Follow:

The Mix : What are people talking about today?

Willy Wonka Whips up 4K Debut in June
0

Willy Wonka Whips up 4K Debut in June

BURBANK, CA – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that the perennial family classic Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on June 29.  Called a “genuine work of imagination” by Roger Ebert, the film stars Gene Wilder in one of his most famous roles.

Directed by Mel Stuart from a screenplay by Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory was produced by Stan Margulies and David L. Wolper. The film is an adaptation of Dahl’s 1964 novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”  Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory stars Gene Wilder as Wily Wonka, Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe, Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket, Roy Kinnear as Mr. Salt, Julie Dawn Cole as Veruca Salt, Leonard Stone as Mr. Beauregarde, Denise Nickerson as Violet Beauregarde, Dodo Denney as Mrs. Teevee, and Paris Themmen as Mike Teevee.

Ultra HD* showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $24.99 ERP and includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features. Fans can also own Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on June 29.

About the Film:
Directed by Mel Stuart and starring Gene Wilder as the legendary Candy Man Willy Wonka, this splendiferous movie brings to the screen the endlessly appetizing delights of Roald Dahl’s cherished book. Coated with flavorful tunes and production designs that are a visual treat for the eyes, this effervescent musical never fails to enchant young and old. On a whirlwind tour of Willy’s incredible, edible realm of chocolate waterfalls, elfish Oompa-Loompas and industrial-sized confections, a boy named Charlie (Peter Ostrum) will discover the sweetest secret of all: a generous, loving heart. And viewers will rediscover all the timeless magic as it was meant to be seen.

Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Elements
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory Ultra HD Blu-ray contains the following previously released special features:

  • Commentary with the Wonka Kids
  • Pure Imagination: The Story of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
  • The Moviemakers
  • Scrumptious Sing-Along: Pure Imagination
  • Scrumptious Sing-Along: I Want It Now!
  • Scrumptious Sing-Along: I’ve Got A Golden Ticket
  • Scrumptious Sing-Along: Oompa-Loompa-Doompa-De-Do
  • Theatrical Trailer

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS
On June 29, 2021, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory 4K UHD will be available to own for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on favorite devices from select digital retailers including GooglePlay, Vudu, Xbox and others, and will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

BASICS
Ultra HD Blu-ray, $24.99
Standard Street Date: 6/29/2021
Ultra HD Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, French
Ultra HD Blu-ray Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Parisian French
Run Time: 99 min 30 sec (Feature Only)
Rated: G

0

Elektra by Greg Rucka Ultimate Collection (with various artists)

I’m going to try to be quick with this one: it’s very much not my thing in multiple ways, and I read it to sample both what my old college buddy Rucka has been doing and what mainstream Marvel comics are like. The answer, in both cases, is: still things I’m not all that interested in, and which I do not enjoy, which is totally fine.

Elektra by Greg Rucka Ultimate Collection  collects more than a year of the title comic about the ninja super-assassin, issues 7-22 from just over a decade ago. The art is by a whole lot of different people, most of which was in styles I found actively off-putting. (Worst: Greg Horn, whose glossy photorealism seemingly only comes at the expense of composition and energy and movement and human body proportions. Best: Carlos Meglia, with two great cartoony issues full of zip and vigor. Everyone else was variously muddy and dull and generically gritty, to my eye.)

This is the kind of comic that aggressively insists that it’s nothing like superheroes as it features an unstoppable overpowered killing machine wearing a silly unfeasible costume and fighting against magic ninjas. I have never found any part of that argument compelling. And the fact that the overall plotline here is, more or less, “maybe, Elektra, spending your life murdering people for money in job lots is not the greatest thing you could possibly be doing” adds to that great-power-great-responsibility hoo-ha.

Anyway, Elektra is the world’s greatest assassin, who kills people in that stripper costume she’s wearing on the cover (and often other clothes; she’s an equal-opportunity murderess) in various inventive ways and, at this point, was completely separate from the regular Marvel Universe so she could be grimmer and grittier. Although the trained-by-good-and-then-evil-ninjas thing, and the whole she-was-dead-for-a-while-but-got-better deal, are still baked into her backstory on a molecular level.

These are crime stories about a globetrotting international assassin, and they are never as fun and thrilling as that phrase makes them sound. As usual, Rucka focuses on the mental trauma his characters face, and Elektra has been brainwashed so many times it’s a wonder she can cross the street without a Boy Scout. They are largely “about” the kind of serious “issues” that superhero comics get into when they’re feeling expansive: life’s purpose and meaning, how glorious and intoxicating it is to murder a whole lot of people, the difficulty of maintaining a steady clientele in the international-assassin business, and so on.

I’m already running on too long, and getting too snarky: the stories here are solid of their kind, but they’re very tough-guy stories, in the old paperback thriller mode. It is nice to see that Marvel can publish stories in which people in funny costumes kill each other, instead of just punch each other through buildings and then take each other to super-jail, I guess.

This sequence of stories seems to have largely been Rucka trying to reset from “Elektra kills people for money and is a total badass about it” to “Elektra feels bad about having killed lots of people and might possibly be looking to do Good Things to redress her karmic balance,” but the moment of reset, if I’m right, is at the very end of this book. So I don’t know if it stuck, and frankly I don’t care enough to investigate.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Space Jam hits 4K Before Sequel Release
0

Space Jam hits 4K Before Sequel Release

Burbank, Calif., May 11, 2021 – To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the beloved classic, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that the perennial family film Space Jam will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on July 6th.

Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan and Looney Tunes linchpin Bugs Bunny star in the family comedy classic that introduced a whole new dimension of entertainment. The film also stars Wayne Knight, Theresa Randle, and the voice of Danny DeVito. Bill Murray, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, and Patrick Ewing appear as themselves. Space Jam was produced by Ivan Reitman and directed by Joe Pytka.

Ultra HD* showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.
Space Jam will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $24.99 ERP and includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features. Fans can also own Space Jam in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on July 6th.

Space Jam received an Annie Award for Best Individual Achievement: Technical Achievement and a Grammy® Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television (1997).

SYNOPSIS
The world’s greatest legends collide in a future universe with Jordan as a live-action hero entering a spectacular animated world. Captured by Bugs Bunny to foil a ghastly gang of space creatures, Jordan must play the basketball game of his life to save the beloved cartoon heroes from a hideous kidnapping scheme.

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY COMBO PACK ELEMENTS

Space Jam Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following previously released special features:

  • Commentary from director Joe Pytka, Bugs Bunny (voiced by Billy West) and Daffy Duck (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker)
  • Featurette: “Jammin” with Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan
  • Music videos including Seal’s “Fly Like an Eagle” and Monstars’ anthem “Hit ‘Em High”

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS
On July 6thSpace Jam 4K UHD will be available to own for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on favorite devices from select digital retailers including GooglePlay, Vudu, Xbox and others, and will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

BASICS
Ultra HD Blu-ray, $24.99
Standard Street Date: 7/6/2021
Ultra HD Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, Parisian French, Danish, Finnish, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish
Ultra HD Blu-ray Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Parisian French, Danish, Finnish, German, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish
Run Time: 87 min (Feature Only)
Rated: PG

0

Geoffrey Arend Relishes Voicing a JSA Villain

Geoff Arend provides the voice of Charles Halstead in the current entry in the DC Universe Movies canon, Justice Society: World War II

Arend, best known for his work on Madame Secretary, also voiced one of the Dark Knight’s most complicated nemeses in Batman: Hush. He is highly regarded for his work as a series regular on the long-running Madam Secretary and Body of Proof, as well as having featured roles in the popular films 500 Days of Summer and Garden State.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated Justice Society: World War II is now available via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray.

The three interview bites (tied together) feature Arend talking about finding the controlling voice of his character, Charles Halstead; and the joys of bringing shadowy villainy to animated life for Justice Society: World War II.

REVIEW: Shrek 20th Anniversary Edition
0

REVIEW: Shrek 20th Anniversary Edition

The best thing about Shrek when it debuted 20 (yikes!) years ago was that it brought a fresh take on traditional fairy tales and got a generation of children to understand that there were more ways to tell these classic stories than the Disney way. The humor here was contemporary and original while still respecting the lessons these were designed to convey.

Now, celebrating the 20th anniversary of its release, Universal Home Entertainment has spruced up the original film for its 4k Ultra HD debut. It comes in a combo pack with the Blu-ray disc and Digital HD code.

It’s still funny, with Mike Meyers affecting a fine Scottish accent for the title character, paired with Eddie Murphy’s memorable Donkey along with Cameron Diaz (Princess Fiona), John Lithgow (Lord Farquaad), and Vincent Cassel as Monsieur Hood. To protect the swamp home of the ogre and its other denizens, Shrek takes on the evil Lord, rescues the princess, and a fine time is had by all. The music sells itself and there are funny moments throughout, still making me laugh.

While the CGI animation hasn’t aged as well as some other productions, Shrek is still good to watch and Universal gets credit for cleaning it up as best it could for both the 4K and Blu-ray discs. The color balance is nicely improved along with the depth of field.

The DTS:X Master Audio soundtrack is perhaps stronger, so you can enjoy the music, dialogue, and sound effects.

Given the film’s smash success, it spawned several sequels (none yet in 4K) in addition to television shorts, music videos, and related fun. Much of it can be found on the two Blu-rays discs in the set. There is actually no new content produced for the anniversary edition, just collecting previously released material. You can decide for yourself if the upgrade in the film itself is worth the investment.

On the 4K Ultra HD disc, you can find several of the original Blu-ray features:

  • Shrek’s Interactive Journey: 1
  • Spotlight on Donkey (11:37).
  • Secrets of Shrek (3:50):
  • Deleted Scenes (8:01).
  • Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party (2:51).
  • Baha Men “Best Years of Our Lives” (3:08).
  • Smash Mouth “I’m a Believer” (1080p, 3:15).
  • Shrek The Musical: “What’s Up, Duloc?” (3:56).
  • Audio Commentary: Directors Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson and Producer Aron Warner.

On Blu-ray disc 1:

  • The Animators’ Corner
  • Shrek’s Interactive Journey
  • Spotlight on Donkey (11:38)
  • Secrets of Shrek (3:52)
  • Deleted Scenes (8:01).
  • Audio Commentary: Directors Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson and Producer Aron Warner.
  • Shrek, Rattle & Roll:
    • Swamp Karaoke Dance Party (2:53),
    • Baha Men “Best Years of Our Lives” (3:08)
    • Smash Mouth “I’m a Believer” (3:15)
    • Shrek The Musical: “What’s Up, Duloc?” (3:57)
    • DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox (1080p)

On Blu-ray disc 2:

  • Swamp Karaoke Party (2:51)
  • Far Far Away Idol (9:00)
  • Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos (13:06)
  • Shrek’s Halloween Favorites:
    • The Ghost of Lord Farquaad (12:34)
    • Scared Shrekless (25:30)
    • Thriller Night (6:08)
    • The Pig Who Cried Werewolf (6:49)
  • Shrek’s Holiday Favorites:
    • Shrek the Halls (28:02)
    • Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular (6:39)
    • Shrek’s Yule Log (30:19)
  • The Adventures of Puss In Boots:
    • Hidden (23:04)
    • Sphinx (23:04)
    • Brothers (23:04)
    • Dutchess (23:04)
    • Adventure (23:02):
REVIEW: Justice Society: World War II
0

REVIEW: Justice Society: World War II

Comic fandom has crossed so thoroughly into the mainstream, that mass media is proving elastic enough to encompass what was previously considered the obscure. Case in point, the just-released Justice Society: World War II direct-to-video film. Here is a story focused on the first comic book team that finally gets the spotlight after making cameos and guest appearances on animated and live-action television productions dating back to Smallville.

I personally love the JSA and was thrilled they were getting a film of their own. Unfortunately, the finished product is not the JSA we know, nor is it a particularly good piece of storytelling. Producers Butch Lukic and Jim Krieg apparently started this project as a Wonder Woman in WW II story that morphed and was appended to the parallel worlds concept.

We start on what we presume is the DCAU world as Flash (Matt Bomer) comes to aid Superman (Darren Criss) but clearly, it’s not our familiar world because there is no JLA. As the Scarlet Speedster tries to save Superman from a kryptonite missile fired by Brainiac, he winds up piercing the dimension veil to find himself not only on a parallel world but back in time.

He arrives in Europe as Hawkman (Omid Abtahi), Black Canary (Elysia Rotaru), Hourman (Matthew Mercer), and Flash (Armen Taylor), follow Wonder Woman’s (Stana Katic) lead. The initial battle sequence shows exactly why super-heroes didn’t directly engage against the Axis forces. The war would end in days not years.

Along the way, the modern-day Flash is slow to figure things out and the others view him askance until his older counterpart offers up the multiple worlds theory and then he’s one of them. Tagging along is a war correspondent, nicknamed Shakespeare, but it is actually Clark Kent, but a man whose adoptive parents, the Kents, died young and he was raised in an orphanage with a jaundiced view of using his powers for a humanity that has not been kind to him.

And of course, there’s Steve Trevor (Chris Diamantopoulos), the audience’s human connection to the story. Here, he’s accomplished and heroic, but hopelessly devoted to Wonder Woman, proposing to her daily. He’s probably the best thing in the film.

As we shift into the second half of the film, the real threat is presented in the form of The Advisor (Geoffrey Arend), who has taken mental control of that world’s Aquaman (Liam McIntyre). He’s out to conquer all, which is a brutal way to end the global conflict. At least it’s a threat worthy of super-heroes. So, as we build to the climax, there’s death, destruction, and lots of predictable moments.

Along the way, the heroes are never given a chance to be developed as characters. Audiences are left wondering as to the cherry-picked nature of the team, why this Canary has the sonic scream, why does Jay Garrick know about the Speed Force but Barry, who comes across as a dim bulb, does not. Of all the JSA characters present, the one receiving the worst treatment was Doctor Fate (Keith Ferguson).

Director Jeff Wamester and screenwriters Meghan Fitzmartin & Jeremy Adams could have done so much more with the source material, but what is presented here is soulless and unsurprising. The animation looks more limited than usual, which takes away from the enjoyment.

The 1.78:1 high-definition film looks sharp with good colors in what is a generally muted palette, bringing the horrors of war nicely to life. The video is nicely complemented by the audio.

Thankfully, the Combo Pack (4K, Blu-ray, Digital), comes with the far superior DC Showcase: Kamandi (18:03), which faithfully adapts Jack Kirby’s adventure series. Visually, the Kirby designs come to life and the story feels like Earth After the Great Disaster.

The director, producers, and screenwriters sit around congratulating themselves in Adventures in Storytelling (30:04), where they explain their choices and touch on the ideas they brought to the production, but it didn’t translate from idea to execution anywhere near as well as they think.

We also have Sneak Peek: Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1 (10:29) which is being touted as being the most faithful adaptation from a comic story. It certainly looks great with strong visuals and an interesting voice cast including the late Naya Rivera as Catwoman.

Finally, only available on disc is the From the DC Vault: Justice League: “Legends, Part One” and “Legends, Part Two”.

His Dark Materials: The Complete Second Season Comes to Blu-ray/DVD June 29!
0

His Dark Materials: The Complete Second Season Comes to Blu-ray/DVD June 29

BURBANK, CA – Embark on an incredible adventure into a parallel world when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases His Dark Materials: The Complete Second Season, the critically-acclaimed original fantasy series from HBO, on Blu-rayTM and DVD June 29, 2021. Adapted from the second book of Philip Pullman’s epic trilogy, which has sold over 22 million copies worldwide, His Dark Materials: The Complete Second Season features all seven episodes from the exciting second season plus over an hour of special features including an all-new never-before-seen featurette. The release will be priced at $29.98 SRP ($39.99 in Canada) for the Blu-ray, which includes Digital Copy (US Only) and $24.98 SRP ($29.98 SRP in Canada) for the DVD. His Dark Materials: The Complete Second Seasonis also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers.

His Dark Materials follows young orphan Lyra (Dafne Keen) on a journey through a parallel world where a human’s soul exists outside one’s body – in the form of a talking animal called a daemon. Season two begins as Lyra, distraught over the death of her best friend, embarks upon a journey in a strange and mysterious abandoned city. There she meets Will (Amir Wilson), a boy from our world who is also running from a troubled past. Lyra and Will learn their destinies are tied to reuniting Will with his father but find their path is constantly thwarted as a war begins to brew around them. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson) searches for Lyra, determined to bring her home by any means necessary.

Season two series regulars include stars Dafne Keen (Logan), Ruth Wilson (The Affair), Amir Wilson (The Secret Garden), Ariyon Bakare (Life), Andrew Scott (Sherlock, Fleabag), Will Keen (The Crown), Ruta Gedmintas (The Strain) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton). Joining the cast this season are Terence Stamp (Superman), Jade Anouka (Cleaning Up) and Simone Kirby (Notes on Blindness).

His Dark Materials is produced by Bad Wolf in association with New Line Cinema for BBC One and HBO. Executive producing the series are Jane Tranter, Dan McCulloch, Joel Collins and Julie Gardner for Bad Wolf; Philip Pullman, Jack Thorne, Tom Hooper; Deborah Forte, Toby Emmerich and Carolyn Blackwood for New Line Cinema; and Ben Irving and Piers Wenger for the BBC.

7 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. The City of Magpies
  2. The Cave
  3. Theft
  4. Tower of the Angels
  5. The Scholar
  6. Malice
  7. Æsahættr

BONUS FEATURES

  • Noble Rogue: The Legend of Lee Scoresby (Exclusive to Blu-ray and DVD)

This documentary will explore the DNA of Lee Scoresby’s character (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and the aspects of the cowboy, outlaw or rogue, who through bravery, loyalty, and rebelliousness are willing to stick up for the underdog and fight for justice.

  • Exploring His Dark Materials: Panserbjørne
  • Exploring His Dark Materials: Daemons
  • Exploring His Dark Materials:Portals & The Multiverse
  • Exploring His Dark Materials: Witches
  • His Dark Materials: Bringing Daemons and Bears to Life
  • His Dark Materials: Exploring Cittàgazze
  • His Dark Materials: Worlds Collide
  • The Powerful Mrs. Coulter
  • Lyra
  • The Subtle Knife

DIGITAL

The second season of His Dark Materials is now available to own on Digital. Digital purchase allows consumers to instantly stream and download to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV, Google Play, Vudu and others. A Digital Code is also included in the U.S. with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray™ discs for redemption and cloud storage.

BASICS

Street Date: June 29, 2021
BD and DVD Presented in 16×9 widescreen format
Run Time: Approx. 420 minutes
Enhanced Content: Approx. 67 minutes

DVD

Price: $24.98 SRP ($29.98 in Canada)
2 DVD-9s
DVD Audio: English (5.1) DD
DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish​

BLU-RAY

Price: $29.98 SRP ($39.99 in Canada)
2 BD-50s
BD Audio: English DTS 5.1, French​
BD Subtitles: English SDH, French, Latin Spanish

Stana Katic discusses Wonder Woman in Justice Society: World War II
0

Stana Katic discusses Wonder Woman in Justice Society: World War II

Stana Katic returns to the DC Universe Movies as the voice of Wonder Woman in Justice Society: World War II – which is current available on streaming services.

Katic is best known for her lead roles on CastleAbsentia, and A Call To Spy. She made her DC Universe Movies debut in 2013 as Lois Lane in Superman: Unbound (2013). She also was featured as the voice of Talia al Ghul in the 2011 videogame, Batman: Arkham City.

Here is a link to a trio of video interview bites (tied together) featuring Katic discussing various aspects of her performance as Wonder Woman in Justice Society: World War II.

In the three bites, Katic discusses Wonder Woman’s specific role in the film; the story’s notable balance of action, romance, and humor; and the characteristics and motivations Katic most loves about Wonder Woman.

John Paul Leon: 1972-2021
0

John Paul Leon: 1972-2021

John Paul Leon: 1972-2021

John Paul Leon, groundbreaking artist on Static and Earth X, died Saturday after an 14-year battle with cancer at the age of 49.

He majored in illustration at New York’s School of Visual Arts, studying under artists such as Will Eisner, Walter Simonson, and Jack Potter. It was during this time that he received his first professional comics job, illustrating the Dark Horse Comics miniseries RoboCop: Prime Suspect (October 1992). By his junior year he was given the job as the inaugural artist on the DC Comics/Milestone ongoing series Static (June 1993), his first breakout work, which Simonson agreed would serve as Leon’s course work for that semester.

Michael Davis, Milestone Media co-founder and co-creator of Static, posted his thoughts in a video on Instragram: “I can’t breathe. I’m a writer who can’t write about John now it’s too painful.”

Collaborators and studio-mates Tommy Lee Edwards and Bernard Chang have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a trust for his daughter’s future education. Go there to read more about John and his legacy.

Our condolences to his family, friends, and fans.

Tonight’s Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans Game Guest Stars the Avengers
0

Tonight’s Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans Game Guest Stars the Avengers

ESPN and Marvel announced a groundbreaking collaboration today to launch the first-ever Marvel-inspired alternate presentation for the Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans game on Monday, May 3. The exclusive alternate presentation, NBA Special Edition Presented by State Farm: Marvel’s Arena of Heroes, will start at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes with the traditional game telecast on ESPN. This marks ESPN’s second live NBA game on ESPN+.

The latest development in Marvel and ESPN’s long history of sports content collaboration, the telecast will integrate elements from an original Marvel story and iconic characters including Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Black Widow, and Doctor Strange throughout the live game, including 3D virtual characters, custom graphics and animation packages.

After a narrow victory over an invading alien army, the Avengers receive an ominous threat from the enemy who vows to return in greater numbers and force. The Black Panther and Iron Man quickly realize they will need more help and form a plan to expand their ranks to fight this impending threat. Recognizing the superior physical abilities, agility, and tenacity of Earth’s greatest athletes, the Avengers will hold a series of contests where the winners earn the right to train and fight alongside them as Marvel’s Champions! The Avengers will begin their recruitment with the NBA elite and observe the battle between the Warriors and the Pelicans, focusing on three star players from each team.

Golden State Warriors:

  • Stephen Curry, three-time NBA Champion and two-time NBA MVP;
  • Draymond Green, three-time NBA Champion;
  • Andrew Wiggins, 2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year.

New Orleans Pelicans:

  • Zion Williamson, 2019 NBA Draft top pick;
  • Brandon Ingram, 2019-20 NBA Most Improved Player;
  • Lonzo Ball, 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

Fans will be able to follow along as these athletes are put to the test, gaining Marvel Hero Points for their achievements and performance during the game. The player with the most Marvel Hero Points on the winning team will be crowned as Marvel’s first Champion following the NBA Special Edition Presented by State Farm: Marvel’s Arena of Heroes.

Scoring system:

  • One Marvel Hero Point will be awarded for every point, rebound, assist, steal and block;
  • One Marvel Hero Point will be deducted for every missed field goal, free throw or turnover.

ESPN commentators Ryan Ruocco and Richard Jefferson will provide commentary in a fully customized Marvel-themed studio at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus. Additionally, the special presentation will include commentary and analysis from Marvel expert Angélique Roché.

“Marvel and ESPN have brought the worlds of sports and Super Heroes together for years through comics, documentaries, and other stories celebrating athletes and their extraordinary abilities,” said Mike Pasciullo, vice president, marketing and communications, Marvel Entertainment. “The new Marvel’s Arena of Heroes telecast will be the first of its kind to bring Marvel’s storytelling directly to the real-time experience of a NBA game, and we are excited for fans to be able to watch their favorite players through the lens of Marvel’s mightiest heroes.”

“We’re eager for fans to experience this unique, innovative presentation that will pair Marvel and ESPN’s exceptional storytelling and production,” said Matt Kenny, ESPN vice president, programming and acquisitions. “We are proud to showcase the ‘larger than life’ abilities of these NBA stars in a manner in which only Disney and Marvel can deliver.”

“Marvel and ESPN have brought the worlds of sports and Super Heroes together for years through comics, documentaries, and other stories celebrating athletes and their extraordinary abilities,” said Mike Pasciullo, vice president, marketing and communications, Marvel Entertainment. “The new Marvel’s Arena of Heroes telecast will be the first of its kind to bring Marvel’s storytelling directly to the real-time experience of a NBA game, and we are excited for fans to be able to watch their favorite players through the lens of Marvel’s mightiest heroes.”

“We are thrilled to work alongside ESPN and Marvel to present fans with the first-ever Marvel-inspired alternate NBA telecast,” said David Denenberg, NBA senior vice president, global media distribution & business affairs. “This fun and innovative game presentation builds upon our goal of providing personalized and compelling viewing options for our fans.”

The traditional telecast of the Warriors vs. Pelicans game will be exclusive in the New Orleans market and will air simultaneously on ESPN. Dave Pasch will call the action with analyst Mark Jackson and reporter Cassidy Hubbarth on site in New Orleans. Both the NBA Special Edition Presented by State Farm: Marvel’s Arena of Heroes alternate presentation and the traditional game telecast will stream via the ESPN App.