Award-Winning Animation Studio LAIKA Expands Into Live Action

Oregon Studio Acquires Rights to Screenwriter John Brownlow’s Debut Action Thriller Novel Seventeen

aiphotoimaging laika studio animationLAIKA, known for the Academy Award®-nominated animated films Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings and Missing Link, is expanding into live action. The studio has optioned Seventeen, the upcoming first novel by acclaimed screenwriter John Brownlow (The Minaturist, Sylvia). Currently in production on its sixth animated feature film, LAIKA secured the rights in an intense bidding war and plans to adapt it as a live action project. The announcement was made today by Travis Knight, President & CEO.

“For the past 15 years, LAIKA has been committed to making movies that matter,” says Knight. “Across mediums and genres, our studio has fused art, craft, and technology in service of bold, distinctive, and enduring stories. With Seventeen, LAIKA is taking that philosophy in an exciting new direction.”

“Seventeen is a stiff cocktail of wicked wit, exhilarating action, and raw emotion,” Knight continues. “John has such a wonderfully unique voice. He’s crafted a brilliant universe with its own powerful identity. Seventeen is a thriller with soul, a sinuous adrenaline-fueled actioner with a sincere heart beating underneath its rippling pectorals.”

Author and screenwriter John Brownlow is well known for his film and television credits. He is the screenwriter of the feature film Sylvia starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig and wrote and executive produced the three-part BBC limited series The Minaturist, which starred Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit). He also wrote the four-episode limited series Fleming, which starred Dominic Cooper as James Bond author Ian Fleming.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be developing Seventeen for the screen with LAIKA,” says Brownlow. “As a long-time fan of LAIKA’s movies for their vision, heart, craft, intelligence and ambition, I couldn’t have hoped for the novel or the universe it inhabits to have found a better or more exciting home. I’m beyond honored to be part of their plans for the future.”

UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton has preemptively acquired worldwide publishing rights to Seventeen. Hanover Square will publish the book in the US in 2022. LAIKA was represented in the deal by CAA. John Brownlow is represented by George Davis at Nelson Davis LLP, Jessica Sykes at Independent Talent Group and CAA.

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Historical Documentary “Last Will & Testament” Released By Strike Back Studios

Strike Back Studios, a new joint venture between Realization Films, Public House Films, and Hideout Pictures, has release Centropolis Entertainment’s fascinating historical documentary “Last Will & Testament”.

With April being Shakespeare international Month, the film is now available to stream on Amazon Prime, Vudu, Tubi and other streaming platforms along with across TVOD platforms iTunes, Fandango Now, Google Play, YouTube, among others globally to rent or buy.

Twin sisters & filmmakers Laura Wilson & Lisa Wilson’s intricate historical journey charts the fascinating documentary “Last Will & Testament” from executive producer Roland Emmerich (who’s brilliant “Anonymous” also explores Shakespeare’s identity) and featuring stage and screen icons Derek Jacobi (“Gladiator,” “Gosford Park, “Dead Again”), Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies,” “The BFG,” “Dunkirk”), and Vanessa Redgrave (“Atonement,” “Howards End,” “Coriolanus”). It’s the greatest literary mystery of all time who actually wrote the works of Shakespeare? Featuring a powerful score by Graeme Revell (“The Saint,” “The Crow,” “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”), the greatest mystery of an identity hidden by time and the constructs of society…The Bard himself.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
It’s the greatest literary mystery of all time; who wrote the works of Shakespeare? Although the official story has held sway for centuries, questions over the authorship of the plays and poems have persisted. Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles are among the many famous figures who doubt that a grain-dealer from Stratford-upon-Avon was England’s “Star of Poets.” “Last Will & Testament” will transform the way you look at Shakespeare.

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Reimagined Heroes Debut And Dangerous New Threats Emerge In The Heroes Reborn Trailer

marvel armando creative media comics newsThe Silver Witch. Nightbird. Commissioner Cage. These bold new takes on your favorite Marvel characters along with many more will be introduced on May 5th in HEROES REBORN, an exciting new transformation of the Marvel Universe.

