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‘The Marvels,’ The Last Link In The Long Chain Of Marvel’s Commercial Nonsense

Brie Larson won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film Room (2015). She also has a handful of other interesting credits on her CV. And yet, the performer — who plays Captain Marvel — is the latest victim of the lack of control that reigns at Marvel Studios, which is plagued by exorbitant budgets, low-quality series and audience fatigue.

The premiere of The Marvels — the sequel to Captain Marvel (2019) — already smells of failure, with box office projections in the United States close to previous disasters faced by the company, such as Eternals (2021) or the third installment of Ant-Man (2023). If, a few weeks ago, it was expected that The Marvels would pull in around $75 to $80 million during its opening weekend, experts have recently lowered the projections to around $60 million… three times less than the revenue for Captain Marvel.

So what’s happening at Marvel Studios? Has Kevin Feige — the company’s president — lost his magic touch?

Every morning since July of 2016, Larson has woken up to furious attacks on social media from Marvel fans railing against her being cast as Carol Danvers… better known by her nom de guerre, Captain Marvel. Still, she managed to prove herself: when she starred in the 2019 film, it earned a total of more than $1.1 billion at the box office. However, the four weeks of additional shooting that she had to do this past summer to complete The Marvels (which began filming in April of 2021 and was supposed to have wrapped in May of 2022) and the continued wear-and-tear caused by sexist attacks have meant that her continuity in the saga isn’t guaranteed.

Iman Vellani (Ms. Marvel), Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), Teyonah Parris (Monica Rambeau), 'The Marvels'.From left, Iman Vellani (Ms. Marvel), Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) and Teyonah Parris (Captain Monica Rambeau), in ‘The Marvels.’ Laura Radford (Laura Radford)

The worst thing is that The Marvels isn’t a bad movie. It brings together three main characters who have charisma. In addition to Captain Marvel, there is Ms. Marvel — the studio’s first Muslim heroine, who, in her daily life, is named Kamala Khan and is a teenager of Pakistani descent from New Jersey — and Monica Rambeau, a family friend of Captain Marvel. When they interact on-screen, they’re a lot of fun. They’re also very convincing in the action sequences.

The script, however, is quite another thing. It’s a bunch of nonsense concocted by second-rate writers from Marvel Studios. The main villain is played by Zawe Ashton, the wife of Tom Hiddleston (best known for his role as Loki). Neither a boring war between the alien races Kree and Skull, nor the fake science that is thrown around in the dialogue are enough to help along the plot. The trio deserved better.

Between the pandemic and the subsequent rush to produce, The Marvels, Thor: Love and Thunder (released in July 2022) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (released on February 17) were filmed simultaneously. The Marvels was shot between Jersey and Los Angeles. The delay has been extensive: after the fourth change to the release date, during post-production, the director — Nia DaCosta — moved to London to begin pre-production on a film based on Hedda Gabler, a play written by Ibsen (although filming didn’t start due to the actors’ strike).

In the promotional tour over the past few days, DaCosta has assured the press that Disney — the owner of Marvel Studios since 2009 — knew she had to move on to the next film, since she had been working on The Marvels for two-and-a-half years. She also claims to have participated in the post-production virtually, from the British capital. But she didn’t do the reshoots, nor has she denied her frustration with the project, as she noted in an interview with Vanity Fair: “It was really great to play in this world (Marvel), and to be a part of building this big world… but it made me just want to build my own world more.”

At Marvel Studios, the filmmaker’s freedom is limited, given the monstrous machinery of the company and the fact that — above all — the post-production (which is loaded with digital effects) can alter the entire plot. The film’s duration — one hour and 45 minutes, making it the shortest-ever Marvel film — and the physical changes observed in some of the actors further emphasize this.

Nia DaCosta, The MarvelsNia DaCosta, during the filming of ‘The Marvels.’Laura Radford (Laura Radford)

At the beginning of 2020, Brie Larson mentioned DaCosta’s name in a text message to her friend Tessa Thompson, a fellow Marvel actress who is also close to DaCosta (and will star in Hedda). Larson thought that DaCosta would be great to direct the sequel to Captain Marvel. The filmmaker — who was only 30-years-old at the time — had directed a contemporary Western co-starring Thompson (Little Woods) and was in the midst of producing Candyman (2021), which would make her the first Black female director to debut a movie in the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office. In fact, The Marvels’ best camera movements are influenced by the style of Candyman.

In the last change that was made to the release date (it was scheduled for this past June),

Marvel Studios took the opportunity to film new sequences, so as to shed some more light on the story. This is according to anonymous members of the team who spoke to various American media outlets. Variety suggests that Larson wants to leave the character behind, after the chaotic filming process and the misogynistic attacks from fans. “[Marvel Studios] put Brie Larson in [a prominent place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe]. I don’t know if Brie Larson was the wrong person for the role necessarily. But the toxic backlash means that Brie Larson doesn’t want to play Carol Danvers anymore,” Joanna Robinson said on The Watch podcast a few weeks ago. And Robinson knows what she’s talking about: she’s the co-author of the book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, where she writes that Kevin Feige believes that the saga still has a long way to go.

Teyonah Parris, Monica RambeauTeyonah Parris, as Captain Monica Rambeau.Marvel Studios (Courtesy of Marvel Studios)

Marvel executives — led by Feige — are facing a number of challenges on multiple fronts.

There’s little confidence in The Marvels, box office revenue has gradually been declining across the board and the second season of Loki has made a limited impact on the Disney+ streaming platform.

Jonathan Majors — the great villain in the show — was arrested for assault and domestic violence this past April. His trial is this month. While he assures the public that he’s innocent, his presence as the archenemy Kang the Conqueror in the MCU isn’t confirmed. Meanwhile, the fifth installment of Avengers is scheduled for 2026.

After 32 films from Marvel over the last 15 years (The Marvels is the 33rd), the public may be exhausted of the saga. Overall, the movies have pulled in nearly $30 billion from the global box office. After squeezing out unattractive material to fill the Disney+ platform with content, things got even more difficult during the pandemic, with viewers demanding more series. The company made the decision that, between the Marvel movies, there would always be a related show to watch… meaning that there wouldn’t be a day without Marvel. However, given the massive budgets that the executives are managing (The Marvels cost about $270 million), the pressure to get sufficient financing moving forward is high. One problem is that the projects such as Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (both from 2021) didn’t attract large audiences.

Feige believes heavily in post-production: specifically, the idea that, with digital effects, you can resolve errors in the script. But with so much material in the works — and with so many delayed release dates — those special effects falter. As pointed out by Variety, due to the rush in Ant-Man and the Wasp, there were at least 10 sequences in which the additions were out of focus. Funnily enough, because of those 14-hour-long workdays (and the success of the strikes held by screenwriters and actors) the special effects technicians finally founded their own union this past September.

From the parent company, Disney, there’s also little positive news. Bob Iger came out of retirement in November of 2022 to once again assume the position of CEO, in an attempt to save the company from financial losses. After a year in the position — and after a summer in which Barbie and Oppenheimer swept the world (neither film belongs to the century-old Disney empire) — Igor hasn’t lived up to expectations. We’ll now have to see if Wish — Disney’s upcoming animated film — can move the new generations.

Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, The MarvelsBrie Larson and Iman Vellani in ‘The Marvels.’ Laura Radford (Laura Radford)

So, given all these issues, was this year’s box office phenomenon — a stupendous $845 million worldwide, for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 — a mirage? Or was it the talent of its director, James Gunn, who now leads the competition over at DC Studios? In a hopeful sign for Disney, Variety is predicting the rebirth of the X-Men, once they’re brought into the MCU. But first, Marvel must decide whether to finally sever all ties with Jonathan Majors. And we’ll also have to see if Deadpool 3 works out, which — due to the actors’ strike — has seen its premier postponed until May of 2024.

There’s also the reboot of Blade, who will be played by Mahershala Ali (although the film, which was supposed to be released this year, doesn’t even have a definitive script yet). Disney has also wrapped some series — maybe they’ll succeed? Meanwhile, other rumors suggest the return of the original Avengers, which would imply the resurrection of Iron Man and Black Widow. However, in times of economic hardship, perhaps the $25 million that Robert Downey Jr. charges per film to play Tony Stark is a bit pricey… something that cannot be solved, even with digital effects.

