Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Wrestlers In The Movies; WWE Studios, Wrestling News Media...

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From Bondi Beach, Sydney, to Japan, to Hollywood, California and all points in between, the whole world enjoys a movie with a pro wrestler or two doing their best on the silver screen. The Media Man agency and network checks out some of the best (and worst) wrestling movies of all time, plus a feature on WWE Studios and Marvel Studios. That's entertainment! And as Triple H says, It's Time To Play The Game!... as our friends at Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment will also tell you.

Wrestlers In The Movies...

Andre The Giant: The Princess Bride

Bam Bam Bigelow: Major Payne, Joe's Apartment

Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake: Thunder in Paradise, Mr. Nanny

Buff Bagwell: Day of the Warrior, Return To Savage Beach

Diamond Dallas Page: First Daughter, The Devil's Rejects

Giant Gonzales: Thunder in Paradise

George "The Animal" Steele: Mr. Nanny

Goldberg: The Longest Yard

The Great Khali: The Longest Yard, Get Smart

Hulk Hogan: Rocky 3, Suburban Commando, No Holds Barred, Mr. Nanny, Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Santa with Muscles, Assault on Devil's Island, 3 Ninjas:High Noon at Mega Mountain, Spy Hard, Thunder in Paradise, The Secret Agent Club, Shadow Warriors, Assault on Death Mountain

Jerry Lawler: Man on the Moon, Life With Mikey (1993)

Jesse "The Body" Ventura: Major League 2, Demolition Man, Running Man, Predator, Batman & Robin

Jim Neidhart: Thunder in Paradise

Jimmy Hart: Thunder in Paradise

John Cena: The Marine

Kane: See No Evil

Ken Shamrock: Champions

Kevin Nash: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (Super Shredder), The Punisher, The Longest Yard, Grandma's Boy

Paul Wight (Big Show): Jingle all the Way, The Waterboy

Steve Austin: The Longest Yard, The Condemned

Sting: The Real Reason Men Commit Crimes, Shutterspeed

Roddy Piper: Love Boat:The Movie, They Live, Dead Tides, Hell comes to Frog Town, Immortal Combat, Body Slam, Marked Man

Sgt.Slaughter: G.I.Joe the Movie

Terry Funk: Road House, Over the Top, The Ringer

Texas Tornado: Problem Clild

Ultimate Warrior: Firepower

The Undertaker: Suburban Comando

Zeus: No Holds Barred, The Fifth Element, Friday, Next Friday, Jackie Brown, Armed and Dangerous

The Rock: The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King, The Rundown, Walking Tall, Be Cool, Doom, Southland Tales, Gridiron Gang, Reno 911!: Miami, The Game Plan, Get Smart, The Race to Witch Mountain, The Tooth Fairy


June 29, 2012

WWE Studios Enters The Hive with Troika Pictures...


STAMFORD, Conn., Jun 29, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- WWE Studios WWE +2.62% and Troika Pictures, LLC today announced they will co-produce and co-finance the upcoming thriller, The Hive, starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. Principal photography is scheduled to commence on July 6 in and around Los Angeles.

The thriller, to be directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist, Transsiberian), was written by Rich D'Ovidio (Exit Wounds, Thir13en Ghosts) and based upon a story by Rich D'Ovidio, Nicole D'Ovidio and Jon Bokencamp.

Emergency Call Center Operator Jordan (Halle Berry) takes a call from a teenage girl, Casey (Abigail Breslin), who has been abducted and carried away in the trunk of a car. The kidnapping plays out in real time as Jordan and Casey work together to track down the killer in this high stakes thriller.

The Hive is being produced by Troika's Michael Helfant, Robert Stein and Bradley Gallo, WWE Studios' Michael Luisi and Jeff Graup. William Gallo, Philip M. Cohen and Chip Rosenbloom are executive producers.

"The Hive is an ideal addition to WWE Studios' slate of films given its strong award-winning cast and exciting story," said WWE Studios president Michael Luisi. "We are looking forward to working with Brad Anderson and Troika Pictures on this picture."

"We are very excited to partner with WWE Studios on this production," added Stein and Helfant. "WWE has a passionate fan base and incredible marketing muscle. We look forward to working with Michael and his entire team."

WWE will utilize its extensive global reach through its television, digital media and print assets to market the release of the film. Sierra Affinity is handling foreign pre-sales. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) has U.S. rights.

Bradley Buchanan, Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, negotiated on behalf of WWE Studios.

About Troika Pictures

Troika Pictures was founded by Robert Stein and Michael Helfant to develop, finance and produce youth oriented feature films in the $10 - $30 million dollar budget range, focusing on thrillers, action and comedy genres. Troika has a "First Look" distribution deal with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions.

About WWE Studios

WWE Studios continues to strategically diversify its slate of films, which includes theatrical releases and direct-to-home premieres, under the guidance of President Michael Luisi. Upcoming films for WWE Studios include: Dead Man Down, which was co-financed with IM Global and will be distributed by FilmDistrict, starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace and directed by Niels Arden Oplev; No One Lives, which was co-produced with Pathe Films, starring Luke Evans and WWE Superstar Brodus Clay(TM); and cult hit The Day, which was purchased at the Toronto Film Festival and will be distributed by Anchor Bay Films, starring Dominic Monaghan, Shawn Ashmore, and Ashley Bell. In addition, WWE Studios has multipicture production deals set up with Lionsgate Films and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

About WWE

WWE, a publicly traded company WWE +2.62% , is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 600 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Istanbul and Tokyo.

