Marvel Announces New Star Wars Comics
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Lucasfilm Ltd. and Marvel Entertainment are extremely proud to announce the iconic Star Wars franchise will return to Marvel in 2015 with a line-up of three comic book titles chronicling the adventures of a galaxy far, far away.  Beginning in January 2015, prepare for STAR WARS by writer Jason Aaron (ThorOriginal Sin), artist John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men) and colorist Laura Martin, DARTH VADER by writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca and PRINCESS LEIA by writer Mark Waid and artist Terry Dodson.

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Taking place immediately after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, the Force returns to Marvel in January with three new series spotlighting beloved characters from the iconic trilogy! Created in close partnership with Lucasfilm, the three new Star Wars series will exist as part of the canon for the Star Wars universe!

It all starts this January when Jason Aaron, John Cassaday and Laura Martin take fans back to the days following the destruction of the first Death Star in STAR WARSDiscussing the flagship series, writer Jason Aaron tells Marvel.com, “Every story is about the characters, and we’ll focus on all the old favorites. There will be big moments for everyone, from Han to R2-D2. But a major part of the narrative will be driven by Luke Skywalker and his journey of discovery, a journey that will decide the fate of the entire galaxy.”

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However, the return of the Rebel Alliance to Marvel Comics also invites the return of its opposition, the Imperial Forces of the Galactic Empire and in February 2015, Kieron Gillen plans to delve into the psyche of one of the vilest villains of all time with the new ongoing series DARTH VADER. Witness the struggle for the freedom of an entire galaxy – from the Dark Side!

“Vader’s the sole survivor of the greatest military disaster in history – and a disaster that he definitely had a hand in by letting the rebels escape with the plans for the Death Star. This is not a thing which leaves you in anybody’s good books, let alone the Emperor’s,” says writer Kieron Gillen. “The great thing about this period [between Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back] is what we don’t see on the screen. Vader learns who Luke Skywalker is at some point between the two movies, to choose but one example.”

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Then, in March 2015, Mark Waid & Terry Dodson bring you the harrowing tale of loss and hope in the 5-issue limited series PRINCESS LEIAFresh from the Rebel Alliance’s victory at the Battle of Yavin, Leia must confront the reality that her homeworld has been destroyed. But in the light of such tragedy, there is always hope. Skilled equally with diplomacy as she is a blaster, witness the rise of one of the greatest heroines in history as she takes her rightful place as one of the Alliance’s peerless leaders!                                                                                                                 

“Does she choose to be a Princess of nothing – or does she set out to rebuild her heritage and civilization?” says writer Mark Waid.

Again, the world of Luke, Han, Chewbacca, Leia and even Vader make their historic return to the House of Ideas beginning next year! Take your first step into a larger world with STAR WARS #1DARTH VADER #1 and PRINCESS LEIA #1 in 2015!

Captain America & The Mighty Avengers To Launch in November
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This November, Sam Wilson takes the Mighty Avengers higher, further and bigger than ever before in CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE MIGHTY AVENGERS #1 – an all-new series launching as part of Avengers NOW! Fan-favorite Mighty Avengers scribe Al Ewing returns along with new series artist Luke Ross for a new series with a new mission spinning directly out of the upcoming Avengers & X-Men: AXIS!

Sam Wilson has inherited his new patriotic moniker, but is he up to the task of leading a team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? The hero formerly known as Falcon has some new ideas for the rag-tag team of Mighty Avengers – but the events of AXIS may spell doom for the inexperienced leader. And not everyone on the team is happy with Sam’s new position as leader. Spider-Man is back, too – Amazing this time, NOT Superior. Luke Cage & Jessica Jones are still itching to give him some payback for trying to take their daughter to Child Services. And what is Luke Cage doing meeting with the head of the notorious Cortex corporation?

“As for the mission statement – same as it’s ever been,” promises writer Al Ewing, in an interview with Marvel.com. “Help those in need, however they need it. This is where all the work over the previous series pays off – the Gem theater is refurbished, the hotline is in place, the field team is on standby to take care of problems nobody else can handle. The Mighty Avengers are hitting the ground running.”

All this and more in just the first issue True Believer! No fan can afford to miss this all-new beginning when CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE MIGHTY AVENGERS #1 takes off this November!

Disney’s “The Jungle Book” Adds Christopher Walken & Giancarlo Esposito to Cast
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Two more actors are on board as the voice cast for Disney’s The Jungle Book takes shape. Academy Award winner Christopher Walken will take on the role of King Louie, the ruler of a troop of monkeys and apes, while Giancarlo Esposito (Critics Choice Award winner and Emmy nominee for Breaking Bad) will voice Akela, the leader of the wolf pack.

Walken and Esposito join Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Golden Globe winner Idris Elba as Shere Khan, and Scarlett Johansson as Kaa. The Jungle Book also marks the debut of newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli, who will be the only actor to physically appear on screen.

The Jungle Book is a combination of live-action and animation, directed by Jon Favreau from a script by Justin Marks. The film will be released in 3D and arrives in theaters on October 9, 2015.

Disney Hosting Veterans Institute In San Antonio
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The Walt Disney Company and USAA will bring Disney’s Veterans Institute to San Antonio on Aug. 19, with a daylong seminar designed to inspire companies in the region to build their own veteran hiring programs.

