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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Robbie Amell

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Robbie Amell, born in Toronto on the cusp of the digital revolution, has risen through the ranks of Hollywood with a quiet tenacity often overlooked by glitzier narratives. From his early modeling days at the age of six to captivating audiences as Stephen Jameson in The CW’s ‘The Tomorrow People’, Amell’s journey reflects a blend of talent and continuous transformation, making his career a fertile ground for exploration.

Robbie Amell
Robbie Amell

In unmasking the man behind the roles, this article delves into the less known facets of Robbie Amell’s life—from his stage beginnings and career-defining performances to personal pursuits and off-screen ventures. Each revelation affords a new perspective on Amell, who not only shines in front of the camera but also takes pride in his work as an executive producer and his commitment to his personal life.

Early Life and Beginnings

Robbie Amell’s entry into the world of acting began early, with his first taste of the spotlight coming at just six years old in the form of advertisements. His passion for performance quickly extended to the stage, where school plays provided a platform for his burgeoning talent. This early exposure to acting laid a foundation for a career that would soon take off.

  • Early Appearances:
    • Film debut in “Cheaper by the Dozen 2” (2005)
    • Role in the horror film “Left for Dead” (2007)

Amell’s transition from advertisements and school plays to the silver screen marked a significant leap in his career. His film debut in “Cheaper by the Dozen 2” showcased his potential, while his part in “Left for Dead” hinted at a versatility that would become more apparent as his career progressed.

  • Rise to Recognition:
    • Nickelodeon series “True Jackson, VP” (2008)
    • Guest roles in “Degrassi: The Next Generation” and “Unnatural History”

The actor’s breakthrough came with his role in the Nickelodeon series “True Jackson, VP,” which positioned him in the limelight and introduced him to a younger demographic. His versatility was further evidenced by guest roles in popular TV shows like “Degrassi: The Next Generation” and “Unnatural History,” which diversified his acting portfolio.

  • Establishing a Niche:
    • Television career began with “Life with Derek”
    • Gained fame as Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm in “The Flash”
    • Stars in Amazon Prime series “Upload” and voices in “Pantheon”
    • Directorial venture with “The Short History of the Long Road”

Robbie Amell didn’t just stop at acting; he also explored the realms of voice acting and directing. Starting his television career with shows like “Life with Derek,” he later became a familiar face in the CW superhero universe with his role in “The Flash.” His current work includes starring in the innovative Amazon Prime series “Upload” and lending his voice to the animated series “Pantheon.” His directorial skills were showcased in the short film “The Short History of the Long Road,” adding another facet to his multi-dimensional career.

Breakthrough Roles and Career Highlights

Robbie Amell’s career trajectory took a definitive turn when he landed the role of Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm on the television series “The Flash.” This character quickly became a fan favorite and showcased Amell’s ability to bring depth to a complex role. His portrayal of Firestorm is often cited as a career highlight, earning him recognition beyond his previous works.

  • Notable Television Roles:
    • “The Tomorrow People” (2013-2014): Played the lead role of Stephen Jameson, a performance that solidified his position in the sci-fi genre.
    • “The Flash” (2014-present): As Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm, Amell’s character is pivotal to the series’ narrative, displaying his range as an actor.

Amell’s early career was marked by his performance in “Runaway,” which opened doors to more significant opportunities. His role in ‘Cheaper by the Dozen 2’ as Daniel Murtaugh was his first major movie role and served as a stepping stone to more prominent parts. Over the years, Robbie Amell has consistently chosen roles that challenge him and allow him to grow as an actor, contributing to his steady rise in the entertainment industry.

  • Career Milestones:
    • First major movie role in ‘Cheaper by the Dozen 2’ (2005)
    • Transitioned to lead television roles, starting with “The Tomorrow People”
    • Became a household name with “The Flash”

Robbie Amell’s work in both television and film has not only garnered him a loyal fan base but has also demonstrated his versatility and dedication to his craft. His commitment to developing his skills is evident in the range of characters he has portrayed, from family comedies to action-packed superhero series. With each role, Robbie Amell continues to leave an indelible mark on the industry, promising even more exciting performances in the future.

Personal Life

Robbie Amell’s personal life is as rich and varied as his on-screen characters. Born into a family of actors on April 21, 1988, in Toronto, Canada, he was no stranger to the world of acting from an early age. He honed his craft at the Canadian Studios Acting Academy, setting the stage for a successful career in entertainment.

  • Family and Relationships:
    • Tied the knot with actress Italia Ricci in July 2016.
    • Began their romance in 2008 and took the next step with an engagement in 2014.
    • The couple’s journey together has been a testament to their strong bond, yet they have chosen not to have children as of now.