Additional information on WWE WWE +2.62% can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide

ABOUT SONY PICTURES WORLDWIDE ACQUISITIONS

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 159 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com . Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypicturesworldwideacquisitions.com

Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.


WWE Studios teams with Troika Pictures on "The Hive"...

STAMFORD, Conn. - As first reporeded by Deadline, WWE Studios and Troika Pictures announced they will co-produce and co-finance the upcoming thriller, "The Hive," starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. Principal photography is scheduled to commence July 6 in and around Los Angeles.

The thriller, to be directed by Brad Anderson ("The Machinist," "Transsiberian"), was written by Rich D’Ovidio ("Exit Wounds," "Thir13en Ghosts") and based on a story by Rich D’Ovidio, Nicole D’Ovidio and Jon Bokencamp.

In the film, Emergency Call Center Operator Jordan (Berry) takes a call from a teenage girl, Casey (Breslin), who has been abducted and carried away in the trunk of a car. The kidnapping plays out in real time as Jordan and Casey work together to track down the killer in this high stakes thriller.

"The Hive" is being produced by Troika’s Michael Helfant, Robert Stein and Bradley Gallo, WWE Studios’ Michael Luisi and Jeff Graup. William Gallo, Philip M. Cohen and Chip Rosenbloom are executive producers.

"'The Hive' is an ideal addition to WWE Studios’ slate of films given its strong award-winning cast and exciting story," said WWE Studios president Michael Luisi. "We are looking forward to working with Brad Anderson and Troika Pictures on this picture."

"We are very excited to partner with WWE Studios on this production," added Stein and Helfant. "WWE has a passionate fan base and incredible marketing muscle. We look forward to working with Michael and his entire team."

WWE will utilize its extensive global reach through its television, digital media and print assets to market the release of the film. Sierra Affinity is handling foreign pre-sales. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) has U.S. rights.

Bradley Buchanan, Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, negotiated on behalf of WWE Studios.



WWE Network Possibly Not Launching In 2012...

According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the projected launch of the WWE Network in the fall of 2012 is in jeopardy of not happening.

The report claims as the company continues to crunch numbers, they continue to get a negative projection of how things would go if the company launches in 2012 given the current state of WWE business.

The report notes WWE is more likely to continue signing deals like the recent one announced with ION television for the new Wednesday night program called "Main Event."

WWE had targeted April 1st of 2012 to launch WWE Network on the same day as WrestleMania 28. It then got pushed back to a tentative time this fall around November and now it appears it may be pushed back to 2013.


WWE teams with ION for new Wednesday night show...

“WWE Main Event” debuts Oct. 3 on ION Television


WWE (NYSE: WWE) and ION Television announced a new weekly one-hour original series airing 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST on Wednesdays.

“WWE Main Event” will debut on Oct. 3 and feature WWE superstars and divas from the rosters of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown. The new show will be available in 100 million U.S. television households on ION Television, a top-rated general entertainment network that features a broad mix of critically acclaimed series, movies and original programming.

“ION Television is delighted to begin a new partnership with such a successful and well-recognized franchise as WWE,” Brandon Burgess, CEO, ION Media Networks, said in a release. “As a general entertainment network with a solid foundation, ‘WWE Main Event’ is a great addition to our lineup that features something for everyone. We look forward to introducing our ION audience to all of the excitement and drama WWE has to offer as well as welcoming a passionate new fan base to the network.”

WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon said: “WWE looks forward to this new partnership with ION Television. We are excited about producing this new television show, ‘WWE Main Event,’ and bringing our fans to ION Television every Wednesday.”

“WWE Main Event” will feature in-ring action and fit seamlessly in storylines from Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown, making Wednesday night appointment viewing for fans. The new series will offer a big arena experience with live audiences like current WWE weekly programs. Check you cable, satellite or dish outlet for channel availability.

• WWE celebrates its amazing 1,000 episode of Raw at 8 p.m. Monday, July 23 on the USA Network. The show will debut Raw’s three-hour format.

• Visit www.wwe.com and www.iontelevision.com.


Roddy Piper Talks 1000th Raw, Cyndi Lauper, Rock & Wrestling...

In a WWE.com Exclusive, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper discussed his return to Raw along side pop singer Cyndi Lauper.

“Cyndi, oh, we have a long history. We weren’t always on the same side, but to be honest with you, it was a true pleasure,” said Piper.

Piper also addressed the comments he made on Raw in regards to the Rock & Wrestling being the saving grace of WWE.

“If it wasn’t for the Rock & Wrestling connection at that time being so big on TV — you know, they were all cheering [Hulk] Hogan and booing Piper — I don’t know if wrestling would have gotten the huge launching pad that it did,” Piper explained.

“It’s very surreal to think that you were apart of the beginnings of it but I was and I’m proud of it.”

Piper was also asked to address Raw’s 1000th episode which will be coming up, July 23rd.

“The fact that a wrestling program called Raw could be the longest running television show in the history of television, bar nobody — nobody can now say we’re not on the map,” stated Piper. “We’re for real. I have worked all my life to make that happen, along with a lot of other guys that have worked just as hard or harder.”


Brock Lesnar May Be At 1000th RAW...

As noted last week, Lesnar is advertised for RAW on August 13th, the Monday before SummerSlam. He is currently not advertised for any other shows before that.


Sid Vicious Returns To WWE RAW...

Sid Vicious thanked the fans for the ovation he received on RAW tonight, writing on his Twitter, "Thank you for the huge pop on #RAW! Much respect to all of my fans! #MasterAndRulerOfTheWorld ... Off for now. Love being backstage at #RAW. Tweet you tomorrow. Again, THANK YOU EVERYONE!"


