Thursday, September 23, 2010

“DC Comics Set to Shake Up Movie Industry - Associated Content” plus 2 more

“DC Comics Set to Shake Up Movie Industry - Associated Content” plus 2 more


DC Comics Set to Shake Up Movie Industry - Associated Content

Posted: 22 Sep 2010 08:37 AM PDT

DC Comics has announced the most massive shakeup in its 75 year history. By the end of 2011, all movie development, and all digital, video game and multi-media operations will be relocated to Burbank, while leaving the comic publishing arm in New York. On top of that, DC is axing its 20 year old Wildstorm banner by the end of 2010, and will cease its online digital ZUDA banner by the end of next week.

The reason is simple. Marvel.

And the ramifications are going to be that a lot more comic-book/superhero movies will be headed to movie theaters in the near future.

Warner Bros. which owns DC comics set up the business entity DC Entertainment in 2009 with the specific task of looking at ways of fully exploiting the DC Comics properties. With the exceptions of Batman and Superman, Warner Bros. had had little success in exploiting the myriad of other characters in the DC Universe.

By contrast, Marvel had taken decisive action several years ago to set up its own production house in Hollywood specifically to develop and produce movies of its comic characters. The feeling was that without a proper guiding hand, movie adaptations of their characters often missed the mark, as they were developed by movie executives who didn't really understand the material, or respect the fiercely loyal fans of the characters.

Marvel decided a more hands on approach was needed and they have been wildly successful at it. Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America, Thor, The Avengers -- these are all Marvel properties, guided by or completely produced by Marvel producers. Indeed, Marvel became such an attractive commodity that Disney quickly bought them up.

The move by Warner Bros./DC is a clear acknowledgement that the Marvel model works.

Jim Lee and John Rood, the Wildstorm editorial team, will be heading the DC Digital Comics team in Burbank. Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer for DC, is already based in Los Angeles. As well as penning a slew of comic books and TV episodes, such as episodes of Smallville, Johns is expected to play a big part in the move, though his role has not yet been announced. Dan Didio is expected to stay in New York.

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'X-Men' movie may film in Savannah - Augusta Chronicle

Posted: 11 Sep 2010 07:02 AM PDT

Morris News Service

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- January Jones might replace Miley Cyrus and Robin Wright atop the list of Savannah's favorite movie stars this fall.

Producers of X-Men: First Class - starring Jones, of Mad Men fame - are considering locations in Savannah, Tybee Island and Thunderbolt as they scout areas for the next installment of the action-film series.

Tybee's City Council got the ball rolling Thursday night by granting producers' request to film in the island's North Beach area. The permit extends from Sept. 13 through Dec. 31.

If the Savannah area can snare X-Men, it would be the third major studio shoot here since June 2009, when filming for Cyrus' The Last Song took over Tybee Island for much of the summer.

That shoot was followed last September by The Conspirator, a Robert Redford-directed film starring Wright that's set to premier this week at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Mayor Jason Buelterman was enthusiastic Thursday night about the prospect of another Hollywood production being filmed on the island.

"If you look at the economic impact last summer, this is an even better opportunity because it's taking place during the offseason," he said.

But it's not a done deal yet.

Jay Self, the city of Savannah's director of Tourism and Film Services, said although the production company is applying for permits and making other preparations in the area, creative decisions are pending.

"We are moving forward with all needed preparations so we will be ready if they decide to use these locations," he said.

The production company and studio are happy with the level of cooperation they have received from Tybee, Thunderbolt, Chatham County, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the city of Savannah, Self said, but a number of factors must be considered for the location.

"Each location decision has creative implications," he said. "This is an action movie, so they're looking for places to do some rather extensive action sequences. These action sequences are very much tied to their environment. They're very specific, very complicated.

"It's also a period film, so the location decisions can be more complex."

City officials have been working quietly with the studio for months, Self said.

"I don't know if anybody knows how this is going to shake out, but that is the nature of projects of this size," he said. "I've been doing this long enough to know that creative decisions are out of our control, and that if this film shoots anywhere on the Georgia coast, it will be a very positive thing for this region of the state."

Filming for the latest installment of "X-Men" - the fifth based on the Marvel comic book series about mutant superheroes - began last month in London, according to wire reports.

Besides Jones, high-profile cast members include Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt and James McAvoy - another "Conspirator" star - who will play a young version of the group's ringleader, Professor X.

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Microsoft Unveils New Music And Movie Service - IncGamers.com

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 07:29 PM PDT

Microsoft Unveils New Music And Movie Service

Microsoft has announced plans for an amibitous new digital content service for PC, Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7 users.

The firm will launch the Zune Pass this autumn, which will offer unlimited downloads from its digital music library in return for £8.99 per month.

In addition, users will be able to rent or buy downloadable movies and music videos.

The service, which launched November 2008 in the US, will allow users to synch their downloaded content between all three formats, so you could download a video onto your PC or upload it to the Windows Phone 7 to watch on the go.

"The integration between Zune, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE is an exciting advance in our entertainment offering," said Craig Eisler, corporate vice president, Interactive Entertainment Business Group at Microsoft. "Zune enables users access to the entertainment they want, wherever they want it – and now, more people than ever will be able to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that the Zune service offers."

According to The Guardian, however, users will only be able to keep their downloaded music while they continue to pay the subscription: 'It allows unlimited downloads and streaming of music from Zune Marketplace, but only while the subscription is paid; once stopped, the songs are deleted.'

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