Sunday, July 31, 2016

National Geographic Channel's "MARS" is Global Event Television

National Geographic Channel, Imagine Entertainment and RadicalMedia Redefine Television Storytelling with MARS – an Unprecedented Global Event Series

Executive Produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, MARS Showcases the Dramatic Setbacks and Successes of the Modern Scientific Space Revolution, While Envisioning Humankind’s First Harrowing Attempt to Colonize the Distant Planet

MARS Premieres Globally November 2016

When the first humans set foot on Mars, the moment will be more significant in terms of technology, philosophy, history and exploration than any that have come before it, all because we will no longer be a one-planet species.” -Stephen Petranek, author of “How We’ll Live on Mars”

WASHINGTON & BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Of all the planets in our solar system, none has captured our collective imagination like Mars — a mysterious, indelible part of the zeitgeist. The quest to send humans to Mars has engaged the top minds in science in a modern-day space race, and it has infiltrated pop culture through blockbusters like Andy Weir’s “The Martian” and through out-of-this-world tweets from astronaut Scott Kelly. Now, National Geographic Channel (NGC), Academy Award- and Emmy-winning producers Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg of Imagine Entertainment; and Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning producer Justin Wilkes and Dave O’Connor of RadicalMedia have joined forces to launch viewers farther into outer space than ever before with the global event series MARS.

    “If the next president were to get up in the spring of 2017 and announce his or her commitment to send humans to Mars, we could be there by the end of that administration’s second term.”

Premiering on the National Geographic Channel in 171 countries and 45 languages this November 2016, MARS — which is set both in the future and in the present day — will redefine television storytelling by combining feature-film-quality scripted drama and visual effects with best-in-class documentary sequences to drive forward a cohesive, edge-of-your seat story of mankind’s thrilling quest to colonize Mars. This epic six-part global event series tells the inspiring story from the vantage point of a fictitious crewed mission in 2033. For more information, visit and

“Brian [Grazer] and I, along with our friends at Radical, had this ambitious idea, which was to create a documentary about the quest to go to Mars but also bring it to life in a really dramatic and cinematic way,” said Executive Producer Ron Howard. “The offer to the audience will be information meets vivid and experiential filmmaking. Nat Geo’s ambition was high, and we are really honored and thrilled to try and meet that challenge.”

The starting point for this unique storytelling method is the year 2033, and we have embarked on the first crewed mission to MARS. As dramatic scripted elements and feature film-caliber visual effects bring this future world to life, the modern-day quest to reach the red planet is told through documentary vérité and interviews with the present-day scientists and innovators who are leading the research and development of space technology that will make the 2033 mission possible. Executive producers Howard and Grazer hand-selected visionary Mexican filmmaker Everardo Gout (“Days of Grace”) to direct the scripted portions of the series, filmed earlier this year in Budapest and Morocco.

The First Crewed Mission to MARS

MARS envisions the future of space travel funded through a corporate-public partnership of two fictional organizations: the Mars Mission Corporation (MMC), a consortium of aerospace corporations formed in 2022 and headquartered in London that builds and manages the technological hardware for the Mars program, and the International Mars Science Foundation (IMSF), which was created by a coalition of space-faring nations to carry out a mission to Mars.

The scripted portion focuses on Earth’s first crewed mission to MARS aboard the spacecraft Daedalus. Its maiden voyage in 2033 is crewed by a carefully selected international crew of six uniquely qualified astronauts, including American mission commander Ben Sawyer (Ben Cotton), Korean American mission pilot Hana Seung (Jihae), Spanish hydrologist and geochemist Javier Delgado (Alberto Ammann), French mission physician and biochemist Amelie Durand (Clementine Poidatz), Nigerian mechanical engineer and roboticist Robert Foucault (Sammi Rotibi) and Russian exobiologist and geologist Marta Kamen (Anamaria Marinca). Back on Earth, the MMC control team based in London includes Hana Seung’s twin sister, capsule communicator (CAPCOM) Joon Seung (also played by Jihae) and French CEO of the MMC Ed Grann (Olivier Martinez).

Once Daedalus successfully lands on Mars and sets up a preliminary base of operations, British nuclear physicist Leslie Richardson (Cosima Shaw) will lead a Phase 2 settlement team along with her husband, world-renowned experimental botanist Dr. Paul Richardson (John Light).

The production team took painstaking efforts to base the scripted narrative in real-world science. The series writing team worked with an extensive group of experts, both in the public and private sectors, to understand how the science could serve the story. Dr. Robert Braun, an aerospace engineer and professor of space technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, provided expert consultation on all scientific aspects of the fictional storyline. Dr. Mae Jemison, a former NASA astronaut who holds the distinction of being the first woman of color in space, acted as a space advisor on the series, working closely with the cast to help them hone their portrayals.

In terms of the visual look of the series, production designer Sophie Becher turned to NASA and SpaceX to help inform her designs of the Daedalus spaceship and Olympus Town, the first human colony on Mars as portrayed by the series. Costume designer Daniela Ciancio extensively researched the types of fabrics being created today to make spacesuits lighter, stronger, more flexible and radiation resistant to protect the astronauts of tomorrow. And Framestore, the Academy Award-winning visual effects team behind Gravity, will layer in the final external visuals to complete the look of the series.


MARS also showcases an unprecedented collection of interviews with the top scientific minds currently working to overcome the many obstacles that stand in the way of an eventual maiden launch. National Geographic received exclusive access to film Elon Musk (founder of Tesla and SpaceX) and his team at SpaceX mission control as they successfully landed their Falcon 9 reusable rocket on a drone ship off the East Coast of the U.S. this past April.

“The future of humanity is fundamentally going to bifurcate along one of two directions: either we’re going to become a multi-planet species and a spacefaring civilization, or we’re going to be stuck on one planet until some eventual extinction event. In order for me to be excited and inspired about the future, it’s got to be the first option,” says Musk in the series.

MARS truly brings together all of the world’s leading minds in a way never before accomplished — think of the world’s largest TED talk with the most fascinating people on Earth. Those interviewed for the series include:

  •     Charles Bolden, NASA administrator; former NASA astronaut
  •     Peter Diamandis, founder and executive chairman, X-Prize; co-founder and co-chairman, Planetary Resources
  •     Neil DeGrasse Tyson, director, Hayden Planetarium at The Rose Center for Earth and Space
  •     David Dinges, professor, department of psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania
  •     Casey Dreier, director, space policy, Planetary Society
  •     Ann Druyan, executive producer and writer, Cosmos
  •     Charles Elachi, retired director, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL); professor emeritus, Caltech
  •     Jim Green, NASA planetary science division director
  •     John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate; former NASA astronaut
  •     Jennifer Heldmann, NASA planetary scientist
  •     Jedidah Isler, award-winning astrophysicist; emerging Explorer, National Geographic
  •     Thomas Kalil, deputy director, policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; senior advisor, science, technology and innovation, National Economic Council
  •     Roger Launius, associate director, collections and curatorial affairs, Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum
  •     John Logsdon, professor emeritus, political science and international affairs, George Washington University
  •     James Lovell, former NASA astronaut; commander, Apollo 13 mission
  •     Elon Musk, CEO and chief technology officer, SpaceX; CEO, Tesla Motors; chairman, SolarCity
  •     Stephen Petranek, author, “How We’ll Live on Mars”
  •     Mary Roach, author, “Packing for Mars”
  •     Jennifer Trosper, Mars 2020 mission manager, JPL
  •     Andy Weir, author, “The Martian”
  •     Robert Zubrin, president, The Mars Society; president, Pioneer Astronautics

The quest not only to reach Mars but also to colonize it one day has stirred vigorous debate within the space community. The question is not only “could we?” but also “should we?” Neil DeGrasse Tyson is not convinced that we have to send humans to Mars; he bets it would take less effort and less money to figure out how to survive threats to Earth than to colonize another planet in order to maintain the species: “I think we should visit planets, as you’d visit any place you’ve never been before…. But we evolved on Earth to live on Earth.”

The consensus seems to be forming that humans will eventually make the trip to Mars, but the time table for doing so also remains a point of debate. Robert Zubrin, president of The Mars Society and of Pioneer Astronautics, makes a bold assertion: “If the next president were to get up in the spring of 2017 and announce his or her commitment to send humans to Mars, we could be there by the end of that administration’s second term.”


National Geographic will extend the MARS storytelling in an unprecedented cross-platform effort, including a six-part digital companion prequel series. Before MARS, which will launch prior to the premiere, is an extensive digital virtual-reality experience at There will also be the MARS Experience installation in New York City this October. Further, MARS will be the November cover story of National Geographic magazine and will be featured in a standalone book, “MARS: Our Future on the Red Planet,” on sale October 25, 2016. The NG Kids Book, “MARS: The Red Planet,” will go on sale September 27, 2016. There will be media and educational materials for kids; a touring NG Live speakers series; and ongoing MARS coverage on

MARS is produced by Imagine Entertainment and RadicalMedia for NGC. For Imagine Entertainment, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg are executive producers. For RadicalMedia, Justin Wilkes, Dave O’Connor, Jonathan Silberberg and Jon Kamen are executive producers. For NGC, Robert Palumbo is executive producer; Matt Renner is vice president, production; and Tim Pastore is president, original programming and production.

About National Geographic Channels
The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels include: National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that help support the society’s mission. Globally, NGC is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and Nat Geo WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250 million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55 million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more information, visit and

About Imagine
Imagine Entertainment was founded in 1986 by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer to create independently produced feature films, television programs and other original programming. Imagine Entertainment has been honored with more than 60 prestigious awards including 10 Academy Awards and 40 Emmy awards. Past productions include Academy Award Best Picture winner ”A Beautiful Mind,” as well as “Apollo 13,” “American Gangster,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “8 Mile,” “Liar, Liar,” “Backdraft” and “Parenthood,” to name a few. Upcoming films include “Inferno,” the third installment of the Dan Brown franchise; “American Made,” starring Tom Cruise; and “The Beatles: 8 Days a Week - The Touring Years,” a documentary about The Beatles. Current television productions include Fox’s “Empire,” “Shots Fired!” and “24: Legacy,” as well as National Geographic Channel’s Breakthrough and Genius series. Past television productions include NBC’s “Parenthood,” NBC’s “Friday Night Lights,” Fox’s “24” and “24: Live Another Day” and Fox’s and Netflix’s “Arrested Development,” as well as HBO’s “From the Earth to the Moon,” for which Howard and Grazer won the Emmy for Outstanding Mini-Series. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer began their collaboration in 1985 with the hit comedies “Night Shift” and “Splash.”

About RadicalMedia
Since 1993, RadicalMedia has produced numerous films and television programs that tell nuanced, multifaceted stories, including the Academy Award-, Emmy- and Grammy-nominated documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?” directed by Liz Garbus; Academy Award- and Independent Spirit Award-winning documentary “The Fog of War;” Academy Award-nominated documentary, “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”; Grammy-winning “Concert for George”; “Under African Skies,” the Emmy award-winning documentary examining the making of the groundbreaking and controversial Paul Simon record “Graceland”; the Ron Howard-helmed Jay-Z documentary, “Made in America”; “The United States vs. James J. Bulger,” Joe Berlinger’s investigative documentary that chronicles the trial of crime boss Whitey Bulger; and the Tony Robbin’s documentary “I Am Not Your Guru” for Netflix. Recent television credits include five seasons of the Emmy-nominated series “Oprah’s Masterclass” for OWN; six seasons of “Iconoclasts” for Sundance Channel; “David Blaine: Real of Magic” for ABC; “Doc and Darryl” and “You Don’t Know Bo” for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series; “Hello World” for Discovery Channel; the Emmy-nominated “Park Bench With Steve Buscemi” for AOL; and the Emmy-winning series “10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed the World” for History Channel.


Negromancer News Bits and Bites from July 24th to 31st, 2016 - Update #56

Support Leroy on Patreon.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 7/29 to 7/31/16 weekend box office is "Jason Bourne" with an estimated gross of $60 million.

From Variety:  "Jason Bourne" makes a $60 million debut at the box office.

HARRY POTTER - From TheWrap:  The boy wizard is done says J.K. Rowling.

POLITICS - From YahooNews:  Trump asserts that the NFL is on his side because both are against two presidential debates that are the same time as NFL games.

MOVIES - From CinemaBlend:  Will Smith totally starstrck by Batman on set of "Suicide Squad."

OBIT-COMICS - From MADMagazine:  Jack Davis, one of the founders of "Mad Magazine," has died at the age of 91, Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

MOVIES - From ScreenRant:  John Carpenter and his fellow plaintiffs won a lawsuit against French filmmaker, Luc Besson, claiming that Besson's film, "Lockout" was plagiarized from Carpenter's cult 1981 film, Escape from New York.

POLITICS - From YahooNews:  Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump insult Khizr and Ghazala Kahn, the couple who appeared at this past weeks 2016 DNC.  Khizr spoke and castigated Trump.  the Kahns' son, Humayun was an Army captain and a Muslim who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

TELEVISION - From TheWrap:  "Season 8" will be the final season of HBO's Emmy-winning "Game of Thrones."

POLITICS - From YahooNews:  Women feeling empowered by Hillary Clinton's nomination.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Rising acting talent, Paul Dano, is making his directorial debut with the film, "Wildfire," based on the 1990 Richard Ford novel.

MOVIES - From HitFix:  "Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Part II" get title changes.  "Avengers: Infinity War Part I" is not just "Avengers: Infinity War."

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Danny Trejo wants Betty White to be in his next movie.

POLITICS - From NYPost:  Malia Obama, Barack and Michelle's older daughter, skips the DNC and goes to Lollapalooza instead, and conservatives, Obama-haters, and racists freak out.

SPORTS/CRIME - From YahooSports:  Former Boston Red Sox pitcher and World Series champion, Curt Schilling, won't face criminal charges for his video game company scam which cost Rhode Island tax payers $112 million.

MOVIES - From TheVillageVoice:  John Waters' "Multiple Maniacs" (1970) is back.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  30 years of "Stand By Me," so we have an oral history of the film that almost didn't make it into theaters.

From YahooMovies:  Sometimes actors do cosplay, too.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Oprah Winfrey is in final negotiations to appear in the film, "A Wrinkle in Time," which is being directed by Ava DuVernay ("Selma").  Winfrey appeared in "Selma."

From EntertaimentWeekly:  5 things we want to see in Ava DuVernay's "A Wrinkle in Time" adaptation.

COMICS/FILM - From ThePlaylist:  Disney is developing a reboot/sequel of its 1991 film, "The Rocketeer."

OBIT - From TheWrap:  The actor and radio talk show host, Jerry Doyle, has died at the age of 60, Wednesday, July 27, 2017.  He was probably best known for his role as "Michael Garibaldi" on the cult TV show,  "Babylon 5."

MUSIC - From YahooMusic:  Kanye still pushin' the Taylor Swift message.

POLITICS - From CNN:  President Barack Obama's entire Democratic convention speech at the 2016 DNC.

From CNN:  Some GOP are feeling jelly about President Obama's speech.

From YahooTV:  People loved First Lady Michelle Obama's DNC sppech, but the designer of her dress is in awe that she chose to wear it.

POLITICS - From CNN:  Bradley Cooper was at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, and now, some Republicans are angry.  Why?  Read on...

TELEVISION - From PopSugar:  6 teaser photos from "American Horror Story" Season 6.

TELEVISION - From PopSugar:  The Netflix reboot of the "Gilmore Girls," which is called "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" has a premiere date:  November 25, 2016.

MOVIES - From YahooCelebrity:  Kim Ledger talks about the tragic death of his son, Heath Ledger.

From YahooMovies:  Jared Leto will play "The Joker" in the upcoming "Suicide Squad."  He talks about playing the character after Heath Ledger, who played the Joker in "The Dark Knight," and won a posthumous Oscar for his performance.

CRIME - From YahooNews:  In 1981, John Hinkley shot and injured President Ronald Reagan and 3 others, during an assassination attempt on Reagan.  He will be freed by August 5th, 2016 from a government psychiatric hospital.

MOVIES - From IndieWire:  Charlie Hunnam, the lead in "Pacific Rim," will not return for the sequel.  He's not enough of a star for this to be considered a big lost.  There must be at least 20 young white actors of his age and talent and overblown status that could take Hunnam's place.

HARRY POTTER - From YahooMovies:  What critics are saying about the stage play, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child."

CELEBRITY - From YahooCelebrity:  Eddie Murphy, his current girlfriend (Paige Butcher), and ex-wife (Nicole Murphy), make nice on the red carpet.

OBIT - From TMZ:  The website is reporting that Youree Harris, best known as the iconic TV psychic, "Miss Cleo," has died at the age of 53, after a battle with cancer.

POLITICS - From RSN:  Michael Moore has five reasons Donald Trump will win the presidency.

COMICS - From Variety:  Kiersey Clemons (a breakout in "Dope") is in talks to star as "Iris West" in Warner Bros. and DC Comics' "Flash" movie next to Ezra Miller as "Flash."  Rick Famumiya, the director of "Dope," is directing "Flash."

COMIC-CON - From Refinery29:  Zendaya to play a character named "Michelle" in "Spider-Man: Homecoming."

From BusinessInsider:  The lead villain in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" is "Vulture."

POLITICS - From YahooNews:  First Lady Michelle Obama delivers a soaring powerful speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

CULTURE - From YahooSports:  After years of relative silence, Michael Jordan is speaking out on the issues of police shootings and police shooting people.  Cop killers buy sneakers, too, eh, Mike?

COMIC-CON - From BleedingCool:  The links to 300 Bleeding Cool articles on the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International in one place.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 7/22 to 7/24/2016 weekend box office is "Star Trek Beyond" with an estimated take of $59.6 million.

SDCC-COMICS-FILM - From YahooNews:  It did not take much convincing for Michael Rooker to appear in blue makeup for a Marvel Studios panel discussion "Guardians of the Galaxy 2."

SDCC-COMICS-FILM - From LATimes:  Ben Affleck confirmed as director of standalone "Batman" film.

SDCC-TV - From YahooTV:  The Comic-Con trailer for "Sherlock Holmes" Season 4 shocks viewers.

POLITICS - From NYT:  Donald Trump, Jr. has said that his father, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, would turn over foreign and domestic affairs to his vice-president, if Trump were be elected president...

SDCC-COMICS-FILM - From Variety:  Marvel vs. DC - comic book movies at Comic-Con.

SDCC-COMICS-FILM - From YahooMovies:  Comic-Con debuts a new trailer for "LEGO Batman."

SDCC-COMICS-FILM - From YahooMovies:  A new, longer "Doctor Strange" trailer debuts at Comic-Con.

