Thursday, August 27, 2009


Enemies from the Past and Future Collide In WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN: BEGINNING OF THE END, The Third Volume of The Hit Animated TV Series

Witness the Launch of a Legendary Series with the Three DVD Set of WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN VOLUMES 1-3

Street Date: 11/3/09
Order Date: 10/7/09
Wolverine and the X-Men: Beginning of the End DVD SRP: $14.98
Wolverine and the X-Men: Volumes 1-3, 3-DVD Set DVD SRP: $29.98

This November, Marvel Animation and Lionsgate will bring fans the ultimate showdown between humans and mutants with the eagerly awaited third volume of the hit animated series Wolverine and the X-Men, as well as a boxed set containing the first three volumes of this fan-favorite show. Wolverine and the X-Men: Beginning of the End follows Wolverine and the X-Men as they face potential demise in five apocalyptic episodes featuring audio commentary from the show’s creators, and a glossed/embossed O-card. With the release of the third volume, new fans can jump on board in time for the holiday season with the release of the new box set Wolverine and the X-Men Volumes 1-3. The set is encased in bookcase sleeve packaging and comes complete with a unique collectible WXM Laser CelTM (while supplies last) sure to appeal to collectors everywhere.

Both titles from the hit series arrive on DVD on November 3, 2009 with Wolverine And The X-Men: Beginning of the End available for the suggested retail price of $14.98, while Wolverine and the X-Men Volumes 1-3 is available for the suggested retail price of $29.98 -- an incredible value vs. buying each DVD individually!

With 45 years of best selling comic books, a massive fan base spanning all ages and three feature films grossing over one billion dollars at the box office, the franchise is a proven phenomenon. Volumes 1 & 2 of the hit TV series have already shipped over 350,000 units to date. Though the animated series is targeted to boys 6-11, it also appeals to comic book fans of all ages!

Wolverine and the X-Men: Beginning of the End: Wolverine and the X-Men fight to stay alive as sinister forces usher in the beginning of the end. In Volume 3, five apocalyptic episodes weave together the tale of the X-Men’s potential demise. In “Future X,” deadly plans are set in motion when Xavier and Cerebro are captured by the malevolent Sentinels. “Greetings from Genosha” welcomes Nightcrawler into a world of killer seduction on Magneto's deceptive island paradise. Time is running out for Logan as he is haunted by the darkness of his past with Weapon X in “Past Discretions.” In "eXcessive Force," Cyclops blasts his way through one old foe after another to find the missing Jean Grey. And the X-Men make what might be their last stand in "Battle Lines", when Rogue uncovers the Brotherhood's seemingly unstoppable plan to trigger the war between mutants and humans.

Wolverine and the X-Men: Volumes 1-3: Includes Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the hit TV series Wolverine and the X-Men.

Wolverine and the X-Men: Heroes Return Trilogy: In the late 20th century, Professor Charles Xavier created The Institute for Gifted Youngsters, a place where young “mutants” could learn to harness their incredible abilities. But after a mysterious explosion devastated the school, Xavier’s students – the X-Men – disbanded and the man known as Wolverine struck out on his own. One year later, the fiercely independent Wolverine must reunite the X-Men to prevent the world from falling into chaos. Only together can the X-Men steer the course of history away from catastrophe!

Wolverine and the X-Men: Deadly Enemies: Join Wolverine and the X-Men as they continue their fight to prevent an unspeakable future! The action begins as the X-Men strive to free Storm from the Shadow King and Wolverine teams with Gambit to reclaim a collar that inhibits mutant powers. Nightcrawler battles Mojo’s pirates while Wolverine faces off against the Incredible Hulk – and a new enemy. And in a shocking request from Professor Xavier in the future, Wolverine and the X-Men must return a young mutant back to their biggest adversary, the MRD.

Wolverine and the X-Men: Beginning of the End: Wolverine and the X-Men face potential demise in five apocalyptic episodes! Xavier and Cerebro are captured by the malevolent Sentinels. Nightcrawler is lured onto Magneto’s sinister island paradise and Logan is haunted by his dark past with Weapon X. Cyclops takes on old and new foes, and battle lines are drawn when Rogue uncovers the Brotherhood’s terrifying plan to annihilate human and mutant kind alike.

Wolverine and the X-Men: Beginning of the End
• Audio commentary with Supervising Producer Craig Kyle, Head Writer Greg Johnson and Writer
Chris Yost
• Astonishing X-Men: Gifted – The Motion Comic, Episode 1

Wolverine and the X-Men: Volumes 1-3:
Volume One:
• Character Profiles: Wolverine and the X-Men
• “Making of Wolverine and the X-Men” featurette
• Audio commentary with Supervising Producer Craig Kyle and Head Writer Greg Johnson
• Audio commentary with Lead Director Boyd Kirkland and Director Steven Gordon
• “Nicktoons Network Going InScene” Wolverine and the X-Men

Volume Two:
• Audio commentary with Supervising Producer Craig Kyle, Head Writer Greg Johnson and Writer
Chris Yost

Volume Three:
• Audio commentary with Supervising Producer Craig Kyle, Head Writer Greg Johnson and Writer
Chris Yost
• Astonishing X-Men: Gifted – The Motion Comic, Episode 1
*Special features subject to change


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In a partnership that will echo through the cosmos, Lucasfilm, THQ Wireless, and Dark Horse Comics will release Star Wars™ comics to the iPhone mobile platform for the first time ever!

The selection of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Vol. 1 – Shipyards of Doom, Star Wars: Empire Vol. 1 – Betrayal and Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 1 – Broken represents three of the most important time periods in the history of the Star Wars galaxy. The three collections will span the time between the Clone Wars era, the Classic era and the distant future.

Star Wars: Empire Vol. 1 – Betrayal is set just weeks before the events of the original film, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, and follows a faction of disgruntled Imperial Officers attempting to overthrow Emperor Palpatine. But the plot is complicated by the emergence of the bounty hunter Boba Fett and by the loyalty of Darth Vader to his dark master. Betrayal will be released in four chapters, written by Scott Allie and drawn by Brian Horton.

Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 1 – Broken takes place more than a century after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi and focuses on a fifth-generation Skywalker named Cade, a rogue Jedi and bounty hunter who travels the galaxy living by his own code. Broken will be released in two parts, written by John Ostrander and drawn by Jan Duursema.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Vol. 1 – Shipyard of Doom is based on the wildly popular animated series from Lucasfilm Animation and highlights events from the epic time period when Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Padawan Ahsoka Tano struggled to maintain order and peace in a war-torn galaxy. Shipyards of Doom will be release in its entirety, written by Henry Gilroy, and drawn by the Fillbach Brothers.

Working together with Lucasfilm and THQ Wireless, Dark Horse Senior Editor Randy Stradley and Senior Web Designer Mike Denning carefully reformatted each panel and page to maximize the visual grandeur while staying true to the original comic books. All parties involved ensured that the material would transition to the new medium in the best format possible, delicately considering every word balloon and background image.

Dark Horse President Mike Richardson is delighted with the new program, stating, “Lucasfilm has been a proud and longstanding partner of ours, and I’m equally excited to be working with the wonderful people at THQ Wireless on this program. The stories of The Clone Wars, Legacy, and Empire embody some of the best comics in the Star Wars universe that Dark Horse has ever released. I think it’s wonderful that these key tales will be available to fans everywhere in a new and accessible way.”

Adam Comiskey, Vice President THQ Wireless commented, “Bringing a selection of some of the finest comic books to the iPhone mobile platform is an exciting chapter in our relationship with Lucasfilm. Our partnership with Dark Horse means that for the first time, Star Wars Fans will be able to use their iPhone to view a fantastic line up of comics.”

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DVD News: Screenwriter Stan Berkowitz discusses Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Screenwriter Stan Berkowitz successfully adapts another classic DC Comics graphic novel to film with Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Justice League: The New Frontier writer brings Jeph Loeb comic to life in all-new DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 Movie for distribution Sept. 29

Screenwriter Stan Berkowitz guides another classic DC Comics graphic novel to animated glory with the September 29 Warner Home Video release of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.

Berkowitz brought Darwyn Cooke’s landmark Justice League: The New Frontier from pages to screen in 2008, and this year he’s converted the words of Jeph Loeb into a summer popcorn-style blockbuster with the crafting of the script for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.

Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation will present the all-new Superman/Batman: Public Enemies in a Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def edition, a special edition 2-disc DVD, and a single disc DVD. Warner Home Video will distribute the action-packed movie, which will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View as well as available for download on Sept. 29.

In Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, United States President Lex Luthor uses the oncoming trajectory of a Kryptonite asteroid to frame Superman and declare a $1 billion bounty on the heads of the Man of Steel and his “partner in crime,” Batman. Heroes and villains alike launch a relentless pursuit of Superman and Batman, who must unite – and recruit help – to stave off the action-packed onslaught, stop the
asteroid, and uncover Luthor’s devious plot to take command of far more than North America.

Berkowitz has been actively writing for 30 years, focusing his efforts on animated properties for the past dozen years. His animated credits range from Superman: The Animated Series and Batman: The Animated Series to Justice League, The Batman and Legion of Super Heroes, with stops on shows like Static Shock, Batman Beyond and Spider-Man along the way. Prior to moving into the animated realm, Berkowitz garnered
credits writing episodes of T.J. Hooker and the latter-day versions of Dragnet and Adam 12.

Berkowitz pushed the keyboard aside to discuss the differences between his film and Loeb’s initial take on the tale, the importance of great voice actors and a fine director, reaching into the DC vault for his childhood memories, the little things Alan Burnett does to make a big impact, and the ideal writing environment. Read on … Stan Berkowitz is speaking.

Why was this story right for you?

I love the political aspect of it. In the comic book that Jeph Loeb wrote, it was assumed that everyone knew the backstory to how Luthor got elected President. But we needed the movie to show an audience, who might not be familiar with the comics, exactly what would have to happen for Luthor to be elected. I sort of envisioned Luthor ascending to the Presidency somewhere around 2012. I didn't quite predict the
catastrophe we'd be seeing in 2008. But I figured that something bad would happen, and then Democrats would be elected in 2008, they wouldn’t be able to solve the problem and, in 2012, a tough, Ross Perot-style third party bid would be the one who'd be elected.

It was kind of fun for me to envision the political atmosphere that would have to take place in order for that to happen. And I also had a wonderful time going with Jeph's depiction of Luthor's descent into insanity – always keeping in mind that Clancy Brown would be enacting the dialogue. It was just great to write that.

Superman/Batman: Pubic Enemies follows Justice League: The New Frontier as your second DC Universe film adaptation of a classic DC Comics graphic novel/com series. Are there specific challenges to adapting a well-known story?

Each adaptation is different, and presents different challenges. In New Frontier, the challenge was compressing all the material into a coherent 75-minute story. In Public Enemies, the challenge was making the thematic concerns concrete because the comic author had the luxury of a narrator to talk about the themes. And when we did the screenplay, we had to show the themes in action, having things happen to illustrate those themes.

For Public Enemies, there was also the issue of credibility. We were concerned that if a person who vaguely knows Superman and Batman grabs this off the shelf and sees Lex Luthor as President, he might think, “hey, what's going on here?” It might just put them off, or make them think this was an alternate world story. And that’s not how it’s advertised. The other credibility issue is that in the comic, Luthor
believes that the meteor is coming to Earth because of Superman. As a reader, I could not get past the fact that the public buys Luthor's explanation. I didn't believe an audience watching this as an animated production would buy Luthor's explanation. So Alan (Burnett) and Bruce (Timm) and I had to figure out an alternate way for Luthor to frame Superman. I think it worked very well.

What makes Lex Luthor such a great villain?

I think anytime you do a story, you have to ask yourself, “What does the villain want?” And the more complex the villain, the more unusual a thing it is that he wants – and, thus, the better the story will be. In Luthor's case, he's like Salieri to Superman's Mozart. Salieri would have been the era's greatest composer had it not been for Mozart, and Salieri knows this. In the same vein, Luthor would have been the leading light of our generation except for Superman, and there's nothing that he can do about it. He's cast into the shadows, and that's why he has that pathological hatred of Superman.

You've written Batman, and you've written Superman. Now you’ve gotten to write them together? What’s that dynamic like to combine them and use that chemistry to bring out the personalities?

Well, Batman and Superman are opposites. Superman has always been presented as the character from the light, the daytime; Batman from the nighttime. They have decidedly different outlooks. Superman is the ultimate kid from Kansas, who had a real healthy upbringing. Batman is the tormented orphan. In a way, Superman's outlook is too sunny, and Batman’s is too dark. The two of them work against each other, trying to temper each other's attitude.

Superman wants to cheer up Batman to a certain extent, and Batman wants to make Superman aware that there is a darker world under what Superman normally sees. It’s fun to create banter between them. It was also fun to adapt the banter that was in the graphic novel, and we used a lot of it. Jeph’s words were so good, we just pulled dialogue directly from the pages of the novel.

Are you thinking of the cast’s voices when you're writing and, if so, does that help you write?

I’m definitely thinking of the actors' voices. Not to denigrate Superman and Batman, but this is Luthor's story. Luthor has more dialogue than either Batman or Superman. And frankly, I actually gave him even more dialogue in those long speeches because I was hoping Clancy Brown would get the part, which he did. It’s so pleasurable to
watch – and hear – Clancy do those Luthor lines, to watch Clancy's descent into madness. It just brought me back to the days when I got into this medium in the first place. Suddenly, I was just a 13-year-old with a movie camera having fun with my friends and doing these little movies. It had that same visceral pleasure for me. Tim (Daly) and Kevin (Conroy) are sensational, too – those were also the voices I had in mind while I was writing. But this really is Clancy's vehicle this time.

Do you remember your first experience with Superman and with Batman?

Easily. The reason I remember this so well is that when I started working on the show Superboy in Florida, I was flown to New York to meet Mike Carlin and Andy Helfer at DC Comics. And we talked for most of the day about the Superboy show and then they just casually mentioned, “Oh, by the way, we happen to have a library here of all the comics that DC has ever done.” Well, I got to go see it. I went into that library and found the very first two comics I'd ever gotten. One of them was an issue of Batman Detective Comics with a character called Garth, and it involved a crossbow being used to kill someone in an empty room. The strings had been held back by a cake of ice. And when the ice melted, the crossbow let go and killed the guy sitting in this deserted room. And the other one was a Superboy Adventure Comics
from August of '58, where Superboy played all the positions on a baseball team, thanks to his super speed. And I remember I'd been sick in the evening, and my father went out and got the medicine for me, and also picked up those two comic books. So it was kind of cool, almost like reaching into a time capsule, because I hadn't seen the comics in over 30 years.

What is your strength in this industry?

I think part of my strength is work habits. One of the lessons I learned from my very first job after film school was from Russ Meyer. He said that from the time you wake up 'til the time you go to sleep, when you’re on a show, the show owns you. You don't own the show. There's no going home at 6:00 at night. I have no idea if there's any creativity involved (he laughs), but I'm fairly certain that the conscientiousness might explain some of the longevity.

Which presents more challenges: writing an original Stan Berkowitz story or adapting someone else's work?

Doing an original presents more challenges. The adaptations are already there – the studio knows they want to do it. In both the case of New Frontier and Public Enemies, I was approached by the studio and asked if I wanted to adapt them. Getting your own thing off the ground is much, much more difficult because even in our little world of animation, the, pre-selling is an important factor. And in both the
case of New Frontier and Public Enemies, you had best-selling comics that the fans already knew.

What's the perfect environment for you to write in?

