espnW launches Nine for IX Knowledge Center
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In concert with the debut of espnW’s and ESPN Films’ Nine for IX Shorts, espnW launched theNine for IX Knowledge Center, a resource center for college administrators, professors and student-athletes that examines the powerful lessons in each of the Nine for IX series films released last summer.  The site, located on espnW.com, provides discussion guides, posters and community forums for each of the films, as well as free copies of the Nine for IX box set.Nine for IX, nine documentaries about women, directed by women, premiered June 18, 2013, as part of ESPN’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX.  Visit the Knowledge Center:www.espnW.com/KnowledgeCenter.

“espnW continues to innovate with the creation of the Nine for IX Knowledge Center, which will facilitate thoughtful, in-depth conversations about the important themes in our films,” said Laura Gentile, vice president, espnW. “We believe the Knowledge Center is an important tool for fans, educators, coaches and student-athletes.”

The unique discussion guides for each film were developed by espnW Advisory Panel member, Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., the Associate Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at The University of Minnesota. The guides provide thought-provoking discussion topics such as gender equality, social class, sports media coverage, sexism, sports marketing, role models and race.

“The Knowledge Center was developed in collaboration with espnW to go beyond the entertainment value of the films and leverage the richness of the embedded lessons and messages they offer,” said LaVoi. “The Nine for IX series provides educators and students a forum to explore and debate the hard-hitting topics that have, and are, affecting girls and women in sports.”

Yesterday, espnW and ESPN Films debuted a new series of Nine for IX shorts on espnW.com. The short films are an extension of the feature-length, Emmy-nominated, Nine for IX series focused on capturing fascinating stories of women in sports told through the lens of female filmmakers. Among those profiled are MMA pioneer Ronda Rousey, WNBA star Brittney Griner, golf champion Jan Stephenson, and the first all-women America’s Cup team.  The participating filmmakers are Melissa Johnson, Nikki Reed, Tina Carbone, Jessica Wolfson and the Mundo Sisters.

 

Angela: Asgard’s Assassin Ongoing Series Coming From Marvel This November
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This coming November, the Marvel Universe’s newest star is about to show you why she’s the most dangerous in ANGELA: ASGARD’S ASSASSIN #1 – the newest ongoing series launching as part of Avengers NOW! The star-studded creative team of Kieron Gillen, Marguerite Bennett, Phil Jimenez and Stephanie Hans show you a side of Angela you’ve never seen before, as she cuts a bloody swath across the Marvel Universe!

The finest warrior of the Tenth Realm, she has been trained all her life to hate Asgard with every fiber of her being. But following the events ofOriginal Sin: Thor & Loki – The Tenth Realm, she must confront the truth of her lineage. She is the daughter of Odin. The sister of Thor. An Asgardian.Now, she has been cast out from the Tenth Realm, and wants nothing to do Asgard. What does she want? A clean slate. And she’ll cut down anyone in the Ten Realms who stands in her way.

“The story is Angela is basically on the run,” says co-writer Kieron Gillen of the first arc in an interview with Marvel.com. “It gives her a chance to interact with a lot of different people so by the end of the first arc we really get a sense of who Angela is vis-à-vis the Marvel Universe. This is how she interacts with Asgardians, this is how she interacts with Angels. This is how she interacts with the Guardians and the cosmic stuff. Here is how she interacts with the Earth. You get a sense of who she is and where she fits into the larger picture.”

Superstar writer Kieron Gillen returns to Asgard following his critically acclaimed run on Journey Into Mystery along with rising star writer Marguerite Bennett and the out of this world art team of Phil Jimenez  & Stephanie Hans! Each issue features a main story drawn by Jimenez with a second story drawn by Hans!

As the newest star of the Marvel Universe prepares to take center stage, no fan can afford to miss the ongoing adventures of the angelic warrior when ANGELA: ASGARD’S ASSASSIN #1 explodes on to comic shop shelves and digital devices this November!

For more on Angela: Asgard’s Assassin and more of Marvel’s San Diego Comic-Con announcements, head to www.marvel.com/SDCC2014.

Paul Candland Named President, The Walt Disney Company, Asia; Stanley Cheung Promoted to Chairman, TWDC Greater China
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Underscoring the growing importance of Asia to The Walt Disney Company’s global growth strategy, Paul Candland has been named to the newly created position of president, The Walt Disney Company, Asia, with oversight of Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and Greater China. Mr. Candland, a 16-year Disney veteran and president of Walt Disney Japan, will be responsible for driving the company’s strategy and coordinating all of its business efforts in Asia. He will report directly to Andy Bird, chairman Walt Disney International.  Rob Gilby, managing director, TWDC South East Asia, will report to Mr. Candland.

