News Feed Item

"Max Steel" Unveils Its Lead Actors, Ben Winchell, Ana Villafane

-- Dolphin Films International, Mattel, IM Global Announce "Max Steel" International Distribution Rights to be Sold at European Film Market --

HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dolphin Films announced today that Ben Winchell (Disney's "A.N.T. Farm," "Necessary Roughness") and Ana Villafane ("Hiding," "Los Americans") have signed on to play the signature roles of Max McGrath™ and Sydney Gardner in "Max Steel," the highly anticipated, live-action franchise feature film based on Mattel's popular superhero property of the same name.

"Max Steel," which is being produced by Dolphin Films and Mattel, is slated for a wide theatrical release by Open Road Films domestically and IM Global internationally in 2015.  It's being penned by Marvel Studios veteran Christopher Yost ("Thor: The Dark World") and directed by award-winning director Stewart Hendler ("Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn," "H+"). 

"We couldn't be more thrilled to introduce audiences worldwide to Ben Winchell and Ana Villafane," said Bill O'Dowd, CEO Dolphin Entertainment.  "The Max Steel franchise fan base is extremely passionate about the lead characters of Max and Sydney, and we knew we needed to get the casting just right.  Ben and Ana are extremely talented young actors, and we're confident fans will fall in love with each of them the minute they hit the big screen."

The high-octane story centers on teenager Max McGrath and his alien companion Steel, who combine special turbo-energy powers to become the superhero Max Steel™.  The film provides audiences with the first new superhero in decades, bringing a positive and relatable hero to audiences of all ages, while combining action and adventure with teamwork, laughter and friendship. 

The "Max Steel" film is positioned to capitalize on the global momentum around the Max Steel franchise.  In Latin America, Max Steel has been a number one action figure* brand for more than 10 years and has generated year-over-year revenue growth in toys and consumer products.  Mattel re-introduced the Max Steel franchise to the rest of the world at the 2013 Nuremberg Toy Fair to much fanfare, and has subsequently launched the brand in more than 150 countries with branded entertainment, toys, games and publishing.  In a short time, the Max Steel brand has gained widespread appeal around the world, including influential markets such as the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Australia.

With offices in more than 40 countries, Mattel will partner with Open Road, IM Global and Dolphin Films to activate global marketing campaigns in support of the film with customized regional promotions. 

"'Max Steel' has a unique combination of success factors for independent distributors worldwide," added O'Dowd.  "'Max Steel' is a tentpole film that launches a movie franchise, and brings the global marketing power of the world's largest toy company in Mattel, a first-rate partnership with IM Global, and a top-quality story written for audiences of all ages by Marvel Studios veteran Christopher Yost."

"Max Steel is an aspirational high school superhero supported by an action packed narrative that's well suited for the world stage," said Julia Pistor, producer, Max Steel.  "The renowned creative team we have assembled, along with our partners at Dolphin and IM Global, are able to bring the origin story of Max Steel to the big screen for millions of fans around the world while also introducing new audiences to the courageous hero."

The film will be sold through the strategic partnership between Dolphin Films International and IM Global during the European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival, Feb. 6-16.  In a special exclusive presentation, Dolphin Films International will co-present "Max Steel" with IM Global on Feb. 6. 

A young rising star, Ben Winchell will take on the lead role of Max McGrath.  A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Winchell began his acting career at the age of five in community theatre.  At age 14, he was cast in the stage performance of "High School Musical 2" at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.  Winchell is best known for his roles in the top-rated Lifetime Network movie "Pregnancy Pact," as well as Dixon in season 3 of "A.N.T. Farm" (Disney) and Eric in season 2 of "Necessary Roughness" (TNT).  Winchell is represented by The Gersh Agency, Stokes Management and Felker Tozcek Suddleson.

