedophiles to commit actual attacks.
"If they are considering introducing a ban, at the minimum, it requires hard and strong evidence that animated child pornography undoubtedly leads to abuse of actual children, and I'm not aware of that kind of unequivocal research existing," he told the Ritzau news agency.
Mchangama added that a ban could conflict with constitutional rights to expression.
"The drawings are an expression of a sick fantasy, but one can't or shouldn't ban fantasies and thoughts. Insulting and offensive thoughts are also covered by freedom of expression. Otherwise, we should also ban computer games and films where there's comprehensive and meaningless violence."
In mid-March, a group of Japanese cartoonists protested against a plan in their country to tighten restrictions on sexual images of minors in animation, comics and computer game software.
Prominent artists Machiko Satonaka and Tetsuya Chiba were among the cartoonists who held a news conference to express their opposition before a vote by the Tokyo metropolitan assembly. "This could violate freedom of expression," they said in a joint statement to assembly members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.
In Japan, producing and distributing child pornography is illegal. However, possession is not a criminal act, and images of "non-existent" underage characters in manga comics are legal.
Whedon To Direct Marvel's 'The Avengers'
I'm told Marvel Studios is in final negotiations for Buffy the Vampire Slayer series architect Joss Whedon to direct Marvel Studios' The Avengers. That's the fast-tracked film that would amount to an all-star team of Marvel superheros, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), as well as SHIELD leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Other signature superheroes will likely be involved, but I've listed the actors in active superhero duty. Whedon has been rumored for this job for awhile, and is high on the fanboy wish-list. He's an interesting choice: despite his writing/producing TV series resume, his lone feature directing effort, Serenity, was not a hit. After Iron Man 2, Marvel has three pictures left on a distribution deal with Paramount before it moves to Disney, and the studio has been churning them out. Iron Man 2 gets released in May, Captain America will begin shooting this summer in Europe, Thor is in production, and Marvel Studios just set Pete Sollett to direct Runaways, based on the comic book series created by Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan. Whedon has written installments of the latter, so he knows how to make those superheros fly. Marvel has considered all of the individual superhero movies to be an intro to The Avengers, so the wanna-see on this one will be huge. The film will be released in the first weekend of May, 2012.
(Thanks Deadline Hollywood)
Piecing Together Ryan Reynolds' 'Green Lantern' Costume
It can be argued that a comic book character is 50 percent superpowers and skills and 50 percent costume. If you don’t have a great outfit, you’re just a guy running around in long underwear. Attire can make or break a superhero, and as Ryan Reynolds could soon find out, attire can make or break a superhero movie, too.
According to SlashFilm, Reynolds’ "Green Lantern" suit will be mostly computer-generated visual rather than actual clothing. The rumor appears to have been confirmed by DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, making this one of the first attempts at a fully CG suit in the genre (though Silver Surfer in the "Fantastic Four" sequel and Dr. Manhattan in "Watchmen" used a heavy mix of CG and motion-capture technology to bring each character to life).
This could prove to be a smart move for a film in which the main character creates his uniform out of thin air instead of zipping up.
"We're all on lockdown about that stuff,” Greg Berlanti, the film’s co-writer and producer, told MTV News when asked how much (if any) CGI will go into Reynolds' Green Lantern uniform. But of course, fans are dying to know. Many have put together some impressive photoshopped representations of what they think Reynolds’ uniform should look like.
Recent superhero adaptations have gone with more practical costume designs for their actors. Christian Bale’s Batman had to act and move in an extremely heavy rubber suit, but it worked out perfectly for the story and for fans. Seeing as how Hal Jordan is part of a group of space police, the film's Academy Award-winning costume designer, Ngila Dickson, might be stretching her sketching skills rather than her sewing ability.
I'm hoping they go with a simple, classic Green Lantern uniform instead of trying to make Reynolds stand out too much from the rest of the Corps. And I think CGI might be their best bet at making the quick costume change look natural for his power ring’s abilities.
Late last year, Reynolds talked about seeing prototypes for his costume and called it a “huge moment.”
“This is happening, and it's happening in the right way,’” Reynolds told MTV News.
So, Green Lantern’s star was convinced, but a lot can change in a few months.
Chris Evans Didn't Audition For 'Captain America,' Will Play Both Versions of Steve Rogers
Earlier this year, dozens of young actors including Garrett Hedlund, Channing Tatum, John Krasinski and Ryan Phillippe vied for a chance to play Steve Rogers in "The First Avenger: Captain America."
