Live touring show kicks off in summer 2014, and will stop in 85 cities over its first two years
Marvel fans already are calling the company’s upcoming touring show “Marvel Universe Live!” “Cirque du Marvel.”
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Marvel used New York Comic Con to unveil the first look at its ambitious new traveling show that recalls the traveling Cirque de Soleil shows, which kicks off a two-year 85 city North American tour next summer and features special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts and martial arts. Show will hit the road as Marvel releases “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” in theaters and Sony sends out “Amazing Spider-Man 2.”
“We’ve started extensive R&D, design work, and for all of you I’d like to present a Comic Con exclusive, the first look at the making of Marvel Universe Live,” said Juliette Feld, executive VP and producer with Feld Entertainment, at the fanfest, which wrapped Sunday. “This touring event will be the most technically advanced live show to date, and will bring the Marvel Universe and its bigger-than-life superheroes and super villains to life before a live audience for the first time,” she added in a separate statement.
Directed by Shanda Sawyer (“Rock ‘N Reality Special”), the production will feature 25 characters in an original storyline, penned by Adam Wilson (“What’s Important is Feeling: Stories,” “Flatscreen: A Novel”) and Melanie Wilson LaBracio.
Show is produced by Kenneth and Juliette Feld of Feld Entertainment, best known for staging live events like “Disney On Ice” and “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.” Its shows attract 30 million people each year in more than 70 countries.
In July, Feld tapped The Cimarron Group, best known for creating campaigns for film studios, to oversee the marketing efforts for “Marvel Universe Live!”
But Cimarron wound up closing its doors two months later, ending a 32-year-run as one of Hollywood’s top marketing shops — and forcing Marvel to rethink how it’s promoting its new show. The logo, teaser and behind-the-scenes look at New York Comic Con kicks off the event’s campaign.
To produce the show, Feld has been working closely with Marvel’s chief creative officer Joe Quesada, who said “The way in which they will be bringing the Marvel Universe to life is truly mesmerizing.”
Andy Armstrong (“Thor: The Dark World”) serves as the show’s stunt coordinator, while the set is designed by Joe Stewart (“The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” and “The Magic of David Copperfield”), with costumes created by Cynthia Nordstrom, a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey vet. Norm Schwab (Imagine Dragons ‘Night Moves’ Tour) and Bob Bonniol (Universal Orlando’s “Blue Man Group”) round out the team as lighting designer and video content and system designer, respectively.
Marvel has also introduced a teaser trailer for the production.
Marvel’s show is the latest attempt by a major Hollywood player to launch a touring stage production after Fox and DreamWorks Animation have launched shows around “Ice Age” and “How to Train Your Dragon,” and WB’s “Batman Live” and “Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries.”
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