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Choco: Revolutionizing The FoodTech Industry With Innovation & Sustainability | EU20

By Clint Bailey

— In the rapidly evolving world of food technology, European startup Choco has emerged as a pioneering force. With its website,, this Berlin-based company is transforming the way food industry professionals operate by leveraging innovative digital solutions. By linking restaurants, distributors, suppliers, and producers on a single platform, Choco is streamlining the supply chain process while promoting sustainability.

Let’s explore the journey of and its impact on the overall foodtech industry.

  1. Company: Choco Technologies GmbH
  2. Website:
  3. Head Office: Berlin, Germany
  4. Year Established: 2018
  5. Founders: Choco was co-founded by Daniel Khachab, Julian Hammer, and Rogerio da Silva.
  6. Industry: Choco operates in the foodtech industry, specifically focusing on digitizing the supply chain for the food industry.
  7. Funding: Choco has secured significant funding rounds from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners & Coatue Management.
  8. Market Presence: Choco has a strong presence in several European cities, including Berlin, Paris, London & Barcelona.
  9. Mission: Choco aims to revolutionize the food industry by leveraging technology to simplify supply chain management, promote sustainability, and reduce food waste.

Simplifying Supply Chain Management

One of the core focuses of Choco is to simplify supply chain management for food businesses. Traditionally, the procurement process in the food industry has been cumbersome and inefficient, with numerous intermediaries and manual processes. Choco’s digital platform replaces the traditional paper-based ordering system, allowing restaurants and suppliers to communicate and collaborate seamlessly.

Choco’s platform enables restaurants to place orders directly with suppliers, eliminating the need for phone calls, faxes, or emails. This not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of errors and miscommunications.

By digitizing the ordering process, Choco improves transparency, making it easier for restaurants to compare prices, track deliveries, and manage inventory efficiently.

Streamlining Operations For Suppliers & Producers

Choco’s impact extends beyond restaurants. The platform also provides suppliers and producers with valuable tools to streamline their operations. By digitizing their product catalogs and integrating them into the Choco platform, suppliers can showcase their offerings to a wide network of potential buyers.

Suppliers benefit from increased visibility, enabling them to reach new customers and expand their market presence. Moreover, Choco’s platform helps suppliers manage their inventory, track orders, and plan deliveries effectively. These features enhance operational efficiency, reduce waste, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable food system.
YouTube Channel

Promoting Sustainability & Reducing Food Waste

Choco recognizes the critical importance of sustainability in the food industry. According to the United Nations, approximately one-third of the world’s food production goes to waste each year. By digitizing the supply chain and enabling more efficient ordering and inventory management, Choco actively works to combat this issue.

Air France – Deals & Destinations

Choco’s platform facilitates data-driven decision-making for restaurants, suppliers, and producers. By analyzing purchasing patterns & demand, Choco helps businesses optimize their inventory levels, reducing overstocking and minimizing food waste. Additionally, Choco supports local sourcing, enabling businesses to connect with nearby suppliers & promote sustainable, community-based practices.

Expanding Reach & Impact

Since its founding in 2018, Choco has experienced rapid growth and expansion. The startup has successfully secured significant funding rounds, allowing it to scale its operations and establish a strong presence across Europe and other global markets. Today, Choco’s platform is used by thousands of restaurants and suppliers, revolutionizing the way they operate.

Choco’s impact extends beyond operational efficiency or sustainability. By connecting restaurants, suppliers & producers on a single platform, Choco fosters collaboration & encourages the exchange of ideas. This collaborative approach strengthens the overall foodtech ecosystem and creates a supportive community of like-minded aiming to drive positive change within the industry.

Future Of FoodTech

Choco’s rise to prominence in the foodtech industry exemplifies the reach of sustainability, innovation, and community. Through its user-friendly platform, Choco simplifies supply chain management, streamlines operations for restaurants & suppliers, and actively promotes sustainable practices. By harnessing the potential of digital, Choco is disrupting the future of the food industry, making it more efficient and transparent.

As Choco continues to expand its impact and reach, its transformative influence on the foodtech sector is set to inspiring, grow other startups, and established players to embrace technology for a better and more sustainable food system.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— Compiled by Clint Bailey | Team ‘Voice of EU’
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The Hat Worn By Napoleon Bonaparte Sold For $2.1 Million At The Auction

A faded felt bicorne hat worn by Napoleon Bonaparte sold for $2.1 million at an auction on of the French emperor’s belongings.