And while Chris Evans has emerged victorious from the various contenders on his way to starring as Captain America, director Joe Johnston has revealed that Evans was cast in the role without having to audition.
"Chris didn't audition at all," said Johnston during an interview with Earth's Mightiest. "I was already familiar with everything he'd done and was championing his cause, not that I had a fight from the Marvel team. They were fans of his as well. He came in to the art department to say hi, saw all the jaw-dropping art and designs on the wall and reacted the way I'd hoped he would."
"It was really his wonderful enthusiasm for everything he saw that cinched the deal," continued Johnston. "We have some of the best designers and illustrators in the industry working for us and the art is just incredible to wander through. He will bring the perfect balance of dramatic performance and physicality to the role."
Johnston also addressed rumors that another actor would portray Steve Rogers before he receives the super-soldier serum that turns him into Captain America.
"Casting Captain America is really casting two roles," related Johnston. "Steve Rogers before and after the transformation from 98 pound weakling to perfect physical specimen. I can't divulge how we're going to do it, but the performance will be Chris Evans from beginning to end. An actor playing Captain America has to embody that backstory and let it inform his understanding of his new self. One of the interesting aspects of the character is the effect that kind of total transformation would have on the his psyche. It gives the character more dimension and the actor playing him a wider range of interesting choices."
Alice Eve and Hayley Atwell are reportedly in contention for the female lead in "Captain America" , while Hugo Weaving is in negotiations to appear as the Red Skull. Sebastian Stan has also signed on to portray Bucky Barnes — Captain America's first partner.
"Captain America" is scheduled to begin filming in June and will be released in July, 2011.
'Kick-Ass' Actress Chloe Moretz Needed Mom's Permission To Play Hit-Girl
As Hit-Girl in director Matthew Vaughn's "Kick-Ass," Chloe Moretz plays one of the scariest little girls in cinema history thanks to her vulgar vocabulary and her ruthless intolerance towards criminals everywhere — which is exactly why it's so surprising that Hit-Girl's greatest nemesis was nearly her own mother.
Speaking with MTV News, Moretz revealed that the decision to pursue the role of Hit-Girl was initially out of her hands, as the young actress needed to clear one particularly difficult obstacle first — her mom's approval.
"My mom read [the 'Kick-Ass' script] first," she confessed to MTV. "I usually don't read the scripts!"
Moretz said that she's not used to reading movie scripts for a very understandable reason — she doesn't want to get disappointed.
"You don't really know where anything is going to go when you read a script — you can only hope," she said. "You get emotionally attached to a project, and then if you don't get it, you get sad."
Emotionally attached doesn't even begin to describe Moretz's love for Hit-Girl. The actress said that once she learned about the part, she "freaked out" and demanded that her mother let her pursue the character.
"I read it and I freaked out and said, 'I have to be Hit-Girl, mom!' She was like, 'Okay, well — let's try it,'" Moretz recalled. "So I went out [to audition] for [Vaughn], and I got it... and then I started training!"
Amazing new INTERACTIVE Iron Man 2 trailer!
Paramount has released a cool interactive version of the Iron Man 2 trailer, with places to find out more about what's in it, below.
Hot spots in the trailer, which we've seen previously, now allow you to read about new characters Justin Hammer and Black Widow, among other things.
Check it out! Iron Man 2 opens May 7.
(Thanks to Film School Rejects for the heads-up.)
Cameron promises extended Avatar Blu-ray. Just not yet
In this new video interview, Avatar director James Cameron promises that future Blu-ray releases may have added scenes, maybe a branched version of the movie, or maybe even a longer version of the film, but that the first release next week will have only the theatrical version of the movie.
"I don't want to have fun with that until I've established the film that I made as definitive and put it in the marketplace," Cameron told us.
"I think they'll see that the vibrancy, the colors, the dynamics of the film are very well preserved," Cameron adds.
The Blu-ray will feature Cameron's theatrical version and comes out on April 22, Earth Day, reflecting the film's environmental themes. (A DVD drops on the same day.)
New Predators Featurette
20th Century Fox has released another behind the scenes featurette for Robert Rodriguez's new project "Predators" starring Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Walt Goggins.
The film is directed by Nimród Antal and is due out July 7, 2010.
