The Simpson are moving to Universal Studios. Following up the Harry Potter announcement, Universal has also announced that Springfield’s favorite family will debut in the Hollywood and Orlando theme parks next year. It sounds like they will be getting a ride style attraction and not the “Island of Adventure” treatment Harry Potter is getting. Can you imagine a “real” Springfield city block? That would be too cool.

I guess the next visit to Florida, we’ll be going to Universal and looking for Bart, Homer and the rest of the family.

“The ride is designed to duplicate the ‘Simpsons’ home-viewing experience, only at high speed and with lots of screaming,” creator Matt Groening said in a statement.

The agreement between NBC Universal & Fox also includes provisions that will allow characters from “The Simpsons” to be integrated into the larger Universal theme park brand. Actors dressed like “Simpsons” characters will start roaming the grounds of both parks, while stores devoted to selling “Simpsons”-themed souvenirs will pop up.

I like that last line. At least they admit is all about the merchandise.

It’s pretty much official now that Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventue will be getting a Harry Potter “island.” It seems that Disney and Universal were in a bidding war to score the theme park rights to the characters/universe, with Universal winning.

According to leaked info from within Disney, that may not have been a bad thing…

J.K. allegedly wanted each & every guest who was experiencing the
theme park version of Harry Potter’s world to do so by first entering
the Leaky Cauldron pub. Where — by tapping on just the right brick (“Three up and two across … “) — they’d then gain access to Diagon Alley, that odd collection of Wizards-only shops & restaurants that’s hidden away in the heart of London.

The rest of the ideas (read them all at Jim Hill Media) sound really cool and I could see kids (and adults) swarming the park to take part in this type of thing.

We recently went to Disney World / Magic Kingdom and I was disappointed to find out the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride wasn’t there anymore. Reading the Jim Hill Media article, I did see a sketch that looked suspiciously like my former favorite ride. That sent me searching and of course Wikipedia had the answers.

The 20,000 Leagues Submarine ride was closed in 1994 and in 1996 Disney declared it would never re-open. The Winnie the Pooh play area now resides in the location. It does look like the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage will be opening soon and hopefully it can recreate some of the magic I remember as a kid.

The decision was made at work to start moving content to a Content Management Systems. IT wants to move to mostly Microsoft products, so we chose DotNetNuke as the CMS platform.

I wasn’t overly excited. Much more info is already available for PHP systems like Drupal (or even WordPress), not to mention the size of their development community.

Anyway, DNN 4.5 seems to be a nice release. Much easier to install and I think I’m getting the hang of it. Thanks to Microsoft’s lack of standards support, a total CSS layout is out of the question. DNN likes to drop and add columns depending on where you’re at in the system and it requires a full page for the Inline Editor.

I did manage to generate a nice layout using a one row, three column table to hold my layout divs. This allows DNN to drop and add the columns without messing the formatting up.

This site has also be a great resource for skinning (creating a theme) for DotNetNuke. The Dreamweaver extension is also nice and gives you easy access to all the necessary placeholders for DNN content.

Spider-Man 3 is almost here and we know that Sandman and Venom will be the villains of the film. The first two films in the franchise featured the Green Goblin and Doc Ock. With four classis Spidey villains out of the way, just who does that leave for Spider-Man 4 and beyond? Let’s take a look at the Top 10 Possible Spider-Man 4 Villains:

  1. Lizard

    The Lizard seems to be the logical choice for the next film. We’ve seen Kurt Connors (the Lizard’s alter ego) in the other films and from the previews for Spider-Man 3, he has at least a few lines. Having said that, he would be a very problematic character to bring to the screen. The original incarnation of the character as a semi-smart, man-lizard isn’t as threatening as the late 90’s portrayal, where he was more dinosaur like. Regardless, the visual appeal of the character and his continued presence in the films means he’s a likely choice.
  2. Electro

    Don’t let the cheesy costume fool you. Electro is a powerfl villain and would that would be a cool addition to the Spider-Man film universe. I know you can’t have the lightning bolts coming out of your head in a movie, so look for the blue-electrical version of Electro from the Ultimate line of Spider-Man comics to make his way to theaters.
  3. Mysterio