Beyond the camera, Robbie is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, having secured his US citizenship in January 2020. His life off-set is characterized by a blend of hobbies and personal interests that paint a picture of a well-rounded individual.

  • Interests and Passions:
    • A fitness enthusiast, Robbie often shares his workout routines on social media platforms.
    • Finds joy in cooking and values time spent with family, embodying the role of a dedicated family man.
    • Multilingual capabilities, speaking both French and English fluently.

Robbie’s involvement in the arts extends beyond acting. With a background in musical theater, he continues to contribute to the creative world through his production company, Well-Bred Films. His charismatic presence is complemented by his sense of style and a strong connection with his fans. Additionally, his skills in martial arts and his commitment to environmental causes showcase a man of diverse talents and convictions.

Off-Screen Ventures

Robbie Amell’s off-screen ventures highlight his entrepreneurial spirit and his knack for recognizing compelling stories. In a significant crowdfunding success, Robbie and his cousin Stephen Amell raised $1.7 million through Indiegogo for their science fiction feature “Code 8.” This film explores a world where individuals with special abilities, known as ‘specials,’ live in poverty and often resort to crime in the face of increasingly militarized police forces.

Following the success of “Code 8,” Robbie Amell is set to produce and star in “Float,” a film adaptation of a popular Wattpad novel. The production will be managed by Collective Pictures, the same company behind “Code 8.” “Float” tells the story of Waverly, who moves from Alaska to a sunny beach town after her parents’ divorce. There, she encounters Blake, an arrogant local, setting the stage for an engaging narrative. Wattpad, the platform where “Float” originated, is a hub for creative content with around 50 projects in development, showcasing its influence in the digital storytelling space.

Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios, has expressed his enthusiasm for the project, citing the global fanbase and millions of reads as indicators of the story’s potential to captivate audiences worldwide. Robbie Amell’s ventures into production demonstrate his commitment to bringing fresh, dynamic content to the screen, further cementing his role as a multifaceted figure in the entertainment industry.

Robbie Amell Used Stephen Amell’s ID When He Was Underage

Stephen Amell

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Stephen Amell, a Canadian actor renowned for his striking presence on-screen, was born in Toronto and has since crafted a diverse career spanning television and film. His impressive ascent to mainstream fame burgeoned with the titular role in the CW’s hit series “Arrow,” capturing audiences’ fascination and earning him a special spot in the pantheon of modern TV superheroes.

In charting his progression from guest spots on series like “The Vampire Diaries” to leading roles and professional wrestling engagements, this article delves into Amell’s significant contributions to entertainment. Readers will traverse the path of Amell’s varied career, uncovering the depth and breadth of his work beyond the Arrowverse, along with glimpses into his personal life.

Rise to Stardom: Arrow & The Arrowverse

Stephen Amell
Stephen Amell

Stephen Amell’s portrayal of Oliver Queen, also known as Green Arrow, in the Arrowverse is a defining moment in his career. His character, a vigilante hero in Star City, has been a central figure in the Arrow series, evolving through various alter egos and facing different versions of himself. Amell’s dedication to the role extended beyond the screen; he also contributed as an executive producer on Arrow, demonstrating a deep investment in the series.

His camaraderie with fellow Arrowverse actors is evident off-screen as well. Amell’s support for Grant Gustin’s Broadway endeavors highlights the strong bonds formed during their time on the Arrowverse shows. Moreover, Amell’s willingness to reprise his iconic role in James Gunn’s DC Universe shows his attachment to the character and his openness to exploring Oliver Queen’s future narratives.

Amell continues to captivate audiences with his diverse roles post-Arrow. He reunited with Emily Bett Rickards, his Arrow co-star, in the Western film Calamity Jane, and fans can anticipate his performance in the upcoming Netflix sequel Code 8: Part II. His personal life, including his marriage to Cassandra Jean Amell, who appeared in the Arrowverse as Nora Fries, and his involvement with WWE, showcases the multifaceted nature of his interests and talents.

Beyond Arrow: Diverse Roles and Ventures

Stephen Amell’s career trajectory took a dynamic turn post-Arrow, showcasing his versatility as an actor with a slew of diverse roles and projects. One of his noteworthy endeavors is the anticipated series Suits: LA, where he steps into the shoes of Ted Black, a sharp former New York prosecutor who ventures into the glitzy world of entertainment law. This character stands in stark contrast to the vigilante persona of Oliver Queen, offering Amell a fresh landscape to explore his acting prowess. Fans of Amell can expect to see a different side of his talent as Ted Black navigates the complexities of Hollywood’s legal battles with a blend of charisma and shrewdness.