Presented by USAA, a leading financial services provider for the military community, the San Antonio event builds on the success of Disney’s inaugural Veterans Institute last November at Walt Disney World Resort, which attracted more than 500 participants and dignitaries, including First Lady Michelle Obama and Disney Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger. Attendees will hear from experts from Disney’s Heroes Work Here initiative which hires, trains and supports former service members–along with government officials, veterans and nonprofit veterans service organizations who will share their experiences, best practices and tips for making a successful transition from the military to the civilian workforce. This is the first of several anticipated regional Veterans Institutes that Disney hopes to bring to select cities around the nation.

“Disney is extremely proud of the dedicated veterans who work here and we’re pleased to expand the reach of our Veterans Institute with USAA to help create career opportunities for even more of America’s servicemen and women,” Mr. Iger said. “We’re always eager to share what we’ve learned from our successful Heroes Work Here program with other companies looking to hire highly qualified veterans.”

In addition to serving the military community’s financial needs, USAA is also a leader in veteran and military spouse hiring. Named the Victory Media No. 1 Military Friendly Employer(R) for 2013 and 2014, and the No. 1 Military Times Best for Vets: Employer 2012-2014, USAA hired 1,414 veterans and military spouses in 2013, nearly 31 percent of all of the organization’s new hires.

“We have hired more than 8,700 veterans and military spouses from 2006 through June 2014. They have brought valuable skills and experience, mission focus and a deep dedication to serve,” said retired Army Maj. Gen. Joe Robles Jr., USAA’s CEO. “The Department of Veterans Affairs lists Texas as one of three states that are the most densely populated with veterans. With the potential to help so many companies hire veterans, we’re proud to join the Veterans Institute in sharing our experience in recruiting, hiring and developing veterans with companies across Texas.”

Veterans Institute is the latest effort in Disney’s long history of respect and appreciation for the U.S. armed services, and it leverages the success of Heroes Work Here, which Disney launched in 2012 with a commitment to hire more than 1,000 veterans by 2015–a goal the company has already surpassed, with more than 3,800 former service members hired.

Highlights of the San Antonio Veterans Institute workshop will include an inside look at Disney and USAA best practices; renowned keynote speakers, panelists, advice and insights from experts and elite veterans support organizations; stories from veterans about their own transition to the civilian workforce; and a presentation by Disney Institute, the professional development arm of The Walt Disney Company. Featured speakers and presenters will include Mr. Robles, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, and James Schmeling, co-founder of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.

Star Wars Episode VII Filming Angers Wildlife Activists
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The Telegraph is reporting that the filming of Star Wars: Episode VII on the remote island of Skellig Michael off the Irish coast has upset some wildlife activists. The concern is that the filming may impact the breeding season of the island’s native bird population.

Birdwatch Ireland’s Dr Steve Newton told Radio Kerry, “It would have been preferable if filming took place out of the breeding season, in September, when I believe it was originally scheduled. It seems a little inappropriate to do it during July.”

The head of the Irish Film Board said that the filming was “designed specifically to avoid disturbance of breeding birds.”

ESPN Extends Deal To Broadcast Pro Football Hall Of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony
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ESPN has reached a new seven-year agreement with the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, to present the annual Enshrinement Ceremony, beginning this year. The agreement extends through 2020, the centennial anniversary of the National Football League’s inaugural season.

Since 1995, ESPN has televised the Enshrinement Ceremony when each new class of legendary players, coaches and contributors is officially welcomed into the Hall of Fame. This year’s ceremony – ESPN’s 20th consecutive – will be televised Saturday, August 2, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 (and WatchESPN).

Trey Wingo will host ESPN’s coverage from Canton with NFL analysts Tom Jackson and Chris Mortensen and reporter Sal Paolantonio. ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman – who received the distinguished Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 – will again emcee the ceremony, a position he has been honored to hold since 1999.

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony is a signature event that honors the sport’s all-time greats and each year helps officially kick off the start of the new season,” said Burke Magnus, Senior Vice President, Programming Acquisitions. “ESPN has a proud history of presenting this celebration of the game of football and we are thrilled to extend our relationship with the Hall of Fame with this new long-term agreement.”

Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker added: “ESPN has for many years been a committed partner in helping the Pro Football Hall of Fame fulfill its mission to honor the heroes of the Game, preserve its history, promote its values so as to celebrate the excellence of the legends that are honored at the Enshrinement Ceremony. On behalf of all those who love the Game and the legends who play it, we look forward to a long and successful relationship in the years ahead.”

Marvel’s Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United Available Tomorrow
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Iron Man and Captain America join forces in a new, original animated adventure, “Marvel’s Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United” available only on Digital HD, On-Demand and Disney Movies Anywhere on July 29th. Iron Man and Captain America battle to keep the Red Skull and his triggerman, Taskmaster, from unleashing an army of Hydra Brutes on the world! Enjoy surprising twists and a special appearance by one of your favorite Marvel Super Heroes in this action packed feature featuring the voices of Adrian Pasdar and Roger Craig reprising their roles as Iron Man and Captain America, and Clancy Brown as the villainous Taskmaster.


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