It's lawsuit time again, as the father of modern comics, Stan Lee finds himself at the center of a three way legal brawl. Plus: bits o news from 'Watchmen', 'Wolverine', 'Astroboy', 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold' and more. We can roll the image and make it flutter in this, your Comics2Film 9.1.27
Stan Lee Media Inc, perhaps the most ill-fated of all the 1990s web startups, rears its ugly head again this week, according to an article in The Hollywood Reporter.
Shareholders in the failed company have filed a suit against Marvel Entertainment "and others". The suit alleges that that Lee transferred interest in his Marvel Characters to SLMi. They now claim Marvel owes them some $750million from exploitation of characters that Lee crated.
For his own part, Lee denies the allegations and has filed a $50 million lawsuit against SLMi. His complaint is that the company has hijacked his name and image and has prevented him from developing his properties 'The Accuser' and 'The Drifter'.
SLMi was founded in 1998 as a partnership between Lee and entrepreneur Peter Paul as a way to develop new media properties using by exploiting the cachet of Lee's history with Marvel comics. In 2000 the company announced it had secured a bridge-fund loan to help weather the finanical difficulties that it was experiencing at the time. Later that year the loan failed to materialize the company collapsed into bankruptcy.
Paul was accused of stock manipulation practices and fled the country in 2001. Paul has alleged that Hilary Clinton herself is in some way responsible for the money problems experienced by SLMi. In his commentary on this new lawsuit, Paul predicts "legal armageddon".
The company has now apparently emerged from bankruptcy protection and is looking to score some unearned dollars from Marvel.
The Beat has some additional analysis of the case, pointing out that the Lee has long ago rescinded claims to the Marvel characters he created and therefore coud never have trasnferred ownership to SLMi.
Variety reports that two more actors have joined the cast of 'The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn', the first of three planned motion-capture CG films.
Jamie Bell ('Billy Elliot') steps into the lead role of the film, replacing Thomas Sangster. 'James Bond' star Daniel Craig will co-star as the nefarious Red Rackham.
Stephen Spileberg is directing the first installment. Peter Jackson is slated to helm the second.
Fans who missed last week's episode of 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold' can now watch "Fall of the Blue Beetle" online. The show re-teams Batman with the modern Blue Beetle as they explore the mystery of what happened to the previous Beetle, Ted Kord.
Head over to CartoonNetwork.com for the whole sha-bang!
Hey, not all awards go to 'The Dark Knight'.
The spiffy new blog NerdDads.com reports that LICENSE Magazine, basically the big deal publication for disseminating and reporting on licensing news, has just released their Best of 2008 issues, and Marvel walked away with a few of their awards. The company as a whole was named Best Licensor of 2008, and the 'Iron Man' movie license beat all comers, including 'The Dark Knight' (which only won Best Licensing Partnership with K-Mart).
Rubies Costumes, will be releasing licensed costumes, accessories and masks based on the character designs from the 'Watchmen' movie. WatchmenComicMovie.com has the photos to prove it. Costumes are available in several designs for folks who have no self-respect.
Speaking of 'Watchmen' CBR has a chat with Jerry Pritchard, producer of 'Watchmen: The End is Nigh,' a new downloadable video game depicting the early adventures of Rorshach & Nite Owl. The game is due out in March.
Music process junkies: ScoringSessions.com have posted a vast array of photos from the recent scoring session for 'Watchmen' by composer Tyler Bates at the Eastwood Scoring Stage last Fall.
The New York Post's PopWrap blog chats up actor Dominic Monaghan who dished some details about 'Lost', 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' and his new movie 'I Sell the Dead'. Here's an excerpt:
PW: You are also a part of the upcoming "Wolverine" movie; how did that come about?
Dominic: One of my favorite films of the past 5 years is 'The Fountain' -- it's just a work of a brilliant mind. So I've managed to sit down with [director] Darren Aronofsky over the years and tell him how much I enjoyed the project. I've done the same with Rachel Weisz. Hugh Jackman was the one person missing from that equation. So, I'd become friends with a guy at Fox who happened to call me one Thursday saying there was a part for me in the "Wolverine" movie and to call him on Friday after I'd read the script. So I called him Friday morning saying I loved the part and he called me back at 1 p.m. asking if I could be on a plane at 4 p.m.
PW: Just like that!
Dominic: Yep. I flew to Sydney, was there for about nine days of filming. I'm actually going back to do another 10 days in Vancouver at the end of January. It's a very exciting project. I'm a big fan of Hugh and I think the film will be a great thing to sit back in the cinema and strap on your seat belt and watch this huge beast of a movie explode.
PW: Are the 10 days reshoots or adding in new scenes?
Dominic: We're doing a bit of both, more than anything else, it's an additional scene which I would get shot in the head if I told you anything about. But my character features in a huge set piece with Hugh and Liev [Schreiber]. I think the best thing I can tell you is that it's a flashback scene.
io9.com reports that the planned 'Astroboy' movie is till happening, in spite of recent bad buzz that the weak economy had scuttled the project.
Imagi U.S. president Erin Corbett told io9 that the company "definitely has the money to finish making 'Astro Boy', which already has distribution with Summit Entertainment and a release date of Oct. 23, 2009."
Corbett says they're on track to meet that release.