Brought by super hero masterminds—writer Jason Aaron and artist Ed McGuinness— HEROES REBORN will present a world where the Avengers never assembled and the Squadron Supreme took their place as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The exciting —and unsettling — ripple effect the Avengers’ absence has on the rest of the Marvel Universe will be explored throughout the series as well as thrilling one-shots, revealing the history behind the new reality of your favorite heroes and laying the groundwork for its unpredictable future. Get your first look at the action to come in the all-new HEROES REBORN TRAILER.

“This story really has nothing whatsoever to do with the original Heroes Reborn event,” Aaron explained to ComicBook.com. “The only similarity is that this is a look into another version of the Marvel Universe, one familiar in some ways, but profoundly and fundamentally changed in others. I’m quite confident in saying it’s a world unlike any version of the Marvel U we’ve ever seen before.”

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Second New “The Suicide Squad” Trailer Released

By Creative Media Times

Another trailer for James Gunn‘s highly anticipated film The Suicide Squad has been released today, April Fool’s Day.

“Although it’s April Fool’s, the only joke here is on the super-villains who agreed to work for Amanda Waller. Brand new #TheSuicideSquad trailer which dropped last night exclusively in theaters! Meet us in theaters August 6!”, director James Gunn tweeted today, along with the film’s trailer.

The trailer, which is also playing in theaters along with the screenings of WB’s own Godzilla vs. Kong, shows the more gloomy and ominous tone of the film, sans the profanity and bloody violence from the Red Band trailer that was released last week.

Set to the cover “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” the trailer features some for the powers of the film’s characters.

The film is currently set for release in theaters and HBO Max on August 6.

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The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival Unveils 2021 Lineup

AIP aiphotographic aiphotoimaging Bonnaroo Music FestivalThe Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival announces the lineup for the internationally acclaimed camping festival’s upcoming 20th anniversary edition. Set to take place September 2–5, 2021 on the Bonnaroo Farm, located just 60 miles southeast of Nashville in Manchester, TN. Bonnaroo will once again present an extraordinarily diverse bill featuring a remarkable selection of top artists performing around the clock across more than 10 unique stages over the four-day festival.

Hailed by the New York Times as the summer event that “revolutionized the modern rock festival,” Bonnaroo has drawn high profile media attention and critical acclaim for two groundbreaking decades.

The complete Bonnaroo 2021 lineup is below.

Tickets for Bonnaroo will go on sale today, March 31 at 1 PM ET/12 PM CT, via www.bonnaroo.com/tickets. Options include General Admission (4-Day), GA+ (4-Day), VIP (4-Day), Platinum (4-Day), General Admission Camping & Parking, VIP Camping, Platinum Camping, and more. Once again, Bonnaroo is presenting an array of affordable options, with tickets starting at $35 down and accommodations available for as low as $99 per night. Car Camping Passes are priced at only $60 (plus fees) per car, not per person, allowing fans to both save money and reduce their carbon footprint by carpooling.

AIP aiphotographic aiphotoimaging Bonnaroo Music FestivalAIP aiphotographic aiphotoimaging Bonnaroo Music Festival
To celebrate the return of Bonnaroo and to commemorate the festival’s 20th Anniversary, Bonnaroo has created a one-of-a-kind NFT collection including a 1 of 1 special edition of the 2021 Lineup Poster. This is the first time a music festival has produced an NFT collection and Bonnaroo is so excited to partner with digital artist Archan Nair and premier NFT marketplace, Makers Place. These digital works of art will be available exclusively on Makers Place on Saturday, April 3rd at 5:30pm CT! Bid on both still & animated versions of the 2021 Lineup Poster, as well as a special edition animated artwork dedicated to Roofus. For complete details, please visit https://makersplace.com/drops/collabs/bonnaroo-archan-nair/.

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San Diego Comic-Con Sets Sights For November 2021 Convention

By Armando

Currently dubbed “Comic-Con Special Edition,” the planned in-person convention is slated for Thanksgiving weekend of November 26-28 at the San Diego Convention Center. This will be the first time that Comic-Con event held in person since Comic-Con 2019.

“San Diego Comic Convention today announced dates for their November convention,” it says on the announcement. “Comic-Con Special Edition will be held as a three-day event over Thanksgiving weekend, Friday, Saturday,and Sunday, November 26-28, 2021 at the San Diego Convention Center. It is our hope that by Fall conditions will permit larger public gatherings.”

