From Nerd Block --
Nerd Block, the monthly subscription service for geeks and nerds, has teamed up with celebrities Warwick Davis (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Willow) and Val Kilmer (Batman, Top Gun, Tombstone) to provide autographs for all of their subscribers in December's Nerd Block.
Since the fall of 2013, Nerd Block has been delighting a rapidly growing base of subscribers with a monthly delivery of quality toys, collectables, and apparel from top tier partners including Funko, Mattel, and Hasbro, all under the "nerd" umbrella to provide subscribers with a monthly box containing products from brands like Star Wars, Nintendo, Doctor Who, and more. Every month, subscribers receive a box containing a custom printed shirt, plus several toys and collectables.
This partnership, with The Signature Shop UK, is the first in a line of celebrity engagements that will continue throughout 2015 and 2016, starting with actors Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis signing autographs that will be included exclusively in every Nerd Block Classic box in December.
Celebrity engagement will not be limited to autographs, which opens up a wonderful opportunity for subscribers to get exclusive celebrity merchandise. "Warwick has been fantastic to work with. Our partnership with The Signature Shop UK is a natural fit and it's directly inline with what our customers are looking for; the ultimate in celebrity collectables. To be able to reunite Warwick and Val on a project that many of us grew up adoring is a really special moment for us and speaks volumes of what's to come with this new partnership. Just wait until you see what's next!" said Russ Montague, founder of Nerd Block.
Nerd Block has spawned a hyper community, with subscribers regularly discussing each month's Block contents and guessing what might be arriving next. In addition to Nerd Block Classic, subscribers may also choose Horror Block, Arcade Block, and Nerd Block Junior for boys or girls. For more information visit www.nerdblock.com or email
About Nerd Block
Nerd Block is the world's first premium subscription box dedicated to nerds. Sending subscribers a t-shirt, plus 4-6 toys and collectables every month, Nerd Block has amassed an incredible subscriber base worldwide. Nerd Block features five different genre-focused Blocks from which to subscribe: Nerd Block Classic, Nerd Block Junior Boys, Nerd Block Junior Girls, Horror Block, and Arcade Block. Nerd Block has quickly emerged as a prominent purchaser in the toy industry, forming direct partnerships with companies such as Mattel, Hasbro, and NECA. Visit www.nerdblock.com.
From Universal Orlando Resort --
Harry Potter film talent Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps and Evanna Lynch are slated to appear at the second annual "A Celebration of Harry Potter" – a special event hosted by Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment. The event allows fans to celebrate all of Harry's adventures, from the beloved books to the feature films. Creative talent also set to appear includes Paul Harris, the world's only Wand Combat choreographer, Kazu Kibuishi, illustrator of Scholastic's re-imagined Harry Potter book covers, and Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina of MinaLima, who established the visual graphic style of the Harry Potter films.
"A Celebration of Harry Potter" will take place from January 30 – February 1, 2015 at Universal Orlando. Fans will enjoy three days of incredible experiences, including Q&A and autograph sessions with Harry Potter film talent, special discussions and demonstrations with creative talent, and access to the "A Celebration of Harry Potter" Expo – where fans can enjoy the Sorting Hat experience, pose for a photo in a recreation of the iconic Great Hall set and celebrate their Hogwarts house pride in an interactive Pottermore exhibit.
Guests can also experience Harry Potter's world for themselves by visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal's Islands of Adventure and the all-new The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Vacation Package guests and those with a park-to-park ticket will also be able to board the iconic Hogwarts Express and enjoy a unique journey as they travel between King's Cross Station and Hogsmeade Station.
Access to "A Celebration of Harry Potter" is included with regular theme park admission or with an annual pass, with admission to certain activities being granted on a first-come, first-served basis. While most of the activities for "A Celebration of Harry Potter" will be open to all Universal Orlando park guests, guests who purchase the exclusive event vacation package will enjoy certain special benefits and reserved sections for the discussions and demonstrations.
Event details are below:
"A CELEBRATION OF HARRY POTTER" DISCUSSIONS AND DEMONSTRATIONS
Discussions and Q&A sessions will be available featuring Harry Potter film talent and crew, with special demonstrations and discussions for kids. Admission into discussions and demonstrations will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Specific times will be released at a later date.
- Behind the Scenes: Harry Potter Film Talent Discussion
Enjoy a fascinating and interactive Q&A session featuring some of your favorite actors from the Harry Potter films. Discover what it was like to work on the most successful film franchise in history.
- Duelling Demonstration & Wand Combat Masterclass with Paul Harris
Pick up your wand and take part in a live duelling masterclass, hosted by Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, featuring the world's only Wand Combat choreographer, Paul Harris. Paul choreographed the epic battle scenes in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and will be on hand to teach you the technique behind wielding a wand.
- Creating The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Alan Gilmore, Art Director for the Harry Potter films, will explain how he and his team brought the world of Harry Potter to life from the fiction to the films, and eventually in the two lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. In addition, hear firsthand from Universal Orlando's Entertainment team how live shows in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley were created, as well as some of the hidden "secrets" and innovative interactive elements contained within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- Graphic Design for the Harry Potter Films with MinaLima
Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, from the graphic design studio MinaLima, will share insights into their role as Graphic Prop Designers for more than a decade on the Harry Potter movies. They will discuss and show some of the iconic props they created for the Harry Potter films, including the Marauder's Map, the Daily Prophet and The Quibbler, amongst others. Still immersed in all things Harry Potter, they will also talk about their recent involvement in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley.
- Illustration of Harry Potter with Kazu Kibuishi
Award-winning illustrator Kazu Kibuishi, who reimagined the Harry Potter book covers for Scholastic, will be drawing some of your favorite Harry Potter characters live on-stage in this interactive panel for all ages.
This year's "A Celebration of Harry Potter" will also include kids' discussions and interactive experiences such as a special duelling demonstration and wand combat masterclass with Paul Harris, an interactive 'Dance Like a Beauxbatons and Battle Like a Durmstrang' experience, as well as Harry Potter film trivia.
"A CELEBRATION OF HARRY POTTER" EXPO
The Expo will be held inside a Universal Orlando soundstage and will be open to guests throughout the weekend. The expo will include the following booths and exhibits that will give guests deeper insight into the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter:
- Harry Potter: The Exhibition
Sorting Hat Experience
Do you think you are a Gryffindor, or a Slytherin? A Hufflepuff? Perhaps a Ravenclaw? At the beginning of each school year the Sorting Hat sorts new Hogwarts students into the appropriate house, and you'll have the opportunity to get sorted in a Hogwarts-inspired setting…sponsored by Harry Potter™: The Exhibition.
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
The production home of the Harry Potter film series, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London gives visitors the chance to step on to the actual sets used during filming. 'A Celebration of Harry Potter' visitors will get a chance to pose for a photo in a recreation of the iconic Great Hall.
Graphic designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima created countless pieces of unforgettable artwork, some of which will be on display including iconic pieces such as the Marauder's Map, Daily Prophet and Hogwarts school books. Exclusive to the Celebration, they will be launching their brand new range of Harry Potter stationery, featuring original film graphic artwork. Limited edition prints based on the original prop designs will also be displayed.
- Pottermore from J.K. Rowling
Show your Hogwarts house colors and celebrate your pride with Pottermore from J.K. Rowling. For the millions of fans who have participated in the exclusive Sorting Hat quiz devised by J.K. Rowling herself, here's an amazing chance to take part in Pottermore's Proudest House Contest. Also, relive the excitement of a year in Pottermore.com and get an exclusive chance to have your say on what is to come.
Celebrate Harry Potter and share your message about what Harry Potter means to you. Meet award-winning illustrator Kazu Kibuishi, who re-imagined the Harry Potter book covers and will be signing posters on Saturday, January 30, and enter for a chance to win a box set of all seven Harry Potter books.
- Warner Bros. Entertainment
Do you have what it takes to defend yourself against a Dementor or soar above Hogwarts castle on Buckbeak? Step into some of your favorite scenes with this magical photo experience while surrounded by authentic movie props from the Harry Potter films.
To join the conversation, use #HPCelebration. For more information about the event, tickets and available exclusive event vacation packages, visit www.universalorlando.com/celebration.
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.
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.”
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!