Comic News Roundup – June 2010 – Week 2
Gary Friedrich loses Ghost Rider lawsuit
Back in 2007, Gary Friedrich sued Marvel and other companies for copyright infringement regarding the use of the Marvel character, Ghost Rider, in different media. Basically, he claimed that the copyright to the character and his first appearances had reverted to him in the year 2001. A check through recent filings reveals that Friedrich (or more accurately, “Gary Friedrich Enterprises, LLC”, a Friedrich-created company to which he transferred his copyrights) has lost his lawsuit, since Marvel and the other defendants’ motion to dismiss has been granted. A year ago, Judge James C. Francis recommended the dismissal of Friedrich’s claims (the link requires free registration), indicating that the 1976 Copyright Act (which specifies stricter terms regarding work-for-hire creations) should apply to this case, rather than the 1909 Copyright Act as Friedrich’s lawyers had claimed (which would have presumably allowed Friedrich to renew the copyright 28 years after the character’s original appearance in 1972). A more recent filing by Judge Barbara S. Jones from last month confirms Judge Francis’s “R&R” (Report and Recommendation), dismissing Friedrich’s objections to it: “For the following reasons, the Court adopts the R&R, overrules Plaintiffs’ Objections, and GRANTS Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.”
For slain comics writer, a promising career, a downward spiral
Stephen Perry, who had spun surreal stories at the height of his career, was at the end of a long, downward spiral when he arrived at the green and white house on Eighth Avenue in Zephyrhills. Once renowned for writing episodes of the “Thundercats” animated TV series and the cult classic comic book “Timespirits,” Perry had been fired from his job running an apartment complex in Dade City. He was broke. His girlfriend – the mother of his 5-year-old boy Leo – had left him. To help with expenses, he had taken in as housemates a couple with criminal backgrounds. And he was dying.
X-Men: First Class Scouting Locations in Michigan
A location scout is seeking out areas with a 1960′s, South-American or Central American island feel for the next X-Men movie, ‘X-Men: First Class.’ In particular, he needs to find cafe and bar locations, evoking the Argentinean feel of Bariloche, and an Art Deco Cafe or restaurant overlooking a body of water. Additionally, the movie calls for a Miami styled harbor for yachts. If you know of any locations that seem to match a description, please contact our office.
Looking Back With LARRY HAMA – Beyond G.I. Joe
Although best known for his work on G.I. Joe, Larry Hama’s career in comics spreads outside the confines of “Real American Heroes”. He broke into the comics industry as a writer an artist, later becoming an editor at both DC & Marvel. Besides writing G.I. Joe, he had an extensive run on Wolverine and also created Bucky O’Hare for comics, toys and an animated series. Newsarama sat down with Hama to talk about his work – skipping over G.I. Joe to discuss things like Bucky O’Hare, studying under Bernard Krigstein, and the camaraderie of the NYC comics scene.
Official Green Lantern Movie Logo Revealed
Official Press Release: Warner Bros. Consumer Products, DC Comics and Mattel “Ring” in Intergalactic Offerings for Green Lantern Batman: The Brave and the Bold, DC Super Friends and Young Justice Round Out DC Super Hero Line-Up. BURBANK, Calif., Jun 04, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) announced today a landmark year ahead for DC Comics and master toy licensee Mattel, led by programs in support of summer 2011’s Green Lantern from Warner Bros. Pictures. Under the terms of their ongoing strategic alliance, Mattel is granted unprecedented access to the complete breadth and scope of the DC Comics vault of characters, including Green Lantern and thousands of world-famous heroes and villains, such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Joker and The Riddler. Mattel will also continue its successful lines based on Batman: The Brave and the Bold and DC Super Friends, and is in the process of developing an all-new line to support Young Justice.
Joe Carnahan on Taskmaster… and Preacher?
“For Alex (Young, producer of “The A-Team”) I was going to do Taskmaster. Originally I wanted to do Juggernaut ’cause I had a really good take on that, and then Taskmaster was something we talked about, and I haven’t discussed it with him for ages, but I would love to get back in. I love the idea of a guy with photographic reflexes, he can see something and repeat it, I thought that was such a cool idea. I think there’s a Moon Knight series where he just beats the sh*t out of Taskmaster and kind of ruined him, and it’s a cool character. I think it might be one of those Marvel characters you really need to reimagine because he’s got the whole skull and cape—it’s a bit grandiose I think—but it would certainly be a cool thing.”
Andrea Romano Finds the Voice of “Batman: Under the Red Hood”
One of the coolest finds of this past year for me was Bruce [Greenwood]. I’ve seen so much of his work over the years, and he can do so many things so convincingly. I knew I’d have to offer him a big role. Something with meat. And I knew he would really sink his teeth into the material and make it his own. I don’t need to tell you what a wonderful actor he is – but for this film, he gives a terrific, sensitive performance. This is the most tortured we’ve ever seen of Batman and, without overplaying it, Bruce really showed us a lot of the guilt and issues Batman has in his luggage. It’s an exhaustive, emotional piece, and he carried it perfectly.
