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Oct24

Pottermore to release new J.K. Rowling story on Umbridge this Halloween

From Pottermore --

In a special Halloween treat for Harry Potter fans, J.K. Rowling’s website pottermore.com will post new original writing on October 31 about the witch and former Hogwarts professor Dolores Umbridge.  The character was first introduced to readers in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic.  Umbridge is not only one of the most malicious “Potter” characters, she is the only person other than Lord Voldemort to leave a permanent physical scar on Harry.
The new exclusive J.K. Rowling content provides a rich, 1,500-word back story about Umbridge’s life filled with many new details, as well as Rowling’s revealing first-person thoughts and reflections about the character.
 
Oct15

Warner Bros. Details Strategic Content Plans for movies, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'

From Warner Bros --

Today at a Time Warner investors meeting, Warner Bros.’ Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara outlined an aggressive content strategy for the Studio aimed at increasing profits while “doubling down on outstanding content, working with the best talent and maintaining the culture that makes Warner Bros. so great.”

“The demand for high quality video content is growing fast – in the United States and around the world – as new technologies have created new platforms and millions of new connected consumers”

“The demand for high quality video content is growing fast – in the United States and around the world – as new technologies have created new platforms and millions of new connected consumers,” said Tsujihara. “The opportunity is huge. And no studio is better positioned to take advantage of it than Warner Bros.”

As part of his presentation, Tsujihara announced a bold expansion of the industry’s broadest theatrical slate, built around the largest, most important global franchises. Warner Bros. Pictures will release three LEGO-branded films over the next four years, building upon the enormous success of this year’s “The LEGO Movie” ($468 million worldwide box office), starting with “Ninjago” in 2016, directed by Charlie Bean and produced by Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Batman will take a star turn in “The LEGO Batman Movie” in 2017, directed by Chris McKay, and the sequel, “The LEGO Movie 2,” will debut in 2018.

The Studio will release three pictures, in 2016, 2018 and 2020, based on best-selling author J.K. Rowling’s original story and screenwriting debut, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Set in an extension of her familiar wizarding world, featuring magical creatures and characters inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook and its fictitious author, Newt Scamander, “Fantastic Beasts” will be directed by David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies, and reunite the filmmaking team of David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.

And, in a massive expansion of the Studio’s DC Entertainment-branded content, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema will release a slate of at least 10 movies—as well as stand-alone Batman and Superman films—from 2016 through 2020 that expands this prized universe of characters:

  • “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” directed by Zack Snyder (2016)
  • “Suicide Squad,” directed by David Ayer (2016)
  • “Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot (2017)
  • “Justice League Part One,” directed by Zack Snyder, with Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams reprising their roles (2017)
  • “The Flash,” starring Ezra Miller (2018)
  • “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa (2018)
  • “Shazam” (2019)
  • “Justice League Part Two,” directed by Zack Snyder (2019)
  • “Cyborg,” starring Ray Fisher (2020)
  • “Green Lantern” (2020)

On the television front, Warner Bros. Television Group is the undisputed industry leader, providing 32 shows to the five broadcast networks and an overall roster of more than 60 shows among network, cable, first-run syndication and animation. WBTVG will grow its leadership across multiple fronts, including cable, premium platform and kids programming as well as further its precedent-setting activities in SVOD and international television production and format sales.

Among the Studio’s programs are network TV’s #1 entertainment series in “The Big Bang Theory” and #1 unscripted series in “The Voice,” as well as favorites such as “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Gotham,” “The Middle,” “Mom,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Bachelor” franchise, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and many more.

For Turner, Warner Horizon Television’s “Rizzoli & Isles” and Warner Bros. Television’s “Major Crimes” are two of the top three scripted series on all of basic cable for 2014, and the #1 and #2 shows, respectively, on TNT. The Studio has a number of future projects set up at TNT, including a pilot production order for an untitled drama set in the unpredictable world of the Florida cocaine trade in the 1970s, from Jerry Bruckheimer, Michael Bay and Michelle Ashford, and is in development on “Titans,” from Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman and Marc Haimes, based upon the DC Comics characters.

At HBO, WBTV’s first series for the premium television company, the critically acclaimed “The Leftovers,” debuted this summer and has already been picked up for a second season. WBTV has also produced the pilot “Westworld,” from executive producers J.J. Abrams, Jonathan Nolan, Jerry Weintraub and Lisa Joy, and starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris and Evan Rachel Wood, and has a number of other projects in development at the company.

Warner Bros. Animation is producing new series based on the Studio’s iconic brands, such as the upcoming “Be Cool Scooby-Doo!” and “The Tom and Jerry Show.” WBA’s “Teen Titans Go!” ranks as the #1 show in its timeslot against all kids’ networks.

For the first time ever, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution has licensed the exclusive subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) rights to one of television’s most successful series ever, WBTV’s “Friends,” to Netflix in the U.S. and Canada. Starting January 1, 2015, Netflix members will have access to the entire 236 episode run of the series, which is still an enormous linear hit on cable (Nick at Nite and TBS) and in broadcast syndication.

Worldwide Television Distribution has also sold the off-network SVOD rights to the hit Warner Bros. Television series “Person of Interest” to Netflix in the United States. The first three seasons of the series, which currently airs on CBS, will be made available to subscribers in fall 2015, at the same time the series premieres off-network on WGN America.

These two deals are just the latest examples of how the Studio’s hit series continue to serve as annuities for decades beyond their initial broadcast. Further increasing the value of Warner Bros.’ library, since 1999, WBTVG has developed and produced 20 series that have reached the 100-episode milestone or will do so during the 2014–15 season.

“At Warner Bros., we are united to not only continue to create the world’s greatest entertainment content, but to over-deliver on our financial targets,” said Tsujihara. “I’ve been with the company for over 20 years and I can’t remember a time when I’ve felt more confident about our future. We’re committed to maintaining and enhancing the great legacy of Warner Bros., the world’s most iconic and profitable studio.”

 
Oct14

Review: Mudbloods documentary

 

Mudbloods movie poster 

Here's a quick rundown for those who don't know: Muggle Quidditch is a co-ed collegiate sport consisting of two teams of seven players - three chasers, two beaters, one keeper and one seeker. The chasers attempt to throw a volleyball (quaffle) through one of three hoops for 10 points, while the beaters fire other volleyballs (bludgers) at them and the keepers (goalies) guard the hoops. The seekers, of course, try to catch the snitch, who is a runner dressed in yellow with a tennis ball-filled sock tucked in his waistband. All players use one hand (due to holding a broomstick between their legs with the other). Catching the snitch (i.e., grabbing the sock) is worth 30 points and signals the end of the game.

MudBloods: A Film About Quidditch follows a season of the UCLA Quidditch team in their quest to reach the Quidditch World Cup in New York, capturing the passion of the individual team members and the spirit of the team as a whole. It reveals all the effort it takes to run an athletic club - from fundraising to practice to competing nationally. The film gives true insight into why Muggle Quidditch has continued to rise in popularity over the past decade across college campuses not just in the U.S., but around the world.

Mudbloods released on iTunes today. Check it out!

 

 
Oct10

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - Hand-crafted model of Voldemort's snake, Nagini

From Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter --

HANDCRAFTED MODEL OF VOLDEMORT’S SNAKE NAGINI IS THE FIRST PROP TO BE DELIVERED TO THE NEW DARK ARTS AREA AT WARNER BROS. STUDIO TOUR LONDON – THE MAKING OF HARRY POTTER

Prop makers, Neil Ellis, John Weller and Pierre Bohanna who worked on the Harry Potter film series were up in the early hours of Tuesday morning delivering the first in a range of sinister, weird and wonderful props to a new Dark Arts feature at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. The team carried the model of Voldemort’s snake, Nagini, down Diagon Alley to take its position in the Dark Arts area which will be officially unveiled on Tuesday 14th October.

Meticulously handcrafted using the original mould that was first fashioned for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the 20-foot Nagini model will be the centrepiece of the original Malfoy Manor table in the new Dark Arts exhibit - the Studio Tour’s first permanent addition since opening. Nagini was first seen in the fourth film and had characteristics of both a python and an anaconda. A model of the snake was created to scale and then digitally scanned.

Nagini’s role was considerably larger in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Parts 1 and 2, so she was revamped to be an even more threatening presence. A live python was studied by the Visual Effects Department, who not only sketched and filmed the snake, but took high-resolution images of the individual scales. These images were used to create new textures and colours that added iridescence and a snakeskin’s reflective properties. Nagini was still primarily a python, but with added cobra and viper-like movements.

This time around, prop makers began the painstakingly detailed two-week modelling process by injecting rubber into the mould to create the snake’s outer shell. A special basecoat was then applied so that the paint would stick to the snake’s rubber skin. Each scale was then individually hand-painted using a latex-infused coating that is designed to flex with the bendable model. Finally, a metal skeleton was inserted to give the snake a life-like posture and the model was lacquered using the same outer coating that is used on most cars, giving it a reptilian sheen.

This life-like model of Voldemort’s loyal 20-foot snake Nagini will sit on the mahogany table which is part of the new Dark Arts section launching on Tuesday 14th October.

This October, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter will unveil a new section devoted to the Dark Arts, encompassing Horcruxes and other sinister wizarding artefacts, in what is the Studio Tour’s first permanent addition since opening. The new permanent Dark Arts section will be launched with a two-week event highlighting the Dark Arts from Friday 17th October – Monday 3rd November and all extra activities are included in the ticket price.

www.wbstudiotour.co.uk

 
Oct01

Harry Potter: The Exhibition opens October 3 at Adventure Museum ODYSSEUM in Cologne?Kalk, Germany

From Warner Bros. --

Harry Potter fans in Germany will finally have the chance to take a step into the famous wizard’s magical world when Harry Potter: The Exhibition opens its doors this Friday at the Adventure Museum ODYSSEUM in Cologne?Kalk. The exhibition will be open to the public for a limited time beginning October 3, 2014, and tickets are available now at www.odysseum.de

The world?class exhibition, created by Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, was transported to Cologne in twenty?five semi-trucks and took fifteen days to set up at the ODYSSEUM. Once inside, visitors will be awed by dramatic displays inspired by the film sets and see the amazing craftsmanship behind hundreds of authentic costumes, props and creatures from the films.

“We are proud to present Germany with Harry Potter: The Exhibition at the ODYSSEUM. We could not be happier that the opening day is finally here, and are thrilled to see the excitement in everyone who has the chance to experience this truly magical exhibition,” commented Andreas Waschk, CEO of AWC AG and general manager of Science Center Services GmbH.

The ODYSSEUM will be the exhibition’s second stop on its European tour following a stop in Norrköping, Sweden, at Nya Parken. Since its highly successful premiere at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago in 2009, it has been presented in a variety of major cultural and entertainment institutions and museums in cities around the world including Boston, Toronto, Seattle, New York, Sydney, Singapore and Tokyo.

Harry Potter: The Exhibition will be shown from October 3, 2014 for a limited time, and will be open during the ODYSSEUM’s regular opening hours: Mondays to Thursdays from 9 am to 7 pm, Fridays to Sundays, bank holidays and school holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia from 9 am to 8 pm.

Tickets to Harry Potter: The Exhibition are available at the ODYSSEUM’s box office, through the ticket hotline 01805-404760 or through www.odysseum.de and eventim.de. Timed-entry tickets are required, and last entry will be 90 minutes before closing of the ODYSSEUM. Tickets for Harry Potter: The Exhibition include general admission to the Adventure Museum and are 29,95€ for adults, 23,95€ for children and 99,95€ for families. Audio tours are available, limited to a daily allotment; it is highly recommended to reserve them in advance.

 
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