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Monday, December 7, 2009

David Maisel leaving Marvel as chairman

The chairman of Marvel Studios is departing the company when The Walt Disney Company finishes formalizing its acquisition of the comic book publisher. David Maisel, the guy that helped attract investors to give up $525 million dollars of financing money so Marvel Studios could go out and make movies of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, as well as the upcoming ones Thor, The Avengers and Captain America, is headed out the door.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

MGM rumored to be up for sale

Variety's Peter Bart is breaking a major story tonight that MGM may be up for sale and likely auctioned off. That process could be underway as soon as before Christmas.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin co-hosting the Oscars

While renaissance man Hugh Jackman won't be back to host next year's Academy Awards Steve Martin will be and he'll be joined by 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have made the announcement that for the 82nd Academy Awards it will rely upon two co-hosts and not one.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

The ghost of movie website ethics rises again

Anne Thompson, former Variety staff writer and now blogger for the Indiewire network, wrote an interesting article last week about film bloggers/webmasters that are taking part in junkets and special online press events paid for by the movie studios. A fascinating debate is taking place in the comments section where many owners and high profile movie site writers are talking about the challenges they face and their reputation as non-biased (or not-so-non-biased) reporters about movies.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Coraline director leaves Laika

Coraline director Henry Selick has left Laika, the Portland, Oregon-based animation studio. Selick had been employed by Laika for five years and his contract was up this year. His departure leaves a large void in the small studio and a big question mark about who will replace him for Laika's next project, whatever it might be.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Director shows support for Polanski by withdrawing his movie

The director of Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky has made the decision to remove his film from the Zurich Film Festival in protest over Roman Polanski's arrest. Jan Kounen directed the period drama which stars Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) and Anna Mouglalis and the film was scheduled to be shown out of competition this coming Friday. Surprisingly, the director is also backed by one of the film's distributors.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Jack Kirby's heirs file suit for the King's superhero credits

Four of the children of Jack "King" Kirby, the legendary comic book artist that co-created many of Marvel and DC Comics' legendary characters, have filed suit against a number of companies asking for the termination of use of the superheroes the artist helped create. 45 "notices of termination" (as the Los Angeles Times calls the legal papers) were sent out last week to Disney, Marvel, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures. If the courts rule in favor of the Kirby estate then none of these companies could continue using characters like the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Thor or the Hulk.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

DC Entertainment created for superheroes to shine

A brand new division of Warner Bros. Entertainment got announced today that should bring more of a spotlight to DC Comics' pantheon of superheroes and comic book properties. Called DC Entertainment, the wholly independent company will facilitate the useage of DC Comics characters across all Warner Bros. platforms including film, television, video games and other media. The division will be run by Diane Nelson, the WB exec who has shepherded the studio's Harry Potter franchise for the past 9 years.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Academy Awards unwraps new voting system details

Under the new method that the Academy Awards will utilize to determine which film is the Best Picture during next year's ceremony, the movie that receives the most votes for being number one could still lose to a film that has more votes being second choice amongst Oscar voters.

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney buys Marvel for $4 billion

Early Monday morning The Walt Disney Company announced that it had negotiated with the owners of Marvel Entertainment to acquire the company for a mixture of cash and stock worth $4 billion dollars.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

DC Comics, Warner Bros. win Superman case ruling

On Wednesday July 8 the judge overseeing the lawsuit brought by the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerome Siegel against Warner Bros. and DC Comics ruled that the two companies did not owe any additional monies to the Siegel estate. However, the clock may be ticking down to when Warner Bros and DC Comics can continue to make any new Superman movies or comic books without having to negotiate a new deal with the families of Siegel and his creative partner Joe Shuster.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Roger Friedman sues Fox over his early Wolverine review

In April online Fox News journalist Roger Friedman reviewed the leaked copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, triggering a series of events that led to his dismissal from the company. Now Friedman has filed a lawsuit against his former employer citing the company smeared his reputation and wrongly let him go.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

George Clooney sets up shop at Sony Pictures

Movie studios are a lot like individual people. Some develop a reputation as being thrifty and don't want to spend a lot, some are known for being more open to taking chances on arthouse projects while others make their bread on mainstream movies filled with lots of explosions. Over the past decade one of the studios that proved itself to be willing to take equal chances on big budget, high concept tentpoles and smaller dramatic fare is Warner Bros. For the past decade WB has been the place that George Clooney has developed his personal projects, first with director Steven Soderbergh under their Section 8 production company banner and then later with writer/director Grant Heslov under the new company Smokehouse Pictures.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oscars to return to 10 Best Picture nominees

After today's announcement it's a given that next year's Academy Awards is going to be longer in length than this year's.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Marvel's making money

Being in the superhero movie biz is good these days for Marvel Entertainment. The parent company of Marvel Studios and Marvel Comics is awash with green and that's not just because they own the Incredible Hulk.

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