Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe Inc. is a chain of theme restaurants founded in 1971 by Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton in London. In 1979, the cafe began covering its walls with rock and roll memorabilia, a tradition which expanded to others in the chain. In 2007, Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc. was sold to the Seminole Tribe of Florida and was headquartered in Orlando, Florida until April 2018 when the corporate offices were relocated to Davie, Florida. As of July 2018, Hard Rock International has venues in 74 countries, including 185 cafes, 25 hotels, 12 casinos; the first Hard Rock Cafe opened on 14 June 1971 at Old Park Lane, London, under the ownership of young Americans Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton. Hard Rock had an eclectic decor, but it started to display memorabilia; the chain began to expand worldwide in 1982 with locations in Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Berlin. Hard Rock Cafe locations in the United States vary from smaller, more tourist driven markets to large metropolises.
Hard Rock Cafe does not franchise cafe locations in the United States. All US cafes are corporate owned and operated, except for cafes in Tampa and Four Winds New Buffalo casino. However, in the transition of the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel property owned and later sold to Rank by founder Peter Morton, Morton retained hotel naming rights west of the Mississippi; when Morton sold his Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel to the Morgans Hotel Group, he sold those naming rights, which gave rise to two US franchised hotels in Albuquerque and Tulsa. The Albuquerque hotel no longer pays for the Hard Rock rights and reverted to its former name in June 2013. More hotels franchised from Morgan's are planned for Sioux Vancouver. In 1990, The Rank Group, a London-based leisure company, acquired Mecca Leisure Group and continued expansion of the concept in its geographic territory. Rank went on to purchase Hard Rock America from Peter Morton as well as Hard Rock Canada from Nick Bitove. After the completion of these acquisitions, Rank gained worldwide control of the brand.
In March 2007, the Seminole Tribe of Florida acquired Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc. and other related entities from Rank for US$965 million. In 2008, anonymous members of the wait staff criticized the business because of its practice of paying them less than half the official minimum wage in the UK, with the business allocating tips to staff to bring their salaries within the law. Most customers, it was argued, do not realize that they are subsidizing a low wage when they give the tip. HRC is known for its collection of rock-and-roll memorabilia; the cafes solicit donations of music memorabilia but purchase a number of items at auctions around the world, including autographed guitars, costumes from world tours and rare photographs. The collection began in 1979 with an un-signed Red Fender Lead II guitar from Eric Clapton, a regular at the first restaurant in London. Clapton wanted management to hang the guitar over his regular seat in order to lay claim to that spot, they obliged; this prompted Pete Townshend of The Who to give one of his guitars un-signed with the note "Mine's as good as his!
Love, Pete." Hard Rock's archive includes over 80,000 items, is the largest private collection of Rock and Roll memorabilia in the world. Marquee pieces from the collection were displayed in a Hard Rock museum named "The Vault" in Orlando, Florida from January 2003 until September 2004. After the closure, items were disbursed to various restaurant locations; the London Vault remains open and free to visitors, located in the retail Rock Shop of the original cafe. The Hard Rock Café is in possession of a Bedford VAL 6 axle coach used in the 1967 film The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour; the vehicle was refurbished after filming. It is displayed in the US, but makes regular appearances in events in the UK at the original Hard Rock Cafe in London. In 2001, a competition was run to win the actual bus, but it was never given away and remained with the cafe. In 1995, Peter Morton spent $80 million to open the Hard Rock Hotel near the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. A subsequent $100 million expansion in 1999 nearly doubled the hotel's capacity.
In May 2006, Morton sold the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas to Morgans Hotel Group for $770 million, including the rights to the Hard Rock Hotel brand west of the Mississippi, including Texas, California and Vancouver, British Columbia. The hotel began another expansion in 2007 at a cost of $750 million; the project added 875 rooms in expanded meeting space. In March 2011, Morgans surrendered control of the property to partner Brookfield Asset Management, citing the high debt on the property in the face of the economic downturn. In April 2018, the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas was sold to Richard Branson with plans to renovate the property under the Virgin Hotels brand. Today, the Seminole Tribe of Florida owns and operates all units except the Las Vegas, Sioux City and Vancouver properties. In 2004, Hard Rock International and Sol Melia Hotels and Resorts launched Lifestar Hoteles España SL, a joint venture that intended to manage Europe's first Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid, but it was never opened as a Hard Rock property upon the dissolution of the joint venture in 2007.
The other joint venture hotels are in Chicago, New York, San Diego. Hard Rock operates hotels and resorts in Orlando, Florida.
Robert Francis Vaughn was an American actor noted for his stage and television work. His best-known television roles include suave spy Napoleon Solo in the 1960s series The Man from U. N. C. L. E.. He appeared in the British soap opera Coronation Street as Milton Fanshaw, a love interest for Sylvia Goodwin between January and February 2012. In film, he portrayed quiet, skittish gunman Lee in The Magnificent Seven, Major Paul Krueger in The Bridge at Remagen, the voice of Proteus IV, the computer villain of Demon Seed, Walter Chalmers in Bullitt, Ross Webster in Superman III, General Woodbridge in The Delta Force, war veteran Chester A. Gwynn in The Young Philadelphians, which earned him a 1960 Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Robert Vaughn was born on November 22, 1932 in New York City, to Gerald Walter Vaughn, a radio actor, his wife, Marcella Frances, a stage actress, his parents divorced, Vaughn lived with his grandparents in Minneapolis while his mother traveled and performed.
After high school, he enrolled in the University of Minnesota as a journalism major. However, he moved to Los Angeles with his mother, he studied at Los Angeles City College transferred to Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences, earning a master's degree in theater. He received a Ph. D. in communications from the University of Southern California in 1970. In 1972, he published his dissertation as the book Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting. Vaughn made his television debut on the November 21, 1955, "Black Friday" episode of the American television series Medic, the first of more than two hundred episodic roles through mid-2000, his first film appearance was as an uncredited extra in The Ten Commandments, playing a golden calf idolater visible in a scene in a chariot behind that of Yul Brynner. He made a guest appearance opposite Barbara Eden in a Romeo-Juliet role, in the Gunsmoke episode "Romeo", which turned out okay for the bride and groom. Vaughn's first credited movie role came the following year in the Western Hell's Crossroads, in which he played Bob Ford, the murderer of outlaw Jesse James.
Seen by Burt Lancaster in Calder Willingham's play End as a Man, Vaughn was signed with Lancaster's film company and was to have played the Steve Dallas role in Sweet Smell of Success. Vaughn appeared as Stan Gray in the episode "The Twisted Road" of the western syndicated series Frontier Doctor. Vaughn's first notable appearance was in The Young Philadelphians, receiving a nomination for both the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, he next appeared as gunman Lee in The Magnificent Seven, a role he reprised 20 years in Battle Beyond the Stars, both films adapted from filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's 1954 Japanese samurai epic, Seven Samurai. Vaughn was the last surviving member of those who portrayed The Magnificent Seven, he played a different role, Judge Oren Travis, on the 1998-2000 syndicated television series The Magnificent Seven. In the 1963-64 season, Vaughn appeared in The Lieutenant as Captain Raymond Rambridge alongside Gary Lockwood, a Marine second lieutenant at Camp Pendleton.
His dissatisfaction with the somewhat diminished aspect of the character led him to request an expanded role. During the conference, his name came up in a telephone call and he ended up being offered a series of his own — as Napoleon Solo, title character in a series to be called Solo, but which became The Man from U. N. C. L. E. After the pilot was reshot with Leo G. Carroll in the role of Solo's boss; this was the role which would make Vaughn a household name behind the Iron Curtain. Vaughn had guest-starred on Lockwood's series Follow the Sun. In 1963 he appeared in an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show as Jim Darling, a successful businessman and an old flame of Laura Petrie in the episode "It's A Shame She Married Me". From 1964 to 1968, Vaughn played Solo with Scottish co-star David McCallum playing his fellow agent, Illya Kuryakin; this production spawned a spinoff show, large amounts of merchandising, overseas theatrical movies of re-edited episodes, a sequel, The Return of the Man from U.
