Just days before the Supreme Court was set to take the matter into conference, Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have settled their long running legal dispute over the comic legend’s rights to the characters he created or co-created. Here’s their joint statement:
“Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes, and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history.”
Widely viewed as one of the Kings of Comics, Kirby created or co-created some of the biggest names on the page and now on the big screen in the superhero blockbusters that Hollywood has profited from in recent years. However, while his often partner Stan Lee was a Marvel employee, Kirby was a work for hire and had no rights to Captain America, The Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the original X-Men and the plethora of other characters he played a pivotal part in bringing to life. The settlement between Marvel/Disney is confidential, but you don’t have to be a Supreme Court Justice to know that if a deal was reached this late in the process, it must be a healthy one for the Kirby’s – who were holding a lot of the cards for once.
It was a long legal road for them and Marvel to get to today’s deal. After failing repeatedly in lower courts, Lisa Kirby, Neal Kirby, Susan Kirby and Barbara Kirby petitioned the High Court on March 21 for a hearing on the matter. In their petition, the heirs wanted SCOTUS to rule in favor of their assertion that they had the right in 2009 to issue termination notices on 262 works that the comic legend helped create between 1958 and 1963. Those 45 notices went out to Marvel/Disney, Fox, Universal and Paramount Pictures and others who have made films based on the artist’s characters under the provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act. Marvel sued in 2010, after failing to reach an agreement back then with the Kirby family to invalidate the termination notices. Jack Kirby himself passed away in 1994.
Despite initial indifference and then objections from Disney-owned Marvel, SCOTUS agreed to take the case into conference to consider if they would actually hear it. That conference, where the nine Justices would ostensibly be sitting around talking about comic as well as copyright, was scheduled for September 29. The Kirby family and their legal point had a lot of support and not just among the fanboys. SAG, the WGA and the DGA back in June submitted a brief to the High Court in favour of having the Kirbys’ petition granted.
All things considered, and with the billions that Marvel/Disney have made off the films filled with characters Kirby created, this 11th hour deal should come as no great surprise – except for how long it took them. The bottom line and PR risk that the media giant was taking if SCOTUS had agreed to move the family’s petition up to an actual hearing would have sent a shudder through the market and the town. As well, if there had been a hearing and if then the High Court had found for the Kirbys, the results would have thrown Marvel/Disney into turmoil as they would have to negotiate for millions and millions with the family on everything from The Avengers, this summer’s big hit Guardians Of The Galaxy, with the popular Groot character a Kirby creation, and the all the characters in the notices if they wanted to keep the franchises going at Disney and other studios. And there would have been royalties on the already made movies like the 2008 hit Iron Man and 2012’s The Avengers with its billion dollar plus box office, to name a few. As well a wide variety of copyrights across the industry, including those at Warner Bros and DC Comics, would suddenly be in play as the work of writers, composers and others designated under a freelancer or the work for hire status could suddenly gain a piece of what they created in what would now be seen as a much more traditional employee/employer arrangement.
Check out this BlackMeal homage to Marvel, which created most of the superheroes who entertained generations of children and adults for more than 80 years.
Samuel Leroy Jackson (born December 21, 1948) is an American film and television actor and film producer. Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his mother, Elizabeth Jackson, and his maternal grandparents and extended family. Initially intent on pursuing a degree in marine biology, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. After joining a local acting group to earn extra points in a class, Jackson found an interest in acting and switched his major. Before graduating in 1972, he co-founded the “Just Us Theatre”.
Jackson began acting in multiple plays, appeared in several television films, and made his feature film debut in the blaxploitation independent film Together for Days (1972). After these initial roles, Jackson proceeded to move from Atlanta to New York City in 1976 and spent the next decade appearing in stage plays. Throughout his early film career, mainly in minimal roles in films and various television films, Jackson was mentored by Morgan Freeman. After a 1981 performance in the play A Soldier’s Play, Jackson was introduced to director Spike Lee who would later include him in small roles for the films School Daze (1988) and Do the Right Thing (1989). He also played a minor role in the 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas as real-life Mafia associate Stacks Edwards.
After gaining critical acclaim for his role in Jungle Fever (1991), he appeared in films such as Patriot Games (1992), True Romance and Jurassic Park (both 1993). In 1994, he was cast as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, and his performance received several award nominations and critical acclaim.