I like an empty room, and that's all I really need because there are absolutely no distractions. No TV, no internet, just a quiet room. It works for me. And it helps me to work faster. From the day they decided to do Public Enemies until the day that the first draft of the script was ready, it was exactly 60 days – which is really, really fast for a feature-length project.

When I started writing in film school, I'd have the TV on. Now I can't even have music on. It just has to be dead quiet with nobody around, nobody coming to bother me. It’s all about concentration. I can go for about two hours before I need a distraction, then I come back and go for another two hours. If you plan your whole day carefully, you can get in eight hours of work and probably six to seven pages of finished screenplay a day. There are other writers who can do 10 or 12, but they're probably burned out after about a week or two.

Beyond the narrative, are there any other key differences between Jeph Loeb's version and what we'll see in the movie?

I think the largest one involves what Superman is framed for. We just didn’t find it credible that the American public would believe that Superman was somehow drawing the meteor to Earth. We thought we needed something that made a little bit more sense.

My first instinct was to have Superman accused of an attempted murder on Metallo, and then have this whole thing where ultimately Metallo plays a key role by donating his skeleton to be the nose cone of the rocket. That didn’t work, and then Alan (Burnett) suggested having Metallo murdered and framing Superman for that. Then Alan asked the next question and answered it himself. “Why would anybody believe that
Superman had killed Metallo?” And the answer that Alan gave for why people would believe that Superman would kill was that Superman's mind was already being affected by the kryptonite radiation coming from the approaching meteor. Suddenly, the public is afraid that a crazed Superman could just go off the handle and kill anyone. I felt that that was a very effective way of framing Superman.

What’s the influence of Alan Burnett on the DC Universe films?

Alan Burnett has become an uber editor of all of the DCU DVDs, and hopefully that remains his role from now on. I started working for Alan in 1996 and, in my opinion, you could not ask for a better guy in that position. He’s almost always one of the few adults in the room. Inevitably, he'll come up with something that seems really small, but then changes the whole story and makes it work. The radiation effecting Superman’s mind is a perfect example. I never would have thought of that. But then here’s Alan sitting quietly and then saying something that fixes everything. That's what Alan does. His criticisms are always constructive. And you never, never see much ego involved – at least I haven’t in the past 12 years.

What it's like for you to hear your words take life in a recording session?

It’s fun, but it makes you appreciate just how good everyone else involved really is. For starters, Andrea (Romano) makes it look very, very simple, but I urge anyone who thinks it's simple to actually try to direct actors. It’s hard. Very hard. They speak a different language. We were working on an episode of Justice League, and I
happened to get to the recording session early and the only other person there already was the lead villain. We started chatting and, of course, the conversation turned to “How did you see this guy?” So I tell him my concept of the character. I swear to God, it took Andrea an hour of recording time to undo the damage I'd done because I spoke to him from the wrong perspective. An actor wants to know the internal emotional aspect of how the character feels, and I was describing the
character from the outside, as how you would see him.

I’ve been blessed in that Andrea is one of the few dialogue directors I’ve worked with since 1996. When you hear an actor – who’s either bad or who’s badly directed – doing your dialogue, you start thinking, “Oh my God, I'm a terrible writer.” And then you hear your words being directed by good director, working with good actors, and you say, “Hey, I'm good. I can write dialogue.” That's the pleasure of being in
a recording session for one of your scripts.

For more information, images and updates, please visit the film’s
official website at

Stan Berkowitz wrote the script for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, the next DC Universe animated original movie, which is set for distribution September 29, 2009 by Warner Home Video. (Photo courtesy of Gary Miereanu)

U.S. President Lex Luthor claims an oncoming kryptonite meteor has driven Superman mad, leading the Man of Steel to commit murder in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. The DC Universe animated original movie will be distributed September 29, 2009 by Warner Home Video.

Bruce Wayne runs calculations in the Batcave, trying to stop an oncoming kryptonite meteor in the next DC Universe animated original movie, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. Warner Home Video will distribute the film on September 29, 2009.

