In a further consolidation of distribution and marketing rights from studios it has acquired in recent years, Disney has reached an agreement with Paramount to acquire the rights for any future Indiana Jones films – not that they’ve announced any plans for them.
Paramount retains the distribution rights for the existing films and will receive a cut of future ones.
Disney and Paramount reached similar agreements over Iron Man 3 and The Avengers after Disney acquired Marvel.
Now with Lucasfilm, Disney will produce, distribute and market all future Star Wars and Indiana Jones films. Does this mean we will see more Indy? Well, right now Disney seems to have all of the Lucasfilm guns aimed at Star Wars Episode VII as well as a couple ancillary Star Wars films and a new upcoming animated series, Star Wars: Rebels, and they haven’t announced anything for the future of Indy, but it seems an unusual deal if Disney didn’t plan on doing something, since it only applies to future productions. So it seems likely we’ll be hearing something in the near future…
Disney and Netflix issued a joint statement today about a plan to bring several series and a miniseries to Netflix based on Marvel characters, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron First and Luke Cage, over the course of several years, culminating in The Defenders, a “mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.”
“This deal is unparalleled in its scope and size, and reinforces our commitment to deliver Marvel’s brand, content and characters across all platforms of storytelling. Netflix offers an incredible platform for the kind of rich storytelling that is Marvel’s specialty,” said Alan Fine, President of Marvel Entertainment. “This serialized epic expands the narrative possibilities of on-demand television and gives fans the flexibility to immerse themselves how and when they want in what’s sure to be a thrilling and engaging adventure.”
“Marvel’s movies, such as ‘Iron Man’ and Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’, are huge favorites on our service around the world. Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “With ‘House of Cards’ and our other original series, we have pioneered new approaches to storytelling and to global distribution and we’re thrilled to be working with Disney and Marvel to take our brand of television to new levels with a creative project of this magnitude.”
This new original TV deal follows last year’s landmark movie distribution deal through which, beginning with 2016 theatrically released feature films, Netflix will be the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run, live-action and animated movies from the Walt Disney Studios, including titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disneynature and Lucasfilm. Netflix members can currently enjoy a wide range of Disney, ABC TV and Disney Channel films and shows across the 41 countries where Netflix operates.
Stan Lee Media has lost yet again.
Back in October 2012 the company (no longer associated with the real Stan Lee) filed a $5.5 billion lawsuit against Disney, stating that Stan Lee had signed over the rights to his characters to the predecessor company of Stan Lee Media, and therefore Disney does not own any of the rights when they purchased Marvel in 2009. They have sued in other courts before, notably in New York and California, and been dismissed. This time it was in Colorado, but U.S. District Judge William J. Martinez agreed with the previous rulings, even noting them in his own, an adding that those decisions preclude it from litigating the matter further, and dismissed the case with prejudice (in other words, cannot be refiled.)
It seems that two things that people thought would never happen are happening…first, Harvey Weinstein is going to work with Disney again. Harvey and his brother Bob sold their Miramax Films to Disney in 1993, but continued running the studio until 2005, when they had a very public split with Disney and formed The Weinstein Company. But now it appears that a film that’s been on the backburner at Miramax for over a decade has resulted in both sides putting aside the past, with the hopes of finally producing a film based on author Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series.
The books are about an extremely intelligent and rich Irish criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl II – who happens to be just 12 years old, descended from a long line of criminal masterminds. With his mother suffering from a nervous breakdown, he’s determined to find his missing father, and will stop and nothing…even if it means revealing and potentially destroying the world of the fairies, who have moved underground.
“If you would have told me five years ago I would be producing a project with Disney I would have thought you were crazy,” Weinstein, Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company, said. “I feel as though everything is coming full circle considering Bob DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal brought me this book while I was still at Miramax and within hours I told them I wanted the rights to the film.
“This is a special project for me because my children absolutely love this book. This story is for everyone and there is no one better than Disney to make a film that will excite people young and old.”
DeNiro and Rosenthal will executive produce the project. Michael Goldenberg, who adapted Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix, is tapped to adapt the books. Many consider the character of Artemis Fowl to be the “Anti-Harry Potter”.
Ok, I’ve put some of the best pics I got from this past weekend’s trip to Star Wars Weekends – man, it was blasted hot! We ended up taking it easy and some of the stuff was family oriented, and I’m still getting used to the new camera. But you can see the pics over at our Google+ photo album here.
