week in review digest


Dis in deal with daredevil

Walt Disney Studios has entered into a multiyear, first-look deal with legendary comics creator Stan Lee and his production company POW! Entertainment (HR 6/7). Specifics were not disclosed, but Lee and his company will develop and produce all forms of entertainment for various platforms. "The big thing is we're trying to do projects that are high concept, stories that will lend themselves to franchises," said Lee, whose POW! stands for Purveyors of Wonder. Lee is the co-creator of many of the most popular Marvel Comics superheroes that have gone on to starring roles in today's tentpole movie marketplace, from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four to the Hulk.

Marinca to receive Cine Expo honor

LONDON — Cinema Expo International will honor Romanian-born British actress Anamaria Marinca with the Cinema Expo Award of Excellence in Acting at this month's event in Amsterdam (HR 6/8). Tommaso Campione, international show director of Cinema Expo, made the announcement Thursday. Marinca most recently appeared in the Cannes Palme D'Or winner "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" and was lauded by film critics for her performance. Marinca will receive her award June 28 at the closing-night banquet to be held at the Amsterdam RAI.

WB captures magic of 'Shannara'

Warner Bros. Pictures is bringing Terry Brooks' "Shannara" fantasy book series to the big screen, picking up the rights to the series (HR 6/6). The books, which blend technology and magic, are set in a world decimated by apocalyptic battles, with mankind splitting into races of trolls, gnomes, dwarves and men, with elves coming out of hiding. Politics and war are waged using magic with a backdrop of the skeletal remains of skyscrapers and subways. The first book, "The Sword of Shannara," was the first fantasy book to get on, and then top, the New York Times best-seller list.

Premieres headline '07 Taormina fest

ROME — A quartet of world premieres will join the international launch of Michael Bay's big-budget summer film "Transformers" as highlights of the 53rd annual Taormina Film Festival, organizers said Thursday. While Paramount/DreamWorks' "Transformers" is hitting screens in South Korea and Australia a few days earlier, the Taormina event will serve as the film's official launch, with Bay and star Shia LaBeouf expected to be on hand for the June 21 screening. The festival will include four true world premieres: Stefano Incerti's anti-Mafia film "L'Uomo di Vetro" (The Glass Man), Moroccan travel film "Two Women on the Road" from Farida Bourquia, the drama "Fuerte Apache" from Spain's Jaime Matteo Adrover and French crime picture "13 M2" from Barthelemy Grossman. Tony Bill's "Flyboys" will open the festival on June 16. The jury will be headed by Argentinean director Luis Puenzo, Tribeca's Peter Scarlet, Egyptian director Marwan Hamed and Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic.