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September 2002

PR: Newtype USA mag goes to press
Posted Monday, September 30, 2002, 7:05PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON, September 30, 2002-The first issue (November 2002) of Newtype USA, the world's premiere English-language anime and manga magazine, has been completed and sent to print. The issue streets officially on October 15.

Newtype USA published a preview issue in July. Limited to fewer than 30,000 copies, the preview issue was distributed selectively at anime and comic conventions in the late summer, and received extensive positive feedback. That preview issue was, as promised, only a taste of what was to come; insiders are reporting that the first regular issue is a stunner.

"The magazine is beautiful; it's filled with incisive writing, and with incredible art from some of Japan's top illustrators," said Newtype USA Managing Editor Leigh Williams. "This is content that the English-language anime and manga fan community can't get anywhere else. We're thrilled finally to be able to bring this to them."

The November issue includes more than 200 large-format, full-color pages, along with postcards, a DVD insert and much more.

'Teen Titans' confirmed on Cartoon Network
Posted Monday, September 30, 2002, 12:01PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Following up on the success of its "Justice League" cartoon, Cartoon Network has announced that it will air a "Teen Titans" cartoon, too, reports Newsarama. "Teen Titans" will debut in 2003, according to the report: "The team will be made of the Titans of the Wolfman-Perez era with a few modifications, and include Robin, Cyborg, Beast Boy (using his original Doom Patrol-era name which was changed to Changling in the Wolfman-Perez run and later changed back), Starfire and Raven.

"Kid Flash and any young character related to the Wonder Woman mythos apparently will not be memebers of the team, at least at its beginning."

'Constantine' movie gets new director
Posted Monday, September 30, 2002, 8:50AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Dark Worlds reports that music-video director Francis Lawrence will direct "Constantine," the long-troubled movie adaptation of DC Comics' "Hellblazer" series.

MTV's 'Spider-Man' cartoon casts rockers as villains
Posted Monday, September 30, 2002, 8:44AM CDT by Franklin Harris
It what seems to be an appropriate bit of casting, musicians Flea (The Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Rob Zombie will provide the voices of Electro and the Lizard, respectively, for MTV's upcoming "Amazing Spider-Man" cartoon series.

Source: Dark Horizons

Chabon writing 'Spider-Man' sequel script
Posted Monday, September 30, 2002, 8:38AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon ("The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay") is penning the script for "The Amazing Spider-Man," director Sam Raimi's follow-up to this year's blockbuster hit, "Spider-Man."

'Captain Harlock' movie in the works?
Posted Monday, September 30, 2002, 8:35AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Dark Horizons posted this tantalizing tidbit this morning: "Captain Harlock: Olivier Dahan will direct the French feature according to Coyote Magazine."

UPDATE: Thomas Maksymowicz of Coyote Magazine e-mailed to confirm that the movie will be a live-action adaptation of the Japanese anime series, ?Space Pirate Captain Harlock? by Leiji Matsumoto.

PR: ADV shops anime properties at licensing fair
Posted Friday, September 20, 2002, 5:36PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON, September 20, 2002-ADV Films, the leading distributor of anime and genre live action programming in the English-speaking world, today announced a partial list of the global licensing opportunities the firm will have available at MIPCOM 2002, the annual international licensing fair to be held in Cannes, France October 7th through 11th, 2002. Aimed primarily at the international television market, MIPCOM features representatives of the TV broadcasting, TV production & distribution industries, DVD and video producers and distributors, Internet and new media companies, advertising firms, licensing and merchandising firms and myriad collateral service providers.

ADV Films, to be located at MIPCOM Booth 11.01, has scores of titles available to be licensed for broadcast and distribution in markets across the globe. Apart from these television and home video rights, ADV Films is also offering merchandising, game and other rights for licensing.

"We're offering titles in numerous genres, in numerous formats, with availability in Europe, Africa, Australasia, Central and South America and more," said ADV Films President, CEO and Founder John Ledford. "The quality and distinction of our titles is unmatched in the industry, and we have extensive ancillary opportunities available as well."