Ana Villafane will play Max's love interest, Sydney Gardner.  An up-and-coming Latina actress and singer from Miami, Florida, Villafane's first foray into film was in the award-winning feature film "Magic City Memoirs," executive produced by Andy Garcia.  To further her film career, Villafane moved to Los Angeles and quickly landed a role alongside Esai Morales and Lupe Ontiveros in "Los Americans," an original series written and directed by Dennis Leoni and produced by Robert Townsend.  Villafane is best known for her starring turn in Anchor Bay's 2012 release "Hiding," playing a protected witness relocated from New York City to Montana, where she is caught in a high-school love triangle with Jeremy Sumpter ("Friday Night Lights," "Peter Pan") and Tyler Blackburn ("Ravenswood," "Pretty Little Liars").  Villafane is represented by Cindy Osbrink and Yasmine Pearl at Osbrink Talent Agency and Manny Arca at Dolphin Talent Management.

Additional casting announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

For photos of Ben Winchell ("Max McGrath"), Ana Villafane ("Sydney Gardner") and other logos and photos, please visit the "Max Steel" FTP site:

Username: Max Steel Movie
Password: Maxsteel1

*Max Steel emerging as No. 1 Boys Brand in Latin America (Nielsen 2011)

About Dolphin Entertainment:
Dolphin Entertainment (Dolphin) is an innovative, full-service studio focused on best-in-class storytelling for family audiences on a global scale.  Led by CEO and Emmy®-nominated Producer Bill O'Dowd, Dolphin has created award-winning entertainment across multiple platforms, working with talented content creators on programs seen in more than 300 million homes and more than 100 territories worldwide.  Dolphin's television shows include the Primetime Emmy® Award-nominated Nickelodeon hit series "Zoey 101," and Nickelodeon's top-rated "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide."  Dolphin Digital Media has produced multiple Streamy-Award nominated projects, including "Aim High" starring Jackson Rathbone and Aimee Teegarden (which premiered on AOL), "H+: The Digital Series" from Bryan Singer (which premiered on YouTube), and "Cybergeddon" from Anthony E. Zuiker (which premiered on Yahoo).  Dolphin Entertainment launched Dolphin Films, its feature film division, in 2013.  

About Mattel:
Mattel, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever produced, Hot Wheels®, Max Steel™, Monster High®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends® and Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People® and Power Wheels®, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2013, Mattel was named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by Ethisphere Magazine and also is ranked No. 2 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs nearly 30,000 people in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are Creating the Future of Play. Visit us at www.mattel.com, www.facebook.com/mattel or www.twitter.com/mattel.

About Max Steel:
Developed by Mattel, Inc., Max Steel™ is an immersive franchise that brings a positive and relatable superhero to kids, supported by a captivating storyline and compelling multi-platform content for today's tech-forward kid. Featuring an animated superhero series, Max Steel draws upon turbo-charged teamwork, laughter and friendship to help kids overcome life's obstacles — from the everyday, to the out-of-this-world. With worldwide distribution partners, the franchise launches include content and a robust portfolio spanning toys, digital platforms and consumer products. For more information, visit www.maxsteel.com

About IM Global
Stuart Ford founded IM GLOBAL in 2007.  The company is one of the leading film financing, sales and distribution companies in the world, championing a wide variety of cinema, including mainstream commercial, art house, foreign language and genre fare.  In May 2010, Reliance Entertainment, part of Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA Group, acquired a majority shareholding in the company. The company has offices in Los Angeles, London, Mumbai, Mexico City, and Beijing.


For Dolphin Entertainment:
Wendy Zaas, 310-854-8148, [email protected] 
Jason Magner, 310-854-8128, [email protected]

For Mattel Brands:
Bret Ingraham, Mattel Brands, 310-252-6396, [email protected]

For IM Global:
Bonnie Voland, 310-777-3590, [email protected]

SOURCE Dolphin Entertainment

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, will discuss how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team a...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Governments around the world are adopting Safe Harbor privacy provisions to protect customer data from leaving sovereign territories. Increasingly, global companies are required to create new instances of their server clusters in multiple countries to keep abreast of these new Safe Harbor laws. Is it worth it? In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director of Anexia, Inc., will discuss how to keep your data legal and still stay in business.
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
Successful transition from traditional IT to cloud computing requires three key ingredients: an IT architecture that allows companies to extend their internal best practices to the cloud, a cost point that allows economies of scale, and automated processes that manage risk exposure and maintain regulatory compliance with industry regulations (FFIEC, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FISMA). The unique combination of VMware, the IBM Cloud, and Cloud Raxak, a 2016 Gartner Cool Vendor in IT Automation, provides a co...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...