N. C. L. E.: The Fifteen-Years-Later Affair. In the year the series ended, Vaughn landed a large role playing Chalmers, an ambitious California politician in the film Bullitt starring Steve McQueen. In 1966, Vaughn appeared as a bachelor on the nighttime premiere of The Dating Game, he was picked for the date, a trip to London. Vaughn continued to act, in television and in B movies, he starred in two seasons of the British detective series The Protectors in the early 1970s. He appeared in two episodes of Columbo during the mid-1970s, "Troubled Waters" and "Last Salute to the Commodore"; the latter episode is one of the few in the series where the identity of the murderer is not known until the end. Vaughn won an Emmy for his portrayal of Frank Flaherty in Washington: Behind Closed Doors and during the 1980s starred with friend George Peppard in the final season of The A-Team. Vaughn played Morgan Wendell, opponent to Paul Garrett played by David Janssen in the 1978–79 miniseries Centennial. Vaughn portrayed Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, in addition to Woodrow Wilson
Guy Stuart Ritchie is an English film director, film producer and businessman, known for his crime films. He got entry-level jobs in the film industry in the mid-1990s. Ritchie went on to direct commercials. In 1995, he directed his first film, The Hard Case, a 20-minute short that impressed investors who backed his first feature film, the crime comedy Lock and Two Smoking Barrels, he directed another crime comedy, Snatch. Ritchie's other films include Revolver, RocknRolla, Sherlock Holmes, its sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and the live action remake of Disney's Aladdin. Ritchie was born in Hatfield, the second of two children of Amber and Captain John Vivian Ritchie, former Seaforth Highlanders serviceman and advertising executive. John's father was Major Stewart Ritchie, who died in France, in 1940, during World War II. John's mother was Doris Margaretta McLaughlin, daughter of Vivian Guy McLaughlin and Edith Martineau, the latter by whom she shares close common ancestors with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
The McLaughlins have a pedigree going back to King Edward I of England. Both Richie's parents remarried to prominent individuals, his father's second marriage was to Shireen Ritchie, Baroness Ritchie of Brompton, a former model and Conservative politician and life peer. From 1973 until 1980, when they divorced, Ritchie's mother was married to Sir Michael Leighton, 11th Baronet of Loton Park; as a divorcée, she is styled as Amber, Lady Leighton. Ritchie, dyslexic, was expelled from Stanbridge Earls School at the age of 15, he has claimed. In 1998, Ritchie contacted Peter Morton, of the Hard Rock Cafe chain, as a potential investor for a debut film. Morton's nephew, Matthew Vaughn, had been studying film production in Los Angeles. Peter informed Vaughn of Ritchie's new film idea, Vaughn agreed to produce. Matthew, John and Peter asked their mutual acquaintance, Trudie Styler, to invest in the production of Ritchie's second film production following his 1995 short The Hard Case, which Styler had seen and decided that co-funding the project would be a worthwhile opportunity.
The production of the film, Lock and Two Smoking Barrels, was completed in about eight months. Released in Great Britain in 1998 to positive reviews, it became an international success, it starred Nick Moran and introduced actors Jason Statham, Jason Flemyng and Dexter Fletcher to worldwide audiences, while launching a new acting career for former footballer Vinnie Jones. Ritchie was introduced to Madonna, whom he would wed, when the soundtrack for the film was issued on her Maverick Records label. In 2000 Ritchie won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. Ritchie created and produced a spin-off television series called Lock, Stock.... Ritchie's second feature film, was released in 2000. Known as Diamonds, it was another caper comedy, with a cast including Brad Pitt, Benicio del Toro and Dennis Farina, along with the returning Statham and Vinnie Jones. Similar to Lock and Two Smoking Barrels the film depicted events from different characters' perspectives: a device which became something of a trademark through many of the director's subsequent films.