Directed in a highly stylized manner by Quentin Tarantino, who co-wrote its screenplay with Roger Avery; the film is known for its rich, eclectic dialogue, ironic mix of humor and violence, nonlinear storyline, and host of cinematic allusions and pop culture references. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture; Tarantino and Avary won for Best Original Screenplay. It was also awarded the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. A major critical and commercial success, it revitalized the career of its leading man, John Travolta, who with Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, received Academy Award nominations.
Pulp Fiction connects the intersecting storylines of Los Angeles mobsters, fringe players, small-time criminals, and a mysterious briefcase. Considerable screen time is devoted to conversations and monologues that reveal the characters’ senses of humor and perspectives on life. The nature of its development, marketing, and distribution and its consequent profitability had a sweeping effect on the field of independent cinema (although it is not an independent film itself). Considered a cultural watershed, Pulp Fiction’s influence has been felt in several other media.
Jackson has since appeared in over 100 films including Die Hard with a Vengeance, The 51st State, Jackie Brown, Unbreakable, The Incredibles, Black Snake Moan, Shaft, Deep Blue Sea, Snakes on a Plane, 1408, as well as the Star Wars prequel trilogy and small roles in Tarantinos’ Kill Bill Vol. 2 and Inglourious Basterds.
More recently, he played Nick Fury in the Marvel films Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers, the first five of a nine-film commitment as the character for the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. Jackson’s many roles have made him one of the highest-grossing actors at the box office. Jackson has won multiple awards throughout his career and has been portrayed in various forms of media including films, television series, and songs. He is next up in another Tarantino movie, Django Unchained, and in the ever-delayed remake of Robocop.
Jonathan Kolia “Jon” Favreau (born October 19, 1966) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, voice artist, and comedian. As an actor, he is best known for his roles in Rudy, Swingers (which he also wrote), Very Bad Things. His directorial efforts include Elf, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Cowboys & Aliens.
Favreau was born Jonathan Kolia Favreau in Flushing, Queens, New York, the son of Madeleine, an elementary school teacher, and Charles Favreau, a special education teacher. Favreau graduated from the Bronx high School of Science in 1984 and attended Queens College from 1984 to 1987, before dropping out. He dropped out of college for good (a few credits shy of completing his degree), and in the summer of 1988, moved to Chicago where he performed at several Chicago improvisational theatres.
While in Chicago, Favreau landed his first film role in the sleeper hit Rudy (1993). Favreau met Vince Vaughn, who played a small role in this film – during shooting. The next year, he appeared with Jeremy Piven in the college film PCU, and also stepped into the world of television in the 1994 episode of Seinfeld. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he made his breakthrough in 1996 as an actor-screenwriter with the film Swingers, which was also Vaughn’s breakthrough role as the glib and extremely confident Trent Walker, a perfect foil to Favreau’s heartbroken Mike Peters.
He rejoined Piven in 1998 as part of Very Bad Things (1998). In 1999, he starred in the TV movie Rocky Marciano, based on the life of the only undefeated world heavyweight champion. He later appeared in Love & Sex (2000), co-starring Famke Janssen. He also got some screen time as lawyer Foggy Nelson in the movie Daredevil (2003).
In 2001, he made his (film) directorial debut with another self-penned screenplay, Made, which once again teamed him up with his Swingers co-star Vince Vaughn. In the fall of 2003, he scored his first financial success as a director of the hit comedy Elf starring Will ferrell (my son loves it). In 2005, Favreau directed the Zathura. He reunited with friend Vince Vaughn in the much-hyped hit romantic comedy The Break-Up and appeared in My Name Is Earl as a reprehensible fast food manager.
Also in 2005, Favreau appeared as a guest judge and executive representative of Sony corporation in week five of NBC primetime reality TV business show, The Apprentice. He was called upon to judge the efforts of the show’s two teams of contestants, who were assigned the task of designing and building a float to publicise his 2005 Sony Pictures movie, Zathura. Favreau also has a TV series called Dinner for Five on the cable TV channel IFC.
On April 28, 2006, it was announced that Favreau was signed to direct the long awaited Iron Man movie. Released on May 2, 2008, the film was a huge critical and commercial success, solidifying Favreau’s reputation as a director. Iron Man was the firstMarvel produced movie under their alliance with Paramount, and Favreau served as the director and an executive producer. During early scenes in Iron Man Favreau appears as Tony Stark’s loyal friend, and driver, Happy Morgan. He also wrote a mini-series for Marvel Knights titled Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas, that started in September 2008, before returning to direct the sequel Iron Man 2.