Yes, that’s $2.1 million!!

The signature broad, black hat, one of a handful still in existence that Napoleon wore when he ruled 19th-century France and waged war in Europe, was initially valued at 600,000 to 800,000 euros ($650,000-870,000). It was the centerpiece of Sunday’s auction collected by a French industrialist who died last year.

The Hat Worn By Napoleon Bonaparte Sold For $2.1 Million At The Auction

But the bidding quickly jumped higher and higher until Jean Pierre Osenat, president of the Osenat auction house, designated the winner.

‘’We are at 1.5 million (Euros) for Napoleon’s hat … for this major symbol of the Napoleonic epoch,” he said, as applause rang out in the auction hall. The buyer, whose identity was not released, must pay 28.8% in commissions according to Osenat, bringing the overall cost to 1.9 million euros ($2.1 million).

While other officers customarily wore their bicorne hats with the wings facing front to back, Napoleon wore his with the ends pointing toward his shoulders. The style, known as “en bataille,” or in battle, made it easier for his troops to spot their leader in combat.

The hat on sale was first recovered by Col. Pierre Baillon, a quartermaster under Napoleon, according to the auctioneers. The hat then passed through many hands before industrialist Jean-Louis Noisiez acquired it.

The entrepreneur spent more than a half-century assembling his collection of Napoleonic memorabilia, firearms, swords and coins before his death in 2022.

The sale came days before the release of Ridley Scott’s film Napoleon with Joaquin Phoenix, which is rekindling interest in the controversial French ruler.

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The Call for AI Regulation in Creative Industries

THE VOICE OF EU | Widespread concerns have surged among artists and creatives in various domains – country singers, authors, television showrunners, and musicians – voicing apprehension about the disruptive impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on their professions.

These worries have prompted an urgent plea to the U.S. government for regulatory action to protect their livelihoods from the encroaching threat posed by AI technology.

The Artists’ Plea

A notable rise in appeals to regulate AI has emerged, drawing attention to the potential risks AI poses to creative industries.

Thousands of letters, including those from renowned personalities like Justine Bateman and Lilla Zuckerman, underscore the peril AI models represent to the traditional structure of entertainment businesses.

The alarm extends to the music industry, expressed by acclaimed songwriter Marc Beeson, highlighting AI’s potential to both enhance and jeopardize an essential facet of American artistry.

The Call for AI Regulation in Creative Industries

Copyright Infringement Concerns

The primary contention arises from the unsanctioned use of copyrighted human works as fodder to train AI systems. The concerns about AI ingesting content from the internet without permission or compensation have sparked significant distress among artists and their representative entities.

While copyright laws explicitly protect works of human authorship, the influx of AI-generated content questions the boundaries of human contribution and authorship in an AI-influenced creative process.

The Fair Use Debate

Leading technology entities like Google, Microsoft, and Meta Platforms argue that their utilization of copyrighted materials in AI training aligns with the “fair use” doctrine—a limited use of copyrighted material for transformative purposes.

They claim that AI training isn’t aimed at reproducing individual works but rather discerning patterns across a vast corpus of content, citing precedents like Google’s legal victories in the digitization of books.

The Conflict and Seeking Resolution

Despite court rulings favoring tech companies in interpreting copyright laws regarding AI, voices like Heidi Bond, a former law professor and author, critique this comparison, emphasizing that AI developers often obtain content through unauthorized means.

Shira Perlmutter, the U.S. Register of Copyrights, acknowledges the Copyright Office’s pivotal role in navigating this complex landscape and determining the legitimacy of the fair use defense in the AI context.

The Road Ahead

The outpouring of concern from creative professionals and industry stakeholders emphasizes the urgency for regulatory frameworks to safeguard creative works while acknowledging the evolving role of AI in content creation.

The Copyright Office’s meticulous review of over 9,700 public comments seeks to strike a balance between innovation and the protection of creative rights in an AI-driven era. As the discussion continues, the convergence of legal precedents and ethical considerations remains a focal point for shaping the future landscape of AI in creative industries.

Thank You For Your Support!

— By Darren Wilson, Team

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