  • Stephen Amell’s New Ventures:
    • Cast as Ted Black in Suits: LA, a major role post-Arrow.
    • Second season of Heels in the works, with potential wrestling collaborations.
    • Confidential WWE project set to coincide with Heels Season 2 release.

Despite the cancellation of his performance in Heels, Amell’s involvement in Suits: LA positions him for a significant comeback. The series promises to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, with Ted Black’s character drawing parallels to Oliver Queen in terms of charm and a complex past, yet differing in his reluctance for power and the ethical intricacies of his new role. Additionally, Amell’s engagement with the wrestling world continues as he teases a secretive WWE project, aligning with the narrative of Heels and his genuine interest in the sport.

  • Contrasts and Comparisons:
    • Oliver Queen vs. Ted Black:
      • Both characters exude charisma and grapple with their pasts.
      • Oliver willingly takes on power; Ted is more cautious and strategic.
      • Oliver fights crime; Ted navigates the legalities for his clients.

Amell has openly shared his thoughts on James Gunn’s decision to recast Green Arrow, expressing support for the future of DC Studios. His candidness reflects a forward-looking perspective, one that embraces change and new opportunities. With the announcement of his role in Suits: LA, Amell is set to introduce audiences to a new protagonist in the bustling city of Los Angeles. This role, coupled with his ongoing projects, cements Stephen Amell’s status as a dynamic force in the entertainment industry, continually evolving and captivating his audience with each new character portrayal.

Professional Wrestling Engagements

Stephen Amell’s foray into the wrestling world has garnered attention, complementing his acting career with a series of memorable appearances in the ring. His debut in the wrestling scene came in 2015 at WWE SummerSlam, where his athleticism was on full display. Teaming up with Neville, they took on the formidable duo of Stardust and King Barrett, securing a victory that resonated with fans and showcased Amell’s commitment to the sport.

  • Stephen Amell’s Wrestling Milestones:
    • 2015 WWE SummerSlam: Teamed with Neville, defeating Stardust and King Barrett.
    • Ring of Honor Participation: Competed in the 2017 five-man match at Survival of the Fittest.
    • All In 2018: Faced off against Christopher Daniels in a singles match.

Amell’s passion for wrestling extends beyond the professional arena, as evident in his portrayal of a wrestling promotion owner in the Starz drama “Heels.” This role allowed him to blend his acting skills with his wrestling knowledge, further cementing his connection to the sport. His participation in independent promotions like Ring of Honor and All In reflects his genuine enthusiasm for wrestling, an interest that dates back to watching old WWF matches.

Despite an injury sustained at All In, which temporarily sidelined his wrestling pursuits, Amell’s contributions to the sport have been warmly received. His appearances have not only delighted fans but also contributed to his growing popularity across the entertainment industry. While he has expressed a desire to avoid the ring until “Arrow” filming concludes, his wrestling engagements remain a highlight of his diverse career. Stephen Amell’s name has become synonymous with dedication and versatility, whether he’s in front of the camera or inside the wrestling ring.

Personal Life

Stephen Amell’s journey off-screen is as compelling as his on-screen personas, marked by personal milestones and philanthropic efforts. Born on May 8, 1981, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Amell’s life took a romantic turn when he tied the knot with Cassandra Jean, with whom he shares a daughter and a son. Their family life, though private, is occasionally shared with fans through social media, offering glimpses into the actor’s personal world.

  • Family and Personal Connections:
    • Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    • Married to Cassandra Jean, a fellow actor.
    • Father to a daughter and a son.

Amell’s passion extends beyond acting to the wrestling ring, where he engages with the sport he loves. His appearances in WWE, Ring of Honor, and All Elite Wrestling are a testament to his dedication. Further showcasing his commitment to social causes, Amell has leveraged his platform to support charities like Fuck Cancer and Emily’s House, raising significant funds through Represent.com campaigns.

  • Interests and Philanthropy:
    • Avid fan and participant in professional wrestling.
    • Active in charity, supporting Fuck Cancer and Emily’s House.

Amell’s career has not been without its controversies, with several incidents reported in 2015, 2018, 2020, 2021, and 2023. Yet, these have not overshadowed his accomplishments, including his memorable roles as Oliver Queen in “Arrow” and Jack Spade in “Heels,” and as Casey Jones in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.” His openness about these challenges reflects a candid and human aspect, resonating with fans who appreciate his authenticity.

  • Career and Controversies:
    • Launched acting career with TV guest appearances; rose to fame as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow.
    • Portrayed Jack Spade in “Heels” and Casey Jones in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
    • Addressed personal controversies publicly, maintaining a connection with his audience.
Arrow‘s Star Stephen Amell Tear Through American Ninja Warrior Course – Full Video

Code 8 (2019) Movie Review: A Dystopia of Robbers and Superheroes

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Code 8” is a movie directed by Jeff Chan, and written by Chris Paré. It stars Stephen Amell, Robbie Amell and Kari Matchett.