Raw social media highest since April...

Monday's WWE Raw episode scored 186,954 in social media activity, which was the highest since April 23 for the episode leading into Extreme Rules hyping Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena. Raw was up 17 percent in social media activity compared to last week's show and topped the yearly average by 14 percent.

Raw still ranked #3 on cable TV, trailing "Love & Hip Hop Atlanta" on VH1 and "Teen Wolf" on MTV. Raw has not taken the top spot on Monday nights since April 9. [ Data Source: Trendrr.TV ]


World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. : WWE® Names Casey Collins EVP of Consumer Products
06/26/2012


WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced the appointment of Casey Collins as Executive Vice President, Consumer Products. Collins will oversee WWE Global Licensing, Home Entertainment and Publishing. He will report directly to WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon.

Prior to joining WWE, Collins was Executive Vice President, Global Licensing & Entertainment at MGA Entertainment, where he oversaw the entertainment, consumer products, retail development and promotions divisions. Before joining MGA Entertainment, Collins spent 10 years at Lucasfilm Ltd., where he was responsible for the management of Lucasfilm's domestic and international licensing and retail merchandise programs.

Collins also spent time as Director of Worldwide Licensing & Motorsports at World Championship Wrestling, Inc. (WCW), where he built and managed WCW's worldwide consumer products program. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business from Florida State University and did post graduate work at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


Kenn Doane Alleges John Cena Had An Affair With A Married WWE Diva...

Kenn Doane, who appeared as Kenny of the Spirit Squad and Kenny Dykstra for WWE from 2006 to 2008, blames an affair between John Cena and Mickie James for ruining his relationship with the former Diva and costing him his job. Speaking to SEScoops.com on the ordeal, Doane reveals that Cena was having a second affair with a then-WWE Diva who was married to a man not involved with the professional wrestling industry.

Doane says he discovered James had been cheating on him with the Cenation leader when he caught her searching online rumors of her act of infidelity with the query "Mickie James dating John Cena."

"Upon confronting her about it, "She stared at [the computer] for like legit two minutes and I'm looking at her like "Did you forget how to read? Say something, WTF." She got up and ran into the other room crying saying she was sorry and she felt bad and admitted to it."

While recalling the matter, Doane says Cena was having an affair with a second WWE Diva.

"I don't have John's number so I call his diva 'road' girlfriend. I ask her if she knows anything about it and she says she had a feeling because John recently dumped her and she is over him now," Doane says.

Cena's sexual escapades were not solely limited to WWE Divas as he was simultaneously involved with 'ring rats'. Doane details, "Got one diva who is married to a guy outside of the business but she sleeps with Cena, then we got Cena who sleeps with rats (groupies, girls not in the biz, girls in the lobby waiting for an invite upstairs) and this married diva, and now my girlfriend."

Following weeks of inactivity stemming from the affair, Doane was transferred to the SmackDown brand on June 17, 2007, as part of the WWE Supplemental Draft. Doane reveals that the married Diva was transferred from Raw to SmackDown as well after being dumped by Cena.

"Following weeks I'm off TV and off the road until I get sent to SmackDown. Ironically, John's former Diva got sent too," Doane recalls. "So now we're on complete separate schedules and when there is a joint pay-per-view I'm off the road that day too and get flown in on a Monday for a Tuesday Smackdown. Yeah complete B.S. I get jobbed out then they take me off the road more and fire me."

Two WWE Divas transferred from Raw to SmackDown in the 2007 WWE Supplemental Draft—and the entire year—Torrie Wilson and Victoria. Wilson was in the process of divorcing Billy Kidman. Victoria has been married to a man not affiliated with the professional wrestling industry since 1998, matching Doane's claim.

On November 10, 2008, WWE announced Doane had been released from his contract. While discussing his termination with John Laurinaitis, he was informed that his decision to speak publicly on Cena and James' affair will determine whether WWE offers him employment again in the future.

"When Johnny Ace called me to fire me I asked him if this is why I'm getting fired," Doane recalls. "He told me we don't have anything for you and depending on whether you choose to discuss this issue will determine on if your allowed to come back in the future."

Doane ultimately concludes that he wants to be open and honest.

"Going forward I have no reason but to speak the truth and to make all this up would be absolutely insane. I'm not saying you have to believe anything I say but that is the truth," he says. "WWE portrays Cena as this big hero and savior to all of us but truth be told that is a character he plays much like me as a cheerleader. When watching wrestling, know you're watching a show and not real life situations or scenarios. We are basically live comic books brought to life and make short action movies for you to enjoy." (Wrestling INC)


Spider-Man Rebooted...

NEW YORK (AP) — On a weekend in January of 2010, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios pivoted faster than even Spider-Man would dare.

A fourth installment of the hugely popular Spider-man franchise was planned, with director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire returning to their trilogy of films that had earned more than $2.5 billion at the global box office and generally been hailed as a standard-bearer in big-screen comic book adaptations.

But by that Monday, Raimi's dissatisfaction with the script and the producers' eagerness for a new movie had come to a head. In a flash, the sequel was kaput, and a reboot was ordered up. Next Tuesday, "The Amazing Spider-Man" will be released, charting a new start for the web-slinger just five years after "Spider-Man 3."

Reboots of film franchises have been typically launched many more years later than that. But today, "five years is a lifetime in the movie business," says Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal. "I wasn't troubled by it."

Reasons for reboots vary from restoring dormant franchises ("Star Trek"), to refreshing long-running ones (James Bond) or improving on previous failures (The Hulk).

The Hulk was famously tried twice, in 2003 and 2008 by Marvel and Universal Pictures. Similarly, a new Superman ("Man of Steel") is due out next year from Warner Bros., a new start for the DC Comics' character after 2006's "Superman Returns" disappointed.

"The Amazing Spider-Man," on the other hand, comes close on the heels of Raimi's acclaimed trilogy. Though Sony's preference was to make a fourth film with the same team, Pascal now says they were "looking for a story that wasn't there," following the conclusiveness of "Spider-Man 3."

That makes the $200 million "Amazing Spider-Man" -- opening Tuesday in area theaters -- a somewhat daring maneuver, bound to face comparisons to the recent Spider-Man films and skepticism from some moviegoers.

To combat any Spidey fatigue, Sony has imbued the new, 3-D "Spider-Man" with youth: Andrew Garfield plays Peter Parker, Emma Stone plays his girlfriend Gwen Stacy and Marc Webb, whose only previous feature was 2009's "(500) Days of Summer," directs.

"The only time to take a break is when your franchise fails," says Avi Arad, a producer of the film and former CEO of Marvel Studios. "People want Spider-Man, so it's our responsibility to give them something new, something different and start a whole new generation of Spider-Man lovers."

Webb's vision of the film (written by James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves) is predicated on Parker's origin — tracing his history as an orphan and beginning with his parents. That also means, come high school, covering some of the same ground from Raimi's first "Spider-Man": the spider bite, the uncle's death, the school hallway showdowns.

"It's not like we're retelling the exact origin as Sam had done it," says Webb. "But I felt it was important for a new story to understand the character from the ground up because I feel like the inflection of this character was quite different than what we'd seen before."

That inflection is closer to the Spider-Man of the comics. Garfield's version of the hero is more sarcastic, lithe and twitchy — more of a rebellious teen.

The 28-year-old British actor from "The Social Network," who's fresh off an acclaimed performance in "Death of a Salesman" on Broadway, wanted to honor the previous incarnations of Spider-Man. A fan of the comics since childhood, he says taking on the role was less a decision to consider than a matter of listening to "my inner 3-year-old screaming at me."

"With Spider-Man, the legacy is so huge and there's so much to pay homage to and respect to, that you have to be as aware of it as much as possible," says Garfield.

After moving through some of the iconic elements of the Spider-Man story, the film brings in a new villain from the comics: the Lizard, as transformed from the scientist Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans). The film reminds one that Spider-Man remains a young man's superhero: It works best as a coming of age story. Had "Spider-Man 4" gone ahead (Maguire is now 36), producers said it would have been the last of the series.

"A big part of the DNA of Peter Parker is that adolescent quality," says Webb, whose "(500) Days of Summer" was also a story of transition into adulthood. "It's a time in your life where you're imperfect and you're unpolished and you make mistakes and you're discovering things and every emotion is apocalyptic."

Certainly, unending serial storytelling is part of the spirit of comics, which typically flow in constant weekly or monthly installments.

"I want to live in a world where Spider-Man stories are being told over and over again," says producer Matt Tolmach. "Sometimes, people leave things sitting on a shelf for too long."

It's also an enormously lucrative franchise, with robust merchandizing and popular accompanying video games. "The Amazing Spider-Man" keeps that machine churning. Early reviews have generally been positive and global box office expectations are running high.

A sequel is already in the works, with production expected to begin early next year. The huge success of "The Avengers" has stoked speculation that Spider-Man could be roped into the next episode, of which Arad says, "Anything is possible."

Either way, the future possibilities for more Spider-Man are again limitless. Says Arad: "This can be so many movies."


Marvel theme park set to hit Dubai for fans of the X-Men and The Avengers...

The multi-purpose venue will also feature retail stores, restaurants and interactive entertainment experiences featuring Marvel characters and honoring the various cultures where Marvel characters are from.

While Disney aims to add Marvel-themed rides to its theme parks, Dubai will take the lead by bringing the super action heroes, from the X-Men to The Avengers to a new entertainment destination called Marvel Adventure.

The park will take shape within an indoor family attraction center covering 1.2 million square feet with 350,000 square feet devoted to the Marvel-themed entertainment center to be built and run by the IMG Group, according to Emirates 24/7.

The multi-purpose venue will also feature retail stores, restaurants and interactive entertainment experiences featuring Marvel characters and honoring the various cultures where Marvel characters are from.

"Whether it's having fun at one of the entertainment experiences, hanging out with friends and enjoying a meal or collecting the latest Marvel gadgets and action figures, there is truly something for everyone at Marvel Adventure," Simon Philips, President of Marvel Entertainment International, said in a statement.

The groundbreaking for Marvel Adventure launched the center on June 26, and is set to open in the City of Arabia, Dubai in 2013.


The Amazing Spider-Man Video Game Now On Sale: Get 'The Amazing Spider-Man' for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS & Nintendo 3DS!...

If your spider-senses are tinglin’, it’s because "The Amazing Spider-Man" video game has web-slung its way onto retail store shelves today in North America, and will be available in Europe on June 29. From Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc., and Marvel Entertainment, "The Amazing Spider-Man" video game serves as an epilogue story to this summer’s upcoming blockbuster feature film, heralding Spidey’s return to a free-roaming Manhattan as players take the role of a young Peter Parker discovering his newfound powers and super hero responsibilities. "The Amazing Spider-Man" video game is available on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, the Wii system from Nintendo, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS handheld systems.

"Dee Brown and his team at Beenox have completely revamped 'The Amazing Spider-Man's' proprietary game engine to deliver a fresh, innovative gameplay experience for the fans," said David Oxford, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Activision Publishing, Inc. “With the adrenaline rush from just swinging through the city and the new zoomed-in camera angle opening up a whole new perspective in realistic detail, 'The Amazing Spider-Man' allows gamers to BE Spider-Man like never before.”

Go beyond Sony Picture Entertainment’s Columbia Pictures’ feature film and find out what happens next in "The Amazing Spider-Man" video game. Set against an original story crafted by Hollywood writer Seamus Kevin Fahey ("Spartacus: Vengeance," "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena," "Battlestar Galactica") that picks up immediately after the events of the movie, "The Amazing Spider-Man" video game delivers a brand-new, immersive and cinematic adventure allowing fans to truly harness the power of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Players will experience numerous choices in navigation and combat with the debut of the innovative Web Rush gameplay mechanic, pushing Spider-Man’s abilities to the limit against classic Marvel villains that are re-imagined exclusively for the game, such as Scorpion, Felicia Hardy, Rhino, Iguana and more.

“'The Amazing Spider-Man' video game is the ultimate fan tribute to Spider-Man and Manhattan,” said Andreea Enache-Thune, SVP, Games & Digital Distribution, Marvel Entertainment. “We’re thrilled with all of the content and collectibles Activision and Beenox have packed into the game’s free-roaming Manhattan setting, and we can’t wait for fans to web-swing around the city and start saving the world.”

"The Amazing Spider-Man" video game also features fan-favorite talent, including "Evil Dead" and "Burn Notice's" Bruce Campbell taking the role of an “extreme action” reporter who provides death-defying challenges that only Spider-Man can accomplish. And for fans that pre-ordered the game from Amazon, Stan Lee himself is available as a playable character for the first time ever.

Developed by Beenox for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 system, Wii and Nintendo 3DS, "The Amazing Spider-Man" is rated “T” (Teen – content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older) by the ESRB. The Nintendo 3DS edition features several unique mini-games that use its touch-screen abilities, including the exclusive Vigilante Mode using StreetPass. Additionally, Beenox is working on a Windows PC version of the game planned to launch August 10, 2012, which will be available on Steam and integrated with Steam achievements. The Nintendo DS version of the game was created by developer Other Ocean, is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older – content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older) by the ESRB, and follows the exact same storyline in an entirely different platforming adventure.

For more information on "The Amazing Spider-Man" video game, please go to http://www.TheAmazingSpiderManGame.com, and be sure to check out the game’s Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/TheAmazingSpiderManGame (Marvel)


WWE News Update; 1000th RAW, Kevin Nash, Buy Rates...

Kevin Nash posted a message on Twitter in regard to his status for the 1,000th RAW. “So f*cked Raw’s 1000th episode falls on my family vacation. Every year we spend july in the islands.
Family comes 1st after 20+ years,” Nash said. Keep in mind that Nash often uses Twitter to work angles and throw people off track. He previously stated that he would be the replacement WWE General Manager and also said that social media is his ‘PS3.’

- The updated estimated for WWE WrestleMania 28′s PPV buyrate is 1,144,000 buys. This is from 670,000 domestic buys and 474,000 international buys. Falling short from setting a record at 1.3 million buys, which WWE originally reported the number was. The current record was set with WrestleMania 23 on April 1, 2007 with 1,250,000 buys worldwide. As numbers currently stand, WrestleMania 28 would be the second most purchased event for WWE.

WWE’s May 2012 business figures:

* The WrestleMania 28 DVD shipped 175,000 copies, up from 160,000 copies in May 2011.
* 403,000 WWE DVD copies were shopped, up 49% from last year.
* WWE.com drew 12.5 million unique visitors, down 9% from last year.
* WWEShop.com did an average of 645 orders per day, down 23% from last year.
* Average house show attendance in North America was down 3% from last year.
(Source: Wrestling Observer)


Kenn Doane Clarifies Remarks Concerning Tara's Relationship With John Cena...

Kenn Doane clarified remarks he recently made where he implicated Lisa Marie Varon (currently known as Tara in TNA Wrestling and formerly known as Victoria in WWE) as being involved in an extramarital affair with John Cena while all three simultaneously worked on the Raw brand. As Varon stated last week during an interview with F4WOnline.com, she dated Cena in 2002 (when both were were single), not 2006 or 2007 (when both were not single) as Doane had implied.

"People keep asking bout the tara deal. Me confused why read my interview and realize the time frame in which I wrote it sounded like she was with [John Cena] then. I know she dated him in [2002] and that's what I meant to say," Doane stated on Twitter. "I've known tara since I first got to wwe and she wasn't with him at the time when all my shiz was going down. I should of put more thought into her part of my story. I didn't cuz didn't think it needed to be elaborated. Tara never dated [John Cena] when I was there only in 02 which I should of made clear."

He continued, "Granted nobody should ever think anything negative of tara. Why the f--k do we call her tara? Her name is lisa."

Doane said that after girlfriend Mickie James admitted to him in 2007 that she was involved in an affair with Cena, he asked who he believed was Cena's Diva "road" girlfriend at the time if she was aware of the matter (who he then implicated as Varon in the interview). According to Doane, the woman told him she believed the affair to be true after having been 'recently' dumped by Cena. (Wrestling Inc)


WWE Living Legend Bruno Sammartino Not Accepting Hall Of Fame Induction...