SDCC-COMICS-FILM - From YahooMovies:  Oscar-winner Brie Larson ("Room") officially announced as Marvel Studios' "Captain Marvel."  Her solo film arrives in 2019.
--  Also, Danai Gurira, "Michonne" of "The Walking Dead," was introduced as the latest member of the "Black Panther" squad.


From BleedingCool:  The trailer for Zhang Yimou's "The Great Wall" with Matt Damon.

From YouTube:  Teaser trailer for "xXx: The Return of Xander Cage," due in January 2017.

From YahooMovies:  First teaser trailer for "T2: Trainspotting," the sequel to the film, "Trainspotting."

COMICS - From YahooMovies:  First full "Wonder Woman" trailer, which debuted at San Diego Comic-Con International 2016.

COMICS - From YahooMovies:  Warner Bros. unleashes footage from its "Justice League" movie.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  King Kong is massive in "King: Skull Island."

Music from "Suicide Squad" Arrives August 8th

Suicide Squad Original Motion Picture Score

Exciting new Album with music from the film features the score by Academy Award-winning composer Steven Price

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WaterTower Music announced the August 8, 2016 release of the Suicide Squad: Original Motion Picture Score, which features the music of British composer Steven Price (“Gravity,” “Fury”). Price has laid the musical foundation for writer/director David Ayer’s feature film “Suicide Squad,” which opens worldwide in 3D, and in 2D, and in select IMAX 3D theaters beginning August 5, 2016.

    “David's film invited me to find a way to bring all of these incredible misfit outsiders together as a united force, with a thematic score that goes from moments of quiet emotion to huge action sequences”

Price, whose score for 2013’s “Gravity” was awarded the Academy Award for Best Original Score, was tasked with navigating musically the colorful storyline of an assembled team of the world’s most dangerous Super-Villains and the emotional highs and lows they experience on an impossible mission.

“David's film invited me to find a way to bring all of these incredible misfit outsiders together as a united force, with a thematic score that goes from moments of quiet emotion to huge action sequences,” explains Price. “The character's themes interact and develop as the film progresses, and we witness the birth of the Suicide Squad. The score was a huge challenge, but a fantastic amount of fun to write!”

"WaterTower Music is proud to be releasing this score,” explained label head Jason Linn. “We’re honored to have the opportunity to work again with our friend - and Academy Award-winning composer - Steven Price."

The Suicide Squad: Original Motion Picture Score will be available August 8, and can be preordered now at iTunes and Amazon. The track list is as follows:

1. Task Force X

2. Arkham Asylum

3. I'm Going To Figure This Out

4. You Make My Teeth Hurt

5. I Want To Assemble A Task Force

6. Brother Our Time Has Come

7. A Serial Killer Who Takes Credit Cards

8. A Killer App

9. That’s How I Cut and Run

10. We Got A Job To Do

11. You Die We Die

12. Harley and Joker

13. This Bird Is Baked

14. Hey Craziness

15. You Need a Miracle

16. Diablo’s Story

17. The Squad

18. Are We Friends Or Are We Foes?

19. She’s Behind You

20. One Bullet Is All I Need

21. I Thought I’d Killed You

22. The Worst Of The Worst

23. June Moone *

24. Did That Tickle? *

25. You Know The Rules Hotness *

26. Enchantress In The War Room *

27. Introducing Diablo and Croc *

28. Task Force X Activated *

29. Can Everyone See This Trippy Stuff? *

30. I Promised My Friends *

* Available on digital configurations only

About “Suicide Squad”
From writer/director David Ayer comes “Suicide Squad,” starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman and Viola Davis. Based on the characters from DC, the film also stars Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Cara Delevingne, Adam Beach, and Karen Fukuhara. It is produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, with Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, an Atlas Entertainment production, a film by David Ayer, “Suicide Squad.” The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. The film opens worldwide in 3D, and in 2D, and in select IMAX 3D theaters August 5, 2016. “Suicide Squad” is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

New "xXx: The Return of Xander Cage" Trailer is Triple Popular



HOLLYWOOD, CA – The new trailer for Paramount Pictures and Revolution Studios’ “xXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE” generated more than 100 million views across Facebook and YouTube in its first week of release, the fastest to reach that number for any Paramount Pictures film. The trailer, which offers fans a sneak peek at Vin Diesel reprising his iconic role as an extreme athlete-turned-superspy, debuted online July 19, 2016. “xXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE” opens in theaters January 20, 2017.

The third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller finds extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments. Packed with the series’ signature deadpan wit and bad-ass attitude, “xXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE” will raise the bar on extreme action with some of the most mind-blowing stunts to ever be caught on film.

The film is directed by D.J. Caruso and produced by Joe Roth, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Vin Diesel and Samantha Vincent.

View the trailer here.

About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.


National Geographic Channel Announces Scripted Series, "The Long Road Home"

National Geographic Channel Greenlights Global Scripted Event Series Based on Martha Raddatz’s New York Times Best-Seller, The Long Road Home

Produced by Mike Medavoy and Jason Clark, Critically Acclaimed Screenwriter Mikko Alanne (“The 33”) Is Adapting Epic Story of Survival for Television

WASHINGTON & LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Geographic Channel executive vice president and head of global scripted programming and development Carolyn Bernstein announced ahead of its TCA session that the network has picked up the global scripted miniseries The Long Road Home, based on the New York Times best-seller from Martha Raddatz. First announced as a development deal in November, the network has officially greenlit the eight-hour event series with executive producers Mike Medavoy, Jason Clark, Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn. Screenwriter Mikko Alanne (“The 33”) is adapting and also executive producing this epic story of survival for television. Production will begin in early 2017 and is slated to air later in the year in 440 million homes in 171 countries and in 45 languages.

    “Act of Valor, the award-winning thriller “Cabin in the Woods”

Hailed by critics as “a masterpiece of literary nonfiction that rivals any war-related classic that has preceded it” and “a truly great book about men, women and raw courage,” The Long Road Home will relive a heroic fight for survival during the Iraq War when the First Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, was ferociously ambushed on April 4, 2004, in Sadr City, Baghdad — a day that came to be known in military annals as “Black Sunday.”

The event series will cut between the soldiers on the ground and the homefront in Texas, where their wives and families await news for 48 hellish hours, expecting the worst. The incident, which took place 11 months after President George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech, changed the American military’s view of Iraq from a peacekeeping mission to a fight against domestic insurgents.

“With The Long Road Home, we’re going to tell the inspiring story of the selfless heroism and bravery of U.S. soldiers in extraordinary and terrifying circumstances. We’re also going to shine a light on the sisterhood formed by their wives on the homefront as they rally around each other awaiting news of their husbands’ fates,” said Bernstein. “We are so pleased to partner with Mike Medavoy, a producer with a remarkable list of credits, including some of cinema’s most iconic military dramas, along with Jason Clark, president of Seth MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door Productions, and Mikko Alanne to bring the universal and timeless story of these courageous warriors and their equally courageous wives to Nat Geo.”

“By partnering with National Geographic and Jason, and with Mikko as our skillful storyteller, we hope to tell a visceral story of courage and survival,” said Medavoy. “We’re going to tap into the global audience that only National Geographic can provide to tell the dramatic story of the inspiring and unforgettable events of ‘Black Sunday.’”

“Chronicling every moment of this unexpected day, we are not only capturing a remarkable story of bravery and survival of these soldiers and revealing the anguish of their families at home, but also showing the triumph of the human spirit against incalculable odds,” said Clark.

“Writing about this battle, which came so suddenly for the soldiers who had just days before been in the embrace of their loved ones, has been the most profound experience I have had as a journalist. The courage I witnessed, the heartache and the survival of spirit both on the battlefield and the homefront, is something I wanted to share with as many people as possible,” said Raddatz. “I am thrilled that National Geographic, along with this incredible team of producers, is going to expand the audience for this epic tale of heroism and sacrifice. These soldiers and their families could not be in better hands.”

“The Long Road Home is an unforgettable account of extraordinary courage before impossible odds, but also a universal and timeless story of men and women facing war for the first time in their lives. This series truly illuminates what sacrifice and bravery mean to our nation’s military families,” said Alanne.

“It’s a privilege to be producing such an important and meaningful event in our recent history,” said Anderson. “By telling this story, we can honor the brave men and women who live a life of service for our country, as well as the families that stand by them while they do it.”

“This is a story about bravery, brotherhood and the heroic sacrifices we ask our armed forces and their families to make in our name. Through the prism of this one battle, our goal with The Long Road Home is to portray the totality of the experience of war, from both sides of the struggle, in a way that only a large-canvas, eight-hour format can afford,” said McGurn, who worked with Alanne on “The 33” as a producer and has been working with him on this project.

Alanne is repped by CAA and Media Talent Group. Mike Medavoy, Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn are with Gang Tyre Ramer Brown. Jason Clark is repped by Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

About The Long Road Home
The First Cavalry Division came under surprise attack in Sadr City on April 4, 2004 — now known as “Black Sunday.” On the homefront, over 7,000 miles away, their families awaited the news for 48 hellish hours — expecting the worst. ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz shares remarkable tales of heroism, hope and heartbreak.

National Geographic Channels
The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels include: National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that help support the society’s mission. Globally, NGC is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and Nat Geo WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250 million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55 million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more information, visit and

About Mike Medavoy
For the past 50 years, Mike Medavoy has brought quality films to audiences around the world under the labels of United Artist, Orion, Tristar and Phoenix Pictures. Medavoy has established a reputation for consistently developing first-rate projects with some of Hollywood’s top creative talent.

With over 321 films as a producer and studio head to his credit, Medavoy has collaborated with sought-after director talents such as Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky, Oliver Stone, Milos Forman, Andy Davis, Bryan Singer and Terrence Malick, as well as some of the industry’s biggest stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr., Sean Penn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Travolta, Ben Kingsley, Kate Winslet, John Cusack, Jude Law, Renee Zellwegger, Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams, Edward Norton, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Williams, Shia LaBeouf, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor, Mark Ruffalo, Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Lopez, Anthony Hopkins, Jamie Foxx, Eva Mendes, Adrien Brody, Woody Harrelson, Nick Nolte, Ian McKellen, Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges.

Today, he works closely with two young and talented producers in Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn, who are both executive producing The Long Road Home with him and Jason Clark.

About Mikko Alanne
Mikko Alanne is a screenwriter and producer based in Los Angeles. Alanne and Medavoy most recently collaborated on the Chilean miner rescue drama “The 33,” released by Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment. Previous to his work as a screenwriter, Alanne was a historical content supervisor for Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, now the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.

About Jason Clark
Jason Clark has established a reputation as an innovative producer in the world of live-action and CGI feature films and television, working with a remarkable community of esteemed directors, writers and artists to bring stories and characters to life. He was recently named president of production of Seth MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door shingle, where he oversees all areas of production and development for its current film and television slate. Alongside MacFarlane, Clark worked on the comedy hits “Ted,” “Ted 2” and “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” In addition, he executive produced “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” for Dreamworks, the military drama “Act of Valor, the award-winning thriller “Cabin in the Woods,” the biographical sports film “42” and the stereoscopic 3-D film “Monster House,” which went on to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. For television, Clark served as co-executive producer on Fox and National Geographic’s award-winning series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” which garnered him a PGA Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television. The show also went on to receive four Primetime Emmy awards, a Peabody Award, two Critics Choice Television Awards, a Television Critics Association Award and nominations for a WGA Award and 13 Primetime Emmy awards, including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series. Up next, Clark will serve as an executive producer on MacFarlane’s new live-action comedic drama series on Fox.


"Central Intelligence" Doing Smart Box Office Worldwide

“Central Intelligence” Scores $200 Million at Global Box Office

Dwayne Johnson/Kevin Hart Starrer is Year’s Highest-Grossing Action Comedy Worldwide

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--“Central Intelligence,” the new film from director Rawson Marshall Thurber that pairs fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, crosses the $200 million mark at the global box office today, making it the highest-earning action comedy of 2016, to date, worldwide.

    “With their impeccable comedic timing, Dwayne and Kevin have proven to be the driving force behind ‘Central Intelligence’s’ global success. We are thrilled to continue our relationship with such incredible talent and filmmakers, and that our partnership with New Line and Warner Bros. on this film has been so successful.”

“Central Intelligence,” from New Line Cinema, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, made its June 17th, 2016 North American debut with an impressive opening weekend total of $35.5 million. Propelled by enthusiastic word-of-mouth, an A- Cinema Score and the star power of Johnson and Hart, it has gone on to a record-setting domestic run, with a current estimate of $125.6 million.

The film is also enjoying robust international returns at an estimated $75.9 million, bringing it to a cumulative worldwide box office total of more than $200 million, with additional territories yet to open.

Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of Worldwide Distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures, stated: “We knew audiences would respond to the unbeatable chemistry of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart in this fun, action-packed comedy. ‘Central Intelligence’ plays big and delivers across a wide demographic. Congratulations to our partners at New Line and Universal, to director Rawson Marshall Thurber, and to all the talented people behind this worldwide hit.”

Said Duncan Clark, President of Universal Pictures International, “With their impeccable comedic timing, Dwayne and Kevin have proven to be the driving force behind ‘Central Intelligence’s’ global success. We are thrilled to continue our relationship with such incredible talent and filmmakers, and that our partnership with New Line and Warner Bros. on this film has been so successful.”

“Central Intelligence” follows a one-time bullied geek, Bob (Johnson), who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent, coming home for his high school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, Bob enlists the help of former “big man on campus” Calvin (Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days. But before the staid numbers-cruncher realizes what he’s getting into, it’s too late to get out, as his increasingly unpredictable new friend drags him through a world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that could get them both killed in more ways than Calvin can count.

The film also stars Amy Ryan, Aaron Paul and Danielle Nicolet.

“Central Intelligence” is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, from a screenplay by Ike Barinholtz & David Stassen and Rawson Marshall Thurber; story by Ike Barinholtz & David Stassen. It is produced by Scott Stuber, Peter Principato, Paul Young and Michael Fottrell, with executive producers Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Samuel J. Brown, Michael Disco and Ed Helms. The creative filmmaking team includes director of photography Barry Peterson, production designer Stephen Lineweaver, editors Mike Sale and Brian Olds, and costume designer Carol Ramsey. The music is by Theodore Shapiro and Ludwig Göransson.

New Line Cinema and Universal Pictures present, a Bluegrass Films/Principato Young Entertainment Production, a Rawson Marshall Thurber Film, “Central Intelligence.” It will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

This film is rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive humor, some nudity, action violence and brief strong language.


VIZ Media Brings "Bleach" Anime Series to Blur-ray for the First Time


Complete Uncut First Set Of The Acclaimed Paranormal Action Adventure Based On The Smash Hit Manga Series Debuts This Summer

San Francisco, CA – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), a premier company in the field of publishing, animation distribution, and global entertainment licensing, unleashes the tense anime action drama of BLEACH on Blu-ray for the first time with the home media release of Set 1.

Now available, BLEACH Set 1 presents the complete, uncut first 27 episodes of the popular series on 4 Blu-ray discs, and carries an MSRP of $54.97 U.S. / $63.99 CAN. Episodes are available with dialogue selections for dubbed English as well as subtitled, Japanese 2.0 audio, with episodes presented in their original 4:3 format.

In the BLEACH anime series, for as long as he can remember, Ichigo Kurosaki has been able to see ghosts. But when he meets Rukia, a Soul Reaper who battles evil spirits known as Hollows, his life is changed forever. Now, with a newfound wealth of spiritual energy, Ichigo discovers his true calling – to protect the world of the living and the dead as a Substitute Soul Reaper. When Rukia is taken away to face the ruthless justice of the Soul Society, Ichigo and his friends must cross over and do battle in the spirit world...

“Fans have eagerly anticipated the release of BLEACH on Blu-ray, and this summer we invite them to expand their personal anime collections with the release of the first set of this riveting series,” says Charlene Ingram, Senior Marketing Manager, Animation.

The BLEACH animated films and TV series (distributed in North America by VIZ Media, rated ‘TV-14’) are based on a smash hit manga series created by Tite Kubo (also published in North America by VIZ Media, rated ‘T’ for Teens).

For more information on BLEACH manga and anime titles published by VIZ Media, please visit

About VIZ Media, LLC
Established in 1986, VIZ Media is the premier company in the field of publishing, animation distribution, and global entertainment licensing. Along with its popular digital magazine WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, DRAGON BALL, SAILOR MOON, and POKÉMON, VIZ Media offers an extensive library of titles and original content in a wide variety of book and video formats, as well as through official licensed merchandise. Owned by three of Japan's largest publishing and entertainment companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is dedicated to bringing the best titles for English-speaking audiences worldwide.

Learn more about VIZ Media and its properties at


Friday, July 29, 2016

Doctor Who Stars, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, Heading to Wizard World Austin

Doctor Who’s Matt Smith and Karen Gillan Added to Wizard World Comic Con Austin’s All-Star Lineup, September 23rd-25th, 2016

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wizard World, Inc., (WIZD) the preeminent producer of Wizard World Comic Cons across North America, is excited to announce the addition of Doctor Who’s Matt Smith and Karen Gillan to the Wizard World Austin lineup, September 23-25, 2016. Smith, who played the Eleventh incarnation of the Doctor in the British television series, will attend on Saturday, September 24, while Gillan, who portrayed Amy Pond, is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25 at the Austin Convention Center.

    Fans of @bbcdoctorwho can meet Matt Smith, @karengillan at #wizardworld austin sept. 24-25 #ATX #comiccon

“We are thrilled to provide Doctor Who fans with the opportunity to meet Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. They are an exciting addition to our top-notch lineup for Austin,” says John Maatta, Wizard World Chairman & CEO. “Stay tuned for more surprises in store for the event!”

Both Smith and Gillan will greet fans, sign autographs, pose for photo ops and conduct a special Doctor Who Q&A panel during the event. They will also pose together with fans on Saturday, September 24.

Smith began his acting career on stage, appearing in various popular London theatrical performances before landing the coveted role in Doctor Who in 2010. He received a BAFTA Award nomination in 2011 and his final Doctor Who episode in 2013 was BBC America's largest audience ever, attesting to both the popularity of the series in America and Smith's success in the role.

Beginning in 2010, Gillan appeared in Series 5-7 of Doctor Who as the new companion to the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith. The Inverness, Scotland, native starred in the film Not Another Happy Ending and was a regular on Adult Swim's NTSF:SD:SUV. Gillan also portrayed the mercenary, Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy and will appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, slated for release in 2017.

Doctor Who fandom will be on full display at Wizard World Austin, where fans of the series will find cosplay of numerous beloved characters and the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension in Space vehicle) used in the show, courtesy of Tulsa Tardis.