David Glanzer, spokesperson for the organization adds: “Hopefully this event will shore up our financial reserves and mark a slow return to larger in-person gatherings in 2022.”

More details will be announced, particularly information regarding the badge and the size of people who will be able to gather for the event.

Last year, just like nearly every convention in 2020, San Diego Comic-Con was cancelled due to the outbreak of the pandemic, the first time that the event was not held in SDCC’s 50-year history.

This will be the second year in a row wherein the massive gathering of fans at SDCC will be held virtually due to the current situation of the pandemic, the group announced on March 1. More details of the upcoming summer convention will be announced.

On March 1, San Diego Comic-Con announced “Comic-Con@Home”, a free online version of the event that is set to take place July 23-25.

Approximately 135,000 people normally descends to the Gaslamp District area in San Diego, CA for annual Comic-Con. The event is contributes an estimated $147 million to the San Diego economy each year.

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Marvel And Penguin Random House Announce Exclusive Worldwide Multi-Year Agreement To Distribute Marvel Comics And Graphic Novels

Penguin Random House Publisher Services will begin Marvel’s Direct Market distribution this October. New Marvel comics will continue to be available on Wednesdays at comic shops everywhere

aiphotographic marvel comics newsMarvel Comics and Penguin Random House Publisher Services (PRHPS), a division of Penguin Random House, the renowned trade book publisher, today announced an exclusive worldwide multi-year sales and distribution agreement for Marvel’s newly published and backlist comic books, trade collections, and graphic novels to comics shops, known as the Direct Market. PRHPS officially begins its distribution to Direct Market retailers for all Marvel titles starting October 1.

After a thorough analysis of the market environment, Marvel has chosen PRHPS as its distribution partner to create a sustainable, productive supply chain and enhanced infrastructure for Marvel publications that will benefit comics retailers and fans alike for years to come. Penguin Random House is known for its state-of-the-art multi-ranging services that enable independent booksellers to increase efficiency and profitability.

“Marvel’s entire history is built on telling great stories. And as we’ve seen for decades, those stories go hand in hand with equipping the comic shops who share them. Marvel and Penguin Random House stand by that vision, and we are excited to build and expand those opportunities for our talent, retailers, and fans,” said Dan Buckley, President of Marvel Entertainment. “Comics are the core of the Marvel Universe, and we are confident this new partnership will continue to grow and evolve this resilient industry. We look forward to advancing our capabilities with PRHPS to serve our fans and the Direct Market. We thank Diamond for their many years of support and partnership as we continue our relationship with them in other areas.”

Penguin Random House has long been committed to physical retail in order to foster and grow their market. Independently owned brick-and-mortar bookstores are local community builders, advocates for books, and passionate influencers for the industry.

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The Debut Of The New X-Meen Team, The Reveal Of Mutantkind’s Masterplan And More Await At The Hellfire Gala

marvel hellafire gala“Humans of planet Earth. While you slept, the world changed.” The now iconic opening line from House of X #1, the start of writer Jonathan Hickman’s radical transformation of the X-Men franchise, foretold the incredible plans that mutantkind was about to unleash on the Marvel Universe. This June, the X-Men set out to change the world yet again at mutantkind’s inaugural HELLFIRE GALA.

Yesterday, the first of many exciting new character designs X-Men artists have contributed specifically for the HELLFIRE GALA were revealed by Entertainment Weekly, and the world saw the meaning of “Mutant Fashion” as envisioned by superstar artist Russell Dauterman. Today, readers can check out the covers of all 12 HELLFIRE GALA issues, getting their first glimpse at the secrets, the battles, and of course, the fashion that await at this unforgettable evening.

These highly-anticipated stories will be told across 12 issues, offering different perspectives and viewpoints of a single night that will go down in Marvel Comics history. Throughout the event, fans can expect critical moments to occur that will shape the X-Men’s future as we know it—including the unveiling of the first Krakoan X-Men team, the final member of which was decided by a mega-popular Marvel.com vote.