A report credited to the Wrestling Observer Monday stated that WWE officials are interested in having Bruno Sammartino headline next year's Hall of Fame class. In regards to the report, wrestling convention promoter Sal Corrente issued the following statement on behalf of the legendary pro wrestler:

"We understand that word has broken on the Internet regarding 'The Living Legend' Bruno Sammartino being inducted in to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. Since word has broken publicly, I can confirm that we have been contacted. I have been asked by Bruno Sammartino to announce that he will NOT be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013."


WWE RAW 6 / 11 Break Down, News...

As noted before, the June 11th WWE RAW Supershow did a 3.23 cable rating with 4.65 million viewers over three-hours. The usual two hours did a 3.46 rating with 4.99 million viewers.
The show opened with Vince McMahon returning at a 2.88 rating, well above the usual start of a three-hour RAW. Tensai vs. Sheamus lost 415,000 viewers while Tensai attacking Sakomoto, Big Show knocking out R-Truth and Vince's segment with Teddy Long and John Laurinaitis gained 146,000 viewers.

Santino Marella and Layla vs. Beth Phoenix and Ricardo Rodriguez and the backstage segment with Vince and Daniel Bryan gained 98,000 viewers. Bryan's segment with CM Punk, Kane and AJ Lee gained 978,000 viewers for the 9pm time slot, RAW's usual start time.

The Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Great Khali vs. Jack Swagger match and Ryback's squash gained 4,000 viewers. The backstage segment with Vince and Hornswoggle making fun of Jim Ross lost 145,000 viewers. Big Show vs. Kofi Kingston in the cage match at 10pm gained 320,000 viewers for a 3.59 quarter rating.

Curt Hawkins vs. Sin Cara lost 450,000 viewers while Vader vs. Heath Slater gained 324,000 more viewers, an impressive gain for that time in the show. The main event with AJ and Punk vs. Bryan and Kane lost 19,000 viewers. The final segment with Vince, Laurinaitis, John Cena and Big Show gained 721,000 viewers for a 3.99 quarter rating in the overrun. (Wrestling Inc / Wrestling Observer Newsletter)


Batista joins big names in new movie; The Man With The Iron Fists...

Former WWE star Dave Bautista announced Thursday on Twitter that he will be starring in a new kung-fu movie, "The Man With The Iron Fists," presented by Quentin Tarantino. Big-name actors in the movie include Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, and Chung Le.


International box office: Madagascar 3 stays in top spot...

For the third straight week, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted remained No. 1 around the world, according to The Hollywood Reporter, drawing $30.1 million from 44 territories for a total of $365.9 million. The animated comedy features the voices of Ben Stiller (Meet The Fockers), Chris
Rock (Grown Ups), and Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator), as Alex, Marty and Melman trying to get home to New York via a circus.

At No. 2, Snow White And The Huntsman drew $22.6 million in 60 territories, with its strongest earnings coming from France, Japan and Australia. The action fantasy takeoff of the fairy tale, costarring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron, has a total of $261.7 million worldwide.

In third place, Pixar's animated Brave, a family-friendly tale about a warrior princess, debuted in 10 markets to earn $13.5 million. In Russia it took 42 percent of the market with $5.6 million, it came in second in Australia with $3.6 million, and in China it took $2.2 million for 17 percent of the market, featuring the voices of Robbie Coltrane and Emma Thompson.

Ranking fourth is Ridley Scott's Prometheus, taking $12.7 million from 61 territories. The sci-fi/action film has grossed more than $577.3 per date on the foreign circuit.

Finishing fifth was Men In Black III, which grabbed another $10.5 million from 75 markets, with Japan in the lead. Director Barry Sonnenfeld's sci-fi 3D comedy costars Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin.

Notable films include the No. 1 film in the UK, The Five-Year Engagement, the romantic comedy costarring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, which collected $1.8 million; the No. 2 film in Mexico, Tim Burton's Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp for $2.6 million, and The Dictator, starring Sacha Baron Cohen, which debuted in France, pulling in $1.9 million.

Due to the Euro Cup, attendance in theaters is soft across Europe, with the box office seeing between 45% and 70% decreases. The games head into the finals this week and another slow weekend is ahead.


Former AFL star Ben Cousins guilty plea...

Former AFL star Ben Cousins has been fined a total of $800 for drug possession.

The 33-year-old pleaded guilty to three charges after one of the charges was downgraded from intent to sell or supply methamphetamine to simple possession.

Cousins was fined $500 plus $66 costs for possession of 4.56 grams methamphetamine.

He was also fined $150 each for possession of one gram of cannabis and a smoking implement.

Perth Magistrate Steven Heath took into account Cousins' early guilty plea and the fact he had no prior drug convictions.

This was despite the Brownlow medallist's very public battle with drug addiction over the years.

Cousins' lawyer, Michael Tudori, said the former West Coast Eagles premiership-winning captain had made 'a huge error in his judgment' and was 'remorseful and regretful' for his actions.

He said his client wanted to apologise to the court, the public and Teen Challenge, the drug rehabilitation clinic in the south coastal town of Esperance where he was arrested at the airport with 4.56g of methamphetamine on March 27.


E3 download: Six gaming trends to expect over next six months...

Gamers play Alien’s Colonial Marines from Sega on the third day of the E3 video game extravaganza in Los Angeles. Credit: Frederic Brown / Getty Images

It’s game over for this year’s E3 but what’s the final score?

We put the question to Yves Guillemot, the chief executive of Ubisoft Entertainment, a French company he co-founded in 1986 and guided to its current ranking as the world’s third-largest game publisher (after Activision-Blizzard and Electronic Arts) with franchises such as “Assassin’s Creed,” “Rayman Raving Rabbids,” and “Splinter Cell.”

