Disney Sues to Keep Complete Rights to Marvel Characters

The company filed several lawsuits seeking to invalidate copyright-termination notices served by artists and illustrators involved with creating superheroes like Spider-Man and Thor.

#cartoons-and-cartoonists, #comic-books-and-strips, #copyrights-and-copyright-violations, #ditko-steve, #intellectual-property, #kirby-jack, #lee-stan, #marvel-comics, #marvel-entertainment, #walt-disney-company

Why ‘Shang-Chi’ Isn’t a Hit in China

Marvel’s first Asian superhero movie has yet to be released in the mainland amid fierce debate over its back story and star.

#asian-americans, #box-office-sales, #censorship, #china, #chinese-americans, #comic-books-and-strips, #east-asia, #far-east-south-and-southeast-asia-and-pacific-areas, #liu-simu, #marvel-entertainment, #movies, #shang-chi-and-the-legend-of-the-ten-rings-movie, #social-media, #walt-disney-company

Lauren Ridloff, MCU’s First Deaf Hero in ‘Eternals,’ on Her Superpower

In her first major role in a feature film, she wasn’t fazed by things that might unnerve others, but she had to show filmmakers how to work with deafness.

#actors-and-actresses, #content-type-personal-profile, #deafness, #eternals-movie, #jolie-angelina, #marvel-entertainment, #movies, #ridloff-lauren, #zhao-chloe

Without Box Office or Streaming Numbers, Hollywood Finds It Tough to Plan

With box office numbers way down in the pandemic and streaming numbers hard to come by, the film industry is often unable to determine whether a movie is a hit or a miss.

#box-office-sales, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disney-plus, #hbo-max, #marvel-entertainment, #movies, #netflix-inc, #paramount-pictures, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #theaters-buildings, #universal-pictures, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming

‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Review: House of Hidden Dragons

A millennial slacker reckons with his past — and his family of warriors.

#chen-fala, #cretton-destin-daniel, #leung-chiu-wai-tony, #liu-simu, #lum-nora-awkwafina, #marvel-entertainment, #movies, #shang-chi-and-the-legend-of-the-ten-rings-movie, #yeoh-michelle

Are You Ready for Sentient Disney Robots?

Some of the animatronics at Disney’s parks have been doing their herky-jerky thing since the Nixon administration. The company knows that nostalgia won’t cut it with today’s children.

#amusement-and-theme-parks, #disney-walt-world-lake-buena-vista-fla, #disneyland-anaheim-calif, #marvel-entertainment, #robots-and-robotics, #spider-man-fictional-character, #walt-disney-company, #weis-robert-w-1957

Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney Over ‘Black Widow’ Release

The star said making the film available on Disney+ at the same time it opened in theaters “dramatically” lowered box office revenue, which could cost her tens of millions of dollars.

#black-widow-movie, #box-office-sales, #disney-plus, #johansson-scarlett, #marvel-entertainment, #marvel-studios, #movies, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #walt-disney-company

Strong Opening for ‘Fast & Furious’ Film Suggests Movie Crowd Is Back

“F9: The Fast Saga,” the ninth installment of the franchise, is expected to earn $68 million this weekend, a respectable box-office result even by prepandemic standards.

#box-office-sales, #diesel-vin, #marvel-entertainment, #movies, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #theaters-buildings

Elon Musk and His Fellow Billionaires Are Not Superheroes

The American idealization of wealthy mavericks isn’t confined to the pages of comic books. 

#bezos-jeffrey-p, #comic-books-and-strips, #gates-bill, #high-net-worth-individuals, #income-inequality, #marvel-entertainment, #musk-elon, #philanthropy, #scott-mackenzie, #zuckerberg-mark-e

Review: ‘Loki,’ on the Light Side of the Marvel Streaming Universe

After “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” the Norse god’s Disney+ series lets some laughter in.

#comic-books-and-strips, #disney-plus, #hiddleston-tom, #loki-tv-program, #marvel-entertainment, #mbatha-raw-gugu, #mosaku-wunmi, #television, #wilson-owen

What Can Comic Book Heroes Teach Us About Black History?