This film successfully combines the genres of robbers and superheroes, creating a captivating story with a good dystopian idea. Despite not having a huge budget, it manages to meet all expectations and goals. The combination and dystopian concept make it an interesting watch.

Code 8
Code 8

Plot

In a world where superpowers are hunted down, a young boy with abilities gets involved in shady deals to save his mother’s life. She needs a medical intervention.

About the Film

The idea and execution of this movie are impressive, creating an entertaining thriller without relying too much on special effects. It features a good-looking young lead, appealing to the younger audience, and a well-crafted script that avoids catastrophic outcomes while still being a superhero film. And all this is done without a large budget.

The story follows the classic heist formula: a good-hearted boy caught up in criminal activities. The dystopian element is well integrated into the plot without feeling forced. The film targets a younger audience but still respects its characters, creating engaging dialogue and situations based on a coherent script. It aims to entertain while maintaining a balanced approach.

The action scenes are clever and not overly reliant on special effects. This movie knows its strengths and how to build itself, evolve, and entertain without relying on blockbuster budgets. It has to be better in terms of script to succeed, and it does just that.
It successfully entertains, captures attention, and even seduces.

Our Opinion

It surpasses all expectations, delivering a captivating dystopian thriller that leaves a great impression.

Code 8
Code 8

Where to Watch “Code 8”

Netflix

Tucker Wetmore Breaks Onto The Country Scene With Viral Debut Release “Wine Into Whiskey”

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  Back Blocks Music’s emerging Country artist Tucker Wetmore is breaking onto the Country scene with his highly-anticipated debut release, “Wine Into Whiskey,” available everywhere today. Since teasing the song on TikTok in Dec. 2023, the single has taken off like wildfire, garnering over 65K pre-saves, 16M+ TikTok views and over 24K+ user-generated videos ahead of release with no signs of slowing down. The song releases with his first-ever visualizer out now.

Tucker Wetmore - "Wine Into Whiskey"
Tucker Wetmore – “Wine Into Whiskey”

“Putting out my debut single is a moment I’ve been waiting for for a very long time. This song felt like the right first release because of how it resonated with people,” shares Wetmore. “Growing up with four sisters who mean everything to me, I’ve witnessed how they’ve been treated in relationships, and that was the inspiration behind this song. Two of my best friends, Jacob Hackworth and Justin Ebach helped me bring it to life, and I thought it’d be a good way to bring light to situations that others might be going through. Maybe, it might even help a few boys turn into men through a little self-reflection if they are on the wrong side of the narrative. This is just the beginning of what I’ve got in store, and I’m pumped for y’all to finally have it.”

“Wine Into Whiskey” narrates the regret-laden end of a relationship, giving listeners an often untold glimpse into a girl’s heartbreak from a guy’s perspective. From the outside looking in at his sisters’ different heartbreaks, Wetmore crafted a narrative that acknowledges self-sabotage and the struggle between a man’s nature and a partner’s genuine efforts to salvage the relationship. The dramatic beat and Wetmore’s twangy Country vocals build to a heartbreaking crescendo as the chorus hits, intensifying the pain as he watches her once sweet wine turn into harsh and intoxicating whiskey. 

As “Wine Into Whiskey” continues to build Wetmore’s following to over 600K strong, fans continue to simultaneously clamor for the unreleased track “Wind Up Missing You.” Reaching over 38K user-generated videos and more than 7.5M views, the Country crooner continues to build his catalog of songs, with more music expected very soon.

Since moving to Nashville in 2020, the small-town Kalama, Wash. native inked a publishing deal with Back Blocks Music in 2023 – which is also home to songwriters Lily Rose, Ashley Cooke and Blake Pendergrass – as he continues to hone his craft in some of Music City’s most sought-after writing rooms. Come April, Wetmore will hit the road for the first time on Kameron Marlowe’s Strangers Tour, kicking off in Nacogdoches, Texas (4/4) and will span across the U.S. before concluding on May 23 in Fort Myers, Fla.. Keep up with Wetmore on InstagramTikTokYouTube and his website at tuckerwetmore.com.

“A Revolution on Canvas” – HBO Original Documentary

The HBO Original documentary A REVOLUTION ON CANVAS, produced and directed by Sara Nodjoumi and Till Schauder (“When God Sleeps,” “The Iran Job”), debuts WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5 (9:00-10:25 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on Max. In this political thriller and verité portrait documentary, Nodjoumi and Schauder dive into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of more than 100 “treasonous” paintings by Sara’s father, seminal Iranian modern artist Nickzad “Nicky” Nodjoumi.