Costumed Superheroes Swept Off Of Hollywood Boulevard
The LAPD has begun a crackdown on Hollywood’s unlicensed superheroes, arresting the costumed characters on suspicion of loitering and obstructing traffic. The arrests began Friday evening when the police took at least eight characters to jail. The police began the crackdown after complaints by business owners and tourists which indicated that the struggling actors were openly asking for money, according to televised reports. While street performers are allowed to walk down the street and accept tips, actively soliciting money is a crime. By Wednesday afternoon, Batman was the only costumed character left on the streets. A LAPD squad car pulled up and put the superhero in jail within minutes.
Stanley Tucci joins ‘Captain America’
In its latest casting news, the studio confirmed Monday that Stanley Tucci will play Dr. Abraham Erskine in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” which Paramount will release in July 2011. The “Julie & Julia” star joins title hero Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Hugo Weaving and Hayley Atwell in the superhero movie.
Comic-Con journeys further into Hollywood
Comic-Con is still a month and a half away, but some information has come out about several of this year’s panels. Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune posted a preliminary list of TV shows that will have a presence at the five-day (yes, preview night is counted) San Diego event. As many people have noticed in recent years, the Con is becoming less about comic books and more about the latest films, television shows and its stars. Glancing at the list, there isn’t much connection to what the Con stands for — or used to, at least.
Neal McDonough Confirms ‘Captain America’ Role (And Bowler Hat), Talks Howling Commandos
“I’m so excited — I’m playing Dum Dum Dugan,” the actor revealed at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday. “It’s going to be a blast with Chris [Evans], Sam Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones and everyone else. It’s going to be fantastic. We’re going to tear it up!” McDonough is already growing Dugan’s trademark mustache and plans to wear the character’s signature bowler hat. He also said that the Howling Commandos are a part of “Captain America,” though the squad’s name could change between now and shooting.
‘A-Team’ Director Joe Carnahan Was In Talks For ‘The Avengers,’ Favored Hulk As Villain
“You always wind up in conversations, and there was an ‘Avengers’ conversation,” Carnahan admitted during an interview. “But it wasn’t really a thorough one. I was sent the material [and] I loved it… I think the ‘Avengers’ movie you make is Hulk tearing up Manhattan and the Avengers have got to go in there and shut him down,” he said. “I think it’s very cool… I think that you’re going to have to very quickly get to this situation where you start to make your heroes into villains,” Carnahan observed. “I think that somebody like the Hulk, it’s such a great place to take him.”
Christopher Nolan Discusses ‘Superman’ Plans, No Joker In ‘Batman 3′
Although he’s found a way to strike an original interpretation of the Man of Steel, Nolan said that Superman and Batman won’t cross over in his films. He explained that while it’s a practice that works with Marvel Studios, the DC characters are quite different in Nolan’s point of view. “Marvel characters are very different to DC characters, and the key DC characters are very different to the minor DC characters,” he said. “You’ve got to go back to that element of, ‘What do I see when I close my eyes and think of Batman? What do I see when I close my eyes and think of Superman?’ And for me a big part of that is their individuality. They are extraordinary beings in an ordinary world. And the reason I think the two are fascinating is because Superman is very specifically superpowered and obviously otherworldly; Batman is very human and flawed. They’re two very different characters, but there’s an elemental feeling of power in the iconography of those characters. To me that’s originally because they stood alone. I need to hang on to that in my imagining of them.”
Jeremy Renner near deal to join Marvel’s ‘Avengers’
Jeremy Renner is in final negotiations to join “The Avengers,” Marvel Studios’ big-screen take on its superhero team that’s being directed by Joss Whedon. Renner will play the bow-and-arrow-carrying hero Hawkeye, who, while not one of the initial members of the team when it was created in the 1960s, became an integral member soon after when the misguided villain switched sides. Renner will join Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Don Cheadle as War Machine.
‘Lobo’ Should Be A 3-D Movie, Says Producer
“Guy [Ritchie]‘s off it because Guy’s working on ‘Sherlock 2,’ but I want to do ‘Lobo,’ too,” Joel Silver said. “That should also be a 3-D movie… Hopefully we’ll put [that] together one day. That’s something I’m also excited about doing. We’re working on the script now a little bit more. We learned a lot as we did a test — a very effective test that a guy did with us, but we’re moving forward and I hope we can get that together.”
Meanwhile, Back at The Hall of Justice…
- The Shadow Movie Interview – David Slade Reacts to Shadow Directing Rumors
- Scott Pilgrim Set Visit Part 2: Meet Sex Bomb-omb
- Scarlett Johansson Talks ‘Green Lantern’ And Getting Ryan Reynolds Out Of His Costume
The Fine Print
This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive roundup of the entire weeks’ news. All stories are chosen by me for no other reason than that they got my attention and might capture yours. If something you think is more important chime in on the feedback; we’d love to hear comments and have a conversation about it.
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