A guide to the UK’s North West for film lovers and TV buffs

Often those visiting the UK will typically head firstly towards the capital city of London, for its massive tourist draws and points-of-interest, not to mention its influence on pop culture and cinema – with unique attractions from its Secret Cinema experience to the London Design Museum, which recently held an exhibition dedicated to the revered director Stanley Kubrick and his works.

However, northern cities such as Liverpool and Manchester offer a strong alternative. They are often the go-to filming destination for big Hollywood films, due to their accommodating nature for production companies, and stunning, historic architecture that can stand in for many iconic locations, from London to New York.

Thinking of visiting? Here is the low down on some of the best places to visit for film buffs in the North West.

Liverpool

Liverpool is an extremely popular filming destination for both independent cinema and big blockbusters alike, and often doubles up as locales to suit fantasy and period dramas.

If arriving in the city by train you might immediately notice a location in Lime Street Station. Those who have seen the recent summer blockbuster Yesterday, from Trainspotting director Danny Boyle will know that this featured prominently in a poignant scene from the film.

Liverpool’s Littlewood’s building, once used during World War II to manufacture parachutes, will bring a state-of-the-art Hollywood-grade studio to Edge Lane in the coming years, sure to produce many great films for the future. Unfortunately, the site suffered setbacks due to a fire this time last year, but the £60m project is set to not only boost the cities’ economy, but also provide the potential for careers in staging, sound engineering and lighting.

This is not the only development ongoing in the city, and many other aspects are also building, in preparation for the future as the area swells in popularity. For example, not only has development in-and-around Liverpool Football Club’s famous Anfield stadium spelled economic growth, but in the Baltic Triangle sector of Liverpool, what has now become a creative and digital hub for business, bars, restaurants and homes are quickly popping up as an alternative destination to the city centre. Property specialists RW Invest state that the area is one of the most demanded in the country currently for students and young professionals, and will continue to grow rapidly in the years to come.

Manchester

Pride of the north and one of the biggest student cities in the UK, Manchester is another city with plenty of destinations worth visiting if you’re a film fan. Again, there’s a variety of things to do here, from walking tours showcasing locations used in the city, to galleries and cinema centres with unique offerings such as HOME.

The walking tour of Manchester features one of its most recognizable landmarks, the Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square. The Victorian and Gothic-esque architecture was used as a filming location for the most recent adaptation of Frankenstein, starring Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe, and James McAvoy of Split/X-Men fame.

MediaCityUK in Salford is another factor that solidifies Manchester’s place on the map for film and TV production influence. The hub for many of ITV and BBC’s studios, the network of buildings employ thousands of people and have done a lot for the city’s economy. Those visiting can go on many different tours of the different sets and blocks, and you could even get yourself into the live audience of one of the many shows filmed there.

3 Tips to Increase Your Satisfaction With a New TV Provider

If you’re at the point where you want to switch to a new television provider or receive premium TV content for the first time, it’s a good idea to take your time when choosing which provider is best for you. Taking that approach increases the chances that you’ll be satisfied with your decision. Here are a few things you can do to feel happy about the outcome when you select a new TV provider. 

Learn What Channels and Features You Could Get

Most people have at least a few TV channels that they consider their must-watch options. Maybe you’re a soccer fanatic and want a channel that gives you access to international matches played by your favorite teams. Or, perhaps you love watching shows about science and have some channels that you tune into most often to get your fill of that kind of content. 

Instead of just assuming that you get a particular channel, find out for sure directly from the provider or a trusted resource. Also, determine whether you could get a desired channel by paying for a premium package. 

Then, channels aside, find out whether a provider gives any other features like special remotes or other technology that helps increase your enjoyment of the televised material. If you have an appliance such as a smart TV or may invest in one soon, it’s a good idea to make sure that compatibility exists between the TV service provider and the gadgets you own. 

Research the Typical Customer Service Experiences

A great thing about social media channels and the internet at large is that they make it easy for people to give their feedback regarding experiences with service providers. When individuals feel happy or unhappy about the service received from a particular brand, they can broadcast their feelings to an audience of hundreds or thousands or more just by logging onto a social media network and creating a comment. 

While learning about the TV providers on your shortlist, don’t forget to look at social media and other resources to get an idea of the kind of customer service that people usually get when engaging with a company. Fortunately, the leading TV service providers know how important it is to consistently listen to what people want and need and work hard to make customer service improvements

By taking the time to find out about the customer service aspects of a company, you’ll find it’s easier to anticipate what your experiences may be like if you ever need to contact a brand’s support team for any reason. Discovering that a business in the TV industry has above-average customer service could also make you feel more comfortable about choosing that provider and entering into a contractual agreement with them. 

Look for TV Provider Deals

People often feel frustrated if they sign up for a service and realize shortly afterward that they could have paid less by taking advantage of a deal. You should keep that in mind and see if there are any applicable discounts or other incentives before you commit to using a service. For example, you may find DISH Network offers that give you free premium channels, a gift card, or other perks for becoming a customer. 

Moreover, figure out what your priorities are before signing up for a TV service. For example, maybe you’d love to get your internet and television access from a single provider and save money in the process. Once you know what you want most from a brand, bring those things up as you speak to a representative and see what they could offer you. 

These three suggestions should get you off to a good start by making it seem less daunting to choose a different brand for your TV channels. Getting informed before you decide is an excellent way to avoid disappointment and find the options that align with your budget, channel preferences, and other requirements. 

Slot Machines Based on TV Shows

With the recent development of online casinos, which has caused a transformation in how people all over the world play their favourite casino games, online slots have become very popular. While traditionally, games such as blackjack, poker, and roulette have dominated the world of gambling, online slots are now more popular than ever before. This is often explained as due to the simple and easy to understand plots and genres that online slots seem to follow, as well as the immersive graphics that technological advances have been able to offer players.

However, one of the latest trends in online slot machines is the development of themes, plots, and genres based on popular TV shows. While TV programmes are continuing to get better, both in terms of their narrative as well as special effects, it is no surprise that online slot developers are jumping on the popularity of current TV shows. Even some of the more traditional and classic shows, such as cartoons can be found at online casinos in the form of a modern slot machine. Slot machines based on TV shows offer players to immerse themselves, even further into the imaginary world created by the programme, such as fantasy kingdoms, your favourite game show, or even a popular reality TV show. When it comes to playing online slot machines that are based on TV shows, the opportunities are endless.