Synopsis: Brimming with emotional undercurrents, A REVOLUTION ON CANVAS follows Sara Nodjoumi as she traces a timeline of events, discovering her father’s ongoing activism, his complicated relationship with her mother, artist Nahid Hagigat, and how the implications of his incendiary art impacted the trajectory of their family’s future together.

In 1980, Nicky Nodjoumi fled Iran in the wake of the Islamic Revolution. With his life in danger due to the controversial nature of his paintings on show at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, he joined his wife, Nahid, and daughter, Sara, in New York City, restlessly living in exile and continuing to paint. 40 years later, Sara begins an investigation to track down and reclaim her father’s lost artwork from Tehran.

As the investigation deepens, she unearths the emotionally charged story of her family mirrored in the political and cultural upheavals of her parents’ homeland. Having participated in the pro-democracy movement to oust the Shah of Iran in the 1970s, Nicky’s hope for a new Iran crumbled with the ascendance of an authoritarian regime. His provocative paintings, now depicting the new Islamic power brokers, were quickly seized, and rumored to be destroyed by radical Islamists or stowed away in the basement of the museum. As new protests ignite the streets of Iran in 2022, Sara and Nicky contact former workers at the museum determined to find someone on the ground in Tehran who can help locate the paintings but are stymied in their efforts until a contact in Tehran unexpectedly gains access to the museum’s unseen basement and archival collection.

Raising questions about religious and political extremism, the sacrifices of creative freedom and activism, and the enduring power of art A REVOLUTION ON CANVAS chronicles Sara’s deeply personal inquiry into her family and the central events of her parents’ life, paying tribute to their art while unveiling the complexity and longing that comes with living in exile from one’s ancestral home.

Featured Participants: Blending personal archival video and never-before-seen photos of the revolution, Nicky and Nahid’s stunning artwork, footage of Nicky at work in his New York studio, and observational footage of Sara’s investigation into the missing art captured in the U.S., Iran, France, and Turkey,  the film includes participation from celebrated artist Nickzad “Nicky” Nodjoumi, his ex-wife artist Nahid Hagigat, and contemporaries including Mahmoudreza Bahmanpour, a Tehran based publisher of art books; Linda Komaroff, a curator of Islamic art at Los Angeles County Musueam of Art; Clare Davies, associate curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Shirin Neshat, an internationally recognized Iranian artist; Karim Sadjadpour, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Shiva Balaghi, a cultural historian; and Masud Shafie Monfared, the former director of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

Credits: HBO Documentary Films presents A REVOLUTION ON CANVAS A Partner Pictures Production, produced and directed by Sara Nodjoumi and Till Schauder. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, and Sara Rodriguez.

Ms. Opal Lee and Sedrick Huckaby at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

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Join us in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian Institution National Portrait Gallery on Saturday, March 9th for a historic conversation between legendary activist Ms. Opal Lee and internationally renowned artist Sedrick Huckaby.

The 96-year-old, former Nobel Prize Nominee, Ms. Opal Lee will be in discussion with longtime friend and fellow Fort Worth, Texas resident artist Sedrick Huckaby. This event is in connection with the museum’s Women’s History Month Celebration and marks the portrait of Ms. Lee by Sedrick Huckaby entering the museum’s permanent collection.

For decades, Ms. Opal Lee campaigned to make Juneteenth a national holiday. She never doubted it would happen one day, but she was determined to see it occur during her lifetime. In 2021, she got her wish when President Joe Biden signed a bill declaring June 19 a federal holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. It happened in no small part due to Lee’s efforts, earning her the nickname “The Grandmother of Juneteenth,” as well as a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize last past year.

Sedrick Huckaby, Ms. Opal Lee
Sedrick Huckaby, Ms. Opal Lee, 2023, Oil on canvas, 60h x 40w inches, Collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

Having known the community leader since childhood, Huckaby is the only artist to have painted Ms. Lee from life.  A graduate of Boston University and Yale University, Huckaby has spent much of his artistic career painting and celebrating ordinary people and families within his Fort Worth community and beyond. The artist recently completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Nacimiento, Mexico where he created portraits of residents that have celebrated the Juneteenth holiday since its inception in 1865.

Together the artist and activist will discuss their respective roles as community leaders and the significance of Juneteenth as a national and international holiday.  This is a rare opportunity to hear the charismatic and inspirational Ms. Lee in dialogue with the insightful Mr. Huckaby, as they speak to the importance of Juneteenth, their work, and their respective visions.

This event will be free and open to the public.  Reservations are encouraged through this link.