In addition, Stanley Cheung, managing director of TWDC Greater China, has been promoted to chairman of TWDC Greater China, reporting to Mr. Bird. Senior vice president Luke Kang will assume Mr. Cheung’s former role as managing director of TWDC Greater China. Mr. Kang will report to both Mr. Cheung and Mr. Candland and will have direct oversight of Disney’s businesses in Greater China, excluding Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, which report to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs.

“Asia is a region of incredible growth and great promise for Disney, and these management changes are designed to ensure we maximize our opportunities there today and in the future,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive of The Walt Disney Company. “This new structure will bring greater focus and the ability to share best practices across businesses and countries as we grow strategically in Asian markets.”

“Under Paul’s leadership, we will be able to accelerate our businesses in Greater China, Japan, Korea and South East Asia,” Mr. Bird said. “He has done an amazing job of expanding our business in Japan, delivering double-digit growth across all business segments, particularly with the success of Disney Mobile, Gaming, Disney Stores and Disney Consumer Products, and the launch of DLife, our channel serving young adult female audiences.”

Mr. Candland joined Disney in 1998 as representative director and general manager of Disney Store Japan, overseeing operations at some 80 locations. In 2002, he became managing director of Walt Disney Television International (Japan), and was responsible for launching both the Disney Channel and Toon Disney in Japan. In 2007 he was named president of TWDC Japan. Prior to joining Disney, Mr. Candland worked at Pepsi-Cola Co. for more than 10 years. In 1994 he was named president of Okinawa Pepsi-Cola, and subsequently served as the Japan representative for Pepsi-Cola International. Mr. Candland holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Pennsylvania State University.

In announcing the promotions of Mr. Cheung and Mr. Kang in Greater China, Mr. Bird pointed to the rapid growth of Disney’s business in the region. “It is my belief that Greater China will become our biggest international market in the coming years. Today, China is one of our biggest markets for the Studio, and we have a well-established Disney Consumer Products and TV distribution business. The rapid emergence of mobile and digital platforms provides even more opportunities for us, and construction is underway for the largest Disney Store in the world and, of course, Shanghai Disney Resort.” Mr. Bird added, “With all of this in mind, and considering the unique manner of doing business in China, I decided to support Stanley’s leadership and vision with Luke’s proven ability to effectively manage our businesses.”

Mr. Cheung was named managing director of TWDC China in 2004, and has been responsible for driving the company’s strategy and coordinating its business efforts in China. He joined Disney from Johnson & Johnson (China) Ltd., where he served as managing director. From 1996-2001, Mr. Cheung worked for Pillsbury Co. in Shanghai, serving in a series of positions culminating in managing director, North Asia. Previously, Mr. Cheung worked for the China division of Pepsi-Cola International. He started his career with Proctor & Gamble. Mr. Cheung holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and an MBA from Indiana University.

Mr. Kang joined Disney in 2011 as senior vice president and managing director of The Walt Disney Company (Korea) Ltd. Prior to Disney, Mr. Kang was chief operating officer at Live 365, an internet radio company based in Silicon Valley. He also held various senior management roles at MTV Networks in Asia Pacific, including senior vice president of strategy and business development for Asia Pacific, head of Asia Pacific digital media, and managing director of Korea. From 1996 to 2000 he worked as a management consultant for Monitor Group Asia Pacific Region, and he was an analyst at the Ministry of Finance & Economy of the Republic of Korea from 1995 to 1996. Mr. Kang holds a master’s degree in management as a Sloan Fellow from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

 

Once Upon a Time Casts More Frozen Roles
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ABC’s Once Upon a Time, has cast two more characters from Frozen. John Rhys-Davies has been cast to voice the troll Pabble. Rhys-Davies is perhaps best known for his work in the Indiana Jones franchise. He reprised his role of Sallah for the Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye safety video. He also voiced Macbeth on Disney’s Gargoyles.

Tyler Jacob Moore has been cast as Kristoff. He is best known for his role as Tony Markovich in Shameless, but ABC fans will remember him as Pastor John Tudor on the short-lived GCB.

Frozen comes to Storybook this Fall on ABC.

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.


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