"The strength of our available properties this year is really unprecedented," said Griffin Vance of ADV's licensing division. "MIPCOM is the ideal one-stop setting for meeting potential licensees and for discussing the exciting opportunities each of our properties has to offer."

Complete Properties
Television, Home Video, Merchandising and Game rights are available for these and other ADV titles:

· "Lady Death" The Movie Animation 1 x 72 minutes
· "Kaleido Star" Anime 26 episodes x approx. 25 minutes
· "The Super Milk Show" Animation 13 eps x approx. 25 minutes + 14 eps x 5 minutes
· "SIN" The Movie Animation 1 x approximately 50 minutes
· "Rahxephon" Anime 26 episodes x approx. 25 minutes
· "Noir" Anime 26 episodes x 25 minutes
· "Neon Genesis Evangelion" Anime 26 episodes x 30 minutes
· "Bubblegum Crisis-Tokyo 2040" Anime 26 episodes x 30 minutes

Properties In Active Production
Co-Production, Investment and Pre-Sale Opportunities are available for:

· "Honor Harrington" Live action TV series 22 episodes x 50 minutes.
· "Mutineer's Moon" High-quality animated TV series of 26 episodes x approx. 25 minutes.
· "Farscape: The Animated Series" Anime 26 episodes x approx. 25 minutes.
· "Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2041" Anime 26 episodes x approx. 25 minutes.

For Licensing and all other Inquiries:
Please contact:
Griffin Vance, Tel. +1.713.341.7142; Fax +1.713.341.7192
Heather Swan, Tel. +1.713.341.7159; Fax. +1.713.341.7199
Email licensing@advfilms.com

PR: ADV picks up rights to 'Hello Kitty'
Posted Friday, September 20, 2002, 5:30PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON, September 20, 2002-ADV Films today announced the acquisition of rights to distribute the series "Hello Kitty's Paradise" on VHS and DVD. Detailing the adventures of legendary Sanrio character Hello Kitty, her best friend Mimi and their friends from school, the series is a joyful take on childhood adventures, with a healthy smattering of educational content about such important skills as sharing, having good table manners, writing letters and being polite.

"Hello Kitty's Paradise" is another successful part of the Sanrio Company's wildly popular Hello Kitty(r) franchise, built around the adorable, instantly recognizable kitten character. Episodes of "Hello Kitty's Paradise" include "A Blooming Good Morning," "Kitty's Clean Cuisine," "Streetwise," "A Day Out with Dad," "Minding Manners" and more.

" 'Hello Kitty's Paradise' is a standout example of the type of spirited, high-quality content that is synonymous with Sanrio's Hello Kitty(r) brand," said ADV President, CEO and Founder John Ledford. "We're very pleased to be able to bring 'Hello Kitty's Paradise' to the home video market, and expect that this title will create many thousands of new Hello Kitty(r) fans."

"Hello Kitty's Paradise" is in 16 half-hour episodes. ADV Films plans to release the title concurrently on VHS and DVD. The DVDs will be in child-friendly plug-and-play format-no menu navigation necessary. Release will be in sequential multi-episode volumes.

"Hello Kitty's Paradise" will be available through ADV's website and other on-line outlets, and in the children's section of major retailers coast-to-coast. ADV further hopes to make the title available in Sanrio boutique stores across the country.
No release date has been specified at this time, but ADV is targeting a Q4 2002 release.

PR: New 'Sakura Wars' comes to DVD on Nov. 26
Posted Friday, September 20, 2002, 5:26PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON, September 19, 2002-ADV Films has set a street date of November 26, 2002 for the DVD release of Sakura Wars Vol 2: Wedding Bells, the second volume of the continuing original video animation (OVA), containing three complete episodes and starring the indomitable girls of the Imperial Flower Combat Troupe. Set in the 1920s, and in the wake of the Imperial Flower Combat Troupe's successful defense of the Earth against demonic invaders, the Sakura Wars OVA tells the story of the team's adjustment to a different kind of test-the pressures of stardom, as they go on tour as a musical comedy troupe. Naturally, there's still lots of action and excitement.