Game of Thrones

While the phenomena that is Game of Thrones has gone from strength to strength since the American network channel, HBO, brought G R R Martin’s book series to life through the creation of an on-screen TV series, it has also become a very popular online slot machine. If you loved the books or the series, then this is the game for you. Provided by Microgaming, the Game of Thrones slot machine has some of the best graphics available, meaning that you truly are playing the game of thrones! The 4 main houses of Westoros that we have all come to either love or hate, Stark, Lannister, Targaryen, and Baratheon feature in the online slot game, and you can pick to join and defend your chosen house, or make an attempt for the Iron Throne yourself!

Family Guy

The popular American animated sitcom follows the life of the Griffin family that is currently in its 17th season. Game developers have jumped on the show’s popularity and developed its very own slot machine for fans to enjoy. Through this game, you can spend some time in Quahog and immerse yourself in Seth MacFarlane’s imaginary world. The slot machine has 30 paylines and 5 reels for you to enjoy, meaning that you have a good chance of becoming a winner. It offers great high-quality graphics and realistic sound effects that will bring the slot themes to life.

Bullseye

If you enjoy a bit of nostalgia, then this online slot is the one for you. This typically British game show that ran from 1981 to 2006 and followed a darts theme, has now been brought back to life by online slot machine developers. This is also supported and provided by industry leaders Microgaming, and this retro game will transport you right back to the youth of your 80’s. From the well-known theme tune to the recognisable voice of presenter Jim Bowen, this is a great reflection of the tv show. The famous game mascot Bully is the highest valued symbol in the entire game, so be sure to keep looking out for him! Bullseye is an easy to navigate game and if you were a fan of the TV show, then it won’t take you long to figure out how everything works. Bullseye the online slot also provides free spins, and any wins you do have during your first 15 free spins will be doubled!

Britain’s Got Talent

Popular and current talent show Britain’s Got Talent is providing us with even more entertainment through the development of its very own slot machine. The TV show, produced by talent manager and talent show judge Simon Cowell, has provided the world with icons such as Susan Boyle and dance troupe Diversity, and many of the show’s favourites feature in the game. By spinning the wheel, you will find out which acts will represent you, and through the live show bonus you can get the chance to decide which acts to take through to the live finals. The plot is very similar to the talent show itself, so fans of Britain’s Got Talent will enjoy everything that the online slot has to offer.

Due to the popularity of both new and old TV shows, it is hardly surprising that more and more slot games are being developed with these shows in mind. As their titles are well-known, they are also becoming increasingly popular with online players.

 

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BookCon: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3

The second season of Hulu’s hit series The Handmaid’s Tale left more than a few fans stunned when June (Elisabeth Moss) bucked her chance to escape to freedom in Canada with her baby and instead handed the infant off to Emily (Alexis Bleidel) while turning back into the world that still holds her other child hostage.

This weekend eager Handmaid’s fans finally got to see where June’s unexpected decision has lead the inhabitants of Gilead when showrunner Bruce Miller and actress Ann Dowd (“Aunt Lydia”) brought the premiere episode of the third season to New York’s BookCon.

Ann Dowd (“Aunt Lydia”) and Handmaid’s Tale showrunner, Bruce Miller

Without going into episode spoilers, I will say what I saw went a long way in explaining why June would make such a tremendous sacrifice in that finale and the acting across the board continues to be top notch. Alexis Bleidel’s Emily in particular had me moved to tears more than once. And the BookCon crowd broke out into applause at least twice.

While the terrifying Aunt Lydia did not appear in the premiere ep, the trailers showed that she will return after Emily very literally stabbed her in back last year. Dowd, who was also nefarious in last year’s horror hit Hereditary, is delightful and warm in person and said of Lydia, “she is doing quite well…she’s very concerned” She also offered some exciting tidbits into where season three might take Aunt Lydia.

Although in the last two seasons we’ve seen almost every protagonist’s backstory, Aunt Lydia has remained a mystery. Apparently that will change in season three. Of this insight, Dowd commented that while it wasn’t exactly what she thought it would be “it’s so true to what might have went wrong.” On that change she added that whatever happened, “her life leaned toward Gilead and [to being] one of the most staunch believers of that group.” And while Dowd clearly loves playing Lydia, she joked about her inner dialogue with the character: “I say I’m disappointed with her and she says to mind my business!”

Dowd complimenting a Handmaid cosplayer in attendance

The Handmaid’s Tale returns weekly to Hulu starting Wednesday June 5th.

IPTV: Watching TV Without the Hassle of Cable

For years, we’ve enjoyed  entertainment through the use of local and cable TV. We pay for cable subscription amounting to an average70 of $64.41 per month.

But in recent years, the Internet paved the way to another method of television through IPTV. It provides a cheaper alternative where subscriptions charge for less compared to cable TV.

Not sure how it works? Let’s look at this cheaper alternative to watching TV.

1. What Is IPTV and How Does It Work?

Let’s look at these alternatives to cable TV. IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television. What this means is that television programming runs through the internet protocol, allowing others to enjoy their favorite shows by using their laptops or mobile device.

Cable or satellite TV works by broadcasting and sending out signals, where receivers would translate the signals into your television screen. There are inherent problems to this approach as you can only watch what was being broadcast.

IPTV uses standard internet connection to deliver content. In order to enjoy content by watching it on a TV set sitting in your living room, you will need either a Smart TV or a receiver box.

2. Types of IPTVs

With watching IPTV, there are about three categories or formats that they provide in programming. Each one has its own set of pros and cons. Let’s look at them.

Video on Demand (VOD)

As the name implies, VOD allows you to watch the video whenever you want it. This is the type of service or format provided by various streaming sites. Anime streaming sites like Crunchyroll, or movie-streaming sites like Netflix make use of this setup.

Simply pick what you want to watch. The service provider starts streaming the data to you through the internet, and then you watch. Imagine enjoying a movie like John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum whenever you want it.

Live IPTV

Compared to VOD, Live IPTV lets you watch shows in real time. For sporting events, this form of IPTV allows viewers to see the action when it happens. It stands as a go-to option for people on the go who want to watch their favorite sport.

Good examples of Live IPTV providers are Fox Sports Go and CBS Sports HQ.

Time-Shifted Media

What happens if you put Live IPTV and VOD together? The result is Time-Shifted Media, where you get the best of both ends of the IPTV spectrum.

If you missed the live broadcast, you can still watch it at a later time. The difference with VOD is in the shelf life of the video in question. After a specific amount of time, it will become unavailable for viewing.

3. Watching TV with IPTV: Worth It?

Compared to cable providers, you can pick what channels to go for with IPTV. You can get a personalized experience with it compared to cable providers.