Located at the Austin Convention Center, Smith and Gillan will join previously announced guests including Sebastian Stan (Captain America), William Shatner (Star Trek), Danny Trejo (Machete), Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness, Evil Dead), James Marsters (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer), Lee Majors (Six Million Dollar Man), Dana DeLorenzo (Ash vs. Evil Dead), and more.

To purchase Admissions and VIP Admissions for the event, set for September 23-25, 2016 and to view the schedule, location, show hours, hotel & travel info, please visit: .

About Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD)
Wizard World, Inc. ( produces comic cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, television, cosplay, comics, graphic novels, toys, video gaming, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place at each event, with celebrity Q&A's, comics-themed sessions, costume contests, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Wizard World has also launched Wizard World Store (, CONtv, a digital media channel in partnership with leading independent content distributor Cinedigm™ (NASDAQ: CIDM), and ComicConBox™ (, a premium subscription-based monthly box service. Fans can interact with Wizard World on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media services.

The Wizard World 2016 schedule is available at:


VIZ Media and Rooster Teeth Productions Partner for "RWBY" Publications


Partnership Kicks Off With Publication of RWBY Manga Title In 2017, With Other Books Based On The Smash Hit Animated Series Forthcoming

San Francisco, CA – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), a premier company in the fields of publishing, animation distribution, and global entertainment licensing, has announced a partnership with Rooster Teeth, the Austin, TX-based entertainment and media company behind the globally acclaimed animated series RWBY, the first western anime series to be distributed to Japan.

VIZ Media and Rooster Teeth will focus on a variety of publishing formats based on RWBY, starting in 2017.

RWBY is Rooster Teeth’s award-winning anime series that tells the story of four different girls brought together for one legendary purpose. Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang are students at Beacon Academy, an ancient school designed to train the monster-slayers knows as Hunters and Huntresses. Unfortunately, monsters aren’t the only threat in the world of Remnant, and if these girls want to graduate, they’ll have to learn to work together – both on the battlefield and in the classroom.

“The Rooster Teeth-VIZ Media partnership will showcase the strong creative vision and production expertise between our two entertainment companies to expand the vivid and exciting world of RWBY globally in bold new ways that fans will love,” says Beth Kawasaki, Senior Editorial Director for VIZ Media.

“Through the new RWBY titles, readers will discover more about the RWBY universe and delve deeper into the characters and storylines they love, as well as go on all new adventures,” said Rooster Teeth Head of Animation Gray G. Haddock. “We are thrilled to be working with VIZ Media to bring such beautiful books to RWBY’s audience.”  

Rooster Teeth has one of the most active and engaged fan bases in the world and possesses a massive global footprint of more than 25 million subscribers to its YouTube network, and more than 3 million unique monthly visitors to and 1.8 million registered community members. Rooster Teeth is a subsidiary of Fullscreen, Inc., a global youth media company that develops online creators and produces multi-platform entertainment experiences.

For additional information manga titles distributed and published by VIZ Media, please visit

About Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC
Rooster Teeth is a pioneering studio responsible for some of the biggest online series in history, such as the award-winning and longest-running web series, Red vs. Blue. They also produce the globally acclaimed animated series RWBY, the first western anime series to be distributed in Japan; the award-winning Rooster Teeth Podcast; and Immersion, a reality format that brings video game theory to the real world. Rooster Teeth has a massive global footprint of more than 25 million subscribers to its YouTube Network, 3 million unique monthly visitors to its hub and 1.8 million registered community members. The company was founded in 2003, and is now a subsidiary of Fullscreen, Inc., a global youth media company that develops online creators and produces multi-platform entertainment experiences. Discover more at

About VIZ Media, LLC
Established in 1986, VIZ Media is the premier company in the field of publishing, animation distribution, and global entertainment licensing. Along with its popular digital magazine WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, DRAGON BALL, SAILOR MOON, and POKÉMON, VIZ Media offers an extensive library of titles and original content in a wide variety of book and video formats, as well as through official licensed merchandise. Owned by three of Japan's largest publishing and entertainment companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is dedicated to bringing the best titles for English-speaking audiences worldwide.

Learn more about VIZ Media and its properties at


2016 J-Pop Summit Celebrates Another Year of Celebrating Japanese Pop Culture


The San Francisco Bay Area’s Premiere Japanese Pop Culture Celebration Was Another Smashing Success With The Most Diverse Program Of Live Events Ever Presented

San Francisco, CA – J-POP SUMMIT 2016, returned to the Bay Area for its 8th annual all-sensory celebration of vibrant Japanese pop culture. This year, the Festival drew more than 20,000 attendees to historic the Fort Mason Center located in San Francisco’s Marina district.

Recognized internationally as a preeminent platform for showcasing the vivacious and cutting edge latest trends in Japanese pop and rock music, fashion, film, popular art, and pop culture, the J-POP SUMMIT 2016 also added special focused attractions this year that highlighted Ramen, Sake and Travel. An Interactive Summit also featured a display of innovative new Japanese consumer tech products and was complemented by a conference and idea-thon led by a vanguard of visionary entrepreneurs and tech visionaries from Japan and the Bay Area.

“J-POP SUMMIT 2016 was the most successful Festival we have staged to-date in terms of the sheer diversity of programming and the wide range of different attractions,” says Seiji Horibuchi, Chairman of the J-POP SUMMIT Committee. “Each year we strive to present a unique and memorable Festival and we are very gratified that J-POP SUMMIT has continued to evolve and grow and has remained such a vital part of the Bay Area’s annual summertime calendar. We look forward to 2017!!”

Japan’s princess of pop, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, returned for her second headlining appearance at J-POP SUMMIT and kicked off this year’s festival with a frenzied, dance-driven concert for a sold out crowd at The Regency Ballroom. The singer delivered many hits from her newest Best of KPP anthology release.

Continuing throughout the weekend at Ft. Mason, additional J-POP SUMMIT 2016 live music performances were held by the electronic dance group, WORLD ORDER, all-female pop rock band, Silent Siren, pop house unit, Wednesday Campanella, idol dance troupe, Tokyo Performance Doll, kimono cosplay duo, YANAKIKU, and the ani-pop duo, GARNiDELiA.

The J-POP SUMMIT 2016 also gathered a colorful vanguard of edgy and unique Japanese fashion labels and purveyors. Highlights of this year’s programming included workshops, exhibits, apparel items and accessories from modern Japanese style clothing brand, SOU•SOU, along with a variety of other handpicked items and brands from Japan in the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON area. The Festival also celebrated the return of Guest of Honor and fashion visionary, Sebastian Masuda, art director and an extremely influential artist for Harajuku kawaii culture, for a special series of events and attendee meet-and-greet sessions, as well as rising pop star and fashion model, UNA, for a special live performance.

Other Guests of Honor from Japan
A diverse range of Japanese pop personalities, artists and celebrities also appeared as special Guests of Honor. In addition to the aforementioned musical artists, special guests included the pop art creator, Kaori Wakamatsu, visual pop artist Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi, artist Ken Hamazaki a.k.a. “The Red Man”, renowned Japanese chef Tasuo Saito and Japanese celebrity Yu Hayami. Japan’s drag royalty and singer, Mitz Mangrove, along with Domo, the mascot for network NHK, and Japan’s favorite Go-Torch Characters also made live appearances.

Ramen Summit
The Ramen Summit was curated by Yoshiyuki Maruyama, Executive Chef of San Francisco’s own Orenchi Beyond.Five top-rated ramen makers from the Bay Area, New York and Japan joined -  Hinodeya Ramen Bar from Japan (and opening in San Francisco this summer in Japantown), Naruto Ramen from New York, Iza Ramen, Orenchi Beyond and Ramen Taka from Bay Area. Plans are being made for an even larger Ramen Fest next year at J-POP SUMMIT 2017.

Sake Summit
The Sake Summit area was the most extensive yet presented at any J-POP SUMMIT and added a festive libation to the weekend’s events and also gave attendees the opportunity to learn about the world of sake from a variety of premier sake purveyors that included Kikusui; Otokoyama; Hakushika; Kurosawa; Katana; Hakutsuru; Fukuju; Sequoia Sake and Takara Sake USA.

Travel Pavilion
This year, J-POP SUMMIT 2016 debuted an extensive “VIRTUAL TRIP TO JAPAN” attraction from JAPANKURU, a travel organization encouraging millennial tourism to Japan. Guests dove deep into Japanese culture and “visited” three Zones that featured interactive experiences fusing the past, present and future and showcasing what makes Japan a travelers’ delight. Highlights included the debut of KURUKI, Japankuru’s new kawaii (cute) blue dog character that made live appearances on the stage. A visit to “Tokyo Daijingu,” a mock-up of a major Shinto shrine in Tokyo was the most popular experience, and guests prayed for good fortune in the “Shrine" and received fortunes and prizes. The Kawaii Station highlighted “Harajuku,” the world-renowned mecca of “kawaii (cute)” culture and legions of attendees and fashion devotees donned colorful and fancy pop-inspired ensembles and accessories.

J-POP Drag Queen Contest
The first-ever J-POP SUMMIT Drag Contest was held on the Main Stage with local celebrity drag hosts D’Arcy Drollinger and Heklina, and J-POP SUMMIT’s Guest of Honor Mitz Mangrove as a special celebrity judge. Five contestants competed, displaying anime, manga, and cherry blossom motifs and making the event one of the highlights of the Sunday stage activities.

