Brave will be out in June so Disney is cranking up the publicity machine. Here are some concept sketches to give you more of an idea about the filme, featuring Pixar’s first heroine.
MERIDA (Voice of Kelly Macdonald)
Passionate and fiery, Merida is a headstrong teenager of royal upbringing who is struggling to take control of her own destiny. She feels most at home in the outdoors honing her impressive athletic skills as an archer and swordfighter, and racing across the magnificent Highland countryside with her faithful horse, Angus. With a spirit as vibrant as her untamed hair, Merida also has a softness of heart, especially when it comes to her wee triplet brothers. As the daughter of the King and Queen, her life is weighted with responsibilities and expectations, causing her to yearn to preserve her freedom and independence. When Merida blatantly defies an ancient tradition, the consequences of her actions prove disastrous for the kingdom. She must race against time to make right the result of her reckless behavior, her journey compelling her to look inside to discover the meaning of bravery and reveal her true fate.
Black as night with ivory muzzle and fetlocks, Angus is Merida’s powerful Clydesdale and her most trusted confidant. Angus is Merida’s escape from castle life into the deep forest and the highlands beyond. Merida target shoots from her perch on his broad back and is able to coax him into one adventure after another. Angus can be balky, stubborn and faint-hearted at times, but is ultimately a devoted and faithful friend to Merida.
Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In Brave, a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts.
Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late. (more…)
UPDATE 8/21: So much for hotel wi-fi, which also limited our Harvey Awards coverage.
A recording of the full Hugo Awards Ceremony is still up at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/16783348 Two caveats: there’s a commercial ad that you have to watch before the actual recording, and the ceremony starts some 35 minutes or so into the stream.
There were 2100 valid voting ballots were counted, 2086 electronic and 14 by postal mail.
Best Novel (1813 ballots) [[[Blackout/All Clear]]] by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
Best Novella (1467 ballots) The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean) – Read Online
Best Novelette (1469 ballots) “The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010) – Read Online
Best Short Story (1597 ballots) “For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010) – Read Online
Best Related Work (1220 ballots) [[[Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It]]], edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea (Mad Norwegian)
Best Graphic Story (1263 ballots) [[[Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse]]], written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment) – Read Online
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (1755 ballots) [[[Inception]]], written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (1466 ballots) Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
Best Editor, Short Form (983 ballots)
Best Editor, Long Form (898 ballots)
Best Professional Artist (1304 ballots)
Best Semiprozine (1112 ballots) Clarkesworld, edited by Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan, Sean Wallace; podcast directed by Kate Baker
Best Fanzine (870 ballots) The Drink Tank, edited by Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon
Best Fan Writer (814 ballots)
Best Fan Artist (993 ballots)
Brad W. Foster
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (1138 ballots)
The winners of these categories are first-time Hugo winners:
Best Short Story
Best Related Work
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Best Editor, Long Form
Best Semiprozine (Baker only)
Best Fan Writer
The Hugo Award is the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy. The Hugos are awarded each year by the World Science Fiction Society, at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), which is taking place now in Reno, Nevada.
Voting for the Hugos takes place in two stages. The first stage, nomination, is open to anyone who has a supporting or full (adult or young adult) membership of Renovation as of January 31, 2011 and to all supporting and attending members of Aussiecon 4, the prior year’s Worldcon. Nomination is a write-in process where members can put forward any eligible work or person.
The second stage of voting is the final ballot. This stage is only open to Renovation members. In the final ballot, members choose between the five finalists in each category.
The Awards themselves are presented in a public ceremony which is always one of the highlights of the Worldcon, and we expect Renovation to be no different. The Renovation ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 20, 2011 in the Tuscany Ballroom at the Peppermill Hotel.
Warner Bros. is now so committed to getting a Superman film out the door by 2013 that it’s now showing up in press releases from partners.
IMAX, as part of their earnings statement, announced that they’ve signed a deal with Warner Bros. to release 20 films in IMAX format up to 2013. And on the list is a new Superman film.
This would seem to back up that Warner Bros. really is taking the Siegel Estate threat seriously, which states that if a movie wasn’t going to be in release by 2013 they would be in breach and owe the estate a large sum of cash.
Other Warner Bros. movies that will be released in IMAX
are: Legends of the Guardian: The Owls of Ga’Hoole 3D (September 24,
2010); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (3D) (November 19,
2010); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (3D) (July 15,
2011); Happy Feet 2 (3D) (November 18, 2011); and The Hobbit (December
2013). Warner Bros. and IMAX also plan to release an additional 15 films
over the course of 2011, 2012 and 2013, including Gravity, Dark
Shadows, Fury Road, and the third Batman movie.
Of course, as we all know, things can happen, production can get weird, and I’m sure that there are ways out of all of those clauses– but it’s still an encouraging sign.
Gotta love those studio bigwigs. Even in the midst of an impending Screen Actors Guild strike and the greatest financial crisis in modern American history, these head honchos still have dollar signs in their eyes.
Variety is reporting today that studios are planning 40 or more films to begin production between spring and summer of 2009. Since June 30, studios have mostly resisted the urge to start production on major films due to the very real threat of the SAG strike.
The studios are betting that in light of today’s erratic economic climate, the actors won’t authorize a strike order to cease working. Plus, according to an anonymous dealmaker, "[do] you think a big star is going to have its union tell them who can negotiate their deal?" The studios are banking on no.
It’s a huge gamble. Variety cites production costs on studio-sized films at between $100,000 and $500,000 per day. If an actors strike occurs, studios can only retain their actors for eight weeks after the strike’s start. That could be a potential disaster for Tinseltown, which is already recovering from the effects of last year’s writer’s strike.
ICv2 reports that Warner Bros. has pushed back the release of the sixth film in the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, due to fallout from the recent Writers Guild strike. Instead of being released on November 21, 2008, the next Harry Potter film will appear in theaters on July 17, 2009. The move is the result of the studio not having any "tentpole" blockbusters scheduled for release during the all-important summer season, as such films’ production would have normally begun during the time period in which the strike occurred.
Harry Potter fans can take heart, however, as it’s also reported that the move shouldn’t have any effect whatsoever on the release of subsequent films in the series.
The shift of The Half-Blood Prince will have no effect on the scheduling of the next Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which will be released in two parts, the first of which will debut in the fall of 2010 followed by the eighth and final Harry Potter film in the summer of 2011.
Two of the previous five Harry Potter films have opened during the summer, but the young magician’s rabid fan base will flock to the theaters in any season, which has allowed Warners to schedule the films effectively during either the summer or the winter holiday season.
More on the other films that Half-Blood Prince will now be competing with, as well as the moves made by other studios in the wake of this announcement, can be found over at ICv2.
The Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced their annual Nebula Award winners this weekend in Austin, TX. The non-profit association honors writers of speculative fiction each year with the awards, and this year’s list of winners included some familiar names and series to fans of comics and science-fiction/fantasy:
Novel: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
Novella: "Fountain of Age" by Nancy Kress
Novelette: "The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate" by Ted Chiang
Short Story: "Always" by Karen Joy Fowler
Script:Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
The group also held its annual election, which I probably wouldn’t report on here were it not for some of the intriguing write-in candidates for the positions. Spiro Agnew as Vice President, eh?
A videogame has set the all-time record for most revenue earned in a single day by any entertainment property. Any property. Ever.
That game, for anyone hiding under a rock, is Halo 3 by Bungie, a subsidiary of Microsoft. Who knew there were so many Xboxes out there?
CNet notes that the game "netted $170 million in sales in the U.S. in its first day. If true, that would top previous records set by the motion pictures Spider Man 3 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Although you really have to divide the $170 million by $60 per, rather than by the cost of a movie ticket which, I’m informed, is considerably less.
Also, over a million players have logged on to Xbox Live to play the multiplayer version, Your news editor is not one of them.
Graeme McMillan of The Savage Critics discovers the single best panel of the week (see above) and reviewsBatman #667. No, seriously – does anyone else think that looks like Halloween about three doors down from stately Wayne Manor?
Newsarama has twosets of pictures from Wizard World Chicago – mostly of people in costumes, natch.
Ain’t It Cool Newsreads the current script for the Thor movie, and likes it.
Your sign of the apocalypse of the day: bikini-clad stormtroopers. (Insert your own “Aren’t you too…to be a stormtrooper” joke here.)
Cory Doctorow of Boing Boingreviews the graphic novel Giant Robot Warriors by Stuart Moore and Ryan Kelly.
The Toronto Starreviews Warren Ellis’s novel Crooked Little Vein.
Movies Onlineinterviews someone they called “Neil Gaimon” about the movie “StarDust.” I wonder if they asked him about his comics series Snadman, or his young readers novel Caroline? (And is he any relation to Charles Dickkens, the well-known Dutch author?)
Comics Reporterinterviews Doug TenNapel, cartoonist of Black Cherry.
The amazing, never-before seen reunion of the seven Image founders at Comic-Con is, like everything else in the world, now up on YouTube.
The Beatreports on the Scribe awards – for the downtrodden refuseniks of literature, the media tie-in writers – which were awarded for the first time at Comic-Con this year.
Chris’s Invincible Super-Blog has found the greatest movie title ever: Yo-Yo Girl Cop. Not only is it about a female cop who wields a battle yo-yo, it’s actually the sequel to something.
Greg Burgas of Comics Should Be Goodfinally files his San Diego report.
Jog of The Savage Criticsbrings the love for one of my favorite comics of all time, the first series of Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill’s Marshal Law.
If you ever wondered where Stepford Wives come from…Alma Alexander discovered the website of a photo retoucher who fixes up kids’ pageant photos – such as this example of turning a perfectly cute baby into a creepy doll-like object.