The HELLFIRE GALA is the result of an epic creative collaboration of all the current X-Men writers and artists. Here’s what Gerry Duggan, writer of Marauders and the upcoming seminal HELLFIRE GALA one-shot, Planet-Size X-Men, had to say about working on this one-of-a-kind event:

“As the builders of Krakoa began discussing the gala within the pages of Marauders and beyond, the writers and editors began noodling on what the evening could be. At our X-Retreat just over a year ago in Chicago we had some very large story ideas and production plans that were ratified to give our artists the time they needed to collaborate on the designs. Russell has been an important part of the Marauders team from the beginning, and it only made sense to ask that he lead the way. The writers jammed on very simple prompts for a few of the looks, but by and large each character was a blank slate for Russell and our other artists. Our regular series artists were also asked to contribute around a half dozen high fashions, so if you don’t see your favorite character on a cover, you’ll likely see them at the party.

“We haven’t sent any of these books to press yet, but I know we’ve already left a giant mark on the line with this party. The White Queen and House Carnation set out to create a special evening like no other, and it’s going to make any other galas you might hear about look like a county fair. Not that it’s a contest, but…Krakoa wins. The whole world’s watching us now, so we must be nothing less than fabulous.”

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“Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train” Theatrical Film Comes To North America

Young Tanjiro of the Demon Slayer Corps is on a mission to figure out a way to turn his sister back into a human. And his emotional journey continues, as the new film that has slayed box office records in the Asia-Pacific region heads to the big screens in North America.

Demon Slayer Kimetsu No YaibaYoung Tanjiro of the Demon Slayer Corps is on a mission to figure out a way to turn his sister back into a human. And his emotional journey continues, as the new film that has slayed box office records in the Asia-Pacific region heads to the big screens in North America.

Aniplex of America and Funimation are bringing the cinematically praised, emotionally charged, and action-packed anime film Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train to theaters nationwide in the U.S. and Canada on Friday, April 23, 2021, including in 4DX and on IMAX screens. The film will be available in both English dub as well as subtitled. Tickets are available beginning April 9 at funimation.com/demonslayermovie.

In addition to theaters, it was also announced that fans can enjoy the film on EST (Electronic Sell-Through) beginning June 22, 2021 on Apple TV, Microsoft Store, Vudu, Google Play*, PlayStation Store,
and Amazon. Pre-orders for the film will begin on April 26, 2021 on Apple TV, Microsoft Store, and PlayStation Store.

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train is directed by Haruo Sotozaki featuring the original story by Koyoharu Gotoge (JUMP COMICS/SHUEISHA) with screenplay and animation production by studio ufotable. The running time for the film is one one hour and 57 minutes and is rated R.
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“Wolfwalkers” Garners GKIDS’ Historic 12th And Cartoon Saloon’s Consecutive 4th Oscar® Nomination For “Best Animated Feature”

Hand-Drawn, Critically-Acclaimed Film is Also Winner of Top Audience Award at AFI Fest; Recognized by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle, National Board of Review for “Best Animated Feature” Honors; and a Current BAFTA, Producers Guild, and Multi-Annie Award Nominee

WOLFWALKERS” GARNERS GKIDSGKIDS, the distributor of multiple Academy Award®-nominated animated films, is has announced its latest, WOLFWALKERS, was nominated for an Oscar for “Best Animated Feature” this morning by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. The film marks GKIDS’ historic twelfth Oscar nomination since its inception in 2010. It also marks the fourth consecutive nomination—a streak in this category—for award-winning Ireland-based animation studio, Cartoon Saloon, which has made only four features films to date.

The best-reviewed animated film of 2020, WOLFWALKERS is directed by two-time Academy Award -nominated director Tomm Moore and director Ross Stewart, and is the final installation in Cartoon Saloon’s hand-drawn Irish folkloric trilogy, which include “The Secret of Kells” (2010) and “Song of the Sea” (2015).

GKIDS has a long-standing relationship with Cartoon Saloon, having served as the U.S. distributor for all of the studios’ Academy Award nominated films including Moore’s “The Secret of Kells” and “Song of the Sea,” and Nora Twomey’s “The Breadwinner.” In addition to handling distribution, GKIDS CEO/Founder Eric Beckman and President Dave Jesteadt are executive producers on both “The Breadwinner” and WOLFWALKERS.


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