Age of Empires Mobile, First Details

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SHANGHAI & LOS ANGELES (February 23, 2024) – The historical, genre-defining strategy game Age of Empires comes to mobile later this year from TiMi Studio Group (Call of Duty MobilePokemon Unite) and World’s Edge, an Xbox Games Studio, and the development team behind the Age of Empires franchise. 

The first details for the free-to-play Age of Empires Mobile were introduced during a broadcast showcase event, Age of Empires: New Year, New Age. TiMi and World’s Edge begin testing soon. Pre-register on the App Store and Google Play in North America, South America, Europe, MENA and Southeast Asia to remain up-to-date on playtests and the official launch later this year. For more information on which countries and regions will be testing first, check the Age of Empires Mobile website.

Earnest Yuen, Senior Director of Production at World’s Edge said, “We’re excited for even more players around the world to experience the magic of Age of Empires with the upcoming launch of Age of Empires Mobile. Combining the strategy games expertise and rich heritage of World’s Edge with TiMi’s excellence in mobile gaming, we’re building a brand-new way for players around the world to join the Age of Empires universe.”

Age of Empires Mobile is a new chapter for the illustrious franchise, customised for mobile play with a broad array of exciting elements from the existing series, as well as new features to assure strategic, simulated battles across a variety of modes: 

  • Discover the charm of the original PC series with its fast combat and base building as well as elements of real-time strategy gameplay 
  • Engaging multiplayer action including all-new epic siege battle gameplay that unites global players and forges rivalry among others 
  • Introduce mobile players to some of the series’ most popular components, such as empire-building and strategic battles on a huge, persistent battlefield and 1-on-1, player-versus-player combat 
  • Build teams from dozens of historical and legendary leaders, including King Arthur, Joan of Arc, Julius Caesar, Leonidas I, and the Queen of Sheba, each featuring their own talents and identifying how to synergize them for emergent PvP and PvE play  


TiMi, a subsidiary of Tencent Games, is a veteran team that is motivated to bring AAA experiences to mobile. TiMi, the team behind legendary mobile titles like Call of Duty Mobile and Pokemon Unite, has partnered with World’s Edge to bring the very best mobile Age of Empires experience for players around the world. 

“We grew up playing Age of Empires on our PCs and believe we can offer a new but similarly exciting experience for mobile players with Age of Empires Mobile,” said Brayden Fan, a general manager for TiMi Studio Group. “Players all over the world can build massive empires, form alliances, and fight against each other to prove who is the best.” 

Chris “Big Duke”: “I Want to Return to My Roots”

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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — One of LA’s most skilled producers is putting himself in the spotlight with a project hot enough to become the backing track of 2024. The multi-talented Chris “Big Duke” Malloy has announced the release of his newest project, #LOFIDUKE – Vol. 1.

Chris "Big Duke"
Malloy’s newest release #LOFIDUKE – Vol. 1 is a return to Malloy’s roots as a producer. Photo courtesy: Andy Hua

Set to release on Feb. 23, the seven-track instrumental EP is Big Duke’s first full-length solo project and features a wide range of productions, from dark and vibey cuts to more upbeat and melodic tracks.

“I just wanted to really tap into the producer community more,” Malloy said. “A lot of my work nowadays is more so industry stuff, like commercial release stuff, so I want to get back to me. The essence of why I started making music and producing was just because I was inspired to.”

The Cleveland-born, LA-based producer has an impressive catalog of collaborations, working with artists such as Kanye West, The Game, 21 Savage, Diddy and others. He has major production credits on Symba’s album “Results Take Time” and The Game’s “Drillmatic.”

Big Duke was featured in the game NBA 2K as a part of their Producer Series in 2023, and his song “No Favors” with pineappleCITI was added to the game as an exclusive release this year along with Maxsteppers ft. Bigxthaplug.

He got his start working with numerous up-and-coming artists in Cleveland. A jack of all trades, Big Duke has had a hand in production, management, business ownership, and many other successful projects.

Now over 17 years into his music career, he described this project as a way for him to “get back to his roots.”

“It’s fulfilling in both ways where it’s something for the people, but it’s also for me,” Big Duke said.

#LOFIDUKE – Vol. 1 is designed to give listeners a more intimate peek into Big Duke’s production, where he can showcase what he has been working on in a more isolated, personal setting. All seven tracks fill the room and are created to evoke feelings and positive energy.

No matter what type of track it is, Big Duke emphasized that there is always something going on that would keep listeners engaged.

“It just feels good,” Big Duke said. “When it’s going on in the background and you’re bobbing your head, I just want to capture a feeling. Any feeling.”

Xiyadie: Butterfly Dream – Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong

Blindspot Gallery is delighted to present “Xiyadie: Butterfly Dream”, Xiyadie’s debut solo exhibition at the gallery, on view from 26 March to 11 May, 2024. Presenting over thirty works from the early 1980s to the present, it is the largest exhibition of Xiyadie ever presented.