"Predators," a bold new chapter in the Predator universe, shot under the creative auspices of Robert Rodriguez, stars Adrien Brody as Royce, a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors who to come to realize they've been brought together on an alien planet...as prey. With the notable exception of a disgraced physician, they are all cold-blooded killers-mercenaries, Yakuza convicts, death squad members - human "predators" that are now being systemically hunted and eliminated by a new breed of alien Predators.
Which newly discovered Kirby superhero could be a Hollywood hit?
Could the Golden Shield—an ancient Mayan hero seeking to save Earth from ending in the year 2012—be the next Captain America? Is it possible that the Gargoids—scientists who gain superpowers after being infected by an alien virus—might become as popular as the Fantastic Four? Hollywood sure hopes so, according to The New York Times.
Jack Kirby, who co-created many of the Marvel superheroes that have recently been turned into blockbuster movies, created an estimated 600 production boards while working for animation studio Ruby-Spears Productions during the 1980s. Since then, that work has remained in storage and unseen while the studio has tried to figure out what to do with it.
"I love comic books, but this is a treasure," said Ariel Z. Emanuel, the co-chief executive of the William Morris Endeavor Entertainment agency, who is representing these Kirby works for Ruby-Spears and Sid and Marty Krofft (H.R. Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost). "It's like a boat sank at the bottom of the ocean, and all of a sudden you've uncovered it."
These newly discovered characters were created during a period when Kirby had become disillusioned with New York's comic-book companies and turned to California's animation studios instead. While working for Ruby-Spears designing characters and backgrounds for its Saturday-morning action series Thundarr the Barbarian, the ever-prolific Kirby drew presentation boards for new projects that never made it past the planning stages. But with studios hungry for new franchises, their time may have finally come.
Check out this NY Times slideshow for more never-before-seen Kirby heroes.
So what do you think? Will Jack Kirby's pedigree soon bring any of these characters to the screen?
Three New Iron Man 2 Videos
Three more Iron Man 2 videos have hit the web. The first is a behind-the-scenes featurette from Entertainment Tonight and there's also two more international TV spots. Watch them all using the players below!
New Spider-Man rumor: Josh Hutcherson to star?
Josh Hutcherson in Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant
More Spider-Man casting rumors: After HitFix claimed that Logan Lerman was "100 percent locked" to play the webslinger—and Deadline Hollywood said it wasn't so—IESB.net is saying there's another contender: Josh Hutcherson.
If his name doesn't sound familiar (which technically it shouldn't—being an unknown), you have seen him in stuff. He played Brendan Fraser's nephew in Journey to the Center of the Earth, the older brother (before growing up to be Dax Shepard - scary!) in Jon Favreau's underrated Zathura and recently appeared in Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant.
Hutcherson will next be seen as Laser in The Kids Are All Right and as Robert in the much-anticipated Red Dawn remake.
IESB, which bases its report on anonymous sources, hedges its bets:
We're not saying he has the role. Nor do we doubt our pal Drew McWeeny [at HitFix]. Lerman's name was brought up awhile back (albeit accidentally by the kid himself) and, as we've said a few times now, he fits exactly what Sony is said to be looking for in the role—young, unknown, cheap. Both Josh and Logan fit that description, truth be told.
Knight Rider's KITT falls on hard times, appears in auto parts ad
What's an artificially intelligent robotic car supposed to do after its series gets cancelled? If you're KITT, star of Knight Rider—who even got passed over for the short-lived reboot that got the ax about a year ago—you don't have a lot of options. Especially not in this economy.
Which must be why the four-wheeled sidekick just ended up as the spokesper—er, make that spokescar—for the UK automotive repair chain Kwik Fit.
Check out its new role below. (And if you know of any job openings for a computerized car, well, give KITT a call. Looks like it could use the work.)
Coolest. Soap. Ever: Han Solo in carbonite
Every now and then we come across a Star Wars-themed product—like that tauntaun sleeping bag—that is so freaking cool it takes our breath way: Today's installment? Soap in the shape of Han Solo in…CONTINUE READING »
Why didn't WE think of this??
You can buy it at Luxury Lane Soap, though overwhelming demand means a four-week wait:
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For a limited time I am offering a version of this soap with an Aurebesh label. Be sure to note which version you are purchasing when adding to cart.
Aprox. 4.2 inches x 2.25 inches and an inch thick.
Approximately 5 oz / 142 g
Made fresh daily! Vegan
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