Favreau co-starred in 2009’s Couple’s Retreat, a comedy chronicling four couples who partake in therapy sessions at a tropical island resort, which he also wrote. The film saw him reunited him once more with co-star Viince Vaughn. He voices the character Pre Vizsla, the leader of the Mandalorian Death Watch, in the episodes of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Favreau said in December 2010 that he would not direct Iron Man 3, instead opting to direct Magic Kingdom, though he will co-produce the film. At the time he told MTV that he would like to be at the helm of an Avengers film, however he backed out but retained an executive producer role of director Joss Whedon’s mega-hit The Avengers. Favreau was at one time attached to John Carter of Mars, the film adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ swashbuckling space hero, he dodged that bullet. The Marshal in Revelation has been in development since Swingers was released. It’s a western about a Hasidic gunslinger.
In July 2011, Favreau was featured in a YouTube video by visual effects artist Freddie Wong (known on YouTube as the popular channel, “freddiew”), in a spoof of his then-upcoming summer film, Cowboys & Aliens. He lent the movie’s iconic gauntlet prop to Wong for use in the short.
The Avengers is about good guys fighting bad guys. Loki is the bad guy who brings an alien army to attack earth.
At the beginning, Black Widow is captured and Loki attacks the underground station and hypnotises Hawkeye with his power.
Black Widow gets the Hulk to come to Nick Fury’s ship where Nick Fury brings the Avengers together. Black Widow fights Hawkeye and brings him back.
Loki escapes and brings his alien army to earth and all of the Avengers battle a whole army of aliens and sea monsters who can fly. Loki tries to hypnotise Iron Man but he can’t because Iron man has a robotic heart.
In Stark tower, Hulk smashes Loki like a basketball. Iron Man saves the earth by exploding a bomb in the alien spaceship.
It was a long movie and little kids would be scared, but a big kid like me would give it 5 stars.
Excellent LEGO version of the latest Avengers: Assemble poster.
Stanley Winston (April 7, 1946 – June 15, 2008) was an American visual effects supervisor, make-up artist, and film director. He was best known for his work in the Terminator series, the Jurassic Park series, Aliens, the Predator series, Iron Man, Edward Scissorhands and Avatar. He won four Academy Awards for his work.
Winston, a frequent collaborator with director James Cameron, owned several effects studios, including Stan Winston Digital. The established areas of expertise for Winston were in makeup, puppets and practical effects, but he had recently expanded his studio to encompass digital effects as well.
Stan Winston was born on April 7, 1946, in Arlington, Virginia, where he graduated from Washington-Lee High School in 1964. He studied painting and sculpture at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville from which he graduated in 1968. In 1969, after attending California State University, Long Beach, Winston moved to Hollywood to pursue a career as an actor. Struggling to find an acting job, he began a makeup apprenticeship at Walt Disney Studios.
In 1972, Winston established his own company, Stan Winston Studio, and won an Emmy Award for his effects work on the telefilm Gargoyles. Over the next seven years, Winston continued to receive Emmy nominations for work on projects and won another for 1974’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Winston also created the Wookie costumes for the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special.
In 1982, Winston received his first Oscar nomination for Heartbeeps, by which time he had set up his own studio. However, his ground-breaking work with Rob Bottin on the science fiction horror classic The Thing that year brought him to prominence in Hollywood. Between then, he contributed some visual effects to Friday the 13th Part III, in which he made a slightly different head sculpt of Jason in an unused ending.
In 1983 he also worked on a short-lived TV series Manimal. However, Winston reached a new level of fame in 1984 when James Cameron’s The Teminator premiered. The movie was a surprise hit, and Winston’s work in bringing the titular metallic killing machine to life led to many new projects and additional collaborations with Cameron. In fact, Winston won his first Oscar for Best Visual Effects in 1986 on James Cameron’s next movie, Aliens.
Over the next few years, Winston and his company received more accolades for its work on many more Hollywood films, including Edward Scissorhands, Predator, Alien Nation, The Monster Squad and Predator 2.
In 1988, Winston made his directorial debut with the horror movie Pumpkinhead, and won Best First Time Director at the Paris Film Festival. His next directing project was the child-friendly A Gnome Named Gnorm (1990), starring Anthony Michael Hall.
James Cameron drafted Winston and his team once again in 1990, this time for the groundbreaking Terminator 2: Judgement Day. T2 premiered in the summer of 1991, and Winston’s work on this box office hit won him two more Oscars for Best Makeup Effects and Best Visual Effects.
In 1992, he was nominated with another Tim Burton film, Batman Returns, where his effects on Danny DeVito as The Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and in delivering Burton’s general vision for what was an increasingly Gothic Gotham City earned him more recognition for his work ethic and loyalty to what was an intrinsic ability to bring different directors’ ideas to life.
Winston turned his attention to dinosaurs when Steven Spielberg enlisted his help to bring Jurassic Park to the screen in 1993. The movie became a blockbuster and Winston won another Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
In 1993, Winston, Cameron and ex-ILM General Manager Scott Russ co-founded Digital Domain, one of the foremost digital and visual effects studios in the world. In 1998, after the box office success of Titanic, Cameron and Winston severed their working relationship with the company and resigned from its board of directors.
Winston and his team continued to provide effects work for many more films and expanded their work into animatronics. Some of Winston’s notable animatronics work can be found in The Ghost and the Darkness and T2 3-D: Battle Across Time, James Cameron’s 3-D continuation of the Terminator series for the Universal Studios theme park. One of Winston’s most ambitious animatronics projects was Steven Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence, which earned Winston another Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects.
In 1996, Winston directed and co-produced the longest and the most expensive music video of all time, Ghosts, which was based on an original concept of Michael Jackson and Stephen King.
In 2001, Winston, together with Colleen Camp and Samuel Z. Arkoff’s son, Lou Arkoff, produced a series of made-for-cable films for Cinemax and HBO. The five films, referred to as Creature Features, were inspired by the titles of AIP monster movies from the 1950s — i.e., Earth vs. the Spider (1958), How to Make a Monster (1958), Day the World Ended (1955), The She-Creature (1956), and Teenage Caveman (1958) — but had completely different plots.
In 2003, Stan Winston was invited by the Smithsonian Institution to speak about his life and career in a public presentation sponsored by The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
In 2004, he expressed great disappointment when director Paul W. S. Anderson did not come to him for the creature effects for Alien vs. Predator, seeing as how he designed the Predator and the Alien Queen. “They’re like my children to me,” he stated
Stan Winston died on June 15, 2008, in Malibu, California after suffering for seven years from multiple myeloma. A spokeswoman reported that he “died peacefully at home surrounded by family.” His special effects still live on through his studio Stan Winston Studios, now renamed Legacy Effects, continuing to work on films after his death such as Pandorum, GI. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, Avatar, Enthiran, and Shutter Island thus continuing his legacy.
More cool LEGO images, this time for the forthcoming movie of ‘The Avengers’ from Marvel.com
Stephen J. “Steve” Ditko (born November 2, 1927) is an American comic book artist and writer best known as the artist co-creator, with Stan Lee, of the Marvel Comics heroes Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.
Ditko studied under Batman artist Jerry Robinson at the Cartoonist and Illustrators School in New York City. He began his professional career in 1953, working in the studio of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, beginning as an inker and coming under the influence of artist Mort Meskin. During this time, he then began his long
association with Charlton Comics, where he did work in the genres of science fiction, horror, and mystery. He also co-created the superhero Captain Atom in 1960.
Ditko then drew for Atlas Comics, the 1950s forerunner of Marvel Comics. He went on to contribute much significant work to Marvel, including co-creating Spider-Man, who would become the company’s flagship character. Additionally, he co-created the supernatural hero Doctor Strange and made important contributions to the Hulk and Iron Man. In 1966, after being the exclusive artist on The Amazing Spider-Man and the “Doctor Strange” feature in Strange Tales, Ditko left Marvel for reasons never specified.
Ditko then worked for Charlton and DC Comics, making major contributions, including a revamp of long-running character Blue Beetle, and creating or co-creating the Question, the Creeper, and Hawk and Dove. Ditko also began contributing to small independent publishers, where he created Mr. A, a hero reflecting the influence of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism philosophy. Since the 1960s, Ditko has declined most interviews, stating that it is his work he offers readers, and not his personality.
Ditko was inducted into the comics industry’s Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1990, and into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994.