Born in 1963 in Weinan, Shaanxi Province, China, Xiyadie is a self-taught, traditional Chinese papercut artist who uses a medium with origins dating back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 CE) to narrate his journey coming out of rural China as a homosexual person. His autobiographical papercuts chronicle his transformation through an environment that does not lend political agency to queer identifying people, and reflect the struggle of a marginalized individual navigating the big city as a migrant worker. The exhibition titled “Butterfly Dream” alludes to the artist’s pseudonym Xiyadie, meaning Siberian Butterfly, emblematic of resilience and its flamboyant beauty. It signifies the artist’s determined pursuit of freedom and endurance in the harshest of conditions.

Xiyadie, Missing
Xiyadie, Missing, 2007, Papercut on colored Xuan paper, 27 x 27 cm (work size). Image courtesy of artist and Blindspot Gallery.

The exhibition is divided into three overarching themes: queer liberation, family tableaux, and symbolisms and iconography. With a papercutting practice stemming from the Northern Shaanxi school, distinguished by its auspicious motifs and “humble aesthetics”, the artist takes a contemporary and unique approach by using papercutting as a means to chronicle his personal stories, to channel his homoerotic fantasies, and to find liberation amidst a conservative landscape. His compositions often incorporate built structures, walls, and caves, intertwined with floral elements and fauna, depicting pockexs of spaces wherein one could find escapism and unleash unhinged desires.

Train (1986) depicts Xiyadie’s first homosexual encounter in a train en route to Xi’an. The papercut is centred on the artist’s younger self, sporting a blonde-dyed mullet, in a steamy encounter with a train attendant. The lovers’ legs transform into the coupling rod of the train, connected to its strident wheels. Enraptured in the train attendant’s cabin, the two men are conjoined in infatuation, making love to the rhythm of the chugging train, unaffected by the people dining in neighboring cabins. Auspicious animals gather in the background, including a dancing monkey and a rabbit holding a conductor’s flag. Interwoven with blooming flowers, they symbolize the consummation of their love, marking the beginning of an awakening journey. In 2005, Xiyadie moved to Beijing as a migrant worker, where he found an accepting community in the burgeoning gay subcultural scene. Mirroring the two male lovers along the central axis in Train, Xiyadie’s magnum opus Gate (2013) depicts two men pleasuring each other in front of Tiananmen Square, the symbol of national power and civic life.

Xiyadie
Xiyadie, Fish on a chopping board, 2001, Papercut with water-based dye and Chinese pigments on Xuan paper, 138 x 138 cm (work size). Image courtesy of artist and Blindspot Gallery.

Conveying his struggles against customary values, Sewn (1999) is an autobiographical representation depicting Xiyadie sewing up his genital, with his blood-stained needle piercing through the traditional architectural roof, metonymic of orthodoxy. His blood threads into flames as he sits atop a sword, holding in torment and agony as he looks with affection at the photograph of his former lover. Sewn captures an individual inflicted with pain whilst challenging pre-established norms. Another work, Wall (2001) encapsulates the artist’s split identity. The papercut depicts him separated from his other self by a towering wall, conflicted about his gay identity. Striving to overcome barrier, he stretches his arms to reach over to his mirrored self, his hands metamorphosing into birds. The blossoming flowers, apricots and auspicious creatures surrounding them embodies the unceasing force of nature, refusing to be suppressed.

Growing up in rural China, Xiyadie was subjected to societal and familial pressures of a heterosexual relationship. He married a woman and fathered two children, one of whom was paralyzed from cerebral palsy. Life (1988) portrays the birth of Xiyadie’s son. His wife lies on the Chinese kang bed-stove, her head resting on the lap of the artist’s mother as she exerts great strength and effort to deliver the baby. Xiyadie is seen holding a lamp from up above, aiding the doctor who holds a pair of delivery scissors. Their son is born successfully, a plant sprouting from the mouth of the new- born, metaphoric of the tenacity of life.

In order to financially support his family and handicapped son, Xiyadie like many migrant workers moved to the big city to work. Missing (2007) portrays the artist standing alone beneath a clock tower in the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing where he worked as a security guard. The right shows the image of his wife staying behind to care for the family. While physically present at work, his heart is with his son.