    It was rumored that Bruce Campbell would make a cameo in Spider-Man 3 as Mysterio alter-ego Quentin Beck, but I’ve not heard anything else to confirm this. Play him right and Mysterio could be a cool villain. Use his failed movie effects background and really play up the “virtual” creations that he can create. Not sure if he’s ready for prime time or not. He would be a great team player.
  4. Rhino

    Even more of a thung than Sandman, the Rhino is Spider-Man’s equivalent to the Juggernaut. The character would have to be huge and completely dwarf Spider-Man to work. Anything less, would be silly. Look to Ultimate Spider-Man and the recent Rhino toy from the Spider-Man 3 line for a visual that might work better in the film universe.
  5. Scorpion

    This character has a lot of potential. Mac Gargan was bonded to the Scorpion suit and sent to kill Spider-Man when J. Jonah Jameson paid him to test the process, after Gargan had unsuccessfully tried to investigate how Peter Parker managed to take so many excellent photos of Spider-Man. Go ahead and add Spencer Smythe and the Spider-Slayer robots (also funded by Jameson) and you’ve got a set of villains for the entire film, all stemming from Jameson’s hatred of Spider-Man.
  6. Vulture

    Another second-rate villain that deserves a starring role. I doubt the geriatric version would be used, but instead the rejuvinated and younger Adriam Toombs would make it to the silver-screen. Having said that, I think the older version would be more interesting, character wise. I’m not sure how much mileage you could get from a character that lists flying as his only power.
  7. Black Cat

    Felicia Hardy would be a great addition to the Spider-Man film series. This cat-burglar reforms her villainous ways after falling in love with Spider-Man. With the addition of Gwen Stacy to Spider-Man 3, it seems like the film series is adding some romantic tension. If both Mary Jane and Gwen make it out of Spider-Man 3 alive, then the Black Cat would be unnecessary. Even though she’s technically not a villain, there’s no denying the potential this character has.
  8. Hobgoblin

    Why is one of my all time favorite Spider-Man villains this low on the list? It’s simple, the character’s already been done. With the horrible Mighty Morphin’ Green Goblin from the first film and the Harry Osbourne “New Goblin” in Spider-Man 3, it would be a retread concept and visaully, wouldn’t look anywhere as cool as the comic book counter-part does.
  9. Chameleon

    This disguise wearing, espionage master would be an interesting villain in a Captain America movie or as part of a group of villains. He’s just not visually appealing or powerful enough to warrant a star turn in a film. While his “powers” would be a great story device, they don’t pack enough punch to out-do Doc Ock, Sandman, or Venom. Interestingly enough, early rumors had Topher Grace playing the Chameleon and integrating himself into Mary Jane’s life as Peter Parker.
  10. Jackal

    I know, most of you will be thinking “who is this mook” and you’d be right. Professor Miles Warren isn’t a popular Spider-Man villain. After the horribly bad Clone Saga storyline from the comics in the late 90’s, most fans would rather not hear his name again. However, if you were to take this character and blend it with the Clone Saga storyline that writer Brian Michael Bendis recently wrapped up in the Ultimate Spider-Man title, you’d have a great, great story. There were several great characters intoduced and lasting changes to the Spider-Man mythos were introduced.

Everyone may have a favorite that I left out. I almost put Kraven the Hunter on the list, but passed. He’s just too one-dimensional for me, although “Kraven’s Last Hunt” from the 80’s is one of the best Spidey stories you’ll ever read.

I would personally love to see the Sinister Six in the next film. This group of Spider-Man villains has (on occasion) been comprised of many of the villains listed above. Several of my picks aren’t really a huge challenge for Spider-Man on their own, but as a group, it’s a different story. Get a good writer to connect a few of these characters and have him face them one at a time in the Spider-Man 4.

Heck, start the film off with him battling Electro. This far into the franchise, the audience could believe that other villains have menaced Spidey, not every one needs a per
sonal theme or connection to him. Heck, if Venom or Sandman make it out of Spider-Man 3 alive, have them gather up the group and go looking for revenge.