It was a great time. Ashley Eckstein was great as usual – always friendly and remembers everything. And you could see her HerUniverse shirts being worn everywhere! It was good to see Sam Witwer again as well – he’s really funny in person.
Warwick Davis also put on a short but amazing show called “An Ewok’s Tale”, which covered his early life (very humorously) and how he got the part of an Ewok in Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi that later turned into a starring role, as well as his later roles. It included footage I’ve not seen before as well.
If you are a Star Wars fan and can get to Florida for a weekend, this is well worth it! This coming weekend is the last for this year, but it seems pretty certain there will be more next year!
Star Wars Weekends have started at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – and this year, not only is the “Carbon-Freeze Me” back, but they’ve added a new one, and this one looks even better – you can have your head scanned and be made into a Stormtrooper figurine!
Inside The Magic’s Ricky Brigante is planning on doing it again this year…can’t wait to see the results! And follow us on Twitter as we’ll be there in a few weeks, and we’ll be taking lots of pictures, and perhaps see a few friends as well!
Update: Watch as Ricky gets his face scanned! Alas, production and delivery will take until July, so we’ll follow up with the results – but they look quite detailed.
After having closed down LucasArts, who produced a lot of the games in the Star Wars universe along with others, Disney has signed an exclusive multi-year deal with EA to produce future Star Wars games, who will farm them out to its game studios.
This follows the “licensing model” that Disney announced when it closed LucasArts. LucasArts already did some licensing – including to EA, whose BioWare division produced the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.
From the press release:
BURBANK and REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 6, 2013 — The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) and Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced a new multi-year exclusive licensing agreement to develop and publish globally new games based on Star Wars characters and storylines.
Under the agreement, EA will develop and publish new Star Wars titles for a core gaming audience, spanning all interactive platforms and the most popular game genres, while Disney will retain certain rights to develop new titles within the mobile, social, tablet and online game categories.
“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating quality game experiences that drive the popularity of the Star Wars franchise for years to come,” said John Pleasants, Co-President of Disney Interactive. “Collaborating with one of the world’s premier game developers will allow us to bring an amazing portfolio of new Star Wars titles to our fans around the world.”
“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” said EA Labels President Frank Gibeau. “Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. DICE and Visceral will produce new games, joining the BioWare team which continues to develop for the Star Wars franchise. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
In another I’m-not-dead-yet production, Disney’s remake of it’s own 1980 critical failure The Black Hole, which we last caught wind of in 2009, is still a work in progress. Scribe Jon Spaihts, who wrote the pre-Lindelof script of Prometheus and is also attached to a remake of The Mummy, is now working on the script previously written by Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans).
Joseph Kosinski (TRON Legacy and the upcoming Oblivion) is still attached to direct.
LucasArts, the LucasFilm division and computer game studio that brought us some classic games including many of the Star Wars titles, has been closed. New corporate parent Disney, who has shuttered some of it’s own game studios, announced the move today, canceling in-progress games like Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault and laying off all the staff.
It appears that Disney will instead concentrate on licensing properties to other game studios, which LucasArts had also done – BioWare/EA produced the current MMO game Star Wars: The Old Republic.
LucasArts produced some of my favorite games of yesteryear: I remember their very first game, Ballblazer (and programming a clone on my C-64 at the time). Star Wars: Jedi Knight – Dark Forces II was the game for which I got my first 3D video card, and the difference was amazing (and I still have the mini-lightsaber that came with it, and it still works, with the original batteries.) Secrets of Monkey Island was one of the more interesting early graphical adventures. and I loved combat flight simulators, so I was thrilled to pilot an X-Wing against the Empire…
More recently LucasArts was hit-or-miss. While scoring decent hits with some Star Wars titles like Knights of the Old Republic, Battlefront and The Force Unleashed (starring our friend Sam Witwer, currently starring in Being Human), it seemed to have issues when producing sequels to some games, in some cases forcing their releases too soon. And the release of Kinect Star Wars for the XBox 360, what seemed like it would be a slam-dunk for the Kinect motion platform to have players swinging their lightsabers in combat, turned sour as critics and players panned it…I mean, did they really need to include a “Just Dance” clone? Did Han Solo ever look less studly as when he dances to his own song??
While this doesn’t mean the end of Star Wars games, it will be interesting to see where it heads. Disney still has one game studio working – Disney Interactive – which is concentrating everything on the upcoming Disney Infinity, an expandable/collectible game that will compete directly with Skylanders. Whether 1313 or First Assault will ever be released is unknown.