You can enjoy IPTV for free as there are many Internet TV sites or channels that wouldn’t cost you a penny. Though note that these ones get support by ads.

There are also others that run on a subscription basis, similar to cable TV. Although the usual range hangs between $20 and $120, you receive the content that you subscribed to.

To know that it is really worth every cent, check these services and do your research. Check out every IPTV review and start from there.

Cut the Cable Today!

In the end, it all boils down to costs and meeting the needs. IPTV allows for a personalized setup compared to watching TV via cable. What you will need is a stable internet connection to get everything going for your viewing enjoyment.

Did you enjoy and find this useful? You can also check out our plethora of entertainment news and film reviews today, like this one on a review of Detective Pikachu.

TV shows and films that have featured Las Vegas

TV shows and films that have featured Las Vegas

Las Vegas is one of the most famous cities in the United States. It is therefore understandable that Sin City would feature in many television episodes and films. Not all of them have focused on the gambling aspect of Vegas, although most contain small elements of it.

We’ve taken a look at three times a TV show or movie has been located in Las Vegas. If you don’t fancy making a trip to a brick-and-mortar casino, you can try games like rainbow riches at online casinos.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons has featured episodes from all over the globe, including England, France, Brazil and China. But episode 10 of season 10, titled “Viva Ned Flanders”, sees Homer Simpson take his neighbour Ned Flanders to Las Vegas after Flanders wishes to become more impulsive.

While in Sin City, the pair stay at “Nero’s Palace” and play roulette, win some money and get drunk. They awake the next morning in the hot tub in their room, only to discover a couple of waitresses who they have married. In disbelief, Homer and Flanders believe it’s a scam; however, when their new brides produce the wedding video, the pair look astonished to discover it was all true.

At breakfast, Homer and Ned attempt to run away from their new wives, but are eventually surrounded by the hotel’s employees. They are thrown out of Nevada and their new wives tell them to never try and marry them again.

Last Vegas

Last Vegas is about three retired friends: Sam, Archie and Paddy, who are stuck in a rut in their respective lives. When their friend Billy, an entrepreneur who lives in California, proposes to his 31-year-old girlfriend, Lisa, his friends plan a trip to Vegas for his bachelor party.

The four friends check into the Aria Resort and Casino. While Paddy and Sam go off, Archie buys uses half of his pension fund to buy $15,000 of chips and heads to the blackjack table. When they return, Archie is up to $102,000 and the trio leave so as to avoid being accused of card counting.

Paddy, who’s trying to get over the loss of his wife, Sophie, a year previous, takes issue with the fact that Billy didn’t show up to the funeral. As it turns out, both Paddy and Billy were in love with Sophie and while she chose Billy, he told her that she was meant to be with Paddy.

In Vegas, the friends meet lounge singer Diana, who both Paddy and Billy take an interest in. After discovering that Sophie originally chose Billy, Paddy tells Lisa that Billy is calling off the wedding. With his wedding called off, the friends encourage Billy to go and see Diana. A couple of months later, Paddy and Archie receive a call from Billy and Diana to tell them they’re engaged. Sam doesn’t answer the call as he is busy with his wife.

Friends

Friends lasted for 10 seasons, but it was in the fifth season that we saw the six friends travel to Las Vegas. Joey travels to Sin City to film a movie; however, when the movie producer tells Joey there isn’t enough cash to fund it, he’s forced to become a Roman soldier at Caesars Palace.

Chandler, Monica and Phoebe take a trip to visit Joey, but on the flight over, Phoebe accidentally reveals to Chandler that Monica met up with her ex-boyfriend Richard. Following an argument, Chandler goes off, Monica goes to apologise and tell him she loves him, but gets drawn into a game of craps and begins a winning streak.

When Chandler sees Monica playing craps at a table, he packs his bag and intends to leave. When he passes the craps table again, Monica sees him with his bag and talks him out of leaving. He joins the craps table and Monica’s winning streak continues. Chandler then suggests that if she rolls an eight, the two should get married. The first die lands on four, while the second lands on the ground next to the table leg between four and five. The pair decide that it is a four.

They arrive at the chapel only to discover that Ross and Rachel, who had arrived on a later flight, had gotten drunk and ended up getting married at the chapel, leaving Monica and Chandler stunned.

Two of the best TV Shows ever


Before the introduction of the DVR, people had to make TV watching a part of their schedule so they do not miss their favorite TV show. If you are from this period then you best understand what I mean. During this time, some shows could make you cry if you missed an episode or even just a part of the episode.

Television (TV) has always been one of the best past times for people from all over the world. In addition, who can say no to sitting in front of the TV and just getting entertained without lifting a finger?  Even though hundreds of shows have graced our screens over time, there are those shows that you can hardly forget about. These shows deserve the title ‘classic shows’. Below are some of these shows.

1. Game of Thrones

It can be argued that HBO has never had a show as good as Game of Thrones. The show has practically turned the network into a rating monster with the number of viewers who tune in when it airs. The show is based on a series of novels written by George R.R. Martin.

One of the reasons why the show has managed to capture audiences and keep them glued to their screens is the show’s vast cast of characters, sex, a ton of violence and conflicts and the captivating mix of regal politics and fantasy. The surprise death of characters just adds to the fun as viewers are left on the edge of their sits waiting if their favorite character is going to die. The kind of adrenaline that this show gives the viewers is almost the same as the adrenaline rush one gets when playing poker online.

2. Friends

Since the first episode aired on NBC in 1994, forgetting the six friends who lived in New York has proved to be a challenge to the tons of lovers of this American sitcom. Produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions in collaboration with Warner Bros, Friends was so popular that it made NBC, the network that aired it, very popular throughout the 90s. Through the show, we got some amazing breakout stars like Jenifer Aniston who went on to become an A-list movie star.

The way the show mixed seriousness with silliness combined with the palette of characters, which provided every viewer with a character that they could relate to, are some of the main reasons why the show became so popular and an all-time favorite show. Friends were also very close to reality and therefore viewers could easily identify with the characters. Even though the characters faced different challenges, they remained cheerful and had each other to share their daily struggles with. Viewers could, therefore, learn a lot from the characters, as they were entertained.

Conclusion

So many shows have graced our TV but when it comes to popularity, the Game of Thrones ad Friends take the cake. These two shows will forever go into history as the shows with the highest number of viewers. Television provides both great and boring shows. Therefore, in case a boring show is airing, you can make use of the time by taking part in poker online.

