Some updates from the weekend…
It appears that the Avatar sequels – all four of them – may finally have release dates that are attainable, if not still far off. With James Cameron increasing the number of sequels from two to four, and choosing to film all simultaneously, it’s been a long and winding road from the release of the original film in 2009. Now all four have set release dates, with the next film being release on December 18th, 2020 – exactly 11 years from the original’s wide release date in the U.S. Avatar 3 will follow the next year on December 17th, 2011, and then a three year break before the last two release on December 20th, 2024 and December 19th, 2025 respectively. Of course, who knows if that schedule will keep…but it at least seems realistic.
Freeform’s fantasy series Shadowhunters, based on Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series of novels, has been renewed for a third season. The show is currently in a mid-season break with the second half of season two scheduled to return on June 5th. Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer, who took over as showrunners for the second season, will remain.
Lastly, Bryan Singer, currently serving as executive producer on FX’s Legion, is partnering with digital media company Blackpills on the new series August One, created by John Cabrera (Gilmore Girls, H+). The series is described as a futuristic thriller in which the Roman Empire never collapsed, but instead grew into a technologically advanced civilization but where the old concepts of slavery, corruption and sin are “normalized” – but now that civilization is on the brink of collapse.
Anyone remember the Star Trek episode “Bread and Circuses”?
Before I say more, I want to preface this by pointing to the second word in this article’s headline – “considering”. There have been a number of “breaking news” articles in the last 24 hours that say “creating”, and the two are VERY different.
According to Tom Corliss of WDW News Today, Disney has been sending a survey to guests via Swagbucks (an earn-rewards-for-surveys site), that asks them their interest in a new form of Star Wars experience – a two-night all-inclusive stay aboard a “starship” (think something like a Star Destroyer or Republic cruiser) with a fully immersive experience where you take part in the story via training programs including lightsaber training, secret missions, and more. The reported price tag would be $900-$1000 per person. You can see some concept art on the original article. This would be a resort next to Disney’s Hollywood Studios park, which is currently getting a massive makeover for a Star Wars “land”, and the price would include some exclusive access to that area (due to be completed in 2019).
Although I think this is a GREAT idea and would totally do it (I’m still considering the price tag, however – I could spend a week on a cruise for that), I’m cautious mainly because I am very familiar with Disney and all these plans that never come to fruition. First, historically a lot of “blue sky” ideas (basically the first level of coming up with ideas, long before practicality and budgets get looked at) get leaked through social media. I’m still waiting for the extra-immersive Adventurers Club over at Animal Kingdom, for example, or the return of River Country.
Second, Disney sends LOTS of surveys with all sorts of ideas to gauge guest interest. I’ve taken dozens of them. Many things on those surveys can be outlandish, and never come to be, but may lead to other ideas. Usually Disney does such surveys internally as well, but this one was done by a third party.
There are various stages of bringing any idea to fruition – this is somewhere above “blue sky”, since they have some concept art showing they are thinking of this seriously), but this is still far below “announced” – and if you know about Disney’s history with announcements, even then that doesn’t mean it gets built.
I place this right now as a 10% confidence of it happening. So while I’m thrilled at the possibility of this existing, my practical Disney side is also saying it is a long shot. I’d like to see this more like a special Star Wars cruise – at least then you are on a real ship. 🙂
Straight from Celebration!
When all seems lost, a few brave souls can save everything we’ve ever known.
Opens June 23rd, 2017
“He’s a friend from work!”
Check out the official teaser for Thor: Ragnarok, out November 3rd, 2017…
Updated 4/14: Well, it seems that Todd Fisher was wrong…according to Kathleen Kennedy a short time ago on stage at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Carrie Fisher will NOT appear in the final epic movie. “Sadly, Carrie will not be in nine,” Kennedy said. “But we will see a lot of Carrie in Eight.” She also added that Todd Fisher was “confused.”
Original: We already knew that the unexpected death of actress Carrie Fisher wouldn’t affect Star Wars Episode VIII, as she completed all her scenes, but we weren’t sure how it would affect the production or storyline for the final saga installment. But her brother, Todd Fisher, confirmed to the New York Daily News that he and his niece and Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd having given Lucasfilm their approval for existing footage of their mother to be used in Episode IX – and that it is understood that no CGI will be used.
“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t,”, according to Fisher. “She’s as much a part of it as anything and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi Wan — when the saber cuts him down he becomes more powerful. I feel like that’s what’s happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.”
It is not clear how much Leia will appear in the movie.
Joss Whedon may yet get his DC heroine movie…after pitching a Wonder Woman movie a 2007, where the studio opted instead to go a different direction which ultimately didn’t happen, Whedon is now in talks with Warner Bros. to bring a Batgirl feature to the big screen under the DC Universe of movies.
Whedon has a knack for strong female characters and leads – from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Firefly to Dollhouse, he hasn’t been afraid to let the women stand on their own, so he seems a good fit to bring us a Barbara Gordon who doesn’t stick to the background of her better-known vigilante friends. Spin it and get out of the way, Bruce…
Remember that lawsuit filed almost two years ago which claimed that Marvel Studios ripped off elements from a comic called Radix for their modern take on Iron Man? Well, it hasn’t gone away just yet – it’s just transformed.
Early last year the court in Massachusetts denied the case based on jurisdiction, but the plaintiffs, brothers Ben and Ray Lai, owners of Horizon Comics Productions, refiled on April 4th, 2016 in New York. On Monday, U.s District Court Judge J. Paul Oetken issued a ruling on Marvel’s motion to dismiss the suit, dismissing portions of the complaint but allowing others to proceed.
In the ruling, Judge Oetken notes that several parts of the complaint revolve around elements that Marvel called “unprotectable” under copyright, and the court agreed. A “highly mechanized suit of armor” was one, as it was too vague, as was the “three point landing” pose that was common between a poster for Iron Man 3 and some Radix promotional artwork. The pose, frankly, is so utterly common it’s now a cliché and is even referred to as “scènes à faire” or an obligatory scene in the ruling, and despite the plaintiffs assertions that Iron Man originally wore spandex and minimal armor, he wore power armor well before Radix existed, and even when he first debuted in 1963. As those elements are unprotectable, they cannot be considered as part of the test for “substantial similarity” for the case.
Some elements, however, may be protectable in comparing the images, notably things like hairstyles, style of the suit, the use of blue lights in the suit, etc. and Judge Oetken will allow the complaint to proceed “in part”. However, with what seems to remain in the complaint to press on, it still looks like an uphill battle that got even steeper for the plaintiffs.
More action, less of the humor of the first trailer…
Opens July 7th, 2017
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is the visually spectacular new adventure film from Luc Besson, the legendary director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the ground-breaking comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers.
In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha—an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
Opens July 21st, 2017