The Force is strong with Canada’s University of New Brunswick — or is it? Deep in the school’s archives, what appears to be an original shooting script for Star Wars has been discovered by librarian Kristian Brown. According to the CBC, Brown had been sorting through the science fiction archives when he discovered what he thought was a “unique-looking item.” Bound in blue paper and stamped with the Lucasfilm Industries imprimatur is a fourth edition of a revised script dated March 15, 1976 — more than a year before the release of the first Star Wars movie. Per the CBC, Lucasfilm Publicity said the script appears to be a copy of the real thing but is likely to have been a fan-made replica version of the sort once sold at conventions. In the recently uncovered copy, Luke Skywalker is referred to as Luke Starkiller, which was the original surname of the protagonist from Tatooine. The ‘Han Shot First’ theory also gets support from the version Brown uncovered. Referring to the iconic scene in the Mos Eisley cantina that includes a meeting between Han Solo and bounty hunter Greedo, Brown told the CBC, “Based on the script, I can tell you 100%, Han shot first.” As far as how the script arrived in Saint John, Brown believes it was acquired by a previous librarian in the 1990s. The university now plans to put it on display – fine timing before The Force Awakens in December.
Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products has appointed two new international licensing executives charged with accelerating growth of the company’s presence in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as Latin America. Sandra Vauthier-Cellier will be SVP overseeing the EMEA territories and Marina Lum-Kang joins as executive director of Lat Am territories. Vauthier-Cellier comes to FCP after nearly 20 years in the consumer products industry for global brands including Coca-Cola, Harley Davidson, Ford, Andy Warhol and Crayola. Her responsibilities will include overseeing FCP’s London office as well as oversight of all agency activities in EMEA. Lum-Kang’s responsibilities include management of agency relationships for licensing, merchandising and promotions; she will also drive the strategy for all FCP initiatives in the territory. Her credits include having worked both internationally and domestically for such companies and brands as Marvel Entertainment, Warner Bros., Sony Entertainment and ITV Studios.
ITV2 has ordered two series of The Almost Impossible Game Show from the UK’s Initial. The comedy game show sees 10 contestants pit themselves against incredibly simple yet confounding physical challenges — so tough that they are given 50 attempts to complete just five of them. The primetime hourlong series will each run in six parts. Shooting starts this summer for air later this year. The Almost Impossible Game Show will be produced by Initial, part of Endemol Shine Group. In other Endemol Shine news, the company has sealed a deal with Hulu for seasons one and two of Mr Bean: The Animated Series to stream on the service in the U.S. Already licensed in over 70 territories, the comedy is targeted at all ages and follows the daily trials and tribulations of Mr Bean as he stumbles from one mishap to the next. The Tiger Aspect production is voiced by the original Mr Bean, Rowan Atkinson.
Glasgow-based Distrify Media has secured a Series A investment of $1M led by ESM Investments. The funding will support the VOD platform’s development and expansion which includes a landmark deal to launch an international Chinese VOD portal and to distribute locally produced films internationally. Distrify is the first European VOD company to enter a distribution deal with the Middle Kingdom’s CNTV and its digital arm Future TV. The deal will see Distrify technology deliver over 1.5M hours of Future TV content online. Distrify also gains a permanent Chinese base at the headquarters of Future TV in Tianjin, expanding its current workforce beyond Glasgow and Tel Aviv.