Captain Ohgami is leaving the Imperial Flower Combat Troupe, and it's clear he may not be the only one who's saying farewell. But whom is Sakura marrying? And why does it seem she herself is against the wedding? Can the Imperial Troupe rescue her before it's too late? Does she even want to be rescued?
For Sakura, returning home is a demanding journey. Can she reconcile herself to the death of her father, whose destiny compelled him to give his life in the Demon Wars? And what about her own destiny? Will she carry on the Shinguji legacy? Find out in the awesome conclusion of Sakura Wars!

Sakura Wars: Wedding Bells ($24.98 SRP) is a DVD-only release including three complete episodes, with both English- and Japanese-language versions and English subtitles. DVD extras include clean opening animation; production sketches; character bios; original Japanese artwork; original Japanese promos; a special printed poster with Japanese staff interviews on reverse side; and ADV Previews.

Running Time: 90 minutes; Age Rating: 7+
Pre-Book Date: 10/29/02
Street Date: 11/26/02
Format SRP
DVD $24.98

PR: 'Excel Saga' Vol. 3 DVD hits on Nov. 5
Posted Friday, September 20, 2002, 5:24PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: HOUSTON, September 19, 2002 - ADV Films has set a street date of November 5, 2002 for Excel Saga: When Excels Strike (Out), the third volume of the popular and outrageously bizarre anime satire.
The one-of-a-kind Excel Saga is best described as the ultimate parody of anime. From the opening credits-a hilarious spoof of Japanese pop videos-to the ending song, featuring Menchi the dog singing/barking a plaintive ballad while a human interpreter translates for viewers, nothing is sacred in the world of Excel Saga.

Excel Excel, secret agent and agent of disaster, and her trustworthy (though decidedly unhealthy) fellow agent Hyatt are back, and once again they're out to conquer the city of F for the glory of the secret ideological agency of ACROSS! Whether they're up against murderous monkeys, possessed detectives, or the unusually inflamed, you can bet they'll give it their all or die trying. In fact, you can usually bet on the latter. The most deranged duo to ever dangle their derrières in the naked face of death return in the excruciatingly hilarious third volume of EXCEL SAGA!

Excel Saga: When Excels Strike (Out) ($29.98 SRP) collects four complete episodes of the highly popular comedy series in English, as well as the Japanese-language version with English subtitles. DVD extras include A.D. Vid-notes(tm) (a great Pop-Up Video-style feature that gives behind-the-scenes info and explains some of the cultural references the series presents), an interview with Director Shinichi Watanabe, production sketches, the "Find the Mint" game, Menchi recipes and ADV Previews.

Running Time: 100 Minutes; Age Rating: 17+
Pre-Book Date: 10/8/02
Street Date: 11/5/02
Format SRP
DVD $29.98

PR: Marvel, Vivendi sign online game agreement
Posted Friday, September 20, 2002, 5:20PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: NEW YORK (September 19, 2002) - Vivendi Universal Publishing (VU Publishing) and Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:MVL) announced today a 10-year worldwide licensing agreement which grants VU Publishing's Games division (VU Games) the right to develop and publish online massively multi-player (OLMMP) games based on Marvel's universe of more than 4,700 superheroes. The first OLMMP title under the new agreement is targeted for release in 2005. The announcement was made jointly by VU Games Chairman and CEO Ken Cron and Marvel COO Bill Jemas.

The comprehensive deal provides VU Games with access to the entire library of Marvel characters, as well as its worldwide fan base - a large percentage of which comprise the same demographic as the core gaming audience. Additionally, VU Games has obtained the rights to release titles in multiple languages across all existing and future platforms enabling OLMMP game play, including PCs and console-based systems.

OLMMP games, which allow thousands of players to interact online simultaneously, represent a key area of growth for the multi-billion dollar video game industry. Marvel and VU Games will share in revenues generated by subscription fees, product sales and in-game advertising.

