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.
Posted last week on Bloody Disgusting and FearNET, this is an animatic pitch by story artist Federico D’Alessandro (Thor, Captain America, Avengers, Iron Man 3 and Thor 2).
“As a lifelong HALLOWEEN fan it would be a dream to direct a reboot of the franchise that’s so near and dear to my heart. I created this animatic to show the tone and storytelling that I would bring to the project if I were lucky enough to have that chance. If you like it, please repost…if this gets enough hits, who knows, maybe I’ll get that opportunity!”
Then check out his short film, Recollection, which won which won Best Horror Short at the 2011 Comic Con. The multi-award winning short horror film, is the story of a man who awakens in a freshly dug grave with no memories of who he is or how he got there. Lost, injured and afraid, he finds himself in a fight for survival as he struggles through a macabre lair while desperately trying to escape from a man intent on killing him.
For more of Federico’s work, including artwork and boards from his short film please go to his website HERE
Chris Hemsworth (born 11 August 1983) is an Australian actor. Hemsworth is best known for portraying Thor in the Marvel Studios films Thor (2011) and Marvel’s The Avengers (2012), a role he will reprise in Thor: The Dark World in 2013. He first became known for his roles in the Australian TV series Home and Away and as Lieutenant Commander George Kirk in Star Trek (2009), his first major film role.
Hemsworth was born in Melbourne, the son of Leonie, an English teacher, and Craig Hemsworth, a social-services counselor. He was raised both there and in the Northern Territory, in an Aboriginal community in the Outback, called Bulman. He has stated, “My earliest memories were on the cattle stations up in the Outback, and then we moved back to Melbourne and then back out there and then back again. Certainly most of my childhood was in Melbourne but probably my most vivid memories were up there in Bulman with crocodiles and buffalo. Very different walks of life.” He attended high school at Heathmont College before his family again returned to the Northern Territory, and then Philip Island. He is the middle of three boys; Luke (older) and Liam (younger) are both actors.
In 2004, Hemsworth moved to Sydney to join the cast of Australian soap Home and Away, appearing in 171 episodes of the series.
In 2009, Hemsworth got his big break when he portrayed James T. Kirk’s father, George Kirk, in the opening scenes of J. J. Abrams’ film Star Trek. He played the character Kale in the thriller A Perfect Getaway the same year. He went on to play Sam in Ca$h, which was the first film he shot when he arrived in the United States. In November 2010 The Hollywood Reporter named Hemsworth as one of the young male actors who are “pushing – or being pushed” into taking over Hollywood as the new “A-List”.
He is best known for his role as the Marvel Comics Superhero Thor in the 2011 film of the same name. He and cast-mate Tom Hiddleston, who ultimately played the antagonist Loki, had each auditioned for the role, for which Hemsworth said he put on 20 pounds of muscle. Hemsworth reprised the role in the 2012 film The Avengers as one of the six superheroes sent to defend Earth from his adopted brother, Loki.
In a busy 2012, he starred in the excellent 2012 horror film The Cabin in the Woods, written by Joss Whedon. He co-starred as The Huntsman, with Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron in the hit Snow White & the Huntsman, and also played the role of Jed Eckert in a Red Dawn remake, scheduled for November 2012.
In 2013, Hemsworth will reprise his role as Thor in the sequel Thor: The Dark World, set to start filming in August 2012. He is also set to star in Ron Howard’s action film Rush as Formula 1 driver James Hunt and is scheduled to star in the 2014 thriller Shadow Runner.
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.
In 2006, she had her first lead role in the horror film Rest Stop where she portrayed ‘Nicole Carrow’, a girl who escapes from home and goes on a trip with her boyfriend, which is unexpectedly interrupted at a rest stop by a deranged serial killer. In 2007, she had her second lead role, also in a horror film, Hallowed Ground, in which she played ‘Elizabeth Chambers’, a girl stranded in a small town inhabited by a sect that plans to use her as a vessel for the rebirth of their founder.
Her most famous part so far was that of ‘Jessi’ on the ABC Family television show Kyle XY. She portrays a girl with superhuman powers who is trying to find her way in the world, with increasing cooperation and eventual romance with her male counterpart Kyle.
She portrayed the warrior god, Sif in the live-action superhero film, Thor, directed by Kenneth Branagh, released in May 2011.
More cool LEGO images, this time for the forthcoming movie of ‘The Avengers’ from Marvel.com
Also, director Kenneth Branagh spoke to Metro about the scheduling conflict that wouldn’t allow him to direct Thor 2:
I was proud of [“Thor”] and it was a lot of work, and it was a big risk for everybody — for Marvel employing somebody like me, for taking that character into a major film, for everything. So I was thrilled [the sequel] was being made. But it was happening so quickly. It was straight back in, and I needed time away from it, I needed to have a think. The third series “Wallander,” the TV series I do, was already on the cards, as well as a farce called “the Painkiller,” a play I did in Belfast — my hometown, very important to me — which I was in was in September and October. These things were already lined up, and it just wasn’t going to be possible to do all of them. It was a timing thing and a creative freshness kind of thing. And I wasn’t able to go straight back in and do the job that I knew that it deserved.