NEW YORK (AP) - Marvel Entertainment, which muscled into pop culture with comic books, TV cartoons and movies, is gambling on attracting new fans as it tackles 3-D - but forget the silly glasses.
A new live arena show called "Marvel Universe Live!" - a first for the comic franchise - has begun an 85-city tour over the next two years, flooding stages with a dizzying array of actors and upping the technological ante for theatrical events.
"We pushed ourselves so much on this project to do things that have never been done before," said producer Juliette Feld, who is a Feld Entertainment executive vice president. "This show is actually more like an action movie than anything else."
This undated image released by Marvel Entertainment shows performers dressed as Marvel characters in the new live arena show called “Marvel Universe Live!” The show has begun an 85-city over the next two years, flooding stages with a dizzying array of actors and promising to up the ante when it comes to theatrical events.
Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, Wolverine, Nick Fury, Spider-Man, Storm, Green Goblin and Red Skull are among the heroes and villains that constantly battle during the two-hour show.
The show leverages many of the elements that Feld Entertainment has pioneered, including its motocross show Nuclear Cowboyz and monster truck spectacular Monster Jam, and even Disney on Ice and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.
There's projection mapping, LED screens, aerial stunts, massive set pieces that emerge from the ceiling, motorcycle stunts, pyrotechnics, real fire, martial arts, smoke and lasers.
"We're performing movie stunts in a live setting," said J. Vaught, Feld's vice president of ice and stage operations and creative development. "It's not CGI. Gravity's real. Solid objects are really solid."
The show, which fills 25 cargo trucks, begins a five-day stand Wednesday at Brooklyn's Barclays Center and then moves to Uniondale, New York; Washington, D.C., Virginia; South Carolina; Alabama; North Carolina; Kentucky; Florida; Tennessee; and Georgia.
Next year, it's due to hit Indiana, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire and New Jersey. In 2016, it's set to visit Missouri, Oklahoma again, Colorado and Utah.
Feld spent two years making the show, twice its typical research and development time. But none of the previous spectaculars had 11 motorcycles, 53 performers, 25 projectors, 10-foot falls, car crashes that end in flames and 37 cameras beaming video content.
"We've put in probably the largest and most sophisticated touring video system ever conceived, and then we've added a lot of tricks on top of that to really leverage that technology," said Vaught.