"We believe there are only a few franchises existing today that are compelling enough to be a leader in the massively multi-player games market and Marvel's universe of superheroes is clearly one of them," said Ken Cron, Chairman and CEO of Vivendi Universal Games. "Marvel's enduring characters and fantasy-based storylines appeal to millions of fans worldwide. Its audience spans several generations and includes legions of consumers devoted to its comic books, TV shows and blockbuster movies. The combination of Marvel's strong character franchises with VU Games' global development and marketing capabilities is good news for both companies and great news for gamers," continued Cron.

"Marvel wanted to make an aggressive move to establish a strong presence in the burgeoning online gaming arena, and this relationship with VU Games puts us right on the ground floor," Marvel COO Bill Jemas said. "Marvel is perfectly suited to massively multi-player gaming as we are a 'universe' unto ourselves. Our fans like to live and breathe their favorite characters and this gives them the opportunity to do that 24 hours a day if they like. Our superheroes have been extremely successful in the video game world as evidenced by the best-selling status of our Spider-Man, X-Men and Blade franchises. By every measure, this is by far the largest and best electronic game deal in the history of Marvel."

This online project marks the latest partnership between Marvel and VU Games, which is also developing next generation video games inspired by The Hulk feature film.

'Superman' beats 'Batman vs Superman'
Posted Monday, September 16, 2002, 5:49AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to The New York Times, the new "Superman" film scripted by J.J. Abrams ("Alias") is on the fast track, with Warner Bros. hoping the film will lead to a trilogy. The Times also says that Warner Bros. will name Brett Ratner ("Red Dragon") as the film's director this week. If so, Ratner would replace previously named director McG ("Charlie's Angels"). Meanwhile, the "Batman vs. Superman" film has fallen into Development Hell. As previously reported, Wolfgang Petersen, who was set to direct "Batman vs. Superman," has moved on to another project.

'Apes' actress Kim Hunter dies at 79
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2002, 8:35PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Oscar-winning actress Kim Hunter, who portrayed the compassionate ape scientist Zira in three "Planet of the Apes" films in the late '60s and early '70s, died Wednesday of a heart attack. She was 79.

'Futurama' to Cartoon Network in Jan.
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2002, 8:26PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Matt Groening's animated series "Futurama" will have a new home starting in January, as it becomes part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block on Sunday nights. Cartoon Network will air the 72 existing episodes under a 5-year, $10-million, non-exclusive deal, reports Toon Zone.

'Dragon's Lair' animated movie goes forward
Posted Monday, September 9, 2002, 9:30AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Animation director Don Bluth says that production is moving forward on an animated "Dragon's Lair" feature film, based on the 1980s video game and Saturday-morning cartoon series. Bluth says he hopes the movie will be ready for a Thanksgiving/Christmas 2004 release, but it doesn't yet have a distributor. He added that "Dragon's Lair" will be traditional animation, not computer animation.

Source: Dark Horizons

'House of Usher' adaptation gets distributor
Posted Monday, September 9, 2002, 9:23AM CDT by Franklin Harris
"Descendant, Descendant," a modern-day retelling of Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher," will be distributed worldwide by Mainline Releasing. The film stars Katherine Heigl ("Roswell"), Jeremy London and Nick Stabile.

Source: Crashdown

Portman not filming new 'Jedi' footage
Posted Sunday, September 8, 2002, 9:52AM CDT by Franklin Harris
"Star Wars" producer Rick McCallum has debunked the rumor that Natalie Portman filmed scenes to be inserted into the eventual DVD release of "Return of the Jedi."

"What planet are you from? No. There would be no reason to do that," McCallum told the official "Star Wars" Web site.

Sci-Fi Channel cancels 'Farscape'; fans protest
Posted Sunday, September 8, 2002, 9:08AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Inexplicably, The Sci-Fi Channel has decided to cancel its highest-rated and most critically acclaimed original series, "Farscape." During an online chat, executive producers David Kemper and Richard Manning and series star Ben Browder confirmed that Sci-Fi has declined to exercise its option for a fifth season. Fans have launched an online campaign to save "Farscape."

'Witchblade' TV series gets the ax
Posted Wednesday, September 4, 2002, 5:32AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to Variety, TNT has canceled "Witchblade," based on the Top Cow comic book of the same name and starring Yancy Butler as a police detective who wields a mystical weapon.


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