Interactive Summit
J-POP SUMMIT 2016 marked the second annual Interactive Summit, bringing Japanese and Japanese-American tech along for the ride. Startups and worldwide corporations alike debuted the latest in Japanese innovation, from Yamaha’s autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot “Motobot,” to MESH’s network of buttons that make any device smart, to INUPATHY’s dog collar that lights up different colors based on your pup’s emotions.

Mazda zoomed in at full speed with displays of its new CX-3 and MX-5 MIATA cars. But guests didn’t have to wait to drive them: Mazda used Sony’s Gran Turismo to let attendees sit behind a real wheel and drive laps in Mazda’s latest vehicles on a professional raceway without even leaving the venue. Likewise, TOTO brought its A100 Washlet, a toilet seat fit for 2016 with its bidet pump, heating, automatic seat opener and push-button controls to adjust the whole experience.

Meanwhile, the Sessions at Gallery 308 buzzed with the combined entrepreneurial spirit of Japan and San Francisco/Silicon Valley’s unique symbiotic bi-national relationship that is driven by technological innovation. Featuring panels on Designed IoT and Robotics, the event began with a startup pitch contest, “Innovation Weekend SF 2016,” where founders presented their businesses to a wide range of professional attendees. The winner was Velo Lab for its smart key lock called Skylock. The runner-up was to Butterfly. Both teams will be invited to Tokyo at the end of this year for the Innovation Weekend Grand Finale 2016 to compete with other winners and runners-up from all over the world.

J-POP SUMMIT is one of the world’s biggest Japanese pop culture events, held every summer in San Francisco, CA. By introducing the latest in Japanese music, fashion, film, art, games, tech-innovations, anime, food, as well as niche subcultures, the festival has become a landing platform for new trends from Japan.

Official website:

Official YouTube:


Thursday, July 28, 2016

BET Announces a Star-Studded Fall 2016 Lineup

BET Networks Promises to Tickle Your Funny Bone with a Star-Studded Fall 2016 Lineup of Original Series and Specials

“REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD” Returns for a Fifth Season of Hilarious Antics on Tuesday, October 11 at 9 PM ET/PT

New Series “THE GARY OWEN SHOW” and “HUSTLE & BLOW (Working Title)” Premiere Back to Back Beginning at 9:30 PM ET/PT

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starting this fall, BET Networks will unleash a star studded lineup of can’t miss original programming. From scripted to reality, the new and returning shows promise a season of comedy, family and hustle!

Fan favorite “REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD,” starring superstar comedian and actor Kevin Hart, is back to deliver huge laughs along with an all-star roster of returning characters including Nelly, Nick Cannon and Cynthia Kaye McWilliams. Hart makes his directorial debut this season, which promises hilarious special appearances from previous cast members JB Smoove, Boris Kodjoe and Duane Martin combined with high wattage celebrity guests Nia Long, Keke Palmer, Tyga and many more.

Following “REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD” is the world premiere of the new docuseries “THE GARY OWEN SHOW” starring popular actor and stand-up comedian Gary Owen. “THE GARY OWEN SHOW” will showcase the hilarious and dynamic everyday life of the Owen family like you’ve never seen or heard them before. Not to be outdone, new series “HUSTLE & BLOW (WORKING TITLE)” follows the inner workings of a premier Atlanta salon. Tune in as cameras capture the drama behind what it takes to be one of the hottest celebrity grooming spots in the city!

Also returning are two high-rated specials that continue to captivate audiences year after year: “BET HIP HOP AWARDS” and “THE SOUL TRAIN AWARDS.”


REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD - Season 5 Premieres Tuesday, October 11 at 9 PM ET/PT.

The reality show-spoofing “Real Husbands of Hollywood” chronicles newly divorced comedian Kevin Hart and his Hollywood pals as they navigate their way through stardom alongside – or in spite of – their famous wives. Season 5 of the hit mockumentary stars Kevin Hart, Nelly, Nick Cannon, Cynthia Kaye McWilliams as Trina Shaw; with special appearances from JB Smoove, Boris Kodjoe, Duane Martin and Jackie Long. High wattage guest stars include Nia Long, Keke Palmer, Tyga, LeToya Luckett, and Faizon Love. Kevin Hart also makes his directorial debut this season. Kevin Hart serves as Executive Producer along with Jesse Collins, Ralph Farquhar, Stan Lathan, Chris Spencer, and Dave Becky.

THE GARY OWEN SHOW - Series Premieres Tuesday, October 11 at 9:30 PM ET/PT.

The Gary Owen Show chronicles the life of America’s favorite honorary Black comedian Gary Owen and his hilariously offbeat multiracial family. He broke through as the first Caucasian host of BET’s Comic View, and also had star turns in the Think Like A Man films, Ride Along, and Meet the Blacks. Now he’s bringing his own interracial and blended family to BET in a 30-minute unscripted series that is colorful, truthful and hysterical. Gary is constantly pushing the limits of what is politically correct when it comes to kids in small-town Ohio. Gary Owen executive produces alongside Bunim/Murray Productions' Gil Goldschein, Jeff Jenkins and Andrea Metz. Stella Bulochnikov, Brian Sher, and Clifford Harris (T.I.), serve as Executive Producers as well.

HUSTLE & BLOW (WORKING TITLE) - Series Premieres Tuesday, October 11 at 10 PM ET/PT.

Hustle & Blow (Working Title) is what goes down every day at Salon Ramsey, Atlanta's biggest, baddest, one-stop beauty shop. Started by Nas' go-to barber, Ramsey, this urban empire spans 5 locations and houses over 100 employees including hair stylists, nail technicians, barbers and tattoo artists. At the flagship location, Salon Ramsey is the hotspot for Atlanta’s most demanding customers including celebrities, actresses, rappers, and athletes who come through the doors for every kind of service. But the competition for clients can cause best friends to turn into fierce enemies in a matter of seconds. The outrageous and talented staff sees each other more than they see their own families at this 24-hour shop, so anything can happen and it always does. “Hustle & Blow” is produced by T Group for BET Networks, with Jenny Daly and Rob Lobl executive producing. Glenn Carrano also serves as Executive Producer.


BET HIP HOP AWARDS - Premieres October 2016

For the last decade, the BET “HIP HOP AWARDS” has remained the most prominent hip hop culture showcase on television. The #1 hip hop-themed telecast on television will help celebrate the biggest names in the game, newcomers on the scene, and shine a light on the community. The live performances are the most talked about in the business, and this year will not be any different!

SOUL TRAIN AWARDS - Premieres November 2016

The 2016 “Soul Train Awards,” the first since the acquisition of the Soul Train franchise by BET Networks, returns to showcase its influence on the history of music and dance from the 70s to today. Paying homage to R&B legends and serving as a platform for the next wave of talented artists, the “Soul Train Awards” will celebrate the best in soul music from yesterday and today.

About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions:, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.


"Wolf Creek" TV Series Arrives on Pop October 2016

Suspense Thriller “WOLF CREEK” Premieres This October, Exclusively on Pop

30,000 people go missing in Australia each year, with 90 percent found within the first month. The rest are never seen again...

Inspired by the Iconic Cult Film and Executive Produced by its Creator/Director Greg McLean, WOLF CREEK Premieres on Friday, October 14 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT as a Six-Episode Limited Series Television Event

View The Trailer:

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Inspired by one of the most terrifying, cult movie franchises ever released in theaters, named one of “The 25 best horror movies since 2000” (AV Squad), one of “The 100 Best Horror films” (Time Out), and one of “The 25 Best Horror Movies Since The Shining” (Vulture), the six-part television event, WOLF CREEK, is a psychological thriller premiering exclusively on Pop on Friday, October 14, 2016 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT.

    “To turn everything you expect from a horror film around and hunt the psychopath through a strong and singularly-focused female protagonist is thrilling to watch. It is probably the scariest series to ever premiere on basic cable and will have viewers hooked 13:40 minutes into the first episode.”

In conjunction with Lionsgate Television and Zodiak Rights (a Banijay Group company), the WOLF CREEK television series on Pop stars John Jarratt, who reprises his movie role as the murdering psychopath Mick Taylor, wreaking havoc in the Australian Outback—except this time, things are different. The television series immediately turns the entire genre on its head when a 19-year-old American college student, played by rising star Lucy Fry, survives the massacre of her parents and little brother and sets out to hunt down the killer and avenge her family.

Based on true events, the original WOLF CREEK movie was introduced in 2005 at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals before achieving global box office success and cult film status among horror fans around the world.

“WOLF CREEK is holy !#@$! scary!” said Greg McLean, Executive Producer of the WOLF CREEK television series and the writer, director and producer of the WOLF CREEK movies. “The television series delivers the same pulse-pounding tension and terror of the films combined with a storyline that evolves into a suspense filled, character driven psychological thriller. In many ways, WOLF CREEK is more like a Western—set in the untamed, desolate landscape of the Australian Outback, with gritty characters and an immersive story of revenge and good versus evil.”

“WOLF CREEK is a binge-worthy, premium revenge tale that we are thrilled to bring fans at the perfect time of the year,” said Brad Schwartz, President, Pop. “To turn everything you expect from a horror film around and hunt the psychopath through a strong and singularly-focused female protagonist is thrilling to watch. It is probably the scariest series to ever premiere on basic cable and will have viewers hooked 13:40 minutes into the first episode.”

The story of WOLF CREEK begins when an American family is on vacation in Northern Australia and becomes the unsuspecting prey of Mick Taylor, a sadistic serial killer who hunts and kills tourists in the Outback. The sole survivor is Eve Thorogood, a college student, who vows to bring the killer to justice or die in the attempt. The story of WOLF CREEK reveals her complex and extraordinary journey, traveling every step of the way as she evolves from child to adult, from prey to predator. But can she triumph over Mick Taylor, evil incarnate?

John Jarratt is a television and film actor, producer and director from Australia. Jarratt is best known for his chilling performance as the iconic character Mick Taylor in the feature films “Wolf Creek” and “Wolf Creek 2.” His previous credits also include Peter Weir’s “Picnic At Hanging Rock,” Baz Luhrmann’s “Australia” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.”

Lucy Fry is a film and television actress. Most recently, Fry starred opposite James Franco in the Warner Bros. for Hulu mini-series “11.22.63.” She is also known for her roles in director Joseph Castelo’s indie film “The Preppie Connection,” the Cinelou Films feature “Mr. Church,” the Universal feature “The Darkness,” and Mark Waters’ fantasy feature “Vampire Academy.”

A STAN original, WOLF CREEK is produced by Screentime (a Banijay Group company), in association with Emu Creek Pictures and financed with the assistance of Screen Australia and the South Australian Film Corporation.

Fans don’t sit at the outskirts of pop culture making snarky comments. They live right smack in the middle of it, sharing, creating, and connecting their passions with others. At Pop, fans finally have a destination that celebrates the fun of being a fan. Fans aren’t even fans anymore — they’re gladiators, tributes, human beings and blockheads. Seen in more than 80 million homes, Pop gives fans a dedicated channel that loves being a fan as much as they do. A channel that respects talent over celebrity. A channel filled with optimism, passion, humor, and excitement. A channel that understands the fun doesn’t stop when the credits roll…it’s really just the beginning.

Pop is a joint venture of CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF). The partnership combines CBS’s programming, production and marketing assets with Lionsgate’s resources in motion pictures, television and digitally delivered content. Pop’s ownership structure is comprised of the company with the #1 broadcast network and many of the top first-run syndication series (“Entertainment Tonight,” “The Insider”) and the studio that produces and distributes the blockbuster “Hunger Games,” “Twilight” and “Divergent” franchises and produces such award-winning TV series as “Mad Men” and “Orange is the New Black.”

Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, international distribution and sales, branded channel platforms, interactive ventures and games, and location-based entertainment. The Company has nearly 80 television shows on 40 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses. These include the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black, the syndication successes The Wendy Williams Show and Celebrity Name Game (with FremantleMedia), the breakout series The Royals and the Golden Globe-nominated dramedy Casual.

The Company’s feature film business spans eight labels and includes the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, the Now You See Me, Divergent and John Wick series, Sicario, The Age of Adaline, Roadside Attractions' Love & Mercy and Mr. Holmes, Codeblack Films’ Addicted and breakout concert film Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain and Pantelion Films’ Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.

Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as a foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.

Zodiak Rights is the international distribution division of Banijay Group, a leading creator and producer of TV content worldwide. Zodiak Rights represents quality, excellence and experience in the business of television and ancillary sales across all platforms. It is one of the world’s biggest independent distributors, with a catalogue of more than 20,000 hours of globally best-selling content across all genres including drama, formats, factual, entertainment, theatrical. 50% of the catalogue is third party programming from independent producers and networks throughout the world.

Zodiak Rights’ scripted programming includes big-budget Canal+ flagship drama Versailles sold in more than 135 territories; Screentime’s Wolf Creek, based on the international hit feature films; original Belgian French-language drama Public Enemy, winner of the inaugural MIPDrama Screenings; The Returned, an International Emmy Award winner, trilingual political suspense thriller Occupied; Wallander, the BAFTA award-winning drama series for BBC One starring Kenneth Branagh; Braquo, the top-rating French drama; and critically acclaimed Irish serial drama Rebellion.

Zodiak Rights’ theatrical portfolio includes: Millennium: The Trilogy (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest), and UK box office smash The Inbetweeners 1 & 2.

Finished programming and format highlights include global smash format Wife Swap; legendary adventure game show Fort Boyard; Rose d’Or winning game show Wild Things; innovative hands-on social experiment Undressed; extreme reality race 71 Degrees North; Popstars, the original talent quest reality format refreshed for a new generation; the classic, controversial reality format Temptation Island; ratings and format hits The Secret Life Of 4 Year Olds; long running premier property brand Location Location Location, and revelatory special forces selection programme SAS Who Dares Wins.

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Bruce Campbell's Horror Film Festival Announces Full Film Screening Lineup

Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival Announces Full Lineup, Closing night film Siren, Last Fan Standing Game Show, & Guest of Honor Barbara Crampton for Festival, August 18-21 In Chicago

Presented by STARZ Original Series ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead', in conjunction with Wizard World Comic Con

ROSEMONT, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Festival today announced the full lineup for its third annual festivities on August 18-21, 2016, in conjunction with Wizard World Chicago. Sponsored by Shudder and, the festival will open with the critically acclaimed nail-biter Don’t Breathe and close with the chilling Siren. Among many other events and screenings, the festival will feature Bruce Campbell’s Last Fan Standing game show, and actress Barbara Crampton as the “Guest of Honor,” who will host a 30th anniversary screening of From Beyond along with her new film, Beyond the Gates.

    Horror fans can join @GroovyBruce in Chicago @groovyfest August 18-21

"You can have your rom-coms, your indie darlings and your blockbusters,” said Bruce Campbell. “I’ll take a good old-fashioned horror movie any day or night of the week!”

Opening night will kick off with the highly anticipated shocker, Don't Breathe, from director-producer-writer Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead) and produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert. Alvarez and star Stephen Lang (Avatar) will be in attendance. Sony Pictures is set to release Don’t Breathe on August 26, 2016. Closing night will feature the Chicago Premiere of Siren, a feature adaptation of the segment "Amateur Night" from the 2012 critically acclaimed horror anthology "V/H/S", with director Gregg Bishop and star Chase Williamson in attendance.

The festival will offer Bruce Campbell’s all-new game show, Last Fan Standing—a quiz show based on sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and superheroes. Last Fan Standing is the ultimate test of pop-culture knowledge. Four fans are put through their paces by host and Con-favorite Bruce Campbell, battling through devilish speed rounds and a nerve-wracking Final Confrontation until only one remains, and a Last Fan Standing is crowned. The game show will take place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on Friday at 3 PM and Saturday at 11 AM.

Writer/director Fred Dekker is slated to receive the inaugural "Groovy as Hell" award, and the festival will host a 30th anniversary screening of the cult classic Night of The Creeps and a very special screening of The Monster Squad with actors Andre Gower (Sean) & Ryan Lambert (Rudy) also in attendance.

Popular stand-up comic and host of the Doug Loves Movies podcast, Doug Benson, will host a very special ‘Doug Benson Movie Interruption’ of Army of Darkness, with guest interrupter Bruce Campbell! Benson and Campbell, along with mystery comedians, will riff on the film live from the front row, and say whatever hilarious thoughts that pops into their heads. Single tickets for this show are SOLD OUT, but you can still guarantee a seat with the purchase of a festival badge.

BCHFF is also thrilled to present a 25th anniversary celebration of everyone’s favorite time-traveling metalhead slackers, a screening of Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey with director Peter Hewitt in attendance, along with Death himself, William Sadler!

The festival will also mark the World Premieres of Found Footage 3D, the long-awaited satirical horror film produced by Kim Henkel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and directed by Steven DeGennaro, and Show Yourself, a haunting & remarkable genre-bending feature debut from Billy Ray Brewton (subject of the wonderful award-winning 2014 documentary Skanks, and programmer for Slamdance Film Festival).

Fans in the region will also experience the Chicago premieres of:

  •     The Greasy Strangler - The most hilariously disturbing film of the year. From Elijah Wood's Spectrevision, Drafthouse Films, & Ant Timpson.
  •     Here Alone - Winner of the 2016 Tribeca Audience Award.
  •     Abattoir - From Darren Bousman, the director of Saw 2, 3, 4, Repo: The Genetic Opera, Mother’s Day, and The Devil’s Carnival. Darren will be in attendance to present the film.
  •     Pet - The SXSW hit starring Dominic Monaghan (Lord of The Rings Trilogy).
  •     I am Not a Serial Killer - Starring Christopher Lloyd in yet another career defining performance.
  •     Beyond The Gates - Winner of the midnight audience award at Los Angeles Film Festival.
  •     Antibirth – Premiered at the Sundance Film & starring Natasha Lyonne & Chloe Sevigny.
  •     Short Trip To Hell (Shorts Block) – A stunning collection of premiere shorts that will scare you senseless!

The Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival jury this year includes a few dignitaries well-known to horror fans: Tom Holland (writer/director, Fright Night, Child's Play); Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show); Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever); and Zach Hagen (producer, He Never Died).

“I couldn’t be any more thrilled with this year’s lineup,” said festival director Josh Goldbloom. “There’s something here for every bloodthirsty horror fanatic: Haunted houses, serial killers, satanic board games, home invasions, monsters with demon wings, possessed guitars, portals to hell, killer clown cookie jars, and last but not least, greasy stranglers. Buy a ticket and I promise you’ll see something you won’t forget.”

Festival badges are $100, and are on sale now at!

