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“Ghostbusters” new & old to feature in “Little Golden Books”


People of all-ages should know the answer to the all-important question, “Who you gonna call?” Thanks to Penguin Random House, that education will be accessible to children ages 3-7 very soon.

The publisher is adding two “Ghostbusters” books to the decades-old “Little Golden Books” line, featuring the casts of both the Paul Feig-directed reboot and the original movies. Hitting stores in September, the “Ghostbusters” “Little Golden Books,” from New York Times bestselling author John Sazaklis and illustrator by Alan Baston, are currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

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Nas announces ‘Ghostbusters’ clothing collaboration


Rapper-turned-actor-turned-entrepreneur Nas has teamed with the Ghostbusters franchise for a fashion collection inspired by the hit movies.

Hypebeast has a first look at the line, from Nas’ HSTRY label, which will include long- and short-sleeved T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets and hats that pay homage to the beloved supernatural-comedy franchise.

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Spider-Man teams with the Avengers in fan-made movie mashup


Unwilling to wait for Spider-Man to appear on screen alongside Earth’s Mightiest Mortals, ScreenCrush and mashup editor Sleepy Skunk have integrated the wall-crawler into the epic Battle of New York from 2012’s The Avengers. It’s impressively seamless, from the back and forth between Black Widow and Spidey to the bus rescue to the Chrysler Building sequence.

Of course, the next time we see Spider-Man on the big screen, he (alas) won’t be played by Andrew Garfield …

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Spider-Man debuts a timely (and official) new Twitter account

welcome home spidey

With a casual “Thwip” and a link to the announcement of the Sony Pictures deal, Marvel last night christened its new Spider-Man Twitter account. In the 14 hours or so since then, it’s gained 4,245 followers.

The announcement, as everyone knows by now, that Sony and Marvel Studios will co-produce the next Spider-Man film after the wall-crawler makes his debut in a Marvel Cinematic Universe release.

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Evian TV spot introduces the world to the Amazing Spider-Baby


If you were surprised by that promotional campaign by Sony Pictures and the United States Postal Service featuring Stan Lee and Spider-Man, you may want to sit down for this one: Evian stakes out its own Amazing Spider-Man 2 tie-in with a commercial that introduces the world to Spider-Baby, a web-slinging, rope-skipping, dancing infant-sized mirror version of the wall-crawler. The TV spot is either inspired, or completely insane, I can’t decide.

Titled “The Amazing Baby & Me 2,” it’s the latest commercial in Evian’s “Live Young” campaign (aka the baby series).

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Stan Lee and Spider-Man team up with U.S. Postal Service


It’s common for film studios to partner with fast-food chains, cereal manufacturers and soft-drink companies to help market major releases, but here’s a tie-in few likely expected: The United States Postal Service has teamed with Sony Pictures for a campaign to promote Priority Mail and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — and they’ve enlisted Stan Lee for a little help.

The effort launches with a television commercial (below), featuring appearances by both the wall-crawler and the legendary creator, and includes limited-edition Spider-Man shipping boxes, Spider-Man postage from self-service kiosks, and special signage that extends to USPS vehicles. The campaign will also cast a spotlight on “stories of ‘USPS super heroes’ – real-life Postal Service employees delivering for their customers.”

The TV spot was created by DNA Productions with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 director Marc Webb and commercials/music video director Rich Lee.

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Andrew Garfield shoots hoops with kids while dressed as Spidey


When he’s not facing Electro or the Rhino, there are few things your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man enjoys more than playing basketball with a couple of local kids.

Taking a break from filming The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in New York City’s Chinatown, star Andrew Garfield headed to a nearby basketball court — in full costume, no less — to take on two pint-sized opponents. And, as the video below shows, they may have gotten the better of him. (As the person who shot the video notes, Garfield’s co-star and girlfriend Emma Stone, aka Gwen Stacy, can also be seen in the video, with the dog.)

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It’s Dodge & Twist, just not Tony Lee’s Dodge & Twist

“Dodge & Twist” art by Paul Peart-Smith

Hardly a week goes by that some film studio or producer doesn’t snatch up the rights to a comic book, intent on transforming the property into the next big Hollywood franchise. While it’s rare for one of those projects to move beyond the development stage, it’s rarer still for the people involved to go out of their way to stress what a movie isn’t based on.

Such is the case with Dodge and Twist, a sequel of sorts to Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist from Sony Pictures, said to be based on an idea by producer/actor/writer Ahmet Zappa. The third paragraph of The Hollywood Reporter announcement reads, “The project is set on an idea by Zappa and not on the more serious book of the same name by Tony Lee.”

That book would be Dodge & Twist, a graphic novel by Lee and Paul Peart-Smith announced as early as 2007 that at one point was targeted for release by AiT/Planet Lar (you can still see an unedited 19-page preview on the company’s website). Although the graphic novel was never published, Lee released Dodge & Twist in 2011 as a prose ebook set 12 years after the events of Dickens’ classic, with Oliver forced to assist the Artful Dodger in stealing in the Koh-I-Noor diamond from the Great Exhibition of 1851.

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Marvel tells appeals court Friedrich signed away Ghost Rider rights

Marvel on Monday urged the Second Circuit to deny Gary Friedrich’s attempt to revive his copyright claims to Ghost Rider, reiterating that the writer no only signed away his rights to the character three decades earlier but waited too long to file his lawsuit.

Friedrich sued Marvel, Columbia Pictures and Hasbro, among others, shortly after the 2007 release of the first Ghost Rider movie, insisting he had regained the copyright to the fiery Spirit of Vengeance some six years earlier. He argued he created Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider in 1968 and later agreed to publish the character through Magazine Management, which eventually became Marvel Entertainment. Under the agreement, the publisher held the copyright to the character’s origin story in 1972′s Marvel Spotlight #5, and to subsequent Ghost Rider works. However, Friedrich alleged the company never registered the work with the U.S. Copyright Office, permitting the rights to revert to him in 2001.

In December 2011, a federal judge rejected Friedrich’s lawsuit, finding the writer gave up ownership to the property when he endorsed checks that contained language relinquishing rights to Marvel’s predecessors. The judge said Friedrich signed over all claims to the character in 1971 and again in 1978 in exchange for the possibility of more freelance work for the publisher. (Two months later, Marvel agreed to abandon its 2010 countersuit accusing Friedrich of trademark infringement if the writer would pay $17,000 in damages and stop selling unauthorized Ghost Rider merchandise.)

The writer appealed in July, arguing the court erred in ruling that the language on the back of Marvel paychecks in the early 1970s and in the 1978 contract were sufficient to constitute transfer of copyright. However, his attorney also reasserts the claim that the agreement was entered into under duress, with Friedrich told “if I wanted to continue to work for Marvel that I would have to sign it.”

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