“CGI just doesn’t cut it for me, man!” Blindspot’s Heidi Schnappauf Speaks About Stunt Work

Heidi Schnappauf at Sword Class NYC

When Blindspot enters its fourth season this Friday on NBC, it will of course be bringing the action that has garnered the series multiple Emmy nominations for Outstanding Stunt Coordination. While last year burst onto the scene with, amongst other things, Jane Doe and Co in a tank, this year’s premiere has taken Jane (Jaimie Alexander) to Tokyo where she engages in some impressive swordplay with a new adversary. Behind Jane’s hardest hits is Alexander’s stunt double, Heidi Schnappauf, who has been with the show from the first season. Speaking with me at New York Comic Con*, Jaimie Alexander said of Heidi: “Just the hits she takes, the body slams…I don’t know how she’s OK. Half the time I’m terrified for her because she does a lot of the heavy lifting in the fights…And she’s just incredible, she’s an incredible lady.”

Besides Blindspot Schnappauf has an impressive credits list that includes Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Broad City and Orange is the New Black. I was lucky enough to speak with Heidi about her action-packed job this past weekend when Warner Brothers sent us along with her and Jaimie to, fittingly, a beginner Kendo sword lesson!

Lauren Damon: How long have you been with the show?

Heidi Schnappauf: I’ve been with the show all the four seasons, however, I came in toward the end of the first season. I think episode twenty. So right at the end kind of filling in for her old double [Ky Furneaux].

LD: What are your favorite types of stunts?

HS: I love to fight. My main background was fighting. This, sword fighting, was not something I grew up with, but definitely something I picked up on the way and trained a little bit. But fighting, which includes all the falling that we do—getting thrown around—I started at such a young age that I got thrown around a lot when I was in karate as a kid, moving into college years. But I really do love all the hard hits and driving. I’ve been doing stunts driving now for about eight years. So yeah, anything where I’m maybe flying through some glass or getting thrown out of a car, I totally dig it! Any of that.

LD: Have you ever had any major injuries?

HS: I’ve had a few. Biggest injury was not on Blindspot, actually it was right before I got on Blindspot. I was recovering from my biggest injury which was I was doing a high fall and there was faulty landing equipment, it was nobody’s fault, just a one in a billion chance I ended up injuring my neck pretty badly. I was out for about ten months from work, which was a really big bummer actually. And the doctor—I was in the ER from that injury and with you know, on morphine and valium and a neck brace and tears coming out of my eyes—the doctor’s like ‘Oh I guess this is gonna put a damper on your career’ and I’m like ‘Yeah, I really know what I’m going to do next time so I don’t hurt myself’ and he’s like ‘Next time?! Are you nuts?!’…I’m like ‘Well, yeah, I’m just bummed that it’s gonna be a while!’ So that was my most devastating injury. Everyone wanted to cut me open, everyone wanted to do surgery, they wanted to replace my disc, or fuse my spine and all this stuff…I kind of basically talked to doctors until I got the answer I wanted and then I found more doctors to support that.

LD: As a viewer, what are some of your favorite films or tv shows for stunts?

HS: Um…Blindspot? [laughs]…Oh, I really like Supergirl, is that WB? I do like Supergirl. I’m not gonna lie, I don’t watch a lot of TV because I work and I sleep and I try to watch Blindspot. But I do, actually, this new season of Iron Fist is probably my favorite bit of action on tv or Netflix…Blacklist, I love Blacklist. They just have such a variety of stunts on that show. And Game of Thrones. Come on, man, you can’t deny that setting like seventy five stunt people on fire is NOT cool. From a DRAGON. It’s insane.

LD: There’s a faction out there that is pushing for a Best Stunts category at the Academy Awards, how do you feel about that?

HS: I think that’s a good idea since like every other category is out there. I mean, I don’t know how you’d delegate that but I think that’s a good start to just recognizing it. I don’t do stunts, obviously, to be recognized. I love it because I get to kind of be the magician of the action world of film and tv. You don’t really want to give your tricks away, you want to make it an illusion…most, some people I know anyway, don’t do it for the glory. It’s not really about that. It’s about making good work. I would love to see it so it’s recognized as an art and as you know, that magical things that happens isn’t actually magic. It’s people that are putting their bodies and their lives on the line to bring everyone a cool product. CGI just doesn’t cut it for me, man!

Blindspot season 4 premieres Friday October 12th at 8pm on NBC.

*Check out our full chats with Blindspot stars Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton!

“Genius” Red Carpet at Tribeca Film Festival

Tonight marks the premiere of the National Geographic Channel’s first ever scripted series, Genius. From director Ron Howard, Genius follows the life of Albert Einstein as portrayed in his youth by English actor Johnny Flynn and later in life by Geoffrey Rush. The first episode screened this week at the Tribeca Film Festival as part of their Tribeca TV series. The pilot seamlessly time jumped between Flynn energetically fighting to become a physicist in his own right without the rigidity of his early school and the elder Einstein beginning to encounter the rise of Nazis later in life.

I got the chance to speak with some of the actors from the series at this red carpet New York screening about their characters and how working on the series changed how they see Albert Einstein.


English actress Samantha Colley portrays Mileva Maric, a physicist and Einstein’s first wife.

Lauren Damon: How much research did you put into playing Mileva?

Samantha Colley: Quite a lot. What I focused on was their personal letters–so the personal letters between Mileva Maric and Albert Einstein but also Mileva Maric and her best friend Helene Savic. When you google Mileva Maric you see these kind of black and white pictures of someone very [Colley stiffens her back] sitting erect on a chair. It’s kind of impenetrable and she seems very severe and harsh. But actually her letters reveal her to be very vulnerable, and loving and soft and riddled with self-doubt but deeply loyal. But it was the letters I focused on.

LD: How important do you think it is that you portray a female scientist, considering the general need for more women in STEM fields?

Colley: It’s enormously important! I mean Mileva Maric is an example of one of many many many women who have been snubbed by the scientific world and their works not being properly credited. There’s a school of thought that Mileva Maric was instrumental in some of Albert Einstein’s fundamental works and never cited. So using her as an example and shedding light on her is enormously important. And I hope it does inspire girls today to go ‘yeah that’s not going to happen to me, I’m not going to let that happen.’

LD: You share your scenes primarily with Johnny Flynn, how was he to work with?

Colley: Amazing. He was one of the most generous actors I’ve ever worked with and we had a real sense of play and trust early on and it was wonderful.

Richard Topol plays fellow scientist Fritz Haber, a man instrumental in the weaponization of poisonous gas in World War I.

LD: So you play Fritz Haber–dubbed the “Father of Chemical warfare”, a pretty daunting title, how much research did you do?

Richard Topol: I did as much as I could about what we know about him and I mean I had a lot of conversations with the writers and the directors and the producers about why would somebody do that? Right? …Like if you imagined living in a country that was at war with the countries all around it and you’re running out of ammunition. And if you ran out of ammunition, your country would be taken over, what would you do?

So to me, it was like he came up with an idea and his pitch was the same pitch that Einstein, you know that the Manhattan project and everybody who invented the atomic bomb came up with which is like ‘Look, we invent this thing, we show people how scary it is, use it once, it’ll never have to be used again.’ So that’s the way I thought about it that made it less daunting to me.

LD: Did you have any misconceptions about Einstein that working on this dispelled?

Topol: I didn’t really have any strong conceptions about him so they weren’t really dispelled. But I was like oh, I was excited to know that this guy was like a kid who never wanted to grow up. So I learned some fun things about him…Also I learned he had a really complicated personal life that I had no idea. And I think that’s one of the interesting things about the show: We know about his genius, we don’t know a lot about the personal and political problems that he had to face.


Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser appears in the premiere as an officious member of the US State Department 

LD: How much more did you learn about Einstein in working on this series?

Vincent Kartheiser: I mean I think you’ll hear from a lot of these people, he was a lot more of a scoundrel than anyone ever really–at least that I know–knew. And he was just kind of…he had this ability to lock out all things around him and just focus on the work. So you know, his kid could be slapping him on the leg and his wife could be hollering at him, and the dinner could be burning and he would just focus on the equation. And I think that’s really interesting in today’s world where there’s millions of distractions for all of us and we’re all constantly trying to figure out how to deal with it. He never had to battle with that. He was just always able to focus.

LD: How was working opposite Geoffrey Rush?

Kartheiser: It was wonderful. He’s such a giving actor, and he’s phenomenal. I mean, you’d be having a conversation and he’d be like [calmly] talking about the role, talking about the scene and then they’d go ACTION! And he’d just snap right into it. Just always exploring, always finding new things during the scene, and lots of fun.

LD: Were you also playing a scientist?

Kartheiser: No no, I was playing a person who works for the state department trying to clear his Visa so he could get into the United States…His visa wasn’t something that was just rushed through. I mean relative to today. These special visas…that have been in the news, you know that is these kind of people. Albert Einstein was someone who came in on a visa because of his talent, and his ability to teach, and his ability to give back to our community here in the states. So it’s a good example of how these kind of programs and the visa system works.

Genius begins tonight at 9 on the National Geographic Channel

NYCC 2016: Adult Swim’s DREAM CORP LLC

Have you made your appointment with Dream Corp LLC yet? The mind-bending new series from creator Daniel Stessen is currently admitting new patients every Sunday night at 11:45pm on Adult Swim. Starring Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite), Stephen Merchant (“The Office”, “Hello Ladies”), Nick Rutherford (Balls Out, “Drunk History”) and a host of guest stars, the series follows a strip mall clinic that uses advanced technology to invade its patients dreams in order to solve their real life problems. At New York Comic Con this year, the Adult Swim panel was treated to the first two episodes of Dream Corp which blend live action sci-fi and trippy rotoscope animation.

Accompanying the new series to NYCC was creator Stessen with stars Gries, Rutherford and Merchant (who also serves as an executive producer on the show). I sat down with them to talk about this new addition to the Adult Swim lineup.

How did you develop Dream Corp?

Daniel Stessen: I had the concept, been developing it for a while, and created this world and kind of came over to Steve for a little guidance as to how to make it more palatable to a larger audience. Being that he has some–

Stephen Merchant and Daniel Stessen

Stephen Merchant: I think he’s being immodest–or he’s being too modest, I should say, that’s not right. Too modest. I was there as just a friend of Danny’s…to do a voice for this robot [T.E.R.R.Y] that’s in the show and inevitably whenever there’s anything creative going on, I like to start meddling, and just offering thoughts. And we started talking more and more. And it was just for me, it was something I would have done as a friend anyway…but I just thought, you know, let’s try to screw these guys for some money. (Both laugh)

Stessen: And the robot, we love the robot, he was built by Jim Henson Studios…That was one of the more validating moments of my last ten years on Earth, just getting that call that they were on board to build Terry the robot.

Merchant: There’s a really strong visual sense to the whole thing, again largely down to Danny. He’s just got an incredible visual imagination. And so you see that both in the real world–where you see this kind of twisted, eccentric sort of laboratory– and then also when you enter that dream world. And that’s done with the rotoscope animation. When you go on the set, it’s you know, it’s bits of cardboard and people with fake cardboard wings and cardboard jaws and things. All of which is going to eventually going to be animated but which only [Danny] can really see. So a lot of people I think are just stood there and like ‘you want me to what? I’m drowning in spaghetti now?’ And he’s like ‘Trust me.’ So it’s sort of extraordinary, an extraordinary kind of vibe there. Wouldn’t you say people were confused [on set]?

Stessen: It’s just, when people would walk on when we were shooting the dream world stuff, people would walk into an empty room and I would just be like ‘this is going to feel super weird, just trust me, it going to look real cool.’

Can you speak about your characters?

Nick Rutherford and Jon Gries

Nick Rutherford: I play patient 88–
Jon Gries: Nick!
Rutherford: Yeah, Nick as well, who comes to the office to work on erectile dysfunction and pretty quickly realizes that the office itself is kind of dysfunctional.
Gries: What happens is that he has to work for us because he can’t pay for his procedure
Rutherford: Yeah I can’t pay for the procedure and you think that it’s a confidence issue and I don’t have a job so you say–
Gries: A job?
Rutherford: Why don’t you work here? And I’m like this is a terrible place, but I kind of go along with the flow.
Gries: So he’s really the eyes of the audience. Because obviously he’s come into this place that is so–well from some perspectives, would be ridiculous and crazy. It’s not from my perspective.
Rutherford: It’s your life’s work.
Gries: It’s my life’s work. Dr. Roberts has this vision that this is the most transforming and necessary procedure but he’s lost his funding. So now he’s working out of a strip mall because he believes and he knows that it’s working. He knows that he’s changing people’s lives. There’s a little problem here and there but–
(Both laugh)
Rutherford: There’s a lot of problems.
Gries: There’s a couple of bugs that get worked out of the system. But it could be because the system’s really old and we haven’t had the money to update it.
Rutherford: And I think Nick, Patient 88, comes into it and kind of sees a family forming. Because everybody trusts and loves each other. Like there’s, Stephanie Allen plays Joey, his protégé–
Gries: My intern for nine years. No pay!
Rutherford: (laughs) Yeah, Nine year intern. Who loves him and obviously thinks he’s the most brilliant guy ever and he just does not give her the time of day. And Mark Proksch plays kind of the navigator of sorts, I don’t know if you know his work–
Gries: He’s amazing. And he doesn’t ever leave the building. For fifteen years he doesn’t leave the building.
Rutherford: So he’s incredible. And then [Ahmed Bharoocha] plays kind of the nurse and he’s just this big stoner who doesn’t even really care. So Everybody relies on each other in a nice way. So the meat of the story is us working together and growing together and me being thrown into this world. And it being very dangerous, but also fun. And then bringing in these amazing guest stars and throwing them into that.
Gries: He gets attacked by June Squibb at one point. She stabs him.
Rutherford: Yeah she stabs me in the neck with a a screw driver. I’m kind of like the Kenny, I get hurt a lot. (both laugh)

Have you ever had a weird celebrity dream like with [episode one guest star] Dave Coulier?

Rutherford: Yeah that was really surreal.
Gries: I did, I had a weird celebrity dream. I was very nervous, I was about to do a movie years ago and I dreamt that I was in a barbershop. And I was sitting and the man sitting in the next chair was Fred Astaire.
Rutherford: Really?
Gries: True story. And he looks at me and he goes, “Are you worried about something?” And I said “I’m just a little uncomfortable” And he said “Have fun. Just have fun.” I swear to god! And that was like two days before I started shooting Fright Night Part 2.
Rutherford: Have fun out there.

What was it like working with the rotoscope animation?

Dream Corp LLC/Adult Swim

Rutherford: It’s really fun because everything is so grand. You know it’s like now you’re falling off of a hot air balloon, or now you’re running away from your bullies in high school. So you’re playing these large characters, so you just kind of jump into it. Like, I remember thinking when I was very young and being an actor, how it must be really hard to shoot like Jurassic Park when you’re in front of a green screen and then they’re like “and THAT’S a velociraptor” and you’re like “ahhh!” I didn’t feel that at all during the production that that those scenes were difficult thing to do. Because they’re just so silly and fun and you’re wearing kind of a half costume so they can animate it later. Like I’m dressed up like Legolas–
Gries: And literally it was sometimes it was pieces of cardboard, you have cardboard on you almost like a really bad–
Rutherford: Like a play
Gries: Like a kid’s play. But you know it’s all for reference and they’re gonna draw on top of it. And the thing is, knowing how beautiful the animation is also gives you the impetus that when you’re in it, you understand what it’s going to look like, so it helps, it augments. Whatever decision or choice you’re going to make, you can go further with it because you just have that confidence behind that animation. It’s almost like ‘pay no attention to me, it wont be the real me, it will be a better me.’

Stessen: The inspiration came from working with his name’s Michael Garza [of Artbelly Productions] out of Austin, Texas. He worked on A Scanner Darkly, and then a couple other guys on the crew are Scanner Darkly. And one of the woman who was an animator on Waking Life. Which I’m a huge fan of. I saw Waking Life a while back and watched it over and over and over again. Huge inspiration. And we made a short film together that did well in festivals and kind of, we started developing that style in trying to evolve it and I think we’re pushing it forward a little bit and figuring out that we can build things out of cardboard. And make a dragon face. Because all he has to do is draw what’s there. Not that’s all he has to do–his job is to draw what’s there. So we could draw you [all] here and now you’re on a volcano, you know what I mean? So it gives us a lot of flexibility and the fact that with where we are, with little funds, we could do a ton.

What can viewers expect for the rest of the series?

Gries: Surprise after surprise after surprise. I’m not kidding you, it’s different every time!
Rutherford: Yeah it really is. I mean there’s this kind of thread of these different guest stars coming in and getting their therapy as our relationship progresses and as the interrelationships between Joey and Ahmed and…Randy–Randy’s arm gets cut off (laughs)–
Gries: There are things that happen, there’s a continuity within the core group and yet at the same time it’s absolutely ridiculous what happens–but it still stays, it still answers that continuity. And yet the people that come, the patients that come, their stories individually are so different from week to week that it just gives us a whole other area to run through.
Rutherford: yeah There’s like a couples therapy–a gay couple comes in to get like couples therapy. June squibb comes in to quit smoking but then finds out that really just she just wants to have sex.
Gries: And have a baby–and she’s never had sex in her life.
Rutherford: So Roberts appeases that in the dream world–
Gries: You know he says, it’s been a while!

Dream Corp LLC is on tonight and every Sunday on Adult Swim at 11:45pm, with the premiere episode currently streaming at AdultSwim.com

For photos from Adult Swim and many more NYCC panels, make sure to check out our Facebook page!

 

The Best Bingo Scenes in TV and Film

Bingo has seen quite the resurgence in recent times with the more traditional version of the game reappearing in land-based venues as well as in various online environments at sites like www.bingosites.uk.

Not only that but it has even begun to sneak further into the public psyche due to it featuring in some of the world most popular TV shows and even into a few films.

Take a look at some of the pastime most memorable appearances below.

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM

Larry David stars in this truly cringeworthy series where the former ‘Seinfeld’ co-creator plays a semi-fictional version of himself and ends up in the middle of some of the most socially awkward scenarios imaginable. In the season 5 episodeKamikaze Bingo’ Larry once more manages to upset and offend those around him whilst taking part in a friendly bingo game at his father’s retirement home in this hilarious scene.

BAD GRANDPA

Jackass’ star Johnny Knoxville plasters on the make-up and takes his Bad Grandpa character out on the road for his very own feature length adventure. Knoxville stars as Irving Zisman in this stunt-based semi-scripted hidden camera comedy. There are plenty of memorable scenes including one in a bingo hall where the always inappropriate Zisman does his best to flirt with the other players whilst drinking down the bingo marker fluid to everyone’s amazement.

BETTER CALL SAUL

It’s a shame that most TV and movie scenes that relate to bingo do seem to revolve around the older generation and retirement homes, however that’s once more the setting for this excellent sequence from ‘Breaking Bad’ spin-off ‘Better Call Saul’. During a partial melt down lawyer Jimmy, played by Bob Odenkirk, gets monumentally anecdotal and opinionated during his stint as bingo caller to the residents at the local retirement home, much to their bemusement.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA

The only animated scene on our list comes courtesy of family comedy ‘Hotel Transylvania’. It may be brief but is still a humorous bingo-related scene whereby the traditional game takes on a rather disturbing twist. The classic balls being spun in this macabre version of the games are replaced with miniature skulls which even manage to voice their numbers by themselves. One lucky player manages to call bingo only to have her winning card gobbled up by the heartless creature she’s unfortunate enough to sit next to.

Dean Cain talks about new film “Vendetta” and “Supergirl” TV series

I first noticed Dean Cain when he appeared in a short arc as Brenda’s boyfriend, Rick, on “Beverly Hills 90210.” Yes, I admit I used to watch that show. The next year, 1993, everyone noticed Cain when he starred opposite Terry Hatcher in the popular series “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”

Cain is a product of Hollywood. His mother, Sharon Thomas Cain, is an actress and his adoptive father is director Christopher Cain (“Young Guns,” “Pure Country”). An outstanding college running back, Cain was signed by the Buffalo Bills but injured his knee in training camp.

After “Lois and Clark” left the air he continued growing as in actor with roles on such shows as “The Division” and “Las Vegas” and in films like “Rat Race” and last year’s “God’s Not Dead.” This week, June 12, you can see him as a police detective who gets himself sent to prison in order to get revenge on the convict that murdered his wife in the new film from WWE Studios, “Vendetta,” directed by the Soska Sisters. And fans can see him throughout the television season in no less than three series, including the upcoming “Supergirl.” While shooting a new project in New York, Mr. Cain took time out to talk about his new film, his belief that “Supergirl” will fly and why you’ll never find him at a karaoke bar.

Mike Smith: What attracted you to the film “Vendetta”?
Dean Cain: The idea of someone just hell-bent on revenge in a really brutal movie to me is a no brainer! This character goes from good to bad and is hell-bent on revenge. And the other thing that really attracted me was that Jen and Sylvia Soska were directing it. They came highly recommended and they proved why they came highly recommended. It was so great to work with them. I hope they hire me again.

MS: It’s really a very change-of-pace role for you. Is that another reason you found it attractive?
DC: Actors always like to play different things. If the last film is a comedy you go do something that’s heavy duty with action. To me, the change-of-pace to play this character was great. I had been playing a character on the television show “Hit the Floor” for the past three years who’s a basketball coach and somewhat a womanizer. He’s a completely different kind of guy. So it was fun to put on the brass knuckles and get down to the nitty gritty without a doubt.

MS: Is there a role out there that you’d really like to play but no one has ever offered? Is there a musical out there with your name on it?
DC: (laughing) If I’m in a musical, that could mean the end of my career. I just cannot sing. I don’t have it. And I’m not being humble, I’m being very truthful. That is not a good look for me. If anyone even liked me remotely they wouldn’t after they heard me sing. I’ve done a Western I really enjoyed…I’ve played a lot of police officers and soldiers. I’ll play anything that tickles my fancy. I certainly don’t want to be married to just one type of character. I have two series on the air now that I play very different characters. And I host a new show called “The Masters of Illusion” on the CW that starts in a couple of weeks. On “Hit the Floor,” as I said, I play a basketball coach who’s a womanizer and in “Supergirl” I play Supergirl’s foster father, who’s a scientist. So I’m getting to try my hand at a little bit of everything.

MS: You recently wrote and directed a short film called “The Red Pill.” Do you plan on concentrating your career more on being behind the camera?
DC: I like working both in front of and behind the camera. That was a project that we put together for a competition, so we had very specific things we had to do and conform to. They asked me if I was interested in joining in and I readily agreed. That was fun. I’m finishing writing a script right now…a family project that will be fun to watch. I’d be very happy to co-direct. That would be fun. The thing about filmmaking is that you never have to choose one over the other. But directing is hard work. Acting is pretty much easier. You play your character and you can leave. You’re done. You get to move onto something else. But if you’re the director, you’re the last one out. You get to think about the project all day, all night, all the time. You have to put the thing together. There’s so much work. I’ve watched my father do it. I enjoy it but right now I don’t have the time to focus.

MS: Since you mentioned “Supergirl,” is Fred Danvers, Supergirl’s adoptive father, going to be a recurring role?
DC: Absolutely. Absolutely. I’ll be in the show as much as the producers want me. That will be a blast. I think the show is going to be a super hit. I think it’s going to be fantastic. Melissa Benoist is amazing. And if America isn’t already in love with her they soon will be. She really does a great job in the role and she’s perfectly suited for it. I think it’s going to be a smash hit. It’s very female-empowering. And it’s also fun. It’s funny and enjoyable in the same way that “Lois and Clark” had nice humor and some romance, this has all that. The same vibe. I think it’s going to catch on and do very, very well.

MS: How have the visual effects changed in the two decades since “Lois and Clark?”
DC: Man…the visual effects now are on a whole different scale. It’s amazing. It’s amazing what they can do on a television budget, because it looks like it was done for a giant feature film. The amount of effects just in the pilot episode are ridiculous. They are now able to do things so much quicker and better than we did without a doubt. It’s night and day…night and day differences. She looks cooler when she flies. Everything is cooler and better.

MS: You mentioned the film that you’re writing. Do you have any other projects planned?
DC: Oh, always (laughs). I can never just do one or two things. I’ve got the three series we talked about. And I’m just finishing shooting something here in New York that I can’t talk about yet. I’ve got a few other things but nothing I can talk about yet. You’ve got it all covered for the time being.

DVD Review “My Little Pony Tales: The Complete Classic TV Series”

Voices of: Willow Johnson, Maggie Blue O’Hara, Kelly Sheridan, Laura Harris, Venus Terzo, Brigitta Dau, Lalainia Lindbjerg, Chiara Zanni
Directors: George Arthur Bloom
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: April 28, 2015
Run Time: 285 minutes

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“My Little Pony Tales” is one of the follow up series to the original 1980’s “My Little Pony” series. It aired in 1992 though only lasted one season. This is the first time that all 26 adventures are included in one set, thanks to Shout! Factory. My daughter is a big fan of “Friendship is Magic” series of the “My Little Pony” franchise. She recently took a liking to the “My Little Pony: The Movie” DVD release, also put out by Shout!, so she was really excited to get into this series.

Official Premise: Ponyland is full of excitement, if you know where to find it, and now all of your favorite My Little Pony Tales are finally collected in one amazing set! Join the 7 Pony Friends (Starlight, Sweetheart, Melody, Bright Eyes, Patch, Clover and Bon Bon) for 13 episodes of outrageous fun! Games, picnics, ice cream shops, roller derbies and even UFOs… nothing is off-limits when it comes to grand Pony adventures!

The quality of the episodes honestly aren’t spectacular. Like the Complete Collection of the original 1980’s “My Little Pony” series, released from Shout! last year, it is really subpar quality and not terribly impressive. The colors seem very muted and lacking the charm that is brought in “Friendship in Magic” series. There are no special features included on this collection other than the 26 episodes. Still I am curious to see what Shout! has planned next for “My Little Pony”.

STARZ Reteams Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert for a New TV Series Based on Their Classic Horror Film “The Evil Dead”

STARZ RAISES THE DEAD

NETWORK RETEAMS SAM RAIMI, BRUCE CAMPBELL AND ROB TAPERT FOR A NEW TV SERIES BASED ON THEIR CLASSIC HORROR FILM THE EVIL DEAD

RAIMI TO DIRECT FIRST EPISODE OF NEW SERIES, “ASH VS. EVIL DEAD”

BRUCE CAMPBELL TO STAR AS TITLE CHARACTER, ASH

 Beverly Hills, Calif. – November 10, 2014 – Starz announced today the greenlight of the network’s next original series, the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film franchise The Evil Dead. The project reteams the original filmmakers, director Sam Raimi, with longtime producing partner Rob Tapert and star Bruce Campbell.

The STARZ Original series officially titled “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” will be 10 half-hour episodes.  Bruce Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead.  When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal.  Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.

“Starz first worked with Sam and Rob on ‘Spartacus,’ and we are thrilled to be back in business with them,” said Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director of Starz.  “With Sam writing and directing and Bruce Campbell returning to the screen, we are certain the show will give Evil Dead fans around the world the fix they’ve been craving.”

Evil Dead has always been a blast. Bruce, Rob, and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to tell the next chapter in Ash’s lame, but heroic saga.  With his chainsaw arm and his ‘boomstick,’ Ash is back to kick some monster butt. And brother, this time there’s a truckload of it,” said Sam Raimi.

“I’m really excited to bring this series to the Evil Dead fans worldwide – it’s going to be everything they have been clamoring for: serious deadite ass-kicking and plenty of outrageous humor,” said Bruce Campbell.

“STARZ has always been a great creative partner and we are excited to be working with them on this project,” said Robert Tapert.

Raimi will direct the first episode.  “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” was written by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi (Darkman, Army of Darkness, Drag Me to Hell) and Tom Spezialy (“Chuck,” “Reaper,” “Desperate Housewives”).  Sam Raimi will also serve as executive producer, along with Rob Tapert (Evil Dead, “Spartacus,” Xena: Warrior Princess”) and Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, “Burn Notice”).  Ivan Raimi will Co-Executive Produce and Aaron Lam (“Spartacus”) will serve as producer.

The original Evil Dead film followed Ash and his friends who travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release demons intent on possessing the living.  The film became an international success and is critically lauded to this day as one of the best horror movies of all time.  It also spawned a media franchise, including two sequels, as well as video games and comic books and a recent reboot that grossed $97 million worldwide.

“Ash Vs. Evil Dead” project was packaged by CAA and Craig Jacobson at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller.  Marta Fernandez will serve as the executive in charge at STARZ.

The series will air on STARZ in 2015.

Starz will retain all domestic and international multiplatform rights including television, home entertainment, and digital.

Disney Begins Production on “The Lion Guard,” an Animated Disney Junior TV Movie and Series Inspired by “The Lion King”

Disney

Disney Television Animation has begun production on “The Lion Guard,” an animated television movie and series that continues the story introduced 20 years ago in the acclaimed Disney animated film “The Lion King.” Geared towards kids age 2-7 and their families, “The Lion Guard” television movie will premiere in Fall 2015, and the subsequent series will debut in early 2016 on Disney Junior and Disney Channel.

The wildlife education experts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park will serve as consultants on “The Lion Guard” stories, which will incorporate themes of conservation, family and community while also highlighting problem-solving, creative thinking and diversity. Author and Swahili expert Sarah Mirza is the language and cultural advisor.

Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide, said, “The story of ‘The Lion King’ has deeply touched families around the world since its original theatrical release 20 years ago. We look forward to introducing a whole new generation of kids to both the Disney legacy characters and to new friends and heroes.”

“The Lion Guard” begins as Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, assumes the role of leader of the Lion Guard, a group of the bravest and brightest tasked with preserving the Pride Lands. Instead of assembling a team of young lions to serve with him, Kion challenges tradition by calling upon friends he believes are the best choices – Bunga, a fearless honey badger; Fuli, a confident cheetah; Beshte, a happy-go-lucky hippo; and Ono, an intellectual egret. Stories will include special appearances by Mufasa, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu and Kion’s older sister, Kiara, the future Queen of the Pride Lands.

Disney

“The Lion Guard” movie and series were developed by Ford Riley (“Special Agent Oso”), who also serves as executive producer. Howy Parkins (“Jake and the Never Land Pirates”) is director. Christopher Willis (“Mickey Mouse”) is the composer.

Originally released in June 1994, the Academy Award-winning animated film “The Lion King” is a Disney story with long-lasting appeal and creative interpretations across multiple Disney businesses.

The lifetime global box office total for “The Lion King” is $987.4 million; its 2011 3D re-release was #1 for its first two weeks; its Grammy Award-winning soundtrack sold over 14 million units; a Tony Award-winning musical, now in its 17th year on Broadway and with 10 productions in eight languages currently running worldwide, has been seen by over 70 million people around the globe and is the highest-grossing Broadway production in history. The North American tour and the Broadway show each surpassed $1 billion in ticket sales while global ticket sales surpassed $5 billion worldwide (from 22 productions). The Lion King is one of the biggest home entertainment titles of all time, and the direct-to-video release of “Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride” is one of the best-selling direct-to-video releases of all time. “The Lion King” franchise also includes 85 episodes of the Emmy Award-winning animated television series “The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa” andpopular attractions at Disney Parks and Resorts. Twenty years since the film’s release, “The Lion King” also continues to resonate with millions of fans who connect with the enduring story and timeless characters through a wide range of products, including nursery décor, bedding and junior fashion.

Marking the animated film’s 20th anniversary, a special edition of the soundtrack exploring the stories behind the songs will be released June 24 as part of Walt Disney Records’ Legacy Collection. An electronic dance music version of “Circle of Life,” by music producer/composer/DJ Mat Zo, is on the recently released DCONSTRUCTED, a collection of EDM remixes of classic Disney songs.