Silver Banshee is one of the dozens of super villains who try to capture the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, the next DC Universe animated original movie, which is set for distribution September 29, 2009 by Warner Home Video.

Superman is forced into one battle after another as both super heroes and super villains alike seek to capture the Man of Steel in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. The DC Universe animated original movie will be distributed September 29, 2009 by Warner Home Video.

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Six Action-Packed Animated Features Come Together for the Very First Time
for an Incredible Price!

Street Date: 10/13/09
Order Date: 9/16/09
DVD SRP: $49.98

Marvel Enterprises and Lionsgate unveil the most exciting new gift of the holiday season with the very first compilation of the mightiest super heroes in the Marvel Universe with the DVD release of the Marvel Animation: 6 Film Gift Set. This complete collection is a must-have for comic fans everywhere as it includes all six of the Marvel full-length animated features currently released on DVD: Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, Ultimate Avengers 2, The Invincible Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow and Hulk Vs. Each DVD is jam-packed with special features including games, first looks, trivia, concept art, featurettes and more that give fans of all ages intimate behind-the-scenes access to the creation of each film. The Marvel Animation: 6 Film Gift Set is available on DVD on October 13, 2009 for the suggested retail price of $49.98.

With over 4.1 million units sold to date, the compilation is being made available for an incredible price - a 48% savings vs. buying each DVD individually.

Get into the action with The Invincible Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Wolverine, Captain America and more of the mightiest names in the Marvel® universe for this action-packed 6-DVD set of Marvel Animated Features – the first-ever animated full-length movies from Marvel! Bursting with the thrilling stories and animation that stay true to their comic book roots, these six films deliver the ultimate Marvel experience!

* Ultimate Avengers: The Movie: The extraordinary story of six very independent heroes who like it or not, must fight as one to save the world.

* Ultimate Avengers 2: To save humanity, the Earth’s mightiest heroes must join forces with the Black Panther for a rematch of heroic proportions.

* Doctor Strange: After awakening the gift of magic within him, Dr. Stephen Strange – the new Sorcerer Supreme – tests his powers against the most terrifying entity humankind has ever known.

* The Invincible Iron Man: It’s East meets West as a brutal 3,000-year-old dynasty is resurrected. Now Tony Stark must don an armored suit and become Iron Man to stand up against the risen emperor, the Mandarin.

* Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow: The teenage children of the original Avengers join forces with the Incredible Hulk to battle Ultron, the machine that defeated their parents.

* Hulk Vs.: There’s twice the carnage and action as Hulk clashes with two of his greatest adversaries, Wolverine and Thor! Two films included in one epic release: Hulk vs. Wolverine and Hulk vs. Thor.

Ultimate Avengers: The Movie:
• “Avengers Assemble” featurette
• The Ultimate Voice Talent Search
• What Avenger Are You? DVD-Rom game
• First Look at Ultimate Avengers 2
• Avengers Trivia Track

Ultimate Avengers 2:
• “The Ultimates” featurette
• The Ultimate Gag Reel
• First Look at The Invincible Iron Man
• First Look at Doctor Strange
• What Avenger are You? DVD-Rom game

The Invincible Iron Man:
• Alternate Opening Sequence
• “The Origin of Iron Man” featurette
• The Hall of Iron Man Armor
• Iron Man Concept Art
• A Look at Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange:
• The Best of Marvel Videogame Cinematics
• “Who is Doctor Strange?” featurette
• A First Look at Avengers Reborn
• Doctor Strange Concept Art

Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow:
• “Legacy: The Making of Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow” featurette
• A First Look at “Hulk Vs. Wolverine”
• A First Look at “Hulk Vs. Thor”
• “Kid Power: Next-Gen Marvel” featurette

Hulk Vs.:
• Hulk Vs Wolverine: Audio Commentary with Craig Kyle and Chris Yost
• Hulk Vs Thor: Audio Commentary with Craig Kyle and Chris Yost
• “First Look – Wolverine and the X-Men” featurette
• “First Look – Thor: Tales of Asgard” featurette


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