It has a rating of 73% on Rotten Tomatoes as of 2015. Following his marriage to Madonna, Ritchie began focusing his filmmaking on his wife, directing her in both a music video and a short film, for the BMW films series. Ritchie's next film featuring Madonna, was a remake of the 1974 Lina Wertmüller hit Swept Away. Ritchie cast Madonna as a rich, rude socialite who, after a shipwreck, is trapped on a deserted island with a slovenly Communist sailor who humiliates her. Ritchie renamed the woman Amber Leighton after his mother; this film was both a commercial disappointment. In 2002, Ritchie conceived a hidden camera show called Swag, for Channel Five in the UK, which turned the table on criminals and opportunists by using stunts to trap them in the act, his next project in 2005, a Vegas-themed heist film entitled Revolver starring Jason Statham, was critically panned in the US and UK. In 2008, Ritchie wrote and directed RocknRolla, a more successful return to crime comedy form with an ensemble cast including Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Mark Strong, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Toby Kebbell.
It was received well with a 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. He directed in 2008 a commercial for Nike called "Take It To The Next Level", about a young Dutch footballer who signs for Arsenal, showing the progression of his career from his viewpoint, until he makes his debut for the Netherlands; the commercial features cameo appearances from some football players with music by Eagles of Death Metal. Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes was released on 25 December 2009 with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law starring as Sir Arthur Cona
Paddington is an area within the City of Westminster, in central London. First a medieval parish a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1965. Three important landmarks of the district are Paddington station, designed by the celebrated engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1847. A major project called Paddington Waterside aims to regenerate former railway and canal land between 1998 and 2018, the area is seeing many new developments. Offshoot districts are Maida Vale and Bayswater including Lancaster Gate; the earliest extant references to Padington a part of Middlesex, appear in documentation of purported 10th-century land grants to the monks of Westminster by Edgar the Peaceful as confirmed by Archbishop Dunstan. However, the documents' provenance is much and to have been forged after the 1066 Norman conquest. There is no mention of the place in the Domesday Book of 1086, it has been reasonably speculated that a Saxon settlement was located around the intersection of the northern and western Roman roads, corresponding with the Edgware Road and the Harrow and Uxbridge Roads.
A more reliable 12th-century document cited by the cleric Isaac Maddox establishes that part of the land was held by brothers "Richard and William de Padinton". In the Elizabethan and early Stuart era, the rectory and associated estate houses were occupied by the Small family. Nicholas Small was a clothworker, sufficiently well connected to have Holbein paint a portrait of his wife, Jane Small. Nicholas died in 1565 and his wife married again, to Nicholas Parkinson of Paddington who became master of the Clothworker's company. Jane Small continued to live in Paddington after her second husband's death, her manor house was big enough to have been let to Sir John Popham, the attorney general, in the 1580s, they let the building. As the regional population grew in the 17th century, Paddington's ancient Hundred of Ossulstone was split into divisions. By 1773, a contemporary historian felt and wrote that "London may now be said to include two cities, one borough and forty six antient villages... Paddington and Marybone."Roman roads formed the parish's north-eastern and southern boundaries from Marble Arch: Watling Street and.
They were toll roads in much of the 18th century and after the dismantling of the permanent Tyburn gallows "tree" at their junction in 1759 a junction now known as Marble Arch. By 1801, the area saw the start-point of an improved Harrow Road and an arm of the Grand Junction Canal. In the 19th century the part of the parish most sandwiched between Edgware Road and Westbourne Terrace, Gloucester Terrace and Craven Hill, bounded to the south by Bayswater Road, was known as Tyburnia; the district formed the centrepiece of an 1824 masterplan by Samuel Pepys Cockerell to redevelop the Tyburn Estate into a residential area to rival Belgravia. The area was laid out in the mid-1800s when grand squares and cream-stuccoed terraces started to fill the acres between Paddington station and Hyde Park. Despite this, Thackeray described the residential district of Tyburnia as "the elegant, the prosperous, the polite Tyburnia, the most respectable district of the habitable globe." Derivation of the name is uncertain.
Speculative explanations include Padre-ing-tun, Pad-ing-tun, Pæding-tun the last being the cited suggestion of the Victorian Anglo-Saxon scholar John Mitchell Kemble. There is another Paddington in Surrey, recorded in the Domesday Book as "Padendene" and associated with the same ancient family. A lord named Padda is named in the Domesday Book, associated with Suffolk. An 18th-century dictionary gives "Paddington Fair Day. An execution day, Tyburn being in the parish or neighbourhood of Paddington. To dance the Paddington frisk. Public executions were abolished in England in 1868; the Paddington district is centred around Paddington railway station. The conventional recognised boundary of the district is much smaller than the longstanding pre-mid-19th century parish; that parish was equal to the borough abolished in 1965. It is divided from a northern offshoot Maida Vale by the Regent's Canal. In the east of the district around Paddington Green it remains divided from Marylebone by Edgware Road. In the south west it is bounded by western offshoot Bayswater.
A final offshoot, rises to the north west. A lagoon created in the 1810s at the convergence of the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, the Regent's Canal and the Paddington Basin, it is an important focal point of the Little Venice area. It is reputedly named after the poet. More known as the "Little Venice Lagoon" it contains a small islet known as Browning's Island. Although Browning was thought to have coined the name "Little Venice" for this spot there are strong arguments Lord Byron was responsible. Paddington station is the iconic landmark associated with the area. In the station are statues of
Stowe School is a selective independent school in Stowe, Buckinghamshire. It was opened on 11 May 1923 with 99 schoolboys, with J. F. Roxburgh as the first headmaster; the school is a member of the Rugby Group, the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, the G20 Schools' Group. For boys only, the school is now coeducational, with some 550 boys and 220 girls; the school has been based since its beginnings at Stowe House the country seat of the Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos. Along with many of the other buildings on the school's estate, the main house is now a Grade I Listed Building and is maintained by the Stowe House Preservation Trust. Stowe School opened with its first 99 pupils aged 13, on 11 May 1923. There were two boarding Houses and Temple both in the western part of the mansion; the following term Grenville and Chandos Houses were formed in the eastern wing, with Cobham and Grafton following soon afterwards as further parts of the house were converted into accommodation and classrooms.
Chatham was the first purpose-built house, designed by the school’s first architect, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. He had been instrumental in developing a vision for saving Stowe as a new centre of learning to match its crucial role in national culture and politics of the 18th Century, he had bought Stowe Avenue in 1922 before old Etonians presented it as birthday gift to the new school in 1924. Helped by Harry Shaw, who had bought the estate the previous year, the new school succeeded in saving Stowe House and landscape gardens from demolition at their sale in October 1922; the school boasted a double foundation. Edward Montauban chaired the preparatory school committee seeking to found a new leading public school after the First World War and was the first to envisage the new school at Stowe; the finance came through the Rev. Percy Warrington and the Martyrs Memorial Trust, giving rise to the group of Allied Schools. J. F. Roxburgh was Stowe’s founding Headmaster, his aim was to produce a modern public school concentrating on the individual, without the unpleasantness of fagging or arcane names common in other schools.
Instead, he sought to instil a new ethos enthused with the beauty of Stowe’s unique environment where the best of traditional education would be tempered by liberal learning and every pupil would “know beauty when he sees it all his life”. Pupils and staff would relate in a civilized and open way, showing confidence and respect based on Christian values; such was Roxburgh’s success in developing this vision that he was recognized as a formative figure in 20th-century English education, “greater than Arnold” in Gavin Maxwell’s words, a pupil at the school. Stowe’s early success led to its rapid expansion. Walpole House was added in 1934 and the school reached 500 pupils by 1935; the art school, sports pavilion, staff housing date from this period too, when the Legal & General Company provided financial support during the recession. Stowe made rapid progress academically too. Teachers included T. H. White, author of The Once and Future King, the Marxist historian George Rudé. Among sporting feats Old Stoic Bernard Gadney captained England’s rugby team to take the triple crown in 1936, while in the early 1930s Laddie Lucas and John Langley were both national boy golf champions while still in Grenville House, helped by the golf course laid out in 1924.
Sir Robert Lorimer’s magnificent Chapel was opened in 1929 by Prince George, while in 1933, on the school’s 10th anniversary, the Prince of Wales launched the repair of the garden buildings with the restoration of the Queen’s Temple as a Music School. The Second World War saw 270 Old Stoics killed in active service. There were 242 decorations; these included the Victoria Cross for two former contemporaries in Chatham House, Major Jack Anderson and Wing Commander Leonard Cheshire, the founder of the Cheshire Homes. The school's cricket ground is used as a first class ground by Northamptonshire CCC; the Stowe Corner of Silverstone Circuit is named after the school. A Southern Railway "Schools Class" steam No. 928, built in 1934 was named after the school, is preserved at the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex. In 2016, a Daily Telegraph investigator posing as a parent of a Russian pupil was told by the school registrar that whilst pupils would always be expected to pass the entrance exam, it would help secure a place if a borderline child's parents were able to donate "about £100,000 or something like that."
There are 13 boarding houses: 4 girl houses and 1 mixed Sixth Form house. These boarding houses are named after members of the family of Duke of Buckingham and Chandos; each house has a letter assigned to it. 1923–1949: J. F. Roxburgh 1949–1958: Eric Reynolds 1958–1964: Donald Crichton-Miller 1964–1979: Robert Drayson 1979–1989: Christopher Turner 1989–2003: Jeremy Nichols 2003–: Anthony Wallersteiner Former pupils of Stowe School are known as Old Stoics. Sir Richard Branson is the President of the Old Stoic Society. Old Stoics include: Michael Alexander, prisoner of war Major Jack Anderson, recipient of Victoria Cross Lord Annan and Provost of King's College, Cambridge 3rd Earl Attlee, grandson of Clement Attlee George Barclay, Battle of Britain pilot Alexander Bernstein, Baron Bernstein of Craigweil, television executive, Labour Party member of the House of Lords Oliver Bertram, motor racing driver Richard Boston, English journalist and author John Boyd-Carpenter, Baron Boyd-Carpenter, British Conservative Party politician Sir Ri
DC Extended Universe
The DC Extended Universe is an unofficial term used to refer to an American media franchise and shared universe, centered on a series of superhero films, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and based on characters that appear in American comic books by DC Comics; the shared universe, much like the original DC Universe in comic books and the television programs, was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings and characters. The films have been in production since 2011 and in that time Warner Bros. has distributed seven films. The films are written and directed by a variety of individuals and feature large ensemble, casts. Several actors, including Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, have appeared in numerous films of the franchise, with continued appearances in sequels planned. In May 2016, DC's chief creative officer Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. executive vice president Jon Berg were appointed to co-run the DC Films division and oversee creative decisions and story-arcs in order to create a cohesive overarching plot within the films.
In January 2018, Walter Hamada was appointed the president of DC Films. The first film in the DCEU was Man of Steel in 2013, followed by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad in 2016, Wonder Woman and Justice League in 2017, Aquaman in 2018, Shazam! in 2019. The franchise will continue with scheduled release dates for Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman 1984 in 2020, The Batman, The Suicide Squad and The Flash in 2021, Aquaman 2 in 2022. A multitude of other projects are in various stages of development; the series has grossed over $5.13 billion at the global box office, making it the ninth highest-grossing film franchise of all time. However, the DCEU has experienced uneven critical reception. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Justice League were poorly received, while Man of Steel and Aquaman received average reviews. Conversely, Wonder Woman and Shazam! were met with critical praise. In 2002, Wolfgang Petersen was set to direct a Batman vs. Superman film from a script by Akiva Goldsman.
Warner Bros. canceled development to focus on individual Superman and Batman projects after J. J. Abrams submitted another draft for Superman: Flyby. In February 2007, Warner Bros. hired husband and wife duo Michele and Kieran Mulroney to write a script for a Justice League film. Christian Bale, who starred as Batman in Batman Begins, was not approached to reprise the role, nor was Brandon Routh, who starred as Superman in Superman Returns. George Miller was hired to direct the film titled Justice League Mortal, with Armie Hammer cast as Batman, D. J. Cotrona as Superman, Adam Brody as Flash, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, Common as Green Lantern, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter and Jay Baruchel as Maxwell Lord; the project was put on indefinite hold in January 2008, after failing to secure tax breaks for filming in Australia, as well as the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike preventing progress on the script. In 2013, a reboot of the Superman franchise, Man of Steel, was set to lay the groundwork for future DC films.
The film contained references to other characters in the DC Universe, so if it were a success, it could launch a shared universe. Days before Man of Steel's release in June, it was reported that director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer would be returning for a sequel, being fast-tracked by Warner Bros. In July, at San Diego Comic-Con, it was revealed that the sequel would include Batman in a main role, thus establishing the shared universe. In October 2014, Warner Bros. announced a slate of ten DC films. While the rival Marvel Cinematic Universe includes television productions, the DC's new crossover film series is a shared continuity for films. Several television series featuring DC characters and storylines have their own shared continuity referred to as the Arrowverse. DC's chief creative officer Geoff Johns explained DC's difference in approach to Marvel Studios and their cinematic universe, saying, "We look at it as the multiverse. We have our TV universe and our film universe.
For us, creatively, it’s about allowing everyone to make the best possible product, to tell the best story, to do the best world. Everyone has a vision and you want to let the visions shine through... It's just a different approach." In June 2015, Warner Bros. president of creative development Greg Silverman expanded on DC's approach to their cinematic universe, saying, "We... take these beloved characters and put them in the hands of master filmmakers and make sure they all coordinate with each other. You'll see the difference when you see... the things that we are working on."In May 2016, following criticism of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. established a DC Films division with Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. executive vice president Jon Berg as its heads, which oversees production to form a cohesive creative direction for the franchise. DC Films will not be autonomous, with Johns reporting to DC president Diane Nelson and Berg reporting to Silverman. Charles Roven was moved from his day-by-day producer role on future DC films, which he had served since 2005's Batman Begins, to an administrative executive producer role.
In December, Silverman was ousted from his role in Warner Bros. and Toby Emmerich was promoted to president and chief content officer, in his place. By January 2017, Johns and Berg reported to Emmerich. Following the financial and critical success of Wonder Woman in June 2017, Johns stated that moving forward the films will focus on the heart, hope and optimism of the characters. DC decided to begin deemphasizing the shared na
Mark Millar is a Scottish comic book writer, best known for his work on The Authority, The Ultimates, Marvel Knights Spider-Man, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Civil War, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Chrononauts and Kick-Ass, the latter seven of which have been, or are planned to be, adapted into feature films. His DC Comics work includes Superman: Red Son. At Marvel Comics he created The Ultimates, selected by Time magazine as the comic book of the decade, described by screenwriter Zak Penn as a major inspiration for The Avengers movie. Millar created Wolverine: Old Man Logan and Civil War, Marvel's two biggest-selling graphic novels. Civil War was the basis for the Captain America: Civil War film and Old Man Logan was the inspiration for Fox's Logan film. Millar has been an executive producer on all of his films, for four years worked as a creative consultant to Fox Studios on their Marvel slate of films. In 2017, Netflix bought Millar's comic line, which Millar and his wife Lucy will continue to run.
