Two Ed Sheerans seen in Berlin but real Ed stays away

Nico Eckl poses beside a wax figure of Ed Sheeran. (Reuters)
Updated 19 July 2018

Two Ed Sheerans seen in Berlin but real Ed stays away

  • London’s Madame Tussauds recently unveiled a different model of Sheeran at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in London
  • Sheeran was named the world’s best-selling artist of 2017

BERLIN: Fans of British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran could not believe their eyes when they came to the unveiling of his wax figure in Berlin’s Madame Tussauds and saw him — or at least what they believed to be him — emerging from a limousine.
The waxwork museum had Nico Eckl, Ed Sheeran’s best-known lookalike, unveil the model of the chart-topping musician on Tuesday since the real Sheeran couldn’t come due to concerts, the museum said.
“We had him drive up in a limousine and hoped that the fans would go berserk and that is exactly what happened,” said Nina-Kristin Zerbe, the spokeswoman of Madame Tussauds.
“The people shouted, wanted pictures with him,” Zerbe said.
Eckl, with sunglasses covering his eyes, posed for photographers and fans with the waxwork of Sheeran, which was dressed in a blue checked shirt and featured some of the singer’s arms tattoos plus a guitar.
“A lot of expertise and love for details went into this. As you can see — the freckles. It is not that easy to put freckles on a person. Or to prick in the eye-lashes, the brows,” Zerbe said.
London’s Madame Tussauds last month unveiled a different model of Sheeran at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in London, where customers sip their drinks surrounded by felines.
Sheeran was named the world’s best-selling artist of 2017 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) thanks to his album “Divide” and singles “Shape of You” and “Perfect.”
“I saw Ed Sheeran ... actually I don’t know if he is real or fake ... It’s quite surprising, but it’s OK, ” said Riccardo di Stefano, an Italian fan. 


Spider-Man’s Marvel future in peril as Sony deal breaks down

Updated 21 August 2019

Spider-Man’s Marvel future in peril as Sony deal breaks down

  • The Marvel movies have together grossed $22 billion at the global box office
  • A key aspect of that partnership has now broken down

LOS ANGELES: Marvel’s superhero films could lose their most famous character after Sony confirmed Tuesday that talks over its deal to share Spider-Man with the Disney-owned studio have broken down.
The Marvel movies have together grossed $22 billion at the global box office, and British actor Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has become an increasingly central figure in the most lucrative franchise in film history.
But while the teen web-slinger has for decades been the crown jewel of the Marvel comic book empire on which the films are based, Sony owns the character’s movie rights.
He only began appearing in Disney-owned Marvel’s “cinematic universe” after the Hollywood giants stuck an almost-unprecedented, and still highly secretive, 2015 deal to co-produce and split profits across the films.
A key aspect of that partnership has now broken down.
Sony confirmed that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige — widely credited with the phenomenal boom in comic book movies of the past decade — will no longer produce Spider-Man films, with a spokesman adding the studio was “disappointed.”
“We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him... do not allow time for him to work on IP (intellectual property) they do not own,” the Sony spokesman said in a statement sent to AFP.
The separation makes it “almost certain” that the character Spider-Man will be absent from crossover appearances in future Marvel films, according to Hollywood Reporter journalist Graeme McMillan.
Multiple Hollywood media outlets reported earlier Tuesday that Disney and Sony had failed to agree on financial terms for future Spider-Man films.
According to Deadline, which broke the news, Disney had wanted to significantly increase its financial stake in new Spider-Man movies, while Sony refused to alter existing terms.
Sony said the reports “mischaracterized recent discussions,” but thanked Feige for “the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.”
In financial terms, Spider-Man is one of the most successful superheroes in movie history.
Holland’s iteration of Spider-Man has delivered box office gold — he has appeared in a total of five Marvel Studios and Sony films since the collaboration deal, which collectively grossed almost $8 billion worldwide.
These included Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame,” the highest-grossing movie of all time.
At Comic-Con last month, Marvel Studios set out a timeline of films and television shows scheduled for the next two years including new outings for popular characters Thor, Black Widow, Doctor Strange and Loki — but none featuring Spider-Man.
Feige is also expected to be busy overseeing new Marvel franchises acquired by Disney in its purchase of 21st Century Fox, which include the popular “X-Men.”
Sony last year produced an Oscar-winning Spider-Man animation separate from Marvel Studios’ domain, as well as a standalone film centered on popular Spider-Man villain Venom.
Disney did not immediately respond to request for comment.