A yearlong Narrative Projects series offers a fresh perspective on Black history, looking beyond the familiar lessons you may have learned in school.

#black-people, #comic-books-and-strips, #ewing-eve-1986, #giovanni-nikki, #gustines-george-gene, #marvel-entertainment, #narcisse-evan

Two Creators on Inventing (and Reinventing) Black Superheroes

We asked Eve L. Ewing and Evan Narcisse to share perspectives on the politics of being a Black comic-book writer and the Black superheroes you may have missed.

#black-history-continued-2021, #black-panther-movie, #black-people, #coates-ta-nehisi, #comic-books-and-strips, #dc-comics, #ewing-eve-1986, #green-lantern-fictional-character, #marvel-comics, #marvel-entertainment, #narcisse-evan, #race-and-ethnicity, #women-and-girls

40 Acres and a Movie

Disney can’t change its problematic past. But can it make a new future with Marvel?

#black-people, #children-and-childhood, #disney-plus, #marvel-entertainment, #morris-wesley-1975, #movies, #new-york-times, #pixar-animation-studios, #podcasts, #race-and-ethnicity, #soul-movie, #walt-disney-company, #wandavision-tv-program, #wortham-jenna, #writing-and-writers

TV’s Battle of the Binge: Why the Wait Can Be Worth It

Streaming TV promised to free us from schedules, but series like “WandaVision” show that weekly rituals still have power.

#bridgerton-tv-program, #disney-plus, #for-all-mankind-tv-program, #marvel-entertainment, #television, #the-boys-tv-program, #the-falcon-and-the-winter-soldier-tv-program, #wandavision-tv-program

‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’: What You Need to Know

The heroes of this new Disney+ series share a complex relationship that has evolved over multiple films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here are the most crucial bits of history and context.

#disney-plus, #mackie-anthony, #marvel-entertainment, #stan-sebastian, #television, #the-falcon-and-the-winter-soldier-tv-program

In Australia, Hollywood Stars Have Found an Escape From Covid. Who’s Jealous?

Dozens of international film productions have been lured to the country, where cases of the coronavirus are few. In turn, actors have found almost paradise.

#australia, #bale-christian, #california, #celebrities, #clooney-george, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #damon-matt, #efron-zac, #elba-idris, #hanks-tom, #marvel-entertainment, #movies, #new-zealand, #politics-and-government, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #television, #theater

How the ‘WandaVision’ Creator Brought Her Vision (and Wanda’s) to Life

Jac Schaeffer shared some of the secrets behind the show’s origins, its Marvel-size finale and those impossibly catchy tunes.

#content-type-personal-profile, #disney-plus, #jac-schaeffer, #marvel-entertainment, #television, #wandavision-tv-program

Kathryn Hahn Talks About Her Insidious, Perfidious Role on ‘WandaVision’

Who brought wry comedy, a dual identity and a memorable wink to this Disney+ series? It’s been Agatha all along.

#hahn-kathryn-1973, #marvel-entertainment, #television, #wandavision-tv-program

Teyonah Parris Didn’t Get ‘WandaVision’ at First, Either

The actress was thrilled to join the Marvel series as the agent Monica Rambeau, after memorable roles in “Chi-Raq” and “Mad Men.” But early on, she was just as confused as the rest of us.

#disney-plus, #marvel-entertainment, #parris-teyonah, #television, #wandavision-tv-program

Marvel’s Latest Frontier? In ‘WandaVision,’ It’s the Suburbs

Marvel’s first series for Disney+ is part drama, part homage to vintage sitcoms, following the misfit heroes played by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany to some weird places.

#actors-and-actresses, #bettany-paul, #comic-books-and-strips, #disney-plus, #feige-kevin, #marvel-entertainment, #marvel-studios, #movies, #olsen-elizabeth-1989, #television, #walt-disney-company, #wandavision-tv-program

Managing Movie Superheroes Is About to Get a Lot More Complicated

Walter Hamada, who runs DC Films, is overseeing a dizzying number of projects, part of a swarm of comics-based stories coming from Hollywood.