Millar was born 24 December 1969 in Scotland. His parents were born in Coatbridge, Millar spent the first half of his life in the town's Townhead area, attending St Ambrose High, he has four older brothers, one older sister, who are 22, 20, 18, 16 and 14 years older than him, respectively. His brother Bobby, who today works at a special needs school, introduced him to comics at age 4 while attending university by taking him to shops and purchasing them for him. Still learning to read, Millar's first comic was the seminal The Amazing Spider-Man #121, which featured the death of Gwen Stacy, he purchased a Superman comic that day as well. Black and white reprinted comics purchased by his brothers for him would follow, cementing his interest in the medium so much that Millar drew a spider web across his face with indelible marker that his parents were unable to scrub off in time for his First Communion photo a week later. Millar has named Alan Moore and Frank Miller as the two biggest influences on his career, characterizing them as "my Mum and Dad."
Other writers he names as influences include Grant Morrison, Peter Milligan, Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis. More recent writers that have impressed him include Scott Snyder. Millar's mother died of a heart attack at age 64, when Millar was 14, his father died four years aged 65. Although Millar enjoyed drawing comics, he was not permitted to go to art school because his family frowned upon such endeavours as a waste of time for the academic Millar, who studied subjects like chemistry and advanced maths, he planned to be a doctor, subsequently decided that becoming an economist would be a viable alternate plan, but decided that he "couldn't quite hack it" in that occupation. He attended Glasgow University to study politics and economics, but dropped out after his father's death left him without the money to pay his living expenses; when Millar was 18, he interviewed writer Grant Morrison, doing his first major American work on Animal Man, for a fanzine. When he told Morrison that he wanted to be both a writer and an artist, Morrison suggested that he focus on one of those career paths, as it was hard to be successful at both, which Millar cites as the best advice he has received.
Millar's first job as a comic book writer came when he was still in high school, writing Trident's Saviour with Daniel Vallely providing art. Saviour combined elements of religion and superhero action. During the 1990s, Millar worked on titles such as Sonic the Comic and Crisis. In 1993, Grant Morrison and John Smith created a controversial eight-week run on 2000 AD called The Summer Offensive, it was during this run that Morrison wrote their first major story together, Big Dave. Millar's British work brought him to the attention of DC Comics, in 1994 he started working on his first American comic, Swamp Thing; the first four issues of Millar's run were co-written by Grant Morrison, allowing Millar to settle into the title. Although his work brought some critical acclaim to the ailing title, the book's sales were still low enough to warrant cancellation by the publisher. From there, Millar spent time working on various DC titles co-writing with or under the patronage of Morrison as in the cases of his work on JLA, The Flash and Aztek: The Ultimate Man, working on unsuccessful pitches for the publisher.
In 2000, Millar replaced Warren Ellis on The Authority for DC's Wildstorm imprint. Millar announced his resignation from DC in 2001, though his miniseries Superman: Red Son was printed in 2003. In 2001, Millar launched Ultimate X-Men for Marvel Comics' Ultimate Marvel imprint; the following year he collaborated with illustrator Bryan Hitch on The Ultimates, the Ultimate imprint's equivalent of The Avengers. Millar's work on The Ultimates was adapted into two Marvel Animated Features and the subsequent 2012 Hollywood box office smash The Avengers In 2006, joined by artist Steve McNiven, began writing the Marvel miniseries Civil War, the book formed the basis for the film Captain America: Civil War. In 2009 Millar wrote the "Old Man Logan" storyline which appeared in the Wolverine series and was set in a possible future, this book was adapted by 20th Century Fox in 2017's film Logan. In 2004, Millar launched a creator-owned line called Millarworld that published independently owned comic-books, with ownership split 50/50 between Millar and the collaborating artist.
The first book under the Millarworld brand was Wanted, which subsequently became a Hollywood film in 2008 starring Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman. Millar created and wrote Kick-Ass in 2008, adapted into another Hollywood fi