From his perch in Montreuil-sous-Bois, an eastern suburb of Paris, Guillemot has built a reputation as an astute trend-spotter who was nimble in capitalizing on the Wii and DS craze then heard a hit in the dance-game craze and delivered “Just Dance,” a franchise that has sold more than 28 million copies.

Here are six major trends that will affect the games players will see in the coming months.

1) THE SECOND SCREEN: “Video games played on home television sets will increasingly incorporate another mobile screen,” Guillemot said.

Nintendo’s Wii U console, scheduled to launch later this year, will have a tablet controller toward the end of this year. The 6.2-inch touch screen will be used to display game information that’s not on the big TV screen.

A good example is Ubisoft’s “Zombiu,” which uses the Wii U GamePad touch screen as a way for players to access their inventory and pick locks or to use as a motion detector or minimap. A reviewer from Kotaku went so far as to say, “It’s the game that made me finally see the potential of the Wii U’s special second screen.”

Microsoft, with its SmartGlass software, will make use of existing touch screen devices, including iPads and smartphones. Users who download an application on the devices can turn their tablets or cellphones into a game controller or a screen that can display “companion content” for other forms of entertainment. Think team stats during a live sports game, or actor bios during a movie.

Sony has similar plans for its PlayStation Vita handheld game console.

2) NON-STOP GAMING: “The game doesn’t stop,” Guillemot said. “You’ll be able to pick up the game continuously, anytime and on multiple devices.”

Game developers are creating game “experiences” that let players check into their game from their cellphones, tablets, Web browsers or consoles. Players can configure their teams on a tablet, buy new uniforms on a cellphone and play a match on a console or computer. Progress in the game is saved in the “cloud,” so players can pick up where they left off, regardless of which device they last used.

3) SOCIAL GAMING: It’s not just for Facebook anymore. Game developers and console companies are building plenty of social hooks into their products, Guillemot said. Nintendo on Sunday announced Miiverse, a social network for players of its Wii U console. The Sims City, coming out in February 2013, will let players affect the outcome of neighboring cities operated by friends. Cultivating a crime-ridden, smog-filled city, for example, will boost the crime and pollution in their friends’ cities. The franchise, which had always been single player, will let players form alliances and trade resources – much like real cities.

4) ASYNCHRONOUS MULTIPLAYER GAMING: Having a social experience is great. But not everyone has the luxury of being able to play together at the same time – so-called “appointment gaming,” where guilds get together at a specific time, for example, to stage a raid.

So developers are cooking up ways to get players to interact without having to pick up their controllers at the same time, Guillemot said. A player can leave messages or a challenge for another gamer to pick up when they log in. Or, to complete quests, they can send help requests that friends can respond to at a later time.

This is a common staple in Facebook games, where players check in for a few minutes at a time, often not at the same time. Now, that feature will be increasingly built into other types of games, Guillemot said.

5) COMPANION GAMING: No, that doesn’t mean a “Women of Warcraft” dating site. It’s a term that was thrown around in great profusion at E3 this year and it refers to developers creating “side content” for major franchises.

One example is “Ghost Recon: Commander,” a social game released on Facebook at the same time Ubisoft released ”Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.” Progress in the Facebook game helped players unlock new weapons in the main console game, for example.

Developers can also explore separate story lines, say of a minor character, in mobile versions. Or configure a football team on an iPad app that they can later use to play in the console game. The idea is to have players engage in the game wherever they happen to be.

“We want you to be able to play on any screen that’s nearest to you,” Guillemot said.

Of course, the “companion content” has to be appropriate for the device, he cautioned. It may not be ideal, for example, to be playing a full-featured console game on a cellphone.

6) FREE GAMES: Game publishers are increasingly enamored with so-called “freemium games” that give players a limited version of the game for free, but charge for extras.

For players, that can be both good and bad. The nice thing is that people can get a taste of a game before they decide to spend money on it. How many times have you paid $60 for a game, 0nly to discover that you hate it once you’ve had a chance to play it for 15 minutes?

The downside, of course, is that players can wind up spending a lot more than $60 over time — paying 99 cents for a power-up here, $2 for a weapon there, and so on. For some, the price tag can add up to hundreds of dollars. This is why Nintendo has refused to pursue this model, referring to it as a “gotcha” scheme for players.

That said, if players can exercise some self-restraint in clicking the in-game “buy” button, the good news is that there will be more choices available to players than ever before. (L.A Times)


ION Preps Weekly WWE Wrestling Show...

ION Television has teamed with WWE for a new weekly one-hour original series. WWE Main Event will debut October 3 and air on Wednesday nights at 8 PM. It will feature WWE stars from the rosters of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown, including in-ring action and storylines.

The new show provides WWE with a show on a broadcast network for the first time since Friday Night SmackDown left MyNetworkTV in September 2010 and gives the wrestling federation weekly programs on Monday (Monday Night Raw on USA), Wednesday (WWE Main Event on ION) and Friday (Friday Night SmackDown on Syfy). “As a general entertainment network with a solid foundation, WWE Main Event is a great addition to our lineup that features something for everyone,” ION Media Networks CEO Brandon Burgess said.


Jobs purge at The Star casino...

The Star casino has shed up to 100 key management staff in the wake of the Sid Vaikunta scandal as it desperately seeks to rebuild its tattered reputation -- and there are threats of more to come.

Rocked by a string of lurid allegations, Echo Entertainment Group, which runs the casino, has shown at least 70 management staff the door in Sydney, along with a number of staff who perform various strategic roles across the gambling group also being made redundant. Former chief financial officer Murray McCall is the biggest head to roll in the mammoth shake-up.

Friends of Mr McCall, who was poached by The Star from New Zealand casino group SkyCity in 2009, said he was stunned by the decision, especially considering he took the reins of the casino as acting managing director following Mr Vaikunta's dismissal.

Mr Vaikunta was sacked on February 2 after allegations of sexual harassment made against him by two staff members. He denies the allegations.

It is understood The Star has reported Mr McCall's departure to the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.

Tough rules governing the casino's licence mean the authority must be notified within two weeks if a "special employee" has their position terminated. "Since the departure of the former Managing Director (Mr Vaikunta), there is no suggestion The Star has not been fully compliant with notification requirements in relation to special employees ceasing to have functions," an ILGA spokesman said.

Other staff who have been let go include event manager Alexandra Bull, who had been with the casino since 1997, and events and tournaments manager, Darka de Vries.

Casino insiders have been told the cull, which began with six senior staff removed on the day the failed musical An Officer and a Gentleman premiered in May, has not finished.

One source said the redundancies have been carried out across the board: "No one is safe; whether you are in gaming or marketing, your head is on the chopping block."

The purge comes after months of bad publicity and declining profits at The Star. The casino has issued two profit warnings this month. Turnover for 2012 is expected to be as low as $270 million, down from $347 million in 2011.

Government relations manager Brad Schmitt, who confirmed the bloodletting, said the redundancies were part of a plan to streamline the business by removing the duplication of roles caused by the company's demerger from Tabcorp. He maintained the

redundancies were planned long before the profit warnings with "numbers built up for the relaunch of The Star and busy Christmas period".

He also denied suggestions his position was at risk as The Star looked to mend its fractured relationship with the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, telling The Sunday Telegraph he had just received a pay rise.

Mr O'Farrell's former chief advisor, Peter Grimshaw, was accused of running a personal vendetta against The Star. (The Daily Telegraph)


Russell Crowe to play Rupert Murdoch in film...

Russell Crowe is reportedly in line to play Rupert Murdoch in a film.

The 'Gladiator' star is tipped to take on the role of the media mogul in a movie based on 'Good Times, Bad Times', the memoirs of former Sunday Times editor Sir Harold Evans.

A source told the Daily Star newspaper: ''You have to be brave to play someone like Murdoch. Russell can do it.''

Colin Firth is believed to be up for the role as Harold, but no deals are yet in place.

Leon Lecash, creative director of what's it all about?, which is making the movie said: ''The film will be a drama, either for the big screen or television. It is very early days as the option deal with Harry was only just completed.

''No actors or even writers have been signed up yet.''

The film will focus on then-Prime Minister Lady Margaret Thatcher's dealings with the Australian tycoon.

Evidence is said to suggest she manipulated rules to facilitate the deal for Murdoch to buy The Times newspaper in 1981 in return for favourable publicity for her party.

Leon added to the Evening Standard newspaper: ''Murdoch went to Chequers to talk about the deal, which was never brought to the attention of the Monopolies Commission.

''Harry had suspicions that some intimate contacts were taking place between Murdoch and Thatcher, with late-night whisky drinking in Downing Street when Murdoch was let in by the back door. This type of stuff came to light recently when Sir Bernard Ingham's notes were released under the 30-year rule. Much of what Harry wrote about Murdoch when they fell out in 1983 is so prescient he has said he didn't know whether to laugh or cry.''


Casino Hires Robert De Niro as Celebrity Flack...

You talkin' to me?

A casino in South Korea hopes you'll be listening!

The Paradise Walker-Hill Casino in Seoul, South Korea, has announced that it has hired actor Robert De Niro to serve as a paid celebrity spokesman for the casino.

The casino, which is South Korea's oldest and is open to foreigners only--meaning no South Koreans are allowed in--is located in the Sheraton Walker-Hill Hotel, a luxury hotel in Seoul that is popular with tourists and foreign business people.

Large ads featuring De Niro plugging the casino have already begun appearing at Seoul's airport and other locations frequented by tourists.

In addition, the casino announced, television commercials with De Niro promoting the casino were filmed in New York City last month.

The TV spots will not air in the USA.

One of De Niro's most famous movie roles was in the film "Casino," in which he played Ace Rothstein, a character based on real-life mob associate and Stardust Casino executive Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal.

De Niro, like many other American celebrities, does not appear in any commercials or ads in the USA, but does appear in foreign advertising.

Several celebs in recent years, however, have flacked for casinos that advertised in the USA.

Among them are singer Kenny Rogers, whose hit song "The Gambler" permanently linked him to the pastime in the eyes of the American public.

For years, he has shilled for the Barona Casino, an Indian casino near San Diego.

And former professional wrestler and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura served as a celebrity spokesman for Bet U.S., an online sportsbook and casino based in Costa Rica.

In addition, baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson once briefly served as a paid celeb shill for an online casino, until Major League Baseball told him to nix the deal or be banned from baseball. (www.gambling911.com)


Marvel Entertainment Movies: Amazing Spider-Man, Thor 2, The Avengers Et Al Boost Popularity Of Marvel Slot Games...

The Media Man agency reports that Marvel themed online slot games across the network, and featured at partner, PartyCasino.com , are boosting the popularity of the superhero themed online slot games. Bwin.Party currently offers The Incredible Hulk, Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four, with more expected to soon hit the popular gaming and entertainment website destination.

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