Xiyadie blends traditional papercut motifs of flowers and animals, symmetrical patterns, and Chinese characters “double happiness” with recurring personal iconographies such as the butterfly, the kang bed-stove (炕), and personified mythological characters to represent his homosexual fantasies. Double Happiness (1982) is a bawdy play on the

customary Chinese papercut with the character “double joy” (囍), often used to adorn wedding festivities. The word here doubles as a face and a pair of penises, humorously conveying homoerotic sensuality. Paralleling the symmetricity in Double Happiness, Cave (2012) captures the amorous union of two pairs of lovers intertwined into serpents’ tails. Together, the duos flank a face sweating feverishly from passion and desire.

Xiyadie, Hoping
Xiyadie, Hoping, 2000, Papercut with water-based dye and Chinese pigments on Xuan paper, 25 x 25 cm (work size). Image courtesy of artist and Blindspot Gallery.

Fish on a Chopping Board (2001)is set against a more domestic backdrop wherein the artist portrays himself and his lover unified as one, taking the form of a fish lying on a kitchen top, about to be cooked and devoured. Their heads are positioned adjacent to a chopping board, too close to the blade of a cleaver. Two cats prowl restlessly above them, waiting for their moment to catch their prey. Despite the encroaching danger, the men copulate in passion, knowingly facing execution for their scandalous act.

For Xiyadie, his titular moniker, the Siberian butterfly, is not merely a totem for escapism and liberation but also an emblem of hope for his handicapped child. In Hoping (2000), he depicted his son transfigured into a butterfly, taking flight from his wheelchair and untethered from the shackles of sickness. In the hands of the artist, the butterfly becomes a moving self-portrayal of metamorphosis, flamboyant and refusing to hide one’s true self. As portrayed in Soaring (1996), Xiyadie and his lover are merged into a single butterfly, and with wings unfurled, they soar into the sky without inhibition.

During the opening reception on 23 March (4 – 6 pm), there will be an artist talk (3 – 4 pm) moderated by Hera Chan, Adjunct Curator, Asia-Pacific, supported by Asymmetry Art Foundation, at Tate. This year, Xiyadie will also be taking part in the Main Exhibition of the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, entitled “Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere”, curated by Adriano Pedrosa.

Xiyadie
Xiyadie, Wall, 2001, Papercut with water-based dye and Chinese pigments on Xuan paper, 141 x 140 cm (work size). Image courtesy of artist and Blindspot Gallery.

Richard Hunt: Early Masterworks – White Cube, New York

White Cube New York is pleased to present a solo exhibition of works by Richard Hunt (1935–2023). One of the preeminent American sculptors of the 20th century, Hunt’s hybrid creations are characterised by an exploration of dualities – the natural and the industrial, the surreal and the abstract, the geometric and the organic.

Opening on 13 March 2024, Early Masterworks is the gallery’s first exhibition by the artist, and the second-largest gathering of his works in the city for over 50 years, bringing together over 25 important examples from the early part of his oeuvre.

Born on the South Side of Chicago, where he lived and worked throughout his life, Hunt’s career has deep roots in New York City. In 1971, at the age of 35, Hunt achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first African American sculptor to have a landmark retrospective at MoMA, New York with a presentation of works from 1955–71.

The exhibition at White Cube New York mirrors that time span, including the restaging of a number of works that were presented in his MoMA retrospective. These include the welded steel work Linear Spatial Theme (1962), one of Hunt’s most significant explorations of three-dimensional ‘space drawings’, which he developed alongside his ongoing studies of botanical and zoological forms.

Several rarely-exhibited works from the artist’s personal collection, including Hero’s Head (1956), a pivotal sculpture made in response to the murder of Emmett Till, also feature in the show. The brutal, racially charged murder of Till in 1955, a fellow Chicagoan and African American who became a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement, had a profound impact on Hunt. The artist went on to create art shaped by this experience, influencing both his artistic expression and his commitment to Civil Rights. 

Early Masterworks is organized by Sukanya Rajaratnam, Global Director of Strategic Market Initiatives who shared:

‘It is an immense privilege to present Richard Hunt’s work at White Cube New York, with a nod to his important MoMA retrospective in 1971. At the age of 35, Hunt was the youngest and first African American artist to receive this honour, and over fifty years later, it feels very special to commemorate that historical moment. Hunt was a giant hiding in plain sight for decades, and with Early Masterworks, the first exhibition since his passing last year, we not only look forward to showing his powerful early sculpture, but also celebrating his life and art.’

Jon Ott, Biographer of Richard Hunt and Chairman Emeritus of the International Sculpture Center said:

‘These major works by Hunt, welded while still in his 20s, call to mind the influence of Pablo Picasso, Julio González and David Smith. This body of work confirms Hunt’s dazzling talent at an early age and manifests his undeniable importance as an American sculptor. Not since his 1971 MoMA retrospective have so many of Hunt’s masterworks been on display in New York.’

Following Early Masterworks, White Cube New York will present a solo exhibition of work by Antony Gormley.