#batman-fictional-character, #comic-books-and-strips, #dc-comics, #emmerich-toby-1963, #marvel-entertainment, #movies, #superman-fictional-character, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #wandavision-tv-program, #wonder-woman-fictional-character, #wonder-woman-1984-movie

How the New Spider-Man Game Gets Miles Morales Right

Evan Narcisse, a writer for the new Spider-Man game for PlayStation 4 and 5, worked to make the hero’s connections to his Afro-Latino neighborhood feel as authentic as possible.

#comic-books-and-strips, #computer-and-video-games, #marvel-entertainment, #narcisse-evan, #race-and-ethnicity, #spider-man-fictional-character

Two demon-hunting siblings reunite to save the world in Helstrom trailer

Tom Austen and Sydney Lemmon star as siblings Daimon and Ana Helstrom in Helstrom, a 10-episode horror series that hits Hulu next month.

An ethics professor and secret demon hunter reunites with his estranged sister to take on a powerful demonic entity in the trailer for Helstrom, an upcoming horror series based on Marvel Comics characters. The 10-episode series debuts on Hulu next month

Helstrom has a complicated back story. As we reported in 2019, Hulu announced the development of two new Marvel-centric series, Ghost Rider (with Gabriel Luna reprising his role from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Helstrom. The shows were intended to kick off a standalone “Adventure into Fear” franchise that would bring a chilling horror element to the Marvel formula. Ghost Rider soon fell by the wayside, and by December 2019, Marvel Television was shut down. That makes Helstrom the sole survivor of the planned fear-based franchise. Shooting finished in March, right before the coronavirus pandemic caused most Hollywood productions to grind to a halt. Showrunner Paul Zbyszewski’s contract was terminated in April—also due to the pandemic—but he stayed on for postproduction.

The series focuses on two characters from Marvel Comics. First: Daimon Helstrom, the son of Satan, introduced in Ghost Rider #1 (1973). He eventually became a recurring character in The Defenders. The other protagonist is his sister, Satana (Ana in the TV adaptation), who embraces the occult and her paternal heritage while Daimon chooses to defend humanity. Per the official premise: “The world isn’t ready for a Helstrom family reunion. As the son and daughter of a mysterious and powerful serial killer, Helstrom follows Daimon (Tom Austen) and Ana Helstrom (Sydney Lemmon), and their complicated dynamic, as they track down the worst of humanity—each with their own attitude and skills.”

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#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hulu, #marvel-cinematic-universe, #marvel-comics, #marvel-entertainment, #streaming-television, #trailers

Everyone loves the new couple on the block in first Wandavision trailer

Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprise their roles as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Vision, respectively, in Marvel’s spinoff series WandaVision.

If you were watching the virtual 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards last night, you no doubt caught the debut of a new trailer for WandaVision, the first standalone series to be released in Phase Four of the MCU. The studio offered a sneak peek last year during D23 Expo 2019, Disney’s annual fan extravaganza. Lacking any actual footage, that teaser was just snippets of The Dick van Dyke Show interspersed with snippets of the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) from the various MCU films. At the time, I was skeptical of the concept, but this new trailer is quite promising and gives me hope that Marvel can pull it off.

WandaVision is meant to be a kind of sitcom/epic superhero mashup, with Kat Dennings reprising her role as Darcy from the Thor films, alongside Randall Park reprising his Ant Man and the Wasp role as FBI agent Jimmy Woo. Kathryn Hahn (Crossing Jordan) will play a “nosy neighbor,” and Teyonah Parris (Mad Men) plays a grown-up Monica Rambeau, daughter of Carol Danvers’ BFF Maria Rambeau, introduced in Captain Marvel. Within the MCU timeline, it takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, and its events will directly tie in to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, currently slated for a 2022 release. 

Per the official description: “WandaVision will follow the story of Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s superhero characters, the Scarlet Witch and Vision. The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.”

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#disney-plus, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #marvel-entertainment, #streaming-television, #trailers, #wandavision

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes final bow with high-octane journey through time

One last mission: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ended its seven-year run with a two-part finale.

Agent Phil Coulson and his plucky team of superheroes battled an alien race of Chronicoms in a high-octane journey through multiple time periods in the seventh and final season of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It has always been a fun show, even when the narrative occasionally went bonkers—honestly, especially then—with compelling characters that kept you coming back each week. The seventh and final season brought a pronounced sense of playfulness to the show’s pre-existing strengths, effectively saving its best season for last and tying everything together in a satisfying two-part finale.

(Some spoilers below, but no major plot twists.)

The spin-off series created by The Avengers writer and Director Joss Whedon brought Coulson (Clark Gregg) back from the dead to lead an elite squad of agents to take on the terrorist group Hydra, eventually incorporating a superhuman race called Inhumans into the storyline.

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#abc, #agents-of-shield, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #marvel-entertainment, #television

A Summer Without Superheroes

A real-world catastrophe has forced us to hit pause on enjoying the spectacle of our own domination. Maybe that’s a good thing.

#comic-books-and-strips, #dc-comics, #marvel-entertainment, #movies

Can Comic Books Survive the Coronavirus Era?

A key distributor has halted deliveries and shops are shuttered, putting the entire industry in jeopardy: “A lot of people are going to lose their livelihoods.”

#book-trade-and-publishing, #comic-books-and-strips, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #dc-comics, #marvel-entertainment, #shopping-and-retail

Natasha Romanoff faces off against Taskmaster in final Black Widow trailer

Marvel’s Black Widow final trailer.

Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) goes back to her roots to take down a ruthless mercenary recruiting other young women to be combat operatives in the final trailer for Black Widow, Marvel’s long-overdue standalone feature film delving into the mysterious past of the late titular Avenger.

(Some spoilers for Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame below.)

As we wrote last December, we know that the Russian-born Natasha/Black Widow was trained as a spy/assassin in a secretive academy known as the Red Room, which disguised itself as a ballet school. All the “Black Widows” were sterilized, so Natasha is unable to bear children. Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), aka Hawkeye, is sent to take her out but recruits her to S.H.I.E.L.D. instead. The two become fast friends, and both wind up joining the Avengers, giving Natasha a family of sorts. When the group splits in Captain America: Civil War, Natasha initially sides with Tony Stark/Iron Man, even though that pits her against Barton and Steve Rogers. But her loyalties remain divided, and in the battle at Leipzig Airport, she lets Rogers and Bucky Barnes escape.

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#black-widow, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #marvel-cinematic-universe, #marvel-entertainment, #trailers

Multiverse virtual worlds will be healthier for society than our current social networks

The basis of the classic James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies” is an evil media mogul who instigates war between the U.K. and China because it will be great for TV ratings. There’s been a wake-up call recently that our most popular social networks have been indirectly designed to divide populations into enemy camps and reward sensational content, but without the personal responsibility of Bond’s nemesis because they’re algorithmically driven.

(This is part five of a seven-part series about virtual worlds.)

The rise of “multiverse” virtual words as the next social frontier offers hope to one of the biggest crises facing democratic societies right now. Because the dominant social media platforms (in Western countries at least) monetize through advertising, these platforms reward sensational content that results in the most clicks and shares. Oversimplified, exaggerated claims intended to shock users scrolling past are best practices for individuals, media brands and marketing departments alike, and social platforms intentionally steer users toward more extreme content in order to captivate them for longer.

Our impending cultural shift to socializing equally as often through virtual worlds could help rescue us from this constant conflict of interest between what we recognize as healthy interactions with others and how these social apps incentivize us to behave.

Virtual worlds can have advertisements within them, but the dominant monetization strategies in MMOs are upfront purchase of games and in-game transactions. Any virtual world that gains enough adoption to compete as a social hub for mainstream society will need to be free-to-play and will earn more money through in-world transactions than from ads.

#augmented-reality, #epic-games, #facebook, #fortnite, #gaming, #marvel-entertainment, #riot-games, #social, #virtual-reality, #virtual-worlds