The festival and all screenings will be held at the Carmike Muvico Rosemont 18.

Fans can visit for full details and additions to the slate as they happen and dates and times for each screening. Follow the festival on Twitter: @groovyfest



THE MONSTER SQUAD - Fred Dekker, Andre Gower, & Ryan Lambert in attendance!
A quintet of classic movie monsters invades a small town looking for a lost amulet that will help them rule the world. A bunch of kids decide to fight back by forming the "Monster Squad." Written by Shane Black (THE NICE GUYS, KISS KISS BANG BANG).

Prior to the screening the festival will present director Fred Dekker with the inaugural "Groovy as Hell" award. Following the screening their will be a Q&A with Fred Dekker, Andre Gower, & Ryan Lambert.

Anniversary Screenings!

NIGHT OF THE CREEPS Fred Dekker in attendance!
The night of the prom becomes the "Night of the Creeps" for a small-town college with a big-time problem! No one ever said college would be easy...Johnny (Ken Heron) and his girlfriend Pam (Alice Cadogan), the perfect co-ed couple, are enjoying Lover's Lane one evening in 1959 when suddenly Johnny's attention is diverted to an evil light. He leaves to explore it, never to return again. Twenty-seven years later, when two college boys, Chris (Jason Lively) and J.C. (Steve Marshall), pledge a tempestuous fraternity, they encounter Johnny's frozen body. When life returns to Johnny's corpse, a reign of terror begins as the mysterious" creeps" leave his brain, permeating the bodies of other frat boys and sorority girls, making zombies of their prey!

FROM BEYOND Barbara Crampton in attendance!
Obsessive scientist Dr. Pretorius (Ted Sorel) successfully discovers a way to access a parallel universe of pleasure by tapping into the brain's pineal gland. When he is seemingly killed by forces from this other dimension, his assistant, Dr. Crawford Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs), is accused of the murder. After psychiatrist Katherine McMichaels (Barbara Crampton) and detective Bubba Brownlee (Ken Foree) take the case, the trio risks a return to the other world in order to solve the mystery. From Master of Horror, Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator)!

BILL & TED'S BOGUS JOURNEY Peter Hewitt & William Sadler in attendance!
Amiable slackers Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are once again roped into a fantastical adventure when De Nomolos (Joss Ackland), a villain from the future, sends evil robot duplicates of the two lads to terminate and replace them. The robot doubles actually succeed in killing Bill and Ted, but the two are determined to escape the afterlife, challenging the Grim Reaper (William Sadler) to a series of games in order to return to the land of the living.

Opening Night:

DON’T BREATHE (Chicago Premiere) Fede Alvarez & Stephen Lang in attendance

A trio of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re wrong.

Cast: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovato, Stephen Lang
Dir: Fede Alvarez
Distributor: Sony Pictures
U.S. Release Date: August 26

Closing Night:

SIREN (Chicago Premiere) Gregg Bishop and Chase Williamson in attendance!

A bachelor party becomes a savage fight for survival when the groomsmen unwittingly unleash a fabled predator upon the festivities. A feature adaptation of the segment "Amateur Night" from the 2012 horror anthology "V/H/S."

Cast: Hannah Fierman, Chase Williamson, Justin Welbourn, Michael Aaron Milligan, Hayes Mercure, Randy McDowell.
Dir: Gregg Bishop

ABATTOIR (Chicago Premiere) Darren Lynn Bousman in attendance

How do you build a haunted house? Ask the enigmatic Jebediah Crone, the main suspect in a case of stolen rooms where horrific tragedies have occurred.

Cast: Jessica Lowndes, Joe Anderson, Lin Shaye, Dayton Callie, Bryan Batt,, J. Larose
Dir: Darren Lynn Bousman

ANTIBIRTH (Chicago Premiere) Guests to be announced.

Hard-drinking, pill-popping, bong-ripping Lou (Natasha Lyonne) and her best friend Sadie (Chloë Sevigny) spend their days adrift in a druggy haze. But one wild night out becomes a bad trip that never ends when Lou wakes up with symptoms of an unexplained, highly abnormal pregnancy. Spiked with blasts of hallucinatory color, surreal shocks, and subversive comedy, the audacious feature debut is a no-holds-barred descent into delirium.

Cast: Natasha Lyonne, Chloë Sevigny, Meg Tilly, Mark Webber
Dir: Danny Perez

BEYOND THE GATES (Chicago Premiere) Jackson Stewart, Barbara Crampton, Chase Williamson & Brea Grant in attendance

Seven months after their father’s disappearance, two brothers reunite to liquidate the family video store. Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse when they find an old VHS boardgame with evil powers, and all hell breaks loose.

Cast: Chase Williamson, Graham Skipper, Brea Grant, Barbara Crampton, Matt Mercer, Jesse Merlin
Dir: Jackson Stewart

FOUND FOOTAGE 3D (World Premiere) Cast & Crew in attendance!

A group of low-budget filmmakers sets out to make “the first 3D found footage horror film,” but find themselves *in* the first 3D found footage horror film when the evil entity from their movie escapes into their behind-the-scenes footage.

Cast: Carter Roy, Alena von Stroheim, Chris O'Brien, Tom Saporito, Scott Allen Perry, Jessica Perrin, Scott Weinberg
Dir: Steven DeGennaro


The Los Angeles-set tale follows Ronnie, a man who runs a Disco Walking tour along with his browbeaten son, Brayden. When a sexy, alluring woman comes to take the tour, it begins a competition between father and son for her attentions. It also signals the appearance of an oily, slimy inhuman maniac who stalks the streets at night and strangles the innocent, soon dubbed ‘The Greasy Strangler.’

Cast: Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo
Dir: Jim Hosking

HERE ALONE (Chicago Premiere)

A young woman struggles to survive on her own in the wake of a mysterious epidemic that has decimated society and forced her deep into the unforgiving wilderness.

Cast: Lucy Walters, Adam David Thompson, Gina Piersanti, Shane West
Dir: Rod Blackhurst

I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER (Chicago Premiere) Guests to be announced!

In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer whilst keeping his own inner demons at bay.

Cast: Christopher Lloyd, Laura Fraser, Max Records
Dir: Billy O’Brien

PET (Chicago Premiere)

Seth works at an animal shelter, and for years has been secretly in love with a waitress named Holly . When he repeatedly fails in his attempts to woo her, he naturally decides to lock her in a cage at the shelter where he works. And that’s just the beginning…

Cast: Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, Jenette McCurdy, Nathan Parsons
Dir: Carles Torrens

SHOW YOURSELF (World Premiere) Cast & crew in attendance!

When his friend dies unexpectedly, Travis heads into the woods with his ashes to say goodbye. But as he deals with his grief, and the way it has affected the relationships in his life, he starts to realize that he actually might not be alone.

Cast: Ben Hethcoat, Corsica Wilson, Barak Hardley, Stephen Cone, David McElwee, Robert Longsteet
Dir: Billy Ray Brewton

SHORT TRIP TO HELL - Short Film Block

A metalhead gets passed down a satanic guitar that riffs to shreds.
Dir: Chris McInroy

A recently released criminal is looking for a good time. He can forget his sins but he can never forget...Gwilliam.
Dir: Brian Lonano

A pitch-black comedy about Vivian, a lonely serial killer whose three loves in life are math, accounting, and killing random people. This all changes when she meets Alex, the man of her dreams.
Dir: Joel Ashton McCarthy

Bree, a dishonest 9-year-old receives a terrifying visitor after a parenting lesson goes horribly wrong.
Dir: Justin Harding

A woman wakes up bound to an altar, helpless as she is transformed into a flesh and blood statue of Santa Muerte by two elderly Brujos whose sole purpose is to conjure the anti-Christ into our plane of existence.
Dir: Gigi Saul Guerrero

A teenage girl must commit horror movie sins such as drink alcohol, do drugs, and have sex to lure a killer and finish him off.
Dir: Shant Hamassian

A crusty and recluse superintendent is thrown into the ultimate fight against evil when a couple of cultists open a portal to the ancient and mystical city of R'lyeh, awakening slumbering god. Starring the late "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
Dir: Vivieno Caldinelli


7:30 PM: Don't Breathe
10:15 PM: Night of The Creeps (30th Anniversary Screening)

6:00 PM: Pet
8:00 PM: Doug Benson Movie Interruption
10:00 PM: Show Yourself
Midnight: From Beyond (30th Anniversary Screening)

1:00 PM: Abattoir
3:30 PM: Beyond The Gates
5:45 PM: I am Not a Serial Killer
8:00 PM: The Monster Squad
10:00 PM: Found Footage 3D
Midnight: The Greasy Strangler

12:00 PM: Short Trip To Hell (Shorts Block)
2:00 PM: Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (30th anniversary screening)
4:00 PM: Here Alone
6:00 PM: Antibirth
8:00 PM: Siren

For more info on the 2016 Wizard World Comic Con Chicago (August 18-21, 2016 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont), visit

About Wizard World (OTCBB:WIZD)
Wizard World, Inc. ( produces comic cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, television, cosplay, comics, graphic novels, toys, video gaming, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place at each event, with celebrity Q&A's, comics-themed sessions, costume contests, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Wizard World has also launched Wizard World Store (, CONtv, a digital media channel in partnership with leading independent content distributor Cinedigm™ (NASDAQ:CIDM), and ComicConBox™ (, a premium subscription-based monthly box service. Fans can interact with Wizard World on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media services.

The Wizard World 2016 schedule is available at: